Tricks & Tips to Make Your Picnic Perfect

PicnicSummer is not quite over until we’ve had a proper picnic. We all know that we need to pack food, drinks and a blanket to make a picnic work, but there are a few things you can do to make it headache-free. Here are a few tricks & tips to make your picnic perfect.

Bugs Be Gone While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “picnic” is food on a blanket, the last thing you think about is bugs. They love food as much as you do. Before you leave the house to go on your picnic, spray the underside of your picnic blanket with insect repellent so bugs don’t sneak up on you while you’re enjoying your meal al fresco. When you get to your destination, use bug repellent wipes on your skin rather than spray so it doesn’t get into your food.

Embrace Your Individuality Pack individual meals rather than bringing one big dish of everything. It’s more convenient to have everything already served for many reasons — fewer utensils, fewer dishes, less mess at your destination. This doesn’t mean you have to pack your sandwich and sides into one container; sides can go in smaller containers for individuals. If they’re stackable and sealable, cleanup is a snap.picnic-basket

Keep It Safe Food and travel don’t mix very well, so you have to make sure to make food that doesn’t spoil easily. Steer clear of items made with eggs and dairy — without proper refrigeration, they spoil quickly. That means if you’re going to make salad or pasta salad, make sure the dressing is vinegar-based. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo all cheese — hard cheeses can be left at room temperature for extended periods. If you are set on bringing a summer staple like deviled eggs, make sure you have insulated totes to keep them cold. For extra protection, freeze a few water bottles for the bottom of your basket or tote. They’ll keep things cool without making a wet mess and you’ll have a few extra cold beverages.

Brisk Beverages While eating room temperature food on a hot summer day is expected, room temperature drinks is not. Unlike water, you can’t freeze soda, beer or wine, but you can use your frozen water bottles to keep your other beverages cold. Make sure to bring along double-wall tumblers — they come with lids and straws to protect your drink from bugs and the double walls protect your drink from the heat of your hand!tumbler

Don’t Forget Your Cutting Board Even if you don’t have anything to cut on your picnic, bring a cutting board. Big or small, there will be a point when you need a hard, even surface and a blanket on the grass won’t cut it. It gives you a spot to put your drink or even a plate of food without worrying about everything ending up on the ground or on your blanket. It also takes a lot of the awkward out of eating without a table and chairs.

The Lakeside Collection knows a little something about entertaining. Whether it’s a picnic in the park for two or a barbecue for 30 people, look to Lakeside for entertaining ideas, inspiration and products.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for 4th of July Products

patriotic-spinnerWe’re just a few weeks away from our nation’s birthday and we’re planning a big patriotic party! We want it to dazzle so we’ve picked out a few items to light up the night — we think you’ll like them, too! Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for 4th of July products.

American Garden Celebrate your patriotism with this Metal Americana Garden Decor. The navy blue, cream and rustic red colors give these pieces a classic, nostalgic look. Printed with the stars and stripes of the flag, the Triple Americana Bells progressively get bigger from bottom to top. A ring on the top makes it easy to hang anywhere the wind blows. Each of the “blades” on the Embossed Metal Pinwheel has 3-dimensional swirls that spin in the wind. Stakes easily into your yard.patriotic-garland

Festive Festoons Use this 9-Ft. Lighted Holiday Garland to dress your home with a festive look for every seasonal celebration. It’s made of tinsel that shimmers when the light hits it. Each strand of garland has 50 lights, a 24″ lead and 4″ end-to-end plugs that allow you to string multiple garlands together. Patriotic has red, white and blue lights throughout. Valentine’s Day garland has red lights and heart shapes. St. Patrick’s Day has green lights and shamrock cutouts. Easter features a multicolor pastel palette with pink, yellow and blue lights and bunny cutouts. outdoor-table

Portable Patriotism Take It Anywhere Outdoor Table is the ideal table for your summer journeys. Steel table keeps cocktails, sodas, snacks, BBQ servings and more nearby as you relax on a lawn chair, beach lounger or other outdoor furniture. Just stake it firmly in the ground or sand and you’re ready to enjoy your food or beverage. You can also use it as a spot for sunglasses, tanning lotion, books and more. Top handle makes it easy to transport and to pull out when you leave. checked-tablecloth

Patriotic Picnic Add some checkered charm to your everyday dining with a Country Check Tablecloth. The top has a large checkered pattmesh-servewareern with a small checkered border.

Star Spangled Serveware Effortlessly carry dinner essentials to the table with the Metal Mesh Serveware Collection. Start with the Utensil Caddy, which has 3 sections for knives, forks and spoons and a larger section for paper plates. It also has collapsible double handles for easy carrying. Add the Napkin Holder  with a weighted bar that keeps napkins in place outdoors. Carry food to the table on the Serving Tray with comfort handles on both sides.

End of Summer Countdown: 6 Ideas for Having Fun with Your Family

Family-FunAugust is Family Fun Month! We’re counting down the days before the kids go back to school, so we want to make the most of the time we have left with the family. Here are 6 ideas for having fun with your family.

Be Nostalgic Put together a family time capsule. Have everyone collect items to remind them of what they did this summer – shells from the seashore, artwork, postcards, photographs, small toys, books, calendars, lists of your favorite intangible items (TV shows, songs, bands), ticket stubs (movies, airline, sporting events). Put all the items in a sturdy container that locks out moisture, seal it and make sure you have an open date clearly written on it. Burying it could ruin the contents, so store it in a cool dark corner until it’s time to open it.

Be Active Play a game outside. Badminton is a great game for the family because you can play as individuals or as teams and it doesn’t take a lot of athletic ability for it to be fun for just about any age. If you want to do something less competitive, plan a family day at the pool.

Family-FunBe Hungry Go on a picnic. Choose the most beautiful park in your community and plan a big portable meal. Get everyone to pitch in to make the food and prepare the coolers for an afternoon of eating in the outdoors. Make a whole day of it by planning games or flying kites.

Be Creative Make a summer family scrapbook. Have all the photos of everything you did this summer – include individual activities like Girl Scout camp or tennis camp. Come up with scrapbook themes and ideas as a family. Give everyone a few pages to decorate and include pages for journaling about how each of you spent the summer.

Be Curious Plan a treasure or scavenger hunt for around your block. Scavenger hunts are a great way for kids to explore the neighborhood and see it from a different perspective. Hunts encourage team work and give families the opportunity to communicate and interact. It sparks unique quality family time you won’t have during the school year.

Family-FunBe Constructive Build something as a family. A tree house or a fort in the backyard will be fun to plan and make together and the kids will get use out of it for the next few months. But even smaller items like a table or bench made from an upcycled wooden pallet to add to your outdoor décor is fun for the whole family to build and enjoy. If you don’t have the time or materials to build something permanent, there’s no shame in building a blanket fort in the backyard.

The summer has flown by, but it’s not over yet! Enjoy the summer with your family while you can! Check out our emails and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more  #familyfun as the summer winds down this month.

Lakeside Selection: Our Favorite Items for the Week

It’s Friday fun day! There are so many ways to spend the weekend, we’re letting the catalog help us decide what to do as we look for our favorite items for the week. Here’s this week’s Lakeside Selection.

bubbleizer

The fun never ends with The Light-Up Bubbleizer! It blows bubbles nonstop since it never runs out of breath. Pull the trigger and watch the bubbles flow. Its transparent body lets you see the bubbles forming. Streaks of colored light illuminate each shiny bubble as it floats in the air. Comes with a bottle of bubble solution (1.69 oz.) and is easily refillable. Works with any bubble solution.

food-covers

These colorful food covers slip over bowls, serving platters and casserole dishes with ease. This set gives you 96 of them in 3 different sizes at an amazing price! Each size features its own color to help you select the right one for the job. The covers are sheer, so you can see the food easily. Great for taking treats to work, the neighbor’s house, or a pot luck! Use them for storing leftovers in the fridge, and without the need to transfer food to a storage container, you’ll have fewer dishes to wash. Easier than fighting plastic wrap. Fits all shapes: round, oval and rectangular. Reusable or disposable.

mosaic-bird-feeder

Attract birds to your yard with this Solar Mosaic Bird Feeder. The pillar sparkles in sunlight, and at dusk it glows from the inside making the bird feeder a lively part of your nighttime landscape. A solar panel on top provides the energy for the light. Fill the tray at the bottom with seed, and the top canopy will protect it from moisture.

headwraps

Style your hair with a different print or color every day with this Set of 6 Headwraps. The headwraps are a comfortable alternative to hard plastic headbands and can also be worn wide for use as head scarves. Elastic banding prevents them from slipping off, so you can wear them for workouts or other physical activities.

picnic-table-covers

Give a fresh, new style to your picnic table and benches with this vividly colored 3-pc. set of covers. The durable vinyl covers prevent spills and dirt from reaching the surfaces and wipes clean easily. The edges are elasticized for a secure fit.