My 40ish Birthday & A Favorite Things Giveaway


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

While we celebrated my 40ish birthday last week, along with plenty of laughter, in reality, this is 41 for me and I’m pretty happy about that. I still love my laugh lines and I’m claiming every single laughter filled year because I’ve earned them.

And really, the alternative to growing older wouldn’t be a lot of fun, right?

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for the giveaway details!)

Save The Recipe

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email and I’ll send this recipe right to your inbox! Plus, I’ll send you new recipes every week!

The Royal Princess off the coast of Scotland - read more at

In case you missed the backstory, you can read about it and go ahead and laugh at the fact that I missed my 40th birthday.

However, my sweet friends decided I still needed a 40th birthday celebration and they pulled it off beautifully (on my 41st birthday) to surprise me on our last day at sea.

I owe a huge thank you to Princess Cruises for helping make all of this happen and I am so grateful to have partnered with them to share this dream vacation with you!

We sailed around the British Isles, visiting ten cities in four countries over the course of two weeks.

Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands -

Cruising gives you the best of both worlds. You have the convenience of staying in the same place (not changing hotels or figuring out transportation to and fro) while you also have the fun of exploring so many new places.

To start my birthday in style, we enjoyed the most amazing breakfast in our stateroom. Two waiters came to our room, set up a table with linens, and then served a truly amazing meal.

The Royal Princess cruise ship - The ultimate birthday breakfast - read more at

Smoked salmon, quiche, fresh fruit, and a selection of freshly made pastries were all served in style along with champagne, juices, coffee, and hot tea. I’ve never had a better birthday breakfast.

After that, I headed for the Lotus Spa on the ship for the ultimate massage, seaweed wrap, and a float bed (a.k.a. fancy-as-can-be) combination. I basically had a “pinch me, am I dreaming?” kind of morning.

The Royal Princess cruise ship - The ultimate birthday breakfast - read more at

As if that wasn’t special enough, when I returned to our room, I discovered that Sean had conspired with my friends to decorate our stateroom in full on birthday style.

They hung enormous birthday balloons, banners, and more all around the room. I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard.

Princess Cruises 2018 - 40th birthday -

As it turned out, my birthday evening was also the balloon drop night on The Royal Princess. So after an amazing dinner, complete with a pretty spectacular birthday cake, we headed to the atrium for the drop.

For what it’s worth, the ship’s amazing pastry chef managed to top my former favorite Princess dessert, the Chocolate Lava Cake.

Balloon drop night on The Royal Princess - read more at

If you’ve never sailed with Princess, you may not be familiar with the party that happens on the last night at sea. It’s a whole lot of fun. There are hundreds of people dancing to the live music and watching the balloons drop.

There’s nothing better than the balloon drop for a level of people watching that is sure to make you grin.

The Royal Princess - British Isles Cruise balloon drop - read more at

Are you ready for the giveaway? To share the birthday fun with you all, I’m giving away a few of my favorite things!

This awesome Yeti coffee cup. (It’s also awesome for ice water or sodas.)

These cute and cozy socks, because I am so ready for cooler weather.

This candle. I’m not much of a candle person, but this one is pure heaven. A friend gifted it to me years ago and it’s still my favorite.

And last but not least, a $50 Amazon gift card, so that you can pick up a few more of your favorite things!

ENTER TO WIN by leaving a comment telling me one of your favorite things! Giveaway is sponsored by Barefeet In The Kitchen and will end on Tuesday, September 18th at 11:59pm EST. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S to enter. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email. GIVEAWAY CLOSED 

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Princess Cruises to share my travels with you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Princess Cruises and/or to book a cruise visit their website.

Filed under: ,

Share this Article


Related Posts

Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

Reader Interactions

308 Comments Leave a comment or review

    Rate & Comment

  1. Diana Eagy says

    I love so enjoy reading about your adventures. Thanks for sharing. Some of my favorite things are cuddling with my tiny dog. Watching the joy on the faces of young hockey players when they make their first goal., sunsets, sunrises, full moons and star studded skies.

  2. Angie McMaster says

    I love reading your posts!
    One of my favorite things is a hydroflask bottle. My son bought it for me as a gift and I use it everyday year round. I put ice and water in it during the summer and hot tea in it in the winter. The ice doesn’t melt no matter how hot it gets and my tea stays warm when it’s cold outside. It’s easy to wash and I can tuck it in my purse!!!

  3. Linda E. Heaward says

    Just a few of my favorite things:
    Holding my son 48 years ago and hugging him today as well, my grandchildren, cooking with and for my family, early mornings, birds singing,, mornings at camp and sitting around the fire, food favorites are too many to list😄. Love to make and the smell of homemade bread!

  4. Stephani says

    My Favorite Things are the daily discovery that everyone in my family makes like learning new ways to tell yourself hey I am ok and what can we do to make it better (if that is even possible). A cup of tea and good exciting book are something that the most of us can take for granted. Our hectic life does not always allow for the time to be spent by ourselves. A old pair of wool slippers that have been sewed shut so many times are a treasure for me. I do not need new or expensive things to make me happy. Old things and lots of fantastic memories are just plenty

  5. Zara Pyatt says

    Playing with my foster kittens. Have had 45 to date. They make you smile everytime you see them. Also fuzzy socks and a good glass of Cabernet.

  6. Kristi says

    One of my favorite things is my quiet morning walk, spending time with God alone in prayer and enjoying His awesome creation.

  7. Rose says

    Your trip sounds amazing and I got a huge kick out of reading your missed 40th birthday post! This time of year my favorite things are pumpkin candles, fall decor, cozy sweaters, and rainy days!
    Happy Birthday!🎈🎉🎁🎂

  8. Kathy Barcanic says

    One of my favorite things is hazelnut coffee from Panera. I can get it in K-cups and it is just wonderful. Not too strong, but just enough flavor to enjoy. It’s the best on a Saturday morning when everyone else is still asleep and I can get a chance to take my time waking up and checking email. It’s a treat!

  9. Ouida Lampert says

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your favorite things with us. My favorite thing is about 100 things rolled into one GIANT one – my studio.

    I finally have the space to have “stations” for all the different things I love to do. Even designated “clean” areas and “messy” areas! Without having to shuffle things around, or set up supplies, I can just work.

  10. Marjorie Newcomb says

    What an awesome birthday celebration, Mary. I am new to your site…but very excited by what I have seen so far.
    One of my favorite things is taking walks in the White Mountains of NH with my husband and two dogs, Josey and Gibbs. NH has SO many trails with brooks, ponds, waterfalls and spectacular views. It is where I unwind, breathe in the fresh air and reboot.
    Thank you for this contest. Be blessed.

  11. Julie says

    My coffee first thing in the morning sitting on my patio watching the birds, my little dog roaming the yard looking for lizards, and enjoying the upcoming fall weather.

  12. Dianne Lee says

    One of my favorite things is cuddling with my cat, Miss Maggie, and a hot cup of coffee, and a great movie. A Yeti cup, cozy socks, candle, and movies from Amazon would be awesome! Happy late birthday!