Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

To me, the 4th of July equals cookouts. And my favorite part of any barbecue is the dessert. I have a major sweet tooth, so a table filled with pies, cupcakes, ice cream, and other treats makes me really happy. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

If you are still looking for the perfect dessert for the 4th of July, this is it!

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

These trifles are super easy to put together, and most important, really delicious. Each bite is filled with fresh fruit, creamy “custard,” and delicious cake. And of course, you have your red, white, and blue!

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Makes 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Dash vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 oz. package ladyfingers, or prepared yellow or white cake, broken into small pieces
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 – 6 small, clear cups

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Place strawberries and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. I used a stand mixer, but you can use a hand-held mixer or even a whisk, if you don’t mind the arm workout. Add the milk and a dash of vanilla extract to the cream cheese; mix well.

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Grab a cup and add a layer of ladyfingers, followed by a dollop of cream cheese. Cover cream cheese with a layer of strawberries. Add another layer of ladyfingers and then another spoonful of cream cheese. Top with blueberries.

Repeat with remaining cups. The size of your cups will determine how many trifles you end up with.

Refrigerate the trifles for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

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Easy, Breezy 4th of July Style

The 4th of July is rapidly approaching, which means parties! I don’t know about you, but I always struggle with what to wear. Although I want to wear a little red, white, and blue, I don’t want to wear the patriotic version of the ugly Christmas sweater.

My plans are pretty laid back this year, so come Thursday, I’ll be wearing a version of this:

Easy, breezy 4th of July style.1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

This is outfit is perfect for a casual 4th of July BBQ or day at the beach. It strikes just the right  balance of festive, but not over-the-top style.

Start by pairing your favorite cut-offs (or denim skirt, if shorts are too casual) with a slouchy t-shirt. I am forever searching for the perfect white tee, and this one from J Crew comes pretty close.

The bright, flowery earrings and striped espadrilles (how cute are they?) add the perfect touch of red. Finish the look with a classic pair of aviators, an oversized watch, and a star-embellished hoodie – you can’t really get more all-American than that, can you? Judging by the weather we’ve been getting in New York, I won’t need a hoodie, but maybe you will!

What are your plans for the 4th of July?

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Hello Friday! Link Roundup – DIY Edition

Welcome to Friday! It has been crazy hot and humid here this week, so I’m excited to hang out in my air-conditioned apartment all weekend. Just kidding (well, not really).

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little finicky when it comes to weather. My husband always jokes that I’m not happy unless it’s sunny and 72, which is pretty accurate. Unfortunately, that is pretty rare, especially here in New York!

new nail polish from Duane ReadeI did a little shopping on my lunch break this week and picked up some fun, new polish!

Anyway, since I will be holed up in my apartment this weekend, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of DIY projects. Here are a few I think you should try:

I love this floral purse DIY – so cute! Now I just need to find the perfect bag to makeover.

This DIY Watermelon Pinata would be perfect for a kids party or any party, really!

I need to find an occasion to make this Strawberry Banana Milkshake Cake. Yum!

These Cappuccino Pops are ridiculously cute and are perfect for that hot day when you have a coffee craving.

View of the Hudson River in Cold Spring New YorkWe took a trip to Cold Spring, NY, last weekend. It was beautiful there!

Although the instructions aren’t in English, you can probably figure out how to make this awesome DIY Neon Cross Pillow if you know how to sew. If you can’t sew, then try stamping a ready made pillowcase.

This DIY Chalkboard Canvas is so cool! Give it a try.

If you are looking for a quick project, try making a Chevron Paper Straw Frame. It looks super easy and super cute.

Give your green thumb a workout and plant a Simple Cacti Garden. I love the modern look, and in my experience, it’s very hard to kill a cactus (just saying).

Pretty Flowers in Cold Spring, NYPretty flowers and a white picket fence in Cold Spring.

Are you heading to the beach this weekend? Make your own Beach Wave Texture Spray.

Here’s a great DIY for those Creaseless Hair Ties that are everywhere (and often quite pricey). This is pretty much the definition of a quick and dirty project!

I am obsessed with this Mondo Pom Trim Pillow! I need to make one of these stat!

This Bench Makeover is perfect for that awkward, dated piece of furniture hanging around your home. I’m not sure where a bench would go in my apartment, but now I want one just like this!

Banana bike seat in Cold SpringHow cool is this bike we saw in Cold Spring? It was in mint condition.

Whip together this Patriotic Burlap Table Runner. It’s perfect for your 4th of July BBQ, and it’s not over-the-top stars-and-stripes, if you know what I mean.

These slightly goofy Patriotic Glitter Animals would make a cute table decoration, too, especially if kids will be attending your 4th of July party. I love the little hats!

I love this Rolled Bun Hairstyle – it’s perfect for a hot, humid day. And make sure to check out the rest of this great series – 30 Buns in 30 Days – over at Hair Romance.

Have a great weekend!

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P.S. Just a reminder: Google Reader will cease existence on July 1. Boo! If you are like me, you waited until the last minute to change.

I decided to use The Old Reader, which has a very similar interface to Google Reader. The main thing that convinced me though is the fact that by using The Old Reader, I can continue to read my blogs with the Feeddler RSS app on my iPad. Change is difficult, what can I say! Bloglovin’ and Feedly are also good options that I considered.

You can subscribe to Hello Little Home by clicking the above links or by RSS or email. I would be forever grateful if you did!

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Decorating an Outdoor Space

My current apartment doesn’t have any outdoor space, unless you count the front stoop. That hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about my perfect patio or porch though – there is always the next apartment!

Decorating an outdoor space can be challenging, so make a plan before spend any money. Think about how you will use the space. Will it be used for eating, lounging, or both? Think about the style of the space, too – do you want it to be bright and cheerful or calm and relaxing?

I like to start with an inspiration piece and build my designs from there. A rug is a great place to start, because it draws the whole look together. Here are three ideas to get you started:

Decorating an Outdoor Space: Parisian1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

My husband and I took a trip to Paris last fall, and one of the things I loved about the apartment we stayed in was the shutters on all of the windows. I enjoyed opening them each morning to view life on our street in Montmartre.

I wanted to recreate a Parisian feel for this space, so I started with a fun rug. A small table and chairs are perfect for a tiny balcony, and the standing screen reminds me of our shutters in Paris and adds room for colorful plants.

Decorating an Outdoor Space: Bright and Colorful1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I love this fun and colorful space, which was inspired by the yellow polka dot rug! It’s the perfect spot for relaxing. Stretch out on the sofa or kick up your feet on the poof. Pillows and accessories add even more punch.

Decorating an Outdoor Space: Traditional1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

 This last space is more traditional but definitely not boring. The patterned rug adds interest, as do the fun striped pillows. The coffee table has plenty of room for drinks, making this space great for entertaining.

Which look do you like the most?

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My Favorite Summer Beauty Products

Although I love the warm weather and long days of summer, I find it challenging beauty-wise. My oily skin starts spinning out of control and my hair gets poofy and frizzy at the slightest hint of humidity – not a good combination!

Here’s a few of the products that help to keep my “issues” under control at this time of year:

My favorite summer beauty products.

  1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is the best. It removes makeup and cleans your skin at the same time. I was really hesitant to try it at first (putting oil on oily skin seems like a recipe for disaster, right?), but my skin has really improved since I started using it.
  2. I also love DHC Eye Bright, which is a miracle eye de-puffer. OK, maybe not a miracle, but it is perfect for those mornings when you didn’t get enough sleep.
  3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock is my favorite. I am hyper-vigilant about wearing sunscreen every day, and this sunscreen never makes my skin feel greasy. Love it!
  4. I just discovered Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle, which came in my May Birchbox. It’s a great leave-in conditioner that leaves my frizz-prone hair smooth and shiny.
  5. Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray is perfect for those days when I don’t want to wash my hair. The price can’t be beat, and it soaks up excess oil and even has a great scent. Just spray it on your roots, tousle hair with your fingers, and style.
  6. Clean & Clear Instant Oil-Absorbing Sheets are a life-saver. I always keep these on hand and use the sheets throughout the day to keep my oily skin in check.
  7. For natural, glowing cheeks, you can’t beat Benefit Posietint. The sheer pink color is super easy to apply, and it lasts all day. I’m also a huge fan of Benetint.
  8. Maybelline Volum’ Express One by One Mascara is my favorite everyday mascara. It really pumps up my fine lashes but never looks clumpy. It’s great for a natural, daytime look.
  9. When it comes to lips, I love Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine. It’s a great non-tacky, yet super-glossy option for lip gloss fans. I love the sheer pink color – it even has a little sparkle!

OK – now it’s your turn! Tell me your favorite products and tips for summer beauty.

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