The 20-Something's Guide to throwing a Fourth of July Party!

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because not only does it celebrate our incredible country, but it is also in my mind, the epitome of summer! I love nothing more than hosting a BBQ with great food, drinks, music and friends.

For the past few years, I have been out of town for this holiday weekend, but this year I’ll be home with my precious pup Winston. My parents are heading to Tahoe with their friends so I decided that it would be the perfect chance for me to host my first Fourth of July Backyard Party.

Those who know me well, know that I tend to go all out when it comes to hosting and decorating parties (Check out my post on the Fiesta I threw a couple of months back). So, this will be no different.

This is what I am planning for my Fourth of July celebration:

How I’ll Decorate

When I think about a summer backyard BBQ, I picture red and white checkered table cloths and lots of fresh flowers. But if you want to keep it simple, then I would recommend sticking with blue and white everything. I am planning to use our blue and white dishes, and fresh white flowers from the farmer’s market. My mom always kept white flowers around our house when I was growing up, so naturally I have picked up the same love for the simplicity of white. If you want to add a touch of blue with your red and white table cloth, add a simple blue hydrangea arrangement.

What we will Eat

I am a firm believer that a perfect BBQ consists of hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon and corn on the cob. So, why mess with the best? I am planning to keep the main dishes simple this year and celebrate the US of A with the most American dishes I can think of! 

 PC: Lauren Ferrando

PC: Lauren Ferrando

I am also planning on making a delicious salad that we made for the first time last weekend. It truly is red, white and blue! Use spinach for the base and then add goat cheese, sliced strawberries and blueberries. Toss with a balsamic vinaigrette and you will have the perfect salad for your Fourth of July celebration. 

Something Sweet

Last Fourth of July I was at my friend Emilie’s beach house and we made the most delicious American Flag cake. We based it off of the cake that Lauren Conrad makes each year, and man, is it good!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box angel food cake
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced
  • 1 cup of raspberries

Directions:

  1. Make an angel food cake in a rectangular cake pan. (we just used a box recipe)
  2. Once the cake has cooled, cover with homemade whipped cream.
  3. Next, use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to create an American Flag design on the cake.

Another dessert that I am planning to make this weekend is my aunt Tracey’s famous banana pudding! I have loved a good banana pudding ever since I was a little girl, but when we moved to California, I noticed that no one here really made it. When I went back to North Carolina for college, my aunt reintroduced it to me and now there is no going back. This is probably the best recipe for banana pudding that I have ever had!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 can eagle sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tub cool whip
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 box of Nilla Wafers

Instructions:

  1. Beat cream cheese until fluffy
  2. Beat in Eagle milk, pudding, vanilla, and milk.
  3. Fold in ½ tub of cool whip
  4. Place layers of bananas and cookies in bottom of dish.
  5. Spoon half of the pudding on top.
  6. Repeat
  7. Place extra nilla wafers on top for decoration. 
 houzz.com

houzz.com

Drinks for All

I am really loving the red white and blue theme for this party so I am going to keep it consistent with red, white (or yellow) and blue(ish) drinks.

Red: Strawberry Mint Spiked Lemonade

White: Golden Margarita

Blue: Blackberry Mojito

How I’ll Dress

It’s July and it’s hot, so I will be wearing my go-to summer uniform of a sundress and gladiator sandals! I fully intend on showing my patriotism though and wearing red, white and blue. Here are some cute dresses that I have seen in stores recently that would make great Fourth of July outfits. The Blue and White dress is Alice + Olivia, the Red dress is Parker NY and the gold sandals are Sam Edelman!

I am so excited for this holiday weekend, and I'm sure you all are too! How will you be celebrating? 

XOXO,

Rachael Claire