Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sock Monkey Birthday Party & A Winner

I am still in shock that my baby is now 2 years old. I am not sure how that happened, but I have mixed emotions about it. Thankfully, he is a super cuddly little boy so I still have lots of time to hold and squeeze him!
We celebrated with just a few family members on the evening of his birthday. We had cake and ice cream, sang, and watched him delight in his little celebration. It was a good night.

 We celebrated Sock Monkey style for our little man. For some reason, I have always loved monkey's for him so this was the perfect fit.
I don't like to over do theme's when it comes to parties or decorating for that matter. As a general rule, I think less is more.  So, I used little touches of sock monkey decor around the room, but focused mainly on the colors; light brown, chocolate brown, and red. I also put emphasis on shapes and texture; pulling in the stripes, polka dots and burlap.
I wanted a large 2 on the wall with his banner but I wasn't able to make it out again to buy a chip board 2 so I made use of what I had lying around, which is what I would prefer to do anyway.
I grabbed a scrap piece of foam board (from another project) and drew my number 2 with a pencil.
Then, I grabbed my exacto knife and began carefully cutting it out.
Next, I followed the same technique in Daspri's wreath tutorial by wrapping a strip of burlap around the 2.
The burlap banner was actually a banner that a friend made for my baby shower for this same sweet little 2 year old! She had painted "baby boy" on the banner so I cut more triangles out of burlap and adhered them on top of the existing banner using stitch witchery and a hot iron.
Then, I hand wrote letters spelling "Happy Day" (which is something my children have always said on birthdays) onto natural card stock, ran my brown ink pad around the edges and stuck them to the banner using double sided craft tape squares.

I am kind of addicted to the paper circle garland. Next, I think I will try different shapes, but I just love the stitching on them and the whimsy that they add to a celebration.
All you need is a circle hole punch (mine is 1 1/2 inch), paper of choice (I used sock money printed paper, polka dots and stripes), and your sewing machine.
Once your circles are cut, you simply run them, one by one, through your sewing machine. Sound daunting?  Well, it's not! It is super easy and goes really fast.

I chose to make a really little cake for the little man and cupcakes for everyone. I kind of love cupcakes too, even more now!
I also love cupcake toppers and learned a couple of years ago that I could easily make them myself rather than searching all over to find exactly what I wanted and/or paying for them.
You need: a circle hole punch, paper of choice, tooth picks and a glue gun.
I cut two circles per topper and stamped a 2 on one side of each. You will simply lay your toothpick on the backside of one circle, add a dab of glue on the toothpick and a thin line around the edges of the circle, and then place your second circle on top. Press down and allow to dry.
 Another little thing that adds a lot of "punch" to a celebration are label cards. I love having these for food and beverages. They are informative and festive! That's my kind of decor-practical and fun!
There's a sock monkey!
A simple dollar store red table cloth is dressed up with a runner of burlap. I strung red streamers and the paper circle garland from the light above the table.
And we can't forget the party favors!
I always try and make these simple, but fun. In each brown paper lunch sack is a small notebook (with their name written on the polka dot paper and glued to front), a package of curious george fruit snacks and some twizzlers. I simply glued a circle of the sock monkey paper to the front of the bags and wrote their names.

Now, let's talk cake for a minute.
I really wanted to make a banana cake because my little man loves bananas and it is a monkey party! 

I looked at several recipes online and intended on making it from scratch. However, we had plumbing disaster hit our house all last week, which meant that I needed simple after all of that.
So, I found this recipe that uses a yellow cake mix.  While I prefer a cake from scratch, this was super easy and served it's purpose well.

Next, I wanted a peanut butter icing. We love peanut butter and banana as a snack and a sandwich around here and I thought this would be fun.
I ran across this on one of my favorite blogs and was super excited to give it a try!

However, once again, I was going for simple and fast. So,whereas that recipe called for homemade buttercream icing, I used store bought. I wasn't sure if it would work but thought it was worth a try.
It worked like a charm! It actually made the icing thicker and easier to work with, not to mention, more delicious!

I mixed about 1/2 cup of peanut butter in a bowl with the icing. Then, I transferred it into a ziplock bag, cut the tip off and began piping on the icing. I topped each cupcake with a light sprinkling of mini chocolate chips and a cute topper.

The cake/cupcakes and icing got rave reviews!
My curiosity got the best of me and I couldn't stand it any longer, so today, I tried a small bite of it and it IS good!

 Happy Birthday little man! You have been such a joy and blessing in our lives. I am so thankful that I get to be your mommy.

WINNER of Daspri's Birthday Giveaway is.........

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