Treat Yo’self: Why I Threw Myself a Birthday Party


Y’all wanna know what my absolute jam is: Planning my kiddos’ joint birthday party. I go hard and fully commit to planning every detail (on a budget, no less). As a matter of fact, I will have the venue booked by October for the February party date. Crazy, right? What’s crazier is the fact that my September birthday generally goes by without any fanfare. I’m not complaining though, it’s kinda the way I like it. I’m pretty chill and never fancied myself as someone who needs a party. But here’s the thing: No one needs a party. I had that very simple realization this summer when I decided I wanted, and dare I say deserved, a birthday party.

I made the nerve-wracking decision to book a venue for an intimate, relaxed dinner. The entire time, I wondered if people would show up. How weird is that? These are people who love me and want to spend time with me, but too often, life just gets in the way. Honestly, were it not for the delightful guilt trip of RSVPing to the party, we’d just keep rescheduling our dates month after month. Well, not this time! An official party means everyone books the best sitter and shows up with bells on! And that, my mama friends is the beauty of the grown-up birthday party. It’s honestly as much about your tribe as it is about you. So, do them a solid and…


Wait, you’re really going to do it? YAY! You got this, I know you do, but here are a few thoughts:

    1. OMG, it’s happening!: Seriously, the first step is to just do it! Look, I get all the reasons you shouldn’t/can’t throw a party, but I’m going to make the general assumption that you wouldn’t let any of those barriers stop you if you were planning a party for your child. Give yourself that same priority, you deserve it! Don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you. Will it really bring you that much more joy to say someone surprised you? Hop on the planning, and your support system can jump in where needed. 
    2. Send an invitation: Not to be Captain Obvious here, but there’s something about an invitation that makes it official and helps people prioritize your event. If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to keep things loosey-goosey with your inner circle. Nope, not today, not for your party. Let people know it’s legit by sending an invitation. This isn’t your wedding, so an Evite or Facebook event is totally acceptable and oh-so convenient.
    3. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Ah, an oldie but goodie. Honestly, social media can create unrealistic expectations of everything from what you should/shouldn’t be doing at your age to your actual party details. You may even feel that pressure from people around you. I didn’t necessarily feel the pressure while planning, but I initially wanted to take over the TME Stories channel to show you all what I was up to. Can you blame me? I was so excited! But, I didn’t end up sharing anything anywhere! I arrived before my guests, got a few pics and didn’t touch my phone until well after the party ended. And, you know what? I had a friggin’ amazing time. Yep, I had fun even though no one saw it in real time, and the world kept right on spinning!

Birthday Outfit Details

Graphic Tee (Express): I wanted a fun look for the party, so I couldn’t pass on this cute tee! It’s really soft and runs TTS. I’m wearing size M.

Striped Skirt (Forever 21): This was such a perfectly random find. It’s flowy, which worked out perfectly because it was such a windy day. It’s sheer, so be sure to wear your fave black leggings underneath.

Barely There Sandals (ASOS): I’ve been wearing these all summer!

Watch (Movado): Classic with a two-tone metal twist. This watch was a Christmas gift from my husband years ago and I still adore it.

Gold Bangle and Initial Necklace (Etsy): I wear these pieces every day. I would’ve never thought to shop at Etsy for jewelry a few years ago, but now, it’s always on my list when I’m in the market for jewelry.

Lip gloss (Anastasia Beverly Hills): I’ve been having some sensitivity with my lips this summer, so I’ve been trying more glosses to keep my lips moisturized. This shade is grape jelly, and it’s one of my faves.

Are you ready to make it happen? I seriously want to have a birthday party every year now, and I hope you’ll consider one, too! When was your last birthday party and what lessons did you learn? Please, please PLEASE, follow and tag me on Instagram, if you have any ideas I can steal for next year! It’s never too early to start planning, right?


Photos by Sweet Leaf Photography


  1. Tiarra, you could not be cuter. And you’re on point — the party is just as much about your tribe as it is about you. I LOVE that you are on TME. I’ve been a fan since ANMJ and it keeps getting better. Thanks, mamas!

    • Thanks so much, Heather, and thanks for reading. I had the best birthday with my people and the fun just keeps coming on TME. So glad to be here, it’s been an amazing year.

  2. My mom has done this twice: as a surprise party. She sent the invites to friends from an anonymous address, but didn’t say who it was for. Guests found out who was guest of honor once they arrived!

  3. This is so awesome and so are you! I am totally hi jacking this idea and my wheels are already spinning to plan a party for my bday in December. I am also totally copying your outfit-so super cute!!! Love!!??

    • Listen Joules, I am a firm believer that you have (at least) a full month to celebrate. It’s not too late, if that’s what you want to do!!! And, thanks so much for your kind words, now, hop to your party planning 😉

  4. I booked a restaurant that only has 2 tables total 1 year in advance (that’s how long it takes to get a table!) for my 45th birthday this year. It was myself, my husband and 3 other couples for a 8 course meal. The food, drinks & company was everything I could have hoped for and I was so happy that I did that for myself. Everyone deserves a little something special on their birthday!

  5. What a fun idea! I also love your idea of a combined party for your kids. Will you please consider writing a post about this? How you word the invitation, how to please both kids, what to do if a guest is only friends with one of your kids? I want to plan a sibling party for January for my two kids, but I could use some guidance!

    • Hey, Christi, I never really thought of that, but I’d be happy to! Thanks for the idea! I’m lucky that my kids are 3 and 6, but have similar interests (super heroes, Star Wars, etc), so that helps. My post would be after the actual party, so please DM me on Instagram with any questions and we can chat!

  6. You are my hero. I HATE throwing events for myself, but you’re right, why shouldn’t I give myself the same kind of attention I give my kids, friends and family? Why wouldn’t I want to set the example for my kid that mama is important, too? It seems so obvious now…

    • Heeeeeey, Elda! Yes, I’ve always thought it was a tad self-serving, but you’re so right. Set that example that mommy deserves to be celebrated, have a party and all that. I’m seriously only having the realization this year, and it’s kinda been a game changer. Treat yo’self!

  7. YES! I’m turning 40 this year and have been mulling over the idea of throwing a birthday party for myself. You’ve just helped me make the decision to jump in and DO IT! Thanks you, thank you! And this outfit is awesome. I might just have to grab that too 🙂

    • Sarah, every bday is special, but you absolutely CANNOT pass on a party for a milestone bday. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  8. Awesome! And a tip for you – my social circles these days use an app called HobNob for getting the word out about events. It is so easy and so much more fun to receive than a fb or text. It makes even a last-minute “stop by tonight for a drink” invitation feel like a special event.

  9. I love this!! I turned 40 last month. I am planning a girls weekend, but I could have thrown a party for myself too- goodness knows, 3 kids later , I might as well be a professional party planner! Love your spirit!! Thanks

  10. My friend from college and I (birthdays one week apart) threw ourselves a “surprise” 21st birthday party 19 years ago (how is that possible!?!) and this year will do a “surprise” 40th! Why not!! Love your energy!!

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