Twenty Five

You know you’re getting old when you decide to bake your own birthday cake. I miss the days of cakes coming from the Publix bakery and adorned with tiny plastic figurines of Disney Princesses. This year, I decided to make myself a nontraditional cake. There was no “Happy Birthday” inscribed on the top but instead it was covered with fresh citrus. I whipped up this Citrus Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Orange Lemon Frosting, also known as the ‘Stella Cake’ since it’s modeled after Stella McCartney’s Spring 2011 collection.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything better than a fruity cocktail on a spring day. I have always loved anything with mint and this is a fun twist on a classic mojito. These Coconut Mango Mojitos are full of freshly pureed mango, coconut rum, and topped with a spritz of club soda. The striped paper straws are the cherry on top of a perfect drink.

It’s not a birthday without a few treats. Every year, I buy myself one birthday gift, usually something that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. This year I picked a beautiful new pair of tortoise Ray-Bans. Another birthday favorite is receiving cards in the mail from friends and family scattered around the country. A hand written card will always be one of my favorite things to receive.

After a relaxing birthday lunch on a rooftop overlooking the ocean, I topped off my night at Ciro’s Speakeasy in Tampa for prohibition-style cocktails and sumptuous small plates with my closest friends. Maybe turning 25 isn’t so bad after all.

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