Today is my birthday. In case you were wondering, yes Dad and I do have birthdays one day apart (nonetheless, myself included, I still think the Hobbit sword is the best present I have ever given him). I love birthdays. And Easter. And Christmas. And pretty much any other excuse that you have to celebrate. But even considering my usual love of birthdays, I have to admit that today has actually been the most incredible, love-filled day. I made a apple-crumble birthday cake, watched Eurovision live at 5am, went for a beautiful walk along the water at Sandgate with my friend and her children, had a lovely lunch at one of my favourite cafes (Canter and Colt at Samford – I even ventured outside my usual acai bowl and ordered the smashed pumpkin special which was incredible) and received a lot of phenomenal presents and birthday messages.
Although I do know how many amazing people I have in my life who truly know and care about me, it is still so incredibly wonderful and delightfully indulgent to have the occasional binge of love that birthdays bring.
Cliché alert – but birthdays for me (and probably most people) always seem to be a time of reflection. To reflect on where you are in life in relation to where you thought you would be. For me, I have always thought that 23 was the age that you could be considered an adult (or at least should be at the point that you are able to pretend you are one). Sure, at 21 you can legally drink, vote and do all those other fun adult things pretty much everywhere in the world. But I feel as though you actually need some time to settle into adulthood before it actually strikes home. And personally I don’t think you can count an age that has a Taylor Swift song about it to be a good measure of becoming an adult. Sorry 22.
The past year has been a big year for me. I travelled to Europe by myself, started and finished my first full time job, spent a lot of time commuting, watched my sister move to Emerald, ate a lot of really fantastic breakfasts, refocused on my health, took thousands of photos, cooked and shared some amazing and not so amazing meals, started a blog, was a bridesmaid – which meant watching one of my closest friends get married, became a godmother and had my heart broken for the first time. I found myself, lost myself and then found myself over and over again. I learnt a lot. About working, the world, my passions and myself.
So now at 23 years old, do I feel like an adult? Given that I have always been way too mature for my age, I feel as much as an adult as I have ever been. Which is making me question whether any of us ever truly feel like a grown up… whether any of us truly feel like we have it all sorted out. With so much pressure to have it all together, I am starting to figure out and truly believe that is is alright if we don’t. It’s all part of the incredible journey of life. As each year passes I find the destination is becoming less and less significant. And with this little gem in my pocket, I am learning to enjoy each moment more and more.
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
All in all, I think I am doing ok. I am excited for the unknown, overwhelming, completely uncertain, but certainly incredible year (and life) I have ahead.
Next adventure come at me.
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup all-purpose wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 or 3 medium apples, washed, peeled, cored and sliced ( I used Granny Smith)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose wholemeal flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of milk
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil (or coconut oil)
- 1 large egg
- Grease and flour an 8" round springform pan and line with baking paper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, cinnamon, salt, oats and flour. Add melted butter and fluff with fork until mixtures creates crumbs. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss together apple slices with two tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, vanilla, oil and egg. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Do not over mix. Few lumps in the batter are okay.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Arrange apple slices over the batter.
- Sprinkle crumb topping over the apples covering completely.
- Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- Let cool completely in the pan before gently taking it out and setting it on a cake plate.
- Optional: Serve with vanilla bean ice cream and custard if you are feeling particularly induldgent