in many circles, a child's first birthday is a huge deal. a lot of that probably has to do with primitive cultures and high infant mortality rates but that doesn't change the fact that we should celebrate a baby's first year of life. i already miss my little baby but we are having so much fun watching her turn into a little toddler! for her celebration, we went all out with a luau theme.
most of the decorations and items for the kids' goodie bags came from oriental trading. i love this site/catalog for inexpensive and fun trinkets in bulk. i've ordered everything from breast cancer awareness bracelets to scrapbooking supplies from here. they even provide personalized favors for weddings. for the goodie bags i got bubbles in mini tiki heads, hawaiian sticker tattoos, and gummi slippahs. all of the adults got leis.
we catered hawaiian food from one of our favorite local restaurants, kealani's. we had kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, rice and even a little poi for the babe. our good friend fabian is from guam and he brought a traditional dish we love called kelaguen. we also served watermelon and oranges, but the real treat was the coconut stand. our friend and neighbor greg runs a coconut stand at our local farmer's markets. he cuts the fresh coconut open and sticks a straw right in. the water is so refreshing and really good for you. you can even keep the coconut to scrape the meat out afterwards. saraya loves coconut water and we add the meat to her meals (thank you magic bullet). if you are local, check out conscious coconuts at the solana beach or oceanside farmers markets.
initially i toyed with the idea of making cake pops. i thought it would be fun to make them look like little palm trees and have some dipped in coconut dyed green. it just wasn't feasible this time around so i decided to buy a cake. the easiest route would have been to go to vons or albertsons but i like to make things at least a little difficult so i started looking for local bakeries that do fun, fancy cakes. i wanted something original and fun but i didn't want to pay a ridiculous amount of money either. a lot of the fancier bakeries were charging an arm and a leg but i found one place through yelp that looked perfect. the reviews were all positive, it was located very close to the house, and the website had lots of sample pictures and prices listed. i HATE cryptic websites where the prices aren't listed, but i digress. alicia from the crimson cake was so helpful. i basically told her i wanted a red velvet round cake that would feed 30-40 guests and that we were having a luau themed birthday party for a 1 year old girl. i asked for hibiscus flowers and pinks and purples as well as an individual smash cake in vanilla for the baby. that was all the guidance i provided. alicia was so creative and we absolutely loved what she came up with.
the cake was such a hit. it was absolutely delicious and every last bite was consumed. i'm glad she left business cards too because people kept asking about it. as for the smash cake, saraya started off a little hesitantly but pretty soon she got the hang of things. she was shoveling cake in her face and throwing it all over me!
after all that, it was time to open presents. i can't believe how many gifts one little person can accumulate! i'm still working on the thank you notes!
it was wonderful to see her interacting with all of the kids. there were about 50 people celebrating with us in the park. we are truly blessed to have our family and friends in our lives. the love for our little girl was very present that day and we know she was sending it right back out into the world. happy first birthday sweet saraya!