Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Our 10 Favorite Posts of 2009

Another girlfriend year is coming to a close, so we wanted to look back and remember some of our favorite post of 2009. We’ve had some great ones this year! In fact, narrowing the list down to 10 favorites was tough, but we selected 5 party ideas and 5 articles that we thought represented the best of GirlfriendCelebrations this year. Read on and see if you agree, and let us know in the comments. You can also VOTE for your favorite GirlfriendCelebrations party idea of 2009 in our twtpoll in the left-hand column. If you missed any of these great posts, you may want to consider subscribing to our e-newsletter. That way you’ll never miss a minute of the celebration!

Party Ideas

1. Patio Crawl Tina says: “I like this because it’s hip to host at any age. It can be held virtually anywhere from a large subdivision to a small apartment complex. If you wanted to include the opposite sex, it wouldn’t too hard to modify. What a great way to celebrate the fall season! And last but not least…I secretly really, really, really want to host one of these ~ sounds like so much fun.”

2. Welcome-to-Town Cookie Party Tina says: “I love that you can host this for girls of all ages. It’s a unique twist on the old favorite cookie exchange. It’s a fun way to get the “chore” of seeing all your close friends and extended family without traveling from house to house during the time-crunched holiday season.”
3. Karaoke Girls Night Dawn says: “Classic GirlfriendCelebrations: Fun, easy, cheap, and unique. This is a great Japan-themed girls night to warm up a winter night by bringing out your inner diva.” Read the rest of this entry »

Real Girlfriends: An Oprah Show Adventure!

Having an adventure together is a proven way to get closer to your girlfriends. Appearing on Oprah together definitely qualifies! We couldn’t wait for Melissa Mellott to share this Real Girlfriends story and we know you’ll enjoy it.

by Melissa Mellott

I have an amazing group of girlfriends – educated, funny, quirky, beautiful … and single and looking for love. Conversations in a week can look like a scene from Sex in the City – talk of careers, mishaps from blind dates (”did he really say that?”) and bikini waxes (”what’s a landing strip”?) and analyzing our love lives, all done in the “privacy” of over-the-cubicle comments (during breaks of course) or in a cozy coffee shop sipping a cappuccino.

Camera ready!
Camera ready!

Recently while browsing the Oprah website, I came upon a link: “Do you need dating advice?” Given recent conversations with my girlfriends, I think I double-clicked in a millisecond. After a quick two minutes of venting dating dilemmas on the Oprah site (it was great therapy), I moved onto another distraction.

You can imagine my surprise when I got a call the next day from Jason, an Oprah producer, who asked if my girlfriends and I would want to be on that Friday’s LIVE show via Skype to talk about dating with Steve Harvey, the author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. And in a matter of a couple days, three of my (Oprah-crazy and boy-crazy) girlfriends were prepping with Jason for Friday’s LIVE show via Skype.


“And Skyping in from my favorite city Santa Barbara are Melissa and her friends with dating questions” was going to be the introduction, according to Jason, as he prepped us through the Skype session.

Getting ready to Skype
Getting ready to Skype
Giddy giggles, high-pitched voices, talk of what we would wear and ask, all had us 30-somethings being such … girls. Read the rest of this entry »

Girlfriends Offer Summer Skin Advice

Are you and your girlfriends hitting the beach, hanging out poolside, or taking some sunny side trips this summer? Our spa correspondent and expert esthetician Melissa Mellott is back to your beauty rescue! For this article, she collaborated with her esthetician students to come up with some summer skin tips. If you’re not too fond of those “cute” freckles and sunspots, read on.

by Melissa Mellott

I find it a little funny when my clients confess their sunshine sins to me, stating with a guilty voice, “I didn’t wear sunscreen this weekend at the beach.” Of course I sarcastically gasp, but then share ways to combat the signs of sun damage.

The fact is that wearing sunscreen is the best anti-aging tool, but let’s face it: Sunshine makes us happy and feeling the warmth on our face is blissful.  Remember too, spa health is about doing things that are pleasurable and summertime is all about fun and sun!

My esthetician students and myself agree: Enjoy the sunshine! Just be informed and know what you can do to nurture your skin if you do get a little too much sun. So, if you are noticing new freckles from your summer adventures, here are some tips from esthetician students in Santa Barbara—a sunny place where we can’t ever deny the kiss of sun!

Jenny & Joanie remind us:

90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun!  But we also love the sun and sunshine (vitamin D) has its benefits too!  The name of the game is “Sunshine in Moderation” and if we wear our sunscreen, we can splurge.  Here’s the scoop on a good, effective SPF (Sun Protection Factor):

*Make sure the SPF is Broad spectrum, which protects from UVA (aging rays) & UVB (burning rays)

*Any sunscreen higher than a 30 SPF offers only about 1% more protection and sunscreens that have 45 or higher SPF are more about marketing than sun protection.

*Re-apply sunscreen every 1-2 hours

*Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on ears, neck, décolleté (chest) and orbital bone (NOT directly under eyes as it will migrate into eyes and could cause irritation.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate Inspires Downward Dog at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

[Our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with another amazing review, in which she shows us that "spa" doesn't just mean facials; it can mean new experiences too. Sharing them with your girlfriends is even better!]

by Melissa Mellott

I think we can all agree that getting a facial, massage or any type of spa treatment is relaxing, and thus good for mind and body. As an esthetician, I believe that these treatments are good/nurturing/healing to our skin and body. 

The concept of Spa Health, however, is defined as doing something positive for yourself—something that makes you relaxed, happy, balanced, peaceful, or simply rested.  This could be a facial, but it could be taking a walk on the beach, playing with a puppy, cooking (yes, comfort food; it doesn’t have to be spa cuisine!) or eating a truffle (I, personally, could be in any sort of stressful situation and chocolate becomes my “OM”!) 

Speaking of chocolate, I recently attended a Chocolate & Wine Yoga Workshop at Ojai Valley Inn Resort and Spa. Prior to the workshop, I scrambled to find anything that resembled yoga pants to take with me, commenting to a friend about the upcoming workshop, “I don’t do yoga, but…I certainly do chocolate and wine.”  The class was taught by author and yoga expert Dave Romanelli, and over the course of two days, I took two yoga classes and had two chocolate and wine tastings following the yoga; it was like the carrot dangled in front of me … except it was the most delicious Vosges Aztec truffles infused with ancho chillies  and Ceylon cinnamon. Read the rest of this entry »

One Day of Rejuvenation for a Recessionista

Are you and your girlfriends having a tough time justifying those little indulgences that you used to take for granted? Well, our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with some thoughts on how pampering yourself fits into a tough economic picture. And, she reviews the Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! by Melissa Mellott  Lately, my girlfriends and I find ourselves constantly assessing and maximizing.  We assess our career situation and stability, our families, our options… and maximize our resources, money and networks. As women, we are brilliant multi-taskers, caretakers and maximizers, but it is exhausting!

In a time when we are more cautious about spending, why would I recommend spending money on pampering spa treatments? Even the consideration of treating ourselves leads women right back to the assessment of the idea, “I have worked so hard and it would be good for me, but can I afford it? Shouldn’t I be saving my money or using the money for groceries?”

As a spa health advocate, I believe spa treatments are necessary for maximizing your efforts and energy. At first, it may seem like you are “splurging,” but think of it as maximizing your health and managing your stress. 

I recently had the ultimate rejuvenating spa day at Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas and if I may say so, Lake Austin is truly one of my favorite spas (in my top three—and yes, even compared to the spas I’ve visited in Italy!)  Here’s why …

Read the rest of this entry »

Six Ways to “Spa” With Your Girlfriends in The New Year

[Girlfriends, two questions: 1. Have you scheduled your 2009 girls nights yet—meaning actually put them the calendar? And 2. Would you like to reduce stress this year? You haven't? And you would? Well, we're here to help. Let's get out those calendars today, call your gal pals, and set some dates. If you're looking for an easy, inexpensive Girls Night In, our Simple Spa Party is a great solution. Click the link for all the details. But first, read what our spa contributor Melissa Mellott has to say about planning regular girlfriend dates to recharge and relax. Listen to her, she's an expert!]

Feel good right down to your with your girlfriends!
Feel good right down to your with your girlfriends!
by Melissa Mellott I know many of you have resolutions that include dieting, new goals for the year and perhaps improving your finances, but how about taking the pressure off yourself just a bit? Consider creative ways to nurture and support yourself and your New Year’s resolutions. Spa health is about relaxation, rejuvenation and whatever brings you back to a place of calm and balance. Here are six ways to destress and maintain balance throughout the year, all the while supporting your new intentions for 2009. Keep them in mind while you are planning your next girls night in, or as you touch base with girlfriends throughout the day.  Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Steps to Better Girls Nights

Hi, Girlfriends! We’ve had a lovely holiday hiatus, but now we’re back with a whole new year of ideas to help you have fun and meaningful times with your girlfriends. Did you spend enough time with your girlfriends in 2008? Do you wish you’d taken more time for female friendship?

Melissa Mellott and girlfriends start the New Year off right—together!
Melissa Mellott and girlfriends start the New Year off right—together!
Have you, like our girlfriend Amy, declared 2009 “the year I take care of me”? If you’re like many of us, you meant to have a regular “date” with your girlfriends last year, but it didn’t quite happen that way. But here’s good news: A new year is the perfect opportunity to create new habits and do things better. We’d like to help you realize all the benefits of strong girlfriendships in 2009, and we’ve put together a little guide to get you started. Read on for our Seven Steps to Better Girls Nights! Read the rest of this entry »

Get Holiday Beautiful With Your Girlfriends

[We are so lucky, girlfriends! Just in time for holiday parties, our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott delivers a fantastic roundup of beauty treatments for you and your girlfriends to try. Gift yourself a present and book those spa appointments now! Even better, Melissa has generously offered to answer your beauty questions. Ask your question in the comments or email us.] by Melissa Mellott What’s on your beauty wishlist to Santa?  Fewer wrinkles?  Less stress?  Better tone and texture and glowing skin? A perfect pedicure or just a little pampering to help you look refreshed and rejuvenated?

Girlfriend Celebrations Spa Correspondent, Melissa Mellott, holiday party hops with her friend Maggie, Both are estheticians in Santa Barbara, California.
Girlfriend Celebrations Spa Correspondent, Melissa Mellott, holiday party hops with her friend Maggie, Both are estheticians in Santa Barbara, California.
One of my spa gal pals, Carrie, works at Evolutions Medical Spa in Santa Barbara. It is so fun chatting with her about all of the treatments available to help women look their best. We recently had lunch and discussed all of the different treatments to help us and all of our girlfriends be holiday hotties!

Read the rest of this entry »

Rejuvenate, Celebrate, and Give Thanks With Your Girlfriends

by Melissa Mellott

[Editor's Note: Our spa correspondent brings us another idyllic experience! We thought Thanksgiving Day would be an opportune time to bring you one of Melissa's relaxing and insightful articles. She has the gift of making us say, "aaaaah." Please know that on this Thanksgiving Day, we at are very grateful for you, our readers and subscribers. We're humbled and honored that you continue to "tune in" to our site. We know it's because you share our belief that Girlfriends Make Life Better.™ Happy Thanksgiving. And remember, we love to hear from you!]

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Some Girlfriends You Should Know

Hi Girlfriends! While you’re nursing your post-election hangover (or lack of sleep) today, we thought we’d give you something fun to do. We want to introduce you to a few of our online girlfriends. In case you didn’t know, there’s an entire universe of women bloggers on the web. So if you can’t focus on work, or just have a few minutes to read some girly fun stuff, here are just a few female blogs we think you will enjoy:

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