The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

When we first found out Briggs was a boy, my mom and I immediately decided to start decorating our nurseries. I say "our" because I am lucky enough to have my mom volunteer to watch my baby while I work. When she was deciding on a theme for her nursery, she wanted to keep it gender neutral for any future grandbabies that came her way. So this is how she landed on decorating her nursery with the inspiration of Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." And it was her nursery that inspired me to celebrate Briggs's first birthday with the same theme.
All that you see from this post was a complete group effort. I cannot take all the credit whatsoever. I have to thank my parents for hosting the event- we had around 40-50 people (we have a lot of family and friends who are LIKE family) and I knew their home would comfortably accommodate everyone. (Especially since the IU game was on and it was playing in the basement during some of the baby festivities.) 

I would like to send a special thank you to my sweet, sweet friend, Hallie Jaeger. She found a way to make it to Indy for her little Briggsy's party. She was my right-hand woman the day before and the day of- she helped me with the food labels, party favors and more. She was also a great moral support (as always).

I also have to thank my sister, Kara who helped me mastermind the event. She was my consult and helped me execute all sorts of projects. I couldn't have done it without her!

The party's food was based on the food the caterpillar eats throughout the book (with some creative liberties).

Apple: Kara made apple pie bites from a simple recipe she found on pinterest.
Strawberry: My Aunt Mary Lou brought delicious fresh strawberries with some homemade dipping sauce.
Watermelon:Since watermelon is not exactly "in season" my plan was to create rice krispie treats that were colored and shaped like watermelon, but time ran away from me. So we went ahead and served watermelon, and actually, it was pretty good!
Pickle:My Aunt Mary Lou contributed again with her yummy pickles bites- she wraps them with cream cheese and ham, then slices them into bite size glorious pieces.
Cheese:Kara made her mother-in-law's famous macaroni and cheese. Huge hit. We also served slices of cheese to go along with salami.
Salami: Fresh salami with sliced cheese was the perfect hearty finger food to accompany all the sweets.
Sausage:My dad made sausage with his special recipe that he cooks in the crockpot. People are still asking for his secret.
Cocoons:This was my husband's contribution. He loves making "pigs in a blanket" so we thought this was his perfect opportunity to make them but with the them they were appropriately called "cocoons." Clever, right? He thinks so too.
Lollipop:My sweet mama bought her favorite jolly rancher suckers to serve as the lollipops at the party.
Chocolates:I bought bags of green, red and purple sixlets from Party City to accent the serving table and to please the chocolate lovers.
Gum balls:I also bought theme-appropriate colored gum balls to serve with the sweets as well.
Pie:Kara's apple pie bites doubled for the "apple" and the "pie"- we started getting smart.
Chocolate Cake:I baked chocolate muffins and added a cherry on top for flare.
Ice Cream:My father-in-law was happy to serve the ice cream with the birthday cake. We even had cones like the book for anyone who wanted one.
Grape Caterpillars:I put a line of grapes on a skewer and added little eyes with icing to make them appear to be little caterpillars. I can't take credit for this one, I saw it on pinterest.
Caterpillar Oreo Balls:Every family gathering, I always provide the fan-favorite oreo balls. So for this party, I made them into caterpillars.

Cake: I am all about DIY projects- but with a one-year-old, I am also about efficiency. So about a month before the party, I decided that I better leave the "main attraction" up to the professionals. Kara gave me the name of her wedding cake vendor, Brenda's Cakes. I was very happy with them. They were very professional, reasonable and the cake was delicious! Briggs definitely gave his nod of approval during his cake smashing.

Favors: When I was surfing pinterest for party favors, I came across a "bug zoo." So we went with it... we found clear plastic party bags, filled them with gummy worms, bugs and night crawlers. Then tied them off and labeled them with "Briggs's Bug Zoo." People of all ages were happy to leave with these little treats!

Decorations: I wanted to keep it cute and organized. I didn't want there to be a lot of "party clutter" So we tried to keep it classy and clean with statement pieces throughout the house. We used a lot of what we already had from mom's nursery. The big statement items were paper lantern caterpillars I found on Pottery Barn Kids's website. You can find the tutorial to make the paper lantern caterpillars here. My Aunt Mary Lou brought "picnic tablecloths" to cover the card tables. And green and red balloons helped to accent and bring the look together. We also sprinkled pictures of Briggs throughout- including his staircase growth chart-a picture for every month in his first year.

I also wanted to thank my friend Ally Dant for helping me take pictures so that I could enjoy the party with my little birthday boy. It was a wonderful day filled with so much love for my little one. I wanted a post dedicated just for the party food and decor. I will soon post a summary of how much Briggs enjoyed this day with most of his closest loved ones.

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