Birthday Days are the Best!

By  |  9 Comments

thanks all for your birthday love, it was truly the best ever (they get better each year)! at one point after brunch i looked down at my phone and saw like 7 texts and 3 voicemails and at first was a little stressed out but then remembered….UM THESE PEOPLE LOVE YOU AND WANT TO WISH YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY….HOW LUCKY ARE YOU?! very lucky. so i’m going to do a quick recap of my pre-birthday and actual birthday because it’s been spectacular.

after i picked my mom up from the airport on thursday, we ate at petite provence (which is always spectacular) and poked around the super cute streets in NE along alberta. she even bought us each an air plant (i’m still learning about this so if you know how to keep them alive…let me know). she also absolutely took pictures of me with my coworkers when we visited my office. it was slightly embarrassing and then i got over it and found it very sweet that my mom is interested in where i sit every day.

IMG_2303since ravery would be leaving the next day (my birthday) to go play in vegas, we opted for a birthday eve celebration the night before at brix tavern. this place always has delectable, interesting food but i have to say waiting 23 minutes past our reservation time was a tad on the irritating side especially because i was getting hAngry (hungry, which leads to angry). we still had a great time and a super cute server who made it better! please look at the ‘brix chips’= verde roasted pork shoulder, baked cheddar, with chips and cilantro sour cream. out. of. this. world.

IMG_2291birthday eve picture of the amazing woman who brought me into this world (isn’t she pretty), my great friend alison (isn’t she pretty) and moi (i clean up okay). we also cheers-ed my mom for all the hard work she put in on that superbowl sunday (broncos vs giants) 26 years ago!


at one point during dinner, matt (not pictured but alison’s boyfriend and our other great friend) leaned over, pointed at my mom and alison and said “have they met before?” because they were giggling and having a great time. i love when important people in my life get along and laugh together. it’s truly the best. and no, first time meeting! they brought me a heath brownie with a candle in it (no picture, i ate it way too fast) and then we ordered blackberry buttermilk pie. talk about indulgence  the birthday eve was indicative of how great the actual birthday was going to be, i just knew it.

on my birthday morning, we all woke up earrrrly and we were out the door by 7:33am because ravery had to be at work but i also needed a birthday brunch (duh). we of course ventured to mother’s bistro because it’s my favorite and you know this (please reference ‘the biscuit that changed my life’ post if you are unaware).

relationship blog portland oregon mothers bistro biscuits chelsea avery blog

as we were walking to the restaurant i said “man, i sure wish i could have tried their gingerbread pancakes during the holidays, they seemed amazing,” (remember this, because it’s important). i feel the need to show you both pictures of me with my favorite mom and my favorite husband because i couldn’t decided which one to put up. yes, i already know i look asleep in both pictures.

Mom Ravery Me Mothersour great waiter jason told us the specials and then said (here’s where you remember) “…but my personal favorite is our gingerbread pancakes.” i straight up almost flipped the table over i got so excited that they still had them!!! as we finished ordering, our great waiter jason said “and i’m going to buy you gingerbread pancakes for your birthday” and HE DID!

IMG_2299i am not kidding when i tell you that they were seriously the best pancakes i’ve ever had. it was kind of like a fluffy gingerbread cookie but they weren’t overly sweet and just perfect. yes i proceeded to eat potatoes, eggs and a biscuit in addition to this and then felt too full for too long afterwards. that’s what birthdays are about though, right?! right.


after we dropped ravery off at work (and after we may or may not have sat on the couch and took a short nap) we ventured to the fun shops along NW 23rd. we walked into a super cute store called papersource and they were offering up the chance to make valentines. i instantly accepted. but instead of a valentine i made ravery a “have so much fun in vegas, good luck with your workshop, tell lady gaga hi” card and hid it in his suitcase (ravery if you’re reading this, check the outside pocket of your luggage)!

valentinesthen my mom asked where i wanted to get birthday cake from and um duhhhh papa haydn’s right across the street (i planned this outing well). if you live or within a 5 hour drive of portland…you need to go here. best desserts ever. just look at all the choices!

birthday cake

i opted for the cassata (the white one in the middle) which contains kahlua and espresso-soaked sponge cake, layered with sweetened ricotta and bittersweet chocolate chunks. as well as some sort of magical fairy dust because it’s the best cake ever. we got it to go because we had to pick ravery up and take him to the airport.

birthday cake in car

oh, does that above picture look like it’s been ‘instagramed’ (follow me at chelseata) and taken in the car?! yes on all accounts.

we literally sat in the cell phone waiting area for 10 minutes while my mom and ravery sang happy birthday to me and we almost all passed out from the smoke of the candle after i blew it out. first birthday cake in the car and i couldn’t have been happier! we sent ravery off, grabbed a cocktail and then went to see a movie (les miserable). seriously, such a fun birthday and SO very special that i got to spend it with my mom too! you should also know that birthdays in my family usually last quite actively for at least a week but we celebrate all month so stay tuned for the rest of my birthday adventures with my mom.

life lesson: anytime someone takes the time to text/call/email/send you a card, be sure to thank them and truly appreciate it because it means someone cares about you.


1) do you watch what you eat on your birthday and how much do you usually over-eat on this day? (never and always waaaay too much)

2) do you have knowledge on how to care for an air plant (no- it doesn’t just live on air but water every few days or weeks or a month i don’t know)

3) strangest place you’ve had birthday cake or celebrated your birthday?

4) what’s your favorite flavor of cake?


  1. Stephen Lozano

    January 27, 2013 at 8:41 am

    1. Ditto
    2. Nope. Didn’t even know they were a thing.
    3. No where strange for me. I’m unadventurous on my bday.
    4. COSTCO CAKE!!!!!

    • chelsea

      January 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      i didn’t know they were thing a either until thursday afternoon but they are pretty neat! i really need to try this costco cake you always speak so highly of- i’m obviously missing out. hope you had a great weekend stephen!

  2. Grace

    January 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Chelsea, it looks like you had a perfect day! I can talk your ear off about airplants whenever you want.

    • chelsea

      January 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      indeed i did have a great birthday grace, thank you! i also feel as though i totally should have known you would know all about airplants! thank goodness-we will add this to the agenda tomorrow….hooooray!

  3. Paula Howley

    January 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    That was simply EPIC. Well done on having such an awesome mommy.
    Congrats on getting your gingerbread pancakes!!
    1. On my birthday I eat whatever the hell I want!
    2. No, but it sure is pretty, isn’t it?
    3. I once had birthday cake ‘on stage’- no kidding. Delivered by a Chippendale. 20th birthday I think.
    4. My favourite is key lime cheesecake. Oh and I also had an amazing frozen peanut butter pie on Amtrak across country.

    • chelsea

      January 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      thanks paula! it really was pretty epic and i feel pretty fortunate to have such a great mom 🙂 moms are the best. wow you win for craziest birthday cake-on stage and by a chippendale-hot dang. ohhh i don’t think i’ve ever had a key lime cheesecake, i’m missing out! also great to know to keep my eyes peeled for frozen peanut butter pie when traveling on amtrak-craziness. i love peanut butter. hope your weekend was grand!

  4. Claire Bickel

    January 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! I love Papersource and wish it were a little more convenient to me as I have to go back tomorrow – I bought the wrong item to make invitations for a baby shower.

    1. Yes, and I try not to remember how much I over eat because it usually hurts.
    2. I have already killed the poinsettia I got the week before Christmas, you don’t want my plant advice.
    3. I celebrated my 21st with new friends while studying abroad in a country where I was already of legal drinking age. The place wasn’t strange but it did help me bond with three amazing new friends.
    4. Funfetti cake with matching rainbow chip frosting… there is something about the flecks of color that make it taste better than most boxed cake.

    • chelsea

      January 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      thanks claire! and you have to come all the way back to portland to exchange something from papersource?! i would happily send you whatever you want if need be in the future…love that place and also love saving gas money :). yeah i don’t really have a green thumb so it will be interesting to see how long this little guy lasts! sounds like you had a super fun 21st birthday, who doesn’t love bonding with new friends and exploring different countries. very very good call on funfetti cake….although i’m upset that the typical rainbow chip frosting isn’t the same as it was when we were like 10 (or at least i haven’t found it). now i want funfunetti cake toooooo!

  5. Pingback: One of the Most Transformative Years of My Life! No, Seriously. | the new wifestyle