Monday, 2 June 2014

The Birthday Post - 29 and feeling fine


I turned 29 on June 1st. I say this with a little shudder of horror at the realisation that I only have one year of my twenties left. Where did the past decade go? I'm fighting a rising tide of panic at the feeling that life is accelerating and slipping away through my fingers too fast.

I'm not the sort of person that likes birthdays. Funny as it might seem to some reading this, I hate the attention on you that they bring, its embarrasing. And I do so hate getting older. I remember on my 20th birthday I spent all day in bed crying because I was so sad at not being a teenager anymore! Seb, who was then my boyfriend - and I would never have believed he'd be my husband 6 years later - brought me a homemade dark chocolate and sour cream cake in bed to cheer me up!



That attitude was silly really, because my twenties have kicked the ass of my teens. I've felt so much better, more sure, more empowered and more confident. I've had some fun times and some epic milestones. I've developed my career, nutured friendships and become a very proud auntie. So really there was no downside to leaving my teens behind. And there's not much I wanted to achieve in my twenties that I haven't yet- if there is, I have 12 months to make it happen! Here's hoping my next decade will leave me with the same feelings.

So I approached my birthday with a bit of trepidation, but it turned out to be a fantastic day. It was a Sunday and I purposefully kept it quiet, deciding against a big night out or a party. I wasn't feeling that this year! Some years you want to go large and some years you want to have a relaxed one. This was the perfect relaxed day -  and it was gloriously hot and sunny all day, which was a massive bonus.

The day started with fresh ground coffee - with creme brulee syrup and brioche to eat - sat in our back garden with a bit of Vivaldi on. Heaven. I was literally sat there with a massive smile on my face, so it was a good start to the day. And it got better.

 

At mid-morning, we went round to my sister-in-law's so I could see my niece and nephew and my mother in law came round too. We sat out in the garden and I had my first birthday cake - yep, I got two -  which my mother in law had kindly made me. White chocolate with pink glitter icing and chocolate buttons. Yum! 

I love my mother in law so much, she's been there for me through thick and thin -  well, she has known me since I was 18! My mum lives in Cornwall so I don't get to see her that much and I really regard my mother in law as my stand-in mum.

It was fab to run around with Annabel and Jude. Annabel had chosen me a Postman Pat birthday card, which really made me smile. Having children around forces you to come out of yourself, so it chased away any lingering gloom as well -  the best medicine! Jude is standing up on his own now, clinging onto things -  it can't be long before he starts walking. Seeing them interact and Annabel making Jude laugh was really special as well. 

After that we headed out for some lunch at Perkins', which is a pretty highly rated local restaurant. I hadn't been before, so I was excited to try it out.


Because it was such glorious weather we chose to eat outside in their garden. I swear I got a tan! It was like being on holiday. 


Seb and I both chose exactly the same food -  which meant I didn't get to sample half of his order, as I usually do! 

We had stilton croquettes with apple and walnut salad to start off with. It was heavenly, and I really like the idea of serving it on these little wooden chopping blocks, I think I'm going to steal that concept...

There was also some 'homemade' chilli and fennel seed bread which was very tasty indeed.


Onto the mains! We both went for the Confit Duck Leg. Duck is my favourite meat - why do ducks have to be so cute, though? It leaves me in the awkward position of wanting a duck as a pet and also wanting to eat it. Sad quack.


It came with beautiful crisp roasties and a celeriac gratin. There was also a dish of seasonal vegetables -  carraway dusted carrots,green beans and red cabbage in vinaigrette. I thought I would have cleared the plate no worries, but I'm not used to eating large meals at lunch time so I left a fair bit.

 I have to say, the staff were also excellent, very polite and attentive. When they found out it was my birthday, they brought out a plate of ice-cream iced with 'Happy Birthday' on the plate. I'd certainly go back there again. The restuarant is next to a wedding venue called The Carriage Hall that they also run, so if you're looking for a reception host in South Notts, you could do a lot worse on the food!


We got home in time for afternoon tea and more cake! Yes, I was being a bit of a fatty, but hell, if you can't do it on your birthday, when can you? This was the cake my darling husband made for me yesterday while I was swanning about in Birmingham. 

Doesn't it look great? It was a chocolate and hazelnut cake with Nutella filling and  crushed M&Ms on the top. Very creative! Seb is actually a brilliant baker, but as making cakes is one of my hobbies, he doesn't do it very often -  its one of his hidden talents! I love it when he makes something and lets his imagination run wild.

Then I got around to opening my presents. I was extremely spoilt. My husband is a brilliant present-buyer (I suspect its growing up with two sisters), and always gets it right. I had a few things in the post because my family live far away, so it was exciting with parcels and pretty envelopes to open.


My sister in law got me this gorgeous scarf from Boden. Its a stomy slate grey colour with a bird pattern in brown and fuschia. I just love the design - its very 'me'. The scarf is a lovely soft drapey material that's semi-sheer. This will be perfect all year round and also on the beach because its large enough to use as a cover-up.


When I opened my gifts from Seb I got all excited because I could see the famous Selfridges yellow! Funny when I was in there the other day shopping my little heart out. He got me the Longchamp Le Pliage tote, which I've been hinting for ages that I want. I've had a rip off version of it before and it was so useful, I decided I had to have the real thing. I love the colour he went for - that gorgeous navy blue/grey colour. They call it 'Graphite'. I already know this bag is going to get so much use.


He also got me something else I've been wanting for ages -  the Smashbox Full Exposure palette! Excited was not the word when I saw this. This palette has the perfect mix of neutrals and each shade has a matte version and a shimmer. It's one of those things I've always coveted and could never justify buying for myself. Seb obviously knows nothing about make-up, but my obsession must have imparted itself to him somewhere along the way...


The palette came with a travel size of the Full Exposure mascara too, so that's a great chance to try something else out as well. I can't wait to put this to good use!


Just look at those beautiful shades! I was drooling when I opened it, its so gorgeous. Full review coming soon, once I've had a proper play with it!


I also got the Naked Flushed blush trio from Urban Decay. Again, its another product I've wanted to try for aaages, so I was over the moon. All this blogging is clearly subconsciously inflitrating through...


Then I unwrapped a pair of black jeans from Ted Baker. I remarked to Seb a while ago that I wanted to replace all the saggy old Primarni jeans in my wardrobe with smarter stuff that was cut a bit better, so he must have been taking notes. These are a lovely soft cotton that's comfortable and they have little zips at the ankle, which I love. It means you can style them lots of different ways. 


Later on in the evening, he gave me a final little present. He likes to this -  pretend that's it and then spring one more surprise! This time it was a gorgeous ivory enamel and gold bracelet from Reiss, which is a shop I love. I really liked the pretty chain detail at the back. It's very elegant and classic. Something that will also be getting plenty of wear.

My Dad and stepmother Clare got me this beautiful necklace and earrings. Both are made of blown glass, which is so pretty and unusual. There's a heart shaped pendant swirled with black and white. I love it and I wore it out to lunch that day.

And the earrings are a teardrop shape and swirled with shades of purple. They're from an artisan jeweller called Deb Waters. So pretty and delicate!

Dad wrote a story in the card they sent about the day I was born. He said that when he was waiting outside, a nurse came out and said to him "I'm really sorry, sir, it's a girl." And he stood up really indignantly and said "What do you mean, I'm sorry its a girl? That's my little girl and she's everything I want!" Bless. That story made me tear up a little bit! 

I've always been a Daddy's girl. I would always do everything -  music recitals, ballet exams, school plays, with him beaming away in the front row. In fact, when I was graduating, I almost stalled the ceremony because I refused to walk across the stage and collect my degree until I could see him beaming away! He's always been so proud of me. Even now when I meet people who know him, they always start with 'Oh, I've heard so much about you...". Nothing beats a proud dad!



My mum sent this gorgeous silver and opal necklace up from Cornwall, from a Cornish jewellery label called St Justin. My mum is a bit of a hippie and into her crystals and things, so there's probably a mystical meaning behind the opal, but I just thought it was very pretty. I like the intertwined silver design. It reminded me that I need to go down and visit soon! Mum sent a card with a picture of a sandy beach that made seaside sounds when you opened it -  to remind me of down there. I'm coming soon, Mum!


Then I got this styling tool bag from my mother in law - its a heat-resistant travel carrier for hair straighteners and tongs. It's from a range called Jo & Jo Australia, I recently wrote about a travel bag  purchased at Home Sense from the range that I loved -  guess who must have been listening? I love the bold geometric pattern  on this. It also means I'll have all matching travel bags when I go away, which the OCD in me absolutely loves! Like all the Jo & Jo stuff, its really sturdy and made so well. You can detach the heat mat and just use it as a pouch if you want.


Its so pretty it would almost make a nice clutch bag!  Potential dual use there...


She also got me some beautiful stuff for the kitchen from Kuhn Rikon -  check out that beautiful teal blue colour! I'm looking forward to cooking some meals in this and when I have a revamped kitchen these will be just the thing to grace my table.


I also received some money from relatives, so I decided to treat myself to these shoes, that I've had my eye on for a while. They're from Melissa for Vivienne Westwood, and they're jelly shoes (again! I might have a slight obsesson) with that fantastic VW trademark orb. I saw Michelle Keegan wearing these a few weeks ago - with white jeans, another current fave of mine- and they looked amazing. I've already ordered them and am excitedly awaiting their arrival!

So I did fantastically well and was really spoilt with love this birthday, it definitely made me feel grateful for my lovely family. That's what these things are really about, after all.


 

The day ended in exactly the right manner - snuggled up on the sofa with Seb, with a nice tub on Ben and Jerry's! Champagne and ice cream are two things I always insist on when I have to deal with getting a year older -  they definitely ease the pain!

I had such a nice, chilled out, relaxed sunny day.I have a few things left to tackle in the final year of my twenties and I hope I get to achieve my goals and make this year a really good one.

Here's to 29 and feeling fine!
xxx







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4 comments

  1. Looks like you had some lovely treats I'm so glad you had a nice birthday! x

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    1. Awww, thanks Emma! It did turn out to be a nice day after all my whinging! xx

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  2. Looks like you had a fantastic, relaxing day. Happy belated birthday! I love menu-sharing, means you get a taste of two things rather than just your own plate. Your starter in particular looks so delish, looks like a fancy place. You were treated like a princess - Longchamp bag and make-up bits to play around with? You must have been so happy to receive all those precious gifts, especially with your surprise bracelet at the end. The VW shoes remind me of the jellies we used to wear when we were little. They would look a dream with white skinnies! Rosemary x

    rosemaryofelephants.blogspot.com

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    1. It was really lovely, and I was so gloomy about it beforehand! Thank you very much :) Yes, Seb is pretty good at buying pressies, he's very kind to me - and clearly understands my make-up obsession even if he doesn't quite know what to make of it! Haha yes I'm loving the jelly shoes at the moment :) xx

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