It took a mere 20 minutes into the start of our Fourth of July party for me to think, “This is why we throw this party.” Seeing our close family and friends in our home, enjoying themselves and catching up on life are the reasons why we go through the effort of hosting. You can agree that hosting 17 adults and 8 young kids will take some effort, right? And if you know my husband, you’ll know that he doesn’t serve typical BBQ fare at our parties. Let’s get to the pictures:


Everything was in the red, white, and blue color theme. Nothing like a few patriotic touches scattered around the outdoors to bring some festive spirit to our outdoor party.

An hour before guests arrived, I “shopped” my closet and found this top. Funny how 1) I didn’t think about my outfit until day of party and 2) my outfit matches my tablecloth and paper lanterns!



1) Water Dispenser (slices of lemon and lime were added to give water a zip). Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Of course, we had other refreshments for adults and kids in our coolers.


2) Sangria (Everyone loved this sangria. More about this in future post!)



1) Baguette with Herbed Goat Cheese (Ingredients: roasted peppers, fresh basil, red onion, and drizzle of spicy garlic oil)


2) Sliced Grilled Sausages and Roasted Jalapeno Stuffed with Dates. This was gone in 30 seconds!


3) Assorted Olives (Great way to get appetite going.)



1) Grilled Tuscan Chicken (Cooked on the grill until skin turned crispy.)


2) Asian Orzo Salad (Perfectly complemented the rest of the dishes).


4) Potato Salad (Neighbor made this & it was delish!)                                  5) Sweet Yellow Corn


6) Pork Belly Sliders (First time Chris made this and it turned out amazing! I like the spicy version with Sriracha hot sauce.)


Here’s a close up of the pork belly slider. I wish I can have one now.


When dessert was brought out, we even sang, “Happy Birthday” to America. How patriotic! The kids definitely enjoyed singing.



I don’t know any child who doesn’t like water balloons. We must have filled over 130 water balloons that afternoon. They went like hotcakes.


Here’s one of the dads getting “attacked” by the kids. I can’t tell who had more fun…the kids or our friend? 🙂



Here are some eager “marshmallow roasters” watching the fire.


In case the fire got out of hand, we hired 2 “fire-fighting” divas 😉


Left: Lauren and her cousin. Look at Lauren’s overly-charred marshmallow. She prefers it crispy. Maybe too crispy.

Right: Lauren and her buddy. Both up way past bed time. It’s a party, after all.


As I survey the room during party, I realize that most people in the room have seen all the transformations of our home and family life through the past 9 years. They’ve seen every home improvement project and have seen my little family go from 2 adults and a dog to 2 adults and 2 dogs, and now, 2 adults, 2 dogs, and 2 kids divas. Love!

The party didn’t end until close to 11 pm. Late right? But majority of our guests were from back home. Back home = New York. On a busy holiday weekend, some even drove up to 3 & 1/2 hours to get to our house! You don’t come over to our house for only 3 hours. Some even stayed over. So while most guests left by 11 pm, the party didn’t officially end until the last adults standing (there were 5 of us) went to bed at 1:15 am. Pretty respectable time considering we had kids waking up as early as 6 am. We…like…to…live…life…dangerously.

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As always, thanks for reading! Xo, Tee.