The planning for this party seemed to start forever ago! I asked Rory what kind of birthday he wanted this year and he excitedly told me a rainbow and unicorn party. I think easy enough and plan on a few decorations and to make the same strawberry cupcakes (note: I alter the recipe to have 1c pamela’s gf pancake & baking flour & 1/2c pamela’s gf bread flour) I made him last year because they were delicious. Then one day I start thinking about the decorations I saw on Facebook a while back of OhMeaghan’s Rainbow + Rollerskate party and dropped her an email which led to her rainbow pinterest board and me following the links that really excited me and repining and adding to to make my own rainbow party pinterest board.
It started with a trip to the fabric store to get some fabric to make a little bunting. On the way home we stopped at michael’s craft just to peek and came home with the amazing rainbow ribbon and the flowers I later used as a center piece on one of the tables. On the way home from this trip we were talking about food for the party and he said “I hope you have enough cake stands for this.” cake stands really?!?!? who is this child so a discussion about the type of cake stands he wanted happened.
We continued to collect items and narrowed down the menu and ideas. This is when things get really interesting if you know me and know about all of my food “rules”. There have been no, none , zero zilch food dyes allowed in our home to the best of my abilities since 2003. We eat very naturally, organic as often as possible, few preservatives, even fewer “processed” foods, very little soy, at times gluten & dairy free and for three ish years now corn free after realizing many of Rory’s behavior and sensory problems were from him detoxing off high fructose corn syrup. I’ve been known to call it nightmarish because for me it is. I’ve been limiting, over bearing and controlling of what food comes in our home and more preachy than sharing and partnering with my children, This was blatantly pointed out to me not very long ago by Sandra Dodd I had mixed feelings about it but I listened, and thought why not?
Preparing for the big day involved a ton of butter and baking and excitement by me for rocking a red velvet cupcake.
The day before the big party was Rory’s actual birthday. He started the say off with a mini birthday cake breakfast out on the patio. Rode his bike like Pee Wee Herman in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure his current favorite movie. We finished off the afternoon painting a a rainbow sign for the big day.
Then I put the kids to bed and the frosting started. Who knew frosting a 6 layer cake would be as both easy and difficult as it was. Each layer brought new excitement and fear. In the end it was slightly crooked but I am not a professional baker or cake decorator just a mom of a 6 year old rainbow and unicorn loving boy so this was good enough for me. By the time I finished frosting the cake and the 3 dozen cupcakes Steve was finished making the sandwich skewers so it was off to bed with us as well.
The big day was upon us. I put Rory’s rainbow sign by the front door and hung the Welcome sign and some rainbows from my TomKat Studio Rainbow printables.
I hung one of the buntings and the TomKat birthday banner on the wall behind where I set up the food table. I loved seeing the excitement on Rory’s face when I pulled out the rainbow unicorn table cover which was actually a little too narrow for my 8 foot table.
I had standard fruit and veggie platters only I arranged them in rainbows as I had seen on pinterest.
I made a quickie tortellini chicken pasta salad and the sandwich sticks I fell in love with.
There were the red velvet cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes both gluten free.
This rainbow cake was all about me being outside my comfort zone first it was SIX layers, called for a TON of food coloring something I haven’t cooked with before this week since 2003 when I eliminated them from our diets at least from home, and I used fondant for the very first time that included corn syrup and yet even more dye for the decorations. I pulled out my x-acto knife and freehand cut out the letters for Rory’s name ever thankful while doing so that he has a short name.
To drink I made our family standard fruit punch (equal parts cranberry pomegranate juice and sierra mist you know because its corn syrup free and a splash of pineapple juice) and pink lemonade I don’t know why the color was so dark on mine but it tasted AMAZING! I supplied ice with a scoop in a rainbowish striped bucket and my favorite thing was the colorful striped paper straws. I put out mason jars in both pints and half pints to drink out of and its a good thing I have a lot of both.
The rainbow bunting and the pom pom & yarn garland were both hung on the back fence for a splash of rainbow color.
The balloons tied to rainbow yarn were brought out with extra pink for my pink loving boy!
With the arrival of our first guests (thank you Julie, Diana & Frances) we were able to get a picture of our rainbow dressed family I even got to have our unicorn leader sit on my lap! I really wish Finn wasn’t holding that balloon and you could really see his green shirt though.
We ate some food & opened some gifts.
Then it was time to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles. If you look closely or even not too closely you will see how butter creme, fondant and hot Miami weather may not be the best of friends as the polka dots were sliding a little bit. I also didn’t realize until about now that I forgot to put the little mini felt cake bunting on the skewers that were more structural than decorative.
I cut the cake and sadly realized the cake slices were too big for the adorable rainbow unicorn plates I had purchased for the party so we just used some boring non matching paper plates I had.
These amazing brilliant colors were totally worth the insane amount of food coloring needed to get them to see the smiles on not only my rainbow boy’s face but the faces of every other person child and adult alike.
At the end of the day the party goers were able to grab a gift bag filled with temporary tattoos & a stained glass mini coloring book (either unicorn or dragon themed), a unicorn swirled lollipop, a pack of crayons, a rainbow crayon & colored pencil and a sandwich size ziploc bag to fill with candy from the candy bar. I had filled jars with skittles, m&m’s, sunkist fruit chews, and little mike & ikes.
What surprised and saddened me the most at the end of the day was the little girl who didn’t fill her bag with candy but filled it with the leftover fruit from the fruit platter. I don’t know if it was dietary or if fruit was that big of a treat to her and I didn’t ask mostly because I didn’t want to embarrass her either way but I will now make sure when she is over to bring out some fruit.
It was a busy day because in addition to my own 5 kids there were about 15 added kids from the neighborhood at any given time (they just all started dropping in and at one point I panicked that we wouldn’t have enough food) in addition to 8 or so adults. I just love that I am STILL hearing from my own kids and party attendees how awesome the party was. Totally makes all the broken food rules totally worth it and not such a big deal at all in the grand scheme of things. When asked what he liked the most about his party he said everything he only wished that Brenna was there for it too because he really misses her.
I’ll update later on with links for all the recipes and inspiration posts and suppliers but for now I’m going to have a cup of tea and watch my kids play in the pool because this post took much longer to write than I had anticipated.