The picnic.


The only bad thing about a good recommendation is not getting it in time. (Of course, I could always write it down, but I don’t!) So in honor of the upcoming 4th of July weekend, today’s post will feature items that will make your gatherings a bit more American. With over a week ’til the 4th, you still have time to use this information, I hope!

Peterboro Basket Company – Manufactured in Peterborough, New Hampshire


If you and your picnic are going to be a success, you’ll need a basket that’s ready to work!

The Ice Master Cooler Basket brings its A-game with a removable, custom-made, insulated liner that will keep your potato salad, watermelon and lemonade chilled for hours.

Peterboro Basket Company is the oldest American basket manufacturer (founded in 1854) still producing their product in the US. Each basket is handmade of solid brass nails and Appalachian White Ash harvested in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.

This may just be the “coolest” picnic basket ever!

Available at in 3 stain options for $49.

Pendleton Woolen Mills – Manufactured in Northwestern, US

No matter how many picnic tables or lawn chairs are provided some of us are going to wind up sitting on the ground. It is not that we have anything against furniture. It is just that there is something about nature that it best experienced from the bottom up. But we are not barbarians. We still enjoy the creature comforts, so we bring or borrow a blanket.

There is perhaps no more cheerful or durable blanket for lounging than the Serape. It is perfect size (64″ w x 79″ l) to catch a break in the action during the day or toss around shoulders as the night turns cool waiting for fireworks.

Made of 82% pure virgin wool and 18% cotton.

With the Serape as your picnic blanket, you are covered — in fun and color!

Available at in 11 colors for $168.

Preserve - Manufactured in US

Picnics should be easy. They are outside after all. So let you tableware match the occasion. Save your finger bowls for Thanksgiving!

The On the Go Tableware Pack for 8 provides 8 dinner plates, 10 salad plates, 8 place-settings of cutlery (knife, fork, spoon), and 10 16 oz. tumblers. Open the bag and you are ready to party! (Also available in 40-person pack if you’ve invited the WHOLE gang!)

What could be better than a party in a bag you ask? Well, this party, like everything Preserve produces, is made of of 100% recycled material and is 100% recyclable. However, don’t worry, you will not be recycling this tableware anytime soon. It is made to be used and reused and, like all good things, it is dishwasher safe.

Buy the Tableware Pack once and you will be ready to picnic anytime! Anything this easy for you and good for the planet should be a no-brainer.

Available at in 2 colors for $20.99 (8-person set).

Rick’s Picks – Manufactured in New York and Pennsylvania

rickspicksEaten alone, piled on a sandwich or diced into a salad, pickles are picnic staple.

A classic New York deli pickle full of garlic and crunch, The People’s Pickle is worth trying. Need more enticing? These are all natural and low in sodium. So don’t feel guilty. Indulge your pickle cravings.

If your tastes run a little more exotic, check out Rick’s Picks variety of pickled and preserved vegetables. From sweet pickles to pickled asparagus, there is something for every taste. (No matter which you chose make sure your check out their website for recipes and uses for the brine.)

The best idea yet? Rick’s sampler packs. They will liven up your picnic and probably your life.

Available at for $7.99 (24 oz jar).

Caroline’s Cakes – Manufactured in Annapolis, Maryland

carolinescakesToo hot to cook? Too busy? Too intimidated? All three?

Don’t worry. If you or any of your guests have a sweet-tooth, Caroline has your back. She has been serving up her delicious southern-inspired goodies for over 10 years now and has developed quite a following. Try one of these patriotic cakes and you’ll know why.

To celebrate the 4th, Caroline has transformed her now famous caramel cake into a show-stopper. The American Flag Cake (top) has layers of Caroline’s classic “melt-in-your-mouth” caramel icing between 3 layers of yellow cake, all topped with vanilla buttercream. (Serves 8-10.)

carolinesdotcakeShe has also worked her festive magic on a classic lemon layer cake. The God Bless America! cake (bottom) is filled with raspberry, lemon curd and blueberry buttercreams. The entire cake is then topped with lemon buttercream. (Serves 14-20.) Its polka dots are the perfect graphic punch for any picnic table.

Be the hero of your picnic. (No one will care that you didn’t make it yourself!)

Available from for $55 (American Flag) and $58 (God Bless America).

Col. Littleton – Manufactured in Lynnville, Tennessee

col.littletonNothing spoils a party faster than uninvited guests, especially when it is time to eat.

To dismiss these pests with expediency and grace, you will want to use the No. 1 Flyswatter. Col. Littleton calls it “No. 1″ because it was the first flyswatter he designed, but you will call it “No. 1″ because it is the most fabulous flyswatter ever. If there is a more elegant way to deal with such a mundane and unpleasant task, you’ll be hard pressed to find it.

This flyswatter is is just one manifestation of Col. Littleton’s desire to create objects of timeless quality that will bring enjoyment and pride to their owners and will ultimately be treasured heirlooms. Start thinking now who you will bequeath this little gem to!

The bridle leather paddle has 31 holes and is attached to an American oak handle. It is available with an optional brass plaque for monogramming. (That is right! A monogrammed, leather flyswatter.) Refined and handmade, but definitely not dainty. The Colonel says it is also “substantial enough for the occasional wayward hornet or bumblebee.”

You may not need this, but you know you want it!

Available at for $52.50 ($61.50 with monogram).

J. R. Watkins – Manufactured in Winona, Minnesota.

Hopefully, you do not need to be sold on the merits of sunscreen.

While any sunscreen is better than none, J. R. Watkins’ SPF 30 is better than most. Chemical sunscreen and PABA free (pros and cons of PABA), it protects you against UVA, UVB and UVC rays. And because it is 95% natural it shouldn’t irritate even the most sensitive skin. In fact, it is so gentle that even the packaging won’t damage the environment. Both the formula and the container are eco-friendly.

Since its founding in 1868, J. R. Watkins has been committed to healthy living. They use only “naturally, environmentally friendly ingredients from renewable resources, avoiding chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and more and, is one of very few lines to be certified by the Natural Products Association.” Likewise they employ responsible manufacturing processes toward a goal of “leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible.”

Just in case you over do it, try J. R. Watkin’s Soothing After Sun Gel. It contains aloe vera to rehydrate and lidocaine to relieve any pain.

Have fun in the sun – just don’t forget to reapply!

Available at for $10.99. (Soothing After Sun Gel for $8.49)


Have a wonderful weekend!

If you are enjoying what you are seeing please let me know. If there is a product or category, you would like to see featured share that too.

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