Tuesday, July 6, 2010

American Girl Style

Cheers! To America!

Don’t you just love a July 4th celebration? Friends, food and fireworks. And quite frankly, nothing is cuter than seeing all of the children dressed in their red, white and blue waving flags and sparklers to celebrate America’s birthday. Of course there is also the fun of getting dressed up in my red, white and blue as well.

To kick the day off we went to a neighborhood pool party cook out. The hostess decorated with red burlap, galvanized buckets, red and white geraniums and tons of flags! I knew this would be a festive occasion but had a hard time deciding what to wear: this cute red skirt with a Carmen Marc Valvo knit top and casual Stuart Weitzman flip flops or this flirty find from Labels, my Nannette Lepore sundress. fter all that deliberation, I ended up wearing these flattering white jeans with this fresh little top. How lucky were we that the weather wasn’t too hot and humid?

Ya know, calories don’t count on holidays and nothing is better than a good cookout- hotdogs, burgers, chips, dips, watermelon and banana pudding. I sampled a little everything…I totally forgot to pace myself for the evening ahead. Does it get any more American than that?

After an afternoon with friends and children and a quick nap, it was time for a cocktail party. A friend rented the Soby’s loft space for a swanky celebration…and best of all a perfect view of the fireworks. I wore this festive navy cocktail dress by Laundry and carried this cute gold clutch. I wish I could claim to be the best dressed at this affair, but I must admit, I fell in love with this fab summer sundress my friend Chloe wore so effortlessly. She looked like the picture of summer with her long blonde hair casually pulled back in a low pony tail. Let me also just comment that there were really fabulous accessories galore…everyone was trying to dress up their summer white to add a little July 4th sparkle to their ensembles.

The sun finally set on the Greenville skyline and it was time for fireworks. Call me a sentimental fool, but fireworks always make me cry. The cheesier the better. Crank up a little Lee Greenwood, “Proud to Be an American” and I am a sobbing girl so happy to be free and to live in Greenville.

The hostess, who left no detail unturned, passed raspberry champagne cocktails to toast as the fireworks began to light up the sky! Wrapped in Mr. LaBelle’s arms, champagne in hand, a little tear began to crawl down my cheek. What a perfect ending to a perfect day of celebration with good friends and neighbors.

Cheers fashionistas!
Lulu LaBelle

PS - I couldn’t leave the party without the champagne cocktail recipe. Thought you might want to try it sometime!

Raspberry Champagne Cocktail
2 1/2-pint baskets fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
1/4 cup cognac or other brandy
8 sugar cubes
1 750-ml bottled chilled brut champagne
Fresh raspberries

Combine 2 baskets raspberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Mash berries lightly with fork. Let stand 15 minutes. Mix in liqueur and brandy. Pour into jar. Cover and let stand in dark cupboard 3 days. Strain raspberry mixture, pressing on solids with spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. (Can be made 1 month ahead. Cover; chill.)

Place 1 sugar cube in each of eight 6-ounce champagne flutes. Pour 2 tablespoons raspberry mixture over each sugar cube. Pour champagne over to fill glasses. Garnish each with raspberries and lemon peel.

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