Monday, December 11, 2017

Celebrate Good Times #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to December's Blog With Friends roundup!! This is my first month participating, but this is a regular monthly roundup. Each month, a theme is chosen, and the participating bloggers create blogs featuring the chosen theme. This month's theme was celebrate!! 

My birthday is in January, and I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I have specifically been thinking about how to celebrate it. So, when I saw this month's BWF theme, I immediately knew I needed to participate. It is slightly ironic, that I am choosing to write a post on how to celebrate your birthday, since I have never truly celebrated mine. I have done things a handful of times, but I have never really gone all out, or celebrated at any great length. I have never had a big party, or done anything epic. Most years, I really do nothing at all. 

A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to really celebrate my birthday. Each year since, I have really wanted to do something, and celebrate it big time, but I have yet to really do so. Maybe one day. This year, I am turning thirty-five. I have wanted to be thirty-five since I was about eight years old. So, I really should have gotten my ducks in a row, so I could have celebrated this year. This was my year. I am FINALLY going to be thirty-five. 

Well, you will be surprised to know, that I have zero plans for my birthday. None at all. I am going to turn thirty-five quietly, at home, doing the same things I do every day. However, I am hoping the same will not be said for when I turn forty. Yes, I have chosen my fortieth birthday to be the one that I turn into an epic birthday. I have some ideas, some crazy, and some not so crazy. Either way, I really want to celebrate forty.

In the meantime, through my brainstorming for ideas, I have come up with a few ideas, that I thought were actually really cool, and wanted to share them with you all. So, just in case you were looking for ideas, I am gifting to you all five ideas for how to celebrate a birthday.

1. This is the one that I still may try to pull of for my thirty-fifth birthday next month. I don't know about you, but I love to volunteer, and I love to help others as much as I am able. Sadly, I don't get to donate nearly as much money, as I would like to, because my budget doesn't allow for much. I give what I can, but always wish I could give more. Whenever I am able to give, it fills me with great joy. So, I was thinking a great thing to do, is to ask your friends and family to donate to any charity of their choosing, but to do so in your honor, in celebration of your birthday. You could ever choose the charity, if you really wanted to. 

Another variation could be, that they give you food or toys, and you donate those to the local food bank or shelter. You could easily host a small food drive or toy drive. Food banks need food all year long, so even if your birthday isn't near the holidays, the donation will be a blessing. Your family, friends, and yourself will be filled with joy, knowing you helped local families in need, and to me that is a perfect celebration.

2. Do you have a bucket list? I do, and most everyone I know does. Well, you could create a special bucket list, or simply choose a few items on your bucket list, and spend your birthday crossing things off the list. It could be something simple like taking a cooking class, or something major like visiting New York City. It will definitely make for a memorable experience, plus you will feel like you have accomplished something awesome. 

This is the option that I am most considering for my fortieth. I really want it to be a memorable experience. Since I really want to include others in my birthday celebration, I have contemplated how to do that with this option. You could pick a few friends to include, and come up with a group bucket list. You can each add an item or two to the list, and then work together to complete the list. You could also do individual lists, and be supportive of one another as you complete the list. The birthday girl/guy, could create the entire list, and the friends can just be super awesome, and put themselves at the birthday person's mercy, and complete their list together. 

There are tons of options for how to pull it off, and as a group, it should be easy to decide on what works best for all involved. One other variation, that I am seriously considering... Now, keep in mind... We named Gigi by pulling pieces of paper from a hat.... You could write bucket list items on pieces of paper, put them in a hat, decide on a number, and draw that many pieces of paper from the hat. The items pulled from the hat will create the bucket list that you all complete. This option has the most potential for a crazy bucket list, but the unknown element definitely adds for more fun and excitement. 

3. Is by far my least budget friendly option. It is also the option that I am least likely to ever do, unless I win the lottery. You can pick a place you want to visit, and plan a vacation there. Invite your friends to join you. You could even rent out a house, rather than stay in a hotel. Rather than a destination wedding, have a destination birthday. You  could even pick some place local, but choose an awesome resort or hotel,  and pretend you are some place far. 

There are plenty of ways to save money, while traveling, and if you plan far enough in advance, you could pull off a very affordable vacation. I strongly recommend searching on Living Social and Groupon. You may just be surprised what awesome deals they have on vacation destinations. I am a bit spoiled here in California, and live near some totally awesome vacation locations. I am constantly seeing surprisingly affordable deals on Living Social and Groupon. I am actually hoping to take advantage on a deal for Tahoe in the near future. Gigi REALLY wants to spend time in the snow, and I see deals for stays in Cabins during the winter, and have decided it would probably be an amazing experience. 

This option would be fun with your friends, or without. I think we often put off doing things we really want to do, which is probably why bucket lists have become so popular. You deserve to enjoy life, and to take advantage of the things you really want to do. So, why not pick a place you have always wanted to go, and just go there! Celebrate your birthday while you are there. Honestly, depending on where you go, you could end up with an amazing birthday feast! Just a quick side note... If any of you do this option, and you choose Italy, may I recommend a birthday cannoli, instead of birthday cake?! Eating a cannoli in Italy is on my bucket list! The older I get, the less I like sweets, but I do not think I will ever outgrow my love for a yummy cannoli!! 

4. This option that I am giving you, is one that over the last few weeks, I have really become obsessed with. I am seriously thinking I will be doing it for my next birthday (not the one coming up in January, but my thirty-sixth one coming up in 2019). It is similar to my previously presented bucket list idea, but slightly different. Rather than completing a list on your birthday, or the few days surrounding your birthday, you complete it during the entire year. Maybe pick one thing per month, or possibly make a list of items, one for each year you have been alive. Then you utilize that year to do it. Each time you complete an item, you can celebrate, and it will be like celebrating your birthday for an entire year. You can do a bunch of different things, or maybe the same thing multiple times.

I was thinking about doing one 5k race every month. If for some reason I cannot find a local 5k one month, I could simply do two the following month. That way, I will complete twelve 5k races, to celebrate the fact that I lived to be thirty-six. Another idea I had, was to pick one healthy thing, and assign it to the month, and I do that thing every day that month. Maybe January could be sit-ups. So, every day in January, I would do thirty-six (my age) sit-ups. 

You could also simply pick a goal, and work all year long on that goal. You could get your friends involved, by finding friends that would like to achieve the same goal as you, and you all work all year to complete it, or even each pick an individual goal. I was thinking I could select lose 36 pounds, and have the be my goal. The only reason I am not picking this option for this upcoming birthday, is because I really want to involve my friends, and I fear it is simply too short of notice for this birthday. If you do want to do this option, I think it is a good idea, to run the idea by your friends a bit in advance. That way you can all prepare, and be ready for a year of working towards your goal.

5. Do you like learning new things, or becoming better at something you are passionate about?! I definitely do, and one of the things that I really want to improve at, is cooking. So, I recently thought of this idea, and it is definitely something I want to do for one of my upcoming birthdays. Gigi is only four now, and I want to save this for when she is a bit older.

Gigi loves to help in the kitchen. I actually enjoy cooking, though I could definitely use some improvement. So, I had this crazy idea.... I want to get a few of my friends and their kids, to take some cooking classes with Gigi and I. I did a search, and there are several local places, that offer cooking classes, in a more relaxed manner. So, basically, you can take these classes, and not have the end goal of becoming a chef. It is great for Mommy/Daddy and me dates.

So, since my birthday is in January, I thought my friends, our kids, and myself, could start attending classes a few months in advance. Then we could create a menu, and prepare our dishes, and come together on my birthday, and have a potluck meal, containing dishes we all prepared with our kids, utilizing the skills we learn in our cooking classes. I think it would be fun and yummy.

I like this option, because it includes my friends, our kids, yummy food, and self improvement. It would not even need to be just cooking.... You could take classes on carpentry or painting or sewing. The options are endless. Depending on the class you take, would depend on how you celebrate in the end. Maybe you all create art pieces, and do an exchange at the end. Maybe you all build things, and exchange them. All sew a quilt, and do a quilt exchange. Tons of different options. The best part, will be having fun together.

Also, you could really have a lot of fun with the cooking class/big potluck feast option. You could create a menu using different countries. You could assign everyone a different country, and they will bring a dish that is popular in their assigned country. You could choose something everyone loves, and have everyone bring that dish, made their own favorite/special way. So, thinking Macaroni and Cheese, and everyone brings their own version. Do you know how many variations there are of dishes?! 

So, there you have it. Just a few ideas on how to celebrate your birthday. The possibilities are endless. I am still trying to pick something for this year. I had actually thought about doing a movie night. Picking a few of my favorite movies, having friends over, wearing our jammies/comfy clothes, and eating movie snacks. Unfortunately, our house is tiny, and it just wouldn't work. It is definitely an idea I will revisit, if we ever move into a bigger house.

For now, I am just trying to think of something cheap and simple, and at the end of the day, I realize I will probably celebrate turning thirty-five by doing absolutely nothing.

I am curious though... Our of all your birthday celebrations, which has been your favorite?! What did you do?! Tell me all about it!

Do not forget to visit these other AWESOME blogs, and see what they are sharing with your, as we all join together to CELEBRATE our latest Blog With Friends round up: 

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

Dawn of Spatulas On Parade

Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom
Project Name: Elf on the Shelf

Think in English

Lydia Richmond of Cluttered Genius

Rabia of The Lieber Family blog

Melissa Robinson of My Heartfelt Sentiments


  1. What I love most about your celebration ideas is that they include others having just as much fun as you will. The idea of making the celebration a monthly thing is something I'd never thought of, but it makes so much sense.

  2. So many great ideas, and you keep referring to "you" = other people. I challenge you to throw a fabulous birthday for yourself, Jules!!! Pick one of the ideas, there is still time! You are NOT going to do to "absolutely nothing", especially with 35 being your special birthday!

  3. Rarely have I celebrated my birthday. For 31 years I’ve focused on my kids. All grown now. So my birthday has always been on the back burner.
    My favorite in the past was my 40th. I had a big bash at our home.
    Now with my new life and hubby I’m looking forward to June 2018! I’m sure it will be a fabulous birthday.

  4. I did 35 good deeds for my 35th birthday. Most of them didn't cost that much money. I took the day off from work and went through my list. The kids got to join me for part of it. It was a blast!



Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own un...