Tips For a Successful Fourth of July
Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday celebrated in honor of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. The purpose: to declare the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Each of the Thirteen Colonies partied in style on that day decades ago, as predicted by John Adams himself in a letter to his wife. We will do it again this year give thanks on July 4th for the amazing gift of freedom our country is founded upon, and as moms, we’re going to do what we can to make it the best one ever for our families!
So, what prompted John Adams to give his wife a heads up on what he believed would be the “great anniversary festival” celebrated from that time forward evermore? Well, I’m no history buff, but if you ask me, I think he knew whom to contact if he was looking for a partay – the ladies.
Let the customs begin…parades, fireworks, barbecued goodness, friends, games and, of course, the red white and blue.
~Thank you moms of the past for laying the groundwork for such an elaborately fantastic holiday!
Let’s do our best this year to keep the traditions rolling. But, before we get started, let’s take a moment to prepare and protect our families (Supermom anthem playing in the background.)
First Aid Kit – essential for this caliber of celebration. We’re talking scrapes, burns, heartburn and diaper rash. Pack it all because you just never know.
Tip: peruse the dollar store for the necessities, and you’ll probably find a cute container to store it in too!
Sun Block – I have a reputation in my neighborhood for being a crazed SPF mamma, but skin cancer is a serious concern. Enjoy a good laugh in the face of danger? Leave it at home. Ok, not really, take up another challenge because this one isn’t to be messed with.
Tip: block with both UVA and UVB protection, at least an SPF 30, apply prior to sun exposure (it’s ok if you forget though – still apply it!) and reapply regularly. Sunglasses, hats and clothing help block harmful rays too! Bask in the shade when you can.
Water Bottles – You are way more likely to be harmed by sunshiny rays than you are your leeching plastic water bottle. Word is that much of the buzz on plastics causing cancer was no more than a great scare tactic – which worked wonders because I spent a little too much on “safe” sippy cups (and I probably will continue to because I’m a mom and I do nutty things to protect my kids.)
Tip: Limit temperature variation when using any plastic product. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use…and don’t read email forwards that will completely freak you out.
Snacks – Never leave home without one. I keep them in the car, my purse and in the case of an absolute emergency – I have a small stash within, around and under the kids’ car seats (ok, so I can’t take all the credit for that one.) Snacks prevent overeating, cranky kids, grouchy parents and you’ll always be prepared for an emergency “feeding of the ducks,” moms know not to show up empty handed for that, ha.
Tip: Combine a carb and a protein for maximum caloric energy benefit. Favorite of mine: string cheese and wheat crackers (crunchy orange fish work too – ducks like these.)
Camera – Commemorate your celebration! I keep a small digital camera tucked inside my purse (because I love taking photos) and bring a nicer camera along for quality shots when the cam can’t be damaged. Santa brought my kids a toy camera that is super durable and can capture things from their point of view – it’s amazing how much less flattering a bikini can be from that angle, yikes.
Tip: Have your digital photos stored on a CD (just a few dollars to have one made) or upload to a safe online storage site. Print only those you plan to use when you are ready to use them. Label and store your photo discs in a decorative shoebox on the top shelf of your closet, and they’ll be organized when your child’s teacher assigns a five-year collage project!
Red, White and Blue – Don’t forget to celebrate in style, and you’re whole family can sport the look with this easy craft! Oh, and it helps to locate stray kiddos too – no one will be confused as to which family the lost child belongs when you’re all wearing matching attire (dad is going to love this one, hee hee.)
Tip: Festive wear on a dime…
What you’ll need:
Plain white shirt (or coordinating color)
Spray paint (we used blue and black)
Construction Paper for making stencils
Red Sharpie (optional)
Use the construction paper to create a flag, cluster of stars or other creative Fourth of July décor. Place the shape – positive or negative stencils – onto the shirt and spray. If you choose to purchase a second color of spray paint, you can adjust your stencils (or add new ones) for shadows and depth. The red Sharpie can be used for color splashes – draw some fireworks or trace an image – be sure to add an artist’s signature to your work!
This is a fun project for kids – they can participate in every step (with a parent’s help.) Be sure to dress for a mess because the spray paint can get wild…it doesn’t wash out, but that’s why it creates neat, cheap and easy t-shirt! ~wash and dry separately before wearing~
Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!