The weather was in the triple digits, the humidity was just as high and our air conditioner broke. The flies were awful and everything was melting, sweating, falling over and overall not cooperating, including my camera. I came so very close to giving up and never blogging again... I was so frustrated.

As you can see, I eventually thought a little more clearly... so here it is, the 4th Of July post that almost did me in. I figure that for all that trouble it is worth another look!

A picnic to celebrate the 4th of July is a great family tradition! Packing up easy to make goodies and festive decorations- off we go to a nearby park or quiet spot by a stream and enjoy food and homemade fun.

I am not going too far with this picnic~ StoneGable's backyard~ so I was not concerned with packing perishables on ice. I do love to pack picnic yummies in mason jars. So easy to seal and transport, they are also attractive to serve from!

Pull out a tablecloth (HomeGoods) and use it as a picnic blanket. Pick a shady spot with a scenic view and set an inviting table!

Each place is set with a patriotic mix of dishes.

The Americana bowls and matching dishes are perfect for a 4th of July table (AC Moore)! They are a little too "cute" for me, so I toned down the cutsie appeal by stacking them with a blue and white floral transferware plate (HomeGoods), a solid red dish (K-Mart) and a large white dinner plate with a detailed rim (HomeGoods).

I prefer NOT to use paper products if I can help it.

To give the place setting a little extra pizzazz I tucked a pick of stars between the plates! Sorta looks like fireworks!

These beautiful and well made star napkins (Wm-Sonoma) are paired with napkins that match the tablecloth (HomeGoods). The napkin rings (Wm-Sonoma, on sale!) were a plain white wicker. I cut apart one of the star picks and hot glued 3 stars to each napkin ring. TaDa! New napkin rings!

Big ball jar mugs of homemade lemonade are garnished with lemons and mint! Lids can be screwed on to make them easy to transport and to keep spills off of the picnic area too!

A tray on a picnic blanket is a very good idea! Using it to keep the centerpiece and salsa from spilling and becoming a disaster,  this white wicker tray (Pier I) is draped with a stars and stripes tea towel (Wm-Sonoma).

Flowers from my garden are gathered up and put into a large ball jar tied with a navy blue grosgrain ribbon.

The menu features... Flank Steak Sandwiches on baguettes. They are filled with delicious grilled flank steak, gruyere cheese, roasted red peppers, fresh garden butter crunch lettuce and a pesto mayonnise.

Homemade pasta salad ...

A jar of garden fresh salsa and homemade baked tortilla crisps in a fun paper cone...

A big bowl of fresh cherries...

And dessert!

What a fun dessert~ pie in a jar. These little individual desserts are something special! So very easy to make and delicious, the  mixed fruit pies travels well too.  For a recipe and ho-to's  for these WOW factor summer desserts, click HERE.

Keep flatware together in a napkin lined ball jar. So pretty, and the utensils don't roll around or out of the jar!

When you are finished eating, back in the jar they go!

Don't forget to show your patriotic colors with Old Glory!

When everyone is full of food and good old-time fun pack up your picnic and head for the fireworks!

Have a happy, safe 4th of July! Don't forget to honor our brave military with a prayer!

God Bless America!


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