Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mod Monkey Party

I fell in love with the Mod Monkey party theme the moment I laid eyes on it back in May. Little did I know just how appropriate the theme would be for Drew's first birthday. I captured these priceless moments on video back in June, and knew that I indeed had a mod monkey on my hands.

During my time working at the local newspaper, I learned a little bit about design layout & have since created my own party invitations & Christmas cards for our family. I had seen a photo that my friend Shana took of her little boy in a monkey suit & immediately knew that was exactly what we needed for our invitation.

For the decorations, I pulled the blue and yellow polka dots from the invitation; and (of course) we had monkeys! Somehow I didn't really get many pictures of the decorations with the exception of the giant gorilla in the background of our family photo. The kids’ shirts were such a great find to really make things festive. I ordered them here from a shop on Etsy. They were very well made, and were shipped in no time flat. Now Abi doesn’t typically wear t-shirts that aren’t “girl cut,” so this one seemed a little boxy to me. SO I had the idea to frill it up with ribbon and a cute ruffle around her jeans topped off with a hair bow to match! Thanks to Chassity at Lina Bina’s for getting this done so quickly. I was also quite surprised at how easy it was to find coordinating shirts for us grown-ups to wear to complete the look.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to party planning. I can’t help it. I would love to do this kind of thing professionally, but just don’t live in the right market for it – especially in today’s economy. Anyway, in keeping with the monkey theme, I wanted the food to be fun, colorful & oh so mod! My sister Ashleigh always does our fabulous cakes & comes the night before to help me with the other food preparation.

Mod Monkey Party Menu:
- Deli sandwich platter
- Veggies, chips & dips
- Fruit kabobs with chocolate & cream cheese dips
- Twisty Cheetos
- Caesar pasta salad

I think the presentation of the food turned out really great. It didn't hurt that Ashleigh just happened to have that gorgeous watermelon in her fridge. We served the fruit dips in the hollowed-out canteloupe shell. We debated about how to serve the pasta salad so that everyone could get some of the romaine lettuce with their serving. I think the individual pasta cups worked out very well for the informal party setting.

In my opinion, the best part of any 1-year-old’s birthday party is the smash cake. I really wanted to stick with the yellow, blue & white theme on the main cake, so naturally the smash cake had to be the monkey! Ashleigh’s cake decorating only continues to get more & more amazing, and I think she truly captured the theme beautifully. Notice how the writing matches the font from Drew’s invitation – yep…pretty impressive! And (believe it or not) the cakes actually taste better than the look. Instead of ice cream, we served banana pudding trifle (Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding" recipe) that was out of this world.

Drew had a fantastic time smashing his cake, opening his presents and playing with family & friends. Each guest was sent home with a clear plastic cone of “monkey munch” which consisted of Sweet-n-Salty Chex Mix, blue M&M’s and banana chips tied up with blue & yellow curling ribbon. It appears that we didn’t get a photo of those either, but they were very cute.

Thanks for hangin’ around!


  1. April, this is magnificent! What a lucky little boy Drew is! You and Terry inspire me.

  2. I'm so going to be your assistant when you start your party planning business!


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