Independence Day Weekly Recap

For those of you who don't know, I hail from a small town just outside of Baltimore, Maryland named Catonsville. My beloved hometown isn't a necessarily famous or noteworthy place, but if residents of the greater Baltimore area know one thing about Catonsville, it's that we have an over-the-top Fourth of July celebration.

I've never been particularly crazy about the Independence Day holiday, but I also never realized that Catonsville's parade and fireworks are not the norm for most small towns across the country. People in the area start marking their territory for the parade along Frederick Road weeks in advance, placing their beach and camping chairs in the most coveted of spots for prime parade watching. Residents from across the county head down to our little neck of the woods to join the crowd and celebrate the Fourth of July in style. It's not a necessarily bad way to spend a summer's holiday, I've just lived here upwards of 20 years and still don't understand what all the fuss is about.

I'm not a huge fan of parades in general. Maybe I find the Catonsville Fourth of July one to be particularly boring because it consists of the same participants I have seen year after year after year. And, though I love to people watch, my endurance for doing so only lasts so long on a hot and sunny summer's day with few to no available options for shade (weather which invariably occurs on July Fourth). Nonetheless, I always enjoy the latter portion of the day when my family has a cookout at my uncle's house across the street from the high school where fireworks are set off at night. It's great to see extended family and also makes for more comfortable people watching as people hike up to the school while we lounge in the shade and view them going by.

So that's how my day will be spent this Fourth of July - trying to avoid the monstrous Catonsville parade, cooking out with my family, and watching the fireworks to round out the night. How are you spending the Fourth this year?

Oh and here are some snippets from the past week!

There's nothing like sweet and delicious fresh-made carrot juice to get you back on track when it comes to healthy, whole food eating!

With the leftover carrot bits I made some healthy carrot and banana muffins!

In anticipation of the Fourth of July, I made some strawberry-blueberry cup-pies, cupcake-sized individual pies. They're adorable, delicious, and seasonal too with their red and blue filling! I used this mixed berry pie recipe, which made about a dozen cup-pies that I topped off with a simple butter and brown sugar crumble! Just cut the cooking time down to about 25 minutes.

I've long been a devoted fan of the band Wilco, though their most recent release was a bit of a let-down for me. They've got some new stuff in the works and recently released a single from their forthcoming album. I just wanted to share the awesome cover art. It instantly reminded me of the drawings of a man that I met in India named Anil Awachat. I was really drawn to Awachat's work a few years ago when I met the man and found it funny that my favorite band would draw on such a similar style for their cover art.

And finally, I've got a few photos to share from a trip I made yesterday with my friend Sarah to the awesome Cylburn Arboretum. Full of beautiful plant life and delightfully shady groves, we fell in love with the place and can't wait to visit again in the fall when the leaves have turned and temperatures have cooled! 

The arboretum's grounds also offer plenty of interesting architectural and sculptural details to discover. We spotted at least four of these lions on our travels. More photos and stories from the arboretum to come soon!


  1. Happy fourth of July over there! (Love that beautiful tree picture from the arboretum, those kinds of trees are a rarity here in Scandinavia - I don't even know if the exist here. Anyways, can't wait to see those picture from the arboretum in fall) :)

  2. Its funny, your post echos what my morning thoughts were as I took my daughter to our small town's parade. I resisted it with all my might, I really would rather stay home (my two boys did), but a piece of me felt I should appreciate the immense effort so many people put in. Looks like you made some amazing treats by the way

  3. I heard the new wilco song on WTMD and meant to ask you what you thought! now I know! and both your cylburn photos look great- I haven't uploaded mine yet. it was great to see you and I'm looking forward to thursday!


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