Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reviving the Art of.....the Picnic

The short period of time between the end of school and the beginning of camp is a mixed blessing in our house. No set schedule and ample opportunity to sleep in is always welcomed but the need to constantly entertain my children, leaves me exhausted and just a pinch irritable by the end of the day. My little ones are still at the stage where they expect mommy or daddy to join in on all the 'fun' (like the rousing and somewhat extended game of 'Musical Chairs' we enjoyed at 8:00am this morning or the marathon finger painting art lesson that lasted for three and a half hours yesterday!).

Luckily for me, I have marvelously brilliant friends like Coryanne Etienne from Housewife Bliss who reminded me this morning that July is National Picnic Month.
Before you knew it, I had packed a picnic basket with a delightful lunch and off we were to the nearest park! My children were fed and entertained in the warm, fresh air and my husband and I didn't get up off the picnic blanket once, a true success!

To say that I adore picnics is an understatement. When I was a child, whenever the weather was favorable, my parents would surprise us with a family picnic. A good meal, great weather and time spent with my family always made for a wonderful day and living in a country with a short and finicky summer season, we enjoyed every minute of it!

Later when my husband and I were first dating and then married without children, we enjoyed picnics all the time. We would alternate who would pack the lunch and relished in trying to surprise the other one with what we had packed. Our picnic lunches were always a romantic touch to our otherwise terribly busy weeks.

Fast forward a few years (and babies!) later and you could say a smidgen of laziness had gotten the best of me. Packing a light lunch, refreshments and a gingham blanket is one thing but packing diapers, baby bottles, strollers and the required toys along with everything else, is definitely another! Had I lost my love for the picnic? Well, no, not quite but as any mother of babies or toddlers will attest to, it just wasn't worth the hassle. My trusty picnic basket laid in wait gathering dust for a couple of years and I truly missed the simple pleasure of the picnic.

Last fall, just after the first week of school, my husband surprised me by coming home at lunch, the old picnic basket packed and ready to go. That afternoon spent enjoying a delicious lunch and a little vino was absolute bliss! How could I have gone so long without the pleasure of the picnic? A simple way to enjoy the fine weather and each other's company all while taking a deep breath and slowing down, if just for a couple of hours. I made a promise to myself not to let the dust gather again but as is life in Canada, before you knew it the chill of autumn had set in and the picnic basket went back into hibernation.

This morning's reminder and the wonderful time we enjoyed afterwards was just the thing to get me back into my love affair with the picnic, hopefully passing my picnic passion onto my children!
What is it that you love most about picnics?
Any inspiring elements you add to make your picnic outing extra special?

Need a little more inspiration??
Some fab links from a few of our lovely friends with their take on the picnic!


Princess Freckles said...

I used to love picnics too! We received a basket at our wedding shower and have never used it! being in Michigan, I can relate that the Summers seem so short and I simply miss the opportunity! I am inspired though...perhaps this weekend we can pack a picnic and head over to the park.

Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage said...

How lovely! I so wish we had weather that would allow a family picnic. I have to wait until September at the earliest in this heat. And bugs. Ick.
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
July's gorgeous giveaway

Suburban Princess said...

I have several picnic baskets...never used them once! I always mean to and have great plans for it but gawd it's just way more work that it is worth...trying to find a place, keeping everything cold, etc etc. I always end up just staying home lol

Since your kids are going to camp you will have time to get together this summer!

Coryanne Ettiene | Housewife Bliss said...

Ah darling, you are so kind to mention me in this fabulous post -- I have such fond memories of our picnic life in London. Nothing like soft grass underfoot, smiles and warm sunshine to bring out the best of summertime lunches.

All the best, Coryanne

vir beātum said...

I haven't been on a picnic in an age. What a good thing to remind me about! I shall propose to my better half some good German bread, English cheese and a bottle of chardonnay, and take us post-haste to a Berlin lake. I am ordering sun, boating, and mindless reading.

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

I love picnics and these all look gorgeous. I wish mine were as organised! xx