My friend Marina and sister Carla threw me an amazing early 30th birthday party and hen's do in Sydney last weekend. I had the very best time! Many photos were taken, so get ready...
First up, we had a fancy lunch at Chiswick, a beautiful restaurant set within a park in Woollhara. I'd actually told Marina that I'd be happy with a burger brunch but she insisted on something a little more special. I had such a good time that I hardly took any food photos! My favourite dish was a gnocchi that came served with mushrooms and melted taleggio on the top. I just happened to be sitting next to my friend Jemma, who's pregnant, so had to eat all of the gnocchi the cheese had touched.
The babies sat together, but it took an hour or so for them to discover each other!
Despite being one of the youngest guests, my niece had the best time and made lots of new friends. Here she is playing peek-a-boo with a serviette with my friend Irini, who I've known since high school. At one point, one of the waitresses who had been serving us walked by and said 'I love that baby' to no one in particular.
Again - the perks of sitting next to a pregnant friend, aside from the conversation :) Poor Jemma had to forfeit her pavlova and sorbet, so I got two desserts but went for the hazelnut rocher first! Tony and I actually had a similar dessert the night we got engaged, only we were both too excited and hardly touched it.
I had my hair trial for the wedding that morning, so had fancy hair for the whole day. I wish I knew how to do styles other than messy bun and a ponytail.
More evidence of someone having a great time.
My sister in law Christina lives a short walk from the restaurant, and very generously had everyone over for an afternoon tea. Her home is full of light and beautiful, and we hung around and chatted until we were hungry to dig into the sweets.
How pretty is this tea set? I'd sent Marina a photo of a very nice looking tea party for a one-year-old (!) and she managed to make the tea and cake set up look exactly the same! She rented a cute set of mismatching China cups, and it was fun serving tea and picking out a cup for each girl.
My sister's big surprise was a 3D cupcake costume, which she'd made herself! All week she'd been texting me to hint at the special surprise - she actually had me really worried at one stage. I couldn't stop laughing when I put it on, and my glasses started to fog up.
When everyone sang happy birthday I was suddenly really overwhelmed from the day, it was very special to have everyone there and be in town for the weekend. I was half laughing, half crying and couldn't really blow out my candles properly.
Another flower photo snapped for Sophie!
The cupcake costume maker and a flowergirl-to-be.
I organised two small things for the party - I claimed the goody bags and also bought a whole bunch of nice looking takeaway boxes, so everyone could go home with a box of cake.
Here's what was inside each thank you package! There were a few different sock patterns, chocolate flavours and cookie cutter shapes.
And one last shot from the afternoon, my mum and my aunty Elaine accidentally wore the same colour dress!
I stayed with my sister and niece over the weekend, and everyone changed into their matching pajamas that night, totally exhausted. When the baby went to sleep, my sister and I tucked into some delicious leftovers from the lunch and tea party (banoffee pie!) and went to bed.
Each morning, I spent some lovely quiet time with my niece while my sister slept a little longer. On Sunday she spent a good 20 minutes going through the contents of my handbag, carefully examining every item before putting it back in the bag. That afternoon we made scones together and played outside, and it was a lovely end to a really happy weekend.
Then it was time to pack my things and meet up Tony after his buck's weekend away, with a cupcake in the backseat.
Photos by me, Carla and Haline.