by Taylor Selcke The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. The weather is (usually) gorgeous, the whole family is together, and there's always an abundance of delicious food. Luckily I'm not hosting this year, but for those of you who are, we've thrown together a quick, last-minute idea book to inspire a red, white, and blue bash that Uncle Sam would be proud of.
Flag Paper Lanterns. Weather permitting, these are perfect for outdoor mood lighting. Paper lanterns ($12.95), from Pier 1, multiple locations, including 12970 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, 952-546-4588, pier1.com Wood USA Wall Map. Can you name all 50 states? Celebrate the good ol' US of A with this wall décor. Wall map ($79.99), from World Market, multiple locations, including 4250 W. 78th St., Bloomington, 952-831-1914, worldmarket.com Stars Wine Charm Set. No more second guessing which "Yankee Doodle" or "Patriotic Punch" is yours. Wine charms ($7.95), also from Pier 1 Red, White & Blue Straws. Showing your patriotism is easy with red and blue paper straws. Paper straws, from Michael's, multiple locations, including 1620 New Brighton Blvd., Mpls., 612-789-0461, michaels.com Retro Snow Cone Maker. Enough said. Just make sure to get some blue raspberry and cherry flavoring to play up the July 4th theme. Snow cone machine ($49.99), also from World Market Glass Jars. Avoid the mess and opt for individual apple pies. I call this dessert "classic with a twist." Jars ($3.99), from The Container Store, 3825 Gallagher Dr., Edina, 952-831-3780, containerstore.com Denim with Red Stripe Americana Lumbar Pillow. Scatter these across couches and chairs for a simple, yet classy, touch of Americana. Pillow ($19.99), also from World Market Cloth Napkins. For the more formal dinner party celebration, you can't go wrong with these color-appropriate cloth napkins. Napkins ($3.99), from Crate & Barrel, Galleria, 952-920-2300, crateandbarrel.com How are you planning on decorating your home for the 4th of July?