Epic Supergirl Party For My Super 7 Year Old!

When planning Johanna’s 7th birthday party I was…tired. Tired and confused. She wasn’t really clear on what she wanted and I was still super exhausted from planning Isabella’s (that post is super late, yet coming soon). To know me is to know that I like to be very hands on when it comes to my parties. The thought of having to plan yet another one was overwhelming to say the least. We threw around so many ideas: Emoji party, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland… The emoji party sounded very blah to me, I loved the idea of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (still not sure why we didn’t go with that one), and Alice in Wonderland was just too much. There were too many decorations I would simply have to do and I would run myself into the ground trying to make my vision happen. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a flash of Johanna in a superhero outfit went through my mind and I knew that was it.

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But I also knew that I did NOT want to do your typical Spiderman/Avengers/etc. party. I also did not want to do wonder woman or any other supergirl character party. I wanted the party to be focused on Johanna and her friends specifically being superheroes. That’s when I jumped on good ole fiverr and began the first step in having an african american superhero girl created. In fact, I had 2 different people turn a photo of Johanna into a superhero. I was not very happy with either of them – shout out to my graphic artist friend Amanda for fixing the drawing I liked the best (you can find her contact info down below)! In the end it worked out and it gave me a great starting point for the party. With that photo I began to scour the internet for invitation ideas and I felt pretty darn good about myself for getting the invitations out before 2018!

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So here’s the thing. I knew Johanna was watching me with this party. She saw how much work I put into Isabella’s party. She also saw how for months I had supplies rolling in so that I could make all the things for the party. She was watching to make sure that she received equal treatment and I was trying my darndest to make sure that happened.

But then the Christmas season came. And I forgot. Forgot all about the party.

So right after New Year’s I looked to see what was on my plate and was shook to find that not only was her party coming up, but I hadn’t done a darn thing for it! We had secured Badlands in Rockville, MD for the party, but that was all that was done. No cake was ordered, no cookies, nothing! And while I do love making cakes for family and friends, Isabella has sucked every bit of energy I ever had in the last year and it just wasn’t going to happen, so I had to get moving.

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Thanks to Instagram I found a baker. A week before the party we headed to his bakery at Iverson Mall and I tried a cupcake. The cupcake was good, so I went ahead and inquired about ordering a cake. After some back and forth of trying to work with my meager budget ($100 or less) I got the cake order and felt darn good about that. Next I dug through facebook trying to find the cookie decorator I had met at a local Homemakers Ministry I attend, as my usual cake person was on vacation until the day AFTER party! Thankfully I found her, and she was able to fill my order with iced sugar cookies that were so soft and yummy! I was on a roll!

Then thanks to my creativity and at times, some help from etsy, we got things rolling. Johanna was constantly peeking over my shoulders and I could tell she was starting to feel very excited about how things were coming together for the party. But then I remembered that the child needed something to wear. Oy! I hit up my friend Mallory who is famous for making an outfit for her girls in a day, and gave her my vision for Johanna’s cape. I also need one made for her cake topper (more on that later). She was able to whip it up and get it to me in a week, and I am forever thankful. I bought a plain white shirt from Walmart and do to limited time I shoved my silhouette into the corner and created a simple and quick iron for her shirt instead of vinyl. I also made one for the whole family. I ordered a tutu off of amazon (which arrived smelling very much so like fish and had to be washed 2x to get the smell out) and some gold pants (wear once and done type pants, if you know what I mean). I forgot all about the mask, but thankfully a wonderful etsy shop was able to get that to me in 3 days.

By the time the day of the party arrived I was dizzy with exhaustion and so happy that I was almost done. However, my annoyance at how tired and frantic I was dissipated when I saw how happy and excited Johanna was at her party. I barely saw the child because everytime I looked around I would just see a flash of gold sprint down a hill, or a slide, or climbing up. There was laughter, much exercise and the sounds of kids becoming exhausted from the fun.

They colored airplanes, got inside of one, and had fun with some stuff that looked like playdoh but was actually much nicer than any playdoh I’ve ever had. And then there was cake!

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So my regular cake topper lady was also on vacation when I went to place my order. Instead I decided to buy this really cute doll I saw and I was going to use her for the cake topper. She arrived and she was MUCH too big. I tried to get a couple of people to make her a doll. One wanted entirely too much money, and the other just…it just…yeah, no. I couldn’t. So that was scary because I was really stuck. 2 days before the party I drug the kids to Target in a final effort to find the dang cake topper. I prayed that the Lord would guide me, and he did. In my favorite aisle (you know which one) I looked down and there was exactly one doll that was $5 and could totally work for the cake topper! I jazzed her up with the cake and a little sticker I attached to her shirt and voila! It really worked out, don’t you think?! And I intended on making cupcakes, but then I saw this hot pink cake at my local grocery store for only $14 and I thought about how much time I would be saying and decided what the heck? Two cakes it is! I also stepped on the cake before leaving for the party so there’s that…

The kids loved their favors! I’m so thankful to oriental trading for the sunglasses and cupcake (turned candy apple) stand I was able to get from them. Although I must say that was absolute favorite favor to give out was the tumblers I bought from Dollar Tree. I glittered them, added a sticker, and boom! I also really enjoyed making the placemats. For the backside I was able to print a cute table setting guide for the kids. I really do like for my favors to be functional and I thought the parents would appreciate that.

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It was an amazing party and everyone had a super time. And I am beyond happy that in 2016 we decided that the girls would have a birthday party every other year instead of every year, so mama gets some rest in 2018.

If you would like for me to do a review on my experience having a party at Badlands let me know!

Location: Badlands PlaySpace, Rockville, MD
Cake: Pro Cakes, Iverson Mall, Temple Hills, MD
Safeway, Bowie, MD
Cookies: Adrien of Sweet Treats Couture, MD.
Cupcake Stand: Oriental Trading
Cake “topper”: Target
Water Bottle Labels: PrintablesMirtaGyles
Supergirl Candy Bar Wrapper: SimplyEverydayMe
Superhero Birthday Sign: SimplyDovie
Mask: Monichelle Designs
Metallic Leggings: Amazon
Graphic Design Artist: Amanda Carlson

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God’s Grace is Sufficient

The Christmas season has come and gone and I’ve been silent. If you have followed me for a while, you may notice that every  Christmas season I get a little quieter, or just become non-existent altogether.  In October I have so many big plans for this blog. So many things I’m going to post, areas I want to challenge myself in, but then November hits and…nothing. And that’s because this particular season is always hard for me.

Every November I welcome Thanksgiving with a bit of excitement, but also a whole lot of apprehension because Turkey Day means that December is on the horizon and December means I’m in for very rough terrain. December means a little bit of depression, a whole lot of anxiety. It means excitement and sadness. It means being overbooked, having too many plans, trying to find space to breathe. It means missing my mom desperately and not knowing what to do with those emotions. It means fighting so so so hard to stay present for a little girl that loves the advent season more than anything and trying to make new memories with a baby who still doesn’t know what to quite make of it all. It means struggle. It means screaming inside for peace. It means wondering if I’ll survive it all or if I should just go ahead and put myself on a 72 hour hold.

My birthday is December 16th and my moms was December 19th. It’s tough. December 19, 2016 found me having a total and complete breakdown. My dad had to come over and tend to me because I was in a bad way. I had hit rock bottom of it all.It was ugly, scary, and it hurt physically and emotionally. I was in my own personal hell and for the life of me I still don’t know how to escape myself in times like that.

November 2017 I was determined that December would be different. That 2016 would never happen again. That healing, not darkness, was on my horizon. So I prayed. I mentally locked myself up and had a face to face with Jesus. I needed him to perform a miracle in my life. I needed him to break that chain that was pulling me down every year. I prayed so hard. I had others pray. For once I let others in and I asked them to please, please pray. Please.

And when I tell you that God delivered…

I was in awe at how he met me right where I was. I was in awe at how he showered me with love in the way my mom would so many times. Like the Minister at church who gave us a monetary blessing for the girls on behalf of my mom. And then there was the lady in the Post Office who not only paid for me to ship my package, but then also gave me a blessing. When I went to thank her for being so kind in paying for my package, I told her that the blessing was right on time as funds were very tight for me in that moment and I was dreading shipping the package because of it. I also told her how that very day was my moms birthday, she would’ve been 67, and what she did felt like God soothing me. She asked me to do her a favor and accept something. She said that it was also her birthday and she was 47 to my moms 67 and that’s when she handed me $50. After thanking her and praying that God bless her for blessing me, all I could do was call out to Abba God.

He was literally raining down blessings on me. And that was only the beginning.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have some struggle. As I drove out to hang out with my friends for my birthday, I had a mild panic attack on the way. I still shed tears. I still had moments of not being sure if I was coming or if I was going. However, they were nothing like previous years. 2017 I felt 70% present, which is amazing for me! I made it. I made it through my birthday. I made it through her birthday. I made it through Christmas. I made it without breaking down, without losing myself. God met me, God loved on me, God reminded me exactly who he is.

And before anyone thinks it was about the money, let me assure you it was not. You see, my mom loved to show people her love by giving to them. She loved to by them very nice gifts and that of course included me. My love language is not presents. I’m not impressed by money or things. But when those around me started giving to me in honor of her, and they were doing it so extravagantly, I KNEW that was God loving on me the way that she would. Awwww That God of mine! He overwhelms me! He’s too much! My cup runneth over! The way Jesus loves on me is perfection.

So while I am sorry that I’ve been away, it was necessary. It was survival.

Thank you for sticking with me through my quiet seasons. I hope to be very loud in 2018.