On Saturday, May 7th, we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday! It was a great day filled with friends, family, fun and lots of food!!! Part of my career has been spent working in events and event planning so I love this type of stuff…I wish we could celebrate her “month” birthdays with parties!!!
Theme: After our recent trip to Walt Disney World, we opted for a Minnie Mouse theme for the big day. I created the invites in Photoshop and ordered them via Shutterfly, my favorite photo website ever. We didn’t go overboard with the Minnie Mouse theme, we stayed very “pink” and added in a few Minnie touches with a Minnie Mouse cake, sugar cookies, napkins and a balloon. There were a lot of Minnie Mouse decorations available but I didn’t want to go crazy. I used magenta, light pink ad aqua as the three colors for balloons, plates, and other necessities. I also bought some Mickey/Minnie scrapbook paper for $.69 each sheet. I put them around the house and under bowls and serving platters to add some color since all my serving dishes are white.
Invite List: I have a lot of family close by so the majority of the guest list included my parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. Most of our friends were unfortunately unable to make it. We invited one of our daughter’s friends from school who we always love having over. I think it was a good mix…at age two, we didn’t feel we needed to invite her entire class from school yet. With just the people I mentioned, I think we had 25 or so people!
Gift Wish List: We use ToysRUs.com to create a “wish list” for birthdays and holidays. This is a great way to allow people to see items you want for your little one, and hopefully avoid duplicates. It’s like a gift registry! We also encouraged family to donate to our daughter’s college fund. We invest in a Mefa Fidelity 529 account and also plan to invest in a Mefa UPlan as well.
Food & Drinks: Sticking with the “Minnie/Mini” theme, we opted for some fun food in small sizes. I’m not sure anyone “got it” as they were eating, but it makes me happy to know I was trying to be clever 😉
I’m always looking for fun food suggestions for parties so I wanted to share our menu and day with you!
- Chips & Guacamole (my recipe, see below)
- Potato Chips & Onion Dip (Heluva Good Onion Dip…why mess with perfection)
- Shrimp Cocktail (don’t tell me you need a recipe for this)
- Mini-Pigs in a Blanket (recipe by Food Network’s Pat & Gina Neeley)
- Mini Crab Cakes (recipe by Food Network’s Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa)
- Sliders (my recipe, see below)
- Grilled Chicken Tenders (my recipe, see below)
- Green Salad (my recipe, see below)
- Pasta Salad (mother in law’s recipe, see below)
- Minnie Mouse Cake
- Sugar Cookies Shaped like Minnie Mouse and Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Fondue with Rice Krispie Treats, Strawberries, Pineapple, Pretzels and Marshmallows
- I always have beer and wine on hand.
- Juice boxes
- Iced tea
- Just a few sodas
Goodie Bags: I made little goodie bags for the kids in attendance (only 4, ages 2, 3, 10 and 12). For the 2 and 3 year olds, I included a small bag of the Mickey/Minnie sugar cookies, bubbles, animal crackers, a roll of paper and Mickey Mouse watercolor paints. For the two older kids, I included the cookies and bubbles, and then a few $1 scratch tickets. Honestly….these did not cost a lot. I got the paper and paint at Christmas Tree Shop, bubbles and animal crackers at Target and made the cookies.
Weather: The one element of the day that was beyond our control was the weather….and boy, it did not cooperate!!!! The party started with beautiful 65 degree weather and the sun was shining. Within 30 minutes, we heard thunder and the sky opened up, dumping rain and hail on my poor husband who was manning the grill!!!!
- 4 avocados
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (I use my cuisinart)
- handful of cilantro, chopped (I don’t like the stems so I pick the leaves off the stems and only use those)
- 1/4 red onion chopped (I use my cuisinart)
- Dash of hot sauce (I prefer Chulula)
- Salt and pepper
I chop the red onion and jalapeno in the Cuisinart first and add to a bowl. Then, attack the avocados. Cut in half and remove pit. Score the avocado with knife in two directions and remove from the skin. Good avocados = good guacamole so make you get soft avocados….not too soft or it is likely brown and too mushy. Chop the cilantro and add in. Squeeze in juice of a lime. I usually have extra lime on hand because you never know how much juice a lime may give you. Finally, add hot sauce to your liking and some salt and pepper. Stir up and serve immediately.
- 85% ground beef
- Worcestershire sauce
- All season salt
- Dash of hot sauce
- Chili pepper
I wish I had some exact measurements and instructions for this, but I don’t! I mix amounts that look good together and form small patties. I serve the sliders on Potato Dinner Rolls.
Balsamic Grilled Chicken Tenders:
- Chicken tenders
- Balsamic vinegar
- Brown Sugar
Again, I make this up as I go so I just add a bit of each ingredient into a zip loc bag and then add in the chicken. I let it marinate in the refrigerator for a bit then grill or broil.
So, I literally mixed 2 types of lettuce, green leaf and iceberg. I added some cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers sliced lengthwise, cucumbers…and a few other veggies I had in the fridge together and that’s it. I laid out 3 different types of dressings.
- 4 ounces (1 cup) penne pasta
- 6 ounces jar of marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 pound quartered mushrooms
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup ripe black olives
- 1 sliced red and orange bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 Bottle of salad dressing (zesty Italian, roasted red pepper Italian w/ parmesan cheese)
- Optional vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cucumber, peppercinis, cheese squares (mozzarella or parmesan)