Hey, friend — it's time for another coffee date! Now that April is almost over, I'm eager to fill you in on how the month went.
So grab a cup of coffee (or matcha, or herbal tea, or LaCroix) and let's chat!
My 29th birthday!
I turned 29 on April 9. Can't say I feel any older, though!
Other than the epic birthday brunch detailed below, I kept things pretty quiet for my actual birthday, which fell on a Tuesday this year.
I woke up early and headed to the gym to do "Chelsea" — a small birthday tradition, made 159X better this year because some of my phenomenal gym friends joined me.
"Chelsea", by the way, is a CrossFit workout consisting of:
After that, my spouse and I spent the morning together. We grabbed breakfast and hit up our favorite local coffee shop.
That evening, we had tacos. Because how could taco-obsessed me resist having tacos on my TACO TUESDAY BIRTHDAY!? (Similar to a Golden birthday, but when your birthday falls on a Tuesday.)
An epic birthday brunch - feeding my friends
In honor of my birthday, I hosted a big birthday brunch featuring paleo/gluten free waffles, pancakes, sausage, bacon, and eggs, plus a variety of toppings — all made by me!
A couple of the blog recipes that showed up that day:
- Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles (the fan favorite of the day)
- Paleo Savory Cornbread Waffles
And since I haven't developed a single pancake recipe, I used Downshiftology's pancakes for the different pancake offerings.
Interested about why I hosted a party where I do all the work on my own birthday?
Instead of throwing a traditional party or going out to eat with a giant group (kryptonite for me), I created a new birthday tradition last year.
I invite my friends and loved ones over to my apartment for a meal cooked by me. They don't have to do anything and gifts aren't necessary.
Ever since reading The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker, my view of get-togethers has shifted. If I'm going through the trouble of gathering people together, I want to have some meaning to it.
And in 2018, when I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my birthday and what actually mattered to me about my birthday, I landed on 2 things:
- I don't want my birthday to be all about me.
- I want to stay home. (Introvert here!)
Since it's my own personal holiday anyway, isn't it up to me whether I center my day around me or flip the script and shower my friends with love?
So that became the plan. Good food, served to the people I love most. I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!
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This is how my birthday brunch went. ? Good food, amazing people. I couldn't have celebrated my birthday any better! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Pictured: Paleo lemon poppyseed waffles, berries, coconut whipped cream, coffee maple syrup. Waffle recipe is on doyouevenpaleo.net - just search "waffles"!
Unfortunately, I got so caught up in cooking and conversation that I didn't take a single picture. That happened last year, too, when I served build-your-own tacos.
Someday, I'll figure out that piece of the puzzle, too!
Discovering my Strong Roots
This month, my friend Kayla decided to tell her fears to suck it and she followed her dreams. She started a new gym — Strong Roots!
And after being at CrossFit 701 for nearly 6 years, I decided to make a change. I thought I'd be at the same gym indefinitely, but I guess it just goes to show how much priorities and life can shift.
When it comes down to it, Kayla's vision of what Strong Roots will be fires me up.
She envisions an inclusive gym where the message isn't "lose weight" or "become a better athlete." Instead, she wants members to find the emotional value in movement, like confidence and community. If your overall fitness improves or your body composition changes along the way, great! But those aren't her main goal.
That vision of a gym fills my soul with joy. And even before the space was rented, the walls painted, the equipment ready, it felt like my community.
So I'm going all in at Strong Roots. I even happily paid Kayla a hefty amount of money to help get the gym started.
The gym's grand opening is May 4, so you'll definitely hear more about it in next week's Coffee Conversations!
What I'm currently reading
Frankly, I fell behind my regular reading habit because I poured a lot of free time into Strong Roots. Painting, cleaning, moving equipment. It's a happy trade-off!
- Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger - still working on this one. It's incredibly relevant for me right now, but it doesn't engage me for long periods.
- Profit First by Mike Michalowicz - this book came highly recommended from other entrepreneurs. Thrilled to finally be reading it! I have a similar system, but I'm adopting some practices from this book for my finances.
- The Seventh Tower 1-3 by Garth Nix - this was the FIRST fantasy series I ever read, back when I was 11 or 12. Thing is, I never finished it. So I decided to lean in to nostalgia and pick it up! Surprisingly, I remember very little of the plot, and only recalled inconsequential snippets. Weird.
Shareworthy internet reads:
- I'm happy with any excuse to drink more coffee, like this summary of how it can benefit exercise.
- Have a friend struggling with mental health issues? I have several. I'm taking these tips for how to be there for them to heart.
- The problem with "before" and "after" photos.
- It's getting warmer! Consider spending more than 5% (the average) of your day outside.
- Perfect your morning routine and nothing stands in your way...right? Well, here's morning routines for normal people.
New posts from the month
Thoughts from the Kitty Committee
Marley and Waffles' sage advice for the month: follow your heart.
Lean into what makes you light, explore those passions, chase joy. Even if that means racing around the apartment like a bottle rocket at 10pm when the humans are trying to sleep.
Hey Chelsea, Love reading your experience about birthday! I agree with you, making something special at home and inviting friends would always great for birthday celebration. I do the same! The last thing made me surprised about reading habit. I don't have time, but spend some time everyday on reading. I'm going to check out your reading books. Thanks for sharing. ♥
Have a great week!
Thank you, William! Hope you have a great week too!