Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sammy de Mayo! A 1st Birthday Fiesta

Well, Sam's 1st birthday was a smashing success! Other than a few minor mishaps, like ordering WAY too much food (we'll be eating carne asada tacos for months to come), forgetting to set up the bubble machine, and forgetting to crack open the pinata, everything went perfectly. I can't believe how much planning went into this party! Like I told some of my friends, I seriously felt like I was planning another wedding. I had a caterer, favors, invites, and even a color scheme. My entire office was full of hot pink and orange decorations. It was a lot of work, but it was so much fun!

Since Sam missed being born on Cinco de Mayo by less than 4 hours, we figured we'd stick with the fiesta theme anyway, calling it "Sammy de Mayo" instead. This may be a theme she revisits on her 21st birthday...

So, where to begin? I started my party research on Google, and found a few pages with great Cinco de Mayo party ideas. I came up with a list of ideas, and started putting things together. My first purchase? Papel picado, or paper flags, purchased from Amazon.com. It said there were 34', but I'm pretty sure I had enough flags to reach all the way to the moon and back. Since there are 6 fun colors in the flags, I chose two as my main party colors - hot pink and orange - with the other 4 colors as accents. I decided to make my own tissue paper flowers, so again I went to Amazon.com and picked up a couple large packs of tissue paper. Bulk Hot Pink Tissue Paper 20" x 30" - 48 Sheets

For the place settings, Party City was having a BOGO sale, so I picked up a bunch of plates, cups, tablecloths, silverware and napkins (in hot pink and orange, of course!).
In keeping with the fiesta theme, we had a taco bar catered by Primo, the market down the street from our house. It was SO good - I highly recommend them! Everyone raved about how delicious it was.

Since we had splurged on the food, I made the cupcakes myself, all 7 1/2 dozen of them! I did a couple of test runs beforehand, sampling 5 different cupcake recipes and 3 different frosting recipes. (Some of my wonderful friends ate 3-4 cupcakes each, just so they could give me their honest vote.) I ended up going with White Velvet cupcakes (I modified the recipe from a Pink Velvet recipe...I think it will have to remain my secret ;)) and my famous Vanilla Bean Icing (using just vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean). I made one batch of cupcakes two nights before, and two batches the morning before the party. I froze them all until the morning of the party, when I made all the icing and frosted them all. I had purchased cupcake liners in all 6 of our party colors from The Baker's Confections on Etsy. (They seriously have some awesome cupcake liners...I highly recommend them!!!) I was also the lucky recipient of a cupcake stand that has been passed down through my mommy group. I covered it with hot pink fabric and trimmed it with orange ribbon. Each cupcake was decorated with pink or orange sugar sprinkles.

My friend Cat at The Cake Boutique made an adorable hot pink smash cake for Sam to dig into. It turned out so cute in our party colors, and Sam did a great job of destroying it and turning her face bright pink. (It tasted really good, too!)

For beverages, I made homemade aguas frescas: horchata (a cinnamon rice drink) and agua de sandia (watermelon water), and we also had water and Mexican beers. (The margaritas never even got mixed!)

For the party favors I wanted to get custom sugar cookies, so when I saw a daily deal on Eversave.com for Country Cupboard Cookies, I jumped on it! I ended up ordering number 1 cookies frosted in hot pink and orange and decorated with confetti and polka dots in the rest of our party colors. They turned out super cute! Each cookie was packaged in an individually sealed bag, but I wanted to dress them up a little bit more. I bought a bunch of neon maracas from Amazon, and paired one up with each cookie. I bought little pink bags at Party City, put the cookies in them, and used hot pink and orange ribbons to tie the maracas onto the bags, along with some little favor tags that I designed.

And finally....the invites! I had been itching to use my creative skills again, and I really wanted to come up with something super cute and memorable. I always love photo invites, so I asked my good friend Michelle of Bayer Photos to do a pre-birthday photo shoot for us. She got some amazing shots of Sam and I used one of my favorites for the invite. Since the party was a fiesta theme, I used a little maraca illustration to tie together all the printed materials for the party. Along with the invites and favor tags, I also printed out labels for the food and thank you notes!
For entertainment we had a ball pit, a water table, a play tent, and a couple of tunnels. All 20 kids were fully entertained! We had such a great time with all our family and friends. I think the hardest thing about party planning was narrowing down the guest list. We have met so many wonderful people since we have lived here in San Diego, and I wanted to invite them all! Unfortunately our house isn't exactly huge, so we had to set a limit at some point. Next year we may end up renting a community center instead. (Oh wait...I am NOT planning to throw a shindig this big again until she turns 13...or 16...or... we'll just have to see.) Anyway, a special thanks to everyone who contributed by lending us party supplies and/or helping with all the setup. I couldn't have done it alone!


Carrie said...

It was such a great party!! Just reading what you did to plan it is exhausting me. I need to get on it!! I'm so sad, we left without a favor :(. Avery would've loved a maraca!

Alanna said...

Oh no, sorry she didn't get one! I was wondering why we had so many extras. I think they have all disappeared now, but if I happen to find one, I'll save it for her!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

It was such a great party!! You did such a good job, I was so impressed. Of course, I expected no less, you are amazing with your party planning skills!