Since before I had kids, I had always wanted to throw a Candyland theme party for a little girl. Only one problem. Now that I’m older and wiser, I wasn’t so keen on the candy part. It doesn’t quite fit into my real food philosophy.
So I let go of my dream theme and decided to let Allison choose what she wanted for her 3rd birthday party. Except she’s 2. And very little help. All she could articulate was that she wanted a strawberry cake.
When I mentioned my lack of inspiration to a friend, she was quick to suggest a rainbow party.
Now I know that the rainbow theme is EVERYWHERE right now and I have a tendency to run away from anything trendy. (Except for salted caramel. That is one fad that I. am. all. over.) But the more I thought about it, it all just began to fall into place…
Allison would get her strawberry cake. And orange cake. And pineapple cake. And tons of bright balloons. And maybe even a little candy.
And I would get a theme that I could go so crazy with, I’d have to be committed when it was all over.
The birthday girl. I ordered the embroidered rainbow shirt from K. Mae Designs and made that rainbow tutu in 30 minutes for $3. She even kept in on for the ENTIRE party. It was a birthday miracle.
I LOVE how the decorations turned out. And all I had to do was spend $112 in assorted balloon packs because each bag was short one. freakin. color. I went to Hobby Lobby so many times, I had to have an intervention. True story.
We had hoped to set up the party outside since it was a rare 80º in March, but the ground was a little soggy since it had been raining for two days. We were lucky that things dried out enough for us to move the festivities outside, but it was a last-minute decision. So sorry to all the people who stepped in dog poop since we didn’t clean up the back yard.
The secret to a successful party is a piñata. Apparently, beating things up with the payoff of candy is all that kids need to have fun. Way better rate of return than the rainbow parachute, which occupied their attention for 10 minutes. Which is highly unfortunate because I actually purchased two. One from Amazon and a second one from Party City that was $7 cheaper. I was going to return the Amazon one until I saw it costs $5 to ship it back, somewhat negating my initial cost savings. I. just. can’t. win.
But a birthday party is all about obsessing over the details, isn’t it? That’s why I spent 42 hours planning these bath-themed favors, including homemade rainbow soap, and served sandwiches for dinner. Because favors live on forever. Food is a distant memory within 36 hours. Unless it’s leftovers in my house. Because I still have fruit sauces in my fridge.
Which brings me to the cake. Or should I start with the cupcakes? The 12 DOZEN mini cupcakes that I baked in rainbow flavors, that pretty much all tasted like vanilla. At least the orange and pineapple did. The strawberry, blueberry, and green banana actually turned out pretty well. I won’t even talk about the grape.
What started as an innocent suggestion from my toddler, turned into an obsession. While it may not have been worth the effort of spending two days recipe testing and baking more cupcakes than I could ever use for the sake of keeping manageable ingredient measurements, it looked damn cute. And she got her strawberry cake. So I have to say I’m pretty proud of the effort.
But the round cake was a masterpiece. Because six icing colors and two decorating tip couplers did not make this a simple task. But totally worth it. I mean, check out those cake-writing skillz! So much better than my first attempt.
I know all of this was more for me than it was for her, but I’m pretty sure she had a blast. Look at that face!
Happy 3rd birthday, my sweet girl. I love you more than words can say.