Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Trip to Maui

We have recently returned from a trip to Maui.
Whenever anyone asks, ‘How was your trip?’ it’s always so hard to answer…

’Delightful!  Amazing!  Wonderful!  Paradise!’ 
Which words do I use?  umm…  All of them!

Yep, that’s what Hawaii is to me.  Always lovely.  Always beautiful.
Here’s some highlights from our trip.

First, a long plane ride.

A beautiful hotel:  The Grand Wailea
Grandma and Grandpa met us in Hawaii. 
Everyone loved playing in the pools!

I’m not sure there are any beaches better than the ones on Maui!
The waves and sun were fierce, but fun!

Big Beach was perfect for boogie boarding!

A bit off the beaten path…AH’s favorite snorkeling beach. 
So incredible!  Gorgeous fish and coral, I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Attending a luau is always a highlight.
Don’t you love our matching outfits?  Only in Hawaii!

After a few days in Wailea, we moved to a beautiful condo in Kihei.
Great views, awesome pool, shuffleboard, swimming and cards every night!

One afternoon we strolled through downtown Lahina.
The banyan tree is a famous Lahina landmark.

The men (just barely) survived all the shopping.

 In Hawaii, one must always have shaved ice!  POG flavored, of course.

And Azeka Ribs! 
(Still no Azeka rib market in Hawaii, but we did find a copycat version at the local grocery store.)  AH grilled them up and they tasted amazing! 

On Sunday morning we attended nearby Kihei Baptist Church.  Some of the praise song lyrics were in Hawaiian!

We took a field trip to the tropical Iao Needle.  Just gorgeous!

The sunsets of Maui are spectacular…every single night!

Oh Hawaii—how I love you!


More Hawaiian Posts

Azeka Ribs

A Hawaiian Birthday Party

Best 40th Birthday Gift

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hawaiian Birthday Party

It's a Hawaiian Birthday Party!
Break open the coconut, slice up the pineapple
and put on your Hawaiian Aloha wear.
It's time to

There are so many great Hawaiian party supplies found at the Dollar Store and your local party stores, that one needs to be careful not to overdo it. 
Unless one likes to overdo.

I sometimes like to overdo.
My mom's birthday sometimes causes me to overdo.
(This may or may not be one of those 'overdo'/'overdone' times... I'll let you be the judge.)

Aloha!  Let's Party!

One of my favorite 'over-the-top' party supplies are printed plastic backdrops.  Hang a few plastic sheets of palm tree and ocean backgrounds and it's an instant CrAzY party!

Bunches of paper lanterns and tissue paper flowers always add life to a party. Grass skirts taped around the table add to the tropical look.
Hawaiian sarongs make the perfect table runners.
Bamboo trays and shell necklaces and shell plates continue with the theme.

I like to place glass plates on top of my paper party plates.  This makes for easier eating and still gives off pretty color.  After the meal, clear the glass plates and serve dessert directly on the paper plates.

Honeycomb toothpicks and straws give the party a beachy vibe.
Hawaiian punch or POG is the drink of choice for this party
...of course.


Pineapple and pink flamingo water bottles take the table to a whole new level. 

Not to mention the pink umbrellas in the candy shot glasses. 
This party is not for the timid.

Appetizers of stacked pineapple, mango and chicken sausage bites look festive on platters.

Our menu included:
-Pineapple, Mango & Sausage Appetizers
-Shrimp Butter Lettuce Salad with Asian dressing
-Hawaiian Chicken
and dessert...

-Vienna Fingers cookies make perfect flip flops.
Add a bit of frosting, a sugar pearl and place them on a platter of brown sugar 'sand'.

-Pink floral sugar cookies carried the theme, too.

and then the cake!



Just a triple layer, chocolate cake with coconut & macadamia nut filling with buttercream frosting.

Click here to see how incredibly easy it was to frost this cake.
You won't believe it!  You can't mess it up...really!


And, if you're going to have a party like this, you must have a dress code!
(Gotta love my parents all decked out ready to party!)


Don't forget to stage a photo shoot!
Hawaiian hats, leis and pink flamingos just add to the craziness!  The plastic party beach scenes are the perfect backdrops for pictures.  Add in some Hawaiian music, hula and limbo to spice things up.
And that my friends...

is a party!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

More Hawaiian Posts:

A Trip to Maui

Best 40th Birthday Gift Ever!

Azeka's Ribs

Can't Mess It Up-- Rose Swirl Cake

Linked up to: InspireUsThursday, ALifeInBalance, CreativeConnectionLinkParty, LinkPartyPalooza,
Posed Perfection
Uncommon Designs
Lil Mrs Tori

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can't Mess It Up--Rose Swirl Cake

Easy to make and so impressive...
 Rose Swirl Cake

When the cake becomes a party photo prop,
you know you've made something spectacular!

(Here's my mom modeling my 'over-the-top' Hawaiian photo props?)

I truly had no idea what I was getting into when I wanted to decorate my mom's birthday cake with roses.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was.

I started with a crumbly, triple layer chocolate cake,
glued together with a coconut-macadamia nut filling.
(It had to go with the Hawaiian theme, of course!)

After a crumb coat (light layer of frosting over the entire cake)
and an overnight stay in the fridge, I began piping on the roses.

(I even impressed my son.)

Want to know the trick? 
You can't mess it up...really.

Use the 1M decorating tip in a circular motion and be amazed.
All 'mistakes' (not so great looking roses) still look swirly and beautiful.

Spaces in between the roses are filled in with another swirl.  Everything just blends together.  It's almost magical!

I found this great video link that walked me through the steps. 
Click here. 

I followed this frosting recipe. 
Click here.
Just remember that this cake takes a lot of frosting! 
  • 1 bag powder sugar (two pounds or about eight cups)
  • 1 cup shortening (I used original Crisco)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear if want white frosting)
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup milk

  • Instructions:
    1. Cream shortening and vanilla in mixer for 2-4 minutes. Add in powder sugar, one cup at a time. If you find your mixer struggling, slowing add in milk. Use more milk for a creamy consistency, use less milk for a stiff consistency. 
    2. Add coloring and mix well.
    3. I put my frosting in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before I start working with it.  If it get too warm while I'm piping it on, back in the fridge it goes.

    Here's a few more of my favorite EASY cake decorating ideas.  Really easy, I promise!

    Squiggle Cake with Sixlets

    Ruffle Cake

    Andes Mint Cake

    Candy Cane Cake

    Linking up to:  LinkPartyPalooza,

    Lil Mrs Tori
    Uncommon Designs