Birthday Girl Fun

I turned 35 last week. Most people feel different about getting older. I embrace it. Actually I feel young. I feel that I’m at my prime. I still look better than a 75 year old (Im just saying) and I now have a lot more wisdom than I had in my 20s. I’m loving it.

This was actually my first celebrated birthday in almost 30 years. My family joined a religious cult when I was 7 years old. No more birthdays were celebrated after that. I was taught to hate them since “God hated them.” They were “of the Devil.” Jesus Christ… I feel bad for who I was when I believed that.

Anyway, I celebrated the girls birthdays recently but I wasn’t going to do anything special for mine. It just felt funny to plan my own birthday when I hadn’t had one celebrated in so long. Layla wasnt going to let me *not celebrate my birthday though. Days leading up to it she kept asking me what I wanted to do for my birthday. She basically made me plan it. She also made me buy wrapping paper so she could wrap me a gift.

The day of my Birthday I woke up and got ready for my early morning self defense class which was great. I received my white belt that day.

After my self defense class, I went home and got “Birthday Ready”. Before we could celebrate my birthday though My family & I headed to a big park for an Easter egg hunt for the girls. The News station had their cameras set up recording the event. A local church was giving out free baskets for the kids and free lunch as well as pictures with the Easter bunny. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it was free. God Bless the church who did this for the kids. The baskets were filled with so many goodies, and the lunch was amazing. We had hot dogs, chips, macaroni salad, sodas, and beans – the works. A police officer was also at the park and the girls got stickers. I was so happy that the girls were getting the full “Easter Experience.”

I even made a friend while we waited in line for the Easter Baskets. Her name is Kristina. She’s around my age and was standing in front of me with her daughter. We started talking about the event, then we started talking about our lives and then she invited me to her daughters birthday party this weekend. Its so funny how one moment you’re strangers and the next you’re friends. We’ve been texting each other lately and I even got the gift for her daughter already.

Sometimes I think about the cool girls I’ve met inside SEPHORA and MAC and so many other places. They literally would tell me things like, “we should be friends, we should hang out,” and I would decline the offer (nicely) because I was in a cult and I couldn’t have “worldly friends”. It’s nice that things are different now.

After the park, We headed to Beverly Hills to celebrate my Birthday. I chose to have dinner at THE IVY. I had wanted to eat there for so long. Its one of the most IT places to eat at in Beverly Hills. Celebrities eat there frequently, as well as influencers, and of course your neighborly millionaires. Basically if you’re into a fashionable venue, this is IT. Its also one of the only restaurants that has fresh roses on every table, everyday. The food is also good of course.

As we got closer to the restaurant my heart started to race. OMG this is it…I thought. I could see the Valet in front of the beautiful lush restaurant and suddenly I started to feel out of place. I parked my car and waited for a valet to come over. Just play it cool, I thought. I could feel myself get a little nervous. Jesus, it was just dinner but it felt like I was going to prom. The restaurant was just so …out of this world. It was packed with people. Very fashionable people. Very expensive people. I grew up in a small town and worked in a mechanic shop almost all my life so this wasn’t exactly my every day scene. Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into certain situations.

The Valet quickly came over and opened my door. I gave him my car key, thanked him, and headed towards the restaurant. I was overwhelmed by the fashionable women everywhere. I acted cool though. Then suddenly I remembered that I brought my knock-off Bottega Venetta BAG!! And right in front of me was a girl with a REAL Bottega Venetta bag! I wanted to die. She’s gonna know, She’s gonna know, I thought as I tried to hide my bag. You cant hide a Bottega Venetta bag though. They’re too chunky. The saving grace is that my knock off looks almost identical to the real one so hopefully she couldn’t entirely tell. I saw her looking at my bag though as if admiring it as I walked by. I only paid $100 for mine and she paid $4000 for hers. I walked by more fashionable high class women before getting to the waiters who were dressed impeccably and very efficient. They quickly seated us at a table despite the fact that they were full. I had made a reservation before hand but accidentally made it for two people instead of four. Despite that fact, they were gracious to have us seated at a table right away.

All the people around us looked seriously loaded. The girls from the table across from ours were talking about their maids, their businesses, and their chihuahuas. I couldn’t help feeling out of place. However, I liked the restaurant and I was happy to finally try it out.

The woman on the other table had a lot of plastic surgery and was there with what looked like the entrepreneur boyfriend. On the other table was a family that looked wealthy but it was a “quiet” type of wealth. They didn’t bother with designer clothes but they had the manners and facial expressions of wealth. At a table far across was a very elegant woman with her husband. Old money for sure.

Anyway, I started to relax when I realized no one was alarmed by my presence. Some even admired Layla & Sophie’s outfits. Our waiter took our orders and soon came back with our orange juices served in glasses with straws. WOW. bougie. Then he brought out our plates of enchiladas. They were amazing. I ordered a coffee and it was heavenly. The cup was also fantastic. Then he brought out my birthday plate. It had a thick slice of red velvet cake with a huge candle, and desserts on the side. WOW again. My mom and the girls sang me happy birthday and we shared the big cake slice.

The waiter had messed up on my order a few times, but it was nothing too bad. He seemed really grateful that I didn’t make a big deal out of it and I still left him a $20 tip. As I waited outside for the valet, I turned and saw my waiter. He looked at me and clasped his hands together and bowed down a little. I bowed down a little as well and smiled. It was a nice moment.

Then our Valet showed up with my car and opened our doors for us. He was so gracious and wished me a very good day.

As we drove off my mom and I looked at each other. “Well that was an experience,” I said and we laughed a little.

We continued the Birthday fun by going to the Americana in Glendale. There we saw many more fashionable people. It intimidates me a little but I also love it. We went into Barnes & Nobles – this one in particular has 3 floors and a very amazing selection of books and gifts. It also has a Starbucks on the third floor with a very bougie selection of food items that I’ve never seen at any other Starbucks. We had fun picking new books and some toys for the girls.

Next we went into Nordstrom. I got the girls their first pairs of Native shoes. I had seen them before but I never thought much of them until I saw them in person and Layla really wanted a pair. Now I absolutely love them. They’re adorable and great for the outdoors.

Once home, I opened the presents from Layla, Sophie & my mom. Layla made me a sweet card and a beaded bracelet that spells out “BTS” since she’s knows I’m into them (They’re a K-POP band.) Sophie gifted me a journal and a sweet drawing. My mom was excited to gift me something as well. It was Frankincense oil. I was a little surprised. OIL?? for my Birthday? It just seemed a little strange until she explained that its AMAZING for your skin. After she said that, I was on board. YES, that’s definitely a great Birthday gift. She knows me well. I’ve actually been using it for a week now and I can confirm that it really is amazing. My mom wanted to get me myrrh oil but couldn’t find it so she got the next best thing which was the frankincense oil. They both come from olive plants so you can imagine how good they are for skin.

Then there was a letter from my mom.

I read it when I was alone in my room. In it she wrote how much she loved me and how she only wanted good things for me. I will leave out the rest as its a personal letter but it filled my heart with love and healing.

My brother and his wife came over as well with a present for me. My brother picked out a set of lotion, body wash, and body spray from BATH & BODY WORKS. The crazy thing is that the scent he picked out is actually my most favorite scent ever. I’m so happy with the body spray – I take it with me everywhere. I love it so much. Its interesting to me how sometimes other people can gift you things you would’ve never thought of buying for yourself but you end up really loving. Thank God for Birthdays haha.

The next day my nieces came over for some more Easter fun with the girls. I gave Layla and Sophie the Easter baskets I made for them and they were thrilled. I also made lemon cupcakes with a cheesecake frosting. All in all it was a great Weekend. Praise be to Jesus Christ. All things are possible through him.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Easter Basket Ideas for Girls

If you’re like me and you like putting Easter baskets together for your girl(s) here are some ideas to make it a great basket they’ll really enjoy.

Let’s get started. So this bubble gum pink Basket is from TARGET but I got my baskets from WALMART last year as well as this year (If you want to go up a notch or two, POTTERY BARN has some amazing ones.) If you’re feeling extra creative PINTEREST teaches you how to add floral arrangements to them.

I like to buy high end candy for the baskets – I spend about $20 on their basket candy. It’s less candy, higher quality, but my kids don’t eat too much candy anyway so this works for us.

Does high end Candy taste better? OH YEAH.

I always add a plushie in their basket. Disney has cute Minnie and Mickey plushies but if you want a more affordable option WALMART has full size plushies for $5 each.

Girls love lipgloss so a cute sparkly set will make them smile – TARGET has some really cute lipgloss sets for girls.

Throw in some cute bath bombs from TARGET

Add a pair of Jelly Sandals – these are $9 at Old Navy

A Bathing suit from TARGET

A new book is nice to throw into their basket. This is from AMAZON. You can grab children’s books from WALMART, TARGET or BARNES & NOBLES. Some are $3 – $5 in the clearance section.

I like to buy my girls their favorite DVDs – it’s always exciting to have a movie to look forward to.

Cute sunnies – these are from TARGET. There’s also a good selection of affordable & stylish sunnies on AMAZON.

Crayons & glitter ?? YES please. You can find these at WALMART.

You want to finish off by wrapping the basket in cellophane wrap – you can get the wrap at WALMART or TARGET.

Add a gift bow to the top of the cellophane wrap and you’re done. You’ll have a beautiful basket that looks like it’s from the store but much more exciting.

Thanks for reading,

Denise