Saturday, 22 February 2014

Because I'm Happy



It's been a lovely week for lots of reasons, but mainly my birthday. I love birthdays! I get the feeling you're not supposed to say that when you're a grown up but it's true, I do. The day started with two overexcited children opening my presents for me while I peeled my eyelids open. John made me a cup of tea. We decided to go to Skipton for the day, a pretty Yorkshire market town on the edge of the Dales about an hour from Leeds. The weather was mixed, to put it mildly. Sunny, showers, sunny, showers. We had a pub lunch then went to the castle and got only a little wet. John had made me a cake! We came home and they all sung happy birthday to me, our little party of four, then John cooked me tarragon chicken and we drank white wine when the kids were in bed. Honestly, I felt spoiled and loved. So far thirty six is good.

Birthday bounty; pretty gifts in pretty colours, making me think of spring.


John did good; I have him a list of websites and online shops I liked and off he went. He gave me the beautiful anchor print, yellow tree-printed cushion cover and necklace (which will match my mustard Orla Kiely shoes when I wear them both to my sister's wedding in a few weeks - hurrah!).

Other special and really lovely presents which made me grin from ear to ear include this pyrex dish. I admired it in a second hand shop in Bosham over Christmas while we were staying with my parents. My mum went back to buy it, a lovely surprise.


 And my parents also gave me this beautiful, beautiful basket. I dropped heavy hints, I'll be honest. I've had my eye on this for ages. The thing is, I didn't realise quite how big it was! Duh. Still, it's perfect for yarn. And logs, when we get a wood burning stove one day...


My lovely sisters gave me this bowl. Love, love, love. I think I'll keep eggs in it, the colour of the shells will look great with the white and mint.


And there were surprises that came through the post too. Jennifer of Thistlebear sent me this handmade pot holder. Isn't it perfectly lovely? Jennifer and I got to know each other through blogging and now email weekly, chatting away and exchanging news, opinions and ideas. She has become a firm friend. (Even though we've never met.) Thank you Jennifer.



Here's a picture of me hiding behind my phone, taking a photo of a hat my friend Debora made me. I like a hat. Thank you Debora!


But, hands down, award for the best present goes to Bella for this felt-pen drawing of the four of us. She even drew me in a striped top.


The other reason I'm happy is that we finally, finally, have confirmation of a new job for John. He starts in a two weeks. This has been simmering away in the background since November, as he went from first interview to second to third, and jumped through a few hoops too. Oh, they dragged it out. He found out he'd been successful in January but we only just got the details and dates all sorted this week. It's been a long and draining process, but it's behind us now. This will a great opportunity for him with a lot of potential to move onwards and upwards and he is so, so ready to go back to work, chomping at the bit in fact. So this half term has been extra nice as we've felt we can finally stop our strict budgeting. Don't get me wrong, we're not going mad, but it's been wonderful - especially with the wet weather - to take the kids to the cinema, to go to museums and castles, to go out for lunch, without feeling guilty and counting every penny. To just relax.

Today we went to the library and baked fairy cakes.


We put the new sprinkles to good use.



A work of art, I'm sure you'll agree.







75 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday looks like you got some wonderful gift and had a lovely half term week. Congratulation to John on his new job. Have a great weekend
    Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  2. awww! Happy Birthday! I love Birthdays too...especially mine!!! hehehehe! So glad you got spoilt by your lovely family x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday it all looks wonderful from homemade cards to chocolate cake, to gorgeous pyrex dishes and beautiful pictures. Glad you had a fabulous belly button day x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy Birthday Gillian! Sounds like you had a fabulous day and what lovely presents :) Your daughter's drawing is gorgeous too. Caroline xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awww Happy Birthday - lots of lovely goodies and what sounds like a great day!!! Congrats to your hubby too xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Certainly looks like a wonderful and very much loved by your family birthday Gillian x your presents really are very much YOU And yes, Bella's drawing is bestest for sure xxxx Happy 36th year lovely xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. A wonderful time!! Happy Birthday to you Gillian, I am so glad that you have had such a good birthday with lots of lovely gifts, time with family and good news. I have had you and John in my thoughts hoping that you would post about a new job for him, but I didn't like to ask, so I am so pleased to hear such good news for you all. I hope that it goes really well for him and that he enjoys himself. Oh, and just a little note, you may now find that you become addicted to pyrex!! I have! xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Birthday! You received some lovely gifts and it sounds like you had a great week. Great news about John and the job :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy birthday, Gillian! Good to see you enjoyed your day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy birthday. I love the cards from your children. x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh a happy week for sure. So pleased for John. Great news. Happy belated returns. X

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy Happy Birthday Gillian. Looks like you have had a wonderful week and been spoilt. Your husband has done well with the gift giving. I spy Orla Kiely too! I feel the same about Birthdays as I do Christmas, lots of excitement and not just reserved for the children. Elaina xo

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I'll wish you Happy Birthday again, as I wasn't sure what day it was. It was certainly a lovely day out from the sound of it.
    Oh, to go to Skipton again, I envy you. I just love it there, the Gateway to the Dales, my favourite place.
    Loved your "pink" presents and so glad John has a job again. I've wondered a couple of times if he was working or not. Enjoy Sunday and take care.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday! I'm so glad you've had a wonderful time-best wishes to you from myself and Myf all the way from Wales xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy birthday, my friend. I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday celebration. I'm glad you like my gift too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congratulations to John and a very happy birthday to you, great news :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy birthday!! Love all your presents, especially the pyrex dish. I've seen that basket in John Lewis. It is perfect for yarn. Lucky you!
    Marion x

    ReplyDelete
  18. My warmest wishes for your BDay. You have received lovely presents! And glad to read for your hubby... Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just perfect. So glad you gad such a special day x

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a lovely expression of everyone's kind thoughts and love for you! Happy birthday x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lovely to hear about your birthday and good news. Enjoy x

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, so lovely. How can you top a day like that. Happy Birthday and many more.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey Gillian,

    A post bursting with happy!! So chuffed to hear about John's new job. That's brilliant. And happy birthday (again). It's totally acceptable to enjoy your own birthday. And may I say that 36 is a great age - I remember it like it was nearly 8 years ago...Love all your gifts. I have two of them in my kitchen!! You are a girl of great taste. I love Bella's picture of you all. All in all a top day :0
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Birthday Gillian, and congratulations to John on getting a job. What lovely birthday presents you had - I really love the pyrex and the bowl as well, beautiful. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a lovely happy happy birthday you have had and fab news about your changing fortunes. Your presents have all been picked with lots of love and thought - Bella's picture is extra specially fab.
    Although you have made me feel very old - you have just hit 36 years and I'm about to hit 56 next week. Oh no sounds like a slippery slope to 60. Best birthday wishes Sue xxx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sending you very best wishes Gillian and so happy you had such a beautiful day! Your gorgeous gifts prove the love that surrounds you in so many ways! Also wishing John success and happiness in his new workplace - wonderful news for your wonderful family! Hugs, Joy xo

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful post, full of beautiful things & beautiful moments! So pleased for your hubby, I wish him the best. Happy birthday, you deserve everything and more x

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a lovely birthday you've had and lots of hope and relief for the future with the new job. I can see why you are happy as this is a post genuinely celebrating love, happiness, family and friends. Happy birthday to you and may your joy continue through out the year.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a lovely birthday you had, Gillian! You are a dear friend, and I am so happy I have been able to connect with you through your blog and Instagram. I love all of your gifts, but Bella's drawing is just the best! Congratulations to John, and all of your family with the new job... very exciting news. I was just thinking about you yesterday, and wondering if John was having any luck with a new position. Your fairy cakes look really yummy, and pretty, too!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy Birthday, Gillian! I'm sure 36 is great (I'm turning 35 tomorrow, though I can't even imagine that I'm soo old compared to how I feel myself - 20 at most :-))))).
    It's great to hear about the new job, wish your husband good luck!
    I love reading your posts about your family - you are always so cozy, friendly, caring and loving. Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Happy Birthday! I can't believe I'm old enough to think 36 seems old compared to how *I* feel - I turned 41 on the 8th. Forty-one. So cliche, but seriously - just where does the time go? I am so happy for your family, and your husband's new job! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy Birthday, Gillian. Lots of lovely presents. Best news about your husband's new job. Lot's of reasons to be happy x

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a lovely collection of birthday presents, and it looks like a great day out too. I must confess I fell in love with Skipton when I came to Yarndale last year. I loved the town and people. So very friendly. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. And great news for John and all of you about his job, although I'm guessing you'll miss having him around so much. X

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a wonderful birthday present! Congrats to John. I know how stressful it is to have a hubbie out of work (in a former married life!). So this should be a great year! Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  35. What wonderful presents! Happy Birthday :) It sounds like you have good reason to be happy, a great week for your family, hope John enjoys being back at work and his new job, now you can put the worries behind you many congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Such a lovely, lovely post Gillian, and a very Happy Birthday. So many lovely present, totally chosen just for you and I love the family portrait so much. A true treasure to be kept forever. Hooray for new jobs too, how lovely to have so many positives to look forward to.
    Have a lovely Sunday,
    Kate x
    PS: I shall be humming 'because I'm happy' all day today ! x

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happy birthday, Gillian!! Sounds like a lovely day. Such great news about John's new job - best wishes to him for every success!

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a lovely week you've had. Lots of lovely birthday fun and treats ... I love your new pyrex and bowl ... best wishes to John for his new job ... Bee xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Happiest Post ever! Love it all. Happy Birthday (again), sounds like you all had a wonderful week. Love all your gifts too, you were spoilt and deservedly so :-) And fantastic news about John's new job. I remember clearly that same feeling of relief when Daniel finally got a job after 3 months of looking! Mel x

    ReplyDelete
  40. lovely, lovely things. The nicest presents are these sort of things - things you wouldn't really buy yourself as they are a bit of an extravagance. Lovely pic by your girl - the best.
    Happy birthday!
    x

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy Birthday! It was my birthday this week as well though I'm 11 years ahead of you! :( So glad to see that your partner has a new job. I've been following your blog for a while and having been in a similar position in the past ourselves, could really empathise - hope it works out really well. Helen

    ReplyDelete
  42. Many happy returns and what lovely gifts. Really love Bella's picture, very talented. Good to hear of the job news, the relief is unbelievable isn't it and taking the brakes off a little feels amazing! Enjoy yourselves x

    ReplyDelete
  43. Happy happy birthday to you! And thanks for the lovely post full of gorgeous things xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Happy Birthday, it looks like you were properly adored.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy birthday to you and happy new job to John. Let the celebrations continue!

    ReplyDelete
  46. What a wonderful birthday - fit for a princess with castles, fairy cakes, and shining knight that brought her great gifts! Love the pink Pyrex dish and pink basket, though the only place in my house for pink is in my little babe's room.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Just catching up with your amazing space, I'm so glad you had such a great birthday....some fabulous pressies there Gillian! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  48. Happy belated birthday dear Gillian! so many treats .... and i agree Bella's picture is a truly wonderful work of art, what a magical keepsake.
    Also congratulations to John, you can all B r e a t h e now, well done that man!
    love Jooles x x x

    ReplyDelete
  49. What a great birthday you've had! And your gifts... that pyrex dish, the basket (I LOVE the basket), the necklace *drool* And a huge congrats to John on his new job! It must be such a relief. By the way, I love birthdays too :-) x

    ReplyDelete
  50. Happy Birthday Gillian! You are a lucky woman indeed. I have never met you of course but I think you are great and your family is great, too. So very thoughtful. I think it is absolutely right to be exited about your own Birthday. I have seen a very similar pot holder on Jennifer's blog, I particularly like the yellow dotted fabric. All your presents would be perfect choices for myself. I like the little orange pot most, is it a sugar bowl?
    Congratulations to John for having a new job! He must be over the moon. And I am sure you are, too. Enjoy your little well deserved luxuries. Cx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello - the orange pot is a caddy which I'm using to store coffee in. You could use it for sugar though. And that pot holder was a gift from Jennifer - she posted it to me, lovely girl! x

      Delete
  51. Happy birthday lovely lady. I am so happy that you all enjoyed a lovely day out. I love all your pretty gifts and I can see that Orla Kiely storage jar(s) are slowly growing! I also love the gorgeous gift that Bella made for you, how very special and I must say it is brilliant too! Congrats to John for getting the job, I hope this is the start of something great to come for you all. It certainly seems like a great way to start a new year in life! Here is to good health and happiness xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  52. What lovely gifts and a talented daughter - such a special gift. Have only recently discovered your blog but send best wishes for John and his new job.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Happy birthday Gillian and what gorgeous gifts you received - I have serious pyrex envy! Also congratulations to John on his new job. x

    ReplyDelete
  54. Such a lovely post...I can almost feel your happiness too whilst reading this and it is so lovely. Fantastic news about John and his job. And wishing you a very Happy Birthday, the gifts you have received are all gorgeous.
    Marianne x

    ReplyDelete
  55. Happy,happy birthday to you! What a lovely family you have that made your birthday so special! Congrats to John on his new position!
    I love reading your blog and it inspires me -you are very creative!
    KnittingKittens

    ReplyDelete
  56. I came across your blog via a comment you left on another blog. It's so bright and cheery here. :)
    And what a birthday--so many amazing gifts and love!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Happy birthday! I love the picture Bella drew for you :) Fantastic news about John's job. It must be such a weight off your minds now. I would love one of those fairy cakes. x

    ReplyDelete
  58. Happy birthday Gillian, sounds like you've had a lovely time. You've had some fab gifts, but the best are always the ones made by the children and Bella's family portrait is a real treasure. I hope the new job goes well, what a lovely start to the year for you and your family. Have a good week.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  59. So glad you had a lovely Birthday. Wonderful news on the job front too. I hope your husband will really enjoy it. Your posts are always so wonderful to read.

    Have a super week

    Vanessa x

    ReplyDelete
  60. I know how you feel, I'm feeling happy just reading your post! Hapy birthday and congrats on John's job, that's such great news!!
    I love your enormous chocolate cake and Bella's drawings and all those amazing presents wow, I think dropping heavy hints is the way to go :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Happy Birthday...some lovely gifts there, my favourite is definitely the drawing....too cute. I'm finally found you on Instagram so I'll be following there too x

    ReplyDelete
  62. What a lovely way to spend a birthday, no wonder you feel happy!
    I don't think I've been to Skipton since I was about 13… I didn't even know there was a castle any more LOL Time for a trip to Yorkshire, really it is ;)

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love the homemade cards and picture from your children. They are simply the best!
    I have a box of cards and bits and bobs my granddaughters have made me over the years and I just love them.
    It really sounds as if your half term week has been perfect. Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love Skipton! It's a spring type of place - we always used to go as children at Easter. I also love your birthday presents: the anchor print, the pink basket, all of it... I'm glad you had such a nice time.
    And congratulations on the job news too. I know how it feels to be on a tight budget and even though we're not extravagant people, it would be nice to have a few extra little treats now and again.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  65. Congratulations to your husband and a belated Happy Birthday. What a lovely collection of presents and thoughtful gifts. Sarah xo

    ReplyDelete
  66. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a lovely day and I can see what a lucky girl you were!

    S x

    ReplyDelete
  67. Very happy belated birthday wishes Gillian! Congrats on the new job for john too! and what a illicit lady you are to receive those scrummy pressies. Especially love the anchor print!

    ReplyDelete
  68. congrats to John on the new job and Happy Belated Birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Happy Birthday! And congratulations to John. Happy news indeed :)

    And what a fab haul of birthday presents ... lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Happy Birthday. Your cake looks yummy. The picture by Bella is lovely. Sounds like a very nice week and great news on the job front.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Belated birthday wishes and congratulations on John's new job. I love all your beautiful presents. I have the same pyrex dish (but without the lid which broke unfortunately) given to me by my grandmother many years ago. I also used to have a dish designed to keep food warm. The dish sat on a metal frame with two tealight candles underneath. I used it so much until it broke.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Happy Birthday Pet! I've got my first ART EXHIBITION tonight so I'll be thinking of you! and special day indeed. x

    ReplyDelete
  73. A post full of good and happy things. A very belated happy birthday to you and many congrats to your husband on the job news.
    All those cakes look delish. And what a terrific present from Bella, one to treasure.
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
  74. Wow , lots of great things happening. Hope you had a wonderful birthday Gillian. I hope you celebrate it all year long :) 🎂🎂🎂

    ReplyDelete

Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.