Thursday, May 31, 2012

Godzilla First Birthday Party

Note: I am cross-posting this at my new blog, Smarty Parties. There's not much over there yet, but I hope to turn it into something special pretty soon. Stay tuned!

I was excited and honored to see Dean's party featured on Apartment Therapy Family recently, after having the honor of being in the  Party of Five round-up at Hostess with the Mostess and  on Project Nursery's week-end round-up. Dean feels very special, ha. But Dean's first birthday wasn't my only special project in April!

Last fall, I donated a party planning package to the silent auction  at my kids' daycare fundraiser. I couldn't believe someone actually paid for it, but they did! In fact, the high bidders were my friend Mimi and her husband, the same couple I threw the Penny Carnival baby shower for, just over a year ago. You can probably guess what recently rolled around--Penny's first birthday!

I threw out a couple girly party ideas, only to be surprised with a theme that Kevin and Mimi had cooked up themselves--Godzilla! Kevin and Mim are fans of vintage horror movies and Japanese films in general, so I had the best time collaborating with them on this little monster bash.
I wanted the invitation to be reminiscent of a movie poster, with a toddler silhouette instead of Godzilla's, and the Nashville skyline, to make it a little more personal. I used the free Godzilla font, downloadable here.

My husband remembered that he and his brother had owned large Godzilla toys as kids, and he went hunting in the treasure trove of his parents' basement and found them! They made a big difference in our tablescape. My mom and I made a cardboard cut-out of the Nashville skyline, painted it gray and filled in the details with pencil.

The banner is reminiscent of Japanese flags, with the word "PenZilla" in the Godzilla font linked above. It's just 8.5" x 11" white cardstock, with the letters printed on red printer paper that I cut into circles. It's sewn together with grosgrain ribbon. 

We put some peeps in the Godzillas' hands as a funny nod to Easter, which was the next day.

Red lanterns and green paper poms rounded out the rest of the decor.

The food was loosely themed around Godzilla and his radioactivity/atomic fire breath. "Atomic Chicken" was really hot chicken--if you live in or have been to Nashville and have never tried it, you are missing out. Eat hot chicken! But keep a glass of milk nearby. (We also had a plate of "non nuclear" chicken for the kiddos.)

"Chopped sticks" were just crudite and ranch dip in individual cups.

And it's tough to see here, but we had peanut butter and jelly "sushi," basically just PB & J rolled up in white bread and sliced. It was adorable and the kids couldn't get enough of it.

I carved a Godzilla (or a dinosaur, whatever you prefer) head out of a small watermelon, as recommended by the National Watermelon Promotion Board(who knew, right?). You can see the "sushi" a little bit here, to the left.

Here's a hasty iPhone pic of the Dino-Melon in progress. Ignore my messy stovetop--when I am getting ready for a party, the kitchen is chaos.

I filled him up with cut fruit, and here he is again after everyone had . . . eaten the fruit from out of and around his mouth? It didn't seem so disgusting at the time, sorry.

I made Godzilla Egg cake pops, natch.

We served "nuclear limeade" and "uncontaminated water":

Some Sapporo and other beers provided some grown-up drink choices (looks like the guest of honor's bottle is chilling in here, too!).

Guests mingled outside and inside, where the hosts had the original Godzilla movie playing.

My little monsters and I had some fun playing with the backdrop afterwards!

Dean seemed to take his role very seriously.

We had a great time with this theme! Mimi and Kevin, thank you for letting me be a part of Penny's special day. She is one sweet little monster!
Photos: the lovely and talented Carrie Fanning, Pickafig Photography,  except for the ones that are so obviously from my phone (dinosaur melon close-ups, cake pops) and the last ones of my monkey boys.

Banner, invitation, food signs, backdrop: Yours truly

Cake Pops and Watermelon carving: Me again
Chicken, hot and not: Pepperfire, East Nashville
Godzilla props: vintage

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tubby Time

Man, did I want to have a grand before-and-after post about the new upstairs by now. Well, long before now, actually. We are so close to the end, but we have reached the DIY phase of the construction--we are installing the closet and stairs ourselves; then our contractor will return to install safety railings, bannisters and a newel post. And between both of our jobs, chasing after the boys, and trying to keep up with everyday life, those stairs just ain't gettin' done. We've realized we're going to have to take some time off work, keeping the kids at daycare during that time, if there is any hope of finishing our project.

Until then, we've been enjoying what we can about the space, namely the bathroom. Everyone has tried out the tub, and everyone approves.

From a completely practical standpoint, I love bathing the kids in this tub because it sits higher than a standard tub (because of those little claw feet on the bottom), which means a smidge less bending and crawling around for me. I love using the handheld shower to rinse my older son's hair, and he gets a big kick out of "taking a shower."

So, we are in a remodeling no-man's-land at the moment--our bed is upstairs, but all of our clothes are in sad hoarder piles in the downstairs former bedroom because there is nowhere to hang or organize them . (When I get dressed in the morning, I rummage around in this pile and that pile, and it just makes me CRAZY, and I feel like the big pile o' trash lady from Labyrinth.) We are using the shower and bath upstairs (and the other, ahem, facilities), but we don't have medicine cabinets or shelving yet, so all of our toiletries are still downstairs. I hope to remedy some of that this weekend. Or maybe I'll just spend some quality time in the tub with my Entertainment Weekly, who knows. Pin It

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wow, thank you so much to Kara's Party Ideas for featuring the Harry Potter Party I helped throw with Make A Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee! Kara has one of my favorite party inspiration sites, so it was a big thrill to scroll through my Google reader and discover my own work by surprise!

And the same thing happened to me Friday--after geeking out over being included in the Friday round-up at Project Nursery, I discoverd that Dean's party was also included in the Party of Five round-up at Hostess with the Mostess!

I have two really fun parties I hope to share soon--Dean's buddy Penny's Godzilla first birthday party, and the surprise 35th birthday bash I threw for my husband over the weekend! Pin It

Friday, May 4, 2012

Workin' for the Weekend

Happy Weekend!

I just had the lovely surprise that Project Nursery has featured Dean's first birthday on their "Nurseries and Parties We Loved This Week" feature!

I love Project Nursery for party and decor inspiration, so I am so excited to be featured on their site.

If you would like to vote for Dean's party (and it's certainly fine if you don't!) as your favorite of these features, all you have to do is visit this gallery page of his party and click on the "like" button at the top, just above the first picture. Maybe I will get to be the fan favorite. They'll reveal the favorite on Monday.

Have a great weekend! I will be back Monday with at least one exciting party to share. Pin It

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Dean's List

Note: I am cross-posting this at my new blog, Smarty Parties. There's not much over there yet, but I hope to turn it into something special pretty soon. Stay tuned!

Well, as much as I tried to deny it, my little tater tot turned one this month. We celebrated with this little play on his first name.

Mock-up of the report card-style invitation we sent out.

I had said I was going to try to stick to items that I could scrounge up around my house and/or borrow from friends and family, and for the most part, I succeeded! I think the only things I bought (besides food) were cardstock for the banners, thrift store neckties, a navy sheet and little mini chalkboards.

Here is the table o' goodies, before we moved it out of the direct sunlight. I really wanted that brick backdrop, but we had to relocate so everything wouldn't melt.

The trophy cup is my sister's (in addition to being glamorous and successful, she is a seriously good golfer); the globe (and another one elsewhere in the party) is from my grandmother's; and the luggage, typewriter and books are mine.  I tried to make the banner look like collegiate pennants.

I used one of Seth's belts to make a "book strap" to go around some of my cuter (and color-appropriate) books. I attempted apple cake pops. Some of them looked like apples, and . . . well, some of them really benefited from this chalkboard sign explaining what they were.

My mom made this incredible cake that looked so much like old leather books! It was so gorgeous that I didn't want to cut into it (fortunately, it was also delicious, which eased my guilt a little).

Favors (just little bottles of bubbles--most of our younger guests were two and under), were in brown, lunch-bag style sacks with coordinating name pennants.

My in-laws had this amazing vintage school desk and chair, just hanging out in their basement. We put some little school-ish props around it and tried to coerce the young'uns into having their pictures taken nearby.

Graham's contribution to the decor--notice his initials, so no one else takes credit.
A friend of mine happened to have a great collection of vintage school trays that we all got a kick out of using.

I think our little Dean's Lister approved. I was just happy he kept the hat on long enough to snap a few pictures.

Happy Birthday, Dean! I can't believe you've been here a year already.

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