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 🙂

Leah’s 16th Celebration of Birth

This past week was my sister Leah’s 16th birthday, so I told her to celebrate I would take her and a few friends out to her place of choice. She invited 2 friends (Nadia and Amanda) and I invited 2 friends (Jessica and Shay). We decided on Old Town Alexandria for lunch and shopping, then Georgetown for more shopping and macarons.

 

 

We couldn’t decide on a restaurant for lunch, at first we were going to try Majestic Cafe, but Leah said she didn’t think she would like anything on the menu, so we ended up at Nando’s Peri Peri. Out of the 6 people with us I was the only person who had ever eaten here, so it was cool to show the girls around and tell them about the menu. The pleasant thing about Nando’s is that their food is quality food and extremely affordable. Above are some pictures of the hummus we got, I will forever rave about how delicious their hummus with Peri Peri drizzle is, it’s tasty and this may sound weird, but it has a fluffy, light-weight factor to it, which I enjoy.
After lunch we walked around and (of course) took some pictures.

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Me and Leah. 

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(left to right) Leah, Amanda, Nadia. 
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Once we left Old Town we went to Georgetown and spent some quality time at Sephora, we were all too busy to take any pictures 😉 I purchased a Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in the color “Infrared Matte – True Red” along with a Sephora brand Rouge Gel Lip Liner in the color #12 “The Red”, and a mini Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder.

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Me wearing the Infrared Matte True Red lipstick by Smashbox along with the Rouge Gel Lip Liner from Sephora. 

After leaving Sephora we walked to Olivia Macaron, this was everyone’s first time going so we didn’t really know what to expect. I will tell you that we definitely were not expecting these macarons to cost $2.50 a piece, we all found the price to be a bit ridiculous, nevertheless we were there for the experience and that’s what mattered the most, so I spent $17 on only 7 little macaroons for Leah and I to share.

 

 

We waited until we arrived home to eat them because we wanted to really indulge and appreciate the taste, so I made some hot tea and we sat down to try all of the different flavors. Lydia, our youngest sister, was with us at this point so she joined in on the tasting.

When you take your first bite of these delicious pastry treats the outside shell has a bit of a crunch, but once you get to the center they are soft and all around heavenly.

Here is what we thought of the flavors we tried:
Vanilla- the vanilla tasted like real vanilla as opposed to vanilla extract, which was refreshing and overall tasty.
Wedding Almond- The wedding almond tasted exactly how I expected it to, it tasted like an almond. The outside shell was a light, sort of baby blue color, and the middle was just a white almond filling.
Salted Caramel- I did not try the salted caramel, Leah and Lydia and our friend Jessica did. Jessica raved about it (but she also raved about ALL of the flavors), Leah said she there was too much caramel, and Lydia seemed to enjoy it. 
Espresso- The espresso was delicious, it tasted what you would expect espresso to taste like, although it was not bitter, it was espresso with a sweetness to it, kind of like a latte in the form of a macaroon.
Red Velvet– The red velvet was by far my favorite, it wasn’t too sweet and just like the others, it did not have an artificial taste to it.
Rose- The rose flavor was the most unique out of them all. At first it tasted like a normal, sweet macaroon, but after a few seconds the flavor hits you and it tastes like you are eating a bar of rose scented soap. It’s always great to try new things, and this is one of those things I was only willing to try once.

 

 

Overall Olivia Macaron was good, however it did not live up to my expectations. I would probably go there again if I was in the area, but I wouldn’t go out of my way specifically to go there.

I would say the weekend was a success. We all had so much fun, we got some cool new pictures to post on our social media, and we got an experience together that will always be remembered. Days like these I do not take for granted, the smell of spring was in the air, the weather was gorgeous compared to Maryland’s recent weather, everyone was out with their families and dogs and children. Overall it was just a refreshing day full of love and laughter, great friends and great food. I think we all need a day like this every once in a while, it made me look forward to warmer weather.

Until next time!

xoxo, Rachel

 

P.S. If you liked these photos check out our Instagram pages!

Me: @rachellevee

Leah: @_leahelizabeth

Amanda: @_.Amandie._

Shay: @ishayyo

Jessica: @jessh_93

Fact or Fiction?

Okay, so I totally think that the state of your room is somewhat a depiction of your character and/or life. For instance, if your room is kind of plain and messy, maybe there’s a cup or two, or five, sitting on your dresser, then I automatically would assume that:

A- You’ve been sick or gone for the past few days, or weeks, and have not had the time to clean.

OR

B- You are entirely too lazy and simply “can’t” with your room.

If you have a tidy, organized room where everything has a home, then I would assume that:

A- Either you cleaned it because you knew you were having company.

OR

B- This is simply how you are in all aspects of life: organized.

 

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Maybe these assumptions are jumping too quickly to a conclusion, because I will admit, I work 40 hour weeks and the last thing on my list of things to do when I get home is to clean my room. So yes, you will find random piles of clothes on my floor any day of the week. However, if you gave my room a visit on Sunday, you best believe it will be clean because Sundays are my designated cleaning day. =)

So what does this say about me?

Well, if I were to analyze my room’s current state compared to my life’s current state, I would say they definitely reflect one another.

This week I found out the transmission of my car needs replacing, along with some other part that has something to do with my oil and is really expensive. In addition to that, my job has been a little crazy, my mom and I got into an argument this week (we rarely EVER argue), and the state of my mental health has been a little lower than I would like due to all of the craziness going on.

Walking into my room, my vanity has a pile of mail on it that I just haven’t had the mental capacity to even look at, I have a stack of school books on my floor that I’ve been meaning to sell online, and as I stated above, I have heaps of clothing haphazardly in piles around my room, I also have about 6 purses hanging on door knobs, the top of my closet door, and probably even one or two laying on my floor some where.

I would say that my room 100% reflects my life right now.

I would also say that I truly believe the saying that “a clean room is a clean mind” because the last thing you want to look at after a long, stressful day, are piles of clothes on your floor. If I could just come home to a made bed, and a clear pathway to my bed, I would probably feel a little bit of a relief. I think that others can relate to that, and if you can’t then you are totally a type B.