Monday, 23 November 2015

My Birthday and an announcement

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago -the 11th to be exact. And it was a big one, the big 3-0! Turning 30 has a bad reputation. I saw my 20's as a decade of learning (a LOT of learning) and I feel like as I turn 30 everything has fallen into place. I'm just happier in myself, I have my head a lot more screwed on than a few years ago and everything is great. 

As it was a 'big' birthday I wanted to stretch out my celebrations as much as possible.

I wanted to do something a little more special with my London girls. Whenever we all meet up Sam and I have to leave at around 10 to get home. I love London, it's a really special place for me and there's always something to do, needless to say there was no question as to where we'd be going.

Celebrations started a week before my birthday. Sam planned a trip to the Shard and a meal at Barbecoa so we had a nice day planned for the two of us. We decided we would get a hotel so we could spend a bit longer with everyone and not rush for our last train back to the trees and the bush. We dropped Mason to nursery in the morning and jumped on the train to Waterloo.

The first stop was Blo Blow Dry Bar in Covent Garden for me to get my hair sorted. It was much needed as it was wet and windy down our end so I looked like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards. I was given a 'hair menu' where I picked out the style I was after. They washed my hair with a voumising shampoo and conditioner and added mousse before giving my hair the much needed volume and shine it required. It was a lovely, relaxing start to the day - I love a bit of pampering! 


After a quick coffee we hopped into a cab to the Shard. I was feeling ever so glamorous at this point with my blow-dried hair before 11am!


The Shard has a lot of meaning to us. Sam and I used to work together and in our early stages of seeing each other we'd travel to work via London Bridge around the time it was being built. Every day we admired the building and commented on how it was coming along. We've sort-of always followed it's story and it's grown with us so I was really excited to finally pay it a visit! 

We took a couple of very fast lifts up to the viewing gallery and as soon as we got there I was stunned by the view. As I said I love London so I was really excited looking out at all of the landmarks. You can see for miles and miles! It's incredible. 

Sam pointed out the platforms at London Bridge station where we used to meet. We talked about how long ago that was and how far we'd come. Then he was down on now knee! He proposed! 


All of the staff were in on it, Sam had arranged that a photographer captured the moment and we were greeted with cheers and glasses champagne. I was in total shock! The ring is beautiful, he  actually had a different one made but when in a jewellers a couple of weeks before I commented at how I wasn't a fan of round diamonds -which is what was on my ring originally! He had to run down to Hatton Garden and get it sorted asap! I'm glad he did though as I've seen the original ring and we both agree this one is much nicer and a lot more 'me'  -it's so beautiful and it means so much that he designed it himself. The best bit is we can build on it over the years so over our anniversaries we're going to add bigger diamonds and change it up a bit. Building on it over time just like we saw the Shard do before our eyes! I love it when things tie-in so nicely. 


I've never been a fan of cliche proposals that have had no thought put in, something in a predictable place that millions of people have also got engaged at would just make me cringe. Nothing against the people that go for that option, I'm just more about the personalised aspect. I love how much thought Sam put in. This was looking over the city that we met, that changed my life in so many ways and made me the person I am today. He almost popped the question in Disneyland earlier this year but thought better of it, I'm really glad he waited as this means so much more.


We were encouraged to take the lift up a little further which took us outside - even though it was windy it had to be done. We were now a massive 72 floors up and I was already feeling giddy from the excitement and the champagne. We didn't stay there long -it was far too cold! But it was a wonderful experience.

After all the excitement we got a cab to our hotel overlooking St Pauls Cathedral, a perfect location for the night as it's right near One New Change which was where our restaurant for the evening was as well as the rooftop bar we were meeting the girls. He thought of everything! We also walked past where First Dates was being filmed, we asked if we could go and see Fred, the Maitre'd but they were busy filming -we did see him standing at the door though! oooh what an exciting day! 

At this point we didn't post anything on social media as we really wanted to surprise the girls when we met up that night. It was actually nice keeping it to ourselves for a little while. We're in a world where everything is shouted from the rooftops within seconds it's good to keep things a little personal for a couple of hours at least.


After relaxing, asking Sam a million questions about how he planned it all and calling our families we started to get ready for the evening. We were getting hungry so I knew we were really going to enjoy this meal. Barbecoa is Jamie Oliver's Steak restaurant and I was so excited to try out some of his amazing food. When we were greeted we were treated like royalty, they knew about the proposal too (Sam didn't miss a thing, did he?!) and we were given champagne and a table with an incredible view. I had Lamb Rump with Creamy Wild Mushrooms and Thyme with a side of Creamed Spinach. Sam had Fillet Steak with Bone marrow, Smoked B√©arnaise, Herb Salad and a side of Beef Dripping Chips. Our dessert sharer had congratulations written across it and I was so impressed with how attentive the staff were and the food was absolutely incredible. We'll definitely be going back for anniversaries in the future.

Then it was time to take the lift up to Madison to meet the  girls. I was dying to tell them the news and I was struggling to hide my left hand while we waited for everyone to arrive. Needles to say when we shared the news we were met with shrieks of excitement, everyone was so happy for us and we all had a brilliant night of pornstar martinis, prossecco selfies and laughing along with more incredible views of the city. It was absolutely perfect that he'd chosen to propose on the day we were seeing the girls, it meant a lot to be able to celebrate with them.


By this time it still wasn't even my birthday! I had been so spoilt even before the day was even here! It was all about the engagement so far really anyway. Birthday-shmurfday! 

My 'actual' birthday was a lovely day with my 2 boys. and I was given a load of lovely presents. Firstly a bunch of Dutch Lilies and Dutch Roses - my new surname is going to be dutch so that's a great little nod to that - and one thing ticked off the wedding ideas list too. 

Sam got me a new Juicy Tracksuit (for lounging about indoors, it's not 2005 I won't be walking about with a tiny dog in my bag and0 a tracksuit on) a Massage chair ('cos I'm old now), A bottle of Chanel Chance, a couple of Dresses to wear on the nights out that we had planned and a No 7 Palette - which was actually an impulse buy as I'd forgotten to pack my Naked palette for our night away! 

I met up with my bestie for a catch-up, a coffee and a muffin. Little did I know she was going to surprise me with 2 huge balloons, a caricature of the two of us on the Titanic (our favourite film that we can quote 'till the cows come home) and Trip to Belfast! The excitement was too much! I couldn't wait! I'll write more about our amazing trip soon. I spent my birthday evening feeling incredibly lucky to have such wonderful friends.

That weekend we went out with our friends and family from 'our end' for yet another night of being treated brilliantly down to the new ring on my finger! I could get used to this! Champagne, cocktails, and lots of laughter - another perfect evening! 


The last day of celebrating was with my family. We went out for an amazing roast at Harts Boatyard. More free champagne, more laughter along with loads of meat! I had a trio of roasts, -a feast including Beef, Pork and Chicken, a pig in blanket, apple and vanilla puree, crackling, pork, apricot and sage stuffing, goose fat roasted potatoes, honey roasted carrots and parsnips, greens, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I'm surprised I could move afterwards! God that roast was good! Every time I look at the pictures I get hungry!


I have to mention a couple of lovely presents. My parents bought me a gorgeous Rose Gold Bracelet engraved with the thing that means to me most 'family'.

My brothers and Girlfriends got me a Minnie Mouse Bag and Purse, a scarf, and a pair of nude heels. I don't think there's ever been a birthday where I haven't been bought some heels -people just know me so well.


I can string out my birthday even longer as my sister bought us a Spa Day which I can't wait for! She also treated me to a blog planner, and a brilliant personalised Disney book! 

So all-in-all turning 30 was pretty fantastic! I can't believe I spent that last week of my 20's basically on cloud nine and engaged to the guy I met when I was 24 and fell head-over-heels for. 

So now I'm 30 and I have a fiancé - mad. I won't be making this blog all about weddings because it's only recently that I've even thought about them being a positive thing and because of that I have no clue about what I want! I've learnt some good lessons about what not to do and every decision will have a lot of thought put in will be personal to us. Most importantly everyone involved in our wedding will be treated as well as we are. Everyone will be people we will both know and love for the rest of our married lives and it's going to be a wonderful day. But for now it's all about enjoying being engaged, and looking forward to Christmas!



  1. Wow, now that was some celebration and I want to High Five Sam, what an amazing thing to do with how he proposed and how he even thought to get a photographer too x

  2. Congratulations! Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday!