Friday, 3 February 2012

Hairy birthday!

Perhaps not the most well thought out of post titles (!), but it pretty much sums up what happened after the biometrics appointment: I got a hair cut, and then got older. Edging dangerously close to 30 now, and not needing to have my hair super-long to enable flexible wedding styling, I decided that I needed a new look for 2012.

Okay, all of that is mostly just a big fat lie. I really am not that bothered by my age, and it's not actually in any way related to my hair. It is related to my birthday - I wanted to treat myself - but I get bored with my hair cut/colour pretty frequently, so changing it isn't a huge deal. However, going to the awesome stylist and general legend that is Johnny Keane of Salon du Monde is a relatively new thing, what with him being based in Charlotte and me only having been here for 3.5 months. So, along with making my head look like something out of the movie 'A Cinderella Story' for the wedding, Jonny more recently managed to transform my dry, split-ended long blonde hair into a volume-tastic, sexy new shorter 'do. I barely even recognise myself, and the extra bonus is that, while I certainly don't have the skills to make it look as fantastic as Johnny did on the day, it isn't impossible to style when you're a cack-handed ungirly girl like me when it comes to hair. Ideal!

Long hair; hair off; less hair.

The weekend of my birthday was an absolute joy. Don't get me wrong, the day itself was, while wonderful and spent quietly with Ben and catching up with family, possibly the weirdest thing I've yet experienced here due to being so far from home. I guess anniversaries are just going to be like that due to emphasising the people you miss and providing a juxtaposition of what is "normal" for e.g. a birthday versus what actually happens when you've moved countries. Not that it's bad, just different.

Anyway! Ben and I held a game night (nearing 30, remember?!), involving us cooking up a huge vat of chili con carne, inviting a load of friends to come over to our new place, consuming wine and other beverages, and playing epic rounds of games like Settlers of Catan, Go, and Apples to Apples. It was so lovely!

Chilli + friends + games + wine = amazing birthday! 

Kitchen's always where the party's at.

On my birthday proper, we spent the day just hanging out (what with the wedding, Christmas, and house move, we've not spent much time being together without anything else we have to do), chatting with UK family on Skype, drinking coffee at Starbucks, and ignoring stuff not in our immediate vicinity. I'd placed a new order for a MOL treat, which managed to arrive right on time, so that was another fun part of the day, and we had dinner plans in the evening.

Skype with bro' and sis'-in-law

Ignoring the online world for a whole
day may have been an error... 

Happy birthday to me!

Italian dinner out was
definitely authentic, if the
statues were anything to go by

Dinner was Ben's treat at a local Italian place renowned for its excellent cooking and modern menu. It's called Villa Antonio, and it's pleasingly close to our new house. We had an absolutely delicious meal there, complete with amuse bouche and palette cleanser-style courses, and it was magical to just have a date night that was not only special due to birthday-ness, but also because it marked the end of a hectic (though happy) few months for us as a couple. After dinner, we went to one of our (new) local bars and, over a few drinks, enjoyed an hour or so of shouting at footballers and chatting inane babble to each other. I couldn't have asked for anything better. 

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