Monday, February 28, 2011

Evangeline's Rainbow Party!

In honor of Evie's third birthday, we had a fabulous rainbow party!  After some coaxing (she wanted a Tinker Bell party; I promised her a Tinker Bell present instead!) we started researching the rainbow theme, and came up with tons of ideas!  I just love planning parties, and this one was definitely one of my favorites!

The whole idea started with a cake.  I found this cake online and I was just dying to try it!  I was sure mine wouldn't turn out quite so beautifully, but I was willing to give it a shot, especially since I wouldn't need to decorate the outside of the cake. (I love to bake, but I don't have the steadiest hand when it comes to detailed decorations.)

I began by doubling this recipe (it was delicious and easy!).  Then I separated the batter into six bowls and used Wilton concentrated gel food coloring to get those vibrant colors.

I also made cupcakes, just from a box mix (Funfetti, of course)!  To ice 24 cupcakes and a double-sized cake, I made 4 batches of Wilton's buttercream icing.  This is my go-to icing for my kids' birthday cakes, because it is really yummy and colors beautifully!  (I always add a pinch of salt to taste to cut the sweetness just a bit!)

The sugar rainbows on top of the cupcakes came from a local candy shop.  
They were great about helping me out with little touches for the theme, 
and they gave me these at a really good price.  It never hurts to ask for a deal!
Always test your icing bag for air pockets before you start decorating!  
The girls loved eating these little dollops as a pre-party treat!

Grace was bummed that she couldn't eat the batter.  
I always tell them Grandma would be mad at me if I let them eat raw eggs!

The rest of my ideas for the party came from a bunch of different blogs, and a few of my own original ideas.  

My dear friend Alicia helped me make Evie a beautiful rainbow ruffle skirt...ok, she totally made it, I just can't sew at all!

I asked the guests to dress in their favorite color of the rainbow, and most people obliged with a brightly colored shirt.  One excellent family, however, brought the concept to a higher level...
The fabulously rainbowed Harrs.  

  I always do a "Pin the...on the..." game, so we pinned clouds onto a rainbow!  We also played a game with different colored mats on the floor (sheets of foam paper).  The kids chose to stand on a color, I picked a colored candy from a bowl, and whoever was standing on that color won  a prize.  In my experience, you want to have plenty of prizes and quick, easy games that even the youngest friends can play (our kid guests ranged in age from just one to eight!).  We also made a craft, a multi-media rainbow.  Each color was made out of a different medium, including red pom-poms, yellow feathers, etc.  The biggest mistakes were the green pipe cleaners (they just don't glue down well) and purple puff paint (INDELIBLE FABRIC PAINT???  What was I THINKING???), but in all the craft was cute and fun.  We did the craft in shifts, since we had about 15 kids and not quite enough helpers for each kid!  

The food was also, of course, rainbow themed, which was only possible because of the "perfect party time" of 2-4 pm.  People eat lunch before they come and leave in plenty of time for dinner, so snacks and cake is enough!  We had a big rainbow salad, rainbow fruit salad, veggie chips, tortilla chips, and rainbow gold fish!  On the dessert table were mixed rainbow popcorn, rainbow candies, rainbow lollipops, and of course the cake!

Add some balloons, streamers, and a house full of beloved family and friends and we had ourselves a party!  

I have always wanted to try these "Martha Stewart Pom-poms." 
 I wouldn't call them super easy, but practice definitely helped!

This rainbow wreath was a bit time consuming, but fun to make, 
and we might just keep it up as a decoration in the playroom!

I bought these over-sized flowers at JoAnn Fabrics, and stuffed 
the vase with the left-over fabric from Evie's skirt.  (I told you I can't sew!)

Hair accessories courtesy of NoodleKnots!

My beautiful and talented sister Emily did the face painting!

Evie waving to her adoring fans during 'Happy Birthday."

This perfect shot is courtesy of Jessica Barakat.  I want to hire her as my life photographer.  

I was so pleased with the way the cake turned out!  I definitely want to try different variations of this idea!

Our totally gorgeous nephews!

The Aftermath...

I'm so grateful to my generous mother for letting me host this party at her house just a week after we moved in!  Jesse was such a huge help the day of the party, I couldn't have finished everything in time without him!  We are so thankful to God for blessing us with our intensely wonderful Evangeline!