I ordered six rolls of crepe paper streamers and seven packs of balloons (rainbow colors, plus a pack of white) from BirthdayDirect.com, which I discovered when comparing options and prices on Oriental Trading and Amazon. I used the streamers all over—hanging from the mantle, above the kitchen table, in a big rainbow stretching across the wide playroom doorway, and in the balloon and paper "chandelier" I crafted above our dining room table.
I'll be tempted to leave the rainbow chandelier up for a while! I got a pack of three paper honeycomb balls at Target and blew up seven or eight balloons, and tied them each to the chain holding up the dining room light fixture. I draped streamers through it to hang low, sweeping down close to the table centerpiece, which was just an arrangement of Claire's blocks and a couple other toys.
The party was in the afternoon, so I wasn't trying to serve a meal, just a few fun snacks. We had pita chips and hummus, "hanky panky," an hors d'ouevres my mom makes, rainbow goldfish, rainbow fruit kebabs, and a variety of sweets.
I didn't do the big rainbow layer cake thing, but made a little mini one for Claire's smash cake. Everybody else could choose from tie-dye cupcakes (i.e. the colored batter I used for each layer of Claire's cake, spooned haphazardly into a muffin pan and baked) and rainbow cookies with a little icing cloud. I'm going to post a how-to on those cookies later this week—I was really excited about them!
For the beverages, I flavored/tinted little bottles of water to make each color, and had a dispenser of lemonade with red raspberries, orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, and blueberries layered over the ice (if I hadn't already taken the rainbow theme too far, that might have been where I did it! For the record, blueberries sink and the rest float.)
All this baking and decorating to-do was all, of course, to celebrate my little Claire-Bear's first trip around the sun! Only when eating her cake did she seem to realize she was the center of attention. She was dainty about it; even as voracious as she usually is, she didn't know how to tackle this cake. She managed to eat about three of the six layers, I think.
Things felt very chaotic to me, I guess mainly because of Kate being a little crazy, opening Claire's gifts faster than I knew what was going on. I tried to keep the guest list small and low-key with just family and a few friends who have little babies as well, but it still felt a little crazy to me. I think Kate was dealing with some jealousy, seeing Claire be the center of attention, but we had fun. Kate loved playing with Claire's new toys, and Claire was just going with the flow. :0)
Happy Birthday, Claire!