Guest Post: 4th of July Menu & Table Decor from MacSuzie.Com

A big thank you to Jenni for having me as a guest poster today on A Well Crafted Party! After a little hiatus from my own blog, her invite was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back on track and get some MacSuzie mojo going! It felt really good to be in the kitchen and at my craft table working on this menu and table decor.

MacSuzie 4th of July Menu // featured on A Well Crafted Party

I hope you all enjoy the summer recipes I’ve put together for you – great as a menu altogether for the 4th of July, or any of them on their own as additions to your gatherings throughout summer. Many items can be prepared ahead of time (or require barely any prep at all!) so you won’t toil away the afternoon in the in the kitchen. Plus, the table decor is very simple and won’t cost you an arm and a leg :)


Bomb Pop Cocktail featured on A Well Crafted Party

Start yourself off right with a fun and festive summer cocktail reminiscent of the ice cream man jingling down the street.

This Bomb Pop Cocktail has all the flavors of the original – cherry, lime and blue raspberry, with a grown up twist.

rocket pop cocktail // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

For the kiddos, a real Bomb Pop is a fun way to keep lemonade or soda pop cold :)


Grill out (or in, if your 4th gets rained out, as mine always seems to!) with this flavor packed Homemade Veggie Burger with Blue Cheese & BBQ Sauce that will impress even the staunchest of carnivores.

Veggie Burgers with Blue Cheese // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

Lately, my favorite way to eat these is topped with a slice of blue cheese plus some pickled onions and BBQ sauce – so good!


On the side, the smell of these Tin Foil “Camping” Potatoes will make it hard to decide what you want to take a bite of first.

MacSuzie's Tin Foil Camping Potatoes // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

Packed with onions and garlic in a pocket of foil, it doesn’t get any easier. Ok, maybe it does… See below for my roasted corn!


It wouldn’t be summer without an ear of In-Husk Roasted Sweet Corn – just like the county fair vendors :)

In Husk Roasted Corn featured on A Well Crafted Party

You won’t believe how easy it is to cook corn on the grill or in the oven – no husking required! Hahaha, guess you’ll have to find something else to keep the kids (or husband!) busy. :)


End the meal on a fruity note with my Mini Red, White & Blueberry Strawberry Shortcakes!

Red, White, & Blue Shortcakes from MacSuzie featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Smaller than the usual shortcake, you don’t have to choose between the two toppings – have one of each! (both with a giant dollop of homemade whipped cream of course!)



Table Decor:

To break up the traditional (and sometimes boring) red, white and blue, I decided to add in a touch of light turquoise here and there. I pulled in a few of turquoise Fiesta serving pieces I already had, plus my trusty vintage ball jar, some bandanas and scraps of paper and fabric and ended up with a beautiful table. You can do the same – just use what you have on hand and get creative!

 

To start, I used bandanas as place mats.

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor // featured on A Well Crafted Party

 


MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Some coordinating ribbon dresses up a plain jar or old vase without much effort.

 


MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party
Keep all your toppings on top of your burger with these adorable picks!

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Just a few scraps of paper and some stickers make boring old skewers into fun decorations. Use them on your burgers as I have, or put the flags on toothpicks and use for fruit or cupcakes.


 

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

Lastly, ditch the paper napkins and use some clean bandanas instead!

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Quickly folded into a pocket and dressed up with some fabric scraps and ribbon, these bandana napkins are festive AND won’t blow off the table. :

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and summer!


 

 

Seriously, how cute is this party!? A huge thank you to Lindsey of MacSuzie.com for brining us this awesome 4th of July party! I can’t wait to try these recipes and entertaining tips for the upcoming holiday and throughout the Summer. By the way… if you’ve been wondering about the name MacSuzie here is how Lindsey describes it on her site: “A dash of ‘MacGyver’ plus a sprinkle of ‘Suzie Homemaker’ – all tied up with a bow! 

Guest Post: Why I Care About Sun Safety with Laura Farrar

As a fair and freckly skinned individual descending from a family of red-heads, I have always been aware that the sun and I aren’t the greatest of friends. I’m the girl that will wear nothing less than SPF 30 and will consistently re-apply sun cream throughout the day and annoyingly remind others to do the same.

But last summer, my awareness of just how dangerous sun damage can be to a human became even more heightened. Unfortunately my lovely Dad was diagnosed with and subsequently died from a malignant melanoma, the most fatal of skin cancers.

I knew about skin cancer of course. I knew to wear sun cream, I knew that you should check moles and I knew that skin cancer could be removed. What I thought I knew about skin cancer, was what I knew about Basal Cell Carcinoma, a common skin cancer that is terrifying for those who are diagnosed but can be treated if caught in good time. I didn’t understand malignant melanoma and I didn’t know that it was deadly. Not only was I upset about how ignorant I had been about the disease in general, I was upset about how ignorant everyone seems to be about the disease.

I was surprised by how little research has been done into any type of skin cancer and the lack of treatment choice that there appeared to be for my Dad and the type of skin cancer he had. Having so many friends and relations with fair skin, our family wanted to do what we could to make sure that this changes for the future. We raised money in memory of Dad for The British Skin Foundation’s Skin Cancer Appeal, which directly supports research into this ‘Cinderella’ (or poor relation) cancer. It is the only UK charity to do so. (I’m pleased to see that in the US there is more than one charity supporting skin cancer research.) Since supporting and following the British Skin Foundation, I have far more appreciation for their cause. They are getting some good exposure across the national media, but they rely on others, like my family, to help them spread the word too.

Sun safety is more than just putting on sun cream. It’s about raising awareness of the dangers that can come with exposure to too much sun. If we all know how to act, what to do and how to protect ourselves from the heat, perhaps cases of skin cancer will be reduced and the more support there will be for finding a cure.

 


lauraThank you to Laura Farrar for sharing her story of why sun safety is important to her and her family. This post is a part of an ongoing series here on A Well Crafted Party in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness. I’d highly recommend checking out Laura’s great blog Farrars Further Afield for updates on her fabulous adventures including her home updates and recipes.

Connect with Laura on Instagram and congratulate her on her brand new baby!

If you would like to be featured in this series please email me the reason you care about sun safety to jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com!

 

Guest Blogger Beaux and Belles: How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer

I’d like to introduce to you Brittany from Beaux and Belles– she is A Well Crafted Sponsor and has taken the opportunity to guest post here on the blog. If you haven’t been over to Beaux and Belles, but you love parties, then you should hop on over. Brittany features events, party trends, and tons of inspiration. Today she is sharing her tips on choosing the perfect wedding photographer.

Photographer

Photo via Pixabay

Determining which photographer to choose for your wedding or event can seem like a very daunting task. With these questions, you will be prepared and well-equipped to make the right decision!

Ask the Photographer about his/her experience and style…

  1. What do you do to make your images unique?

  2. Why are you an events photographer?

  3. What is your photographic approach/style?

  4. Are you full-time or do you hold another job as well?

  5. Do you have a portfolio I can review and may I have a list of references?

  6. Have you ever photographed my venue before? If not, will you do a site inspection before?

  7. Have you ever worked with my other vendors?

  8. Can I provide you with a “must-have pics” list or inspiration board?

  9. Do I feel a connection with this photographer? Am I comfortable?

  10. Does the photographer listen well and address my wishes?

Ask the Photographer about his/her contract and pricing…

  1. Do you have my date(s) available?

  2. How far in advance do I need to book with you?

  3. Can I see a sample contract?

  4. What travel fees do you charge if my venue is out of your area?

  5. Are you photographing any other events on the same day?

  6. If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay longer? Do you charge extra?

  7. What packages do you offer and can I customize it?

  8. How much is the deposit? Do you offer a payment plan?

  9. Do you have liability insurance?

  10. What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Ask the Photographer about his/her day-of procedure…

  1. What time will you arrive and for how long will you shoot?

  2. What do you suggest as a timeline for the day?

  3. How many photographers will be at my wedding and who are they?

  4. How many pictures will you take?

  5. Do you bring an assistant to the event?

  6. How will you be dressed? (Should be professional.)

  7. What information do you need from me before the event day?

 

Ask the Photographer about his/her after-event procedure…

  1. How extensively do you edit images for the final album?

  2. What does the final product look like? (album, digital CD, etc.)

  3. How long after the event will I receive the photos?

  4. How long are online copies available for viewing/ordering?

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

I hope you found this post helpful in your search for the perfect photographer. The most important thing is to find a photographer that is professional and that you are comfortable working with. And don’t worry about bombarding the photographer with these questions – most photographers have a lot of information in brochures and on their website that can help you find the answers to each of these questions before you even set up an appointment!

About the Author: Brittany Ryan is the founder and editor of the event planning blog, Beaux and Belles: An Event Planning Blog. It is an inspiration and reference site for all things related to event management and entertaining. At Beaux & Belles, you can find everything from tabletop settings for the home to stunning layouts and visual displays for the weddings and corporate events. On a more personal note, Brittany uses this space as her creative outlet to document her journey towards becoming a certified Event Planner. Brittany currently caters to the DFW community. With every event, Brittany’s aim is to plan something that is meaningful, memorable, classy, and fun! In her spare time, Brittany enjoys fine dining, traveling, a glass of red wine, and creating fond memories with loved ones.

 




A big thank you to Brittany for sponsoring A Well Crafted Party and sharing her tips!If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of A Well Crafted Party then hop on over to my ad page to see what I have to offer!

Summer Entertaining Series: First Birthday Photo Booth Fun from Life By Lindsay

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her tips for a First Birthday Photo Booth. Please welcome Lindsay of Life By Lindsay to A Well Crafted Party!


When I started planning my daughters first birthday, I decided to take the risk that every Pacific Northwest Mom does: plan for a birthday party outside!!! Luckily the weather cooperated that day, and we had a full on BBQ in the back yard!

First Birthday Details

 

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Summer Entertaining Series: Last Minute Sides and Snacks from PDX Food Love

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers  sharing her favorite Summer Recipes. Please welcome Rebekah of PDXfoodlove.com  to A Well Crafted Party!


Last Minute Sides & Snacks Roundup

Hi readers of A Well Crafted Party! My name is Rebekah and I write the food blog PDXfoodlove.com. I love to post about cooking and entertaining at home, and seeing just how much I can do myself instead of purchase ready-made. I like to highlight local produce and sustainable food products, and encourage my readers to vote with their dollars for products that are kind to the environment.

Today I’m taking on a subject that seems easy to think about now, but can cause a panic if you are unprepared: last minute sides and snacks. It’s happened to all of us- we find out another couple is coming to the party, even though they didn’t RSVP – and you need to expand your menu in short order.

Or maybe you totally forgot about your friend’s barbecue… until an hour beforehand.

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Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Bar Cart from Sam Rosen

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers (& friends) sharing her favorite Summer Essentials. Please welcome Sam of Sam Rosen to A Well Crafted Party!


Hi everyone! Thanks to Jenni for having me! I usually blog about fashion and parties so I knew exactly what I would share when Jenni asked me to share with her readers. I am a big fan of the bar cart trend right now! It’s perfect if you don’t have room for a full bar in your house, it’s always party ready! If you’ve looked into buying a bar cart, you probably found a large amount of gorgeous carts that are extremely expensive! I suggest looking into thrift shops. I am lucky beyond words because this was my grandparents bar cart and when my grandma passed my dad made sure this bar cart got back to Oregon {from Florida} for me. I immediately started to fill it. I had most of this stuff already, just waiting for a bar cart. I am obviously a champagne drinker and eventually I’ll get a few more alcohols and bar accessories but until then, this is what I’m working with. I found most of these items thrifting, given to me by family. or at stores like Target/TJ Maxx/West Elm.

Tips for Creating a Summer Bar Cart

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Summer Entertaining Series: His & Her Cocktails from Tiny Little Rocket

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers (and friends!) sharing one of her Summer cocktail recipes. Please welcome Erika from A Tiny Rocket  to A Well Crafted Party!


Hello! it’s me Erika from A Tiny Rocket, which is a blog about my adventures of mommyhood and making things.  I wanted to share with you today one of my favorite summer time cocktails.  I love a light refreshing cocktail in the summer. Since I am a new mommy, my husband and I do a lot of date nights at home which means lots of experimenting with fun new cocktails.  We do a version for me and a slight twist for my husband.  It’s seriously delicious :).
HIs & Hers Longbeach Lemonade Cocktail Recipes

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Summer Entertaining Series: Grilled Bacon Wrapped Pork with Kung Foo Feltus

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers (and friends!) sharing one of her Summer recipes. Please welcome Shannon from Kung Foo Feltus to A Well Crafted Party!


I am so happy to be writing a guest post! Wahoooo for Summertime!! I am know for few things. Bacon is pretty much top of the list and gardening is high up there too. I am combining these two loves to bring you a really awesome recipe for a fresh and mostly healthy meal. I am not going on any Paleo diet anytime soon but I have been told that this can fit into that style of eating as well. Bonus! It is low carb for those into that and low sugar too. Really I feel like you can’t go to wrong with meat and veggies when you want to feel full and satisfied. But, more importantly, this dish can totally feed the masses if need be for relatively low cost. Double Bonus! We grow a massive amount of kale and tomatoes at our house among so many other foods. If you can’t grow your own, the next best thing if you don’t live near me, is hitting up the local farmers markets. Produce there is out of this world flavorful too. Grocery stores are great and all but nothing beats fresh local fruits and veggies if you can get your hands on them.

My sister helped me pick a recipe because I had about 30 ideas and no focus. She reminded me of a few very good points. Not everyone is a plant nerd like me. I grow a bazillion vegetables and like, research them and their origin, how they pollinate, how much of the plant can be eaten and of course how to prepare it. Which leads to her best point; Not everyone knows how to cook some of the veggies they like to eat. Like spaghetti squash. Before I had ever learned to cook it, I had eaten it at various friends houses for meals and even a few times in restaurants. With it looking like it does and turning out how it ends up it’s no wonder this delicious food can be botched ( I learned through trial and error horrible error). So, I give you one of my favorites and all the steps I can think of to help make preparation as simple and no nonsense as I can.

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Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Recipes by Adventures of Brad & Kendra

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her favorite Summer recipes. Please welcome Kendra from Adventures of Brad & Kendra to A Well Crafted Party! 

Hi everybody, I’m Kendra from Adventures of Brad & Kendra. Hopefully Jenni is having an awesome vacation and getting some much needed relaxation. Over on my blog I write about the happenings of my life ranging from recipes, DIY projects, crafts and other adventures life throws our way. My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years and currently reside just outside Seattle. In addition to my blog and my day job of being an Electrical Engineer I run the Etsy shop Simply {Darr}ling where I sell items such as scrabble necklaces, FOE hair ties, scarves, coffee cozies, and baby items.

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Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Wedding Attire with Cup of Ting

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her advice for Summer wedding attire. Please welcome Ting from Cup of  Ting! This is especially relevant to me today as I don my own Wedding attire as I enjoy my sis-in-law’s wedding! 


Hi, I’m TING!  Jenni was sweet enough to invite me to share some sunny fun with you while she’s out getting her vacation on.  I suppose you might want to know a little about me, so here I go…

I play house for a living!  I’m a foodie who loves all things stripes + I still play dress up.  As a dancing queen + healthy lifestyle cheerleader, I read cookbooks in my spare time + am not your typical stay at home mom.  Come play with me sometime in this little blog world of mine called Cup of TING… giving you a sip of my Fashion, Food + Fun!

Now, summer is a coming + do you hear what I hear?  Oh yeah, it’s wedding bells, champagne bottles popping, cheers + laughter all around.  Here’s the age-old dilemma though… what to wear.  My go-to for any summer wedding is the classic Little Black Dress.  Here I’d like to share some options to jazz up YOUR little black dress attire.

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Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Loving from Love Sparkle Pretty

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her favorite things about Summer. Please welcome Kayla from Love Sparkle Pretty!

Hello friends! My name is Kayla and I blog over at Love Sparkle Pretty where I share my crazy beautiful life being a handmade shop owner, wedding/event planner, floral design student, mommy to a fun little boy, wife to a handsome man and daughter of Jesus Christ!

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Summer Entertaining Series: Semi-Homemade Summer Salad from Back-Handsprings Through Bridgetown

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her favorite Summer Essentials. Please welcome Laura from Back-Handsprings Through Bridgetown!

 

BHTB 2

 

Hello peeps of A Well Crafted Party! My name is Laura, and I blog over at Back-handsprings Through Bridgetown. Jenni is a special kind of individual who can do things from Pinterest successfully, as well as create things that others want to pin. I am not. I suck at crafts and I never DIY (because my stuff will look DIY… in a bad way). That is why I must read blogs like Jenni’s to make myself feel inadequate and envious. But that is like, the point of blogs right?… especially fashion blogs. Haha! No, but seriously, we all need inspiration from people who have different gifting than ourselves.

 

Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Essentials from Cupcakes & Cutlery

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her favorite Summer Essentials. Please welcome Sharon of Cupcakes & Cutlery to A Well Crafted Party!


Hi guys! I’m super excited to be contributing to A Well Crafted Party today! I’m from California so we can pretty much entertain outdoors all year long. My design style doesn’t vary that much by season. I generally gravitate towards a boho vibe and this summer is no different. These are my summer entertaining essentials:

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Working on it Wednesday: Custom Movie Posters and More

This post is a guest post from a reader, Annie Harrington, who wanted to share her story of prepping for a party for Working on it Wednesday. Annie Harrington is a small business owner, writer, and amateur photographer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can positively impact their brand image with unique printed material.  She also dabbles in party planning and DIY projects.Working on it Wednesday is all about projects and parties in the works— Please enjoy Annie’s work in progress and feel free to share any tips and ideas in the comment section!  

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