Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Patio Crawl Adds ‘Fest’ to October Girls Nights

The change of seasons and chillier temperatures are enough to make you want to curl up indoors with a good book. But wait! Why not celebrate the season with your girlfriends? Yes, plan your own outdoor Patio Crawl. Savor some fresh Autumn brews and bites, and catch up with your buddies. What could be better? It’s reason enough to start planning right now! Read on, legal-drinking-age girlfriends: GirlfriendCelebrations has the how-to for an outdoor brewfest you and your girlfriends will remember.

Setting and Setup

First, decide who in your circle of friends will be among the hostesses of the patio crawl. The key ingredient to a successful crawl is a group of patios or decks within walking distance of each other. And take note: Even apartment dwellers can get in on the action. A huge deck/patio isn’t necessary—just one that’s big enough for a few people to go outside to enjoy some cool air and warm conversation.

The number of patio stops is up to you. A good number to start with is five. Plan on 30-45 minutes at each patio/deck.

It’s nice to print out an itinerary for each of the guests. This can be handed out at the first patio and will serve as a guide on where to go during the night.  Be sure to include the time you move on to each stop and specifically where each stop will be. You may also want to include the beers that will be served and a place to rate them from one to five. The list of beers can be a handy keepsake just in case your guests fall in love with some of the choices and want to purchase them later.


It seems we are all becoming frugal consumers of late. So, conserve money for the party by sending simple invitations. Buying a simple invitation from a retail store such as Target or Goody’s is an inexpensive option. It doesn’t have to be fancy; sometimes the wording can say it all. If, however, most of your group is computer-savvy, Evite is the perfect tool for the frugal hostess. Your invitation might read something like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Now You Can Take the Gratitude Challenge Too!

The other day we received a lovely email from Ed Han of Tiny Prints, thanking us for participating in The Gratitude Challenge. Tiny Prints has put together an inspiring video about the challenge, which you can watch below. Even better, they’ve now made the Gratitude Challenge available to everyone! You can download the Gratitude Challenge pledge, download the Gratitude Challenge calendar with all the tasks and prompts for the 21-day challenge, and add a Gratitude Challenge widget to your own blog. We really hope you will check it out and consider taking the challenge yourself. It only takes 21 days to form a grateful habit that could change your life! If you’d like to revisit our gratitude journey, you can check out all our Gratitude Challenge posts here.

Watch the video and read an excerpt from Ed’s letter below.

“We started this project as a internal movement focused on helping our colleagues to achieve one simple goal—to counter everyday stress and negativity with daily affirmations of gratitude. As The Gratitude Challenge grew to include bloggers outside of our company, however, we learned just how much gratitude can change a person’s life.

From tornadoes to car accidents, fires and family drama, The Gratitude Challenge saw our bloggers through meaningful, life-changing events. We learned so much from this experience that we made a short video about how gratitude can revitalize your perspective.” [watch it above]

“We hope this experience has meant as much to you as it has to us, and we hope that you and your readers will to continue to follow our progress as we invite the world to join the movement at

Ed Han

Tiny Prints Founder & CEO

Life is Like a Bowl of Stone Soup

Read the rest of this entry »

Shecky’s Girls Night Out – Our Video and Report!

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Be real. Be wise. Be you. Presenting GirlTalk…Taking it Deeper™ on GirlfriendCelebrations!

Hey, Girlfriends! On this National Women’s Friendship Day, we have something very exciting to share with you!

GirlfriendCelebrations is partnering with Christine Arylo, author of Choosing ME Before WE: Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love, to bring you GirlTalk…Taking it Deeper™ - a monthly series you can use to connect with your girlfriends on a deeper level.

What is it?

GirlTalk…Taking it Deeper™ is free content you subscribe to. By joining the GirlTalk… Taking it Deeper™ community, you’ll receive everything you need to take your girlfriend get-togethers to a fresh, energizing new level. Basically, Girtalk…Taking it Deeper™ is a “conversation technology” designed to give you ideas, personal experiments and a structure for creating dynamic, inspiring, and empowering get-togethers with other women on a regular basis…all based on a meaningful monthly topic relevant to today’s women.

The topics are subjects you’ve likely heard before—relationships, beauty, money, creativity. The difference is the depth of connection, understanding and energy you’ll receive. Christine has developed a unique and powerful conversation structure to help you have your own GirlTalk gatherings.

We will be forming our own GirlTalk…Taking it Deeper™ group and doing it right along with you, and we really can’t wait to get started!

How does it work?

On the first Monday of each month, starting in October 2009, we will provide Christine’s new GirlTalk topic to GirlTalk subscribers. Click here to subscribe! (Please note, if you are already a GirlfriendCelebrations newsletter subsciber, you will need to re-enter your email and update your preferences.)

We give you the topic, the tools, and the how-tos. All you have to do is create the space, invite your friends, and abide by the Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™ mantra: be real. be wise. be you. We’ve created a complete guide on how to throw a successful GirlTalk…Taking it Deeper™ get-together, which you can download HERE. You’ll enjoy your Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™ gathering sometime during the month, and leave with a “dare” to complete before the next get-together.

See our FAQs page for more information on what to expect with the monthly topics.

In October, we’ll be kicking things off with the topic “FUN”: As women, we have been conditioned to work and work, give and give, and when that’s all done, if we haven’t passed out from exhaustion, we can have fun. It wasn’t always this way; there was a time when fun came easy. What would life be like, if FUN was a priority, or a must-have, just like breathing?

How can you get started?

We are extremely proud to be providing this high-quality content to you, absolutely free, and we hope you will join us in the journey! It’s easy and it’s free! Here’s all you have to do to get started:

1. Sign up for GirlTalk emails here

2. Download the GirlTalk Guide here

3. Find out more in our welcome and FAQs

4. Set a date and time for your October gathering, and make a list of women to invite (you’ll find more on this in the Girltalk Guide.) Then wait for your October email to get started!

A Final Word From Us

We started because we wanted to make it easier for women to have fun and meaningful times with their girlfriends. We know you enjoy the party plans, posts, and girls night ideas we bring you each month. We will continue to bring you the best party ideas for girls night out, girls night in, girlfriend gatherings, and girlfriend getaways. But, we’ve been searching for a way to give you more. If you’ve ever been to a girls night, bunco group or book club that deteriorated into gossip, man-bashing, and complaining, then you’ll understand why many girlfriends think, “there’s got to be more to friendship than this!” In Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™, we think we’ve found a great solution for girlfriends who want a structured way to take friendship deeper, learn more about themselves, and truly tap into the power of female friendship, while having a heck of a lot of fun along the way. We’re excited to hear your feedback on this program. Let’s Girltalk! Read the rest of this entry »

Got Circle Envy? How to Get the Circle of Friends You’ve Always Wanted (AND Book Giveaway!)

Do you have a circle of girlfriends, or just wish you did? For many women, having a “circle of friends” is still a dream. Irene Levine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, explores the “circle” concept and offers her expert advice on how to grow your girlfriend circle. We’re honored to have her guest post, written just for GirlfriendCelebrations. Find out how to win a copy of Irene’s book below!

By Irene S. Levine, PhD (aka The Friendship Doctor)

The idea of a “circle of friends” isn’t new. Beginning in the late 1800s, Amish women formed quilting circles to share expertise and companionship. After they had finished individual patches for a quilt, they would come together (sometimes travelling over relatively long distances) during the spring and summer to lend a hand to one another in piecing them together. The quilters socialized as they sewed, catching up on gossip and developing long-lasting bonds that became part of the fabric of the Amish culture.

The desire to have an embracing circle of female friends hasn’t diminished but still remains elusive for many women. When I interviewed Jeffrey Zaslow, author of The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship, which chronicles the story of an exceptional friendship among 11 women that has extended over four decades, he told me two types of readers had written him: those who have a circle of friends similar to the “Girls” and those who wish they did! It’s easy to understand why many women without a tight-knit circle of friends would covet one for companionship, support and comfort they offer.

But as women graduate, marry, mother, divorce, move, or change work, often not even in any particular order, their lives often diverge and they find it difficult to maintain old friendships, let alone friendship circles. The girlfriends someone made in elementary and high school may live in other states or other nations. (One study of college students, found that the average student moved more than six times over the course of 19 years, and that the average distance between friends was 895 miles).  Your co-workers are more likely to hop from job to job than ever before, or decide to change their career paths entirely.

Don’t get me wrong. Not every woman wants or needs a circle. In my survey of more than 1500 women for my new book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, I found that certain personality factors may predispose some women to gravitate towards circles as opposed to one-on-one relationships. For example, compared to introverts, extroverts often enjoy having a larger number of friendships and may be more likely to relish the dynamics of a group. Or they may so thrive on being with people, that they like being part of circles as well as being part of twosomes.

If you are a person who feels even a tinge of circle envy, and there are many reasons why you would, there are still opportunities to forge a sisterhood later in life. One of the keys to creating a circle is creating or finding some natural affinity group that has the potential for longevity and creating rituals to bind the ties of friendship.

The Friendship Doctor’s Prescription for Circle Envy

  • Join a knitting group, sewing circle, book club or cooking club;
  • Organize a regular canasta, bridge, Bunco, Scrabble or mah-jongg game;
  • Volunteer as part of a smaller group attached to a larger religious or civic organization;
  • Volunteer at a museum or hospital;
  • Become part of a church or faith-based community;
  • Adopt a cause, such as conservation or animal welfare, or a political action group
  • Join a support group of women who share a common problem
  • [Editor's Note: One more suggestion: Look into Girlfriend Circles, a service that introduces you to potential friends in your area.]

With any luck, you will form natural ties within the group, Then, you can figure out ways to strengthen them at GirlfriendCelebrations!

Irene S. Levine, PhD is an award-winning freelance journalist and author who is trained as a psychologist. She blogs about female friendships on The Huffington Post and on The Friendship Blog. Her book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, was just published by Overlook Press. She is also a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

Now For the Giveaway!

When we first heard that Irene Levine was writing Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, we were a little dismayed. After all, friendship breakups are no fun. But now that Irene’s book has hit bookstores and we’ve read our copy cover to cover, we can truly say: This book should be on the bookshelf of every woman who cares about female friendship. Not only is it filled with the kind of smart advice Irene dispenses regularly on The Friendship Blog, it is warm, comforting and takes the shame out of losing a friendship. This book can help you come to terms with the friendships you have lost (and we’ve ALL lost girlfriends and wondered why) and give you hope for new friendships to come. It’s easy to read, and contains loads of scannable advice for us short-attention-span gals. Just read it! We’re giving away TWO COPIES of this fabulous book, courtesy of Irene Levine! To enter, simply:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating why you want the book, AND/OR

2. Re-tweet this contest using the hashtag #GirlfriendCelebrations and this link:

Two winners will be chosen at random from all entries received by 11:59 PM on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Winner must have a U.S. shipping address. Good luck! Read the rest of this entry »

Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Dog-Friendly Miami

Dog-friendly vacations abound these days and we love the idea of girlfriends getting together with their pampered pooches. Dog ownership is an interest that can help you make new friends or strengthen the friendships you have. Getaway Girl Casey Wohl is back with some ideas for a girls and dogs vacation in sunny Miami. Enjoy.

by Casey Wohl

My girlfriends and I were so excited to arrive at Miami’s new Epic Hotel for a Girls Getaway with our dogs. Liz brought Stella (a Cocker Spaniel/Shih Tzu mix) and I brought Zoe (my Weimeraner). Emily also joined us minus a dog. Upon arrival, the dogs were thrilled to find the room stocked with toys, their own beds, bottled water, food, snacks and water bowls. Zoe and I quickly found a grassy area that was located just beyond the bridge a minute from the hotel. Each time we passed the bridge, there was a different modeling photo shoot taking place, and each time, Zoe was asked to be in the photos. I think she has a solid future as a dog model now that she has perfected her “looks.”

With the dogs comfortably situated in the hotel room, the two-legged girls headed to the pool for some R&R. The Epic has two pools and several cabana options. Guests can even get a massage in a private cabana poolside. They also offer some uniquely designed (and comfortable) pool furniture. Very nice!

Later we drove to South Beach’s Lincoln Road, known to be a great hangout and dog-friendly. We found Zeke’s Roadhouse where they offer more than 200 beers each at $4. Don’t expect a menu or table service. You must go inside to see what they offer and to place your order. They do provide outdoor seating so you can people watch (note the sunglasses at night fashion trend) while you enjoy a unique brew. Liz and Emily (and even Stella) enjoyed a Philippine beer, San Mig Light…very tasty! We also tried on clothes at BCBG Max Azria.  Zoe didn’t see anything in her color and none of their shoes came in sets of four, so we left empty handed. Read the rest of this entry »

Gossip Girl Premiere Party!

Is watching Gossip Girl your guilty pleasure? We all have one… (for me, it’s Project Runway at the moment) and we know plenty of you enjoy this show which is premiering its third season on Monday September 14, 2009. Why not throw together a premiere-watching party for the girls? Our girlfriend Jen Luby of Second City Soiree is having a bash in Chicago, but she also has tips for having your own at-home Gossip-Girl-inspired party, complete with episode-inspired menu ideas. Check it out here. A true GG devotee, Jen has even relaunched her blog devoted to commenting on the fashion on the show, YouKnowYouLoveFashion.

If you can’t manage a get-together for the premiere, remember that TV-watching parties are a great excuse for a girls night anytime! They give you a built-in activity and plenty to chat about. Plan ahead for the premier of your favorite show or an award show (The Primetime Emmy Awards are coming up on September 20). Our Awards Show Mania party will give you some inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

Grateful Habit at Last

Girlfriend-In-Chief Tina here:

It’s Day 21 of our Gratitude Challenge. Today’s instruction reads: Publicly reflect on the 21 days of the gratitude challenge and what this process has meant to you.

So today is the end of the road for my journey in experimental gratitude. I have to say I’m a little sad, in a way; it was nice to have the daily reminders to think about my not-so-perfect world in a cheerier way. It kept me on my toes, always finding something good out of something mundane or not so great.

The challenge made me appreciate the small things in a different light. For that, I am grateful. I’ve always thought I was a positive person and agreed to do the challenge because I thought it would be easy-peasy pie. However, a few days into it, I realized my true colors. I truly wasn’t the rosy person I’d claimed to be and it was really hard trying to find something good in certain situations. Some days, it was really a lot of work for my mind.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. My hope is that gratitude is a way of life for me now. I know I’ve been in a better frame of mind and have been looking at things in a more positive light.  In fact, I think if more people rode the gratitude wagon we would have less need for antidepressants and therapists. I know that gratitude has spilled into my relationship with my husband. I no longer gasp at all the things he doesn’t do for me (bring me flowers?) and I focus on what he adds to my life (a loving, caring guy with no romance skills).  I truly think we would need less divorce lawyers if couples were made to do gratitude counseling.

I’ve even realized how important it is for my children to be thankful for the small things in life too!  So we’ve started a gratitude journal to talk about at dinner time.  We share 3 things we are grateful for that day. It’s sometimes hard for them to think about something other than the yummy dessert to be thankful for. But just like me, I’m hoping it gets easier over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Your Game On With Fantasy Football

Only a few more days before football season officially begins for all of you fantasy football widows out there! Don’t miss out on the fun: Plan your own fantasy football league with the best of your girlfriends.

Packer Backer
Remember the saying “If you can’t beat them, you may as well join them”? Well, why not?  Not only will it give you the perfect excuse to meet up with the girls more often, it may give you something to talk about with your other half besides kids, money, and what’s for dinner.

To start the season off in style, GirlfriendCelebrations has designed a party plan just for the occasion. A Fantasy Football Draft party can bring together players that are experienced, inexperienced and even clueless for some fun, friendship and laughter.

Setting and setup

There are only a few requirements for a football fantasy draft:  A big-screen TV if you actually plan on watching the games, a laptop for everyone to join the league on, wi-fi, which makes it a whole lot easier for your girlfriends to bring their laptops (the more laptops you have, the quicker the draft will go), a league name, a commissioner (person to be in charge of the league), and a team name. Read the rest of this entry »

Gratitude Challenge – Tricky Video Blog

Well, Day 18 of The Gratitude Challenge threw us for a loop. It asked us to create a video blog detailing “all the little things that make you so lovable.” While we’re grateful for the opportunity to reflect on our own wonderfulness, we found this assignment pretty tough. What do we really love about ourselves, after all? Won’t it seem like we’re bragging? And we have to tell the world what makes us so great, on camera? How many of you would find this a bit difficult? Self-love tends to be a sticky wicket for a lot of women. This was a bit of a full-circle moment for us, because our gal pal Christine Arylo is a self-love expert and we’ve both been reading her book. (And we’re going to have MUCH MORE on this topic for you in the very near future, so stay tuned!) So anyway, our solution to this tricky assignment was GIRLFRIEND LOGIC – sometimes it takes a girlfriend to help you see things clearly. Watch the video to see how it turned out! It’s a bit long, so if you make to the end, thanks! Read the rest of this entry »