Sunday, September 2, 2012

'Ihi's 1st Birthday Luau

Last week we celebrated 'Ihi's 1st birthday by throwing her a luau party at our church pavilion. The Soon family has a tradition of having big first birthday luaus so even though we aren't living in Hawaii, we decided to carry on the tradition here with our friends in Utah. I just have to say that there is NO WAY we would have been able to pull this party off without the help of our families that came into town from California and Hawaii!

The Invites
I had seen some cute postcard invitations online and decided a long time ago thats how I wanted to do 'Ihi's invites. I had searched around and didn't quite find what I wanted online so I knew I had to make it from scratch. I called my friend Alana who is a photographer in Hawaii to ask her what I needed to do and she offered to make them! She does amazing work so I sent her some pictures from our family shoot last month. She took those pictures and the info I gave her and made this:

 I love them! They were exactly what I wanted and I am so grateful to have such a talented friend! If any of you are in Hawaii and need pictures taken, go to Alana Yates Photography and schedule your shoot. You won't be disappointed!

The Favors
I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest and liked it but decided to switch it up a bit. I found some adorable sand castle pails at Target in the dollar section a few months ago and bought 12 of them on the spot. I couldn't pass up an amazing deal. I made a list of a bunch of snacks that 'Ihi likes to eat so we filled the buckets with those things and placed them on different tables so they doubled as center pieces as well. My mom went out and bought all the stuff at Costco: Teddy Grahams, Animal Crackers, Goldfish, Candy, and Marshmellows (which we didn't end up using cuz they were melting like crazy!). My mom also made the little bags for people to fill up. They were clear bags with a little sticker on them that said, "Thank you for helping us celebrate 'Ihi's 1st birthday!". This picture isn't the best but you can see the sand pails on the tables:

The Food
We are so lucky to have the best 2 families in the world! Weeks before the party, the Soons and Kahalepunas did the emu of the pig in Hawaii. The packed it in gallon ziplocks and froze it until the week of the party when they put it in a cooler and sent it to Utah. Kahili's parents came up on Wednesday before the party and started cooking right away! The Taualii's were good sports and chopped until their hands were sore. On the menu was: Kahlua pig, Teriyaki beef, rice, noodles, Chinese chicken salad, poi, poke, squid luau, chicken long rice, and fruit. I wish I would have gotten a picture of all that goodness!

The Decorations
The plus to having the party outside was that I didn't have to decorate as much because it was already beautiful just being in nature! All of my decorations came from the dollar store except for the pictures of 'Ihi. My mom and I put streamers up on both sides of the pavilion and then I had bought some little poster decor that we put up on the pillars. I had decided on 4 colors that I thought looked good together for all the decorations: hot pink, lime green, yellow, and orange. I loved that it looked so vibrant. We also had pools out for the kids to play in, beach balls, and a ball pit! These were all super fun things that 'Ihi loves to play in/with :) I forgot to take a picture of my display table but basically I just made some mod podge posters of pictures I had printed from her first year. I also made one entirely from instagram pictures I have taken throughout the year. My mom made a photo book for 'Ihi that tells a story of things she likes to do or has done this year. Lastly, using a tutorial I found on Pinterest, I made this:

The Cake
Back in June, I made a simple s=wedding cake for my cousins wedding. That gave me the confidence I needed to take on 'Ihi's birthday cake. I decided to just make a small "smash cake" for her and then cupcakes for all our guests. Luckily, I have some great friends here in my complex that helped me out a ton! I distributed the cake mixes and different ingredients a few days before the party and then all I had to do was pick them up the night before/day of. My friend Kristi made 4 dozen cupcakes and my friend Lauren made 4 dozen cupcakes and a batch of buttercream frosting. I just had to make one more batch  of the frosting and the beach ball "smash cake". The morning of the party, I frosted all the cupcakes with a star tip and Lauren helped me put on the little umbrella cupcake toppers I had found at Zurchers. Here is how they looked:

The birthday girl and her cake:

And the aftermath:

Last but not least, I had to post a family picture of us at the party! I wish I would have been able to get pictures of 'Ihi with all of her guests but that just didn't happen. Thanks to everyone who came or who thought about her on her special day! 


  1. It was the best party! Thank you for having a one year old birthday Ihi!! Your buddies, the triplets.

  2. How cute! I want to plan a party like this for my future kiddos.