Anyone else not ready to let go of summer just yet?? The past few months in DC have been a ridiculously hot and humid, so I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to the arrival of cooler weather, but I’ll miss the slower pace and relaxed vibe of summer! I’ve been working with mike’s hard lemonade to celebrate backyard entertaining, and the long Labor Day weekend felt like the perfect excuse to throw an end of summer picnic. And since this was our last big summer hurrah, I thought I’d bring along some of my favorite vintage watermelon glasses and watermelon accessories!
I love picnic parties because the set up is just so simple and easy! I made a bright pink picnic blanket from a tie dyed drop cloth using traditional Shibori dyeing techniques (more on that soon!) and added a few large honeycomb balls in shades of pink, peach, and mint green, some colorful napkins, and a couple lawn flamingos to create a fun and festive atmosphere. A watermelon cooler bag filled with ice kept drinks nice and cold through the afternoon and evening.
We wanted the food and drinks to match the laid back picnic vibe – no intricate cocktail recipes allowed! We also wanted to be able to prepare everything ahead of time and just pack it all into a couple baskets for everyone to enjoy at their own pace. We made these mini baguette sandwiches with salami, mozzarella, and basil for a picnic party last year and LOVED them – so we decided to make them again this year! No need to mess with a good thing. Just wrap the sandwiches in parchment or wax paper, tie everything up with a bit of twine, and you’ll be good to go!
Normally we would have a few pre-made cocktails in large swing bottles to offer enough variety for a get together, but this time there was no need! There are plenty of mike’s hard lemonade flavor options to go around – from the new Flavors of America variety pack, which features four refreshing flavors inspired by the iconic flavors from different regions of the country, to the classic bottles of the original hard lemonade.
I can’t believe how fast this summer flew by! As much as I’m looking forward to cooler weather, I know I’ll miss these summer nights with late sunsets, fireflies, and cool evening breezes. This past year with two young girls under age 3 has been a wee bit of a whirlwind, and I’m so grateful for late summer nights with good friends. But hopefully the end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of backyard entertaining! Before I know it we’ll be gathering around the fire pit and drinking hot toddies!
Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper