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How to have the least pinteresting birthday party ever

Hard to believe it was three years ago…
(Actually it was more like 3 years and 6 weeks ago because I’m so late posting this.)

But now our little man is “THWEE!,” fully potty trained, and well-versed in Veggie Tales, Thomas the Train and Elmo. He’s opinionated but easy-going, never forgets ANYTHING (no matter how much you want him to), and is deeply, DEEPLY in love with his little sister, who he’s nicknamed “Giddy.” He’s an absolute LIGHT to my days, which is good because some days he wears me out and I’d fall asleep standing up otherwise.

On the day of his birthday, we set up a balloon surprise outside his bedroom door…
had a pancake breakfast, then took a family trip to a mountain cabin on the river for the weekend.
PicMonkey Collage
But the biggest celebration came a couple weeks ago when Andy’s side of the family was in town.

I’m calling it the Anti-Pinterest Party: my rebellion against the must-do-everything-over-the-top birthday party. First, let me just be real for a quick sec. Life with an 11-month-old and a 3-year-old is delightful. It is an absolute joy. BUT it is exhausting, yall. Can I get an amen? On top of that, Andy has some new exciting stuff happening (more on that coming soon!) so our lives are completely out of hand right now.

By the time Weston’s birthday rolled around, I really wanted to do a fun party for him, and the pressure of throwing a pinterest-perfect party was weighing on me. A couple years ago, a party would involve grabbing some pizzas and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and if the kids left the party exhausted enough to nap, it was a win. Now, there are so many ideas out there that there’s a pressure to throw the perfect, most creative party.

This is my rebellion against that pressure.

ETA: There is nothing nothing NOTHING wrong with an all-out fabulous party! There are times when I’d be super excited to plan one. I just know at this time in my life, it’s not happening for me. No need to apologize if you love doing that!

I don’t want to skip a birthday party altogether because I can’t pull together something perfect with food labeled according to a theme, a flawlessly styled food table and handcrafted party favors. I’m giving myself a bit of grace for this time in our lives. At the end of the day, what matters is getting together the people who are most important to my little man and celebrating our three years with him.

And you want to know a secret? He doesn’t even know all those pintastic ideas exist.

So this year, instead of pressuring myself so much that I throw up my hands and have no party at all, I threw an anti-pinterest party. Here’s the recipe:
1. Go to the party aisle at walmart.
2. Decide on theme at that moment based on what’s for sale. (“Toy Story it is!”)
3. Buy matching cupcake liners, toppers, plates, and party favors.
4. Refuse to feel guilty.

See this cupcake topper? STOREBOUGHT. (*Gasp!* *Fainting!*)
The cupcake itself? A box of mix. The icing? Yep: premade. My son? Still knows he’s loved.

We had a relaxing afternoon with Weston’s best friends and our family on the new deck with some boxes of pizza and seven-layer-dip.

Sneak peek at my new patio furniture! The rest of the design obviously didn’t come together in time for the party.

The highlight was watching five preschoolers try to bust open a pinata. Poor little buds. They all took several swings to no avail. The pinata would not break. I think I heard it laughing at the kids. Finally I suggested that the dads jump in and help. Here’s what I was picturing: Andy standing behind Weston, both their hands on the bat, swinging together.
Here’s what actually happened: Andy took the bat and unloaded a lifetime of pent-up something upon that poor cupcake-shaped pinata, first sending it flying to the ground, then standing over it, swinging with all his strength, while I looked on in shock with my jaw on the floor.

The pinata opened that time.

Aside from the trauma of watching a sweet little pinata get hacked to death, the party was a success and no one complained (to my face) about the lack of handmade food labels.
There are just no words for how thankful I am to have this smart, sweet little man in my life. I can’t believe I get to be his mama. I will leave you with his personal rendition of the Veggie Tales Theme Song. (The laugh at the end is my favorite.)

Ladies and gentlemen, American Idol winner 2025.

Have you ever felt perfect-pinterest-party pressure?

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  1. totally love this post and that picture from when he was born- adorable!! you rock!

  2. Good for you for fighting the Pinterest pressure, Kelly! And it looks like you had an incredible birthday for your little man…one in which he felt extremely loved.

    Pinterest is great, but it definitely can make a crafty gal feel insecure. I have definitely felt that pressure when it comes to giving gifts. Now that I’m a craft blogger, everyone assumes that I am going to make every gift I give. I can’t tell you how many times I heard this Christmas, “Did you make that?” I might just hit up the dollar store for ALL of my gifts next Christmas and do a post on The Least Pinteresting Christmas Ever. I think you’ve started a “thing” now, Kelly! 😉

  3. Good for you!!!! These are celebrations that should be fun. The whole world does not need to be pinterest perfect- and honestly you probably saved a crap ton of time and money just doing it this way.

  4. Love it. He’s such a cutie!!! We love cabins. It is our dream one day to have one of our own for weekend getaways. We have one we use every year and love it 🙂 xo Kristin

  5. I think if you keep the focus on the kiddo and not on ourselves, then it becomes “their” party. The pinteresting parties are parties for the parents not the kids. Not that I haven’t gone all out for birthdays at our house. They are big deals because they only happen once a year. But it is always about them and they know it so they don’t need the “bling”. Bravo to you for planning an appropriate party for your little wee man. Happy Birthday Winston!

  6. You’re totally right…Weston would never know the difference and I bet no one else cared either. In the end, everyone’s just happy to be hanging out and celebrating a sweet little boy! I bet you enjoyed it more too! xo

  7. I don’t have kids but have seen this so much within my friends and family. Kids would rather have a super hero or movie/tv character cheapie bday party any day over a fussy etsy/pinterest worthy party with vintage mason jar floral centerpieces, homemade favors tied with bakers twine with stamped poems on them, buntings and fauxtobooths. I have seen those things in real life! Not just pinterest.

  8. Haha I love the “gasp!” part. You mean you didn’t craft that toy story cupcake topper yourself?! 😉 I’m so glad you are rejecting the pinterest party pressure. I’m a maid of honor for a wedding and have been getting sent pinterest emails from the bride and other bridesmaids and am boycotting all these ideas being thrown at me!! 🙂

  9. I LOVE that you posted about this! Ironically, I sell invitations and printables on etsy, and appreciate a beautifully put together party. That being said, it always makes me wonder who that makes the party for and is it worth all of the stress and planning? My kid would be thrilled to just celebrate with friends and family. I threw a fun 1st bday for my daughter, but when 2 years old came around, I said no way! Took her to Disneyland and that was that. It’s A LOT of work. When I got married, I really wanted chair covers. We didn’t get them. Nobody said anything or really cared…so are the details really THAT important? 🙂

  10. Less time putting together a party=more time to spend with your sweet little man. Pretty parties are for the adults, not the kids, anyway, maybe? Not that most adults would care, either. You are a good mama. 🙂 And I love those pictures of him coming out of his room into the balloons!

  11. I love that balloon birthday surprise!!! What a fun way to wake up!! Now I secretly want that for my birthday!!! 🙂
    Oh amen on the anti-pinterest kids birthday!! The last thing a kid needs on their birthday is a super stressed parent! That birthday party looks perfect. 🙂

  12. Looks like a wonderful time. I love the balloons idea and it looks like he does, too. As for a “pinteresting” party, I’m torn. I enjoy planning every detail and am not a perfectionist at all. So party planning is fun for me and I think it’s worth it. But here’s the thing, I know it’s totally for me. Henry could give a hoot about a photo booth and a food table. What I hate more than anything is superiority in moms. And throwing a party that stressed you out and makes you a beast to be around doesn’t make you superior. It makes you delusional. Good work on sticking to what works for you and not feeling pressured by Pinterest.

    • Totally! There are times in my life when I would be SUPER excited to throw a fun party and go all out – but this is just not one of those times. 🙂 I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going all out if you love it!

  13. I love the birthday balloon door surprise! I’ve been meaning to do that for my kids. They turn 9 this year, so I better hurry up, while they will still appreciate it!

  14. Way to go, girl!! Like one of my friends said (and this is a paraphrase), you can either spend all your time taking pictures and making it look like you have a perfect life, or you can just spend time with your kids and be a good mom.

    Also, I have to ask where this adorable cabin is located??

  15. It all looks perfect to me! And the family picture from when he was born is really precious. 🙂

  16. The best party one of my kids every went to was just a normal one and she still remembers dropping clothes pins over a chair into a milk bottle. She thought it was some new game that mom invented!

    Oh, and when my youngest was thwee, that was the year he announced to a whole table of cousins that sometimes his mom farts.


  17. This was a perfect birthday party…focusing on celebrating with family (the new deck is so great for that!) and just having a good time! It’s how we do our family parties, too!

  18. That balloon surprise in the doorway is certainly “Pinterest worthy”!
    He thoroughly had a lot of fun going through all those balloons!

  19. What a great idea with the surprise balloons – and both of them are so cute. You should be very proud!

  20. I love that you did your own thing. The most important thing is celebrating with family and friends and making memories and you did just that! Love the balloon thing!

  21. I’m sure buying coordinated birthday themed items at Target or Walmart was considered “Pinterest party material” at one time or another! Besides, Weston looks like he had a blast and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day 🙂

  22. Way to go! A party with pizza and a pinata is perfect! No need to go all out and crazy with a theme, when the real theme is for the kids to just have fun!

    Loved the video! He’s precious! 🙂

  23. Love that first pic of when he was a newborn. His expression is so precious. Love the balloon idea and his reaction. Priceless! Love the close up of both of your children. Gorgeous kids. Kudos for you for going against Pinterest! Now granted, at times I do a bit of that stuff, but it’s because I love to do it as Kim mentioned above. However, I don’t think less of those that do not. Don’t even think twice about it. It’s not their thing so who cares. It’s about the people, not the stuff. Do what you love. Your son wants your time not fufu decor. Good for you!

  24. I’m with you! All those crazy over the top parties are exhausting — and in the end the b-day boy or girl just ends up so overwhelmed — probably feeding off our stress — and end up bursting into tears on their special day. Typically when the cake comes out and the “Happy Birthday” song is cued …

    Love that video and his super sweet voice and how he really bangs it out there in the end!

    Happy Birthday Weston!

    🙂 Linda

  25. This was fan-freakin-tastic. I love that you “rebelled”. I think a lot of people feel pressure when it comes to doing anythingggg nowadays because of Pinterest…so I applaud you for not giving in! 🙂

  26. You go, girl! I love this ~ and you know what? You are so right in the fact that he doesn’t have a clue about Pinterest, blogs or the “perfect” party. I see these and think, “How nice…but the child is unaware and look at all the $$$ spent for show!” Thanks for keeping it real!

    Your children are adorable and I do understand. Mine were 22 months apart. Some days it’s all you can do to feed and clothe everyone.


  27. Love the look of that cabin you guys went to for the weekend!! And I’ve never had perfect pinterest party angst, but just this morning I had beautiful bathroom closet angst … even though it’s all stuff that’s behind a closed door. 🙂

  28. Amen Sister! While I appreciate all the work it takes to plan an elaborate party and I admire those who put on parties like that, it is not realistic for everyone. Especially when your kids are so little. Weston looks like a happy little guy so I don’t think he minded a bit. After all, a party should really be about being with people you love and having a good time together, and that is what you did! That video is priceless! xxoo

  29. And this post is why I am CERTAIN we can be friends in real life. For each of my kids’ birthday’s we are low key, low cost, low decorations….but FUN. And we love each other. And that is what is important!

  30. LOVE this post! Your description of Andy demolishing that pinata totally made me think of the printer smashing scene from Office Space, haha! I love your Pinterest rebellion! Whenever I was signed up for a bake sale at school, my mom would go buy soft baked cookies & arrange them on a plate so they looked homemade. At the time I just laughed, but now I realize that she was BRILLIANT! Problem solved, time saved, kid loved. 🙂

  31. I totally agree that Pinterest is sometimes too much to handle! I just got done with my son’s second birthday party and I’m beginning to think I may be outdoing it 🙂 But I do have so much fun and my kiddos love to see all the fun ideas we can do! It’s funny that you posted this today because I just posted a run-down of my son’s second birthday party, and I’m afraid I went a little Pinterest crazy! Ah, well. You only live once, right? 🙂

  32. Suck it Pinterest. I think big ol’ parties are more for the parents until the kid hits like 10 and has any kind of clue what’s going on.

  33. I did a themed party for Landon’s first and second birthday. For his third we went to the pool and ate pizza. That was my favorite party. My kids will just have to accept that I am just not that mom. I would love to be but I wasn’t wired that way. I think your party was fabulous!

    At the end of the day all anyone wants or really needs for their birthday is to feel special and appreciated.

    Great post!

  34. Unpinteresting parties are awesome. Weston looks like he’s pretty pleased about the whole thing, too :). Although I did briefly consider pinning every picture from this post, as a super funny joke.

  35. Totally precious!!! You did it right, mom! He’ll remember the love and attention far more than what the theme was that year! I’m so glad my kids were growing up pre-pinterest!! You have a lovely family!~~Angela

  36. Standing!!! Clapping!!! Good for you for resisting the pressure of Pinterest! Sheesh, Pinterest didn’t even exist when my kids were little and I still felt immense pressure to outdo the other birthday parties!
    You know what I found out last year from my now-grown daughter?? SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER the American Girl tea party I gave her when she turned 7; the one where I handmade all the petit fours! The one where green and pink icing was everywhere; that I found in odd places months later? She doesn’t remember the princess and castle cake that I struggled to make when she was 4. SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER.

    So, when I see parents now trying to give their child a birthday to remember, I struggle not to tell them the truth. THEY WON’T REMEMBER IT. You will, but you will also remember the exhaustion, and later regret, that you overdid it.
    The way you did it? You did it right. Good job.

  37. Ok, the dirty little face is my favorite in the video!! He’s such a cutie! I am so thankful that Pinterest didn’t exist when I was planning my children’s birthday parties! Too much pressure — glad you kept it simple and enjoyed! And R.I.P. to the pinata. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  38. Absolute perfection! How wonderful that your little guy felt celebrated and loved with the people that mean the most to him! And even better that momma could enjoy the party too without having to worry about all the crazy details an over-the-top birthday party entails. I love these kind of parties. Your kids are adorable and blessed. Have a wonderful weekend!

  39. Absolutely Love, Love, Love the laugh. They are blessings, Ginger

  40. Hooray for the anti-pinterest party 🙂 and I cannot believe your little man is so big already! crazy!

  41. Oooh you rebel you!!! Love it. And this line says it all: “The cupcake itself? A box of mix. The icing? Yep: premade. My son? Still knows he’s loved.” You hit the nail on the head! Why do people put themselves under so much pressure to live this perfect but in no way realistic life? I don’t know how you do what you do with two little ones as it is! Your kids are obviously the loves of your life – Weston obviously had a fabulous time, that’s all that matters 😉 x

  42. It looks like he had a wonderful time!! I love the balloons in the hallway. What fun!

  43. Memories are funny things. Like the guy who explained how they went over the top to give their kids a super-duper vacation to Disneyworld, etc., etc. Upon return home, guess what the kids said the best part of the trip was? Ha ha–stopping at a gas station in Tennessee, they saw a three-legged dog. Yep! That was their best-of-the-vacation moment. Seriously?! That makes me laugh every time I think of it. So your child may or may not (probably the not) remember the cool cake, cool gift, cool whatever. But he/she may be more likely to remember you being crabby because you were too tired trying to put on some birthday show, or being too busy to see his play-dough creation while you were trying to pull off some grandiose whatever. Years ago, my husband mentioned at Christmas time that perhaps the children would prefer that I spend time with them rather than me spending time making their Christmas gifts. Hmmm….
    Btw, I love the way you take the time to give us such a treat with the photos. Great idea with the balloon curtain! Happy Birthday to Weston!

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