Leaving the Teens Behind

Over the weekend we celebrated Arabella’s birthday.  A birthday where she left her teens behind.  It struck her that she’s getting old.  ‘I’m so old, mum; I don’t want to be this old, I liked being a teenager’.  I didn’t like her being a teenager and am quite happy we’re moving on.

Kick-starting the day

Kick-starting the day

‘If you’re feeling old Arabella, spare a thought for me.  You can’t stop time and now that you’re no longer a teenager I’m imagining that’s it for the theatrics, tantrums and tears?’

A relaxing birthday

A relaxing birthday

‘I’m not sure, mum; I’m not feeling any more mature.  And how are you going with my party?’  When Arabella asked me if she could have a party, I said, ‘You don’t need to have a party every single birthday.  Every now and then you can skip a year like I do.  When was the last time I had a party?’

Heading towards the 'coat hanger'

Heading towards the ‘coat hanger’

‘Mum, you don’t have parties because that’s your choice; that’s the way you like it.  I’m not like that; I love parties and my friends would think I’m weird if I didn’t have a party’.

Loving the sunshine and sea air

Loving the sunshine and sea air

So for the actual birthday we started the day with the present-giving ceremony which was rather lacklustre given two items ordered on-line failed to be delivered on time.

Then we went out for a family breakfast and despite the early hour, the two, who are no longer teenagers ripped open the cocktail menu and ordered Bloody Mary’s.

Sweet Rosie

Sweet Rosie

Then it was down to the beach for an outing on the boat with the two best girls included.  Under the blue skies (that have been rare of late), they went around to Sydney Harbour and looked at all the landmarks and cruise ships and Sydney icons.

But back to the party.  There’s 60 invited but, ‘Don’t worry mum, not all of them will be able to come’.  I’m still waiting for definite numbers but I thought 20 would have been plenty.  The plan is that they’re having a lunchtime picnic down at the beach (excellent, no mess in the house and nothing for me to do), then they’re coming back here in the late afternoon for birthday cake and snacks and drinks on the verandah, then they’re going to a night club and I shouldn’t expect her home before three or four.

Ruby having cuddle time

Ruby having cuddle time

She must have some stamina because that’s a 13-hour party!  Because they’re all coming here for cake I’ve been busy cleaning the house which never seems to look any better despite no end of effort.  Ticking the housework off my list, it’s on with the cake and it’s not going to be of Titanic proportions but rather slightly more humble as this is a 20th and not a 21st.  This gorgeous birthday card is my inspiration.

A great birthday card

So cute!

So, I’m tying up my apron and heading into the kitchen.  I’ll be back soon with the cake!

Kick-starting the day

Kick-starting the day

PS:  About that beard!  This week he’s played the role of a terrorist in a short film and later this week he’s being photographed for a music festival.  He’s promised me that after the photo shoot the beard’s coming off.  But then again he also says he’ll tidy his room.  Stay tuned.


  1. Ohhhh Bather’s…. I miss breakfast at Bathers…and also their Creme Brûlée’ It was my favourite morning hang out place… 🙂 looks like it was a wonderful day! I can’t wait to see the cake 🙂
    Liz x

  2. Charlie, you always make me laugh and that is why I love reading your posts! A very special happy birthday to Miss Arabella! Your little pooches are too cute always make me laugh too. Umm about that beard… lol… Take care, BAM

  3. oh dear yes that beard – very terrorist-y! cute dogs. happy birthday to your daughter.

  4. LOL at he’ll tidy his room. I can’t wait to see the cake. You make the most outstanding cakes. I’ve made a few celebration cakes and they are bloody hard work.

  5. You are such a good mama, to plan a party, to bake a special cake. If I was Arabella, I might not want to grow up either. Happy birthday to your precious daughter!

  6. Happy birthday to Arabella! What a lovely day, I really hope she had a good one. Wish her all the best! My eldest will be 20 in November. Thankfully, she doesn’t bother me about parties, she’ll just want a dessert and then go off with friends.
    Can’t wait to see the cake!
    Oh, and Archie looks gorgeous, beard and all 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday Arabella 🙂 I can’t believe she’s left her teens now! It feels like only yesterday she was still in high school hehe now i feel old since I’ve been following your blog for so long! hehe I loved the fact you took the two girls out on the boat too I MUST take Cupcake next time!

  8. I bet the cake will be amazing. You are so tolerant. We stopped having parties at home some time ago, apart from for Mr Glam And me!! The Glams are just too hard to cater for and too unpredictable, but it is lovely when everyone is together and having fun. GG

  9. Can’t wait to see your birthday cake! Happy birthday to your daughter! My son also leaves the teen years tomorrow, but he is keeping it low key or I’m not invited if he planned anything on his own ; )

  10. Tidy his room? Don’t hold your breath.
    Rather, do what I used to do. I’d wait until their rooms actually were tidied, then take a photo of it. Then I’d shut the door, sticking the image on the door so that every time I passed, that was how the room looked to me.
    Arabella must be in with quite a party set, my son tells me that lots of his friends forgo parties and just go out instead.

  11. Happy birthday Arabella! I hope the party goes smoothly for all involved (house included) and can’t wait to see the cake if that beautiful card is the inspiration.

  12. I can’t wait to see what you two dream up for next year. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!!! xo

  13. Happy birthday to Miss Arabella!! Can’t wait to hear more about the festivities. Because I know there will be a good story!

  14. Happy birthday to Arabella!!! I loved your opening paragraph – had me in stitches! Good luck with the cake and the party. I can’t imagine 60 kids! I don’t think I could come up with 60 people to invite. 😉

  15. It’s all your fault, Charlie, for setting the birthday party bar so high. If you just gave them delivery pizza, pop and ice cream with a grocery store cake, she wouldn’t have invited 60 people. 🙂 The doggy inspiration card is adorable.

  16. Too funny Charlie. Must be an Anna thing as I believe birthdays should actually be birthday weeks, a little tiring I admit when others celebrate for a week but when it’s my time…… I love it.
    Looking forward to you coming out of that kitchen with cake too.

  17. you must still be recovering from the 21st! good luck with the party (and the tidying up – never high on my to do list) – love how the girls came out with the family for the celebrations – am sure Arabella will have lots of fun – and I think the 20s were so much better than my teens!

  18. Dear Charlie,

    You’re too funny – “excellent, no mess in the house and nothing for me to do”!!

    Happy birthday Arabella and as a former teenager, your reasoning to have a party makes a whole lot of sense!

  19. Happy Birthday to Arabella…and yes, that beard looks…looks…
    Always funny Charlie…I love it! You always make me laugh…
    Hope you are having a great week 😀

  20. LOL! Love your sentence – “But then again he also says he’ll tidy his room.” HAHAHA Moms know it all… Happy Birthday Arabella! 20th was a big one for me as I came to the US alone. Gosh I miss those days! I can’t wait to see your cake. I don’t think I don’t know any mom who blogs AND do all this entertaining things. You’re my inspiration, Charlie. Really!

  21. Happy post teen birthday Arabella!
    Charlie, you are an incredible mom!
    Looking forward to seeing the cake.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  22. Wow! I can barely recognise Archie! And a happy birthday to Arabella! What a party indeed! 😀

  23. She feels old? I was married with a kiddie at her age – I don’t think I ever remember feeling that ‘young’! 🙂
    What a nice way to spend a birthday, out on the water seeing the sights. I hope she has a lovely party, and good luck with the cute cake Charlie! Xox

  24. What a fun birthday! I love Ruby and Rosie – they are adorable.

  25. Haha – your comment about Archie’s beard and his film shoot – oh Charlie – You are kidding right? 🙂
    Happy Birthday to Arabella – that is some stamina indeed!

  26. The birthday parties you host must be becoming legendary! I just don’t know how you do it. Looks like a lovely day on the boat; that should be enough celebration for any birthday. lol My daughter is now 25, so you can imagine how old she feels. I keep hearing about time running out for her. Sure . . . so as you say, what does that say about me?

    I do think it might be time for Archie to lose the beard, but I guess they are very popular with young men these days. I sometimes feel like we’re back in the early 1970s when I see all the facial hair.

  27. Seems like a fabulous birthday! Happy Birthday Arabella 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  28. A few hours on the water is my idea of birthday bliss. 🙂 How amazing to have another child enter adulthood. Wishing you many happy memories together. 🙂

  29. Another landmark, and I’m sure the cake will rise to the occasion, as you always do too.

  30. Lol, what a fun-loving and articulate family! You tell entertaining stories, Charlie! Love the card, BTW 🙂

    Gourmet Getaways

  31. What a beautiful day it looks out there, an afternoon party of 60, you can handle that no sweat 🙂 – and yes get rid of that beard, or at least trim it. Have an awesome weekend 🙂

  32. I absolutely love to hear the stories about your family members. I laughed out loud when you said you said you didn’t like Arabella being a teen. And then her response about no longer throwing tantrums was classic. LOL With you in charge of her birthday, it will be absolutely amazing! What a beautiful day on the boat. Your fur babies are just the sweetest things.

  33. What is it with young people today, it can never be a small intimate gathering, it’s always masses of people? My niece and nephew (in their late 20s) come up with friends to the cottage and it’s never just one or two other couples, it’s 10-12 people with 6 enormous dogs! (that they don’t pick up after — yes, there have been words!).
    Happy Birthday Arabella!

  34. Adorable baby.. I can’t believe she’s 20 now, but happy for all of you if that means a party and no more tantrums;) I can’t wait to see the cake you make, I’m imagining a cake that looks like Rosie?? If anyone could pull that one off you could!! xx

  35. Happy birthday Arabella! Why do I get the feeling there will be way more than 20 people showing up for the party. Looking forward to seeing the cake.

  36. You are such a good sport about the parties, Charlie. You know how to be festive under any circumstance, and that’s a delightful quality. I love the invitation–and that you take your two girls sailing with you. Can’t wait to see what you did for a cake. You have set very high standards in that department. 🙂

  37. Tonette Joycet says:

    Gotta love it all!

  38. I love the theme–and the photos of the dogs. They are the real stars here and look so happy on the boat.

  39. Happy belated Birthday to Arabella! I’ve been off celebrating my own and have a lot of catching up to do. I took a look at the first image and thought that was Arabella’s new boyfriend, lol! Totally didn’t recognize Archie at first, even though I’ve seen “the beard!”

  40. Arabella is a trend setter in that swimsuit. Mariah Carey is wearing the same one now: http://pagesix.com/2015/07/01/mariah-carey-takes-her-boobs-and-billionaire-beau-to-spain/

    It gave me a laugh as I recognized it from this blog first.

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