Tag: Fourth of July

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

It’s only the 9th of July, lots of summer still left to enjoy.

I thought you all might need an idea for something to take to a family gathering or cookout.

This is my most popular pin on Pinterest, pinned hundreds of times.

Here are the instructions from a previous post.  http://lovingmynewsimplelife.com/wow-them/

This is seriously so easy to do, and a show stopper on a food table.  Love the scalloped edges!

Can be filled with colorful mixed fruit, or simply cut up watermelon chunks as I did in the top photo.

When putting this post together I thought of my first memory of having watermelon.

I loved to spend time with my grandmother in the summer. There was a truck that would come down the street selling fruits and vegetables, and on one hot day, she grabbed her little black change purse, and we went to the truck and bought a watermelon.  Grandma cut it up, and we enjoyed it that hot summer afternoon.

My oh my, what a sweet memory for me!

Make some sweet memories this summer, and also try carving a “sweet” watermelon basket.

Love you all this July afternoon!


When a Small Gift Returns

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.

I hung my flag outside of our home the first thing in the morning.

So fortunate to be born and live in the USA.

Sometimes we forget!

Just a quiet 4th for us, no invites, no guests.

I did decorate a bit, it is just something I like to do!

Last week when shopping with my sister, we found a cute dog bandana filled with stars and stripes.

We immediately thought of our favorite dog, “Denali”, belonging to my niece, my sister’s daughter.

I wrapped it up and mailed it to him for his 4th of July apparel.

In the afternoon, during our uneventful 4th, my phone beeped.  It was a video of our favorite dog prancing around, modeling his new scarf.  Soooo cute!

Oh my gosh, what a really simple sweet moment!

Me and my husband watched the video over and over, laughing at it each time.  It made our day special.

The video was our gift of thoughtfulness returning!

Do something simple and sweet for someone you love and watch it come back.

Love to all!



Celebrating the 5th!

4th of July tableWe were invited to my sweet niece’s new home for the 4th.  Just being with my sister and her family is always a reason to celebrate for me.  They are all so dear and such an important part of my life!

On Sunday, July 5th, I decided to bring out my red, white, and blue for a small celebration with “my family”.  Of course, we had another reason to celebrate, looking forward to watching our USA women’s soccer team playing in the final game later that evening.

I set a small table on our back porch with a few special colorful, holiday items.

The utensil bags were easy to put together using a cut off small brown bag and adding a band of star paper and a glitter star.

I love the red and white dotted ice cream cups which were perfect for our dessert, Greater’s chocolate chip ice cream. Greater’s is a famous ice cream shop in our Cincinnati area, and now famous across the country.


Greater’s is also a candy maker and uses the broken chocolate pieces for the “chips” in their ice cream selections.  Some of the “chips” are small candy bars!

If any of you ever visit the Cincinnati area, stop for some ice cream at Greater’s.  They not only offer chocolate chip, but also chocolate-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and the cherry cordial chip is one of the most popular.

I brought out the beverage tub I recycled last year at this time, and tried a Martha Stewart idea, filling balloons with water and freezing, using to surround the drinks.

IMG_0550[1]It worked great.  They froze hard and did not break!  I like the idea that you can choose any color of balloons for the occasion.

Our day was fun, peaceful, and most of all, “my family”…… me, my husband, and our son, were together for another 4th and 5th of July!

The day ended with our USA women’s soccer team winning!  What joy!

Love and joy to all!

Happy summer!





Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful country.

Celebrate our freedom, and have fun today!

Happy 4th of July America!We are going to grill today. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the trimmings. We are also having some baked beans, marshmallow fruit salad, and deviled eggs.

Typical 4th menu!

I thought I would share my recipe for baked beans with you today!

They are made with canned beans, and lots of dark brown sugar, and ketchup.

This is a photo of my favorite crock that I always use for the beans.

Crock for baked bean recipe!It reminds me of an old candy from years ago, they were called “Boston Baked Beans”.  The photo on the candy box was beans in a crock.  I can’t remember the candy, just the box.

I found this photo of the box on line.  I guess you can still buy them at some specialty candy stores.

Boston Baked Bean Theater Box - 4.75 oz

My beans are simple to make, just canned beans, dark brown sugar, ketchup, onions, and some bacon slices for the top.  That’s it!

Recipe for baked beans!1 large can of pork and beans (the can that I use to fill my crock is 53 ounces)

2 cups of dark brown sugar (or more)

1 cup of ketchup

1/4 cup of diced onions (optional)

3 slices of bacon

Before pouring beans into the crock, drain off most of the liquid, since we are going to replace with the ketchup.  I do not like really runny beans!  Some folks make them and they are more like bean soup. Yuk!

Add ketchup, dark brown sugar, onions, and mix together.

Top with 3 slices of bacon, I usually cut in half with my kitchen scissors.

Recipe for baked beans!Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes.

Recipes are works in progress, depending on your taste, if you like more brown sugar, add more, try it!

I have made these for years and I judge the amount of sugar by the color of the beans when adding the sugar.Recipe for baked beans!There’s lots of summer left, give these a try!

Enjoy the fireworks, and have a spectacular 4th.

See ya!

Getting Ready for the 4th of July!

One of the overwhelming projects on my list of things to do, “someday”, is cleaning out my garage.

I really just needed to get started, so I decided to go out everyday and spend a little time sorting out what I wanted to keep and what was junk!

I came across this metal beverage container for bottled drinks that I had purchased years ago.

It was red when new, but as you can see from photo, it turned a shade of pink!

Garage sale beverage tub!  Before painting!I was going to pitch it, but decided to try and paint it instead.

With the 4th of July this week I picked a navy blue spray paint.

Spray painting old beverage tub!The container had nice wood handles, so I taped them, and sprayed the tub inside and out.

Here it is…

Spray painted old beverage tub!It looks pretty good, but I decided to add an extra touch for the 4th.

I used a star punch and cut out some silver stars.  Using one of my favorite craft supplies, glue dots, I attached the stars to the container, here and there. Glue dots have glue on both sides, they are only a $1.00 for a sheet of 100.

Supplies for making silver stars!

The stars can be removed without taking the paint off, so the container can be used any time not just for the 4th of July.

Love it!

Old Beverage Tub spray painted and stars added!  Awesome results!It was so simple to do and the results are awesome!

I thought of another idea, that ties in with the container.

Had some stars and stripes duct tape, so I wrapped around the bottled drinks.

Duct tape added to beverage bottles for the 4th!

Now I just need to fill my “new” container with ice and drinks for my 4th celebration!

Completed beverage tub project for the 4th of July!  Awesome!

It really makes me feel good when I can recycle something that I was going to pitch in the junk pile.

I now have an original beverage container that I can use year after year.

So pleased with the way this project turned out.

I love the simple creative things we can accomplish in this life we love!

See you all next time!


Wow Them! How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

Are you going to a cookout, picnic, or family get together this Memorial Day weekend?

I thought I would share something fun and easy to do that always wows everyone!

A watermelon basket filled with beautiful, colorful, fruit.

Here are the 4 steps that are easy to follow.

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket!Step 1 – Place watermelon width-wise on a flat surface.  Roll melon until it settles into a position where it remains stable or cut a thin slice from the bottom to provide stability.  As shown, use strips of masking tape to mark lines of handle and rim of basket.

How to carve a watermelon basket.Step 2 – With a sharp knife, cut outline of handle, using outside edges of masking tape as a guide.  To make a scallop template, cut out a paper circle with scissors.  (The size of the melon determines the size of the circle.  The watermelon shown is small so the circle used is relatively small.)  Fold circle in half and cut along fold.  Starting on either side of handle, place the straight edge of one paper semicircle on top edge of masking tape that forms rim.  With a sharp pencil, trace a row of scallops along rim, stopping just before reaching ends of melon.  At each end, draw remaining scallop freehand, connecting the gap.

Step 3 – Using a sharp knife, cut into the watermelon along the scalloped pencil lines.  Next, cut a large wedge from the area on both sides of the handle, leaving about an inch above the scalloped rim.  Remove wedge, inserting knife behind the scallops, cut straight down into the melon close to the rind, cutting deep enough to release top part of rim.  Lift and discard.

How to carve a watermelon basket.Step 4 – Remove masking tape.  Scoop out watermelon from rind.  For a fruit basket, add a mixture of fresh fruit combined with watermelon cut into one-inch cubes or melon balls. I have never been able to make the watermelon balls so I always cut into cubes.

The finished look is really awesome.

Happy Holiday weekend, now go wow everyone with your carving talents!