Thursday, March 24, 2011

another year older...

Yesterday was my birthday. I was feeling pretty down that Hanzo's health failed so close to it...I didn't feel like celebrating after such a loss. But, I also didn't want to spend my birthday alone and moping around and feeling sorry for myself.
So, I used my birthday as an excuse to have some fun and silly times with my 3 best girls.
We like to dress up, it's true. Most of the time, these girls are dressed like this anyway, though.
Steph, the older of my two baby sisters, made that cute little number. The sweater was a thrift shop find, if you can believe that!! She makes a lot of super cute retro-inspired outfits.
Renee, the be-speckled cutie in the corner, made the skirt she's wearing, but of course, I am rubbish at remembering to take pictures so this is the only one i have of her (I got one shot of each of them, and none of my own outfit!! I wore my latest homemade dress that I posted a couple weeks ago.) Donna, the classy lady in blue, also made HER dress. Yes, we all wore our own handmade creations! I'm pretty sure her sweater was bought at a thrift shop, as well.
So, 'the spread'...I made plain scones which I served with blackberry jam and apricot preserves AND homemade clotted cream. I also made two types of tea sandwiches: egg salad (I DID use my own homemade mayo, though I felt the taste could've been a lot better. Perhaps I'll give it another go, but we don't even BUY mayo, so it's doubtful I'll go through the effort of trying to perfect it), and, the favorite, cucumber with chive cream cheese (I even made the cream cheese...that is, I mixed fresh chives into plain cream cheese, instead of buying ready was a last minute 'oh, this would be easier if...' moment). I also made these delicious shortbread tarts with cream filling (and little kiwi garnish). Steph brought cupcakes. White with white; chocolate with chocolate; and special request (by me) white AND chocolate with peanut butter chips and peanut butter frosting!! YUMMERS!!
After our full bellies digested a bit, we did some hottubbin'! I totally forgot to remind them to bring suits, but ever the prepared ladies, they had brought them anyway! It snowed a little while we were out there...then ended up snowing all night and is still snowing a little now...just a little spring snow, it's to be expected.
After our hot tub break, we broke out the cards and snacks. I made manhattans that turned out to be too strong for them, plus i forgot the cherries, so they weren't authentic (I don't bother with the cherry on my own time, so forgot about my guests...bad girl!). I also was having too much fun to remember to set the cheese out to soften, so we went back to the irrisistable cupcakes and coffee (actually, I went back for a second manhattan!)
When finally we couldn't wait any longer, and the brie with blackberry jam and almonds was done baking, we moved into the other room for the CHEESE PLATE!
I never realized what joy some cheese could bring to a person's day! And, typical of myself, I forgot to take a picture of the cheese spread, until after the damage had been done... The list: St. Andre (b/c I wanted to share my new favorite), Chimay and Dubliner (mostly b/c I had some left from last week), French Abbaye Ste. Mere (the one I've been wanting to try b/c I know nothing about's YUM. I'll have to try it again for a better description!), Italian Truffle Cheese (a splurge, but I was told it's a 'special occasion cheese'...), and I bought a baby swiss b/c I THOUGHT Steph said her bf only liked swiss...he ended up not coming anyway, but what she actually told me was 'he doesn't like swiss'. OOPS. (If you're keeping track, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 goofs I made for this gathering!). Oh, I also made a smoked salmon spread. I originally spread it on sesame melba rounds and put some capers on top...but it went over so well, that I just put the spread and capers for a self-serve style. At that point, all the class had gone from the party anyway...I was on my 3rd manhattan and we were all drooling over the cheese anyway!
Eventually, we stopped eating and rested and chatted a bit, and then the workers of the world had to leave. I took today off, but the sisters had to work and Donna had to get her Hubby up and ready for a meeting in the morning.
Moxie was completely zonked after having so many people around all day.
I just liked this picture...
It was a great birthday, and it was nice to celebrate and be happy and even to tell stories about Hanzo without crying. I am not a big 'family rules' kind of person, but these girls and Hubby are all I really need!
I wasn't expecting gifts (I tried to make it not about my birthday, but it's hard when it was actually my birthday)...I will post about the awesome gifts I got later!
(spell check isn't working...I apologize for my short-comings)


  1. Happy Birthday Jen!! Brie with blackberry jam sounds so good!

  2. Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful day...snow and all!!

  3. Happy Birthday Jen! Sorry I'm late.. my life has been a tornado.

    I think cheese is the perfect thing to celebrate a birthday. Don't puggers make the funniest faces. They do the HUH? face. :)

  4. I am so glad we were able to help you step outside of your mourning for a bit. The day/evening was such fun and hanging out with you is always a treat! I may be hooked on that truffle cheese, now. *~_^*