7 Unforgettable Ways To Celebrate Your Birthday

Once a year, our birthday comes round. Once a year, we get the chance to celebrate this occasion maybe by doing something wild, or something low-key.

Next month is my birthday. I’ve never done much for my birthdays and this year will be no different. Part of me simply doesn’t like a big fuss. A big part of me is simply introverted and really does not like being the centre of attention.

Birthdays are a time to have a good time and maybe some sweet treats.

Birthdays are a time to have a good time and maybe some sweet treats.

When we celebrate our birthdays, we treat ourselves to me-time. A time where we do something we want to do and really just have a good time. There are so many ways to have fun on your birthday and make each one a one to remember:

1. Classroom or office (surprise) celebration

Big chances are our birthday will be on a day where we’re at school or work. Where we work and study takes up a sizable chunk of our lives; our classmates and colleagues are usually mild-mannered acquaintances. Many years ago at quite a few corporate offices where I’ve worked in Australia, whenever there was a birthday coming up my colleagues eagerly arranged special afternoon teas with cake and junk food. Come to think of it, it was a good excuse to get away from work.

If you’ve got great friends at school, they might hype up your birthday with a party in class. My 16th birthday was spent at school in Singapore: during English class (my favourite subject), the teacher got the class to sing Happy Birthday to me. I didn’t know how to react to the song – as I’ve asked, what do you do when people sing Happy Birthday to you? I felt awkward and gaped at my class. Then one of my classmates and best friend handed me a cup full of goodies. I poured out the contents. A rat the size of a matchbox lept out at me – I shouted in horror. The class laughed.

It was fake. I still have that rat today.

2. Getaway trip

Go on a road trip. Climb a tree. Climb a mountain. Ride a rollercoaster. Zip down a zip line. Bungee jump. That is, celebrate your birthday by being adventurous and go on a once in a lifetime experience: go the distance, sweating and screaming at the top of your lungs in exhilaration or fear until you piss your pants and gear up for another round of washing.

3. Go home

Spend your birthday by going home to where you grew up or to the place that speaks to you. Go home to a home-cooked meal or a place where you got up to no good and got away with it. To a place where the heart is.

Last year, the day before my birthday, my parents offered to bring chicken stir fry over to my place. I hate turning down free food and so they came over. After dinner, my parents left – and right before walking out the door, they put a cake on the table.

Birthdays can be a time of indulgment.

Birthdays can be a time of indulgment.

4. Grown-up partying

Hit the clubs. Hit the dance floor and move that body. Paint the town read all night until the sun comes up. Have a round of shots or two or more until you actually hit the floor. This will probably never be me because I’m not a fan of clubbing or drinking and I like to remember moments lived.

5. Do something at home

Nothing like lazing around at home and do the relaxing things that you’ve always wanted to do. Read. Watch TV. Laze about in bed and YouTube and Netflix. Stay indoors if you don’t have much in your wallet. As fellow blogger Christy Birmingham wrote about birthdays and money, if you’re stressed with money, build a fort at home and create a movie theatre experience. Have colouring book parties. Organise ‘throwback parties’ in the backyard involving wheelbarrow races, three-legged race and egg and spoon race.

6.Get silly (with food)

Challenge yourself to eat one hundred chilli chicken wings in one go. Or fifty packets of potato chips. Go on a dumpling-eating binge. Have an-all-you-can-eat cake challenge.

7. Stop

Have a day for yourself with no plans, no commitments. Take the day off school or work. Wake up whenever, do whatever, go wherever. Spontaneously call up a bunch of friends or venture out on your own and see where that leads you. Go where the heart wants to be and where the heart is, reminding yourself you deserve to be happy. Of if you are a lazy, often-sleep-deprived girl like me, waking up at noon, having a quick lunch and going back to sleep is not a bad idea.

*  *  *

With each birthday that comes along, there’s the notion of cake, the Happy Birthday song, candles and wishingAccording to history, the first birthday cake originated in Germany in the Middle Ages. The Greeks made round cakes to honour Atermis, goddess of the moon; the lit candles represent a glowing moon and smoke from candles carried prayers to the heavens above. The Egyptians and Pharaohs also arguably started the party, whichever part of history you want to believe.

There are so many things we can do on our birthday...like any other day.

There are so many things we can do on our birthday…like any other day.

Why celebrate your birthday? Is it one year older, one year wiser? With each birthday comes a milestone – another year gone by, another year of history behind us. We are history and we are the stories of our lives as much as the stories of someone else’s lives and this world’s. With each birthday, it’s a chance to celebrate milestones of where we’ve been and where we are right now. Celebrate the fun that is in the now.

Sometimes your birthday and the days before and after it can be the most exhausting time of the year, and also the most social. More often than not, those around you will have different ideas in mind on celebrating your birthday. You might feel like you’re celebrating your birthday not once, but many times over with different people at different places. It can be hard saying ‘no’ to such well-intentioned people who literally go out of their way to make time for you.

Celebrate each day as it is, celebrate the moments.

Celebrate each day as it is, celebrate the moments.

And so, a birthday is not only about celebration and not only about receiving gifts but also the thought behind it all. Even if it’s a Facebook message from someone you haven’t spoken to in years – while Facebook reminded them it’s your birthday, they took the effort to write you a few words. I do respond to all of them on my Facebook wall but however, can never tell if the well-wishers are just being polite.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

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262 thoughts on “7 Unforgettable Ways To Celebrate Your Birthday

  1. Great photos. Mouth-watering photos. Photos that made me wish I hadn’t read your blog hungry.

    This year, I celebrated my birthday by getting the stomach flu. Andy got me this amazing cake and it sat in the fridge for days while I lay on my yoga mat next to the toilet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning me, you’re such a kind friend – next time I will beat you to it haha I love our special dumpling dates! I wish I could’ve seen the rat, that would’ve surprised me too haha. I hope you have a very special birthday this year doing whatever makes you feel most comfortable and happy. I really like how you listed all the different ways to celebrate. The getaway trip is most appealing for me and how I’ve spent most of my birthdays. This year I leave for Europe exactly a week after my birthday so that’s how I’m going to celebrate! Much love to you, we will see each other soon. Happy Birthday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad to have met you my friend! You are the best 😍 Nah, it will be a low key day this year and I don’t have anything planned. Over the last few months I’ve been exploring and it has left me tired, so probably not on my birthday, haha.

      Cannot wait to catch up with you, and you can see my rat and new Rafiki doll 😍 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mabel,
    Happy Birthday in advance, I hope your special day would full of celebrations, cakes and your favorite food with your loved ones. I can relate so much to this post…in fact every one would be transported into their delightful memories that we all cherish about birthdays 🙂
    The best way to celebrate is with friends but I don’t like the tradition of smearing of cake on the face…whosoever invented this must be a sadist!! I mean come on, we wear our best dress and want to look most charming but why do people insist on putting cake all over the face? And why it seems so amusing to everyone is beyond my understanding!
    The gift of your best friend in the class made me smile…but so scary! That is the age to laugh at other’s expense!
    Some of my best birthdays were celebrated by my dearest hubby who always took a day off to be with me all day (and I too have never gone to work on my birthday,) the real way to show how much he cares for me. We always made special plans for each other’s birthday and also the birthdays of our children were celebrated with great excitement and all those little activities you have mentioned were organised to keep the children busy. Now we take delight in the celebrations of our grandkids’ birthdays…they are so little yet memories we make with them are captured in pics. 🙂
    I have written why birthdays are special moments:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that cake smearing tradition! Like you, I wonder who came up with it and why anyone would waste a cake like that. You can wash cake off your face (it can be a hassle…) but to waste something that tastes good and took hours to make is crazy to me.

      I hope you haven’t been a victim of cake smearing, Balroop. It sounds like a wild kind of celebration and so not you. Your husband is very kind to share and celebrate your birthday with you. He sounds like the kind who can grant you any wish you desire 🙂

      That is such a thoughtful post on birthdays, and it makes sense to celebrate kids’ birthdays – for the memories, and for learning how to love and get along. Thank you so much for reading and supporting, my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, I can relate to the feeling of not wanting to make a big fuss about it. When I was younger, I loved having birthday parties with lots of friends, but as each year goes by, I enjoy just having a nice dinner and maybe some cake after!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy Birthday next week Mabel! I hope you have a wonderful day no matter how you choose to spend it. As to how I might celebrate it’s a firm #2 for me. Something adventurous sounds perfect to me. A lovely piece of cake following would be nice too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy birthday and many more happy returns in advance of the great day next week. Your variety listing of birthday celebrations have a familiar ring as it reminded me of some of the ways my birthdays were celebrated in my younger years. Presently the celebration is limited to a quiet vegetarian lunch prepared by my wife with a dessert called payasam. Enjoy your day. I wish I was around to plaster your face with pastry…! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the well wishes, Raj. I don’t think I will be doing much on that day, probably just sitting around and I’ve eaten enough junk food over the last month 😀 Now you’ve got me thinking to how you celebrated your birthdays in your younger years… 🤔😂


  7. Feliz cumpleanos Mabel:) Happy Birthday!!! My birthday was earlier this month. I try not to make big deal out of it. It just another regular day for me. Am not a boring type of guy at. Not because I don’t want to celebrate my birthday in style, just don’t have the money. If I had that I would be somewhere else for each year of my birthdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m going to wish you a happy birthday a week before, Mabel! Those are some fantastic visuals of birthday cakes. Hope you achieve all that you want!
    I generally don’t do anything for my birthday. Birthdays, for me, is time for quiet reflection or dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hadn’t forgotten it’s your birthday next week! I was thinking that it was coming up soon, along with a few other friends on the same day.

    Like you, I don’t like being the centre of attention and stopped doing anything special since probably around age 20, beyond the occasional lunch or dinner or whatever. I don’t even like cake!

    1. I never had a surprise birthday for myself, but I do remember helping in one for an elderly neighbour – I think it was his 80th. We invited him to what he thought was a bonsai exhibition – he was very much the green-thumb with an immaculately kept garden – the look of shock and surprise on his face which eventually turned to humble joy and happiness was wonderful and priceless.

    2. While in the UK, I recall my birthday being during or just after the long school summer break, as summer is in the middle of the year for the northern hemisphere. But other than that, I don’t recall going anywhere special for a birthday. Here, my birthday is in the spring, so it’s that nice time of year as it’s warming up, the sky looks more blue, the days are getting longer, but without the burning heat of the summer.

    3. A bit impractical for me to return to the UK just for that, but I would like to go again some time soon, probably in the first half of the year when it’s late spring or early summer. I remember you saying how your family treats you on your birthday. Such a lovely thing they do for you.

    4. ‘Paint the town…’ red? My friends are more into this kind of thing. Maybe not ‘clubbing’ as such, but earlier in the year we had a grown-up laser-tag session all afternoon, which was very fun and very good exercise! Which is not to say dancing and drinking are bad in themselves, but drinking to the point of passing out… I don’t really count that as fun.

    5. One of my favourite birthday parties was a 21st for a church friend where he gathered around friends and family for a big house board game night. Everyone joined and left the various games running around the house as they wished and it was my first go at the classic game of ‘Risk’ – I even won it, thanks to a lucky draw with my objective/mission card. Low cost, minimal effort, but big big fun!

    6. Heh, I eat a large pack of chips all by myself if I’m not careful. x.x I saw the cake photos again – never has so much effort been made into photographing so little a cake. (:

    7. I can see some people needing to this. Our western society is overly busy, often over-worked. A good option for a number of people, I’m sure.

    For myself, I often feel sad on the approach to my birthday. It’s on a Friday later this year. I’m not ashamed of my age – I’ll be 36 then – but I do feel disappointed at how far away I am from where I hoped I would be, and how far behind I am from my peers. But then the day passes, and I am back to normal. I am also learning that I am exactly where I am life because that’s where God has put me, and so to be content and grateful for that. Each year is a year closer to joining him, but it’s also one year less to spend with those around me.

    So certainly, make the most of your birthday, however you see fit! I wish you well for yours, and hope your parents find another way to surprise you this year. 😉

    Regards, and thanks again for sharing.


    • Quite a few of my friends’ birthdays fall around this time of the year too. Birthday season, if you want to call it that. Maybe you haven’t had nice cake yet, lol.

      1. It was very kind of you to help out and surprise that elderly man’s 80th. The smallest gesture can sometimes mean the world to someone. Often you never really expect genuine, pure kindness to come your way, even on your birthday.

      2. It sounded like you enjoyed your time in the UK, and your birthday must have been a different experience over there, being away from Australia or wherever you call home (I say that because you have a very interesting background 😉 ). At least weather-wise and probably food too.

      3. Here’s to hoping you can make a trip back to the UK at some point. I take it that you prefer it during the warmer months and the winters over there can be much more colder than what we experience here in Australia. The UK is someplace I hope to visit at some point, ideally coinciding around the summer months and hoping to catch the French Open and Wimbledeon (tennis) while I’m there.

      4. Laser tag is always fun. Never too old for that. Bowling is also something that quite a few of my friends like to do as well. I do have friends who drink up until the point they can barely move later in the night and the next day…I never get that either.

      5. Board game parties are always entertaining. Sitting around, playing a game and also talking and reflecting about life in general.

      6. There were some cake photos that didn’t make the cut for the blog last year because I thought they were downright awful. That pavlova shot was taken more than two years ago, and I just rediscovered it on my harddrive last week. Nice surprise.

      7. Sleeping and resting is always, always an option. Sometimes the best option to spend a day off and taking it easy is the best way to celebrate, appreciate.

      It is great that you are comfortable with your age, and it looks like you are on a different continuum than those around you 🙂 With your travels and your interests, it sounds like you have come very far and have a wealth of knowledge. I reckon there will always be some kind of sentimental feeling around birthdays and any celebratory day in general, like New Year’s and Christmas – these are some occasions when we tend to think back to last year and compare what we did. Of course it’s always nice to look back but at the same time we have to remember nothing really is predictable and every day is a day; everything that happened happened for a reason, for an experience 🙂 Really, my birthday this year will be very low-key. Wishing you well Simon and thanks always for the support 🙂


      • Nine months ago would put us in the middle of winter (for southern hemisphere). I mean it in the nicest way possible that maybe it was a time when parents wanted to be close together in the cold nights. (:

        And no, I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I’m weird like that. Honestly, I really struggle with getting through any sort of cake, be it for birthdays or other occasion.

        1. Well, it was easy for us, I think it was his family who organised it. My parents have only ever had that one house since we moved to Sydney in 1990, so we’d known them for a long time plus we went to church together so we knew them through that as well. Yes, I think he was genuinely humbled and pleased by all the attention we gave him on that day. The couple has since passed away in the last few years – husband first in late 2000s, wife a few years later – but I still have fond memories of them.

        2. Well, you mentioned going on a holiday, which made me think of summer time and my birthday was after the summer in the UK, which reminded me of that. Having the school and calendar year align so nicely for all of my time here, I find it hard to remember what it was like to have the long summer break in the middle of the year rather than at the end. And don’t worry, I’ve been here nearly three-quarters of my life, Australia is ‘home’ for me, at least for now. 😉

        3. Yes – while winter in London certainly isn’t anywhere near as cold as it gets in Canada, I would prefer a visit to the UK.in the warmer months. Since moving I’ve been back only twice: Christmas 2001 (just after S11), and April 2015 – a very nice sunny spring (who says London is always gloomy?). Winters generally aren’t as uncomfortable as it can be here, though, as central heating is commonplace and houses are well-insulated. In Sydney, at least, houses tend to be built for summer rather than winter and consequently leak heat like a sieve in the winter months.

        Ah, another tennis fan, huh? Strangely, I enjoy playing it, but not so much with watching.

        4. Funnily enough, I experienced paintball long before I had my first go at laser-tag. But I saw an awful lot of kids go before we had our turn for this party. It’s an independently-run place and with the flash-flooding and hail-storm on that particular afternoon there was a bit of leakage causing delays. In fact, as I was heading there I was blinded by a heavy wave of water for a second or two – plus I had my first terrifying experience with aquaplaning. No accident, thankfully, but it was pretty scary.

        We often went ten-pin bowling for recreational sport in our last years at high school. One of my friends was on a roll one week, scoring something like 240s or 250s. Never again! Best I ever managed was something like 180. Lawn bowls isn’t so bad either – another friend did that for a birthday party a couple of years ago.

        6. You seem like quite the prolific photographer – do you show off you work outside of this blog? Yeah, going through old photos can revive a lot of good memories.

        7. I’m a night owl but wake early for work. Since the early starts, I have difficulty sleeping in beyond 6-7 am (I used to go to 10-12 on Saturdays as a teenager!). Maybe I’m practising for parenthood. x.x

        That’s very kind of you, but for all I’ve travelled I still feel shy and introverted in unfamiliar settings. I think we discussed this in your anxiety post some months ago. But that’s okay, I’m still learning.

        You might be surprised. (: And even not, I wish you a good day. Love reading your posts and writing to you, if that counts as support.


        • Okay. Maybe then you will like some sort of savoury cake…like bacon pancakes without maple syrup 😀

          1. They sounded like very nice couple and nice neighbours too. Sometimes the ones that are closest to us will surprise us the most.

          2 + 3. Having your birthday or really any occasion like a semester or a stint at work in a different part of the world is always something to remember. Another part of the world, a new place to take in and you’d be surprise at how ‘present’ you tend to be in these situations. Probably same goes for birthday surprises – they can be so foreign like how you very nicely surprised your elderly neighbour Good to hear you’ve experienced mostly pleasant weather in the UK when you lived there and in the April you went back. Longer days, more light, more reason to be out and about 🙂

          4. That does sound scaring, the water and all but glad to hear that you are okay. It is always nice when someone gets a crazy high score at bowling. It’s fun but I always, always walk away from bowling with a sore arm later that evening and the next day 😦 Never played lawn bowls before but it sounds like something I will like.

          6 + 7. Haha, I don’t think show off is the word. More like sharing. These days I feel strongly about my photography as I do my writing, and most weekends I go out on photography trips. In fact, I’ve toyed with the idea of spending more time on the former and putting writing by the side. Decided it’s a no for now given time constraints and I do want to publish my own book sooner rather than later. Last year one of my photos got published in a report (link in Portfolio) and I also share photos here: https://instagram.com/themabelkwong1

          Introverts will be introverts 🙂


          • Ooh, bacon sounds good! (:

            I imagine you have a lot of memories like this as well, from your time in Singapore and Malaysia, no? Higher latitudes means greater extremes from longest to shortest days – while we were in Scotland we were having a late dinner and watching the sun set so lazily after 9 pm even though it was only spring. London is too warm to snow much – the best snowfall I remember was winter 1986, if only because my parents have a photo of me making a small snowman in the back yard.

            Lawn bowls is surprisingly challenging. Whereas ten-pin bowling basically demands a powerful bowl down the middle, lawn bowls requires you give just enough momentum to reach the jack. Bowl too hard and you hit the gutter on the other side!

            Sorry, I didn’t mean ‘show off’ in a narcissistic way – yes, sharing is probably a better word. It’s clear you’re quite committed to the hobby even if you’re taking some time off now. I take a more opportunistic approach to it so I never thought it a good use of money to invest in more dedicated gear than what I have. The one time I went out specifically for a photo trip was a moonless, cloudless winter night in the Blue Mountains trying to find a quiet enough place for a star trails composition, but unfortunately it wasn’t remote enough and my two-hour exposure was partly spoiled by the headlights of another car. I did get some of the nicest, clearest shots of the Milky Way core that I’ve managed, though, as a consolation.

            I like your night time shots of Melbourne, especially those with the colourful lighting, it’s clear you have gear that can handle low-light levels and I imagine there’s some post-processing to avoid saturation on digital screens. A pity the images are so small, but I suppose that’s how mobile apps like Instagram works? Anyway, thanks for sharing. (:


            • Yeah, I definitely have strong memories of Malaysia and Singapore after all these years. How nice to watch the sunset set after 9pm in Scotland – it must feel like the days go on forever. Nothing like sitting down and enjoying the views around to end a day.

              That is amazing that you have attempted star trails. And to capture the Milky Way too. Very, very impressive and you should be proud of your efforts 😀 I have yet to attempt it though I have a tripod and my camera is capable of doing star trails. And when I do, I have to remind myself to be very, very patient.

              I wouldn’t put bigger or fuller resolution photos online, mainly because you never know who is out there to take advantage of your work. Instagram works primarily on mobile so you are right in that photos do come in not-so-large size, which suits me fine. I do believe that I have the potential to sell some of my images at some point, so keeping them close will be an advantage if that does happen 🙂


              • Sorry for not replying sooner, I thought I had already done so.

                I think you were older upon returning to Australia than I was when I moved here – I was nine. So I think you would have a better recollection of those places. Have you been back since? Would you want to, if you haven’t?

                The converse is that the midday sun never really gets that high in the sky at higher latitudes, but yes, it’s a strange experience to see the sun set so slowly. Sun rises and sets very quickly in places closer to the equator.

                I gave it a try at home in the suburbs and thought the results wasn’t bad other than the aeroplane light trails. So I think that spurred me to give a rural location a try, but unfortunately I still got one plane tracking through which was annoying! That was on top of the light pollution from the car. But yes, a tripod is essential for long exposures like that. It’s amazing once you get out of the city how clearly you can see things like the Milky Way, once your eyes adjust to the dark.

                Ah, yes, I’m aware of the sad situation with art and theft. Particularly with drawings but also photos to an extent, I’ve seen some that I follow on deviantART ask for help with stopping art thieves. For me, photography is more of a hobby than something I expect to make money from, so I usually release the full-resolution image with a Creative Commons licence.


                • I have been back to Malaysia and Singapore quite a few times over the last few years. These days with work it’s challenging…but even when I get time off, I’d usually want to go elsewhere or spend time on photography. Maybe one day I will get the time to do star trails, and I’ll be sure to do it facing away from lights as much as possible – though I understand it’s hard as light can be reflected from afar!


                  • Ah! Makes sense given they’re marginally closer to Aus than UK. 😉

                    It’s mainly a matter of getting far enough away from the city and making sure you’re remote enough that you won’t be interrupted by others. If you ever manage it, I’d love to see what you come up with!

                    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Amy. I will probably spend part of the day playing around with Photoshop. I do need to sit down and learn more about how to use it. I’m getting better at the healing brush 🙂 Low-key birthdays can be the most relaxing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy birthday for next week Mabel. I hope you have a great day. I remember for my 50th I took the day off. The first time ever. It was the best birthday I can remember. I flew to Brisbane and spent the day with my daughters and my parents.
    I’m not sure I’d take the day off again, I don’t mind that people at work know the date and getting cake is never a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy birthday in advance, Mabel ☺️

    A birthday is a celebration of another eventful year (if it has been). I would suggest doing what you lov even if it just a ‘me’ time.

    Some create a hype around it, but nothing wrong in that too.

    I celebrated mine in Dec last in the lap of nature…early morning trip to Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Mabel! Since I don’t know on which day your birthday falls on, Happy Birthday in advance!

    Those are some of the common ways to celebrate a birthday, as you mentioned. I would probably pick two of these rather than one! Getaway, sounds great but it also means you’re away from friends and family. I think it’s these very people who make all the difference in our lives!

    Social media updating your friends about your special day may be okay, but I have witnessed a trend that I don’t appreciate. Before social media, people would call or meet and wish. But now all they do is just post a message! there’s no real contact. Getting 150 birthday greeting on FB or 200 on whatsapp has no meaning. After all, all that matters is “real friends”! People with whom you can sit and chat, for hours!
    Happy to come across this write up of yours, Mabel! BTW, are you FB?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My birthday is on May Day. Not too far away now 🙂 You can pick more than one thing to do on your birthday alright, nothing wrong with that. So thoughtful of you to think of others. You can take others with you on a getaway but that’s not always possible. So all the more reason to celebrate your birthday multiple times 😀

      I’m not much on social media much, and Facebook is the one I use the least. I don’t even look at my feed or update except for my blog Facebook. Agree with you that real friends are those whom you can talk to for hours, and those who understand when they can’t hang out with you. Hope you are doing well, Arv 🙂


  13. Wishing you a wonderful birthday! I have one of those milestone birthdays coming up in a couple of weeks. As you get older birthdays take on less importance, but I love a quiet celebration with just my husband and me. This year will be going to see a long-awaited movie followed by decadent pizza and wine at a favorite haunt.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy Birthday in advance, Mabel! Hope that all your wishes – or at least a portion of it – come true this year!

    I haven’t properly celebrated my birthday in years. When I was in college, my friends organised a secret celebration behind my back. It was, however, easy for me to guess that something was about to happen because 3/4 of them disappeared… and I had the feeling that they might sneak up on me with a surprise, which they did. Green tea cake – but someone whom I wanted to be there decided to be absent from the entire thing. =/ For last year’s birthday, I flew out of the country – and was greeted with a large chunk of birthday greetings the minute I landed in my destination. There was no celebration whatsoever. For those ‘normal’ years, I either let my birthday roll around without much of a notice, indulge in a slice of cake, or hide in the comfort of my home and sleep. My birthday celebrations usually depend on whether my friends have plans up their sleeves and are successful in dragging me out. =)

    I’ve been lucky (or unlucky) that my birthday falls around the midway between exams and the summer break, so yeah, no chance for my course mates to throw me a surprise party on campus =P

    (P.S. Keeping my fingers crossed that this post goes through.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, when everyone sneaks away without telling you, it is a sign that something is up. Good on you for being sharp and hope they didn’t give you a fright 😀 Sorry to hear someone didn’t turn up. It’s always a bummer when that happens…hope he/she hung out with you at some point :/

      Like you, I let my birthday roll around. You can always party after your exams during the break – a well deserved break and bit of celebration. Yes, this comment went through. Cake likes you 😉


      • It was because I knew that something is up that I wasn’t frightened by them. In fact, I told one of them that if they wanted to pull something off like that, they might need to have a crash course in acting (or leave some of the familiar faces around to knock the suspicion off). Well, I couldn’t find the missing fellow until towards the end of the celebration and he bolted without wishing me Happy Birthday. So, yeah. *shrugs*

        For me, just a birthday message is more than enough – although there have been circumstances where I’ve unexpectedly received presents for my birthday.

        Oh, that’s a relief – I thought that the spam bot hated me or something. =/


  15. Sweet Mabel! You’re as sweet as the birthday desserts that are coming your way 🙂 Thank you for the mention of my birthday suggestions and I think I like the ones that are “free” best because they are more about the company around us than the price tag. I wish you a beautiful day! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha. It’s really just another day and I am going to lay low and let the day roll by. I’m already eating too much junk food and sweet treats already! You wrote such an excellent article on celebrating birthdays there, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was written by Christy B. So well written ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • It means even more to me now that I know you enjoyed the post BEFORE you realized it was written by me 🙂 As for the sweet treats on your birthday, I wish I was there to give you more as you deserve them ❤ Talk soon!


  16. Happy birthday in advance Mabel! 🙂 Hope you have a fun filled blast (the 8th way 😉 and a wonderful year ahead. 🙂 Actually I would love to have a peaceful relaxing birthday with nothing special planned. But something or the other usually happens but that is organized by friends and family for which I am grateful and appreciative. But given a choice I waver between no celebration and every day a birthday 😀 Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Too many cakes, not good for my diet!
    So you have your birthday next week, may I ask how old you turn? My wife will have on the 14th of May her 30th birthda and I am all out on ideas for a nice gift, besides our daughter might be born starting next week 😮
    I havent celebrated my birthday for nearly 15 years now, just never felt like it. Back in Finland in my younger years I did enjoy the birthday parties of my friends as they often organized great parties but by now I also feel too old and lazy to attend those. On my 30th birthday in March I only went eating with my family and that is all…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. I turn a year older, that is all 😀 It sounds like you have your hands full and such an exciting time for you. Eating is a good way to celebrate a birthday – eating food, sitting around and really just relaxing. This year since I am so tired and wasn’t feeling well a few weeks ago, I will just spend my birthday and really the next month just not moving much 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I like to be somewhere new on my birthday, Mabel. Well, I wouldn’t be Restlessjo otherwise, would I? 🙂 🙂 If I’d been somewhere new on each of my birthdays, I’d have seen a LOT of places 🙂
    Enjoy your special day, however you spend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved that name when I discovered your blog – Restlessjo. It fits you very well 🙂 Hope you get to go on the road for your birthdays to come 😀 My birthday will be a quiet one, as usual and how I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, it is great to know that your birthday is just coming!… I hope that you post a pic (or more) on Instagram so I´ll be able to congratulate you in your special day, my lovely! 😀
    A great post here… There are many ways to celebrate as you say. The best thing is to be happy doing what we like and enjoying our day with people we cherish, I believe. Family & friends.
    I hope that you´ll spend a beautiful day, linda… Wishing you the best. Love across the miles! ❤


  20. (sighs) I’m hoping that I won’t have to have my birthday dinner from the contents of a bus station vending machine, eaten all by myself on a cold cement bench.

    But Happy Birthday to YOU, dear lady!
    : )


  21. I usually just have a dinner with friends and someone brings a cake. I’ve also been to the karaoke on my birthday sometimes 😀

    My most special birthday was probably when C. secretly asked my friends and family to record a video for me and then edited them all into a “movie” and played it at a friend’s bar. That was unexpected, hehe. I think I ended up sharing the cake with random people in the bar!


    • Hope you didn’t lose your voice after the karaoke birthday 😀 C is very sweet to make that video for you. Itsounds like so much effort! I remember your blog post on cakes in China – so many kinds of cakes and all so big 😀


  22. Mabel, as always, such a thoughtful article! I know what you mean about being introverted and hating to be the center of attention, especially at a birthday. Other people think you’ll welcome the attention, but all you want to do is get it over with! :). I’m always impressed with the information you have found to include in your article. I especially enjoy your lists. They always take me to places I had not thought about. Thank you! 🙂


    • You are right. I do not like attention, and a lot of the time small talk especially with people I don’t know well or don’t usually talk to is hard enough for me. You can think of it this way: I like to be left alone so I can eat my cake…all the cake for me 😀 If you ever have cake with me, you know I’m competitive at that…

      As always, I appreciate your support so, so, so much Theresa. Thank you ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh! I love that you know about yourself you’d like to be alone – and you’d like to have ALL the cake! It was perfect that your parents left you a cake on the table when they were leaving after your birthday celebration. Leaving you a fun private moment after! 💖


          • Thank you, Mabel! I chuckled when you said your brother ate the cake. We started doing something in our house for birthdays (with only one child still in the house, who is a college student) – individual cupcakes. I go to one of those specialty cupcake bakeries, and then I can get each person’s favorite flavor – among the three of us. So the birthday person AND the other people get a treat w a favorite flavor. :>)
            Happy Birthday to you as well! My birthday is in November, and actually my mom and I share a birthday. She loves it, I think it’s a nice connection. A little close to the Christmas holiday, but I enjoy the quietness of a November birthday. 🙂


  23. Hello Mabel, Sending you warm wishes on your birthday, in advance. So, how are you planning to celebrate? Maybe you could go out for a dinner or a movie after office. Or are you planning to take a day off for a getaway trip? The cake pictures…so tempting ..I would rather not see them 😀 😀


  24. It depends..but usually my birthday is celebrated with at least a dinner with special dishes or at restaurant. I did have a surprise party on my 40th birthday. Usually often with my partner. Other years have included my family but they live in another province several thousand kms. away.

    Past few years we have gone to the Rocky Mountains where the snow is lovely. My birthday is in January. Some cyclists celebrate by cycling the same distance to match their age. For me to cycle 58 km. in winter temperatures is asking a bit much where I live right now!


    • Your partner is very thoughtful to have remembered your birthday, and to make you feel special. Happy belated birthday, Jean. Sounds like a nice adventure up the Rocky Mountains for your birthday – and taking it easy means you could take in the views. 58km is a long distance to cycle 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  25. My choice would be #7 for me Mable, but my husband feels very strongly that we must gather with good friends to celebrate our birthdays so usually we do. I like nothing better than a day with no plans and no commitments – a rare treat for me. But I am lucky that my husband wants to make the day special for me – which is what it’s all about!


    • Your husband is very thoughtful and sounds like he wants to make you feel special on your birthday. Like you, I like a day where I have nothing to answer to and take life as it is, moment by moment. Same approach with my photography quite often too.


  26. Pingback: Site Title

  27. Happy Birthday, fellow Taurus!

    I’ve been thinking about what to post for my birthday because I always write something relfective or fun (at least for me). This year I wrote a ‘no regrets’ kind of post, but I hate it. So it won’t see the light of the Internet day, most likely.

    Whatever you do, I hope you have an enjoyable time. How old are you now? 21? Hahahahhaha.I was going to guess 12, but I know you have a job 😛 xxoo


    • Haha, I keep forgetting that you are the same star sign as me. High five my fellow Taurean, and Happy Birthday to you 😛 Haha. I have been working for a long while now. Don’t even miss school anymore. I always tell myself I am 12 – that’s the secret to staying young. You try it, shhh 😉


    • I hope you liked listening to Lindsey Stirling. I cannot wait to see her again, and will be posting some concert photos on my blog at some point .

      At the rate you are traveling this year, maybe you will be able to have a getaway for your birthday 😀


      • It’s too late this year, because my birthday was in February… I-m not sure if I’ll travel much more this year either, because I’ll need to get properly back into the slave-machinery again first. But it’ll be one trip to Belfast this summer, that’s for sure.
        Lindsey was cool. I liked her music.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. i like all the options you got up there. suits the introvert in me too. lol.

    i’m not really much into big parties either. i rather like the small, intimate ones where you can sit down and talk and catch up with the people who actually matter to you.

    geez. why do i see so much of myself in you? =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually don’t like small parties. Anything party or social gathering with more than a handful of people freaks me out. I’m the kind of person who is okay with going into a restaurant alone, ordering a big piece of cake and have it all by myself alone.

      Hehe. Maybe it’s because we are Asian. Or simply just great minds think a like 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • or maybe both? hahaha.

        i used to dread eating out alone so i would try to read while doing so. it wasn’t easy so most of the time, i ended up wolfing down my food so i could get out of there real quick. it didn’t help that i’m a slow eater so it always wasn’t fast enough. lol.


  29. Happy Birthday! I can’t wait to know how you’ll be celebrating it and if you had any surprises this time! For my birthday I love to cook something delicious at home or go out for a nice meal. I’m all about eating. No wild disco parties please (I’m with you with that!). xx


  30. I had my birthday in April. It was just another day. I am not one to shout out. I can see the usual suspects on FB telling people about their birthday and what they had for their breakfast, lunch and dinner, where they went and even uploaded pictures of their kids. Granted it is a closed group. It’s a personal choice.

    I noticed I have missed some of your posts. I have been very busy at work. It will continue at this pace for some months to come. 😁😰

    Hope all is well with you and your writing.


    • Happy Birthday, Traveller. I’m not one to shout out too, and it does not bother me at all my birthday is an ordinary day. Always good to be busy and hope you keep up the pace – and take care of yourself at the same time 🙂


  31. Liebe Mabel da bist du ja ein Mai Kind und im Wonnemonat geboren möge dir viel Glück Gesundheit bescheren bleib froh und heiter dann ist das Leben leichter mit ganz vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus in Freundschaft


  32. Happy Belated Birthday! All that cake is making me hungry 🙂 I also had my birthday in April and I organized a brunch for family. It was lovely but next year, I’d rather someone else organizes that brunch for me 😛


  33. Happy birthday or belated birthday! Being born so close to xmas I’ve never done anything so special for my birthday and to be honest, it feels like any other day. I admit I like to eat some cakes .. but I like eating cakes any other days of the year 🙂

    I hope you are alright, I will try to catch up soon with your blog 🙂


    • Haha, I too like eating cakes anytime of the year. Whenever there’s a cake, I think why not have a slice 🙂 Christmas wasn’t too long ago…Happy Birthday! 😀


  34. Miss Mabel… your food photography is on point. We should totally collaborate. 🙂 YES!!!
    Birthdays used to be BIG in my world, this year however, I decided I’d go and break my ankle on my birthday and didn’t do anything other than sit in emergency to celebrate. So I guess that falls into #7. Haha!
    I do hope you are having a wonderfully fun and tasty birthday week little sis, when we do eventually get around to meeting, I say we celebrate all the years we didn’t get to celebrate together, together. An epic day of eating treats. 🙂 Sending you GIANT hugs and love. xo


    • Haha, I like to to think that it is the cakes that look good. Always open to a collaboration Miss Anna 😀

      Good that you are back on your feet now, and make the most of going out and about. Hope to see you soon at some point and sweet treats will definitely be on the menu when we meet 😀


  35. Happy birthday, Mabel. I just celebrated mine and truthfully had one of the best birthdays in a long time. Just simple things really. I put hot magenta highlights in my hair with the help of a friend. I received simple gifts from my sister who lives out of state from me. I opened a box full of simple things from my Mom but meant the world to me because I don’t know if she will be here for my next birthday. I got simple things from my “kids” and my hubby. I quiet day full of fun and laughter. I hope the same for you too!!! 💝💝💝


  36. Hope I’m not too late to wish you a happy birthday, Mabel! I usually have a difficult time around my birthday because they’re usually a bit of a let down! Another year old, nothing changes. Perhaps because we can sometimes have grand perceptions of getting one year older. Maybe that’s just me.
    Since moving to a whole new country my birthdays are somewhat quieter—it lands in July, which is usually while Ramadan is on, so it’s not the best time to celebrate. A nice meal out with the other half is the usual affair, which is not a bad way to spend a birthday at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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