We are getting ready for a big weekend around here. My sister and her family are coming in to stay with us this weekend for our annual neighborhood 4th of July parade followed by a carnival lunch then fireworks and swimming at my parents. I love planning holiday weekends - sitting here at my desk thumbing through old photos for inspiration, thinking up menu plans, activities and decorations for the house. These little things might not seem monumental (and they really aren't), but they do all add up to creating beautiful memories for our family. I love for special holiday weekends to seem just that - special. The kids can feel the excitement when they see that they house is festively decorated, there are plenty of cookies in the cookie jar and ice cream sandwiches in the freezer.
We plan activities for the kids that are also fun for the parents (my definition of quality time). I attempt to plan and prepare ahead so that the weekend is easy for the adults, too. I want our friends and family that come over to feel relaxed and enjoy the abundance. For me, that's what great entertaining is: enjoying great friends while relaxing and experiencing those easy simple moments of life. Great food, casual gatherings. I want the weekend to be easy - easy for them and easy for me. So, over the next couple of days, I'm going to be getting the house ready, stocking the fridge and making plans to make some magic for our family. My favorite way to spend a week.
Later this week I will be sharing a house tour (this time, I promise!) and our menus, and decorations as I get everything ready.
Here are some of my favorite photos and recipes from the last couple of years that are inspiring me this morning.
All of the girls at our parade last year.
Star Spangled Sangria
Festive Cupcakes with Red Candles and sprinkles.
Sliders are so great for groups.
Our very nutritious donut buffet last year.
Emma and me, last year.
Berry Ice Cream Cake
This is from 2 years ago - our first annual Donuts and Decorating party... was only a small group. These very same two girls were running around in our backyard through the hose last night for some impromptu water play after s'mores : )
I LOVE this - my two favorites : )
I hope everyone is enjoying planning their holiday weekend. Keep it simple and fun!