4th of July Party Decorations

fireworks

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood that was made up of 2 acre lots. We were about eight minutes away from a large city, and our town was what you’d call “rural.” We didn’t have a post office, and our fire fighters were volunteers. I loved growing up in that neighborhood for so many reasons, but some of the best memories I have growing up “in the country” (we called it) were the July Fourth parties we had.

Since we were away from the city a bit, we could have fireworks in our back yard. The big stuff, not just roman candles, although they were my fave. We lived pretty close to a lake, and there were two fireworks stands near us that we would excitedly look forward to shopping each year for the coolest new firework.

Of course, we also gathered sparklers, Black Cats and those weird snakes that were really just ashes. We ate hot dogs off the grill, helped turn the handle on the ice cream maker and stayed up past our bedtime to shoot and watch fireworks.

The Fourth of July is magical for me, partly because it falls right before my birthday (on the 6th, just in case you’d like to send me a gift!) and partly because I have such fond memories from my childhood. I look forward to this holiday every year, from planning the party to covering almost everything I own with red, white and blue.

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest is one of my favorite places to find inspiration for a party, and I’ve found countless ideas for a Fourth of July celebration. From outfits to games to crafts and party food, there are plenty of totally doable red, white and blue ideas to create the perfect birthday party for America.

Add a few bursts of color to your household and party décor with easy-to-make crafts! Try a flag pick wreath on your front door.

4th of July Party

Or pick up a handful of red, white and blue bandanas and whip up a color-block tablecloth or simply layer them across the center of your table for a no-sew table runner.

4th of July decorations

Easy DIY paper pinwheels and pom pons (that look like fireworks!) pack a big visual Fourth of July punch for pennies. Add them to the potted plants in and around your home or display them centerpiece-style in vases filled with sand.

4th of July pinwheels

You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July without some yummy cookout classics! Hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob and potato salad are timeless favorites, but it’s easy to add a splash of red, white and blue in your party snacks too.

Dip strawberries in white chocolate, then sugar tinted with blue food coloring or layer on colored icing for a festive treat!

4th of July strawberries

Or add sliced strawberries, bananas and blueberries to skewers to make a patriotic flag fruit platter.

Party treats

No patriotic party is complete without homemade ice cream! We have made this in-the-bag version for a couple years now and it’s PERFECT every time. Jazz it up with colorful blue and red sprinkles.

Ziploc ice cream

Now that you’ve got your food and decorations down, shop for some pieces to coordinate your personal look with the party theme. With nautical styles trending for summer, now is the perfect time to find pieces in red, white and blue for your ensemble.

Navy and white stripes

Nautical stripes

Pair with some red accessories…

Red accessories

Or a custom painted mani can make your Fourth of July look sparkle.

Striped nails

Don’t forget to plan for some fun for after the sun sets. Find yourself a great seat for a local fireworks display or make your own lightshow with DIY glow in the dark fun.

Fireworks in jars

Share your favorite Fourth of July projects, decoration, or food ideas in the comments!

Summer wedding themes

Summer wedding themes

Summer wedding themes

This year’s summer weddings are about small, intimate gatherings of your closest friends and family. Whether the wedding is set in a quiet park in your hometown or far away on a remote beach, nature is the perfect backdrop for your big day.

So what’s the theme? Brides are looking to a more eco-friendly wedding experience, no matter the destination. They are focusing on vintage, repurposed and home-grown decorations in natural, elegant surroundings.

Vintage wedding themes

Vintage wedding themes

Vintage wedding themes

From a beautiful back yard to an old barn, there’s no wrong place to serve up a vintage-inspired wedding. Picnic tables at the reception and wooden benches during the ceremony add a rustic look to vintage décor. Choose neutral wedding colors like champagne and khaki for a warm, inviting look. Add in dusty pink or aqua blue flowers, candles, cakes and sashes to add a splash of color.

Engagement photos in sepia or black and white are great additions to the tables at your reception. You can print them on the back of the menu, or use them as favors for all the guests who are attending your big celebration. Shop in antique stores to find unique, vintage centerpieces like vases and candleholders to fit your wedding theme. Monogram embossed napkins and ivory tones can help you achieve a vintage look for the reception.

When it comes to your wedding gown, browse thrift stores and online boutiques, or check with your friends and family. Your ideal gown may be stored in an antique hope chest in a friend’s attic!

For the bridal party, parasols and lacy gloves can add those extra special vintage touches to otherwise ordinary attire. For the groomsmen, classics like a black suit and tie or a tuxedo can be easily transformed with simple touches like handkerchiefs or pocket watches – it’s all about the details.

Beach wedding themes

Beach wedding themes

Beach wedding themes

Brighten your summer with an oceanfront wedding! Start with the fresh, cool colors of the ocean and sand, then add a splash of color like coral pink. Or go bright with the hottest color of 2012, Tangerine Tango, offset by bright blues that really pop. There’s no better way to have fun and be comfortable than with super cute flip-flops for the bridesmaids (and even yourself), paired with light fabrics for the men in fresh khaki colors.

Use sand in the bottom of vases and bright flowers to decorate the reception tables. Place cards shaped like starfish, seahorses or shells can add a touch of whimsy to the reception décor. A little brown sugar on the cake or the cake table and on dinner plates makes sweet, edible “sand” for dinner and dessert.

Flowing, breezy gowns with mists of tulle are perfect against an ocean backdrop. Or go extra casual with a shorter dress and flip-flops for super comfortable style. Tropical flowers and small details like umbrellas in drinks can lend a fun beachy feel to your wedding reception without costing a small fortune.

Garden wedding themes

Garden wedding themes

Garden wedding themes

If your wedding is going to be a day at the park, think bright! Hot pink with bright purple, green or dark blue makes for a romantic and elegant outdoor wedding. Something as simple as a hot pink napkin or a bright purple flower arrangement set against bright white linens can add a chic look to your reception décor.

A large clear vase filled with limes can add a splash of green to your food or dessert tables. Set up your reception like a picnic – use mason jars for your drinks with bright, colorful straws and fruit on the edge of the glass to match your wedding colors.

A crisp, bright white wedding gown with lots of lace can set an elegant, romantic tone to your wedding by contrasting with your bright highlight colors. Or choose a soft ivory for a warm, romantic glow. If the garden terrain is uneven, you may want to pick a long dress that covers your shoes and go with comfortable flats rather than heels that might trip you up.

Garden wedding colors

Garden wedding colors: soft ivory with bright purple and green accents

There are endless possibilities for a sophisticated, elegant and fun wedding without exceeding your spending limit. The most important thing to remember is that this day is yours. Have fun with the décor, and your guests will too.

Spring color trends 2012

2012 Spring color trend Tangerine Tango

2012 Spring color trend: Tangerine Tango

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your closet, punch up your home décor or add some “wow” to your stationery wardrobe, we are excited to share our favorite trends for Spring with you! Fresh colors and whimsical imagery are bringing new life to the trends of 2012.

Pantone’s Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango

One of the easiest ways to infuse the warmth of spring into your lifestyle is with Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango. This “hot” new color is an invigorating hue of reddish orange that exudes energy and vivacity. Add a burst of Tangerine Tango to your spring wardrobe with a statement necklace, handbag or pair of red-hot pumps. Perk up your pout or touch up your nails and toes in this exotic shade of Tangerine with a new lipstick or nail color!

Energize your home with throw pillows, frames, vases or paint in this eye-catching color, or brighten the day for your friends and family with a touch of Tangerine Tango on your envelopes. These are just a few easy and affordable ways to find yourself wrapped in 2012′s newest color trend.

Spring-Inspired Imagery

Spring Stationery 2012

Spring Stationery

Clockwise from upper left:

The warmer days of spring bring the return of blooming flowers, sweet bird songs and sunny afternoons spent outdoors. Spring is the time to resurface from under the blankets and start to move, explore and travel! It’s no surprise that is exactly what the new spring trends are showcasing!

Add a blouse in a bright floral print, send a sweet hello to a friend on a note card featuring a bike ride through Paris, or toss a new throw pillow onto the couch embellished with the ever-popular bird-themed accent and the trends of spring will put some pep in your step and a twinkle in your eye.

What is your favorite way to infuse a little spring into your life?