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Milestone Birthdays

Author: Naomi Liddell

Early next year, my husband will turn 40. Which I’m struggling to wrap my head around because his 30th feels no longer than 4 years ago. We’re planning on marking the occasion with a stress-free/kid-free trip to Amsterdam. A place neither of us have been to, but has been on the hit list for quite some time (all recommendations welcome). There has also been talk of a party at home for family and friends. I was keen on a theme, Gavin is absolutely not. He’s more of a ‘text everyone to meet at the boozer’ kind of party planner. 
 
It got me thinking about milestone birthdays and how there is something about flipping into a whole new decade that warrants a bit of extra celebration. Whether that’s a party, a special gift or trip to mark the occasion. 
 

Long gone are my 18th/21st milestones, but my latest celebrated one (albeit a few years ago now) was my 30th. We took a cheeky trip to Bali as a family – it was just three of us then – and on my actual birthday day I indulged in a 4.5 hour long spa treatment in the most incredible spa I’ve ever visited. Guys, I literally bathed in a secret courtyard, outside, in a stone bath full of fresh flowers. It was a birthday to remember. Gavin also created a gorgeous moment by surprising me with an eternity ring while walking along the beach one night. I wear it every day and it reminds me of how special my 30th birthday felt.
 
A colleague of mine back in Australia went to an elaborate 40th birthday party where the theme was ‘Forty Winks’. Guests were invited to a fully styled event, and the dress code was strictly pyjamas only. The photos looked like everyone had a riot and the stand-up bed photo booth (literally pillows and a duvet nailed to a stud wall) was ingenious. This was years ago and I still to this day want to break out this idea for my own 40th.
 
For my Dad’s upcoming 60th birthday, he and my Mum are going on a much anticipated trip to New York (they’ve never been to The States before) where he plans on buying the world’s most stupidly expensive sandwich and taking my Mum shopping. This is his dream. And this is very much my Dad. 
 
Milestone birthdays are so personal, aren’t they? Whether you treat yourself, throw a party, stay at home or do something fun or extravagant, it’s about tapping into what really makes you happy. It’s creating an experience that you will remember for years to come. It’s a way of marking how lucky we all are to reach these special milestones in life. Of making memories with the people you love, whether that’s eating a stupidly expensive sandwich or just having a night in with a few of your close friends. 
 
Do you have any milestone birthday celebrations coming up? Your own or others?
What’s the most memorable milestone birthday celebration you’ve encountered?

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Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
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26 thoughts on “Milestone Birthdays

  1. Eagley awaiting any Amsterdam tips! I’ve booked my husband a surprise trip for his 40th in October. and I really do need to get moving with getting more organised then just our accommodation and flights. x

  2. My husband turned 40 in June. We did a big party which was fab but I liked the other more personal things we did best. We have three young kids so put together a scrap book with 40 things to do in his 40th year. It’s a mixture of things to do as a family (go for a family bike ride, eat fish and chips by the sea), things to do as a couple (go to a comedy night, gig or one of the many other things we never many to do any more!) or things for himself (get a shave at a Turkish barber) we’ve got them all in a scrapbook then we take pictures of gather momentos to keep a record of it.

    We also did 40 gifts for his 40th. Some were very small (a magazine with a guarantee of time to read it! A packet of munchies!) and some were more normal gifts. It worked well as it coincides with Father’s Day so there were lots of trinket type presents around to bulk it up!

    This year we’ve also had my mums 60th and nans 80th so it’s been quite the milestone year!!! I’m exhausted!! 😂

    1. Well if that doesn’t score you major wife-of-the-year points I don’t know what does! How thoughtful!! I may need to steal some of those ideas for Gavin’s 40th. And with thoughtful gifts like that no wonder you’re exhausted.

  3. Oh wow I love the forty winks idea, I might have to have that! We are 35 and 36 this year and can’t quite believe 40 is so close! I had a big ceilidh for my 30th, jointly with a friend.

    1. Love a ceilidh Bunny! Yeah, I remember thinking 40 was so old when I was younger. We’ve had a few friends celebrate 50 last year too, so I think we can officially say we’re all adults now 😂

  4. This is timely as I am contemplating what to do for my 40th next year. I still have 10 months but suddenly panicking about the thought of organising a big party (I get very upset that people won’t come) but also don’t have too many opportunities to host a party! We have two weddings either side of my birthday too so I can’t celebrate when I would have chosen to. Eek… I am aware that I am stressing about something which should be fun!!

    1. Jen it’s YOUR birthday. Do you actually want a big party? If so, how about recruiting someone (paid or family/friends) to organise it for you? You needn’t do all the hard yards if you don’t want to. Plus, people love a good party so I imagine the vast majority will be there with bells on. There will always be people who can’t make it, but you probably won’t even notice on the night.

  5. I LOVE the idea of the Forty Winks party! Would love to see the photos from that booth.
    I’m a big party planner, very happy to throw a huge one for myself and have been known to plan many for our friends too. For Ben’s 30th a few years ago I surprised him with a trip to Iceland. I’d had a really rough few years and he was always by my side so I threw everything I had at it. I even hid the printed details in the freezer and made him play hot or cold around our (tiny) flat, which was quite hilarious!
    Your parents trip sounds amazing too, New York is fab and a great place to celebrate. Although I have had that sandwich from Katz and would recommend sharing one – they are HUGE! xx

    1. Alice you are QUEEN party thrower from what I’ve heard. If I had any images on hand of your 30th bash I would have made those the header haha! Iceland is also on the hitlist. And I am serious about holding onto that forty winks idea for my own 40th (even though there are a good 7.5 years until that arrives!).

  6. My husband took me to Amsterdam for my 40th earlier this year. It’s one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. We stayed at The Hoxton and wandered the 9 Streets district, took in a Van Gogh and Banksy exhibition, ate rijsttafel (rice table – Amsterdam is famed for its Indonesian food!) and the Foodhallen is a must! Enjoy. I absolutely love the forty winks idea!!

    1. These are some great ideas, thanks so much Rudy! I’ve heard The Hoxton is beautiful. Also I didn’t know that Amsterdam is famed for Indonesian food – and I LOVE Indonesian food. Excited now.

  7. Your 30th sounds heavenly Naomi!! I love celebrating birthdays and I feel like my 30th was the last big proper celebration so I’m really excited about my 40th in a year and a half. Unfortunately my hubby is not into celebrating birthdays at all, and he’s 5 years younger than me so I can’t even do a big celebration for him in the hope he’ll do one for me! Love the ideas above about all the wee presents/experiences. All my girlfriends from home turn 40 the same year so we’re planning a big trip away to Ibiza which should be fab, if we could just start saving!! Lx

    1. A girls trip to Ibiza sounds like the ultimate 40th celebration Laura!! That’s the kind of thing you def want to start saving for so you can enjoy yourself knowing it’s all taken care of.

  8. Amsterdam is the best, I’m desperate to plan a kid free break there. We loved hiring bikes and cycling through Waterland, proper windmills and everything, plus you can go to Edam! Second the rijstafel, we had one and it was amazing

    1. Hiring bikes sounds like a great way to explore the outer areas of the city. We’ve been recommended Waterland too.

  9. It’s my 60th on New Year’s Day 2020 and I’ll be joining my daughter and her bf who live in Sydney, as will my sis, her bf, her 2 daughters all arriving from the UK and what’s more, my bro, wifey, son, daughter and her bf will be flying in from NZ for NYE fireworks in Sydney harbour and a rooftop Birthday BBQ! I will never have felt so special and probably never will again!

    1. Gilly that is a seriously EPIC 60th celebration! How amazing for everyone to make such an effort. I bet you deserve all the special treatment you’ll get.

  10. It’s my Husband’s 40th in January and I really want to do something to celebrate. But he really doesn’t want to, which I think is a massive shame. He just doesn’t see Birthdays as being important, even ones with zeros in.
    I won’t stop trying to convince him though!

    1. Alex, mine is exactly the same, it’s so frustrating!! I just do it anyway to try and show him how much fun it is, and also so that he has to replay the favour! 😉

  11. I live in Amsterdam so can recommend lots! What sort of things are you interested in and how much time have you got? 😂 If you’re looking for a special restaurant to celebrate one night in though I’d definitely recommend Envy on the Prinsengracht or Neni on the Stadionplein. Singel 101 is another good option. Such a great city so hope you have a fantastic time!

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