Customize A Custom

We live in a culture of customs. Birthday parties, Sweet Sixteens, Engagements, Weddings, Baby Showers… And each one comes with its own traditions that define it. Cakes, diamond rings, tossed bouquets, tiny clothes and tea sandwiches… This is good if you value tradition, but if you’re more of a trailblazer it can feel restricting and uninspired. This letter from Madi Williams says it all. She wrote:

“Lisi, did u have a sweet 16 party? Are they all they are cracked up to be. Cuz this girl (mean girl) in my spanish class is all like “I’ve driven before, I’m having a sweet 16 party and…..”
Me: (mentally) no one cares. But honestly I do care, I mean people are having the time of there lives and I’m not there! So what do I do throw a party of my own or what? I mean you are kinda an expert in this area. My ideal bday is Sixbucks and shopping with my mom, but the girls at my school don’t care about that. The bigger and flashier the party, the better.”

Madi, I did not have a Sweet 16. It wasn’t really my thing (Read: my parents thought it was unnecessary). But I will say there is no gaping hole in my life as a result of that. I do understand the pressure you are feeling to fit in and keep up so I will present you with three options. Each one is designed to honor your TRUE wish (shopping and Sixbucks with your mom–LOVE IT!) while helping you find a way to make it your own.


"Hyatt Resorts Launches'HyaTTeen Suite 16' Luxury Slumber Party - from Limo Rides to Lounging Pool-Side, Teens Celebrate In Style" - Apparently this is a real thing!

“Hyatt Resorts Launches ‘HyaTTeen Suite 16’ Luxury Slumber Party – from Limo Rides to Lounging Pool-Side, Teens Celebrate In Style” – Apparently this is a real thing!

S&S with your mom. Get a hotel room and invite your closest friends to sleep over and hang with you. Put a sign on the door that says SUITE 16 and live it up. Swim in the pool, get room service, use a new towel every time you wash. Have a blast with the girls you love instead of trying to throw a party for a bunch of people who don’t matter.


The Neon Color Run! Known as the happiest 5k on the planet

The Color Run! Known as the happiest 5k on the planet

Runners from last year's Color Run.

Runners from last year’s Color Run.

S&S with your mom. Is there a charity you love or a cool trip you want to raise money for? What about a car? Start training to run, ride, walk, hop, roll… sixteen miles. Have your friends meet you at the finish line and have a party outside. Instead of gifts ask for donations to your cause. It would be fun to team up with a friend for this one.


For Madi

S&S with your mom. That’s it. It’s all you want. OWN IT! (Ask her if you can buy an extra outfit if you don’t have a party. Think of the money she’ll be saving. She can’t say no to that.) Then wear that outfit to someone else’s Sweet 16 and BREAK HEARTS!!!


Let me know what you decide.








Leave a Reply
  • Desiree says:

    Love these ideas so much, Lisi. I’m not quite 16 yet, but you know, it’s never too late to plan ahead. Love you. Keep awesome posts coming. Never get enough of it.

    (P.S. I hope me calling you Lisi instead of Miss Harrison doesn’t make you mad. Me using first names makes me feel like I know you personally instead of just a blah-g fan. Love you.)

  • Lydia says:

    I love the sleepover idea. I have nine months to plan that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Shaila Gottlieb says:

    Love the great advice.

  • “If they don’t whisper when you walk in, go home and change.” (About the outfit in option #3, haha).
    Tbh: I did have a sweet sixteenth birthday party, and because I was the one planning it, I did a pretty terrible job. But in the end, despite the chaos of possible rain and anxiety over who was coming and who to invite, it was a success with everyone else. Personally, it didn’t live up to my expectations. Despite that, apparently everyone else loved it and totes enjoyed themselves. (Unless their lying to me to save face). But my family always finds a way to make my Birthday special, since we don’t do a party for me every year. One time, all we did was go out to cheap McDonalds (for the heck of it, I don’t really go there often) and then go to a horse farm to draw. Anyways, I got to spend quality time with mom! So I totes heart the idea. You can have a party in a few years, if you really want one. My one friend had a party at eighteen instead of at sixteen, and she was fine with that.

    I heart the advice, Lisi!
    -Lonely but Fabulous ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Nicole NonChaire

Leave a Reply