I've been putting off writing this post because I get so gosh darn emotional when I think about the past year. What a wild year it has been! When I found out that we were expecting twins, I was completely terrified, yet totally excited. How in the world were they going to fit into our family, and how in the world was I going to manage four kids under five?! I won't lie and say it was a totally seamless transition, they were the perfect babies, Caroline and Smith were the perfect toddlers, and my hair looked awesome every day. The truth is, at times it was really hard. There were definitely days where I took things hour by hour. There were days that someone was crying at all times (one of those someones may have been me, ha). But through it all, I tried really hard to savor every single minute with those sweet baby boys. Because I knew from experience how fleeting those minutes are.
From the moment they were born, Henry and Tucker have been inseparable. In the early days, they cuddled up together in their crib, arms intertwined and sleeping nose-to-nose; and now they crawl around the house together, laughing, babbling, and playing ball with each other. They are just so much fun these days, and I know it will just keep getting better.
So as their first birthday rolled around, we knew we wanted to have a big party to celebrate the milestone. I of course agonized over the theme - or whether to even have a theme. In the end, our love for Mexican food won out, and we threw a big fiesta! Since everyone jokes that first birthday parties are for the parents anyway, we just threw the party we wanted! And let me tell you - this party was fun for all ages - babies, kids, and adults alike all had a blast.
I wanted a colorful, fun party, so I went with bright shades of yellow, green, blue, and orange. And because chalkboards are so fun and trendy these days, I incorporated those into the decor as well.
Since the party was in the afternoon, I didn't need to serve a whole meal, but I wanted some substantial snacks. The menu was as follows:
- Three types of salsa: rustic roasted salsa, roasted tomatillo salsa, and corn salsa.
- Baked Chicken Taquitos (a quadruple batch, and they were demolished!)
- Baked Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip served in the crockpot
- Fruit salad
- Guacamole bar - individual cups of guacamole, with an array of toppings and mix-ins. This was a huge hit!
We also had some"kid" snacks out for the really littles ones - applesauce pouches, puffs, and cheddar bunnies are always a hit with Smith and the twins.
Everyone loved customizing their guacamole - my favorite combination was bacon, grilled pineapple, and fresh cilantro.
I served the tortilla chips in brown lunch bags, and it made it so easy to just grab your chips and be on your way (plus no worries about little hands spreading germs to everyone by reaching into a community bowl!).
No fiesta is complete without margaritas, and the margarita station was a huge hit! I made a HUGE batch of homemade margaritas, and served them in mason jars with brightly colored straws. My drink dispenser has a weird hollow stand, so to dress it up, I just stuffed it with some bright tissue paper. It might seem inappropriate to serve alcohol at a first birthday party, but Joey and I joked that we deserved some margaritas for making it through the year, ha! No worries, we also served bottled water, lemonade, and Corona for those who don't drink tequila :)
I wanted a fun background for the twins' highchairs, so I covered some letters in multi-colored yarn to spell "uno." This was a really easy craft, and one I did while watching Top Chef one night. I also made tissue paper banners for a few areas, and these were super easy as well. Please don't mind my window - I promise it's not dirty - it rained the day of the party!
My favorite element however, was the background behind the food table. I bought a roll of black paper, and Joey drew "Uno" in similar script to the invite, then I taped up some paper medallions for pops of color. I attached another tissue paper banner to the tablecloth, then used a piñata for the centerpiece. The cupcake stands were also DIY, using this tutorial, and orange crepe paper that I cut into fringe.
Finally, we blew up tons of brightly colored balloons, which Smith promptly got a hold of and released to the top of our 2-story foyer....
Since there were close to two dozen kids in attendance, we wanted to have plenty for the little ones to do to keep them happy and busy. I ordered wooden maracas, then broke out our markers and extensive sticker collection. The kids loved decorating the maracas, and it made for a fun favor to take home as well. I also taped down brown paper to the table, so that my kitchen table didn't end up covered in marker and frosting ... bonus that it provided more places for the kids to color!
Remember the piñata from the food table? Well it was stuffed with candy. And while we didn't take any pictures, after the cake, we broke it open. Obviously the kids loved that as well :)
Speaking of cake, I'm no cake decorator, so I just frosted their smash cakes and covered up the imperfections with sprinkles. They donned their sombreros, we sang happy birthday, then it was time to eat!
Tucker and Henry love to eat, so they unsurprisingly dug right into their cakes as well. I'm pretty sure they sat there eating cake for close to an hour. And they even snuck bites of each other's cake, ha!
The Mexican-themed first birthday party was a blast, and we were so happy that so many of our friends and family could be there to celebrate with us. Henry and Tucker had a great time, and it was such a fun party to plan. Here's to another year of health and happiness!
Invitations: Endash Designs (etsy shop)
Paper Medallions and paper serving cups for guacamole and salsa: TomKat Studios
Rubber Ducks and Maracas: Oriental Trading Company
Food Tents and Guacomole Menu: My fabulous friend Courtney! (go bug her to start an Etsy shop!)
Inspiration for "Party Like There's No Mañana:" Little Baby Garvin