Lifestyle: 21st Celebrations and Surprises

Many of you know I turned 21 last week, and I was majorly excited about it. I don’t tend to get that excited for birthdays, but I had lots of surprises planned for me, some days of work, and you’re only 21 once! A lot of you were keen to hear about my surprises, so here’s a pretty photo heavy post for you all!

 photo 2014-12-02222614_zps1fe6e22c.jpg photo 2014-12-03191851_zps71218afb.jpgA lovely family friend made me this beautiful bunting. It’s so utterly me, and will go perfectly in my room this year. I love it, and it’s a great permanent reminder of the weekend!

 photo 2014-11-29195916_zps94ec3809.jpgThe weekend pretty much kicked off with a romantic meal, all cooked by my boyfriend. He served up Cheese Souffles (which I love), Steak, Homemade Chips, and his special Whisky Peppercorn Sauce (we ate the leftovers by the spoonful – slightly more classy than last time when we drank from the jug!). And Chocolate Peanut Fondants for afters – just divine! Washed down with a nice bottle of red too, it was a perfect evening!

The Monday consisted of visiting grandparents and desperately shopping for a birthday dress – more on that saga to come! This was a bittersweet day for me. I was a Granddad’s girl through and through, I adored my maternal Grandad. Sadly he was diagnosed with a very fast progressing Alzheimer’s five years ago, and four years ago was admitted to emergency care after a major downturn. He hasn’t recognised me or anyone else since, yet it still felt right to go and share some of my birthday celebrations with him. Alzheimer’s is an absolute bitch of a disease, and one that doesn’t get nearly enough support or recognition.

 photo 2014-12-02202157_zpsa5b3368c.jpg photo 2014-12-02090249_zps512168d0.jpgMy actual day started with (of course!) presents! My darling dog took it upon himself to help unwrap them, and succeeded in glueing his jaws together. I was super-proud as the ‘play dead’ trick I taught him meant he kept still enough for me to pick chewed up sellotape from his teeth. Fun job for the birthday girl! I was then treated to the best brunch of a dippy egg with toast soldiers, before nipping out to get my nails done.

 photo 2014-12-02222124_zps3043e72e.jpgBalloons and more presents later, it was time to head out for a family meal. My gifts were so thoughtful – my boyfriend got me an engraved locket which is adorable, my parents bought my camera in the year but very generously got me the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, a teapot and some other goodies. My sister spent her first wage packet on an umbrella, which I’m so very thankful for. And typically it’s not rained here since! My friends know me so well, and got me some lovely personalised gifts, Reese’s peanut bells, nail polishes, and Aldi dark chocolate amongst other things. And W’s parents were far too generous, and I have the Enrapture Hot Rollers to play with soon (I couldn’t fit them in my case, so excited to have a go!).

 photo 2014-12-02212409_zpsa16796cb.jpg photo 2014-12-02212439_zpseeb28119.jpgFood is a major part of my birthdays, and I’d really struggled with where to go. It’s difficult with my tomato allergy, my sister’s severe citrus allergy, and my mum’s aversion to cheese. In the end I went for the Red Lion again, and wasn’t disappointed. Excellent allergy service, and wonderful food. Even if W’s pate did look suspicious! My pulled pork fritter was definitely all that I had imagined and more…

 photo 2014-12-02222432_zpsc625ffc2.jpg photo 2014-12-02222543_zps88be2c50.jpg photo 2014-12-02223233_zps6431ac47.jpgThe stunning cake was made by my dad, and consisted of vanilla, caramel, caramel-chocolate and chocolate layers, sandwiches with caramel, topped with chocolate and sprayed with edible shimmer. It was absolutely immense in both size and taste – thanks dad!

And now for my birthday surprise…that wasn’t a surprise as my nan managed to blurt it out the night before. Well done to everyone else for keeping it secret though – even the lady in the local bank knew what it was and not to say!

 photo 2014-12-03141306_zpsaa851c71.jpg photo 2014-12-03141317_zps5c9b3637.jpg photo 2014-12-03141242_zpsd16c28c4.jpg photo 2014-12-03125300_zps01f0e7bf.jpgWe went curling! Beckworth Emporium introduced curling slots to their Christmas ice rink, and my mum booked one up months ago. Something I’ve always wanted to do, it was so much fun. The group of us definitely got better as time went on, I fell the most (and slid on my bottom trying to get up as everyone was laughing too much to help), and my sister turned out to be the best. If ever you have the chance to go curling (which is difficult, as there’s generally only one place in the country!) I highly recommend it. My muscles didn’t agree for the first few days, but now I’m desperate to go back. It’s bought the ice bug on too; me and W are trying out ice skating just before Christmas to try and get into the festive mood!

I had such an amazing birthday – so many people put in their time and effort, and I’m just hugely grateful. It wasn’t extravagant, it wasn’t a huge party, but it was totally me, and I loved every minute. Thank you everyone!

Do you like surprises? Ever been curling?