Best places to go in Metro Detroit for your birthday

Whether you admit it or not, birthdays can be one of the most exciting times of the year & finding the perfect way to spend your birthday or planning someone else’s can be a bit stressful. Hopefully this guide will break down some of the best places to visit in Metro Detroit for a weekend of celebrating. (All opinions are my own).

Brunches to try in Metro Detroit

What better way to fuel up for a busy day of celebration than a delicious brunch? Here are some of my favorite go-to brunches in Metro Detroit that make the perfect start to a birthday weekend:

220 Merrill: if you’re looking for an upscale brunch experience with menu options like sweet and spicy calamari or french toast platters, 220 Merrill in Birmingham is the perfect choice. Brunch menu is offered Sat & Sun (11am-3pm).

Bobcat Bonnie’s: A Ferndale Michigan favorite, Bobcat Bonnie’s offers such a fun and creative atmosphere and the food is to die for. When I tell you it has the best French toast of my life, I mean it! Check out brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm.

Cafe Muse: The first brunch spot I ever tried in Royal Oak & I’ve been going back since! From the stuffed french toast to the mango bellini’s, this place never disappoints. Enjoy brunch here every Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am-2pm.

Birthday Dinner in Royal Oak

Bigalora Cucina: located just on the outskirts of downtown royal oak, this Italian gem is worth trying for any special occasion. We tried out the potato croquettes, bacco sausage pizza, and the Bigalora spritz- so good! Weekend hours include Friday – Saturday, 11am – 10pm and Sunday 12pm-9pm.

Pinky’s Roof top: Not going to lie, Pinky’s is the most extra and I’m all about it. From the glass chandeliers to cotton candy desserts this place is a dream come true with the cutest drink options and delicious appetizers to share! Open weekends from 4pm to 1am.

Where to find activities

Top Golf: whether you love to golf or you’ve never touched a golf club, this place is an absolute blast! Top golf in Auburn Hills offers 3 levels of bays with various golf games for all levels. They offer food & drink options and are open Sunday-Thursday 10am-11pm and Friday & Saturday 10am-12am.

Detroit Axe: hear me out… throwing axes is actually so much fun and less dangerous than it sounds. Either reserve a lane or choose to walk in with up to 8 people in a group. You will be assigned an instructor who will give you tips and tricks during the practice round so you’re ready when the big competition comes along! Open Friday and Saturday from 4pm-12 am and Sunday 4pm-9pm.

Don’t skip dessert!

Birthday cake: I was obsessed with the cake I ordered for my Boyfriend’s 30th birthday from Venla’s cake shop. Venla’s offers adorable, customizable layer cakes offering local delivery to the Metro Detroit area.

The morning after…coffee, coffee, coffee

Sabbath Coffee Roasters: My absolute favorite coffee shop located in Clawson, Mi never disappoints. Stop in to try their fresh ground coffee or creative speciality drinks. Need a little sugar boost? Try out Cannelle croissants and Dooped donuts available on weekends. Sabbath is open everyday from 7am-4pm.

Royal Oak Roast: from the aesthetic of the coffee shop to printable latte art, this cafe offers fun and creative drinks and delicious breakfast options. Located in the Griffen Apartments near downtown, check out Roast daily from 7am-7pm.

Cheers!

Hope you enjoyed the read and have gained a few ideas for your next birthday celebration or any occasion! All of these places are wonderful and worth trying out at some point when visiting the metro Detroit area!

XOXO, Jaime (@mydaybyjay)

New Years in New England

Okay, so maybe I didn’t learn to ski in the White Mountains, but I definitely enjoyed the spiked hot coco & everything else that the ski resorts had to offer…I had the pleasure of joining my boyfriend’s family for a week in New England and was able to enjoy the beautiful white mountain range of New Hampshire. As someone who did not grow up skiing and has only attempted once in their life, I was more than happy to explore the town of North Conway, NH instead, and see what this quaint mountain town had to offer.

North Conway, NH

During our time in NH, we stayed at the Red Jacket resort, a beautiful resort with rooms and townhomes with a lovely outlook area, pool area (did not use b/c covid) and cozy spots by various fireplaces to grab a drink and relax. 

We took the hike to downtown North Conway a couple times for some CRISP air, and was so glad we did because this town had so many fun shops and even became my daily coffee run. I highly recommend checking out Frontside coffee roasters for either a latte (I loved their non fat latte + peppermint mocha) or some of their custom hot coco which was said to be tasty! Another must-see is the famous Zeb’s general store that is filled with everything you could possibly need. I loved checking out all of the sweets and custom food items- I can attest that the soup is a must-try!

Another one of my favorite stops was the White Mountain winery where various bottles are named after the owner’s dogs (who of course I had to pet) and offers tastings t/o the day. All in all, the downtown has plenty of shops and cafes to check out next time you are in NH.

Although I did not ski, I hung out at the lodges while Justin did his thing and enjoyed my hot coco and apps- that is what I consider a very supportive girlfriend (lol). I think I’ll learn to ski on the smaller resorts in MI before heading out on the icy slopes of NH.

Whitefield, NH

We ended our stay in NH with a celebration of the New Year at the Mountain View Grand resort located an hour north of our hotel. This was my first ever Masquerade, and it was one of my favorite New Years celebrations to date. The event had amazing food with options like maple glazed salmon, Butternut Ravioli & hearth-baked breads and rolls with maple butter!

My favorite course was the dessert bar where I got my beloved coffee as well as tried out some sweets (the eclairs were to die for)! With some dancing in my lulus dress and full bellies, I loved ringing in the new year with a great group in a beautiful place.

Newbury Port, MA

Before flying back to the mitten, we spent our last day in New England exploring Newbury Port, MA. We started our day with a delicious brunch at Tuscan sea bar and grill. Justin’s mom ordered the mimosa flight so I had to follow suit! I topped of the flight with a delicious French toast plate & I’m already counting down the days to go back. We took a stroll to downtown and found our way to Souffles for a little pick me up. Not only was the latte amazing, but the pink lids were the cherry on top!

All in all, I look forward to going back to NH & MA in the near future, and possibly even trying out the winter sports side of things. Hope you’re having an amazing start to 2022- let me know what you hope to accomplish in the new year in my comments!

XOXO- Jaime (@pta_jay)

Let’s Connect:

A guide to Riviera Maya, Mexico: how to spend a week at your resort + where to venture off to!

Vamos a la Mexico!! Okay friends, since I am having some post-vacation blues I thought, what better time to share my experience in the lovely Riviera Maya, Mexico? I will admit I was a bit nervous to venture out during COVID times but I honestly felt safer there than home with all the precautions the resort was taking to keep everyone safe & healthy. It was such a relaxed, gorgeous week and I’m so excited to share with you to help plan your future endeavors!

Where to stay

We stayed at the Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal in Rivera Maya and it was wonderful! Funny enough we ended up back at the same main resort we stayed at almost 13 years ago. Same great experience but now I could enjoy unlimited Pina coladas 😉 The luxury Akumal had 3 main pool areas including the main activities pool for those who like a good aqua zumba, a pool for those who aren’t about music and want peace and quiet, and my family’s pick: the adult pool. Here we had some good people watching but also relaxed under the cabanas in peace. Not to mention it was an infinity pool overlooking the ocean which definitely swayed us.

Food favorites from the resort

LOS CORALES- Breakfast buffet

Breakfast was honestly one of my FAVORITE parts of the stay. Who doesn’t want to wake up and have fresh squeezed juice, lattes, chocolate croissants, bacon and bananas?! What more can one ask for in the morning? Not to mention eating by the ocean every morning was definitely a perk!

A la carte restaurants

FRUTOS DEL MAR-Seafood

Okay now don’t let the octopus scare you, it was actually really good, and how about that presentation on these plates?!? The night we ate here was my FIRST time eating a fish with its head still on so I think this restaurant gets an A+ for experience. Seafood lovers this is the place for you.

  • Catch of the day
  • Octopus
  • Seafood soup

DOLCE VITA RESTAURANT- Italian/Mexican

Okay first of all, yes it sounds weird to have an Italian style restaurant in Mexico… but dang was it good. My family was pleasantly surprised by all the courses at this restaurant, even the caprese salads were out of this world. Definitely taught me not to judge the meals before getting a bite- YUM!

  • Breadsticks
  • Calamari
  • Lemon zest salmon

GRAN TORTUGA RESTAURANT- Brazilian steak house

So this was probably my oddest mixture of foods but I have to say everything here was 10/10 and we chose to eat here on our last night (best for last?). The flavors were so delicious and my chocolate dessert finally tasted like chocolate 🙂

  • Clam chowder
  • Burger (JUMBO)
  • Chocolate cake

A day spent in Tulum

So the main reason we sought out Tulum was because I stumbled upon the MOST GORGEOUS museum on social media and had to see it for ourselves! Sfer Ik (https://www.sferik.art) was stunning and runs on the mission of protecting the environment and promoting sustainability through meaningful tourism focused on art and culture. Also if you love taking pictures it is a top “instagrammable” spot in Tulum! Also, if you’re looking for a cheaper way to get around from your resort check out the public buses- they air conditioned and will only cost you a few bucks each way!

Other Tulum finds

Gelato, the beach and boutiques oh my!! I wish we had a whole week in Tulum because there is so much to see! I will say the only con to our adventure was walking 3 miles back to the bus. Taxis may try to rip you off but make sure you plan to make a counter offer or look into renting a bike to get around with ease. Overall I can’t wait to come back and see what more Tulum has in store!!

Planning a trip and have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect below!

Links to outfits: https://www.liketoknow.it/Pta_jay