Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fiesta: Easy Centerpiece Ideas

Ryan and I took a quick shopping trip to Party City and Target for some fiesta party decor to incorporate into our plan and, particularly the centerpieces.  If you're looking for an easy way to create the perfect fiesta centerpieces, here are a few tips to be sure your arrangements are unique, fabulous and affordable: 

1.  Sombreros

Seriously, what's a fiesta without sombreros?  

We purchased a large colorful sombrero and placed small arrangements on top.  We also purchased paper sombrero wall decor for $.29/each from Party City and glued them to dowels to add height.  We also considered using some of the mini sombreros in the centerpieces but it was windy and they wouldn't stay put.

2.  Canned Goods

I purchased several cans of jalapenos and enchilada sauce on clearance for well under $1.

The cans made the perfect containers for floral arrangements, straws, and buffet supplies.  They gave the casual atmosphere and polished and theme-appropriate container that you can keep and use in future products or recycle; one-time or long-term use without the worry of breaking the bank?  Sounds perfect to me!

3.  Live plants!

A healthy mix of common Mexican flowers and plants looked great throughout the space. 

You can purchase fresh cut flowers from your local grocery in theme-coordinating colors, cacti from your local garden center, or any of the following Mexican flowers that have significance to the culture:

- Dahlias: the national flower since 1963
- Marigold:  the flower used to decorate tombs of the Aztecs
- Calla Lillies: became popular after Diego Rivera featured them in paintings
- Roses:  the blooms play a significant role in the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe

How cool would pepper plants be placed in a jalapeno can?  OMG!  That would be awesome!

4.  Cultural references

While all of the decor elements we've covered are nods to Mexican culture, you can bring it all together by using references to some of the following things:

- Maracas
- Clay pots
- Mexican blankets
- Pinatas and more!

Visit your local thrift in search of small pieces that tie in with the theme for  discounted price!  Ryan used party streamers to create the fringe embellishments on the jars.  She even placed maracas into some of the potted plants.

These gender reveal's centerpieces were a hit and guests were happy to take them home!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Fiesta: Mexican Paper Flowers

You probably didn't realize all of these tissue paper poms you've been seeing all over blogland practically originated in Mexico.

Yep, those poms you've seen hanging over dessert tables and used as room decor have been a staple in Mexican culture for years!

That is one of the images I sent to Amalia as inspiration for one of the feature decor elements... I wanted to frame the cake with paper flowers.  UGH, can we just take a moment for the drama and the colors and the texture of the paper flowers?


Don't they resemble the beautiful folklore dresses of those Mexican dancers?  Mexico is known for its art - sugar skulls, pottery, jewelry, baskets, paintings, dolls, embroidery, and more - it's truly a crafter's paradise!  Paper flowers are beautiful and I knew they'd really help to bring the theme together.

Can I share some quick updates with you, my beloved Islander?  I had a lot going on during this time.  I had a major plumbing issue, I was in a bad car accident and I was in the process of moving... as in out of our house and into another.  I know.  No tears. No drama.  Just take the update and move on with me.  Like, now.

So, with everything, I couldn't give this party the handmade elements I wanted to.  I had to make store bought seem couture.  I bought two items from Oriental Trading and both of the items incorporated Mexican paper flowers!

1. This door frame set of flowers was awesome and came in three pieces - one for the sides and one for the top of a door frame.

The park was windy on the day of our event so I wound up hanging the top (and largest) piece over the cake.  I used one of the side pieces over the main entrance and removed flowers from the remaining piece to scatter the individual paper flowers throughout the space. 

2. The other item I ordered was the adorable Mexican flower straws.  They arrived ready to assemble and added an element of fun and whimsy to the drink station!

Check out our fabulous pieces in action at the event!

Can you see the small paper flower under the cake stand?  It was a great touch!

I found canned goods in the Mexican food aisle of my local grocery store and used them to hold centerpieces and other buffet items.

Don't the straws look great paired with the yummy Mexican sodas? 

If you're looking for fabulous and affordable fiesta decor, consider incorporating the paper flowers and be sure to check out Oriental Trading's selection; it's great!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

DIY - Piñata Stick Cupcake Toppers

The two most recent Wordless Wednesday posts have been related to the Fiesta Gender Reveal so, let's get to the updates!  AAAAHH!!!! I can't wait to share this party with you... NOT because there was an extensive amount of DIY decor but because it was equally as effortless as it was fabulous!  Today, we're taking a classic party element and incorporating it... on a mini scale because everything is cuter when it's tiny... oh, and without glue!  Yes, without glue, as in 'you don't have to make a huge mess to have an impact.'  Say whaaaaat?

I know. You're welcome.

Yesterday, we talked about the theme and how, when I learned Amalia and Jon were expecting, I thought a fiesta theme would be the perfect nod to Amalia's Mexican heritage.  We will talk about the plans and how it all came together but everybody knows, when you're planning a fiesta, some things you have to include are:

- Pata
- Bright colors
- Sombreros
- Pata
- Pata

Did I mention the pata?  Well, a fiesta isn't complete without a reference to OR an actual pata.  While shopping at Party City with Ryan (my sis-in-law and paternal auntie-to-be), we picked up rainbow party streamer to use as one of the unifying party elements.  Crepe paper is the typical material used to make a pata.  Ryan used the streamers in the centerpieces and I used the material to make easy, no-glue cupcake toppers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fiesta: A Non-Traditional Gender Reveal

I arrived for church service and took a seat in front of Amalia who was-- wait.  Did she just pull out a cracker?  Wait.  Why would she do that?  Is she sick? Is she hungry?  Is she -- I guess my frequent glances and squinting eyes were her perfect segue to hug and whisper, "I'm pregnant" into my ear.




You know.  You know.

News like this is exciting and awesome and I can't ever contain myself!  Yet, here I was super excited and NOT able to holler scream jump up and down show it!  I had to hold it.  My eyes filled with tears, my mouth became super dry but... I held it.  It was torture but after church, we caught up on life.  How mine was upside down and hers was downside up.  We talked for over an hour... in the sanctuary... until the lights were turned off on us.  It was refreshing and exciting.  There were tears.  There were belly laughs.  There were all the feels... like, all of them.  She mentioned the baby shower and her excitement to announce the gender when she found out in about 5-7 weeks.

Afterward, when I was on my way home, it hit me!  A traditional gender reveal would not be right for Jon and Amalia.  Amalia has a huge family in Texas.  She, her mom, and her brother are all the family she has locally... that is, besides her in-laws and us, of course.  Wait, have I mentioned the relation? Well, Amalia is married to Jon who is my sister-in-law's brother.  I've mentioned it before but we attend the same church and share a family lunch most Sundays.  It's become our family's tradition.  We've all become like family.  For example, Munchface knows Amalia and Jon as her auntie and uncle, Amalia and Jon call my parents Mom and Pops.  We spend holidays together and then, it was official.  There was the glue, MaseFace.

We all share family ties to that sweet baby, my beloved nephew... which *officially* makes us all family.  Some blood.  Some chosen.  Some inherited.  All loved.  My sister-cousin-friend-in-law is having a baby.  God decided it was time and He put His plan in motion.  We've discussed how gender reveals are all the rage in this post.

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