WIAW: Birthday Edition

There’s one thing that’s synonymous with birthdays, and that’s food. Okay, there are a couple others balloons, presents, parties, candles too. But today we’re talking about  the food that helped to facilitate the work day and celebrations for my twenty-fourth.



Tea and parfait surprise 🙂 Brought by Richard after a birthday gym session




Made a Whole Food’s hot bar stop the night before in anticipation of the big day. I wanted some garlicky kale salad  to look forward to after a long day in the office. I could put a candle on this and be happy.



Dinner Feast

Birthday Sushi 101:

1) Pour a big glass of the wine that you smuggled back from your trip to France



2) Monitor the special brown rice you requested in your sushi rolls

My rice

My rice

The boys' rice

The boys’ rice


3) Pour more wine…and champagne. Chat with your brother


4) Watch the sushi chef boyfriend work his magic

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5) Eat too much sushi. Good thing there’s no cake


The spread

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No words.


I have gained so many incredible and  integral people in my life over the past few years. I hope for big opportunities, big discoveries, and a big heart in the years to come. Thank you for all the birthday good wishes!


Big Things

Big things are happening over here.

I have waved a tearful goodbye to my early twenties. My youth. But those years treated me well. I rang in my twentieth birthday in Tampa at Gasparilla (our Mardi Gras but with pirates), my big twenty first in Copenhagen which my dad flew in for, my twenty second in NYC with some besties, my twenty third in DC with a night out on the town, and my twenty fourth again in DC with good friends, bf, and family. And in between those celebrations in my early twenties,  I lived in San Francisco with my grandmother, became a pescatarian (note the correlation), lived in NYC with some of my best friends, spent five life changing months living in Denmark, visited over eleven countries while living aborad, ran my first half marathon, impacted my health dramatically by partaking in Mardi Gras, graduated from four amazing years at UVa, traveled to South America, moved to a new city, lived within a block of my brother, started my first job, ran a marathon, sauntered around Paris, became a yoga teacher, and……taught my first paid yoga class.

I think that was a fortuitous note to begin my mid-twenties (shutter) on.


The other weekend, during my jaunt home to Florida and in between walks in 70 degree weather with my dog and visits to my favorite restaurants, I poured over my scrawled class notes and prepared my perfect playlist. I was nervous. Reading the cues aloud as I paced around the living room helped to mitigate my turning stomach. The range of students I was expecting to teach put me at nerve–it’s hard to deliver the kick-your-butt class I prepared when there were going to be little fledgling yogis in the room. I didn’t want to scare anyone off or injure them.


This past Sunday, I went for a long run to settle my nerves–by body relaxed, my breath calmed, and I was ready to teach. I taught in the Avant-Garden room at the Salvador Dali Museum with views of the waterfront framed by the geodesic glass. My students began to pour in, one by one setting up their mats and props, including the supportive, Vanaynay (Hiii Vanessa!!). In Sukhasana position looking across at my twenty-three students, with one breath we began.



I adapted. Adapted my class, adapted to the environment, adapted to audio issues. I toned down the “Grace Under Fire” (which my instructors had referred to my teaching style as) and taught to what the class needed at that moment on that Sunday. I became more familiar with each student’s ability through every assist and cue I encouraged.

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Time was impalpable. And in an hour and a half rather than shaking with nerves, I was receiving hugs and sincere thank yous from the visitors that day. Very fitting to experience the surreal moment of the teacher becoming the student, while doing so at a surrealist museum. Thank you, Mom, Dad, Laura, Henri, Ma, Richard, Flow Yoga, dear friends, all my TTs, and roomies for being so patient and encouraging during my five months of dedicated weekends.

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What was your first yoga class like?