Monday, December 03, 2012

BoLA Musings > On Turning One

12 Months of Chase
Twelve Months of Chase

Our house has been plagued with the stomach flu and winter colds this month, and we're all slowly on the mend. But before the bug caught us, we celebrated my little man's one year birthday!

In planning Chase's first birthday party, I originally thought that we'd have our immediate families to join in the festivities. But my family's pretty big and before long, we had a list of 40 close relatives to invite. 

Chase Cookies
Chase Sugar Cookies

Since my mom is a party planning guru, I enlisted her help and I was so happy that she already had a few things in the works, including the above cute sugar cookies with Chase's face on them. They were almost too cute to eat!

Originally, my mom spoke with the manager at King's Hawaiian about having our get-together there for roughly 40-something people and was told something to the effect of: 
"No problem. We usually don't make reservations on the weekends, but we can do something for you. The large space in the back would be good for about 44 people. Just connect with me one week before so we can make arrangements. Pupu platters ready for guests? Sure, we can do that too."
So I ordered his cakes from King's - a large sheet cake that was half chocolate dobash and half paradise flavors as well as a round peach bavarian just for Chase. I also took about two weeks to create the homemade invitations that followed up our save-the-date email.

Chase Invite
The Homemade Invitation

Yes, I hand cut white card stock, shiny gold card stock, each photo into a square, along with the car and its parts. I drew a car template to a piece of cardboard and traced each body onto light blue card stock. My heart punch was used for the door decoration and circle punches for the wheels. After I had all the pieces, including my scrapbook supplies of stickers, double-sided tape, and washi paper tape, I started my assembly line. With my sewing machine, I stitched the photos first and followed that with the car body and heart.

As MS put it, these invitations were my "labor of love" for my little one. 

With a story that starts with "originally," there's got to be a big BUT in there somewhere. And well, one week before the big party, my mom left a message with "news" to call her back. 


Birthday Cake
"I love cake!"

Apparently, she went to King's and met with the same manager who told her that there wouldn't be any problems having the birthday party there... only to find out that there WOULD be some problems. First of all, they don't make reservations for any parties on the weekend. No exceptions. Where was the type of service and courtesy shown months before?

Regardless, my mom was told that she would have to go to the restaurant the morning of the party at 9am and put her name down with the number of guests for an 11am party. She would then have to wait and stay at the restaurant. If we wanted pupu platters ready for guests as they arrived, she would then have to order them off the menu at 10 or 10:30am.

And my mom's a total sweetheart because she said she'd do it, but seriously, why would I make my mom do such a thing? Even if she volunteered to do it?! To wait two hours before the party to try and get our party in at 11am {with what I expect would be no guarantee}, is just plain ridiculous!

At this point, I was completely disappointed, utterly frustrated, and completely furious with their lack of transparency. The manager should have been entirely honest with us about their policy and without the pretense of being able to accommodate us. It would have saved everyone a lot of stress and headache.

Two months before the party, I let everyone know that we were celebrating at King's. I even purchased the cakes well in advance since we love their cakes and it would have been convenien to have them ready at the event.

Birthday Banner
Homemade Birthday Banner

But I was done with King's. I asked my mom to call Back Home in Lahaina in Carson to see if we could have our party there instead. We also had a few other restaurants in mind just in case they were booked already. Thankfully, they were more than happy to host our party and I made the calls to everyone with the venue change.

We had our wedding reception there as well as my sister's wedding reception there, and loved the food and service both times... so we knew we'd have a good experience with them for Chase's birthday party.

They were kind to let us come in early to set up the space for our lunch, and I was able to hang my homemade birthday banner. I used the same golden card stock as the invitations, black and white checkered duct tape, my Cricut machine for the letters, and some yarn to string them. I especially loved how the letters looked like they were part of a road.

Yes, the banner was another labor of love that took about two weeks to make too.

Close up
"I'm a Big Kid Now!"

Since I paid for the cakes already, I couldn't do anything to change them. In all honesty, I wanted to go with a different bakery but went with King's because we were supposed to have the party there. With all the drama and needless headache, I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to King's Hawaiian. 

In any event, the lunch party at Back Home in Lahaina turned out to be a fantastic place for Chase's first birthday! The service was incredible, the food was delicious - even better than King's, in my family's and my own opinion - and the company of loved ones made the day absolutely perfect!

We had a blast playing games and laughing at Chase's silly faces. {He has this "kiss kiss" face that's hilarious when he puckers up his lips}. Everyone was able to get seconds and thirds of food - I had about three plates worth of Lahaina fried chicken, spam musubi and kalua pork! So ONO {Hawaiian for delicious}!

It's hard to fathom that my little man is already a year old! 

Many more happy birthdays to come!

Back Home in Lahaina

519 East Carson Street | Carson, CA 90745


Elay Burd said...

Awesome, lady! Your designs are perfect! I'm glad it all worked out. Yay, Lahaina! xo

BoLA said...

Hi Elay Burd, Thanks love! Chase still needs to meet his Auntie and Uncle! Miss you lots!

Passionate Eater said...

I am not going to lie, little Bola (Chase) is perfect! Happy birthday to the big boy and I am so glad his birthday ended up a success, in light of the kinks!

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