6 Tips for the Perfect Summer Picnic

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Before the end of the summer, a scenic picnic is always necessary. I have really fond memories of packing up a picnic basket as a child to go see the horses at the nearby farm. I remember very distinctly the picnic basket my mom used to use – it had four settings, each one a different color.  My favorite was the pink one, of course. It was so much fun to spread out on a blanket in the grass and just be there as a family together. Picnics are surely a summer tradition, and it just wouldn’t be quite right to not take in the beautiful scenery all around us this time of year! Last weekend, I packed up my new picnic basket and turkish towel (which I love), and we headed to a park in the Berkshires to enjoy the afternoon. You may have seen the sneak peek I posted on Instagram here!

Scroll down for my 6 tips for the perfect picnic and to download my summer picnic packing checklist!

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There are a handful of things you’ll want to do to ensure you have everything you need for the perfect picnic.

One // Easy to eat foods
We opted for a baguette with cheese and a fig spread, as well as some fresh fruit. These were great options for sharing and didn’t require too many utensils. We just tore off pieces of the baguette, so all we needed was a knife for the cheese. The great thing about the bowl of cherries, was that the pits and stems were easily discarded in the woods, which made cleanup a lot easier and less messy. Other great options to pack are pre-made sandwiches or snacks, such as chips and salsa.

Two // The right beverages
A little bit of bubbly or rosé surely will elevate your picnic a notch. What could be more enjoyable than taking in the views with a glass of your favorite adult beverage in hand? Besides, how can you have bread and cheese without a bit of wine – it is just the French way (don’t forget a corkscrew!). Just keep in mind that we are in the middle of the summer, so it is beyond important to stay hydrated. Grab a bottle of water, sparkling or regular, to toss in your picnic basket before heading out the door. You’ll be glad you did.

Three // Moist wipes/towelettes 
Hand sanitizer is great for cleanliness before you eat, but what about messy hands after? We had a very delicious fig spread, that of course ended up making my hands a little bit sticky. Plus, cherries are a very vibrant red, and the juice can stain hands as well. You’ll definitely want napkins for while you eat, but I highly recommend grabbing some moist hand wipes to wipe of sticky and messy hands after eating. These wipes come in travel packs and are great for on-the-go.

Four // Easily washable blanket
I recently picked up a Turkish towel from Amazon, and I love it! I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and I have to say that it made the perfect picnic blanket! It’s pretty thick, but still lightweight enough to easily shake out all the breadcrumbs, fold up to put back in the basket, and then toss in the washing machine after. Some picnic blankets are really thick and heavy, which make them difficult for some washing machines to handle, but the Turkish towel was so easy.

Five // Check the weather
You might be able to tell from some of the photos, but the sky was looking a little ominous. The weather was forecasting rain later that day, but not until the late evening. Since we had the free time, I was determined to have our picnic anyway. Luckily, the car was just steps away in case we needed to make a run for it. You’ll also want to make sure your picnic day isn’t too hot either – or at least make sure you can find a shady spot to set up. There is nothing worse than braving the sweltering sun without any protection.

Six // Bug spray
This is arguably the most important tip on this list! For some reason, I get eaten alive – wherever I go. The mosquitos are just attracted to me (even when I skip lotions or perfumes or anything that might attract them more). We learned about these insect repellent bracelets during our last visit to Antigua in April, and they seemed to help a lot. Whatever you do, you’ll want to make sure you have some way to ward of those pesky pests, so you can actually enjoy your food and your company!

If you thought these tips were helpful, click the button below to download my free checklist printable for packing up your perfect summer picnic!

Click Here to Download

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^Everyone said these sunglasses were way too big for me, and maybe they are, but I wanted to wear them anyway! 🙂

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Dress: English Factory | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Hat: Sole Society | Bag: Botkier | Shoes: J.Crew (similar here) | Picnic Basket: Amazon | Blanket: Turkish Towel | Lipstick: Nars in Claudia 

Will you be having a picnic this summer? If so, were these tips helpful for you?
xo -L

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Open to the Public

I don’t think this is news to any of my fellow Nordstrom lovers out there, but the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened up to the public over the weekend! This. Is. Like. Christmas…in. July….seriously! All new, never-before-seen arrivals are on major sale, and it almost seems too good to be true. Too good – like all of those designer items start to become just within reach/budget. Even though we are in the midst of summer, it will soon be time to start thinking about our fall wardrobes, and that especially means back-to-school shopping for many of us. Believe me when I say you do not want to miss out on this sale. Prices go back up on August 8th, but lots of items will sell out by then. I’ve spent a good part of last week/this weekend pouring over everything in the sale trying to pick out my favorites. As I write this, I’m almost ready to hit checkout, but just need to do a little bit more narrowing down.

BAGS + ACCESSORIES…

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Bags + Accessories (from left to right): Ted Baker Watch | Sole Society Crossbody Bag | Phase 3 Wool Floppy Hat | Shwood Round Wood Sunglasses | Illesteva Round Mirrored SunglassesBP Drawstring Tote | Louise et Cie Leather Shoulder Bag | Nixon Leather Strap Watch

Bags, watches and sunglasses are important investment pieces that are worth paying a little extra for. Think about your favorite everyday tote that you use day in and day out, I’m sure it has taken some damage. The way I see it, you can have a few lower quality versions and switch them up every couple of days to keep them looking fresh, or choose a high quality bag that will last and last. Same goes for sunglasses and watches. I picked out a few things that I’m interested in this time around, but believe me, my wish list doesn’t stop just with what is above.

DRESSES, DRESSES, DRESSES…

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Dresses (from left to right): Rebecca Taylor Floral Dress | BP Sleeveless ShirtdressEliza J Print Ponte Dress | Caslon Plaid Cotton Shirtdress | Caslon Split Neck Dress Madewell Cotton Shirtdress

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Dresses (from left to right): Diane von Furstenberg Arabella Silk Dress | Hinge Crochet Trim Dress | Halogen Colorblock Shiftdress | Maggy London Pleat Crepe Dress | Halogen Collared Lace Dress | Diane von Furstenberg Rosale Mixed Media Dress

Secret’s out – I love dresses. I wear a dress almost everyday – they are so easy to pull off with bare legs in the summer and tights/leggings in the winter. For everyday wear, putting together a skirt/top or pants/top sometimes can be so much trickier than just donning one simple dress. I have an endless closet full of dresses, and a new dress just might be my greatest weakness. I am going to be sure to stock up on a few fall favorites.

WARM + COZY OUTERWEAR…

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Outerwear (from left to right): Halogen Notch Collar Topper | Ralph Lauren Quilted Jacket | Gallery Quilted Vest | Gallery Water Repellant Anorak | The North Face Laney Trench

With prices marked down so significantly across so many items, now is the time to invest in a fall/winter jacket if you were all thinking about doing so last year. You definitely do not want to get stuck paying full price for a warm coat.

BOOTS + BOOTIES…

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Boots & Booties (from left to right): Tory Burch Riding Boot | Seychelles Block Heel Bootie | BCBGMAZAZRIA Blyss Bootie | TOMS Majorca Peep Toe Bootie | Steve Madden Sharini Bootie | Hinge Perforated Bootie | Corso Como Over the Knee Boot | Via Spiga Sylvie Block Heel Bootie | Tory Burch Hallie Boot | Aquatalia Weatherproof Riding Boot

Walking around the city a lot means I wear my shoes into the ground. Truly. I wear them until the soles and worn out. I even dread buying new boots in the winter for fear of ruining them in all the salt, sand, and wetness. Regardless, I need new boots, and now is the time! Still torn between the three riding boot options shown above.

So many choices, so little time! What are your favorite #nsale picks this year? Leave a link in the comments below!
xo -L

Cabi Scoop

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The cabi Scoop is here – tonight! To start things off today, I’m sharing a look from cabi. If you’re not familiar, this 15-year-old company is becoming more and more well known as a better way to shop. Founded in 2002, cabi is a designer collection of women’s apparel and accessories, intended for real women with real lives. The line includes an affordable mix of professional and chic separates along with casual everyday pieces, launched in both spring and fall. 

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I’m wearing the Lizzie Dress (classic, white eyelet and very much my style), the Resort Jacket for a pop of color, and the Helios Cuff for an added bit of glam – all from the 2016 Spring Collection.

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Tonight, the fall 2016 collection will debut in Boston in cabi’s runway show, called The Scoop. I will be there (and you know what I’ll be wearing), so be sure to follow along on Instagram (@thelilacpress) and Snapchat (username: leigha_gardner) for all the behind the scenes action. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of the new fall line:

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope to have you following along tonight!
xo -L