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!