TIS THE SEASON FOR HOLIDAY PICNICS

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Here’s a fun fact about me- I’m a sucker for a good picnic. In high school while I was still living in Miami, I remember fondly having picnics with my friends. They were fun, food heavy, and just an entertaining and easy way to get together, lounge around, and catch up.

That didn’t change when I moved to New York. It didn’t hurt that we had two great parks at walking distance from our apartment that were perfect for picnics- Central Park and Carl Shultz Park along the East River! Whether they were spontaneous or planned, picnics were just a part of our NYC living lifestyle. We would go to our local cheese chop, pick up some meats and cheeses, a couple of bottles of wine, call up some friends, and head to the park for a lazy and fun afternoon. Sometimes, they were just picnics with Coco and I, with some deli sandwiches and some champers.

When we had Maya, I remember putting together a really special father’s day picnic at the park, just the three of us and it’s still one of my favorite moments. Fast forward a few years later and we’re back in Miami and our love of picnics (maybe not in the dead of summer) hasn’t changed.

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This is where Lovely Darlings Picnic comes into the picture. I first came across Lovely Darlings Picnic on photographer,  Danielle Marguerite’s Instagram and I thought the concept was genius! Joann Mezadieux, the creative mind behind Lovely Darlings Picnic, is all about curating memories- no matter how big or small. She’s Pinterest come to life, minus the Pinterest anxiety. How is that possible? Well, consider Joann your creative angel because she will curate and plan your picnic- soup to nuts (no pun intended) based on whatever vision you want to bring to life.

She takes care of every single detail- starting with the theme. When I contacted Joann, all I knew is that I wanted to have a picnic with my husband and my kids. I just thought something pretty, with one of those super retro-chic picnic baskets, a cheese plate, some fizzy juice for the kids and rose for us! Joann took it one step further and suggested a holiday themed picnic and I was ecstatic! Next step was location. I really wanted something that was close to home and with a view. I had suggested Margaret Pace Park because it’s across from our apartment and we frequent the park so it has meaning for us. Joann then goes and scopes out the scene, and finds the best picnic spot for the ultimate experience.

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Did I mention that you don’t have to worry about bringing a thing to this picnic? Not unless you want to bring anything additional, but Joann really does take care of it all. A two-hour block is secured for you to enjoy the picnic. Joann will set it all up, you come and enjoy your picnic, and when you are done, she takes care of packing everything up- except  for the memories, you keep those!

I was really excited to see what Joann put together! Our first look was a big surprise, and since it was holiday themed, I took advantage and decided to do some photos for our Christmas cards. I also teamed up with Danielle, once again, to take not just take our photographs, but of the beautiful set up!

Our first impression was a classic one with lots of ooohs and ahhhs ! The picnic set up exceeded our expectation! These pictures prove it. Joann is more than a creative director, she really is such a talented force! She added beautiful plaid blankets, big, fluffy pillows, the retro picnic basket, and unique holiday decor to spruce up the set up. It was so holiday-perfect! Coco, who was on the verge of running out of fuel, kept saying, ‘wow, this is beautiful.’ Maya was blown away, too!

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I can’t begin to share what a lovely and relaxing time we had….relaxing- there’s some food for thought! Life is busy for everyone, especially during the holidays and in my case, Art Basel as well. It felt like such a retreat to sit in the middle of the park, just the four of us, and taking a few deep breaths to live in the moment and enjoy those two hours of calm. Not to sound like a complete cheese ball, but it was nice to be with each other, to lay back on the plush pillows sip some Palm Rose under the palm trees (for real), nibble on some bites, all with a gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. In Maya’s case, she was living her best life with a fizzy drink that Joann provided along with the coupes! It’s a subtle and nice reminder to put into perspective what the holidays are really about.

No toys, no tablets, and no distractions, these kids went old school and just ran around the park chasing each other down, while mom and dad got some time alone to just chill and reflect.

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Here’s another perk to Lovely Darlings picnic. Once we were done and it was time to go back upstairs, we texted Joann and she came to pick up all the decor and break down the set up. Yes, that easy! Her prices start at $175 for a two-hour weekday set up, and you’re not limited to just holidays. Lovely Darlings is available for any occasion or no occasion! Think engagement, afternoon date, Valentine’s Day, bridal shower, baby shower, tea party picnic, and the list goes on and on! I can’t wait to book her again, because it was that magical!

Here’s a little gift from Joann and myself! If you book a picnic and say ‘Kathy sent ya,” you’ll get $20 off your set up! Trust me, you’ll be wowed.

These photos I’m sharing with you are genuine. Yes, we smiled and fake laughed for the camera, but those smiles are real. Those candid moments are really just that- a family of four, taking a breather in the middle of the week to enjoy the loveliest of picnics during the most loveliest time of the year!

You can follow Joann and Lovely Darlings picnic on Instagram at @lovelydarlingspicnic or email her directly at infolovelydarlings@gmail.com. For photos, you can follow Danielle at @dmargherite.

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Happy Holidays!

Kathy and the Buccio clan