Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Girl’s Guide to Handmade Gifts

Tis’ the season for giving, but finding a gift for the girlfriend who has everything is challenging, especially if you are trying to stay within a holiday budget. But with a little creativity this holiday season, you can solve that dilemma by handcrafting your own unique, heartfelt gift. Let GirlfriendCelebrations guide you with a few easy-to-do ideas to make your own. We’re positive you’ll find something for everyone on your list. Click the links to find the how-to!

For the foodie girlfriend:

Pecan clusters
Pecan clusters
Chocolate Truffles, Pecan Clusters, Chocolate covered pretzels or Oreo truffles –  What girl doesn’t appreciate a yummy, melt-in-your-mouth indulgence? Place  chocolates in individual candy or small cupcake liners, arrange in a box, garnish with  a beautiful bow. Voila’ Beautifully wrapped chocolates prepared with your own two  hands and a giving heart.

Cookies in a jar
Cookies in a jar

Cookies in a jar - all the ingredients for a delightful girls night in, to make when she needs it the most.

Spicy pecan bites
Spicy pecan bites
Spiced Pecans or Candied Pecansgive to the girlfriend who enjoys the nuttier side of  life, a tasty snack that she  won’t want to share.

For the fashion-forward girlfriend:

scarf_beauty_600x400
scarf_beauty_600x400
Doodle noodle scarf, Fringe Scarf, strip scarf, Circular scarf, Ruffled Scarf,  or Frilly  scarf – accessories are a fashionista’s best friend.

dip dyed t-shirt
dip dyed t-shirt
Dip dyed t-shirta chic, stylish re-crafted shirt she is sure to love.

For the pampered girlfriend:

bath bombs/fizzies
bath bombs/fizzies
Bath fizzies, Body scrub, Bath salts, Lavendar sleep pouches, Rose dusting powder,  or Winter lip balm, - a gift  of luxury  is always welcomed.

For the entertaining girlfriend:

cupcake stand
cupcake stand
Decoupage platter , or Cupcake stand – a beautiful gift any girlfriend would love to show off at her next girls night  in.

doily tablecloth
doily tablecloth
Doily tablecloth – perfect for the entertaining hostess of elegant dinner parties.

etched glasses
etched glasses
Etched glasses – a thirst quenching way for the hostess with the mostest to share a bevy of cocktails in style.

For the gardening girlfriend:

jewelsofthegardenbirdbath-1
jewelsofthegardenbirdbath-1
Clay pot bird bath – painted simply, this can be a great tool for enhancing garden space or attracting birds to watch.

bulletin-board
bulletin-board
For the busy girlfriend:

Message board – an eye catching way to showcase cherished photos or important notes with beauty.

For the sentimental girlfriend:

fleece tied blanket
fleece tied blanket
Fleece tied blanket – a unique way to give the gift of coziness and warmth, perfect for cuddling up with a book on chilly days.

For the girlfriend who makes life a whole lot better:

Girlfriends Make Life Better
Girlfriends Make Life Better
Girlfriend Celebrations gift shop – when you don’t have time to make your own gift, but you need to share just how special her friendship is to you. The GirlfriendCelebrations shop is filled with all kinds of apparel to show that you care. (mugs, messenger bag, aprons, magnets, t-shirts, ornaments.) 

With a little creativity, we are positive you can create a charming gift for a special girlfriend. Leave a comment: We’d love to hear about the favorite handmade gifts you have given or received over the years. Read the rest of this entry »


A Poetic Alternative to Book Club: The Poetry Party

While book clubs seem all the rage these days, gathering with the girls to discuss books leaves little room for a girl to express her creative side. Why not change up your next girls night in with a hip and soulful poetry party? With inspiration from National Poetry Month, Girlfriend Celebrations has created a party plan for girlfriends like you looking for a fresh, expressive outlet. A poetry jam for women who want a creative slice of life or an alternative to the humdrum girls night. Yes, you can create this party with poetic ease, even if you’re feeling at a loss for words.  So go ahead, get your guest list together and plan away with us. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Thoughtful Gifts For Mothers Day

With Mother’s Day less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about a gift for the important moms in your life, a gift special enough for the women that have helped to make you who you are. Some of us are blessed to have a mom that is like a best girlfriend; nearly all of us have a mom, mother-in-law or mother figure to remember on Mother’s Day. Giving the right gift can be tricky: you’re navigating the fine line between what you can afford, what mom will like and what gift will make mom feel most appreciated. Who knew it would be so complicated? But don’t drop before you shop, girlfriend, because the Girlfriends-In-Chief have come up with a few gift ideas to inspire your Mother’s Day gift giving.

Here are 5 thoughtful gift ideas for special women in your life:

Charitable

Volunteer – Find a cause that mom is passionate about and volunteer together.

Present her with a wrapped or ribbon-tied photo album. In the front, place an invitation stating the day, time and place you have planned for the two of you to do your volunteering together. She can use the album for pictures to remember the special day you shared  helping out those less fortunate. Not only will you both be rewarded  with warm feelings of helping others, but volunteering can help you to grow as individuals as well as help to make your mother/daughter bond a little stronger. It’s a gift filled with warm fuzzies for all. Try searching www.volunteermatch.org to find volunteer opportunities near you.

Inspirational

Motivate – Encourage her to exercise! Give mom a gift certificate for your time as a weekly walking partner.

A key reason many people don’t work out is simply because they  lack motivation. It’s easier to work out if you have someone there  to motivate, get you going and hold you accountable to a workout  schedule. Why not be that motivation for mom to help her get in better shape and to help her feel better about herself?  Schedule a night or two each week ( just make sure you keep up your end of the bargain) to accompany mom on a healthy walk. Not only will you inspire some healthy habits, it will give you some quiet mom/daughter bonding time. Best of all, it’s free! A win/win gift for all.

Green

Plant a garden - Surprise her with a garden! Bring the supplies and your muscle power to plant the garden she always wanted but never had time or energy to create.

Planting a garden in the outdoors is a great option if you have the  yard space. However, If she lives in a townhouse or condo, you can still make an indoor garden together. A garden makes a great gift because it will keep her busy and give her something to look forward to. A gift bearing the fruit of your labor, what could be better than that? Read the rest of this entry »


The Budget Bachelorette Party (and Giveaway)!

Summer is wedding season!  As those of us who have been bridesmaids or brides already know, weddings are expensive, and the list of expenses goes on and on. If you’re responsible for throwing the bride a bachelorette party, you can reluctantly add another “cha-ching” to your list, OR you can have a fabulous bachelorette party without going into debt. We thought you’d prefer the latter, so we asked some of our girlfriends for their best tips on budget bachelorette parties. And if you add a tip of your own, you can enter our giveaway for a great little bachelorette gift at the end of this post. Photo via flickr.

Skip the bar-hopping

This post from MSN Money estimates that a typical bridesmaid spends $75 – $100 on the bachelorette party. That’s just too much for many girlfriends right now. Most of the cost of traditional bachelorette parties comes from spending the night out on the town at pricey restaurants, bars and clubs, drinking expensive drinks, hiring limos, and seeing tacky shows. The obvious way to cut your costs? Host part or all of the evening at home. 

There’s no need to drink expensive cocktails out when you can recreate specialty drinks at home for a fraction of the cost! Burst Bar Shots are a great way to offer your guests a delicious shot to get the party started without having to fuss with multiple mixers and alcohols. The newest flavors include Sex on the Beach (our favorite), Lemon Drop and Alabama Slammer. Priced at only $10.99 a bottle, they are a great value, and a fun, festive and easy way to start your evening. We brought these to a party last weekend and they were quite a hit!

Our girlfriend Jennifer Luby, home entertaining blogger at Second City Soiree, suggests starting the party with your own ginger martinis (find the recipe at www.domainedecanton.com) and then visiting just one favorite watering hole. Or, she suggests, “skip the bars and hit the late-night fast food stands” if you crave some people-watching. If you must go to the hottest club, Jen suggests going early to avoid the cover charge.  ”Also, some clubs have restaurants attached, and if you eat there, they’ll often let you in the club for free.”

 

Get Cooking

And speaking of dinner, you don’t have to blow out your budget with a spendy restaurant dinner. You can have just as much fun, Jen says, if you potluck at home. “Everyone but the bride brings something; just be sure to have a balance of food types.” Or why not take this thinking a step further and have a more creative type of bachelorette party? We asked our girlfriends at Gracious Bridal to put on their thinking veils for us, (they are in touch with brides-to-be and their wedding parties every day, after all!) and they suggested a cooking party. We think this is a fabulous idea for girlfriends who have had their fill of clubbing. Some of the best girlfriend bonding times come from hands-on activities. Here’s how to do it:

Have the Maid of Honor pick a couple of her favorite recipes (the bride-to-be needs a break from decision making). You can all pitch in on providing the ingredients. Then, proceed to make a feast together! Show off your culinary skills, have fun with the girls, and of course, enjoy a glass of wine while doing so. Have each bridesmaid walk away with a decorative recipe card (and of course a belly full of fabulous food). Gift the bride-to-be with a Jessie Steele Vintage Apron for all of her future culinary endeavors.  Read the rest of this entry »


GNO Spending Not Too Shabby

So, the results from our latest poll are in, and it looks like most of our girlfriends have a moderate amount of money to spend on their monthly Girls Night Out.

Only seven percent of you said you were flat broke. The vast majority were ok with spending about $25 on a monthly girls night out. And another lucky 23% could spend $50 and up for girls night fun. In this economy, that seems impressive! For those of you spending the cash, we’d love to hear where you go and what you do on your girls nights out. Dinner? Drinks? Theater? Let’s talk about it in the comments! And for those of you watching your wallets, remember that Girls Night In can be just as fun as Girls Night Out, while drastically cheaper! Find frugal girls night ideas here  and here. And, be sure to take our latest poll: “What do you think of Bunco?” at the top of the left-hand column. Have a great week!


Frugal Girls Nights on Fractured Friendships Blog

Girlfriends, check out the latest post on Fractured Friendships, the blog of our girlfriend and Huffington Post columnist Irene Levine. Girls Nights On the Cheap: Staying Connected Without Spending A Fortune features us, the Girlfriends-in-Chief, dishing about budget-friendly fun for girls night out and girls night in. While you’re there, check out the rest of Irene’s blog, where she explores the nature, meaning, and depth of female friendships. We think you will appreciate her thoughtful, expert advice to women struggling with friendship dilemmas or hurts. And, look for more from Irene coming soon right here on GirlfriendCelebrations!


A Guide to Swap Parties for Frugal Girls Nights

Swapping is hot! In these tricky economic times, girlfriends everywhere are looking for creative ways to be fabulous while pinching pennies, and they’re rediscovering the beauty of swapping everything from books to jewelry to party dresses. At Girlfriend Celebrations, we’ve been brainstorming unique swap parties to help you trim the fat off your budget and nourish your soul with some girl time. We’re also looking to add your ideas to our swap-o-rama! Photo via flickr.

Save your pennies!
Save your pennies!

Our longtime readers already know about our Book Swap, Accessory Swap, and Fashion Sharing parties. Be sure to click the links and check out the party plans; they are some of our most popular parties, because they help girlfriends grab great new finds on the cheap, all while enjoying the company of friends. Here are some additional ways for you and your gal pals to increase your fabulousness without spending a dime!

Magazine Swap  

With a careful review of the budget, subscribing to new magazines is one luxury that often gets trimmed to cut costs. So why not swap magazines with your gal pals? It is a great way to recycle and reduce paper waste. While being good for the environment, it is also an economical way to read magazines that you might not otherwise spend the money on. Ask your girlfriends to save their magazines and bring them to your next girls night. It’s always interesting to see what magazines people read, too!  Read the rest of this entry »


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