• Hazel-Eyed Darling

July Essentials: Patriotic Clothes and Picking and Cutting Watermelon Like a Pro

Celebrating July with watermelon and this adorable patriotic dress from J. Crew

Mood music: America The Beautiful (the best song from the best summer movie: Sandlot)

I cannot believe that tomorrow is already August! This summer is flying by and I am trying to soak up as much of it as I can. This month included an amazing 4th of July feast, ending with fireworks that we could see from our front yard (!!), many trips to San Diego to spend time with family, and the first anniversary of when we got the keys to our house (our first home!). Charlie surprised me with "before" pictures taped to the door of each room to remind us of how far we have come and how much work (and sweat) we have put into this house. We try to always share things that we are grateful for, so that night we really took our time to discuss how blessed we have been to even have a house and to enjoy all of the big and small changes that we were able to do that have transformed it into our home. We truly feel so comfortable and happy here!

That being said, one of our favorite parts of owning this home is how we have more space to entertain... and pretty much all of my entertaining in the hot summer months includes seasonal fruit, so here are some of the steps I took to prepare the perfect watermelon for the 4th of July:

Picking a Watermelon:

1. beautiful deep green color with a yellow spot on the side where it rests against the ground

2. typically the small (sometimes called "mini") watermelons are sweeter, so it's a safer bet to pick one the size of a bowling ball than something twice that size

3. it should feel heavy for it's size

4. give it the "thump test"! There is a reason you see everyone in the market slapping those melons. After giving it a gentle slap it should sound hollow,

Easiest way to Slice Watermelon into Cubes: (see photo slideshow below)

1. lay the watermelon on its side and cut off the top and bottom with a large knife

2. stand it up on one of the sides you just cut off; now it won't roll away from you!

3. cut away the rind from the sides, rotate the melon, and continue to cut down the sides.

4. lay the watermelon back on its side and slice it into disks

5. then take each disk and slice it vertically and horizontally into cubes

6. chill for an hour and enjoy!

(click through these photo to see each step!)

I hope that all of you had wonderful Julys!

Outfit: this adorable J. Crew dress (comes in lots of other colors, too!)

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