Category Archives: entertaining

Family 4th of July

Let Freedom Ring With These 4th Of July Favorites

[two_fifth]cherry blueberry pie recipe[/two_fifth]

Are you ready for the most patriotic day of the year? Whether you have a fully planned 4th of July event or still have more on your holiday to-do list than you would like to admit, add a little more red, white, and blue to your weekend with these American themed cooking and decorating ideas!

What is more American than apple pie? Red, white, and blue-themed cherry and blueberry pie! Try a twist on an American classic for an easy, delicious Independence Day dessert. Whether you are cooking for a potluck or a small event with family and friends, this mouth-watering recipe from Food Network Magazine is sure to please everyone. Preparation time is only 20 minutes, and Food Network Magazine gives this treat an “easy” level rating.


What You Need:


  • 1 package double pie crust mix
  • 1 (20-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pie crust according to package directions. Divide into 6 equal portions, roll into balls and refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll each into a circle about 1/4-inch thick.

For Pies:

  1. Place each of the rolled out circles onto the baking sheet. Divide cherry pie filling into the center of each of the 6 pie crusts and sprinkle each with the pumpkin pie spice. Fold the edges of the pie dough over the cherry pie filling, making sure to leave the center of the pie exposed. Place a few of the reserved blueberries on top of each pie. Brush the sides of the pies with milk and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Place pies in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

For Blueberry Topping:

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, sugar, and two tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. To serve, place 1 warm pie on 6 plates, top each pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of the blueberry sauce.


[one_third]Fireworks Display[/one_third]


Sometimes a delicious dessert alone is not enough. Go the extra mile with tasteful red, white, and blue DIY decorations! BrightNest’s DIY patriotic firework placemats are a simple, quick way to add a nice touch to your 4th of July event.



What You Need:

  • White, beige, or light-colored fabric placemats
  • Red and blue fabric paints
  • A kitchen scrub brush
  • A paper plate
  • Water for rinsing the kitchen scrub.

What You Do:

  1. Pour a quarter-sized amount of red fabric paint onto a paper plate; repeat for blue paint.
  2. Dip the scrub brush bristles one of the colors of paint and firmly press the bristles into the fabric to start making your design.
  3. To create the appearance of fireworks, alternate and overlap paint colors. Make sure to rinse the kitchen scrub in water between alternations to avoid overly blending your colors.
  4. Let the placemats dry in a safe place and – voila! You have your own patriotic placemats.

Tip: Want to add a little more flair to your fireworks? Use a second, smaller kitchen scrub to create smaller fireworks!

As you prepare for an all-American celebration full of potlucks, get-togethers, fireworks shows, and more, these quick Independence Day extras will add a little more bang to your weekend. Have a fun and safe 4th of July, and remember those who sacrificed for our freedom.

If you want more easy DIY decoration ideas, check out Have any other 4th of July cooking or decorating ideas? Feel free to share them below in the comments section.


“Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.”

– George Washington in his Farewell Address

Six Fabulous Fall Party Ideas

Six Fabulous Fall Party Ideas

Six Fabulous Fall Party IdeasYou don’t want to dance to “Monster Mash” or bob for apples, but you can plan a fun (and classy) fall party for your friends with these six suggestions.

It’s easy to throw a fall party for kids–think up some games and make sure there’s candy involved–but how do you entertain adult guests during the autumn months? Here are six suggestions that will help you host a party your friends won’t want to miss.

1. Select Good Candles – I can’t think of a better time than fall to invest in really great-smelling candles. Choose scents with hints of vanilla, spice, pumpkin or cider, and you’ll set the tone for your gathering with just the flick of a match.

2. Mind the Music – When you’re hosting a party, it’s important to think about how you want the event to feel and then select music that will play into that ambiance. Instrumental or folk music is a great complement to a fall party, and with your candles burning in the background, you’ll have people relaxed the moment they walk in the door.

3. Indulge the Appetite - Fall is a nostalgic time for most people. The change in season brings thoughts of caramel apples, spiced apple cider, pies and pumpkin desserts of all kind. Plan your menu around the season and include foods like squash, apples and pumpkin.

4. Bring on the Beverages - Put away the ice bucket and bring out the tea kettle. Warm up your gathering by offering up an assortment of seasonal teas (pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, etc.) as well as hot fresh cider or hot chocolate. Something about enjoying a warm drink together makes a party feel extra cozy and relaxing.

5. Venture Outside - If the weather’s nice, take the opportunity to host a part of your event outside, where people can enjoy the natural sights and smells of autumn. String up some white lights or place candles in assorted lanterns and add to the beauty.

6. Sport something Seasonal - If you’re hosting a fall party, dress for the occasion in a warm knit or a pair of leather boots. If you look the part of fall, it will add to the overall theme and feel of your gathering, letting people enjoy the season and all its charms.


Labor Day "Wear Your White" Party

Throw a “Wear Your White” Labor Day Party

Labor Day "Wear Your White" PartyYou’ve always heard that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. And while that may be an arbitrary and oft ignored fashion fable, you can play it up with this creative Labor Day party idea.

Fire up the grill, gather up the family and dress up in all white. Why, you ask? Well, you might as well wear all those blanco blouses, cloud-colored camis and pearly pumps before Labor Day hits and doing so would be deemed a fashion foible. For this pallid party idea, all you need is an assortment of white food, some white decorations and a group of good-humored friends.

For samples of these ideas, browse our accompanying Pinterest Board.

The Invitations: Send stark white invitations in white envelopes. In the center of each card, type in small black (or cream, if you have a color printer) ink – “Please Join Us for a Labor Day ‘Wear Your White’ Party.” Make it as simple as possible, just including the major details like the time and place.

The Decor: Depending on how festive you want to get for your Labor Day party, you can go as white as you want with the decor. One inexpensive decoration that has a big impact is white balloons. Grouped together, they look surprisingly classy in all white. You can also hang white lanterns or decorate with white lights. Use white plates, serving dishes, napkins and even white plastic silverware. Pull out your white milky glass vases and fill them with white flowers–even baby’s breath has a wow factor when bunched all together.

The Food: Again, your choices here will have a lot to do with what kind of party you’re having (inside or outside, fancy or casual) but your options are endless. For appetizers, the options range from Swiss cheese fondue to a veggie plate with light veggies like cauliflower and cucumbers to cucumber sandwiches and crackers and cheese. For your main course, grill chicken or bake white chicken pizzas for the crowd. Dessert is where it gets really fun. Serve vanilla ice cream and white sprinkles or sugar cookies or all-white cupcakes with white frosting. Anything with white chocolate or coconut is a great option as well.

However you approach it, a “Wear Your White” Labor Day party is a great reason to gather some friends, have a little fun and let your creativity take charge.