I had a birthday!! I turned 44 this year, under 24/7 lockdown, with my family. While this isn’t how any of us planned to celebrate a new year, I decided to go big, and got all dressed up with nowhere to go. Check out my birthday suit COVID19 style!
DRINK THE CHAMPAGNE
Its a special day, our birthdays. We celebrate another year of life, another year of growth, and the start of something fresh and new. Since I turned 40, I’ve celebrated every birthday dressed up and sipping Veuve-Clicquot champagne. Why? Because they are two of my favorite things. A dress that makes me feel beautiful, and a drink that is typically a special treat in this house. Prosecco happens often; but Veuve…that’s just for special occasions, and you better believe my birthday is one of them.
WEAR THE DRESS
If you know me, you know I need NO excuse to get dressed up. 2020 wasn’t about to stop me from getting D R E S S E D! Before the whole global pandemic got really real for us here in the UAE, I had been in All Saints, one of my favorite stores to browse. My awesome hubby got me a gift certificate for Christmas, so in January, I SCORED in the sale section. But that’s not this dress. No, back then, this dress was full price and way out of my budget.
Another month later, I had to be in the mall for what I didn’t know was my last time, and took another peek. There she was, on the clearance rack, 50% off. What I had left on my GC didn’t cover it; but when I tried it on, it just fit perfectly. So, she came home with me, and I’m so grateful! It became my birthday suit COVID19 style. Wearing it made me feel so so pretty, especially during a time where just getting “dressed” each day feels kind of blah. Who else is feeling THOSE feels lately?!
ALWAYS TWIRL WHEN WEARING THE DRESS
Watch me Always TWIRL when wearing the Dress, one take….nailed it!
LET’S TALK DETAILS
Ohhhh, how I love the details in my clothes. This dress is no exception, so I thought I’d share WHAT it was about this piece that drew me in. (I believe that once we know what we like, it will show up way more often, because our mind has been trained to remember things we are drawn to. Might sound crazy; but I can often skim right over things that just are NOT my style, making shopping way more effective. Remember that post I did about creating a style Pinterest board?! Give it a try!)
Black is just classic and a give in when shopping at All Saints. The tulle overlay with the white embroidered flowers and sparkly bar sequins sewn in randomly, leveled it up. I paired it with my Chanel sandals – shout out to consignment store shopping a year ago!! Plus since I’m on the short side, heels are the best option so I don’t step on them hem or fray it. This is not a dress you can shorten / hem, not with all that detail! The underlay is shorter, so it shows off some leg; but its not a “legs for days” look with all that draping of the tulle and multiple slits throughout the skirt.
The bodice zips up in the back creating a fitted look, and more draping of fabric. It almost looks like an open back, so you have to wear a strapless bra (or none at all) that sits lower than the back zipper. Not only that, the satin detail at the wrists zips on a long cuff to give some pretty puff details. This dress is a fantastic blend of modest fashion, with also feeling just a little sexy at the same time. It’s my new favorite way to dress, and once I realized that, I see so many beautiful, classic and original ways to create the look, and NOT feel dated or like I’m dressing too mature. Perfect example of personal style evolving!
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
After I was treated to mimosas and crepes with fresh fruit topped with a birthday candle, I did my workout (interrupted by a call from my cousin and then my sister from back in Alberta! SO good!) and got ready for the day.
First things first….I had my late morning coffee in my birthday suit:
JUST OVER HERE LOOKING FABULOUS AND MAKING LUNCH!
After enjoying that, and a call with my awesome Grama back in Alberta, I made some egg salad sandwiches for my family for lunch in my birthday suit:
I told you! I wore that gorgeous dress all day! Of course, not the heels, and I was super duper careful because tulle is delicate and I would have been so sad to ruin any part of that intricate overlay. I do what to wear this beauty OUT of the house someday, haha! (Here’s a pro tip when accessorizing anything with a delicate fabric like this….be very careful not to wear necklaces or bracelets with claw settings on the gems or certain clasps. They can cause pulls and runs in your gorgeous garment and make it less than perfect for the next time you wear it. Tulle is near impossible to repair so be thoughtful in what you pair with it.)
I had two group Zoom calls with amazing new friends, who some ALSO even dressed up just for the occasion, AND I had two friends surprise me by joining in from the States!! Talk about feeling loved! I cried, of course.
Duck Confit with Cream Cheese mashed potatoes and veggies. We normally leave that kind of meal up to our favorite French restaurant here in Dubai called Couqley; but since we are sticking close to home, we found a way to make it. Our new favorite grocery delivery service called Kibsons, has a frozen pre-made version that, when baked at home, was certainly delicious and perfect for my birthday dinner. I’d love to know….what’s your favorite at home meal for a random or planned celebration?! Do you go all out or have a quick and easy favorite?
AND THEN THERE WAS CAKE
While I was looking quite forward to the fudge brownies we had in mind to make for my birthday cake, my beautiful friends did one better, and had an incredible triple layer chocolate cake with ganache icing DELIVERED. Talk about decadent! And I am LOVING how normal it is for Dubai to have delivery for anything you can think of, even BEFORE these crazy times. We ate that cake for the next two days, and let me tell you, it was INCREDIBLE in the afternoon with coffee!
MY COVID19 BIRTHDAY WAS PERFECT
After all was said and done, even though we couldn’t leave the house, I can honestly say that was one of the best birthday’s I’ve ever had. I didn’t have to share my people with anyone else. It’s been six years since Kent could be with me from the start of the day to the end, and same with the kids! Everyone is typically off to work and school! Because of these crazy times, they all went out of their way, even a little more than usual to make sure the day was special. There were no gifts, just time, with each other, good food shared together, and connections by family and friends when they could. That, was surely, gift enough in of itself. Cheers to 44, here I come!
PS the next day, Dubai lifted the 24/7 lockdown restrictions, so we have been able to leave our homes without applying for a movement permit, and as long as we wear a mask and adhere to simple precautions, we have a little more wiggle room which is pretty fantastic. The pandemic isn’t over, the curve hasn’t been flattened,and we still need to #stayhome; but here’s hoping that by removing some strict restrictions, we can continue to see positive trends in the community. Take care my friends!