OK. Raise your hand if you already knew that September 22 is National Girls' Night In Day! And really, how cute is it that this year, it happens to fall on the eve of what I personally consider to be the best season of all—autumn. But before we get into some of the cool ways that you and some of your girls can celebrate it together, first a little history lesson.
My something new for the day is the fact that the vodka company Ketel One are the ones who are responsible for this truly awesome day of kickin' it with our female friends. Last year, they came up with the idea because they thought it would be great for ladies to have an official day, each year, to stay in, chill out, enjoy a drink or two and enjoy one another's company. Affirmative. The xoTribe could not agree more.
I will give this heads up, though. This year the holiday falls on a Sunday. This means that y'all might want to hang out on Saturday night until past midnight (you know, so that you can say that you observed the actual day), meet up around brunch time on Sunday, or take it easy on any wine—or shots—that you'd like to take on Sunday evening. That said, if National Girls' Night In Day is something that you are totally down for, here are some of the ways to make it fun, memorable, and definitely worth marking down on your calendar every year.
1. Have a “Favorite Foods” Potluck
I don't know anyone who wants to do a night in and there not be any food around. But if you're the one hosting and money is tight, ask everyone to cook a dish that they are best at making. Also ask them to bring along the recipe and a paragraph explanation of when they made it for the first time and their favorite memory surrounding the dish. You can compile all of the recipes and send them out to your friends later in the week, so that everyone can learn how to make each other's best homemade meals.
2. Play the Online Version of Truth or Dare
C'mon. Does a round of Truth or Dare (or Never Have I Ever) ever get old? Especially when it's with some of your female homies? If you're not exactly sure what questions to ask, there's an online version of the game that lets you pick a category (such as "party" or "hot"); then it offers up questions (and dares) within that theme. If you want to take the dares up a notch, require that they be things that have to be done online like trolling an ex or posting a crazy statement on a Twitter account. Just remember that once it's on the 'net, it's documented somewhere forever, even if you do delete it. So yes, y'all, "dare" with wisdom—and foresight.
3. Hold a Dance Contest
Not too long ago, I was listening to Tha Dogg Pound's New York, New York on loop. What it did was two things. One, it reminded me that when everyone was making their top rappers list a few weeks ago, Kurupt should've definitely been on everyone's list. Second, it reminded that a good song is timeless.
In honor of good jams, have everyone pull up their Spotify and share their favorite three songs, either from a particular year and era (y'all pick the year or era beforehand). Then have everyone try and find the dance that was big when those songs were out. Make sure some sort of prize goes to the one who remembered the dance without having to look it up first. Another prize goes to who could do the dance best. (If you need a 90s cheat sheet, you can find one here and also here. You can see some popular dances from the 2000s here.)
4. Bring Favorite Pics. Share Memories Connected to Them.
A lot of my besties, we've known each other for years now. But oftentimes, it's not until I see a picture of them that I've never seen before, and I get the backstory on it, that I end up learning something that I never knew. So yeah, another cool idea is to ask everyone to bring a baby picture, a picture from high school and a college shot. Then have them share what was going on in their lives at the time. You can even make things interesting by coming up with a theme word and then have everyone take a shot for each time the word is said while everyone is in the midst of telling their tales.
5. Do an Affirmations Exchange
Several years ago, I was a bridesmaid at a wedding where the wife gave the sweetest bridal party presents. Instead of a piece of jewelry or paying for our shoes, she wrote and framed something that each of us taught her. Mine is hanging up on one of my bedroom walls; hands down, it's one of the best things that I've ever received.
Aside from the value of the affirmation, something else that I really like about her gift is it's a reminder that you don't need a load of dough to give a great gift to someone that you care about.
So, something else that might be cool to do is have everyone to write down something that they appreciate or admire about each individual, put it into a hat, draw them out and share them. I guarantee that there will be lots of warm fuzzies shared by the time everyone is done.
6. Or Do a Clothing/Shoes/Jewelry Exchange
I don't know about you, but pretty much every friend that I have owns something that I wish was mine. Since the seasons are about to officially shift, something else you could do is have everyone bring the summer or fall pieces from last year that they don't want anymore—clothes, shoes and jewelry included. Then, everyone can go through the stuff to see if there is anything that they want before you all donate them or give them to someone who might not be nearly as appreciative if they had it in their personal possession.
7. Teach Each Other Make-Up Hacks
There is not nearly enough time to get into all of the fly chicks who have online make-up tutorials. Today, though, I am going to shout out a channel who does do them but also has all kinds of other insightful and oftentimes very witty commentary—nappyheadedjojoba.
You can connect YouTube to your television monitor and try and copy some tips from make-up experts like her and others (you can find more by putting "make-up tutorial for Black women" in the search field). Or, you can send out an email to your friends, asking them to bring some of their own make-up so that each of you can show one another a great tip, trick or hack. (You can even give out a prize to the best one.)
8. Watch a Favorite Movie. Then Have a Q&A Afterwards.
I really enjoy reading, so I fully support book clubs. But if you'd rather chill out than be all deep and philosophical, ask everyone to text their top five favorite movies of all time and show the top 1-2 of them once everyone arrives. Then afterwards, just as you would in a book club meeting, go around and have everyone share what they loved about the movie, what stage of life they were in at the time, what the movie taught them, what they would do differently if they were the screenwriter or director—you know, stuff that encourages a stroll down memory lane and also sparks lots of conversation and laughter.
9. How About a Round (or Two) of 'Pick Your Poison'?
I've shared before that I'm a fan of Black web series. One that I checked out sometime last year that I really enjoyed was Diary of a Cheating Man. Interestingly enough, my favorite episode was one entitled "Naomi". The reason why I say that is because, recently, a podcast popped up in my YouTube suggestion feed that featured the lead character from the web series and the girl who played Naomi. They currently have a show called Shots of Honesty and the episode that I watched featured the game Pick Your Poison (at least, that's what they call it).
I'm not on social media, but according to Julian (the male host), a variation of this game has been circulating for a while. Basically, what you do is compile a list of really great and really bad traits for a hypothetical person. Then you do this for 4-5 other imaginary individuals and ask your friends which guy they would choose. Other than it being able to give you insight into what your standards and deal-breakers are, it's also a reminder that no one is perfect; that, to a large extent, long-term relationships are all about figuring out what you can tolerate, what you can't, and what good things about a person can make you endure the not-so-good parts of them. If you want to take some shots in between like Julian and his co-host Starr did, please feel free.
10. Participate in a DIY Spa Session
Listen, just because it's about that time to pull out your ankle boots and close-toed pumps, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't give your feet some attention. And a facial mask? This is the perfect time of year to give your face some extra moisture as well. That's why, as far as a girls' night in event goes, you can never go wrong with having a DIY spa session.
Think about what you'd like to focus on most—hands, face, feet, etc.—look up the ingredients that you'll need and ask everyone to bring one of the items in the recipe. For instance, if you're gonna do foot soaks, ask someone to bring a big bag of Epsom salt and someone else to bring a large jar of coconut oil. Or, if it's a facial, ask one person to bring a couple of cartons of eggs and someone else to bring a couple of containers of honey. That way, everyone can get pampered without breaking their budgets in the process. (Click here for some foot soak recipes, here for some hand cream and lotion ones, and here for some DIY facial recipes.)
Oh, and while everyone is getting the DIY star treatment, serve a signature fall cocktail or mocktail that will forever commemorate 2019 Girls' Night In Day!
Enjoy every single moment of it, y'all! You and your girls definitely deserve it.
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