The entire experience was a bit of a lesson in irony... Whereas usually, when you say, "I'm turning so-and-so years old," there is an abundance of people responding positively to that information, on my birthday, when I informed people that it was 23 I was turning, those I encountered openly responded with, "Ohmygod, it totally sucks, right?" So, I guess I've hit that point: the pinnacle of birthday excitement has passed... I am officially over the hill.
Despite my old age, my Mom really wanted to make sure I celebrated my birthday with good cheer, especially because she knew how much I was missing spending it with my sorority sisters. So, she made sure I had plenty of time in Seattle to have dinner with some of my best friends, as well as my sister, Delaney, and my birthday itself was spent hitting up a local theater's costume cleanout sale, my favorite specialty grocery store, and my local library.
And, of course, there were presents, presents galore! Naturally, there was an abundance of printed material, and so, I figured I would share my bounty with you, in a sort of mini-haul:
First off, I got two magazines, which are among some of my favorites: Frankie, an Aussie import that encompasses art, photography, fashion, food, travel, vintage, and more - and best of all, totally fits my personal aesthetic - and Jamie, the gorgeously photographed and deliciously inviting publication of super-Brit Jamie Oliver, aka, my eternal middle school #ManCrushMonday.
I also received four books: two memoirs, one work of historical nonfiction, and one poetry collection.
- The first, I bought for myself: Bloom, by Estee Lalonde, is a recently published memoir from one of my favorite lifestyle YouTubers.
- The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson, is a historical account of one of the deadliest diseases to have ever hit London, the cholera epidemic!
- Sylvia Plath's iconic poetry collection, Ariel. What excites me about this particular edition is that it has been arranged into a facsimile of what her original manuscript would have looked like.
- and, courtesy of my Dad's knowledge of my favorite subjects, The Ride Delegate: Memoir of a Walt Disney World VIP Tour Guide, by Annie Salisbury. It's small-press-published, and that sort of self-made quality is what excites me the most... it means it's probably going to be really juicy!
Of course, I got plenty of non-book presents, too, however, there were a few more that were kind-of book-related, so I figured those deserved a mention, too!
I've been on a total handbrush-lettering kick recently, and my parents are feeding the obsession with two packs of Dual Brush Pens from Tombow, as well as a Calligraphy Starter Kit from one of my favorite pen companies, Staedtler. They also got me a sort of instruction manual on the matter, which I'm definitely looking forward to marking up in the near future!
And remember that awesome Austen movie Callie and I saw over the summer? It's on DVD! Love and Friendship was a super welcome gift, though it had originally made my younger brother a little nervous: apparently, listing the words "Love and Friendship" on your bday list - even if it's underlined, like a title is supposed to be - can raise some concern for your personal well-being.
I also got a gorgeous Julep nail polish inspired by my Zodiac sign - Libra, duh! - and to wrap it all up, I got the background piece for both of these displays: the "Banned Books" scarf from Out of Print Clothing! My family got a kick out of reading between the blacked-out lines, to find some of their favorite titles among the print.
Overall, my birthday was super-fun, despite the age that I was turning itself being distinctly less-than. I am so blessed and grateful to be surrounded by the amazing friends and family that I have, who can fill up a weekend with my absolutely favorite things.
And thank you to you all, too, for sticking by me for yet another trip around the sun! Hopefully, 23 won't be as bad as everyone's chalking it up to be.
What's your favorite way to celebrate a birthday? What's the best book you've ever been given as a present? Let me know, in the comments below!