Tuesday 19 May 2009

Farewell 39 And Counting.....

..... Hello Forty Not Out!   Thatgirl39 is all grown up (kind of), so it's time to flee the 39 And Counting nest and migrate to a more sophisticated abode (kind of)!

Here is where I cut my blog teeth and there have been so many things that have made it a blast... I have loved, loved, loved all of it. I fear that now I am officially old there is a higher risk of repeating myself; in fact I think I just did because I know I got similarly gushy about blogging here!

I do however have to mention a few names because without them I would never have snorted so much wine and coffee out of my nose or had to be literally prised from the Mac hot seat by Other Half so many times!

Tara over at Sticky Fingers is my long lost English twin sister. I swear if we ever met it would be like looking in a mirror and I just know we could wile away many happy days watching brat pack movies, drooling over McDreamy, playing with Benefit make up and scoffing cupcakes. Of course the kids would have to get on and entertain themselves!

YM over at Diary of A Yummy Mummy in Boston is my American baby sister that I never knew about until last summer. I should have known because I could feel some sort of missing piece in my soul... of my Louboutins! This shoe loving, fashion obsessed, gossip reading, coffee drinking babe brings a sparkly ray of sunshine to my dull days.

Actually... thinking about it if I won the lottery and took Tara and YM shopping we could clean out any major city between us in half an hour!

Then there's my lovely Auntie Gwen whom I want to be just like when I grow up! She is the coolest Auntie you'll ever have and I reckon she could dance on her high heels much longer than me!

And not forgetting all my regular reads who I'm taking with me in my blogroll suitcase:

You make me feel like I'm catching up with old friends whenever I stop by, so in lieu of cupcakes I'm sending out multiple web hugs to all of you! Please come and stop by the new place to say Hi.

There are tons of other great blogs that I read and comment on and will continue to do so as long as they keep on writing. I'm going to be making a concerted effort to find some more via all of your blogrolls too so apologies in advance if you catch me snooping!

So.... what are you waiting for? Come on.... follow me to Forty Not Out...... go on.. you know you want to..... CLICK!

Sunday 17 May 2009

Oh What A Night!! (Part Two - The One With Slightly Less Sophistication!)

Not Quite So Sophisticated After The Speech!

After the champagne had been polished off and sugar highs from the cupcakes kicked in, everyone started to let their hair down on the dance floor. I remember asking the DJ to play Untouchable by Girls Aloud and demanding that  two of my girls get on and strut their funky stuff with me to get things moving!  

The Girls!

Cupcake and balloon posing lead to some interesting photo opportunities and by midnight there were a few pairs of heels being discarded to allow for safer navigation of the dance floor! Mine were so high that I was quite proud of lasting until just gone 12.00am. My toes had gone numb so I didn't care how many "God you look really little now" comments I had... blood flow to the extremities is far more important.

Not What The Cupcakes Were Intended For!

Other Half In The Zero Zone!

My Bro And D Getting In On The Act

I think I did my usual round of "I really love you guys... no seriously... I really DO LOVE YOU" speeches to my nearest and dearest people but they know what I'm like so that's OK!

Just before 1.00am the stragglers, (us, D & S, Mr and Mrs Cousin It and my bro and his wife) decided to call it a day. We accosted the doorman on the way out who was an American ex basketball player therefore possessed sudden undeniable cool factor before bundling into taxis.

I remember a fleeting thought of "Oohh... I feel so Carrie Bradshaw.. hic" as I walked barefoot into the hotel bar trailing six helium balloons behind me. I suspect that the differences between Carrie and I go far deeper than knowing when to STOP DRINKING but that kind of clarity only comes with the morning light!

And so to bed at 3.00am, feeling, as my friend Banana says... very broken! I think drinking a litre and a half of Evian was the thing that helped me get up without feeling totally hideous... that and the handful of almonds eaten before the champagne fest even commenced. Seriously... try it... it does work! I was able to partake of breakfast before S and I went off for an aromatherapy massage in the hotel spa to assist with the detox process.

I saved my pressies until Saturday morning... seeing them piled up on the dining table on Friday was agony but I managed some restraint! I was such a lucky Thatgirl and felt totally spoilt to receive, amongst other things, an original Vogue magazine from May 1969, a years subscription to Vogue, a Links of London Sweetie bracelet, nine bottles of champagne including two vintages, some Clarins, Estee Lauder, White Company and Space NK goodies and vouchers for Selfridges, Next and Hobbs. 

So... with all this and the promise of Manolo's hanging in the air for the London trip next weekend, I can honestly say my fortieth has been the best birthday ever! But without my husband, daughter, brother, brother in law, cousin and best friends in the world it wouldn't have been anywhere near so special. Celebrating with loved ones is the best gift a girl can have!

Saturday 16 May 2009

Oh What A Night!! (Part One - The One With All The Sophistication)!

My balloons... before everyone started wearing the zero!
Where do I start? I guess a good place would be in the hotel room, with a glass of Veuve, our good friends D and S who arrived looking respectively dapper and beautiful and presented me with this beautiful book! 

A quick taxi ride to the venue to the venue provided the first of many SATC-esque moments! S noted that actually getting me in the taxi in The Dress was like "pushing a creme puff through a keyhole"!

The creme puff in all it's glory!

The room was fantastic, filled with twinkling tea lights and silver and black balloons floated from the ceiling. This provided many SATC valentines day dinner scene moments as they attached themselves to my guests at various points in the evening!

As more and more people arrived I got more and more excited and a couple of very happy hours passed far too quickly as I caught up with so many dear friends and family folk. The ladies all looked gorgeous in their various party and cocktail dresses and the men were all very James Bond in DJ's! 

The cupcakes provided by The Divine Miss C from Sponge Cupcake Boutique were an absolute hit both in terms of looks and taste! I did a quick impromptu thank you speech beside the sugary tower which hopefully was not too garbled. I seem to remember becoming very closely acquainted with the champagne after that and things probably became a little more blurry!

The Divine Cupcakes!

For the less sophisticated part of the evening, come back soon!

I'm Done Counting!

6.30am.... Small Child climbs into bed with us...

"Is it your real birthday now instead of your pretend party?"
"Good....then can I have one of your cupcakes later on?"

It's here.... I am Forty!!! I will be back later on with party details but right now, presents await!

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Red Carpet Ready

I admit that I've always taken my time to get ready for going out, I'd like to say that it just takes me longer these days due to extra effort that's needed to achieve an acceptable state of glam but I've always been this way.... never was a step out of the shower and be ready in five minutes woman! When I was a single gal my old colleagues used to constantly rip the what-not out of me about taking an afternoon off to go home and preen for very special events. Even standard Friday girls nights warranted a 4.00 pm office escape at the very least. 

It was never the actual coiffing and grooming itself but more about taking my time and enjoying the whole shebang. There was usually loud music, a glass or three of wine and a gaggle of girls in my flat to add to the proceedings. 

These days, on the (far fewer) occasions of a parental evening out sans bebe, I have learnt to master the art of looking presentable in a much shorter space of time. You know the drill - squeeze in a shower when you can, blow dry your hair if you're lucky, maybe once in a blue moon get to straighten it whilst a Small Child hangs off your left leg. I do confess to sometimes employing the cheating tactic of putting on Lazy Town which guarantees at least ten minutes of uninterrupted make up  and nail polish time.   

But none of those short cuts for me here tomorrow people... I am going all out to be Red Carpet Ready! Prep began in earnest at least a week ago and has involved some of these:

Smelling like a biscuit thanks to fake tan applications.
Doing the ironing and building Lego houses whilst wearing high heels. Technically the Lego has nothing to do with the party but Small Child begged me to build one whilst I was wobbling round the living room breaking in the event shoes!
Extra tricep dips, lunges, sit ups and anything else that might bring about a firming quality.
No carbs after 5.00 pm for the last three days (stops me looking 4 months pregnant)!
Mass exfoliation followed by buffing, polishing and copious amounts of body lotion lavishing.

And tomorrow morning... ooh I cant wait! Having dropped off Small Child at preschool I am off for a facial, manicure and deluxe pedicure followed by a flit back home to pick up Other Half, the bags and a sneaky bottle of Veuve to take down to the hotel.

As Rachel Zoe says, if you can't create your own red carpet moment once in a while to take you away from the hum drum of life then what's the point? Whilst I don't agree with all her suggestions and tips from Style A to Zoe, this one I will do my best to uphold tomorrow night. In which case I'd better only have one glass before we get to the party!

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Super Furry Animals

Slight change of pace from all the party talk I know but.....I smell a rat! Actually I didn't smell him... I saw him bloody sunbathing on our deck. After imparting this information to Other Half, the only thing I actually can now smell is the onion-like fragrance of the natural rat deterrent powder liberally sprinkled about the garden. The stench is supposed to make them pack their rat bags and leave pronto...it doesn't work but it has put me off onions!

We've now had two visits from a very pleasant pest control chap from the council, who by the way, is possibly the tallest man I have ever seen. I wondered if he got the job because he's able to intimidate them into leaving with his giant stature? If that's the case then Ratty Ratterson must have a rather large set of kahunas cos he's still hanging with his homeys, possibly wearing a rat hoodie and swearing at passing field mice, despite the tasty poison-laced food that was left for him. The Tall Guy is due back this Thursday but will be getting his rat progress report via a note due to the impending celebrations. No rat is going to make me late for my own party!

Thinking about it, this is might be karma as a result of the now infamous rodent debacle from my childhood. Having rescued a mouse from the neighbours cat, I was firmly instructed to "put a bloody lid on that box" before MM went out that night. I forgot and it escaped, much to hers, my but not my little brothers horror. We presumed it had made like Elvis and left the building as nothing was ever seen or heard of it again..... until the midnight saucepan clanging incident some weeks later. Despite hastily shoving the neighbours cat in the kitchen and shutting the door, more clanging was heard the following night.

I knew I was in real trouble later in the wee small hours when MM yelled at me to "get in here now!". On arriving in her bedroom, I found her standing in the middle of their bed, hysterically pointing at the wiggling curtain whilst ringing my father who was on night shift. Needless to say by the time he got home there was no sign of the errant mouse and I was in deep Doo Doo! 

As I sleepily went to the fridge the next morning to put away the milk used to make a conciliatory cup of tea, I caught sight of a pair of legs hanging down from some pipe housing. Having taken my turn to scream "Get here now", my father reassured me to stop panicking as it was clearly dead. Well you would be too if you'd crawled up between two hot water pipes, split your difference and got stuck there until the water heater came on in the morning! As dad's do, he fetched a pair of pliers to pull it out.... and it kept on coming, and coming...... and coming. 

The mouse that I had rescued some weeks earlier turned out to be a baby rat; a rat that enjoyed it's childhood in our house and proceeded to grow to extreme proportions. This also explained why the dog had been getting thinner  - small wonder when we discovered the pile of biscuits and food that had been stored away behind the dishwasher. Can you even begin to imagine how popular I was for a long time after that little lot?

No rats have been harmed in the making of this blog post..... yet!

Friday 8 May 2009


Just like the Queen of England I have two birthdays - there's the small matter of turning forty on May 16th but today, 39 And Counting is officially one year old! Here was I, one year ago, greener than Kermit The Frog, a newbie to the blogosphere and without a clue what 39 And Counting would be. The only thing I did know was that it was time to satisfy a burning desire to write and seeing as a book was a little on the big side of huge for my mushy brain, a blog seemed like the ideal solution.

For the past year I have subjected you all to stuff that moves me, irks me, makes me ponder, makes me pull a face like this (think yourself lucky you can't see me), all with a pinch of parenthood, shoe lust and a clothing obsession that would put Victoria Beckham to shame, thrown in.

In my first year I have made the best bloggy friends and read some stuff that has made me both laugh so much a little bit of pee came out and cry like I just broke a pair of Louboutins. Oh yeah... that did actually happen. 

Who knew that you can end up feeling like part of a community just by baring your innermost thoughts and hitting enter? I never imagined how much fun you can have with the commenting, the tagging and don't even get me started on my first award (more pee)!

It's fueled my dreams of writing, of being "discovered" and of making people sit up and take notice. Whilst I know that, in the real world, the chances of that happening are about as likely as Karl Lagerfeld making a dress for me, it's taught me to be passionate about something that is mine alone. And when I have seen the big time happen for bloggers, I get so excited for them it just makes me want to... well... pee.... again!

No matter where it does or doesn't go, I absolutely love this blogging lark and have no intention of ever shutting up... there's just so much more to say, even with 136 posts under my belt! One thing I do hope is that I get to meet some of my favourite bloggers in person one day... you know who you are! Without you this would never have been the journey it has been so far and I can't wait to experience millions more happy hours glued to the Mac. (Sorry Other Half!)

I know that I can't remain 39 And Counting forever so a blog plan is afoot to allow me to warble on without appearing to be in denial of my true age.... watch this space soon! At this point in any celebration it would be usual to crack open a bottle of Veuve but seeing as I have an important event to attend next Thursday, I'll have to be content with talking about it as opposed to quaffing it. Let me leave you with this quote from Madame Lily Bollinger herself:

"I only drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I am thirsty".

Now that was a woman after my own heart - Happy Blogiversary 39 And Counting!