Wednesday 29 January 2014

Hannah Turned 2 - Hungry Little Caterpillar Style!

So my baby turned 2 … and to avoid thinking too much about that fact, Daddy and I engrossed ourselves in party-planning - we love a good party!

I've seen a few pics / posts around in the last year or so of parties themed around one of our favourite kiddy-books …. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  For anyone who doesn't know, this book is about the journey of a little caterpillar who is very hungry, so he eats through a multitude of foods including various fruits, cakes, cheese, salami, pie, sausages, lollypops and the list goes on, before he gets a stomach ache so eats a leaf, then cocoons himself and morphs into a beautiful butterfly.  We have precious memories (and some video I think) from when Bethany was about Hannah's age, with her cute little language-learning-skills trying to get around the names of the different foods … "salami" is a particularly fun one.  Anyway, Hannah's there now too, and is just as cute.

We decided to base the party decorations and foods around those in the book.  Here's what we made:

1. First up was a banner that said "Happy Birthday Hannah 2".  Daddy cut out copious amounts of green cardboard circles and stapled them together.
He then made lots of little brown feet …
And used paint and a felt-tip to make the head.

We joined them all together, and hung it from the ceiling across our kitchen.  It was actually really effective, and definitely set the theme of the party off!

2. Next Daddy and Bethany made lots of cardboard fruits, with holes where the caterpillar ate through of course!  We taped these up on the front door of our house, and all through the kitchen / entertaining area.  This was really effective too, and so simple … plus it was a great way to get Bethany involved in throwing the party for her little sister.

3.  Next up was the food.  There was quite a specific list of things eaten by the caterpillar, and we really wanted to have a crack at having them all … yeah there's never a shortage of food at our parties!
We had salami, pickles, and sausages (which were mini-cocktail frankfurts) - with holes of course! ...

… Swiss Cheese, lollypops watermelons and ice-cream cones … 

…Cupcakes, cherry pies (aka mini tartlet cases filled with cherry jam and topped with Italian Meringe … yum!), and chocolate cake (aka chocolate brownie with a glace cherry on top)

We also had fruit-salad for desert, encompassing all of the different fruits from the book.

4.  Then, of course, came the cake… On top of a white cake, there's a very cheeky-looking caterpillar, on his leaf (which has a big munch-hole) and the different fruits he ate.  I really had a ball making this one.  The fruits with their holes were so much fun to mould.

I spent a good few weeks pondering this cake, and how I could encompass the beautiful rainbow-coloured butterfly at the end of the book.  After lots (and I mean a tonne) of contemplating, I decided that the surprise of the beautiful butterfly would be illustrated by a surprise rainbow-coloured cake inside a seemingly plain white shell … get where I was going with it?  I love this rainbow-cake which I've made a few times now, but I can't remember where I got the idea from….I'm sure I've seen it on a few sites.  You basically just use a plain vanilla cake recipe, split the mixture and colour into as many different colours as you want, then carefully layer the different colours one after the other in the tin.  What's so cool is that as the cake cooks and rises at different rates in different parts, the colours kind of swirl together.  I think it's really effective!

So, Hannah's 2 and has been throwing the tantrums to prove it.  She even had her first time-out the other day … oh dear!  Having said that, it's always at times like this that I realise just how blessed I am to have two amazing, healthy, growing munchkins … can't ask for much more than that really!

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