Summer nights are perfect to explore your neighborhood rooftop bar scene. They're great for dining on patios and going on late night adventures. On the flip side, just like any other time of year sometimes all you want is a night in. Whether that means everyone comes in yoga pants and tank tops or dresses up for fun, gathering at someone's home and munching on snacks and appetizers is a much needed reprieve from crowded public places once in a while. It's also a money saver that me and my friends take advantage of more often than not. Whatever your plans are, we have your guide to a summertime girls' night in.
What To Serve
Elaborate dinner parties are not my style. They're far too complicated and require too much work. I'm a fan of preparing everything in advance to enjoy the party later. Me and my friends are all about the casual gathering too. Appetizers, snacks and random munchies will keep us satisfied as long as there is wine involved. I like to have a nice selection of all flavors so a few types of cheese are a must, fruit for sweetness, anything chocolate for indulging and chips. It's not hard to put together trays of snacks like this and it doesn't take much time. You can even buy it in the store ready-to-use instead of cutting cheese cubes and slicing up fruit yourself.
Always, always have some kind of drinks. If you don't drink alcohol, make a fun mocktail. If you do, make a cocktail in advance that will last through the night so you're not constantly fixing drinks. Or, do as we do and go with wine. Champagne or sparkling wine are my favorites so I like to have that on hand as well as a red and white wine. It covers all your bases. You can either provide the wine yourself or ask each friend to bring a bottle. A good rule of thumb is to plan for one bottle per person. You might think I'm crazy but I'd rather have wine leftover than not enough.
What To Do
Movie nights are popular for my friends and I. Romantic comedies, regular comedies or the latest drama are all good options. You can't go wrong with a few movies. Game night is another option for an easy night in. Pick a few childhood favorites, a trivia game, something active like Twister and have a raunchy drinking game prepared. As the night goes on and the wine disappears, those drinking games get to be a lot of fun.
If you want to do something a little more structured, have some kind of craft night. Maybe all your friends like to scrapbook. Have a big scrapbooking party and share supplies. You might also try a tasting. Organize one yourself with wine, beer, chocolate, olive oil or some time of liquor. Make cupcakes or cookies ahead of time (or buy them from a store) and have everyone decorate their own. You can also create a sundae bar or a popcorn bar. Think of what you and your friends like to do when you go out and recreate it in an interactive way at home.
How To Manage
The most important part is figuring out how to manage everything so that you also can enjoy your friends' company. The trick is to have a few key items for easy entertaining regardless of party size or type. Organize-It is a company out of Detroit that has plenty of products to make entertaining easy. They generously provided a few products for us to use in our own girls' night adventures: the Rotating Appetizers-On-Ice Tray with Lids, Vinturi Wine Aerator and Marble Cheese Board set. Each of these are fantastic items to have on hand for an easy night of entertaining. What's best is that you can prepare extra food, leave it in the fridge and just restock as needed. It takes 30 seconds and you don't have to worry about not having a good time.
I am obsessed with the appetizer tray. This is going to come in handy for holidays. There are three bottom sections that hold ice to keep food cool. Above the ice are three more trays that are divided in half so you can include up to six different items. It also rotates so no more reaching to grab what you want and the middle features a bowl to hold your choice of dip. As your resident cheese addict, a cheese board is an easy way to add elegance and sophistication in serving your cheese fanatics. This particular set is absolutely gorgeous and the color goes with any theme since it's neutral. On another note, I am terrible at remembering to uncork red wine in advance. An aerator has long been on my list of things to buy and I finally can cross it off. Wasting red wine can be costly and it often happens when entertaining. Opening too many bottles can cause them to go bad fast. Using an aerator allows you to open one at a time as you need.
Organize-It has a wide variety of products for every area of the house and lifestyle need. Organize the office, organize the supply closet, organize the kids' playroom, organize the pets! They have reasonable, affordable prices and a large inventory. As for your girls' night in, become the hostest with the mostest by serving everyone well while not missing a minute of the fun. Tell me in the comments below how you like to host a girls' night in.