Dungannon Castle in the sunshine
The reason we're home is that it was my birthday yesterday! I turned 30 and wanted to spend my birthday with my family, so Nic and I flew home on Monday. The birthday celebrations started early, however, as we had a wee night out at the pub on Friday night to celebrate. It was The Scientist's birthday and, as Char's birthday is upcoming also we joined forces to celebrate the awesomeness of being a September baby! It was a great night out - so good in fact that I totally neglected to take any photos, despite wearing a spiffy new Bettie Page dress! I was really touched by how many of my friends came along to celebrate with me and I felt thoroughly spoiled by all of my lovely gifts as well.
We spent the rest of the weekend fairly quietly as Nic caught my flu and was feeling a bit miserable. I did a wee bit of sewing, a lot of reading and caught up with my lovely friends Lauren, Hayley and Hannah over tea and cake in Vinteas. Thankfully this time it was minus the awful loud racist girl from the last time! Lauren and Rick had spoiled me with some beautiful fabric, which is perfect for two of the patterns from Gertie's Book For Better Sewing:
So, that's my autumn sewing plans all set! Of course neither of these are exactly cold-weather suitable but that's never stopped me - I'm looking forward to getting really stuck in to them!
Poor old Nic spent all of Sunday in bed trying to rest up for the journey to Northern Ireland on Monday and thankfully he woke up on Monday feeling a lot better. It was no great hardship to leave Leamington as the weather was utterly miserable! Our flight was in the afternoon so we decided to go out for breakfast:
Lady Vintage London swing dress, pink tights from Pretty Polly and pink shoes from Topshop
I've been curious about these dresses from Lady V London ever since Gemma from Big Girls Browse blogged about them earlier this year. I've peeped at their site now and again ever since but I've never been sure if the dress would suit my body shape and the prints I liked were always sold out in my size! So I've never been completely convinced enough to buy one. But last week I saw Elizabeth from Rosalilium sporting one and, while she's a bit more petite than I am, she looked so fabulous in hers I became convinced I had to have one! Also I was feeling ill and miserable and I knew a pretty frock would cheer me up so I ordered this one, which was reduced ridiculously in the sale. It arrived really quickly, which was nice. I'm pretty happy with it, too. It's never going to be my favourite dress - the viscose creases really quickly and I have to be honest, I was slightly disappointed by the length. It hits me just above my knee - which is not exactly 'vintage' and the hem is so narrow I can't let it down. But, for the price it's a lovely little dress! It's fully lined, they have a great selection of prints and I'm happy overall with the quality and fit. I'd shop their sale again, but I probably wouldn't bother paying full price for anything.
Sadly the weather was absolutely miserable on Monday (hence the umbrella) so I had to get my tights out. I hate wearing tights.I'm glad I did, though, it was bloody cold! The trip to the airport and home was made easier with my free banana and peanut butter milkshake from Ed's (if you join their club you get a free shake on your birthday!) and before I knew it, I was at home!
I had a quiet day on my actual birthday, which was great. I had a lie-in and a lazy morning, just drinking tea and gossiping with my mum and Nic. Low-key, but just what I wanted. The whole family (apart from my brother-in-law, who couldn't make it) got together for dinner at Bengal Spice (well you know, we wanted to avoid any family quarrels over what to eat) I decided to stick with the Bettie Page birthday theme, but I did manage to have some photos this time:
Bettie Page Alika dress and Bertie Sardinia shoes (if you look closely you can see my photographer in the mirror in the background!)
This dress is so lovely! The only slight problem is it's a wee bit too big in the bodice and the bajillion hooks and eyes that keep the netting bit at the top closed keep coming open. Today I replaced a few of them with snap fasteners so I hope that will solve the problem as the dress itself is gorgeous. The meal was fantastic - the food was lovely and it was loads of fun being with my family:
Daddy enjoying poppadoms
Me and my lovely mum
My family gave me some really gorgeous gifts - although I know my dad enjoyed keeping me in suspense about what, exactly, I was going to be unwrapping! I needn't have worried though, as they gave me this adorable Thomas Sabo necklace:
They also gave me the matching earrings - telling me they thought they'd be a good match for my Lady Dragon shoes! My parents know me pretty well! It wasn't the only pretty necklace I'd been given, as Nic chose this lovely scissors pendant for me:
It really was the best way I could have spent my birthday and I felt so lucky to be surrounded by my family. Being by nature a reflective type, I've been thinking about what it means to have left my twenties behind and entered a new decade. I don't feel at all sad about getting older (at least, not yet) and, you know, my twenties were pretty darn good to me. I got a university education, met the love of my life, made some amazing friends, learned to sew, started a blog, figured out how to make pancakes. Not too shabby, right? I'm sure my 30s have all sorts of excitement in store for me, too.
I had a massive sleep-in this morning, partly because I was having an amazing dream about being Benedict Cumberbatch's girlfriend and going to some super fancy black-tie event. I know he's odd-looking but I find him very attractive. I had a great time lolling around in my pyjamas drinking coffee and reading one of my birthday gifts from The Rev - 11.22.63 by Stephen King. I was amused and pleased and irritated all at the same time to find that King has recycled plots and characters from previous novels, but so far 11.22.63 is really good fun and it's certainly ticking all of the boxes for a fun holiday read! As the sun unexpectedly came out, we went for a wee walk in town and Nic got to have a spin in a van:
We're off to Belfast tomorrow to see friends, so I'll catch up with you later in the week. But before I go, I'll leave you with two things that made me very happy this week:
I'm so glad that one of the achievements of my twenties was managing to get glasses on the dog. Doesn't she look clever?!
My parents have been decorating, and they put this lovely photo from their wedding into a frame at last. You can't quite see in the photo but my dad's suit was brown velvet with a yellow ruffled shirt. AMAZING. I love how happy they are in this photo.
Right folks. I'll catch you all later!