Can you believe it’s almost August? This season is sure flying by… Make the most of your last summer weekends by throwing a laid-back yet fun and festive end of summer soirée! Here are some of our favorite tips and ideas for celebrating the final days of summer, sourced from around the web and recommended girlfriend to girlfriend:

icecreamsocialChoose a theme.
Instantly make any event memorable with a theme. Summertime brings so many ideas to choose from here; for a great collection, check out this post on Babble.com. We especially love the idea of an ice cream social (who doesn’t love ice cream, right?) and the vintage beach party, complete with a sand castle cake! From Hawaiian luaus to camp outs to picnics in the park, there is so much warm-weather inspiration to draw from here.

Rosewater-Limeade-624x1024Create a signature drink.
Year-round, parties revolve around the food and drink. But in the hottest months, the emphasis placed on refreshment is stronger than ever. We recommend capitalizing on that by creating a signature drink (alcoholic or non) that suits the theme or overall feel of your event – and serving it in a large glass punch bowl or dispenser. Don’t know where to start? Try this recipe from MomFoodie at blommi.com for Rosewater Limeade. It’s refreshing, pretty and special enough to steal the spotlight.

Crepe-paper-balls-and-other-summer-party-decorationsMake the food a part of the décor.
Speaking of food… Try making it a part of your party décor! This helps to set a casual tone – and you won’t need to spend a ton of money or energy on fancy decorations. Cupcakes with festive, themed toppers are a trusty standard here; so are color-coordinated snack or dessert bars. You could also consider adding edible flowers to salads or cheese plates – and, of course, sliced fruit or sprigs or mint to drinks. For more ideas, see this article on decoist.com.

noodlegarlandGet crafty.
When it comes to decorations, don’t be afraid to get creative! Letting things feel a bit homemade helps to create an inviting, relaxed atmosphere – and it never hurts to have a sense of humor! We absolutely love this idea from homedit.com: Create a garland out of foam pool noodles! All you need are the noodles, string, an exacto knife and a cutting mat. The final result can be strung from the ceiling, a railing or a tree – and it’s sure to spark conversation! (The swimming pool theme is also perfect for summer.)

thumbnail-4Don’t forget the souvenirs.
Lastly, send your guests home with a special reminder of the fun-filled event. In keeping with the themes of summer, try a small herb plant (cilantro, basil, rosemary, etc.) in a terra cotta pot, or a little bag of flavored popcorn or potato chips. A DIY s’mores kit would also be great – and, of course, you can’t go wrong with sunscreen! Pair a tube of MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 with a handwritten note reminded guests to keep having fun in the sun.

By Liana Orenstein