Aloha Summer Neighborhood Luau

Have you ever noticed that during the summertime is when you tend to get new neighbors? It’s the prime time to move if you’ve got kids.  That way, things get settled in before a new school year begins. We had a few families move in this summer and my friend and I thought it would be fun to have a Neighborhood Luau. The perfect theme party for the end of summer and a fun way to get to know your neighbor.

I think the best part of a Luau is the food.

The Menu:

Pulled Pork Sliders, Cole Slaw, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Hawaiian Fried Rice Fruit, Pina Colada cupcakes, and Volcano Cakes.

Signature Drink: Coconut Margarita

My assignments were the Meatballs, party décor, and desserts.  The party decor I found at Party City.  http://www.partycity.com/product/hibiscus+party+theme.do?refType=&from=Search&navSet=hawaiian%20party&bypass_redirect=1

Meatball Recipe was delish! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/124060164712417663/

I made the sauce the night before and marinated about 4 lbs. of frozen meatballs (from Costco) in it overnight in the refrigerator. Popped those babies in the crockpot a few hours before the party on low and Oh….my….meatballs….they were ah-mazing! Do I need to even mention there weren’t any leftovers?? Not a one.

The Pina Colada cupcakes recipe: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/124060164712417620/

The only thing I modified in the recipe, is I cut the oil back to ½ cup and I used Rum (as suggested) in the frosting instead of milk.  I love a good presentation when it comes to party food. So I dressed these cupcakes up so they were Luau theme. Time to get crafty, I really can’t help myself!

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Heidi Swapp has the cutest Minc cupcake kit at Michael’s. Gold, turquoise and bright pink foil and K & Company Hawaii stickers was the color scheme I needed

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The Minc Machine is the best when it comes to foiling projects. It’s basically a fancy laminator. So if you have a laminator, I’ve heard that works with the Minc products also.  There’s three basic steps to foiling.

Place the items to be foiled in the laminator sleeve.

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Lay the foil over the paper and feed the sleeve into the machine.

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When the sleeve comes out of the Minc, pull the foil sheet off and viola!  Beautifully foiled items.!!

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I foiled the cupcake flags to coordinate with the wrappers, and placed a Hawaiian theme sticker on each flag.

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Volcano Cakes….here’s where I cheated. I say cheated because I’m a big fan of making things from scratch. But…the occasional cheat is ok… and this one was with William Sonoma’s Devils Food Bundt Cake Mix. Now that is worth every penny. I baked the cakes using a the William Sonoma Pop Over pan and baked the cakes for 20 minutes. Let them cool completely on a wire rack and before removing the cakes from the pan, use a serrated knife to cut the tops off so that the bottoms of the cakes will be flat.

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The hot lava is dark chocolate, orange and red candy melts. The dark chocolate layer is first. For that I melted a 90% Lindt dark chocolate bar with a Hershey’s Special Dark bar and spooned the chocolate over the top of the cakes so that it would run down the sides. Then put those in the refrigerator so that the chocolate will harden quickly. Then using red candy melts, do the same thing over the top of the dark chocolate. Put them in the refrigerator again to cool. Last step, melt orange candy melts and spoon over the red and dark chocolate. Viola! You’ve got what looks like hot lava oozing out the top of the cakes.

These look to good to eat you say?  Oh no way!  No morsel was left behind…I love a good dessert and these two recipes are keepers for sure.

The Luau itself was a big hit also. Quite a few guests attended and a good time was had by all.  The best thing?  We now know who lives next door and hope to have more get togethers soon 🙂

Apryl

@adh_j

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Hello!  I’m back to share with more Wonderland fun, food, and goodies from my daughter’s Mad Hatter Tea Party.  Did you see the post last week featuring the outdoor party decor?

Today let’s talk about the table scape.  The design goal?  Emulate that crazy table setting you see in Alice In Wonderland. And that requires A LOT of stuff.  I started with an embroidered white table cloth that was my grandmothers and used a smaller pink satin quilted blanket on top of that. Yes, you read that right, I said blanket. Who says you can’t use blankets on a table? If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known! Down the center of the table is a green moss table runner from the floral department of Michaels.

I added a couple of bright colored flower arrangements in oversized mason jars and tied with a heart themed ribbon.  Inside the mason jar (to hide the flower stems) is green Easter grass from Pier 1 Imports It looks like real grass!

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And then came the plethora of tea pots, tea cups, saucers and plates.  How do you get all this stuff without breaking the bank?  Garage sales, antique shops and second hand stores are great places to start.  There’s also no shame in borrowing from friends and family.  That’s how I came up with a variety of teapots.  The cute white bunny votive candleholders, flower napkin rings and cloth napkins were all great finds at Pier 1 Imports. The chargers are from Michael’s and came in pink, turquoise, white lace and platinum. I bought them all! The variety of shapes and sizes were perfect for stacking on top of each other. I added the saucers and teacups and the table was really starting to come together.

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Michael’s had these great glass vials, that I filled with Mike n Ikes and “Eat Me” tags.  As part of the table decor and parting gifts, I made framed place cards for all the guests.  The girls really loved that part.  They felt special having their own special place to sit and pretty frame to take home.
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On the light fixture above the table I hung a variety of pink tissue pom-poms, glittered heart ornaments and a playing card garland that I had made with ribbon and a deck of cards.

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Ok, so now for the food. Lunch was provided, which included turkey sandwiches, butterfly and heart shaped watermelon pieces (psst…use cookie cutters!), heart shaped strawberries and grape caterpillars.  Thank you Pinterest for that fabulous idea!  See the grape caterpillars here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/124060164711248365/  I forgot to get a photo of mine before they were all gobbled up.  They were very popular.  When I made mine, I used small candy eyes which can be found in the cake decorating aisle and stuck them on the grape with white frosting.

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Then there was the rice crispie treat playing card soldiers, Cheshire cats tails compliments of  @treatsbytaryn, Alice Wonderland theme cookies from @thetalentedcookieco and colorful sour candy kabobs form @sweetsindeed.  They were all so beautiful and tasted really yummy!

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I made red velvet cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting and giant felt roses displayed around a mason jar of heart ornaments and an amazing top hat from Mini Top Hat Boutique.

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I had a blast planning and decorating for this party.  We truly fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland that day, ate yummy treats, had some great laughs, and fun times celebrating with my daughter.  Wonderful memories were made that day, and that makes it all worth it.

 

Apryl

@adh_j

 

 

We’ve all gone Mad

Mad Hatter Tea party that is….

The truth of the matter, my husband and I LOVE parties and it’s no surprise that we’ve passed that on to our little ones! When it came time for my oldest daughter’s 8th birthday she was dead set on having a Mad Hatter Tea party straight out of Wonderland itself.

Of course, my mind was reeling with all the creative possibilities. I wanted our house to BE Wonderland.  I had my work cut out for me, let me tell you.  My plan was to have the tea party table emulate that you see in the movie.

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But not only that, when the party guests arrived, I wanted them to have the feel that they were entering Wonderland. So, I came up with some props.

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Metal flowers from Hobby Lobby I stuck in the grass along the front walkway.

The giant toadstool is made of a metal toilet paper stand covered with paper, red umbrella and white spots cut out of paper. I placed ceramic toadstools bought from Hobby Lobby on the ground also. On top of the “umbrella” toadstool is an abstract caterpillar made from blue tissue pom poms. I tied the pom poms together and then laid them on the umbrella. (I should’ve had the smoke machine going) but that didn’t come to fruition…couldn’t find the darn thing in the garage…lol.

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One thing I definitely wanted as part of the decor was playing card soldiers. This was made with a piece of white poster board and red cardstock. I chose hearts, because quite frankly they were the easiest shape to cut out.  The numbers were that of my daughter’s birthday.

The goody bags I displayed in the entry way. They are silver glittered party bags from Target and the red heart tissue paper is also from Target. The “Take Me” tags was an image I found online with Google and had printed in color and hand cut them out and tied them on with a thin ribbon.

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As you can see I really like to get into details when I’m party planning.  There is much much more to see so stay tuned for more when I share how to design the table scape and buffet of treats.

It’s Always Tea Time!

Apryl

@adh_j