LOVING this ultra-colorful “Fiesta 40” Birthday Party from Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest… what a fun way to celebrate your 40th! Added bonus for the rest of us: there are tons of great DIY projects and creative ideas to be found here to help inspire fiestas of all occasions. =)
Read on for lots of pics and all the festive details, as told by Anneliese…
“We used my fortieth birthday as the excuse to host a party we’d been thinking about for a few years, with street taco vending, live Mexican music, good friends and family and lots of bright decorations.
Here is the report on my FIESTA FORTY! starting with a photo of my little Scarlett in her fiesta skirt and blouse and me in my maternity Mexican peasant blouse–hooray for variety in pregnancy wear! It was fun to dress the part for this party.
As you can see, I jumped on the tissue paper pom-pom bandwagon for this party. Loved the idea of brightly colored clusters of these hanging from the trees. I used a mixture of rounded and pointed petal poms in bright pink, turquoise, yellow, white and orange.
We set up guest tables in our backyard topped with chartreuse green table covers, then yellow paper cloths hand-cut to resemblePapel Picado banners, then my oilcloth Fiesta Tablecloths, and finally the Fiesta Flower Bouquets I had been making in the wee hours these past weeks.
So fun to see these ideas come together! I typically don’t like using paper but it seemed the right thing for this casual fiesta–plus I love the Mexican paper crafting traditions of banners, flowers and tissue covered pinatas.
The serving tables were set with yellow table skirts, white hand-cut paper tablecloths, and over sized yellow tissue Papel Picado banners. I wish I’d taken better photos of the banners because they turned out really fun and were a big part of the original concept for this party, including the invitations (pictured at top).
I used a different variety of paper flower bouquets on the serving tables. It was so much fun iterating on this theme! On one table I had over-sized arrangements with a mix of rounded and pointy “blooms” in 36″ tall vases. (See image #1 at the very top.) I used paper dinner napkins to make these blooms and long dowels purchased at a craft store.
On another serving table I made tight, low arrangements of pointy blooms in bright pink with one yellow accent flower. Had I not had a deadline it would have been fun to keep experimenting!
Other serving table details included delicious Jarritos sodas in lime, mandarin, mango, guava and mandarin. These are good and so sweet so one needs a party as an excuse to drink them!
We also served “Mexican Coke” (the stuff made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup–yum!) but the Jarritos were the first to go! I found some bright turquoise metal bottle openers at a local restaurant supply and tied them to the drink coolers.
We used tinfoil takeout containers lined with brightly color napkins, metal baskets lined with napkins for the utensils, and lucky me, IKEA had straws in all the right colors.
But the food is the real story! It was the real deal: carnitas, carne asada and pollo street tacos with grilled onions and pico de gallo (catered by a great local authentic restaurant); chips, my husband’s guacamole and a variety of salsas; my Fiesta Salad; and churros made-to-order (the only way to eat them!) with chocolate or sweetened condensed milk to top.
I loved the idea of the guests ordering just what they wanted and moving around from the taco tent to the serving tables while visiting with each other. It worked perfectly! So much fun!
And, of course… the birthday cake! I made Tres Leches Cake, four of them actually (recipe here). I topped each with a bright pink flower and ten candles… a bit less overwhelming to spread them out in tens rather than have forty on one cake!
We had two guitarists playing Ranchero music. They were so great – played a good variety at the right volume and really added to the fiesta flavor!
It wouldn’t have been a party without the people. I love the chance to bring together family and friends from different stages in my life. I was lucky to have friends at the party from high school in addition to those I’ve made more recently.
Can’t think of a better way to celebrate! And thank goodness I had some help blowing out the candles! (Wish you could hear our friend, Charlie, playing his guitar and singing ¡Feliz cumpleaños a tí!)”