Cinco de Mayo is always a cause for celebration at our house. It happens to be my fabulous little sister’s birthday so we have been known to break out the margaritas to toast her on May 5th each year. Also given my own personal affinity for the food and drink associated with the holiday, I’m on board with a fiesta regardless of the date. If you need a little inspiration for an easy fiesta-themed fete, scroll down for my most recent Cinco de Mayo display. I found the prettiest pastel paper picado banners to hang over the bar, and used a brightly colored striped towel for a tablecloth and some bold neon baskets for serving snacks. A few rustic wooden risers added some height to the scene, and I filled the table with colorful flowers to tie it all together. To plan your menu to go along with this fiesta check out the Sparkling Strawberry Basil Margarita I mixed up, add some Crispy Avocado Fries and Fire-Roasted Mexican Street Corn Bites for tasty appetizers, and cook up some Instant Pot Green Chili Tacos for an easy main-course! read more

There is no better day than Cinco de Mayo to add a little extra flair to your cocktail, am I right? Which is why I made some pinata-inspired drink markers for our margaritas this year. Here’s how you make them: first, trace the bottom of your margaritas glasses on a piece of card-stock and cut out the circle. Then cut into the center of the circle about halfway, and cut out a smaller circle a little bigger than the circumference of the glass stem. Using strips of colored tissue paper, use fringe scissors to cut fringe. Cover the card-stock circle with glue and then start to wrap the fringed tissue paper around the outside. Repeat and layer on each new color until you’ve covered the full circle, and tuck the ends of the inner layer underneath the center circle to finish. Then slip your little pinata-inspired drink marker on to the bottom of your margarita and get ready to fiesta (think about making them in different colors to help your party guests identify their drinks!).

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I have a couple of posts this upcoming week that cover one of my favorite party themes — fiesta! — just in time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. One thing is for sure, it’s not a fiesta until the margaritas are served. I’ve never met a margarita I haven’t liked, it’s one of my favorite drinks and I decided to mix up a batch with summery twist for this new recipe. This sparkling strawberry basil margarita starts with a homemade strawberry simple syrup for sweet berry flavors, and then gets combined with tart lime juice, tequila and muddled basil. To give it that sparkling touch (and in my opinion, a really refreshing feeling) I topped each glass off with a splash of Topo Chico with lime. If you can’t find Topo Chico another lime-flavored sparkling water will do; and feel free to scale this recipe up to make it in a pitcher for bigger batches — just wait to add the sparkling water until you’re ready to serve! Get the full recipe below: read more

I’m getting in the fiesta-spirit for Cinco de Mayo this weekend, because any excuse to pour a pitcher of margaritas is reason for celebration, right? Outside of this extra festive holiday, I think ‘fiesta’ is generally one of my favorite party themes. Brightly colored lapel picado banners,tissue paper fringe covered piñatas, and of course a Mexican-inspired menu are all key. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Cinco de Mayo party supplies to help get those fiesta inspiration juices flowing.  read more

Cinco de Mayo a is pretty big celebration in our family because it happens to be my little sister’s birthday. We call it Cinco de Mara (she’s really lucky her name works so well in that pun), and since she’s been old enough to drink margaritas we’ve been fiesta-ing like there’s no mañana on the 5th of May. It just so happens that margaritas are one of her favorite drinks, too – how perfect! In celebration prep for this festive fiesta of a holiday, I’ve been thinking about some spins on the classic margarita to add to my repertoire.  read more

I’ve so been busy writing about Cinco de Mayo celebrations this week that I’ve almost let a few last-minutes Mother’s Day DIYs slip by (Mom, I swear we love you more than margaritas!). I created my own mom-customized wrapping paper for Mother’s Day gifts. Start with a roll of white paper — try the craft store for ‘banner paper‘ or a shipping store for white packaging paper — and start scrolling out the word Mom in various sizes with a thick marker. The fun thing about this project is you can be really loose with it, it looks put together because the patterns repeat, but aren’t too perfect or precious (if you have kids give them a try at practicing their writing!). What worked best for me was using the king-size sharpie marker, and rotating the paper to get the writing at different angles. It can be totally customized — does your mom have a fun nickname, or do you kids call her variations of Grandma? Write those on too! When you’re done, wrap up the present and tie it with neon twine — I grab this hot pink twine at the hardware store (or purchase it on Amazon if you’re a prime-addict like me!). DSC_0007 read more

When I was visiting my family recently I told my mom I’d be in charge of the signature cocktail for a get-together she was hosting. The proximity to Cinco de Mayo left me no choice, I had to go with a margarita. My mom agreed, but noted that her friends may not be as adept at holding their tequila as I am (I’ll take that as a compliment!) so I decided to experiment with a sangrita recipe — margarita inspired with a sangria flair. I made this in a big batch so it was easy for guests to self-serve. Start with a clear pitcher and 4 limes quartered and squeezed in the bottom. Next I poured in about 2 cups of ice, 2-3 tbsp of sugar, 1 cup of tequila (or more, depending on taste!), and 2 bottles of Izze Sparkling Clementine. Stir it all up and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill and combine the flavors. When you’re ready to serve, pour a glass halfway full of the margarita mixture and top with a light, crisp rosé (try a sparkling rosé too!). A few festive straws are all you need to finish off the drink (PS: how cute is my mom’s Target bar cart?), and luckily between the two of us we have a life-time supply of those!
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We’re coming up on one of my favorite excuses to consume excessive amounts of margaritas and Mexican food, Cinco de Mayo! To get in the holiday spirit I decided to play around with some nacho recipes (It’s a tough job people, but someone has to do it!). I really like the idea of nachos being a full meal, because I usually feel just full enough after eating them that I don’t really want an entree (but then I’m like, did I really just eat a bowl of cheesy chips for dinner?). My solution: add the full meal to the bowl of chips! I stepped out to our new grill (my current favorite toy) and grilled up some skirt steak, corn, and baby peppers. All of that grilled flavor adds such a great element to the nachos, and you get your protein and veggies in!FSTG Cinco De Mayo Steak Nachos 1

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My little sister is born on Cinco De Mayo, so fiesta is a bit of an eternal theme for her birthday celebrations. I sadly can’t make her party this weekend so I decided to send a little fiesta in my place with some festive wrapping. I used fringe scissors, washi tape, and ribbons to give them an extra special treatment — and I think it’s official: I won’t be able to wrap a present without fringe ever again!

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