Birthday Blush

  Hello friends and followers! Today I am celebrating my birthday! I'm only half way through the day and I'm already so overwhelmed by all the warm wishes and general love I have received. If Indian people could blush, I'm sure I would be bright red right now.

Over the weekend I had a little pre-birthday-weekend-getaway with a few of my darlingest lady friends. Thank you guys so much for an amazing time and sending BIG love and thanks to Miss Juliet (and her parents) specifically for being a most gracious host.

So, Friday evening, six girls armed with board games, boots, and booze climbed into two cars and drove two hours out of the city for a weekend of giggles and girl talk. It is, after all, a gal's world.

Laura and Hillary were the fireplace masters all weekend. With strategic log and stick placements and fun with the bellows, these two girls managed to keep the fire going all night long. Thanks, ladies.

Fire starter

Our first night was spent drinking mulled wine, warming our toes in front of the fire, and playing lots of Cards Against Humanity (aka the best game ever).

On Saturday, we arose from our slumber, had breakfast, and suited up for a day of sledding. We had two sledding newbies with us (silly Floridians) who, although apprehensive at first, quickly discovered why winters can be awesome despite the cold.

Sled racing

A sled in the woods

When we were tired, cold and thoroughly soaked through we clambered back inside to change our clothes and head off to the grocery store. It wouldn't be a true girls' weekend unless there was some cooking involved. And by cooking, I mean serious business. Boy oh boy did we make a feast. Fresh salad, bruschetta, meat and veggie stuffed peppers, and garlic mashed potatoes. Nooooooom.

Dinner nom nom

One of my favorite things about my group of gals in this city is that we ALL LOVE TO COOK. Over dinner we decided to reinstate our routine girls night dinners. I am OVER THE MOON about this. Is there anything better in this world than breaking bread with besties? I think not.

In true Best Bear spirit, post dinner Hillary made me a rainbow birthday cake complete with Disney Princess candles. And we gobbled the whole thing down. Naturally.

Birthday cake

When dinner and cake had been digested and our souls had been warmed by copious amounts of wine, beer, and eggnog we suited up once again for a round of late night sledding. Daytime sledding was fun, but sledding by the twinkle of Christmas lights while slightly buzzed was better. True story.

Sunday morning's brunch was no less of a feast than the previous night's dinner. Juliet made bombtastic french toast and Laura made scrambled eggs with fresh salsa and parmesan cheese. There was coffee, juice, and fresh fruit galore.

Huevos

After brunch we gathered our belongings, cleaned up the house, packed up the car and waved goodbye to the little house in the woods.

Welcome

Nature, yo

It was a perfect weekend. I came back feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and so filled with love. Living in the city is my dream, but Manhattan can be intense. It's loud and busy and dirty. All the time. It makes sense that so many New Yorkers have second homes out in the country or in the Hamptons. It's a necessity if you want to keep your sanity.

I know it's technically a Tuesday, but this week's Mental Health advice is to take a break from your hectic life and get away from everything for at least 48 hours with people that mean the world to you. I didn't look at my computer all weekend, we didn't have a television, and our phones were only used for music and photos. I had five of my favorite girls by my side and that was enough for me.

This brings me to my next Mental Health point of the week: be grateful for the people in your life. It is a very rare thing to find even a few people on this planet who have the same morals, values, and spirits as you do. Lately I have been feeling as though I am the luckiest person in the world to be surrounded by not just a few fantastic people, but literally truck loads of kindred spirits. I am incredibly grateful for all these wonderful people, their kind words of encouragement, their never ending support, and all the love they have shown me over the years.

Today, on my birthday, it has become all too apparent that I have found my place in the world and I have found the people that mean the world to me. I LOVE YOU ALL.

Teary eyed and overwhelmed, xx Nikbear