Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites For 4th of July

Update: Thank you for your emails & comments on Wednesday regarding this post.  I haven't had a chance to respond to everyone yet, but I will this weekend. A few hours after I hit the 'publish' button, I saw this article and I think it goes right along with what I was trying to convey with finding our 'identity' through our 'iddictions' {not a typo}. The comparison iddiction is so not what God wants for us! You can read this well written article by clicking HERE.

Now on to today's post.

4th of July is only two weeks away!  Yikes!  I don't know about you, but Independence Day always marks the middle of summer here for us in Louisiana. Which means we're on the downhill slide to school starting back!  Yuck!  Who wants to think about that today though?

Instead, I thought I would share FIVE things that would be perfect for any backyard 4th of July party. Do you have plans for the day?  We're throwing a big bash at our house this year with great friends, delicious food, and a wonderful time! Oh!  And some fans!  Gotta have lots of fans blowing cool air in our neck of the woods!  We love to entertain in our backyard at the pool and outdoor kitchen area! Here are some ideas for your party! 

{one.} If you're fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, then chances are, your entertainment is set! Kids as well as adults always like to hang out by the pool - especially if snack and drinks are nearby. Just be sure you have lots of balls, rings, diving sticks, and noodles.  Red, white, and blue floats will give your pool party some real patriotic flair.  

I thought this inflatable slide was neat!  We don't have a diving board or slide for our pool, so the kids would really like this! You may want to set up a volley ball net for the older kids and adults. Another fun game kids like to play is pool basketball.  We have a blow up basketball goal that floats in the pool as the kids try to score points from all over the pool. And have you seen the new noodles at Walmart? The ones with "heads"?  Sorry, but I couldn't find a picture of them online.  They are a little more expensive than the regular pool noodles, but cute for the little ones.

If you don't have a hole called a pool in your backyard, that's okay, too, because Pinterest has you covered.  I love these party buckets for kids!  You can fill them with bubbles, glow necklaces, sparklers, sidewalk chalk, and just about anything else that says summer.

{two.} We'll be serving up burgers with all the trimmings this year at our party. They're easy to grill and Wayne likes to start them early so that he has time to socialize when our guests arrive. We just keep them covered and warm until everyone is ready to eat.  When we host big groups, we tend to eat more in a "buffet style." That way, guests can eat when they're ready.  I normally have a food bar of some type, so this year, I'll have all the hamburger trimmings set up so everyone can customize their own burger. I usually serve things like crispy bacon, a variety of sliced cheeses, carmelized onions, and jalapeños.

{three.} Parties are also a great opportunity to try new recipes! I'm really wanting to try new cole slaw and pasta salad recipes.  I think a great slaw would go great with my favorite Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe. But the one recipe I WILL be serving up on July 4th is my baked beans. Well, it's not actually mine, but I'll share it anyway!  They are always a hit.  This year, I'll probably bake them in a 9 x 13 and then transfer them to a crockpot to keep warm.

Baked Beans

4 cups pork and beans
1/2 lb bacon, fried crisp
1 cup ketchup
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 t minced garlic
2 T prepared mustard
3/4 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 t black pepper

1 cup crumbled bacon
3 T plain flour
3/4 cup brown sugar

Saute vegetables in 1/2 cup bacon drippings or oil until tender.  Pour beans into 2-quart baking dish and add remaining ingredients.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 2 hours.  Remove from oven and cover with topping made by mixing bacon, flour, and brown sugar.  Return beans to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes so topping will get bubbly and crisp. 

Note: I usually make this recipe without the topping mixture.  Just because. Enjoy! (Recipe courtesy of Cooking & Gardening with Dianne cookbook)

{four.} It's not 4th of July if you're not serving up a nice, cold glass of lemonade!  And one of my favorite blogs is serving it up old-style!  Christina at The New Mrs. has a great looking recipe I plan on trying for our party in a few weeks!  I like to add lemons and strawberries to the lemonade for a pretty look.

 diy lemonade stand. would be awesome as a kissing booth, cake table or candy station at your wedding.

And speaking of lemonade, a fun tradition to start with the kiddos is to set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood. Now, unlike most moms, I kinda discourage this for Alise because of where we live.  Even though I refer to our home as "the hood" sometimes, we don't actually live in a high-traveled neighborhood to support a lemonade stand, much to Alise's disappointment. But it's still a valid thought.  Ya know?  For y'all, of course!

{five.} No summer party would be complete without dessert.  If summer screams ice cream, then 4th of July goes hand in hand with some warm apple pie! I plan to serve both!! Do you have a favorite apple pie recipe?  Do you make your own crust?  I believe in the fact that there's a reason God made pre-made pie crusts in the dairy section of the grocery store!  Therefore, I will be serving up apple pie {recipe needed, please!} on a pre-made crust topped with ice cream!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ideas for the perfect Independence Day Bash!  I hope you're red, white, and blue party is a hit, too!  Don't forget the fireworks!! And as always, you can follow me on Bloglovin & Instagram. The links are under my profile picture.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

Today I'm linking up with these party girls! 



  1. Such a fun post for your favorites. Lemonade stands, my girls use to have those when they were younger. They thought a quarter back then was so exciting. From Friday Favorites

  2. Thanks for all the Fourth of July inspiration. I need to get on the ball and plan something! Thanks for posting the great comparison article too!

    1. Of course, ALL these ideas were wonderful until I found out that I would be in a boot for the next three weeks for sure. Ugh!!

  3. Stopping by from the Friday Favorites Link Up, love the inflatable slide! We do have a pool, and my boys would love that! Such fun ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Whitney! Best of wishes to you on your new career of SAHM!!

  4. Love your ideas! We live out in the country, but my youngest still begs to do a lemonade stand. Um we'd be the only ones buying lol!

    1. Hi Cara! I wouldn't say we live in the country, but our subdivision is certainly not high traffic. There are only like six houses on our street and more on the other streets, but still not enough to support a great lemonade sale! I'm like you! I'd be buying the lemonade ingredients just to buy and drink the lemonade! Hope you have a great summer!

  5. I can't believe 4th of July is right around the corner! Yikes! Thanks for all the fun ideas!

  6. Love that pool float! Oh and a burger sounds delicious...I think we'll be grilling some of those this weekend :)

    1. A grilled burger is just a staple at our house during the summer. I forgot to mention in my post that sliders are a good choice, too! We love "mini burgers" on Hawaiian sweet bread! Enjoy your weekend!

  7. YUMM! The baked beans look amazing. My aunt has been searching for a great recipe so I am sending her this link! - Seri from

    1. Let me know how she likes them, Seri!

  8. That inflatable slide is so cool! Sounds like your place will be the place to be on the 4th!

    1. Com'on "down" to Louisiana, Mattie! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

  9. Laura, thanks for stopping by and what a lovely blog you have. I'm so sorry about your fall. Hoping each day you get better. Love all the 4th of July ideas. We're preparing to move into our new house so our celebration will be very low key. Wishing you a wonderful new week!

  10. Oh, how I wish we had a pool in our backyard. I laughed when you said 4th of July was your summer halfway point. Our weather doesn't usually start getting nice until mid -July, and my kids just got out of school a week ago! Hope you had a great weekend and you're feeling better!

  11. We're really looking forward to the Fourth this year! Can't believe its next weekend already!

    Happy Monday! The Southerndoe