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Today is my 29th birthday! Since having a birthday on a Monday is really not festive at all, we decided celebrate it on Saturday instead. Big Chuck and I started the day by heading out to our favourite market and visiting our friends at the Italian table. Oh how I wish we had learned Italian instead of German (no offense to anyone who speaks/loves deutsch, but I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from). We bought some prosciutto, funghi antipasti, and mortadella, our friend even threw in a focaccia bread on the house/stand. Then we walked down to the flower part of the market and bought those gorgeous pink tulips you see in the photo. They are in our living room and every time I walk by them I exclaim, "they are soooo beautiful!" I can't help myself. After a winter of grey days and damp weather it's the most joyful thing in the world to have a bunch of fresh flowers in the house.

Saturday night Big Chuck, our good friend the Guerilla Gourmand, and I, went out for a really fabulous meal at Hidori, a japanese restaurant here in Vienna. Our friend, the g.g., made me the most beautiful handmade book. She printed out the entire text of Romeo & Juliet and hand bound the entire book herself. She wrote a really sweet inscription in the front that I must say brought a few birthday tears to my eyes. I have never had a handmade book before and love it so much. (thanks g.g.)

I'm so happy to be turning 29, it took a little while to get over the "one more year to 30" shock, but I'm convinced the year ahead is going to be a great one.

Have a happy Monday,

Oh yes, Music Monday! Don't worry, I didn't forget...

(photos: Bess Callard)