Freedom Isn’t Free

So it’s been well over a week since my last post.  I hope everyone has enjoyed the recipes that I blogged about! I want to write about past parties that I’ve had that correlate with upcoming events in my life, along with parties that I will be hosting. Sharing my ideas and the recipes I’ve used can help each one of you throw the perfect party!

Today is Veteran’s Day.  A holiday that we should be celebrating everyday, no matter what.  So many veterans, active military, reservists and National Guardsman have given their lives in the past, present and will in the future. Not only have they sacrificed so much, but their families have as well.  My dad is a Vietnam War veteran and I could not be prouder to call him my dad.  The things he saw and experienced have shaped him into the person that he is today.  He can be a little rough around the edges, but he does have a softer side to him. He hasn’t talked about all his war experiences with my mom, brother and I, but he has developed a special bond with my other half.  My boyfriend, Christopher, is a Navy veteran.  He spent almost 5 years in the Navy, 9 months of which were in Iraq and I couldn’t be more proud of him as well.  My dad and he always share stories, some that I’ve never heard.  They hold that special bond that no one else can experience unless you’ve lived it! So today, let’s not only thank them for their services but continue to support veterans and the military whenever and wherever we can. They deserve it! And always remember, our freedom isn’t free!

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Over the summer, actually, over Memorial Day weekend, Christopher and I hosted a BBQ. We had family and friends come to celebrate the holiday weekend! We decided to have the party on Sunday afternoon to give me the chance to prepare and everyone to enjoy Monday with their families.

I put up a few decorations, but didn’t overdue it this time.  I bought a paper garland from Oriental Trading and a banner from Christmas Tree Shops. I love bargain hunting for home and holiday decor items and party decorations! I often try and use coupons on top of the store sales to really get a good bargain. It feels great to get an item for 70% off or more!

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Next year I will put up more decorations.  I had our kitchen island set up for all the food.  I like to have all the dishes arranged and labeled with sticky notes to make it easier on myself when I put all the food out.  That saves a lot of time!

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A recent trend I’ve noticed is the use of  wooden utensils for flatware.  I’ve used wooden utensils for a few parties which I’ll be featuring over the next few months and I love that added detail!

Outside I had set up a bar area on my new beverage station.  During the springtime when I was on Pinteret, I saw a lot of pins on potting benches converted into beverage stations and I thought what a great idea! It would be perfect for our deck, so I asked my dad to build me one from plans that I had found on the Internet.  This particular blogger was using it for gardening, but I loved the simple design and size. It took my dad about a week to build and with a few decorations, voila! A beverage station!

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My future MIL loved it so much she asked my dad to build her one too! She’s decorated it for several occasions already and it has looked awesome!

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She even moved it inside to use in her kitchen:

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After all the food was cooked and prepared, I set it out and everyone feasted on the BBQ!

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The menu consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato and macaroni salads, pasta salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob and my mom’s famous Calico Country Baked Beans along with all the fixings. Everyone loved the food, we didn’t have much leftovers!

I didn’t make a dessert because I’ve noticed over the years that people tend to not eat the dessert. I also didn’t have time to because I hosted a bridal shower two days prior to the BBQ. However, I did attempt to make wine slushies. I visited the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York over a year ago and one of the wineries that I visited had wine slushies. It was so good and different, that I bought a few packets. I didn’t have enough ice but the wine still tasted good.

Can’t wait for next summer to host another BBQ with our family and friends!

xoxo,

Katie

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