June is my favorite month of the year for a couple reasons: 1) it finally starts to feel like summer has arrived and 2) it’s my birthday month! Yes, birthday month is a thing for me. Luckily, Nate indulges this 🙂 My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we made sure to celebrate over the weekend!


We kicked things off Friday with happy hour at Beer Run. We had heard SO many good things about Beer Run, which is literally 100 yards from our apartment complex, so we were excited when a window of free time opened up to check it out.

Nathan was in heaven.


The weather was perfect so we sat outside for more than an hour talking and imbibing. Nathan tried a couple beers, including one that came in a “sissy” glass, according to him.


We didn’t have food this time but the menu looked great! We also loved the little market store attached with all kinds of beer and specialty goods. We will definitely be back here frequently. Having it so close is going to be dangerous for our budget!


After a low-key dinner at home, we hit up *my* version of happy hour: dessert! After getting a few recommendations, we checked out Arch’s Frozen Yogurt on The Corner (an area right off of UVA’s campus). I basically came for one reason: gooey brownie topping – FOR REAL – in addition to two full counters of other amazing toppings.

I hadn’t had fro-yo in forever (our Orange Leaf in Indy closed about a year ago), so this was a fun walk down memory lane on a nice summer night.

Cake batter fro-yo as a base for both of us. 

My toppings: sprinkles (birthday!!), gooey brownie, walnuts, Reese’s cups, and golden Oreos

Nathan’s toppings: blueberries, heath, and strawberries

In other words…one of us is 5 years old with a raging, irrational sweet tooth, and the other is a respectable adult. Since this was still technically before my 26th birthday I figured my tastebuds just hadn’t matured yet like Nathan’s 😉

On the way home we saw the full moon for the month! Mom had told me it would be on June 9th so I kept an eye out for it. The moon is always so much cooler in person than in photos. Regardless, I still tried to capture it…


We enjoyed watching the NBA playoffs at home and then called it a night!


Saturday began with a walk to the Farmers’ Market for some fresh flowers. I’d been waiting to get some until we had the apartment set up, so I already knew exactly where I wanted to put them. I ended up buying a small handful from a stand called Lesley’s Garden.

Life goal: Be able to name all the different kinds of flowers I see without having to Google them.

Next up – Sweethaus to get some birthday cupcakes for later! One cookie dough cupcake and one salted caramel cupcake to go (and to split).

Then a Chick-Fil-A date for lunch because it was closed on my actual birthday and I couldn’t miss the excuse to get some of my favorite food 🙂


The afternoon was spent reading by the pool (aka my version of heaven this time of year) and then a low key dinner at home. Followed by a walk on the Rivanna Trail at sunset!


I’d been hearing about this trail ever since we visited in March. It sounded like a bigger, more nature-y version of the Monon in Indy. I was eager to find it but hadn’t had the chance yet, so I was THRILLED when Nate said he’d stumbled upon it while I was at the pool. He was kind enough to go back for the second time that same day and show me around 🙂


This is about 1 mile from our apartment…probably even closer once we get to know the entry points better. It follows along the Rivanna River where people were swimming, inner tubing, canoeing, fishing, etc. I can see us spending a LOT of time here. It feels like we have the country in our backyard to one side and the city to another – the perfect mix!

Finding this pocket of paradise felt like a birthday gift in itself 🙂 Another great discovery during our first week in Cville and a wonderful way to end the day.


My actual birthday began with the smell of casseroles baking in the oven that Nate had gotten up early to make (#dreamboat)…immediately felt like a holiday! French toast casserole and sausage/grits casserole by request (and recipes courtesy of my mama ❤ ).


We enjoyed breakfast al fresco with some Farmers’ Market fruit on the side.


After breakfast, I walked to a free yoga class at a relatively new studio, NOWYoga. (Well…the studio itself isn’t new, but the owners are.) They have free classes every Sunday so I definitely want to try to attend when I can, especially since I can walk there!


The open air/patio setup was so dreamy and relaxing. I felt suuuuper stretched out by the end and it was a great birthday treat to myself.

Next stop: King Family Vineyards for a polo match! On Sundays in summertime, this vineyard holds free polo matches in the afternoon. We packed a picnic and joined the crowd.

Needless to say, neither of us have any clue about polo. But we weren’t alone! I was worried we’d feel completely out of place but the whole experience was very casual and relaxing and everyone was really friendly. It was fun to try something new and the horses (and scenery) were beautiful!



It really doesn’t feel like real life sometimes and I had to pinch myself a few times as I realized I got to spend my 26th birthday at a vineyard in the mountains watching polo. What is this life!?!

A little golf cart from the vineyard circles the field with wine for sale throughout the match too. Great strategy on their part 😉 It was really hot so we only stayed for about an hour, but we had a great time and will definitely be back (with an umbrella or tent for shade next time…)


Our afternoon included phone calls with family, pool time and reading, and happy hour while opening some birthday cards. Once the sun went down a little bit, we walked to dinner on the mall at Monsoon Siam. We’d been there during our visit in March and I had been craving it ever since!

We scored a perfect table for two tucked into a corner. I love the cozy atmosphere of this restaurant – it’s in an old house, just like our favorite Thai restaurant in Bloomington.

We got there in time for “happy hour” (which ends at 6:30) so drinks were still super cheap. (#budgetlife) I ordered the exact same thing as last time (pad see eaw with chicken) and Nate got pad pik sod with beef.


…And we cleaned our plates 🙂 Just as delicious as I remembered and totally hit the spot! Craving satisfied.

A nice stroll back home at sunset helped us make room for the grand finale for my birthday weekend: dessert! We dug into those Sweethaus cupcakes and shared half of each (served on the special birthday plate, of course).

Nate’s favorite was the salted caramel and mine was the cookie dough (no surprise there). But they were both amazing and it was hard to choose between the two! The cake part (which was marbled chocolate and vanilla for both) wasn’t dry at all, which is usually why I don’t enjoy cupcakes. And the frosting:cake ratio was ON POINT. The frosting itself was among the best I’ve ever had (think Sweet Stuff in New Albany) and I can’t wait to go back! I think we’d try new flavors next time just to see what else there is…but these two are going to be hard to beat.

It was such a fun birthday and I have a feeling this whole year will be more of the same as we continue our Charlottesville adventures. Thanks to everyone near and far who helped make the start of my 26th year one of my favorite birthdays yet!

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