First and foremost, almost all of these photos were taken by my wonderfully talented mom/AJ's Mimi. We are so lucky to have her at our disposal; thank you mom!
My sweet baby turned one in March; it seemed like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital. It's incredibly cliche but my heart is so full with this little muffin in my life. She is my daily sidekick and I so look forward to days spent with her.
The invitations and thank you postcards came from Minted; we just customized a save-the-date invite from a papel picado wedding suite and then used a photo I took for the back (the same as the first photo on this post).
As you can tell by our outfits we went with a fiesta theme! As Texas ex-pats I thought it was only fitting to bring a bit of our background to the midwest. We had it at our neighborhood's clubhouse and it worked out to be the perfect venue. At the entrance I made the below sign with my limited chalkboard skills!
You had to go down a set of stairs to get to our party area so I wanted to dress up the stair rail and give it a bit of definition. I made fringed garland of sorts with streamers and then just added paper flowers at the top and bottom pillars.
I used the same fringed garland and flowers to make AJ's highchair a bit more festive as well.
AJ's cake was vegan as she still has a dairy sensitivity. My sister found a recipe for a "crazy cake" online from a friend and as much as I love butter I made her frosting as a traditional American Buttercream (or grease cream as one of my favorite CIA Chef's called it...CIA friends...5 points if you can name that Chef!) with Earth Balance Vegan Butter instead....and it wasn't half bad I must say.
I made the flower centerpieces using paper flowers from La Mariposa in Dallas. I put them in simple ball jars filled with crepe paper (I have ball jars in a dozen sizes and I use them for pretty much every centerpiece I make; I know that it's overused, but it's easy and cheap!)
The little donkey pinatas were a how-to I found on pinterest (look at my board for AJ's Party and you'll find the link). I just drew a donkey freeform and went from the photos I saw online; it was easy but a bit time consuming.
The flags and custom maracas came from Vintage Babydoll on Etsy; oh how I love Etsy!!! They were fantastic to work with; fast and super easy to order.
For the food we kept it simple and had Chipotle cater and then did a side nacho/queso bar, because let's be honest...we are cheese people!
The cake I made for the big people was white cake with white frosting; it sounds a bit simple for a trained pastry chef...and it is...but it is my sister and my childhood favorite so it's a bit of a family tradition.
I am a terrible procrastinator so I didn't start the cake until Friday night before the party on Saturday. Having all of the family in town and still working on last minute prep meant that my cake was a bit more simple than I had intended it to be. As a perfectionist the slight lean and uneven piping drive me nuts, but as I was piping this at 4am it really didn't matter any more!
The 1 topper was meant to mimic the 1 pinata and little flowers are gum paste intending to mimic the teresita paper flowers...the very basic variety. I love making sugar flowers but I just wasn't able to give them the time needed to give them the real detail that I appreciate. Next year I'll try for better time management!
Behind the cake are three pinatas O N E...my very patient husband helped to construct, paint and decorate these lovelies.
For the favors we had custom maracas (which were a HUGE hit with all of the kids), custom crayons and Spanish coloring books (an attempt to add a bit of learning in with the fun!) Oh, and Mexican organic lollipops, because the pinatas were empty so we needed some candy somewhere!
Three generations of ladies; my momma, lovely sister, my muffin and me!
I cannot thank my wonderfully talented mom, my patient sister and my creative & handy husband enough for all of their hard work helping me construct decorations and execute my OCD vision for this party. Also, my sweet in-laws, sister and brother-in-law for helping with set-up and break down and general moving of all things.
Thank you guys!!!!!!