Surviving Independence Day with a Toddler

There are few toddlers who are not captivated by the sight of colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. It’s the thunderous booms most tots can live without. You want to see real fireworks?  Take an unsuspecting toddler with sensitive hearing to a Fourth of July fireworks show and you’ll get a front row seat to an explosive meltdown the likes of which will surpass any holiday pyrotechnic show. Trust me. Unfortunately, if you have older children, who are unfazed by the massive booms that resonate in your head and chest, the option of staying home on the Fourth is … Continue reading

“Independence Day” for a Single Parent

I have never been a huge fan of the *Fourth of July* in its traditional sense with the firecrackers and heavy drinking. What I can wrap my head around however, is the “Independence Day” part of the celebration. While I know my history well enough to appreciate the founding fore-folk and all the work they did to bring about our republic, “Independence Day” also has strong meaning to me as a single parent… If I was to pick one word that describes single parents and single parent families, it would probably be “independent.” Many of us are completely self-supporting and … Continue reading

Babies and Fireworks

Will you be celebrating the Fourth of July with a fireworks show? If so, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that everyone, including the baby, has a wonderful, fun and safe celebration. First let’s mention that very young babies shouldn’t be taken to a fireworks show. The loud noises and crowds can make your baby uncomfortable, scare or cranky. While it may be inconvenient, in the long run it might be easier to get a sitter or to watch the fireworks on television or from very far away. Speaking of far away, pick out a spot … Continue reading

What to Bring to a Fourth of July Parade 2

Are you all ready for your Fourth of July celebrations? I hope that you get the opportunity to visit a community parade. I’ve been sharing some items for items to bring to the parade to enhance the experience. Small candies: Small candies are great to have on hand to share with your parade neighbors. A secret stash of candy also helps if your children don’t happen to catch any of the candy that is thrown from the parade. Last year, we were at the end of the route and the candy from the floats had all been used up before … Continue reading

What to Bring to a Fourth of July Parade

Every year, we try to hit at least one fourth of July parade. These parades are fun and really give us both a sense of patriotism and community. In our old neck of the woods, when we lived in our smaller home with the postage-stamp yard, the town Independence Day parade went right past our home, literally. We simply got some lawn chairs out and pulled them up to the sidewalk before the parade started. Our neighbors would do the same. One neighbor always hands out Italian ice (or water ice as it is called here in Pennsylvania), while another … Continue reading

Patriotic Wallpapers

Want to add some Independence Day Spirit to your desktop or laptop? Why not try one of these patriotic wallpapers? I hope that you are having a great Independence Day. And even if you aren’t in the United States, perhaps you want to join the rest of us in celebrating. For my family, well we have been having a great time. We just witnessed our first parade in our new town. After the parade was over, we had fun at the town park with balloons, popcorn, games and prizes. Later, we will be heading over to a nearby town for … Continue reading

Have A Frugal Fourth

Those of us in America are gearing up to celebrate our Independence Day. What a great holiday it is. Here are some frugal ideas on how to celebrate with a bang. Find your fireworks You can find a bevy or free fireworks shows the week before, during and after the fourth of July. What a great frugal (free) way to celebrate. Check with your town and surrounding towns. You can also do a web search on your state to find firework shows. Local merchants are also a great source of information about firework shows. They generally know what is going … Continue reading

Fourth of July Trivia

Most people will be eating, drinking, and celebrating this special occasion. If you’re looking for some activities to use during your Fourth of July celebration, why not challenge your friends to some Fourth of July Trivia? You might be surprised to learn just how much some know –or don’t know- about our great nation and its history. Here are ten questions (plus a bonus question) to get you started: 1. How many verses does the Star Spangled Banner have? 2. What is the last line of the last verse of our National Anthem? 3. Who wrote the Star Spangled Banner? … Continue reading

Elegant Fourth of July Decorations

Who says you can’t be festive and still create an elegant look? There’s no reason that an outdoor gathering can’t be chic and attractive. Even though some bright red, white, and blue decorations may not seem to lend themselves to elegance, it’s all in the way you put things together. You can try country chic with nostalgic Americana accents. Another idea is to simply choose deeper colors. Deep blues and darker reds create a richer backdrop. Then, instead of fun and funky decorations that you see at most Fourth of July picnics and parties, you can try something a little … Continue reading

Fourth of July Centerpieces

Do you like centerpieces? I hope you’ll like these Independence Day ideas: Light up the Night Or, light up the day with red, white, and blue candles. Create a design, using one large blue candle and surrounding it with smaller red and white candles, or line up one red, one white, and one blue. If you prefer something less symetrical, simply add a mixture of candles in different sizes and shapes in red, white, and blue, and carefully fill the spaces between the bases of the candles with curling ribbon in patriotic colors (making sure none of the ribbon reaches … Continue reading