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The Pool

House Beautiful poolsource

Every summer when we were young, from the moment my brother, sister, and I got out of school, we would beg our parents for a pool.  It was always so hot here in Georgia, and to us, a pool seemed to be the best place to spend a summer.

Craig Reynolds landscape

And we didn’t want one of those flimsy inflatable baby pools you would fill up with a waterhose while it sat on your patio.  No sirree…we wanted the real deal…a big in-ground pool. (So much better than running through the sprinkler!)

Country Living

I knew our home would be THE social place if we just had a pool.  Our friends would hang out there all summer long.  We would have the best parties in town.  My August birthday party would be the highlight of the season! (That’s what a pool does for you, right?)

Blue beach house   house

But our parents always said “No, it’s too much upkeep.” How could they wreck my social life plans like that?? But we continued to pester and beg and plead.  So our mom did the next best thing.  She got us a membership in a local club’s pool.  It had a long and fancy name, but we just called it…

The pool.


In the eyes of an 8 year old, The pool seemed huge – with 2 slides and a diving board…and best of all, a whole bunch of my school friends also went there to swim!  :)(Imagine that!!) My mother would load the 3 of us up in her Chevrolet along with a bag of unshelled butterbeans, some newspaper, and a big bowl.  Then off we’d go for the day.


When we got there, we would hop out of that car and make our way to a table with a striped umbrella above it, plop our towels on it, and then gingerly make our way down the steps in the shallow end – one   step   at   a   time – freezing our little bottoms off the whole way! (You know how that feels.:))

Key West pool  Craig Reynolds Landscape

We would splash, play Marco Polo, and swim for hours, while our mother sat under that umbrella shelling butter beans and chatting with her friends who would show up at The pool – their own children in tow behind them.

Nantucket home with pool on

When our tummies would begin to growl, we would climb out of that cold water, quickly scurry over to the mothers, and wrap ourselves in towels.  They would give us coins, and dripping wet we made our way to the concession stand at The pool.

pool and patio

Now this was one of our favorite parts of going there!  That little room was like Heaven to our gang.  It had shelves full of assorted chips, a cooler of drinks, and best of all – a freezer with yummy ice cream treats – ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, frozen Nestle Crunch bars, Drumsticks, Fudgsicles, Klondike bars, and the one I would always choose…the Creamsicle…- that delicious duo of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream…mmm.

(Can you taste it??)

pool with shingled

After making our selections and handing over our money to the lifeguard, we would sit shivering on an old wooden bench, wrapped in our towels, enjoying every little bite of our snacks.  Then we would wait the lifeguard-required 30 minutes before jumping back in the water – this time cannonball style.  (Much faster than making our way down the steps again, right?)

Shingle house with pool bhg

And so went our childhood days at the pool.  Our hair became bleached summer blonde while our skin turned that lovely golden shade of bronze…and our parents never did put in a pool.

rose garden

So when I started college, where did I head the first hot days of my freshman year?  Why to the college pool of course.  I would go to my classes, do my job in the dean’s office, and then head over to swim several afternoons a week .  And my college even had a swimming requirement.  (Those folks knew what was important!)

Southampton NY pool and

It felt so professional to swim there.  For the first time I was swimming in a pool that had…lanes:)  Not that I was competitive or anything like that, it was just to cool off and have fun…and work up an appetite!

stone bordered flower bed

I can remember one evening after swimming for a while, I returned to my dorm room soooo famished, I ate an entire package of Oreos in one sitting! ( Oh for the days when I weighed 98 lbs. soaking wet…!)

California yard and pool by Molly

And now fast forward…Years later came marriage and children – children who asked their parents for… a pool. The yard in our first home did not have room for one.  There were way too many gorgeous old trees – including a beautiful massive old hickory (that seemed to drop nuts all the time!)  So we, as parents, said No, not now.


Fast forward again to this house.  Our current home has a yard that has not just one, but two spots that would be perfect for a pool.  We even had a pool builder (Is that what you call them?) come to the house, look at the locations, and give us an estimate.

Greenwich CT

Too expensive for our budget at the time. So again we said no to our children (and ourselves as well.:()

But my husband did the next best thing.

small pool  Ted Yarwood

He built a deck in our back yard strong enough to hold the weight of a pool.  (It really helps that he is an engineer.:))  And we put an above ground pool on that deck for a number of summers.


Summers when our children would skip through the house, grab a towel off a shelf, run through the porch yelling, ” We’re going out to the pool,” slamming the screen door behind them.  Summers when their hair turned bleach blonde and their skin turned golden bronze. Summers when the August birthday children had pool parties to celebrate those birthdays.:)

above ground pool done

I did not have fresh butterbeans to shell while watching my children like my mother did while keeping up with us, but I did have magazines and novels to read while sitting under the whirling blades of a ceiling fan on our screened porch…keeping an eye on our kiddos while they splashed about and played Marco Polo.

pools showerNew England Home May/June 2008

Those summer days are long gone now. The pool I enjoyed as a child has been closed for many years.  Our deck pool has been taken down.  Our sons prefer being in a river or lake over swimming in a pool, and our daughter would rather “lay out” and work on her tan now.  But I, on the other hand, would rather be on a float in that cold water.  So here is the pool I am currently enjoying this summer.:)


But I still wish we had one in our own backyard.  I would love the one 4 photos up (with the little boy in it.)  It looks small enough to be manageable but still refreshing (and maybe affordable?)

Maybe one day…


So I hope you have enjoyed all the pool eye candy here today, and I hope you are having a fun summer with time to relax and splash about. I’ve been wondering…Do you have a pool at your house?  If so, how much time does it take to keep it up? Would you do it again if you had the choice, and would you buy a house if it had a pool in the yard?  I’d love to know.:)

Stay cool!
Until next time…
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p.s.  I forgot to tell you something!…I am still in the land of techno troubles…brand new computer here with a touch screen that I am having a devil of time figuring out how to use.  I also have not been able to add Talk of the House email to it, so there are plenty of things to do and learn! Oh, and there is still NO internet at the again I am doing a post away from there. (I think we put the cart before the horse on this one!) Anyway, please be patient with my slowness as I am learning how to use this thing!

Cheri - July 9, 2015 - 12:34 pm

My hubby would LOVE a pool and I am on the fence. We had only one pool and it was above ground with a beautiful deck hubby built around it, but it seemed like all MY time was spent cleaning it. Every time I thought I could get in and relax the girls came home with friends and that idea was blown out of the water. Now we are empty nesters, girls and grands live in other states but we are on an almost 2 acre wooded lot. We are still contemplating the idea of one though.
It is usually the other way around Cheri! But in all the other comments here, it seems the husband does the pool cleaning not the that would explain your feelings. I think you would get your time to relax in the pool now that your children have moved away from home. Perhaps you could invest in one of those self cleaning systems that might make it easier to keep up. Good luck with your decision!

Dawn - July 9, 2015 - 1:11 pm


I love all of the pool pictures! I too would love a pool and think I could keep up with a small one in the summer time. It’s just a matter of expense at this time. I am sorry to hear that you are still having technology troubles! That is so very annoying, I know! Good luck with all of that!
Hi Dawn! I’m glad you liked the pool eye candy. Wish we both had one of those lovely pools. Like you, expense is the factor (more than the upkeep) at this time in our lives. Thanks for the condolences on the tech troubles. They ARE annoying! (especially since I do not know how to fix them!)

LJ - July 9, 2015 - 1:21 pm

I missed you sorely and I bet we all can relate to “techno troubles”.
The first house we bought in CA after moving here from home state of WV had an in-ground pool and YES, it was a lot of work, a lot of expense, and a lot of fun. We lived there 4 years (kids went from age 4 and 3 to 8 and 7). They were avid swimmers and divers. I had had them in swim classes at the Y from ages 2 and 1. All houses since have not had pool….My son’s house has a pool but he’s selling it (a fixer/flipper). I do miss the ease and convenience of just going out back door and there’s the water and I miss hearing the shouts of fun from kids play…ah, so nice. However, at this point in my life it isn’t practical to put in an in-ground pool at this house. But if I did it too would be the same choice as you, Kelli,…I like the one with the little boy in the picture.
So glad I was missed! That was great that you had your children swimming at such a young age. It is a life skill everyone should know how to do. A small pool would do us here (I think.)…unless of course we one day have a lot of grandchildren. But for now it would be a wonderful place for my husband and me to relax and cool off.

Donna - July 9, 2015 - 1:25 pm

We have a pool! In New England so our time can be short. We have a heater so we usually open up around Mother’s Day and the latest we closed it was Oct. 15th. Now with kids grown we usually close it down in Sept. It is a unite pool with a pebble tech finish and natural stone decking. the grands come to use it and after working in the garden we jump in to cool off. the biggest work is opening and closing and there are pool guys you can hire. Hubby prefers to do it himself. I have never regretted putting it in. Nothing like coming home to the grandchildren swimming or everyone here on a Sunday just kicking back swimming and enjoying each other. There are also self cleaning pools too
It sounds like you make very good use of your pool Donna. Jumping in after yard work sounds great! I have often commented I would like to do the same thing after working around here (if we had one.) Thank you for sharing your positive experience with a pool. Glad to hear it is not all work work work to keep it up. :)

Carol Ann - July 9, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Thank you for sharing your childhood pool memories. You are a great writer and the pictures just make it come to life. I too share your desire to have a small, manageable pool in the backyard. It would just have to be wonderful to be able to swim at midnight or as the sun is coming up. Thank you for preserving through your technical difficulties…we love your posts!
Goodness! Thank you for the compliments Carol Ann! A midnight swim WOULD be so wonderful. I’m so glad you love the posts. (I love that you read them! :) )

Donnamae - July 9, 2015 - 1:37 pm

Love all those pool pics. I too, spent summers at our community pool…I got the same excuse…too much work! When my sons were little…we had the requisite inflatable pool. Later, when they were old enough to ride their bikes unsupervised…we joined a nearby pool for the summer months. Our neighbors have a pool…and hardly ever use it…go figure? Although…our summers as of late have been pretty cool. Backyard pools in Wisconsin aren’t very practical considering the climate…unless they are indoors! 😉
Yes, Donnamae, I too would think a Wisconsin pool would not be used as much as one here in Georgia. How sad that your neighbors do not take advantage of their pool. (Especially when there are those of us who dearly want to use one!) An indoor pool for you is the answer. :)

Lee - July 9, 2015 - 2:45 pm

its now time to put the pool in. You have a great-nephew who wants to come swim!
That’s true! You should put one in too! :)

Gina - July 9, 2015 - 2:51 pm

We had an above ground pool once. We got it on a whim and it wasn’t well thought out and it ended up the water was always cold and we just didn’t use it enough to keep it. We should have gotten a smaller one when our children were younger and cut some trees. But, you know hind sight is 20/20. 😛 I can’t imagine we’ll ever get another one. Haha, unless for grandchildren in the future. :) That is probably when you’ll get one too. :) I love all those pool pictures you shared though. Beautiful.
It does require some forethought…like how to level the ground for it. (That is why we ended up with a deck to hold ours.) Glad you liked all the pool eye candy Gina!
Happy Friday!

Louvina - July 9, 2015 - 3:35 pm

I always wanted a pool home so when we moved to FL with a 4th grader and a 9th grader– a pool with a nice split plan house was what we were looking for and we were able to have one while the girls were at the right age to enjoy! We had pool parties and truly enjoyed every minute of it. Poor hubby had the job of cleaning and maintaining it! When the girls were in college we moved to a new home without a pool and always talked about having one built. Then we moved to the lake house with jet skies and pontoon and a beach for parties and bonfires. So many memories of family gatherings. Now we love to visit the condo on the beach. Still at times I think, maybe a small pool or even a fishpond would be nice!! But probably not!! Love your pool for the summer– and I think your home would be a perfect place to have a nice pool — for the future grandchildren and your retirement years!!
It sounds like you had a pool at the perfect time for your children, but I do think one now would be nice as well. Your granddaughter would enjoy it! But then again, a lake is pretty hard to beat!! (And the beach too. :) ) We do have a good place to put one..right off our deck. Just have to see how this retirement money stretches!

ChrisC - July 9, 2015 - 3:47 pm

I live in Florida,and yes we most definitely have a pool.A necessity in Florida! Screened in.Another necessity.We have a salt chlorinator,and automatic pool cleaner and a solar heater.It takes hardly any time to take of.I think the pool cage takes care of the dirt,etc.We have the water tested once a month,and all it usually needs is some acid and a bag of pool salt(maybe every other month.Well worth it.Plus the grand kiddoes love it(we have a waterfall,too!).
If I lived in Florida I would most certainly want a pool too. You could use it almost year round in certain parts of the state! A screened in pool would be great for night swimming. I would love that! And a waterfall! Your pool sounds just perfect Chris. I’ll be right over! LOL

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 9, 2015 - 4:10 pm

Shelling butter beans at the club. It doesn’t get more Southern. Did she drink an ice-cold Coca-Cola from a little glass bottle too?

Love the pools. I remember having to take dreaded swimming lessons at the YMCA so I could save my poor Mother who is terrified of the water!
I don’t think she had her Coke in the lovely glass bottle since they did not allow glass around the pool. (But I LOVE those bottles!) I should have included swimming lessons in my post! Darn it. They only had them at like 8:00 in the morning, and that water was FREEEEEEZING! But all 3 of us took lessons. I think it is very noble that you took them in order to save your mom. (Perhaps your mom should have taken them as well. :) )

classic•casual•home - July 9, 2015 - 6:14 pm

well THAT felt like a mini vacation! We have had pools with two previous homes and loved them…especially with kids. It can be expensive–but so nice when we lived in Florida!
Hooray for mini vacations! (even if they are virtual!) I thought it would be expensive but definitely worth the cost. I know we would all use it a lot – including my mother who loves to swim. And it is hot enough here that it could be used from April to October.

Katrina - July 9, 2015 - 7:57 pm

Love, love, love this post! One of my summer favorites besides a trip to the beach is being at the pool! I am so glad to hear that you belong to a pool!! Sometimes I feel a little silly showing up at our pool with no kiddos and just a bag full of good magazines and diet cokes but of course that doesn’t stop me from going! Last September I was the last person to leave on the last day the outdoor pool was open for the season. I was at the pool today and I overheard a great quote from a mama in the pool with her small son. Son, “Mama, what time is it ?”
Mom, “son, IT’s summer and there IS no time until August 24!” ( that’s when NC goes back to school) Have fun at the pool, Kelly!!!
Thank you Katrina! I think swimming is great for your health no matter what your age. I bet if they did a study they would find that swimmers live longer. :) How funny that you were the last to leave on the last day! That is great. Love the comment the mom made. August 24! Wow! Our schools here will have been in session for over 3 weeks by then. :( North Carolina does it right!

Sue - July 9, 2015 - 8:17 pm

We have a pool in Texas Kelly. I think it is a necessity with this heat. My husband does all the work and it really doesn’t’ take much time at all. His biggest time allotment is cleaning the leaves in the fall. If we were to build our own pool we would design a pool that could have a cover on it for the messy seasons. Our pool is open year round. We have an attached spa and when it warms up you can find me in the pool or spa every day with my book. Wouldn’t be summer with out the pool:-) And the grandchildren love it.
I would agree with you Sue. With the heat there should be a pool! Thank you for the info on the need for a pool cover. I will definitely keep that in mind if we venture into putting in a pool. How wonderful you have an attached spa with yours! I would never want to get out and do those things life requires…like cook, clean, and wash the laundry!
Enjoy your Friday!

Joan - July 9, 2015 - 9:32 pm

I have missed your posts, but this one made up for it. I have many memories of being in the water at my grandmother’s lake cottages, but no pool. All the commotion and noise was a bit much, but loved going to the lakes and playing with friends on the beaches and in the water.
You always find the most beautiful feature. I know you will get your computer issues worked out. Be patient with yourself. We will all be here. Besides, most of us are so busy with summer outdoor work and activities there isn’t time to read a lot of posts anyway.
Stay cool and happy.
Aw thanks Joan! I am happy that you enjoyed the post. A grandmother with a lake cottage…it doesn’t get much better than that! I hope you are right about the computer issues. I am SO not a tech person, and my tech boys are not around to bail me out this time. :(
Enjoy your summer activities!

kathy - July 10, 2015 - 1:00 am

Guess what we had for dessert last night…left over homemade vanilla ice cream topped with orange sherbet. Probably the best creamsicle EVER! Yes, I would love to have a pool but my husband thinks he would have to do all of the work. I like the one with the rock work and flowers. I think it is the fourteenth one. I have fond pool memories of times spend at our next door neighbor’s pool and fun pool memories from the beach house w/pool that my extended family rented for several years. (This is our first summer of not renting that house with the pool and I miss it.) Really, Kelly, you should put in a pool and decorate it beautifully and share it with all of us. It would just be part of your blogging job.
YUM! What a super idea for a dessert. I can see us copying that one now!! (Thanks for the idea Kathy. :) ) That stonework one had some MAJOR landscaping going on with it, didn’t it? A beach house with a pool sounds like a perfect home for summer…vacation or permanent residence. So sorry you are not staying in that house again this year. Yes, we should put in a pool. My husband said that perhaps all my blog readers would like to make a donation towards a pool fund! LOL Or…maybe I could write it off as a tax expense for my blogging “business.” Wishful thinking…
Happy Friday!

Margaret - July 10, 2015 - 8:57 am

I could never live with out a pool. In the Capital Region of NYS, we only have 3 or 4 months of pool weather; but our weather can be very hot and humid. When I bought my home, I was not able to install a standard pool. But since I did not live far from my parent’s home, going there for our family pool was never an issue. Then I found a very unique pool. It is not a tradiotional above ground pool and requires no digging. The city in wich I live has zoning guidlines for standard pools, but this pool can be taken down quickly and moved. It stays up all year and can withstand Winter. It is a nice size, 10 feet by 12 feet and 4 1/2 feet deep. Having a pool my whole life, upkeep is never been an issue. It is just one more household chore. I don’t spend any more time caring for it than I do any other part of my home. Having the opportunity to slip out the back door on a warm Summer night and jump in the pool before bed makes it worth it.
It is hot and humid here as well Margaret, and yes that makes a pool needed! Your pool sounds just perfect! And like you said, it would be wonderful to have a swim before bedtime. Thank you for sharing your positive views on having a pool. :)

Robin - July 10, 2015 - 9:50 am

Yes we have a pool and I would never want to live in a house without one!!! We love it and my husband says it’s not really that hard to take care of, so it’s a breeze for me!!!

Love your blog,
That is good to know Robin! Thank you for your input. It seems that everyone says, “My husband takes care of it.” But I am glad to hear that your husband thinks it is not hard to do. I will pass that info on to my husband! :)
So happy you are enjoying the posts here. Thank you for reading!

Marianne in Mo. - July 10, 2015 - 2:54 pm

We had an above ground pool at our old house, a lot of work! But thankfully my hubs and daughters cleaned it most of the time. We don’t have one now, but our youngest daughter has an in ground one – thanks to the generosity of my brother in law. He lives in an apartment above their detached garage. They bought the property together to benefit both of them, plus daughters family. Five acres, house for daughters family, separate space for uncle (single) and room to play for the grands. I want to move in! 😉
They say the pool is not hard to maintain, and I have heard in ground are easier to take care of than above ground. I never learned to swim, even though I tried many times! I almost drowned in a river as a teen, so have a fear. But I love looking and hearing water anyway!
Good grief! That is terrible that you almost drowned Marianne! I do wish you could learn to swim. It is such a good thing to know (as I am sure you are aware.) It sounds like your family has a good thing going with their land, living spaces, and pool. How smart! And thanks for the info on taking care of the pool. I will keep it in mind when we get serious about a pool.

DiAnne - July 12, 2015 - 9:02 am

I enjoyed looking @all these photos. We do have a pool. They are a lot of work but worth it . For some reason my comments aren’t all posting. I wonder what I am doing wrong.

Eileen - July 14, 2015 - 12:08 am

Outdoors rooms, outdoor showers – inviting garden spaces make the experience magical and so inviting … Happy Summer!
Thank you for dropping by to read the post Eileen! Yes, all those outdoor spaces add to the season’s joys.
Happy Summer to you too!

Debra - July 15, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Oh, what I would give for a built in pool. Love that Midwest Living picture. Screened porch, pool, built in exterior fireplace. Love it! So many great pictures here Kelly. We did the local pool passes for years when the kids were small. My husband finally caved after the first two kids were out on their own and purchased us an above ground pool. We also purchased a new hot tub as well. I have to say we use the hot tub more than the pool. Last winter was the first year we did not keep the hot tub up an running all year. The winter was just too bitterly cold. Vortex Midwest!! My husband usually opens and closes the pool down for the season, but I maintain both. Yes, I am the pool girl, but I don’t mind. Now, if our home was only lakeside. :(

Talk of the Weekend #25

Talk of the House 4th of JulyHappy 4th of July…on the fifth.:)Since our Independence Day fell on a Saturday, I hope you are still celebrating all weekend long.  It seems that the fireworks here have been going off for three straight nights! Has it been like that in your town?

4th of July centerpieceI’ve had John Philip Sousa playing on the stereo all weekend. We celebrated with a dinner Saturday night for family and friends.  I had to recycle the porch tableware into the dining room because the porch table only seats 6, and we had more guests than that.

4th of July dinner Talk of the HouseMy husband had purchased a smoked Boston Butt on Friday from a local group who were preparing them for a fundraiser.  He chopped up all the lean meat from it, and we served it with 5 different sauces, fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, barbecue bread, and an assortment of pickles.  My mother brought deviled eggs, and my mother-in-law supplied the homemade coleslaw.  Oh dear…I just remembered something. I bought 3 different bags of chips, and I forgot to serve them! Darn.:(

4th of July table

Oh well, I think we had plenty.4th of July dinner

I set up our tried and true dessert bar – an assortment of berries, brownies, cream cheese pound cake, homemade ice cream, and whipped cream. This was my favorite part of the meal.:) 4th of July dessert bar

When it got dark,  all the neighbors began shooting off fireworks (now that they are totally legal in our state for the first time.)  We watched from our driveway.  Did you watch a big display this year?

I have a few random things to share with you in today’s Talk of the Weekend, and since we are talking about 4th of July celebrations, let’s start with this party.  It is too cute!

4th of July

Here is a patriotic living room from a home where a really nice fireworks viewing party was held.

Americana living room and fireworks viewing party

If you are still in need of a dessert for this weekend, perhaps you will like this cake.  It is really clever!

USA map

And now for a few rooms decorated in red, white, and blue. First up is one by the King of red, white, and blue – Barclay Butera.  (Be sure to click the link below the photo – the whole house is beautiful.:))

Barclay Butera beach

The same is true for this next house.  The kitchen is pretty, but be sure to take a look at the entire house.
You’ll love it.:)

Welch Company Cape Cod

I thought this Ikea living room designed for small spaces was perfect for the 4th.

Ikea small living

Although, it is not red, white, and blue, this kitchen is still white and blue…and quite charming.

Elizabeth Swartz kitchen Marthas

And this living room is in a precious guest house that would be a fun one to stay in.:)

red white and blue living room Schulyer

Finally, I will leave you with some music on this holiday weekend.  Are you familiar with the Annie Moses Band?  The group is a family of Julliard trained brothers and sisters, (yes, real brothers and sisters!) and I am totally in awe of all their talent! I think this is an appropriate piece by them to wrap up today’s post.

Aren’t they amazing?

I hope you enjoy the rest of this wonderful holiday weekend as we celebrate freedom in our country. Remember those patriots who bravely fought for that freedom as well as all the other soldiers who have helped to keep it for us for 239 years.  Happy birthday America!

flagUntil next time…

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Arlene@Nanaland - July 5, 2015 - 8:18 am

Looks like a really fun fourth!! Love your dessert table!!
It was fun! Thank you for the compliments on all the desserts. I am so glad to have found a pound cake that turns out successfully every single time I make it. Hallelujah for consistency!

Sandy - July 5, 2015 - 9:25 am

Enjoyed the video and yes, what fabulous entertainers. My husband and I treated ourselves to a lunch at a beautiful vineyard while our children and their families partied at various celebrations. It was a beautiful sunny day in Ohio on the Fourth. Grateful to be an American.
Lunch in a vineyard! I know that was beautiful Sandy. :) Our children were off at other locations too. Glad you enjoyed your holiday weekend!

Louvina - July 5, 2015 - 11:10 am

Happy 3 Day Weekend Celebration for the 4th!! So glad the holiday goes on and on!! We really need to be uplifted and come together to remember why we are such a blessed nation!! Enjoying being home and reflecting on our pursuit of life, health and happiness!! Thank you for your post today– I count it as one of my favorite gifts to look forward to any time it appears! Your table looks so inviting!! Would those potato chips be Snyder’s brand? Oh, I do miss my Kroger store and those chips!! Today’s menu is lemon pepper baked chicken and all the nice left overs sides from yesterday!! Beach time again ( after the 500 race crowds are gone!) for several weeks!!
Louvina you are so right about needing to be uplifted and come together as a country. The sermon at church this morning was about how democracy will only work if we have a strong church. We must have a nation of people who can discern between right and wrong. Good sermon…and I missed it due to my not remembering that our church’s one service today was at 10 not 11! :( Dummy me! Thank you for your always encouraging comments on the post. :) No Snyder’s chips here – Lay’s (There’s a plant nearby) classic, dill pickle, and sour cream and onion. Yum! Your lunch sounds great – and one that would work for hubby’s diet. We had leftovers today as well. Enjoy your beach time…you lucky girl!!

kathy - July 5, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Pretty! And, you really did inspire me. I got out the July 4th decorations and ended up putting my geraniums on the table with two little flags. AND, I used my star cookie cutter to cut watermelon and sprinkled in blueberries, just like on your post. I set up a little red, white and blue candy bar…but no red, white and blue M&Ms in our little town. We had the traditional foods and homemade ice cream then watched the fireworks. Thanks for taking your time to inspire us, Kelly!
Hooray! So glad you went all out Kathy! (I knew you would. :) ) I’m sorry the patriotic M&M’s couldn’t be found. A couple of years ago Tootsie Rolls had a very cute red, white, and blue wrapper. I wish they still made them like that for the summer. Could you see the fireworks from your house? I bet we will hear more going off here any time now…or maybe all the neighbors set all of theirs off last night.

Sandra - July 5, 2015 - 6:41 pm

The Annie Moses Band will be performing at Billy Graham’s The Cove , near Asheville, in October. Their performances are wonderful.
Yes, and they will also be in Georgia in September and October. I would think their concerts would be fantastic! I think if we can work it into our schedules, we will try to make it to one of them. Thanks for the info on the Asheville concert!

Lynn A. - July 5, 2015 - 6:50 pm

The food looks delicious. Yummy! You’ll just have to use those chips at another event. :-)
The food was yummy, and we had the leftovers for lunch today. :) I am sure I will find myself eating those chips very soon. (Chips are one of my food weaknesses!)

Garden, Home and Party - July 5, 2015 - 6:53 pm

I’m sure your guests enjoyed the ambiance as much as the great food. I love the rooms you found for us. Barclay Butera is a favorite and I’m going back to follow the links on the others.
Have a good week.
There was a lot of interesting conversation for sure! Another Barclay Butera fan! :) His work is always so colorful and fun. Hope you enjoy the homes in the links. You have a good week too!

Katrina - July 5, 2015 - 8:37 pm

I never tire of red and blue themed decorating! Your meal loves so yummy! We had ribeyes and fixings last night but I actually liked tonight’s meal better: turkey loin on the grill, fresh corn, squash, watermelon and cantaloupe. Today’s lunch was homemade chicken pot pie eaten at 57000 altitude at the Pisgah Inn.
I’m thinking a diet is my best bet starting tomorrow! Well gotta go pull out the left over homemade ice cream and toppings as we cheer on the USA ….. Oink oink!! No food for me tomorrow!!! Happy end of the 4th weekend, Kelly!
I think I am the same way about red, white, and blue as well Katrina. It is such a cheerful color scheme! Your food sounds FABULOUS girl. :) We love dining at the Pisgah Inn…haven’t been there in many many years though. I remember going there for the first time when my husband and I were dating back in the dark ages. You go right ahead and pull out that ice cream. It’s not available to you every day, so you should take advantage of it while you can, right? Happy end of the holiday weekend to you too! :)

Design Chic - July 6, 2015 - 9:50 am

It looks like a fun and festive 4th, Kelly. Love your table!! Like you, dessert is always my favorite, and the brownies and poundcake…perfection!

Julia - July 6, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Love your table for the 4th celebration! And Annie Moses band is one of my favorites too!

Sherry Myers - July 7, 2015 - 3:18 pm

How did I miss this post? Lovely! Your menu looked good even without the chips!
I have enjoyed your patriotic decor. You always do such a good job. And, yes, I love the Annie Moses Band. My husband and I have had the privilege to see them three times in concert at our church, two Christmas concerts, and one Easter concert. They are everything you can imagine! After seeing this, I would love to attend a patriotic one. Thank you for sharing again, Kelly, your beautiful creativity and home!
God Bless the USA!
Well I don’t know how you missed it Sherry, but I am glad you found it! Wow…you have seen the Annie Moses Band a lot!!! I will have to make a point of trying to get to their concert when they are in Georgia for sure.
Thanks for your comment, and have a happy Friday!!

25 Foods and Parties – Inspiration for the 4th of July

strawberry shortcake pancakes for the 4th of Julysource

Doesn’t it seem that all of our major holidays are linked to food of some kind?  Take for example, Valentine’s Day has chocolate.  Easter has eggs.  Halloween has everything pumpkin related plus all the candy from trick or treating.  What would Thanksgiving be without turkey and all the trimmings?  And every time I eat something peppermint flavored, I immediately think of Christmas.

4th of July

So of course, a holiday as important as the Fourth of July must have food..lots of food.:) If you are a procrastinator like me, then perhaps some of the foods and parties here today will be of help to you. (And if you are always early and organized, then you should just bookmark this post to read next year…in May.:))

4th of July

I started this post with patriotic breakfast food because the 4th should be celebrated all day long.  Begin your holiday with pancakes or doughnuts, and follow them up with a berry parfait in red, white, and blue.

4th of July granola

skinny berry

Then your lunch or dinner can begin with a star shaped watermelon salad.

star watermelon

Or a red, white, and blue layered salad in a mason jar.

red white and blue mason jar

Pulled pork is a common food for this holiday around here, and there is a good recipe in the link below.  (We are having a Boston Butt smoked to make barbecue this year.)

Carolina pulled

Or you might want hotdogs instead…mini hotdogs.:)

mini hotdogs for the 4th of

For a snack, don’t you just love this red, white, and blue candy bark?

4th of July candy

And for dessert, this sundae with its cookie spoon (edible!) is so clever.

red white and blue sundae with edible

Those red, white, and blue M&M’s make a perfect flag cake.

M & M Flag

And don’t forget the drinks.  Freeze strawberries and blueberries for fruit flavored ice cubes.

red white and blue fruit ice

Have you already been using frozen water balloons to keep your drinks cold?
So smart.:)

frozen water balloons for

Now let’s take a look at how some of this 4th of July food is set up for entertaining..beginning with a hamburger bar.  Putting the toppings in a muffin tin is a cute idea.


I like the labels stamped on the wooden spoons in this next hamburger party.  And aren’t those polka dot french fry holders precious?!


We did a hamburger bar for the 4th a couple of years ago.

Talk of the House Hamburger

How about a french fry bar? Glory I could eat a lot there!:)

french fry

A hotdog bar would also be a great idea.  The link has suggestions for several different kinds with a variety of topping combinations.

hotdog bar 4th of

For dessert, an ice cream bar is hard to beat (especially if it is homemade ice cream.)  This was ours from last year.

Talk of the House ice cream

I am guessing that many of you are doing barbecue for Saturday. Wouldn’t you love to have all of that matching marbled enamelware for serving at your party? (This event was at a wedding, and the barbecue restaurant that catered the event brought all those bowls.  Wow!)


If you don’t have enamelware, then maybe this set up is more your style.


If you are lucky enough to be at the beach, then I bet you are serving seafood for your 4th of July meal, right?
Here is a beautiful low country boil (complete with directions at the link.)

4th of July Low Country

Or if you like crab better, Stephanie Lynn’s crab feast is wonderful.  (You should check out her great photography on her site.)


And finally, I loved loved loved this lobster dinner!  It was a wedding photo shoot in Maine, but the colors and details would be perfect for a pretty 4th of July celebration.  Don’t you agree?

Maine Lobster dinner photography credit Geneve

Here is a lovely video of the photo shoot.  Even though it is not patriotic, I think it is a beautiful slice of a summer celebration in Maine.  Enjoy!

Cape Neddick Lobster Pound Wedding Photo Shoot from Geneve Hoffman Photography on Vimeo.

centerpiece for 4th of July photo by Geneve Hoffman

So what will you be enjoying at your meal for the 4th?
We’d love to hear.:)

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Kathy - July 2, 2015 - 7:08 am

Wow! So many great ideas AND a wedding video! I need to take notes of ideas from your posts….anything galvanized, red/white/blue M&Ms, red Twizzlers (Were there Twizzlers?), blueberries, strawberries and star-shaped watermelon, denim pockets lining a bucket, little flags with geraniums, write on the chalkboards…So much to do and buy! Thanks, Kelly!

Louvina - July 2, 2015 - 9:25 am

What great food ideas! Missing our large 4th of July celebrations ‘back in the day!! But we will celebrate anyway with a few of our neighbors. Menu: Sweet Sausage grilled with onions, green/red peppers on sub rolls, bow tie macaroni salad, corn on cob, star shaped :) watermelon with blueberries, melon and Coke cake!! How’s that?! Happy 4th to all!! I painted Patriotic Mason Jars and getting fresh flowers for my centerpiece. We always have beautiful fireworks all around the lake front!!

Garden, Home and Party - July 2, 2015 - 10:40 am

Best. 4th of July. Food. Ever! These pictures (and you always track down the best sources) made me want to prepare a 4th of July breakfast for every weekend day in July, not just this weekend.

I loved the wedding video. The details that went into that were impressive and so fresh and fun.

We’re attending a backyard bbq with some good friends in the neighborhood. I’m bringing Ina’s French Potato Salad and Heather Bullard’s Asian Cucumber Salad. The hostess is fixing bbq chicken and corn on the cob and we’ll have a fabulous dessert. I love summer food.
Enjoy your long weekend. Oh wait, all of your weekends are long now that you’ve retired. :-)

Dawn - July 2, 2015 - 11:47 am

For our lunch on the 4th of July we will have hamburgers and hotdogs, corn on the cob, chips, pasta salad, apple pie and ice cream. I think we are going to do a fish fry for dinner that night. I really like all of these suggestions for holiday meals and table settings. I baked cookies yesterday and today I am off to buy corn and lanterns. I can not wait for my nieces to get here on Friday evening!

Donnamae - July 2, 2015 - 1:32 pm

Great ideas….we did a hamburger and bratwurst bar two weeks ago for a small cook-out. Really worked great….after all this is Wisconsin…we love our brats! Hope you have a great 4th! 😉

christi - July 2, 2015 - 1:41 pm

I was inspired by your version of Ina’s blondies using the autumn M&Ms and made a patriotic version for our relay for life team (we’re Team Stars and Stripes). I’ll be making them again for the holiday weekend. Such a great recipe. Huge hit with everyone.

DiAnne - July 2, 2015 - 2:38 pm

I am loving all of your 4th of July inspiration! I am enjoying all the little side trips you are taking us on with the pictures of what others are doing to decorate for the holiday. I am not sure what is going on but sometimes when I write a comment and press post comment, the comment doesn’t go through and get posted. I wonder what I am doing wrong.
Enjoy the 4th!

Katrina Cantler - July 2, 2015 - 11:06 pm

Happy almost 4th of July weekend Kelly! Wow.. So many fun ideas you’ve shared! My daughter and I are gaga over the red silhouette cupcake sleeves in a previous post! Wonder where you can purchase them? My sister inlaw and her sister are coming in from Memphis to spend the weekend. Tonight they are having fun and exploring downtown Chattanooga. I have lots of plans for them. Their sweet mama passed away on the 4th last year so I really want to make their visit special and fun filled. Have a fire cracker of a weekend!!

Therese - July 3, 2015 - 3:31 am

A French fry bar? I love it!
Sweet potato, white potato…what’s in the back basket?

Warming our home now for another -6 degree night here in Canberra, Australia.
Wishing you all a beautiful July 4 day of celebration! Enjoy all that the outside sun has to offer with precious loved ones!

We might cook some ‘chips’ up too, inspired by you!

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