Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Birthday Fun: Bringing In My 28th Year

March 18th was by 28th birthday. Birthdays can be lots of fun, but I'm perhaps an unusual case and don't typically get very excited in the run up to my birthdays. I think this is something that changed when my dad died before my 17th birthday. It's a little bit the same with Christmas and other celebrations, too. That being said, I had organised a few things to bring in my 28th year. Here's how I celebrated.

Saturday I had a spa day at a Bannatyne Spa in Manchester with my girls. We started the morning with a relaxing back neck and shoulder massage followed by a scalp massage. Afterwards, we moved around between the pool, sauna and spa pool catching up on each other's news. The spa experience was nice, although there was no steam room or poolside loungers and the wet area was small and became crowded very quickly. We followed up our spa with a Nandos and vino. Two mains were around 10 minutes later than the rest arriving to us and we received a complimentary chocolate cheesecake each, served with it's own little jug of cream, as an apology. You're forgiven, Nando's!
On Sunday, my wonderful husband took me to a local Thai restaurant, Chaba Chaba. This wasn't the original plan. Before our rascal cat broke his tail, we were due to go to a spa hotel in Wales. Plans had to be reviewed now that we're manually emptying his bladder several times a day while we give him time to see if he can recover it for himself. Anyway, we live ten minutes away, at most, from a road full of restaurants from Greek and Chinese, to Mexican. We've not really made good use of any of these restaurants and so it was good to use my birthday as an excuse to try and find a new favourite. The menu was great and food was fresh and flavoursome. After a starter, main and dessert, I was very satisfied! I was spoilt for choice so I'm sure we'll go back and work our way through their menu.
After waking up on my birthday morning at 7.45am to express Jacques' bladder (!), I opened cards and gifts from my husband, family and friends. My friend had made me some beautiful cushions, too; the crafty lady. A good haul for 9am in the morning. I felt pretty darn spoilt.
Armed with a birthday pecan plait and massive mug of hot chocolate, we snuggled on the sofa watching The Graduate. We drove over to the Wirral and had a cold and wet walk along the Wirral Coastal Path and tried to take phone pictures of a beautiful rainbow. We had plans with my mum and brother later that night but fancied a light lunch so we stopped off at Hickory's Smokehouse in Caldy. Boy oh boy! This place is AMAZING. The restaurant had a fun, Americana feel, staff were super friendly, and we were served with water and complimentary popcorn on arrival. It was already looking good, and then I ordered a 'Big Pig Sandwich' (smoked pulled pork) and a 'Texas Cream Soda' cocktail: maraschino cherries, orange, and lemon, shaken with vanilla vodka and sweet cherry liqueur, finished with Goose Island Orange Cream Soda. It was gorgeous! Top marks for Hickory's. We've already planned a return visit with friends who live over 'that side of the water', as we say in Liverpool.
We raced home and had to find our appetites to make and eat a paella meal with my mum and brother and his girlfriend. More gifts, including a birthday balloon, a shopping day with my mum, Bumble and Bumble hair mask, Lily Flame 'Fairy Dust' candle, Mac goodies, musical earmuffs and lots of other girly treats. My mum's an awesome gift buyer! Just when I thought I couldn't eat any more, we polished off my homemade crème brûlée and I was presented with a One Direction birthday cake. Oh yes! M had taken care to place the candles directly into One D's members' lovely little eyes, making them look a tad demonic once the candles were out!

A wonderful birthday: quality time with favourite people, tasty food and lovely gifts. So, here we go; lets see what this, my 28th year, might bring! Make a wish...

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