Stars & Stripes Forever!

Jul 01, 2019

HI Friends! I hope you had an amazing week!! The blog flyer had a glitch last week so if you missed last week’s exciting news you can look at it here.

More News!! I can’t believe it’s that time again!! The Amara Interior Blog Awards are open and taking nominations! Let’s see if once again, we together,  can make the short list of a best of design blog 4 years running! Nominate here. I as always am so grateful for your support–always!!

Now for the fireworks! Sign me up!! July 4th is a great holiday —  I am always happy to celebrate all the graces Americans enjoy together with friends and family. So let’s ring the bell of freedom together, and wave the red, white & blue!
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By July, it’s a tad hot here in Houston, so my July 4 party planning is super easy and breezy!


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Since my overall landscape theme is green and white (rosemary, roses, boxwood) – I am going to use BIG star stencils on my back lawn and fill them with flour!  Sunset  shows you how!
If you want a bit of color, you can use construction paint. It will eventually wash away or be cut with your next mowing.

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A gathering of family and friends around the grill and the pool calls for some extra seating. Outdoor folding chairs dress for the holiday with the simple addition of canvas and ribbon! Love how crisp and casual! So, the 13”-wide chairs each use 2.5 yards of fabric (32”-wide fabric cut in half). Each seat needs 5’ of ribbon. Get how-to information from Sunset.

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GOLD! Yes, gold star-shaped sparklers that give off a gold sparkle for the minute they’re burning! It would be so cut to put the 11” wires in metal French flower buckets of sand. Everyone can take a few as dusk falls. Wholesale Sparklers has a large selection!

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Water is requisite in the summer and on July 4th, and taping or gluing flags onto water bottles is such a fun idea. The above are cloth, but plastic flags should work as well.

Food! Although decorating for me is more fun than cooking, what is a celebration without a fun 4th of July menu?

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And what a better way to set the party tone than with individual July 4th Caprese salads! Swap out those often-sad tomatoes for watermelon slices cut with a star cookie cutter. Arugula is in the photograph, but I may use basil from my garden! Skinny Taste recommends a great bottled balsamic glaze (in case you don’t feel like simmering your own).

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Every good Texan will start with guacamole and chips, BUT I am going to switch it up and make a healthy Avocado Hummus to serve with pita chips. Chickpeas and fresh avocados in the blender-super easy!

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Our family of 5 loves the all American hotdog, so hotdogs five ways is the way to go! I am going to print each suggested topping combo on little chalkboards to stand behind a huge tray of ingredients. That Mexican Charred-Corn Dog is for me; my husband will take the Frank & Beans (with bacon!). Our daughters will love the options of a Hawaiian Dog (pineapple and red onion) and of a Fresh Flavors Dog (veggies soaked in vinegar and sugar). And our son will be all about that Reuben Dog in the back. The has wonderful recipes.

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Chopped vegetables (prep now; party later!) mix to make a fabulous confetti salad to keep the afternoon light (83 calories per serving) for those brave enough to put on a bathing suit!

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I like the idea of having a grill going just for veggies and these roasted carrots with yogurt cilantro sauce and…

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grilled lime sweet potatoes look great!!

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To round out the event these cupcakes with fresh berries become Firecracker cupcakes with the addition of POP ROCKS sprinkled on the whipped cream. Hold up: add the pop rocks just before serving. But everything else can be on a board or tray ready to go! You may think you see pop rocks in the cupcake; however, those are rainbow sprinkles! I hope everyone has an amazing, safe and Happy 4th!  Till next week!!

  • Christie
    Posted at 08:50h, 29 June Reply

    Thanks for including my recipe in your menu.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 05:43h, 14 July Reply

      You are more than welcome!!! I wish I had your talents!! Leslie

  • Belinda
    Posted at 09:03h, 29 June Reply

    Hi Leslie,

    Do you have a website address to where I can shop online?


    • Leslie
      Posted at 05:43h, 14 July Reply

      Hi Belinda!! We are working on that but currently we just sell the books on line! Where do you live? Have a great one!! leslie

    • Belinda
      Posted at 07:01h, 01 July Reply

      Hi Leslie,

      I live in the Fort Worth area.

  • Karena
    Posted at 12:55h, 29 June Reply

    Wow Leslie this is a party I would be so thrilled to attend!!
    You have it all together for a perfect 4th of July celebration.
    The shop looks fabulous as well!

    The Arts by Karena
    Art Gallery Opening!!

  • Patricia Miller
    Posted at 08:11h, 01 July Reply

    Always inspiring, super ideas, the best for July 4th 🇺🇸💃🏻

  • Nina
    Posted at 14:11h, 02 July Reply

    Love, Love!!!! All great ideas! Thank you

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