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10 Ways to Celebrate July 4th

10 Ways to Celebrate July 4th

July 4th is fast approaching, how will you be celebrating? We share 10 ways you can celebrate the 4th of July.

July 4th, the 4th of July or Independence Day, no matter how you say it, it's a day of celebration. It's the day the United States of America declared their independence in 1776. Every year we celebrate this historic event, and there are always so many things that you can do on this day. Here are just 10 of them.

1. Go see the fireworks: What is a 4th of July celebration with a bit of fireworks. It just seems like they go hand in hand. John Adams envisioned fireworks as part of our celebration as a way to lift our spirits, and the very first fireworks were done on July 4, 1977.

2. Go to a parade: Enjoy the parade held by your city. After all it's free! Watch the marching bands and floats go by and wave your flags.

3. Light your own fireworks: If you can't make it to see the fireworks, you can bring the fireworks to you. However be aware of your state's regulations and keep a fire extinguisher close by.

4. Go to a concert or a baseball game: Many cities have a free 4th of July concert in the parks which is a great way to join in the celebration. The traditional 4th of July baseball game is also another great way to celebrate. Take your family to both or either one and enjoy the day. You can even host your own baseball game.

5. Have a BBQ/Cookout: A backyard BBQ is just what's done on the 4th of July. Invite a few friends and have the traditional 4th of July foods, such as the burgers and hot dogs. Spend some time with friends and not only celebrate but enjoy your time together.

6. Visit a National State Park: Is there a National Park that you've been yearning to visit? Why not do it on July 4th. After all it's a national holiday and the kids are home from school. And what better to celebrate than visiting a National State Park? While each state does not have a national state park, each state does have a state park, the choice is yours. 

7. 4th of July Decorations: You can decorate your home with the traditional red, white and blue. Fly the American Flag outdoors, and get some patriotic colors for the indoors as well.

8. Make some patriotic arts and craft: If you have kids, this a another great way to celebrate. Have them make cards, or even a flag. There is so much you can do. If you need inspiration, just check out Pinterest.

9. Dress in Patriotic Clothing: What better way to show your national pride than to dress up in the nation's colors. The traditional red, white and blue is a great way to show your love and to celebrate. Clothing stores usually have special 4th of July tees, but you can also make your own if you prefer.

10. Get on a military base: If you live close to a military base, celebrate with those who are fighting for our country and even those who have served. Each military base usually holds their own celebration complete with activities for the entire family, food and ending with fireworks. Check  your local base for more information.

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Annmarie John
Introducing Yoga to Kids - #GapFitMarvel

Introducing Yoga to Kids - #GapFitMarvel

Madison and I had a lot of fun practicing yoga moves with the help of the new GapKids Marvel - GapFit Marvel collection, after all, you need the perfect workout gear when working out.

Yoga has numerous benefits for both children and adults. If you practice yoga and would like to introduce the practice to your child(ren), or you yourself would like to get into it as well as involving the little ones, here are a few tips on how to start.

Keep it simple and quick

Children often don’t want to pay attention for long periods at a time, and that is very normal. When introducing yoga, keep it simple as far as poses go, and only do a pose for a minute before moving on with younger children (6 or younger).

You want to keep your yoga session around 15 minutes unless your child is over the age of 7, or thoroughly enjoys the practice. If they do enjoy it, be sure to mix in many minimally strenuous poses so that their body can keep up without being injured or strained.

Plan your yoga time

It’s best to do yoga after eating a light snack or right away in the morning. A full stomach can prevent your body from getting into the proper form and will hold you back from getting the full benefits of yoga. It’s also not good to let your child eat too much before yoga as they will quite possibly feel tired and not want to participate as they normally would.

Encourage them to use the proper form and breath, don’t force it

While doing yoga with your child, you will want to encourage the proper form, and help them, however you do not want to force them into it. Let their body naturally adjust as you continue to practice yoga and they will eventually be able to get into the proper form. (Practice makes perfect!) You also want to encourage them to breath properly during yoga, this will help them relax and will boost the effects of the practice.

Use positive reinforcement often

Before, during and after doing yoga you should be using positive reinforcement with your young ones. They need to feel like they are doing a good job and should never feel discouraged. If they are having trouble with a pose, be sure to let them know that it’s okay and that they will get better each time they do it.

Introduce it with a game of Simon Says or tell a story that includes yoga poses

Actually getting your child to participate is the first and can be the most challenging task. You will initially want to introduce it in a fun way such as a game of Simon Says, or telling a story that goes along with the poses and having them do the poses with you. Some children may jump right in and love it, others not so much. Be sure to let your child act naturally, don’t force yoga on them, if they want to do a certain pose rather than the one that you want them to do, that’s okay. There will come a time when they will participate and do exactly as you do. Age plays a big factor in this; if you have young children don’t get frustrated with them when they just want to run away and play, continue to introduce it each day and eventually they will want to join in.

The new GapKids Marvel collection features an assortment for boys and girls celebrating Marvel characters and their heroic adventures including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Spider-Man. Together, Gap invite kids to be the Super Hero of their own stories and unleash their own Super Powers because, they already are, FIT TO BE SUPER. The collection includes graphic tees, shorts and swim along with leggings and tanks.

Shop the GapKids Marvel Collection!

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Annmarie John
DIY Salt and Pepper Corona Shakers - #CoronaSummer

DIY Salt and Pepper Corona Shakers - #CoronaSummer

Fire up those grills, put the Coronas on ice and keep these Corona salt and pepper shakers close by. It's BBQ season! However, as with all alcoholic drinks, please drink responsibly.

Living in New York City, the beer of choice has always been Corona. Every summer one of our family members or friends would throw an epic backyard party, complete with jerk chicken, bbq chicken, ribs, the full works. Everyone attends and also bring a dish. I mean, come on, you can't go to a party empty handed. However, when asked what drink to bring, the universal cry has always been, "bring a 6-pack of Corona". Even now, living in Colorado, things haven't really changed in my household. The beer of choice whenever we throw a backyard BBQ is still Corona. With our 4th of July BBQ coming up, I decided that I was not going to use my elegant salt and pepper shakers, I wanted something that would fit in the theme of a BBQ and came up the Corona Salt and Pepper Shakers. Not only will it fit in with the rest of the beer, but if they end up breaking, me nor my guest would feel too bad about it. They also hold quite a lot more than an ordinary salt and pepper shaker making them exactly what you need at a BBQ.

Writing this post has been bittersweet. While I love New York City and it's still considered home, I haven't been back in the summer in quite some time. I miss my family and my friends. Sitting on a Brooklyn brownstone stoop and taking in the sights. Watching the cars drive by, and the people in their latest fashion. Being able to run to the corner store when I run out of something that I need in the house. Just being a general New Yorker! Those were the good old days and the ones that I miss dearly, but the memories remain in my heart. I have to say, however that this is by far one of the easiest "craft", if you can call it a craft that I have ever done on this site. And if you have a Corona drinker in your family, this will make an exceptional gift as well.

Salt and Pepper Corona Shakers


Empty Corona Bottles
Corona Salt and Pepper Caps


Step 1: In an empty Corona bottle, pour salt into one and pepper into another.

Step 2: Snap your caps onto the top of your bottle and voila, you're done!

All it takes is two simple steps and I couldn't understand why I didn't think of doing these salt and pepper shakers in the past. Now, whenever we pull out the grill and get ready for our BBQ, we'll not only have our ice cold Coronas on hand, but we'll have our Corona salt and pepper shaker to complete our BBQ. And as with all Coronas, don't forget the lime. It's a New York thing!

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Annmarie John
5 Reasons to Take Kids to the State Fair

5 Reasons to Take Kids to the State Fair

Need a reason to take your kids to the fair? Today we share 5!

It's officially the first day of summer and with the summer comes state fairs and carnivals. The State Fair is a great place to spend a summer day with your child. Refreshening tall glasses of lemonade, fun rides, and a sneak peak at farm life in the livestock area, all things that you get to look forward to. No matter where you are from, or what you and your child like, you will find something right up your alley at your local State Fair. If you're on the fence about taking your child to the fair, today we share a few reasons why it's actually a good idea.

1. Childhood memories. The State Fair is packed full of fun things for kids and families to do. It's one of those places you can't go without creating lasting memories. Taking your child to the state's fair give them quality time spent with you that they can think back to when they are older. Don't forget the camera, or smart phone so you can record those memories as well.

2. New experiences. To grow as a person we must live and experience new things. The State Fair is full of chances to try something new. You could encourage your child to try a new food, try a ride that takes them out of their comfort zone or even pet a new animal at the petting zoo. It's often hard going to the State Fair and not come away with a new experience that builds your child into the person they are meant to be.

3. Plenty of sensory stimulation. Even the youngest of kids can benefit from visiting the State Fair long before they are old enough to go on the tilt-a-whirl. With lights, colors, and people everywhere, even babies can have plenty of visual stimulation. Older babies and toddlers can venture a bit and experience touch at the petting zoo or food from a vender. And well it's the state fair so everyone gets to experience new smells.

4. A great workout. We all need to get more physical activity in and the State Fair is a great place to do it. Yes you may be tempted to eat some of those fattening treats, but you are also giving yourself a great opportunity to walk, climb, and even test your strength. There's a reason you feel it all over the next day. Going to the State Fair is a great, and fun workout. Don't believe me, just take that FitBit for a spin.

5. Just for fun. Life is short and having a bit of fun is important for you and your children. Plan a fun day out at the local State Fair and discover all kinds of fun things to do, from live music to nearly anything under the sun... fried. Get a map on your way in and look for the things your family will love so everyone has a little fun.

Now that we've shared our reasons, find out when your State Fair begins and plan to take the entire family this year.

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Annmarie John
Bacon Cheese Wrapped Franks - #SummerofMusicSweeps #BarSCMTBlogger

Bacon Cheese Wrapped Franks - #SummerofMusicSweeps #BarSCMTBlogger

Throw one of the greatest block party of the year and enjoy these Bacon Cheese Wrapped Franks made with Bar-S franks.

Living in New York City, there are a few things you look forward to during the summer, one of them is the amazing block parties that the entire block threw. It's the one time that you got to meet all your neighbors that you don't generally see on a day to day basis. Everyone comes together as a community and the food, the music and drinks are amazing. It's something that doesn't happen here in Colorado and is just one of the things I miss about New York. How would you like to be able to throw an amazing block party that will rock the socks off the neighborhood, and have them talking for many years to come? Bar-S is partnering with CMT to put on a big block party for this year’s CMT Music Awards as well as a sweepstakes. Join Bar-S and CMT for a summer of music and a chance to win a trip to the 2018 CMT Music Awards, a private concert and backyard BBQ experience with one of CMT's hottest Emerging Artists, or one of thousands of other great prizes!

I grew up listening to country music with my dad. Together we would sit and listen to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers and all the other greats on a Sunday afternoon. Country music is still one of my favorite genre of music and it's not difficult to understand why. The lyrics are words I understand, unlike the music my children listen to these days, and looking back, I can now relate to most of the songs. This summer Bar-S and CMT are teaming up all summer long to bring you great food and great music you can't find anywhere else!You can check out the latest exclusive music videos by some of CMT's hottest emerging country music stars, and make sure to sign up for the CMT Summer of Music Sweepstakes! However, I want to share with you these amazing bacon, cheese wrapped franks made with Bar-S franks that you can make for your awesome block party.

Bacon Cheese Wrapped Franks


Bar-S Franks
Bar-S Bacon
Shredded Cheese


Step 1: Cut a slit in your Bar-S franks down the middle.

Step 2: Add shredded cheese into the slits

Step 3: Wrap a slice of bacon around your franks

Step 4: Use a toothpick at both ends of your franks to keep the bacon in place.

Step 5: Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bacon is thoroughly cooked.

So how can you enter Summer of Music Sweepstakes?

Simply purchase specially marked Bar-S products and enter the UPC codes to enter.

What are the prizes?

Grand Prize:
Two (2) tickets to the 2018 CMT Music Awards
Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) spending money

First Prize (2):
One (1) Backyard BBQ party (total ARV $2,000 per Backyard BBQ party)
One (1) live musical performance at the Backyard BBQ party from one of the emerging artist musicians who performed at the Bar-S Block Party leading up to the 2017 CMT Music Awards

Second Prize (2,000):
One (1) CMT Prize Pack, one (1) CMT & Bar-S co-branded Block Party Poster and one (1) $50 Visa gift card

So purchase Bar-S products and enter the Summer of Music Sweepstakes. Also be sure to visit Bar-S where you can find other amazing recipes and sign up to receive coupons.

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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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