On turning 10: a covid birthday party

Sharing this little drive by celebration for this special birthday. Part 1 with how the day of her actual birthday went is in that earlier post along with some feelings and thoughts I was having in the moment (sigh). With the strict isolation we’ve had to do for almost a full year now, I really wanted this birthday to be extra special for her for being so amazing and understanding with everything that’s been so hard this past year.

This past year I’d seen drive-by celebrations shared online and kind of knew ever since I started thinking about her birthday that that might be something she would love because so many of her friends she has not seen in a very long time. When I shared this post about her birthday, a client turned friend of mine (you know who you are Sarah) reached out telling me she’d love to share her ideas from the two covid birthdays she’s done. And can you believe she went out of her way to share all of the details with me in photos + voice notes. It helped me so much as I planned this because honestly Pinterest which is my usual source, wasn’t much help this time. SO so thankful for kind souls like my friend Sarah.

I really wanted to share that. Now, let’s do this?

Can we start with this gorgeous setup my very beautifully talented friend put together? Gosh. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to have Mehreen’s help in prettying up the party a little bit (Seattle friends find her work on her website or her Instagram – she is an event stylist based in the area and as you can see her setups are so cozy and beautiful.) because I thought it would just feel so much more special and be much simpler for me to not have to worry about decor (those who know me that however basic or simple my style is, I do like to have things look pretty for these things). Really loved how Mehreen took the vibe I had in mind and came up with such fun signages too. So thoughtful and creative.

Here’s some more glimpses.

+a few details about the party+

-It was an outdoor drive-by party mainly for kids to drop by, say hi & grab a treat box – mainly just an excuse for Anya to get to see her friends after all of this time.

-I asked her for a list and she really wanted to ask some of her closest friends from school & some of our childhood family friends that have been around for so many years that they’ve literally grown up together. We ended up with around 10ish families/friends + siblings ofcourse on our invite.

-I wanted to make sure to follow local guidelines about outdoor gatherings (in case you’re curious : right now we’re only allowed to meet with 1 family with upto 5 people indoors & up to 2 families outdoors with upto 10 people total) and tried to schedule people in such a way that there would only be 2 families within every 30 minutes. Of course as it is with these things, it didn’t end up being within that all of the time but it helped to plan for that. I had left my number on the invite and told parents to text me with the time slot that works best within the 2 hr party time.

-With the situation right now I made sure to mention mask wearing and keeping a distance in the invite too. I was also mindful that that everyone’s comfort level is different in this scenario. A few friends from school weren’t comfortable coming and we totally understood. Because of the requirements in our area & maybe because I mentioned as well, everyone including the kids were great about keeping masks on which was the best. (Bonus: advantage of the masks is being able to share these photos which I normally don’t haha)

-To keep things very simple (& safe since eating requires masks to be removed) there wasn’t any food laid out and I only had food boxes ready to grab for the kids (more on what I filled the boxes with below)

-I know I was curious about this one and you might be too. I decided not cut a cake and instead included cupcakes in all of the treat boxes for a birthday feel. I had the boxes ready and only added the cupcakes the morning of the event.

-I also left out brownies in treat bags for parents that they could grab too because you know it felt kind of sad to not have anything like that. I reminded them to grab one for themselves when they were grabbing the kids boxes.

-I did feel a little bad for our friends who were driving from further (30 min is pretty common and average for here) and so I made haleem that I had ready to give them as they leaving.

Inside the treat/food boxes I had these: a pack of Dorritos, Lays, the cupcake (inside a cupcake box), Annie’s gummies, a nutella & go snack pack (or a cookie for those with nut allergies), a treat bag filled with chocolates. My friend Sarah gave me the idea for the food boxes and I loved how this went.

-With this kind of an outdoor party I was worried about the weather a lot which thankfully ended up being really beautiful. But I had the portable pop-up canopy in mind in case the forecast was supposed to be terrible in fact.

My favorite part was just watching the kids being with each other, climbing the tree, catching up on who’s going back to hybrid school and who’ll stay virtual, pulling each other’s legs about minecraft and things and also being surprised about the kid who’d become really tall since last year. That broke my heart a bit because these kids last saw each other March 2020 when school suddenly closed and it’s been almost a year of being in touch virtually but not in person. That itself made it all worth it for me to have this celebration.

-One thing that didn’t go really well was the photos. I wish I had some from the street when we were all chatting and kids were playing. I always struggle with this and feel bad about asking anyone so well I don’t have any haha. But then later, my friend Ayesha came in and I asked her so she took some of Anya & myself, and the kids while I cleared things up. So grateful for friends like these.

Here is this beautiful soul. Our outdoor social-distanced meets have been our lifeline this year (Hugs Ashi)
(PS: We were masked and only took them off for these photos.)

And that’s it my friends.

Thank you for being here in all of the different ways especially with your duas and kind wishes on Instagram.

Lots of love, Nataliya

+RESOURCES+

(Some of these links are affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase I might earn a tiny amount from that. I only make sure to share things I genuinely like. Please feel free also to send in questions about anything you see here. Thanks)

Decor: Styled setup , custom signages, rentals and balloon installs : Pump up party

My outfit: Top / Sweater coat from Uniqlo (old) / Boyfriend Jeans from Everlane (old) / Adidas Sneakers via this amazon affiliate link (more on that here)

Anya’s outfit: Slip on sneakers via amazon associate link (more on that here) / Shearling jacket via amazon associate link (more on that here) / boy friend jeans from H&M (old) / Top from Old Navy / Headband & Cardigan from Target linked here / Masks with nosewires (best for glasses) from this amazon affiliate link (more on that here)

Food Boxes: Boxes via amazon affiliate link (more on that here) / Cupcake boxes via amazon affiliate link (more on that here) / treat bags leftover from Eid (remember this?) via amazon affiliate link (more on that here). I ended up ordering most of the snacks from Amazon as well:):)