Stars, stripes, red, white, and blue. I'm not one to normally make a deal about 4th of July. Sure, Noah will wear a patriotic shirt and we make sure to barbecue (either hosting or as a guest), but I have never gone all out for the holiday. But this year, Noah's cousins will be visiting that week. We will be hosting a family barbecue, so I wanted to do a little extra something.
I had hoped to show you my plans for making our deck a little more patriotic, but this is where my deck furniture currently sits. Thankfully this is for a really good reason. Our deck was looking a little worse for wear, so my amazing dad offered to paint it for us. I simply picked up the paint and he got to work. My dad is a perfectionist, and he spent 3 mornings giving the floor, stairs, and railings two coats. This afternoon the furniture will all be back to where it belongs and we can start enjoying our deck again!
But in the meantime, I decided to experiment with some of the patriotic decor I picked up, just inside instead of out. While summer to me is all about outside living, I can't help but smile when I see this red, white, and blue set up in my living room. I may just keep it like this through the 4th :)
The best thing about this is how easy and affordable it is to recreate. Everything I used was stuff I already had (the white urn, blue bowl, and star dish), while the rest was from the Target dollar spot or Home Goods. And I think my favorite part is the DIY banner I made using cocktail napkins... yes, cocktail napkins. I got the idea from Courtney and basically ran to my nearest Home Goods to pick up some patriotic napkins. This is the most genius and simple idea I've ever come across.
Here are the step by step instructions:
1. Take a piece of string (I used bakers twine since the red and white worked well in this scenario)
2. Hang it across your wall (I tied it to some mini 3M hooks so I can cleanly remove when done)
3. Take your cocktail napkins and just hang them over the string
Note: If you are hanging this outside, you can use double sided tape on the inside of the napkin fold to ensure they stay in place.
That's it... it's seriously so easy! And the options are endless since there are so many amazing cocktail napkins out there. You could make this banner for almost any occasion!
Since Noah's cousins will be here for the actual 4th, I decided to pick them up something fun. I found these glow stick lanyards in the Target dollar spot and thought they would be perfect. I got enough of them so that each kid could have a red, white, and blue glow stick that they can wear around their neck when it starts to get dark.
I also plan to have these little flags and the red, white, and blue votives out on the table. I figured the kids could wave the flags around and we could light the candles as it gets dark. I love when decor is functional :)
As I plan for our 4th of July barbecue, I can't help but want to recreate a few things that we did this past weekend with friends. We got together with 2 other families and had a really nice and laid back evening filled with amazing food and great company. While our amazing host served the most delicious dinner, I offered to bring the sangria. And I want to let you in on a little secret of mine... I buy sangria from a bottle! I know, I know, I could and should (??) probably make my own. But once you taste this you'll find that it's just so much easier this way.
So I buy the Señor Sangria brand from our local liquor store. I haven't tried other brands, so I can't really compare, but this brand I like. And so far everyone else who's had it loved it too! I have tried both the red and the white variety and they are both really good. While you technically can just shake, pour, and drink, I like to put in a little extra effort to make it that much better. Also, if you made this ahead of time, I'm sure no one would know you didn't make it yourself!
I put some cut up fruit into each glass. When I served the red, I used strawberries and oranges, and when I served the white, I used strawberries and white peaches. Then pour the sangria right on top of the fruit. I then topped it off with some pellegrino... I found it added just the right amount of fizz. While you can easily make a pitcher of this, I liked the ease of just making everyone their own glass. You could even set up a "sangria bar" where your guests could easily choose red versus white and customize the fruit they want added. For 4th of July I'd love to add some blueberries to really give it that red, white, and blue pop!
Another thing I definitely want to do again involves an ice cream truck! In our town, there's an ice cream truck company that is owned and operated by a family who has 5 sons. They bought the truck with the intention of giving their boys a summer job and teaching them how to run a business. While they make the rounds to all the playgrounds and pools, they also make house calls. You basically just tell them what day and time you want them to come and then you simply pay for the ice cream you order. I think it's genius and the kids absolutely love it! Who wouldn't get excited for the ice cream truck coming to your driveway just for you!?!
So that's how you will find us spending our 4th of July, as well as many other summer nights to come. I'd love to hear how you plan to celebrate the holiday!