Good morning ladies, how was your weekend?  It was a busy one over here, but a really good busy, you know?  

On Friday night, my best friend picked me up and took me out to dinner for my birthday (which was on March 15) and we had an amazing meal and evening.  I hadn't been to Allium before and was dying to try it, and it didn't disappoint.  I can't wait to go back!

As some of you know, from my Instagram and Facebook page, I'm currently in Las Vegas!  Marco is here for work, so I tagged along, which is so nice.  It's a great, quick break from the cold, and we go home on Wednesday.

This past weekend was my birthday and there were a few celebrations that were carried out which was just awesome.  Last year was a special, bigger birthday, and Marco threw a party for me which was awesome.  This year, though, I didn't want to do anything big because I have been so lucky with all I've been able to do over the past year and of course, coming to Vegas, but a couple of my girlfriends took me out to dinner separately, which was really generous.

So, with that, onto the weekend snaps...

Lulu's top // Sirens cami // H&M faux leather pants (similar) // Aldo boots (similar) & clutch

On Friday night, my best friend, took me out to dinner to celebrate.  We went to Soca, which is a new place in Hintonburg (my old 'hood!) that I'd heard about and been wanting to try! 

More after the jump...
Before the weekend came, Emily surprised me by sending flowers to my work--all the way from Florida--for my birthday!  I got them on a super snowy day and it was the sweetest, most thoughtful gesture.

On Friday morning I went into work and my friend had put up some birthday decorations and there were a couple cards and a gift waiting for me.  It really brightened my morning.  Would anyone be interested in seeing what I got for my birthday?  Perhaps a separate post to share that?

Friday evening I did some shopping at the mall--but purchased nothing--and had dinner with Marco.  It was a super low key evening, exactly what we both needed, topped off with an episode of Banshee.

Saturday was my birthday so we started the morning off right at the gym--which helped to feel good all day long and when I got dressed for the evening's party (and for the treats I ate).

We came back to the condo and Marco surprised me by making eggs benedict for the first time.  So good!  An awesome first breakfast in my 30's.

Marco went out during the afternoon to run around and collect supplies and food for the evening festivities.  He came back with a beautiful bouquet of balloons!  Balloons are so fun to get, and you can enjoy them for a few weeks too--what a treat!

Marco planned a birthday party for me at our new place, but in the party room--which was awesome because our place really isn't ready, or up to my standards, to show people yet.  Plus, no pre-cleaning required and plenty of room to fit everyone with ample seating.  This is what I wore and you can see a full body shot on Instagram.
Outfit deets:  Mexx cardigan, Urban Planet top, H&M faux leather leggings, Liliana wedges & Smart Set necklace.

My friend Lindsay's fiancĂ© made me a pecan pie!  She poured through my blog to discover my favourite pie, and he made it; a joint effort.  It was so good.

A beautiful Kate Spade 'Hello Sunshine' necklace from a friend; I never want to take this off.

Sunday morning, feeling pretty good--and not hung over--I went to the gym.

Then back to the condo for another breakfast by Marco.  Two thumbs up.

I spent all afternoon filming my next Place d'Orleans video.  It took me about three hours to film, and another six to edit; needless to say, bedtime came after midnight.

I took a quick break to run downstairs.

The set-up for the shoe shots; looks like someone has the photography itch.

Today I am 30.  A new decade!  A milestone--from what everyone is telling me.  I'm not sure I'm ready but I guess we are here now.  I love my birthday--and birthdays in general--so here are a few thoughts on turning the big 3-0.

First off, social media love; Facebook, tweets, texts and more.  That feels pretty freaking awesome and my grandparents called and sang to me over the phone.  This is a once-a-year occasion and I'm going to revel in it.

Does 30 mean old?  Remember when we were young, and 30 was like, geezer status?  But, the older you get, the younger the 'older' ages seem.  Thus, from my calculations, 30 does not equal old.

Life is good.  I am living in an awesome place, I have a job, a car, more shoes than anyone should have (um), loving friends and family, and a wonderful man (who is currently making me brunch)--it's taken a while to get here but it's nice to reflect and realize, yeah! Things are pretty nice.

I've noticed as I've celebrated birthdays over the years, my priorities have shifted, slowly.  Birthday used to be about presents, and now birthday wishes, hugs or friends spending time with me feels like present enough.  I'm not going to say I don't enjoy receiving gifts, who doesn't, but those material things don't seem as important anymore.  Having people want to come to my birthday party, or writing a poem, or even a simple card--those mean so much more.

I hear when you turn 30 you care less about what people think, and have more of a 'no bullsh*t' attitude.  I will always be polite, kind and friendly, but sometimes, especially as women, we take too many things to heart.  It's important to be kind to yourself, not let others bring you down and focus on the people who matter most in your life, right?  Right.  Okay, so, anytime now 30.

From what I hear, 40 is the new 20, so does that mean 30 is the new 10?  Bring on adolescence!

I also hear that your thirties are way better than your twenties--of course, coming from my expert friends who are already in that age bracket, so I'll take their word for it.

I can legally drink! Oh wait...

Lastly though, in all seriousness, and not to get all cheese on you, I grateful to be here, writing this post--hey, I made it to 30!  Although I don't wake up everyday and count my blessings like I should, because 'real life' gets in the way, I am excited to celebrate this day & so happy you are here on this adventure with me.  To the next decade!

Photos taken last month during my early family birthday dinner.

Happy birthday to my friend, the bestest one of all,

My partner in crime, my gym buddy and co-shopper at the mall.

We work together, play together and travel near and far,

We go out together, stay in together and park car beside car.

It’s your day, so celebrate and don’t forget the cake,

But wait, not cake, it’s pie you love, so eat it ‘til your tummy aches!

You turn twenty-nine today, but you’re looking young and hot,

You got the curves and you’re toned to boot, so shake what you have got!

This year that’s passed has been a blast with so many great times,

Some great pool parties, girl’s nights out and surpassing Calypso lines.

Off to Vegas for IHeartRadio and then Dominican for some sun,

Not to mention all the gym work and so many sweaty runs.

Being a part of your Vlogger win was such a big highlight too,

You had that thing in the bag, “you are winning” is what I told you.

Now 6 months later, and a dozen videos in, you are still a star,

You have to start somewhere, as they say, but I know you’re going far!

We have our inside jokes and talk in a language no one speaks,

We laugh at silly things and I know people think we’re geeks!

Now let’s celebrate your special day, thanks for being a great friend,

Happy 29th Birthday Amanda, this poem has now reached it’s end.

- Sarah

This past weekend was what I will dub my birthday weekend, as it was not just Friday, but seemed to extend the entire weekend and I'm not complaining.  It was a wonderful weekend and while I feel considering that these Weekend Snaps are kind of bare, it's mainly because I was filming a birthday vlog and my video camera was taking more of a priority over my iPhone.  Here are some shots from a great weekend...

On Friday night, my boyfriend made an amazing spinach pasta dish with fresh scallops and shrimp.  We had a butternut squash soup to start and the most amazing (organic) red wine.

 For dessert, he surprised me with pecan pie (a fave!).

 On Saturday morning, I met with my girl friend for brunch.  I completely forgot to take a picture of my breakfast as I vlogged it instead.  Afterwards, I went shopping on my own and after debating for a couple hours, decided to go back and pick up this denim vest I put on hold.  I'm definitely stepping outside my comfort zone on this one, but it's for the greater good.

I did really well with my shopping and am excited to show you what I picked up for Spring in my next vlogs.  See all PDO Fashion Vlogger Vlogs HERE.

On Saturday night, my girlfriends took me out for dinner for my birthday.  We started at one spot, had a drink, decided we didn't want to stay for dinner, and went across the street to another restaurant and had an amazing feast.  I have been saving this dress for the 'perfect occassion', so my birthday took the cake (pun intended, ha).
Outfit deets:  Sugar Lips dress c/o, Sirens leggings, F21 booties & Auslini bangle.

 Complimentary after dinner flaming Sambuca shots.

 A beautiful wrap job by a friend.

My new Joe Fresh bangle (top) from my sister.

Sunday morning brunch with the man.

Today I turn 29 and it is a little surreal thinking I'm in the last year of my twenties.  ReallyThe last year in my twenties?  I don't feel old enough to be here... and somehow I do. 

I also feel there is this silent obligation to make this the best year ever, being as it's the last one in my twenties (despite knowing I should and will have many great years to come in my thirties, and forties, and fifties, and so on, I hope).

This year I will be celebrating tonight with my boyfriend, tomorrow with a girl friend for brunch, Saturday night with a few girlfriends for dinner, and Sunday with my Grandparents who have kindly invited me for dinner at their senior's residence.  My family threw me a surprise birthday dinner back in February as my parents would be away on the actual day, complete with my best friend and my favourite meal: a full turkey dinner (and a sweet home-made cake by my mom)!

Here is a look back at the past few birthdays:
* 26: Birthday dinner.
Old Navy dress (last seen here), Urban Original boots (last seen here), Suzy belt & Auslini bangle

This year my birthday extended over three weeks (three weeks!) and I must confess, I’m not complaining.

My girlfriends and I (a new group of girls I was introduced to less than a year ago by a dear friend) try to have girls’ nights once per month, but we hadn’t seen each other since our Christmas Party in December!  Anyways, we decided to plan a get together a week prior to my birthday and I mentioned to my friend (the introducer) that it’d be nice to go out and in a way celebrate my birthday with those girls and since this girls’ night was so close, we could roll it into one.  I figured we might say a, ‘Cheers! Happy Birthday Amanda!’ over drinks at dinner.  Boy was I wrong.  My girlfriend made it her personal mission that we celebrate my birthday that night and she made that very clear when she showed up at my apartment before dinner with the amazing, custom cake above.  Yes, that is a big chocolate shoe.  It brought tears to my eyes!

From there, we got ready and met up with the other four girls and had an amazing Italian dinner complete with complimentary shots from our server.  Afterwards, we went back to my place and cut the cake, had some drinks and laughs.  It was one of the best nights of my life (that sounds pretty bold, but it was).
I have spent three birthdays in Florida: five to six, eleven to twelve and this year, twenty-seven to twenty-eight.   Pretty lucky, right?  I’d say so.

I flew down to to Florida the day before my birthday so was there to celebrate and it played out perfectly.  In the morning, my mom, step-grandmother and her niece all went to get pedicures at a Cosmetology school.  It was interesting and fun.  The pedicures were only $14, which is a steal (I know I mentioned $8 before but the numbers were mixed up) and everyone was very nice.  I picked out an orangey-red colour but cannot remember the OPI name.
F21 top, American Apparel bandeau, Almost Famous shorts, Bamboo sandals, H&M bangle & Dollarama ring

We hit up Target after our pedicures and I must have tried on half the store.  I walked away with some new skinny pants (in magenta!), a bikini top, some Elf make-up brushes and the brightest pink blush you have ever seen.  I certainly didn’t buy a lot, but it was our first day of shopping so I didn’t want to go too crazy.  

On that note, I had four more things in my cart that I was planning on buying (cat-eye sunglasses, a white bf cardi, a coral pencil skirt and some jewellery) but put them back at the last minute.  Do you ever do that?
Ashley B jacket (last seen here), Rachel Roy pashmina, Charles Jourdan purse & Diva Lounge wedges (last seen here)

That night, my whole family (seven of us) went to my favourite US chain, Chili’s, for dinner.  We had two-for-one drinks (love this concept as we don’t have that in Canada!) and I got my favourite: the buffalo chicken sandwich with coleslaw.  Mmmm.   

Our server got wind that it was my birthday and came along after dinner with some others, sang to me and presented me with the most delicious brownie you’ve ever had.  I shared.

Jacob Connexion button-down, thrifted leather skirt (last seen here), Joey heels (last seen here), Suzy belt & Dollarama ring
Once I returned home, I was taken out for a very special dinner to a favourite restaurant of mine.  Since the weather was so mild, I took advantage and went bare-legged with highly uncomfortable shoes and rocked some extensions.

What you didn’t see:

My work friends (which includes one of my besties) surprised me by taking me to lunch at one of my favourite lunch spots.  

 I thought it was just going to be me and my girlfriend and I was saying how I really shouldn’t go and spend money since I was leaving for Florida the following week.  She said she would treat me for my birthday and little did I know; we showed up and the other three were there (one of whom is on mat-leave currently!) and they had already ordered (my favourite dish) and were waiting.  

It was so kind.  They also gifted me with the sweetest card and a gift card to one of my favourite stores, Winners! 

On the weekend, my good friend took me out for brunch for my birthday.  We went to our favourite spot and had an amazing meal (and conversation, of course).  She also gifted me with the most fabulous gift (but you'll have to wait and see. Hint). and then we partook in some retail therapy afterward.  A truly fantastic birthday celebration.  Thanks SS.


I forgot my blog's birthday.  There, I said it.  A.Co est. 1984 turned one on the weekend and I forgot.  What did I do to celebrate you ask?  Nothing - hello, I forgot.  Are you going to keep rubbing it in my face?  Sheesh.

Oh well, happy birthday little blog.  You have become a great passion of mine over the past year and I'm so happy we are doing this thing called blogging together.

Today is a very special today, it's the day my BBFF (best blogger friend forever - yes, because we're corny like that) turns one year older!

Jamie and I 'met' almost a year ago and 'hit it off' immediately.  We always talk about meeting someday and visits to each other's blogs are a daily occurrence.  Jamie is such a sweetie and I obviously cannot deny the fact that she is smokin' hot so head on over to her blog and show her some birthday love.

Happy Birthday Jamie!

{ deux castors }

I'm a few days late, but over the holidays, my BFF had a birthday and we celebrated in style.  She invited a slew of people out to dinner at a chic new-ish restaurant in town and we dined on tuna carpaccio, assorted olives, the best meatballs in town (stuffed with ricotta) and an amazing mousse-pudding like dessert that came in a jar topped with shaved almonds.  I think everyone had a great time, the food and company were certainly delicious and it was of course nice to celebrate such a special evening with such a special friend.  Happy (belated) birthday, Beavs.

 Old Navy oxford (last seen here), Do & Be studded dress (worn as a skirt), 
unknown tights, Aldo booties (last seen on my birthday) & Forever 21 cuff

{ delicious berry punch }

This weekend I had my birthday party and it was such a great night.  I invited my favourite girls over for a night of eating, drinking and socializing.  I think everyone had a great time, I certainly did!  Thank  you so much to LC, KC, PK, JM, SS, SL, CG, NB for making my birthday so wonderful and memorable.  <3

{ the spread }

{ opening some gifts }

{ beautiful flowers from CG & NB }

{ my new Coach wallet from SS }

{ great belt & skirt from KC }

{ sweet wedges from SL }

{ great card from NB}

{ love these bangles from CG }

{ so fitting }

{ hatbox from LC - our birthday tradition lives on in a home made version this year }

{ very cool book from SL }

{ great art from PK }

{ beautiful homemade gift from CG }
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