Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Real Photos: Kids in Halloween Costumes, 2008

From you, to you. Here are the top Halloween kid costumes picked in 2008.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Animals

      Little Dalmatian from dcarey03

      Why we picked this: This little Dalmatian is dog-gone cute. We adore her necklace, which is shaped as a bone and has her name, "Spot," written on it.

    • Animals

      Cheetah Girl from wpp

      Why we picked this: This little Cheetah looks like she's ready to pounce -- on some Halloween candy.

    • Animals

      Kitty Cat from martin

      Why we picked this: The face paint on this black-and-pink kitty really pulls together the entire costume. We love the pink fur, too!

    • Sweet Costumes

      A Pretty Bride from anonymous

      Why we picked this: This tiny bride looks elegant in a pretty white dress, veil, and long white gloves. Do you suppose she's serving Halloween candy at the reception?

    • Sweet Costumes

      The Tooth and Fairy from jcc

      Why we picked this: This is one of the best costume duos we've ever seen! And we especially love how the fairy's crown is made of toothbrushes.

    • Sweet Costumes

      Sweet Snow White from anonymous

      Why we picked this: Because this little one's shoes are darling! We think the red pattern in Snow White's shoes goes perfectly with her dress.

    • Sweet Costumes

      Pretty Princess from lmaxey

      Why we picked this: We're mesmerized by the subtle, sparkling details in this little girl's light blue dress. Her wand is gorgeous, too!

    • Sweet Costumes

      The Fairy Princess from jnewtown

      Why we picked this: We were bowled over by her long, hot-pink hair and multicolor wings. And what a fabulous grin!

    • Scary Costumes

      A Scary Face from peggy.daugherty1

      Why we picked this: We couldn't believe this was a real little boy at first. His make-up and costume are extra spooky!

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      Scary Costumes

      Unhopeful Cheerleader from Mpath

      Why we picked this: A spin on a typical cheerleader costume, this one is anything but cheery. We like how the bluish tone of her skin reflects the purpose of the costume. Go Zombies!

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      Scary Costumes

      Beetlejuice and His Bride from sfyke

      Why we picked this: We can't decide what we love more -- the little guy's black-and-white suit (and black eyes) or her tattered gray-and-white wedding dress.

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      Scary Costumes

      Werewolf in Florida from kris.gillespie

      Why we picked this: Yikes! We were terrified by this werewolf's long, sharp teeth and glowing eyes.

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      Character Costumes

      A Holiday Chef from l_bar_z_ranch

      Why we picked this: We love how professional this little chef looks in her official jacket and toque (and dimples).

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      Character Costumes

      A Happy Army Man from anonymous

      Why we picked this: Because the camouflage face paint blends perfectly with this little one's military uniform.

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      Character Costumes

      A Little Boxer from vyrios

      Why we picked this: This tough little guy is ready to throw some punches. And Rocky Balboa would surely be jealous of the dazzling blue robe and red boxing gloves.

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      Character Costumes

      Sweet Shortcake from maryenix

      Why we picked this: Strawberry Shortcake couldn't be any sweeter! We love her vibrant pink wig, delightful strawberry hat, and rosy-pink cheeks.

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      Character Costumes

      Little Mermaid from tntscotty

      Why we picked this: We really like this glamorous spin on Ariel from the film "The Little Mermaid." Her sparkling crown and decorative jewelry make this costume exceptional.

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      Character Costumes

      Bunny Brooke and Spiderman Ralphy from kmr351

      Why we picked this: We never thought Spiderman would hang out with a fuzzy pink bunny, but in this photo, they're best friends!

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      Character Costumes

      Tiny Dorothy from anonymous

      Why we picked this: This little girl sports the ruby-red slippers and pigtails just like the real Dorothy. We really like her playful basket.

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      Character Costumes

      Little Red Riding Hood from juzmedarlene812

      Why we picked this: We love how the red-and-white plaid fabric in the basket matches the plaid fabric in her dress. Can the Big Bad Wolf be bought off with apples?

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      Character Costumes

      A Puppet Show from pattydelprete

      Why we picked this: We've never seen a living, breathing marionette before (outside of a Disney movie, that is). And this little guy's oversized hands and feet really made us laugh.

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      Character Costumes

      Dorothy for a Day from vkyln

      Why we picked this: We love her hair! The wavy pigtails really make this little girl look like the real Dorothy. And her vibrant red lips call attention to her great smile.

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      Character Costumes

      Nana's Little Scarecrow from tootsnana1119

      Why we picked this: The details on this costume are truly impressive. We especially love the straw poking out of his sleeves and pants, and the "stitched-on" nose. Cute as can be!

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      Character Costumes

      Go Mario from emmitav

      Why we picked this: This Mario knows what's up. We really like his thick black mustache, floppy red hat, and white gloves, all of which really make this video game character come to life.

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      Witch Costumes

      A Green Nose from sassiechick77

      Why we picked this: This little one's cute-as-a-button green nose stands out from the other witch costumes we've seen. Plus, we really like her bucket, a witch's pot perfect for hoarding candy.

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      Witch Costumes

      Angelic Witch from clairebearsmom2004

      Why we picked this: This pretty orange-and-black dress makes this young witch look awfully angelic. Do you think she's trick-or-treating for eye of newt?

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      Witch Costumes

      Golden Good Witch from clobugzmom

      Why we picked this: We love the golden hue of this witch's dress and hat -- a spin on the classic black dress.

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      Pirates

      Tough-Guy from maf1946

      Why we picked this: Talk about attitude! Drawn-on facial hair, a black eye patch, and a hat with white-trimmed fur all make this pirate look pretty tough.

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      Pirates

      Captain Jack Sparrow from sjriddle7

      Why we picked this: He's only 7, but this boy looks like an experienced pirate in his stringy brown wing, striped bandanna, and boots.

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      Pirates

      A Pirate's Hat from nikkilehman

      Why we picked this: Even a simple pirate's hat can make a little girl happy. We love how she looks like she's having fun even when not in full costume.

    • 31 of 34

      Robot Costumes

      A Boxed Robot from messymommy

      Why we picked this: Because robot-chic is in this year. And we love how this simple robot costume comes with its own calculator.

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      Robot Costumes

      A Talking Robot from april_abney23

      Why we picked this: Made from cardboard boxes, spray paint, tape, and some imagination, this costume turns a real child into a walking, talking robot.

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      More real photos from readers!

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