Buddies,  party party,  the sticks

Fiesta! Kittens! Bad News! Olé!


I have been trying to write about the little fiesta we had this weekend since it happened. But life has been driving me off the road like some kind of crazy testosterone-driven maniac with big tires and blinding high beams. I know, I need to stop complaining about that. It’s a good thing. But sometimes I miss being bored on long afternoons and writing posts about everything under the sun just for kicks.

The fiesta was wonderful. I’ve been wanting to have a summer party out here in the sticks since before I even moved in. I might live in a trailer in the middle of nowhere but it sits on a lot that is the perfect setting for an outdoor party. If only I could figure out a way to move this whole place to the beach.

There are covered patios on both sides and a backyard that seems to go on forever. It is hotter than heck in the daytime and sometimes you feel like your face is going to melt off but when the sun starts setting, it is glorious. Big skies, a soft breeze, my giant saguaro cactus majestically casting long shadows as we sip some sort of beverage and listen to mariachi music softly playing in the background…sometimes I feel like I’m in Mexico—in a good way.

I couldn’t wait to share summer in the sticks with my friends. Or maybe I just feel the neeeeeeeeed to have a party two times a year. It could be the latter.

Bethany and Elliora

Also, Bethany is in town and she didn’t seem to mind kicking off her visit with a meet-up with all her old friends.

señoritas pequeñas

It was so fun to have everybody back together again.


Add some new friends.

Chris and Wendy


And some really old friends (like way back from second-grade best friend kinda friends).


Some mustachioed friends.

fondling zuchinis

Some old friends fondling zucchinis from my garden. (Scandalous!)

Carrien's girl Mols



A whole passel of kids…

man in kilt SC

and some goofballs and you got a good time!

official bbq queen

Add some food,

carne asada and zuchini on the grill

the bar


sitting by the chips

And you’ve got a party!

My mom womanned the barbecue. We had carne asada street tacos, which are basically little tiny tacos that you can pop in your mouth five at a time. Well, maybe not five at a time but they were that good. I think from now on I’m going to order pizza or hire my mom to barbecue because the food went so much smoother than all the other parties I’ve ever planned. Remember the tiny cold mini-hamburgers at the princess party. Yeah, this was nothing like that.

there is a story behind this

What could top off a summer fiesta? A piñata of course? Shrek?, you’re thinking. Really? Is that the best you could do? Aren’t you artsy fartsy and into making your own piñatas or something crazy like that? Well, yes and no. I would have loved to make my own piñata but even I have limits and I reached them pretty much at eight am, the morning of the party. I did buy a super cute and cliché burro piñata at Target of all places but then my five-year-old daughter went and fell in love with the thing.

Maybe getting a cute burro in pastel colors was not such a good idea. She fell apart in a puddle of dramatic tears when all the kids started talking about how they were going to bash it to pieces to get the candy out. I tried to tell her to tough it out and made up all kinds of stories about piñata spirits being freed when they are broken by children but she was not buying it.


In the end I caved and had my mom pick up the ugliest piñata she could find at the local Mexican market. So Shrek it was. Apparently Bug has no problem beating Shrek to smithereens.

piñata head

free for all

Squee! Candy!


Besides the candy, we had paletas for desert. Those things are so delicious!

I like flan

And flan that my friend Jen made. Swoon! I’ve never tasted flan so good. No slimy egginess at all. I wish I had some right now.


There was even dancing.


pretty sunset

And a sunset as a grand finally. (photo taken by Bethany) It almost makes me want to live here forever…sigh. But not quite.

But that’s not all the news! Guess what happened on the morning of the party?!!

good mama

Aqui had her kittens! Five of them! How very festive of her, right? I was a bit worried that the crowds might make her nervous so I moved her to my back bathroom shower and she stayed there happy as a clam. She didn’t even try to move them. I think the cool shower floor was much nicer for her since it’s been so hot here lately. She’s still there five days later and she’s the best mama ever. I’m kind of surprised since she’s still almost a kitten herself but she is doing a great job. All the kittens are gray just like her and they are soooo cute! At first they looked like a bunch of drowned rats but now they are fluffing up and pulling on my heartstrings like nobody’s business.

fiesta kittens

So a few days later, when Bethany and the crew and I went to the paint-your-own pottery studio, I painted a plate in their honor. This is what it looks like un-fired. I can’t wait to see what it looks like fired. It’s kinda fun. I didn’t share it with you but I’ve painted plates for Bug for each of her birthday parties (starting at the rainbow-seed party) and now we almost have a whole table set of plates that commemorate all the parties we’ve had. It’s kind of silly but fun to talk about when we sit down for dinner.

That’s the news!

Actually I have one more piece of news. Bummer news, unfortunately. You know that cook-off I was supposed to be in at Blogher this weekend? Well, they sent over the contracts for me to sign this last weekend to be a Knorr spokesperson and it was not a good fit for me. I felt terrible turning it down but I just know if I had gone through with it, I would have resented that contract until it ended in January. So, I’m sorry. We are all super bummed but there will be no secret agent cooking at Blogher and no CC either. Though we did all pitch in money so she could come down to visit a bit with us and Bethany and then get her girls so she can take them back home for school.

I’m sure something else just as fun will come along for me. It always does. And somebody else is going to have an awesome last minute surprise when they get to take my place! I can’t wait to see who they pick!


  • Sarah

    The new banner, the fiesta plate and the tradition of party plates are all just awesome! It looks as though a fabulous time was had by all.

  • Cathy

    What a great fiesta! Your parties always look fab. Love the girls’ fiesta dresses and the fiesta kitties plate and that you create one for each party. Sorry you won’t be in the cook-off – you’d have rocked it! And glad you rescued the burro – too cute. Oh and love Tamie’s necklace!

  • Yara

    I’ve not purchased that cute little burro from Target for the same reason, my girls just fall in love with it.
    The little green alien I made for Kevin’s birthday, though… the one I made with my own two hands… that they had no problem beating the life out of.

  • Jenny

    Aw, it looks like you all had so much fun! We used to have backyard parties all the time, but life has gotten in the way this entire summer. Bummer indeed.

    And Bug looks so grown up! What a cutie.

  • Sabrina

    Those pics make my heart sing – sooo so cute!! Really glad you had an awesome party (btw. I’m one one of those at least two parties a year-people too, right now planning my own bday party) and I’m sure there will be an awesome possibility coming right your way to make up for the missed BlogHer cook out :D Great things happen to great people… That’s what makes me tick!

  • TexasLea

    Congrat’s on the birth of more cats that aren’t your cats!

    Your party looked awesome. All that food looks so yummy. I’m also jealous that you got to be outside during daylight hours. It is almost midnight now where I am in Texas and as I type this the thermomoter on my porch is still showing 96 degrees. It was 110 today for the high. It is crazy hot here.

    I hope you have a great time at Blogher! Take lots of pictures and be sure to tell us who gets to cook for Knorr.

  • BeachMama

    What a wonderful Fiesta!! Glad you did what was right for you and turned down the Knorr cook off.
    And soooo happy to get the chance to hang out with you in SD, even more happy that I got to meet your Mom and Dad (and CC and the kids) just before I left. I feel so Blessed to have run into them!

  • Kuky

    I love that you’ve painted a plate every year for Bug’s birthday. Wish we did something like that. As it is we only have one plate that is with me pregnant with Nathan. Whenever we use it Isabelle is perturbed that we don’t have one with him on it.

  • gingermog

    Tsk to me, for not commenting earlier this this. Wow you sound so busy recently. Your party looked good, I love Pinatas. Although they are rare to buy in shops here, so we we end up making our own which are always too tough to break. Its been a weird, long week, what with the riots in London and other cities. Calmer now but a lot of clearing up and sorting out our society. I hope all is well with you xxx

  • Miss Virginia

    WOW…SAJ wins again! You are the best party planner EVER. I am hosting a dinner for my book club next week and I want to have a Summer Fiesta theme, too…shrimp tacos, rice and beans and I would love to know your recipe for the margaritas…they look so delicious! Any chance you would share? Also…how did the bathroom floor turn out after the gloss finish?