“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free…”
Happy 4th of July everyone! A day to be grateful for our rights, our freedoms, and thus, our happiness.
I like to reflect on this day about how truly blessed I am to live in this country. Although we’ve got our fair share of problems (and I’m not going to go touting “America is the best country!” because although I love it, I loved living in Australia too!), we really have a lot to be grateful for.
I often read or hear stories in the news of people (usually women) being persecuted or repressed in the countries they live in. Women not being able to access an education (like this story of the girls from Nigeria who were kidnapped from their school), vote, or have choices about who or how young they want to marry (like this article that outlines child marriage issues in Yemen).
Women, and men, being persecuted (often violently) for marrying someone of the “wrong” religion, being attracted to the “wrong” sex, for expressing what are considered “wrong” viewpoints. I have been following this story lately about a Sudanese Christian woman who faced the death penalty for refusing to renounce her faith. Her husband was Christian, and of course, it’s illegal for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian in Sudan. Illegal.
And every time I read or hear something like one of these stories I have to stop and remind myself that yes, those things still happen in other countries. And every single time, it blows my mind.
Things that I downright take for granted here in the U.S. To choose whatever religion I want (or don’t want), to choose my future husband, to have the opportunity to get educated, vote, speak my mind, etc. It’s amazing the freedoms we have here that other people just don’t.
And for that, I am beyond grateful. And you should be too.
Alright, so enough with the humanitarian work for the day (although I could go on forever about people’s rights in other countries).
Do you want to know what my favorite things are this 4th of July? Read on…
Friday Favorites – 4th of July
1. Patios that overlook a lake.
Last night the fiancé and I went to dinner at a new restaurant on Lake Minnetonka called 6Smith. We were able to sit outside on their rooftop deck. And this was our view:
In my opinion, it is the most versatile leafy green vegetable. I love eating it in eggs, pastas, and of course, salads. This salad has quinoa (another one of my favs!) with pea shoots (from the Farmer’s Market), fresh basil, baby tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. The fiancé made this to-die-for honey mustard dressing with green onions and capers to go with.
3. 4th of July themed food.
Like these delicious looking popsicles from Super Healthy Kids. I want to make these RIGHT THIS SECOND! Seriously. How cute are these?! Not to mention healthy and 100% all-natural (no food coloring here!).
Red, white, and yum!
4. 100 Ways to Wear Wraps.
If you haven’t seen these yet, you need to find one. And buy one. They are so cool! I found one at a thrift store, and one my mom bought for me while in Hawaii (thanks Mom!). Although I haven’t played around a ton with the wrapping, I have worn them as skirts with a cute top to work. Today I think I’m going to try my hand at wrapping one of them into a dress!
Kariza is one of the brands that makes them. You can also find them on Etsy, Amazon, and other major retailers.
Who doesn’t love a good barbecue?! Today is one of the most popular days for grilling. Nothing screams “America!” more than lighting up the grill, cooking up some good food, and sharing it with your loved ones. This Rosemary Shrimp Skewers dish from Fitness Magazine’s 8 Healthy Grilling Recipes looks especially delish.
Perfect for a hot summer day!
Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope you are able to celebrate the 4th with family, friends, and of course, good food (oh and a few festive cocktails never hurts either!).
I know I will!
Until next time…
And p.s. – Feel free to leave me a comment below and let me know what your favorites are today! I love hearing from you!