Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day 2008

The Valentine’s Day party was a big hit! The last guests left at 3am…

Valentine’s Day 2008
Claudia shows off her sexy outfit–
note the fishnet stockings, lace gloves,
Southern Belle hat, and fur pimp daddy coat
Andrea & the Elephant Underwear
Andrea wins a special pair of elephant underwear
with googly eyes.
Serena’s guess of how many conversation hearts
were in the jar was only 143 off!  (She was the closest)

Yes, even Bruce Willis came to the party.

Patrizia does a little dance.
Paolo enjoys the Chicken Salad Patè a Choux Puffs. 
The Chicken salad had sundried tomatoes, apple, 
Spring onions and plenty of black pepper.
Marco comes dressed as a porn star…
or is this his regular attire?
Before the party…Claudia & Fabrizio enjoy the candlelight

Louisa wore a sexy black satin outfit for the occasion.

The games were a big hit (for details see the Valentine’s Party Ideas page).  As was the chocolate fondue (with strawberries, bananas, brownies, and heart shaped cookies to dunk) and whipped cream in a can.  (I’m still enjoying the whipped cream in a can a week later…it’s amazing how much they fit into those little bottles!)

I’m Sick Again

Man, I hate being sick!  And in the whirl of Valentine’s Day party planning, I certainly cannot afford to be now.  I almost finished the vday favors tonight (been saving toilet paper rolls for months now), but ran out of candy and didn’t have the energy to go to the store. 

Oh, I forgot to tell you that my car died the other day.  Yeah, I noticed that the little dial that tells the temperature of the engine tended to always be on hot…but we decided the dial probably didn’t work right.  good call.  The other day, Rosanna borrowed the ambulance* to go to the dentist and poof!  It started making jack-hammer noises and then smoke began eeping out of the hood.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to witness the theatrics myself, but apparently she pulled over to the side of the road and an 80 year old man rushed up to the side of the car and yelled to “quick get out before the car explodes!”  

*Decided to refer to my white station wagon as “the ambulance” instead of giving it a name.  It just fits.

I finally got the ambulance back today, and let’s see where we’re at–payed €1800 for the car, €300 for new brake pads and 2 snow tires, €50 for a new battery, and now €250 for whatever they did to fix this heat flash problem.  Yup, probably should have got that used porsche instead.

 Did the official head count tonight and, whaddayaknow, there are 22 people coming to the VDay shindig on Saturday.  Yeah, how did that happen?  I think we might have to put our couch out on the balcony in order to make room for everybody.  Either that, or we divide the guests into groups–some party up in the loft, others party in the kitchen and we’ll call out names like they do at weddings when it’s your turn to eat.  I wish my fellow QM was here to help me prepare.

I had to give Luca the party pep talk again last night.  He just doesn’t understand the concept of being a good hostess.  The pep talk went something like this, “it’s time to raise the bar, Luca – our parties have to be the best parties.  That’s right, better than all the weddings we’ve been to this year.  And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be since we’re both great cooks and I’m a certified Queen Motifa.” 

Later on that night we were arguing about the menu and I found myself chanting, “Is that a dish that raises the bar, Luca?!  Is that dish going to make people beg us for the recipe?  Is that a dish that our friends will remember for years to come?  No?!? No?!? *high pitched squawk*  Then we’re not making it for the Valentine’s Day party!!!” 

(The dish in discussion was a cold rice salad hot dog bits and canned corn.  Yuck.)


Weekend in Review

This weekend was pretty uneventful.  I did a thorough cleaning of the household on Saturday morning and basically hung out the rest of the day, making Valentine’s Day decorations.  Last night Luca went out with the buds so I watched Anne of Avonlea and made cookie dough (again for the Vday party–making the same marmalade-filled linzer hearts I made for Aunt Joan’s wedding).  Anne makes me cry every time!  You’d think I would be immune to this film after having watched it as many times as I have, but no.  Man, it’s so good. 

I saw another, almost-Anne-quality film while I was at home over Christmas.  It was Masterpiece Theater’s Jane Eyre.  I had never heard of Toby Stephens before (perhaps because he’s British).  What a hottie.  In fact, considering the fact that Mr. Rochester is supposed to be an older, somewhat unattractive character, I’m surprised they chose Stephens for this part (though who could resist him?).  I need to get a copy of this movie, even if it doesn’t accurately follow the original piece of literature, it’s highly entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, we went to Aosta two weekends ago to get away.  Visited our friends who work at Gros Cidac, the best (Italian) grocery store ever and went to our favorite restaurant, Aux Plaisirs Demodes, in Saint Marcel.  The first night we were there, we went into Aosta city center to get a bite for dinner.  Luca’s hands were so chapped they were starting to bleed.  I fortunately remembered that Rosanna (Luca’s Mom) had given me two mono-portion samples of hand cream a while back that I had in my purse.  So while we were waiting for dessert, I took one out and gave it to him.  He was in such a rush to start healing his poor hands that he didn’t read the label and just started spurting it all over. 

Turns out it was liquid body soap.  With an extremely powerful rose scent.

Oh my god, I was dying.  We were both crying we were laughing so hard.  The whole restaurant (which consisted of one small room with tables too close together) smelled like roses.

Just goes to show you, haste makes waste.

Valentine’s Day Preparations

val_tree.jpgWhile I was home over Christmas, our one and only plant died. 

I know what you’re saying (“surprise, surprise…”), but when I discovered the crunchy leaves, I was shocked.  It seemed like such a hardy plant (afterall it lasted in the Crane/Badellino household for over a year).  Luca is always the first to remember that it’s time to water the plants.  Apparently he was so overwrought by my extended absence that he completely lost his mind.

Well, I planted a single giant zinnia today to try and make up for our loss (I’ve got garden fever this week).  Then I decided to turn our dead plant into a Valentine’s Day Party invites.jpgcenterpiece.  Ding!

 I must admit that I was a little worried at first because I only had watercolors on hand and I didn’t think they would cover the woody stem of my dead plant.  But they worked like a charm!  (And are way cheaper than those expensive acrylic paints out there).  As you can see, I painted it pink and then cut coordinatingly-colored hearts out of construction paper.  After poking the hearts with a needle and stringing them with red or pink thread, my dead tree is now a diva V-day tree!  (I got a little carried away with the watercolors and planted the plate as well…).

I plan on doing a sexy/erotic theme at the Valentine’s day party this year.  (Reminiscent of the Un-Valentine’s Day party of yester year).  While I was in my creative mode, I whipped out a few invitations as well (most people will receive a verbal invite).  I used Martha’s idea for folded heart-shaped Valentines and added my own little touch (pasted lips cut out of various magazines onto the outside of the envelopes instead of using expensive, hard-to-find double-sided paper).  Her “close the envelope with a heart sticker” idea seems clever, but the sticker totally did not hold the cards closed, so I wrapped them in festive ribbon instead.  The insides read something like, “You’re invited to the party of the year!  An erotic celebration in honor of Saint Valentine.  Dress sexy and prepare yourself for a night full of pleasure…”

What Passion!

I got a candy valentine heart today (or rather I selected one for myself out of the bowl, expecting an exciting jolt of spontaneous passion). Guess what it said on it?
Let’s Read
Hellowwwwwwwwwww! Can we say NOT PASSIONATE. I mean, yes, reading together can certainly be a rewarding, soul-enriching, or even a bonding experience, but it’s NOT exactly at the top of The List of Things I Want To Do On Valentine’s Day. What’s your top ten list?

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