Monday, May 14, 2012

Hey, Hey, We're the Monkees!: Cam's 2nd Funky Sock Monkey Birthday

Two weeks ago, smack on my actual second birthday, we had a seriously fun and funky sock monkey brunch.  Now we know that lots of people think having over the top birthday parties for toddlers is ridiculous.  But, here's the thing.  We LOVE to party -- love to have parties, attend parties, spontaneously erupt in party.  We don't even need a reason to party, but if we have one (even if it's not a good reason), watch out.  And while we completely agree that fifty handmade pom-poms are not necessary to having a good celebration, mom LIKES to do it.  And we LIKE it.  So we do it.  Ridiculousness is the last thing to stop us from doing something anyway.

I'm a big fan of monkeys and I have somehow built a nice little sock monkey collection over the past two years, including a few red and hot pink ones.  And I love breakfast.  LOVE it.  So mom thought a sock monkey brunch would be a perfect way to celebrate my second birthday.  And what better colors to use than red and hot pink?  I had family and friends come in from all over the country -- I am a lucky little lady.  And so is mom -- thanks so much to all our friends and family who helped keep us busy so mom could decorate and helped set up and clean up the whole shebang!

It took mom a long time to get ready for the party -- she started months ago.  But Kane and I loved to help.  And I got so used to packages showing up that every time the doorbell rings I still say "aah aah party?" (instead of saying monkey, i just make the "aah aah" sound.  everyone thinks it's so cute, so i throw them a bone).

I'm not in school yet, so the party was mostly adults (mom and dad are of the belief that our birthday parties are just as much a party for them -- for surviving another year).  But I had some playgroup buddies and some of Kane's friends there, too.  There was a lot of eating, drinking, and strewing of toys throughout the house.  By the end of the party, I was begging mom for a nap.  But you know I was up just 45 minutes later asking to open my presents.

We all had a blast and have started working on the theme for my third birthday already (dora!  purple dora!  pink dora!  -- mom is hoping that i'll change my mind by next spring).  All the details which nobody but mom really cares about are below -- actually, I do care.  I carried my invitation proof around with me for months in anticipation -- mom is hoping I stay interested in party planning -- she found my little fingers very helpful for small tasks!

Mom worked with Tania Peso of totfulmemories who came up with a wonderful printable party package that really was the starting point for the whole party.  Tania was awesome -- mom had a good idea of what she wanted, but Tania really put it all together.  I'm not really a vintagey type girl and mom wanted the party to be more modern and funky than a lot of the other sock monkey parties we've seen.  And she knew she wanted chevron and polka dots as the patterns.  Tania picked up on the chevron and found an adorable sock monkey image where the knitted marks on the monkey show off the chevron.  So cute.

To go with the invitation, mom found red and white chevron envelopes at and added a pink and white polka dot liner (using some of the papers Tania included in the printable package).  She also found the sock monkey stamps at and added some funky labels she made herself.

The birthday girl was most excited about the dora balloon our longtime dogwalker, "Uncle Wayne," brought her.

Welcome! Mom made what seemed like 50,000 pom-poms out of IKEA napkins (they hold up far better than tissue paper) and we had those babies everywhere (lots of them are decorating my bedroom now!)

Mom was not successful at getting a very good picture of the main set-up -- she had covered a lot of the lighting with those flippin' pom-poms.  But she covered a painting we already had on the wall with red and white chevron fabric (which she custom ordered from Exclusive Elements, who also made the table runners) and then she hung a matching circus font, hot pink wooden "C" on that (thanks, grandpa.  i know that took about an hour to get "just right."), which was handmade by Debbie Wright at Vintage Shore (and also now hanging in my room).  And along the length of the room, mom hung a circle garland she made using the party package patterned papers and red and white baker's twine.

The tissue paper fans were from Shop Sweet Lulu (red) and Pretty Little Party Shop (hot pink)

The table was decorated with a red and white chevron runner and mom sprinkled custom "confetti" around on the table, including some with my sweet mug on them.

For food we had rainbow fruit skewers (one of our favorites -- have kids who don't like fruit?  put them on a skewer and all of a sudden it's like gold), bagels and cream cheese, banana french toast, egg and sausage strata, TJ's banana applesauce, and monkey bread.  A BIG thanks to Grammie B for hitting up the stove practically right out of the airplane.

For dessert we had an AWESOME cake from The Cake and the Frog, who matched it perfectly to the invitation and it tasted even better than it looked.  Mom made the little "I Am Two" bunting for the top from the printable party package.  And, of course, we had cupcakes from Baked & Wired, our absolute favorite D.C. spot to get cupcakes -- the "Elvis," a banana, peanut butter and chocolate cupcake, was a big hit (mom's favorites are the coconut and strawberry, but Vegas ate about 8 of those while we were out of the house the next morning).  

The bar served up different juices for the kids and beer and strawberry champagne punch for the big monkeys.  Mom is on a reusable beverage container kick, so we went with 1/2 pint mason jars for the adults and these sweet little plastic milk bottles for the kiddos.  To make it easy, mom set up all the glasses ahead of time and gave each a striped paper straw (red and white or hot pink and white) and added a little paper flag to each.  She made the bottle tags from the patterned papers and then covered them with packing tape to keep the water from ruining them.  The GIGANTIC sock monkey was courtesy of Uncle Steve -- he actually didn't even buy the biggest one.

Instead of doing favor bags, mom set up a sweets table with red, pink and banana flavored candy (all from Candy Warehouse) and put out chevron and polka dot bags to let people scoop their own.

Some of my favorite presents -- an awesome dollhouse and a purple monkey cuddleuppet from Kane (he picked it out from t.v. by himself and had daddy order it for me!)


KaleidoscopingMommy said...

great party! great post! celebrate it all we say!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is WOW! That is the most effort I've seen anyone put into a party. I had to re-read the post a few times to really see what was going on. This boggles my mind. I wish I knew of people who put this much into one amazing birthday. Looks like a splendid day. :) Kudos to you for putting it all together!

Kane and Cameron said...

Thanks! We all had such a great time!

Kane and Cameron said...

Thanks for partying with us!

kategubiczamurphy said...

B, this is amazing! Can I hire you for E's second birthday? ;) The planning and work look like they really paid off- the decorations are perfect. Lucky little girl!!

Kane and Cameron said...

Thanks, Kate! I would totally help you with her birthday! And, more generally, we need to get together already!