Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Girltalk February 2011: Do You Really Love Yourself?

Loving yourself can be the hardest task of all. But February is the month of self-love… and we are daring you to CHOOSE SELF LOVE! We all know that loving ourselves is something we should do… we all know that you have to love yourself first before you can love another… we would all love to take care of ourselves better but find it more of a dream than a reality, but this month at Girtalk… Taking it Deeper™ we take a stand for self-love, because it is not a luxury, it is a must-have. Download this month’s printable Girltalk Guide here.

Be Real.

Could you imagine telling a child, “Hey you, don’t love yourself, that’s selfish.” Of course not. And chances are that if asked, “Do you love yourself?” most people would say, “Yes, of course I do,” when in fact the majority of us don’t really have a clue what self-love actually means, or requires. This lack of understanding about self-love isn’t surprising when you consider that the current definition of self-love on is ‘conceit, vanity and narcissism’ (no kidding!) Or when you look at the pressures today’s woman faces, equal to men in many ways, knowing she can do anything, but exhausted by her attempts to do and be everything.

While it is true that women and girls have more equality and self esteem that ever before, something isn’t changing. We believe that something is self-love… while self esteem is something we want every woman and girl to have, knowing that you can do anything doesn’t stop women and girls from beating themselves up, putting themselves into abusive relationships or hating and destroying their bodies.

Today, in the 21st century, these are the facts:

  • 1 in 3 women will be in an abusive relationship before the age of 20. 80% will return.
  • 1 in 3 women will be sexually abused.
  • 4 of 5 girls will think about dieting before 4th grade.
  • Almost 1 out of 2 women will suffer through a divorce. 20% in the first 5 years of marriage.
  • 80% of women are so exhausted that they are headed for extreme adrenal gland fatigue.
  • Women surveyed today are no happier than women surveyed in 1970, even though they have more equality, self esteem and freedom.

Be Wise.

My definition of self-love is quite different than the version – and it boils down to this: Do you have unconditional love and respect for yourself? A big question for sure. Self-love can feel so intangible and vast to attain, but there is a path, there are milestones – I’ve experienced at least 5 of them myself over the past 10 years. I call these milestones the gates of self-love. And you can use them to see where you have load of self love and where you don’t.

In honor of this February 13th, the international day of self love, I’ve created The Self Love Test to give you insight on where you are ready to grow more self love by identifying the 5 gates of self-love, which ones you’ve passed and which ones you are still circling around. Brief descriptions of the gates are included in this packet, and you can get the full details as the vows and hows of self-love in the free self-love kit at

Be You.

My self-love dare to you is that on Feb 13th, or any day in February, you choose one gate of self-love and make that the gate you focus on this year…and to do it with the support and insight of the women in your Girltalk circle.  You each witness each other’s commitment and support each other as the year goes on. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it in your own Girltalk group: Read the rest of this entry »

December/January Girltalk: The Feminine Superpower of PAUSE

Hello, girlfriends! As you embrace the holidays, be sure to take time for you, perhaps by hosting a Girltalk…Taking it Deeper gathering! Our topic for December/January is The Feminine Superpower of PAUSE. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the year that’s been and claim the year to come. Instead of running into 2011,stop, reflect, give some real and wise thought to what just happened in 2010. PAUSE before moving forward with focus, intention and heart. To download this month’s PDF Discussion Guide, click here. For more information on Girltalk, click here.

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Host a Black Friday Post-Shopping Girlfriends Party!

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared on GirlfriendCelebrations in 2008. All right, bargain huntresses, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving and biggest shopping day of the year, in case you’re not aware) is just around the corner. The wee morning hours, mobs of people, neverending lines, and aching feet: remember those from last year? Who wouldn’t need a drink after the race to that finish line? Since you are going to be out and about anyway, why not meet afterward for some girl time? It will give you the opportunity to show off your bargains, get some wrapping done and nourish your body, soul and mind with good food and company. Yes, GirlfriendCelebrations has planned a Black Friday party with you in mind! Read on for all the details, including some easy and fun connecting activities to help you and your girlfriends get the most out of your hours together. Read the rest of this entry »

Help Girlfriends make Breast Cancer HISTORY

Ever wondered if your actions alone could  make a difference in the fight against breast  cancer?  You—one single person in a world of 6  billion, helping to defeat a cancer that 1 out of  every 8 women is diagnosed with in her  lifetime. Sounds daunting at best. But with a few tricks up her sleeve and a dash of humor, Breast Cancer Warrior Brooke  Jones reminds us how simple it is for girlfriends everywhere to help in the defeat of breast cancer this Halloween season.

By Brooke Jones

Whether you go out ‘Trick or Treating’ or you stay home handing out ‘treats,’ this Halloween you can help make Breast Cancer HISTORY.

On Halloween, October 31, 2010 (which just happens to be the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month), in cities and suburbs; boulevards and businesses; condos and cubicles across America, Breast Cancer Warriors and their friends will go door-to-door, office-to-office and desk-to-desk using a new Halloween ‘mantra’: “Trick Or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer“, and we’ll do it every Halloween until Breast Cancer is history.

All Halloween donations will be used by The Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation to remove the financial barriers that currently prevent thousands of Breast Cancer Warriors from participating in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials. The sooner all Breast Cancer Clinical Trials vacancies are consistently filled, the sooner the Breast Cancer CURE and PREVENTION will become available.

To guarantee that every donation made on Halloween ends up in the hands of The Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation, please make your donation with a check, not cash – not quarters; not dimes; not dollars – checks, made payable to: The Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation, in whatever amount you can afford. We know that these are difficult times, so we ask that you write a check for One Dollar; or Two Dollars; or Ten Dollars – or whatever amount you can afford. Write as many of those checks as your budget will allow. Place your checks next to your Halloween Candy Bowl and when Breast Cancer Warriors or their friends come to your door on Halloween give a check, knowing that your hard-earned money will end up in the hands of the Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation, and no one else.

We’ve created a special series of Breast Cancer Warrior ‘Trick or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer’ shirts (T’shirts and sweatshirts). They fit men, women, children and even small four-legged family members. We’ve even designed Breast Cancer Warrior ‘Trick Or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer’ Tote Bags, to help Trick or Treater’s collect donations. Get yours at our online store: The Breast Cancer Warrior Affirmation Outlet.

Wear your Breast Cancer Warrior ‘Trick or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer’ shirt; knock on doors and say the powerful words: “Trick Or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer”. The words are printed on the shirts and bags, so if you forget what to say, just look at what you’re wearing. (We Breast Cancer Warriors do occasionally forget things, don’t we?!)

Proceeds from the sale of Breast Cancer Warrior “Trick Or Treat To Help Defeat Breast Cancer” shirts and bags, as well as all Halloween donations, benefit The Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation.

Please join us this Halloween, in honor of Breast Cancer Warriors past and present, and help make Breast Cancer HISTORY.

Brooke Jones is a former stand-up comedian, Los Angeles radio personality and screenwriter. Now, in addition to fighting cancer, Brooke is the creator and editor-in-chief of — the internet’s unique breast cancer web Site, featuring crucial information, expert articles, links to the Internet’s most-respected breast cancer web sites, and …humor.

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Needing New Friends is Normal!

Continuing our Month of Friendship series, Shasta Nelson is an expert on new friendship: Her GirlFriendCircles website and introduction service is successfully matching women friends, in real life, across the country! She’s done a lot of thinking on both the art and the science of making friends. Below, she shares why making new friends is important at any life stage. Enjoy!

by Shasta Nelson

When I moved to San Francisco, I had an amazing circle of friends spread across the country but soon realized that as much as I loved Facebook and my iPhone—I certainly didn’t want all my relationships to be limited to them. I reached a point where I wanted to make new memories with friends, rather than the reporting of life or re-living of the past that we tend to do with “those we used to be close to.”

I needed present friends. I needed local friends. I needed new friends.

Normalize New Friends

Those are hard words to say though, for some reason. We have this stigma that to admit needing friends might somehow be misinterpreted as saying “No one likes me” or “I have no friends.” It taps into all our insecurities, fears and any shame we have over any relationship that didn’t last forever.

In fact, most friendships don’t last forever. Reported in September’s MORE magazine, Sally Koslow says that “the average person now replaces half her friends every seven years.” At first I gasped when I read that, and then I nodded in recognition.

The truth is that there are multiple times in our lives when we need to expand our circle of friends! Tons of times! Whether it’s a move, a break-up/divorce, a realization that all your friends have kids/are single/moved away, a change in jobs or decision to work from home, a life-changing experience, a new hobby, a shift in life focus when our kids move out or we retire…. The list could go on-and-on! None of those reasons are a judgment against us! They are simply stages of life that remind us that while a couple of our friendships might prevail through differences, the truth is that we all need to be constantly replenishing our circle of friends to ensure it’s meaningful for who we are now.

Need New Friends

There have been numerous reports linking a circle of supportive friends to lowering stress levels, increasing happiness, prevention of diseases, faster recovery rates for healing and greater chance of reaching life goals. Add to that the reports that relationships improve your odds of survival by 50 percent, and we have a serious reminder that our friendships are not a nice-to-have, but a necessity!

The research published in July in the journal PLoS Medicine, compared low social connectedness to have the same health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, to being an alcoholic, as more harmful than not exercising and twice as harmful as obesity!

I’m not a big fan of telling people how many friends they need. We’re all different, but studies seem to suggest people are happiest with somewhere between 5-10 meaningful friendships. And other reports show that half of us have less than 2 people we’d call real friends. There seems to be some discrepancy between our experience and our ideal?

Note that there is a difference between how many people you’re friendly with versus how many people you call a friend. Huge difference. It’s common to assume we have lots of friends, but when we examine it we realize we simply know a lot of friendly people through work and school. An easy test for me is to ask myself “How many people would I feel comfortable asking for a ride to the airport?” or “Who is in my life that I could text last-minute to see if they were available to hang out without it feeling weird?” Easy things—we’re not even talking about taking care of your kids when they’re sick!

Invite New Friends

Recognizing who is in our circle and acknowledging if, and when, we need to invite more meaningful friendships into our lives is part of taking care of our wellbeing. I’ll be the first to admit, it was often more tempting to call an established friend and tell her about my need to go shopping than it was to call up a potential friend to see if she wanted to go shopping. In the beginning it was less meaningful to talk to a new friend than to call someone who already knew me, but I held the truth that, like dating, I simply had to put the consistent time into my new relationships to create those bonds.
It didn’t “just happen.” Friendships don’t just show up. Fun people might. But turning them into friendships simply is an investment we have to make.
And now, every Tuesday night, I have girls’ night with the same four women in San Francisco. I know who to call for a ride to the airport and who to text for a last-minute get together!

So, now, my passion is helping foster that process for everyone else! Do it for your health & happiness!

Shasta Nelson is a life coach and founder of, the only online community that matches new friends offline by connecting circles of women in local areas. She blogs weekly about women’s friendships at and is hosting friendship events in Chicago, San Francisco and L.A this month.

The Friendship Circle (a network of five organizations committed to celebrating the power of female friendships) is partnering in September for a Month of Friendship. Visit these Friendship Circle websites daily in September for more inspiration and information:

  • The Friendship Blog – by psychologist, professor of psychiatry, and author, Dr. Irene S. Levine (The Friendship Doctor), author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Breakup with Your Best Friend. Follow Irene on Twitter.
  • GirlfriendCelebrations – premier source of girls night ideas on the web. Founded by friends Dawn Williams Bertuca and Tina VanZant Bishop. Girlfriend Celebrations on Facebook and Twitter
  • - only online community that matches new friends offline by connecting circles of women in local areas, by Shasta Nelson. On Facebook and Twitter.
  • - online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship. Created by Debba Haupert. On Facebook and Twitter.
  • MWF Seeking BFF - chronicles the author’s search for a new best friend after moving to a new city for love, by Rachel Bertsche.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Throw a Charitea Soiree for Your Next Girls Night In

Often on GirlfriendCelebrations, we bring you ideas for combining girls night and charity. So we were delighted when Kimberly Wilson offered to share her very own “recipe” for a Charitea Soiree. Kimberly is a teacher, writer, do-gooder, entrepreneur, and eco-fashion designer. She is the creative director and founder of Tranquil Space, named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, author of Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat and Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play, and holds a Masters in Womens Studies. When not bookstore browsing, she can be found sipping tea, crafting new designs for TranquiliT, or leading retreats. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio as well as in Daily Candy, Fit Yoga, U.S. News and various books. With a passion for do-gooding, Kimberly launched Tranquil Space Foundation to bring yoga, creativity, and leadership to women and girls and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work.

by Kimberly Wilson

One way to raise awareness (and funds or goods) for your favorite cause is by throwing a flair-filled fete. Who doesn’t love parties? In my first book I touched on this concept and even created a downloadable tool kit to assist readers in bringing this idea to reality. Many good things start small and gain momentum through grassroots efforts. Good old-fashioned tea parties combined with activism can be a powerful and fun tool for change. A ChariTea soiree helps build community and is a great networking experience. Invite five to fifteen people and ask each to bring like-minded friends: Perfect for getting your name out there as the do-gooding “hostess with the mostess.”

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Help Whip Cancer With the Pampered Chef (Giveaway!)

Finding a cure for breast cancer in our lifetimes is a cause that GirlfriendCelebrations is proud to support. So, we are thrilled to tell you about The Pampered Chef’s efforts to raise funds for breast cancer education and early detection programs through its “Help Whip Cancer” campaign. There’s no better feeling than gathering your girlfriends for a girls night that contributes to a great cause. Our girlfriends at the Pampered Chef have given us a delicious *pink* recipe you can use at your next girls night in, plus a martini glass giveaway you’re going to love!

Since introducing the Help Whip Cancer campaign in 2000, The Pampered Chef has raised more than $7.9 million to support breast cancer programs through the American Cancer Society.  Last year, the campaign raised more than $875,000 from Help Whip Cancer Fundraiser Shows and special pink-themed product sales.

“Almost everyone knows someone, whether it be a mother, sister or friend who has been affected by breast cancer,” says Marla Gottschalk, chief executive officer of The Pampered Chef. “The goal of this campaign is not only to raise awareness and education for breast cancer, it’s also about supporting women who have been affected by this disease.” There are two ways YOU can help:

1. Raise Funds with a Cooking Show Fundraiser

This May, in honor of Mother’s Day, The Pampered Chef invites people to celebrate the women in their lives by hosting a Help Whip Cancer Fundraiser Cooking Show. Up to 25 percent of total Help Whip Cancer Fundraiser Show sales will be contributed to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer awareness and early detection programs. If you don’t already have a Pampered Chef Consultant, find one HERE.

2. Buy Special Pink-themed Products

A contribution of $1 will go to the American Cancer Society for every pink-themed product purchased from The Pampered Chef between May 1-31, 2010. The following special Help Whip Cancer products apply: Pink & White Dots Martini Glasses  (shown below); Pink Color-Coated Tomato Knife; Pink & White Twixit! Clip Combo Pack; Sweet Honey Vanilla Sprinkle; Help Whip Cancer Reusable Shopping Bags. Guests who spend $60 or more in May get Help Whip Cancer® Reusable Shopping Bags (a set of two) for free, and they are also available for purchase. See all the Whip Cancer products HERE. We are so ready to buy that pink tomato knife! These products are available for purchase online as well as at cooking shows.
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Have a Gardening Party For Your Next Girls Night (or Day)

Glorious Spring is here—the perfect opportunity to get the girls out into the garden! Gardening offers the opportunity to relieve stress and connect to nature while growing healthy food or nurturing beautiful blooms. Green thumb or not, here are some quick ideas for gardening-themed girlfriend get-togethers and activities.

Plant a group garden. Many towns have community garden plots that can be rented. Why not rent one with your girlfriends and meet weekly to garden together? It’s a built-in weekly date and everyone can share in the harvest. Or, if one girlfriend has the space for a large garden but doesn’t want to do all the work herself, she can offer the space for the group plot.

Have a “planting bee.” Many hands make light work, so bring your hands and your garden gloves to your girlfriend’s house and help get her spring planting done. Then, load up the wheelbarrow and move on to the next girlfriend’s house, and so on until everyone’s got some spring color in her yard. Be sure to have pitchers of lemonade, iced tea, and water on hand. Read the rest of this entry »

A Poetic Alternative to Book Club: The Poetry Party

While book clubs seem all the rage these days, gathering with the girls to discuss books leaves little room for a girl to express her creative side. Why not change up your next girls night in with a hip and soulful poetry party? With inspiration from National Poetry Month, Girlfriend Celebrations has created a party plan for girlfriends like you looking for a fresh, expressive outlet. A poetry jam for women who want a creative slice of life or an alternative to the humdrum girls night. Yes, you can create this party with poetic ease, even if you’re feeling at a loss for words.  So go ahead, get your guest list together and plan away with us. Read the rest of this entry »

Rachael Ray’s Realistic Spring Party Tips

Rachael Ray was on the cover of USA Weekend last week with party plans to celebrate spring. We love Rachael’s practical approach to entertaining, and in a lot of ways, her philosophy mirrors ours (even though we’re much more likely than she is to let Trader Joe’s do the cooking). Just like GirlfriendCelebrations, Rachael emphasizes keeping your get-togethers “easy, cost-effective, casual and fun.” Here are some of her tips that we especially agree with:

Invite by email, text or phone. Perfectionist expectations are the reason many girlfriends never invite friends over. While beautiful, cute, or inventive invitations are fun to have, they are not a deal-breaker. Do like Rachael and “just tell people to come over.”

Entertain earlier in the day. Having friends over for breakfast, brunch or lunch can be much cheaper than throwing  a dinner party. Plus, it’s refreshingly different!

Offer a signature cocktail. Mixing a big batch of just one cocktail is easier and cheaper than stocking a full bar—plus, it makes your party more special. We served up Pink Perfection cocktails at our e.l.f. Makeup Party and they were a big hit. We literally whipped them up without a recipe using vodka, strawberry lemonade (from Trader Joe’s), Sprite or club soda, and fresh strawberries. Read the rest of this entry »