I can’t take all of the credit for this one. The entire inspiration for this party came from my friend Courtney, who threw herself a Quinceanera for her 29th birthday party. For those who don’t know, a Quinceanera is the birthday celebration for a fifteen year old girl in many Latin American cultures–similar to a Sweet Sixteen. Courtney’s party was very festive and something about this theme just screams fun. So, when my friend Amie wanted an especially raging 40th birthday shindig, the bright colors, crazy dresses and spicy foods that I associate with a Quinceanera, seemed like a great fit. Luckily she was down so we really went for it: a mariachi band, a donkey, a tequila bar (with a signature drink named after the guest of honor) and a turquoise and pink color scheme. Now, by a landslide, my favorite part of this party hung in the air above the guests. There is a magical corner in Los Angeles known as the pinata district. I was absolutely giddy on my trip there to buy decorations for the party; I couldn’t stop buying large donkey pinatas. It was so exciting that I lost all sense of practicalities: e.g. how would I get over a dozen donkeys into my car? Well, with the seats laid flat, pinatas piled like lincoln logs and bright crepe paper sticking out of open windows, I made my way home on the 101 freeway, looking like a certifiable crazy person. (There may or may not have been a donkey–or two–on my lap). I’m not saying it wasn’t dangerous, but I will say that it was well worth the risk. Pinatas are fun–fact–and having so many was very high visual impact. The other high impact moment of the night was the pig that roasted on a spit throughout the party. Once sliced, the juicy pork was served alongside drunken beans, grilled corn with queso fresco, chili, cilantro & lime, caesar salad and saffron rice. For dessert, warm churros in cups of sweet dulce de leche sauce, were a real treat. Luckily, after enjoying plenty of ‘The Amie”s, a smoky ginger margarita, Amie’s friends enjoyed their first Quinceanera as much as I loved mine.