Luau Island Party

A couple of weeks back I went on a mini-vacation, just to get away from it all. I decided that I was going to the beach….In Illinois.
My SiL, Beth and brother planned an epic Luau party. Here are pictures, links, descriptions and recipes to what we did for our Par-tay.

Kat dance pose

Essential Party Supplies

  • Accessories
  • Food
  • Music

Accessories

Believe it or not, it is very difficult to find Luau related party garb in September. However, true party planners never come up empty. After visiting several stores we got serious and ended up at a party supplies store. We hunted all over before finally getting desperate and asking gentleman sporting an officials vest—He was labeled as a Halloween Expert.

He also turned out to be a store expert and pointed us directly to the quarter aisle of luau supplies. We didn’t need much. We left the store with three sparkly leis in our favorite colors. We also grabbed a pack of shiny umbrellas to embellish our drinks. I brought some large colorful smoothie straws from home. They were purchased at salvage for $1.25.

Some things we didn’t find in the store is pictured above. Because money can’t buy a Hawaiian style skirt such as this! If you’re looking at cost or supplies needed: Staples and stapler, grocery sacks, and a binder clip for quick clasp of skirt. We’ll get to how you make it later.

Essentially, we purchased all of our accessories for under $10.

Food

island drink blenderI would call the drinks daiquiris, but truly, they were so much more than that. We added: very ripe bananas, frozen strawberries, mango, fresh pineapple, and tropical punch flavored white rum. Blend well and serve immediately with awesome umbrellas.island drinks

asparagus       Asparagus. Yes, I did just have this in my fridge and it needed to be cooked up. I love asparagus. If you cook it, I will eat it. This were laid out on a cookie sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted in the oven until delightfully crispy.

waikiki chicken prebake

The very best and the highlight of supper was our Waikiki Beach Chicken and Tom’s Waikiki Beach Tofu (he’s vegetarian). Want to know the original recipe that Beth based the above on? Here is the original Waikiki Beach Chicken recipe.
We loved it! Here are some of our recommendations: We backed off the sugar in the sauce to 3/4 cup instead of a whole cup. You could back down to a half cup. We liked ours on the salty side, no worries, a dash of soy sauce and overnight the flavors mellowed so it was even better! We used boneless skinless chicken waikiki beach chicken platebreasts and it did seem to take forever in the oven—This could have been because we were starving and are like small children waiting for Santa.

I don’t have much advice about the tofu version. Tom said it was delish though. If you have questions, please hit me up and I will consult the veggie-guru that is my brother.

Music

Why is music so important? Don’t ask such stupid questions. This will set the mood and help aid in the silliness that is a faux-Hawaiian. The more important question might be, Kat, what did you listen to? That is something I will answer. We used Spotify to keep our music rolling throughout the evening. No, they aren’t paying me money to use their name and yes, I wish someone was paying me for this drivel.

lilo and stitch ST spotify blogThe obvious first choice here, the soundtrack from Lilo & Stitch the Disney flick. Now, I don’t care if you like the movie or not. The music is sweet.
Beth and I wanted to get in the mood before the party got started. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride and a little Elvis. How can you go wrong?

luau mix spotify pic for blogTom was smartsies. He found this premade Hit Nation playlist on Spotify and it had nice nice tunes on it. Both playlists are, as you may have noticed, finite. We needed more music so we added some tracks from these selected artists: Beach Boys, I accidentally added and discovered Spike Jones and His City Slickers, and more songs from that dude that sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole, I didn’t know either).
I am pretty sure I have discovered that next silly artist that my brother will get into. Spike Jones and His City Slickers have lots of weird and funny songs. Go ahead and listen to Water Lou (drip, drip, drip). I am sure that it is on….ah, there you are.

Tom also added some more awesome ambiance to our party by muting and playing this youtube video that shows 43 minutes of Hawaii landscapes and such. It was beautiful. If you need something to play in the background of your life, I highly suggest this.

Let me know, via comments, if you are interested in a step by step instructional blog on how to make a Hawaiian style “grass” skirt. Just to recap, we used grocery sacks (Kroger has brown!) that were fanned out or staggered then stapled together. If you are making one for a child or small adult you may want to add a second layer around to add more fluff. Cut slits almost to the stapled area (leave about two inches). Use a binder clip to pin it around the waist quickly. Do not try to go to the bathroom in these guys—you will want the quick removal aspect. T making skirt

Tom is cutting the slits in his grass skirt.

Beth dance pose

 

K&T drinks poseK&B drinks pose

Now, go and enjoy your own luau party!!    We did some hula dancing tutorials on youtube, but ultimately were too full and just laid around the rest of the night. It was great fun!!

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Bibs for Baby K

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Recently, I found and got inspired by some plain baby bibs and have begun putting some simple embroidery designs on them.

Each bib will have one item on them, I feel that too much fancy takes say from the wearable napkin purpose of it.

A blue anchor on the blue bib, ‘Hungry’ on the green, ‘Feed Me’ on the yellow, and the baby’s name on the orange.

My little cousin is coming soon! I had better get crackin’! I can’t wait to meet the little sucker!

Birthday Grill Building

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In an attempt to trick Kit into thinking he wouldn’t get a birthday gift I waited over a week and surprised him with this. His birthday trip was the state fair remember.

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Photo credit: Angie.
I was lucky in that I was off work on a day he got scheduled to work. We got to work not long after lunch putting the new grill together.

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The first steps were unpacking the grill, grabbing some chairs for comfort, setting up the camera and posing like nerds.

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There were lots of ridiculous poses. Before we followed each assembly step we had a scavenger hunt for pieces. Some of them we discovered were actually inside the grill. Smart packing folks.

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I don’t have many photos of us actually working on the grill because, well, we were working! With four people it went together quite well. I imagine doing it by myself would be much more dull and super slow as I switched between tools, instructions and grill.

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Luckily, my friends/family that helped me had recently put together their own grills and were somewhat accustomed to the many and somewhat ambiguous steps.

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Photo credit here goes to Angie.
It was worth all the hard work! Whoo!! We got it finished with plenty of time to spare. Time to marinate ribeye in a chipotle sauce. And time to chop veggies, spice and wrap them in oiled foil packets.

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Kit didn’t act too surprised, but he isn’t the known for his game show style overreactions. I think he was pleased we had special steak, banana pepper poppers and squash/tomato/onion packets ready to throw on the grill. The new grill cooks like a dream!

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Day 361: Car Chase Face

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Don’t worry. As the designated passenger I took the photo. As a proper send off I went with my hubbster, my bro and SiL to Taco Bell. Because it is real Spanish food. It’s okay to laugh.

Going to Taco Bell is a tradition we started back in high school. Life, school and work got in the way of our initial plans, which was to make mojitos as a send off for my trip. We thought TBell was a good and funny substitute. Have I mentioned that I love these kids?

Day 356: Animal Pileup

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They show their love for each other in weird, weird ways. At the end of a day where dogwood winter has set in the animals want to pile up like puppies.

Not only is Isabella hugging her brother’s butt, she is getting squashed by my legs wrapped up in blankets. She stayed like this for over 30 minutes. That is a fairly long time for our spazz of a cat.

Day 313: Supper with Family

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Drove up to visit my brother in Illinois. There is always a good feed put on by my sister in law (SiL).

She made broiled Italian breaded chicken, corn, broccoli and cheese casserole, and portabella mushrooms baked with olive oil, herbs and balsamic vinegar.

It was a good feed.
After we ate, we went to visit the SiL’s neices. They were lumpy and cute. I would post pictures but they aren’t mine.

I kept one of the twin girls entertained by making faces, jigging her on my knee and licking her cheek.
Okay…So I only licked her cheek once. Promise
Katryn (baby) had that creepy deep stare that babies develop as they grow. She freaked me out with her stare but no one else thought my memories were being stolen by the miniature human.
Haha, babies are so weird.

Day 306: House Stitch

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I did some embroidery with my sister over the last couple of days (it was an epic sleepover).

I teased her relentlessly until Ashe finished her last project. Getting a promotion at work made her put down this project for a couple of months. But….the real reason? She didn’t have another design lined up so she was going as slowly as possible.

Can you spot where she stopped?

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The left chimney isn’t finished. Less than two minutes of stitching!
She finished it while we were watching Magic Mike. Or rather, as we were ignoring the dialogue until I pinched my sis and made her watch the floor show parts.

Murcia’s new project is pretty cool. She is stitching the text “I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry tree” and a cherry blossom. I didn’t get a picture of it before I left, but she is doing spring colors and Pablo Neruda’s name will be in a light tree trunk brown.