Happy New Year!

It may not be January 1st on the calender, but it’s a new year for me ~  I had a birthday this past week!  😀

Each year when my birthday rolls around I tend to focus more inward and take a personal inventory of myself and my life, much like people do around New Year’s.  It’s usually a good and healthy thing for me, contemplating my purpose, setting goals etc., but this year I tried to stay clear of doing that because I’ve been struggling a bit as it is to keep my spirits up lately and I felt that it would be counter productive for me at the moment.  So instead, I chose to not think too hard about anything, to not make any judgements or major decisions about my life, and to just be in the moment and be thankful for another new year to live and breathe.

I didn’t make any big plans for doing much celebrating either, but the day ended up being quite festive for me, and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share a little bit about it…

The day started out pretty much “business as usual” for me, and when I woke up I headed out to the patio for my coffee and quiet time.

My mom came out and snapped a picture of me sitting out there.


It wasn’t exactly “business as usual” though because there usually isn’t a Happy Birthday banner hanging there on the fence.   😉


I was still nursing my first cup of coffee when my daughter woke up and came out to join me.  It was really cute because she was so excited and anxious for me to open the birthday gift she got for me…


This adorable little bunny is filled with LAVENDER!  Ahhh… my favorite scent in all the world!  ♥   My daughter knows me so well!   I not only had this bunny on my lap for this picture, but I also have it on my lap right now as I type this, so you gotta know that I’m in total bliss right now!  Worries?  What worries?  Anxiety?  Psh, what’s that?  All is well and right in the universe when I’m breathing in the heavenly scent of lavenderrrrr…


And my lavender bunny went everywhere with me on my birthday…

One of those places was the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, a wonderful place where I used to bring my daughter when she was little.  I’ve been wanting to go back there for some time now, so I thought why not go there on my birthday?  Heck, spending time being out in nature on my birthday totally works for me!

I loved this sign they have over the entrance…


There are several trails that wind in and around within, and everywhere you look, life is happening.  It’s beautiful!


Here are just a few of the flowers that are in bloom there at the moment…









There are different plants doing different things here depending on what time of the year it is, and one thing I kept noticing was that a lot of the plants had these big pods developing on them.  Well, when I went in for a closer look I saw this little guy!  Just chillin’ hanging out in the shade, on a pod.


Omygosh so cute!  I named him Pod.   ♥


We had seen another frog earlier on our walk taking a nap under the shade of a leaf, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of him because my daughter was insisting I hurry up so she could try and catch it.   She was so excited, just like a little kid again.  I love that about her ~ the wonder of nature and the delight in the little creatures is not lost on her.  Hmm… I don’t know where she gets that from…  😉

Well, that first little frog had escaped her grasp and she was so disappointed (hey, that’s what she gets for rushing me when I’m trying to take a picture), but she was able to catch and hold Pod for a brief moment and I snapped this photo of him cupped in her hands…


Pod peed on her haha!


Aside from pods (be they frogs or plants) and all of the lovely wildflowers blooming everywhere, there are also beautiful forested areas there…



As well as various berry producing plants for the birds.  It is a bird sanctuary after all.


I saw and heard lots of birds, but I didn’t catch any photos of them.  But that was alright, I was happy just being there.


Oh, and I loved how this tree was standing alone in a clearing on one of the hills…



And I love this girl who was there to enjoy it all with me…




When we left there we went to my favorite coffee shop where I got a free drink for my birthday, and we almost had a car accident on the way.  Crazy, careless drivers!  I love people… until they get behind the wheel of a car, then they become maniacs!  Seriously, they are so rude, always distracted and in a hurry.  I am amazed and thankful everyday when I arrive at my various destinations safely after driving anywhere.  Gosh, I can’t even imagine how it would have affected my day to have had it include getting into a wreck, and I am thankful I didn’t get to find out…

When we got back home, the mail had come and I was delighted to have received a special gift in the mail from a dear friend of mine who lives in another state…


It’s a little canister that contains a terrarium and seeds for growing a tree!  What a wonderful gift for the nature lover and closet tree hugger that I am ~ she too knows me so well!   Thank you again Mindi, I love you, my precious soul sister!  ♥


Also in the mail was a random check from a profit sharing account from a utility company that I haven’t done business with for 3 years.  It wasn’t for a big amount, but hey, unexpected money is always fun!  And it paid for a good portion of the bill for my birthday lunch!

Oh!  And speaking of unexpected money…  a few days before my birthday I found a $100 bill tucked away in a box!  I had went looking for something else and BAM there’s a hundred bucks!  Whee so exciting!  That’s not exactly something that happens everyday!  I can’t even tell you how absolutely tickled I was to find it!  I used it to have my hair done.  That might seem like a frivolous thing, but I already had an appointment scheduled to get my hair done and so it was a huge blessing not to have to pay for it!

My daughter took this random photo of me at some point during my birthday festivities.  I didn’t even know she was taking it and I’m not sure what she was going for here, but hey, it’s kinda a nice shot of my hair…  😉

DSCN8470 (2)aI had some lighter colored foils added in this time as well as more purple, and I really love it!


As I mentioned, we went out for a birthday lunch, and we went to Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant.  I had their new Asiago Garlic Alfredo with Cavatappi pasta, it was soooooo delicious and I savored every bite!  I enjoyed it so much in fact, that believe I was even mmm-ing out loud and closing my eyes while I was eating it.  Hey, sometimes having pasta is a sensual experience for me, what can I say?  Haha!

When we got back home we had a henna party out on the patio.  I have been wanting to experiment and play with a henna kit I bought for myself a while back.  Every year when I go to the Renaissance Festival (which is coming up soon!) I always get a henna tattoo at one of their booths, and one year after going to Renfest I bought myself a little henna kit online and thought I’d see if I could do it on myself.

Well, we didn’t end up using my kit after all.  Instead we called a gal that we had seen doing henna at the local farmer’s market a few weeks ago and asked if she could come over and do henna on us.  It was loads of fun!  Even my 76 year old mom went along with it and got one!

Just look at how festive…


Each one was so unique and pretty, but I like mine the best…  😀


I got one on my ankle too, but I don’t have a picture of it.  And you know, this just made me think all the more about taking out my little henna kit and trying my hand at it.  Then I can have one any time I want.  🙂


If you’re ever in the Twin Cities Metro area, give Michelle at Let’s Henna a call.  Here’s the link to her Facebook page…  Let’s Henna.  Thank you again Michelle, it was so fun to have you here!  Happy henna-ing!  😀

And I also want to say thanks again to my best friend and big sister for paying for our little henna party for my birthday.  I love you so much Forest, you really are the best, and I am so very blessed to have you in my life!  ♥

And speaking of my sis…  she also gave me a lovely set of sheets for my birthday.  She knows how much I love my bed and is always giving me cozy things for it.


I actually picked these out myself one day while we were out shopping together and they are so unbelievably soft, I can’t wait to put them on my bed!  Geez, I’m just noticing that I sort of look like I’m advertising these sheets here the way I’m holding them.  What a dork.  Well, they are really nice sheets.   😉


My sis also brought over a ton of festive balloons, and then she and my daughter decorated the patio for my birthday.  It was very fitting that we had my little birthday celebration out there as it is right next to my garden, and you all know that is my “happy place.”


She also made things extra festive with the bottle of red wine she gave me…

100_3979 (2)_pp

And she is taking to me the Renaissance Festival!  Yes, she spoils me a bit, but that’s what big sisters do.  Well, mine does!   😉


But before I give her too much praise, I have to give her a bit of a hard time too, she fails at some things sometimes, like… taking photos.  She snapped this picture of me showing the lovely Apatite gem earrings my mom gave me, but she cut off my nose…


And the photo is all bright and over exposed and blurry so you can’t even see the earrings.  (They are a gorgeous blue-green color, by the way!)


She also took a blurry picture of me while they were singing happy birthday.  And she hadn’t even had any of the wine.  😉


Maybe like people get sympathy pains, she was having a sympathy drunk?  Haha!  In all honesty, the wine actually came after the cake and the gifts, and my sis doesn’t even drink, but it’s fun to tease her!  😉


All joking aside… I genuinely appreciate her, and my mom and my daughter for all they did in helping make my birthday special.   I am so fortunate and thankful to have them in my life and I love them all so very much!  ♥

The evening weather was unseasonably cool for an August summer night, so I ended my day with a lovely, festive little fire on the patio.  It was very cozy and relaxing, and there weren’t any mosquitoes!

My daughter snapped this picture of the mesmerizing flames…



Oh and I don’t want to forget to show this one… my kitty was crying out the window for me most of the day….


Poor sweet thing.  She loves me.  And gosh do I ever love her!   ♥   My daughter tried to bring her outside with us at one point, but she was too fidgety and frightened out there.  The little party pooper…


Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and for letting me share a bit about my birthday with you.

In all, I think I’ve started my new year out very nicely, hopefully that’s an indication of a wonderful, Happy New Year ahead for me.  And even though it may not be your birthday or actual New Year’s on the calender… each day is a new beginning and another chance to start afresh, so Happy New Day to you!

Be well, be happy, and be blessed my friends…

30 responses to “Happy New Year!

  1. Happy Birthday! Looks like a whole lotta fun!


  2. Happy Belated Birthday! 😀 I’m glad you had an enjoyable day. My mum also had a birthday earlier this week (8/14).


  3. Happy Birthday, dear! Glad it was a good one…what’s the date of your birthday? I just had one myself…July 29th 🙂


  4. Happy birthday Julie, and you look just so beautiful in your photos! I love your patio and your HAIR!!! Not frivolous AT ALL!! I’m glad you had a lovely day. Lots of love all year round.


    • Thanks so much Yaz! And for saying I look beautiful in the photos, I really appreciate that! 😀 Sometimes I’m a bit reluctant adding photos of myself to my posts (for various reasons), but this one was about my birthday and most of the pictures from the day were of me, so it really couldn’t be avoided this time. 😉 I too love my patio and my hair! And thanks for saying it wasn’t frivolous to spend that $100 on it. 🙂 Hope all is well with you, Yaz, and I look forward to reading more about your Camino journey. Lots of love to you too! ♥


  5. Happy happy new year, Julie…and many more!!!!! :D!


  6. I’m glad you had a lovely birthday Jewels… I hope you’re well…x


  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful day! Happy Birthday and Year! 🙂


  8. Belated birthday wishes, Julie!! What a fantastic day you had 😀


  9. I really enjoyed reading about your birthday, Julie. (Happy belated Birthday!) You made me laugh and you made me admire what a lovely family you have. Pod and your kitty are so cute! 🙂

    Blessings ~ Wendy


    • Thanks so much, Wendy, I really appreciate that! 🙂 I’m glad it made you laugh. I am so thankful for my little family, right down to my precious kitty! ♥ Have wonderful day!


  10. I’m a little late here, but, beautiful post Julie – lovely to see you having such a great day. Such lovely photos. Those sheets took my fancy too!! Love to you xx


    • Thanks so much Ruth, it was a really nice day. 🙂 Oh gosh those sheets… not only pretty, but I put them on my bed and they’re wonderful to sleep on, so luxurious and soft, I absolutely love them! Love to you too Ruth, hope you’re doing well over there.x


  11. Happy belated birthday! You sound like you have a very happy life. I was wondering what to do on my birthday apart from stuffing my face and a trip to a wildlife centre sounds a great idea. By the way, maybe you could introduce your cat slowly to the outdoors when it is just you and her around and if you put some food down out there that should work!


    • Thanks so much Laura! Haha I stuffed my face as well with that delicious pasta! Going to the nature center was a very nice thing to do on my birthday, I enjoyed it so much! Sounds like you have a birthday coming up yourself then? Hope it’s a happy one for you! 🙂 Thanks for the tip, but my cats have no claws, so they are indoor cats. From time to time I do bring my other cat Sugar outside onto the patio, but I have her on a leash. She hates her leash, but tolerates it, as she seems to really enjoy being outside and has learned that wearing it is a part of the routine. Baby on the other hand (the one in the photo), is too fat for the leash and seems quite unsettled about being outside, so she just complains at me out the window. She’s my cuddle bug and would have me in bed all day if she had her way about it. 😉


  12. I loved reading all about your birthday. It looks like it was a very special one, spent with your family! And I love the henna tattoos! I’ve never had one. I bought a kit once but I never used it. Someday I’ll have to get one.


    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read it! It was a very nice birthday, I love my little my family! ❤
      I may take out my henna kit and play around with it again. Or maybe… I'll just call the henna lady and see if she's available again. 😉


  13. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings | Ramblings From Jewels

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