Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!!
What I love most about this holiday is the old fashioned way we still celebrate it.
Flying flags, fireworks, cookouts, parades.
And in our little town, it's no exception.
The day started dreary with lots of rain, squelching any outdoor parade plans.
I spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon
 in my pjs and apron, piddling around in the kitchen
and attempting to get a little crafty - no luck with the fancy paper fans,
but my pinwheels turned out pretty cute.
Holidays and decorations are a big deal for Andrew.  
He notices and appreciates every little detail.
And while I don't do anything fancy, I try to make it festive + fun for my little ones.

I always bake something special.
The last several years I've made a flag cake, but this year's request was cupcakes.
We are celebrating our country's birthday afterall...

We had my parents over for a cookout.
The menu was supposed to be:
Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken
Fresh Corn Cakes
Tomato + Avocado Salsa
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade (Andrew's specialty)
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
However....we had some peculiar grilling complications -- undercooked then overcooked chicken.  
So we ended up going vegetarian for the night.
This recipe is CRAZY good.

Charlie looks like he's ready for Cinco de Mayo, rather than the 4th of July.

The weather cleared up by dinner and the sun peaked out.
We attempted a family photo...

Smile Andrew, I made you the "best cupcakes you've ever tasted!"
Actually, the conversation went like this.
A: "Mom, Mom, do you even realize what just happened?" (lots of gesticulation + raised voice) 
Me: "No, what's wrong?"
A: "I have just tasted the best cupcake I've ever had in my whole life."
Me: " Aww, Andrew that's so sweet."
A: " I'm not kidding, it was."

At dusk we made our way down to the park to watch fireworks.
Andrew on his bike, Charlie on his trike.
We met up with neighbors and friends...

It was Charlie's first time seeing fireworks.
They are set off in the open field next to the Bell Tower.
While the sky lights up, the bells ring out patriotic tunes - its perfect!

He was up waaaay past his bedtime, but it was worth it.
The last couple years I stayed home so he could go to bed on time.
I much preferred going as a family tonight
I will be paying the price tomorrow with cranky behavior and likely bite my words.
Charlie thought the fireworks sounded like drums.

I'm kind of impressed with my pictures.
99.9% of the time I don't have a clue what I am doing in manual mode on my camera.
I followed this tutorial and lo and behold it worked!!
That's all.  I'm officially nodding off.
Hope you did something special to celebrate today too!

{linking up to Starfish Summer Snapshots}


  1. I can only imagine how perfectly patriotic the 4this in your quaint little village! :) Your table looks awesome...and way to go with the best cupcake ever! Great job on the firework photos, too!


  2. Tessa, You are the cutest thing ever!!! First, I'm going to buy tiny flags to put in my cabinet, too, next year! Love that. Andrew & Charlie are going to look back so fondly how you made celebrations so special for them! Your dress is adorable! Your firework pics are quite impressive. I got a lot of black pictures.

    In other news, my music magically came back on one day. But then I decided to take it off because if I ever post a video it conflicts. Also, I love how I know a pin is yours right away! And it always makes me smile! xoxo

  3. You are adorable! You look fantastic in all these pictures! So glad you had a great holiday (except for the rain and grilling). Love your dress!

  4. Your photos are great! Those corn cakes look yummy. I'll have to try them, for sure. And the cupcakes ... well, they are gorgeous, and so professional looking! I'm drooling! The shots of the fireworks are wonderful too.

  5. What a perfect day! Sounds like some wonderful memories were made. Love your adorable dress too!

  6. Love your dress! Sounds like a great weekend (minus the food mishaps). Enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. I need to check out that tutorial...b/c I can never get good pics of fireworks! Your cupcakes are the cutest! So sweet of your son to say they were the best he's ever had. Love your dress!

  8. i followed that same tutorial, but mine didn't turn out quite as good as yours! great job and so glad to now follow your blog~
    blessings, friend

  9. Holy guacamole, those corn cakes look good! Looks like you had a wonderful 4th! You're boys are adorable!

  10. As always you look gorg!!! Love your festive cupcakes! Is it bad that's it midnight and I'm craving one of those now?!? I have such a weakness for cupcakes! Ps. We are officially househunting! Yay! I wish u lived closer - I'd take you with! I need someone with a good vision!

  11. What a wonderful way to spend the 4th. Your firework pictures are awesome! Are you going to share the corn cake recipe? it sure looks good.
    Happy summer & hugs from Savannah, Cherry

  12. you girls are very sweet, thank you! the link for the corn cake recipe is above. the dress is michael stars. i bought mine at a local boutique (camargo trading company). i can't find the exact one online, but he has lots of other maxi dresses on his website.


  13. Looks like a wonderful 4th of July! The food looked delicious :)

  14. Cute cute cute!!! Love those little flags.

  15. Just look at one of my all time favorite dining rooms all decked out the for the fourth! Love! I hope your holiday was wonderful.

  16. Wow, what a sweet mom you are!! Love the cupcakes and love the awesome fireworks shots too...and LOVE that black and white dress!! Thanks so much for linking up!! xoxo Amber

  17. Love your dress, love the cupcakes, love your darling boy in his Daddy's lap. . . Love all your darlingness!! So excited I found you from Starfish's summer snapshot linky. Your pix are great!