Archive for the ‘Highlights’ Category

Summer Sale!

Beautiful Plumeria Note Cards. 100% recycled paper, soy based inks, & wind powered. Portions of the proceeds donated to autism non-profits. http://www.designsbylenila.com


Read Full Post »

Had another wonderful busy day at the Carlsbad Village Faire!
Had my usual suspects helping me out..
A big THANK YOU to Mary Villegas, her daughter, CC, Serena Batali and William Parker.

Look no further for tropical stationery! At Designs by Lenila, we are a full service stationery shop.
Whether getting married in the Cayman Islands, BWI at the www.ritzcarlton.com/GrandCayman,
or hosting an anniversary shin dig in Hawaii at thewaldorfastoria.hilton.com/ ,
we have chic, unique stationery and products  for you!



Read Full Post »

Here are some wonderful suggestions
for turning a Luau event into an unforgettable one!

From our friends, Kim and Mike  Crinella

The Hawaiian word “Lu’au” (pronounce loo-ow) means ‘a feast’. A luau is not necessarily a public affair on the luau grounds of a Hotel. For the people who live in the Hawaiian Islands a luau is a gathering of family and friends to enjoy good food, good company, and good times! There may or may not be spontaneous ukulele or guitar playing by uncle, with everyone singing, and auntie dancing the hula.
Luaus are a fun way to enjoy quality family time and are especially held for occasions like birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, bridal & baby showers, rehearsal dinners, weddings receptions, family reunions, class reunions and more. You can enjoy a fun authentic Hawaiian luau with your friends and family anywhere, anytime. The atmosphere at a luau is “Hang Loose“. Luaus are ideal if you are planning a party with many people meeting for the first time. Your guests are more relaxed right from the start. We offer a wealth of information to assist you in hosting a Hawaii theme party anytime, anywhere…

Send Hawaii Theme Invitations to Your Luau Guests
You can create your own luau invitations using your home computer and printer or add touches of Hawaii to professionally printed invitations. You can incorporate popular words and phrases as well as translate guests first names into Hawaiian.

Perfect for the Hawaiian themed event. Honu Turtle Invitations by
Designs by Lenila

Encourage Your Luau Guests to Wear Hawaiian Attire
Hawaiian attire is very popular and many people have a Hawaiian shirt or dress in their wardrobe, especially those who have visited Hawaii. Since Hawaiian attire is popular many stores offer it. Thrift stores are also a great resource for Hawaii attire. The internet also makes acquiring Hawaii attire anywhere just a click away.
Click here to review our links to a few places that offers Hawaii attire online.

The Guest of Honor Should Wear A Lei
In the Hawaiian culture a lei is a garland or necklace and they are typically made of real flowers, silk flowers, nuts, shells, leaves, or feathers. A lei can acknowledge someone of great importance, such as a guest of honor. A lei can also be given to express love, appreciation and show respect. If all of the guests will also be wearing leis the guest of honor should wear a different lei or a fancier to make them stand out. For men who do not want to wear flowers popular masculine leis are maile leis or kukui nut leis. Maile leis are green leafy vine looking leis. Kukui nut leis are made from the nut of the state tree and in ancient Hawaiian times were only give to people of great importance since they were very sacred. Silk leis, kukui nut leis and shell leis which are a nice economical alternative to fresh leis which require expensive express shipping and special packaging.

Have a Hula Girl or Girls Welcome Your Luau Guests with Leis
If you would like to adorn all of your luau guests in leis a great thing to do is have one or a few girls dress in Hawaii attire or as hula girls and greet each guest as they arrive with a lei. Silk leis, nut leis, or shell leis are the most economical options when you plan to adorn a number of people in leis. Shell leis are the most cost effective lei available and make great keepsakes from the luau.

silkloosewyplumeria.jpg (62264 bytes)

Use Loose Blooms to Decorate
Lifelike silk loose plumeria blooms are great to use to decorate, they really turn an area into a tropical paradise. They can also be used to decorate buffet displays, dining tables, the bar, lawns, and dance floor. Encourage your guests to pick up a loose bloom and for the men put them in a button hole. For the ladies they can easily put them in their hair by using bobby pins.

Create Tropical Table Centerpieces
Easily create tropical centerpieces for your luau using items like Hawaiian kissing couple figurines, dashboard hula wigglers, fresh pineapples, lifelike silk plumeria blooms, lifelike silk Hawaiian lawae ferns, silk leis, candles in real bamboo or coconut shells, and silk or shell leis. They really set the Hawaii mood and then you can give items like fresh pineapples, Hawaiian kissing couple figurines and dashboard hula wigglers away as game or door prizes to your guests at the end of the luau.

arch1.jpg (33259 bytes) bambooarch2.jpg (19106 bytes) bambooarchwithorchids.jpg (27187 bytes)

Use Strands of Flowers to Decorate Arches, Alters, and Isles at the Ceremony
Strands of flowers are the easiest way to add a tropical touch to arches, line the isle, decorate fences and table skirts and more.


Tiki Torches Make Great Decorations for Day or Evening Luaus
Tiki Torches are a great way to add a tropical atmosphere. If the luau is in the evening the torches can be lit, if the luau is during the day the tiki torch makes a great flower arrangement holder. To use as a flower arrangement holder as shown above remove the fuel holder and put the fresh or silk flower stems in it’s place. Orchid sprays, shower tree branches, anthuriums and other tropical flowers are great for tiki torch flower displays. Silk leis are ideal for tying on to the torch stand to add more tropical flare. Lightweight chiffon fabric can also be tied between the tiki torches to create an isle, section off areas, etc. Tiki torches are typically available in home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes and can also be found in the patio section of stores like Walmart and Kmart.

Have Candles in Real Coconut Shell or Bamboo on the Tables
For evening luaus candles in real coconut shells are great to place on the tables. Candles in real bamboo stalks are also available and add a tropical twist.

luau5.jpg (14125 bytes)

Provide Name Tags for Your Guests with Their First Name Translated Into Hawaiian
Luau guests find it fun to learn what their name would be in Hawaiian. Using your home computer and printer create name tags using label stickers. Print on them your guests first names translated into Hawaiian.

Hawaii Flower Behind the Ear Tradition
If you have flowers blooms available for your guests to wear behind their ear the tradition in Hawaii is if you are single the flower should be worn behind the right ear and if you are taken then the flower should be worn behind the left ear.

Make Hawaii Theme Cookies for Desert, to Use as Place Setting Cards,
or for a Decorating Activity for Guests 

If you enjoy cookie making and decorating you can create adorable Hawaii theme cookies. They can be used as dessert or add names to them and use them as table place cards. A fun activity to do with luau guests, especially kids, is to offer them undecorated cookies and a bunch of decorating supplies and have them decorate their own cookies. Tip: If you don’t like to bake you can take the Hawaii theme cookie cutters to a professional bakery and they will make them for you.

Use Fun Items for Food and Beverage Presentation 
Rather than using a typical cooler to store your canned and bottled beverages fill up a plastic or blow up kiddy pool with ice and use that!
Instead of typical serving bowls and platters to serve punch, salads, macadamia nuts treats, chips, or other buffet items use large sea shells or beach pails as a fun alternative. Small shells are great to hold condiments like salt and pepper.
Use grass skirts to go around the outside of tables.
Use fish nets and sea shells to decorate tables, the patio and/or dance floor areas.
Use beach sand or pool filter sand to the decorate patio and/or dance floor area.
Rather than using sand to decorate food display tables and dining tables where it could get into food use brown sugar instead.

luau9.jpg (34639 bytes)luau11.jpg (14218 bytes)

Serve Popular Luau Foods 
Introduce your luau guests to foods and beverages which are favorites in the Hawaiian Islands by serving items such as kalua pig, teriyaki beef, mahi-mahi, laulau, mochiko chicken, shoyu chicken, huli-huli chicken, chicken long rice, potato-mac salad, lomi lomi salmon, haupia, macadamia nut cream pie, mochi, mai tais, and blue Hawaiians. We offer recipes for these and more so you can make them yourself or hire a caterer to make them for you. We also offer recipes specific to having a luau theme Thanksgiving dinner and a luau theme Christmas party.

If you go to a luau in the Hawaiian Islands you are usually able to see how an entire pig is roasted underground in a traditional Hawaiian imu pit which is an underground oven. It takes a day to prepare the imu pit and a day to slow roast the pig in the pit. It is a lot of work but the meat just falls off the bones and is very tender and delicious. This roasted pig is called kalua pig. We offer directions on making kalua pig using an authentic Hawaiian imu pit. We also offer easier methods for making kalua pig by oven roasting it or using a slow cooker in our popular luau foods recipes.

Serve Poi, A Traditional Hawaiian Luau Item
Poi is a starch food that typically accompanies an authentic Hawaiian luau. Poi was eaten by the ancient Hawaiians and is attributed to keeping them so healthy. It is still enjoyed by people in Hawaii as a side dish or a snack. Poi accompanies dishes like Kalua pig and laulau really well. Poi is made from the taro root which is similar looking to a yam root. To make poi the taro root is pounded repeatedly with a heavy rock or wooden implement called a poi pounder and mixed with a little water at a time until the taro is mashed and the consistency of pudding. Poi is purple in color and is traditionally eaten with the fingers. Eating taro can be compared to having mashed potatoes with a meal but is much healthier for you. For your luau you may now want to pound your poi yourself since it is a lot of work. There is now an easier way to get poi then pounding it, it is to make it from dehydrated poi. It is 100% taro which was made into poi then all the water is removed to create the powdered poi. You only need to add water to the powdered poi and you instantly have authentic Hawaiian poi without all the work of having to pound it yourself.

luau6.jpg (30684 bytes)

Serve Tropical Fruits from Hawaii
Pineapples are delicious and good for you. They are high in vitamin C and have an enzyme that aides in digestion. A tip for serving fresh pineapples is to leaving the skin on cut the top off then cute each pineapple into quarters length wise. You can then cut the quarter into portions but don’t cut it all the way through the skin. The skin will act as a serving bowl and each quarter can be put on a table. Those who want some can easily break off a single serving portion. 
To create Pineapple Boats by taking a whole pineapple with the skin and top still on and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop/cut out the pineapple meat leaving the skin and top. Then fill each pineapple half with the pineapple pieces and other fruits like sliced banana, apples slices, grapes, strawberries, etc.
Pineapples make a great item to stick fruit skewers into for serving. Create fruit skewers using items like different kinds of melon, kiwi, pineapple chunks, papaya, and strawberries. Then stick the skewer pointy end into the pineapple to serve.

Papaya are another delicious tropical fruit popular in the Hawaiian Islands. Papaya are great sliced into spears and served on their own or cut into cubes and put into a fruit salad or on fruit skewers. Fresh papaya also makes a great salsa! Fresh papaya are also healthy for you and contains enzymes which are excellent for your digestive system. They are a perfect complement to any luau!

Decorate the Luau Cake With a Hawaii Flare
Use adorable Hawaiian kissing couple figurines and/or loose fresh or silk tropical blooms to easily turn any plain cake into a tropical delight! Whether you bake the cake yourself or get a store bought cake this is a simple but impressive way to decorate the cake for your luau.

Serenade Your Luau Guests with Hawaiian Music
Hawaiian bands are all over the USA and you can hire a band to play live for your guests. You can also play cds of Hawaiian music or play streaming Hawaiian music on your computer.

Hire a Hula Dancer to Perform or Teach Hula
Hula dancing is popular all over the world.
We offer a resource of listing for hula performers for hire where you can have them come to
dance for your guests or even teach them a few hula moves!
You don’t have to hire a pro hula dancer, you can learn how to hula and teach your guests!

luau16.jpg (17380 bytes)

Hire a Fire Knife Dancer to Perform
Fire knife dancing is a popular event at a luau but it is not actually a Hawaiian tradition, it is Samoan. But it is spectacular to see! We offer a resource of listing for fire knife performers for hire where you can have them come to dance for your guests.
Click here to view listings of fire knife dancers for hire.

Offer a Hula Outfit or Outfits for Luau Guests to Wear for Photos
A fun way to get luau guests in the mood is to put on Hawaiian music and offer a few hula outfits, maybe real coconut bra, and silk leis for them to put on and try a few hula moves. It makes for great photos and lots of laughs. A Hula outfit is also great thing to have the guest of honor wear at a little girl luau parties!

Play Fun Hawaii Theme Games
Entertain your guests by playing fun Hawaii theme games that everyone will enjoy like the tacky tourist relay, toss the coconut, musical beach towels, hula hoop races, judge who has the loudest aloha shirt and more!

Everyone loves Hawaii and the tropical romance it symbolizes,

 so now you have all the resources

you need to create a luau your guests will never forget!




Text and Pictures by Kim and Mike Crinell
from A Friend in the Islands.

Read Full Post »

While browsing through Hawaiian information sites, I came across this very informative website, http://www.alohafriendsshop.com. They have a plethora of information and gifts for the Hawaiian themed event.  This company was started by a couple, Mike and Kim Crinella, who on vacation in Hawaii, decided it was the place they needed to live. 23 years later they are living their dream.

Island Dreaming by Lenila Batali

Here is some excellent information about the Lei Exchange during a wedding ceremony:

A lei exchange can be easily added to any wedding ceremony. Giving someone a lei symbolizes the love, affection, and respect you have for the person you are giving the lei to. Having a lei exchange is beautiful way to express your eternal love Hawaiian style on your special day. It is customary to give a kiss on the cheek when adorning someone with a lei. 

Bride and Groom Lei Exchange at the Start of the Ceremony
This lei exchange is done before the start of the ceremony when the bride makes her entrance. The best man holds the grooms lei for the bride and the maid of honor holds the brides lei for the groom. When the bride makes her entrance and meets with her groom they take the leis from maid of honor and best man and adorn each other with them.

Bride and Groom Lei Exchange Before the Ring Exchange
This lei exchange is done just before the ring exchange. The flower girl or maid of honor holds the leis for the bride and groom during the ceremony. Just before the ring exchange the flower girl/maid of honor presents the leis to the bride and groom and they exchange leis.

Parents of the Bride and Groom Present Leis to Their Child at the Start of the Ceremony
At the start of the ceremony the parents of the groom come forward and adorn their son with a lei then the parents of the bride come forward and adorn their daughter. The parents then offer their blessing of the marriage and return to their seat. The bride and groom can also have leis for their parents to adorn them with as well.

Parents of the Bride and Groom Present Leis to Their Child Before the Ring Exchange
Before the ring exchange the parents of the groom come forward and adorn their son with a lei then the parents of the bride come forward and adorn their daughter. The parents then offer their blessing of the marriage and return to their seat. The bride and groom can also have leis for their parents to adorn them with as well.

Parents of the Bride Exchange Leis with the Groom and the Parents of the Groom Exchange Leis with the Bride at the Start of the Ceremony
This is a great way for the parents to symbolize the acceptance of their child’s mate into their lives and the joining of the two families. At the start of the ceremony the parents of the groom come forward and adorn the bride with a lei then the parents of the bride come forward and adorn their groom. The bride and groom then present each of their in-laws with a lei.

Bride and Groom Present Leis to the Immediate Family
This involves the entire immediate family with the wedding and allows them to be a part of wedding ceremony where the two families become one. Depending on how many leis you will need have one or two flower girls that will hold the leis and bring them up when needed. After the ring exchange call your special family members forward by name and have them come up to receive leis. At this time the flower girl(s) bring the leis to the bride and groom. Before the bride and groom adorns the  family members in leis make a statement to the attendees of your love for your family and your looking forward to your new life together as one a family, or something of that nature to make your family feel special and loved. The bride and groom then adorn the family members in leis. This is a popular ceremony for marriages when the bride and/or groom brings children from a prior relationship into the marriage.

“Where Love is concerned, too much is not even enough.”

~Pierre-Augutin de Beaumarchais

Designs by Lenila

Read Full Post »

Are you sending a gift that calls for Hawaiian text?
Here are some popular Hawaiian Phrases for Gifts:

A gift for you ~ He makana nau
All my love ~ Aloha Nui Loa
Beloved ~ Ke Aloha
Come visit again ~ Kipa hou mai
Get Well ~ E Ola
Good Luck ~ Pomaika`i
Farewell to you ~ Aloha `oe
From the ___ Family ~ Mai ka ‘ohana ___

I Love You ~ Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe
I Truly Love You ~ Aloha No Au Ia ‘Oe
Just for you ~ Nau wale no
Thank you ~ Mahalo
Thank you for your hospitality ~ Mahalo no kou ho`okipa

Thank you very much ~ Mahalo nui loa
To my love ~ Ia Iho Ke Aloha
To the ____ Family ~ E ka `ohana __
Until we meet again ~ A hui hou kakou
Warm love, affection ~ Aloha Pumehana
With love ~ Me Ke Aloha
With the warmth of my love ~ Me Ke Aloha Pumehana

Designs by Lenila
create custom beach wedding invitations and announcements
with the tropical Hawaiian flair

Beach Wedding announcement

Hawaiian Islands Beach Wedding Invitation by Designs by Lenila

Elegant starfish wedding announcement
Starfish Wedding Invitation by Designs by Lenila

Pink plumeria wedding announcement

Pink Plumeria Wedding Invitation by Designs by Lenila

Tropical Tent Table Card by Designs by Lenila

Tropical Tent Table Card

Beach Wedding Invitation
Dolphin Beach Wedding Invitation

Scroll wedding invitation

Elegant seahorse scroll wedding invitations

Read Full Post »

My hubby, Brent and I went on a fun date looking for protea plants last weekend. You know those wonderful, striking but strange looking flowers you
see in the hotels of Hawaii or any upscale  venue. Well, we struck gold and found the Resendiz Brothers in Rainbow, California
(near Fallbrook and Temecula).
Acres and acres of proteas- all colors shapes and sizes! To my delight, Brent said he wanted me to pick any of the plants  I wanted as my Mother’s Day gift.
Wow! I have the best hubby in the world!
So needless to say, I went to town and purchased  some amazing hybrids.
As soon as they start flowering I will post.
The Resendiz Brothers are one of the largest suppliers of protea cut flowers in the nation that deliver around the world.
Go check them out. Tell Mel we said HI~
Happy planting day for me!!



Designs by Lenila

Read Full Post »

Congratulations to Brian and Michelle from Australia!
They are getting married at the Moana Surfrider Chapel and Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
DesignsbyLenila created their Seastar Invitations with the sinamay envelope embellished with a sea biscuit.
And some very special favors in Seastar Cell Charms
and our exclusive Tiles of Joy.

“My bounty is as endless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee
The more I have, for both are infinite.”


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »