The Closest I’ll Ever Get To Being A Pinterest Mom

I love Pinterest. Who doesn’t? It’s a great way to pass the time when you are sitting in the doctor’s office or bored at work home. You can find inspiration and new ideas for everything under the sun – from tattoos to home decorating, meal planning to fall fashion.

So naturally, when I was looking for themes for my son’s 3rd birthday, I turned to Pinterest for a little party inspo.  

Pinterest turned up TONS of party theme ideas, from Trolls to Dinosaurs to Paw Patrol. But the one that jumped out at me right away was the Construction Site theme. My son LOVES trucks and could name many of them when he was about 18 months old. Backhoes, cranes, front-end loaders – you name it and he knew it.

Trouble is, I don’t really consider myself a crafty or creative person. All the pins and blog posts I found on construction birthday party themes displayed amazing creativity. These moms had thought of every little detail. Things I never would have even considered.

I felt a little overwhelmed.

For his first birthday, I really wanted to keep it simple. So I went to Party City the day before and bought all of the 1st birthday party items they had for boys. Matching plates, napkins, cups, silverware and balloons. I put together a Facebook event to invite our friends and family. And bought stuff to have a backyard BBQ from Costco, including the cake. Done.

Child Eating Cake on First Birthday
The kiddo’s first birthday party.

For his second birthday party, he was into trains, particularly Thomas the Tank Engine, so I went with a train theme, “All Aboard the Two Two Train!” I actually used Evite to send invitations that time, but again went the easy route. I bought coordinating train themed dinnerware and the same sort of food we had the year before. But this time a different flavored cake. Done.

This year, I wasn’t quite ready to invite his whole preschool class and have 14 toddlers running around our backyard – because again, I’m always going for “simple”. However, when I saw what some parents do for their kid’s birthday parties, I felt the need to step it up a notch.  

Thank goodness for free printables, so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel. (Shout out to Color Me Meg and Mandy’s Party Printables for sharing with the rest of us who would not otherwise be able to pull something like this off. And for not making me input my email and join your mailing list in the process.)

I placed my order of construction themed partyware the week before and printed off these fun signs the week of. I even bought my kiddo a cute construction birthday shirt off Amazon to go along with the theme.

Since it was supposed to be 95 degrees the day of the party, I didn’t want my husband to have to man the grill all afternoon. So I ordered a bunch of sandwich platters from Jimmy John’s the day before the party. And got some snacks and food to round it out from the grocery store.

I ordered plain chocolate cupcakes from Hy-Vee and crushed up my own Oreo’s to make them “dirt” cupcakes. I added the cute little gummy worms myself too. How crafty.

While I was out running errands that day, I swung through Home Depot on the east side and inquired at the Customer Service desk if there was any chance I could snag 15 kits from their free kids workshops to use as party favors. (Another tip I learned from reading about someone else’s construction themed birthday party experience.)

Shout out to Heather and Cat for their AMAZING customer service, because 20 minutes later I walked out of the store with two full bags of party favors in hand. Three different kits designed to appeal to different age groups. Which was perfect because our attendees ranged in age from 4 months – 13 years old.

My mother-in-law helped me tie the silverware the night before the party. (During which, my husband kindly pointed out that nothing we were serving required a spoon or knife.) And my husband found some caution tape in the garage and wrapped the railings by the front door the morning of.

The party theme was a big hit of course, and despite the extreme heat, we had a lovely afternoon.

To top it off, my father-in-law surprised us all with a BIG birthday gift for the birthday boy. A Caterpillar themed four-wheeler that was the icing on the cake for his 3rd birthday.

I don’t know how I’m going to top that for his 4th birthday, since this was the closest I’ll probably ever get to being a Pinterest mom. However, maybe one of these years I’ll actually bake the cake…

Alicia was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and moved to Madison in 1996 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in radio, television and film. She’s been working on campus in some capacity ever since and currently manages career and leadership development initiatives in the School of Human Ecology. Alicia married her husband Eric in 2012 and became a mom to her sweet and funny son Ellis in 2015. When she’s not playing with or reading to Ellis, she likes to read, watch TV, and might be caught playing bingo at the VFW. She also runs her own lifestyle blog ( and catches for her softball team through Madison Schools & Community Recreation every summer.



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