Aren’t Birthdays Lovely?

Birthday presents, Bumpkin BettyHello, hello! How are we all this rainy Tuesday? So after taking a few days off this weekend to celebrate my birthday, I’m back and I thought I’d start this week with a bit of a catch up to fill you in on all the fun times and share some of the lovely presents I received from ever so kind family and friends.

With my previous weekend spent hanging out with friends in the Lake District, eating birthday cake and laughing non stop, my actual birthday full of surprises from GB and dripping in delicious food and cocktails, and this last weekend spent ‘Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool’ (not shooting any b-ball outside of the school though), I guess you could say March, and turning 30, has been pretty awesome. So awesome in fact that I’m actually a little sad to be saying goodbye to this month in favour of April and it’s showers (currently looking out my window to rain).

As I was one of the first in my group of friends to turn 30, before the day I had a lot of ‘tell us how bad it is’ and ‘glad you’re the first’ type of messages, but so far I can confirm that turning 30 wasn’t bad at all. In fact it was positively great! Because let’s face it, no matter what the number on the card says, birthdays are always bloody lovely aren’t they? An excuse to doll up, a reason to buy yourself something new,  a day of being treated by your other half/ parents/ friends and a morning of opening utterly lovely cards, presents and surprises from your loveliest of lovely people. Yup, lovely. And a 30th birthday? All of the above but with a dollop of even more loveliness thrown in. Lovely presents, lovely adventures, lovely food, lovely surprises and lovely people which I realise I’m very lucky to have around. It’s been just… LOVELY.

Right, now that I’ve used the world lovely enough to drive my SEO app crrrrraaaaaaazzzzzzyyyyy, I’ll get on with it shall I?

Birthday baloons, Bumpkin BettySo I awoke at a ridiculously early hour on Thursday morning to the news that GB had taken the day off work to spend with me, a surprise I was secretly very much hoping would be on the agenda as when you work for yourself, from home, midweek birth- days can often just feel like a serious of hours procrastinating until someone, anyone comes through the door to give you a hug. Like a kid on Christmas morning I burst into our living room to find the room filled with enough balloons to float the building (including a giant gold 3 and 0 – how well he knows me!), a giant birthday banner, cake and Prosecco waiting (because not drinking Prosecco and eating birthday cake at 9am on your 30th birthday doesn’t bear thinking about), oh and this rather mysterious riddle of clues….

Birthday RiddlesI’ll leave you with that one until the end of the post as it took me a little while to get my head around it too, but oh boy when I did!!!

In the meantime, and in true blogger fashion, I thought I’d share some of the other top notch presents I was treated to this year… mainly because they’re all so damn blog worthy it would be a shame not to.

Larsson and jennings jewellery, Bumpkin BettyLarsson and jennings watch, Bumpkin BettyGold Metal Chain Watch, Bumpkin Betty30th Birthday presents, Bumpkin Betty
Larsson and Jennings watch

Well suffice to say, once you figure out the above clue, you’ll know that the boy did good this year (perhaps he learnt his lesson after last year’s phone charger debaucle – jokes jokes) but on top of that rather excellent surprise he also bought me this beauty of a watch from Larsson and Jennings, a brand I have adored and coveted for god knows how long. Without any help, hints or innuendo’s whatsoever, I was totally bowled over when I was handed a little bag with their logo on (clever, clever boyfriend) and after apprehensively opening the box, I found this beautiful gold chain metal watch waiting for me. As someone who’s never really owned a ‘proper’ watch before, I can’t think of a more appropriate thirtieth birthday present – it’s classic, chic, totally suits my new age, and is something I’ll keep forever. I love it!

Canon lenses, Bumpkin BettyCanon 50mm lenses, Bumpkin Betty
A New Lens

You may have already spotted that these pics look a little different from my usual blog photos? A bit lighter, brighter and with some gorgeous bokeh effect? That’s because thanks to Ma and Pa Bumpkin, I’m now the proud owner of a 50mm 1.4 lens for my Canon. It’s a lens I’ve been hankering after for a long time, and along with my 40mm 2.8 pancake lens and my zoom lens, makes a pretty super addition to my collection. It’s definitely going to take a bit of getting used to, as any new lens does, and even getting the focus right on these snaps was like learning to ride a bike all over again – isn’t it funny how every lens has it’s own little personality? I tried it out with some outfit shots at the weekend and realised my posing game is going to need a total rethink – the depth of field it creates is amazing but I totally wasn’t prepared for just how much clarity it would give the subject (that’s me and clarity isn’t something my face or figure needs!). I’ve just spent the last half hour cringing at all the ridiculous faces I’ve managed to pull and can now totally appreciate why so many top bloggers wear sunglasses in all of their posts, this lens loves to hone in on a squinty eye! Anyway you’ll need to bear with me a little as I get used to it, but hopefully you’ll see some improved shots over time.

Vogue March 1985, Bumpkin Betty
Something a little different…

This next gift was given to me by my oldest friend, and the note read ‘wanted to get you something a little different seeing as it’s your big 3-0hh’. I’ll admit at first I was confused. It’s Vogue, it’s kind of old, ok…. then I realised it was of course the March edition of Vogue from 1985, the month and year I was born. How very clever huh? I’ve had a good laugh browsing through all the fashions and I love that I now own this edition – I’m trying to come up with a creative way to display it and keep it preserved, any ideas let me know.

The Great British Sewing Bee Book, Bumpkin bettyThe Great British Sewing bee, Bumpkin Betty
Let’s Sew!

I don’t document it all that much on this blog, but I actually love to sew. My sewing machine is one of my most loved yet most neglected items, and as much as I always tell myself, ‘I could make that myself!’ I very rarely do. Hopefully thanks to this new book – Fashion with Fabric – the latest from The Great British Sewing Bee programme (which comes with the patterns for 30 different projects), that’s all about to change though. I have so many ideas for fashion and interior projects and have always always wanted to be able to make my own clothes so this year I’m determined to learn properly. I genuinely think that once I get into it, I’ll never look back. I must thank my friend for clearly seeing my awesome potential and getting this fun gift for me – after seeing what Carrie and Liv came up with from the same book, I can’t wait to get going!

Pink Opal Necklace, Bumpkin BettyOpal Necklaces, Bumpkin Betty
Pink Opals

Another truly thoughtful gift from a friend, you might remember me saying in my engagement ring post that originally I’d wanted an opal ring? I adore the stones and love the pinky two tones they create. It wasn’t quite right for my ring, but there was part of me that was a little disappointed so my friend bought me this beautiful opal necklace instead. I adore it – it’s so dainty and the colours are gorgeous. It was around my neck almost as soon as I had it out of the box and hasn’t been taken off since.

One Line a Day 5 year diary, Bumpkin Betty
A line a day…

I am actually so excited about this gift. I’ve seen these 5 year diaries on a few people’s Instagrams and blogs of late and I kept thinking what a lovely thing that was, to be able to document every day by one simple line or short paragraph and look back later in life to remember the things that made you laugh or cry in that moment. I used to love keeping diaries when I was younger but became terribly bad at actually sitting down to write as I got older (I guess this blog is my diary now) but one line I should surely be able to manage. I started it on our first day in Keswick, the day I received it, and I’m trying to keep it quirky with a simple quote or funny thing that happens each day. I want to remind myself of the silly stuff, the stuff I might forget, the nicknames and phrases that we laugh about endlessly at the time but so quickly put out of our minds. My only downfall might be actually remembering to write in every day, only a week in there are already a few gaps – doh!

Photographing flowers, Bumpkin bettyPink and burgundy flower bouquet, Bumpkin BettyBeautifl Spring Flowers, Bumpkin Betty
Beautiful blooms…

This gorgeous bouquet arrived by courier on my birthday from GB’s Mum and it was such a lovely surprise! the colours are right up my street – pinks, whites and deep burgundy, and that hint of gypsophila is so summery! I also got a big bunch of colourful tulips from a friend the next day too, so the flat is now full of beautiful birthday blooms!

Birthday's are lovely, Bumpkin Betty
Bits and bobs…

A few other little bits and pieces which were most welcomed, including a Scrabble J mug (can’t beat a mug with your initial on can you?), some pretty polaroid postit notes, a lovely Elizabeth Arden pink lipgloss and the obligatory birthday scratch card!

All round I was extremely spoiled. I’m still thinking of treating myself to a little something something, but can’t quite decide what yet. I’d love a pair of Adidas superstars but am also thinking of being a grown up and getting myself a really good new skincare range to amp up my routine a little. I’ll keep you posted.

Birthday celebrations, Bumpkin BettyThe rest of my birthday was spent having fun with the ginger one and prancing around London in my new full length tulle skirt (must get better at walking in long skirts). I got taken to the Sky Gardens for lunch and afternoon cocktails, which is somewhere I’d never been before but a fab spot. Great views across London over 35 floors up, botanical gardens all around and some swish restaurants to dine at. That evening we hit East London and dined at new restaurant Rotorino in Dalston which I must tell you more about another time as it was amazing. GB hunted it down after seeing it featured in the TV show Catastophe, anyone else watch that? Anyway it was delish and the staff super friendly too, which always makes such a difference I think. We finished the night off getting rather tipsy on mojitos at the top of the Heron Tower (two towers in one day – I know!) and kind of forgetting it was only a Thursday.

It was definitely my best birthday to date, and the best part? There’s more fun to come. Did you figure that riddle out yet? If not I’ll break it down for you…

Wee… Yarr… (sounds like) Mowing…. Tucan…. (Minus)… Can… (sounds like) Pen… Ice

Yes, yes, YES! We’re going to Venice! Italy has been the dream on my ‘destinations to visit’ list for so long and Venice is the one place I’ve always told GB I’d love to go to, so I’m super dooper excited to finally ride a gondola and eat gelato all day. We’re going for a long weekend in April (one of the only month’s where we have some free time this year) which gives me just enough time to plan my outfits. Hurrah.

Anyway more on all that to come, but just wanted to end by saying a big thank you for all the birthday messages on the blog, Twitter and Instagram! Can I turn 30 every day please?


Hope you all had a great weekend!

Jasmin Charlotte ·

Aw happy birthday lovely! Sounds like you had such a fabulous day, and I bet Venice will be amazing. The boyf recently turned 30 and we had a great time. I love giving trips as then you have something to look forward to after the birthday! xx

Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

Jaclyn ·

Thanks Jasmin! I know trips are the best – it’s becoming a bit of a tradition for us now but a whole experience together is the best type of present! x

Jaclyn ·

Thanks Jasiminne! Maybe I will do a review sometime – I’ve thought about it in the past but never quite got around to it! Stay tuned x

Paula ·

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! The new lens looks super GOOD! Hope you enjoyed SkyGarden, I went last week, it’s so cool! On a more random note have you seen Sophia Websters bridal shoes!? xx

Jaclyn ·

Hey Paula, yes so much fun! SkyGarden was great wasn’t it? And YES to Sophia Webster’s bridal shoes – i love that they have slogans on the soles! x

rose ·

Where did your friend buy the opal necklace? I’d love to purchase one like it.