Prepping for the PERFECT Picnic!
“A compromise is an agreement whereby both parties get what neither of them wanted”
Compromise. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that prior to entering a long term relationship, “compromise” was a wildly under-utilized word in my vocabulary. In fact I’m nearly positive that it had been sufficiently wiped from my rather selfish brain almost entirely. I’m an Aries… so that KIND OF excuses me though, right? Like, it’s LITERALLY written in the stars or something along those lines? Alas, the tables somewhat turned upon shacking up with my dearly beloved earlier this year & I can now, with 100 percent confidence, recite every possible meaning & origin of the word “compromise” on a level comparable to that of a linguist. I mean, snaps for realizing that someone else’s needs were just as important as mine… if not more! Anywho – our most recent venture into “compromise land” as a co-habitational couple has been deciding how to divvy up our weekends so that we’re able to enjoy quality time with both of our families. AKA. I cannot quite remember a time that I’ve spent less time at the cottage & more time in the city as I have over the past few months!!
Picnic Staples for Summer & Fall
So…. How exaclty does this relate to picnics? Excellent question! WELL one of our newfound favourite activities to enjoy with Andrei’s family now that we’re spending a lot more time in the city, just so happens to be… picnics! In my opinion, it’s a GREAT way to explore the more rustic, natural side of Toronto & it kind of sort of gives me that cottage fix I’m literally always craving!
Now considering that we’re in that awkward, transitional phase between summer & fall, I thought that I’d share a few picnic essentials that would be appropriate for BOTH of these oh, so lovely seasons! ENJOY!!!
Foods to Pack
If there’s one takeaway from this post it should be that the food you pack MUST be EASY & CONVENIENT! AKA minimal utensils or dinnerware required! The struggle is actually quite real when it comes to picnicking, & it’s just not cute in any way shape or form to wrestle with a 6 ounce steak sans table. Opt for foods that you can easily eat with your hands, throw in a thermos or simply graze at; I’ve linked to a couple of my personal favourite picnic friendly recipes from Ambrosia Natural Foods below:
For Summer Picnics:
Sugar-Free Rosemary Lemonade
Coconut Oil Chicken Wings
Grilled Corn with Coconut Oil & Herbs
Fresh summer produce; peaches, cherries, berries etc.
Gluten-free Vanilla Almond Moon Cookies
For Fall Picnics:
Butternut Hemp Soup
Chilli Con Udo’s
Fig Jam, Brie, Apple & Spinach Sandwich – BEST SANDY EVER!!!!!
Perfect Protein Pumpkin Parfait
Sweet Potato Walnut Bread
Chia Pecan Pudding
Blankets to Use
Seeing as how I’m a “blogger” obviously the blanket selection process was quite an ordeal! Ridiculous concept, I’m more than well aware, however if you ARE looking to achieve that “picture perfect” picnic experience then it IS something that you should consider.
Of COURSE both gingham & burlap are very “of the now” so I absolutely had to include these two! I’m really into this light blue gingham material – I bought it last year from Fabricland for a country themed dinner party & I’ve recycled it about a GAGILLION times since then! I’m feeling this summery print more for Labour Day Weekend, & the rustic, warm tones of the burlap more for a fall picnic! Alternatively, you could even combine the two if you’re looking to be SUPER extra – which I whole heartedly encourage because it just looks friggin awesome.
Other blanket options to consider:
- Chunky Knits for fall
- Lightweight Quilts for summer
Ps: Be sure to toss a few pillows into the mix for EXTRA comfort & perhaps a couple of throw blankets if you’re opting for a fall picnic; it can get a tad chilly!!! Side Note: My “go-to” spot for throw blankets & pillows is ALWAYS HomeSense – that’s where I got these pillows from – whereas for the gingham & burlap, I typically opt for a trip to Fabricland!
Snapping the Shot
Flat lay FOREVER! I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m kind of obsessed with a good ol’ flat lay – seriously though what blogger these days isn’t?! It’s literally ALWAYS my “go-to” when I’m looking to take a killer photo! PS. for those of you that DON’T know what a flat lay photo is, it’s essentially a photo taken from a bird’s eye view. And to be QUITE frank, I didn’t even know the term “flat lay” existed a mere two weeks ago, until the word kept popping up on my Insta so I decided to Google the term – I literally just called it a “photo from above” before. So yeah, there’s that…
Now seeing as how picnics were practically MADE for flat lay photos, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite tips & tricks so that you can capture an ultra-Instagram worthy picnic snap!
- Take the photo from DIRECTLY above – If you’re going to commit to the flat lay… COMMIT TO THE FLAT LAY! Position your camera or phone so that it is literally, directly above the space you’re trying to photograph.
- Good Lighting – Indirect, natural lighting is going to be your very best friend! Plant your picnic under a tree, or beside a shady building to maximize your lighting efforts! Anything in the direct sunlight will be too harsh & can be a tad annoying when playing around with editing!
- Select a Main Item & Work Around It – When planning out your flat lay, selet an item that will represent the main “focal point” of the photo! Position it, & then work the smaller, complementary items around this! Now try playing around here; opt for dead space in some photos, clean lines in another or a more haphazard look – the options are ENDLESS!
- EDIT, EDIT, EDIT – The key to any good photo is the edit. I’m currently obsessed with the editing ap, A Color Story, they have a PLETHORA of different filter packs & adjustment tools – it really is an Instagrammers’ DREAM! I specifically use the filter Carrie from the Flashes of Delight Filter Pack on every single one of my photos – & then I’ll typically add a few adjustments here & there to finish it off!
What are your summer & fall picnic staples?!