Thursday, August 14, 2014

{Entertaining Ideas} Island Resort Summer Soiree with Oriental Trading

Before summer's end, why not host an island resort inspired summer soiree?  I got some really nice pieces from Oriental Trading this season and decided to create a relaxing retreat right on my patio inspired by the tropic settings of the Caribbean!

My inspiration for this theme was pulled from these Island Breeze plates that I received from Oriental Trading.  Once I saw the palm leaf design on the paper goods, I knew I didn't want to do a standard luau theme.....but instead create a setting that made me feel like I was luxuriating on an island resort.

Elements that inspire:

- Beach in a jar - sand and colorful shells displayed in a glass apothecary jar
- Island Colas chilled in a galvanized bucket
- Natural elements and fruit create an island feel
- A buffet of favorite Caribbean dishes

 More details and a list of supplies follow, at the end of this post.

This island theme was inspired by these plates from the Island Breeze collection that I found here.  I love this whole Island Breeze can work for a Luau theme or any tropical themed party!  I wanted to create an outdoor space that was relaxing and chill...just like one would do while vay-caying on a beach.  So, I just played off of the island feel and went with it.

The decorative elements that I added were a few that I received from Oriental Trading, like these Palm Leaf Wall Prints as a backdrop for my buffet table.  I originally wanted to create a banner from these decorative artificial tropical leaves, but in the end decided they worked better as underlays for my platters and dishes on the food buffet.  The Palm & Turtle Natural table runner is another piece from Oriental Trading that I just loved!  I also added the cutest miniature Orchids and a beautiful new glass scalloped cake plate from my own stash to showcase a delicious coconut cake!  A few baskets and platters displaying tropical fruit were another nice addition to my party space!  It's also a great idea, cause guests can take the fruit home or you can cut it up into a bowl for fruit salad and enjoy the next day!

Table Setting
These grass place mats were too cute to pass up when I saw them.  I used them along with woven stained grass placemats from my home to create each space for a guest to enjoy their meal.  Each setting was a bit different from the other and made for a very interesting tablescape.  I made printables that were inspired by the plates and put a menu at each place setting.  The hibiscus flowers decorated the table are actually hair clips that serve double duty as decoration and a pretty, festive favor that guests can wear.  I also used them as a 'napkin' ring for some of the place settings.  The palm leaves also served as a coaster for the Island Breeze Party Cups.  For my centerpiece....I created a vertical focal point with the Luau Leaf Light Up paper lanterns and drew the eye down to the table and placed tropical fruit, plants, and shells in the center of the table.  At night the lanterns cast a nice soft glow onto the table.
I LOVE Caribbean, when I found a local eatery near my home that just opened up....I was so excited.  I ordered some of my favorite dishes, like Jerk Chicken, rice and peas, cabbage, coco bread, beef patties and fried plantain for the buffet.  I also made my own appetizer, Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail!  I just mixed in a Caribbean seasoning to cooked shrimp and made my own Caribbean cocktail sauce by mixing together a mango, strawberries, spicy scotch bonnet peppers, scallions and honey!  I placed the sauce into small party cups and topped each with a few shrimp!

I filled one of my fave galvanized tubs full of ice and Island colas that I got from the International Food aisle at my grocery store.  When you can't come up with something on your own, head over to Oriental Trading for ideas.  Type in your theme and you can be sure to find a list of ideas at the way bottom of the results screen.  I wanted a signature drink for my drink station and saw this  Summer Pineapple Strawberry Cooler in the Luau page of the site and made my own island cocktail simply by adding rum!

If you have a good rub for jerk chicken, these spice jars from Oriental Trading would be a perfect way to send guests home with a taste of the islands.  I packaged my own brand of jerk rub into these small jars and added a tag to it with some natural twine.  I won't divulge the recipe I use (sorry), it was passed onto me by a sweet old Jamaican lady, but this one comes close to the ingredients I use.

I hope you were inspired by all the easy breezy party ideas I shared.  I really loved all the items I received from Oriental Trading.....they were colorful, the plates were sturdy, the wall pieces and runners are very nice and can be used again, along with the lanterns and grass mats.  I have yet to be disappointed by the quality of their products!  Don't forget, it's not too late to enjoy the close of your summer with a laid back island resort themed soiree!

Vendors & Where to Buy:

Styling & Design  - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams
Printables - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams
Paper Plates/napkins, grass mats, lanterns, wooden palm leaf prints, table runner, decorative palm leaves, plastic cups, flower hair clips, spice jars  - Oriental Trading

(“This post is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product(S) listed above. I was provided items free of charge by Oriental Trading and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.”)


  1. Beautiful job, Keisha. Love how you brought it all together!

  2. Love it so tropical and breezy and you're making me hungry.

    1. I'm making myself hungry looking at it again! Jerk chicken is the best!!!!

  3. I wish I could attend this party. The decor is spot on. the food looks delicious. It reminds me of my trip to Secrets in Jamaica with the fruit carts and Jerk chicken carts. YUM!

    1. Well, @Atutudes - you have an open invite to my dinner table!

  4. Oh yes! This is my kind of party! Just transported me to the nice tropical breeze in Puerto Rico. Loved the entire set-up. So many fruits, yes! That menu is awesome!

    1. @Glenda - thanks - I really wanted it to feel like you were taking a step into the islands.....momentarily ;)

  5. This party is so fun! I love all the details! I feel like i'm at a resort!

  6. What a perfect summer tropical party! Definitely pinning some of these ideas. Love the fruits and mouth watering menu. Great Job!

  7. Such a fun party! Love the bright cheery summer fun colors! MENU TO DIE FOR!

  8. Fabulous party, Keisha! I definitely could enjoy sitting around relaxing at this party :)

  9. Sweet details. Loving the island resort idea!

  10. The colors a perfect for summer! What a beautiful set up

  11. This looks totally delicious and fun! Great ideas.

  12. That all looks so beautiful! That cake looks incredibly delicious!

  13. I'm always up for a tropical party! Love the creative use of grass skirting!

  14. Great way to close out the summer! Fun ideas!

  15. What a fun party! I just love anything tropical!


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