A Very Pinterest Birthday

I know, I know, I know…I LOVE to make fun of Pinterest. People are pinning crazy stuff like “How to Style Antlers!” I mean…really?

BUT, for the crafty inclined it is a gold mine of ideas indeed, and completely addictive. I know. So when it came time to have a few family members over to celebrate Jack’s second birthday, I let myself have some quality time browsing Pinterest for birthday cake and decorating ideas.

Now I already have a favorite basic cake recipe. I use Nigella Lawson’s Buttermilk Birthday Cake from her How to Be a Domestic Goddess cook book. Always. I used it for my friends’ Barbie wedding cake too. Oh yes I did. You had no idea I was so talented did you? Behold:

In any case, this cake is good. My nephew declared he hates vanilla cake and then had a bite and said this was the best vanilla cake he’d ever had – “and I don’t even like vanilla cake!”  So there. I can bake a cake yes, but decorating is really not my thing. Unless it’s buxom Barbies in fondant skirts draped with hand knitting. So I took to Pinterest in hope, and it did not disappoint. I found this pin (anna and blue paperie)and this pin (Martha Stewart). I combined them into this:

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Major success. Jack is a toddler. Toddlers love balloons. Balloons are like the best thing EVER to a two year old. Thank you crafty people of Pinterest! (bonus: when you slice the cake, each child can have a balloon of their own stuck on their slice. ALL THE HAPPY CHILDREN!)

With cake plans made, I set about decorating for the party, and this, THIS right here is why I will never be a success as a blogger. I made the world’s cutest birthday table. That cake up there was set on our beautiful white table against a white wall with this charming birthday banner I found on Pinterest. I taped  green and white and yellow balloons to the wall with the banner. Piled presents to the right and left. We set out candies to delight the kids. It was flat out adorable, and you know what? 

I totally forgot to take a picture. Not one picture.

So while every other blogger on the planet gets major play out of birthday party posts, I have failed you, gentle reader. I have failed myself and my dreams of having a popular, viral pin on the almighty Pinterest.

C’est la vie. Jack dug the banner – he liked picking out the letters and we played with a different balloon each day. One of them is still kicking around the living room today – a month later! The whole thing was super easy and cost only a few dollars. The biggest expense was sending the banner pdfs to Staples to print on card stock for about $6 (printer at home out of ink – oops). I didn’t even need to buy string for the banner because I have so much yarn up in this house. I dug out a variagated cotton that couldn’t have matched the banner better if I had hand dyed it myself.

So there you go, mamas. When inspiration is lacking, hit up Pinterest! Use some selective search terms (“free birthday banner” and “easy birthday cake” were mine) and have fun. I threw together a look in about half an hour – it thrilled Jack and made me feel like I had done at least one thing right for his birthday. And let me tell you, sometimes in this game of motherhood that’s enough of a victory. Who needs perfection? You just need to give the kid something to make him smile.


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