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by Meredith Youngson •

5 Tips for Planning a Dreamy Picnic

When May hits, my friends and family and I start plotting all of the opportunities to dine outside, oversized blankets and sparkling sangrias in hand. Picnicking is an awesome way to soak up the summer, reconnect, and "cheers" somewhere new and unexpected. My favourite part about picnics - everything tastes better when perched on a blanket in the grass! Here are a few of my tips to make your next picnic a stellar one: Bring a cozy, chic blanket.  Set the tone for al fresco escapades with a big, beautiful picnic blanket or towel. I'm partial to the spa-worthy Turkish towel trend, but you can also go super colourful and fun in the name of summer. Stray and Wander makes gorgeous tasseled blankets, and I've also been eyeing a few from the Canadian brand Tofino Towel Company. Prep a picnic-ready salad.  The key here is to bring something flavour-packed, and delicious at room temperature. My years of picnicking has taught me a grain salad holds up very well, and ideal for making the night ahead. Celebrate seasonal produce with a quinoa or cracked wheat salad filled with fresh basil, ripe cherry tomatoes and feta. I love this Cauliflower Tabbouleh salad, and can't wait to try out this summery Tomato Feta Pasta Salad by Ina Garten.  Stock up on Dips, crackers & snacks. Whats a picnic if there isn't something to nibble on? Mary’s Crackers are super crunchy and come in a variety of flavours now. I love to pair them with the Canadian cashew-dip brand Spread’em Kitchen Chive Garlic Dip. Chips are a must in my house, I lean towards Covered Bridge Potato Chips for the ultimate kettle crunch.  Icy Beverages are key. Nothing hydrates and satisfies like a frosty iced tea. My picnic favourite is definitely the Iced Rose Hibiscus Tea Refresher. You can serve it with sparkling rosé or with fresh berries or mint. For something creamy, you could make ahead the Iced Golden Mylk Latte, or cold-brew any Lake & Oak Tea.  Keep it Eco. It's easy to end up with a lot of trash and packaging after a picnic. Remember to leave your spot as you found it (or better!) To minimize waste, try making your own snacks, dips and drinks and bringing them in reusable containers. I love using my Joco cup for everything from iced teas to smoothies on the go.