Hi friends! How are you? Hope you’re enjoying the week so far. We are back in the swing of things after the weekend, and enjoying this bit of fall in the air. V-town finally got the memo, so it’s been fun to break out the sweaters and booties. We’re also recovering from this weekend’s fiesta to celebrate the Pilot and Penelope’s birthdays!
I wanted to start this off by saying that in preparation for the party, one thing saved the day: jumping castle rental. It turns out that the rental period was FOUR DAYS, so we had an enormous 2-lane slide and bounce house in the yard all weekend! They came and set them up Friday afternoon, and didn’t take them away until late on Monday. The girls LOVED IT.
Ok, the parents did, too. [The Pilot and I may or may not have had races down the slides after the girls were in bed.]
The girls had the best time jumping around, and it made it super easy to cook and prep for the party. I had the patio doors open and could see them the entire time I was cooking in the kitchen, and I didn’t have both of them crawling up my legs asking me to make them random snacks. #winning
For the party, we thought it would be fun to do a fiesta theme with some Tucson favorites, especially since many of our friends here have lived in Tucson at some point.
I’m a huge fan of outsourcing things for parties, but we ended up making all of the food. We don’t love the Mexican food here in town, and I really love cooking, so it was fun to play some music and prep while the Pilot grilled all of the meat outside.
55 people had RSVP’d, so I wanted to make sure we didn’t run out of anything! Thankfully, we had leftovers for days.
How I prepped for such a big party at home:
Friday: Made the beans (I think it was 6 bags of dried pinto beans? The Instant Pot cooked each batch in 25 minutes!! It’s magical, I tell ya.), started soaking the fruit for the sangria, made the salsa (4 batches of the Pioneer Woman’s recipe <— our fave)
Saturday: Grilled all of the meat (12 lbs. of chicken, about 5 lbs. of steak), chopped the veggies for toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, onion),
(See the iguana hiding out there? Liv has been scaring me with him lately.)
made the enchiladas (I use a recipe similar to this one and made a triple batch), chopped fruit for the fruit cups (mango, pineapple, honeydew, watermelon).
Sunday: finish the sangria, make the queso (it was SO GOOD. I’ll do a recipe post on it if you’d like! It was Velveeta, charred poblano peppers, pico de gallo, etc. in the slow cooker), make the rice, warm the food (and warm the tortillas), and set everything out!
I ordered some of these catering sets from Amazon and they were clutch. They kept the food so warm and were really inexpensive. For all of the food on the table, I had backup trays in the oven warming to easily swap out.
Enchiladas, chicken, steak, rice, beans, taco toppings, and tortillas.
Fruit cups with Tajin and lime on the side.
And in the kitchen, queso with chips and salsa.
To drink, we had margaritas, sangria, Mexican sodas, beers, waters, Honest juice pouches, and Lacroix in coolers in the backyard.
Birthday game face:
I topped the tables outside with sarapes, mini piñatas, chicle in little bowls, succulents planted in cans (I just used the tomato cans from the insane amount of salsa),
and bowls of chips and salsa. While I was outside decorating the tables, P walked out and said “Mama! You make my birthday party so cute!” and my heart burst into a thousand pieces.
(My beautiful friend Megan!)
The jumping castles were a huge hit, and the kiddos ran free while the adults ate, drank and chatted. We took a break for the kids to hit a taco-shaped piñata,
and then it was time for dessert! Originally the Mix’s froyo truck was going to come and do froyo, but they ended up having a generator issue. The owner was so cool and helpful about the whole thing, and instead, they dropped off 50 containers of froyo plus tons of toppings. It was perfect!!
And just in case everyone wasn’t totally hyped up on sugar, we had cake and cupcakes, too.
I’m so glad that we were able to celebrate the Pilot and P’s birthdays with so many wonderful friends. While we definitely missed our families, we’re thankful for friends who have become like family. After the girls went to bed, we sat on the patio eating chips and salsa and talking… and then maybe had some races down the slides haha.
It was a great way to celebrate two people we love so much. <3
What was your most memorable birthday? When you throw parties, do you do the food yourself or order it? I usually like to do a mix.
Hope you’re enjoying the day! I’ll see ya soon.