My housemates and I hosted a 4th of July party last Monday with 15 or so friends. We played badminton and it was delightful.
I’m the type of hostess who feels responsible for feeding everyone and making sure every detail is perfect. As you can imagine, this approach can be both stressful and costly. This year, I decided to chill out a bit.
We went potluck style and asked everyone to bring delicious drinks and food. I did the decorations.
Decorations can get expensive, but I was determined to use what I had. I found some flowers from last year’s bash, and placed them in an antique milk bottle my grandmother gave me.
My generous coworker gave me some real flowers for the party:
And… that was it. I was out of decorations. What were we to do with the tables and drinks?
To the rescue: My grandmother’s chock-full basement! She lent me an antique wash tub to hold ice and drinks, as well as mason jars, fake flowers, a lone canvas flag, and outdoor candles:
Nana used to jump in that wash tub as a child after her mother finished cleaning dishes. I imagine she looked a little like this:
I put tea lights in the mason jars and arranged them on the tables.
The flowers went nicely with my collection.
I also made watermelon-vodka pops. I figured they would help everyone else love watermelon as much as I do.
I used this fantastic recipe:
I modified the recipe to fit what I had on hand: regular vodka rather than flavored, basil instead of mint, ice-cube trays instead of popsicle molds and straws instead of sticks.
They were divine.
We also made cake. No party is complete without a cake, especially one celebrating the (re?)birth of a nation.
Everyone brought delicious food and drink. We ate and laughed and drank and frolicked in the rain.
Then we saw fireworks. My friend and brilliant graphic designer Emily got us VIP seats in her office building. Luckily the show wasn’t rained out, and the lightening looked like Mother Nature’s fireworks.
Thank you friends and family who made my 4th lovely! How was yours?