Graphics and party supplies by Love the Day!!
Saying my girls love American Girl Dolls would be an understatement. It all started a couple of years ago when they got their hot little hands on one of the catalogs. They dove right in, pens in hand, and got right to circling...everything on every page. Our girls are young and Mike and I debated about whether or not to indulge in what we knew would be the start of an extraordinary collection. I knew that this needed to be more than the purchase of $100 dolls times three. It was up to us to bring these dolls to life by sharing with our girls their stories of compassion, courage, loyalty and leadership. These stories feed their imaginations. Our playroom quickly transforms into Kirsten's new home on the American frontier as the girls set up a honey stand to help support her new life in Minnesota. Most recently, our kitchen became a rescue operation, as the girls helped their newest doll, Kanani, save the life of an endangered monk seal on the island of Kauai.
When Kanani, the 2011 American Girl of the year was released in January, I new she would be the next addition to the girls' collection. We purchased the book, Aloha Kanani, by Lisa Yee and read it in its entirety with the promise of a celebratory Luau in Kanani's honor upon its completion. In preparation, I frequented Love the Day's Etsy Shop where graphic designer/stylist, Lindi Hawes, offers AMAZING party supplies. I purchased her luau party kit and requested additional custom items which she quickly emailed me in a digital file. Love the Day is my new one stop shop for party supplies. Thank you Lindi!!!
Of course our Hawaiian theme went beyond, the decor, wall mural, maps of Hawaii, flower leis and grass skirts! The exact menu Kanani ate while attending a luau in the story was recreated for our guests, all of which was prepared ahead of time!
We share with you our "Welcome Kanani, American Girl of the Year, Luau!"
Kanani Akina's sweet shop was replicated in our living room. At the end of the post you will see many of the recipes from our Hawaiian dinner! I did however, call in reinforcements from the fabulous local bakery, Scrumptions. The cupcakes, macaroons and palm tree cookie favors all came from there!
Water bottle labels and ALL graphics from Love the Day!
I seemed to have missed getting a picture of the adorable "Drinks" bucket with a sign created by Love the Day! Check it out in her Etsy store!!!
Kanani's Shaved Ice Stand!
And the dinner menu...
Portuguese Sweet Bread
Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes
Chicken Long Rice
This staple of a hawaiian luau, chicken long rice, actually originated in China!
Okinowan sweet potatoes are actually purple in color and grow all over the islands of Hawaii! This recipe was made with orange sweet potatoes, coconut milk and pineapple bringing out some of the traditional flavors of Hawaii!
Kalua Pork is always the main dish at a traditional Hawaiian Luau! Kalua means to bake in an open pit under ground! Ours was baked in the slow cooker but the flavor rivals the traditional version we had in Kauai!
Although ordering real poi made from taro root was an option, I opted for vanilla pudding with purple food coloring.
"Kapu" meaning forbidden in Hawaii
The mai tais were a hit!
All of the recipes were prepared ahead of time and were heated before serving!
adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes