rainbow birthday party!

Rainbow parties are super fun!  It was totally overboard for a 1-year-old party, but we combined with Ruby's cousin, Violet, and the rainbow theme was so fun, and let's be honest ... I just got carried away.  :)

We had a blast with our rainbow treats and rainbow outfits and rainbow decorations.  It resulted in two very happy birthday girls.

 See the girl's rainbow dresses posted here, and directions to make a lickety-split birthday crown here.
I couldn't have pulled it off without my in-laws ... the sister-in-laws were enthusiastic decorators, and grandma and grandpa were the grill masters, whipping up a delicious BBQ dinner.  Thanks, guys!
The decorations were fairly simple.  We made a streamer canopy inside the shade tent, hung paper lanterns (remember them from my spring Relief Society activity?), and a watch-me-grow birthday banner.  I really liked the rainbow circle garland I saw at Sweet and Lovely Crafts, so I made a smaller version.  The dots were punched out of rainbow colored card stock using a 1-inch scalloped circle punch, and sewn together on the sewing machine.  Easy, peasy.
The bean bag toss was fun for the kids.  There was no formal game or prizes ... it was just out for fun.  I got the idea from born.in.japan, and just ran with it.  If you are in the Santa Barbara area and want a (free) lovingly handmade bean bag toss board, email me!  I have no space to store it.

I also used some toys we already had as entertainment:  a tunnel to climb through, a kid's play parachute, and all the rainbow baby toys I could round up for a little baby zone in the shade.  

There were jars of crayons on the table with cute rainbow coloring pages (courtesy of Style Me Gorgeous) for anyone interested in coloring.

I didn't do an over-the-top dessert table that are so popular these days, but there were plenty of goodies to go around.

My big splurge for the party was this rainbow popcorn, to go into those beautifully cut rainbow popcorn boxes.  I ordered it online from Sakida.  It was tasty, but if I had to do it again, I would have tried to make it myself.  Just be warned - the shipping is atrocious (which I did not know until I received my invoice - ouch).  It sure looked pretty though.

A much bigger hit with the crowd was the layered rainbow jello.   It was kind of beautiful, and delicious!  Get the recipe at Glorious Treats.  I have an aversion to Cool Whip, so I substituted vanilla yogurt and it was really yummy.  Two tablespoons of each layer is just enough to fill a clear 8-ounce plastic cup.

Of course, you can't have a rainbow birthday party without doing THE rainbow cake.

I wanted it to be the real deal, so I went directly to the source - Whisk Kid.  She may or may not have been the first person ever to make a rainbow cake, but she certainly started the internet sensation.  Whisk Kid's cake recipe was the perfect amount for a 6 layer cake.   I used my go-to Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe for the frosting.
The reaction from the party-goers when I cut into this cake made the effort of baking it so worth it.  It tasted great, too!  Ruby was supposed to have her own little cake, but I had a gluten-free baking fail.  So she ended up with gluten free cupcake from Santa Barbara's most delicious bakery, Jeanine's, and she devoured it with gusto.

I sent our little guests away with some gold coins (idea found at the blog, it is what it is) - as you know, there is always gold at the end of a rainbow (party).  Bulk gold coins found at Smart & Final.

As my nephew frequently reminded me, "Jill has gone rainbow crazy!"  It was such a fun day, and while I know Ruby won't remember it when she is older, she can look at pictures of this party and know her mama really loves her.
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