My 21st Birthday

Between work, school, and trying to maintain a social life I haven’t had any time to post about my 21st birthday. It’s funny how when you’re genuinely enjoying life you aren’t as worried about social media as usual. I mean, I went out just last night and didn’t post not one snap chat, didn’t check in on Facebook, and literally did not take one photo. Which is cool. I didn’t feel the need to brag about what I was doing. It’s nice to just live in the moment sometimes.

Alright, so back to my birthday. Firstly, I have to say my best friend Kate really went all out with planning it. Everything was perfect and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We decided months before to get a room at the Monaco in Old Town, Alexandria VA. If you’re familiar with the area then you know that the Monaco is right in the heart of Old Town on King Street. The atmosphere of the hotel is very welcoming, despite the fact that I was told it was haunted by a man formerly known as James Jackson. [History Fact] James Jackson was the proprietor of a boarding house during civil war times (Late 1850s early 1860s). This boarding house just so happened to stand on the same exact property as Hotel Monaco, and Mr. Jackson just so happened to be killed in that boarding house. So rumor has it that he roams around the hotel haunting people. Fortunately for us we didn’t have any paranormal encounters.

The birthday festivities commenced on my actual birthday, which was Thursday, April 7th. We went out to a local bar and celebrated with a small group of friends and family. It was great and that night there just so happened to be live music. It was a couple with a girl known as Jessica Jane Flowers who was singing, and her boyfriend known as Juan John playing the guitar, and occasionally singing as well. Their chemistry radiated throughout the room and I was awestruck by how strong their love for one another effortlessly showed. It was amazing and on top of them being amazing in general, they were also extremely talented. The whole bar sang me happy birthday, and Jessica even shared the mic with me once to help her sing “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

A few pictures from my birthday night.

   I took the day off on Friday because I knew I would need that time to recuperate and also get things done for the big day Saturday. I felt like it was my wedding day. So Friday I spent the day exchanging my license at the DMV, shopping for a last minute outfit, and getting a mani/pedi.

Saturday I arrived at the hotel and to my surprise Kate had the whole room decorated, including the door to our room. It was so cute!

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Before entering the room!
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I thought that chair accented the decorations perfectly. There was a banner that read “Happy 21st Rachel” and cute confetti circles on the beds.
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I like to think that it was my throne for the weekend 😉

The hotel knew we were celebrating my 21st, so they left a complimentary bottle of champagne along with two cupcakes from Lavender Moon that I ended up eating for breakfast the next morning.

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Kate and I!

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Kelly on the left and Carly on the right ❤

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Jessica and myself 🙂
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Jessica by herself 🙂

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Pictures at the hotel before the dinner party!

The absolutely stunning dinner table at Virtue Feed & Grain where all of my closest family and friends gathered to celebrate.

More pictures from Virtue.

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Photos from Magnolia’s on King where we had the cocktail party and also where I had my first legal drink of the night. Probably the best mojito I have ever tasted. They also made me 2 cakes! The atmosphere at Magnolia’s was very intimate and the servers/bartenders were extremely welcoming.

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Kate, Kelly, and I recovered the next morning with brunch and mimosas at the restaurant attached to Hotel Monaco–Jackson 20. Afterwards we took a stroll down King Street, ordered some coffee from Starbucks, and sat by the water for a while. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I am so blessed. It has already been one month since this weekend and I have been filled with nothing but happiness and love ever since. I keep telling everyone that I wish every weekend was my 21st birthday 🙂

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Play! by Sephora

It’s a typical Wednesday morning, I wake up and of course the first thing I go to do is check my phone, texts, snapchats, and emails.

I always receive Sephora promo e-mails, and typically I try to avoid them because let’s face it ladies, those promo e-mails are pure evil in the eyes of our bank accounts, however, this specific e-mail caught my eye because it read “By Invite Only: Join Play!by Sephora”, and I thought to myself “hmmm, I should check this out”. So I open the e-mail and it was an invite to join Sephora’s new monthly membership program called “Play!”, just like Ipsy’s Glam Bag or BirchBox, this is a monthly subscription box that contains 5 or 6 deluxe samples, and of course just like any other subscription box there is a monthly fee of $10.

I’m not exactly sure about the amount of samples it contains because in the initial e-mail sent to me it stated that there will be 5 deluxe samples, but in the e-mail sent to me after I signed up it stated that there will be 6 deluxe samples. I’m hoping for 6!

Personally I have been contemplating which monthly box I want to subscribe to, which is why I haven’t up until I received this e-mail. I am a loyal Sephora customer, I am a Beauty Insider, and I have committed to purchasing most (if not all) of my make up from their stores. This helped me in making my decision.

When you are a Beauty Insider with Sephora you receive 1 beauty point per every dollar spent. The minimum points you need to collect a deluxe sample is 100, meaning you have to spend $100 to get a deluxe sample. BUT with the new monthly subscription box you only have to spend $10 to get 6 deluxe samples. Meaning, if you were getting these samples through your Beauty Insider points, you would’ve had to spend $600 just to get these 6 deluxe samples! That reasoning was another factor in making my decision.

Whether you are with Ipsy, Birchbox, Julep Maven, or Popsugar, I think this whole new Play! by Sephora is worth taking a look at! The e-mail I received said that it was “invite only” but if you already have an account with Sephora I believe you can subscribe by using your e-mail address.

Once I receive my first box I will post about all of the great samples that comes in it =)

 

xoxo,

Rachel

 

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