Birthday Gratitude at the La Prairie Spa

It’s my birthday!

I woke up to the cutest surprise from E.: flowers, presents in the most sublime wrapping paper from Papyrus (one was a Paris map featuring the Ile St. Louis, where we were engaged, and the other was of hot air balloons, a motif we’ll be incorporating into our wedding), and an adorable card addressed to me. (Just call me Baby Pie Jolie.)



My presents included several books I’ve been dying to read (Julian Barnes’ The Sense of An Ending, Hester Brown’s The Runaway Princess, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, and The Cuckoo’s Calling by JK Rowling-as-Robert Galbraith) plus a Barnes and Noble membership card. Are we sensing a theme here?

Yeah, we’re a dorky household.

Apparently, I have one more gift coming tonight, but I’m not sure what it will be yet. Perhaps E. has arranged for Pearl Jam to perform a private concert in my living room? (Hey, dare to dream big, right?)


After breakfast and presents, we went to the La Prairie Spa at the Hotel Bel Air, where I had a sublime massage graciously arranged for me by my friends at La Prairie.

Holy moly, is that hotel phenomenal.

First of all, everything has recently been remodeled, including the spa, which is intimate and luxurious and deliciously tranquil. The bathrooms, of course, feature La Prairie products, and the relaxation room is super cozy. Post-massage, they gave me a complimentary glass of birthday champagne–yes, please!




I know you’re supposed to zone out and relax during massages, but they’ve historically been when my mind revs up and I’ve done some of my best thinking. Today, I took stock of the past year and marveled at how much of my life has changed for the better.

One year ago today, I’d just flown back from New Zealand, where I was enjoying my Summer of Jolie Fake Honeymoon 2012. As I started 2013, I decided to forget about guys for a while and date my friends, instead. I wondered if I was even the marrying type, not imagining that I’d ever meet a guy ready for alllll this (mental) jelly.

And then BAM: I met E. Almost instantly, my life changed. Three months later, we were engaged.

Our wedding date is three months from today.


Point is, your life can change on a dime.

I’ve received lots of gratifying emails over the past few months from readers saying that my relationship with E. has given them hope. It’s given me hope, too.

I couldn’t have begun to dream that there was such a wonderful guy out there–one who complements (and compliments!) me so perfectly, loves all my quirks, and well and truly gets me.

I feel like breaking into an Austrian gazebo in the middle of the night and singing “Something Good.”


If it happened for me–a neurotic, willful narcissist with sleep issues and a fetus-sized bladder–it can happen for anybody.

There are two days when I set my intention for the year to come: my birthday and New Year’s Eve. My goal for this, my Jesus year, is to harness creativity and kindness to leave my mark.

I feel lucky, lucky, lucky, and I cannot wait to see what the next year holds. Love you all!

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  1. Jess

    You can never go wrong harnessing creativity and kindness! Love to you!

  2. bora

    Happy birthday beautiful!
    I always felt a kinship with people born in the Leo-Virgo cusp. My birthday is tomorrow. Now I know why I like you :)