Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr Bite

When you're young, your own birthday is really the only one that matters. With age, getting older becomes that bit less exciting, and being the centre of attention becomes that bit less appealing. Given I have never really liked being the centre of attention, we're now at the point where I'd like to reduce the scale of my birthday to, say, a 1 on a scale of 0 to 10.

In contrast to the above, I have found my excitement about other people's birthdays to increase in my adult years. Heaping extra attention and enthusiasm on people I care about? Yes, please.

I need to work on my icing lettering skills
(even aside from the name adjustment on the bottom line!)

Yesterday was Mr Bite's birthday, and I was very excited for it. Like last year, he wanted pizza with family and the exact same chocolate mudcake I have made for three years now. Unlike last year, his birthday fell on a Monday, which meant we separated out his family celebrations from his actual birthday day.


Getting British Walkers crisps pre-expiry is surprisingly tricky in Australia. For birthdays, there is lots of advance
liaison with our local British food shop.

After doing family celebrations on Sunday evening, we followed my birthday tradition last night, by having Grill'd burgers at a local beach. I never get tired of their veganised (no cheese / sauce) Field of Dreams field mushroom burger. I also never get tired of alfresco birthday celebrations with just the two of us, casual as you can get, under the stars, with the dark ocean stretching out to the horizon.


One of Mr Bite's presents (joint from various people) was an electric piano-style keyboard. As such, after our low-key celebrating at the beach, we returned home to some noisy celebration as we tested out the effects. Having learned to play piano as a child and teenager, I was initially quite snobbish towards the thought of a keyboard. What is more, the piano I learned to play on is still at my parents' house, available for adoption if only we had the space. One day in, though, I can already see the benefits of a keyboard. It fits in our house, which is a good start, and it has adjustable volume, tuition guidance for certain songs, and sound effects that I can sense Mr Bite getting lots of entertainment from. It's not the same as a piano, but when a piano isn't feasible, it is a great alternative.

With his birthday now behind us, I hope that Mr Bite continues to get entertainment from the keyboard, and that his whole next year is filled with (well played!) music, literally and metaphorically.

Chocolatey chocolate cake (recipe here)

In non-birthday news, this week also sees the creation of a new facebook page for bite-sized thoughts. This stems, in part, from my recent reluctant decision to restrict comments on this site to registered users. Ongoing spam issues have been proving unmanageable. More generally, I have been meaning to make a facebook page for some time, and with Google Reader closing later in the year, I'm trying to make it easier to follow my blog in other ways. I have a bit of work to do with sidebar buttons, but for now you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/bitesizedthoughts or by following the button at the top right of this site.

Which birthdays get you excited? And what are your favourite ways to celebrate, either for yourself or with people you care about?

42 comments:

  1. I like birthdays for others much more than my own! I'm turning 30 next Monday but then my boyfriends birthday is 5 days later. I'm more excited for his than mine!

    That choc mud cake looks amazing!

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    1. April birthdays are clearly good ones! I hope you both have great days, even if you are more excited for your boyfriend's day than for yours :-)

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  2. Happy (belated) Birthday Mr Bite! :) & that cake looks divine Kari!

    I've stopped being excited about birthdays as I've got older, I turned 25 last month and didn't feel the need to celebrate, a simple meal with a couple of friends will do me just fine...presents are similar, I don't value them the way I did as a child, I actually enjoy giving much more now and I totally get the not wanting to be the center of attention, that was the reason I was terrified of walking down the isle!

    Good luck with the spam, I use intensedebate for comments and they seem to catch 99% of the spam... also since google reader announced it I've been trying out feedly- it's not half bad if you're looking for an alternative x

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    1. That was also the reason I had a tiny wedding ;) Being the centre of attention is definitely over-rated!

      Thanks so much for letting me know your experiences with intensedebate and feedly too, I really appreciate that. I keep meaning to check out feedly and hadn't realised intensedebate was compatable with Blogger (I thought it was a Wordpress option). I will definitely look in to it! Thank you :)

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  3. Happy birthday to Mr Bite. Great job with the cake! :-)
    I LOVE grill'd :-) Yay for a facebook page - i'll head straight over and 'like'.
    I sooo get your non-so-keen-ness re a keyboard. When i was moving around a lot I got a digital piano - works a treat because it takes up minimal space but plays very much like a real piano, not like a keyboard as such! I'm glad your seeing the benefits of the keyboard though as an alternative :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for your facebook support Sandy :-) And yes - Grill'd are the best!

      Mr Bite looked at digital pianos too and the one he got is actually pretty much in that category; it has the 'thick' piano-like keys but isn't quite a full length in piano size. It's far better than keyboards I've seen in the past though, they always seemed a million miles away from pianos! Glad you hit on a solution yourself too when you were moving about :)

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  4. Happy birthday to Mr Bite - I think he has great taste to want a chocolate mud cake each birthday. I am with you Kari in enjoying others birthdays more than mine - it is so much fun to plan for others and not have to be centre of attention. The casual alfresco burger sounds lika a great way to celebrate

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    1. Thanks Johanna, and I think we'd get on nicely with planning others people's birthdays and standing back from the limelight! That part of it is a lot of fun.

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  5. Happy birthday to Mr Bite! I have to agree about keyboards - they don't take the place of a piano, but certainly come in very handy when spaces are limited. I hope you enjoy yours for a long time to come! http://thecreeksidecook.com

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    1. Thanks Donalyn! I hope he gets lots of enjoyment out of it too (I already am!).

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  6. Happy birthday Mr Bite! Your low key alfresco celebrations by the beach sound so lovely, I hope you continue the tradition while you are still in Perth. Mr Bite reminds me of my husband as he always requests the same sweets to be made for him. The mud cake looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Mel - I hope we can get a few more beach birthday evenings in before we leave Perth too. It will be one aspect I will miss! I suspect your men folk would like a veganised version of this cake, it is about as chocolatey and sweet and rich as cakes can get ;)

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  7. wow! what a beautiful cake and perfect celebration dessert!

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  8. Happy belated birthday Mr. Bite! That cake looks so delicious! I can tell it was baked with a lot of love ;). Your icing skills are much better than mine. I know what you mean. As I age, I find myself getting more and more excited about throwing one heck of a party for my loved ones. I LOVE creating meaningful family traditions. My very first piano is still at my parent's place...it's just collecting dust. Such a shame...Hope I can adopt it soon also ;).

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    1. I wonder how many pianos are sitting at parent's places? It is such a shame, hopefully you can get the adoption processed before too long ;) Also - thank you! (On behalf of Mr B and in relation to my icing skills!)

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  9. Oh my goodness, chocolate mudcake sounds absolutely fabulous!!!!! I love anything chocolate. I hope that he enjoyed his birthday! :-)

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    1. Thanks Tasha! He certainly made happy noises at the cake ;)

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  10. Happy birthday Mr Bite! I love birthdays, especially when they are not my own!

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  11. You sound like a very nice wife. Pianos and chocolate cake as well. Very nice.
    Carolyn

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    1. I'll definitely have Mr B read this comment! Thanks Carolyn :)

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  12. I don't like birthdays, either. Birthday parties, especially. Especially if it is mine. :)

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    1. Definitely. Parties are far too stressful when they're your own!

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  13. I am much more excited about other people's birthdays these days than my own. I have an electric keyboard (but with weighted keys so it feels like a real piano) and love it! Great gift and great cake!

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    1. Thanks Joanne! And it seems there are a few weighted key keyboardists out there - must be the way to go with smaller spaces being so common :-)

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  14. I totally agree with you, I am always much more excited about other peoples birthays than my own. It is an excuse to make them cake and make a huge fuss. Exactly what you have done for Mr Bite. I Love you cake, it must be good if he wants it every year :)

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    1. Either that or he has simple tastes - but I prefer your interpretation ;)

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  15. What a beautiful cake! I think your piping skills are just fine. Sounds like a lovely celebration. Happy birthday Mr Bite!

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  16. Walkers crisps are worth getting. Hope Mr Bite had a great Birthday.
    I also had to stop comments on older posts due to spam, so only posts done in the last 3 months will get comments on them. My spam decreased by 80%. Hope that helps

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    1. Ah, that's great to know Liz. I was only getting spam on older posts until last weekend and then it was all being sent to my recent posts, which was more problematic (I figured no one regularly looked at the old posts anyway). It is such a frustrating thing, I wish the spammers could just go and occupy themselves in other ways!

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  17. Is it a weighted keyboard? I, too, was joyful to get over my previous keyboard snobbery when I found a weighted one at this sublet. It's been five years or so since I had regular access to a proper piano. Anything goes (la la la) xo

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR BITE. Thank you for keeping Kari so happy.

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    1. Not having regular access to a proper piano does make other options look better :-) He was dithering between a weighted keyboard and this one, which is technically not weighted, but the keys look and feel like the weighted options and not at all like other keyboards I've played before. A bit of a hybrid model perhaps, but a good one.

      Also - thank you :-)

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  18. Happy birthday to Mr Bite! Burgers by the sea and chocolate cake sound like a really great way to celebrate!

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    1. I did feel like I got a good deal in the celebrations, given those things are high on my list of enjoyable activities too :P

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  19. Great looking cake! I love BDAYS, I like to make mine last for a few days though haha

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  20. It is my sister's birthday next week and like you I find myself more excited about other people's birthdays these days. That said it wouldn't be my birthday without breakfast chocolate cake and dinner cooked by Mum.

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    1. Even I have come to associate your birthday with your special chocolate cake, so I would be very sad on your behalf if it was neglected :) I hope your sister has a great day!

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  21. This is a gorgeous and best digital piano. You can't find everywhere this piano. If you want to get this piano you have to visit our site, and in this site you will get reviews about this piano and information about how to buy this piano.

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  22. There are so many digital piano brands available in the market. All brand pianos function and features are not same. Best digital piano has the best function and features. Casio brands digital pianos

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