Mil Gracias


I celebrated my 31st birthday last Saturday with a party at my parents’ house. Lots of family and friends — several I hadn’t seen in years — came by to celebrate, eat delicious food, drink, dance, and watch the Mayweather/Ortiz fight. My guests subtly requested that I show the fight, so I added it to the entertainment budget. It was a fun night, even if I was already tired and ready to call it a night before 11:30.

Under the tent Papel picado above the dance floor

Lotería cupcakes by Lori Didn't plan these to match the piñata

One thing I regret from the party was not grabbing the DJ’s mic and thanking the guests after we cut the cake. If I had, I would have said something along these lines:

In planning and preparing for the party, I had a lot of help from my parents, siblings, extended family, close friends and Sean. My family hosts a lot of big parties (75+ people) at our house and they’ve got it down to a science. Seriously.

Mil gracias go to:

The parents

While running errands and setting up on Saturday, I kept thinking that she deserved a whole post on her master party planning and hostess skills. If my mom ever wanted to leave working with special needs kids at schools, I’m pretty sure she could start a second career out of party planning/day-of-event coordination. My mom is awesome, and I’m not saying that because I get half my DNA from her. I’ve seen her host a taquiza (taco party) without a functioning kitchen for 40+ people with just a few hours of preparation. For this party, she secured some decorations on loan from friends, cooked a delicious spread of ~200 chicken enchiladas (with homemade enchilada salsa, of course), beans, rice, salad, and chicken/beef/cheese nachos with warm and toasty tortilla chips. She didn’t have her usual expert helper (my godmother/her sister Chilo), to help her out. Instead, Sean, I and Mamá Toni filled in in when necessary. Still, my mom deserves all the credit as she did the heavy lifting.

He’s equally good at this party thing. While my mom handles most of the indoor preparation in her shiny new kitchen, dad takes care of the outdoor set-up. His job started Thursday evening when he picked up a custom-made tent from my cousin Tony (thanks, primo!). The next morning, he recruited any extra hands around the house — that morning there were a lot including Papá Chepe, Padrino José and Danny — to put up the tent. On Saturday afternoon, he put up strings of white lights around the tent and under the carport. “Charlie Services” never fail me.

My sister the baker

My sister used her baking skills to make cupcakes topped with Lotería cards and Mexican wedding cookies. She made my favorite carrot cake cupcakes as well as a few other flavors (vanilla, funfetti, chocolate). At the same time, she was baking and decorating cupcakes for another “client.” Later in the day, Lori did my makeup and helped me get all dolled up. She was even patient when I threw a hissy fit about the eyeshadow being a little too dramatic.


My older brother helped with the set-up and take down. He does it all without complaining and with a smile on his face. Oh, and he made sure to sing Las Mañanitas extra loud. I’m glad he did. He has a great voice.

Danny’s girlfriend came over after work late Friday night and joined Lori’s baking team. Cynthia created the “triple threat” chocolate cake featuring chocolate ganache, Nutella and banana filling. They were up until the wee hours of the morning. Her work paid off. The cake was delicious and she received several compliments.

Yael + Robert

He got his first taste of Mosqueda party hosting and worked like a champ. He helped where ever he was needed, whether it be putting up the papel picado, setting up tables and chairs, or helping my mom to make the enchiladas. He took over my usual job of lightly frying the tortillas and burned himself on the pan. Oops. He also took over photo duty.

Stephen, tío Ivan & tía Paty

Tía Paty, tío Iván and Stephen
My aunt and uncle are always early to parties and ready to lend a hand. This time tía Paty called ahead and asked if my mom needed anything. All my mom needed was an extra hand and she came through as did tío Iván and my cousin Stephen. They helped set up the tables with the fruit and salsa.

The little brother wasn’t actually at the party. Due to scheduling conflicts I had to push back my party to the 17th, the same day as Adrian’s birthday and the weekend he was planning a camping trip. His girlfriend planned a small surprise BBQ on Thursday and we pre-celebrated his birthday. He was a good sport about me stealing his birthday.

Los Aguilar Compadres

Friends/family who loaned us stuff
We borrowed tables from some friends/neighbors. We borrowed our neighbor’s actual yard. My cousin Valerie loaned me her globe lanterns. My cousin Tony loaned us the tent he custom made.

Friends since freshman year at UCLA

The Guests!
Of course! It was nice to celebrate my 31st birthday with many of the same people who celebrated my 21st birthday with me.

Otra vez, mil gracias!


3 thoughts on “Mil Gracias

  1. Happy Birthday Cindy! Sorry I am a bit late, que Chicana no? I love the Lotería cupcakes and how Sean helped with the enchiladas. I love it when my Señor helps me make the salsa and then practically sends himself to the hospital eating it, (too spicy) usually. I hope you had a great birthday and cheers to another amazing trip around the sun!

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