Friday, July 24, 2009

Real Life Inspiration: A Birthday Party That’s All Business … Monkey Business!

When Tally Dettling started planning her son James’ first birthday party she knew she wanted something unique to reflect his emerging personality. Since she had dubbed James her “little monkey”, it only seemed fitting to go with it–and once the decision was made, she didn’t monkey around!

Tally set off by designing the adorable invitation herself – blending bright yellow, teal and brown to complete the party’s color scheme. Not a big fan of character themes, her biggest challenge was finding monkey-related accessories that weren’t branded with Curious George. After a lot of internet research and a little shopping around, Tally found the monkey birthday hats and napkins at She picked up additional party trimmings in matching yellow and teal from several other sources including Party City.

The big celebration was truly a family affair. James’ first birthday cake–a sweet little monkey–was made with love by his doting mother. His grandmother and aunt, in town for the festivities, decorated the cupcakes. And his adoring daddy, Aaron, documented the festivities in the photographs seen here.

Pulling from her vast supply of entertaining accessories, Tally styled a charming tablescape to showcase the birthday treats and refreshments. She covered the tables in swatches of burlap and arranged the cupcakes on elegant multi-level serving trays and a cupcake tower to create visual interest.

A borrowed “Happy Birthday” banner (which just happened to match the color scheme perfectly) was draped from the canopy and a sweet monkey hand puppet (made by Tally and Aaron to commemorate the occasion) adorned the table.

Friends and family went bananas for James’ special day and are looking forward to his second birthday party, which Tally is already planning!

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