Last week, my thirty-fifth birthday came and went — and I had a wonderful time. If you’ve been reading here for very long, you know how I feel about getting older: I always say that starting at age 30, my life has gotten better and better. This continues to be true. I’ll probably reflect more on this at the end of the year (you know, when it’s time for the Annual Accounting of Life that occurs every December), but this has been a pretty important year for me.

I spent my birthday doing some fun, relaxing, and self-indulgent things, exactly as it should be. I started the day with a perfect run in the cloudy, 40-degree morning (my personal favorite running weather, thank you Universe!), and then was pleasantly surprised when my boyfriend CW came by with a bouquet of flowers for me just as I was warming up with a cup of coffee+nog.


Later on, I went for a manicure/pedicure with my friend Brunbec (who generously treated me!) and then got myself some lunch. The single beers at Earth Fare were calling my name, and if a person can’t have a beer (or two) with lunch on her birthday, when can she? So I did.

Thomas Creek Appalachian Amber.Sweetwater Blue

And they were good.

That night, I indulged in one of my most self-indulgent traditions of all: my annual mirror self-portrait. I have been doing this for eight years now (28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34):

[347/366] 35

Then I had some lovely cocktails (a Manhattan for me) and dinner out with CW. It was Perfect.

I am not one to claim an entire week in celebration of my own birth, but this year it kind of happened that way without my intention (partly due to other people planning fun things for me as gifts — lucky me!) I had a few friends over for a small get together on Thursday. Any excuse to make cupcakes, am I right? Brunbec told me these might be my best ones yet:

[348/366] Cupcakes

They’re gingerbread with lemon cream cheese frosting and a bit of crystallized ginger on top. I can’t really claim any credit for them, though, as all I did was follow a simple recipe. You can find the it in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, if you want to try these out yourself. (Yes, they’re real vegan..and they’re spectacular!)


My brother came up with a cool gift idea: he bought me tickets to see The Hobbit on opening day, Friday. (The movie came at a good time in terms of distracting us from the terrible news that day — I’d spent all morning feeling sad and horrified about it, but at least took my mind off those thoughts temporarily by being in a theater and away from TV and the internet for three (!) hours. Anyway.) My family is completely obsessed with Tolkein and we went to see each of the LOTR films together, thanks to their December releases coming when I was home for the holidays. Since I wouldn’t be there this year, he made sure I could go see it anyway. Great idea, right? I loved the film, as I knew I would. If you’re a Tolkein fan, I’d love to hear your thoughts when you see it!

Reindeer.Atlanta Tree
[350/366] Circus Tents


Saturday, my boyfriend whisked me off to Atlanta for some good food, shopping, and Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, which was fantastic. I had never seen any of their shows before (have you?), but I’d heard plenty of rave reviews, so I was duly excited. I love dance and acrobatics, so that was right up my alley. There was an amazing trapeze couple, some elaborately choreographed unicyclists, and these awesome frog people… okay, I realize this sounds insane collectively, but you’ll have to trust me. It was a great birthday present and a fun end to the week.

This week, I’m focusing on getting ready for holiday travel. Just when you think you’re done, you remember something else you need to do. Speaking of which: want a Christmas card? Email me your address (kateoblog at gmail) and I’ll make sure you’re on my list.



  1. Your blog has just been radiating happiness and contentment recently. It’s such a nice warm place to visit. I’m so glad that you had a lovely birthday and a lovely end to the year!


    1. Aw, thank you. That is a really nice thing to hear! Of course, there are stresses and annoyances going on in my life, as usual, but some are work-related and thus unbloggable. And of course it feels better to focus on the good things.


  2. Oh, Cirque de Soleil! I forgot to ask what the big surprise was. How awesome! I will never forget seeing their show in Disneyworld. My jaw ached from hanging open for an hour and a half.
    I can’t wait to see The Hobbit sometime when we’re in SC & can leave the Dude with my parents.
    Everything just sounds so lovely. Have fun on your trip!


  3. Happy birthday, Kate O.! I am happy to hear that you had a really lovely birthday this year. I have to echo LizScott’s thoughts: you really are radiating with joy on the blog. You’re pretty honest about a lot of ups and downs in your life, so to see you so happy is great because it seems so genuine.

    And oh, the unbloggable. I could fill at least another blog with the unbloggable ups and downs of life, but meh–I feel like it’s not healthy to spend so much time talking about the bad stuff in life. It happens, the end.


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