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Anytime I’m hosting a party or get-together, I always find it helpful to start with a theme. Since I find inspiration everywhere, my brain goes a little bit wacky when I start to plan. Having a theme or direction allows me to focus. It helps in choosing colors, flavors, foods, decor, cocktails, etc.
Given that it’s the summer, plus the fact that one of my favorite places in the world is the Caribbean, I thought I would throw a tiny tropical-inspired celebration. As you know, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Carnival Cruise Line over the past year. They have been so good to me and IBC. I felt that having a little party inspired by the Caribbean paradise and my time at sea couldn’t be more appropriate. After all, I’m constantly planning my next cruise in my brain so the two go hand-in-hand!
Hopefully this post will give you a few ideas for hosting a paradise-inspired party of your own.
On my last cruise, one of the ports of call was Aruba. As Aruba is known for its flamingos, I decided that I needed a few flamingos at my party. Palm trees were also a must. As you can see, my theme began to come together pretty quickly. Greens and pinks would be my colors; flamingos and palm trees would be my inspiration.
To get started with decor, I felt a homemade garland was in order. I wanted to keep things simple and easy so I decided to make a palm tree garland out of green card stock and pink string. It was a breeze to make and it turned out so perfect for the party.
Here’s how I made it.
You will need:
palm tree template (free download here)
green card stock
Begin by printing out the palm tree template onto a piece of green card stock. (A free download of the template can be downloaded here.)
Next, cut out the palm tree – I found that I was able to stack three pieces of paper together when cutting out the pattern which was a real time saver.
Then, using some tape (I opted for a pink washi tape.), tape the palm trees to the string. I went with a coordinating tape so that if my garland got turned around during the party, it would still look nice.
Finally, just hang it up.
Cute, right? Really inexpensive, quick, and adds a great pop of color.
Okay, let’s talk cocktails.
I thought it was only appropriate to serve my Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini. I shared this recipe with you a few weeks ago here on IBC. You can find the recipe here.
However, to make this cocktail fit in a bit better with the party, I decided to add a bit of interest and color to the garnish. I sliced up some fresh pineapple, added a slice to the side of the glass, and poked in a fun sunglasses pick.
It was the perfect touch to make these martinis extra cool. Cheers!
Now, no party of mine is complete without a sweet treat. After finding adorable flamingo picks I knew I needed some tropical cupcakes. And what’s more tropical than pineapple and coconut?
Thus these Pineapple Cupcakes with Coconut Icing were born. Get the recipe HERE.
I love this flavor combination so I’m pretty much obsessed with these cupcakes. I also got the idea to dip the frosted cupcakes into graham cracker crumbs to look like sand – the perfect resting place for my flamingos. Plus, the graham cracker crumbs added awesome crunch and flavor.
Want to know the best part? I used a box cake mix so the cupcakes were super simple to make. You can get the full recipe HERE.
With all of that complete, I added in some pink flowers, some mini beach balls, and my Party in Paradise was complete.
Party decor sources: pink flamingo picks / sunglasses toothpicks / mini beach balls
With a little focus and a theme (pink flamingos and palm trees help too), it’s really simple to pull together a party plan that’s a treat for all the senses.
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over. Thank you for supporting the brands that support IBC. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.
How many palm trees did you cut out? How long was your garland?
Very creative Michael.
If only I had the time with 4 kids running a muck !!!
Maybe I’ll attempt the creation when they are sleeping.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
What a great party theme! Those palm decorations look awesome. Definitely going to try out the cupcakes too.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Those pink sunglasses picks are hysterical! Where can I find some?!
Thanks! I found them on amazon.
Can you please share where you bought the flamingos & sun glass picks❓? I love it all!!!
So fun! Your first paragraph sounds exactly like me, if I have a theme I can conquer the world! Your combination is so summery. I love the pink and green together, kind of reminds me of a Lilly Pulitzer print! The flamingos on the cupcakes and the sunglass skewers in the drinks were perfect details!
Those cupcakes are everything! Not to mention, pink + green are my favorite summer color combination. Now I’m ready for a vacation!
I feel like I’m stalking you out a bit, but I’m obsessed with your martini glasses, they’re awesome. Where are they from?!
This is the most adorable party setup. I just love it! And really, who doesn’t love flamingos??
I love the flamingos and the cupcake recipe! Can’t wait to try!
Just love your party style! Your beach theme decorations are just delightful. The cupcakes sound soooooooo wonderful and a great idea.
Thanks for sharing, and sure enjoy hearing from you and seeing your wonderful house.
Creative, fun, colorful not to mention yummy! Your friends must love getting invitations to your parties.
just LOVE the sunglasses & flamingo picks! way TOO cute! the recipes all sound & look delicious!
So adorable, Michael! I love that you show how such a simple template can produce a CUTE, cheap garland! I enjoy all the party ideas you have! I need help with a senior party for next summer; I will take notes this coming year! Cheers!
Michael, your creativity never ceases to amaze me! This is adorable!!!
You’re so sweet. Thank you!!
OMG…. those pink flamingos & lil sunglasses are adorable!! So cute!
Aren’t they the best!? They totally made the party!
Cute! Cute! Cute! (I admire your patience and perseverance in cutting out all of those palm trees.)
You have the cutest ideas Michael! I want to come to a party at your house!
Cutest party I have seen a while!! The palm tree garland is brilliant. I am pinning this post so I can re-create it sometime this summer. Thanks – you always have such fun ideas 🙂
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! You’re very welcome.