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Happy Birthday Shenanigans

Last week I turned another year older. I don’t feel like it and I’ve already warned my people that I will undoubtedly forget my actual age, and not on purpose either. I’ve just gotten so used to being the same age my mother was when she had me it’s like ingrained in my brain or something. So being a year older is confusing to me. Does anyone else feel like that sometimes? I’m sure I’l get used to it eventually.

I wasn’t really expecting anything for my birthday. Gone are the days I stayed up all night hanging out with friends to celebrate. I think the last actual birthday party we had was ten years ago (What? Ten years???). Lately all birthday parties have centered around the kids. We might do a special dinner as a family and buy something we really want, but that’s about it for us parents. We generally reserve kid-free nights for anniversaries or the few date nights we take. It’s not always easy to get someone to watch our kids for us and we have a very small list of people we trust them with. So yeah, going into my birthday my only thought was that it was coming up. That’s about it.

Obviously that’s not what happened.

Weekend Getaway

Two Wednesdays ago, I woke up to a notification of a hotel charge going through our bank account. I didn’t really think anything of it because we’ve been planning a getaway with friends in a few months and I thought it maybe it was a charge for on the way. Turns out, Hubby had been planning a weekend getaway for the two of us.

Finding out didn’t ruin the surprise. In fact it probably made things earlier. He wouldn’t tell me everything, though. All I knew was we were going away to Dallas while my mom came to watch the kids. I’ll admit I was nervous. I haven’t been away from the kids for a single night in years, so two nights away was pushing my comfort zone. There were a few times on Saturday when I found myself counting the hours and reminding myself that I had one more sleep until we were back home with the kids. They had a blast, by the way.

Hubby and I stayed at Sova hotel in Deep Ellum. He warned me beforehand that he hadn’t gotten a room with a bathtub, just a shower. The plan for the weekend was to just walk around, do some shopping, and eat at the restaurants close by. Seriously, the majority of things we did was within walking distance and it was actually a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to live in the city, so walking around like that, seeing what was there, and just enjoying being together was perfect. Even if I did give myself a blister (oops).

SOVA Hotel

Sova was interesting. The room we got was small and in hindsight, it’s probably best for a single person. There was only one light switch for all the lights. The bathroom area was separated by a shower-like glass and rolling door. There wasn’t another door on the shower, it was open to the rest of the bathroom area. The size of the entire room, sleeping and bathroom area together, was less than the size of a normal hotel room sleeping area. We hadn’t planned on spending much time there so it seemed fine. I do wonder what some of the bigger rooms were like, though.

I’m not gonna lie, the best part about the room was the heated toilet seat. I know that’s probably funny, but I did not know what I was missing until I experienced that. It had a bidet attached, but neither one of us were brave enough to try that particular feature. We also liked the shelves surrounding the tv. Other than that, the room wasn’t really anything to write about. It looked aesthetically pleasing, I guess, but not really functional for multiple people.

The lobby was cool though. They have a bar down there and there was a chess board. We played a game of chess while eating Lemon cookies from Eataly after that excursion. I say play…I was completely decimated in that game. In my defense, I’ve never played chess before. I now have goals to buy a chess set and learn to play.

Where We Ate

Ichigoh Ramen Lounge

The first night we were there we ate at Ichigoh Ramen Lounge. It’s a Japanese restaurant and was really good. Despite the name, they do offer more than just ramen. I had their Pork Chashu don rice bowl, while Hubby had their Spicy Soboro Shoyu Ramen bowl, and their Pork Gyoza for an appetizer. We didn’t buy any drinks, but they do serve alcohol and Japanese sodas. I didn’t realize the latter until afterwards or you can bet I would’ve bought me one!

The funny thing is we walked all around looking for this restaurant. We walked right past it at least twice before realizing it was there. That would’ve been completely fine because it gave us a chance to explore the neighborhood, but it was freezing! The wind was so cold and blowing so hard. Maybe if we had been smarter and grabbed our jackets instead of leaving them in the room like dumb-dumbs it wouldn’t have been so bad. So if you’re looking for this place, it is right next door to Angry Dog and has a black door with a tiny sign on it.

Ichigoh was so cool, I want to go back and take our kids. I’m not sure about Isbe, but I think Ade would really like it. I also have to go back to try at least one of those sodas!


OverEasy is a small diner in The Statler hotel a few blocks from the Sova. We didn’t realize OverEasy was in the hotel, and while the restaurant does have it’s own entrance, it was locked so we had to go into the hotel to enter. The Statler looked pretty cool and it’s on our list for future trips.

In simplicity, OverEasy is your average American diner. It was a bit nostalgic for reasons I’m not one-hundred percent sure of. The nostalgia wasn’t in the way they were going for, which given the decor of the hotel was the 1950s, but from like a time in my own personal life. Like I said, I’m not one-hundred percent sure why.

I can tell you first-hand that the pancakes were delicious. And big. There were three and I still needed Hubby’s help to eat them. I would go back for their pancakes alone, honestly. Okay they’re not amazing, to-die-for quality, but they were good. Probably the best I’ve had in awhile. Which may be too easy since I haven’t eaten restaurant pancakes in a while.

Their eggs were okay. Maybe I should’ve asked Hubby what he thought of them since he ate some, but I thought they were mostly too salty. They also had cheese on them. So between the salt and cheese, I was picking through them and eating small bites, basically eating enough to feel like they were worth paying for.

I suppose I could go to Ihop and get the same quality of food, but this was more about experiencing something new rather than just familiar.

Punch Bowl Social

So the cool thing about Punch Bowl Social is that they have games and stuff. There’s four bowling lanes, karaoke, ping pong, corn hole, giant jenga, an arcade, and more. It really is a place to go and have a great time socializing. On the other side of that, if you’re just wanting to eat, they have a restaurant away from all the hubbub. We didn’t know there was a separate entrance for the restaurant-only part until we were there, but walking through gave us a tour of the place.

Punch Bowl Social has your typical food options, but their drinks range from Fresh Juices to Wine. Hubby and I decided to try a couple of their alcoholic options. I now know that bourbon and tequila are not alcohols I enjoy. I’m not surprised in the least, but at least I can say it for sure because I’ve tried them! I can just add them to vodka and ninety eight percent of other alcoholic drinks.

I really should’ve ordered their burger, but it seemed like too much for me to eat. I ended up ordering their Grilled Chicken Sandwich and unfortunately it was pretty bland. The most flavor came from the bacon. The fries were typically good, nothing extra or special about them, and they were good dipped in the mayonnaise.

So it’s safe to say that the main draw of Punch Bowl Social is probably their entertainment options. At least according to our meal there. Maybe if I’d been more adventurous, I would’ve tried one of their other drinks and found one I liked. I would like to go back and do some of the activities they have. Maybe then I’ll try a drink I like. Ordering food would be up in the air because they’re expensive for something so mediocre. Or maybe that was just what I ordered.

What We Did

You might laugh at us, but on Saturday morning, we ended up at the Northpark Mall. That decision turned out to be one of the best decisions we made during our trip because we discovered a place called Eataly!


How to describe Eataly? At its simplest, it’s an Italian market with restaurants inside. That description doesn’t factor in the experience of Eataly, though. There were stations for wine and food tasting. We were able to try fresh mozzarella! It was really good.

In the Dallas location, there are three restaurants and two counters, according to their website. I say that because apparently there were things we missed as we explored! The market portion was vast. There’s multiple floors, which isn’t too surprising because it’s in a mall, but we didn’t know there was a third floor. I’m not sure if the third floor is all restaurant or if there’s a market portion there, too. Guess that’s something we’ll have to find out the next time we visit.

We ended up buying some pasta sauce, bread, and sweets. We totally should’ve bought two boxes of their cookies. Actually, we should’ve bought two of everything. A friend of mine, I Speak Food, told me she would be taking a cooler with her the next time she visits Eataly because of all the stuff she wants to buy. She’s working on the genius level of shopping.

I wish Eataly was closer to us, but I’d spend so much money there! Although, if they offered lessons then I’d learn how to cook Italian, which isn’t such a bad thing. I’ve already told Hubby that we’re going back. Hopefully soon, but we’ll see.

If Eataly sounds like your kind of experience, then maybe you’re in luck because there’s multiple locations. LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, London, and NYC are a few places where there’s an Eataly location. I know there’s a few more, so look at their website to see if there’s one you can visit!

Barnes and Nobles Bookstore

Okay, are any of us surprised I ended up in a book store? No? I didn’t think so.

B&N is probably my first bookstore love. It’s where I did most of my book shopping growing up. I love Books A Million, of course, but there’s something about walking around a Barnes and Nobles that’s complete magic. Maybe because they’re typically larger with multiple stories. Their manga section took my breath away. Yes, I’m serious.

I’m not sure how long I wandered around B&N. I had a small pile of books by the time I was done, though. Including a really pretty copy of Peter Pan. Also, the fourth Fruits Basket Another manga. I didn’t even know there was a fourth one out! *Ahem* Anyway. Thanks to my visit, my TBR shelf is getting a bit full. I even took a book from home with me thinking it’d keep me from buying more books. That’s a laugh.

At least one of my B&N finds will be on March’s Reads and Reviews post at the end of the month. I won’t tell you which one it is, though. I’ll simply say it was way better than I had anticipated.

Apart from walking around, discovering Eataly and shopping at Barnes and Nobles was probably the funnest thing we did. We tried going to an arcade Saturday night, but I had developed a headache and the place was more bar than arcade. Normally we might’ve tried to stick it out, but I could not take the pounding of the bass so we went back to our hotel room and watched movies together.

One More Surprise

I had one more surprise for my birthday. My mom booked me for a massage and then took me to lunch at my favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. Afterward, I went for a little shopping spree. I know, I just went on one, but we had prepared for this with gift cards and I ended up not getting much.


I had never had a professional massage before. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was nervous. In my opinion, they totally should’ve started with the head massage instead of ending with it. Anyway. I had to constantly remind myself to just relax because I wanted to help manipulate my body whenever they moved me. I’m just so used to it! I never knew how much work it would be to simply lie there!

I don’t know if you know this, but getting a massage is pretty intimate on a certain level. I say that because my scars were exposed. It’s not something I typically think about, but the realization that the masseuse was seeing both big and small scars had me wondering about what they were thinking. Those thoughts led me to questions like, “Can they tell I’m a dancer or that I workout?” Like, what can they tell about the people they work on?

My mom didn’t know I had never had a massage before. It’s something I’ve wanted to do, but have been too nervous to ever book for myself. It’s definitely something I can see myself doing again. Maybe next time I’ll be able to relax more.

Shopping Spree

When I decided to do a little shopping, there were two things on my list. A nose ring and workout leggings. I ended up buying a pack of three nose rings from Claire’s, along with some clip-on earrings for Isbe, and a workout sweater. I went to four clothing stores, including Academy, and didn’t find the kind of leggings I was looking for. At least not ones that I felt were reasonably priced. Oh well.

I know, you’re probably saying it was my birthday and I should’ve spent the money, but like Hubby and I talked about during our mall excursion, we’ve gotten so used to buying mostly essentials that we’re out of practice in buying things that are more want than need. You might also try to argue that books are a want, but when they’re a form of my self-care then they’re definitely a need. Plus I’m not buying books every day. Something I’m grateful for is having a Hubby who is as money-conscious as I am. But that’s a rabbit trail for another day.

While I was disappointed in the whole not finding leggings thing, I did enjoy walking around by myself. Having that time completely by myself. It doesn’t happen often for an extended time. I usually have at least one person with me or end up calling Hubby to ask a question about the groceries I’m shopping for. I’m always time conscious when I’m out like that, so for my birthday I really tried not to be.

All in all, my birthday shenanigans was fun. I certainly enjoyed walking around with my hubby, just the two of us. It was a great way to welcome another year older.

What do you enjoy doing on your birthday?

Every year should be celebrated. So make it a point to have some of your own happy birthday shenanigans this year!!

Happy Monday!!

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