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I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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With summer just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to provide you good folks with easy summer entertaining ideas. I’m all about creating memories surrounding food, fun, and fellowship, even if it’s just for the people who live under my roof. Summer months provide us with so many reasons to get together–warmer weather, graduations, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, family reunions, etc. If you are looking for casual entertaining, I’ve got you covered with today’s post.

Fourth of July has always been a big celebration in our family complete with drop-ins at our home as well as us traveling to the homes of others. This year, we are expecting a new addition to the family who just may make an appearance in time for the fireworks. With a new baby in the home, guests will be kept to a minimum on Independence Day but it doesn’t mean we can’t turn up the fun!

We’re keeping the menu modest this year, yet the presentation is anything but humble. It doesn’t take much to add spark to any occasion. Here are a few easy tips to show you how:


1. Set the Tone for Celebration

Pulling out a fun tablecloth lets everyone know something special is about to happen at the dinner table. Red and white gingham is a classic print that can be used all summer long. Hang an American Flag as a backdrop and you instantly know the cause for celebration! Keep the color palette tight and consistent for a pulled together look. Here, red, white, and blue are the repeating colors in the decorations, plates, and serving dishes. Don’t forget the flowers! A simple bouquet of beautiful red roses was the perfect polish for this effortless presentation.


2. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Sweetheart

“Bless her heart” is what I say to myself when I see a harried hostess running to and from the kitchen in a huff. There’s nothing worse than not being able to enjoy your efforts along with your guests. My solution, present food buffet-style with fare that you know your guests will love. Grilled hotdogs and hamburgers are always a summer favorite–and they go fast!

3. Combine home-cooked foods with store-bought items, with a great presentation no one will know the difference.

The grilled meats and tossed salad were the only items we prepared at home. The rest was purchased from our local grocer. Southern-style potato salad…


…and nothing’s more American than freshly-baked apple pie and ice cream sandwiches.


When I think of summer refreshments, freshly squeezed lemonade in a mason jar comes to mind. Make drinks extra special with festive straws, lemon slices and a few blueberries for a little fruit infusion!

4. Mix and Mingle

Every moment of this occasion, from preparation to presentation, is a chance to enjoy yourself and get others involved. When the party starts, your thoughtful preparations ahead of time leaves even more room for merrymaking! These happy faces are pretty darn convincing!

5. Make clean up a breeze.

Both before and after, we gave the kitchen floor a thorough cleaning with Pledge FloorCare Squirt and Mop and later with Pledge Floor Care Wood Spray Cleaner for touch ups. The Pledge Multi-Surface works great for all the surfaces. I found it particularly useful for dusting the table and the props I used to set the table.

On behalf of Pledge/SCJohnson, we wish you and yours a safe summer of entertaining and good clean fun.

This post was sponsored by Pledge, however the thoughts and opinions regarding their products are my own.


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Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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