PICNIC 101

Fatboy picnic blanket

I am just back from Sun Valley and the trip was OUT OF THIS WORLD. As always. While there, I shopped for mountain, outdoor appropriate attire for my life and my closet. I got nothing. As in there was nothing I would spend my money on. For instance, what does a girl have to do to put together a proper picnic? Sure, they make the perfect basket but it is never big enough and certainly not practical for the condiments. I thought long and hard about how to do this right and wanted to share my conclusions. If you follow AP on Instagram or Facebook, many of these won't be a surprise.

Hillard's amber ale beer

TOTE This is a complicated piece to advise. I own a Land's End XL canvas tote in natural. It has pockets in the right places, comfortable to carry and fits a surprisingly large number of "things." It also happens to not be available for sale, which I find SHOCKING. The L.L. Bean "Boat and Tote" comes in a great natural canvas and available in my beloved XL (You know I have a thing for oversized everything!) but no pockets.  (You know I have a thing for pockets!) So, I am still trying to figure out my new option. I have decided I need to design my own. Stay tuned for Summer 2015. 

Massimo Vignelli Heller white dishware

BLANKET I discovered this picnic blanket from Fatboy last year. Really functional and the best blanket I have found for picnics. But not totally what I want. Stay tuned for Summer 2015. 

EAT Gorgeously wrapped sandwiches is where it is at! Make you own as detailed on Say Yes. So much easier than I would have guessed.  

DRINK I do not prefer to drink beer from a can. I will but the problem is beer that comes in a can typically tastes like shit. BUT I am a sucker for great packaging and Seattle's own Hillard's makes ridiculously good-looking cans and the beer is exactly what you want on these HOT days. More into wine? My husband is the go-to on these matters. He said Gramercy Cellars was recently introduced to him. They have a rose, which is perfect for a picnic. I love iced tea and in the last couple of years I've been crazy for hibiscus. This recipe for Hibiscus-Lemonade Tea has become a staple. The kids LOVE.  

Manebi Espadrilles

 •3 cups of recently boiled water, plus 1/3 cup for simple syrup
 •6 hibiscus tea bags
 •1/3 cup of sugar
 •3 cups of Simply Lemonade
Pour 3 cups of boiled water into a large glass-measuring cup. Add the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the reserved 1/3 cup of boiled water in a small bowl with sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and transparent. After the tea has steeped for 5 minutes, discard the teabags and pour the tea into a pitcher along with the simple syrup and lemonade. Stir together and serve over ice. Garnish with citrus if desired.

DISHWARE The only dishes for a picnic are the classic stackable melamine Heller Dinnerware Set by Massimo Vignelli reissued for DWR. In white, 

Oliver Peoples Sunglasses

DRESS These retro shades from my absolute fave Oliver Peoples just suit a picnic. Right? For the summer, I have temporarily ditched my Vans obsession for Manebi espadrilles.  Of course, THE DRESS is the best for a picnic because you can sit criss-cross-applesauce!