Jessica Bender Photography » Photography; pure and simple.

Matthew Was Very Hungry

On Sunday July 15, we celebrated Matthew’s first birthday with a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party. The inspiration for this theme, came from Matthew’s insatiable appetite. From birth, that kid just wanted to eat, eat, and eat. I made a comment once that he was like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and boom! the light bulb went on, I knew that had to be his first birthday party theme. I planned the dessert table around foods that the caterpillar eats. We had everything from jelly beans, to cheesecake shooters to pickle lollipops (yes made from actual brine). When I stood back and looked at the table, my teeth started to hurt- so much sugar, lol. But oh so worth it. We also served a bbq lunch, with lots of protein and veggie options to help counteract the sugar high, and subsequent crash! There were a few bellyaches, much like the little caterpillar himself, he he he. Below the photos I have listed all of the fabulous vendors that I used to put this party together. It was a labour of love, much like Matthew himself.


                       The birthday boy was completely spoiled. It took us a long time to open those. Many thank yous to our fabulous friends, and family. Their presence alone to celebrate was enough, but they are all so kind and generous and just showered our boy with love in all forms:)

As I mentioned above, the menu was based on food that the caterpillar eats throughout the book. This was our complete menu for the caterpillar dessert table:

Apple- apple cupcakes from Spoon Full of Sugar Sweets

Pear- pear cookies from Double Trouble Creations (email available by request)

Plum- Plum Jelly Belly candies purchased locally

Strawberry- Cream filled, sugar dipped strawberries (home made)

Orange- Oreo pops (home made)

Chocolate Cake- Chocolate cake push up pops, inspired by Pizzazzerie (home made with Push-Up Pops cookbook)

Ice Cream- Cone pops (home made)

Pickle- Pickle Pops from Neatoshop

Swiss Cheese- Blueberry cheesecake pops (home made)

Salami- Chocolate icebox cookies (home made)

Lollipop- Whirly Pops purchased locally

Cherry Pie- Mini cherry pies (home made by my Nana)

Sausage- Spiced mini doughnuts (home made with the Baby Cakes mini doughnut maker, purchased locally)

Cupcake- Marshmallow pops (home made)

Watermelon- Rice Krispy treats (home made)

And finally, Matthew’s AMAZING cake was made by: Beth-Ann of Cakes by Beth-Ann. And yes, it tasted as good as it looked. Beth-Ann made both the large cake and Matthew’s personal smushing cake. The smushing cake was inspired by Pottery Barn’s Very Hungry Caterpillar party post.

Like I said above, lots of SUGAR, lol! For the home made items, I had a ton of help from my friend, the very talented Serena:)She is in the process of setting up a price list so that many more people can enjoy her talents, stay tuned… I enjoy baking, and cooking of all kinds, so it was pretty fun to put these things together. The mini doughnut maker is super neat, and I would totally recommend it, I could not believe how easy it was to use and how many different varieties of doughnut you can make (completely healthy options included!). My husband did a lot of the piping, he’s pretty good!

The favors were little bug zoos that I bought at a local dollar store, you can find similar ones at Lake Forest Toys. I filled the top compartments with a gummy worm, a gummy butterfly, and a Very Hungry Caterpillar sticker (Eric Carle Museum Shop). In the bottom compartment I placed bug shaped pasta. I got mine as stand alone pasta at Safeway (their house brand). Walgreens also sells a “dinner” style variety.

I wanted the decorations to be in keeping with the book; colourful punches mixed with stark white. I styled the tables with elements of glass and white porcelain, adding little sprigs of local plants here and there (we needed leaves to munch too!). The green felt leaf swags were home made, I had some help from my cousins:)I also put together the pompoms using a fork tutorial that I found on the Twinery blog via Pinterest. Ahhh Pinterest, so good for crafting ideas! The pickle jar was also a Pinterest craft find from Eighteen 25. I really wanted to add something “butterfly” to the table to represent Matthew’s transformation from pudgy baby to moving non-stop toddler, (just like in the book), so I decided to try my hand at cross stitch! I used a pattern created by Flamgirlant, and am very pleased with how my little butterfly turned out! And speaking of this transformation, I was inpsired to photographically share Matthew’s first year with all of our guests. So I had my Instagram photos from his first year printed as 5×5 prints through WHCC, and my friend Jacci strung them up to twine with mini clothespins as table swags (I’m on Instagram as jessicabender). Guests were invited to take home their favourite snaps as a keepsake, along with stickers and thank you tags.

And other products and services:

Photography: Little Pickle Photography and Robin Dunkley

Invitation, menu cards, toppers, bottle lables and favour tags: Little Pickle Photography and Design

Very Hungry Caterpillar material, napkins, plates and cups: The Eric Carle Museum Shop

Daisy Lids for mini Masons: Lollipops and Pussycats Etsy Shop

Paper straws and Divine Twine (on favours): Greenmunch

Very Hungry Caterpillar porcelain plate (held apple smush cake): purchased locally but can be found at Kaboodle

Matthew’s super adorable t-shirt: Lil Threadz Etsy shop

The knit hats that Matthew is wearing on the invitation were made for me by my Aunt Sharon (Matty’s great Aunt!), she used patterns from Suffolk Threads.


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