Tag Archives: 4th of July

The State of Things: I love Americana Kitsch

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My favorite holiday is a toss-up. Every time one comes along I get caught up in the spirit of things and convince myself that this one is actually my favorite. So take it with a grain of salt when I tell you how much I love the 4th of July. I love it so much I’m committed to putting it in my top 3, maybe even top 2.

Around this time of year I find myself wanting to surround my house with classic Americana kitsch. Americana can come in many forms – tea-stained thirteen star flags, Coca-Cola memorabilia or even Normal Rockwell knick-knacks.

My favorite Americana items come in the form of vintage state handkerchiefs.

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Clearly I’m not the only one. You can see on this website that some are selling for $80 a pop!

I’ve seen them made into pillows:

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And modern reprints on dishtowels.


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I’m not sure what it is about these sweet, nostalgic state-themed goodies that I enjoy so much.

There are also some kitschy embroidered pillows I’ve seen in a few stores – I always pick them up but never manage to talk myself into buying it!

vintage state handkerchiefs

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This post was sparked by a recent item I stumbled upon, dinnerware from Sundance Catalog.

I wouldn’t mind picking out a few of these!

I wish you could mix and match states though,  they come in sets of 4.

They also have matching mugs! Although, who in their right mind needs more mugs? Aren’t we all swimming in them?

And while I’m sure everybody is really tied to their gas station shot glass collection, these glasses would be a nice upgrade.

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Country Living has a great slideshow of vintage state collectors glasses – see it here!

When I was a kid I had to memorize a song that had all the state names in alphabetical order. To my shame I can only make it in the song to “Idaho”.

(I’m still not sure why this is need-to-know information. I also had to memorize all the Presidents in chronological order, I haven’t found that to be very useful either.)

I’m in a summer state of mind, how about you?

Summer Picnic Must-Haves

Tomorrow night we are going to see THIS guy in concert:

I hope you all have some patriotic and happy 4th of July plans!

We will be listening to the melodious tunes of James Taylor in the middle of the Berkshires at the outdoor Tanglewood concert hall.

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We are excited! The weather forecast is lookin’ good, so we are packing up our favorite picnic must-haves:

I love using melanine plates. They are much more earth-friendly than paper or styrofoam plates, and you don’t have to transport anything breakable! Plus they are cheap and they last forever!


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In particular, I love these scrimshaw plates!

These over-sized gingham plates are cute too!

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Nobody likes grass stains or sitting in the dirt. I love these tie-up blankets. They would be great for the beach too!


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Stripes are a summer classic! You can’t go wrong.

If I was feeling super spendy or didn’t want to sit on soggy grass, this fold up picnic table would make for a pretty fancy schmancy picnic:


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While I have a super cute picnic bag (with whales on it!!), these structured canvas picnic baskets are pretty cool:


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I think I’m ready for some tasty picnic food and a crooning singer songwriter.

Happy Independence Day!!

A Taste of Summer

I love the 4th of July.

I know it’s over and this is a little anti-climatic. But you’ll overlook that fact, won’t you?

The 4th of July is the real kick-off of summer. School and spring cleaning often drip into June. And June is already overrun with graduations and parties and bridal showers that summer celebration gets lost in the mix. But no longer.

It’s JULY friends. It is summertime.

Random note – We spent the weekend at my family lakehouse in the Finger Lakes. I must have had patriotic clothing on my mind for the holiday, because I packed red and white striped clothing for every day. Hah-hah!

These are my Mom’s blingy table decorations for the 4th. She’s got pizazz

Our  neighbors have a large farm area. They have a vineyard (Pinot Grigio to be exact, or so I learned) and also have lots of fruits and vegetables growing. We happened to be there at the peak of cherry picking season and they invited us up to pick a H-U-G-E bag of delicious cherries.

I had the best of intentions. Why, with these amazing cherries, surely I should make a cherry pie or tart or jam or something, right? But I can’t help just eating them all plain. They are so fresh and sweet they are like candy!

Random – our neighbors plant rosebushes at the end of each grapevine. Do you know why? Apparently the mildew properties are the same. So, if you see mildew on the roses you know how to take care of the vine. I wonder who figured that out and how.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

– John Lubbock

And nothing can beat a summer night. I insist on campfires and s’mores everytime we are at the lake. It’s the best way to end any day spent in the sun.

And of course we watched the fireworks.

We watched from the very spot we got married (collective “aw”), although it was more due to last minute boat engine funkiness than planning. But it was beautiful. And all the boats on the water was an unexpected beautiful sight.

I think that is why I enjoy the 4th of July so much. It’s a quintessential summer weekend of celebrating with friends and family. Eating good food, enjoying the world we live in and some old fashion fun.

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What did you do for the 4th of July? Do you like cherries as much as I do right now?

Window Shop Wednesday with The Katie Chronicles


It’s link up Wednesday again with The Katie Chronicles, and today we’re window shopping at Old Navy! Since the 4th of July is upon us, I’m picking out my favorite picks for this weekend’s patriotic celebrations!!

Hello Lady Liberty! I love this fun, modern graphic tee. Would be cute with plain old jeans, or a fun red skirt.


I can’t get enough of polka dots! The nautical/Americana red, white and blue colors are right up my alley! This bathing suit would be perfect for a day of tubing on the lake!Woven sandal flats. Yes please! I love shoes like this for running around town, going on a walk or picking blueberries (which I hope to be doing this weekend).

This simple striped tank is very cute. I would probably use this as a bathing suit cover up for the cute bathing suit above.

And, finally, a hoodie. Everybody needs a nice hoodie for watching 4th of July fireworks and roasting s’mores.

Hmmm, and the best part about Old Navy is things are always on sale!

Happy Window Shopping! : )