4th of July Ideas Supporting Small Businesses

local independence day ideas

Shower thought: Every year, we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and gaudy décor. How much of the party supplies we buy, however, are even made in the US?

One of my favorite Independence Day pastimes is spending the evening at a barbecue with close friends and sipping on an ice-cold, fruity beverage, as neighbors in the distance shoot fireworks into the sky.

The red, white, and blue palette is an obvious choice for such a patriotic holiday, but do we undermine patriotism by buying Independence Day-themed top hats and table linens that aren’t produced right at home? The color palette isn’t reserved for only Americans to use, of course, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be more mindful of where we source our goods from.

The debate might be better saved for another day, but you can still celebrate the hard work of American producers by shopping at your local farmers market. Instead of going for the gaudy décor at a big chain store, which probably won’t be produced in the US, shop local. You can create Independence Day-themed snacks and pick out a few decorations from producers just a drive away.

1. Bake and sip with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to feed the need for red, white, and blue.

Farmers markets are ripe with summer berries in July. Depending on climate, some ingredients might not be available. No worries. Substitute away.

4th of july drink
(Real Fruit Spritzer via Apron Strings Blog).

4th of july vegan ideas
(Festive Raspberry & Blueberry Tart via Blissful Basil).

rustic 4th of july
(Berry Cake via i heart eating).

2. Decorate with red, white, and blue produced right in the US. Better yet, make it a do-it-yourself project.

independence day candles
(American Flag Mason Jar Candles via Sweet Sarahlynn’s).

You might not be able to pick up 4th of July-themed candles from a craftsperson near you, but look no further than Etsy for producers just a few states away.

independence day flower delivery
(Flowers via Helen Olivia Flowers).

Support small businesses by calling your local florist for your own personalized centerpiece. Although they might not have the inventory, you can always ask if they carry US-grown flowers.

How will you celebrate Independence Day mindfully? Answer in the comments!

Colorful Architecture around the World: Part II

Colorful architecture around the world

Old properties or buildings are made anew by forward-thinking architectures and engineers. Now, bridges are the second installment of the Colorful Architecture around the World series.

Bridges stand alone as isolated structures in the air. Often looming over expanses of water, they link two different lands physically and symbolically. Many of them, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or the Sydney Harbour Bridge, are architectural feats and well-known symbols of their cities. Bridges do not have to amaze through sheer size, however; they can also entertain the eye through beauty, grace, and creativity.

Xiying Rainbow Bridge in Penghu, Taiwan

Colorful architecture around the world

Neon lights reflect off of rippling water in Penghu, Taiwan, home of the Xiying Rainbow Bridge. Lights are attached to the side of the pedestrian bridge that, at night, illuminate the water below with a rainbow spectrum. Users, visitors, and faraway passersby are sure to be enchanted with a design that interacts and extends itself to nature.

Colorful architecture around the world

Slinky Springs to Fame Bridge in Oberhausen, Germany

Colorful architecture around the world

The American slinky toy is the inspiration of the Slinky Springs to Fame Bridge in Oberhausen, Germany. The pedestrian bridge, by Tobias Rehberger, was designed for the EMSCHERKUNST.2010. It arches over the Rhine-Herne Canal to connect two parks on either side.

Four hundred and six meters long, the footpath is made of alternating colored squares. From afar, it looks like a colored ribbon enclosed in a massive, winding spiral. The bridge is an easy, beautiful travel for pedestrians or bikers with a low-angle incline. Although already eye-catching in the day, the walkway and rails are illuminated at night to become a giant, lit ribbon at night.

Colorful architecture around the world

Colorful architecture around the world

(via DesignDaily, EMSCHERKUNST.2013, UrbanPeek)

Roundup of 14 Adventure Time Crossovers

(Adventure time vs. Doctor Who via banana-karenina of deviantART).

Crossovers between television series are popping up all over the Internet, especially on content-aggregating websites, such as tumblr, deviantART, and more. Adventure Time is an animated television series on Cartoon Network. Created by Pendleton Ward, the cartoon is set in the Land of Ooo, part of Earth post apocalypse. It stars Finn, the last human on Earth; and Jake, a magic dog. The following are just 14 of the numerous crossovers all over the Internet, including Game of Thrones, My Neighbor Totoro, and Pokémon.

(Adventure Time vs. Batman via adventuretimefan of tumblr).

(Adventure Time vs. Peanuts via scottpatrick of tumblr).

(Adventure Time vs. Blue’s Clues via albadune of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Game of Thrones via godfreyescota of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Pokémon via mlvnsnmgl of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Power Puff Girls via adventuretimefan of tumblr).

(Adventure Time vs. Super Mario Bros. 2 via destructoid).

(Adventure Time vs. My Little Pony via yamino of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Ed, Edd n Eddy via sleepypancakey of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Scooby Doo via anonymousparty of tumblr).

(Adventure Time’s Finn vs. The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack’s Flapjack vs. The Legend of Zelda’s Link via anokazue of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. My Neighbor Totoro via rismo of deviantART).

(Adventure Time vs. Tool Time via anonymousparty of tumblr).