Please note: This post was created in paid partnership with Time Inc. and Chinet.

A few weeks back I got the chance to work with MyRecipes.com and Chinet to film a little video sharing some of my favorite tips for throwing festive summer BBQs — using everyday items like bandanas and mason jars and Chinet products. We tackled everything from the table decor (a DIY no-sew table runner!) to setting up your BBQ buffet (with a festive plate weight and bandana napkins) to creating a no-bake, red white and blue dessert perfect for the Fourth of July (because who wants to turn on the oven on a hot summer day?). Check out the full video below, and read more summer BBQ tips on myrecipes.com.

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This was one of those weekends where I totally forgot to break out my real camera because I was too busy having fun. Hurricane Arthur did little to deter my patriotic celebrations — I went to a friend’s beach house and we had a rainy night in with a lobster dinner, my frozen berry cheesecake jars for dessert, and a whole lot of cards against humanity. Once the weather cleared up we hit the beach for some book reading and sun bathing — it was bliss. I am having some major Monday-blues after such a good long weekend — anyone else? 20140706-200421-72261579.jpg20140706-200423-72263059.jpg20140706-200422-72262320.jpg

 

 

Happy Fourth of July! This is one my absolute favorite holidays — what’s not to love about a day of  sparklers, classic red white and blue outfits, and delicious bbq? I’m off to spend my day by the pool with friends, and then to see the Boston fireworks tonight. Hope you have a fabulous day celebrating too!

Fourth of JulyClockswise from top left: Harding Lane Nantucket Hat, Striped Anchor Tee, Men’s Gingham Swimsuit, Anchor Tumblers, Breton Stripe Sea Bag, Chandon Summer, Jack Rogers Sandals, Striped Beach Chairs, Turkish Towel, Red Bow Bikini Bottom

 

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to celebrate America tomorrow, bring on the flags and the hot dogs and the fireworks! And bring on the cocktails too. In preparation for 4th of July celebrations, I whipped up a cocktail recipe that’s both festive and refreshing: the Berry Sangria Spritzer. In a pitcher, combine a large handful of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries were my mixture of choice), and few sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the pitcher with white wine — sauvignon blanc works well — and let the pitcher sit in the fridge overnight so the berries infuse into the liquid. When you’re ready to serve, scoop out a few of the berries into a glass over ice, and pour out the wine mixture so the glass is 3/4 of the way full. Fill the glass the remaining 1/4 of the way with plain or berry soda water and garnish with some fresh mint. The result is a light cocktail that  is perfect for a sizzling hot summer day!

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I kicked off the July 4th celebrations a little early this weekend, taking in some local fireworks, bbq-ing with friends (how cute are my friend’s mason jar drink dispensers?) and spent some time by the waterfront looking at the tall ships. I’m ready to take on the week, mostly because it’s a short one — here’s to making it to the mid-week holiday!

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Last weekend my sister and I put together an Americana-inspired tablescape for a family BBQ. We incorporated lots of patriotic essentials like red and white striped straws for our lemonade and tiny American flags tucked into all white floral arrangements. It was a ton of fun and got me very excited for the holiday this coming week!

Now, ready for the best part? One lucky reader will win a party kit so you can host a patriotic BBQ too! Just leave a comment below letting me know how you’re celebrating the 4th of July, and I’ll pick one winner on Saturday to receive a package with striped straws, cupcake liners, American flags, and a few other surprises!

Want an extra entry? Follow me on Twitter @domestikateblog and tweet about the giveaway. Leave an extra comment below letting me know you’ve done so. Best of luck!

Update: Contest closed, congrats to the winner, Jess of Curating Style!