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Weekend Menu: All-American Cocktails + Treats

Whether you’re out of town for the 4th of July festivities, or staying home for a little holiday staycation, it is officially time to kick off this Independence Day weekend, and we have the perfect weekend menu to  help you get started. Take a peek below at some of our favorite all-American cocktails, paired with some classic eats and sweets, for good measure.

All-American Cocktails

If you’re imbibing this weekend, you have absolutely no excuse not to have something frosty and patriotically-hued in your hands at all times. Our top pick for some patriotic boozing? This all-too-delicious Summer Sea Breeze Cocktail. Yum!

Other red, white and blue cocktails to try:

Red Berry Sangria

White Dragonfruit Margarita

Blueberry Mint Sangria

All-American Eats

While sipping on something pretty and patriotic, may we recommend indulging in an all-American classic like a delicious, summer-in-a-buttered-bun, Connecticut-style lobster roll? Prefer yours with mayo, a la Maine? Yup, we’ve got that recipe right here, too.

Other true blue American eats to try:

Fully Loaded Smashed Potato Skins

Salted Beer Football Pretzels

Mini Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

All-American Sweets

C’mon, seriously, what’s more all-American than some pie? These adorable heart-shaped strawberry hand pies are made in single-serving that’s perfect for standing room only backyard BBQs.

Other true blue American eats to try:

Easiest Ice Cream Sandwiches Ever

S’Mores Push Pops

Classic Apple Pie With A Twist

Recipe Styling: Cocktail and Lobster Rolls: Abby Capalbo Styling | Hand Pies: Waiting on Martha

Independence Day Beach Party

Heading to the beach for a mega 4th of July party? This toes-in-the-sand inspiration crafted by Virtuous Events and Two Birds Photography brings the essence of a bohemian picnic and a traditional independence day bbq together for one very cool seaside party. From a scrumptious family style meal to a cozy bonfire and a front-row seat to fireworks, it has all the fixin’s for a 4th of July done so, so right.

For Jake and Jennifer Moreland of Two Birds Photography, working with this dream-team of vendors for this Independence Day Boho Beach Shoot, was nothing short of perfection! What could be more amazing than summer fun, delicious food and sunsets on Lake Michigan?

Tasha Raylene, the incredible stylist for this shoot, was inspired to create a simple Independence Day dinner setting that anyone could achieve! For the table, she utilized a wood pallet that was picked up from a local warehouse. Since we were eating on the beach, a few cushions from some old club chairs that were stored away, which happened to be in the color scheme we were going for. Cushions were paired with comfy pillows and warm throw blankets, which came in handy once the sun began to set.

At this party, the food spoke for itself! Once the menu was designed, it was easy to tie in neutral tones and natural accents for dinnerware and glassware. For guest napkins, kitchen towels with a cute fringe edge were used, and an oversized copper paperclip as a napkin ring. Mixed and matched burnt orange glass charger plates with different textures, patterns and sizes of salad, appetizer and bread plates created a casual and comfortable tablescape. Some of our party guests drank wine or cocktails; others preferred beer. They brought their drink of choice to the dinner table and kept the place settings simple.

Chef Nicole Bissonnette, owner of Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill in Beverly Shores, prepared an amazing menu of brightly colored summer salads and spreads, oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels in a rich garlic and white wine broth, along with grill marked farm fresh vegetables, crusty artisan breads and wood-fired pizzas. 

As the evening progressed, we strolled the lakefront, cuddled up by a roaring fire and capped off the night by watching a dazzling firework display. Let freedom ring!

Photography: Jake and Jennifer Moreland of Two Birds Photography | Styling: Tasha Raylene, Virtuous Events | Food: Chef Nicole Bissonnette, Bartlett's Gourmet Grill and Tavern | Makeup: FOXY by Alex Garcia | Hair: Erica Berger, Center of Attention | Clothing and Accessories: Chelle's | Clothing and Accessories: Indie Indie Bang Bang | Original print publication : Inspired Living Magazine

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Red, White & Blue Treats for a Sweet 4th of July

Holidays are always an appropriate time for a little indulgence – especially if the indulgences in question are both holiday-hued and as all-American as the 4th of July- and Americana-themed sweet treats in the slideshow below. Don’t believe me? Take a peek and try to resist these desserts‘ sweet temptations this coming weekend.

Patriotic Desserts
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Patriotic Desserts
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More Summer Sweet Treats to Try:

29 Amazing Popsicle Recipes | 20 Finger-Licking Summer Desserts15 Recipes For The 4th of July |

A Sophisticated Twist on Red, White, & Blue

Modern Dame is taking the beach party indoors for an elegant twist to a Fourth of July bash. The traditional red, white and blue palette is still present but it’s been transformed into gorgeous all white florals by Holly Flora, a table full of cobalt dinnerware and little moments of red woven into the delicious spread by Taste Of Pace and Cocktail Academy. Grab inspiration to pull off your own 4th of July dinner party with even more gorgeous imagery by Steve Steinhardt right here.

The bold blue and white striped rug perfectly complimented the white stars of varying sizes I hung from the ceiling to immediately draw in the eye in our spacious DTLA loft. Gorgeous, romantic white arrangements from Holly Flora dotted the table in brass vases, while the blue and white detailed dishes and vintage smokey blue and clear glassware from Dishwish worked together to create a subtle patriotic place setting. On each plate we placed a vegan raspberry tart from Bramble Bakeshop, really completing our red, white, and blue look.

The menu was expertly crafted by Pace Webb from Taste of Pace, a renowned celebrity chef and TV host who is known for her monthly underground, invite-only Supper Club, and drew on summer themes in a new and super delicious way. Guests munched on aged grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches, cherry tomato confit, shrimp and grits, BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) sandwiches, and tarts with tomato, eggplant, squash, and homemade ricotta.

July 4th is such a nostalgic time for so many. Most everyone has cherished memories of barbecues with friends and family, fireworks shows lighting up the night sky. So, when planning a July 4th-inspired day for friends, I knew I wanted to pay homage to all the things that make Independence Day so great – simplicity of celebration, time with loved ones, and lots of tasty food and drinks. It was important to me to create a fresh, unexpected twist through the use of a bold, but muted, palette that recalled the stars and stripes while also remaining chic and stylish. My goal was to achieve a timeless look for a time-honored tradition, and I think, I, along with my vendors, did just that with this grown-up July 4th themed luncheon.

 As for the drinks, I left those up to Brandyn Tepper from Cocktail Academy. Showing his true skill and mastery, he created the most fun and patriotic drinks — the Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling water, shown here bottled), Amber Waves (bourbon, lemon, strawberry, and honey, shown here in a mason jar), and From Sea to Shining Sea (bourbon, lime, blue curaçao, mint, and peychaud bitters).

This gorgeous, grown-up July 4th event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my friends at Taste of Pace, Cocktail Academy, Holly Flora, Dishwish, Found Rentals, Steve Steinhart Photography, and Hudson Loft. A truly amazing team for a one-of-a-kind event!

Photography: Steve Steinhardt Photography | Floral Design: Holly Flora | Caterer: Taste Of Pace | Venue: Hudson Loft | Cocktails: Cocktail Academy | Dessert: Bramble Bakeshop | Furniture Rentals: Found Rentals | Host & Event Design: Modern Dame | Loft: Hudson Loft | Tabletop & Glassware Rentals: Dish Wish Events

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Splurge or Save: Summer Beach Bags

With summer now officially in full swing (yay!), chances are you’ll be headed to the beach ASAP, and – like most of us — you won’t be making the trek to the shore with only an iPhone and sunscreen in hand. So why not make your day at the beach as chic as can be with a brand new beach bag? Whatever your budget, we’ve found some of the cutest options around, so take a peek below!


SPLURGE: Sophie Anderson, $606 at Matches Fashion

SAVE: Mar Y Sol, $109 at Everything But Water

STEAL: Old Navy, $29 at Old Navy



SPLURGE: Sophie Anderson, $606 at Matches Fashion

SAVE: Mar Y Sol, $125 at Huff Harrington

STEAL: Old Navy, $29 at Old Navy


Want even more summer fashion? Check out:

Cutest Summer Rompers | Summer’s Little Black Dress | Summer Hair Playbook