Danks’ Dirty 30 Fiesta

Last week Mike turned 3o, and since he took me to Vegas to celebrate my 30th last year, I wanted to do something big for his, so I threw him a Dirty 30 Fiesta!

Danks & Honey - Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta

It started with the invites.  I wanted it to look like an adult, modern fiesta, like a Dia de los Muertos celebration, and show Mike’s personality.  I found the Day of the Dead skull vector here.

Dirty 30 Fiesta Invite and Envelope

I had found this lodge, which is owned by a neighboring parks district, while I was searching for a wedding venue in 2013.  It was new construction and was only completed 2 months before our wedding, so I wasn’t able to use it then, but I always had it in the back of my mind for a large party in the future.  It turned out to be the perfect backdrop for the fiesta!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 3

It was easy to transform with these Mexican papel picado banners, which are actually plastic and really durable.  Mike also had no desire to get back up on the 12’ ladder to remove these at the end of the night and after who knows how many drinks, so we rigged them up by the dowels on each beam and tied string at each end.  Mike was able to pull the string and pull the banner down safely from the ground!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 2

The tables and chairs were part of the lodge rental, and I was able to buy table clothes for half the price of renting them.  For the table settings I made table runners using serape blankets, and a combination of chips and salsa bowls, sombreros, and Mexican food cans with paper cactus.

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 4

There was a large quilt framed on the wall, so I covered in kraft paper and made a giant               3 – 0 with photos of Mike throughout his 30 years (they were seriously giant, each was 4.5 feet tall!). 

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 6

This had to have been my favorite project, as it took weeks to get all the photos together, edited, printed, and cut, and that meant weeks of looking at Mike’s mug and remembering all the crazy moments and aww-ing over his baby photos!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 12

I think a lot of people enjoyed looking at all the photos and seeing him throughout the years.  The only problem was I took the photos above right before the party started and the brown paper was too heavy for the numbers so as I walked by it all came down in a big whoosh of paper.  I quickly slapped the numbers back up straight on the glass, but the quilt was then the background.  Not too bad, but not exactly my vision!

Above the fireplace (which was gas – and created some cool ambiance and heat during the party) I used this cute taco party balloon setup by Studio DIY as inspiration. 

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 9

I was able to get the cactus balloons online, then had them filled at my local Party City.  The letter balloons were bought online as well and aren’t helium, so my sister and I blew them up, taped them to string, then Mike used washi tape to hang above the fire place. 

In the lobby I kept the decorations to a minimum and reused my sister’s chalkboard from her wedding (she bought it from Ikea and shortened the legs), some 3 – 0 balloons (I have a thing for giant balloons) and some paper fan decorations.  

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 8

We set the food and drinks table along the kitchen, which had this amazing barn door.

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 19

Mike got a keg of Negro Modelo and we rented a margarita and daiquiri machine, which judging by the amount drank – was a huge hit!  I also believe this was a first for the Danks, we ran out of beer! 

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 16

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 13

I had a local Cleveland taquero, Barrio, cater the party.  It was half the budget, but so worth it.  It was by far the most talked about thing at the party. 

Another fun activity was the temporary tattoo station.

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 17

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 18

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 21

I bought temporary tattoo paper online, used Photoshop and the Silhouette software to print and cut out a bunch of tattoos, including the skull from the invite and finger moustaches.  They were a huge hit with the kids.

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 5

And the adults loved them too!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 14

Overall, we had a great turnout of our friends and families and everything went really well!  The birthday boy had great time and it was a nice mix of an adult party, with enough things to keep the kids happy as well!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 15

The only thing I’d change is to remember to bring out the camera before the 3rd or 4th margarita!  Luckily my memories are a little less blurry then most of the photos I got!


Happy Birthday to my favorite person – please stay a goofball forever!

Danks Dirty 30 Fiesta 1

Coffee Table Essentials | Chairish Challenge

Coffee Table Collage1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Recently I was contacted by Chairish, an online marketplace to buy and sell vintage furniture and decor, to participate in a Coffee Table Essentials Challenge using one of their coffee tables as the base to share my coffee table essentials.

In our house Mike prefers a clear coffee table, so I compromise by only adding the essentials with minimal decorative items, or sneak them in when he’s not looking and hope he doesn’t notice! So, this challenge, which allowed me to pick items for a pretend coffee table seemed like a lot of fun!

As my base, I chose this Solid Walnut Wood Coffee Table.  Almost all the options I was given were wood, and I chose this one because it is solid, on the larger side, and has a drawer – bonus!  With the style of the table in mind, I went a little more masculine and kept my colors neutral, which is the style I’m drawn to lately.  Here’s how I styled my table, with what I think are some basic essentials:
The Basic Elements:

Most of these are basic, but specific to me - I like closed storage to keep random things like chapstick corralled, and I even use a box to store my remotes in.  This table actually has a drawer which would probably fit lots of stuff, but that’s not always the case.
Another item I would suggest using on a coffee table is an interactive item.  This could be a puzzle or what I added to our living room a while back was a couple Artifact Uprising books.  Upstairs we have our wedding photos, and I also made a few of our summer Europe trip for the basement family room.  They're great for people to grab and skim through, and are also conversation starters!

I’m no designer I just like pretty things, so this was fun to think about how I would style a coffee table, keeping in mind the function that is important to Mike, but also having a little more freedom with the accessories that I like!