8 In Nikki Lynn Design - The Midwest Life - Cook, Craft, Grow & Travel./ Party Planning

40th Birthday Mexican Fiesta

40th Birthday Mexican Fiesta

Ok, it is official I turned 40 this year. To celebrate we invited family and friends and served up a Mexican Fiesta.  Here is the invite I designed and a little of what we did to celebrate.

Like the style? Want to play around with creating your own? I set up a template for you to play around with here. Hit the customize button to the right to change the text.

Cupcakes Are Easy

I didn’t want a birthday cake; instead, I decided to make my own cupcakes. Learning the swirl technique for decorating them was on my bucket list. The first 12 were a little difficult after that, it was smooth sailing.

I used Wilton 12-Piece Cupcake Decorating Set (Amazon link) that was the key to creating the professional look. Start at the outside edge and spiral your way inside. Ending in the center.


Cupcakes for my 40th Birthday Mexican Fiesta

Waited For Sale on Cake Mix & Frosting

To make your life extremely easy, use box cupcake mixes and frosting in a tub.  The job is simple and you will save a ton of money. I made 75 cupcakes for under $15.00.  Just wait for sales on frosting and mixes.  Stock up when you find the deals. 

A Nacho and Taco Bar Was My Food Calling:

Sticking with the Mexican theme I chose to create a taco and nacho bar. It went over extremely well. Prep work was easy. So was the clean up.

Add in some chips and salsa, queso and extra finger food snacks like empanadas and poppers and the food is taken care of.

Since it was my Birthday, I wasn’t messing around with too much in the way of hosting. My husband was hosting, but I wanted to make things simple for him.  This was an easy fix.


A Nacho and Taco Bar Was My Food Calling: Sticking with the Mexican theme I chose to create a taco and nacho bar. It went over extremely well. Prep work was easy. So was the clean up.

How Much Food To Make?

The most common question I get is how do you always know how much food to make?  I figured to make 50 servings of nachos, buy at least 8 pounds of ground beef.  That is if everyone has one serving of meat on top.  What did I buy?  I figured 50-60 guests.  I fried up 15 pounds.  Thinking, anything remaining meat could be frozen.  I was left with about a cup of meat.

I order 3 Nacho Cheese Sauce tubs off Amazon, my husband thought I was nuts when I had them delivered.  We were left with only about a cup out of those bad boys.

Then just added in all the additional nacho topping and items to make tacos I could think of.

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

A few weeks before my birthday my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday. That was easy! I wanted a margarita machine. Not just any ole’ blender. So, we ventured out to take a look at what was out on the market. Meet my birthday present.

By the way, excuse the blurry pictures.  We were taste testing drinks and rating the drink choices as to what we felt we wanted to share at the party. We started days before the party and let’s say I had a little too much taste testing time under the belt.


The Margaritaville maker was fun to play around with before the party.


The Margaritaville maker was fun to play around with before the party.

Strawberry Margarita


The Drink Recipes

We perfected a combination of 5 frozen drinks. Blue Hawaiian, Strawberry Shortcake, Regular Margarita, Strawberry Margarita (with real berries) and a Hawaiian Margarita. All of which received excellent reviews.

Each drink below serves one person.  We filled the ice hopper on top of the machine and added the ingredients to the blender portion of the Margarita maker. Our upright freezer was in the room behind them, getting ice from the 7 – 10 pound bags was easy.  Be sure you count in ice that will melt before use….

I typed up the recipes and laminated them to place next to the margarita machine.  Half the fun for the guests was making drinks. The other half was when my husband played bartender, he was fabulous! 

Strawberry Shortcake:
1 oz birthday cake vodka
3 strawberries
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of sugar

Blue Hawaiian:
3/4 oz of white rum
2 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz blue curacao
3/4 oz creme de coconut

Blue Moon Margarita:
1 oz Tequlia
1/2 oz pineapple juice
3.5 oz of margarita mix


Traditional Margarita:
1 oz Tequila
1/4 oz triple sec
1 oz margarita mix
3 whole, fresh strawberries (If they wanted a strawberry one)

Hawaiian Margarita:
1-1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
2 large fresh whole strawberries
2 oz pineapple
dash of sour

AND, I always include at least one drink that doesn’t include alcohol when planning speciality drinks.  I can’t count the number of times I either didn’t want to drink, or couldn’t because I had to travel.  You want all your guests to enjoy themselves. Always remember to have an option for non-alcoholic, please?

Frozen Lemonade (Non-alcoholic)
1 cup lemonade
2 strawberries if desired


Cheers to you – holding my Blue Hawaiian!

Blue Hawaiian


The Outside Bar:

Outside, we set up a self-serve bar that greeted our guests and explained each drink that could be made indoors and out. All kinds of drink recipes lined the garage walls. They could try different drinks at each station that they maybe hadn’t tried before.

Otherwise, go inside and play with specialty drinks.  


Outside we set up a self-serve bar that greeted our guests and explained each drink that could be made indoors and out.

Activities included passing around mustaches and sombreros for pictures, a piñata and a bonfire.


One of my buddies and myself.


Simple!  Just How I Like Things!

It was loads of fun and I was thankful for each and every one of the 40 plus (lost count – Margaritas had nothing to do with my counting abilities. Promise 🙂 people that took time out of their lives to spend the entire night with me. I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Guests took the invite seriously the whole, fiesta until you need a siesta! Didn’t know that a bunch of 40 & 50 year olds could still stay up past 2am 🙂 

Next year’s 20th anniversary plans are already in the works. I find it comical that AT least one guest asks when our next party is. I giggle inside because I know they enjoyed themselves.

Facebook Comments


  • Valarie Calhoun
    June 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    It has been extremely enjoyable reading through this page. We have collect ample ideas regarding for our upcoming party. Thank You!

  • Jacquelyn Harding
    August 18, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Appreciated this post. I used this theme and some of your ideas to put together a party for my husband. The invites you created for us were awesome. Thank You! Thank You!

  • Mai Hancock
    August 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Oh, I am dreading turning 40 this year. Just looking at your pictures and ideas puts me at ease. Age is just a number right? Please tell me this is true.

    • Nikki
      September 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM


      It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Remember now, I have 3 months under my belt and life after 40 seems to be more laid back. Things that once bothered me don’t anymore. Your only as old as you think you are. For me, nothing has really changed. Except there is one huge change that I have noticed, the older I get the quicker the days, months and years go by. Maybe that is why I state things are more laid back. I am taking the time to enjoy life more because I think it is passing quicker? Don’t dread it, embrace it!

  • Audry Dulcie
    August 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for or within my interests..
    Just had to say keep them coming. Entertaining is my specialty. Again, thank you and awesome blog!

  • Mack Hadley
    August 27, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    I pinned this on Pinterest. I will be using some ideas for my party.

  • Lauren Crenshaw
    September 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    nice article. Must be bookmarked:)

  • Kristy Brewer
    September 14, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I just love to read through your entertaining and party planning postings. I have pulled idea after idea from them. You have creative content and I like that I can find the entire plan right on one page. I would enjoy additional postings on entertaining guests. Besides the full postings I really enjoy your jello shooters recipe and bucket drinks off YouTube. Thanks!!

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