At the end of every year, anticipation for Nella’s birthday is the little surge of excitement that helps my kids overcome the disappointment of the the post holiday slump. So every year after Christmas, we ask Nella what kind of birthday party she wants and then excitedly spin her feedback into party planning that adds some fun to an otherwise quiet month. Some years she’s very clear about what she loves and what she wants (her spaghetti obsession begat her Little Italy Party, and her Barbie Party was a given). Some years, we help her out. But this year, she knew exactly what kind of party she wanted…a Lizzo party. Nella loves Lizzo. I admit, I wasn’t sure at first if we could turn a Lizzo theme into a party appropriate for kids. I don’t mind my kids listening to songs with swear words given that I think it creates great opportunity to learn about expression, uncensored art and what’s appropriate to sing to vs. say out loud at school, but not every parent feels this way. But the more we dug into creative interpretations of a Lizzo party, the more I realized it’s a perfect birthday theme for 10-year-old little girls–confidence, creative expression, body positivity–Girlfriend owns her power. An Instagram follower then suggested “Good as Nell,” and the rest was history.
(We made Lizzo’s flute necklace with this flute ornament.)
Since Lizzo’s songs are rich with empowering lyrics, we used them in all the party details.
A juice bar was a must, of course…
And a tiny purse station:
I found packs of mini tote bags at Hobby Lobby and cut “purse flaps” and “pockets” to fit them out of patterned felt. Kids decorated their purse fronts and then added buttons, ribbon and rhinestones for embellishments.
Lainey and her friend ran the Lizzo makeover station where they recreated some of Lizzo’s fabulous colorful looks.
…and then they had their picture taken for their record labels at the “Fresh Photos with the Bomb Lighting” studio.
The “Bling Bling…that’s the goddess in me” station offered gems, glitter, sequins, Mod Podge and glue for the girls to decorate hair brushes…
…and their own records. I picked up a bunch of old records at Goodwill and spray painted them gold. The girls decorated them with gems and glitter, and I printed their photos to make labels. They turned out so cute!
My dad led the kids on a scavenger hunt to find Sasha, Lizzo’s missing flute.
…and then back for lunch and cupcakes.
(These microphone cupcakes are from the What’s New Cupcake? book. For the record, I cursed 22 times when I made them because the microphones kept falling over).
We had so much fun putting together the favor bags for this party. Almost everything came from the dollar store (we made the labels for the bath bomb, juice and ring pop.
Over the years, we’ve made different accommodations at her birthday parties to make her comfortable, but this year we made none. In fact, when she was opening her presents and her friends gathered around to help her, Dash yelled at everyone, “She doesn’t need your help. She can do it herself, okay?”
Ten years ago, the thought of imagining what her life would look like at ten years old was too much for me, but here we are, celebrating with friends and glitter and dancing and makeup and an almost 10-year-old’s room that is now trashed from a double sleepover. Baby, how you feelin?
Feelin’ good as Nell.
Disco Ball Balloons
24-pack Mini Disco Balls
Foil Door Curtains
If I’m Shining Stickers
Lizzo T-shirt (Nella’s dress)
Lizzo Coloring Book
Clip-in Rainbow Hair Extensions
Dollar Tree: clear favor bags, sequin purses, hair brushes
Michael’s Dollar Section: gemstone compact mirrors
Target Dollar Spot: bath bombs, 4-pack mini nail polish