Friday, May 22, 2015


Summer is finally here and in our family that means picnic season is in full swing! 
I am so fortunate to have Fridays off with my kids! Better yet, all three of my sisters-in-law have off Fridays as well! We usually go to the park and have a picnic, go to the zoo and have a picnic, or go to the splash pad and you guessed it, we have a picnic! ;) I think we all love picnics so much b/c we don't have to clean up all the crumbs. ;)

Recently, JJ Cole reached out to me to review one of their diaper bags as well as their great picnic blanket. Up until this point we had two diaper bags. One that was super useful, but semi-ugly, and one that was super cute, but just a little too small. For picnics we used my old bedspread from college that was huge, puffy, and less then convenient. Needless to say, I was so excited to review these two staple items!

I chose the caprice bag in heathered grey and I LOVE it! It is the prefect size for all the stuff I need to pack for two kids, it has lots of compartments (inside and out), loops that attach right to your stroller handles (when you don't have room in the basket below) and it is super cute! Yup, a win all around!

I chose the outdoor blanket in prairie flower and it works great. It EASILY (yes, that is key!) folds down into a rectangle that ends up serving as a bag with a little pouch and a handle. It is waterproof and comes in some really fun prints. It would make a great baby shower gift. I can't wait to use it at Concert on the Square this summer!

And just for fun, I have included a little free printable that I use as reference when packing Ellis' lunch for school. It is pretty much like packing a picnic every day b/c they do not microwave anything at her school making it a 'cold' lunch. I am totally inspired by my sister-in-law who, in my mind, is a picnic packing pro! I love to look at this lunch planning sheet before I go to the grocery store b/c sometimes I run out of ideas or it just makes me realize I have been sending her raspberries every day for weeks and maybe I should grab some oranges instead. :) I made sure to leave a few blank lines so you can write in some of your own ideas as well!

Bread Balls - This Site has so many great ideas for making bread healthy by sneaking in fruits and veggies as well as using whole grains. I make them into bread balls by cooking them in this fun little gadget. Ellis, as well and my niece and nephew, LOVE them!

Muffins - These muffins are one of my all-time favorites, but there are a million different recipes for healthy muffins.

Veggie Muffins - These muffins pack in apple, carrot, zucchini, banana, and broccoli!

Lara Bars - My sister in law makes these super yummy prune and apricot bites.

Apple Cookie Snacks - How easy and fun are these?!

Trail Mix - I throw together: raw cashews, raw almonds, craisins, and a few dark chocolate chips. 

Yogurt Parfaits - Throw together: yogurt, fruit, granola and nuts in a little tupperware container and you are set!

Mini Pizzas - You can make a taco version as well!

And here are my favorite picnic essentials:
- These sippy cups DO NOT leak. Do you have any ideas how many cups we have gone through to find one that actually does not leak?! Save yourself the time and money and get these.
- The Basket is easy to get things in and out of AND it is super cute.
- The blanket is waterproof and folds up super easy.
- The lunch boxes have 4 compartments, they are easy to wash, and a great price! Again, we have gone through about 4 different bento box styles before I found these and I love them! 
- The silicone baking cups are great for diving snacks in lunch boxes. See the picture above.
(links below picture)

picnic basket / picnic blanket / lunch boxes / silicone baking cups / Nalgene sippy cup

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