Saturday, January 7, 2012

January Birthday Party - Rainbow Style

Winter birthdays in the Pacific Northwest have been a bit of a challenge. At least for us...because we love a good backyard casual party with the kids running around. We were blessed with the birth of our daughter to kick off the New Year in 2004, and while there are things to love about that, the proximity to the holidays and smack-dab-in-the-winterness of it can make parties hard. Her brothers, born mid-summer, have had nothing but fun, backyard birthday parties and the last two included the rental of bouncy houses. This made our big girl a bit jealous, and she wanted a bouncy house party of her own. [In all fairness, she has had great parties, including one at Pump it Up, a pool party, a gymnastics party and a girly manicure/hairdo party at a salon. We don't lack in celebration!] This Christmas was spent in Texas with almost all of her cousins...and I thought it the perfect time and place to have a warm weather birthday party for this winter born girl!

Enter rented bouncy castle, with climbing wall and slide:

This child of ours loves rainbows, and after seeing so many fun rainbow ideas on Pinterest, I thought it the perfect theme for her 8th birthday. She whole heartedly agreed!

We had this party just a few days after Christmas, thousands of miles away from our home/stuff...a lot to manage for this mom! We had to hit several stores just to get plates, napkins and plasticware in the six colors of the rainbow. We ended up with 180 napkins and 120 plates! There are a few left over! I decided that rather than buying cardstock or balloons for a rainbow banner, I'd make use of some of those napkins...turned out cute, don't you think?

I found an adorable rainbow digital scrapbooking kit by Meghan Mullens and used it to create invitations, goodie bag toppers and soon to be sent thank you cards. We bought flavored soda in all colors of the rainbow too, which was fun for the kids.
For food we had the birthday girl's favorite: a soft taco bar.

The cakes were definitely the most fun element of the party for me. It was 26 people just including our families...then we added some friends too! This meant I couldn't get away with just a few cupcakes, so I made both rainbow cupcakes and a big rainbow cake. After mixing up each cake mix, I separated it into 6 portions and added coloring gel to make 6 colors of the rainbow. Then I layered that into the cupcake cups and cake pans. Turned out adorable! Using gel allows you to get vibrant colors without using too much, so it doesn't affect the taste. Rainbows on top are Air Heads Extreme...we got them from Target. [If you try this, I recommend you open the bags and let the candy dry out for a day or two - they were a bit floppy when I added them just before the party.]

A very happy birthday party for our girl,
just a few days before she actually turned 8!