first, a quick story... my husband and i call our daughter monkey. actually, the monkey reference originally started because of my mom. when i was born i had a thick head of jet black hair. so thick that my eyebrows and hairline were pretty much connected. according to my mom (as quoted from my baby book):
timi and randy also came to visit us in the hospital. they both said "she's beautiful". i thought to myself, are they kidding? she looks like a monkey!
thanks mom (she doesn't have a filter). after my husband heard that story, he started calling me monkey. then when i got pregnant, instead of saying "it" (before we knew it was a "her"), we would just say the monkey and it stuck! of course her room is filled with monkeys (blankets, stuffed animals, sheets, decorations, etc...) and of course when she turned 1 we just had to do some kind of monkey-themed party! this poor girl is going to hate monkeys when she's older!
the postcards i did for her invitations:
i set up my own photo shoot in her room, spreading out one of her curtains as a backdrop. i also gathered up assorted monkeys and arranged them in the bin on top of her toy chest. she wasn't walking at the time so i had to set up something for her to hold onto. i also had some cute ones of her in a white wooden rocking chair, holding some of the monkeys but i thought this set-up made her look like she was a more of a "big girl". i'm so happy i got some cute pictures of her in that party dress! i didn't feel as bad when she grew out of it...
for decorations, i wanted to keep it simple. i wasn't finding what i wanted so i purchased this adorable sock monkey clip art from cupcakecutiees on Etsy, got plain pink and red party hats and gift bags and made my own using printable sticker paper:
the birthday banner i made using the sock monkey clipart (i added the letters), printed on white card stock and cut into circles:
since most of the kids were 2 and under, i figured favor bags full of candy wouldn't work. i thought it would be fun (and would fit with the theme) to give parents kits to make sock monkeys at home. i found printable instructions here and included them with a pair of red-heeled socks (of course, my 7 year old nephew was a little disappointed to be getting a pair of socks instead of candy but lesson learned for next year - older kids need candy!):
my daughter wore a sock monkey onesie that i found on zazzle.com and my husband and i wore matching shirts (yes, we're big dorks). she ended up wearing her bathing suit for most of it anyway since it was a very hot july afternoon. this is me & the birthday girl:
the cake - my first attempt at fondant!
i know, it's a little goofy looking. i made this cake as well as a sheet cake with white frosting and pink and red fondant polka dots. i thought i was being clever (and budget friendly) when i just bought white fondant and then got red food coloring to make pink and red myself, since i only needed a little bit. if you decide to do this, make sure you have disposable gloves! that didn't occur to me until i was kneading the fondant to get the color mixed in properly and, in the process, dying my hands red.
the birthday girl seems to like it:
i love kids covered in birthday cake (good thing she was in her bathing suit):
i have to figure out the theme for her 2nd birthday, which is right around the corner (i can't believe it!). of course, i'll keep you posted...
p.s. a big THANK YOU to my in-laws for letting us host the party at their house and use their big back yard!