Oh so sweet and so much fun, our Heidi Lou just turned ONE!
Over this past weekend we celebrated Heidi’s 1st birthday with her very own Luau! It was a small gathering due to current COVID social distancing, but it wasn’t short on love, laughter, or style. We originally decided on a Hawaiian themed party when we were in Hawaii on our 50 State Road Trip last fall. It was our favorite state to visit, and we wanted to bring a little tropical paradise to Tennessee for her party. Plus Lou Lou’s Luau has a good ring to it. We bought family matching Hawaiian outfits at the touristy ABC store and said a small prayer they would all fit come summertime.
There are so many routes you can take with a Hawaiian themed party from the greenery and tropical flowers to all things beachy to hula skirts and tiki bars to pineapples and flamingos. The twins favorite colors are pink and yellow, so we quickly gravitated to all things pineapple and flamingos with the lush greenery and flowers mixed in. Thankfully Oriental Trading Company has a huge selection of Luau party supplies that I was able to order from, and they offer free shipping! I picked up a few straggling items from Amazon and was all set!
I went a little overboard with balloons. But really they are such an easy and affordable way to up the festivity. It didn’t take but blowing up two dozen balloons to make our house feel like a party. We used the air compressor and filled most with regular air relying on our rigging skills to secure them into position. I purchased this tropical balloon arch kit off Amazon, which had the perfect combination of colors as well as greenery and includes the balloon arch tape for attaching the assortment of balloons to. A couple of drooping fake flowers were a great addition.
I ended up having leftover arch tape, so I used that to help create two clusters of balloons around the ALOHA balloon banner across the top of the french doors to our deck. This was another balloon kit from Amazon, which I supplemented with a plain package of pink balloons as well.
The majority of the rest of the decor was the table arrangements. We have a deck table outside that holds six and parallel to it inside is the dining table, which holds ten. I decorated both identically. My favorite part was using real pineapples as vases (I bought 5 and used all the insides in cooking the food for the party) for bouquets of fresh, vibrant flowers and honeycomb flamingo centerpieces peeking out. I also used another pineapple cut longways to serve as two fruit “boat” bowls; one for each table. I layed tropical leaves out as a table runner (I also did this along the bartop where the food was) and scattered inflatable flamingos drink koozies (Brooklyn picked these) as well. The place settings themselves consisted of a tropical leaves dinner plate with a hot pink luncheon napkin and a pale pink pineapple beverage napkin arranged on top, a pink flamingo rubber duck (to hold everything down from blowing away in the wind)(another Brooklyn pick), gold plasticware and super cute pineapple cups with pink flamingo straws. The chairs also had their own green hula skirts and hot pink leis (as well as the guests).
I also decorated the buffet table with a pink ONE chalkboard sign, some bright pink flowers, more tropical leaves, and coincidentally my beautiful orchid that Brad got me already lives on the buffet table, which was the perfect addition. I also placed the tops of the pineapples in the window seal behind the buffet table.
As you can see above I made a pineapple cake for Heidi’s cake. It is four tiers of this 6″ cake pan. Two of the tiers were strawberry cake and two of the tiers were pineapple cake. The cake was layered and decorated with homemade buttercream frosting.
- 1 box white cake mix (and ingredients required per cake mix)
- 3 tablespoons additional flour
- 1 package strawberry jello
- 1 cup pureed strawberries
- 350 degrees for 40 minutes
- 1 box yellow cake mix (and ingredients required per cake mix)
- 1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple in juice or 2 cups of fresh crushed pineapple
- 350 degrees for 30 minutes
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and softened
- 1 cup butter flavored shortening
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 cups powdered sugar (slowly mix in one cup at a time and then beat mixture on high for 5 minutes) (this amount of powdered sugar gets you a nice thick frosting for piping)
I separated out 25% of the frosting and colored it pink using food color gel and the rest yellow. I used a piping kit to create the pineapple affect on the cake Then I took one of the pineapple tops and stuck a skewer in it and stuck into the middle of the cake (I used a really long skewer to reach all the way to the cake stand and support the weight).
I also made pineapple and strawberry cupcakes out of the same batter for the rest of us, which were iced with pink and yellow buttercream frosting and topped with honeycomb pineapple and flamingo cupcake toppers.
Several months ago I bought a wooden highchair off of Facebook Marketplace and spray painted it hot pink for the occasion. I had similar ones that I painted white for the girls’ Winter ONEderland party. I adorned it with a hula skirt for the occasion. I also made Heidi her own hula skirt by knotting green tulle to a ribbon the length of her waist alternating two dark green (I double up strips about 12 inches long) to one light green and adding in some dry hula skirt grass as well. We were expecting Heidi to destroy her cake. After all, food is her favorite thing, and she can easily put away more at every meal than her older sisters combined. She surprised us however, remaining cautiously interested in the cake (and reserving her appetite for other food). She still needed an immediate sink bath after the cake eating though.
We enjoyed lots of delicious, authentic Hawaiian food for the party. The twins Godmother is from Hawaii and let me try my hand at some of her family recipes. We had Kalua Turkey, Macaroni Salad, Pineapple Rice and Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Skewers. We also had some not-so-authentic Hawaiian Fruit Punch 😂 (mixed with Sprite, a giant can of pineapple juice and vanilla ice cream). The food was so good, and I have already been requested to cook Hawaiian food at our house more often.
I forgot to snag a picture, but we also decorated our yard with this family of yard flamingos (can you guess that Brooklyn picked these too?). Not only was a it a great decoration, but it also acted as a fun yard game. Standing at a distance toss pool diving rings in Hawaiian twist on horseshoes.
We had an amazing time celebrating Heidi’s big day in such a festive way! We were also blessed to be able to share the day with some family as well.
PS: All the outfits fit!
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