The rainbow birthday party

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On Sunday, five of Claire’s school friends came over for her rainbow birthday party. (Six friends were invited – six friends for a six-year old – but one child was unable to come due to illness.) Claire chose the rainbow theme last year shortly after her last birthday, if you can believe it! As the big day approached, she decided that she wanted a party at home and that the main activity should be crafts. Okay. With Claire being a major craft-lover, and with Pinterest and Etsy as great sources of inspiration, that sounded just fine to me.

We settled on three crafts to do at the party: rainbow wands (as seen on Pinterest, with the original source here), colourful headbands, and a rainbow tissue craft. Leading up to Claire’s birthday, she and I spent a lot of time getting the craft supplies ready. Ren helped sometimes but often would “give up” (his words) after a few minutes. At one point, he declared himself “a drawing boy, not a crafty boy”. Most of the prep was pretty quick and fun but sheesh, getting the tissue balls ready was tedious! She and I quickly tired of scrunching up individual little squares of tissue in seven colours.

Claire and I also made the decorations ourselves. She watched as I prepared invitations, a poster, and labels for bottles, popcorn bowls and favour bags in Photoshop. And she tied ribbons in rainbow colours onto white “cloud” lanterns. We also had a lot of fun making fluffy clouds with cotton balls glued onto paper. I also found a cute idea for rainbow mobiles on Pinterest (original source, here ).

That did it for the decorations. For favours, we were lucky to find a rainbow hair clip here on Etsy, rainbow hair extensions from Michaels, and rainbow twizzlers that we packaged up with some gold coins.

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So now on to food. Well, I already mentioned water bottle labels. We knew there would be plenty of sugar from other sources so instead of offering juice to drink, we provided personalized water bottles. What kid doesn’t like stuff with their names on it?! We also made rainbow popcorn (found on Pinterest, original source here) and served it in personalized containers as well.

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I should mention that I think the kids liked the novelty of it but the consensus seemed to be that the popcorn was too sweet.

And finally, the cake. Yes, I decided to try to make a rainbow cake. Now, before you start thinking I’m some sort of Betty Crocker let me just say, I did NOT make this sucker from scratch. No way. In fact, Betty Crocker did most of the work for me, in the form of cake mixes and icing! I was going to do both the batter and icing from scratch but sheesh, the baking alone took enough time that I decided to take shortcuts wherever I could.

Behold, the creation of a monster {cake}.

Layer by layer, it began to take shape:

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Hooray, the crumb coat is done! Now into the fridge it goes for a few hours before I do the final layer of icing.

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Claire wanted to help so she placed skittles around the bottom of the cake:

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I have no doubt many skittles were consumed during this stage.

And finally, the monster was ready to be unleashed onto the world (ahem, party):

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We did the last bit of decorating / staging, and then we ready!

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While we waited for guests to arrive, Claire entertained us with a little jig.

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Check out those rainbow socks, by the way! They had arrived by mail from our friends Kelley and Paul just a day or two earlier. I had planned for Claire to go barefoot at the party but she insisted that she should wear her socks. And don’t they look cute?! (If not, a little funny …)

And then she waited at the window, watching for her friends. I managed to capture a few pictures of her as she waited, holding the “demo” wand that we would all soon be making.

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I was so proud of Claire, the way she greeted each girl as they arrived. She is turning into such a little hostess! And I have to say, I love all of Claire’s little friends. She has such a good group of girls in her class. I won’t post much about her friends because I didn’t ask their parents’ permission but I think a few pictures are okay as long as I don’t identify the kids by name. I’ll just let the following pictures speak for themselves:

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The goofy gang:

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These girls were quite the crafty crew! I wasn’t sure if they would want to do all three crafts but they had amazing focus and went all out. It was fun to see each girl’s own style and technique as she crafted.

When it was time for cake, the girls sang “Happy Birthday” first in Chinese, and then in English.

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It was so cute, but Claire couldn’t wait for both songs to be sung before she started blowing out the candles! Unfortunately, those candles gave her a very hard time so she kept puffing away until finally, she got ’em all:

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With a cake this … ungainly … Paul and I discussed in advance how the heck we were going to cut into it. Or rather, how Paul would cut into it as I took pictures. We decided to cut a large wedge and pull that out first. Paul had the good idea of stabilizing the wedge by putting the knife down inside it as he lifted it.

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Whew! It came out nice and looked great!!

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Claire’s Chinese name (and middle name) is Caiwen. We have received many different translations of her name, as apparently the two characters can mean different things in combination. However, the most recent translation – from Claire’s teacher – is that Caiwen means “beautiful colours”. The character for Cai in particular can mean “rainbow”. We found this out after she had already chosen her rainbow theme!

Anyway, a very happy birthday to my girl of beautiful colours, Claire Caiwen. May you always be as colourful and as joyful as you are today. Much love, Mama   xoxo

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  • How special that her birthday theme matches her Chinese name!!

    This birthday party is by far the best I've ever seen, maybe that because I'm attracted to rainbows almost as much as Claire herself. You had everything organized perfectly Mom! Incredible. You really need to enter it into a magazine.

    Happy 6th Birthday Claire Caiwen! you are as beautiful as a rainbow.

    Jill

    PS- I know I said this on FB a million times, but that cake is INCREDIBLE!!!ReplyCancel

  • IT all looks so incredible. Helena says "wow she really goes all out, I hope you're making me a rainbow cake for my 16th!!" I could probably manage another one by then – but I'll make hers from the box as well, that was a good call!
    Is that a beer I see in Paul's hand in that one pic?? I thought that was cute. Brace himself.
    The girls did an amazing job on those crafts.
    Funny, I've known about the rainbow/colourful meaning for a long time, funny we've never discussed it:)ReplyCancel

  • I would say you are a regular Martha Stewart! You went all out on this one… buy why not, if you truly enjoy it.

    What a great theme and the cake is gorgeous — I made one once, it was a lot of work!!!

    Claire is full of joy and colour! Happy Birthday Claire!ReplyCancel

  • Rae

    Wow, who knew you could make so many cool rainbow things?! Awesome party, great decorations, amazing cake!

    Love your socks, Claire!ReplyCancel

  • Nice cake. I see your skills have improved.ReplyCancel

  • Wow! You are so creative. I think this needs to be in a magazine.ReplyCancel

  • This looks like the best BDay party! Incredible cake and awesome crafting! From Auntie Marlene!!ReplyCancel

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