Posts Tagged ‘pinterest’

In Defense Of Birthday Parties

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

I read a post on BlogHer last week about a mom who has no interest in throwing her kid a Pinterest-style birthday party. I’m not going to link to it directly since I’m not trying to criticize or start a fight with the author. You can easily find it if you want to read the original but the gist was this: “We do low-key parties. I sent some email invites and invited 2 friends and my kid had a super good time…” The part that came after those ellipses was unspoken by the author but was obvious in the comment section. It ranged from “…so planning a big, extravagant party is stupid” to “…so your way is a waste of time” to “…which makes me a better mom because I spent more time with my kid than you did because you were on Pinterest looking for ways to make cupcakes in a mason jar.”

WHOA WHOA WHOA. While I can agree with the premise of the original post (You don’t NEED matching place settings to have a nice birthday! Kids don’t really care!) I would like to register my extreme disagreement with the idea that throwing a Pinterest-inspired kid’s birthday party makes me anything except for someone who likes throwing parties.

I am not a better mom. I am not a worse mom. I am not a busier mom. I am not a slacker mom. I am not a more involved mom. I am not a mom who never plays on the floor with her kids. I am not interested in comparing my kid’s birthday party to your kid’s birthday party. YOU DO YOU. I am just doing something that makes me and my kid happy.

What’s that you say? This sounds just like everything else about parenting? Why yes, I believe you’re correct! Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, make your own baby food, baby-led weaning, cloth diapers, disposable diapers, organic sawdust filled diapers, daycare, preschool, homeschool, unschool, upside-down school, WHATEVER. The effort/non-effort you are willing to put into any of those things doesn’t have anything to do with me. Stop making it a comparison. If you hate it, don’t do it!

I swear to you – double-dog, pinkie-swear, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-stick-a-thumbtack-in-my-eye swear – that when I bring my kid to your kid’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese the ONLY thing I am thinking is “Hmmm…Will anyone notice if I eat 4 pieces of pizza?” I am grateful we were invited because it means my kid isn’t a total jerk. I am glad to be out of the house. I am EXTRA glad if there is store-bought cake, since we all know that’s really the best kind. I’ve been to birthdays ranging from 3 kids just hanging out to 30 kids and a bounce house and my kid had fun at all of them.

When I started this big, fancy birthday party thing for Evan’s 1st there WAS no Pinterest. It was the Stone Ages of party planning, where I had to rely on Google Image Search and my own brain. I didn’t even know about paper straws. But I started the planning ball rolling and it just…kept going. I liked it. It was fun, it kept me busy, it was a creative outlet I had been missing during that first hectic new-baby year. Evan REALLY enjoyed his birthday and I enjoyed the compliments. Now it’s become my Thing – birthdays, baby showers, Halloween, whatever – and I’m going to keep doing it as long as the kids are still excited about it. Although one day I’m sure we’ll do Chuck E Cheese – and this year we’re doing a store-bought cake too.

Whew. That was 400 words more than I was planning on writing and probably 600 words more than I actually needed.

TL:DR version – Parties are cool, do whatever you want.

If what you want is a vintage train themed party with an orange and blue color scheme, here’s what I’m planning for Evan’s 4th. I’ve bought about 75% of this already and I’m making/hunting down/crowd-sourcing the rest.

Vintage Train Birthday Party

Vintage Train Birthday Party by bebehblog on Polyvore

How To Make A “Stuff Pinned From Your Blog On Pinterest” Button

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Have you heard? Pinterest is the new front-page search result on Google. Get your cute Valentine’s Day wreath repinned by the right taste maker and you can have a viral craft hit on your hands. And if you’re shaking your head right now saying “Pinterest whaaaa?” check out my post explaining the basics of Pinterest.

My favorite feature on Pinterest is the “also from…” option you see when you click on a pin. For example, if you click on a picture of a delicious looking recipe from Tasty Kitchen, in the bottom left hand corner of your screen you’ll see “also from”. It’s a great way to instantly get more from a site you’ve just discovered.

One of the things I’ve noticed about my traffic is readers often click on the suggested similar posts at the end of each new post. I use the LinkWithin widget to display thumbnails of posts with similar key words and topics. I find myself doing the same thing on other people’s sites and spending hours reading archives and links. I thought it would be great if I could combine those two ideas with a button right in my sidebar . Now you (and I) can see what people have pinned from my blog instantly, plus it’s a quick way to see the best of my crafts and party stuff with direct links back to their original posts without having to search.

And because I’d like to see the same thing on YOUR blog, here’s a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a button of your own.

How To Make A “Stuff Pinned From Your Blog On Pinterest” Button

1. Create a button sized blank graphic in your favorite graphics editor. I used Photoshop Elements, but you could use any program that lets you size the document to 175×175 pixels. Some sidebars are a little smaller (150×150) and some are a little bigger (200×200) so use whatever works best.

2. Add your blog name. I used the color and font from my blog design to keep it recognizable. I also spent WAY too much time choosing a font/size for the word “on”.

how to make a "my stuff on pinterest" button for your blog

3. Download the Pinterest logo graphic from their “Goodies” page (it’s at the bottom) and insert it in your graphic. They have two options available, so you can make yours look like mine or use the “P” logo.

how to make a "my stuff on pinterest" button for your blog

4. Add a graphic. I went to my “stuff pinned from bebehblog” page, took a screenshot and cropped it in Picasa. That way the images in the button are actual pins from my blog.

how to make a "my stuff on pinterest" button for your blog

5. Tweak it – resize your text and graphic, center everything, make sure you like the screen shot you used. I ended up adding a border to mine because it was too white against my background. You want it to be clean and eye catching but not too busy. Save your image as a JPG.

6. Upload the image to a free photo-sharing site. I like imgur but Flikr and Photobucket are also popular. Find the sharing option that gives you the direct link to the photo – it will start with “http://” and end with “.jpg”.

7. Insert this code into a widget in your sidebar where you want the button to go:

<center><a href=””><img src=”“></a></center>

Replace the RED text with your blog and the BLUE text with the direct link to your image.

8. Save the changes to the widget. Refresh your site and you should see your new button!

Because the link will update as people pin more things from your blog, you should only have to make one button and the most recent stuff will always show up on top when people click through.

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or email me at and I can try to help.

Pin It


Thirty Hand Made Days

Caroline’s Sparkle Snowflake First Birthday

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Theme: Winter sparkle snowflake party, with glitter, pale pink and blue accents
The Location: The entire first floor of my house

This post is going to be HUGE, so if you have no interest at all in Caroline’s party please come back in a few days when it’s been bumped off the front page. I don’t want to put in a page break and have people think I’m trying to trick them into more page views. I get my page views the honest way – exploiting my children and friends!

The Decorations:

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Dining room

Tree branch sprayed with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party crepe paper christmas trees

Ruffled crepe paper trees from this tutorial found on Pinterest

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Living Room

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party paper snowflakes

Snowflakes cut from printer paper (Google “snowflake templates” for ideas)

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party photo dislplay

My clothes pin photo display re-purposed as Caroline’s year in photos display!

winter sparkle glitter snowflake first birthday party candles in mason jars

Epsom salt in mason jars to look like snow

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Glitter play dough party favors (more details in this post), yarn wreath, mirror frosted with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party yarn wreath jingle bells

Yarn wreath, $1 picture frame ornament from Target

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party chandelier

Chandelier decorated with dollar store garland & ornaments

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party doily garland

Doily garland

high chair tutu winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

The orange high chair didn’t match my theme, but a paper table cloth and a little tulle fixed it!

 winter wonderland sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Fake snow everywhere!

The Food:

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Hot cocoa and cocktail bar – the Keurig made it SO EASY!

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

I bought every single Christmas mug at Goodwill

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Mini marshmallows, egg nog, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes, vanilla syrup, pink sprinkles, whipped cream, coconut flakes. Also on the bar: dark and milk hot cocoa, cider, Bailey’s, vanilla vodka, coconut rum, peppermint schnapps, mini candy canes.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cucumber sandwiches, candy cane blossoms, red peppers & dip

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese on herb bread

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cupcakes (from a box!), my favorite frosting, edible sugar paper snowflakes bought at Stop & Shop

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Sparkling cranberry brie bites. You know how sometimes you seen an idea on Pinterest and think “yeah, there’s no way that idea is going to be as awesome in real life”? This one was JUST AS AWESOME.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Thumbprint cookies, gooey vanilla sparkle cookies, fruit & dip, sugar cookies, ginger cookies, mini pastas on sticks with vodka, marinara, and alfredo sauce.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party coconut snowballs

Coconut snowballs

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cream cheese mints, lemon meringues

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

The pasta on sticks was a great idea… for grown ups. Next time I’ll get less pointy things.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party snow men milk bottles

Milk bottle snow men. Not quiet as cute as on the interwebs, but still cute.

Lemon cake (more boxed mix!) tinted 3 shades of pink

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Tiny cake baked in a tomato can, covered in sprinkles & topped with “Caroline” written in chocolate

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Don’t even THINK about taking her cake away

The Fun:

Glitter play dough & cookie cutters on a kid-sized table

All the planned activities in the world can’t stop the kids from getting every toy out of the toy box

DIY pull string pinata (more here) was a hit, even though it didn’t work exactly as planned. I had to shake most of the candy out after the ribbon holding it up broke, but the kids didn’t care one little bit.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

DIY snowglobes were cuter in theory than in reality. They were kind of leaky and some of the trees dyed the water purple and the glue was messy, but everyone went home with one!

Sharing strawberries with a friend

Refusing to wear her hair bow

Dance party!

These two are TROUBLE

Playing with Grandma

Somebody got a pony for her birthday! (She’s kind of scared of it though)

Family photos with two kids – there is ALWAYS someone not looking.

Holy crap, that was ridiculously long. I think I got all the links and recipes in there but if you’re looking for something let me know. My Pinterest board for the party (with most of the ideas I did use and some really good ones I didn’t get around to) can be found here.  I’m sorry most of the photos are terrible – it gets dark REALLY early here so I had to use the flash after the first 30 minutes of the party. It was definitely a great time and I know Caroline enjoyed herself. I hear everyone’s kids slept really well on Saturday night so I think they ran off all the sugar I pumped into them before they went home. Thank you to everyone who came and especially to my mother-in-law Carol who flew all the way from Ohio just to help me make the food and watch Little Evan for a few hours!

And Happy Birthday Caroline!

Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Confession: I’ve taken the “before” pictures for this makeover no less than five different times. Every time I walk through the living room (which is every time I go upstairs or check the mail) I am underwhelmed by its boringness and uselessness. We live in an old house, designed for formal entertaining (you can see the house tour here, although we’ve changed almost every room since then) which is fantastic when it comes to throwing parties but not so great for every day life. We don’t use the front door and we almost never use the dining room, so the front of the house has become a catch-all for junk. There isn’t even a couch in the living room – the free one I got off Craigslist went out with the trash before Evan’s 1st birthday and I haven’t found something I like/can afford. Which means for the last year (and then some), our living room has looked like this:

From a few weeks ago. Just ignore the ball pit we just FINALLY took down from Little Evan’s 2nd birthday party. Also, that TV isn’t hooked up/attached to anything yet, so it’s just a big black light-blocking hole.
This is from Saturday morning. I moved some stuff to the mantle to try to make it more interesting. It didn’t really work.

I know it was built for afternoon teas and dinner parties, but living in half our house is stupid – why feel cramped when we have an extra 300+ square feet of EMPTY SPACE to spread out in? And why do I keep insisting on using it as a FORMAL living room, when almost none of our living is formal?

So my mission was two fold:
1. Make our living room both more functional and more fun and
2. Don’t spend any money

Enter Pinterest.

{handprint art, chalkboard table, bright colored room, fabric garland, covered canvas, button letter}

And here’s how it looks now:

-I bought the canvases from Michael’s when they were on sale AND I had a coupon, to save for a day when I was feeling creative. The striped ones are tissue paper attached with spray adhesive.
-All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery.
-The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench.
-The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday.
-The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001.
6. The empty frame was in our basement.
7. I bought the vases at Target for $3.24 each back in March to fill in the empty mantle.
8. The coffee table was in the basement, the blue chair was in the attic and the toys were in the toy box.

Since the coffee table is black you can’t really see the chalkboard paint unless I’ve drawn on it, so all it takes is a quick swipe with a damp paper towel and we have our grown-up piece of furniture back. The baskets underneath neatly hide all the toys and the chalk.

So paint, buttons, fabric, and some repurposing turned our boring wasted space into a cute, usable room. Now I just need to find a small couch, some big comfy floor pillows and a DVD player for that TV and we might actually start spending some time in there!

Of course I finished this just in time to change it all again for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go with a rainbow theme for the holidays this year.

Thirty Hand Made Days

My Week(42) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Lots of food and baby face photos this week. Both are delicious.


It must have been E's morning to get up with the kids because there's no way *I* dressed the kid in stripes and plaid.

Wii Basketball counts as both exercise and toddler entertainment

She looks vaguely distressed at being naked. HOLD ON TO THAT FEELING, at least until you're 30.


Bossing everyone around after Stroller Strides

All the naptime essentials: blanket, milk, dump truck, fire truck.

Caroline really looks up to her friend Maddie. BA-DUM-CHING.

FaceTime with Daddy, who was out of town for work.

Pasta with herbed butter, goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes. My FAVORITE summer meal (especially since I had actual fanct heirloom tomatoes!) but E hates it.


I wasted a dollar on the merry-go-round in exchange for my kid putting his shoes back on.


Fun fact: E and I had one of our first dates at Sticky Fingers in Charleston, so I always buy the sauce when they have it at Stop & Shop.

Wednesday @Mystic Seaport:

The Amistad. Like from the movie. I think. One of my friends was the only woman to help build it. I think. Wow, I am FULL of facts. Maybe.

Playing pirates with Maddie in the children's building

This game is called Skittles. It's really dumb. E was OBSESSED.


Stroller Strides. NO PICTURE PLEASE.

Feeding the ducks at Oldeeee Mystickeee Villageeee. The extra "e"s make it AUTHENTIC.

I guess she got over her issues with nudity.


Look kids, this is what we used in the old days, before Pinterest. YES PLEASE FALL.

What are you waiting for, a written invitation? It's nap time Mama!

Squash at the CSA. For eating, not just decoratively arranging as a centerpiece. Which is what I do.

Baby Faux Hawk


Sponge Bob Coma. Blame the husband.

Vanilla french toast for breakfast

Finishing up my living room redecorating

The recipe for Monday’s pasta is ripped out of a Rachel Ray magazine, but here it is online. E was gone Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, which might have made this the longest week of my life. By Friday I had given up on leaving the house and succumbed to endless Nick Jr for the toddler and nursing for the baby. The rest of this weekend will be spent on the cleaning and laundry I neglected in favor of naps and hiding in the bathroom taking deep breaths. I’m hoping to have my colorful new living room photos up on Monday, a new recipe later in the week and video of Caroline being adorable somewhere in between. Cross you fingers for a tantrum-free Saturday so I can get my sanity back!

Did you take any camera phone photos this week? Link up with one or lots using the linky below and grab the code (so it shows on your blog too!) over at Amy’s . It’s really fun!