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Fourth of July Picnic Inspiration

Who doesn’t love a good Fourth of July celebration complete with sparklers, hot dogs and old fashioned glass bottles of soda? We prepared an inspirational picnic to ready you for the upcoming holiday weekend, and added a few simple Fourth of July picnic ideas that are inexpensive and require little fuss. We also threw in a few of our favorite Magnolia Market entertaining products – just in case you spot something you can’t live without!

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followers1 (42 of 44)We set our table with galvanized trivets used as chargers, and these versatile creamware dinner plates. We also added small berry baskets as a fun way to serve personal-sized desserts.

followers1 (24 of 44)This cream drink dispenser is great for serving tea or water. We used it to serve “Sparkle Punch” to add a festive party detail. Personalize your drink dispenser with a chalkboard.

followers1 (21 of 44)We used this lazy Susan for easy hotdog reach by each of our party guests. It also added height and interest to our table.

A cute and simple party tip is to add your condiments into mason jars. The jars are more appealing to the eye than traditional ketchup and mustard bottles, and are a fun addition to the table setting.

followers1 (28 of 44)Displaying your party favors in a way that adds to the feel of the whole party is an added detail that doesn’t go unnoticed by partygoers. We suggest a caddy like this oneHere is a similar choice if you don’t have quite as much space to work with.

followers1 (31 of 44)I think we can all agree that simple party favors are the best kind. We chose boxes of Cracker Jacks, and attached these sweet little gift tags to each one. We love the Cracker Jacks for Fourth of July, and appreciated that they’re a cute addition to the party theme. You could also use brownies or cookies – any sweet treat would work perfectly! Download these party tags at the bottom of the post.

followers1 (34 of 44)How could we host a Fourth of July picnic without sparklers? We chose to display them using these trays, and attaching “Light up the night” tags to groups of three and four sparklers. This way, each of your guests can quickly grab a handful and head out to the fun in a hurry. Download these sparkler tags at the bottom of the post.

followers1 (27 of 44)If you purchase glass soda bottles for your gathering, you may as well go the extra mile to ice them in a way that displays them for all to see. We used this bin in a size small. We do suggest getting the size large if you’ll be icing down more than six bottles of soda.

followers1 (20 of 44)You can have fun with the festive colors, stars and stripes without going overboard. We used this utensil holder to hold our patriotic plasticware and holiday appropriate straws.

followers1 (14 of 44)Be sure to personalize your party! Using chalkboards is our favorite way of accomplishing this. We used these.

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Download your free Fourth of July party printables here.

If you recreate any of these ideas, be sure to tag @magnoliamarket in your Instagram posts! We want to see how you incorporate our Market products into your holiday gathering. We hope you have a fun, festive and safe holiday weekend! Enjoy your day with family and friends – and happy Fourth!

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Milk Bottle Floral Holder

Used and antique items can oftentimes make the most interesting decor. Not only do repurposed pieces add character and nostalgia to your space, but in the process, you’re also recycling and breathing new life into items that would otherwise be discarded. This fun Milk Bottle Floral Holder is perfect for bringing dimension to an empty corner in your home, while utilizing objects you may otherwise throw away!

MB2 You can use any old jar or bottle, but we opted to use these vintage looking milk jars which contained flavored iced coffee drinks.
Simply remove the labels and soak in warm soapy water to remove any remaining glue residue.

MB3Here’s what you’ll need:
– 3 Jars or bottles
– Drill
– Flat 6 x  1 – 1/4 wood screws
– Measuring tape
– 2 Picture frame hanging hooks
– 3 Clamps (These measure 1-1/2″)
– Old piece of scrap wood (1 x 6 x 22″)

MB4Instructions:
1.  Prepare your wood by brushing off any dirt or debris.  Open metal clamp and with a hammer and a metal punch, punch a hole in the middle of metal clamp. This will make it easier  for the screw to go through later on.  You can use a screw driver if you don’t have a metal punch.
2.  Measure and mark where you would like the hanging hooks to be placed. Use a level to make sure they’re straight.
3. Screw hooks to the back of the board.
4. Measure and determine where your bottles will be placed on the wood. Use a pencil to mark.
5. Place opened clamp and line up the hole you previously made to the marking. Drill the screw into the opening to secure clamp to the wood.  Repeat with all of the clamps.
6. Close clamps loosely and place bottles in each clamp one at a time. Tighten until bottle is snug and does not move. Repeat with other bottles

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Fill the bottles with water and use seasonal flowers to add texture and color to your space. Head outdoors with your kiddos and forage for wild daisies, lavender or simple greenery from the garden. For a more low maintenance look that lasts, faux florals would look great as well. Switch them out as the seasons change, and it’s perfect for every time of year. Really make it your own! Enjoy!

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A Messy Connection

I love being in the kitchen. It’s my little escape from the deadlines, the schedules, and the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. To be honest, I really like being in the kitchen alone. When I’m cooking several different things, being by myself helps me get focused and in the zone so I can get everything flavored and timed just right. It’s a satisfying feeling to have dinner fully ready and right on time for the family.

This past weekend I was talking with a friend, and we were chatting about our kiddos and how fast they’re growing. The main question we asked each other was, “How do we connect with our kids as the seasons change?” I felt challenged by our conversation, and on my way home I prayed that God would show me creative ways to connect with my children.

That same evening I started preparing for dinner and was excited about some alone time in the kitchen. Sure enough, one by one each of the kiddos trickled in and asked if they could help. At first I resisted, and explained to them I was in a hurry to get everything made. I really didn’t want to deal with the mess that comes along with four little ones in the kitchen. And then I heard the whisper, “This is your chance Jo.”

I took a deep breath and prepared myself – I had to let go of my plan that dinner would be ready on time. With the kids helping, there would inevitably be four times the mess and plenty of spills, but I knew it would all be worth it.

I started by delegating the work. The two youngest were tasked with rolling out the dough and messing with the flour (which, of course, they loved). My two oldest were in charge of peeling and cutting. Right away it seemed like the flour was being slung all over the place, but as soon as I saw the two youngest work together as a team, I realized it didn’t bother me a bit. And though tomato juice was dripping from the cutting board down onto the pine floors, it was the sweetest thing to see my oldest teach his little sister the safe and proper cutting technique. Watching these siblings love and teach one another so patiently was the most perfect little moment, so I hushed the clean freak inside me and enjoyed the spills and splatters.

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After the food was in the oven ready to go, I asked them to go outside and get fresh arrangements for the centerpiece. They set the table as a team, and each tiny detail that their little hands worked so hard to put together made a big impact on this mama’s heart. And just when I thought my heart couldn’t swell any bigger, my oldest volunteered to do the dishes (this was a first).

The kids were so proud of their meal, and from start to finish they were partners. I sat back and thought to myself, If I hadn’t let them join in and make their mess, I would’ve missed this whole beautiful moment. That evening, my heart learned to let go of perfection and to embrace the chaos, no matter how messy it can get. Sometimes in the middle of the mess is where life and beauty are found.

The simple lesson I learned in all this is when I lean towards control and perfection, I miss the gift that is right in front of me. It was a sweet moment I’m glad I didn’t miss with my kids. Honestly, it was the first time I can ever remember cleaning the floors with a smile.

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