Sunday, 15 December 2013

Memories Are Made Of This

So as promised in my last blog here's a quick recount of how I actually spent my birthday.

Now I’ve already said how when my birthday approaches I loose all perspective & take on the behavioural tendencies of a small child as I get beyond giddy with excitement, so you can imagine my glee as I approached the BIG one!!!

To say I was overactive, unable to sleep & managing on a few hours a night in the lead up is just a small insight as to what my hubby & son had to put up with.  Add to this the fact that I had no idea as to where we were going or what was planned for my big day then I was a time bomb ticking with excitement likely to burn myself out before the birthday fuse had even been lit!!!!

Now the day before I crossed to the other side started extremely bright & early with our alarm waking us up at the most unsociable hour of 1:30 in the morning to travel to Gatwick Airport.  At this point I was still totally unaware of our final destination but was promised if I behaved myself I would be informed of where we were heading before we hit the check-in desk.  I have to say at this point the fact that both hubby & son were such excellent keepers of the secret has got me slightly concerned as they didn’t drop the slightest of clues, despite my best interrogation tactics!!!  But true to their word upon parking up I was told that we were heading for Rome baby!!! J  Somewhere we had always wanted to visit & being one of the most stylish capitals of the world not to mention a fantastic shopping destination…..oh & of course cultural capital ;-), plus all the lovely food & wine it really was the perfect destination & I couldn’t have chosen better myself.

As a treat & to wake us all up we started our trip with a visit to the golden ‘M’ for breakfast, well even for me 5 o’clock in the morning is a little too early for bubbles especially when we’d only had 3 hours sleep ;-)




Then there was time for a quick browse in departures at all the wonderful shops including Zara…..seriously if I’d realised the saving I could have made I’d have quite happily spent several hours whiling away the time & doing some serious damage but luckily for hubby our flight was beckoning & of course I’d be mad to hit the shops knowing our wonderful destination!!!

Hubby’s brownie points continued to accumulate on our arrival at our hotel which was not only lovely but ideal in it’s location.  I have to say if you are ever thinking of visiting Rome I cannot recommend our hotel highly enough as not only were we given an invitation for a free drink in their roof top bar but all the drinks in the minibar in the room where complimentary as well as the biscuits & nuts which were all replaced daily (something which went down extremely well with our teenage son!!).  

Even the receptionist immediately noticed when taking copies of our passports that the next day was my special birthday & with hubby having (unknown to me) forewarned the hotel of my birthday when making said booking we were upgraded to a junior suite…..not to shabby at all J  Needless to say the description ‘suite’ totally lived up to it’s name & we all entered the room with large smiles on our faces.

It certainly seems the Birthday Fairy had been busy as not only was the hotel perfect with the complimentary upgrade but the weather was amazing too.  Everyone we spoke to said how lucky we were as for the majority of our stay we had lovely clear bright blue skies with temperatures well into the 20’s…It couldn’t have been better if we'd have planned it.

Needless to say we spent our time sampling the wonderful Italian cuisine, wines & bubbles not to mention ice creams & seeing all the wonderful delights & sights (plus of course shops) that Rome has to offer.

As you can tell I have been truly spoilt in my celebrations & my actual birthday was just perfect too.  Of course on the actual morning I was awake long before hubby & son & desperately trying to ‘subtly’ wake them up so my birthday could get well underway.  Unbeknown to me having got up to visit the bathroom they then sprang out of bed & began blowing up balloons, scattering ‘40’ glitter decorations & hanging birthday banners so that when I returned our bed looked like this.




And as you can see from the picture of my presents they even went to the trouble of wrapping them in some wonderful ‘Bet’ inspired paper too…anyone would think I’m a leopard print addict!!! ;-)  What was wrapped in my pressies didn’t disappoint either, they both certainly know me very well (which is of course a relief!!!) & let’s just say their halos are now well & truly shining blindingly bright!!!




Having finally got dressed & on making our way to breakfast the receptionist not only recognised us from the day before (which may be something to do with hubby spending a frantic ten minutes trying to find our passports….which surprise surprise were in the one place I first suggested....his pocket!!!) & wished me happy birthday. 

Now having gone downstairs quite late after all the present unwrapping for breakfast I was slightly concerned when they dimmed the lights that we had arrived too late & were indeed going to be asked to vacate the restaurant having only just started to tuck into our feast.  However, instead of being told to hurry up I was surprised by the most gorgeous Italian fruit pastry birthday cake complete with candles & the hotel staff singing happy birthday!!!  Needless to say I needn’t have bothered applying blusher but was very touched by such a lovely gesture.  Even with our teenage son’s best endeavours we were unable to eat even half of the gorgeous cake but they kindly stored this for us to enjoy on our return to the hotel later in the day.




Now as you will know by now I love accessorising my outfits & my birthday outfit was no exception with my main accessory of the day being this rather stylish badge that I of course wore with pride. 




And the wonderful gestures didn’t end there as I was further surprised during our evening meal to be presented with a second birthday cake & a chorus of happy birthday from the wonderful restaurant we ate in on the evening.  They even gave me a beautifully wrapped pair of slippers too!!!

The surprises didn't end there either as on our return to our hotel room slightly giggly from our bubbles with dinner we found a bottle of fizz in our room together with a card from the staff at the hotel.  Of course you can imagine my delight & we were soon enjoying this wonderful fizz quicker than I could even utter the important words of ‘pop the cork’!!!  However, I almost choked on my bubbles when the porter on bringing up the remains of my birthday cake for us to enjoy lay the tray down & I saw that the tray contained a further complimentary bottle of fizz too!!!! Happy, happy days……if this is what they mean by life beginning at forty then I say bring it on…of course our son totally disowned us by the stage we were dancing around the room to music on my iPhone….& for those of you wondering no we didn’t finish the three bottles in one sitting instead we stopped someway between number two and before the end of number three & instead savoured the remains on the morning after the night before & rather decadently even sipped bubbles in the jacuzzi…..I could SO get used to starting each day like this!!!!




Needless to say we took a whole heap of photos from our wonderful trip of our stay & all the sights we visited & as promised in my last post here’s a quick round up of my outfits from our time away….of course no surprises in the fact that I didn’t wear half my clothes, instead opting to make the most of our time in this special city & stay out for dinner as opposed to going back to the hotel & changing, which would have resulted in us resting for a couple of hours & missing some of the wonderful delights of Rome.  Please excuse the poor quality of the piccies but I always find the lighting in hotel rooms particularly poor which no doubt has something to do with wanting to set the right ambience of relaxation but SERIOUSLY have you tried putting make up on in non-natural daylight?!!! I’m always worried I’m going to resemble Aunt Sally!!!!  Oh & the mirror isn't filthy it just has a distressed aged look to it!!


Outfit One






Scarf - Zara
Jumper - Zara
Jacket - Zara
Faux Leather Leggings - Zara
Shoe Boots - M&S


Outfit Two




Cap - H&M
Polo Neck - Primark
Faux Fur Stole - H&M 
Jeans - Zara
Hi-tops - Zara


Outfit Three






Snood - Sandwich Clothing
Biker Jacket - Zara
Top - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Hi-Tops - Zara


Finally a few piccies from a very special & memorable birthday that will always bring a HUGE smile to my face every time I think about our trip.  Starting with a picture of my hubby's new shirt....I think he may have caught the 'Bet' bug lol!!!










Finishing as usual with a quick round up of what I’ve been wearing these past few days.


Outfit One




Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Pearls - Zara
Jumper - Mint Velvet
Skorts - Zara
Boots - Zara


Outfit Two




Necklace - Zara
Sweatshirt - Zara
Blazer - Zara
Bracelet - J Crew
Jeans - Zara
Belt - Massimo Dutti
Boots - Zara


Outfit Three




Necklace - Monsoon
Stripped Top - Zara
Denim Shirt - Zara
Belt - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Coat - Zara
Wedge Trainers - Ash


Outfit Four




Scarf - Zara
Jumper - GAP
Combats - Zara
Boots - Zara


So have you ever been to Rome?  Perhaps it’s a city that’s on your wish list?  It really is a magical city & one that enthralled us all to the extent that we are already looking forward to when we can re-visit.  Of course no matter where the destination for me it was simply so lovely to spend time with my nearest & dearest away from the restrictions & constraints of everyday life.  I love just enjoying being together without the daily chores of work & life getting in the way & I’ve had such an amazing birthday I’ve decided that I’m going to be forty every year!!  So hubby if you’re reading this you’d better start planning next year’s ‘surprise’ 40th now!!!......just kidding but seriously you’ve only got ten years to plan the next one ;-)

So if you’re dreading your fortieth don’t after all it’s just another number that should be seen as a positive to embrace life & grab all that it has to offer.  After all if I hadn’t had my fortieth this year I would probably still be thinking of the idea of starting a blog but by embracing the big birthday & some serious pushing by the two wonderful men in my life I actually now have my own blog.  And through it have made some amazing new friends.  So THANK YOU to all of you who read & comment on my blog & follow me as without you none of this would be possible, I am still totally blown away by all the support not to mention all your lovely birthday wishes.

Back in a few days when I'll be back on the fashion trail......enjoy the rest of the weekend :-)

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26 comments:

  1. What a lovely surprise, and so much thought and effort went into it, something to remember for ever (thank goodness for your blog, the ultimate diary!!)

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    1. I've been totally spoilt Alexandra & yes you're right recording it on my blog is the ultimate reminder, although I'm sure I'm going to be remembering & thinking about this birthday for many years to come xx

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  2. Oh, Jane. It looks divine! How gorgeous are you and hubby together? You look so happy! Love the last outfit above too. Lynne xx

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    1. Aww thanks Lynne, he's definitely a keeper that's for sure ;-) xx

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  3. Wow that was a celebration and a half Jane- fancy giving my husband a few tips!! You were well and truly spoilt and quite rightly so!! Bet u can't wait to hit 50 now! Lol
    Ps. What a handsome husband and son you have!!

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    1. Thanks Trea, it was such a very special few days made more so by the luxury of spending it with my two boys & you bet the countdown to 50 has now begun lol!!! xx

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  4. Wow Jane. What a fantastic post. Your birthday sounds perfect and I agree with Trea that you have a gorgeous husband and son xxx

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    1. Ahh thanks Liz, I shall definitely be passing the compliments on to hubby & son, although our son has already said this is a one off of me being able to put a picture on him on the blog!!! xx

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  5. Good grief that chocolate cake looks absolutely delicious!!
    Glad you had a good time celebrating :) x

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    1. It was amazing Lou, although I'm still running it off now!!! xx

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  6. What a fabulous birthday & what a fantastic surprise! The pics are lovely & it's so nice to see your face :) Gorgeous boys too...the pic of you & your hubby is just lovely! Sian (Trinkets) x

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    1. Aww thanks Sian & lovely to know you 'real' name too ;-) xx

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  7. Sounds like you had a truly wonderful birthday Jane! It's looks as though you picked the perfect capsule wardrobe.....if even you didn't get to wear it all! The weather looks as though it was amazing for you, those birthday fairies were indeed smiling down on! Lovely to see your fab photos xx

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I think the birthday fairies were indeed working overtime!!! xx

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  8. One of my daughters went to Rome in August and totally fell in love with the place! Your excitement really comes through in your writing and it is wonderful to detect, especially as I was almost suicidal at turning 40 and we won't talk about now that I have headed out the other side! So glad you had a wonderful time and that hubby did so, so well with your surprise, love your pictures xxx

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    1. Ahh thanks Sharron, I swear I'm a total big kid with birthdays & Christmas...which of course I'm on the countdown to now....no prizes for guessing whose going to be awake in our house first Christmas morning lol!! xx

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  9. Gorgeous photos Jane....delighted you had a fabulous birthday!
    ~Anne xx

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    1. Thanks Anne...I'm ready to celebrate it all again now!! xx

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  10. Wow Jane ... that looks and sounds amazing. Huge kudos to the men in your life for planning it so well. Rome is my absolute favourite city in the world ... between the food, wine, lovely people, amazing history, it never fails to excite! Happy Belated Birthday

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    1. Thanks Helen & yes both hubby & son's halos are shinning extremely brightly after such a wonderful time xx

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  11. Great blog and a fantastic way to spend your 40th and you were so lucky with the weather. I've been to Rome a couple of times and luckily the last hotel we stayed in was perfectly located on the Via Flaminio but when I checked the rate for next year, its over doubled in price. Where did you stay and was it in a good location so you could walk everywhere. Love all your outfits too.

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    1. Hi yes our hotel was in a great location & we managed to walk everywhere, it's called Hotel Artemide & is situated on the Via Nazionale. They were telling us that the hotel is due a refurb & the addition of a spa next year which really shocked us as the condition of the hotel could not be faulted in anyway xx

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  12. Oh Jane how wonderful!! Gorgeous memories that will stay with you forever and yes, doesn't hubby have some work to do to top that when you're 50! xx

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    1. Thanks Avril, it was an amazing birthday, made all the more special for sharing it with my family in such a wonderful location xx

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  13. Oh how wonderful Jane! You are such a gorgeous happy family & its so lovely to see that you all went & enjoyed yourselves together! Love the 'Bet ' wrapping paper! You were super spoilt by all & that's just how it should be! Perfect packing too! Welcome to the 40s club! It rocks! <3 Ax

    http://couscousandcorkwedges.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Andrea, I'm totally loving belonging to the 40's club....hopefully this year's going to be a good one! Jane xx

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