Tag Archives: 4th of july

How to Make the Most of Your 4th of July BBQ:

The 4th of July is undeniably my favorite holiday. It’s a time to come together with your friends and family, to remember the day our country won their independence. This is the holiday that celebrates the characteristics that the United States of America is internationally famous for: Freedom, Patriotism, and Strength.

Every year my family, friends, and I come together and compete for the 4th of July team title. We separate into three groups (a red team, blue team, and white team) and the rest of the day consists of endless games or competitions. The games could include running, swimming, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole, chess, and fishing. Obviously this is a lot to be doing in one day, and I admit that our tradition may be a little over the top. However, there are some great things to incorporate into a 4th of July party to spice up the atmosphere and keep your company entertained.

1. Corn Hole

You could simply buy a corn hole set that is ready to go, or you could decorate it by painting the corn hole set red, white, and blue. Corn hole is good game to keep guests preoccupied for short periods of time. This game will not interfere with any other activities or events you have planned. Additionally, it is a game that is easy to learn and fun for all ages.

2. Costume Contests

Get your guests into the spirit of the holiday and challenge them to dress up in their best American attire for a small prize. It will ultimately make your BBQ or party feel unique and stand out in contrast to the endless summer kickbacks you may have over the next couple weeks.

3. Baseball/Football/Kickball Game

In your backyard or a nearby park, set up a baseball, football, or kickball game. The classic sports are a glimpse into some of America’s favorite pastimes. It’s a great way to keep your guests busy while the burgers are on the grill and will make everyone ravenous before dinner. Everybody knows that food always tastes better when you are already hungry!

4. Water Balloon Toss

A classic summer game that is fun for all ages. Nearly everyone remembers playing in a water balloon toss growing up. The balloons are cheap and the cleanup is easy! This game is a fun way to keep everyone cool on a hot day and keep the little ones at the event preoccupied for a decent amount of time.
The U-Stor-It staff on Auburn Gresham, Beverly, Carol Stream, Lisle, South Loop Chicago, and Streamwood wish you the best over the 4th of July weekend. We hope that you have fun, relax, and stay safe.

Happy 4th of July!

3 Ideas for a Shame Free 4th of July

How is it July already? It just seemed like it arrived..uninvited, leaving us unprepared for summer. Suddenly, you’ve been invited to Craig’s place down the street for an Independence Day BBQ and you’ve got nothing planned. How he was prepared? Who knows? Some people just live to grill. Flashes of embarrassment shoot through you’re mind. Suddenly, you feel as uninvited as July.

Two days until the 4th should be enough time to prepare something to bring to Craig’s right? Don’t doubt yourself. You won’t be the embarrassment bringing the Nth bag of tortilla chip to the party. You planned. You prepared. You prepped.

Here are a few ideas, to save you the humiliation and shame.  This weekend what we aim for is satisfaction. The satisfaction of the perfect high five. Excellent form. Thunderous pitch, timbre, and tonality. You’ll earn it. A perfect 10.

 

The Starter: Brown Sugar Smokies
You will not regret making these. They work for any occasion. Plus, the fact that they are wrapped in bacon just makes these little bites of heaven a win for you all day long.

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Ingredients
– 1 pound of bacon
– 1 cup of brown sugar
– 1 package of smokie sausages (about 16 ounces)

The Prep
– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
– Cut the strips of bacon into thirds
– Wrap each smokie with a cut of bacon, and secure with a tooth pick
– Place on a baking sheet
– Sprinkle brown sugar over your bacon wrapped smokies

Cook
– 20 Minutes
– (If you don’t want to make it to July 4th 2016, pour the bacon “extract” on top)

Arrangement
– It’s bacon, no one cares. Just make them easily accessible.

 

The Side: Grandma’s Corn Pudding
You may or may not be a grandmother, but after serving anyone this… I don’t know where I’m going with this. But trust me, this recipe is incredible.

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Ingredients
– 2 cans of cream corn
– 1 can of whole kernel corn
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/3 cup butter, melted
– 5 eggs
– 1/4 cup white sugar
– 4 tablespoons cornstarch

The Prep
– Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees F
– Lightly grease a casserole dish
– In a large bowl, beat the eggs
– Add the sugar, milk, and melted butter
– Whisk in the cornstarch
– Stir in corn and creamed corn
– Blend as best you can
– Pour into your pre-greased casserole dish

Cook
– Bake for 1 hour

 

The Dessert: Red, White, and Blueberry Popsicles
It’s sure to be a warm 4th of July, so why not create a themed icy treat that will surely have people raising you over their shoulders?!

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Ingredients
– 2 cups Greek Yogurt (plain or honey, just make sure it’s white)
– 2 cups blueberries
– 2 cups strawberries, hulled (it means cut, don’t worry, I had to look it up too)

The Prep
– Pour yogurt into popsicle molds so they are about 1/3 full
– Blend your blueberries so they are smooth
– Add your blueberries to your molds, making sure to leave room for the strawberries
– Blend your strawberries and fill the remaining area of the mold
– Add a popsicle stick to each mold

Cook
– I mean Freeze (For about 4 hours)

 

Preparing just one of these will surely earn you that high five. We suggest only bringing 1 of these items. In two days, it may be difficult to do it all. We don’t want you cracking under the pressure. Plus, no one likes a show off. If you do, you can surely have to kiss your high five goodbye.

We at U-Stor-It hope this helped. Enjoy! If you are planning a move this weekend, we have a special Independence Day Sale going on at all our facilities throughout the Chicagoland area in Streamwood, Lisle, Carol Stream, Beverly, and Auburn Gresham. However, we will be closed Saturday in observance of the holiday. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!