Tuesday, May 19, 2015

a Very Hungry birthday

We had a few setbacks, but Harper’s first birthday party was overall a major success. Things didn't exactly go as planned because my grandfather died and we ended up going back home to Kentucky the very same weekend as the party was originally scheduled. So we had to postpone things a bit, but it was alright because I hadn't actually sent out the invitations yet! I was a little behind from the start, to say the least, and I will admit to being a little too overly ambitious in my Pinterest party dream-world. And when we decided to change the venue to an entirely different state at the very last minute, well, everything else pretty much went out the window from there.

I decided, of course, to do whatever I could by hand, but the copyrighted images and text I just didn't have time to scan in and format myself. I saved myself countless hours of tedium by purchasing a downloadable package (or really combination of two packages) that included all the signage, invitations, thank you cards, various label-making materials, and a pattern for a pennant banner that I had wanted to make anyway. Again, this saved a ton of time and was definitely worth every penny of the $17 price tag.  If I had InDesign on my computer I might have tried to do it myself, and then I might have actually lived up to my dream of being the world’s first perfect mom. But that shit is just too hard on Microsoft Word. I’m pretty sure Harper didn’t know the difference. And the invites were adorable, and I even splurged on the little food labels with quotes from the book for each individual food.

One thing I did make myself was the birthday board, a piece of plywood that I had Mack sand down and cover with chalkboard paint; then I wrote on it with those chalk paint markers that restaurants and coffee shops use to write out menus. These go for upwards of $100 on Etsy, so this one was definitely worth the DIY. We also didn't want people bringing gifts since I knew she'd get enough from grandparents anyway, so we asked for donations to the local food bank, which we collected in a box I covered with wrapping paper.

 Other DIY projects I could have spent a ton of money on included the 12 month caterpillar banner (thank goodness for this one and the justification it gave me for all those monthly photos all year !)...

...these quick curtains which added a little childish flare...
 ...and, of course, plenty of balloons.

 There were a few fun craft projects, which mainly entertained the adults (mainly myself).

The food consisted of everything the caterpillar eats in the book. This was one of the primary reasons why I chose a Hungry Caterpillar theme—I thought the menu would be easy to plan and relatively cheap. The last part turned out to be a major disappointment to the tune of almost $300; just ask my mom. Thanks, Grandma.


I actually had guests helping hang up the decorations and put out the food as they arrived because we were so busy doing everything that morning! I guess it takes a village to throw a picture-perfect fantasy Hungry Caterpillar birthday party for a one-year-old.

 Everything was so last minute with the changes that I was way behind and didn't get to decorate the cake the way that I wanted to. But it was still delicious--lemon with raspberries inside and cream cheese frosting.  One thing I did ahead of time, though, was make an adorable outfit for Harper to wear for the cake smash. I've been to enough one-year parties to know that you have to have a back up for that super adorable and super expensive dress you bought for your adorable little princess. This one was easy. I made a copy out of the Hungry Caterpillar book that I printed onto iron-transfer paper for Harper’s cakesmash outfit, then just sewed a little tutu we had onto the onesie. It was pretty cute and saved the nice birthday dress I had bought her from certain ruin.

 Did I mention Grandpa came all the way from South Carolina?

We did make favors, but there weren't really any kids there because of the venue change and short notice. The only other baby was Harper’s cousin Sean, but he forgot to take his, probably because I forgot to tell his mom it was there.

If you’d like to see more pictures, please check out my Pinterest board. In all it was a wonderful day and I know my grandmother had a blast. She passed away herself in March, so it was wonderful to have had the time together with her and Harper, my mom and myself.

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