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Birthday in Brussels

When talking with Lina about dates that worked for our trip to see her, the week of my birthday was perfect. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate so I booked it!

My birthday was Friday, June 16. Here are pictures from the day. It was a pretty great birthday and one I’ll always remember.

Le Canard Sauvage

How could you have anything less than a stellar birthday when it starts with this breakfast? Lina took us to the most amazing little French restaurant called Le Canard Sauvage. We shared this breakfast spread of ham and cheese, freshly baked bread with butter and jams, yogurt and granola and scrambled eggs.

Le Canard Sauvage

I also had a cappuccino and a croissant.

Le Canard Sauvage

I wish that you could reach through the screen and grab a loaf of this bread. There is something about European bread that is just so pure and delicious. There is a noticeable difference from most U.S. bread. We ate so much of it while we were over there!

Le Canard Sauvage

Here’s a look at the interior of the restaurant. It was very mismatched but comfortable for long coffee dates or working.

Le Canard Sauvage

Take a look at these pastries! They are also open for lunch and dinner. I think I could stay here for all three meals and be so happy.

I highly recommend a visit to Le Canard Sauvage if you find yourself in Brussels. I just love all of the French influence in Brussels.

We enjoyed a leisurely brunch before heading over to the International School of Brussels to attend Lina’s son Alejandro’s end of school party. He’s in preschool and it was all very cute. Don’t they look so excited about the hats?

I loved their little party lunches. Each family contributed something different to it. (Am I a food blogger or what taking photos of toddler lunches? Lina was so glad I had it and made me send it to her!)

Big kid + little kid. πŸ™‚

Running in Brussles

After the party we just goofed off for a little bit. We walked to Lina’s neighborhood grocery store to pick up some snacks and wine. I decided to take advantage of the mild weather and go for a run while Lina and Tanner practiced yoga. I always like to workout on my birthday if I can because I think it’s such a meaningful way to celebrate your strength and health.

Running in Brussels

I LOVE exploring new cities on foot! I covered five miles and just wandered around. Thank goodness for the map app on my phone. I pinned Lina’s address so I always had a visual of how far I was away and how to get back. I ran outside three times in Brussels and always felt very safe.

Sweaty birthday hugs from little Alejandro! πŸ™‚

As soon as I got home from my run Lina announced it was time for birthday bubbles. Her husband Armando arrived home from his business travel right around this time.

jen and lina

We got all dressed up and ready for dinner out. It was such a gorgeous evening.

jen and tanner

We loved the views from Lina and Armando’s apartment.

Brussels Belgium

We walked to dinner, which I loved. I wish we had more walking to destinations in Charlotte. That is one thing I love about Europe.

Lina and Armando picked a wine and tapas bar, Etiquette for dinner. They had been before and thought it was a great spot for my birthday dinner.

Etiquette Brussels

Of course…wine first! It’s one of those places where you can wander and choose your bottle and your server will open it at the table.

Etiquette Brussels

We started with a trio of spreads with fresh bread.

Etiquette Brussels

You can never go wrong with the cheese and charcuterie platter.

Etiquette Brussels

Mini burgers.

Etiquette Brussels

This dessert! They surprised me with a whole pan of brownies that were served in a silicone baking sheet. You popped them out and ate them warm. They were still gooey on the inside. YUM!

jen eddins

(Romper: Anthroplogie, Shoes: Toms)

Such a great birthday dinner.

brussels belgium

We took a leisurely walk back to the apartment. There are so many pretty parks in Brussels.


Armando has amazing selfie skills. We had to take a group shot.

Upon arriving back there was more conversation (and wine!). It was such a memorable and fun birthday. πŸ™‚

How did you celebrate your last birthday?Β 

Tell me about one of yourΒ most memorable birthday celebrations ever?Β 

Any birthday traditions?Β 

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • MaryKate June 29, 2017, 10:21 pm

    Where are those heels from that you wore to your birthday dinner?

  • Cassie June 29, 2017, 10:52 pm

    Hope you had an amazing celebration, but by the looks of it, you definitely did! Brussels looks like such a fun place to explore. I love working out on my birthday as well–sometimes I go crazy and find a super intense HIIT workout or even 1000 Calorie Workout (obviously not to intentionally burn 1000 calories, but just for the extra push)! I mean, if I’m going to have some chocolatey goodness, then I’ll need it! πŸ˜‰

  • Nicki June 29, 2017, 11:10 pm

    What an AMAZING day of celebrating your birthday!! The pictures are gorgeous (including the food!) and way to go on working out on your birthday πŸ™‚

  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling June 30, 2017, 7:37 am

    Happy birthday to you! Looks like an incredible (and delicious!) day! I’m so eager to get to Brussels now!

  • Rachel June 30, 2017, 9:00 am

    Happy belated, Jen!

    You mentioned the bread in Europe being different than it is in the USA – it is definitely different. I read Wheat Belly last year and apparently much of our bread is made with a “dwarf wheat” that is grown because it produces quickly but its nutritional value is questioned in addition to whether it’s actually suitable for human consumption! Interesting read…

  • Aimee June 30, 2017, 9:50 am

    Those breads!!! I definitely would have gained 10lbs in Brussels.

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design June 30, 2017, 10:24 am

    Happy belated birthday! How fun to celebrate overseas!

  • JennyV June 30, 2017, 10:58 am

    My last birthday was the best! I was in NYC celebrating w/ my sister, brother in law and husband! We started out at the Today Show, Top of the Rock, The Rockette’s Christmas Extravaganza, Champagne!, tons of walking, Starbucks, and the Rockefeller Tree and more πŸ™‚ I don’t think I can top that in awhile! I think we walked nearly 50 miles in 3-4 days!

    Your birthday looked amazing — and how fun to have friends who are locals. That bread looked so good, too.

    I love working out on my birthday — time to honor my life, ability to move and breathe… I can remember specific birthday runs, the thoughts I had, days that it snowed on my birthday (12/2), and more. Life is precious — it’s always nice to take time to honor it.

  • Rebecca June 30, 2017, 11:07 am

    Happy (belated) birthday! What a great way to spend the day!

  • Hillary June 30, 2017, 12:55 pm

    In love with your romper outfit! Looks like a wonderful way to spend your birthday πŸ™‚

  • Simone June 30, 2017, 1:37 pm

    I love Brussels! As a teen I dreamt of living there amongst all the international influences. So happy for you that you got to go for such a fun birthday trip!

    I have to ask, sorry if you’ve answered this before. HOW do you take such great running pics of yourself?? Do you put your phone in the middle of the path and how to you prop it up? I tried it recently and let’s just say, it’s not as easy as you make it look πŸ˜€

    Also, I love your TOMS. I bought them through your link a couple of weeks ago. They are so effortlessly cool and easy to walk in which is key for me with my wonky knees. First time I’m wearing heels in a LONG time.

  • Simone June 30, 2017, 1:38 pm

    And happy belated birthday!! πŸ™‚

  • Lina July 2, 2017, 1:48 pm

    Reading about our adventure made me miss you even more! We did have a fabulous time and can’t wait until our next adventure in Europe! XOXO

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