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Life around COVID-19: Milestone Birthdays

So, this Saturday was the Mr.’s 40th birthday. Last year, I was naive enough to think everything would be back to usual by this year and I would be able to throw him a surprise party, inviting all his friends and family. Well, we all know how that turned out. So, I decided that I would decorate the whole house with 40th birthday decorations and give him a surprise at home instead, as soon as he got back from work.

I ordered elegant black and gold decorations from Amazon.ca, and chose priority delivery so they would get delivered a day or two before his birthday. I also ordered a beer mug for him, with 40th birthday wishes etched on it. For some reason, the orders were delayed and nothing was shipped even two days before the big day. So, I cancelled the order, went to Walmart and got the birthday decorations I could get. They did not have 40th birthday ones, so I decided to get creative.

My husband has had a rough couple of years – I’ll bore you with the details in another post – so I kept teasing him “Life begins at 40”, something my father always used to say since the beginning of this year. To celebrate this new life and to tease him a little more, I got baby shower/newborn balloons for him that said “It’s a boy.” I have to tell you that half the people I showed this to didn’t get it, but my husband had a good laugh, so it was worth it.

I couldn’t get a lot of decorations, to be honest – just a banner, a few balloons, a pack or two of swirling decorations, and that was it. So, to fill up the walls, I do what I do best. I made posters. I printed one from my Etsy shop and two basic ones. One of them just said “Life begins at 40. Happy Birthday,” printed on MS Word with a hearts page border in the Lucida Handwriting font. The other one said “40 Reasons Why We Love You” followed by a numbered list, all 40 items of which said “You’re the best”. The last line said, “Oh, and you’re the best. Happy birthday”. This one had a star page border (very easy on MS Word) and was also written in Lucida Handwriting font style.

I have a black and white printer, so to add a bit of colour, I placed the paper against a rough surface and rubbed coloured crayons against it. It gave them a bit of a textured look, which I like a lot. After the decorations were up, I sent all the pictures to my family, including my 11-year old niece. She turned it into a cool video with Surf Mesa’s “I love you baby” (feat. Emilee) and sent it back to me. That was quite a surprise. I don’t know what I was doing at that age, but it certainly wasn’t anything as creative as this.

On Saturday, we got him breakfast from his favourite place and his favourite cake from Costco.

Go through these pictures from our day, and let me know how you celebrate milestone birthdays during the COVID-19 era. If you’d like to buy the milestone birthday poster, please visit my Etsy shop or the Shop page on this website. I accept payment through PayPal and eTransfer.

The other pictures are the 5 scrolls that I sent this weekend, as part of my Words Matter project. Each scroll goes with a bunch of stickers and a couple of blank note cards. If you would like to send one to a warrior who inspires you, please get in touch.

Video made by my nice niece 🙂


©️Pebble in the Ocean 2021

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Writer by Birth, Writer for Life

If you have read my About page, you know that I wrote my first poem at the age of 5, and I have been writing ever since. A lot of times, people ask me how I write, why I write and why I write about the things that I write about. Some even tell me to write happier pieces and to stop being so depressed. It is hard for me to answer any of these questions. It is harder for me to tell people that just because I write about “sad” things, it doesn’t mean that I’m not happy.

Why I Write?

I write because I like to write. Writing makes me happy. It gives me something to look forward to each day, other than my family and friends. It gives me the perfect getaway from some of the mundane realities of the everyday life. It gives me an avenue to express my thoughts and feelings and, at times, to vent out without yelling. Above everything, it gives my life a purpose. It makes me feel like I exist, that I mean something, and that, I, too, can leave a mark on this impermanent world.

As I observe social media these days, it makes me realize that sometimes, we forget the value of words. We forget that words matter, they mean something, and they shouldn’t just be thrown around without responsibility, without accountability, without thought. Being a writer, then, makes me feel humble and proud, at the same time, because I know that words matter, I value them and I give them the importance they deserve.

At anxiety-ridden times like these, it is easy to let pent-up emotions get the better of you. So, I pick up my pen or my tablet – and write. I write down my thoughts, my favourite line from a newspaper article, my favourite quote from a book, movie, TV show, or even a prayer. I write and I give my thoughts and emotions an avenue to get out. I give words a chance to show me how valuable, beautiful and meaningful they are. I just write and stay calm.

Why do you write? Tell me in the comments section, what draws you to the written word and what motivates you to write. I look forward to hearing from you.

$5 Posters for Writers from Pebble in the Ocean

If you would like any of these A4-sized posters displayed in this blog, they are available as .PDF, .jpeg and .png digital files for just CAD 5 (minimum order quantity: 2), especially for writers. Physical prints are available for CAD 10. Please message me for details or for clarifying any doubts or concerns.

**Please note that any product posted on this website is the property of Pebble in the Ocean, and is intended for personal use only. Please do not reproduce or resell.

©️ Pebble in the Ocean 2021

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Life around COVID-19: Kids’ Birthdays

I feel really thankful for the things I have in life, especially since COVID-19 struck our world. So, savouring every moment and celebrating our special occasions seems even more important to me now, than it was before. This month, we are celebrating our kids’ birthdays. Since we spent the entire year between lockdowns, I wanted to record their achievements throughout the year, and cherish the fun times we had with them, despite lockdowns and not meeting anyone outside our household, for the most part.

Since both of them were born in the same month, I have decorated one wall with decorations based on my 5-year old’s preferences, and a second wall with decorations inspired by my 2-year old’s preferences. I also designed and printed posters for both of them, as recaps of their year – their choices, the things they like to do or eat, among other things, and taped those posters on their respective walls. I put collages of their pictures taken through the year, in the photo frames on the poster. Take a look.

I also got two folders, one for each of them. When I take the decorations off, I would keep these posters safe in the folders. I have decided that I would make such a poster each year, going forward, so that we can cherish these memories of our kids growing, changing, evolving little by little, every single year.

So, even though we may not be able to call our friends or our kids’ friends over for a party, this year gave us a new family tradition to follow and make our celebration of our big days a bit more unique and special.

If you would like to buy this kids’ birthday poster from toy Toronto-based business, please visit my Etsy shop.

©️ Pebble in the Ocean 2021