Friday, April 22, 2016

Dancing Like We're 22

Birthdays were a big deal when I was growing up but presents weren't so to be receiving presents is quite a change indeed! On the 20th I turned 22, and it definitely equaled and possibly surpassed the celebrations when I turned 21! I spent the week flitting between work and play, and I was so blessed to have gifts and member rewards and well-wishes from so many loved ones.

Birthday week kicked off with celebratory yumcha with high school friends when we reunited to catch up because one of our friends was back in town. I usually go to Chinese restaurants with family so it was very different going with friends.

On Sunday I had a dumpling lunch at New Shanghai with family, spent a bit of time in the Mall where there was an amazing live band at the Pandora station (The O'Brien Quartet!) and we picked up the Tournesol Cake I ordered from Le Bon Choix- it has layers of brownie, baked cheesecake, milk chocolate mousse with passionfruit and chocolate-covered rice crisps and a white chocolate yellow mirror glaze! The top had the most gorgeous dark chocolate lotus with a macaron in the middle. I've tried most of the Le Bon Choix's cakes in the individual serving size but I hadn't tried this one prior to ordering the 22cm large cake and I have no regrets! The flavours are so balanced and the cake is beautifully done.

My sister took this photo - I was busy eating.

In Australia birthdays are a big deal with retailers- you can get free tonkotsu ramen, Boost juice, bubble tea, and store credit at a number of shops. On a work day I got my birthday Boost- I chose the Ginger Tonic, which contained kale, ginger, apple, grapes and coconut water and I definitely wouldn't pick it again. It reminded me of when I fry up ginger and kale to make a Chinese vegetable dish and I don't want that in a juice or smoothie. My colleagues pieced together a beautiful present that they packaged up so nicely! Each item inside made me think that these guys know me so well!

I took the day of my birthday off from work because I had a lot of overtime accumulated that I needed to clear and Peter had planned a day out for us. The morning was an event in itself because I started crying when I tore the wrapping paper off my present- he surprised me with a Sony A6000 that he had charged up the night before, popped in a high-powered high-capacity SD card and set up so that we could use it on the day. I don't know what possessed him to get it when I had been debating for months whether to buy it and ultimately decided it wasn't worth the plunge but I'm so grateful! I don't yet know how to use it properly so I'm well aware that the photos I take now will be much less skillful than when I learn to use it but we all start from somewhere, right?

We stopped by our local favourite for banh mi thits to bring along for lunch and went to get brunch at The Whisk Fine Patisserie- I got a pain au chocolat and Peter got a strawberry almond tart. They seemed eager to please because they served us our coffees in proper cups instead of the takeaway cups we requested and although we accepted them they then brought over TWO MORE coffees in takeaway cups, apologising for the mistake. I thought that was sweet of them but the highlight was doubtlessly the food. The pastries were so good and we'll definitely be back. We've made our own croissants before and they were great but we couldn't get them as finely layered and puffed up as this. It was remarkable how quickly they sold out- we arrived at 9 o'clock and there was only one strawberry almond tart left so we snagged it. There weren't many items left when we were leaving so I bought a passionfruit meringue tart to take with us.

We progressed back north-west to set out on a scenic drive up Mount Glorious and glorious it was. The drive was so winding and potentially unsafe if you're not careful but the highlight was definitely Jolly's Lookout, which offered a great view to the north-east. It was so nice to escape to scenery and take a breather. 

When we found a spot we liked we had a picnic of banh mi thit pork rolls, chilled watermelon and Rekordelig. After descending the mountains we stopped off at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre to pick up my new glasses, eat the passionfruit meringue tart, spend my kikki.K $10 birthday rewards and kill time in Dymocks.

We had a little slice of Italy for dinner and dessert! Dinner was pasta at Beccofino in Teneriffe- would recommend for the food and service (it's great for Italianophiles like me) but they don't take bookings- and we walked across the street to La Macelleria Gelato which we already love and we tried some new flavours. On the way back to the car we found the Submarines' Walk Heritage Trail and watched the CityCat ferry go by on the river.

I have quite a bit of haulage because some purchases happened to arrive or get picked up on or close to my birthday. I bought the NAK Nourishing haircare set from Hairhouse Warehouse while a Barney's Originals Asymmetric Leather Jacket I ordered from ASOS arrived in a huge parcel because they had tried not to crease it, and I picked up my Bailey Nelson Stanton glasses. They're different to what I'm used to as they've got electric blue patterned on the plastic and they're a style that I'm not accustomed to just yet but I'll give it a go. The Mimco Montage Leather Sandals and adorable kikki.K cup and saucer were birthday loot from getting member rewards, and the Rifle Paper Co Botanicals Notebooks and bookmark were a gift from my godsister. I felt so loved up and thankful at the end of the day; it was an emotionally buoyant day and I loved every bit of it. 

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