Mexican Fiesta Dinner Party

I spend too much money on parties…

…so the stud of the house tells me.

Since I only have parties every once-in-awhile, I honestly think nothing of dropping a few hundo’s to make it “real nice” as Eddy Griswold would say.  You may have recalled me brainstorming my mom’s birthday party at my house over here.  The stud wanted me to keep it around $60.  Yikes! Well, I took that as a challenge, and not only do I love a good challenge, I embrace them and must conquer them.  So, prior to this weekend, I would’ve said that it would be nearly impossible to host a party of 12 people (food AND decor) on a budget of $60, but not only did I accomplish this, I actually did so in under $50 (Booya!) with plenty of delicious, homemade dishes as well as all on-hand, homemade decor, and I will tell you how I did it. Yahoo!!

14 lemons and limes = $4.00 = super cheap centerpiece (I used the extra limes for homemade salsa, too.  That’s what we call killing two birds with one stone.  Yahoo!)  Throw a little water in the cylinder add a floating candle and perfecto!

I made a table just for the kiddos…gumballs and all!

Details… (double click to enlarge)

Okay, so let’s start with decor.  I really, really wanted burlap (and a sombrero) somehow, someway, but since my shopping wings were clipped via the above referenced stud-budget, I knew that I needed every cent of my budget for the food.  This is where forced creativity comes in handy.  After I got some great feedback last week, I chose to make the tissue paper pom poms/flowers that I saw here, and blogged about back here (I’ve been dreaming about them for a while now).  I had the tissue paper on hand, and, although, I didn’t have floral wire on hand like Martha Stewart recommends, I improvised and used pipe cleaners.  Perfect!  I made mini-trees from the two large pom poms with wooden rods that I had on hand, and I wrapped them in green paper and green pipe cleaners with added, glittered green leaves.  I used empty Frank’s Hot Sauce bottles, which I think are way cool and embellished them with tissue paper and stick-on crafter’s jewels.  Back to the tissue flowers…I was totally in the zone making them that I just went a bit nutso and ended up creating napkin holders, too.  Again, forced creativity.

I added gumballs to the tablescape to add color and a touch of fun.  Not that I actually expected the adults to chew them (shhh…I chewed all of my gumballs…and choked on one the night before while I was making flower pom poms).  This must be what happens when one is “in the zone”.  Anyhoo, this may be weird, but I was dying to use these gigantic wine glasses that my husband bought for me…and I used them for water.  Lame, I know, but at least I got to use them!  What else??  Hmm…oh, I know.  Okay, I bought these stylish placemats on clearance from Target about a year ago, and I had never used them.  Once again, perfecto!  Also, I used my everyday white square plates with round lime green, metallic chargers.  I didn’t really hesitate to make that call because I thought it would work with the theme.  Finally, I had purcashed the linen napkins at World Market on clearance last year when they were closing their Minnesota stores.  Oh, how I miss you, World Market!!

For the food, I’m just going to tell you what I made for the sake of not making this post any longer than it already is.  However, if you’re interested in getting any of the recipes (I’ve linked in a couple of recipes), just shoot me an email, and I’ll gladly send them to you.  I’ll even give you “The List” as referenced here.  Everything, I made was from scratch, so it’s a bit time consuming, but I assure you, it was well worth it!

How did I save money on the grocery bill?  Here it is…Aldi, a calculator, and sticking to a very specific grocery list.  I used to be scared of Aldi because I thought cheap groceries = bad food.  Not so.  Not so, at all!  Actually, their produce is excellent, as are their dairy products and such.  Now to the menu…


Chicken Enchiladas

Beef Tacos

Sweet Corn Cakes AMAZING (with homemade sweet corn on the cob – delicious!)

Mango Black Bean Salsa (yum!!) – Homemade by the stud!

Mexican Rice (okay, so this was the only thing that wasn’t homemade)

Chips, of course!

My mom brought her incredible homemade pies: banana cream, just cream, apple, and cherry pies

(I know, I know, it’s her birthday, but she insisted.  Really.)

My sister-in-law Steph brought some delicious “cowboy cavier” and chips.

We just had water and sodas to drink.

I apologize that I don’t have any pictures of the food for my foodie friends.  Once I start cooking, I get so focused that everything else kind of goes to the waste side…ie. my camera, but I assure you it was lovely and delicious!

How did it go, you ask?  Well, my mom said it was her best birthday party ever, which makes me thrilled!  After all, this was all for her, so Happy Birthday, Mom, and I love you!

And to my friend, Heather, thanks for praying with me and praying over my insanely busy schedule.  Success is always ours to claim with the Lord behind the wheel, and this one was definitely a success!


Pssssssst……Don’t forget to enter the placecard giveaway from yesterday’s post.  Leave a comment here to enter.

“Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.”  -Little Women


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