birthday cake in london + 27 things i want to do this year

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It’s still surreal to think that yesterday, I spent my birthday in London. For the past few years, I’ve had some pretty great birthday trips from D.C. to Palm Beach, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my birthday than by having cocktails and cake in London with some of my favorite people. On Monday night, the night before my actual birthday, we walked through quiet, beautiful Mayfair at twilight, the only ones on the street.

We took all the little winding side streets until we got to Sketch where we got a cozy table in the corner of The Glade. One of the first things we noticed was that everyone there was so beautiful, including the bartenders and staff. I ordered a Prosecco cocktail with champagne and had so much fun looking at our group’s reaction to the place because they had no idea what to expect coming in about how quirky Sketch is. I shared my cocktail with my friend who ordered this creamy strawberry concoction.

We walked through the pink room and into the famous bathroom which is stark white with rainbow lighted tiles in the ceiling and space age eggs with the toilets inside. Once you step inside the egg, you’re transported somewhere else because you no longer hear the bumping lounge music, but birdsong instead.

The after party was at the pub next door to the hotel. We had more Pimm’s and chips, very slightly glanced at the Man City game, and played darts in the corner where we met a fellow southerner from Atlanta by coincidence.

On my actual birthday, Tuesday, the 7th, we spent the bulk of our day living out my absolute dream at the Harry Potter Studio Tour! I had been dreaming of visiting forever and it could not have been better. I’ll have way more details on that in a blog post next week 😚

After the studio tour, we came back to London and had a little dinner, then picked up birthday dessert to eat in bed. When we got back to the room, we found that the hotel had sent up a piece of cake, fruit, and box of chocolates for me! So, there I am in that photo in all my glory, surrounded by sweets. The Marriott London Grosvenor Square really went above and beyond for us this entire trip, so I can’t recommend it enough.

Okay, now in honor of my 27th birthday, on to a list of 27 things I want to do this year…

27 Things I Want to Do This Year

1. Read 70 books.
Self-explanatory.

2. Take a weekend trip to Savannah.
I still can’t believe I’ve never been even though it’s only a couple hours away!

3. Shop vintage more often.
Both for aesthetic and for sustainability reasons.

4. Drive down to Palm Beach again.
I just couldn’t get enough of Palm Beach last birthday and am hoping to go again soon.

5. Invest in a Leonor Greyl boar bristle brush.
Either this or Mason Pearson.

6. Go tubing at the springs this summer.
And just more summer fun in general.

7. Volunteer.
I’ve loved all of the volunteer experience I’ve had in the past and really need to get back into it.

8. Open my first investment fund.
Excited about this one!

9. Actually dress up for Halloween.
We’ll see if I actually make this happen 😅

10. Add to my herb garden.
I want to add mint, lavender, and maybe even some vegetables.

11. Get back to using non-toxic shampoo and conditioner.
I’m thinking of either going back to Aveda or finally trying Rahua.

12. Learn more about improving blog SEO.
Something I really want to think about more.

13. Spend more time taking photos.
I want to take more purposeful excursions just for the sake of taking photos.

14. Spend more time at the beach.
Last summer, I went to the beach more than I had in a long time and want to keep that trend going.

15. Go to a beach outside of Florida.
It’s so crazy to me that I’ve never done this!

16. Go to a major, arena concert.
When I was in high school, I would go to so many concerts every year, I’d lose count but now, the last time I went to one was in the summer of 2014! That’ll change later this month. 💃

17. Finish watching every Audrey Hepburn film.
I’m very close without even really trying.

18. Organize my digital photo library.
God knows how much this needs to happen.

19. Go to the rock climbing gym.
This should be a fun way to be active and get into a newish hobby.

20. Make a photo book to commemorate this year’s Europe trip.
I’ve never actually made one of those little photo books for any of my trips, so it’ll be fun to do this.

21. Go to the farmer’s market more often.
There’s something so nice about buying your produce from the market instead of a grocery store.

22. Attend more cultural events.
In New York, I’d go to cultural events (the ballet, museums, Broadway shows) all the time and I miss it, so I want to make that more of a thing here.

23. Go to Disney Springs again around the holidays.
This is my favorite time to visit Disney Springs because of all the holiday decor and cozy shopping.

24. Incorporate a designated self-care day into my weekly schedule.
Right now, my self care routine is more scattered and I think it’d be nice to try having a specific time every week to do it.

25. Take a new workout class.
I’ve tried so many different workout classes, but I’m excited to try something totally different. I’m thinking aerial yoga.

26. Cook a big, themed feast.
This is something I love doing a couple times throughout the year, but especially during summer. I’ve done French, Southern, Mexican, and more. Not sure what my theme will be this year, but I know it’ll be good.

27. Take a pottery wheel class.
This is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile and I think this is the year to do it!