/ / {silly sunday} hang 10 and aloha 50!

{silly sunday} hang 10 and aloha 50!

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Grab your sunglasses and a cool drink ‘cuz it’s…

Last month I shared a very special invitation that we designed here. It was for a birthday bash that my family threw in honor of my sister, Nora’s, 50th birthday with the theme, “Aloha 50!

Over the last couple of weeks, my sister, Dorothy, and I have shared recipes here and here and a tutorial here. Today, I’m finally sharing all of the party details with you!

Birthdays are a family affair on my side of the family. Usually my family travels to Chicagoland for one of our big productions (aka my birthday), but this time it was our turn to travel to Michigan. I have to admit, we had decided on the theme and the menu but when J and I pulled into my family’s driveway…we were completely and thoroughly unprepared! Between an overbooked work schedule and dealing with J’s health issues—joints and allergies—it had been an incredibly difficult and exhausting summer.

We wanted to create something fun and fabulous though for Nora since she’ll only turn 50 once! My family has been an incredible support system for us so J and I truly wanted to create a special memory for all of them. Before we hit the road, I pulled everything off the shelves of our party storage that looked tropical or Hawaiian. Then I packed up my laptop, a printer, my Silhouette (cutting machine), tools and gadgets, ribbon and twine along with every bright colored stock I had and loaded up our trucklette! By the time we arrived, we had 2 1/2 days to pull this party together from top to bottom! I hope you enjoy it!

A Paper Umbrella wreath greeted guests at the door along with a member of the “Aloha 50 Airlines” crew. Passengers (aka guests) were asked to sign in, given their in-fight snack—honey roasted airline peanuts—and told to have a safe flight as they flew down(stairs) to Hawaii!

My Silhouette cutting machine was an invaluable tool for this party. Since we didn’t have the time to create new hand-illustrated artwork for the upstairs “airport,” I was able to design this sign in a matter of minutes. I could cut one sign while putting together another!

I purchased the flower templates from Silhouette and snatched up the airplane a few months ago when it was the free shape of the week. We hung silver and white airplanes and clouds above the Passenger Check-in counter and along the railing which led guests down to their final destination…Hawaii!

I created the sign out of 15 panels of a faux bois patterned banner which we originally designed for Maria of Love & Sugar Kisses’ 70’s Vintage Barbie Camping Party seen here. The sign paid homage to one of my dad’s favorite TV shows, “Hawaii Five-O” (1968-1980) and Nora’s new age.

A little vignette drew guests down the stairs to the basement. My favorite piece was the palm tree that I made with an old bulletin board paper roll, Silhouette-cut leaves, twine and adhesive dots. It was suspended from the basement’s drop ceiling!

Guests donned leis upon arrival and headed to the Hawaiian buffet. The party space was a walk-out basement with fluorescent lights and a drop ceiling which created a few challenges. The free-standing buffet was located right under a light fixture so hanging a backdrop wasn’t an “easy” possibility.

I chose to frame out the buffet with paper lanterns embellished with 3-D paper flowers. The lanterns were hung from ribbon which was attached to the ceiling framework with mini binder clips after my usual tape failed! The tape wouldn’t stick to the framework and the ceiling tiles were too fragile to lift so I couldn’t tie the ribbons on. The mini binder clips worked beautifully and were a real time-saver!

My mom made simple runners for the buffet, beverage station and dining tables from a sandy beach-inspired fabric. Nora pulled out all of her beach-themed décor—beach chair, umbrella, shells, starfish, sea creatures and buckets of sand. I brought one special item…a piggy bank all decked out for a Hawaiian luau!

The dinner menu included Pulled Pork Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls, Big Wave Macaroni Salad, Pita Chips with Faux Poi (Hummus), Cheesy Pigs-on-a-Stick, Ambrosia Salad and Tropical Fruit Skewers. Sweet treats included Dairy-Free Crispy Starfish, Pineapple Upside Down Cakes and Molten Lava Cakes.

When we were planning the menu, I suggested we do an Iced Tea Bar. At 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, I had an epiphany! We’ll call it an “Iced TEA-ki Bar!” I found a tiki statue on the Silhouette site which worked perfectly with one of the fonts from Nora’s invitation. I embellished each beverage dispenser with a tiki and a tropical flower. I loved that the shape of the beverage containers mimicked a tiki statue!

Guests created their own flavored tea by adding fruity simple syrups. The bottles were embellished with tags and different colored twine. The bottles were displayed on a bamboo plate to catch any spills. Real bamboo cups held wooden stirrers and paper flower straws which did double-duty as centerpieces throughout the party space.

I cut out simple flower shapes which I personalized with “Aloha 50” and “50.” The tables were layered with white tablecloths and sandy beach runners. Each was finished off with a paper flower straw vase, buckets filled with sand, shells and starfish and bamboo boats filled with Tropical Trail Mix.

Even the garbage cans and bathroom door featured a lil’ bit of Hawaiian culture!

Another one of my favorite paper elements was the Surfboard Banner. Each panel of the banner fit together to create an almost seamless surfboard. Guests would walk up to the banner and touch it to see if they were real surfboards!

As guests departed and returned back to the Mainland (upstairs), they stopped by Baggage Claim to pick up their suitcase. When they opened the Suitcase Favor Box, they found a bag of airline pretzels and a paper t-shirt magnet that read, “I went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!” {Can you believe we have absolutely no photos of them?!?}

The party was a huge success and the guests were so generous with their compliments. Nora had a great time which was the most important thing!

This celebration would not have been possible in 2 1/2 days without all of the hard work from the Aloha 50 Airlines’ Crew! Nora made centerpieces, assembled favor boxes and helped with all of the little details. Audrey (aka Mom) sewed table runners, made centerpieces and did every lil’ job I asked. Dort developed all of the recipes and made most of the food and J illustrated the Aloha Collection even though he was not feeling well at all!

Thank you! I love you and I’m so glad I’m a part of this crazy, party-lovin’ family!

And, in case I didn’t say it at your party…Happy 50th Birthday, Nora!

I hope you’re inspired to celebrate a special someone in your life. Aloha!

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