Sunday, December 9, 2012

A birthday (2012)

Last Wednesday was my birthday. Before you consider me very tardy in holding this post off until now, I would like to note that my birthday celebrations have spanned a full week. They started last Sunday evening with my family, continued on Wednesday itself with Mr Bite, and concluded last night with my new family-in-law and a shared birthday evening with my niece, who turns 7 in a week. 

New solar lanterns

I am not actually a big fan of birthdays (or at least not my own birthday), but this isn't really to do with getting older. Getting older has treated me well thus far - I hit 29 this year and I am far more content at 29 than I was at 19 or even at 9. Whether the same will be true at 39 I can't say, but for now the years seem to be getting better rather than the reverse. In saying that, it is very odd to be 29, when in my mind I only hit 20 about a week ago.

My birthday reluctance is more around the focus on me. I don't much like being the centre of attention, and I feel a certain amount of obligation when an event is held in my name, wanting to make sure that everyone has a good time. Simultaneously, I really appreciate the effort people go to when they think of me on my birthday, and I want to convey that to them. It can all feel a bit hard!

This year, I was lucky enough to have three sets of lovely celebrations, all on my sort of scale. Dinner with my family fell on an early summer's day, allowing us to sit on the deck out the back of my parent's house. I love the deck at the back of my parent's house.


My Mum made a selection of vegetarian dishes, including tofu and grilled vegetable kebabs...


...and there were three tiers of vegan cupcakes (vanilla and chocolate). I enjoyed them across the week and can attest that both flavours were delicious.


On Wednesday itself, Mr Bite and I repeated our celebrations from last year and took Grill'd burgers to the beach.


We even ordered the exact same burgers, the Field of Dreams mushroom burger (minus cheese, mayonnaise and pesto) for me and the Tuscan Delight chicken burger for Mr B. It may be a year on, but clearly some things don't change!


Last night, we had salad and pizza in a local park with Mr Bite's family, including his mother's Labrador dog.


There was plenty of fun for children, dogs and adults alike, including a water playground in which three children got very wet and my husband got more than a little splashed.


Across these celebrations, I also received a rather large selection of presents - all perfectly chosen and all things I am delighted to start using, playing with, reading or eating.


In the mix are a light box and polarising lens cover for my camera, which I expect to have great fun experimenting with (and, indeed, have already started playing with).

There are books and chocolate in great supply, including dairy free dark chocolate from Koko Black, a selection of Terry's dark chocolates I hadn't previously seen, fiction and non-fiction reads, a book on the history of tea (and how to make different herbal teas), and The Little House Cookbook.


I discovered The Little House Cookbook on Book Depository a month or so ago and knew I had to have it. Those of you who love the Laura Ingalls Wilder books may understand my enthusiasm. I can now not only read about the history of food and recipes across Laura's childhood, but also make some of the more memorable dishes that featured in her books.


To round things out, I am the proud new owner of solar lanterns (also pictured in the top photo), some kitchen gadgets, body shop items, a water bottle that lies flat when empty, an indoor-friendly plant for one of my work offices, and Bunnings vouchers to keep my home plants in happy supply.



 I feel very lucky.

How do you like to celebrate your birthdays?

34 comments:

  1. I totally own that cookbook. I wish it was here with me now. I spent my childhood wondering what Vanity Cakes tasted like...

    Happy birthday again, dear Kari! You deserve all these celebrations in your honour and more - particularly when they feel comfortable to you :)

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    1. There were so many dishes I always wondered about - it is so joyous to now know what they were (sour dough biscuits are in that category) :) I'm so glad you already own it as if you hadn't I'd have had to ship you a copy.

      And thank you, Hannah, very much :-)

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  2. Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like you got some good stuff there. I don't usually have anything major going on for my birthday. I try to take the day off from work and pamper myself each year.

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    1. Thank you! And taking the day off work sounds like a fantastic way to mark the day :)

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  3. Happy birthday Kari!! Looks like you had a special week. :) I grew up watching Little House on the Prarie and have been to one of the places where Laura grew up! I think that would be a great cookbook to own.
    As long as I am with my family on my birthday, I'm good. :)

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    1. Family is definitely important at birthday time :)

      I am so excited on your behalf that you've visited one of Laura's childhood homes! I hope to do that one day - I imagine it would be amazing.

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  4. happy birthday! looks like you received some wonderful gifts!

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  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Everything looks just PERFECT!!!

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  6. Happy Birthday! :)
    I'm a small bday person, I'd take a dinner with the hubs or a brunch with my father over a party any day of the week.

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    1. Definitely :) The idea of a party strikes me with terror, if truth be told!

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  7. Happy Birthday! 29 is no where near as scary as 30 ;-)
    The cupcakes look absolutely delicious!

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    1. Yes, I may discover I don't like aging when I hit that number!

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  8. Happy Birthday for Wednesday! Glad to hear that you had a great week. I like to go to the zoo on my Birthday. My Birthday is the 2nd of January so everyone is partied out before they get to it. I like to keep it simple and end up having a bunch of different family dinners. It is the one day of the year that everything is vegetarian forn that dinner for the family. It's nice of them :)

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    1. That is lovely - and ditto the zoo idea :) My Mum's birthday is late January and we always used to do the zoo on her birthday. Must be something about January birthdays!

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  9. Being the extroverted social butterfly that I am I'm all for a big birthday party, but S is like you. It is a struggle to even know what to get him he is so low key. In fact this year he came home the day before his birthday and found me baking. I told him I was making him a cake. Sometime later something else came up about the cake and it being for his birthday and he was honestly surprised as he had forgotten it was his birthday that week let alone the next day.

    It looks like you really did have a perfect birthday.

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    1. That is very funny :-) I don't think I have ever actually forgotten my birthday, but perhaps I'll manage it in the future!

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  10. Happy belated birthday sweet friend! I am glad that you got to celebrate for the whole week on your own scale. It looks like you had fun, got some great gifts and had yummy food too. I am not a huge fan of my birthday at all. It is hard because my husband's birthday is the same week and his is first so we usually just end up celebrating for him. Oh well, it's fine by me. :-)

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    1. Thank you Tasha :-) I think you need to do a combined birthday with your husband so you get to be included in the celebrations, whilst diluting the fact that it is your birthday!

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  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    It's funny - I feel exactly the same way as you do about birthdays :)

    It sounds like you had a lovely few birthday-occasions.... and those burgers are the BEST, yummo!

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    1. We have the same views on a few things I think (they're very good views!) :-)

      Thank you Lou, and your give away came at the perfect time to make me feel like it was my birthday yesterday too!

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  12. Happy birthday Kari, I'm glad you had lots of lovely drawn out celebrations to mark the occasion! I totally feel the same way about birthdays and enjoyed having family over for relaxing drinks yesterday afternoon rather than making a big fuss about it. I like the sound of your tradition with Mr Bite and his Mum's dog is a real cutie too!

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    1. Happy birthday to you too by the sounds of it?! I think I may have known we shared a birthday week but forgot ahead of time. I hope you had a great day - relaxing drinks sound perfect :)

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  13. Belated happy birthday - sounds like you had wonderful celebrations - I love the low fuss birthday celebrations where you can enjoy the company of others and good food without too much drama. Lovely presents - lots of reading for you - and I love the idea of the water park - seems like such a strange idea when it is so cold in Edinburgh but I can imagine how wonderful it would be on a hot day - is this like a communal water sprinkler????

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    1. Thanks Johanna :) Definitely lots of good reading ahead!

      It was a bit like a communal sprinkler, and operated on a timer when you press a button. There are some ground sprinklers and some higher ones and they come on at different times!

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  14. Happy belated birthday! Your received some terrific presents. No-one buys me cookbooks because they think I have them all :(

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    1. Oh no! You'll have to let them know that you want more :-)

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  15. Happy belated! Birthday WEEKS are the best! Sounds like yours was so lovely.

    I will be 28 in a bit over a month, and, for the most part, I think I agree that things get better with age, but there are still times I feel nostalgic for my "youth"! ; )

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    1. I do agree :-) It's definitely nostalgia at that over sadness at age, though, so I figure it's an okay balance!

      Happy birthday to you when the date rolls around - we are almost the same age!

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  16. Happy birthday! Your celebrations sound perfect to me :)

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  17. Happy Birthday Kari, glad to hear it was a good one!

    I've never heard of Grill'd before but I just checked out their website and am impressed that all their veggie patties are 100% vegan! Pretty nice to have more than just one veggie option too, guess I'll just have to come back and try a Garden Goodness myself :)

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    1. Thank you! And Grill'd are wonderful, you will definitely have to come back for them :-) They're always happy to customise my burger for me too.

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