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Heidi Shaffer, Published August 23 2012

5 Things Friday: Make the best of the rest of summer

FARGO – Kids are back in school, my oak tree is losing its leaves and I’m already mourning the end of summer.

But it’s only August, and we still have a few more weeks to eke out some summer fun.

1. Go on a picnic.

Grab a blanket and your best bud and head to a park or even your backyard. The meal can be simple, but it’s fun to have a few surprises packed in your basket.

I recommend packing a couple of ham and avocado sandwiches on crunchy baguettes served with ice-cold lemonade.

I don’t know that I buy the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule, but I generally draw the line for white jeans at the first weekend in September.

I love this pair by Michael Kors for Macy’s.

3. Braid your hair.

Braids are the best way to keep the high-heat frizzies off my head. I don’t necessarily retire plaits once the seasons change, but nothing says beach hair like some braids.

4. Whip up a batch of sangria.

Sangria is the perfect summer sip for a warm evening on the porch, and it couldn’t be easier to make this this recipe I adapted from LifeHack.org.

Summer Sangria

1 bottle red wine (I went with a $9 pinot noir, but you could probably get by with something even cheaper.)

2 oranges

2 lemons

2 limes

1 Granny Smith apple

2 tablespoons sugar

2 shots of gin

16 ounce bag of frozen peaches

16 ounce bag of frozen pineapple

4 cups of ginger ale

Pour wine into punch bowl or carafe.

Cut one of each citrus fruit in half and squeeze juices into bowl.

Slice the remaining citrus and apple into small slices and add to mixture.

Add sugar and gin. Let cool overnight in the fridge.

Before serving, add bag of frozen fruits and ginger ale.

5. Shop the sales racks.

I like back-to-school time not because I have kids, but simply because I like bargains.

Late summer is my favorite time to find a few items to wear while it’s still warm and to beef up next year’s wardrobe.

Readers can reach She Says editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511