Happy Boozy Birthday — Drink Recipes on Me!

One of my favorite round-up blogs to write is the #yummybday one. That’s when I pull together some favorites from my twitter postings of tasty treats you might bake for a loved one’s birthday. The blog serves as an easier way for my loved ones to determine what they should make me at my next birthday, too.

Nevertheless, I’ve noticed lately more yummy cocktail recipes from the people I regularly follow for mouth-watering ideas. So, here goes — the first #boozybday round-up. Enjoy (but in moderation of course…).

Birthday Cocktail Recipes

The Cookie Rookie always has great beverage offerings on her twitter feed. I’ve picked two for you:

The Toasted S’more Martini is a favorite from her blog back in 2013.

birthday cocktail

I also like the sound of this Sherbet Mimosa, another one she recently republished.

Birthday cocktail

Another of my favorite foodie bloggers is Living Lou, and not just because she lives in London, Ontario (where I went to grad school). I’m confident her Peach Sangria with blueberries and basil will be a crowd pleaser!


Since I live now in Charlotte, NC, I have to include Life, Love, Sugar’s Carolina Panther Punch. Plus, anyone who knows me, will know I love brightly colored foods.

Birthday cocktail

I’m a big fan of bubbly, so I also have to share this Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail from AdventureBite.


On Town & Country’s list of top spring cocktails, Le Bleu Glacier is the one that stuck out to me (and not only because it’s in French!). You garnish this blueberry, vodka, vanilla cocktail with berries and smoked cheddar!

FourSeasonsJacksonHole-Le Bleu Glacier-100 Mile Cocktail 1

Then, because I was worried I was including too many champagne/vodka pairings I put whiskey into my Google search. As a proud Canadian, my eye was drawn to the Raymond Massey cocktail.  Turns out this cocktail is “a sophisticated cocktail with the simple classic flavours of Rye, Champagne and Ginger.” The drink’s namesake is Canadian actor Raymond Massey from Toronto, where you can go to Massey Hall. I can’t help it, champagne’s in there too!


One last one, because it involves a star, the Zephyr Star from Bevvy features gin, lemon, simple syrup, allspice dram, and honey bitters. My only disappointment is that it’s not really involving stars other than the star anise on top. Well, I could still liven it up with the awesome light-up ice cubes my husband gifted me recently.


Cheers! Enjoy your next birthday celebration, even if it’s for a one-year-old it’s de rigeur these days that drinks be served.

Celebrating the First Birthday in a Bar

first birthday

Image source: New York Post

New York City is always the trendsetter, right? Well, how do you feel about following suit on this idea — baby birthday parties in bars.

According to the New York Post, “Baby birthday parties have infested Brooklyn’s bar scene.” Really, the choice of the verb “infested” alone suggests how the Living columnist Molly Shea feels about it — or at least the page editor who wrote the headline.

Shea goes to a German beer hall on a Saturday to witness its hosting five separate first birthday bashes! The article includes a picture of parents celebrating their son’s first birthday with beer steins that are as big as the birthday boy himself! Little Dante is not nursing after this party, that’s for sure!

first birthday

Image Source: New York Post

Shea describes: “The long, wooden tables in the cavernous space… covered in Mickey Mouse tablecloths, party hats, gluten-free cupcakes and pitcher upon pitcher of German beer.” The bar’s events manager tells her “we have at least one toddler birthday party a weekend, if not more.”

According to the paper, “Kiddie celebrations are a big draw for Staten Island brewery Flagship, too. ‘At this point, the majority of parties thrown at Flagship are first birthday parties,’ says event director Tricia Sykes.” Amazing!

Why a first birthday in a bar exactly?

Space is at a premium in NYC, and renting out a play space is expensive. So, the breweries and beer halls are picking up the slack. It certainly highlights the fact that first year birthday parties are more for the adults than the babies themselves. They won’t remember, but the Moms and Dads sure deserve the opportunity to celebrate surviving the first year of parenthood.

Another Mom spoke to the Post about hosting her party at another “boozy hangout” but really focusing on the parents. She simply set up playpens and a ball pit in one area for the kids and then invited the parents to sit and sip at tap room tables. “The party was definitely more for adults,” she said.

These places are kid friendly to a point — setting limits on when children can be there for instance and discouraging parties for kids old enough to run around and wreck havoc. Still, you’ve got to imagine some other bar goers are surprised by the number of strollers in the aisles and kids running rampant.

first birthday

Image source: New York Post

Ultimately, it’s a trend that makes sense. Having lived in Chicago and Toronto I could see this idea easily taking hold there too. It’s about space and cost, and knowing your audience. Now, the trend I want to see in two decades is kids coming back to the same breweries to celebrate their turning 21 too. That could be cool nostalgia.

Fraudsters Exploit Birthdays & Best Intentions

This blog recently covered a sweet story of two girls who see themselves as “birthday twins,” despite racial differences (and the fact that their birthdays are days away from one another). Recently, though, news came out of China of a fraudulent online fundraising campaign capitalizing on the idea of a “birthday twin.”

Chinese social media users were invited to type in their birthdays to find and donate to an impoverished student, born on the same day in a rural province. This sounds like a lovely way to personalize giving….

Until the 0fenbei site was accused of fraud. Screenshots published in Modern Express, a Nanjing-based newspaper, show a photo of the same girl offered up as having two different birthdays. In one result, “A Bi,” is born on Jan. 3, 2009, in southwestern China’s Yunnan province. In another, the girl’s name is “Gui Bi,” with a birthday of Nov. 24, 2009.

Another screenshot shows that “Xiao Dan,” another girl from Yunnan, was born on Feb. 29, 2009 — a date that doesn’t exist.

birthday giving

Birthday Giving Done Right

Wang Li, 0fenbei’s founder, issued a statement apologizing for inadequate scrutiny of students’ information, explaining that the publishing process was rushed. “There are six kids whose information is wrong,” he admitted.

The campaign, in which all donations were to have gone to Ai You Future Foundation, a Shenzhen-based charity that collaborates with 0fenbei, is now closed for donations. Yet, the site claims to have already raised more than 2.5 million yuan for 2,130 students.

Shenzhen’s civil affairs bureau is currently investigating the claims of suspicious identities.

Meanwhile, let’s end this blog on a positive note with one more of the now easy to find examples of people using their birthdays to show kindness to others. Just the week of writing this I came across these examples:

How Presidents Really Spend Birthdays — Hint: Not shopping

The President’s Day sales have ended, which means we’ve moved past the celebration of several U.S. Presidents on the third Monday of February. While this blog has previously shared several presidents’ lack of enthusiasm for birthday pomp and circumstance, a Washington Post columnist this year shared some great findings about just how nonplussed these guys were with their birthdays each year.

Consider George Washington: When he turned 28, he spent his birthday building a fence around his peach trees). As he got more distinguished, though, others couldn’t resist celebrating him. At his 46th birthday, a group of Revolutionary War soldiers surprised him by playing fife and drums outside his quarters at Valley Forge. One hopes the enemy was not within earshot (talk about giving away your location!).

T.J. — the man of the tall hat — wasn’t a big birthday fan either.  He reportedly said the only birthday he believed in celebrating was the nation’s. Jefferson wrote the Attorney General while president declining to let his “birthday be known” and stating he had also “engaged [his] family not to communicate it.”

Modern Presidents Embrace the Pomp 

At least FDR embraced some fun while in the White House. For his 52nd birthday, Franklin Roosevelt hosted a toga party and dressed as Caesar. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt dressed as the Oracle of Delphi, and other guests wore white robes and Grecian headbands.

FDR was also honored by 52 dancing girls carrying electrical candles and making themselves into the shape of a cake before singing Happy Birthday.

John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday also prompted a big celebration in New York City’s Madison Square Gardens. One of the most memorable moments was Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of Happy Birthday Mr. President. Her dress also garnered attention — she had to be literally sewn into the backless gown she wore in front of 15,000 guests (Mrs. Kennedy was noticeably absent).

JFK, onstage afterwards, said: “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”

Bill Clinton brought his 50th birthday festivities to New York as well, with a celebration cum Democratic fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall. The event raised $10 million for the party in 1996.

President Barack Obama was a bit more moderate when he celebrated his own milestone birthday at the White House. He celebrated turning 50 with an outdoor barbecue in the Rose Garden followed by music and dancing. The guest list did include some luminaries, though: Rapper Jay-z and actor Tom Hanks attended and Stevie Wonder provided a serenade.

Birthday Popularity — An Interactive Map

Clearly, I am not the only person out there who thinks birthdays are interesting. People with a lot more talent than I have for visualization and processing data have put together a cool heat map demonstrating the popularity of different birth dates.

Any loyal readers of this blog know already that September birthdays are the top-ranked for popularity, but on his “digital sketchpad for data stories” site, Matt Stiles provides an interactive way to see where your big day lands in comparison to others in the world.

birthday popularity

Birthday Popularity Ranked

To get the results, two decades of American birthdays, from 1994 – 2014, were averaged by month and day. There’s even an estimated conception date, for those who don’t shudder to think about that reality about their own parents.

Birthday popularity

It’s interesting to see that only one of the dates in the top 10 is outside of the month of September. Apparently October 14th is a particularly appealing day for parents to get busy!

While we’re at it though, let’s take a moment to reconsider the fact that you share your birthday with an estimated 11,000 people in America alone! That’s the median number of births per day.

A couple of other things I learned? Selfishly I of course looked up my own birthday. Turns out it is more common as a date of conception (netting a June 29 birthday at 111th), than it is a date of birth (115th, with a date of conception estimated at January 13 — no, Dad, if you’re reading this, I don’t need further detail about that critical January so many years ago…some things can be kept private between you and Mom, OK?).

I may not be a fan of data and statistics if I have to do any of the calculations. But I do love it when someone makes it so easy for me to sort through and find out cool stuff. Enjoy!


My Little Man is in Double Digits


birthday love

The kiddo in the picture above is turning 10 today. Ten! That’s double digits. As his Mom, I can tell you it is completely shocking to me that the 8 pound, 4 ounce (yes, I had to look it up — sue me) that used to span the length from my palm to my elbow is now an energetic, creative, funny, bright and (sometimes) sweet ten-year-old.

In his first year I described him as a boy whose likes and dislikes included:

  • “I like chilling on couch with Dad. I dislike sleeping for more than three hours at a stretch”
  • “I dislike being put in my crib or being left to my own devices. I like water (once I get used to it)”
  • “I dislike getting my ears checked and eating food with texture (other than Crackers/pretzels). I like cruising the furniture and eating Cheerios.”

Bigger Version of the Same

Amazingly, he’s now just a grown version of the same baby I described in that first year. For instance, I wrote at three months, that his favorite toy was “people.” It’s pretty much true still today. Sure, he wants those people to play Xbox One with him, but he’s definitely a people person.

He still doesn’t like going to bed or being left to his own devices! Judging by the opposition I face when I suggest it, he is still only a fan of water once he is actually in the tub. Plus, he still hates foods with certain textures, enjoys Cheerios, and has simply turned “cruising the furniture” into climbing all over it.

Really, the most shocking thing about I learned by getting out his baby book was how prescient his baby traits were for the boy he is today. Even “It is fun to show something (as if to give it) and take it away laughing” still fits. So does “I babble constantly.” Or “I loathe peas.” But a favorite that he hasn’t yet outgrown? “I hug.”

Thanks for putting up with this personal blog. You know I’ll be going all out today to fete my birthday boy.




Luckiest Birthdays in 2018

I have always known I had a lucky birthday. It’s my birthday. Of course it is lucky! But now fortune tellers in Japan have backed me up!

For this year at least, my birthday is the luckiest of those in my household. My husband’s comes in second, the dog is third, and the son is fourth. As he’s nine and might take being behind the dog poorly, I probably just won’t tell him.

And, since my “lucky” birthday is only the 134th most lucky birthday of the year, I’m not really doing all that hot myself.

My husband’s comes in at #185, Maddy (shown below) is #249, and the boy is #321. And before you think I’m too loopy about my dog, I really only checked hers on the list to see if my son could top someone’s birthday luck…but no (ahem) such luck.

What are the luckiest birthdays?

The list comes from a Japanese website, Medigaku, which consulted the predictions of 10 popular fortune tellers to find out the order of luckiest birth date.

If you’re expecting a baby, April 14 2018 is the day to pop him or her out. That’s thought to be the luckiest birthday on the books this year. It’s good news for actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anthony Michael Hell, and Adrien Brody, singer Loretta Lynn, and entrepreneur Bobbi Brown.

A Taiwan News site noted the 04/14 top spot “is a bit surprising” as “as in Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Koreas, Taiwan, and parts of Southeast Asia, the number four is a homophone with the word for death and is generally considered highly unlucky and inauspicious.”

The least lucky birthday of 2018? December 7. The anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, FYI, and the birthdate of athletes Terrell Owens, Larry Bird, John Terry, actor Nicholas Hoult, and singer Sara Bareilles.

You can read the whole list online. I highly recommend using the search function (control-F) with your birthday in month, date order! In the meantime, check out some ways people have tried birthday luck with lotteries!