Archive | Summer

4th of July Front Porch Decor Inspiration

It’s almost time for the biggest celebration of summer, the Fourth of July!  Do you love celebrating our country with some red, white, and blue, bar-b-que, and fireworks? We live in a great little cul-de-sac where most of our neighbors spend summer evenings outside in the front yard hanging out.   So, I decided to focus my Fourth of July celebration on my front porch this year.

Here’s a bunch of inspiration and a little DIY on a super simple 4th of July wreath.

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasFirst up is my Fourth of July front door.  I diyed this simple flag wreath and added a huge Boston fern.  It’s so big it’s blocking our doorbell.  Eventually we’ll be building a custom plant stand that’s a little shorter to allow guests to see the doorbell.

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasHere’s how I made this simple wreath.

  • I took a wreath form
  • Wrapped an extra flag around it, so that the stars were around the wreath, and the stripes are hanging down.
  • For the remainder of the wreath, I used some leftover burlap and hot glued one end around the wreath, then wrapped the rest around the wreath form and secured it with more hot glue
  • I hung the wreath using some burlap ribbon

Like I said, it’s super simple, you’ll just have to play around with the flag to get the positioning that you want.  I specifically used this style because our front door is so tall.  I wanted something that would take up a good portion of the door.  This does just that!

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasJuly Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasNow for the rest of the porch, I added some flower boxes to the porch railings then tucked some flags into them.  I wanted to make sure that the flags stayed put, so I zip tied them to the flower boxes.  Can we give a collective high five to the inventor of zip ties?  They work for so many things.

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasJuly Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasIt’s been so hot here, my flowers are a little droopy.  Thankfully, it’s cooling off this weekend so I’m hoping they perk back up a bit.

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasI just love the ferns that I’ve added to my front porch.  I got them at my local grocery store for guess how much…..$12!!!  Isn’t that crazy cheap?!

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasI put them in galvanized dairy buckets I picked up at a farm store.  This is a great way to let the plants drain but not have water running all over the place.

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasJuly Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideas

July Fourth front porch decor and inspiration, July 4th front porch flags and ideasI hope some of these ideas give you a little inspiration to start incorporating some red, white, and blue onto your front porch.  The front porch is such an important space to show some attention.  It’s the first thing that people see when they come to your house, or even when someone just drives by.  A lot of times the front porch is an underutilized entertainment area.

Use your front porch to invite a neighbor over and have a cool, refreshing beverage while enjoying the decor and work you put into your front porch!  I hope you have a great weekend!  We’ve got several parties to celebrate this weekend, so you’ll get to see all of that fun in the upcoming weeks.


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Party Color Scheme-Summertime Lemonade Stand

It’s another round of Party Color Schemes on this Friday.  Today it’s more of a fun summertime tradition for kids than a party.  However, using some party accessories you can take this lemonade stand to a whole new level.

Did you ever set up a lemonade stand in the summer time when you were growing up?  I remember doing it when I was in second grade during my mom’s yard sale.  I made $46.00 from that lemonade stand and thought I was so rich!

Coming across this color scheme instantly screamed lemonade stand to me.  It may have helped that there were actual lemons in the picture, but I just love the combination of colors to jazz up a basic lemonade stand.

I also love the addition of the green color in this color scheme.  It gives you a great option to offer a limeade drink at your lemonade stand.

Now that you have a great color scheme to center your whole lemonade stand around, try one of these custom lemonade stand DIY’s.  They are super cute and not that difficult to make.  Plus, they are customizable to whatever your lemonade stand needs are.  You could also use this idea as a place for pretend play, costume parties or puppet shows with the kids.  I’d recommend busting it back out again in the winter and setting up a hot chocolate stand.

 

I love that these stands just use a few simple things like paint, crates, and few pieces of wood.

Here’s how I’d accessorize the lemonade stand.  Doing so will really take it over the top and tie in all of these great colors.  Who knows putting in a little party decorating effort might get you more sales and increase your income.

  • Add some garlands in the blue signature color like this, this, or this
  • It never hurts to accessorize with real lemons and limes to bring in the yellow and green colors
  • Add some fun cocktail napkins for your patrons, bonus if they have lemons on them
  • In addition to lemonade offer a sweet treat like lemon cookies, candies, or cupcakes
  • Serve lemon or limeade in these awesome lidded clear cups.  There’s even a size perfect for kids.
  • Use green straws to tie in the green from the color scheme.  These from Shop Sweet Lulu are on sale right now!

Now you have the color scheme to get started, inspiration for making your own lemonade stand, and sources for all the decor you need.  Your over the top lemonade stand is going to make you some big bucks.  And look cute while doing so.  We have a community garage sale this weekend, and I’d love to set one of these guys up in front of our house.  Will you?

 

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Summer Party Inspiration for Your Backyard

It’s been so long since I’ve been here with you!  I’ve been doing a little traveling, gearing up for a baby, house projects, and settling into summer.  This month my daughter is in a preschool summer camp, so I’m hoping to be here with you a lot more!

Let’s kick off summer together with some summer party inspiration shall we?  Don’t you just love summer?  I think casual get togethers that last longer into the night are so fun and create that special memory of summer.  Give any of these parties a try and put your backyard to use.  Here’s a round up of inspiration to get you started.

Picnic Party

I love the idea of doing a mid-day playdate picnic party.  Invite all the friends over for a backyard picnic.  You’ll be amazed at how much less of a struggle it is to get kids to eat when having a picnic outside.  Here are some great ideas and inspiration to host this red an white gingham filled party.

Theme ideas:

  • Use a red and white gingham paper as your invitation
  • Package food in individual boxes for each guest.  Wrap in red and white twine to tie into
  • Ask everyone to bring a picnic friendly food (that way it’s less work for the host)
  • Have kids make an ant themed craft project
Summer party themes, picnic party, backyard picnic playdate, backyard party, picnic food

Use to go boxes for individual picnic lunches. via Paper Mart

Summer party themes, backyard picnic party, picnic invitation, red gingham invitation, mason jars

via Etsy

Backyard Field Day

The kids don’t get to have all the fun during summer!  If you don’t have kids, I highly recommend hosting an adult only field day.  The biggest tip to make this party go smoothly is to be organized and put one person in charge.  The person in charge should be a neutral party so there isn’t any favoritism.  Here’s how to host this fun, competitive summer party:

  • Organize guests into teams
  • Have them compete against each other with backyard games and classic field day competitions
  • Have the neutral party or referee keep track of points to see which team wins at the end of the party
  • Award prizes to the winning team
  • Be sure to provide refreshments to keep your competitors fueled up.  I’m sure adding a summer cocktail will make things even more interesting!

I love this blog post from The Creative Bite.  The games they used for their family Olympics would be perfect for an adult field day party.

Camping Sleepover Party

This is such a great idea for summer time when the weather is warmer and the sun stays up until 9 pm.  If you have a kid’s birthday in the summer, try a camping sleepover birthday party.  Kids will think they are so cool sleeping outside in the yard in tents.  A few pointers to hosting a camping sleepover party:

  • Set up tents with plenty of blankets, cushions, and pillows
  • Provide some late night activities for guests like telescopes for star gazing or flash lights for ghost stories and shadow puppets
  • I’m pretty sure that s’mores are a requirement for a camping sleepover party.  Be sure to stock up on chocolate and marshmallows, then break out the fire pit.

I hope these three fun Summer party ideas will get your creative juices flowing and help to put your backyard to use.  Which party do you want to try?  What’s your favorite way to celebrate summer?

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May Party Round Up

It’s already the beginning of another month.  Can you believe it?  We’re almost half way through the year, time is just flying!  Today is another party round up, this time featuring all the parties to celebrate the month of May.  It’s such a fun time of the year moving into summer, graduations, and the end of the school year.  Let’s party!

First up, is the 5th of May or Cinco de Mayo.  A day that’s often mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, but is really a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French during the Battle of Pueblo.  In the US, it’s really just a celebration of Mexican and American culture.

I’ve recently started following a few people on Instagram that have been posting so much Cinco de Mayo inspiration it’s hard to overlook, so I had to check out their full blog post and I love what they’ve come up with for this special day.

This first party is kind of typical in it’s color scheme for Cinco de Mayo, but I love the addition of the cactus.  I mean those margarita glasses with cactus are too cute!  I also love that this party is totally doable with just some simple colored tablecloths and tassels.

On to another cactus theme, this pink and green cactus themed Cinco de Mayo party is so pretty.  I love the unexpected color scheme and the little cactus party favors.

If you’re not tired of margaritas, chips, and dip, then get ready to party again the very next day.  May 6th is the Kentucky Derby.  What a great reason to throw a party?  It’s a chance to get dressed up, wear a fun hat, and drink too many mint juleps.  I attended a Derby party last year, and get to do it again this year.  I’m really looking forward to it and the cupcakes.

I love Celebrations At Home take on doing a Derby party and the fact that her blog post gives you step by step ways to host your own party.  Plus, there are recipes, decor ideas, drink ideas, and favors for your guests to take home.

Who doesn’t love a party filled with red roses?

May 14th is an important day for pretty much everyone.  It’s Mother’s Day!  I love the idea of hosting your mom, grandma, mother-in-law, aunts, and anyone else that has been a mother to you, for an in home spa party.  Let’s be real, spas are great, but man they are expensive!  By whipping up a few homemade spa treatments or asking everyone to bring their favorite you’ll save a ton of money but still have a great time.

 

Pretty Mayhem does a great job of setting up a Spa Bar with treatments and typical spa snacks.  Plus the decor is simple and calming, just like a spa should be.  Spending quality time with the best women in your life pampering each other sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day.

After all of that fun, it’s the unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day on May 29th.  Memorial Day just isn’t complete without a backyard bar-b-que and lots of red, white, and blue.

A bar-b-que with fun lawn games like bocce ball, giant Jenga, or Cornhole, is just the thing to celebrate Memorial Day.

Lastly, May’s birthstone is emerald, so I did a quick search on emerald themed parties, and literally fell in love with the one that I found.  This birthday party is over the top amazing!

There are so many things I love about this party.  The giant emerald balloons with tassel strings, an overabundance of lush green foliage as centerpieces, emerald glassware, and did you see the food buffets?  They were absolutely amazing!  This would be a great theme for anyone celebrating a birthday in May.  I also love the idea of using it for a 40th over the hill birthday because of all the black in the color scheme.  You have to click on the link above and check out all of the party pics.

That’s the end of our party round up this month.  What are you looking forward to celebrating?

 

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How to Feed a Crowd

Pinterest Graphic-Feed a CrowdI hope everyone had a great 4th of July and spent time eating watermelon, barbeque, and spending time with family and friends.  We did all of those fun things, and made enough food to feed an army.

In order to spend time with your friends and family, smoking your meat is a great alternative to barbequing.  Here’s a tutorial on smoking a big brisket and getting to hang out with all of your friends.

My husband got an electric smoker several years ago, and has become obsessed with figuring out the best way to make tender, juicy, delicious brisket.  He’s tried several methods, but has settled on this one that has gotten rave reviews.

Step 1: Rub the Meat

My husband uses a Kansas City rub recipe. It’s smoky, not too spicy, and a little sweet.  Perfect!

Kansas City Rub Recipe

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

1 Tbsp black pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp cayenne

-Mix together in a bowl

-Rub onto all sides of the brisket

Smoked BrisketStep 2: Marinate

After rubbing the meat with the recipe in Step 1, cover the meat and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  I definitely recommend adding a second or third box of baking soda to your refrigerator to help with any strong smells.

Smoked BrisketStep 3: Make a Baste

To make the baste add some apple cider vinegar to whatever rub you have left over.  Baste periodically, about every two to three hours, by spooning the baste over the top of the brisket.  After the first few times of basting, you can just use the juice from the brisket pan to baste.

Smoked BrisketStep 4: Get the Smoker Ready

We use hickory or mesquite wood chips to get a smoky flavor.  Be sure to soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes to extract the flavor.

Step 5: Smoke the meat

My husband usually sets the smoker to 225 degrees when making brisket.  A good rule of thumb when smoking is to smoke the meat for an hour and a half per pound.

Smoked BrisketStep 6: Wrap up the Meat

Once the brisket is done in the smoker, wrap it up in aluminum foil, then (I know this sounds weird) place it in a cooler with a few old towels.  It keeps the heat in, allows the juices to redistribute, and makes it more tender.  My husband usually does this for about two hours, but if you have more time, it won’t hurt to leave the meat in the cooler longer.

Smoked BrisketStep 7: Slice it Up and Enjoy

After the brisket has hung out in the cooler for a few hours, it’s time to slice it up!  Typically there is a layer of fat on most briskets.  We always cut that off the top first, then cut up the rest of the meat.

Smoked BrisketThere is a little bit more work on the front end using this method.  However, it’s nice to be able to have the cooking done when your party starts and guests arrive.  All of the work is done ahead of time.  It doesn’t hurt that you end up with a delicious brisket.

Depending on the size of brisket, you can get a lot of bang for your buck and feed a lot of people.  I recommend purchasing a brisket that is half a pound to a pound a person.  That will be more than enough to feed everyone.

How do you feed a big crowd?  Do you want some meat now after reading this?

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Celebrating everyday!