How to plan a party – Part 5 “Family Fun Fest..SURPRISE!”

Ok, 4th party in four nights…a surprise birthday party for my aunt. Well, she knew about coming to my house for a birthday dinner, but what she did not know was it was going to be more than just my sister’s and my family.

Convincing my aunt to come on Friday and spend the night was not an easy task, but eventually we did it! She showed up to the house after lunch on Friday thinking it was going to be a small gathering. She got a very nice surprise when she walked into the kitchen to see another one of her niece’s and her family. A few hours later, another aunt and uncle arrived. The only guests we were waiting on were another aunt and uncle who were flying in from New York. They would arrive before dinner. I love surprises.

I knew I wanted today’s menu to be easy, kid friendly, and not take up too much time in the kitchen. After all, I wanted to hang out with my family! So, a taco bar it was.



The Best Salsa Ever (recipe coming)

Homemade Pico De Gallo

Homemade Guacamole


Taco Dip


Slow Cook Carnitas (recipe coming)

Beef Tacos

Sweet Corn Cake

Black bean and corn salsa

Taco Rice


THE MORNING of the party, the boys took the kids to see Despicable Me Part 2. My sister, cousin and I were busy making guacamole, pico, taco dip, black bean and corn salad, and salsa. Yes, I let people in my kitchen. The older I have gotten, the less “Type A” I am about people invading my space…I mean letting people help me in the kitchen!!! Anyway, everyone got back from the movie, had some munchies and then….SURPRISE!!

We all hung around, chatting and talking while the carnitas were cooking. The sweet corn cake was in the oven, the beef was browning and the rice was cooking. After the taco bar was ready…it was time to eat! Party number 4 was a success!!!

Want to see more of this series? Here are the other parts:
Part 1 Original
Part 2 Getting Organized
Part 3 Baconfest
Part 4 Dinner for 13

Part 6 Birthday party for 16


  1. Kay Aucoin says:

    Sounds like a wonderful party menu and gathering. Know you all had big fun! What a great surprise for Barbara, give her a birthday hug from us!

  2. Meagan says:

    Loving this series! Can’t wait for the carnitas recipe – my husband’s favorite! Thanks for all the great ideas 🙂

    • So glad you are enjoying the series, Meagan. The carnitas recipe will be posted this week. I will tell you they were a huge hit do their amazing taste and how simple they were to make!

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