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Posts Tagged ‘Outdoors’

What is nicer than a picnic on a Summer’s day? I imagine sitting in an unmown field filled with daisies, the manicured lawn of a historic castle or a ragged, cliff-top overlooking the Aegean sea. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of; lovingly described in the well-worn pages of my old storybooks.

Picnics happened a lot when I was little. Mum and Dad would pack sandwiches and drinks, along with old blankets and a few sweet treats for afterwards. We would head to the seaside, a public park or sometimes just to a  nearby hill (!) for the afternoon. It always felt like a Holiday – a day off where  my sister and I we were playing hookey, allowed to run as far away as we wanted to; coming back when we were tired, for soggy tomato sandwiches and warm fizzy drinks in a shared cup. It was bliss!

Now, as old-fashioned as it may seem, a picnic is still a wonderful way to spend the day together. Go to a local park or beach, and spend the day doing as little as possible!  Bring along books, magazines, games and bubbles (leave the technology at home).

Check out the latest picnic accessories that will make your day more comfortable (fully equipped picnic baskets with cutlery, napkins and plates, water-proof blankets to keep your bottoms dry, and even metal spikes to hold your wine glass in between sips!).  Pack food that will hold up well and won’t get too soggy – ham, cold fried chicken, cheese, bread, chips and fruit are all easy to pack. Prepare it beforehand, so that you don’t have to worry about knives and forks when you get there – finger food is always best! 

Bring lots of napkins,and have fun!

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/ Lovely image from www.theresourcefulcook.com Lots of picnic accessories and ideas available at: www.picnicfun.com

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Now that spring is here for many of us – and not too far off for the rest – outdoor living not only feels wonderful, but is a great way of expanding our living space. And creating a warm, inviting living space outside is just as simple

as creating one inside! For the seating area, begin with pretty comfortable furnishings. Just as with the inside, that means ‘upholstery’, which in this case is usually cushions. Postion it around a focal point, which could be a fireplace as in the picture, or simply a view of the backyard. Make certain there is enough seating for several people and everyone can chat easily. Even if you are outdoors, yelling to be heard isn’t warm and inviting. And of course, tables are a must for holding snacks and drinks.

Lighting is always a plus. How many summer parties or evenings with friends have gone well into the night? Of course, candlelight is fabulous, but occasionally not enough. You can certainly bring out lamps from inside for special events, but there is also some very nice lighting made just for outdoors. And see what a wonderful ambience a mixture of electric and candle light make, especially when combined with the firepit?

Accessories for the outdoors are easy – simply use potted plants! Flowering plants add color, while greenery is always great – and comes without the need of deadheading. Make sure the pots you use are attractive, then place the plants in strategic locations to add softness and interest. And don’t forget pillows and throws! Pillows can bring in additional colors, patterns and textures, while adding softness and comfort to the seating. Just don’t get too dramatic as you don’t want to compete with the outside surroundings, but rather enhance the overall look. And of course throws add not only softness, but are quite useful on cool summer evenings. 

And finally, don’t forget the dining table. Somehow food tasts so much better outdoors, particularly if it’s fresh off the grill. So have a table and chairs ready for family dining, planned dinner parties, or impromptu gatherings. Because now that your outdoors is so inviting, everyone will want to stay!

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