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This is a proud and stubborn Aries writing, who celebrated her 28th birthday almost a month ago.

You might remember this article from last year, where I was showing you my birthday gifts. I decided to write a similar post about what I got this year and make a sort of tradition / birthday gifts guide of it, given that the previous article was much appreciated.

Usually, I don’t make resolutions at all,

but if I do, it won’t be for New Year’s Eve, because that’s not a very important day for me. I only count the years from a birthday to another.

Thus, all I want for this new year of life is health and happiness for me and my family, nothing really special, I guess 🙂 The rest is optional or just a matter of luck and determination. All I can say is that, at this age, I am a happy and fulfilled woman and I am grateful for everything life has given to me until now.

I am also lucky to have friends who became family and who made my 28th birthday a memorable one.

Birthday party:

For the first time this year I decided to add some special decorations – I thought photos will be nicer with this background and it would really create a party atmosphere. I was right, because we danced and laughed like we never did before for my birthday (and took a lot of pictures)!

I bought these cool foil balloons in my beloved shop Sostrene Grene and made a great choice: that gold pops out in every picture and makes all of them funnier.

I also decided to bake my birthday cake myself. If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember this cake. I followed the same recipe, with small adjustments. Thankfully, guests loved this one too. This only encouraged me to keep improving my baking skills!

Birthday gifts:

Every single thing I received is very personal and suits my style, my personality and my passions. I’m not sure whether I should be surprised or not that you know me so well, dear friends 🙂

So, here are some of the beautiful things I received:

  • Engraved Aqua Allegoria by Guerlain


Actually, this is a gift I made to myself. Sephora offered me a gift card for my birthday and the possibility to engrave a perfume bottle. I then decided I needed a legendary perfume in my collection, so I went for Aqua Allegoria, one of Guerlain’s most emblematic fragrance collections, launched in 1999. A marvelous choice! Pera Granita is a juicy and fresh Eau de Toilette, with the scent of bergamot and a note of pear.

I decided to engrave it with my blogger name, Elle de Strasbourg. I’m so happy with my choice 🙂

  • Fine Art print, ready to hang on the wall

    fineart print

Do you remember Karl A. Herrmann, the fine art photographer and his abstract pictures taken in Strasbourg? He wanted to thank me for this article and decided to offer me, for my birthday, a print of one of his pictures. He also let me chose the photo and the size myself, among the ones I published on the blog.

This is Karl, signing my print

I still don’t know how to thank him for this, it is so beautiful! We have white walls everywhere at home so I immediately knew it will perfectly suit our interior. It was made using laser printing and mounted under acrylic glass. Honestly, it is quite impressive to see these photos printed, especially with that finish. It’s only there that you understand the beauty of Fine Art Photography.

If you want to make an unforgettable gift to someone you really care about, don’t hesitate to choose this kind of unique prints. Only looking at it just fills your soul with joy and you can’t stop contemplating the beauty of those shapes and colors.

Go check Karl’s gallery on Instagram for plenty of unique photos and contact him directly if you wish to purchase one of his works or if you need more information about his activity.

You can also contact me using the Contact page or my socials for details.

  • I also received a beautiful blouse from COS.

Very soon, I think two thirds of my wardrobe will be from COS and I still can’t stop buying things from their store. This brand just matches my style and my morphology so well. Obviously, friends knew this 🙂

This blouse goes perfectly with pretty much everything. I am wearing it at work, in more off-duty outfits with ripped jeans, with flats or heels, etc. Just what was missing in my wardrobe! Thank you once again, you know who!

  • Gold earrings and chain:

Just look how chic and delicate these are. And, again, I can wear them everywhere, anytime, with everything. Versatility is my favorite word 😉

I got these from other super-friend of mine and love that she had the brilliant idea of buying this short chain with the earrings: it beautifully highlights the lines of the neck  and is perfect for all types of neckline.

How I’m wearing them:

😊🐿🌞 coucou @irina_adam1 🙆

A post shared by Elle de Strasbourg ♈ (@invisiblessentialsblog) on

  • Modernist cuisine at home book by Taschen:

Too bad no one filmed my reaction when I unwrapped this gift. The enthusiasm grew from the moment I saw how big and heavy the box is. I knew it must be something special under that paper!

So, if you already know how much I love cooking, you can only imagine my happiness when I saw that big container saying Modernist Cuisine at home by Taschen. I literally jumped and screamed of happiness!

I had the Larousse bible and other books on classical cuisine, but nothing about modernism. This is the ultimate culinary guide for all skill levels: cooking techniques, sophisticated recipes, all perfectly illustrated with amazing photography – just what you would expect from Taschen.

I’d say this is the book that’s currently on my night table, but it’s rather next to it, on the floor, given its size!

I must say I never received such a glamourous gift. Actually, I don’t even know why I ‘m surprised, because the person who gave it to me calls me “the Diva” (at the beginning, I was a bit embarrassed, but I ended by enjoying being called like that 😀 ). This particular friend of mine is a pro in choosing gifts for people. Let me know if you need some consultancy and I will give you his ID in private 😉 )

It is a very tricky object because, when you open the box, your first thought is “Wow, that’s a really big crystal for a necklace!” until you look closer and you get it. Believe me, for modern women, that’s a perfect gift. It became the only USB stick I use and most of the time it draws the attention, people get curious and it becomes a great conversation starter.

  • Chocolate Hedgehog

I received this cutie here from my boss – so sweet of him! I didn’t even want to eat it, but I couldn’t help myself in the end, obviously. There was also a bag of chocolates, but colleagues took care of it before I could take a picture 😉

By the way, you should now that, in Alsace, there are a lot of confectioners, making delicious cakes and chocolate; the famous Pierre Hermé, who was named the world’s best pastry chef in 2015, is also from Alsace!

Voilà, I will conclude by saying a big thank you to all my friends, for all these beautiful gifts and unforgettable moments.

I hope these gift ideas will inspire you when you will be in search for that perfect gift.

Thank you for reading,