I have the worlds’ best girlfriends. I have known them for decades (oof, that’s a long time) and we have the best time whenever we get together. We love a good girls’ night out, but it’s often more fun, and much cheaper, to have a drama-free girls’ night IN. You can have your besties over for a night free of stress and full of laughter and relaxation. That free and easy mantra should extend from the party prep to clean-up.
CLEANING: Do some minimal tidying of your house – vacuum, hide obvious messes, freshen up the bathrooms – but don’t go overboard. Feel free to keep the party limited to two or three “clean” zones so you do not have to clean your whole house. Nobody needs to know you pushed all the kids’ clutter into the hall closet. Our sunroom is perfect for a low-key get-together because a porch already feels relaxed and casual.
DÉCOR: Let’s start with party decorations. Don’t have any. Just make your home as cozy and welcoming as you can. Run through a list of the five senses to help you to hone in on specific areas. Can you light a pretty scented candle to freshen the room? Are there throw blankets or floor pillows you can bring out to help your guests feel comfortable? Choose spot lighting instead of harsher overhead lighting, wherever possible. Lastly, choose a nostalgic Spotify or Songza station to have playing in the background when your friends arrive.
DRESS CODE: Make sure your friends know that the dress code for girls’ night in is full-on casual. Yoga pants are strongly encouraged.
FOOD AND DRINK: Unless you are a person who enjoys trying out new recipes, keep the party food to tried and true snack staples. A bowl of tortilla chips and fresh salsa allows guests to nibble as they chat. One of my favorite easy clean-up party tricks is to roll down the sides of paper bags to turn them into single use bowls. Scatter a few bags around the room so snacks are always at arm’s reach.
Beverages should also be at arm’s reach and in bottles. Whether you serve wine, juice, or sparking water, place the bottles in a large bowl with ice so guests can help themselves whenever a refill is in order. Fancy cocktails are nice, but you have to peel yourself up off the couch to mix up a new batch.
ACTIVITIES: I am a bit of a Party Pooper when it comes to party games at adult parties because they often feel like forced fun. I will gladly make an exception for this coloring station, however. Yes, you read that right, a coloring station for grown women. A simple Google search will find you dozens of coloring pages that are designed for adults to use. You can find entire books for sale or individual pages to print at home for free. Set out some pages and a jar full of colored pencils and let your girlfriends go to town. You will be surprised at how relaxing your guests will find it to have something to occupy their hands while you visit.
One warning, however, once you invite your girls over for a stress-free girls’ night in, you will probably be asked to host one every month! So text your friends and set a date for some quality girl time!