Summer Picnics are #NaturallyAmazing

*This post is sponsored by French’s, a #NaturallyAmazing product.  All opinions are mine.

A clean eating dinner picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy kids ask for a dinner picnic almost every single night during summer.  And fall.  And spring.  So we try to have them as much as possible.  There is something absolutely magical about sitting outside as the sun turns golden.  Eating outside brings an entirely different energy to dinner time.  It is much more casual and playful.  And the food is always kept simple and fresh.  This picnic set up shared through out this post, however, is a dream scenario.  In our real dinner picnics, the blanket gets all wrinkled, plates get kicked over and there is grass.  Lots of grass.  Everywhere.  This is what summer picnics would look like if my kids were robots that I could control with a remote control.

Lavender lemonade is the perfect drink to bring to a picnic or potluck.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy robot children would willingly try all the wonderful and delicious foods that I love.  They would not be afraid of things that sound a little bit different.  They wouldn’t turn their noses up at lavender lemonade.  They would drink it and be instantly transformed in to a wonderfully relaxed state of mind.  They would never ask for soda even though they know they only drink it very rarely.

Fresh veggies and a tangy mustard based dip are a great dish to bring to a picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am very lucky that my kids do, in fact, like vegetables.  They don’t hesitate to grab them off a buffet table and never complain when I send them in their lunches.  Up until a little while ago, my oldest son couldn’t eat anything with milk in it so he never really had anything to dip them in.  We are very fortunate that he seems to have outgrown that allergy.  For this picnic I made a delicious mustard dip.  French’s mustard is, and always has been a natural food.  What I love about it is that is adds SO much flavor.  And it is an absolute essential for summer grilling.  It is perfect with hamburgers and hotdogs but also delicious grilled veggie sandwiches.  It also sort of inspired the color palette as well.  You normally don’t think of mustard yellow as a summer color but I think these rich colors are perfect for the time just before sunset.  French’s wants you to get inspired also.  They have a new Pinterest page and it features other great ideas for #naturallyamazing entertaining and recipes for any occasion: graduation celebrations, picnics, summer BBQs, light lunches and more!  You can follow them by clicking the image below!

French's is now on Pinterest!

Cabbage salad for a delicious and easy dinner picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy real family has recently started eating more salads.  I’ve always loved salads so this has made me so happy.  However, only my robot children would eat this cabbage salad.  While the cabbage is really mild in flavor, the herbs would totally throw my kids off.  I loved the bright flavors of the mint, basil and cilantro.  And the lime sesame dressing had a touch of sweetness that paired with it really nicely.  Robot children are the best, aren’t they?

A vintage blanket works perfectly for a summer picnic.  #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods #sponsored // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd only my robot children would be able to eat on this vintage blanket with a mustard dip…

Wooden cutlery for a summer dinner outdoors. #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchfoods // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI decided to keep the elements of this picnic really natural.  I mixed wooden utensils with wooden plates and platters and recyclable paper containers for easy clean up.  But since this was for pretend children who don’t break things, I used my fave blue glasses for a pop of color.  In a real scenario I would probably use some clear plastic cups, nothing colored as I wouldn’t want to compete with this gorgeous blanket.

Succulents transport well and are really great for decorating picnics.  Also, wine.  You should always serve wine.  #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSucculents are a great thing to bring as decorations when entertaining out of the house.  They are a really hearty plant and look great.  I also like to use bright-colored fruits because they double as part of the meal and decoration.  My robot and real children love cherries.

Mustard is all natural and a great way to add flavor to summer picnic dishes!  #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comEating healthier, more clean, doesn’t have to be boring.  I look for ways to add in flavor to keep me the meals from tasting the same.  I use a lot of fresh ground black pepper, fresh citrus juices and French’s mustard to add a wonderful savory tang.

vintage-blanket-and-grass-picnicThis has been a tale of my robot children and this fantastical picnic we all enjoyed together.  All the tips still hold true, just maybe not as a family picnic.  Maybe your picnic won’t be as fancy as this one but French’s and I encourage you to bring some fresh tastes to your table this summer!  Don’t forget to follow French’s for time-saving hacks and useful cooking tips as well as memorable meal ideas!

French's Mustard is #NaturallyAmazing #sponsored

 

Thank you for supporting the companies, like French’s, that sponsor my posts and allow me to create.  My robot children appreciate it also.

St. Patrick’s Day Picnic and Crafts with Solo Products

green solo cup st. patrick's day hatsSolo sent me some products and asked me to make some crafts with them for St. Patrick’s Day.  I know these cup hats have been done before but how cute are they!  I kept this first one really simple.  At first, I had wanted to fringe the felt on the bottom but loved how they look like little top hats.  And kids love them.  Just look how excited my son is to wear it for a photo.

Leprechaun hat with Solo CupAll you need is a cup, a little felt, some string or ribbon and a little hot glue.  My glue gun had its way with my thumb during the making of this craft.  I took some ibuprofen and I’m doing ok now.  Use hot glue at your own risk!

st. patrick's day hat with gold flowerI made a little girl’s version too.  Because girl’s stuff is so cute.

Little Girl's St. Patrick's Day HatAnd then I asked one of my favorite neighbors to wear it for me.  She was WAY happier to help me with a photo than my son.  And I didn’t even have to bribe her.  How refreshing.

picnic for St. Patricks DayI am going to be leaving to go out of town on a mother/daughter trip early on St. Patrick’s Day, but if I was staying home, my family would totally be having a fun picnic at the park.  It would include a scavenger hunt for treasure and other fun activities as well as yummy food.  Or maybe we would just do a big charcuterie spread with meats and cheeses.  I didn’t have a bunch of cheese on hand for the photo so I substituted the “cheese” banner.  I created a Pinterest board for my St. Patrick’s Day picnic, check it out.

plastic plates for teenage mutant ninja turtle craftAnd while I was messing around with the Solo products, I realized that I could make a homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume for my son.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Play OutfitIt is totally going to fall apart by the end of the day (the straps are made from flagging tape.  Ribbon would hold up way better) but that will save me from having to store it…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Outfit out of platesI also think this method would be cool for making super hero chest shields.  Doesn’t he look so tough?  He was much happier to wear this for pictures.

What are your big plans for St. Patrick’s Day?

*Disclosure:  Solo sent me product to use for crafting.

Light Cider by Michelob for your summer entertaining

Have you tried Michelob Ultra Light Ciders yet?  They are yummy, refreshing and perfect for summer entertaining.  The light apple flavor is perfect for those who don’t enjoy traditional beer and wine drinkers will surely love these too.  Seeing as how we are moving in to the hottest part of our summer, these will be my go-to drink to cool off with.

I love to share new things with my party guests and I will definitely have these on hand for my end of summer barbeques.  The best part is they are gluten-free!  I never like for my friends with special diets to feel left out.  These Light Ciders are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next party.

Had I thought ahead, I would have picked up some apple Izze Soda for the boys and we would have had the perfect family picnic.  Instead they chose to entertain me while I tried to take some pictures.  Why yes, that is the sprinkler my oldest son is doing.  That is his signature move.

Michelob Ultra Light Cider’s can be found at your local grocery store!

*I was given Michelob Ultra Light Cider to review as well as all this summer picnic entertaining stuff from Crate and Barrel.  All opinions are mine.