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A Backyard Book Date + Picnic

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I'm Ashley

I’m a mama to three kiddos, wife to Phil, and lover of Jesus! I'm passionate about finding, creating, and celebrating beauty in the everyday. So happy you are here, friend. 


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Is it just me or does it feel like summer went by way too fast? Since becoming a mama I often feel like time is my own worst enemy. Anyone else feel this way? Some days fly by and others seem to last for an eternity. The saying “the days are long but the years are short” has never resonated so much as it does now. Between diaper changes, middle of the night feedings, picking up toys, appointments, meal planning, grocery shopping, play dates, and all the other things that tend to fill up our schedule, it’s so easy to get lost in the rush of it all and miss out on what really matters. In this season of motherhood I am really trying to find moments to pause the craziness and live more intentionally as a wife and mama. Rather than worrying about how fast or slow time is going, I’m trying to find ways to just focus on today and find simple ways to make our normal days a little more magical.

“One day at a time—this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

— Ida Scott Taylor

Bridgett has really been into reading books lately and I often find her setting up pretend picnics for her dolls & teddy bears. Since I’m trying to find ways to make our normal days a little more fun, I got the idea to combine her favorite things by having an outdoor reading picnic complete with bookmarks to color. She was beyond thrilled to help me get things ready for our special picnic. It was her job to pick out her favorite books and help carry them outside. I’m pretty sure she would’ve carried out all of her books if I had let her.

When you’re packing a picnic with a toddler it’s best to keep things simple. That’s one of the reasons why we absolutely love these new Annie’s Pea B&J Pockets. They’re perfect to have in the freezer for an easy to grab lunch or snack.

To make it easier to carry our lunch outside I grabbed a basket from our coffee table to use as our picnic basket, threw in a pretty napkin to make it a little more fun, and put in all of our food. You don’t have to go too crazy or spend a lot of money to make your picnic special. I try to keep a stash of colorful napkins and leftover party supplies for occasions like this. Our simple picnic menu included:

  • Grape Pea B&J Pockets (they also come in strawberry)
  • Chips (I used brown paper lunch sacks and cut off the top to make my own bags. Easy peasy!)
  • Fruit Salad
  • S’mores Snack Mix (We made our own mix using our favorite Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams, mini marshmallows, & chocolate chips…SO good!)
  • Lemonade

Once we had everything ready we took our picnic basket & blanket outside, brought out the books Bridgett picked out, and let the fun begin. Bridgett was so excited about reading books outside. I don’t know why I haven’t thought about doing this before! Sometimes a simple change of scenery is all your little ones need to gain a new excitement for something that might be a part of your normal routine.

I especially love that they are made with simple & wholesome ingredients. They don’t have any artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup, which makes this mama happy! Plus, I’m so thankful to have found an easy snack or lunch option for playdates this fall that our friends with peanut allergies can enjoy too.

Bridgett made sure to include her doll & bear in the picnic festivities. She insisted on giving them each a little basket filled with their own delicious lunch.

One of my goals this year is to include more reading time into our days and this picnic date was such a fun way to encourage the love of reading and spend some quality time with my girls. Bridgett was so proud to ‘read’ her books to Libby and made sure to show her all of the pictures. We will definitely be having another backyard reading picnic again especially as the weather cools off!

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PS: The next time you’re at Target, grab a box of Annie’s Pea B&J Pockets (in either 4 or 8 count) in the frozen aisle as part of Made to Matter. I’m sure your little one (and you!) will love them!

This is a paid, sponsored post in partnership with Annie’s Homegrown. All opinions here are 100% my own. I only share products that I love and think you’ll love too.

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