Celebrations, Parties

Camden’s First Birthday Luau

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We were lucky enough to take a family vacation to Hawaii when Camden was 9 months old.  While there, I learned that first birthday’s are a big event in the Hawaiian culture and that led me to my inspiration for Camden’s first Birthday – a birthday Luau.

The invitations were designed using a picture of Camden I had taken in Hawaii.

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The birthday boy’s special outfit was a Carter’s onesie and a Hawaiian print short set I bought when we were in Hawaii.  I didn’t buy the set planning to use it with the onesie, but it ended up matching perfectly.  If you check out Keira’s first birthday party, you’ll also notice she had the same onesie in pink!

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I found most of my decorations on orientaltrading.com.  They had a line of luau party supplies with rubber duckies that worked perfect for a first birthday.  I ordered plates, napkins, garland, centerpieces, a custom banner, hanging palm trees and small rubber duckies for both favors and the cake topper:

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Besides the cake, other Hawaiian inspired desserts I made included sand dollar sugar cookies and macadamia coconut macaroons.  These were displayed in “sand” I made from a mixture of brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  I also brought back some macadamia nut Hershey Kisses from Hawaii that got put out with the desserts along with some Almond Joy Pieces.

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Camden’s monthly photo’s were displayed over the fireplace using small picture holders I found at Michaels.  A hanging palm tree, painted cardboard surfboards and a few beach toys also helped set the scene above the mantel.

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The tiki inspired drink bar was a DIY project made from bamboo sticks, rope, and a dollar store hula skirt for the roof. I saw similar bars at party supply stores and online, but this ended up being a much cheaper option. Drinks were tropical soda’s and Corona – not quite Hawaiian, but still beachy!

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Food was all Luau inspired and included barbequed huli huli chicken skewers, teriyaki beef skewers, Hawaiian potato salad, Hula Grill coleslaw, marinated shrimp, macadamia nut hummus with root vegetable chips, mini ham and pineapple pizzas, a fruit bouquet and luau pig bites.  Items were labelled using small tent cards I designed and printed at home.

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Most of our party guests were under the age of one or adults so I ended up having two different favors.  The babies got stacking blocks, luau rubber duckies, a duckie printed beach ball and tiny sunglasses while the adults got these peep favors:

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This was my first attempt at a party and what really helped spark my passion for party planning.  It is fun to look back at all the details – I have gotten better at taking pictures, but the small attention to detail has been there since the beginning.  I know my baby’s won’t remember their first birthdays, but I still feel it was well worth the time and effort to give them that special day and have these pictures to look back at!

 

 

 

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Celebrations, Gift Ideas

Hawaiian Themed Personal Candy Buffet

I have been to very few Bridal showers, but I was lucky enough to be able to attend two this summer. I love attending, but always find it a struggle to come up with the perfect gift! I could easily buy off a registry, but I prefer to give something a little more personal and unique.

I posted about the personal candy buffet I did for my sister in law, and because it went over so well at her shower I decided to attempt another for my co-worker’s shower. We shared an office and she often had candy tucked away in her desk so I knew it would definitely be something she would enjoy.

Because she was getting married in Hawaii, the obvious choice was to do a tropical theme. I was able to find all kinds of Luau decorations at the dollar store including small palm trees, a coconut cup and dancing hula girl which I arranged on a platter with various glass containers also found at the dollar store.

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Personal touches I added were the “Sweet Love” banner across the top and candy labels I designed and printed at home.  The lollipops also got the Hawaiian treatment by inserting them through silk flowers from a lei that I cut apart.

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The candy I selected also tried to keep with the tropical theme and included tropical skittles, gummy sharks, tropical jellies, pixie stiks, peanut butter M&M’s and tropical Mike & Ikes.

It turned out very cute and the bride told me it was the best gift she received.  I am not sure whether this was just something she told all her guests, but I’ll take it!