DIY Independence Day Party: How To

Photo by: M.D. Creekmore

Happy Independence Day everyone! Well, almost. With July 4th quickly approaching, we’re all getting ready for some good food and awesome fireworks. So if you’re planning a last minute party for friends or family, we’ve got some simple and budget-friendly party ideas just for you!

 

While decorations may not be the most important item on your list of party planning to-dos, many can be made from things you already have around the house, making them practically free! Architectureartdesigns has forty awesome decoration ideas for your home, whether you’re planning a party or just want to show off your American pride!

Photo by: Kerrie Kelly

Architecture Art Designs is a website dedicated to bringing you fresh inspiration on Architecture, Design, and Art. Featuring inspiration for both indoors and out, as well as DIY projects, Architecture Art Designs is your one stop shop for everything creative. For more information, visit:
architectureartdesigns.com.

 

As we all know, some holiday party foods can be quite expensive. Fortunately, Independence Day is one of those holidays where BBQ or the classic hamburgers and hotdogs makes the perfect party meal. Get the grill master of the house to cook up some great food, and set up a quick table with all of the fixin’s. For some easy side dishes, check out epicurious.com. Below we have a simple recipe for some awesome Gazpacho Salsa from Jill Silverman Hough, a great compliment to any 4th of July party.

Photo by: Nigel Cox

Featuring recipe databases, message boards, and a variety of culinary-themed articles, Epicurious is the perfect website for food enthusiasts. Owned by Condé Nast Publications, Epicurious’ recipes are chosen from professional chefs, home cooks, and back issues of the Condé Nast magazines. For more information, visit: epicurious.com.

 

Gazpacho Salsa

Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients: 

6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions: 

Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, coarse salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to coat. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Toss to blend before serving.

 

Are you looking for the perfect summertime drink that also makes the perfect Independence Day party beverage? Rollingout.com has compiled the five top cocktails for the 4th of July! Featuring beautiful reds, whites, and blues, any of these top five drinks is sure to be a hit with all of your guests.

Photo by: Danielle Canada

Rolling Out brings you the latest in black news, entertainment, celebrity videos and more. Rolling Out has the scoop on everyone and everything you need to know. For more information, visit: rollingout.com.

Obviously you’ll need some entertainment for the kids, especially if you have several younger children running about. When the sparklers run out, surfnetkids has some simple 4th of July party games that are perfect for all ages from the youngest children to adults.

Photo by: SurfNetKids

SurfNetKids was created by Barbara J. Feldman who loves receiving and sharing the best educational tools and activities for kids of all ages. For more information, visit: surfnetkids.com.

 

Send your guests home in style with one of our seeded star favors! Get the set of red, white, and blue (pictured below) as the perfect Independence Day party compliment. Our seeded favors are eco-friendly, and they actually sprout and grow! Get yours here.

 

A Nature-Themed Birthday Bash

Photo by: The Carrie Murray Nature Center

Are you planning a special birthday? Why not try an outdoor or nature-themed party? Easy to do on a budget (you can repurpose things from around the house or outdoors), nature-themed birthdays are perfect for children of all ages. We’ve pulled together some decorations, games, food, and even party favor ideas to make your party extra special!

Decorations for a nature-themed party are easy and usually pretty cost-friendly. This wooden cupcake stand idea from Parents.com was created from paper-covered soup cans and wood rounds. The rest of the table was decorated with twigs and leaves from the backyard. The mushroom cupcakes in the picture below are also featured on the Parents.com website.

Photo by: Amanda Kingloff and Taryn Mohrman

 

Parents.com is the home website of Parents Magazine, parentsAmerican Baby, and FamilyFun brands. Parents.com is focused on bringing young mothers and families the information they need to live fun and healthy lives. For more information, visit: Parents.com.

 

Nature-themed parties provide built-in games and activities. Send your party guests on scavenger hunts, or ask them to go outside and draw the things they see in the backyard for their “nature book.” Hostess with the Mostess has several nature-themed party ideas, with food, decoration ideas, games, and more. At the party featured on the Hostess with the Mostess website, party guests planted their own nature gardens.

Photo by: Jen CYK Photography

 

Hostess with the Mostess is a website that is hostessfocused on bringing readers modern ideas through a daily blog and online community. Hostess with the Mostess brings you DIY projects, tips for hosting parties, and party planning tips. For more information, visit: HWTM.com.

 

Another fun idea at a nature-themed party is to set up a trail mix station. Party guests are given bowls, brown paper sacks, or anything else you have around your home and make their own trail mix. This idea is especially perfect in the case of food allergies. No one has to do without, because they can hand pick what they want to eat. Kojo Designs features step-by-step instructions on creating a trail mix buffet with helpful tips and pictures.

Photo by: Kojo Designs

Kojo Designs was created by sisters Kirstin and Jordan. Kojo Designs provides DIY projects for everyday, not just special occasions. For more information about Kojo Designs or Kirstin and Jordan, visit: Kojodesigns.com.

Don’t forget to send your party guests home with fun and memorable party favors! Here at Nature Favors, we have the perfect party favors for any nature-themed birthday party. Pictured below are our seeded party favors. Our seeded favors actually grow and come with pots, soil, and personalized favor tags.

Photo by: Nature Favors

How to Plan a Bridal Shower: Food, Games, and More!

 

Photo by: crosscards.com

Summer is coming, and so is the largest wedding season of the year. Since most weddings occur from May through August, many soon-to-be brides will be needing a bridal shower. We’ve pulled together some fun ideas for a summertime bridal shower with food, drinks, games, and even party favors.


Nothing says summer like a big scoop of ice cream. Add a little festivity to your summer bridal shower with these Ice Cream Cups from Martha Stewart. All you need is a pizzelle iron and a few household ingredients for this simple, fun treat.

Photo by: Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart online hosts more than twenty years of recipes, crafts, articles and videos. For more information about Martha Stewart or for more bridal shower recipes, visit: MarthaStewart.com.

 

 

Yield: 48 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray, for iron
  • 2 pints ice cream or sorbet, for serving

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add salt and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Fold in flour and butter until well combined.

  2. Heat a pizzelle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Coat with cooking spray, place 1 teaspoon batter on the iron, and close cover. Cook until steam subsides and wafer is golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove wafer with an offset spatula. Working quickly, place the wafer in a mini muffin tin and gently push down the center to form a cup. (The wafer will cool and harden almost immediately.) Repeat with remaining batter. Let cool completely. (Wafers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)

  3. Fill wafers with 1-inch scoops of ice cream or sorbet, and serve immediately.


Tea is the perfect summertime drink and traditionally, women toast the bride-to-be with some sort of alcoholic beverage. So treat your guests to this Cherry-Blossom Tea and Pink Lemonade cocktail from Martha Stewart and give them the best of both worlds.

Photo by: Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart online hosts more than twenty years of recipes, crafts, article and videos from Martha Stewart. For more information about Martha Stewart or for more bridal shower drink recipes, visit: MarthaStewart.com.

 

 

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cherry-blossom tea or any floral white tea
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grenadine

Directions:

  1. Heat the water in a medium pan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat, add tea, and let sit 2 minutes. Strain immediately, and refrigerate liquid right away until cold, about 1 hour.

  2. Combine tea, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. Pour over ice when ready to serve.


Every bridal shower needs a few games or activities to keep the guests entertained. We found three websites with numerous bridal shower games and activities for you to choose from. Some may be a little cheesy, but that’s what makes them fun.

  • Wedding Party – lists 5 classic bridal shower games
  • How Stuff Works – counts down the top 10 bridal shower games of all time
  • The Knot – lists 21 fun bridal shower games that are a hit for all crowds

Photo by: Style Me Pretty

Founded by Abby and her husband Tait, Style Me Pretty features content from vendors and flowers to photographers and invitations. For more information about Abby or Style Me Pretty, visit: stylemepretty.com.

 


The last thing on our bridal shower list is party favors for your guests. Our Blooming Garden Party favor sets are a great gift for all of your friends and family. In your choice of 13 colors, each of our Blooming Garden Party favor sets includes an Earthbloom ball, which is made from our unique blend of soils and flower seeds, soil, a pot, and a personalized tag. Get yours today!

Photo by: Nature Favors

5 Easy Memorial Day Party Ideas

 

Photo by: Square Cafe

Memorial Day is less than a week away! For those of you with family in the military or who are simply celebrating the holiday, we’ve got a few ideas to help you plan a fun, outdoor party. And since we know that things are tight this time of year, we’ll help you plan on a budget.

1. Make it a BBQ. BBQ parties are a fun, easy way to get family and friends together. Pick up some hot dogs, hamburgers, and all of the fixin’s for a simple and budget-friendly meal. Meals.com has some great tips for grilling!

Photo by: meals.com

Meals.com is an online recipe website dedicated to bringing you the best from Nestle kitchens. Chris Garboski and Jenny Harper are the meals.com experts, working together to create and maintain the meals.com website. For more information, visit: meals.com.

2. Spice up your beverages. Try out some new drink ideas this Memorial Day. Instead of the traditional soda or iced tea, try a patriotic margarita or some kid-friendly lemonade. Babble.com has some fun and simple drink ideas for your Memorial Day BBQ.

Photo by: Jane Maynard

Babble.com is an online magazine that was created by Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman and employs top bloggers on the subjects of child-raising and parenting. The site was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group in 2011 after the site reached more than half a million readers each month. For more information, visit: Babble.com.

 

 

3. Create your own decorations. Party stores are fun, and they have some great stuff, but they can also be expensive. Pick up some supplies from your local craft store, and you can have the double pleasure of showing off your crafting skills and keeping a little money in the bank. Redfin.com has six quick and easy Memorial Day DIY decoration ideas that are perfect for an outdoor BBQ.

Photo by: The Rustic Pig

The Redfin Blog is a website dedicated to providing you with the latest real estate news, pop culture and celebrity homes, and Redfin news. For more information, visit: Redfin.com.

 

 

4. Plan some fun activities. Nothing makes a BBQ more exciting than a bunch of fun, outdoor games. For the adults choose some card games or create a sports tournament, and for the kids set up a kiddie pool or sandbox. For more games and activity ideas, visit Punchbowl.com.

Photo by: Megan Fenno

Punchbowl was founded by Matt Douglas and Sean Conta and is dedicated to bringing superior designs for events and celebrations. Punchbowl provides a Party Planning platform and a Digital Greeting Card service and tries to create user-friendly products. For more information, visit: Punchbowl.com.

 

5. Send your guests home with favors. Themed gift favors are a great way to let your guests know you appreciate their attendance and to help them remember the special day. Pick up some of our seeded star gift favors to send home either with all of your guests or just the kids.  They’ll love watching their gift grow! Pick up reds, whites, and blues to make this gift even more festive!