So we’ve shared desserts and main dishes with you! Now it’s time  to inspire you with our Stars and Stripes place setting and a refreshing drink to quench your thirst. God Bless our great country and the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect it and us. Enjoy!

4th of July Danielle Rollins

4th of July Danielle Rollins

4th of July Danielle Rollins

Our table setting mimics the American flag with the starry red napkins, the red chargers and blue striped plates.  Even with our flower arrangement, we kept with the theme by using blue Hydrangeas from our garden and adding a few flags for a little pizzazz.

4th of July Danielle Rollins

4th of July Danielle Rollins

After all the cooking, there’s no need to fuss over an extravagant beverage to serve your family and  friends.  Just pick your favorite wine spritzer and add some fresh fruit and a sprig of mint! Don’t forget the red striped paper straws — it’s adds another decorative dimension to your table setting.

Last but not least, here are some summer entertaining tips that you can use for any type of festive gathering:

FOOD
Keep the food light, fresh, simple & seasonal. No one wants a heavy meal when the weather is warm.  Summer is abundant with produce so take advantage of fresh corn, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, fresh lettuces & the rest of nature’s abundant gifts!  Remember it is not what you serve, it is HOW you serve it!

DRINKS
Pick a seasonal ingredient or flavor from your selected menu and riff on that.  If you’re serving a Thai, Mexican or Italian influenced dinner, pick a flavor that is predominantly used & create a cocktail around this ingredient.

TABLE SETTINGS
Make your table settings fit the feeling of your menu or fit within the surrounding area that nature’s backdrop provides. www.Tablevogue.com makes machine washable & affordable fitted table covers in a large range of sizes & colors (Mention my name to get free shipping!). You can easily make table overlays from fabric purchased at a fabric store or from tablecloths available at various retailers to create a great looking setting!

For the dinnerware, use lots of color and throw caution to the wind and add little juxtaposition by bringing your indoor items outdoors. Colorful glassware adds a nice pop and there are a lot of options available in both inexpensive glass and unbreakable but still quite chic plastic.

AMBIENCE & ATMOSPHERE
Keep things feeling casual & easy yet still elegant by the thoughtful details & personal touches you provide to make the party perfect!

Making sure your guests are comfortable is always key for a host or hostess. Take measures to keep mosquitoes at bay, whether you use a service that is available through pest control companies or citronella candles or torches or mosquito coils.  Just make sure you don’t put the citronella-scented items too close to your dining area because it is a very strong scent.

Start dinner a little later so that you are not trying to eat before the sun has gone down & temperatures cooperate a little bit more!

Balance your lighting. Using a mix of torches, hurricanes, lanterns, strings of light or paper globes hung from above and lots of votives on the table to provide ambient light will keep guests lingering a little longer. The key is to provide enough light so that everyone can see what they are eating & yet avoid feeling like you’re dining under searchlights! Need an added bonus?  Everyone looks better in candlelight!

Music should fit the mood of the party. Download a playlist & bring out the portable speakers! Sexy French lounge music, or bossa nova might even get guests dancing barefoot later on!