Thursday, May 31, 2012

Curious Hudson is TWO!

My little guy, Hudson, loves-loves-loves Curious George (or ‘Geedge’ as he calls him). From the very beginning stages of planning, I knew that I wanted to incorporate George into his 2nd birthday party, but without the character-overload. I also knew that I wanted to stay on a fairly tight budget, but still have a memorable celebration.
First, I decided on a color scheme of red & yellow with pops of baby blue—mimicking the colors in the original ‘Curious George’ books by Margret & H.A. Rey. Luckily, we had a lot of red items left over from Hudson’s first birthday party & baby blue items from his brother’s baptism luncheon.

Instead of an invitation featuring an image of Hudson’s beloved ‘Geedge,’ I created a vintage inspired invite with a banana and some super cute diagonal stripes. The text (free vintage fonts from Lost Type Co-Op: read “Monkey See- Monkey Do--Curious Hudson is turning two! Let’s Go Bananas!” The invitation stated that guests should RSVP to 'The Mom in the Yellow Hat'-- instead of The Man in the Yellow Hat from the books/show. I also made matching address label wraps to make addressing the envelopes super easy (& adorable!). The back had our address & "Curious Hudson" as the sender.

While searching for an outfit for the birthday boy, I came across a yellow bow-tie & matching suspenders handmade by The Baxter Boy. Kiley was super sweet to work with & the items shipped very quickly! After seeing how cute Hudson looked in his handsome new tie, I knew that bow-ties also needed to be incorporated throughout his party. Using my fabric scrap stash, I wrapped (empty & clean) Starbucks Frappucino bottles with coordinating material so that each bottle had its very own little bow tie (& a cute little striped straw too!). The silverware was wrapped in red polka dot napkins & also topped off with a little yellow bow tie.

Red, yellow & baby blue balloons made our home a little more festive than usual. We used a corkboard in our kitchen to pin up pictures of Hudson’s baby pictures for guests to check out during the party. I wrapped a large piece of cardboard in red polka dot wrapping paper (purchased on sale after Christmas!) to create the dessert table backdrop. I also used red tablecloths and yellow placemats (items that we already had) to make things a little more cheerful.

Our menu included meatball hoagies, rigatoni, pizza muffins & tortellini skewers (the Italian menu was inspired by Chef Pisghetti—the Italian chef on the PBS ‘Curious George’ program). The tortellini skewers were a huge hit! I made them with cooked cheese tortellini, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese & pepperoni. We also had a dessert table that included licorice, butterscotch candies, Lemonheads, Red Hots, cupcakes, cake balls, sugar cookies & ‘Curious George’ fruit gummies that I luckily found at our local grocery store.

Our cake was made by a local baker, Cakes by Pennie( It was delicious & the design was exactly what I wanted. We topped the cake off with an artificial banana & a #2 candle. A personalized banner with Hudson’s name & pennants that read “He was a good little monkey and always very curious” (a quote from the original books) hung above the dessert table. I also made Hudson his very own banana-shaped smash cake using a boxed cake mix & my mom’s amazing frosting recipe.

Along with the birthday cake, we also offered a banana split bar where our guests could top their own sundaes. Everyone enjoyed being able to customize their own banana splits—especially the adults!

During the party, we asked our guests to sign one of Hudson’s ‘Curious George’ books with a little note to him. Hudson’s stuffed ‘Geedge’ (complete with a matching bow tie & ‘H’ party hat) kept watch over the book & made for a cute decoration. A nearby sign said, “When I’m older, I’ll be *curious* about
who was here to celebrate with me. Please sign my book & leave a note for me. Love, Curious Hudson”

As the party was winding down (and the temperature was climbing well into the 90’s), Hudson changed into a shirt that I made for him that had Curious George on the front & a #2 on the back. Much cooler—especially for driving around in his new Power Wheels car!

For favors, we kept it simple & gave Hudson’s guests each a banana with a coordinating tag that read, “Thanks a bunch for swinging by!”

Thanks to a little planning, we were able to keep our party budget-friendly & still have a George-inspired celebration that we will always remember.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Two Years Old

Before this week is over, I will have a two-year-old.  A two-year-old!  I feel like we brought this itty bitty (okay, 9 lbs, 3oz--not so bitty) bundle home with us... and that we celebrated his very first birthday just yesterday.  While I'm thrilled that he's growing up to be the sweetest little man, I'm sad to see his baby days come to an end.   At this moment in Hudson's life, he *loves* being outside, being (very) independent, helping his daddy, chasing the dog, coloring, eating bananas, and his beloved "Geedge" (Curious George).  The last two loves inspired the theme for his 2nd birthday party.  We'll be celebrating with just our immediate family and we're looking forward to watching our biggie man blow out the candles on his cake.  I've been busy (crazy busy) behind the scenes making sure all the little details are in place for his big day.  Oh, and in the midst of all of this, I've decided to start Project Life (the digital version)-- yes, in my spare time that doesn't exist. Anyhow-- go ahead & take a peek:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Goodness.  It's been quite busy here.  Two surgeries (one per little guy), several holidays, a malfunctioning septic system (yes, ew), a crashed hard drive & a  downright crazy amount of Etsy orders later... I realized that I missed my little blog.  In the midst of all the chaos around these parts, I decided to learn how to shoot in manual mode.  I also decided that I'm in love love love with my DSLR.  These are just a few little gems from my most recent engagement session.