HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT GIRLS’ NIGHT IN

A good Girls’ Night In (GNI) is an essential part of any vina’s social life. We all need to relax and forget about the pressures of jobs, significant others, and other social commitments. GNI’s may not happen that often, but when they do, they can uplift your spirit and renew the super important bond you have with the women in your life. Your friends are the ones that keep you grounded. They know who you really are: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the crazy.

Having a theme for your night in makes it a little more exciting. Browsing through Pinterest will give you tons of ideas for different theme nights, how to build a DIY photo booth, and of course, food and drink recipes. Here’s a couple of curated ideas for what to do on your next Girls’ Night In:

80’S NIGHT

Bring out your best 80’s look by crimping your hair, wearing leotards, blue eye shadow, and leg warmers. Strut your stuff around your vina’s living room to your fave 80’s jams and don’t forget to belt out the chorus!

DIY SPA NIGHT

Ask all the ladies to bring one ingredient like sugar, sea salt, essential oils, glass jars, carrier oils – whatever you’ll need to make the products you’re planning on creating (scrubs, lotions, masks etc.). Best part: everyone will take home their own 100% natural creations!

FREEZER COOK-UP

A Girl’s Night In that is also extremely helpful in real life? Yes, it’s possible. Make a meal plan for the week, create a shopping list and give everyone items to buy and bring with them. Serve some vino while chopping, chit-chatting, sautéing, boiling, baking, and then pack your meals in tubaware. Everyone leaves with a full belly, plenty of vina bonding, and enough food for the entire week!

WINE TASTING

Have your ladies bring one bottle of wine each from a specific wine region (California, France, Germany, Australia, etc.). While tasting, read the taste notes and ask everyone describe what it tastes like to them. Serve grapes, crackers, gingerbread cookies, apple slices, and cheese on the side. See how many you can guess correctly!

GAME NIGHT

How often do we play games anymore? Playing games is sooooo much fun, that’s why we did it so much as kids. Host a game night and play some of your old favorites like Monopoly or Shoots and Ladders, or try a newer, more adult game like Cards Against Humanity.

Hope these give you some ideas for your next Girls’ Night In. Now connect with your vinas and make it happen!

(Feature image via @Starhe)

BEST FALL DRINKS TO SHARE WITH YOUR VINAS

Even though I’m 100% summer person and very much dislike cold, there’s something magical about Fall. Cuddling under the blankets watching HGTV or binging Netflix  while sipping something DELISH. So, for all you vinas like me, I’ve gathered some delicious fall drinks to make for your friends (or, you know, enjoy by yourself too):

APPLE CIDER MIMOSAS

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup apple cider

1 bottle champagne

On a small plate, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip champagne flutes in water to wet the rims, then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill champagne flutes 1/4 full with apple cider, then top off with champagne.

CARAMEL APPLE MARTINI

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup caramel vodka

1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps

Sliced fresh apple, caramel, and / or cinnamon sugar for garnish.

Rim your martini glass with caramel or cinnamon sugar, or both. To get the cinnamon sugar to stick to the glass, dip the rim in a little apple cider first. Combine the apple cider, caramel vodka, and butterscotch schnapps in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into the rimmed martini glass and garnish with a thin slice of apple.

CRANBERRY MARGARITAS:

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)

Stir all ingredients together until blended. Serve over ice in sugar- or salt rimmed glasses. Garnish with fresh cranberries and lime wedges.

PUMPKIN PIE COCKTAIL

1 cup Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice

1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur

1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, heavy)

1 tbsp pumpkin puree

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake to combine, and then pour into glass.

What are your fave fall cocktails? Tell us in the comments! (Feature image via Domino)

WHY YOU NEED VINAS, EVEN IF YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP

I used to be the type that when I started a relationship I would leave my friends behind, just like that. I did this for years in my late teens and early 20s and pretty much lost contact with all my friends. I didn’t even feel bad about it. I thought that this is how it should be, once you get a boyfriend your life changes and he is the main focus. Needless to say, none of those romantic relationships lasted. I was too needy, co-dependent, and my world revolved around my boyfriends. Now I know that a girl needs her vinas to lead a better, happier existence.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

When I started dating my current husband, I had just moved to a new city and hadn’t met any vinas yet. Once again he was all I had. But this time, my boo suggested that I make friends. That way I could have something more in my life than work and him. I was surprised at first, and didn’t think it was going to be easy to make friends at my age.

Bae suggested I post on Craigslist’s “Strictly Platonic” section. So I did. “Looking for girlfriends to hang out, grab a drink, attend events and explore NYC.” I got couple of responses, made dates, and met some new awesome people. The best part is that I’m still friends with some of them. One new vina became my bestie from day one and another one become a sort of spiritual advisor to me. Craigslist is not what it was 12 years ago and I probably wouldn’t post there anymore. But thank you Universe for bringing us Hey! VINA 🙏!

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Vinas + bae = fun times! (📸: @sassyyogi)

STRONGER WITH MY VINAS 👯

I believe that the reason why I’m still married 10 years later to the same guy who urged me to reach out is that he understood how important it is that we both have our own social lives. I probably would’ve gone down the same old road not having any life of my own if it wasn’t for him. Having your own friends and hobbies makes you more independent and happier (not to mention it can help you live longer)!

As women we need our girl time. We have a different kind of connection and energy than men in their friendships. There’s a reason there’s something called “girl talk”. Guys generally don’t want to talk about natural beauty products, toxin-free tampons, or those cute new yoga leggings from Sweaty Betty. Women also empathize differently than men.

Something I’ve learned from older women is that you’ll need that supportive safety net and sisterhood even more in the future. When you have children, if you’re faced with serious illness or death in the family, unemployment, divorce or other struggles. That’s when you’ll be grateful that you built a community to support you in bad times, as well as in good times.

Start building your squad now. You will need your vinas now and in the future. Plus, (duh) connecting with other women IRL is fun! Set up weekly or monthly vina-dates where you go for brunch, hike, go to special events, hit the beach, or do a yoga class or bootcamp together. Your future self will thank you for the connections you’ve created in the present.

Do you think it’s important to have friendships outside your relationship? Discuss in the comments!

(Featured image via blog.potterybarn.com)