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The Perfect Birthday Celebration

As I finish my birthday celebrations, I am eternally grateful for having so many amazing people in my life who love to celebrate me almost as much as I do (I’m a princess, I know). Anyway, I had a pretty full itinerary to celebrate the big 2-1, but as I sat there and looked at my calendar full of activities, I thought it would be fun to write a little list of things you could do to celebrate your big day! Of course, a good addition to these are a birthday sash and tiara like I wore but that might not be your style! 


If the weather permits, a nice blanket and basket picnic can be nice especially if you share it with someone you love. My birthday was on the chillier side so my picnic was moved indoors but we still enjoyed a nice charcuterie board, cake and wine! You can do practically whatever you want with the food. I’ve seen some picnics just be Chinese takeout or Domino’s pizza, so fill the picnic with all the things you like and don’t forget some drinks!


Although clubs are notorious for those who are 21+ of age, you can find a nice 18+ club to enjoy the night and dance with your friends! If you are younger than 18, throw your own club party with special lights and loud music. Above all, just go out and have a good time because clubs can be a great place to let loose and also meet new people!


This can be at any restaurant you love, but if you are in the Chicago area, I highly recommend you make a reservation at the Maple and Ash Patio (if you want reservations indoors, it’s a $100 deposit so save your cash and eat outside!). When you make the reservation, you can choose to customize a menu. Of course, for my birthday, my menu was wishing me a happy birthday. This can be a great restaurant for any occasion as well! Just find a place you like and fill it with people you love and voila! 


If you’re looking for an ultimate celebration, a little vacation is perfect! This doesn’t have to be a big extravagant trip to Europe (or it could be!). You could take a short weekend getaway to a nearby major city like Boston, Nashville or Los Angeles to name a few, or you could treat yourself to a cruise. Whatever it is, decorating your hotel room with lots of balloons and banners is a must! The trip can be with your significant other or be a boys/girls trip.


Of course, if you aren’t the biggest fan of sports, this one probably isn’t for you but my best friend, Kate, surprised me with Chicago Bulls tickets for my birthday and let me tell you, my heart is still racing! It was a dream come true and the perfect way to kick off my birthday celebrations! If you enjoy sports, spoil yourself with your favorite sport and bring some fellow fanatics with you and you’re guaranteed a good time. 


Kind of in line with the nice lunch, you can enjoy a very fancy dinner paired with some drinks. You can have everyone dress fancy and go all out with you! But, another option is to of course simply go to Shake Shack or McDonalds for dinner followed by some drinks back home. Whatever floats your boat because it’s your day!


What better way to start off your day! Of course, it’s always better to have someone else make the meal for you while you just sit back and wait, but if that’s not the case – that’s alright! Make some delicious pancakes or waffles yourself and then get your butt back in bed to enjoy it! (Sometimes things are better if you just do them yourself, right?) This can also be a great gift from little kids to a parent!


While going out can be fun sometimes, staying in and having a cozy night in is also very nice. Personally, the night before I went out with all my friends, I had a sweatpants kind of night with one of my best friends! A night in can look like anything from a spa to a movie to game nights. Just relax and sit back for once and enjoy the company. Having a girls night in (or boys of course) is always a win in my books. 


Now, this one can be super easy if you let it be. There’s no need for a fancy camera and backdrop (unless you want to book that appointment – go for it!). All you need is a phone, some cute outfit(s) and a patient friend. I think having a small photoshoot every birthday is great to look back on and see how you’ve changed over the years. You don’t even have to post any of the photos if you don’t want to. This year, I went all out and wore a big, pink dress and used my city’s beauty to my advantage!


Finally, but most importantly, just do something you love with the people you love! If it’s painting, go to a wine and paint class. If it’s car racing, go for some go-karts or if it’s shopping, go spend some cash to celebrate! This can be a great way to allow those close to you to get a closer glimpse into your life and what you enjoy. I always love forcing my friends to listen to One Direction and wear pink! 

I hope some of these ideas can help you celebrate another trip around the sun. Birthdays can be an amazing time if you let them be, so whatever it may be, the most important thing is to be happy and have fun for your big day. Happy celebrating and take lots of pictures to remember!

Sarah is from Dayton, Ohio and is currently studying MultiMedia Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys thrifting, traveling, fashion, film photography and lifestyle. She is a creative person and finds comfort in writing, exploring the great city of Chicago, and listening to music. Her dream job is to travel and see the world as she writes about different cultures and activities to do in those different countries. Instagram and Twitter: @_sarahsommers_
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