We have read this book no less that a thousand times.
Thus, when it came time to plan Ellie’s second birthday, I knew I wanted to go in this direction. After all, my child appreciates a good snack above all else, so the caterpillar was an appropriate celebratory mascot.
This year, struggling with more time demands than Ellie’s last birthday, I gave myself permission to make the party as easy as possible; thus, I relied heavily on the crafting, cleaning, baking, and decorating skills of some talented friends (and my mom!) to help pull off the party. Ellie had a wonderful day, and I’m SO grateful for all those who showed such love for her.
First, the cake. (Priorities, people)
I again hired the friend from my mom’s group who made Ellie’s Curious George cake last year. She just happened to have a caterpillar pan, and I think it turned out fabulously. It was chocolate and delicious. Don’t hesitate to message me for her contact info. if you’re in the Memphis area.
Ellie enjoyed the cake…
…but her party food of choice was Nana’s chocolate-covered marshmallows. She only ate six or so.
My mom also made cupcakes and turned them into a caterpillar because Pinterest is her new best friend, and she never shows up for a party without food. (No, she did not pass this on to me, so please, invite me to your parties. Just don’t expect animal-shaped food. Or any food. Mmmkay?)
My crafty friend Erin made Ellie’s shirt, tutu, and birthday hat.
The tutu and hat didn’t last long of course, but we have pictures documenting they were there. The shirt (even with cake stains) is so stinkin’ adorable, she may be wearing that caterpillar every day for the rest of the year.
Erin also made Ellie’s birthday banner this year.
In case you’re currently jealous, I’d like to inform you that Erin will be opening an Etsy shop in the near future, and I’ll be sure to share her link. Never fear….your child can have adorable, hand-made birthday clothes and decor too. You can even lie and say you made it. I won’t tell.
What I loved most about this theme was the ease of menu planning. We ate what the hungry caterpillar ate, and lucky for us, the chubby green guy feasts on an assortment of tasty snacks on his journey. The closest I got to cooking was dumping some sausages in the crock pot with barbecue sauce, and I think someone else actually did that part. Wahoo! I went to Sams and stocked up on fruit, cheese, salami, and pickles, and we were done.
Also, there are several blogs with handy-dandy labels available for printing. I found mine HERE, printed them off at home, and then had them laminated at Kinkos…..just in case anyone else needs a caterpillar birthday in the future. (Read: I am not a hoarder. Really.)
Also, decorations were a cinch. I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and just gathered up sale items in primary colors, polka dots, or butterflies. I also found a lot of serving dishes and such at the dollar store. My mama had fabric and a leaf-shaped platter just hanging out in her basement. Of course, if I’d decided to do a Noah’s Ark party, she’d probably have dug a boat and porcelain hippos out from down there. (Read: She’s not a hoarder either. Really.) I did splurge a bit on some caterpillar and butterfly Mylar balloons, but they made great favors for the kids, and Ellie LOVES balloons.
I just now realized that we had blue tape on our fireplace for the entire party. And my dear guests, bless them, were too nice to mention it. Ooops. We’re building a house, and we have blue tape everywhere as we try to visualize how large different things are going to be in the new house. Awesome.
My mother also whipped up an impressive “favor tree” with lollipops and gummy worms for the guests. And all their parents were so incredibly thankful to leave with such generous amounts of sugar!
Ellie was a HUGE fan of the lollipops.
In the end, with family and some friends, we ended up with a dozen or so little people running or crawling around, and there was no blood, vomit, or poopie blowouts. I don’t even recall any genuine tantrums. Most of the adults seemed to depart with their sanity intact, and a few of them even managed to snag some food, so I’m considering the party a raging success.
If you want to read my sappy, “my babeeee is growing up! *sniff!*” tribute post to the birthday girl, click here.
For now, I’d just like to say once again, Happy Birthday Ellie! It’s been an amazing two years, and we love you like crazy!
What’s the best birthday party you remember from your childhood?