Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

If you know me, you know I love a good theme! And when I started looking up party ideas for Lincoln's 1st birthday, I saw a lot of ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I knew there was no turning back. My true inspiration came from Pottery Barn Kids: 

Adorable right?
The lanterns are super cute and Lincoln already had a stuffed caterpillar and the book that we got from Kohl's right after he was born. So it was decided...VHC would be the theme!

I then searched Pinterest (of course!) and came up with my party ideas. First I needed to find an invitation for the party. I knew I wouldn't have time to make one since I was still working full time, so I looked on Etsy to see if there was something I could use. I stumbled upon Top That Designs! and the shop owner, Jennifer, was able to make a custom listing for my for the invitations, as well as my other paper needs. 

Crawl on over...
Once the invitations were done, it was time to work on the decorations. I saw a cute picture of a party table with a polka dot backdrop, so I went to Target and found some wrapping paper with rainbow dots that looked similar to the dots in the VHC book.  I knew I needed a customized banner since my friends Tori and Nicole make them for everyone's birthdays. Luckily I have a Cricut machine, so I was able to make a cute birthday banner without having to cut it out by hand! Then I used the PBK lantern idea to finish the backdrop!
Thanks to my husband for hanging the backdrop for 2 parties AND having to rehang it the day of the last party because it fell over night!
The food part was easy. We used most of the foods from the VHC book, and of course used skewers to poke holes in everything so it looked like the caterpillar ate his way through everything.

That caterpillar must have been VERY hungry! Thanks to Vickie and Lisa for helping me skewer the food!
I made an awesome punch with orange sherbet and ginger ale and got to use my new PB Glass Drink Dispenser and Stand! I splurged on red and white striped straws for the punch (but I was able to use them at my JLR Provisional holiday social as well!) and I also found colorful cones for the ice cream (since the caterpillar eats through an ice cream cone on Saturday). 

Lincoln got a VHC Jack in the Box and wooden pull toy for Christmas, so we were able to use them as part of the decor!
I saw a cute flatware holder made from Legos on Pinterest. Since Andrew was obsessed with Legos as a child, I thought this would be a great project for him. He spent a long time perfecting it, and even added a Lego piece with holes to make it look like the caterpillar ate through the Legos!

Hubby's work of art!
I dreaded the smash cake when I decided on the theme. I wanted to do cupcakes for the guests and saw several cute cakes online where the caterpillar's head was the smash cake. But who wants to clean up a 1 year old after he's been eating red icing?! I decided the easiest solution would be to use fondant. While clean up wasn't awful, the fondant proved to be a challenge in itself since it tends to crack. Overall I don't think it turned out too shabby.

I used wrapping paper to cover a styrofoam board and then used pipe cleaners for the antennae and feet.  Thanks to Tori and Teena for icing cupcakes at the parties!
The birthday boy with his cake. We got the party hat at Stein Mart before I even decided on the theme! It was meant to be!
Speaking of the birthday boy, we had to make sure he was dressed stylishly for his party. Etsy to the rescue again! Aimee from Same Monogram made him this cute embroidered shirt and everyone loved it!

He was on the move at the party, so this is the only picture I could get of the shirt!
As guests were leaving, they were able to take a cake pop and an M&M caterpillar to go! They were also asked to sign Lincoln's copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and leave him birthday wishes so he could have them all in one place (thanks for the idea Tori!) 

2nd try with the cake pop maker and it's getting easier!

VHC Book signing and M&M Caterpillars

Close up of M&M caterpillars. 
I think the birthday parties were a huge success! Thanks to all of my family and friends who helped out on the day of each party! According to Hubby, the downside to throwing a great party the first year is having to out-do it each year after. Luckily, Pinterest is providing me with many more great ideas and I think I'll be just fine!

What do you think of the party? Leave some feedback below and don't forget to follow me!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

While the cat's away, the mice will play!

More like when Lincoln's away, Mommy will blog! Lincoln is spending the week with his Gram and Paw Paw, so I'm taking advantage of my free time to upload some things I've worked on over the past few months!

Back in December (yes it's taken me 3 months to post this!), my Junior League provisional color group came over to the house for a holiday social. I was in charge of desserts, so I decided to break out my new cake pop maker (Got my Babycakes Cake Pop Maker on Black Friday for $12.00!) and make Rudolph cake pops! It took a while to get the hang of the cake pops, but I thought they turned out cute for my first ones! I used my  Of course I forgot to take pictures before the party, so this is the last reindeer standing!

I used frosting to glue the eyes and nose on, so pardon the white smudges!

I also made these fabulous santa hats made from brownies and strawberries! Once again, these were taken at the end of the party, so the icing on the hats had melted! :(

These were Andrew's favorites!

And the party wouldn't be complete without Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake Mix

The mix even comes with these cool dots! LOVE!

Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of dessert left over at the end of the night! I love baking and Lincoln loves flirting with pretty women, so the party was definitely a success!

I'll be posting pictures of Lincoln's 1st birthday party tomorrow! For now, I'm off to spend some much needed quality time with Hubby!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who am I kidding?

I failed with my resolution of blogging every day. Mind you, the resolution was made well before New Year's. So when people were asking if I was keeping to my resolution, I quietly hung my head in shame. I have an "almost" 1 year old. Did I seriously think I could blog EVERY DAY? Maybe I can eventually...but for now my house is a wreck, there are two first birthday parties looming and Lincoln escapes the barricades I've set up to prevent him from leaving the living room. Needless to say, I won't be blogging daily anytime soon.

But there are some precious moments that I like to call nap time. A time for mommy to recuperate and Lincoln to sleep quietly in his crib. As I recently realized, nap time is not always a guarantee and this time should not be wasted. Most days I've done my Facebook work during Lincoln's morning nap and if there is an afternoon nap, I find myself napping for 20-30 minutes as well. Running/crawling after him wears me out!

I joke that most moms decide to stay at home before their child learns to crawl.  I'm sure their timing is not solely based on their child's mobility. Don't get me wrong, there are still feedings every 2-3 hours, but younger babies naps are much more frequent and you don't have to deal with them being as mobile! I used to envy stay at home moms because I thought their job was so fun. And it can be fun. But mostly its a lot of saying "No, don't touch that" and constantly redirecting Lincoln's attention to something else, and then wondering if I'm parenting correctly. I respect anyone who decides to stay at home, and I especially respect those moms who stay at home with multiple kids!

I read an article about parenting today that made me laugh. While this situation doesn't apply to me (yet), it definitely gave me some perspective. Even if you don't have kids, its still a good read!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Furniture Obsession

We've lived in our house for 3.5 years and I still have several rooms that are unfinished. Given our circumstances for a majority of that time, its to be expected. But every year when the holidays approach and Christmas parties are planned at my home, I become increasingly aware of just how bare some those rooms are.

Some rooms are going to take a lot of work money to finish since I need to buy furniture, so my goal is to tackle some smaller pieces since our next big purchases will be a riding lawn mower and fence (we're working on Andrew's major purchase list in the immediate future). 

The easiest room to complete would be the entryway. I already have a beautiful Pottery Barn mirror and a canvas that has our family picture from an earlier photo session with Josh Craig. But the piece that I need to complete the entryway is a table. I'm dying to complete some Pinterest and Etsy crafts for Christmas so I can decorate an entryway table.

But as I've found out, a small piece of furniture can carry a hefty price tag. My hope has been to find a diamond in the rough on Craigslist and refinish it to make it look like some of these beauties:

Can you tell that I'm obsessed with demilune tables? :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

O Christmas Tree

One of the perks to the Body by Vi shakes is having an increase in energy. This came in handy last night when Andrew and I tackled the tree...or at least Andrew started on the tree, but he was done when I started putting on the so called "girly" stuff.

I know it will come as a shock to some of you, but I do stray away from my black/white/red/gray color scheme at Christmas by incorporating green and silver! I figure since the tree is already green, I might as well go all out! This year I decided that my tree needed some sprucing up, so I purchased some red and green glittery ting branches from my new favorite store in Cary, Carolina Pottery. You can really get some great bargains there, especially when they do their end of holiday sales! I'm hoping to get some new Christmas ornaments this year, but we'll just have to wait and see what kind of deals they have! In the meantime, our tree doesn't look half bad, if I do say so myself!

The Throneburg Christmas Tree

What is your holiday color scheme?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Well that was a long hiatus...

I'm ashamed of myself.

After blogging everyday about Lincoln's progress in NICU on the CaringBridge site, I thought blogging about his milestones and our lives on a daily basis would be a piece of cake! WRONG! My last blog was almost 8 months ago! Time is flying and it's quickly approaching Lincoln's 1st birthday!

So why start now? Well, I was at Junior League meeting last night, and someone said that I should do a blog because I'm great at finding discounts and doing crafts. And I realized that she was right! And its easier because I already have a blog. So now I'm making an early New Year's resolution to blog every day. And not just blog about our family, but blog about DIY projects and money-saving tips. And maybe I'll get around to executing one of my pins off of Pinterest and be able to post that accomplishment here!

It's perfect timing. My job is ending before Christmas, so I'll some free time I wouldn't normally have. Maybe this blog will help me figure out what I'm meant to do with my life?

While I'm left pondering my future, here's a quick recap of the past 8 months:

  • Lincoln is truly a miracle! At his last doctor's appointment, Lincoln weighed 17lbs and was 26 3/4in long. The best thing is that you can't even tell he was a preemie! He is very social (he loves the ladies!) and he's sitting, crawling and pulling himself up. He currently has five teeth and he occasionally uses those chompers to aid him in pulling himself up onto the couch (or an innocent bystander). I'm currently trying to plan his birthday party, which is going to be based on the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. 
  • Andrew is working from Raleigh permanently as of Halloween day! I'm very excited to have him around on a daily basis, although it has taken some adjusting!
  • I'm working a contract job in addition to my full time job updating Facebook fan pages. Hopefully it will allow me to stay home with Lincoln permanently if I'm not able to find other employment after my full time position ends.
  • Andrew and I have started another New Year's resolution early...we are currently in the middle of a Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge. Combined we have both lost almost 14lbs and we are only on Day 6! I'm very excited to see the results at the end of the challenge. If you are interested in getting more information and joining the challenge with us, please let me know!
That pretty much sums up our lives at the current time. Tonight we'll be finally putting decorations on our Christmas tree and wrapping presents that have been coming in from online orders I made Thanksgiving Day (more on that later!) So once the presents are wrapped, I'll post a picture of the Christmas decor!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a picture of sweet Lincoln that the fabulous Josh Craig took during a photo session Thanksgiving weekend:

Jingle All The Way!

This picture will be coming to a mailbox near you via your Christmas card very soon! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Easter Pic Sneak Peak

Sorry I've been MIA. It's been a crazy couple of weeks getting Lincoln's stuff together to move to Raleigh and then starting back at work. To top it all off, we found out last Friday that Lincoln has a dairy allergy, so we had to switch his formula to an expensive kind (yay! note the sarcasm) and now I'm on a dairy free diet. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to survive with cheese, but I've lasted a week so far! At his appointment, Lincoln weighed in at 7lbs, 12oz and 19in long. He's getting to be a big boy!

Last Saturday, Josh Craig took Lincoln's Easter pictures. Josh does a great job, so I can't wait to see the rest of them! Here is a sneak peek:

Isn't he precious?!
I'll try to post more pictures later on this weekend! In the meantime, please keep Andrew in your prayers...he's taking the Professional Engineering Exam today!