You may have heard of Galentine’s Day, but do you know how it all started? (Confession: I didn’t.) On a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, declared February 13th Galentine’s Day – a day for women to celebrate their girlfriends. “Ladies celebrating ladies” as she states in the episode.

Photo by Tim Zänkert on Unsplash

So what’s a girl to do on Galentine’s Day? Get your gals together of course! And if you’re wondering, this is not a single ladies holiday. All gal pals are welcome – single, married, taken, committed, whatever!

If this is your first Galentine’s Day, we’re here to help you make it the best one ever!

Start at Home

Hosting a get together at your house is great if you’re looking for a lowkey celebration with just you and your closest girlfriends.

Photo by The 125 Collection.

Set the Mood 

We’re going for fun and sexy, with some sister love for your girls sprinkled all throughout the night. We all know that candles do the trick and for this special occasion the “Good Vibes Only” candle from The 125 Collection, “Excite” from Crown Candle Company,“Josephine” from Harlem Candle Company, or “Joy” from LIT BKLYN will be perfect.

Create a Poppin’ Playlist

If this party is supposed to celebrate your awesome gal pals, you’re gonna need good music to set the mood. We’re talking feel good, dance party, nostalgic, sing along, girl anthem vibes. This list needs to include everything from the theme songs to some of our favorite girlfriend shows like Living Single, Girlfriends and Golden Girls to our current day favorites. Here are a few of our suggestions to get you started:

  1. Not Tonight (Ladies Night) – Angie Martinez, Lil’ Kim, Left Eye Missy Elliott, Da Brat
  2. Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink
  3. What About Your Friends – TLC
  4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  5. I’m Every Woman – Whitney Houston
  6. Golden – Jill Scott
  7. Grown Woman – Beyonce
  8. Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj and Beyonce
  9. Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu
  10. Milkshake (or Bossy) – Kelis
  11. Cheers (Drink to That) – Rihanna
  12. Girl – Destiny’s Child

What songs are topping your playlist for Galentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo by Welcome Home on Unsplash.

Don’t Forget the Dirty Details

A good theme and on point decor are a must. Stores likes Party City and Ricky’s offer perfect accessories for nights just like this. Check out their ladies’ night and bachelorette party items for wine and shot glasses with fun messages, boas, pins, crowns and whatever tickles your fancy. You can even go the extra mile by customizing each person’s cup or place setting with a fun nickname or superlative like “most likely to be the first one dancing on the couch.”

Do it for the Gram

Not only can decor set the mood, but you use it as props for photos too. You can also get a polaroid camera for instant pics that you can use for collages; and if you really want to take it over the top, go ahead and make a Snapchat geotag and a hashtag specific for you and your girls.

Get it Poppin’

Champagne jello shots – are fun and easy recipe perfect for a night like this, New Years Eve and pretty much any occasion; and if you’re feeling frisky, sprinkle Pop Rocks on top right before serving for some extra pop.

Let Them Cater to You

For food, you’ll want a spread of little bites that you can grab and go while still having fun. Think chicken satay, Swedish meatballs, spring rolls and chocolate covered strawberries of course. Treat yourself and your girls to an easy night by hiring one of our favorite chefs, like She Caters and Chef Lucky or through a service like Eat In Chef. You all can also tackle these recipes together, do it potluck style, grab some easy to make options at the supermarket, or order takeout.

Get the Party Started

There’s a lot you and your girl can do to turn up, here are a few suggestions:

  • Karaoke (you can even use the playlist above)
  • Self-care slumber party – hair treatments, face masks, oils and nails
  • Story swap using prompts in a bowl like – worse date, best date 
  • Movie night – you know the one you a d your girls know every word to
  • Share the sister love – share what you love about each other – even if it feels cheesy, you’ll all glow after
  • Give gifts – like the “Brunch Queen” clutch from Food Before Love  or a bold new lipstick like Curlfriend from The Lip Bar

Take it to the Streets

Sometimes, you just need to go out and let loose. If you’re planning a night out, use some of the ideas above for a fun pregame. Then, plan one of these activities for a night out on the town.

  • Get your sexy on at a pole dancer class
  • Celebrate yourself and other beautiful women at a burlesque show
  • Dance the night away wherever your favorite DJ is spinning
  • Go to your favorite spot and play Truth or Dare. Maybe some of you will end up with a new valentine for the next day. 😉

No matter what you do, as long as you’re surrounded by your favorite people, it will be a night to remember. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”

Happy Galentine’s Day y’all!

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Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
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Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
The first Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival of the season kicked off on Saturday, January 27 and we were there to enjoy every last drop of food a drink. Photo by Ariel Ijadoula.

Even though the winter weather is here for a little while longer, it was nice to get a taste of summer when the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival made its first stop in New York City at the Terminal in Chelsea.

The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival happens every year in cities across the country. The festival features 60 different beers, 40 different bourbons and a lot of great barbecue.

When I walked in, I was greeted by event staff and handed a glass cup to fill up with all the beer and bourbon of my choosing. Vendors lined the walls with treats ready to be devoured and drinks ready to be guzzled.

Bulleit Rye Whisky
Bulleit Rye Whisky has been around for more than 150 years and is just one of the many bourbons featured at the festival. Photo via Trigger Agency.

 

The Food

The bourbon overflowed, the beer was brewin’ and the BBQ was smokin’. Between the bourbon. beer and BBQ, I’m not sure which I had the most of. I enjoyed the Creamed Bacon on Clam Toast at Certé, American Oak Aged Whiskey at Widow Jane and cider from the Sotheby’s. Each vendor had their own twist on American favorites.

My favorite treats of the day had to be from Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel, Maryland and Sands Jerk Hut. I had biscuits with a bacon, bourbon brown sugar glaze from Kloby’s and Pineapple Jerk Chicken from Sands Jerk Hut, it was so juicy and tender. I also loved these dishes because they were a nice change of pace from the bacon and beef many vendors were serving.

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
BBQ for days. Photo c/o Trigger Agency.

The Atmosphere

As if the vendors weren’t enough, every hour roasted pigs were brought out and carved. Each hog was sponsored by different establishments at the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival. My favorite was again from Kloby’s Smokehouse, it was the juiciest roasted pork I’ve had in a really long time. They topped it with a peppery barbecue sauce giving it a great kick.

I loved how thought out the festival was. The DJ curated a playlist that was so great. I forgot that New York still looked more like a winter wonderland outside rather than a warm beach. Luckily, I ate enough barbecue to last me until the weather breaks and cookout invitations start rolling in.

If you missed out on this years NYC Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival, don’t fret, there’s always next year! And if you can’t wait until then (and I don’t blame you–the food was that good) you’re in luck! The festival will be traveling to 12 other cities across the U.S. for the rest of the year!

Good music, all of the beer and bourbon you can drink, what more can you ask for?

Let us know if you plan on attending a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival near you. Casandra will be at Atlanta’s festival on March 3. Don’t forget to tag your photos #YumCam and #BeerBourbonBBQ so we can share them!

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