Party Girl

*1 of 3 drafts that needed to be finished.

Valentina’s 2nd Birthday party was a huge success! I started planning a month earlier (just like last year) and quickly decided on my theme.  Valentina is really good at knowing her colors and she loves balloons. So after a couple of quick searches on Pinterest, I decided on a Rainbow theme. It was the easiest one to do.. and the most fun.

We went really really easy on the decorations and just decided to hang balloons from the ceiling. As I was blowing them, she wanted one…. in every color. It kept her entertained for DAYS!

I also used the same Winnie the Pooh banner and the Birthday banner I made last year. Why spend money if I can still use the same stuff right?!?

I went really easy on the food and made a lot of things that were easy to prepare ahead of time.

The Menu:
Veggie Tray w/ (homemade) Blue Cheese dressing
Prosciutto & Mozzarella Sandwiches
Salame & Mozzarella Sandwiches
Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwiches
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Crackers
Chip
Cheese Puffs
Fruit Skewers

I wanted everything to be fresh so I bought the food the day before and spent the evening washing, cutting and putting everything together. The morning of the party, I just put everything out, assembled the fruit skewers and made sandwiches.

I love how Pinterest is my source for everything and I’m glad I pinned these 2 ideas. Using the Bell Peppers as bowls for the dressing was genius and made cleanup a breeze!  The fruit skewers were perfect for the Rainbow theme and everyone loved them.

Our guests included our “gang” along with Carlo’s mom, his sister, and Jill’s mom who was in town visiting. I’m so happy our friends enjoy each other’s company. Our girls are surrounded by so much culture from different countries… and I love that.

Gian Luca (Italian) was soooo happy to hear that I made Blue Cheese dressing and as promised, the recipe was emailed soon after!

The Birthday Princess had tons of fun. She couldn’t wait to start playing and as soon as her playmate Agustin showed up, she was into her legos and blocks.

We had a few people missing but it was still a full house. As I mentioned before, our friends get along really well and most if not all, have already met Carlo’s family so it was nice to see and hear all of the friendly chatter. Carlo’s family (Italian- of course) enjoyed talking to Luca (also Italian) and his bride-to-be Rosemarie (Australian) who also happen to be our neighbors. They live across the street and it’s always fun to bump into them when we’re out.

Of course Autie Jill (Scottish) was at the party! She helped Valentina and Agustin with their playtime.

Mirian (Argentina) is Agustin’s mom & Gian Luca’s wife.

The only person who didn’t speak Italian was Jill’s mom. However that did not stop her from carrying on a conversation with Carlo’s mom. The 2 spent lots of time with Elisabetta!

I had decided not to spend too much time worrying about games since Agustin was the only kid we invited. So, I put V’s legos out, her block and made some play dough in rainbow colors. They spent the entire time playing together. Agu liked the play dough so much that we gave him have to take home.

Uncle Flo (French) & Zio Mario (Italian) always find interesting things to talk about.

I went to check on Valentina and she was making Brobee! I had put on Yo Gabba Gabba for the kids and I guess she was inspired! I tried to make a Muno but I didn’t take a picture.

I forgot to take a picture of the desserts so I was surprised to see these picture on my camera. Thanks to Uncle Flo for always thinking ahead. He didn’t check the settings before he shot, so the flash was off and I had to really up the contrast so you could see.

We had been practicing blowing so when it came time, she was able to blow her candle!

I love this picture!!!  After we served everyone, I tried to get Valentina to sit with me. She saw Jill sitting on the floor so she went and sat next to her. She & Rosemarie helped Valentina eat her cupcake.

Uncle Flo caught her in the act of shoving a yummy treat in her mouth!

We opened presents and she gave Agustin a hug and kiss after opening his gift. Everytime these 2 meet up, we always make them hug and kiss. It’s so cute. Some of you know that Agu is about 5-6 weeks older than Valentina we try to get them together often. (Their 1st meeting was while they were still in our tummies!)

Valentina totally scored on her gifts this year. Everything she got is her favorite. Clothes, crayons, LEGOS, a little horse, and books. She then had an “after party” where her and Zio Mario stacked her boxes of Legos and then knocked them down.

Before everyone left, she handed out the goodie bags. I’d hand them to her and tell her who to give it to and to give them big hugs.  It was so cute watching her hug EVERYONE. She also thanked everyone for coming. Her exact words were… “Thank you, Grazie, Gracias, Merci”…. Yup… My little Monkey repeated after me and thanked them in 4 languages.

I was exhausted and wanted to sleep since I had only gotten about 3 hours the night before. Valentina was on a major sugar high. Around 7, Carlo came back from Mass and took over. By 7:30 she finally crashed and slept 12 hours.

We all had a lot of fun and it was well worth my lack of sleep. During the planning and preparation, I had told Carlo that this is my fun. He kept telling me not to do too much and to keep everything simple. I told him several times that this was fun for me. I don’t get to go do things like him. She has tennis, and chess and goes running and has Cigar night’s with his friends. I don’t have that. I’m home with 2 kids 24/7…. THIS IS MY FUN. I enjoy the stress of party planning. I love making cupcakes and searching for the best Spinach Artichoke recipe. Stop trying to rain on my parade. In the end.. I was right, got my way and he did thank me for the hard work and made sure to tell our guests that I did EVERYTHING alone.

ps.. He also LOVED the cupcakes (he said they were better than last years batch) and the Dip was his favorite and wants me to make it again!

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