Content creator Lily Carlson says to think pink for the perfect summer fete
Lily Carlson is celebrating summer 2021 with the colour pink—and not the subtle millennial pink that has dominated social media feeds for years. Instead, she’s obsessed with the eye-popping shade she remembers seeing during sunsets on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, where she spent years as a camper and camp counsellor.
“Pink is such a happy colour. I have such good memories of that colour, like sunsets and tropical vacations,” says the travel content creator, who documents her life and style through her popular Instagram account using the handle, @lilyslensonlife.
This summer, Carlson is capturing the spirit of these moments in her friends’ backyard in Milton, Ont., to celebrate the season with gusto. “People are ready to celebrate,” she says, “And pink is an exciting colour that’s full of love, energy and a positive vibe.”
When planning her mid-summer fete for friends, Carlson leaned into this hot hue, along with her sustainable and tasteful style. Here, she shares tips and tricks on how to throw your own rosy get-together with plenty of stand-out ideas you can try at home to take your own flavour vacation.
Tip #1: Pick a bright, colourful menu
“People put too much pressure on décor items when there’s so much you can do with food and beverages to transform a space and create an experience,” Carlson says.
To help her guests feel like they’re on a tropical getaway, she serves homemade popsicles with eye-catching ingredients like kiwi, mango and strawberries. She also has fruit salad on the menu with hints of honey and fresh mint leaves served in a bowl cut from a watermelon.
And to satisfy savoury taste buds, she loves the idea of a build-your-own taco station. “It’s really important to provide options. It means preparing in advance, but when guests can serve themselves, it means you have [that much more] time to spend with them,” she says.
Tip #2: Get your pink on with a rosy spirit
Continuing the pink theme, you can make a rosy Pink Lemonade and Soda for your guests. Using Smirnoff Pink Lemonade Flavoured Vodka, soda water, and a strawberry or lemon to garnish, this sparkler is an easy-to-make mixed drink.
Carlson also recommends setting up a serve-yourself water station outside, which is a must-have during a summer get-together.
Tip #3: Celebrate your space with less waste
“For me, sustainability is big, so I wanted to focus on [decorating with] items that can be reused and things I already had at home,” Carlson says. A reuseable pink flamingo-printed tablecloth and trusty mason jars with tea lights help give the party a vacation vibe – and they’ll certainly reappear at future events.
She also suggests re-using camping lanterns and holiday string lights for lighting, setting up a tent for shade in a sunny corner of a backyard, and creating a space for lawn games you already have on-hand, like bocce ball or frisbee. “Instead of worrying about matching décor items, there are so many things that you already have at home that would be great to add to create a fun environment.”
Tip #4: It’s all about options
To help guests get into the mid-summer mood, the style setter recommends planning for a variety of outcomes and giving people choices. On a hot and sunny day, set up an area with umbrellas, hats and SPF, so guests can find shade and safety from the sun. If you’re hosting from afternoon to evening, keep a basket of blankets nearby and have a fire pit at the ready for when the temperature drops. “With more options, it’s easier to keep the mood positive, light, fun and easy for everyone to enjoy,” says Carlson.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Diageo. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.