We grew up in an EXTREMELY patriotic family. The love of country was bred deep into our bones and came behind only the Love of God and Family. We have several members of our immediate and extended families that have served or are currently serving in all different branches of the Armed Forces. We <heart> the red, white, and blue.
Memorial Day is one we never take lightly. To us it is not just a three-day weekend. Originally known as Decoration Day, this special day began after the Civil War to honor both the Union and Confederate dead. Now known as Memorial Day, it is a somber day of remembrance for ALL of the heroes that sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice and died serving in the armed forces of our great country. It’s a day of thankfulness and celebrating these incredible heroes that we owe so very much.
Memorial Day also traditionally serves as the start of summer and that is definitely something to celebrate! However, these last few years have been incredibly overwhelming to me as we try to jam pack so many things into the last two weeks of May leading up to Memorial Day. School parties, baseball playoffs, graduations, church plays, dance recitals have gotten us frazzled and plain Wo’ Out! Who has time to plan another party????? Don’t let that discourage you from missing this incredibly important and fun holiday. Whether at the beach, the grandparent’s house, or staying home, rain or shine these easy ideas will assure that you are the Hostess with the Mostess in under two hours.
GRILL, GRILL, GRILL. Toss a few things together, throw the rest on the grill – easy peasy. One sweep of the grocery store perimeter will score you all the items on the below menu. Dash in and grab some corn on the cob, green and red peppers, some pre-seasoned/marinated chicken or beef patties, and some bakery bread. Grab some pre-cut watermelon, blueberries, cherries, mint, some feta cheese and ready to bake brownies. Hit the ice cream aisle on the way to the check out counter for some vanilla ice cream and call it a day.
Watermelon Feta Salad (recipe at bottom of post)
Grilled Chicken or Grilled Beef Patties
Corn on the Cob
Grilled Green & Red Peppers
Sliced Bakery Bread
Brownies a la mode
Let’s be honest, decor can be over the top and gorgeous or it can be simple and beautiful. While I love me some over the top, we are on a time crunch, so simple and beautiful it is. FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGS!!! Never underestimate the power of the inexpensive pack of hand sized American Flags. Proudly place them everywhere – the half dead fern outside in your front porch pot, the vase on your island that is currently empty, or the fruit bowl that has apples and bananas in it. Flags add easy, instant patriotic flare and you can get a ton of them for not much money. If you want to do some specific flowers for your table, grab some white daisies or some hydrangea or red begonias at the grocery store and follow these super simple ideas to your dinner party.
DON’T MISS THIS…
Each year the National Memorial Day Concert live from the West Lawn of the US Capitol is broadcast on PBS and is one of my favorites. This year it is on Sunday evening, so set your DVR so you can have it playing in the background on the actual Memorial Day. This year’s all-star lineup will feature uplifting musical performances, documentary footage and dramatic readings to honor the military service of our men and women in uniform and their families. Not only will there be stars like Leona Lewis, Allison Janey, Charles Esten and General Colin Powell, but the National Symphony Orchestra, the Military District of Washington, the US Army Herald Trumpets, the Army Chorus and Voices, the Navy Band Sea Chanters, the Air Force Singing Sergeants, and the Soldier’s Chorus will perform. Who wants to miss that? It airs live on PBS on Sunday and they will broadcast it all over the world to our troops and even aboard our Navy ships. You can click here to go to the concert’s page and learn more information about the all-star lineup and about viewing times in your neck of the woods.
We hope you are able to muster the wherewithal to pull together a Memorial Day celebration and that these ideas will help you do it well and quickly. We would love to see pictures of how your day turns out and to hear the stories of the loved ones you will be remembering on this special holiday.
May God Bless you and May God Bless the USA!
Watermelon Feta Blueberry Salad
Recipe Borrowed from runninginaskirt.com
- 1/2 seedless watermelon cubed (about 8-10 cups)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta I used reduced fat
- 2 + tablespoons mint leaves chopped (If you love mint, use more)
- For the dressing*****
- 2 limes juiced
Combine the fruit, mint and cheese in a bowl.
Toss in the lime juice or use the dressing found in the notes.
The original recipe featured an actual dressing! I’ve since started just using just the limes on this salad and I think it’s just as good. However, it also works like this and you get some extra flavor from the honey.
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt