DIY: Backyard Luau Good Eats

Sand Dollar Cookies

These cookies might be a bit of a challenge to make, but it's totally worth it. They aren't too sweet and are brushed with a bit of cinnamon for the perfect day at the beach look and feel. Five shaved almond pieces pressed into the top and boom, perfect Sand Dollar cookie. Get the recipe here.

Sea Shell Chocolates
Get this mold from Michael's. You can also get the melting chocolate from there too, but Walmart has it cheaper. I used the cream and white chocolate colors. If you want to make them look marble, here's an awesome tutorial as to how!

Flip Flop Cookies

You can use Milano cookies or Nutter Butters. Ice them on top with any colors or designs you like, then use icing or licorice for the straps. I put them on a tray of graham cracker crumbs to look like sand and bought a few miniatures from Michael's (like buckets and the sand castle.)

Boozy Pina Colada Cupcakes

These were super fun and easy to make. The cupcakes were white cake mix with Pina Colada margarita mix, pineapple slices, coconut extract, splash of pineapple juice from the can of pineapple chunks, and about 1/4 cup vodka. I had to add a bit of flour and baking powder to it because of all of the liquid, but they turned out nice.

The frosting is 2 sticks of butter, a bag (yes BAG) of powdered sugar,  1/2 cup vodka, coconut extract, Pina Colada margarita mix and some yellow food coloring.

Snacks and Icebox Cake

I put all of the snacks into buckets. The little buckets have candy in them "Life Savers" starring as LifeSavers and Peach Rings, "Pool Noodles" as Twizzlers, "Fish" as Swedish Fish. I used the shovels as serving spoons.

Icebox Cake, because of the graham cracker crumbs and vanilla pudding has the tones and feel of the beach. It's also a cool dessert which is nice on a hot day. It's a layer of graham crackers, layer of vanilla pudding, layer of graham crackers, layer of vanilla pudding, graham crackers crumbled on top. CHILL. Serve. 

How To Have the Perfect Picnic


People at the Picnic:

  1. Food Allergies
    Always consider food allergies, trust me, it could make any great occasion go south real quick. Whether you are picnicking with one person or twenty, be cognizant of food allergies or restrictions. Make sure you keep options available for those who may have allergies, and pack their options in a separate container.
  2. Pack for the people
    Don't over pack and don't under pack. Don't pack too heavy, but at the same time make sure you're prepared with something for everyone. You can even pack individual lunch boxes!

Packing Like a Pro:

  1. As mentioned above, keep it simple and light. 
  2. Bring disposable cutlery, plates, napkins and cups to make clean up a breeze. If you pack these items in a trash bag, you get double the use out of the bag--storage/transport AND disposal.
  3. Freeze water bottles and use them as ice packs and then drink them once they melt! Dual purpose.
  4. Recycle pizza boxes and egg cartons to use as transport and serving items that can be tossed afterwards.


  1. Finger foods are your friends! Grapes, apple slices, baby vegetables, cheese and crackers, small sandwiches, fruit and simple salads are the best.
  2. Perhaps make it themed. Healthy? Southern? Classic?
  3. Potato salad, pasta salad, sandwiches
  4. Keep it FRESH. Make the lemonade or sweet tea right before you leave or right there.
  5. Make the food together before the picnic.
  6. Serve everything all at once so everything is fresh and tasty. It also gives everyone options.
  7. NO STICKY. Desserts like ice cream melt and get everywhere and will attract pests like flies, ants and children.
  8. Cover drinks with cupcake liners if you're using cups in order to keep bugs out!


  1. Bring an old comforter to sit on.
  2. Kick back with some tunes! Bring a speaker and a great playlist.
  3. SUNSCREEN! Don't forget some shades or an umbrella too.