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Weekend: Celebrating the Fourth + The Best Fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July! I hope it’s been a wonderful weekend of celebrating freedom. When I think about the courage our Founding Fathers had in drafting and signing the Declaration of Independence, it gives me chills. They took a stand for beliefs that were radically different than how the world worked at that time…beliefs that people should have the power to govern themselves, make their own decisions and live in liberty. They stood up for their truths even though the road to seeing the Declaration of Independence realized was not an easy one.

We had a really great weekend with just the right mix of fun, friends and relaxing. We stayed in on Friday night, which was so needed. I made this weird quinoa/veggie/chicken sausage thing that somehow totally worked but I wasn’t even about to take a picture of it.


On Saturday I taught and prepped food for a pool party and cookout we were attending later in the day. $2.99 watermelons for the win!

Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad

I made my watermelon, feta and arugula salad with pepper jelly vinaigrette.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

And my roasted sweet potato salad.


We went over to our friend’s house around 4:30 and hung out in the pool for a couple hours.


We had six year old twins and an almost two year old so pool time was full of play.


I sipped on this delicious beer from Highland while we hung out.

Field Roast Sausage

Our dinner was so good! Our hosts don’t eat meat so we had Field Roast sausages on buns. I’d never tried them before but really liked them. I had the Italian Sausage flavor and it was made with lots of eggplant and some herbs and spices.

We came home and took the girls for a long sunset walk and then watched the movie Anomalisa. It was so different and thought-provoking but had one of those endings that drives you crazy! We were Googling all the different theories about it on the couch after it ended.


On Sunday we celebrated Sullie’s birthday, taught classes and then went to a big fireworks celebration with friends.


Okay, get this. One of our clients owns a fireworks distribution company and their main office is in Fort Mill, South Carolina (just about 20 minutes from Charlotte). Every year they do a friends and family fireworks show so when they invited us we eagerly accepted!


The warehouse was HUGE and they have two more like this in different parts of the country.


We all hung out eating and drinking before the show. I made a batch of salted fudge brownies and my friends wouldn’t let me put them on the potluck table!


It was such a great evening for the show and sitting outside. We Ubered down to Fort Mill and another friend drove us home. We kind of had the worst Uber experience getting there. The driver’s car reeked of smoke and the back seat was soaking wet so I arrived slightly nauseous and with damp clothes. Apparently Uber can’t mandate that drivers not smoke in their cars because they’re contractors and not employees. I also considered that our ride was only $18 and that’s pretty amazing to not have to drive on a holiday weekend so complaints are voided. (Here’s a link to get $15 off your first ride.)


There were tons of food options for the potluck. I had a hot dog (you just have to on the 4th!), some kind of yummy vinegar-based slaw, a black bean, tomato and avocado salad and one of those addictive and delicious broccoli slaw/ramen salads along with some chips and hummus (and a few brownies!).


The show was INCREDIBLE! We all agreed that it was easily the best show we’d ever seen. It was like a grand finale for 10 minutes straight. The thing that made it so cool was how close we were. It seemed like they were happening right on top of us. It was a super cool experience and will become a new tradition!

Namastay Kitchen Salad

Since we did all of our fun Fourth stuff on Saturday and Sunday, we spent the actual holiday working and working around the house. I taught at 8:15a and Tanner taught at 9:30. We took each other’s classes and then had lunch at Namastay Kitchen after. I was itching for a salad so I had our remix with chicken and asked for the tahini balsamic and maple mustard on the side to mix.


I got real crazy when we came home with cleaning, laundry and organizing. I even emptied out and cleaned the fridge!

Stuffed Femur Bones for Dogs

The girls got the bones that we bought for Sullie’s birthday and they haven’t stopped chewing all afternoon. (These are the BEST bones. I’ve been buying them since Sullie was a puppy and they last forever…like years.)

Fresh Cut Hydrangeas and Rosemary

I cut hydrangeas from our bush out front along with sprigs of rosemary to make some arrangements to go around the house. We are now hanging out outside having cocktail hour and working and I think we’re going to order from Postmates for dinner. So happy to have a chill day and night to end a fun weekend!

Tell me all about your Fourth of July. Did you do cookout? Fireworks? Pool, beach or lake? 

Favorite cookout food? 

Worst Uber experience? 

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Emily My Healthyish Life July 5, 2016, 8:26 am

    Your hydrangeas look beautiful! My favorite flower. That sounds like such a fun-filled weekend! I did a lot of the same things (pool time, cookouts, fireworks). Although our poor dogs hated the fireworks, and they were loud both Sunday and Monday!

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:20 pm

      Thank you! They make me so happy! I’m glad you had a great weekend. The fireworks were crazy here too. Still going off at 3 a.m. last night!

  • Stephanie July 5, 2016, 10:03 am

    Will you ever let us know why you moved? Just curious and I had loved hearing updates about the remodeling and whatnot.

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:20 pm

      Hey Stephanie – it’s really no big secret…just never seemed worth writing about…I didn’t mean to keep you waiting! I still own my house and I’m renting it out to another couple. I bought the house when I first moved to Charlotte when I was with my ex. I was there by myself for a few years after our divorce and it was a great experience for me. A lot to keep up with but also showed me that I was strong and could do it myself. Once my fiance and I got engaged, we kind of wanted a shared place that was “ours” and not him moving in with me…if that make sense at all. It’s been really nice to have a new/clean slate to share together. We also moved a lot closer to the studio so it makes work/life balance so nice. We are unsure of what we’ll do when our lease runs out and my tentant’s lease runs out next year. We’ll either renovate and move back in my house or sell it. We shall see…lots to figure out!

      • Stephanie July 6, 2016, 11:14 pm

        Hey! Thanks for responding and letting me know. Totally understandable! Love your blog and hearing about your life. Thanks again for responding. Looking forward to what happens next:-)

  • Alyssa July 5, 2016, 10:27 am

    Your weekend sounds like so much fun! It was super rainy here, but we managed to get out to our neighborhood potluck/parade and pool. I will have to try your sweet potato salad recipe. It sounds delish. We make one using cooked sweet pots, greek yogurt, and a little bit of orange juice and zest. 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:16 pm

      I’m sorry it was a rainy Fourth for you but I’m glad you squeezed in pool and potluck. Try the sweet potato salad, you’ll like it!

  • Katie H July 5, 2016, 10:27 am

    That’s interesting that uber can’t mandate their drivers not smoke in their cars…I’ve wondered why so many of them smell like smoke.
    I live in Los Angeles and I’ve had an über driver take me through Skid Row on the way to a restaurant in downtown. Skid Row is probably the most dangerous area in all of LA, if not in all of California! Then on a separate trip, coincidentally to the same restaurant, I had a driver pull into the oncoming traffic lane thinking it was a left turn lane. Yikes!!!
    Glad you had a great weekend! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:15 pm

      Oh my gosh! I am so glad that those two Uber experiences turned out okay. Yikes! I get a little bossy sometimes with the directions when they’re driving! 🙂

  • ACKTIVE LIFE July 5, 2016, 11:11 am

    LOVE hot dogs on July 4th! i think it is the only time I eat them, but I do enjoy them! Lots of good food, wine, fireworks, and time with friends and new friends. It was a great weekend that went by WAY too quickly! PS: I had a bad uber experience in Houston, it was a little scary.

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:14 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed your long weekend! 🙂

  • Brittany Holtz July 5, 2016, 11:13 am

    That salad (and the dressing) sounds amazing!!! I’m definitely going to try. Something must’ve been going around because I also had the urge to deep clean this weekend and that almost never happens!

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:13 pm

      Haha! Me either. Definitely not in my DNA!

  • Danielle July 5, 2016, 12:17 pm

    Talk about an epic connection for a fireworks show! Haha. That sounds fantastic! It was Canada Day here… but I spent lots of time outside, hiking, eating good food, and day trip over to Vancouver Island. It was great!

    We still have yet to get Uber in Vancouver, BC so I’ve never tried it!

    • Jen DeCurtins July 5, 2016, 1:13 pm

      I know! We got lucky on that one. Happy Canada Day! I would LOVE to visit BC sometime!

  • Hilary July 5, 2016, 9:00 pm

    So jealous of all the parties! I loved your shoes in that picture at the party you went to! Those are so cute! Love the outfit too!

  • Tara July 6, 2016, 12:50 pm

    2 comments. Ubered around san fran 2 weeks ago. they have POOL there ? which is uber ride where they can pick up people along the way. much cheaper but not super quick. the friend i was with is sorta a bit high and mighty at times about things like uber and she did NOT like that several times this one driver picked up and dropped off people that did not seem on our way at all. plus her app kept going in and out. i think she took advantage of us being tourists and not knowing our way around well. but she turned a 25 min ride into 50+ and didnt even drop us at our final destination all the way. she did not get 5 stars!
    second…is that passion fruit la croix ? i bought my first 12 pack and that was my flavor choice and dont like it ! i dont know what i was expecting its just so tart (i guess thats what i am tasting?). any recommendations on flavors ? are they all super tart ? i hate to invest in a 12 pack. i need to stalk some peeps at work and beg for a taste when they open a can to try it but i feel weird.

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