Jul. 6: All fireworks-y

Our recycling bin tells the story best: we had a party.

We invited a small group of friends and family over Sunday evening for a Fourth of July celebration. I regretted the decision just a few times in the days leading up to the event, like while making the 400th set of Kool-Aid ice cubes and scrubbing the deck table for an hour to get all the winter grime off it. Mostly, though, we were excited to have a reason to give the house a really good cleaning. (Yes, we need a reason.)

Katie and Jack want to help us get things ready when we’re having people over, but they totally suck at it. The vacuum is too loud for Katie to be in the same room where it’s running. Even if they could get the duster in high places, they wouldn’t. Jack’s preferred method of straightening his room is to shove everything in his closet. Yesterday I opened the door and a pile of papers fell out; I’m all, YOU HAVE A DESK WITH EMPTY DRAWERS BUT YOU PUT PAPERS ON YOUR TOY BOX? If I could spell the sound that came out of my mouth, I would.

Suffice it to say, the majority of the party prep was left up to grown-ups.

The kids helped me shop for decor and plan some of the food items, and they made these posters in honor of the holiday:

Thirteen stripes, 20 diamonds. Works for me.

My favorite parts of Jack’s poster are Mt. Rushmore and “Rusha.”

The kids helped a little bit with the food preparation, too, but got bored easily. They fought over who got to chop olives until that task got boring, and were most eager to make the red, white, and blue cake batter for the cupcakes. They also enjoyed p0uring the red and blue Kool-Aid into ice cube trays, though Jack did NOT like when Katie pointed out which of his squares were less full than others.


We made lots of festive food, but the really fun things (in my opinion) were the bald eagle treats, which I found at Family Fun.

A big ol’ marshmallow rolled in white chocolate and covered in coconut? YUM.

Another supremely Fourth of July-ish component was the special adult beverage I created for the evening. I got the recipe online, but when Victor and I did a taste-test last week it needed some extreme modifying—which means the drink recipe is all MINE now.

This isn't a photo of our creation. I forgot to take a photo of our creation. I stole this one off the 'net because it looks an awful lot like our creation. We used red and blue Pop Rocks though because I'm all about coordinating holiday colors. I'm also a dork. And kinda drunk. Jen’s Snap-Crackle-Pop

  • 1 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz. cranberry vodka
  • Fresh lime
  • Pop Rocks
  • Sprite

Mix Blue Curacao and vodka in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice; shake well. Run fresh lime along the rim of the glass and dip in Pop Rocks. Pour strained liquor into glass. Fill with Sprite.

If anyone frowns on the alcohol in this beverage, remember: Pop Rocks cure cancer. It all evens out.

The fireworks show began at dusk. I’m not a big fan of fireworks at home, so we stuck with the legal (safe/boring) ones. I wasn’t the only cautious parent, though—there was much hollering of things like POINT IT AWAY FROM YOU! and RUN! and YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO STAND OVER THE ONES THAT SHOOT, VICTOR! Jack loved getting to light some of his very own fireworks (with close supervision and Mom nowhere in the vicinity to say no) and there were no life-threatening injuries to anyone who counted. Here’s a link to gorgeous photography by Fancy Anthony™.

The festivities were accompanied, of course, by my fab Fourth of July playlist.

We felt privileged to spend the holiday with friends and family. I don’t know if a fun time was had by all, but a fun time was definitely had by these here Manullangs. We can’t wait to do it again!


  1. Okay that photography is seriously - STUNNING - like I kind of want to marry it. Can I have their camera and um, talent, because OH my goodness. Yes, I'm drooling, sorry.

    I love those cute little bald eagle baddies - so adorable! And the kids posters are equally super cute. I really love Jack's Lincoln Memorial guy. :OP

  2. I agree, Jen E. Gorgeous photography. Fancy Anthony™ gots skillz!


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