Who doesn’t love a Sock Monkey?

11 Aug

For J’s first birthday (And since I’d gone overboard with M’s birthday), I figured I had to do try and go overboard one more time. How often do you turn one, anyway?

So, given that this birthday party would be in the month of December, I had to plan and stick a date in the sand early – invitations were out in the mail before the month even started. Which, if you know me, that’s a feat in and of itself.

When I stumbled upon a sock monkey theme, I fell in love with it. Sure sailboats and shells are friggin’ adorable, but kinda out of place in December in Virginia. Sock monkey is timeless and works any time of the year.

Since Google’s Picasa worked so well for me last time I went back to it. However, I wanted an “old school” photo of J in a sock monkey hat. I found a sock monkey hat at World Market, and came home to put J in something cute with his hat on. In my dreams, he’d sit quietly while I took this picture and smile when I said “Smile Sweetie!” Then I remembered this is J, not M. He doesn’t sit still for a nanosecond. So, try as I might, all I did was get pants on him, and after 40 photos of J ripping his hat off of his head, I managed to get one I could crop and use for the invitation –

Once set in motion, I scoured the internets and the interwebs for party ideas. I came across some great ideas from Spaghetti Westerner and a bunch of free printables. While I only used one of the backgrounds, I ran out of time to do the balloon wreath. I will do it another day!

I went with a candy buffet for the desert table and cupcakes (again!) as the main pieces. I got some screaming deals on apothecary jars at Ross (I paid $25 for four pieces, the other “plain”cylinder one I picked up at a yard sale years ago for a buck). I dressed them up with some red and brown ribbon from Walmart and Michaels.

Also, the cupcake toppers were my own creation again. I used Cupcake Cutiees Sock Monkey artwork (OMG, for $5, you can’t beat it!) for the toppers and to make the water bottle labels. I also recommend Sprik Space for some cool background papers and overall neat stuff. Again, all free! (personal use only)

Went a little overboard and did water bottles. Yeah, a lot overboard, but they were SO FRAPPIN’ CUTE. The best part? Finding a Powerpoint based water bottle label you can manipulate to your heart’s content. Go here. It’s so easy with this template. Oh, and read this tutorial to learn how to secure them without having ink run all over your guest’s hands…or your child’s face….

I was totally inspired by Life Sweet Life’s use of chocolate mustaches. I used a regular candy mold I found at Michaels and had the same effect. I used my Cake Pop holder (i.e., big honkin’ piece of flower styrofoam), covered it in table vinyl covering, threw some more of that ribbon on, and instant hit.

So when I realized my “intimate” gathering would be about 40 people, I decided to call the professionals – Honey Baked Ham. It so happens there’s one literally .5 miles from my front door. I have to say, they are AWESOME. I sent two families home with tray-fulls of food and we had leftovers to eat for a week. I highly recommend their baked potato soup. MMM!

Instead of party favors for each kid, I decided to do something a little different – Since Santa would be on his way soon, and this requires milk and cookies to be left out, what better than to send people away with almost ready to make cookies? I stole the idea from HWTM and looked all over creation for the Sock Monkey fabric for the topper. OMG. No one had anything that even came close. After giving up (in?) I went with an ok fabric from Walmart. It was the best I could do, but I think they turned out ok! For the recipe, check out Bakerella’s Cowgirl Cookies. She’s got the layering information there, as well as the cutouts for instructions. You really could use just about any color for these. For the record, buy M&Ms during the “Holiday sale” for whatever color you’re looking for (November for pinks, after Christmas for red and green, etc). I looked to buy a 5 lb bag from the M&M store and they wanted $45 plus S&H. I picked up two mega bags of Holiday M&Ms, separated out the red and green, and it was perfect. I spent $18. My local CVS just threw those bags on sale for $5. I bought another so I can make Valentine’s jars if needed.

Darn tootin’ cute! As always, hope you enjoyed this and it serves for some inspiration for you!



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