Bloggers sure do know how to throw a party.
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Internet then you know what I mean. Pinterest is filled with the pins of elaborate fetes for little ones. Search “first birthday party” and you’ll see photos of elaborately-themed cakes and parties with way more detail than most people put into their weddings. It’s a little bit intense and often induces what I like to refer to as “Pinterest guilt.” It’s a thing you guys.
I love a cute party as much as the next person, but I hate the pressure of it. I had people asking me months before my daughter’s second birthday what I was planning for her. “Uhhhh… store bought cupcakes?” I get it — making things pretty and editorial and fun is what bloggers do. We create fancy pants parties and pretty desserts and effortless floral arrangements and then take 8,000 photos of it so we can blog about it later.
The thing is, and maybe it’s just me, but I find that when I’m experiencing an event from behind the lens of my camera, I miss out. I’m so busy with all the details that I find myself not really present and at the end of the day I always find myself wondering if all of those little details really even mattered? Maybe other bloggers are able to be more present when they’re hosting, but it’s really a struggle for me.
So, I decided to buck the elaborate blogger birthday bash trend this year. Fern’s 2nd birthday was last week and it was completely Pinterest-guilt-free. I made the ugliest mac & cheese on the planet — because it’s Fern’s favorite — and there wasn’t a decoration in sight. But she loved it. Every part of the day, simple as it was, had her in mind. Instead of just thinking about what would be pretty in a photograph, I got to enjoy the day.
I’m not saying I’ll never host a more elaborate party, but for my 2-year-old, this small and simple celebration was just right. Maybe when she’s a little older and can actually appreciate homemade cupcakes topped with little toothpick banners, I’ll get a little fancier.
Here are a few photos from our day. Maybe they’ll inspire you to put down the DIY and go low key for your little one’s birthday this year, too.
Birthday Breakfast "Muffins" 1 of 7
We started out the day with a trip to our favorite donut spot. Fern thinks donuts are "muffins" for some reason and decided on a pink one... naturally.
…and milk 2 of 7
She also had milk along with her donut, because we're balanced like that.
Her first solo photo booth 3 of 7
The hotel up the street from the donut shop has a photo booth, so we popped in to commemorate the day with a strip -- her first solo booth experience and she was pretty stoked about seeing her face actually printed out.
OK. I did do ONE bloggery thing… 4 of 7
So, the one "bloggery" thing I did for the birthday was give her a cute outfit and snap a couple of photos. In my defense, though, she requested a "ballina" dress, so it wasn't just my idea. I also only snapped a few quick photos with my phone on the way to the donut shop. Easy peasy.
Ugliest Mac & Cheese ever 5 of 7
See. I told you this was the ugliest mac & cheese ever. But, Fern loves it and it's delicious.
Ice cream bar 6 of 7
I didn't even make a cake! Just bought a bunch of ice cream tubs and toppings from the bulk bins and let her go to town. I'm pretty sure she was way more excited about this than she would've been about my homemade cake. "Pink and geen eye keem please!"
Happy birthday sweet girl! 7 of 7
Add a candle and a round of "Happy Birthday" and you've got yourself a bit of simple birthday party success!
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.