Our family had such a fantastic weekend celebrating my husband Topher's birthday! I had fun planning the party with his mom. We decided to go with an Italian theme for the party...fun food, red, white and green balloons, and an Italian soda bar! 

When deciding on cookies, I decided to go with a Venetian them. I remembered the time on our honeymoon when we took a romantic gondola ride, such a highlight from our trip! We were touring with a group and everyone in the group squeezed into the other gondolas, so we could have one to ourselves. 

Here are the cookies I made to decorate the cake and cupcakes. 

I love that singing gondolier. Topher is a fantastic singer, so I imagine this is Topher and I in the gondola!

 It's it cute!?

A few years ago I commissioned this mug from Renee of Kudos Kitchen. It served as the inspiration for the cookies.

Then I found and purchased this clipart from Shutterstock. It was exactly what I was looking for. I was so busy with party planning, that it was much easier to find and buy clipart for the main cookie topper! 

I put a few of the buildings around the base of the cake. Using royal icing I glued pop sticks on the poles, gondola, and Venice buildings. They made the perfect cake toppers!!!

My mother-in-law put together a fabulous polenta bar with lots of toppings. Everyone at the party loved it!! 

She also created an Italian soda bar that was a big hit with the kids at the party. There were several soda recipes for everyone to try out. 

We also tried this hot caprese dip from Rachel Cooks. We doubled the recipe and did it in the corckpot and it was delicious. The food was rounded out with baked ziti, salad, breadsticks, and a few snacks (olives, Italian cheeses, and meats). I don't think anyone left hungry!

Plus, I made some cookie favors for the guests. I kept these simple and colorful. Cute cookies do not need to be complicated. 

And before I go...a photo from our trip to Venice (almost 10 years ago)!! Time to go back!

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our special celebration. 

Happy Decorating,