Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Luau in Winter

My daughter turned 12 last month.  So that means we've got one more year before we have a teenager in the house.  It's not much to hang onto, but I am -with both hands- nevertheless.  She, of course, wanted to have a slumber party.  What else?  Let me pause to thank my own mother for letting me have many slumber parties.  Thanks, Mom.  Also, I'm sorry.  Her birthday is early March, but we had it the weekend before in February so we could have her family party closer to her actual birthday.

She wanted a luau theme. I began to think of it as "The Luau in Winter". (See what I did there?  Instead of "The Lion", I went with "The Luau".  I'm sure Peter O'Toole would appreciate that.) At this age, there are (thankfully) no games, crafts, or activities to set up.  They just want to be left alone. We did buy some props to take their pictures in, but other than that they danced, put on a fashion show, and had a mock trial of some kind that was hilarious to eavesdrop on while I was cleaning up the kitchen.  That meant the theme had to lend itself to food and goody bags.  I am pretty happy about this because that's the portion I like about party planning.  Another piece of good news - her class at school is relatively small.  There are only six girls in the class including her.  So everyone was invited.  And everyone attended.

 Hawaiian pizzas from our local Casey's and homemade Hawaiian pulled pork were the main dishes.  We also had a dried fruit mix of bananas, mango, and pineapple.
There isn't much that is easier than pulled pork for a party, I've found.  Toss it in the crockpot and move on.  It makes the house smell great too.

 I made these Hawaiian cupcakes from regular white cake mix and icing, pineapple, coconut, and maraschino cherries.  Super easy and pretty!

I've used these tiered stand for dozen of things over the years.  They're very versatile.

We ordered these plastic coconut cups from Amazon and personalized them with a paint pen.  The girls got to take these home in their gift bags.  They also used them at the party, so we didn't have a thousand plastic cups to throw away, and everyone knew which drink was theirs.

Okay - the gift bag!  I love a good gift bag.  I bought yellow paper bags at Dollar Tree, added some green fringe for a grass skirt, glued on a fabric flower and finished them off with some hula-themed stickers at Hobby Lobby.  My daughter and I worked on these together.

I mentioned I love a good gift bag, but I love filling the goody bag almost as much. It's the kind of challenge I love to work out.  I don't want to throw in a bunch of candy and junk they'll never use, but I also don't want to spend a mint. Besides their coconut cup, we did a pair of Dollar Tree flip flops (practical for summer), some Pixie sticks (not at all practical, but you have to have some fun), a tube of tropical Chap Stick (practical for dry lips), and a bottle of water with a Hawaiian punch flavor crystal package (practical because most of them had volleyball practice the next day).  

One other thing we did that I ended up really pleased with was to buy a Dollar Tree frame (pink or purple crystal lined) and put the picture I took of all of them inside it.  I just uploaded it at Walgreen's that night, picked them up the next morning, popped them in the frame, and voila' - a keepsake from the party.  
This is on my daughter's dresser now.

They had a fantastic time which was the whole point.  I have no idea
what time they fell asleep because they were sequestered to sleeping in the sleeping bags in our sunroom.  I left them with the message that they did not have to go to sleep, but they were not to keep the rest of us from sleeping. ;)  I've got to hand it to them, they were very well-behaved.  

An interesting side note - while they were having their luau inside, here's what it looked like outside:

Not very tropical, but it didn't dampen their spirits at all!