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Thursday, April 25, 2013

a Very Hungry Caterpillar party!

Party Time
When I was pregnant with my second child I decided that a 1st birthday party based on the Eric Carle book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar would be adorable! I know that sounds crazy, choosing a birthday theme super early. But at the time Pinterest had become popular so I was on there all the time looking up random things anyway and just started finding cute birthday ideas.

A week before I gave birth to my then question mark baby (we didn't know if it was a boy or girl yet) I happened to find super cute Hungry Caterpillar invitations at a consignment sale for $2! I had to have them ... a year early! Crazy, yes, totally. And yet thrifty, too, don't be jealous!

We started taking my daughter's pictures next to this caterpillar every week. Here she is below in her last weekly photo! We liked comparing her size to the caterpillar as she grew.

The craziest thing about all of this pre-party planning super early was that my daughter, Addisyn, did in fact become the Very Hungry Caterpillar, always hungry, never full enough from food, and growing growing all the time!

We had my daughter's party at home with just our immediate family and her Godparents. Our immediate family is 30+ people and our house is small, so we had a small-ish party. We did play dates with a few close friends the week of her birthday to celebrate with her buddies.

I found these bibs on a Mama Swap Facebook trading group for a couple of dollars. I was SO excited to find the birthday girl one, because it looks just like the one I had for my son that I took his one-year photos in and wanted to re-create her photo in! (another post coming soon with those pictures!)

I have thought it's so cute on Pinterest when people decorate the high chair, so I decided to do this last minute with ribbon I'd had lying around the past 4 years from my wedding centerpieces! Because this little one was born the day before my wedding anniversary, it was perfect for her chair's decorations. 

The kids' gift bags were super cute and fun to put together. Another example of where early planning comes in handy and good for a budget ... I got these bags at Target in the dollar bins last August - 8 months before her party! They were too cute to pass up at only a dollar!

I don't feel all parties need favors. I thought favors were silly for our wedding. Yet the last couple of birthday parties I've done for my children I've found cute favors to go with the theme so I had to have them. I like to include in the favor something they can use there at the party, so in this favor the kids had coloring pages and crayons, bubbles, a lollipop, etc.

In each bag were some stickers, crayons and coloring pages from the Hungry Caterpillar book that I printed online for free, fruit snacks to go with the fruit theme in the book, bubbles, a lollipop as also in the book, and a butterfly party blow toy. I also found these adorable snack containers with the caterpillar on them. Other babies got drink cups with the same print on it. The birthday girl got the same print on a plate and silverware. Those were also found last August in the Target dollar bin :) I find you can get the best and cutest party items when you aren't looking but have an idea ahead of time in the back of your mind. 

I absolutely LOVED this banner! I am creative enough to find things on Pinterest and copy them to make them my own, but I am not a banner-maker type of gal for some reason I just don't have the skills or patience. So when fellow mommy from the Mommy Stories, Shaylyn Masse, offered to pass along to me the banner she'd used for her child's 1st birthday I was ecstatic! LOVED this!

I added clothespins with my daughter's monthly pictures next to her caterpillar toy. 


We had people sign a hard cover Hungry Caterpillar book for Addisyn to keep from her first birthday.

I had wanted bright yellow daffodils, but they weren't fresh and looking good so my favorite, daisies, it was for the window. My husband's friend gave him these cool glass bottles with our name on it, too!

The colors were purple and green, like the caterpillar and butterfly from the book. I also had polka dots going on there, too. The food was all from the book - lost of fruit and veggies.

I got this picture of my daughter blown up large at Wal-Mart for $5! She was a week old. Love having newborn pictures to look at when celebrating a first birthday. The first birthday is totally for the parents to reminisce and celebrate, too, the job well done they did that first year.

We had Caesar salad to go along with the green leaf from the book. 

My husband made delicious fruit pizza and got super creative with it - he made a caterpillar out of the blueberries, strawberry and kiwi on the left side, and also made the shape of A for Addisyn out of bananas in the middle. Totally cute and all his idea! 

I made a corn, bean, peppers, tomatoes, etc. salad. 

These were so yummy - antipasto skewers! So easy to make and delicious. I wanted veggies and also I wanted to tie in family heritage. I'm Italian so an antipasto salad was perfect. They had salami, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella pearls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, peppers, and balasalmic dressing on them. My dad thought I was a chef making these, but really they were simple and yummy. 

 I used these #1 toothpicks at my son's birthday party a few years ago and luckily had some left. I made these mini cherry pies, another idea from the book. They were REALLY easy. You take pie crust, cut out round circles of it, put those into cupcake holders, bake for about 10-15 minutes. Then fill with cherry pie filling. I topped with a little sugar. Easy!

I tossed in some cantaloupe in the ice cream cones because it was just a fun thing for the kids. I wanted watermelon, but it wasn't as ripe in season in April so I went with the melon instead. The cones were from the book also.

Fruit and fruit dip, of course, from the book. We also put gummi worms all over the food to represent caterpillars eating through everything.

Caterpillar grape skewers!

Pepperidge Farms butterfly crackers, of course! 

 I have seen cute wrapped water bottles on Pinterest the last two years and wanted to try it myself. I got this duct tape at Target for a dollar and the stickers from an Eric Carle store. My son helped me decorate them. It was much more work than it was worth, so I'm glad I tried it because they came out cute but probably won't be doing that again for a party! They are super cute though :)

We also had homemade pink punch from my mother-in-law. My husband made dirt cake - pudding with Oreos, etc. with gummi worms in it for dessert for everyone. We figured that went with the whole caterpillar theme. That isn't something I found on Pinterest, we made it up ourselves, especially since it's a favorite family recipe.

We got the paper products at Wal-Mart. I found those polka dot napkins months ago and thought they matched caterpillar world perfectly! The cups that silverware is in I got at Target last summer in the dollar bin.

My baby girl's birthday cake! I LOVED this :) Thanks to my talented friend, Jessie Legere, she made this little cake for our little caterpillar to dig her hands into. It was perfect size.

We played outside because we had a perfect sunny spring day. We had sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a kite, wagon rides, sandbox and other outside toys.

I got this skirt for her when she was two months old and hoped and prayed it would still fit her when I went to put it on her before the party. Butterflies! The tights, well they were in the drawer and super fun, so why not, I thought?! Converse shoes were her brother's and I found the shirt at a consignment sale, super excited to find it because it matched the bib we had.

The big brother needed his special shirt to wear, too, since he got to celebrate being a big bro, after all since it was his first time, too!

We had a great day! It was definitely the Hungry Caterpillar party I'd been imagining. We had balloons, bubbles, cake, an adorable little girl who was now an official beautiful butterfly, tons of family and love. Love first birthday parties!

Our happy girl :) 

one proud mama!

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