The Community Zero Waste Picnic Baskets

If you’re just catching up, I’ve officially declared this the Summer of the Picnic.

Now that we live just a short drive away from the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline beckon to us on sunny days. I’ve always got a basket at the ready and a plan of action for transporting our meal.

I’ve always been a picnic enthusiast, no matter the season. When the kids were little we bundled up for snow picnics, complete with hot cocoa and warm cookies.  My backyard garden inspired many a vegetarian picnic, and I’ve always found a reason to plan a fall picnic. They are good, simple family fun and we make the best memories every time we adventure out of doors with our dinner.

Earlier this spring, I did a massive sorting of all of my picnic gear and found I had plenty to spare. I decided to put together a few baskets for sharing around my community – zero-waste, plastic free picnic baskets with everything required for an outdoor feast.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Asparagus

Our backyard was a busy place last weekend, with family and friends dropping by and staying to visit. It’s exactly how I love summer life to unfold, with spontaneous spritz on the patio and campfire s’mores just for kicks.

A vegetable-packed pasta salad is one of the ways I like to feed a crowd without too much effort, especially when it is sweltering outside. You can make it in advance or whip it up at the last minute; serve it on its own or with a side of grilled sausages.

It’s fast to prep, is easily customizable and enjoyed by all. Simply put, pasta salad is just smart, simple summer cooking – which is why I can’t believe I’ve never shared a recipe for it until today. Today’s recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Salad is our go-to salad during the hot months. I give my version, but also suggest plenty of ingredient variations for you to make it your own.

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Five reasons to plan a fall picnic

Now that the weather has cooled off doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for good. With a bagged lunch, a thermos, and a quilt from the backseat of the car, you can still have that picnic you were too busy to plan in August.

It just so happens that our recent decision for a lifestyle change has introduced a lot of new topics to discuss as parents. Do we buy a home or build new? Lakefront or ocean? Do we travel before the move or after? Start a business or stick with what we’ve been doing?

Uninterrupted conversation is rare between Danny and I when we are at home with the kids. It’s hard to unpack a topic and take the time to look at it from all angles. So we’ve taken to meeting up for a picnic lunch once a week, weather permitting, and then going for a walk afterward.

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The best cooler hacks for a picnic at the beach

We’re logging quite a few beach days this summer, as our three children are the ideal age for this outing.

Now that everyone knows how to swim, the beach is actually relaxing, and that is a welcome change after a decade of rescuing kids from the surf. After applying sunscreen to three little people, my main job is feeding them all and that takes some organization – and the right gear.

This summer I’m dishing my best hacks for packing a cooler. On blistering hot July days, it takes some strategic planing to keep everything cold.

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