In the five years I have been blogging I have never done one of these posts. I'm not really sure why. It could be because there's a slight taboo surrounding them, or perhaps because I've never been sure how to go about putting one together. But I was so overwhelmed with lovely and thoughtful birthday presents this year that I wanted to put together a little blog post to celebrate my love for them, and for the ones who gave them to me. These are just a select few gifts, and I am in no way showing off. I just wanted to ensure I captured as many of the special touches that made my birthday amazing this years as I can.
Books have always been a big part of me as a person. I did both a BA and MA in Creative Writing, so whether it's reading, writing or collecting, stories and storytelling are very important to me. Which was why I was incredibly touched to receive two lovely books for my birthday from two very special friends. The first is a stunning Penguin Classics edition of Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen that Sarah gave me. Scattered with pretty illustrations and containing an extensive collection of stories, this is a book that not only I will enjoy, but one that I can also read to Baby Ginger.
The second is an Old Bear story by Jane Hissey. Happy Birthday Old Bear was brought out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book series. What made this gift extra special was the really touching message that my friend wrote in the front for me. This was an entirely apt present for me because of the age I turned, and also a thoughtful gift because again, we can put this in the baby's collection. Ryan actually read this to my bump the other evening, so we are both making sure this little boy appreciates his stories from a very early age.
Food And Drink
Normally, whenever a birthday comes along, there are at least two bottles of fizz chilling in the fridge ready for me. Unable to partake in my usual debauchery this year, my friends and family were very clever and thoughtful and I received several bottles of non-alcoholic options to enjoy. Both I had never tried, and am saving for true times of appreciation so that I can savour them fully. I also received a beautiful personalised champagne flute which will come in very handy when I'm ready to pop a cork and enjoy fizz properly again.
Not technically a birthday present (I got these at Christmas) but still worthy of a mention because my birthday is so close to the festive season are the nine bottles of Chocomel my parents got me. For those of you who may be unaware, Chocomel is a chocolate milk drink that is only available in certain European countries and I am obsessed with it. This gift was the ultimate surprise, especially because one of my biggest cravings during my pregnancy has been chocolate milk.
...It's just a shame I am now on my final carton. Like it was ever going to last a long time anyway!
I really don't wear that much jewellery any more. My earring holes have long closed over, and my necklace collection has been severely pruned back. The pieces I have nowadays are pretty, minimal, and very precious to me. For my 30th, I received two very beautiful new addition to my collection. The first is a locket from Warren James which I can't wait to fill with photos of Ryan and the baby. The second is a pearl hanging on a beautiful set of mixed metal chains from Honora Collection. Both pieces will go with so much in my wardrobe, and will be treasured so much.
Taking time out for myself and having a good pamper session is something that I really do love. I have this fear of being smelly, so any excuse to treat myself by layering on some amazing-smelling lotion or spritzing myself in my favourite fragrance always makes me feel better about myself.
But with a list of ingredients that I should steer clear from when it comes to skincare, I am now incredibly careful with what I put on my skin. Which is why receiving the Mum To Be Ultimate Retreat gift set from Sanctuary was just so lovely. Containing an array of different products, everything is midwife approved, luxurious, and incredibly useful. It also came at the right time because I had just run out of my bump cream!
Ryan was very secretive about his gift this year. Having no idea what I wanted. I also had no idea what to expect. He utterly spoiled me on the day anyway, and to be honest, just having him put up with all my shit is a gift enough at the moment, but he outdid himself when he presented me with a Valentina Assoluto gift set. The Valentina Pink is one of my favourite scents (I wore it on my wedding day) and the fragrance range I think is just beautiful. The Pink was limited edition, so I save what I have for very special occasions, and now having a brand new scent to try out means I will always smell beautiful, even when I look like absolute crap!
I am always worried that I am a difficult person to shop for for gifts, but I felt so overwhelmed by all the thoughtful and special presents I received for my birthday. From everything in this post to the mat leave appropriate DVDs, the bath and body products, cards and even just being able to leave work early, it was a 30th celebration beyond anything I could have ever hoped for,