The past few months, I’ve been secretly planning a surprise party for Scott’s 30th birthday, which is coming up this week. I had so much fun planning the menu, figuring out all the details and conspiring with family and friends! I love surprise parties and this one went off without a hitch…

We set up a taco bar to honor Scott’s favorite food (Mexican). Scott’s mom made this super easy salsa chicken and this awesome barbacoa recipe from Rick Bayless (the winner of Top Chef Master’s). Above the table and all around the backyard we hung hundreds of photos of Scott over the years.  They were a sentimental play on the Mexican flags you see a lot…I used similar colors, cut them into 5 x 7 sheets of paper and then mounted photos that I printed out from my computer. It just so happened that Scott’s mom had scanned all of her photo albums this summer, so I was able to grab a bunch from her without having to worry about scanning them. It worked out perfectly!

I took the funniest photos of Scott and played around with them in Photoshop to make signs for the bathroom, food, drinks and a little step from our kitchen that everyone seems to trip on. I like to call this one the traffic cop. Yes, that is a mustache you see.

The weather was gorgeous and everyone hung out outside. The plan was for all of us to come inside before Scott came home, but we were  having such a good time that we didn’t make it in time! Scott walked in to the house, saw all the food and was very confused…which still counts as a surprise, right?

These cakes from Hamilton Bakery were demolished in record time. The 3 was chocolate with peanut butter icing, and the 0 was red velvet with buttercream. They cost me $30 total and were delicious…even when eaten from the cheek, right Lisa? I highly recommend them.

At the end of the night it was getting dark, so someone decided to plug in the Christmas lights Scott used to propose almost four years ago. I couldn’t believe they still worked!  The guys who strung them up (while Scott and I were at an anniversary dinner) were at the party and pretty proud of their handiwork. I also decided I want the big gold number balloons for every birthday I ever have for the rest of my life. They don’t look it here, but they’re absolutely gigantic and only cost $10 at Party City.

Happy birthday, Scott! It was so hard not telling you about the party, but the memories were worth it all.