BUZZ: 4th of July Guide

Welcome to the first edition of Mel in Chanel BUZZ! Basically, BUZZ will be a mid-week curated source of pick-me-ups. I will handpick things that have caught my eye throughout the week (people, books, restaurants, places...) and share them with you! I hope that BUZZ will be a weekly vessel to keep you inspired and uplifted.

This week, BUZZ is 4th of July focused. Here are a few things I'm itching to try for America's birthday! If you try some of these yourself, I would love to hear what you thought in the comments!


EAT:

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers

Makes 15 servings, but double or triple recipe depending on party size. 

I've been researching fun little recipes to make on the 4th, and I came across this beauty! I'm all about savory finger foods when you're hosting a party - and this recipe looks delicious and E-A-S-Y!

1/2 cup silver or gold sanding sugar (or a combination of sanding sugar and shimmer dust)
2 cups fresh blackberries, divided 
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons agave syrup
5 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
1 package of your favorite crackers (I use a buttery Ritz cracker)
1 small bunch fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Mix sanding sugar and 15 blackberries in a small bowl, using a slotted spoon to turn to coat. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the remaining blackberries, lemon juice, and agave over medium heat until berries have broken down. Use a wooden spoon to break up berries. Once the berries have turned into a jam-like mixture, (about 10 minutes) remove from heat. 

Spread a teaspoon of goat cheese onto each cracker. Add a small dollop of the blackberry jam. Top with a single sparkling blackberry and garnish with mint.

Recipe via Yummy Mummy Kitchen


LISTEN:

Of course, it wouldn't be 4th of July without some pomp and circumstance. Here is the playlist I've set on repeat.

“American Baby” – Dave Matthews Band

“Blowin’ in the Wind” – Stevie Wonder

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

“Let it Be” – the Beatles

"Surfin' U.S.A." - The Beach Boys

“Firework” – Katy Perry

“Our Country” – John Cougar Mellencamp

“Born in the USA” – Bruce Springsteen

"American Honey" - Lady Antebellum

"Summer of '69" - Bryan Adams

“American Girl” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“American Woman” – Lenny Kravitz

“Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

"America the Beautiful" - Ray Charles


EXPLORE:

The Works!,Fayetteville Street

You can literally find "the works" in Downtown Raleigh on July 4th. With street vendors, art, live music, a beer and wine tent, eating contests and street performers, Fayetteville street is the new place to be on the day of the 4th, and well as into the night. Fireworks will be set off over the Duke Energy Center around 9:30pm. Take the whole family for a day downtown! For more information detailing The Works! events, click here.

Independence Day Celebration, State Capitol

From 10am - 2pm on the State Capitol lawn, you can pack a picnic and bring a blanket for musical entertainment, fun activities for young kids and historical displays at the State Capitol. Pack some snacks and lots of water! It will be hot! For more information regarding the Independence Day Celebration, click here.

North Carolina Symphony independence day concert, koka booth AMPHITHEATER 

As one of my personal favorites, I can honestly say that the NC Symphony gives a great performance on the night of the 4th. My family and I have packed a picnic and goodies and sat on lawn chairs and blankets to listen to our State Symphony perform classic Independence Day songs. It's an awesome way to end the day, (they even set off fireworks), and if you can't make it on the night of the 4th, you can find another time to listen in. I'll be attending on Saturday night! Come find me! You can visit their online website for additional information and details.


WEAR:

I'll be posting my 4th of July outfit in the next few days, but I wanted to give each of you an idea of what I wear when a holiday rolls around. I think it's ridiculous when people go out and buy an outfit that they think only to wear for a specific holiday, how is that easy on your wallet?! I actually wear a lot of red, white & blue combos, but decided to switch it up for you guys so you can see how you can wear something a little more transitional and still look patriotic. Dress FOR the holiday, not LIKE the holiday! Here are just a few pieces that I think would be the perfect fit for the 4th of July... and the days to follow.