Tag: picnics

5 incredibly clever ways to transport wine safely to picnics

Summer means picnics, and picnics mean wine! Well, okay — picnics mean an awful lot of good things, like family and fun and memories and sunshine. But for you wine-drinkers, a nice Rosé or Prosecco can have its own special place in a picnic, and we’re all for getting that bottle to your picnic destination safely. So let’s give a toast to these clever ways to transport wine to picnics. Bottoms up! At least, if your city’s open container laws allow. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Outdoor dining gear essentials for perfect picnics   We’ve loved these Wine Sippy...

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20+ backyard party ideas: Host the best summer party on your block.

Warmer weather means moving the inside activities outside, which is an all-around good thing — especially when it comes to those long summer day get-togethers. Parties are somehow just more fun when they’re in the backyard (and we admit, the easier-to-clean-up aspect is pretty appealing too). Since every outdoor event can only get better with a few awesome backyard party ideas, we searched around the web to find our very favorites. At top: Mini Water Blobs | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Budget-friendly tricks for hosting a fabulous outdoor party. Backyard party ideas for invitations One of the best things about...

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10 fantastic, fun block party ideas to make it the hit of the summer.

We are so excited for summer, if you haven’t been able to tell from our posts lately. Swimming all day. Staying up late to play outside way past bedtime. Kids sleeping in late. (Ha, we wish.) It’s a laid-back schedule that’s so perfect for getting together with neighbors and catching up on all we miss during the busy school year. So if you’re thinking about planning a block party, or already have one on the schedule, we’ve got you covered with some awesome block party ideas to guarantee an amazing event. And we’re so excited to be working with a perfect sponsor for summer...

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A Kate Spade picnic blanket that comes complete with its own grass. Ants not included.

It’s finally the perfect weather for picnics, hooray! Eating al fresco of course isn’t complete without a picnic blanket, but this Kate Spade picnic blanket actually includes the grass too. Just in case that’s a little hard to find for you city dwellers. Related: 9 al fresco recipes for summer picnic perfection Okay, so it’s not real grass, but it looks pretty darn close, doesn’t it? The big difference is that it’s not itchy (sorry, grass) and it wipes clean, a helpful feature if you’re picnicking with children. Or heck, even adults, who might be a little clumsy with their wine sippy cup....

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Don’t throw out those cups!

As my NYC neighborhood catches spring fever big time this weekend, I’m suddenly digging all the picnic supplies out of hiding. One thing I could use but don’t have: reusable plastic cups. Since my kids have started using real glasses, I guess we just don’t have any. But I will, after grabbing a couple four-packs of these reusable plastic party cups from One Hundred 80 Degrees. They look so much like the disposable plastic ones from Solo, it’s almost disconcerting when you lift it up and feel the weight of melamine. But they’re such a smart alternative to disposable cups...

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ToGoKins: Little cloth napkins with a big impact

My kids’ backpacks are filled to bursting every morning as they leave for school, with books, lunch, snacks, and whatever else they can find to cram in there, it seems. Adding something else to that haul might seem ludicrous, but I love the environmental aspect of sending them off with cloth napkins like ToGoKins. Those of you who are crafty might be able to make them yourself,  but for me, it would be June before I pull out my sewing machine and actually do it. So this little Etsy shop is a great resource. Their adorable little cloth napkins are just that. Little. (And...

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Labor Day recipe ideas: Make your holiday barbecue extra tasty and delicious

If you’re like us and celebrating the unofficial end of summer and the start of school (whoo!) with some food and fun today, we rounded up a bunch of our favorite recipes that you can still whip up in time for your party or barbecue. Here’s to one last day of summer awesome before the craziness of back to school officially begins. Happy Labor Day, cool moms! DRINKS It’s the end of summer, so not just any margarita will do. Try one of these sophisticated margarita recipes and toast the end of August. Beat the heat with these delicious boozy slushie recipes. You...

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6 killer hot dog recipes to spice up summer: Move over, yellow mustard.

Hot dogs are a simple pleasure, I know, but even the classics can use a little jazzing up sometimes. Not that there’s anything wrong with yellow mustard (okay, there kind of is, but still…) but I suggest you ditch it for a moment and kick the grilling up a notch. You may never go back again. Hope you enjoy these six creative hot dog recipes, all the perfect kind of fun for your summer dinner table.   I’ve been seeing a lot of Asian-fusion hot dogs on menus lately and, having tried a few, I can tell you that this trend is a...

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10 of the best essential summer wine accessories to keep your vino fresh, cool and portable.

I love a good glass of wine any time of the year, but especially during the summer months. There’s something about sipping a good rosé on a picnic or starting dinner with an effervescent, chilled dry Lambrusco that brings out the wine lover in me. The weather makes wine feel casual and my favorite summer wine accessories make drinking it easy. Hope they help you too.   In the summer I nearly exclusively drink from my GoVino glasses, which we count among our picnic essentials here at Cool Mom Picks. These attractive cups made specifically for wine are made from a BPA-free...

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The portable picnic blanket

I love picnics, but I hate schlepping giant picnic blankets with me, especially because in New York, we don’t always have car trunks to shove everything into. I was so excited to find this Picnic Bag that converts to a blanket, at Yield Design Co. In five great colors, the duck canvas bags are made with zippers in lieu of seams, cleverly allowing the bag to unfold flat so you can plop right down without adding extra ground cover to your load. When you’re done, zip it up and sling the tote over your shoulder. It’s also great for...

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9 al fresco recipes for summer picnic perfection

One of my favorite things about summer is dining al fresco. Backyard meals, beachside bakes, picnics in the park: you name it, I’m in. If you’re grilling your eats, try one of these delectable 8 summer BBQ recipes. But if you’re planning an outdoor feast with no fire source, prep these easy recipes at home for a killer picnic spread. With your basket full of these picnic dishes, all you need to do is grab your pretty waterproof picnic blanket, portable speakers and, of course, the kids. No dinner clean-up required! Sandwiches are the obvious move for a picnic, but these Pressed...

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Play with your food: 11 awesome ways to serve a watermelon

We love, love, love watermelon season, and why not? Sweeter than candy and just  a wee bit healthier, here are some of the coolest ways to serve a watermelon at your next picnic or kid’s party, that you can actually do. I mean, I’m a mom too. I’m not going to invest in a suite of professional tools and three hours each day to make a lifesize replica of the Hindenburg. But some of these do get you close. Related: Turning delicious fresh fruit into smoothies? There’s an app for that.   Watermelon Punch Bowl: Any drink at all made...

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Gorgeous waterproof picnic blankets: if only they kept the rain away too.

Even though it’s not quite summer feeling everywhere just yet, it’s the official start of summer, which means picnics. Yay! We recently featured this post with our top picnic tips for parents with new babies, and number one: Use a waterproof blanket. Fortunately, we found a great Etsy shop selling a ton of them.   Sewn Natural makes lovely handmade blankets of all kinds, but it’s the thoughtfully-designed waterproof picnic blankets I’m really digging right now. In polka dots, chevrons (of course), traditional checks and even Marimekko fabrics, they all roll-up into a super convenient 14″ roll and button closed. They’re...

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7 sizzling summer burger recipes

Fire up the grill! Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and that means burgers. And grilling. And yum. To kick off hamburger season, we’ve rounded up a collection of 7 sensational, mouthwatering burger recipes. There’s something for everyone: griller or broiler, carnivore or vegetarian. Sizzle on. Let’s start big and bold: Blue Cheese Burger with Bacon Onion Marmalade from Serving Seconds (above). I honestly don’t know what to say about this burger except that it must get in my belly. Now.   I’ve been looking for a great Tex-Mex inspired burger recipe for a while. Mission accomplished! Introducing the Green...

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A celebration of motherhood firsts: 7 smart tips for the first picnic with kids

This post is part of a monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap, on our tips for celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots! The official start of summer is just around the corner and that means time for playgrounds, parks, and that very first picnic, one of our very favorite rites of passage for new babies. (We’ve been through quite a few of those, so we know.) But before you pack up your entire kitchen in the trunk of the car and cram your basket full of goodies you might not need–or eat– here are...

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The genius idea for packing wine on your picnic

While there’s something to be said for sipping wine out of those big red keg cups in the summer, I admit I always feel a little fancy when my Albarino is an actual wine glass. Unfortunately, if you’re picnicking, glass isn’t going to cut it. So to speak. The Wine Sippy Cup may have a name that conjures up activites that can trigger a visit from child services, but they are definitely not for children. It’s really just a spill-resistant plastic tumbler that looks like a wine glass inside. You can drink it without the lid, or keep it on if...

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Cuter than the average pic-a-nic basket

I don’t care if Toronto hasn’t quite gotten the spring memo yet– I’m already dreaming about park visits and picnic lunches. And when I spotted this adorable insulated picnic lunch bag at ModCloth, I fell in love. And I knew right away that I wouldn’t be handing it over to any of my kids. Oh, no. That sweet thing will be all mine. The Blueberry lunch bag is cute, but I think my heart belongs to the Watermelon one. (Gosh, even the color names are adorable.) The red checkered pattern on the Watermelon lunch bag reminds me of a...

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The picnic blanket you’ll actually use… I promise

I’m always kind of envious of those other more-prepared-than-I-am moms. You know the ones: They have an extra sippy cup when one falls on the ground, they carry Band-Aids everywhere, and they’re never without an extra snack or two. Ah, but do they have a picnic blanket in that bag of theirs? Because now I do. (Hmmm, I wonder if that makes me one of them?) Either way, the Central Park Picnic Blanket from Skip*Hop has been making my spring and summer much easier (and way more fun!) ever since we received one to check out. From trips to...

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Picnic Week: Built NYC’s Neoprene Six-Pack Tote

My memories of picnicking as a child include my poor dad struggling to carry a giant plastic cooler weighing approximately 100 pounds to our picnic site.  He’d heave the monstrous beast onto a picnic table and then go sit down to mop the sweat off his brow. Fun start to the day! Now that I have children, I’m determined not to become their pack mule. Instead of using a huge cooler, we pack things in smaller, easy-to-carry containers and share the load. Built NYC makes the most amazing neoprene totes in different shapes, sizes and colors to keep cool drinks insulated stylishly and...

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