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Grow, Community & Lifestyle

How to take your long weekend relaxation plans to new heights

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DH Vancouver Staff May 18, 2018 4:05 pm 1,304

If you’re heading to higher ground this weekend, whether it be a grassy knoll, a mountain hike, or keeping it green it other ways (😉), turning your outdoor activities into a straight-up picnic can really take you to new heights.

Grow has put together some tips and tricks to elevate your outdoor dining and relaxation experience.

Picnic blanket

A quality blanket is a picnic staple, but consider upgrading to one that has a lined bottom that will protect from moisture. Don’t have time or funds to make the switch? Pick up a plastic shower curtain from your local dollar store to put under your existing blanket. (#Lifehacks) This will provide the protective layer you need to lounge a little longer in total comfort.

DIY bug spray

Unless you’re heading into the deep woods, there’s no need for super toxic bug spray. Worse than smelling it is accidentally getting some in your mouth while you’re gorging on food. Try a natural option, easily available at the pharmacy or outdoor camping store.

If you prefer to go all MacGyver on nature itself, you can also get crafty and make your own blend! Mix equal parts witch hazel and apple cider vinegar, with a healthy dose of essential oil (about 40 drops per one cup of liquid). Lemongrass oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil are all good options. This should keep the bugs at bay, so you and your friends can be the only ones buzzing.

long weekend

Bug spray (Maridav/Shutterstock)

Centerpiece

If you want to get fancy and really class up your picnic, try adding some decor. Up cycle a watermelon by converting it to a vase. All you need for this simple and delicious idea is a round watermelon, a serrated knife, a cutting board, a large spoon, and a bowl. Cut the top off the watermelon (just a few inches) and run the knife down the inside to help loosen the fruit. Now start scooping! Get as much of the fruit out as you can and keep aside in a bowl (we’ll come back to this in our next step).

Just trim your flower stems (carnations or daisies are a nice choice) to the proper height and arrange them in the vase working in a circle from the outside in.

Stay hydrated

Remember the discarded watermelon fruit from literally one tip ago? We promised to come back to it, and here we are! Thirst is no joke at a picnic, particularly if you’ve got a bad case of the pasties. Water will do, but why not take a step further a make something truly delicious? On the low maintenance side of things, simply infuse water with watermelon and mint. If you’re more ambitious, toss the watermelon, mint, cucumber, and lime juice into a blender until smooth. Whatever option you choose, pack it in mason jars for perfect spill-proof portions.

Bonus tip! If you freeze your drinks overnight, you’ll have a super cold, slushy refreshment that is sure to satiate.

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Watermelon smoothies (Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock)

Treat yourself

Now here is the best part! What’s a picnic without some treats? Everyone loves dessert, especially if it packs a little extra. Enjoy home baked goodness without the effort by getting some (strictly adults-only) goodies from someone else’s kitchen.

Picnic pro tip: match your treats to the rest of the menu. If you’ve had an otherwise light meal, indulge in in decadent brownies. Already a bit too full? Cookies are a better option so you don’t end up feeling too heavy. You’ve got three days of relaxation ahead of you, so pace yourself!

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DH Vancouver Staff
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