There is something really magical about grabbing food and finding a place outdoors to sit. It can be as simple as sitting on a park bench or setting up a small environment to sit and dine. Of course, we always have a portable table and outdoor mat in our trunk so we can set up on a whim. In fact, it’s one of my daughter's favorite things to do…a little dinner and frisbee in the park. When you see those Pinterest pins of people dining outdoors in bohemian environments, don’t wish you could be there, instead create it for yourself in a more manageable way.

We recently did a shoot at the beach to show how taking a moment to set up a little environment, to enjoy a meal, can create magical memories. After we were done with the shoot, we were able to enjoy that environment and eat lunch while watching the dolphins and seals swim by. I can’t express how amazing it is to sit in a little bit of dreamy magic so close to home. It’s AMAZING!


Where you picnic, is really important. Chose somewhere you have open space so you can get up and go for a walk, play a game or people watch. One of the great benefits of picnics is how it gathers a community. People always stop at our table and talk to us, commenting on our set up or how great, it is we took the time to have a picnic.

Be sure to either grab some shade or bring an umbrella. There are some great umbrellas that are inexpensive and portable but a lovely tree is always nice because they cast such beautiful shadows on your picnic.



If you are not up for hauling pillows to the beach or park, just chose a lovely blanket or mat, a nice dish instead of paper plates, use real napkins and silverware, glass or acrylic instead of a plastic cup and choose just one item from your home, like a small vase so you can pick a flower or greens from your surroundings. Be sure to take a plastic bag to bring your dirty dishes back.


One idea that came from the shoot was how to have a great meal at great price. We hit up the deli department at Whole Foods on our way to the beach and got their meal deal which consisted of a protein of your choice and two sides for $12! This was such a fantastic deal and we were able to both eat off this one meal of grilled salmon, sautéed brussels sprouts and orzo salad. We added a bottle of inexpensive Rose’ for $6.99 and we had a fantastic elegant lunch for $20! If you like dessert, go for it and get a Whole Foods slice of something sweet for an added $5.

The point here is to just do it even on a budget. You don’t have to spend tons of money to make an amazing alfresco dinner or lunch. Bring food and drink from home, pick up a pizza, or grab snacks but just grab a few decorative items from home and give yourself and your loved ones a much-needed break from the week with a pop-up picnic.