Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Festive Month: My 37th Birthday

Good day, Lovely Friends!
May is my birthday month. Last year, I made a week long celebration for Hubby's birthday in Orctober (read the post here) because I wanted to comfort him after the death of his two aunts only two weeks from each other. This year, my birthday fell on Monday, and Michael was ill, so we didn't do anything special dor the day. Still, I got a surprise at work. Once I reached my desk, there were no one to be seen, and I was wondering "Where's everybody?"; when my coworkers and team showed up from the pantry singing a cheerful "Happy birthday!" Turned out that they cooperated with Reception, so they knew exactly the moment I stepped from the parking lot to the elevator to reach my floor. Thank you! It was such a nice surprise!
I received lots and lots of birthday presents. Here were some of them. My coworkers know that I love anything Hello Kitty, so most of the birthday gifts were Hello Kittythemed. I might have turned 37, but I'm still a little girl at heart, and Hello Kitty always puts a smile on my face. Thank you! Ow, even my sister in law gave me something Hello Kitty, though she was ten years younger than me. Haha! I also got some cute accessories, beauty products, decorative pieces from my favorite store, and several high-quality leather purses that my Mom got from her Italy trip to Milan. I am so blessed!
Unlike last year, I didn't invite my team to lunch this time (read the post of last year's birthday week here), because Michael was ill. Everyday during my birthday week, I went home to check on him during lunch time, and I also left the office at five o-clock on the dot, so there was no way I could spare some time for birthday lunch or dinner with my team. That's a pity, but Michael holds a higher priority than any birthday celebration!
May is also the birthday month of my mom in law, as well as Hubby's younger brother's girlfriend, Maria. Hubby had an idea to combine all the three birthdays together and invited his family for early dinner and watch the sunset at Bandar Jakarta. Bandar Jakarta is a seaside restaurant by the Jakarta Bay that serves fresh seafood and it's one of our favorite place (read the post about watching sunset by the sea at Bandar Jakarta here). Michael has never seen the beach so we want to give him the experience. Unfortunately, Hubby's sister could not make it on the supposed Saturday, so we canceled the event and instead, Hubby proposed that we have sort of afternoon tea on Sunday by inviting them to our home to celebrate. Have you ever had combined birthday party like this when there are more than one birthday girl? How do you like it? Do you plan to do it again?
For the afternoon tea party, we ordered  a picnic roll with ham, cheese and egg as savory treat. My mom in law will bring Gateau Africa - an old fashioned chocolate cream cake, which is the only cake that I like - as the sweet treat. We also provide salty and chocolate kind of crackers for nibblings, as well as fried vermicelli - replacing noodles that signifies long life - so we got plenty to eat!
This is the neighborhood place where we ordered picnic roll. I'm not a fan of cake nor sweet treats - unless it's chocolate -, but I couldn't resist taking pictures of all these gorgeous cakes. They are real work of arts! And what's better, you can eat this work of art. Haha!


I got this cart as a parcel gift container several years ago, and over the years it has been serving us well. It was used as a babywalker, toy selling cart toy or train by my son, and several times used as a drink and snack station in numerous events as shown here. I saw an exact piece just liket his, sold at Informa - a big furniture chain store - for thirty bucks, and here it is came to my home for absolutely free!
This is the delicious picnic roll. I also ordered this for my birthday last year, because it's super delicious! Unfortunately, I was so busy being hostess as well as looking out for Michael that I didn't snap any pictures of the lovely birthday cake nor the happy festivities! *sigh* The event lasted from 2 pm to 5 pm and everybody had such a good time. Again, I have been entertaining people at my home since I was in college in a small apartment, and I have learned that number one rule for being a hostess is no stress. Entertaining needs not to be perfect. Guests would feel awkward being fussed, or if the hostess looked stressed out. They don't care that the table setting is not perfect, they won't mind the mismatched diningware, or that the room is not 100% spick and span. The most important thing is that the hostess enjoys herself, because she sets the whole atmosphere and mood for the party. As long as the hostess can chill and relax and enjoy the party, everyone will enjoy the party.
I got this festive holiday diningware, consist of two plates and one bowl, for a fraction of the price last year during after Christmas sale. Why two plates and one bowl? Because they were the only ones left, everybody had bought the rest of them! I decided to get them because they are festive yet not Christmasy, hence I can use them all year round for birthdays, auspicious Chinese New Year, Christmas, Valentine's Day, or any other events deemed appropriate for celebrating. In less than a year, they have proven to be good investment, out of the kitchen cupboard multiple times to cheer up our table setting!

I don't drink, but Hubby is a wine lover who appreciate great wine, while his family - well, he likes to joke that they would drink any alcoholic beverages and would comment it's either "Good" or "Very good". They are not heavy drinker or anything, mind you, they just drink on special events. So Hubby got three bottles of white wine to chill before the party. Why white wine? Well, because we were supposed to eat seafood at a seaside restaurant, before the change of plan!
For my birthday present, Hubby wanted to buy me a new Coach bag we saw at the boutique that I really like, but to his surprise, I refused. I told him that I have had enough purses already, especially since Mom just got me some new ones from Milan. What I want this year is not stuff, but experience. I am a Broadway shows and opera lover, I used to watch Broadway shows during my years living in the US. For years, Hubby had promised to take me to watch Broadway show at the Esplanade Theater in Singapore, because in the past, Broadway never came to Indonesia. The closest they had ever been to was Singapore. The promise never materialized because there have been no shows that I cared to watch just yet.
To my greatest delight, Ciputra - a very wealthy businessman and art lover - had built a theater with international standard here in Jakarta, and he had successfully invited Broadway New York to finally visit and perform in Indonesia during their world tour! No need to go to Singapore! And the show is Beauty and The Beast! AND I had been longing to watch Beauty and The Beast on stage live performance! So, naturally I told Hubby that for my birthday, all I wanted was two tickets - or even one ticket, if he didn't care to go with me - for that particular show.
He did get me two, and we went to watch the show together last weekend. The performance was great and magical and I had such a good time. It was a maginificent birthday present. Thank you, Hubby!

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