Monday, May 16, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: So This Is Forty

I went to town celebrating my 40th birthday.

The day of, I decided to get my hair colored. Normally I do a roots-cover-the-gray thing and then a chestnut-y rinse, but this time I said,

"Today I am forty. And I want something fun. Maybe highlights. In a color. It doesn't have to be subtle."

So I got bright red highlights that were hard to accurately capture (and harder to hang on to, they have faded quite aggressively in two short weeks, I think she could go brighter next time):

Hard to see, but they were quite bright at first.
Then I went home, and walked in the door to this:

Bryce had set up two Italian cheeses, a fancy Parmesan and some kind of Brie-like washed rind thing, some Sicilian blood orange compote, and my favorite champagne. We had some of that while he cooked up dinner.

Which looked like this:

Roast Duck with Blueberry Port Sauce, cheesy potato gratin, and sauteed Swiss chard. 
Oh, yum. Who needs a restaurant outing when you have Bryce? That duck is my favorite, and it's marinated in fresh blood orange juice, rubbed in a cinnamon spice mixture, seared so the skin is super crispy, baked to get all tender, then doused in a yummy blueberry port reduction. Which doesn't appear so reduced because Bryce forgot to half the recipe, but whatever. It was delicious on everything, which is saying something because I hate for my food to touch.

Also, we had this red-dot wine from the cellar, which was AMAZING:

It was so very delicious. This was a regular bottle, but the champagne was a split, in case you are keeping track and wondering how I crawled into school the next morning.  The red-dot means one that was to lay down in the cellar for a while, a special occasion wine as opposed to green dots or purple dots which can be taken out anytime.
Bryce had started the day by leaving a present on the dining room table for me with a morning card (we have this tradition of silly/funny morning cards and then sappy/emotional evening cards for birthdays). It was, of course, books -- bought at a small independent bookshop in the town where he works. Which was lovely on two counts.

In the evening there were more prizes, although not a ton because my big prize was my Mexican-themed party (because my birthday is Cinco de Mayo, of course!). But these were my favorites:

These socks are AWESOME
I also got a pair of socks with a fox on them that say "CHA CHA CHA" by the toes.

Then, this past Saturday was the party. It was a blast. Bryce had our friends from our Friday-night-Mexican restaurant come cater and bartend, and there were margaritas and sangria and Bryce had a stock of beer and wine too. The food was amazing -- Street Tacos (smoked pork in a citrus sauce with black bean puree and guacamole), chips and dips (salsa! gaucamole! chinitos!), fried plantains (my favorite!) and then we had cupcakes. AND IT WAS ALL GLUTEN FREE. Love it when I can eat everything and not worry.

We also had a four-piece Latin guitar band with four guitars and a percussionist. That was amazing. It was a really, really good time:

Here I am with my margarita, my Fiesta necklace, my hot pepper dealy-boppers, and my beautiful orchid corsage that managed to cover up the horrible gauze bandage I was sporting thanks to a rather severe burn inflicted by a Cuisinart Griddler (I was flipping chicken with my left hand and hit both grill plates...effectively branding my arm with an equals sign). 
There were PINATAS! This was the first and I managed to decapitate it, blindfolded. It was filled with not only candy, but tissue-wrapped little bottles of booze. Classy adult pinata! The other one was a chili pepper and it had Sharpies and colorful pens, probably meant for the whole bunch of us who are teachers.  
I ended the night happy, sweaty from a lot of dancing even though I was the only one at times, and feeling good. 
I had wanted more dancing, but it just wasn't to be. Although I did end up dancing with everyone who was cleaning up and going down low, having someone say "wow, I can't do that anymore," which made me cocky so I ended up going lower, falling flat on my ass, and yelling "THIS IS FORTY!" while possibly exposing granny panties. I am a classy lady when out on the town.

It was a beautiful way to ring in the new decade. I felt loved, and celebrated, and like life is awesome, right now. Not once did I feel melancholy about the big 4-0. Bryce did an amazing job putting together a party that made me feel nothing but happiness and joy. He really outdid himself. I am a lucky, lucky, forty-year-old lady.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. What a beautiful birthday! All that amazing food has my mouth watering (seriously, it looks and sounds to die for). So glad you did something special for yourself (that color looks great on you!) and celebrated this milestone birthday properly. May your 40s bring more happiness and many new adventures.

  2. Such a fun post! Happy Happy Birthday Jess!! What an amazing day you had. I am SO jealous that Bryce can cook like that! Seriously, that's so awesome! I absolutely love your hair. Sadly, even if she goes brighter, the red is still going to fade. It is the color that fades the fastest and there isn't really any way to make it keep longer. It is so frustrating, I know! I spent years trying to make my dark brown hair stay red for more than a couple weeks at a time.
    Let me just tell you...your birthday party sounds super fun. You got piñatas!!!!! That is so inspired! The whole entire thing is just mind-blowingly fantastic! You are one seriously fabulous and lucky lady! Cheers to you!

  3. This looks like SO much fun! The hair color looks wonderful, the food delicious, and the socks are awesome. The pinatas sound like a blast as well - good ideas for filling them. Happy, happy birthday! Glad that you had such a lovely dinner (hats off to Bryce - it looks amazing) and party.

  4. Love the red in your hair and it sounds like a seriously fun birthday! Happy belated!

  5. Happy happy birthday! love reading about your much fun!

  6. 40 looks really really good on you. Way to bring in a new decade. Happy birthday!

  7. That sounds like an amazing birthday! Congrats! Yes, go brighter red with your hair next time, but you look fab!

  8. Happy Birthday! Those socks are AWESOME!!

  9. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing all of the details. Looks like it was a very special day and a lot of fun. Cute hair coloring, too!

  10. You look wonderful and your hair looks fabulous! You guys know how to party. :) Happy birthday!

  11. What a fun birthday! Love the new hairstyle :)