I decided on a rainbow theme way back -- I think inspired by a rainbow layer cake that looked wow-worthy. (After my amateur baking fails at Christmas, I thought this could be a chance to redeem myself. Silly Mari.) After remembering my aversion to food dyes for Jane and the lack of proper baking equipment in my mother-in-law's kitchen I scaled back my baking efforts to a pumpkin cake (lower sugar and easy to make in bundt cake pans), but we had rainbow decorations.
The best way to do it is string the balloons (which we did the day before the party and hung them the morning of). I used size 10 crochet thread (which I can use for actual crocheting later/once Grandma and Popeye come visit and bring our overflow baggage) and a tapestry needle. Then we poked that through the necks of each balloon to get a string of each color. We used regular tape to affix to the siding and they stayed up several days -- at least as long as we were there. I haven't heard if they've fallen down yet, although they were starting to lose air from the temperature fluctuations and just time.
The icing/glaze was just leftover pumpkin (probably 1/2 cup) mixed with powdered sugar and a bit of milk. So it had a nice pumpkin flavor and color.
The ice cream cone stem was supposed to be green, but we forgot to look for it earlier and ended up just using what we could find at the last minute.
I forgot to put baking soda in the bottom cake, so it didn't taste as good/have as much lift. But we only served the top cake at the party so that was all OK.
We also made fruit salad and pasta salad, both rainbow-style. I had toyed with the idea of making fruit pizza, which could be designed to look like a rainbow. But after tasting the test version Shawn didn't think it would be a good idea for his family. The recipe also took several ingredients my mother-in-law didn't have, and I wasn't up for buying more when it came time to make the decision. The fruit salad replacement was a big hit -- I had thought about doing a fruit tray with the rainbow colors layered out, but in the end I thought the fruit salad would be easier to eat. And it was well received -- with no random bits of fruit left if one color didn't taste as good as the other.
Red: strawberries and grape tomatoes
Orange: peaches and shredded carrots
Yellow: bananas and cheddar cheese
Green: green apple and green bell pepper (from Grandma's garden!)
Blue: blackberries and nothing (could have done crushed blue corn chips? or maybe found blue colored pasta?)
Purple: purple grapes and red onion
Today is Jane's actual birthday, and she is two years old. We are heading on ANOTHER trip, although this one is short and by car. We're going to have some fun in New Orleans before we come home and start focusing on prepping for the holidays. Grandma and Popeye are coming for Thanksgiving!