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Merica! 4 Decorating Tips, 4 Recipes, and 4 Freedom Quotes to Make Your 4th Fantastic

by
Jul 3rd, 2013

Today is July 3rd, and that means you only have to wait one more days to celebrate the independence of the great nation that you live in!  If you are like me and have waited until the last minute to prepare for that Independence Day bash you are throwing in your luxury apartment, you may have just stumbled upon some time and energy saving tips that will help you keep your reputation as the hostess with the mostest and still have the opportunity to enjoy the gathering you host.

Decorating Tips Worthy of Fireworks

Haven’t even started decorating?  Don’t fret.  If you dedicate just one-third of your day off work to running errands and making American-themed crafts, you can transform your apartment home into a shrine to our country and its colors. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Americana Pinwheels: If you have a wee bit of artsiness in you and a few minutes to spare between now and when your party begins, give this festive arts and crafts project a shot.  When finished, these pinwheels can be stuck in  vases, flower pots, even hamburgers!  Visit PracticallyFunctional.net for instructions.
  2. Mason Jar Candles: Mason jars are quintessentially American in their own right. When adorned with red, white, and blue glitter glue stars and ribbons, they scream “‘Merica!!”
  3. 4th of July Flowers: Carnations are cute, inexpensive, and easy to manipulate.  Purchase carnations in a 2-to-1 white-to-red ratio, and dye half of the white flowers blue.  It takes only a few minutes, and can provide you with an all-American decoration that you can spread throughout your home.  Alternatively, you can use blue vases or wrap red and white carnations or roses in blue ribbon.
  4. Impress, surprize, and bedazzle your guests by incorporating a splash of Independence Day colors in every beverage they drink.  Drop a raspberry and a couple of blueberries in each ice cube tray bracket, add water, and freeze.  Not only do these ice cubes look cool.  They also taste great with virtually every beverage in existence.  Maybe this counts as a decoration?

Recipes Uncle Sam Would Salivate Over

Short on time but not willing to sacrifice your desire to cater your 4th of July barbecue yourself?  Don’t worry, just stick to these simple yet deliciously festive recipes.

  1. Cheese and Crackers: When it comes to entertaining and food, there is nothing easier than arranging a platter of cheese and crackers.  Pick up a few of your favorite cheeses (be sure to include some mild cheeses if you are a stinky cheese kind of person), and pair them with a variety of crackers.  This is something that almost everyone who can handle lactose enjoys, and it can spare you the time and energy required to whip up  an elaborate appetizer that may not even prove to be as much of a hit as cheese and crackers.
  2. Patriotade: Summer is lemonade season, and lemonade is one of those beverages that has a place at every 4th of July barbecue.  Put a patriotic spin on traditional lemonade by introducing watermelon and blueberries to the mix.  Consider rimming glasses in red, white, and blue sprinkles or pop rocks, and don’t forget the berry-infused ice cubes!
  3. Meat Marinade: Hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers are most likely already on your menu.  If you would like to add another primary protein option for the foodies who attend your event, consider a simple yet flavor-packed marinade.  Quick and easy options to consider include smokey tequila-lime, balsamic, and teriyaki (add grilled pineapple for best results).
  4. Double-Berry Shortcake: It’s our country’s birthday.  I don’t know about you, but I plan to exercise my freedom to eat desert. Strawberry shortcake has a broad appeal, but it generally lacks in the blue department.  Take your favorite strawberry shortcake recipe, and add blueberries to give it a more patriotic appearance.

Quotes that are Emblematic of Our Freedom and Culture as Americans

People (even Americans) can poke fun at our country all they want.  But let’s face it, our country is awesome.   We may not be quite as organized as the Swedes or speak foreign languages as well as the Dutch.  We may not be as animated as the Italians or as relaxed as the Australians.  We may not be as efficient as the Japanese or as proud as the French.  But we know that well-roundedness is what makes a place great, and we have had one of the most diverse populations and dynamic economies in the world for a solid century running.  We have some of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges, largest freshwater lakes, most beautiful beaches, and friendliest people on earth.  And what we have accomplished as a country is something that no other nation our size can boast.  America is free, our people are educated, and opportunities here abound.  And every time we make a mistake as a national collective, we pick ourselves up and try again.  People who are born here stay here, and people who aren’t born here strive to live here.  America, you are beautiful. And we thank you for that.

Oh, yeah. We also know how to take a self-deprecating joke.

  1. “Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it’s in Hamburger Technology.” – Clive James
  2. “In America any boy [or girl] may become President, and I suppose it’s just one of the risks he takes.” – Adlai E. Stevenson
  3. “America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.” – John Updike
  4. “I’ve got nothing against any individual American, except that there aren’t any. They’re always Irish-American, African-American…  There’s never an American-American you can blame.” – Simon Munnery

When the time comes to make a toast to your great country two days’ hence, remember these quotes.  America really is the greatest place to live, and it is only because of that that we are able to make fun of ourselves in this manner.

I’ve scoured the net and racked my brain, and done my best to come up with a list of quick and easy ways to make your 4th of July gathering feel like a….4th of July gathering.  I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare to celebrate the 237th birthday of the greatest country on earth.  From Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, all AMLI residents share a common bond.  On Independence Day, that common bond grows stronger.  Get festive, put your party pants on, and prepare to Live Life + Love Life in your upscale apartment complex.  Make use of your community’s barbecue and pool. Just remember to keep things under control, clean up after yourself, and respect your neighbors.  America is beautiful, and so are you.

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View All Posts by Jason Ernst
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