The Ultimate All American Coffee Bar
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Some of my favorite summer memories involve late summer nights with a cup of coffee talking with friends and family. It is these special coffee moments that are so simple, but so important and there is only one reason we are able to participate in carefree evenings like these- because we have freedom. It has been said that freedom isn’t free, and this is true, if it weren’t for the wonderful men and woman that fight for our country, memories like these wouldn’t exist. My husband and I both have a family connection to the military and with parents, grandparents and siblings that have served our country. It is no secret that I enjoy get togethers and parties, but I take a little extra care and show a little extra effort for things like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran’s Day. This year, I thought I would share one of my favorites, especially perfect for 4th of July BBQ’s before the fireworks, the ultimate All American Coffee Bar with Coffee-mate.
We got together for Memorial Day to have a BBQ , but all parties end with coffee and dessert so I thought I would put a little more effort into my normal display by offering many toppings and mix ins for the coffee and some sweets. It all starts with the creamer, because if you are like me, you need creamer in your coffee. I have tried just milk but it doesn’t work for me, I love the Coffee-mate creamers anyways, but especially because right now, when you pick up their limited edition bottles from Memorial Day to Independence Day at Walmart while supplies last, you will find them in their patriotic packaging. For this short time period, the Hazelnut & Vanilla liquid Coffee-mate creamers and the Original powdered creamer are sporting stars and stripes do to a connection to Operation Homefront, a wonderful charity working to offer assistance to wounded military and their families. This connection enables Operation Homefront to provide a wide variety of assistance to the families that they serve. My coffee will be more delicious and I have an opportunity to support a worthy cause ?! I am in!
In addition to the creamer, I offered mix ins like marshmallows, chocolate chips, sprinkles, whipped cream, flavor syrups and whatever else you could think of, the options for creating the perfect cup of coffee are endless!! I also set up one coffee maker with water for kids to make hot chocolate so they can have some fun with the coffee bar as well. Wouldn’t this be perfect for everyone to put together their perfect cup of coffee in a to-go cup before watching the fireworks? I think this All American coffee bar will have to be a new tradition.
One of my favorite parts was this huge paper flower flag I made as the backdrop; it was a lot of time but made such a big impact! My friend’s fiancé actually wanted to keep it for the garage- which is a pretty big honor considering it is made with paper flowers.
But before we got to coffee and dessert, we all had a BBQ and sat outside at a patio table on a gorgeous day. The adults who included my friend, her fiancé who is a retired Marine, a couple of his friends and their wives who are also retired marines (the friends), my father in law who is retired Army and some nieces and nephews. It was so interesting sitting back and hearing their stories and discussions about their experiences in different generations of the military and on the first day of boot camp and so on. I am not exaggerating when I say their descriptions of just experiences in boot camp sound more difficult than even my most labor intensive day of work in my adult life. It is truly something to be grateful for, we are lucky.
While the adults discussed, the kids ran around with water balloons, something children in other countries may not ever get to experience, that we may take for granted.
My party was designed as a simple way to show appreciation for the work and sacrifices of the retired members of the military in my life but in the process, I learned so much more about their experiences. I can’t wait to share more special coffee moments with them in the future.
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