Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all! Kelly and I celebrated last weekend (a bit early, but for a good cause) to bring you our second installment of Any Excuse to Party. Did you miss last month’s? Good thing you can see it here!
Any Excuse to Party: Cinco de Mayo
April’s was a doozy – such a colorful classic birthday-inspired party that I was almost nervous about May’s. Keyword: Almost. Kelly’s styling skills are always on point – I obviously had nothing to worry about. And I must say, May’s is pretty stinkin’ awesome.
Well, partially because we’re giving you everything you need for a last-minute Cinco de Mayo party, but also because it was all delicious/so fun! We’ve got your snack (ahem..Mexican bruschetta), your easy but adorable DIY, your tropical cocktail, and homemade decor!
Decor: Bright, bold colors
Kelly here- Let’s be real, nothing says Cinco de Mayo like pops of bright, bold color. As true as that is, though, it’s important not to overdo it. I recommend sticking with a general color scheme to keep things classy, but still fun, of course! In this case, we went with a warm color palette including reds, pinks, yellow, and oranges. Think lots of warm sunshine. The best part about using bold colors is that a little goes a long way. Here are our tips for making your party pop!
- Make one bold statement. These giant tissue paper flowers were ridiculously easy to make, and they certainly stand out! We love the way they took our party decor to the next level while keeping with the theme.
- Let your elements be your guide. A Cinco de Mayo theme obviously calls for cacti, so we selected our decor around our prickly friends and used lots of neutrals, like terra cotta to let the green do the talking and make it pop. Adding a couple of pretty pink peonies scattered around our decor looks ah-mazing against the green, and they smelled great, too! Bonus!
- Appeal to all senses. One of my favorite parts about any truly killer event is that it tickles every sense – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. And isn’t that what makes Cinco de Mayo so exciting? To leave your guests in awe of your hosting skills, be sure to address each and every one of their senses. We used pops our pops of color to appeal to sight, those pink peony florals smelled fantastic, the food was sweet and savory – all of our favorite things, we don’t recommend touching the cacti but you get the point, and of course, what’s a Cindo de Mayo party without some festive music (you can’t hear it in the photos, but trust us on this one)?!
Eat: Mexican Bruschetta
Kelly and I were brainstorming what we could do for Cinco de Mayo that would be tasty, colorful, and easy to make. We went back and forth with sweets for a while, then we landed on the two classics – salsa and guacamole! We decided to switch it up, aka add more carbs, and here we have, Mexican bruschetta. I used my family’s salsa recipe and placed it on a toasted baguette for ultimate deliciousness.
What you’ll need:
- Store-bought baguette (not trying to get crazy here, okay?)
- 2 tomatoes on the vine, halved
- 3 roma tomatoes, halved
- Half of a red onion
- 3/4 cup of cilantro
- 1 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin
- Juice from one lime
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Slice up baguette into 1″ thick pieces.
Place on baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, but keep an eye on them!
Meanwhile, grab your food processor and start adding tomatoes and onion. Pulse to combine, continue adding tomatoes, cilantro, and onion. Add in seasonings and fresh lime juice. Taste and add more salt, etc. as needed.
Let your bread cool a bit.
Top with heaping spoonfuls of salsa.
Eat: Pineapple Guacamole
I can’t get over this tropical pineapple guacamole. It’s been a go-to for us here at home, though I’ve been surprised lately to find not many of my friends have had it! Guacamole on its own is obviously delicious, but this sweet pineapple makes it even better. Plus, it’s served in a pineapple bowl so basically Cinco de Mayo goals, right?
What you’ll need:
- One ripe pineapple
- 3 avocados
- 1/4 of a red onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup pineapple (fresh or canned, either works!)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
For the pineapple bowl
- Cut top 1/3 of pineapple off and scoop out the pineapple inside to create a hollow bowl. I found it’s easier to use a knife to loosen up the edges and isolate the core. You can use the knife to slice through the pineapple and create smaller pieces to scoop out.
- Drain upside down to get as much liquid out as possible.
For the tropical pineapple guacamole
- Dice red onion and squeeze a bit of lime juice to flavor it up. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Dice cilantro and add to mixture.
- Add pineapple, seasonings, lime juice, and stir.
- Cut avocados in half and create a criss-cross pattern while still in shell – this will make it easier to scoop out.
- Scoop avocado into bowl and begin stirring and mashing with a fork.
- Once you have the guacamole at the texture you’d like, start scooping it into your pineapple bowl.
- Top with fresh lime, cilantro, and some more pineapple for garnish.
DIY: Hand-Painted Coasters for Under $10
- 4 Terra Cotta saucers (4″ should do the trick)
- Paint (I used Martha Stewart Satin craft paint in my favorite yellow, blue, green, and red hues, plus one light grey paint and one black paint)
- Foam paint brushes
- Painters tape (I recommend a somewhat translucent white tape so that you can see beneath it when creating your pattern)
- The easiest way to paint is layer by layer. Tape off one large rectangle on the base of your saucers. Paint the light grey color within the rectangle. Let dry, and remove tape.
- Add two thin stripes of grey paint parallel to and equidistant from the rectangle you created.
- Repeat steps one and two with your colored paint on top of the grey paint, using a smaller rectangle.
- Repeat steps one and two with your black paint on top of the colored paint, using an even smaller rectangle.
- Remember – practice makes perfect! Try testing your Mexican blanket pattern on a piece of paper or cardboard before applying to your terra cotta.
Drink: Tropical Coconut Margarita
This tropical coconut margarita is PERFECT for Cinco de Mayo. And it was so so easy to whip up! I love a good tropical margarita on any old day, but this one is especially perfect for my favorite “holiday” on May 5.
What you’ll need:
- 4 oz. Coconut milk
- 2 oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. Tequila
- 1 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
- 1 oz. Simple syrup
- One bunch fresh mint
- Coconut shavings or shredded coconut
- Edible flowers for garnishing
- Muddle fresh mint in bottom of shaker with simple syrup, lime juice, Cointreau (or triple-sec).
- Add tequila, coconut milk, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
- Pour coconut shavings/shredded coconut on a plate.
- Take a lime wedge and wet the rim of your glasses, then dip in coconut.
- Fill glasses with ice and pour over shaken mixture.
- Garnish with additional coconut shavings and edible flowers.
One quick note – please do your research on edible flowers first! Not all flowers are edible, and some can actually make you quite sick. If you’re looking for a good list, here’s one to check out.
Flora: Pink peonies and Cacti
Kelly again! – Cacti are having a major moment right now, so we couldn’t resist rounding up all of our prickliest plants to join in on the fun. If you don’t already have a cacti garden taking over your home, we recommend picking up a few plants in a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures to keep things interesting! Boston-based like we are? Check out Niche to make all of your cacti dreams come true. The great thing about cacti is that they make a statement all on their own, but we couldn’t resist popping a few bright pink peonies into the picture for some added fun!
Now that you’ve got everything you need to throw your own little Cinco de Mayo fête, what do you have in store?! Whipping up a quick batch of (delicious) guac? Making some fun DIY coasters for yourself or as guests? Share your plans with us here and on Instagram with #anyexcusetoparty!