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Planning a tween party these days can be a bit intimidating. Tween girls are too old for princess themes, and karaoke or dance themes can easily fall flat. Yet, they are still at an age where they want a festive celebration. So for my daughter’s twelfth birthday, I decided to go with a dinner and dessert plan and it was surprisingly easy to pull together!

The setup.

Here’s the setup, minus the pink lemonade which was chilling.

Because she loves Mexican food and fondant icing, I went with a girlie fiesta theme which included both. Here’s how it came together, and step-by-step instructions of what to do to host your own tween fling!

Step 1: Take stock of what you already have.

I used my own white serving dishes (cb2), rattan chargers (World Market) and glass carafes (World Market). These items are all inexpensive and have come in super handy over the years.

White dishes are so versatile.

White dishes are so versatile.


I also have an assortment of glass wares.

I have an assortment of glass wares.

Step 2: Choose your color scheme.

I went with pink and white and threw in just a touch of green. Choose a few wow pieces like, the paper straws in the little milk jars and cupcake wrappers with mustache toppers pictured below, to give the party a bit of polish. My party package included paper straws (Lamb’s Ears), pennant banners (online), cupcake wrappers (online), cupcake toppers (Walmart) and a few plastic margarita glasses (Party City and Walmart), plus plates, napkins, utensils and balloons (Party City). I rented twenty milk jars from Market 46 for only $11 and didn’t even have to wash them before returning them!

Just a few special touches give the party a pulled together look.

Just a few special touches give the party a pulled together look.


I purchased a few items to create my theme.

Here are the few items I purchased to create my theme.

Step 3: Plan your menu.

Since my daughter is a huge Taco Mama fan, I asked them to cater the the party. At $8 a person, I figured it was worth it not to have to cook anything myself. The taco bar included two meats (I went with chicken and ground beef), rice, black beans, hard and soft tacos, plus shredded cheese, diced onions, salsa, sour cream and guacamole–all packaged individually in foil containers and plastic tubs. Even with most of the girls going back for seconds and thirds and my teenage son in the mix, we still had tons of food leftover (as in, enough to have a second party, so for round two I think I’ll whip up some margaritas and invite some gal pals over!!). The food was super fresh and the folks at Taco Mama are very accommodating. I added queso to my order, and since that was the only thing that completely disappeared, I think I’ll ask if they can sub some of the rice and beans for more queso next time.

I don't think anyone cared that I didn't bother to take the food out of the foil containers!

I don’t think anyone cared that I didn’t bother to take the hot food out of the foil containers!

Step 4: Drinks and dessert are essential party players.

Continuing my pink and white theme, I ordered vanilla and strawberry cupcakes with fondant polka dots from Pastry Arts. (If you haven’t had their famous baby bites, then stop reading right now and get over there!) The cupcakes were amazing, and as a nod to my Mexican theme, I used mustache toppers, which the girls later had fun using as photo props. Pink lemonade was the obvious choice for libations, so I bought Country Time powder and was able to make more as needed.

Party straws and cupcake wrapper and toppers. Did anyone notice the limes and succulents were part of the mexican theme??

Party straws, cupcake wrapper and toppers.


The dining table.

Here’s one of the dining tables. I printed my own letters to use on the banners.


Did anyone even notice the limes and succulents were part of the mexican theme??

Did anyone even notice the limes and succulents were part of the mexican theme? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The party was a huge hit and my daughter was very impressed. And if I had it in me, I would riff on this fabulous Mexican-themed fiesta for my next Girls’ Night In Party!

Image credit:

Image credit:

Then again, maybe I’ll just hold off until Cinco de Mayo rolls back around.


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