girls night in

You may have heard, I love to throw a party. Big or small, formal or casual, well planned out to each and every detail or an impromptu last minute thing (my controlling nature prefers the former, of course).

sunday night dinner

In college with my own place, the hostess in me blossomed. My housemate and I would host Sunday Night Dinners each week, where a large group of friends would each contribute and we would have a great feast. A great way to both end the weekend and welcome the new week, our friends would linger into the late hours, not wanting the night to end. It was at these dinners where I also started to get creative in the kitchen, often planning my part of the menu early in the week before.

Although they were planned events, the Sunday Night Dinners were more casual get togethers with no real structure – just friends sharing a meal and socializing.

pageant nights

Later in college, I would host girls nights in a much different way – pageant nights. Each and every pageant that was televised, from Miss USA to Miss America to Miss Universe, I hosted viewing parties that began with a cocktail hour and ended with a dinner and of course, the crowning of a new pageant winner. Using a time saving hostess trick of making a signature cocktail for the evening, I would greet each guest at the door with said cocktail and choice of tiara to wear…  from my collection. Dinner would be served shortly after the pageant began – I would always plan an appetizer, salad, main entree and dessert courses. Elaborately fun evenings – I sometimes think I should start them up again!

Pageant nights revolved around the televised event and girls being girls – aside from my menu planning, the night flowed along the schedule of the pageant. Easy planning there.

modern day tupperware party

Other girls nights are easy to plan as well – a candle party, purse party, housewares party (I always ask my girlfriends ahead of time if they are interested – if I get enough positive response, I go ahead with it). These are fun events, and again the only planning involved on my end is the menu. These parties are best with several small plate options – finger foods set out where guests can nibble and graze. Cocktails or wine also make the event lively and fun.

naked lady party

Come on, minds out of the gutter. Similar to the “buying party”, another girls night in could be a Naked Lady Party – where all the girls show up with clothes, shoes, accessories they no longer want – and we swap! Everything unclaimed at the end goes to charity. These can include a potluck, to cut down on your food planning, and again don’t forget the cocktails or wine. You have a fun girls night and come away with new outfits as well!

karaoke night!

One of my favorite impromptu get togethers? Karaoke night at my house. Cocktails or wine, small plate and finger foods, and the courage to sing just for the fun of it are all required for a successful karaoke party. Such a fun time. Always.

small plate ideas for girls night in:


mango habanero guacamole


self-serve raw taco bar


spinach blini with pimiento spread


reuben rolls with homemade thousand island


seven layer dip with ‘noocho cheese’


quick and easy classic fudge


What is your favorite girls (or guys) night in?

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  1. says

    Ok, I think you need to come and be my party planner, hostess with the mostest. I think channeling your inner Van Wilder and the the best party (foodie!) pimp ever 😉 Hope you have seen that movie and it’ll make sense and you’ll laugh 😉 mmmm!

  2. says

    I would LOVE to come to one of your parties and would LOVE for you to teach me your party skills 😉

    Happy Tuesday love!

    Much love to Basil and Dad!

  3. says

    Can I please come over for a girls’ night? I’ll bring some good beer…
    I love the naked lady party idea! That’s genius! And of course, I think a taco bar is ALWAYS a winner of an idea.
    (I also bought those shot glass molds because of YOU and have yet to use them for anything except… ice.)

    • spabettie says

      yes Yes YES – and you’ll win Jason over with the beer 😉 girl, you need to make some chocolate shots! seriously – SO awesome. but yeah… Jason bought this one for me, and I think it took me a year to use it. 😉

  4. says

    OMGoodness what a girl’s night. First I saw the jalapenos in the drink then the pink cocktail and the blinis just pushed me over the edge. Though must admit an horrible at karaoke.

  5. ruthee says

    i just started my subscription. I noticed your blog from gojee. anyhow, i was just thinking about how i have long lost my friends that liked to cook together, and that I want to try motivating them again. As much as I would do it all myself, i hope it were easier to find people willing to make it a collaborative effort. I laughed when reading your blog as I am getting geared up for the school year, and realized a sunday dinner party tradition could be great motivation not to leave a grueling day of sunday work to conclude each week! Thanks for throwing out some fun ideas! I hope to find some more boy inclusive… anyways, the picture of the pink drink with jalapeno slices was missing a recipe that I wanted !!

    • spabettie says

      hi Ruthee, thank you for subscribing, and thanks for saying hello! glad you like some of these ideas – I loved the Sunday Dinners and would love to start something like that again – it was a nice way to … start the week?

      the drink with the jalapeno slices is my jalapeno margarita, link here –> jalapeno margarita

    • spabettie says

      aw, thanks! wish you could come to one of the parties… Naked Lady parties ARE so fun, and hey, we all get new clothes!

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