Picnic Perfect

Summer is here!  And in my opinion, there is nothing more Summery than an outdoor picnic in the grass under a tree, maybe near a lake or river.  And yet, often times when it comes down to it, picnics can be anything but serene.   Protecting my food from giant ants and swatting at mosquito’s.  Dealing with soggy sandwich bread and lukewarm beverages.  Loud children (and adults) playing frisbee (or target practice) literally right next to me.  All of a sudden, the idea of a leisurely Summer picnic seems a lot less appealing……but don’t hang up your checkerboard blanket just yet.

There is definitely an art to picnicking.  The first step is to find the perfect spot.  Think about the elements in nature you enjoy the most (sandy beach vs grassy knoll; lot’s of sun or more shade).  Even a more urban location like the courtyard of an art museum or simply your back yard could work wonderfully.  I recommend scoping out some outdoor spots before hand to see how crowded they can get.  Perhaps a more remote location would work best if you want some privacy.

grass    beach   getty

Second, wear plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.  I recommend KINeSYS sunscreen and Tic Toc Naturals organic insect repellant.  Dress comfortably and appropriate to the climate and environment, and know that summer time often brings unforseen weather (especially in Chicago where I live), so be prepared to cover up.

tick-tock-naturals-2p5oz_1024x1024            spf30sprayff

Forgoing the paper plates, napkins and plastic forks is not only earth friendly but can be incredibly chic.  Add some style to your picnic by using Bamboo plates which are naturally beautiful, lightweight, affordable, easy to clean and 100% biodegradable.  Use cloth napkins and bring real silverware and glasses to add an elegant quality to your picnic.  Bring an over-sized blanket to lay yourself and your food on and scope out the area for creepy crawlers that will sabotage your day  (ant piles, bee hives, spider webs).  Lighting a small Citronella candle can also help ward off flying insects like mosquitos and wasps.

bamboo         silverware

And finally, invest a little energy in preparing your outdoor meal.   Certain foods are better when eaten immediately, while others travel well and are more appropriate for picnicking.   Keep it simple, fresh and light.  Separate wet foods and dry foods.  If you are going to have a sandwich, consider packing the ingredients separately and putting them together on the spot.  Salad?  Store the dressing on the side to avoid soggy lettuce.   For me, the best picnic foods are those that can be enjoyed at moderate temperatures (neither hot nor super cold).  Keep your beverages chilled by storing them in a cooler bag like the one made by Mighty Nest

watercooler

And finally, whether you’re picnicking alone or with someone special, make sure to appreciate every moment;  the sounds, the colors, the smells, the textures.   Summer is fleeting and will be gone before you know it.

Here are some of my favorite picnic inspirations…….

1b3ae1b031a4640e7890009410df330f      5e1b33754dca7122426df4c82d9510be       86d5b7b6f7db25abd2cd04d8ca9af008        449e2201d00e872145d9669a0f6c5578    f0b3a7b25a8b45ee17bed224f607d540  b7e05600d0222b55b6f27ba2cbe2d8a2     7bd1085cea4e5e69b75293802fbfca97   e5e150e6d7b4afbf2d5fb59089a44ef0  2b6fa4a8f64ff9e83ce8d5c09b3b73a4        69e7444744846b03d68e278de3601542     5f958fbd182321a89f529f7f7ae33a6c    89b443fd3aeeb3d37b780e7145e86b53   52d63022c100442513af22a4a17a4420    1c8178d97838fe3c21146d701751029f    bb3261dab7794ac2ef8f3edfccf4e1f0

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