Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Party for the Girls: Everything We Hoped and MORE

No cooking, no cleaning, no chores, no worries….that’s what our girlfriends enjoyed at our Party For the Girls weekend at the Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel in Galena, Illinois. Along with Siobhainn O’Connor Van Santen from The O’Connor Show Irish radio program, we descended on this historic resort town for a fabulous late-winter getaway and girl, did we have a great time! Read on for our report, complete with pictures!

The Valley of Glendalough
The Valley of Glendalough


After a scenic 3-hour drive to Galena, we arrived at our hotel. When you enter the Irish Cottage, you are instantly transported to a more relaxing place! The hotel overlooks “The Valley of Glendalough” —a hilly countryside reminiscent of Ireland. The hotel’s common areas feature a cozy library fully stocked with books, and an attached pub that is “the beating heart of the hotel”—complete with Irish dancers and live entertainment. It’s always bustling!

Your charming hostesses, Siobhainn, Dawn and Tina
Your charming hostesses, Siobhainn, Dawn and Tina
We quickly set up in the lounge for our opening reception and shamrock hunt. This allowed us to welcome everyone, let them mingle and get a little silly looking for hidden shamrocks around the lounge and library. The two girls who found the most shamrocks won a beaded makeup bag and matching wristlet. We also took some fun girlfriend pictures to open the weekend. Guests picked up their (jam-packed) goodie bags, the agenda for the weekend, and their instructions for a weekend-long scavenger hunt. Then, we headed out for a family-style Italian dinner at Vinny Vanucchi’s in downtown Galena. Thinking we’d rather not drink and drive, we called for cabs, not knowing there are only two cabs in the whole city. The Party Girls definitely got to know each other better as we piled into our cabs —literally! Luckily, downtown Galena is only a two-minute drive from the Irish Cottage. Our dinner was fabulous and we left there completely stuffed. We headed back to the hotel (this time in the hotel’s shuttle van— much more comfortable) in order to hang out in the pub, listen to the live music and chat until late into the evening.

Psst! Like pictures? Check out our Whrrl from the event!

More check-ins at The Irish Cottage
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Girltalk March 2010: What History Left Out of Herstory

March is Women’s History Month! This month’s Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™ focuses on appreciating the journey of women throughout history. Christine Arylo, creator of Girltalk, felt so strongly about this issue that she changed the previously scheduled topic. Read on for her thoughts. To download this month’s printable guide, click here. For more information on Girltalk, click here.

A personal note from Christine Arylo, founder of Girltalk.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I have to out myself.  As an MBA from one of the best schools in the country, I have been ignorant to the truth of our history as women. Sure, I know the facts… but that is not the same as knowing, or feeling, the reality. What I learned in history class didn’t come close to telling me the truth of what women have endured just in the last century, let alone the last three hundred, or two thousand years. I got the same scrubbed-down version of history that you did — unless you were a feminine studies major — straight from the lips of a patriarchal society.  Oh, women couldn’t vote, so there was this suffrage movement and now they can. Oh, there was this thing called Roe vs Wade that made abortion legal. Oh, women were burned at the stake during this thing called the Inquisition. And yes, there was this other thing called the Feminist Movement that created equal rights. None of those were more than a few pages in any of my history books, how about yours?

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Have a Heart! Hold a Cards-for-Charity Girls Night In

With winter in full force, don’t let the idea of six more weeks of snowy cold give you the blues! Warm some hearts today by planning a charitable card party for your girlfriends. Sharing fun times and memories with the ones closest to your heart is a great way to stir up one’s soul in the still of winter. Girlfriend Celebrations has planned a unique way for you to show appreciation to friends who are loved, provide inspiration for charitable giving, and celebrate the life you cherish with your girlfriends. In honor of February’s American Heart month or March’s American Red Cross month, why not host a unique charitable hearts party for your next girl’s night in and spread some love. Read the rest of this entry »

Girl Gamers, Unite for Video Game Girls Night and a Great Giveaway!

Winners have been notified by email. Thanks again to MumboJumbo for the great prizes! Are you a gamer? Our reader Nicole is, and she recently wrote in to sell us on the idea of video games as the perfect, budget-friendly girls night out. We totally agree! Why not take over the Playstation or Wii for one night and invite the girls over to have some fun? Read on for some ideas on how to get your girlfriends together for some video game fun. It’s refreshing to try something new, it’s sure to bring some laughs to your girlfriend group, and it’s low-cost (or even free, especially if you win our game giveaway. Details at the end of this post!)

Surprisingly popular

Now, the Girlfriends-in-Chief do not pretend to be knowledgeable about (or even very interested in) video games. But we both have game systems in our homes, as we know many of you do, courtesy of our darling children. And although we’ve both tried our hand at the Wii, we tend to think of it as a children’s pastime. But we were oh, so wrong, as reader Nicole pointed out:

“I think the ladies are under-represented when it comes to things like video games, and videogames like Rock Band, where you play along on little instruments to a song, are so much fun. There are tons of Rock Band nights across the country where bands of four can compete to win prizes. Harrah’s casinos are hosting some of these events:  It’s free to sign up, and it’s free to play the game. It’s a great way for four girlfriends to spend an evening bonding.”

And Nicole is not alone! We learned that millions of women play “casual online games.” In fact, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, women are almost twice as likely as men to spend 20 hours per week playing games on their PC. Whoa. And, in a 2007 report, the Casual Games Association reported that 75 percent of casual game buyers are women. Most gamers average seven to 15 hours of play a week, and many play as an alternative to watching television.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tell A Gal P.A.L. – and Stop Domestic Violence

Good morning girlfriends! As you’re getting back to your routine, stop and think of someone–at work, at church, in the neighborhood–whose evening might not have been so pleasant. A whopping 74% of us know a girlfriend living in fear because of domestic violence.

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October Bags and Brew Party

OK ladies, we have a few good weekends left before the shivering starts.  Let’s make the best of the weather, gather together and meet some new friends. With our Bags and Brew tournament party, you can do just that. Girlfriend Celebrations has planned a bags (aka beanbags, baggo, or the unfortunately named “cornhole”) tournament —no boys allowed—that will help your expand your girlfriend circle before you retreat indoors to hibernate for the winter.  

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Cook for the Cure Party

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Wine Not?

Don’t you love it when you meet someone who is so enthusiastic about what they do, that it’s contagious? That’s the feeling we had the other day when we met Sue and Kathy from Prairie and Vine, an adorable wine shop and tasting room in Chicago’s western suburbs. It reminded us to tell you that now is a GREAT time of year to have a Wine Among Friends party. Tina hosted one of these two years ago and it was a fabulous success. Click the link for all the details! But first read on:  

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A Positive Politics Party–Is It Possible?

For awhile now, we’ve been toying with the idea of having a girlfriend party or girls night around the topic of politics, but we were afraid it would be too volatile. Nothing kills the party mood like arguing politics, after all. But after listening to the Girlfriends, Kathy and Judy, on WGN Radio 720 in Chicago the other day, we’ve changed our minds. So read on, girlfriends, to discover how you can talk politics with your girlfriends, have fun, and possibly make an impact on the democratic process in your commununity with a Positive Politics Party. (Cue presidential march music!)

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Cooking Up Friendship Party

Is your free time limited? Have you ever experienced an ounce of guilt after spending a few quality hours with your girlfriends? Well then, Girlfriend Celebrations has the perfect girls night idea for you. With our Cooking Up Friendship Party, you’ll prepare meals together to freeze and eat at a later date. Doing chores with your pals makes them much more enjoyable. We all have to eat, so why not find a way to make the prep work more fun? It’s a win-win situation: You get to spend a few hours actively connecting with your friends while saving yourself time in the weeks ahead. Read on for the how-to:

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