4th of July Picnic with Astrobrights Papers

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Growing up with sisters, we shared many experiences together. We shared closets and fought about clothing daily. We shared cars as we made the 45-minute commute back and forth to school. We shared a bed every Christmas Eve before we awoke to presents under the tree. We lived and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. We were teammates on our High School tennis team. We stood next to each other at each other’s weddings.

But, our most recent endeavor is our most favorite. We became moms…together. Our children span from 6-years-old down to 7-months-old, and our children now have the amazing gift of growing up with their cousins.

Now, we text and talk in the wee hours of the morning as we breastfeed our babies. We share photos and videos as our kids take their first steps. We relate to being totally and utterly exhausted, yet blissfully happy when we see our children smile. And, we are overcome with joy when we see our children playing together.

Our children are blessed to spend every holiday together. Watching the fireworks together on July 4th is one of our favorites. So, when presented with an opportunity to plan a 4th of July picnic with ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers, a line of vibrant color paper, we were delighted to bring our families together to celebrate. Armed with a stack of red, white and blue paper, sharp scissors and a really big donut, an Independence Day picnic can be really fun, inexpensive and absolutely adorable.

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Here are some of the details we used to #Colorize our red, white and blue picnic!

INCORPORATE FUN FACTS

We wanted to educate our children, and talk about the history of our fine country. So, we incorporated facts about the U.S.A into our picnic. We used the round labels on top of the mason jars, and to seal our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The round labels with interesting facts are available for FREE. Click here for the free printable.

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LEARN ABOUT AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY AND ALL 50 STATES

We learned a little geography 101 prepping for this picnic. We wanted to incorporate the shape of good ‘ole U.S.A and all the states that make up this fine country in our picnic. So, we cut, and cut, and cut some more. You can find the shape of the U.S.A, as well as all 50 states for free online. Our Silhouette electronic cutter came to the rescue when our eyes were blurry at 1 a.m.

Who doesn’t love a gigantic donut?! Cut outs of the 50 states on toothpicks were positioned all over the donut. So, as the kids devoured, we talked about the shape of the states.

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We made DIY patriotic paper fans, both large and small, with ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers. Click here for the full tutorial. We used the fans to cover the wagon wheels, and decorate the wagon handle. Each fan represented the U.S.A with a cut out of the country in the center.

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All the picnic essentials were made of paper, of course. Follow this tutorial to make a DIY paper chip bag {we used 8×8 paper}. We sealed the chip bag with a cut out of the USA. The blueberries were propped up in a paper cone, and each child had their own brown paper bag with their name stamped at the bottom of it. Everyone was happy!

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A paper cut out of the U.S.A served as our sparklers sleeve, and the perfect decorative stakes around our picnic site. We covered match boxes with red, white and blue stars and stripes because you can’t light a sparkler without a flame, and a matchbox on July 4th isn’t a matchbox unless it’s red, white and blue.

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PLAN AN ACTIVITY

The most important part of our country’s Independence Day is to remember, honor and thank the men and women that serve our country. Their sacrifice is more than we can imagine, and our children may not know first-hand what it’s like to live in a military family, but they do need to understand that we always need to take the time to thank our military, no matter how big or small our thank you may be. With this free printable from Fleur de Lis, you can print these postcards, draw a photo on the back and mail them to someone in service. Or, they can be dropped off at a military establishment. Click here for the free printable.

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CELEBRATE WITH STARS & STRIPES

No 4th of July picnic is complete without our flag’s stars and stripes. We covered a Radio Flyer wagon with the American flag, then accessorized with paper.

We had the perfect setting under a large Willow tree, and our hanging stars made it all the more festive. The stars are easy to make. Learn how to make them here.

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We created DIY flags for the kids with a large USA on top and flowing strings of red and white paper stripes below. The kids loved to run around with their flag banners.

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May the stars and stripes forever fly, and may you have a wonderful, sparkling July 4th!

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You can find more inspiration and ideas to COLORIZE your life at COLORIZE.tumblr.com and the following social feeds.

Facebook | PinterestInstagram

Thanks to Meredith Moran Photography for spending the evening with us and our crazy families to capture these photos.

A Pop of Color with Wayfair

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When we see sunflowers, we think about Tuscany. When we think about Tuscany, we think happy thoughts. When we think happy thoughts, we want to celebrate it with a glass of vino. When we have a glass of vino, we want a pretty space to sip it in. When we need a pretty space to sip it in, Wayfair comes to the rescue with their #PopOfColor campaign.

Jessica’s favorite place to sip wine in the summer is her front porch, so she chose to add a much-needed pop of color and sunflowers to her front entry space. It looked pretty sad and dull before the pop of vibrant red and yellow splashed the rustic space.

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Now thanks to Wayfair, it’s an inviting space to welcome guests, watch the kids play, sit and read a book {let’s get serious – she will be reading O Magazine} and sip water {or vino}.

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The new, bright green Hello Doormat is hard to miss, plus it’s direct and to-the-point. Hello, friends!

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The red Franklin Butler Accent Table caught Jessica’s eye immediately. She has always had a weakness for red, and lately a fondness for the mountain modern look. The table is indoor/outdoor, so when the warm summer months are over, the table will make its way inside.

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She couldn’t resist a touch of glam with the Global Views Nugget Bud Vase because, well, everyone needs a touch of metallic glam.

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The rocking chair is from Jessica’s in-laws. Though a DIY paint job was in the original plan for a big pop of yellow color on the porch, a yellow pillow does the job in less than 1/4 the time, and makes for a much happier husband. With so many yellow pillows to choose from at Wayfair, all you have to do is pick your yellow. 1. Sunbrella Vibrant Yellow. 2. Forget the Tuscany vibe for a minute, this African giraffe pillow makes us smile. 3. Blazing Needle gets the yellow just right.

Here’s the official before and after shot.

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If you are anything like us, once a #PopOfColor happens in one space, it tends to have a domino effect into other areas of the home. Look out Wayfair, our homes are neutral in color and in need of a serious POP. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the front porch.

 j. sorelle received a gift card to purchase a #PopOfColor for this post, however we love Wayfair, even if they didn’t send us any form of payment, and all opinions are ours, we promise.

DIY Balloons to Celebrate the 4th of July

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Up, up and away! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could travel via balloons just like Carl did in Disney | Pixar’s Up? We’re not saying our fear of heights would totally subside, but the joy, color and adventure that a balloon adventure would bring could be worth all the helium and panic attacks.

Balloons are just all-around happy. Wouldn’t you agree? They make our kids smile. They embody childhood. Plus, they symbolize the word celebrate.

We recently had fun inside creating a simple balloon backdrop for the 4th of July during a rainy day. Kids explored their creativity with paint, and balloons as their canvas. And, we got some good photos for the memory books.

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Materials Needed:

  • Acrylic paint {red, white and blue}
  • Paintbrushes and roll brushes
  • Martha Stewart glitter
  • Tape
  • Balloons {helium or non-helium}

Directions:

  • Blow up balloons {of if you purchased helium balloon, pick up from the store}.
  • Paint. We painted our balloons with hand-drawn stars, fireworks and stripes.
  • For the stripes, we used a roll-on pattern brush. And, for the fireworks, we sprinkled glitter on the fireworks while the paint was still wet.
  • Add red and white striped twine to the balloons.
  • Tape to the wall. If your balloons have helium, tape them on the bottom of the wall so they don’t fly away.
  • Snap all the fun photos of your kids pretending to float up, up and away!

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DIY Flower Stakes

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It’s summer time. Thank the Lord. Bring on the sunshine, late summer nights, cocktails on the porch, birds chirping, sleeping in, pool time floats and sun-kissed skin.
Today we have a cheap and easy DIY you can do in less than 5 minutes for enhanced summer ambiance. These DIY Flower Stakes can line your front entry to greet guests with candles or flowers.  Or, they are a simple way to incorporate color and fresh blooms into a summer picnic without the need to find a spot on the blanket for a vase, or worry about spillage.
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Materials Needed:
Directions:
  • Slightly bend the plant prop so it is large/round enough to slide the mason jar in it, but snug enough to keep the mason jar in place.
  • Slide the mason jar through the opening and position along the rims of the mason jar.
  • Add blooms and a bit of water.

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DIY Watermelon Corkboard

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We’re loving all our watermelon consumption these warm summer days. The kids are out of school, it’s time to shave our legs again, dust off the grill and eat watermelon. It’s not enough for us to just eat the juicy, pink fruit this summer – we want to hang it up on the wall too!

This DIY watermelon corkboard and pushpins makes for a lovely teacher and hostess gift, and it’s a great pop of color in one’s office space. Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destination for all-things-home thinks so too, because they shared our tutorial with their readers.