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Last minute tips for an impromptu Fourth of July Party!

Quick tips for making the most of what you have at home to create a fun 4th celebration or any summer party! Click below for my "Voices from the Ville" blog!

Impromptu Fourth of July Party!

Fourth of July Ant Invasion!

Sometimes ants can make the party! I use this clever ant watermelon holder from Oriental Trading Company as a centerpiece!  It is perfect for any occasion, but my 6-year-old added blueberries as a festive Fourth of July decoration. We also found a few red metal ants online to add to the theme.

Old Fashioned Fun on 4th of July

An old fashioned way to keep cool for this July 4th...a ice cold beverage station!

Serve your favorite drinks in these large dispensers from Sur La Table. We added a little spark to the festive decor with felt, star stickers to plastic cups and the red beverage jar. Red, white and blue striped straws, along with star paper straws, steal the show.

I love homemade lemonade which is refreshing at back yard BBQs...garnish with blueberries for the 4th!  Another option is my friend and mixologist, Elayne Duff's, Strawberry and Basil Martini:
Note this is a single serve option only. It does not scale for the beverage jar.
1 1/2oz Vodka
3/4oz simple syrup
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
1/4oz Dubonnet (wine based aperitif)
1 Strawberry, sliced
1 Basil leaf
Muddle strawberry and basil leaf with simple syrup in a shaker. Add remaining ingredients,  shake and double strain into a festive glass. Garnish with a strawberry for the 4th!

Or, a party size Planter's Punch (perfect for the beverage dispenser)
Note: use chilled ingredients
6 cups pineapple juice
6 cups orange juice
11/2 cups light rum
11/2 cups dark rum
1 cup orange Curacao or triple sec
1 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup grenadine
Mix ingredients in the large beverage jar. Pour into red Solo cups filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry for July 4th!

Have a safe and fun holiday!

DIY Fourth of July gift - Homemade Potato Chips

My 6-year-old, Riley, and I decided to try to make homemade potato chips this afternoon. It was a pretty good first attempt! These won't last for 4th of July, but we may try again, as it is a nice gift idea for the summer-- shown here with a red and blue napkin and a plastic cup. 

Here are our recipes:
Riley peeled and I sliced up two russet potatoes in 1/4 inch slices (by eye).

First we filled a small mixing bowl with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

We then made dipping stations of rosemary and onion powder and cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. (at my daughter's suggestion)

First dip one sliced potato in the olive oil

then dip in your individual dipping station.

Once coated with the savory or sweet then place on a pre-greased baking sheet.

I baked them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until golden brown) and I turned them twice in that time.

Personally, I think the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar ones were pretty tasty! Both could be big hits at your next BBQ!
Have a safe and fun Fourth of July everyone!

Celebrate the Fourth of July- Party ideas for a festive 4th weekend!

Happy Summer Everyone!

I hope everyone has a summer full of love and happiness! We found these inventive butter cookies that picture both English and Spanish words. Fun. Celebrate Everyday... Celebrar todos los dias!

Happy Father's Day!

Dad's make the world go around. We celebrate them today in the US, especially my baby daddy, Marc Bloomgarden!

Happy Father's Day!