Birthday Bonanza (and lots of tea!)

Birthday Bonanza (and lots of tea!)

Apologies for the lack of bloggyness.  I have been busy turning 40 and celebrating it and mourning the loss of my thirties (not really, I barely noticed their passing) and getting thoroughly spoilt by family and friends.  It’s such a tough life 🙂

On the morning of my birthday, I met with friends to have a delicious breakfast at the Witch’s Cauldron in Subiaco.  So yummy!  I always have the French Toast – it is stuffed with apple and served with strawberries, maple syrup and crème fraiche.  I could eat it for days…  My friend ‘M’ had the Blueberry Pancakes which looked amazing – they were HUGE, like, quite literally a stack of cakes on her plate.  ‘F’ had poached eggs and toast with bacon.  We all enjoyed our complementary homemade mint lemonades (so yummy – refreshing and tasty) and endless cups of tea.  I think we waddled out of there very satisfied, but groaning slightly.  ‘M’ & ‘F’ both presented me with lovely gifts – a gorgeous canister filled with Body Shop goodies and a potted succulent in a cute teapot.  Nice!

At lunchtime, I went over to my Mum’s to meet up with my best friend and her Mum.  They gave me a much-needed outdoor setting (two chairs with funky cushions and a little table, just right for tea for two!) so I can finally utilise my nice front courtyard.  My best friend also gave me a sweet little pendant from the RSPCA – very cute and just right for animal-loving me.

My cousin came by shortly after and we fortified ourselves with tea before heading out to op-shop. I needed something to wear to my high tea the following afternoon and my wardrobe, though very full, was looking decidedly uninspiring.  My cousin was also looking for something for herself (her birthday is coming up soon too) and so we parted ways at the front door of each store and met back at the change rooms and checkout.  I didn’t have much luck finding something suitable – I really wanted something pretty and girly but also for it to be something I could wear again.  I found a couple of nice dresses (and I did buy them) but they weren’t right for the high tea.  Eventually, after we had basically given up and were in dire need of a sit down and another cuppa, I saw a beautiful dress on sale in the window of a shop I wouldn’t normally go to (too rich for my blood).  I tried it on and it fit perfectly – the colour was lovely and it was just what I wanted.  Even more awesome was the fact it was reduced further in price when I got to the counter – originally $150 down to $37!  Such a bargain!  I hardly ever buy new things and even $37 is a lot to me, but it’s a heck of a lot better than $150!  I also got another dress – really pretty and floral, just so I would have a couple to choose from.  You know us girls, indecisive!

That evening, my Mum and I went to dinner with my Dad and Step-Mum.  It was a nice evening and we had a lovely meal (but I was good and didn’t have cake – in preparation for my high tea the next day).
I was pretty tired by then and glad to get home and put my feet up.

The next day I got up late (hey, I’m old now – I need my sleep!) and got ready to go to the high tea at the Pan Pacific.  For once in my life, my hair behaved itself and did exactly what I wanted it to.  Amazing!  That is an event that occurs very rarely.  I probably should have bought a lottery ticket…  My cousins picked me up (and Mum) and we all drove into the city, snagging a premium parking spot right outside the hotel (so lucky and it was free!).  I had told everyone to get there at 2pm despite the fact my booking wasn’t until 2.30pm.  I have a perpetually tardy family and I thought it best to let them think they needed to arrive earlier than they actually did.  Everyone got there on time, even my poor friend GK who had trouble finding parking (Perth on a weekend?  Forget it!).

The afternoon was lovely, spent with my family members and friends, yummy food and lots of laughs.  I had SUCH a nice time.  I got completely spoilt by everyone – such lovely gifts and cards and just general self indulgence and awesomeness.  I won’t list all the things I got, that’s a bit show-offy, but I was almost embarrassed by the amount of wonderful gifts I got.  I was just happy everyone was there – presents were a bonus!

The food was so yummy and I even let myself have some chocolate as a treat.  Come on, it was my birthday!

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So many yummy things to sample!

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Drool…

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 Getting’ full now…

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 Forgot about these…I’ve still got room!

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LOVE this picture! My cousin got me a gorgeous ring (gotta get it re-sized before I can wear it) of white gold and diamonds.  It’s two bands entwined together, to represent our friendship and bond 🙂

  My friends had organised a “Ten Questions” sheet for everyone to jot down memories, thoughts and favourite things about me.  These were touching and heart-warming at times but also bloody hilarious at others.  The amount of people present who didn’t actually know my date of birth was quite disturbing, considering they were at my 40th birthday party.

During the week, I had made simple little brooches for everyone and made up little thank you gifts with special teas in an envelope, tied up with raffia with the brooches as embellishment.  Gotta thank my awesome guests who made my day such a memorable event!

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The restaurant presented me with this birthday platter at the end of the afternoon.  Don’t know where they thought I could fit any more food in!  I took the goodies home 🙂

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My Mum and I.  Seriously, this is the only decent photo I have of us.  Ever.  We cannot pose for pictures, certainly not together – one of us is usually pulling a face or got our eyes shut.  Hopeless.  But I LOVE this one and will treasure it. 🙂

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Cousins!

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I am the luckiest girl in the world to have have had the bestest best friend in the world for nearly my whole life.  
She means the world to me 🙂
(That’s a lot of “worlds” in there…how about she means the Universe to me?)

The day was an amazing finish to a lovely weekend and I felt so loved and blessed and lucky.  I hope in another 40 year’s time I will be again celebrating with my wonderful family and friends – in fact, I wish I could turn 40 every year!  Or would that be greedy?  🙂

Quote for Today (and another High Tea)

Quote for Today (and another High Tea)

I’ve pinned this quote to my pin-up board at work.  It seems fitting for my life right now.  It helped me make a big decision and made me feel better about making it in the first place…

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you…” – Buddha

Live, love and let go…I’m learning to do those things…slowly, I am learning.

Today I was lucky enough to spend a few hours at a High Tea with my friends from work.  We had a lovely afternoon with beautiful food as we chatted and gossiped, laughed and enjoyed the elegant surroundings of Rochelle Adonis‘ tea rooms.  I felt a bit guilty about “skiving” off work for longer than our usual lunch break, but as it was a farewell event for one of our dear ladies who is leaving to return to Ireland for her studies, I was not feeling too bad about it.  🙂  I stayed back late at work and will do so tomorrow as well to make up the time.  So nice to spend time with good friends who have supported me, even in the short time they have known me and have some “girly” time with gorgeous food and delicious tea.  If only every day could involve that!  Although I’d be big as a house and wouldn’t get much work done.  I am determined, when I move into a new place finally, that I will endeavour to create beauty and elegance in my own home.  I say this now, and envisage tea in vintage cups and delicate morsels of food served on dainty doilies and platters, but we all know it will end up being toast on a chipped plate, me in my PJs, in front of the tv with water in a plastic beaker.  But a girl can dream.  What else is there?

Hope your dreams for today came true or, at least, brought you closer to achieving tomorrow’s.

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High Tea Fun(d)raiser

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

Happy Sunday all!  Boy the weeks are flying by – I can’t believe it will be Christmas again in just over four months!  We’ve been in our new place for 8 months now and soon will have to think about whether we want to continue with the lease or find somewhere else to rent.  I can’t bear the thought of moving again so I am trying to just not think about it at all!  I haven’t even unpacked all my packing boxes yet…

This week at work we had a High Tea fundraiser.  Each of our departments had a separate day to come up with a theme and organise food to go along with it (as reported in my post here) and our Client Services team decided to have a High Tea, complete with “vintage” stalls, raffles and “Best Dressed” competitions.  Cupcakes and thrift-shopping during work hours?  Don’t mind if I do!  Such a lot of work went into organising it and setting it all up on the day.  It all looked beautiful – the food was gorgeous and so pretty with everything from dainty cupcakes to scones, pastries and sandwiches, lots of different teas and champagne.  The ladies all did an amazing job and deserve a pat on the back.  Client Services is one of our busiest departments and I have no idea how they managed to find time to put together such a wonderful afternoon of treats and fun.

Here’s a few pics of the lovely goodies on offer…..

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Everything was so tempting…but I’ve been on a diet this week and trying desperately hard to be good and not eat naughty things.  I had a couple of tiny things – so delicious – and spent the rest of my time wandering about, taking photos and perusing the “vintage stalls”.  I picked up quite a few bargains (and only spent about $5!) and had to control myself in terms of spending or seeming a bit overexcited – you know me and shopping, especially anything that resembles op-shopping/thrifting.  There were some gorgeous items for sale – brand new pairs of shoes and lovely jewellery and accessories.  I bought a few necklaces that had nice beads on them…they’ve already been pulled apart and stored in my bead boxes to turn into other things later on.  I got this lovely bracelet, which I thought I would alter and make into a pendant:

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I also got a couple of rings – the paler one is way to big for me but I really liked it and so I got it anyway.  Maybe I can change it or make it into a brooch or something… I like the darker one – it looks kinda like marcasite (which I love) and is adjustable so I can make it fit my teeny fingers.  It does have a little stone missing but I’m sure I’ve got one I can just glue in there:

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I also got this bracelet (purely for the beads – I liked the stripey ones!):

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I picked out a pretty pink scarf for Mum…

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…and this “pearl” bracelet (again for the beads) for me:

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When all was said and done and packed up, the department raised about $1000 for Alzheimer’s Australia, which was pretty awesome.  They deserved to do well because they really went all out (and put the rest of our departments to shame – even though EVERYONE did a great job in their themes, this one really took the (cup)cake!).  At the end of the afternoon the ladies on the thrift stall said I could rummage through and have whatever I wanted for free, as they really didn’t want to pack it all up again.  I felt a bit weird about doing that so I offered to take it all to an op-shop for them instead.  That way I could get to go through it (great for me!) and also do them a favour and save them some work.  So that’s what I did yesterday.  Four boxes of stuff I had to go through!  Lots of jewellery has now been dissected and separated into nice beads, charms and findings.  There were some lovely shoes – brand new – but not in my size, so I had to let them go but I’ve got a couple of people in mind who might like them.  I also nabbed a couple of accessories for myself, such as…

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…this green brooch.  It looks sort of vintage although I’m quite sure it’s not.  I just liked the green colour.  I would definitely wear this.

This cuff bracelet – a bit chunkier than what I would normally wear…I always wear my plain silver bangle that my cousin gave me for my 30th.  It never comes off.  The only time I have taken it off is when I was in hospital – and then my cousin wore it for two months to keep it safe until I was discharged.  Anyway, I liked this cuff – it will go with a lot of things I wear…

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I also picked up this brooch which is definitely not vintage and probably not something I would wear (as it features gold and I never wear gold) but I like to have a few brooches on hand for tizzying up presents when I want some glam wrapping.  This will be perfect….

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I did get a few other bits and pieces, but I won’t bore you with everything.  Let’s just say I am a magpie and leave it at that (in other words, I collected lots of stuff).  There were a couple of pairs of very expensive shoes that I did contemplate putting on Ebay (I know, I’m dreadful) but then thought it would be better if I gave them to the op-shop.  Better that a charity get some money for them than my wallet!

Anyway, I’ve done NO CRAFTING this week due to a horrible, horrible neck and equally horrible stress and depression this week.  Haven’t been eating much at all so no cooking to show you either.  I’m an epic failure at blogging this week!  Hope my round up of “what I bought” suffices for this weekend’s post.  I am going out with friends for brunch today and so I’m hoping they lift my spirits and take my mind off things.  Friends are amazing that way 🙂

Hope your weekend is fun and fabulous!  Thanks for visiting 🙂