July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

I grew up where the July 4th parade was a big deal! We’re talking about tons of floats,  kids and adults a like lining the neighborhood streets for miles.  Now that I have children of my own, I want them to have the same experience as I did!

However, juggling the pool, beach, lake etc. and then entertaining for family and friends can be difficult.  That is why I have chosen 4 easy DIY décor and food items that easily fit into anyone’s budget!

Remember the burlap wreath I made from this post? I have used this wreath for Halloween, Christmas, Spring, and now 4th of July.

DIY Burlap Wreath

I simply added this red, burlap & blue star that was on sale from Pottery Barn, and now I have a patriotic wreath for my front door!

Next up is a quick and easy menu.  I love watermelon and mint together, it’s so refreshing during the hot summer.  Some people add feta, however I decided to add a blueberry to top off my skewer.


Watermelon, Mint & Blueberry skewers

You can make this the day before or 5-10 min before your event.

Another easy food item is cherries. You can bring these with you to the park, beach, pool etc. and place them in a decorate container or in a martini glass with blue at the bottom for an added effect.  Cheeries

Lastly, don’t forget about the flowers. If you follow my posts, you know I love hydrangeas.  Not only are hydrangeas beautiful, but they’re simple, elegant and not too feminine  or masculine. Hydrangeas come in different colors and are relatively inexpensive. For your July 4th celebration choose white and blue and bunch them together in a clear or white vase. Remember, hydrangeas require a lot of water, but will last a long time as long as they are submerged in water.

4th of Julyl Entertaining Made Easy

Don’t have a patriotic tray on hand? You can go to Michael’s and buy this one that was on sale or buy a plan wooden tray and paint it yourself. I also enjoy using candles and lanterns as part of the décor, which sets the mood as the day turns to night.

For more 4th of July menu and décor inspiration check out my previous post here.

Wishing you a happy Independence Day with your family and friends!

Vendor Credits

Event Design, Style & Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions http://www.sarahsofiaproductions.com

White and blue striped tray – Michaels http://www.michaels.com

DIY Burlap Wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

Red and Blue Burlap Star – Pottery Barn http://www.potterybarn.com

White star lantern – Ikea USA http://www.ikea.com

The Thrill of the Hunt Summer Series: Jennifer Burnham, Pure & Simple Organizing

Today marks the first post in a summer series on “the thrill of the hunt” AKA finding that one piece of furniture or item for your home or event your hosting.  The summer series will feature guest posts from professionals in the interior design, estate sales, professional organizing and event industries.  My guests include Jennifer Burnham, Pure and Simple Organizing, and Cheryl Luckett, Dwell by Cheryl.  Make sure you follow both of these talented women on Instagram and Twitter!

When you first meet Jennifer Burnham she’s all business and you can see why she is so good at being a professional organizer.  I find her job so interesting and even thought about doing it. Then I had kids and thought maybe I need to hire someone like Jennifer.

Like me, she’s type A and has a niche for getting people organized. She is a Post-It girl! However, you start talking to Jennifer about estate sales, yard sales, and the thrill of the hunt while thrifting and she becomes one of the best storytellers.  I mean this girl has different voices for the all the characters she meets while treasure hunting.  It was a no brainer to have Jennifer guest post with all her experience in thrifting and estate sales. I hope you find her as charming and informational as I have.


Pure and simple Organzing

It is true – I love the thrill of the hunt, the treasure hunt, and the thrill of a deal. I’m not sure when it all started but all I know is the treasure hunt bug bit me hard and I’ve never looked back!

I’m often asked, “How do you find such great stuff?”

I’ll answer in a few fun tips if you love deal shopping as much as I do.

1. Go often.
The more you go the better the odds that you find the deals. I frequent estate sales and yard sales every weekend, and visit the occasional thrift store throughout the week.

2. Go anywhere and everywhere.
Deals and thrills don’t just live at your local Goodwill store. They can be found in a number of places:
Thrift stores
Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army Family Store
Google “thrift store {insert city} and smaller stores will pop up on your radar
Swing by and give them a try.
Metrolina Expo Antiques Show
Flea Markets
Yard Sales
Estate Sales
Antique “malls” or stores
These are buildings that have vendor booths that you can shop from
Sleepy Poet
The Depot at Gibson Mill
Gaston Pickers

Sometimes, the farther you travel, the better the deals. I snagged a great Pyrex bowl in Dallas, NC for $3.75. In Charlotte, it would have been $15. 🙂

Yard Sale

3. Make it a habit
I add dates and events to my calendar right away so I’m ready to strike when the day comes. No one likes being a day late and a dollar short.

4. Know what you like and what you don’t like
This will help you from hoarding your house full of great deals but of stuff you don’t necessarily love.

Yard Sale Finds 1

If you are shopping for something particular, make a list and have it out and ready.

5. Plan it out
Estate sales
Sign up for their weekly emails to be notified of sales happening in your area
Most estate sales start on Thursday and end on Saturday/Sunday
Yard Sales
Search Craigslist for locally advertised sales
Pick an area and stick to it. For example, I might commit to browsing the Lake Norman area one weekend and South Charlotte the next, but I know I can’t do both.
The local newspaper also has a garage sale section. I never look at this because I don’t take the paper. 😉
Metrolina Expo Antiques Show
First weekend of every month
I always add the event to my calendar in order not to miss it

Yard Sale Finds 2Yard sale find from my treasuring hunting this week!

6. Be prepared
Checks and/or credit card (for estate sales and thrift stores)
Shopping bag
Shop hands free by taking your own bag
Most yard sales, estate sales, and smaller thrift stores aren’t equipped with shopping carts or baskets. I always take my own
Boxes in the car to contain and protect your treasures when riding from sale to sale.
Notebook (if you care to record what you paid for each item)
Snacks and water
Shopping can wear you out and the last thing you want to do is run out of steam and head home too early.


Pure & Simple Organizing is a professional organizing company based in Charlotte, NC. Our mission is to inspire others to live a less complicated life through better organization. Mounds of physical clutter can weigh heavy on our minds. I specialize in giving someone the opportunity to increase their quality of life by cleaning up and out!

Being organized is a way of life, and it can drastically improve your quality of life.  It is amazing to see the stress roll away when someone’s home is finally a retreat and no longer a stressful storage unit. I consider it an honor.

Contact Pure & Simple Organizing and let them help you get your life organized. Website :: Blog

Follow Pure & Simple Organizing on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

One Room Challenge Favorites

ORC Follow Friday June 6

It’s been almost a month since One Room Challenge (ORC) has ended.  While the high of the anticipated reveals has worn off, the design inspiration from all the rooms and participants has not! I can honestly say I have truly made some wonderful new friends and a network of independent business owners that have been a great sounding board.

Today, however in honor of #FollowFriday I wanted to share my three favorite rooms from local Charlotte participants in ORC.

My first Charlotte ORC favorite is Summer, Simply Stylings, deck.  Even before I met Summer and stepped into her stylish home for a blogger fesita, I loved her style!

Professional Blogger Fiesta: Summer (Simple Stylings),Cheryl Luckett (Dwell By Cheryl), Mallory Fitzsimmons (Charming in Charlotte), Jennifer Burnham (Pure and Simple Organizing) & me Sarah Sofia Knepp (Sarah Sofia Productions)

Professional Blogger Fiesta: Summer Hogan (Simple Stylings),Cheryl Luckett (Dwell By Cheryl), Mallory Fitzsimmons (Charming in Charlotte), Jennifer Burnham (Pure and Simple Organizing) & me Sarah Sofia Knepp (Sarah Sofia Productions)

Yes, she used my favorite colors of blue, white, and coral! However, it’s how Summer paired DIY projects such as rebuilding the deck and wall herb garden with accents at different price points that make this such a great space.

Simple Stylings ORC Deck

Every detail was well planned and well executed to make this a place we all didn’t want to leave! Check out the amazing details of Summer’s ORC reveal here and sources here.

Mallory with Charming in Charlotte ORC room was her living space.  She incorporated two rooms in the design, tying them together with black and white, stripes, and punches of green, yellow and gold.

Charming in Charlotte ORC Living Space

Mallory had good bones to start and the final reveal was the icing on the cake! Check out more details of this chic space here.

Lastly, I’m sharing one of the ORC rooms I started following even before I knew Beth with Design Post Interiors lived in Charlotte!  Beth’s dinning room had all the right elements and had a good styled look to start.  However, she really put the wow factor into her design on reveal day!

Design Post Interiors ORC Dinning Room

I hope you enjoyed a tour of my fellow ORC Charlottians! I’m hoping to feature more of my favorite ORC rooms and friends through out the summer.  However, if you missed my ORC master bedroom you can begin at week 1. The ORC rooms are also featured on Calling it Home here and here.


Credits and ORC Friends

Simple Stylings – Summer Hogan http://simplestylings.com/

Charming in Charlotte – Mallory Fitzsimmons http://charmingincharlotte.blogspot.com/

Design Post Interiors – Beth Barden http://www.designpostinteriors.com/

Sarah Sofia Productions – Sarah Sofia Knepp http://www.sarahsofiaproductions.com