Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Festivities

Red, White & Blue and star spangled everything!
That was the theme of this year's 4th of July at our house.
(Isn't that the theme every year??) 
This year, however, I went all out because we had family from out of town gathering at our house, which happens to be the house that my dad and his siblings grew up in. Plus...the town's festivities take place in the park across the street from my house. I grew up just a couple blocks down the road and fondly remember the same celebration as a child. Hello NOSTALGIA! Here's what our festive day(s) entailed. Did I mention that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday? But really...any reason to throw a theme party is ok with me!
 I love finger foods at parties. It makes for less stress for guests when enjoying them and you don't need to worry about a lot of utensils etc. These Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs were a huge hit, especially with my nephew. I'm pretty sure he had 10! I found a loaf of Angel Food cake in the grocery store bakery section and used my handy dandy star-shaped cookie cutter to make the cake stars. Pop those on a skewer with some strawberries and blueberries and BAM...festive holiday dessert on a stick!
 Aren't these lobster plates killer? The only thing to make it better is if we really were in New England having a lobster bake!
Ok...I'm totally in love with festive straws. I have a whole cupboard bursting with themed straws, toothpicks and drink markers. Plus, everything looks better displayed in a mason jar! I LOVE mason jars! You will soon find that out. They have so many practical and adorable uses besides just housing jams and jellies. 

Our 4th of July fun started on the 3rd. Graysen and I made sure that everyone going to the park and walking by during the day would get a great big hello from us!

I found these amazing light up balloons and was a little skeptical at first, but they were surprisingly cool. They have a tiny LED light inside and once it turns dark, they light up the yard and make it look so magical! Graysen thoroughly enjoyed them!

Here is my niece. Doesn't this look like the epitome of the 4th of July! She could be Lady Liberty! 

Once it got dark, we lit off fireworks fountains of sparks. (The only kind that are legal in MN!)

 Wow...check out how much Graysen has changed in a year! Last year, he was 6 weeks, and now this year, he's 13 1/2 months!! 

Our 4th of July Day started out with a Pancake Breakfast at the fire hall. I secretly wanted to bring my star-shaped cookie cutter along to cut everyone's pancakes into stars, but I refrained! Gray also got to see all of the fire trucks! Seriously though people, those hoses are HUGE! I cannot even fathom controling  holding that with water rushing through it. 

Graysen was in the Kiddie Parade with two of his cousins and they won "Most Patriotic"! I may be a little biased, but...I have to agree! Here is his prize winning wagon. 

Graysen even gave his princess rides in it during the Grand Parade. 

After the parade, everyone came to our house to grill out. Check out our "Bomb Pops". They were a huge hit. (Notice my mason jars with fun lids for the straws. They are my new favorite party accessory!)
Here's how to make it. We made ours without alcohol since we had beer and other adult beverages, but you could totally add some vodka or rum to the fruit punch first.

Red Fruit Punch
Diet 7UP
Blue Food Coloring

*Put a few drops of food coloring in the Diet 7UP to make it blue. 
*Fill the glass 1/2 full with ice
*Add a small amount of Fruit Punch. 
(If you add too much, it just ends up purple.)
*Fill the rest of the glass with ice
*Carefully pour Diet 7UP on top. 

They are sort of hard to see, but I also made Watermelon Appetizers and Firecracker Cupcakes along with the Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick. Take your handy dandy star-shaped cookie cutter and cut out watermelon stars. Top them with a piece of cubed feta and a blueberry. I would have really liked to add Pop Rocks to the top of the cupcakes to really give them some BANG in your mouth, but since we have a one year old, we thought we would save that for next year. I did find  really neat firecracker cupcake toppers at Michaels' though. 

We ended the day sitting on the front porch, watching the town's firework display. A perfect ending to a perfect holiday! Tomorrow, Tim and I are golfing in a Veteran's Tournament and then grilling out again with friends over the weekend to really finish off the holiday weekend right!
What fun things did you do over the 4th??



  1. A wonderful time was had by all - thank you so much for hosting the celebration!

    1. You're welcome! It was a great time and it was so nice to get together with everyone!