Aloha! How are you my dears, this fine sunny June day?
My hubby Steve and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary recently, and since a trip to Hawaii was out of the question due to Covid, we created the next best thing:
We brought Hawaii to us at our own home. :)
Here's what we did in case you'd like to create your own little luau-at-home. Links at end of post for your easy reference.
We used our "232 Cottage Cafe" -- a.k.a. our home's dining nook for the backdrop.
Those real palm trees you see outside our dining nook windows? Thank you, Arizona!
I bought everything for our little at-home-luau on Amazon since we are both choosing to stay out of in-person stores to protect our health during Covid-19. Product links below for easy reference.
First thing I did was buy a tropical tablecloth and matching napkins.
Then I added two tropical beach towels to cover up our dining chairs.
I also ordered one set of flashing pink hibiscus lights for the table.
I had recently bought cute ice cream cups to use everyday for small bowls of nuts etc. and the colors were perfect for this party, so we used them for olives, nuts, etc. Steve arranged them with the spoons on the table's center trays.
We ordered new melamine dishes a couple months ago and the floral motif and colors were perfect for this little "luau."
The trays we had from last year. (Big Lots has great dollarwise melamine dishware and big serving trays, BTW.)
The little lighted orchids I bought on Amazon last year so they were moved to the table. Perfect! I like to use things on my food tables that I already have somewhere in my home.
We kept it super simple for food prep, buying what we'd eat anyway as "snacks" such as olives, nuts, carrot sticks, crackers, cut-up oranges and apples, salmon cakes I made, pizza bites Steve made, etc. and the (planned) bonus was we stored the extra food in plastic containers in the fridge so we didn't have to cook for a couple days after our little luau. No roasted pig that needed turning on the stake at our little luau, no siree. I'll save that tradition and hard work for the real Hawaiians. :) I like simple when I do the meals!
We surrounded the tray with the floral light string. Steve hid the box that keeps them lighted.
Steve assembled the pineapples that came with the paper straws. I cut the straws in thirds with a knife and used them as "toothpicks" in the salmon cakes that I made from canned salmon. They turned out cute, I thought, for a quick pinch-hit.
Steve picked out a new "Hawaiian" shirt on Amazon and I ordered it for him. Our "wine" is Kevita, (good for your tummy), in my new plastic wine glasses since I've gone totally away from real glass in all our dishes as I drop things too often due to pain in my hands and no longer want to clean up glass shards for a hobby. :)
FYI to my environmentalist friends: I do try and not use any more plastic goods than really necessary though as I am well aware of plastic pollution and it saddens me so I try hard to do my part as a "smaller consumer" than many people. As in, I'm not a minimalist per se, but I try not to buy and use more than I really need, and we recycle, repurpose, and reuse everything we realistically can etc.)
I ordered this tropical sundress on Amazon and BTW, these dresses are wonderfully comfortable, cute, and wash up totally wrinkle free. Perfect for your beach vacation to Hawaii, (or our Arizona +120 degrees in the shade!) The lace shawl I bought last year on Amazon. Links below. These dresses feel like PJs and I bought several patterns and they are my go-to wardrobe this summer. They'd make a great swimsuit coverup too.
Next up on the luau party circuit: I put on my "Ginger Rogers-style high heels" -- a.k.a. my fave slippers, so we could dance the night away to wonderful Hawaiian music that I ordered on Amazon. (Forget Don Ho my dears, this CD is sooo beautiful that we had it on for days!)
And Steve put on his "beach thongs" -- a.k.a. his most comfortable slippers in the world!
As you can see, we're the loud party type!!
Actually, we did go to the (faux) beach! As in, we bought the Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii" and after our dancing-in-our-dining nook escapade, we watched this cute movie from our bed.
The best part of this movie, unbeknownst to me when I bought it, was that it was set in Honolulu in 1961 and since I was born in Honolulu in 1958, seeing all the scenery, cars, fashions, Waikiki Beach without the crowds, and "cultural ways" during when I would have actually lived in Honolulu as toddler was so fun. Hawaii was not yet a state when I was born there so now you know how young I am! :) Here's a little pix from my scrapbook from when I lived in Hawaii ...
Steve and I gave each other love letters at our luau, as we have for over 40 years. (I think we've kept Hallmark in business buying cards.) Steve printed out several past anniversary letters he has type-written to me over the years and kept on his computer, covered them with a floral photo from a garden tour when we lived in California, and gave them all to me now as a packet of memories. So sweet and thoughtful of him.
The next morning after our at-home-luau, Steve made me laugh when he surprised me serendipitously by dressing up in his other Hawaiian shirt from last year and his straw hat and he asked me to go to the beach with him. I burst out laughing and ...
I put my tropical dress back on, tossed a pink poncho over it, and off to "faux-Waikiki Beach" we went, bare feet and all. :)
I hope you enjoyed our little at-home-luau and perhaps can create one of your own this summer! As usual, we did everything "dollarwise" and that was half the fun! Just think how much money we saved by not jetting off to Hawaii, even though I'm sure that would have been fun. (In all our many travels, I've never been back to Hawaii after being born there in 1958.)
Product Links to actual, or similar products mentioned in my post: