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Here's How To Create The Perfect Romantic Indoor Picnic

When's the last time you had a date on your living room floor?

Love & Relationships

Nothing says, "I wanna spend a little bit of quality time with my man" quite like a well-planned out date does. And personally, I agree with someone I was talking to recently who said that the traditional dinner and a movie can get kinda old, pretty fast, mostly because it's so predictable and typically lacks creativity.


So, in honor of doing something that's a little outside of the box, when's the last time that you and yours went on a picnic? And to add a bit of a twist to it — an indoor one. If it's been a minute or you never have and you'd like a few tips on how to make one happen without a hitch, I've got 15 tips that can help your first — or 10th — indoor picnic be one of your best dates ever!

1. Buy a Picnic Basket

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Let's start off with the obvious. Whether you're outdoors or inside, there is absolutely no way that you can have an authentic picnic without a picnic basket. If you're wondering if you've got to break the bank in order to cop one, you don't. Places like Target and Walmart typically sell them for around $25 and, the cool thing is, once you've got one, you won't need another for several years to come.

2. Pitch a Tent

Once you've got your basket in tow, it's time to create a bit of ambiance. Since you're going to probably be in your living room, den or basement, something you might want to consider doing is pitching a tent. For a basic one, all you need is a sheet, some clothespins and maybe a few twinkle lights. Then you can put some throw pillows and blankets on the inside of it. Once you're done making your tent, you'll probably be surprised by how cozy you'll feel underneath it. Anyway, if you want to give it a shot, Our Mini Family is a blog that can walk you through the steps. You can check out their instructions here.

3. Or Bring in a Tree

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I've shared before that one of my favorite décor additions in my home are two big faux trees (kinda sorta like the one in this picture). I have one in my living room and one in my bedroom. I dunno what it is about 'em; they just seem to make my space feel "warmer".

If you've got one as well, something that can make you feel almost like you are outside is to position your tree in such a way where it is the centerpiece of your indoor picnic. If you want, you and your partner can use paper clips to attach notes for you and your partner to read before or after your meal. It really is a very sweet touch.

4. Play Nature Sounds

While playing some of your favorite music in the background is always a great way to set a romantic mood, more and more, I am coming to like the sound of nature sometimes. I fall asleep to ASMR rain sounds. Sometimes, I like to hear waves crashing instead. Again, I am never (ever) gonna knock a good R&B playlist. Still, why not try the sounds of wind blowing or waterfalls with birds chirping, just to see if you like it? YouTube has free ASMR videos that will literally play for hours (just go to the site and put the sound that you are looking for in the search field).

5. Sprinkle Some Flower Petals

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Whether you go with a tent, a tree or nothing but a blanket on the floor, definitely get yourself some fresh (preferably rose) flower petals. They absolutely scream romance. They also add a nice aroma to the space and they're an easy way to make your picnic something really pretty to look at. A lot of grocery stores sell petals in boxes (so do florists) or you can always buy a half-dozen stems and pull the petals off yourself.

6. Go with Natural Lighting, Candles or Lanterns

OK. One more thing about the ambiance. When you want to cultivate a romantic mood, lighting really is everything. If you're planning to have your picnic during the daytime, open up your window treatments and let some natural light shine through. If it's going to be during the evening or nighttime hours, light some scented soy tealight candles, go to a local arts and crafts store to get some cheap lanterns or change the color of your overhead lighting or lamps to bulbs that are a red, green, blue or purple hue. Soft lighting is really sexy and will definitely help to set the mood.

7. Wear. Less.

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One of the best things about having a picnic indoors instead of outside is you can wear whatever the heck you want because you are in the comfort, convenience and privacy of your own home. So, pull out some lingerie in your partner's favorite color, wear nothing but a cute frilly apron or — wear nothing at all.

After all, nothing says, "This ain't your family reunion kind of picnic" like having barely anything on. Right?

8. Enjoy Your Meal...in Stages

Speaking of providing things with a bit of a twist — as we get into some cool food ideas for your romantic picnic, why not serve things in stages? By that I mean, with appetizers could come some compliments. With cocktails could come a little bit of dancing or kissing. After dessert…well, comes dessert. Because it's just gonna be you and your boo, build up the anticipation of every part of the meal by incorporating some much-needed — and I'm sure, appreciated — affection. It will make the picnic that much more special.

9. Serve Romance-Themed Appetizers

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Now for the actual foods. While most of us know what an appetizer is, were you aware of the fact that the literal definition of the word is it's a small portion of food or drink that makes you want to have even more? Since the theme of this particular picnic is romance, when it comes to the appetizers that you serve, try and think of what will make you and your partner feel like you want to be more in each other's space. Little shrimp cocktails. Smoked salmon bites. Baked asparagus. Skewered ravioli. Fig and goat cheese bruschetta. Vietnamese chicken and vegetable spring rolls. Wafflized mozzarella sticks with salsa. The idea here is to come up with an appetizer idea that is delicious, not super difficult to make, and will be easy for the two of you to feed one another — because there is something about letting your partner feed you (as you do the same to him) that is low-key sexy as hell.

10. Make Some Fondue

Speaking of sexy, is there anything better than some chocolate fondue? It's great for dipping fruit, cookies, angel food cake (or any cake, really), marshmallows, graham crackers, licorice, bacon (ever had beef bacon? Whew, chile!) — pretty much anything that you enjoy dipping chocolate into. And since you're considering breaking everything up into stages, if neck kissing or finger sucking is on "the menu", fondue is a great way to implement it. (If you don't happen to have a fondue pot, you can learn how to make chocolate fondue without one by going here.)

11. Have Strawberries on Deck

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Speaking of fruits to put into your homemade chocolate fondue, did you know that back in the days of Ancient Rome, strawberries were considered to be the symbol of Venus, the Goddess of Love, due to their shape and color? That's a big part of the reason why they are also on the list of foods that are an aphrodisiac.

Chocolate-covered strawberries. Strawberries, whipped cream and orange liqueur. Arugula salad with strawberries in it. Strawberries, pomegranates and dried rose petals. Strawberry-ginger lemonade floats. These are just a few creative ways to incorporate strawberries into your indoor picnic meal.

12. Create a Cocktail

Speaking of lemonade, something that I'm all about, for pretty much any occasion, is a signature cocktail. It's fun. It's unique. And when you're coming up with one that only has you and yours in mind, it can be uber romantic too. If you're totally down yet you're just not sure where to start (because I won't lie, mixing the wrong stuff together could land you in your bathroom rather than your bedroom), a blog called Life by Olivia has a quiz that could help to point you into the right direction. Check it out here (also, putting "how to create a signature cocktail" in the search field of your favorite search engine can help you out as well).

13. Order the Main Meal

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OK. I definitely don't want you being in the kitchen all day and night. Matter of fact, please keep in mind that all that I've said so far, you can "remix it" however you wish.

Yet if you do decide to follow through with everything, my two cents would be to order the main meal. Heck, why not? There have been appetizers, fondue, strawberries and a one-of-a-kind drink — so, order a pizza, some Chinese or even favorite dishes from two different restaurants and have it delivered. It's not uncommon at all for folks to pick up traditional picnic foods from places like a local deli because, when it comes to a picnic, it's more about the atmosphere and presentation than anything else.

Remember that.

14. Enjoy an Aphrodisiac-Themed Dessert

C'mon. What's a romantic meal without a dessert that has an aphrodisiac theme to it? Anything with chocolate in it would qualify. So would watermelon gelato, cinnamon rolls, sweet potato pudding, champagne cake (that's gluten-free), mango vanilla slice, apple pomegranate cobbler and banana cream pie. What all of these have in common is they are delicious desserts that have foods that are considered to be aphrodisiacs in them. They are a great way to transition from dining to…what may be next.

15. Pull Out Some Throw Pillows/Blankets. Then Nap Together.

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Whether I'm having a picnic outdoors or inside, there is something about a full stomach and the right blanket that makes me feel cozy enough to want to go to sleep. You're indoors. You're with your boo thang. Why not put your head on some of those pillows, get up underneath a blanket and cuddle until you fall asleep? I can't think of a more wonderful way to end a romantic picnic — and possibly gear up for something else…once the two of you wake up (if you know what I mean). #wink

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

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And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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