Why We Celebrate Birthdays “Pinterest Style”


I have a confession to make: I wish I had been a party-planner.

Every single thing about it thrills me! The planning of themes and menus, the invitations, the decorating, and most of all the coming together of friends… It’s all wonderful. 

Before I became a stay-at-home-mom to three little people, I was a public school teacher (I mean, superhero!). In a small way, teaching is like party planning. Lesson plans, crafts, making my classroom an inspiring place to learn, and inviting my students to “join the party”—these all satisfied my thirst for a creative outlet. But since then, I’ve devoted my love of decorating to hosting holiday and birthday parties that have been deemed “Pinterest worthy”.

And here’s why…

I LOVE to plan parties.

I don’t pretend that it’s not a wonderful compliment, but my chief purpose in going through all the trouble of making my parties special is simple: it’s something I enjoy. Some of my very best friends can’t fathom laying tablescapes, making clever food labels, and decorating cakes all for a couple hours of fun! But to me, it’s so worth it!


Maybe another reason I love it so much is because, as a child, my mom did the same thing. I don’t remember ever having a birthday party that wasn’t in our home! When I was five, my mom hosted a tea party where my friends and I decorated our own hats with flowers and costume jewelry. When I turned twelve, one of her friends who was a MaryKay rep came to our home and hosted a makeup class for my friends. I remember these special times, and it seems fitting to carry on the tradition of celebrating the people I love in the way I love most!

It’s actually EASY!

Another reason we celebrate in a “big” way for birthdays: they’re all so. close. together. From the beginning of March to the end of May it is the parade of birthdays around here! And because my three children are so close in age (3 years and 10 days from start to finish) we have many friends with children of similar ages. Instead of three separate parties, we have combined them into one big bash! And so far, it’s been a hit!

What kind of parties have I hosted? I’m glad you asked! 

Derby Day


Before our third baby came along (two days before, to be exact) I hosted a Derby Day party. Cupcakes adorned with red roses and horse heads made out of nutter butters, stick horses for races, and food and beverages fit for the day! “Last Leg Lemonade,” Mint Julep ice cubes, chicken and waffle bites, and Kentucky Hot brown dip. It was a great distraction from full-term pregnancy, I’ll tell you that!

Kids’ games included horseshoes and races around the yard. Each family left with a mini terra cotta pot of mint (it “mint” a lot for you to be here) and a small trophy full of candy. Everyone was a winner at this party!

 Peter Pan


The next year, all of my kids, including the one-year-old, were into Peter Pan. So, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on pennant banners, pirate ships, distressed invitations, and Captain Hook ring toss (shout out to my aunt for building this amazing game!).

Guests got to dress up as pirates and/or fairies and walked the plank, sailed in the pirate ship, and dug for buried treasure! Toadstools (marshmallows and strawberries), gold dabloons (golden oreos), and seaweed (spinach dip) were on the menu—along with peanut butterfly sandwiches and birthday cake topped with character figurines. Another party success!

As my kids grow, I know I won’t be able to continue hosting joint parties, but believe you me I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve for future parties… joint or otherwise!

Are you a party planner? Share your themes and photos!


  1. All out parties are fun- I agree! I have to laugh because my mom went all out too- including a tea party when I was 5 where we decorated hats with flowers! AND I also did a Mary Kay party with one of mom’s friends when I was either 12 or 13. One time I remember sponge painting wrapping paper to wrap books as party favors. People make it seem like these sort of parties are only post Pinterest days, but that’s not true!! In the 90’s we had Family Fun magazine. ?

  2. These are such adorable ideas! What fun memories your kids will have and they will probably carry on the tradition themselves. We have many July birthdays in our family, so most parties have been pool parties with just family, but that is kind of fun in its own way too. Lovely and inspiring post!


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