Holidays Parenting

Eleanor’s Second Birthday Party (Complete with Rainbow Cake)

We celebrated Eleanor’s birthday on Saturday. You’ve already seen the invitations, so you know I was going for a colorful kind of party. The Marimekko tablecloth and colorful gerbera daisies were a good start to the decorations.

The main attraction though? The rainbow cake. My mother-in-law helped me with it. We followed the Martha Stewart / Whisk Kid recipe; She made the cake layers and I made the frosting and assembled it.

That cake was a smashing success! Delicious and very pretty.

The paper mobiles above the table were made according to these instructions (I used card stock instead of vellum).

There were twenty balloons scattered everywhere, but somehow I missed photographing them. I got a giant gold “2” balloon too (like these), but it blew away! Here are a few paper daisies hung in the window.

These polka-dotted paper straws were cute, but odd to drink out of.

You know that rainbow-colored, yarn-wrapped “Happy Birthday!” banner that I was going to make? Yeah, that didn’t happen. It was taking waaaay too long and I had to scrap it, so I used a “Happy Birthday” banner that we already had on hand instead.

And I filled my elephant teapot with more gerbera daisies.

Happy second birthday, my sweet little Eleanor.

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  • Nelle
    May 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    That is one sweet looking party for a little girl’s birthday :) I love the cake themed table cloth, or was it a table cloth themed cake?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      The cake was in the plans all along, and a reader gave me the tip on the tablecloth!

  • abeautifulparty
    May 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    what a beautiful birthday party! I’m sure it was tons of of for little Eleanor!

  • jodi
    May 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    completely adorable.

  • Kerry
    May 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Oooh! Love the cake. I am going to attempt it for my daughter’s second birthday later this month. Thanks for the inspiration, and happy birthday to Eleanor!

  • donaville
    May 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    It looks like it was a success! Nice work :)

  • Julie
    May 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Love it all! Beautiful! Gorgeous cake. Hanging mobiles are great! Might make those for my almost 2-year old’s party. Looks like she’s a lucky girl! Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      The mobiles were super easy, and really cute. Go for it!

  • kelsey
    May 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    how fun! looks like a great party. i’m very impressed with the cake!

  • Lindsey King
    May 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Eleanor is SOO CUTE! & I love her 2nd party! I always think babies should have adultish family parties.

  • Elizabeth
    May 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Happy Birthday to Miss Eleanor! I hope she enjoyed her party- everything was so vibrant and happy!

  • Kira
    May 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    The party came out wonderful, fun and festive. I love the simple white vases. Where did you find them?

  • Audrie
    May 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    It looked like a very lovely party! The cake is absolutely wonderful!

  • Alison
    May 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Lovely! And I love a good rainbow cake — totally making one for my own birthday this year!

    I know, some say it is lame to make your own birthday cake, but I don’t trust anyone else, er, don’t want to trouble anyone else to make it correctly ;)

  • dawn
    May 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    sweet! what fun decorations + i’m oggling the rainbow cake :)

  • Bonnie
    May 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Love all the color. Eleanor is the pretties flower of all, however. Can’t believe that it has been two years since I “met” you in the Chicago Tribune.


  • liz
    May 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    looks fantastic! we have similar taste…I have same vases, cake stand, and ‘old’ birthday banner and we also had my daughter’s birthday party on saturday!
    great job on the party and for getting through years one and two!

  • elisabeth
    May 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    really, really great job on the cake….i want a piece terribly right now it looks so good. i cannot believe your little girl is two already. Already? Really? Of course, I understand how fast time flies with a little one, for my little is not 7, almost 8, and well, I really don’t understand how that happened either.

  • Katie Truelove
    May 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Beautiful and so much fun! So glad it turned out well- especially the rainbow cake:) Now I’ve just got to think of an occasion to bake one…

  • Tiffany
    May 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I couldn’t wait for this post. It all looks great!!!

  • Ashley
    May 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    such a cute party. I love the rainbow cake!

  • Loren
    May 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Seriously fantastic. That cake looks really great :)

  • soisses
    May 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday lovely eleanor, happy birtday 2 u….

    i think it was a fantastic party :) i love that coloured cake and all the lovely decoration.


  • liz @ bon temps beignet
    May 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Awww, Happy Birthday Eleanor! That cake is AWESOME

    And I know what you mean about the paper straws. Sea World uses them and they start to fall apart after the 4th or 5th sip. Blech.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Soggy straws = gross. They sure did look nice sitting out on the table though.

  • Katie
    May 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    So cute! I would like the exact same party for my next birthday, please… only I`ll be turning 25, not 2 :)

  • luuvely
    May 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    good job mommie :) the table cloth and the cake are just amazing! i think I’m going to try this!! :)

  • Katrina
    May 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Everything looks so pretty!! Love that cake, whenever I see one made I’m in ahh

  • Jan's camera
    May 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I can’t believe that she is two already! So cute. I love that cake. I’ve never seen that before. And I am loving that elephant teapot.

  • Julia
    May 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Great photos! Where did you find Eleanor’s beautiful headband?


    • Making it Lovely
      May 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      It was from J. Crew (crewcuts) last year.

  • amie
    May 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Love it. I can’t wait till party time comes around here again. The photo of the cake cut and the table cloth is awesome.

  • Jan's camera
    May 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Hi, can I ask where you got that adorable elephant teapot? It looks so pretty with flowers in it. Thanks.

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife
    May 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Very cute and festive!

    Well done!

  • amanda
    May 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Great job! Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  • Brigitte
    May 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Such a happy scene!

  • Mirakel
    May 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Your cake came out GREAT and totally matches the tablecloth! So cute.
    You are so talented and creative, Eleanor is a lucky girl!

  • Emmmylizzzy
    May 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Happy Birthday Eleanor! This is great inspiration – I’ve got to start planning my almost 2 year old’s birthday soon!

  • Giulia
    May 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    This is lovely. I’m in love with rainbows these days and your version is great. Love the table covers, the cake, the mobile and the banner you already had is lovely as well.
    I love the look of paper straws, are they really that bad? I was hoping to order some for my daughter’s birthday party…
    I did a rainbow theme for my hubby’s b-day last week – not 2, but 37!

  • Erika
    May 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Ok, that cake is absolutely FABULOUS!!! I am thinking I might want one for my B’day in June. Too much for a 30-something? ;o)
    Looks like the day turned out really nice! I am crying a little tear for you though for the 2 year milestone. My little guy is fast approaching his in August and it makes me so very happy and sad all at the same time.

  • Sonja
    May 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Happy Birthday to your sweet liitle girl! Your party decor and cake turned out fabulous.

  • ArticulateArt
    May 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Wow it looks beautiful!!! The cake looks awesome!!! She must be a very happy birthday girl!

  • LauraJane
    May 2, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I always love those rainbow cakes- so pretty. As is Eleanor- such a cute little girl. :) You did well, momma!

  • Danielle
    May 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    IT looks like a gorgeous day. love all the details.

  • Katie
    May 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Everything looks lovely! I just made the exact same cake for my grandma’s 80th birthday! You’re never too old for rainbow cake!

  • Dimitra
    May 3, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Looks amazing, sweet and girly :)))
    Job well done, Mom!
    Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  • Ash
    May 3, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Sooooo cute – love it. Lucky little Eleanor, I have to try and make that cake :) Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d
    May 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Oh, Nicole, you did a great job! Love the colorful party decorations and the cake is fantastic! The sprinkles are so fun, too. I might have to make some of the paper decorations for Vincent’s 4th birthday. Happy Birthday to Eleanor!

  • laurenjanelle
    May 3, 2011 at 10:06 am

    How long did that cake take to make? It’s so pretty!

  • Rebecca
    May 3, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I’m going to attempt that cake! I’ve been thinking about it ever since you mentioned it the first time. Hope it goes well… never made a layer-cake before!

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl :) And congratulations on the great party.

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    May 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Awww, what a cute birthday party! They can be so much work, but they’re so much fun too. And to think, now you get to do this twice a year ;)

  • Hege
    May 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Wonderful and colourful:)

  • Little Gray Pixel
    May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    That cake looks yum! And re paper straws: do they just soak through or what?

  • Brittany
    May 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I turned out beautiful!!! I want that cake….mmmm!!

  • Nicole
    May 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Adorable! I love what you’re putting out lately. All this and you have a newborn? Yay you!

  • Sierra
    May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    What a pretty party, well done!! I’m sure Eleanor loved it!

  • Alisa
    May 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    OMG, your posts are so gorgeous. Happy birthday Eleanor! She is sooooooooo cute!! And the colors on your site- so beautiful, they almost make me cry. She’s a lucky baby (toddler)!

  • lyptis
    May 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    So cute! No wonder the cake was a success, it looks absolutely stunning. It must have takin you ages! The combination of the tablecloth/cake, that picture nearly gave me a seizure, coz it’s so colourful and stripy.:)

  • Katy
    May 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    that cake looks fabulous! I’m impressed with how well it turned out!

  • Emily
    May 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Perfect baby girl birthday party, lucky Eleanor!

  • Zoe, Conversation Pieces
    May 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    So beautiful… I love it all! Especially the cake and the gerberas :)

  • Maggie
    May 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Love it! I’m using this as inspiration for the ice cream social I’m throwing next month for my three-year-old (also named Eleanor, by the way)!

  • jja
    May 5, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Wow, this cake looks amazing!!!

  • Amy
    May 6, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Can’t belieeeve it’s been a year since her 1st birthday party!! The cake (everything, really!) looks marvelous.

  • becky
    June 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    That is the coolest cake I’ve ever seen.

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