friendship

The Season of Lights and the Gift of Friendship

friendshipWalking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
Helen Keller

I’m not a fan of short days and long nights. Going to the gym with my headlights on, then running errands after work in the dark. Sure, it’s a wonderful time to stay inside, have a fire, watch a great movie, and snuggle (with pets or whomever), but I miss the light. I miss seeing the world around me in full exposure, the colors, the details, the energy of a bright sun and a radiant world.

Most of the year, I take light for granted. I even close thick curtains to keep my bedroom pleasantly cave-like, hoping to lure dreams and extra winks of sleep.

But, in this trimester of twilight, we celebrate the season of light, and the friends that make the darkness better than walking alone in the light, as only Helen Keller could have penned.

Tomorrow starts Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. While I’m don’t celebrate it, I am thankful for my friends who do and for the light it brings to this season. Just like the holiday lights on my tree, it’s the perfect time of year to celebrate with light – and the people who bring it into our lives.

All of us have been through dark times, have survived challenges and fought battles that seemed to out-do our strength. Like this season of light, our friends have  brightened our path and guided us when we could see where we were.

To those friends, we say THANKS. We celebrate your brilliance and express our gratitude for lighting our way. Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And thanks for the light you shine on others and the amazing gift of your friendship.

This week on Girlfriendology:

 

 

Day 12 Days of Friendship Gratitude

12 Days of Friendship | Day 12: Girlfriend Gratitude

Day 12 Days of Friendship GratitudeThe holidays are behind us. A new year is ahead of us. And who’s here with us – through it all? GIRLFRIENDS!

Today we’re celebrating our final day in our 12 Days of Friendship – spread over the Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years holidays. We’re unwrapping our final present – the gift of girlfriend gratitude.

My girlfriend Jill and I had this conversation recently while hanging out at the dog park. Why is it that we generally gravitate to what is wrong in our lives? Why do we focus on the things we don’t have rather than the blessings of all the things we do have? Why do we overlook the joy to mainly see the struggle and perhaps injustice in our world?

It’s unfortunate but true – we don’t feel near as blessed as we should. And to do so, we have to intentionally look at the positive things in our life – like how our friends support, courage and inspire us.

Feeling Girlfriend Gratitude quoteSo, for this final day of our 12 Days of Friendship, we’re being more intention with our girlfriend gratitude. We’re focusing on being more appreciative of our friendships and thankful for the wonder women in our world. Because …

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward

Now is a perfect time, being the New Year, to resolve to be a better friend and to make the coming year the year we really, REALLY appreciate our friends.

How can we make this shift in our thinking? How can we seriously change our ways of seeing the glass as half empty? Can we learn to express our gratitude, to show it in our deeds as well as words? Here’s a few of our ideas – please add yours in the comments!

1. GRATITUDE JOURNAL – Everyday write down one friend for whom you’re thankful. List a few of her qualities that make her a wonderful woman and a fabulous friend. Include some of your special memories with her. And, if you’d really like to be a better friend, drop her a line, give her a call, share on Facebook why you’re thankful for her. Can you imagine how wonderful it will be to go back through your journal at the end of the year and review all the people who bless your life?! Wow. Try it!

2. FACEBOOK IT – Share one thing you’re thankful for everyday on your Facebook update. My personal Facebook status update for today: “THANKFUL for a warm home (and a sweet cat to warm my lap).” And our Girlfriendology update: “THANKFUL for my Accountability Girlfriends – @jwestwood & @kristaneher. Who are you thankful for? #GirlfriendGratitude” Your friends will start to see the pattern of sharing gratitude. Who knows?! It could catch on and we could have a whole Facebook-nation expressing and feeling appreciation on a regular basis. What positive energy could we create if we all were more thankful?! Wow!

NOTE CARDS FOR WOMEN SEND YOUR LOVE3. WRITE NOTES – When was the last time you got a card in the mail (holiday cards excluded!) where a friend just sent you LOVE or a note that they’re THINKING OF YOU?! That they thought to do that made your day – didn’t it?! Why not be the kind of friend that sends a card (like these greeting cards by SARK – sending them LOVE) to cheer her up and tell her how much she means to you? She’ll love it and you’ll love being the thoughtful friend who practices girlfriend gratitude.

4. START A GIRLFRIEND TRADITION – Being around your friends will definitely up your awareness of how much they mean to you. Be the leader – get the girls together! Plan a regular time/way to meet up with your friends. It could be a Book Club or Happy Hour group. You could volunteer together every month or walk together every Saturday. Just get it started! Don’t wait – you’re missing out on the fun of creating great memories with your girlfriends!

What other ways do you express your Girlfriend Gratitude? How can we focus more on the positive things in our life? Share!

Here’s more inspiration – five favorite videos on gratitude

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

 

Day 11 12 Days of Friendship

Day 11 of 12 Days of Friendship | Be there through Life Changes and Stages

Day 11 12 Days of Friendship“A friend is one who walks in when others walk out” (be that kind of friend!)

Walter Witchell

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year’s Girlfriends!

What girlfriends have been for you through years of holidays?

Who’s been a friend through life changes and stages?

We’re ‘celebrating female friendship’ in this Holiday, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s season with our 12 Days of Friendship. We’ve celebrated the gifts of knowing our friends are there for us, girlfriend traditions, our cheerleader/supportive girlfriends, friends that makes us laugh and more fabulous gifts of friendship. Today, number 11 of 12 days of Friendship we’re celebrating the friends who are there for us through life changes and life stages.

Having focused on female friendship for the past six years has been really interesting. So many of our friendships have originated with life stages and changes. Teen girls who seem to love their independence but still seem to dress just like their best friends. New moms who bond together. Divorced women find comfort in friendship with others who understand what they’ve been through. Bloggers love to meet other bloggers, co-workers share common experiences and build friendships, women who share common bonds – bond. We often connect with women based on shared life stages and when our life stages change – and those connections often lead to strong, wonderful friendships!

Today we’re celebrating the friends who stay in our lives through life changes and stages. They’re the girlfriends who stay with us when life changes our direction – and they don’t care – they’re still our BFFs. The girlfriends who bonded in college and are still friends as their kids consider colleges. We’re thankful for the women who stick around as life changes happen and as life stages change.

What girlfriends who have been around for years? Who have been there for you through life changes, through other relationships, over miles and different marital statuses or career titles? Girlfriendology a friend is one, friendship quote

What girlfriends know your college nicknames and the original of your kids’ names? What friends have stayed by your side when you lived down the street or across the country?

Experience the girlfriend gratitude of friends who are there through life changes and life stages. Celebrate the women who have been there for you for years. And be the kind of friend you’d love to have. Life is better … with your girlfriends!

And, come back for the final great gift of friendship. See all 12 days in the links/box below!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

day 10 12 days of friendship

Day 10 of 12 Days of Friendship | The wonderful Comfort Level Between Girlfriends

day 10 12 days of friendshipI always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
Katherine Mansfield

Who are the friends you let into your house when it’s dirty? Or the girlfriends you let see you without any make-up? Or the friends you trust with your deepest fears, wishes or secrets?

Thanks to the women in our lives with whom we can completely be ourselves.

For this holiday season of gift-giving, we’re celebrating the gift of girlfriends in our 12 Days of Friendship. Today’s girlfriend gift of friendship: the wonderful comfort level of friends in our lives.

The gift of friends with whom you have a safe, strong comfort level is priceless! The friends who see you at the gym with no make-up. The girlfriends who share their secrets, support and lives. The wonderful women who know you so well and love you even more.

It’s that level of comfort – a ‘naked’ face, a dirty house, a secret wish or fear – that is such a great gift of girlfriendship. It’s the wonderful, accepting, supportive comfort that we share with true friends. It’s a ‘friendship gift’ of knowing we’re loved and accepted even with a messy house, mascara smudges or uncertainties in our lives.

What girlfriends do you share that ultimate, ‘no make-up, messy house, etc.’ comfort level with?

the comfort of friendship quoteFeel that girlfriend gratitude. Express it with a note or call of appreciation for their friendship. Let them know how much their friendship means to you. Be thankful for the great gift of female friendship.

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘? If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

Day 9 12 days of friendship

Day 9 of 12 Days of Friendship – Missing Friends during the Holidays

Day 9 12 days of friendshipDo the Holidays make you miss a special girlfriend? Are you sad, lonely or just wish you were ‘Christmas-ing’ with an old friend?

Some people come into our lives & quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts & we are never, ever the same.

Flavia Weedn

We’re celebrating 12 Days of Friendship this December as we look at the ‘gift of girlfriendship.’ Today’s gift might not seem like a ‘gift’ but it is. Sometimes, for a wide variety of reasons, girlfriends are no longer in our lives. We’re looking at the not-so-Happy-Holidays – missing our friends.

The holidays can be blue, lonely, sad, even depressing – especially if we’re missing friends like my dear friend Dana. (We lost Dana to breast cancer five years ago December 23rd. Here’s our tribute to her and Elizabeth Edwards – both great women who fought cancer bravely. Also, these ways we can remember and honor our friends, who are no longer with us.)

Yes, the holidays can be sad, lonely, even painful when we’re missing a friend(s) – but at least we had that friend, right? At least they were part of our life for the amount of time we shared and hopefully we have happy memories, learned great life lessons together and celebrated friendship while we were together. At least we have their memories to remind us of them and the times we shared. (I shared some memories of another great girlfriend, Holly and how memories of her still make me smile!)

footprints on our hearts quoteOn this ninth day of celebrating friendship, during this Holiday / Christmas / Hanukkah season, let’s look back on the friends who are no longer actively in our lives, and let’s say a word of thanks for them – for the joy and laughter they shared, for the ways they changed us and for the sadness of missing them – that we might appreciate the time we have with the wonderful women who are still in our lives and are yet to come!

To Dana and Holly, to the friends we’ve lost along the way for whatever reason, for the beautiful BFFs who still bless our days … let’s feel some girlfriend gratitude. Let’s celebrate the friends who leave an impression on our lives. Let’s celebrate the way they touched our lives for whatever amount of time we had together. And … let’s be the kind of friend you’d love to have!

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

 

Day 8 12 days of friendship

Day 8 of 12 Days of Friendship – The Gift of Laughter with a Friend

Day 8 12 days of friendshipLaughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge

When a friend REALLY makes you laugh, do you snort? Do you giggle? Make funny noises? Don’t you love how laughing with a girlfriend makes you ‘drop your stress?’

It’s Day 8 of our 12 Days of Friendship and we’re celebrating funny friends and the wonderful gift of laughter with the women who make us laugh on a regular basis!

What do you get when you combine fabulous drag queens, ugly Christmas Sweaters and girlfriends? A hilarious evening with friends!

My friend Penny gathered up a mini-van of girlfriends this past Sunday night for ‘Gay Bingo.’ It’s a hilarious fund-raiser for Carecole – a local non-profit that cares for families with HIV/AIDS. From the hilarious drag queen Bingo-caller (with a FABULOUS wig that ‘she’ insisted was NOT a wig! Can you pick ‘her’ out in the photo above?!), to the ugly Christmas sweater contest (yes, I got one at Goodwill to wear and congrats to Penny for being a winner!), to forcing me to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ solo while collecting dollars for Carecole – it was a scream!

The friendship ‘gifts’ of the night? I got to know Penny’s girlfriends a little better. I’ve seen them all before, but now we’ve shared laughter – the kind that we’ll laugh even more about in the future. I had a fabulous, funny, memorable evening with the girls – a night away from stress or worries, thoughts about the dang holiday card that is not designed much less created yet, or any other holiday stress. It was a gift – of laughter with girlfriends!

Laugher friendship quoteEven if your week is hectic (whose isn’t, right?!), take some time for laughter with your girlfriends over the holidays. Find something funny to do like watch a Holiday movie (we’ve got a great Must-See Top 10 Romantic Holiday Movies list!), stop your busy schedule for a coffee or glass of wine together, bake some cookies – together, call up a long-distance friend to share your holidays – just make an effort to connect, they’ll appreciate it and you.

And come back tomorrow as we continue our 12 days of Friendship with a special reminder we all need during the holidays.

What girlfriends make you laugh? Who do you call when you need cheered up? Celebrate these great girlfriends of humor relief (:

Be the kind of friend you’d love to have! 

See all 12 DAYS OF FRIENDSHIP in the links/box below! More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

Day 7 12 days of friendship

Day 7 in 12 Days of Friendship – Sharing Adventures Together

Day 7 12 days of friendshipLife is either a daring adventure or nothing. Helen Keller

There’s something magical about going on an adventure with a girlfriend – or a group of girlfriends. Experiencing new destinations, trying new activities or foods, getting out of our routine to just spend time with special friends. It is. It’s magical.

Today, as Day 7 in our 12 Days of Friendship, we’re celebrating the gift of going on adventures with our girlfriends – discovering new places and new sides to our friendships. It’s a the ultimate gift of time and the wonderful opportunity of making memories together. And, sometimes it’s just a great excuse to celebrate your friendship and explore a fun adventure together.

This past summer I went on a Girlfriend Cruise with our Girlfriend Guru (& Cruise Queen) JANET DEVITO – and it was a blast! My girlfriend Joan joined me. It was funny because we’ve been friends for years but we’ve never traveled together – or spent that much time together.

It was perfect! Joan was the best roommate. We laughed, we lounged, we worked out (a little – to compensate for the fabulous dining), we shared stories and talked over the endless laps around the walking track (a great way to exercise, chat and see everyone on the ship!). We became better friends who now have memories of our Bermuda BFF adventure.

Helen Keller adventure quoteThere’s something magical about sharing adventures with a friend. Whether it’s a girlfriend group trip or just a day trip with a friend. It’s the gift of time, of memories, of sharing our lives. It’s a wonderful gift of friendship!

What girlfriend adventures have you been on and how have they impacted your friendship? What’s your advice for girlfriend trips?

Be the kind of friend you’d love to have!

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

 

 

Day 6 12 days of friendship

Day 6 of 12 Days of Friendship | Gift of Girlfriends – Having Things in Common

Day 6 12 days of friendshipAs human beings, we are more alike than we are unalike. – Maya Angelou

Things we all have in common … need for friends, yearning for happiness, desire to be loved.

You can hear it in her sweet voice. She’s not from around here! My friend Julie is a southern girl living in the Southern California – not quite biscuits and gravy country. She instantly picked up on other southern accents and amassed a great group of girlfriends – all from the South. She decided that they should meet each other so she started a girlfriend group called GRITS – Girls Raised In The South. Soon, the southern girls all became friends … thanks to Julie and to having something in common.

Finding something in common with other women is part of becoming friends and something we’re celebrating for Day 6 of our 12 Days of Friendship.

It’s finding the little things that we share that make us feel closer and that help us form bonds with friends.

Maya Angelou quote more alikeFrom where/how/when we were raised, to sharing a hobby, to loving a TV show/music group/celebrity/shoes, to laughing at the same jokes – to whatever little unique commonality we share – it’s a wonderful way of looking past all our differences to see that we have in common.

What things in common have brought you together with your girlfriends? What things do you share that connect you to your friends?

Maybe you should start your own girlfriend group or maybe some holiday girlfriend traditions of getting your girlfriends together – like my girlfriend Julie and her GRITS girlfriends in Southern California. Celebrate the common bond that comes when girlfriends connect. Celebrate your girlfriends! That’s what we’re doing for Day 6 of our 12 Days of Friendship. (And … hopefully we celebrate it all the time!)

Be the kind of friend you’d love to have! See all 12 DAYS OF FRIENDSHIP in the links/box below!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

 

girlfriend holiday traditions

6 Holiday Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start This Year!

girlfriend holiday traditionsI know what I’m getting for Christmas from my girlfriend Terri.

I get it every year, and every year I love it! It’s a compilation CD of songs released from the radio station I listened to when I lived in Minnesota. (And that I still listen to online, because I like their music but more because I like feeling like I’m not that far away from my great MN friends.)

It’s our holiday girlfriend tradition – and I love that.

Often we have family traditions like going to the grandparent’s house or special meals together. We have work parties and neighborhood open houses. There’s school concerts and church events. But do you have girlfriend holiday traditions?

The holidays, aka: hectic holidays, actually are the perfect time for girlfriend traditions. Sure, we’re all busy – we have gifts to buy, wrap, give and more things on our To-Do list than we can check off – and that’s why it’s perfect to make time and make memories with your friends. We need that ‘excuse’ to stop and share time with a friend. It actually can de-stress us (as shared in this guest blog on saying no to holiday stress). And it makes the holidays much more enjoyable.

Here’s a few ideas for girlfriend holiday traditions. Please share yours!

  • 1 – Girlfriend Get-together – Sure the calendar is full of parties, but wouldn’t you rather be with your girlfriends?! Plan a happy hour or dinner out with your friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a few gourmet girlfriends, bring appetizers and desserts to someone’s home. I guarantee that within 15 minutes all your holiday stress will have gone down like that first glass of wine! (-:
  • 2 – Ornament Exchange – We just had our annual Book Club holiday party this week and I’d skip any party to attend it! We laughed until way too late on a ‘school night’ as we did our ‘ornament exchange.’ Each girlfriend brings a wrapped ornament and draws a number. #1 goes first and takes a gift and opens it. Then #2 can ‘steal’ her ornament or pick a gift to open. It continues around the room until we all have ornaments and have stolen quite a few from each other. It’s a scream – try it!
  • 3 – Fireside Chat - For the past three or four years, my girlfriends Allison, Joan and I meet on a Friday afternoon around the holidays to catch up on our lives. We unfortunately don’t get to see each other very often so it’s our way of staying in touch and sharing our lives with each other. It’s just a casual conversation but we cover the past year and what we’re looking forward to in the year to come.
  • 4 – Book Swap (or Gift Swap) – My friend Joan (yes, the Fireside Chat Joan) has an annual party early in January where she invites all her friends who love to read. We all bring the books we’ve read over the past year and swap them for new (to us) books. She serves coffee and pastries (or has it in a nearby neighborhood coffee shop) and we all spend a Saturday morning sharing books and fun conversations. You could also do this with your friends and exchange gifts you got but don’t really want! That’s much better than putting in the gift drawer and possibly re-gifting to the original gift giver!
  • 5 – Cookie Exchange - Another friend invites her girlfriends who love to bake together for an annual cookie exchange. If there are eight girlfriends, each is told to bring eight dozen cookies (bagged by the dozen). Then everyone leaves with dozens of wonderful treats for family and holiday festivities. (They also share the recipes.)
  • 6 – Concert or Event Tradition – This one is a wonderful ‘excuse’ to spend time together over the hectic holidays. What concert or event (or even getting together to watch a movie like Elf or Love Actually) can you and your friends do this year that you can continue in future years? Today, my girlfriends Anne and Jill (along with other friends/family) are going to our favorite holiday tradition/concert. (Over the Rhine is a local band, loved internationally, with the most beautiful music and concerts filled with kind conversations. They do a special ‘friends and family’ concert in an old, distressed, decommissioned Catholic church that is hauntingly beautiful with cherubs, pealing paint and fabulous stained-glass windows. While the music is generally secular, aside from a Christmas song or two, you leave the concert with the most peaceful, spiritual, wonderful holiday feeling. I love sharing this tradition with my friends!) What holiday event, concert or movie can you experience with your girlfriends this and in future years?

Happy Holidays Girlfriends! What are your girlfriend holiday traditions?

p.s. Terri – I’ll still ‘act’ surprised!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

Dog quote

Friday Favorite Videos – Animals & the Holidays (Two things we LOVE)

Dog quoteThe average dog is a nicer person than the average person. — Andy Rooney

Thankful for the blessing of animals, and the holidays! We’re combining these two in this week’s Five Friday Favorite Videos.

Share the following with a Friend and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.com/Girlfriendology where we post a daily female-friendly video every day during lunch. Stop by!

Check out these Animal and Holidays Videos PLUS a wonderful bonus video!

The Bear and The Hare – Beautiful Way to celebrate Friends and Holidays

Better their Tree than Mine :) Cats in Christmas Trees

Snow Day with Bailey the Reindog :)

Deck the Halls with Cute Animals for the Holidays!

More Animals – How to Wrap a Cat for Christmas

No animals but BEAUTIFUL! Talk about Christmas Miracles – gotta LOVE this one!!! (Save the best for last!)

What’s your favorite Christmas memories? Your favorite song? What sounds like the holidays to you? (Share below!)

*Note: Girlfriendology is for ALL women – those who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or anything else. ALL women. I celebrate Christmas, so in the spirit of authenticity, I write about the music and holiday that I celebrate. I pray that you have a wonderful holiday filled with love and friends!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

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Day 5 12 days of friendship

Day 5 of 12 Days of Friendship – The Gifts of Friendship and Forgiveness

Day 5 12 days of friendshipIt can start with a gesture, a few words, a simple misunderstanding … and a friendship can tear apart beyond mending.

It was a small, especially in light of so many other important things, tiny-small difference of opinion. Based on our personal egos and stubbornness to, god-forbid, be ‘wrong,’ it took on a life of it’s own and it permanently damaged a dear friendship that had survived for two decades, through bottles of wine and conversations, over miles of traveling to see each other and through relationships and share deep and silly discussions. Over something small. A TINY ‘tear.’ A little hole in the friendship that lead to unraveling a beautiful sister-relationship.

We’re talking about the 12 days of Friendship on Girlfriendology and we’re on day five of the ‘gifts of friendship’ – we’re talking about FORGIVENESS.

FORGIVENESS is our theme today because it is such an amazing gift we can give to our friends. We had the capacity to forgive and forget. We have the amazing opportunity to ignore our own ego and stubborn pride, to instead let the issue(s), mistakes or differences just wash away so we can focus on the amazing gift of friendship. Honestly, isn’t it such a BIG thing to have a true friend and such a little thing to say/think ‘I won’ an argument’ or ‘I didn’t cave in when she …’ FORGIVENESS WINS My Friends, it just does!

Girlfriendology Forgiveness is a giftForgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Suzanne Somers

Plus, on a totally selfish basis, when genuine and intentional, FORGIVENESS feels good. It shows that we value that friendship to the point where we don’t need to be right. It says that our friendship is much more important than the temporary satisfaction of winning an argument. Seriously … friendships are worth more than that, right?

Forgiveness quoteForgiveness means letting go of the past.

Gerald Jampolsky

Let go of the past girlfriends. The holidays are a wonderful time to do that. Give the gift of FORGIVENESS. (I would bet it’s the best gift you can give, or receive at the Holidays or any day of the year.) Mend any tears in your friendships. Patch up the ‘thin areas’ worn by misunderstandings or different viewpoints. See the beauty tapestry of your friendships – the colors and textures that friends add to your life and the amazing strength of friends woven tightly into who we are and the dreams we can reach, thanks to our friends.

Patch up those friendships. Give the gift of FORGIVENESS!

More on friendship forgiveness:

Be the kind of friend you’d love to have!

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

Holiday stress quote

5 Ways to De-Stress Your Holidays

Holiday stress quote‘As we struggle with shopping lists & invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, & people to whom we are worth the same.’ Donald Westlake

Did you know 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful?* Between over-booked schedules, over-extended budgets and excessive expectations for perfect gifts and a meaningful holiday, this Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa season often is just a big ole package of stress!

Sometimes we need to get back to our reason for the season – to LOVE on the special people who, like the quote above says, are worth this aggravation (and people to whom we are worth the same!).

So, in the spirit of girlfriend advice and support in this season of stress, here’s 5 Ways to De-Stress Your Holidays:

1. KISS – Keep it Simple and Special – We often put unrealistic expectations on ourselves for the holidays. We want to have the perfect party dress, the best meals, the most thoughtful gifts, and every other over-the-top measure of seasonal success. Let’s be our own BFF and allow ourselves to lighten up! What memories do you cherish? Those of spending time with friends and family. In lieu of expensive, beautiful-wrapped packages, give the gift of time – have some Holiday lattes together, take time for a fireside chat, make plans to for a girlfriend trip in the coming year. Give yourself the gift of acceptance and celebrate in low/no-stress ways!

2. De-Stress Your Travel Plans – Speaking of stress, many of us have to travel over the holiday season which, with weather delays and packages to pack, is not for the weak at heart! Follow this travel expert’s advice on stress-free holiday travel!

3. Create Traditions – It’s such a wonderful time of year to celebrate our friends by sharing traditions. Here are 6 Holiday Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start This Year! In lieu of gifts, why not get the girls together for a girlfriend holiday party.

4. Make Time for YOU – Take a walk with a Friend. Let yourself enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage and read a book. Don’t feel guilty for spending a night (or two, or three!) just watching Holiday movies. Take time to be thankful and to appreciate the gift of friendship. Give the gift of self-love. (Because you can’t make everyone else’s holiday happy if you’re overly stressed. Take care of YOU Girlfriend!)

Friendship-Girlfriendology-Guide-to-Holiday-Girlfriend-Advice free ebook5. Share Girlfriend Advice on De-Stressing Your Holidays – We learn so much from our smart, savvy girlfriends. That’s why we compiled the wisdom of 20 de-stress-savvy women to share insights in a free eBook: Guide to Holiday Girlfriend Advice. Check out Tips to Getting the Perfect Gift (for YOU!), Easy and impressive Vegetarian Recipes for your parties, and a great Holiday Baking Tradition – plus a whole bunch more! SHARE with a Girlfriend who needs to de-stress her holidays!

Whatever you do, BREATHE Girlfriend! Enjoy this wonderful time of year. SHARE your girlfriend advice for De-Stressing Your Holidays below!

MORE Holiday De-Stressors! For those girlfriends who are missing friends or family at the holidays, here’s some (we hope) de-stressing girlfriend advice on how to deal with missing friends at the holidays. For other girlfriends, being solo for the holidays is stressful. Here’s some great girlfriend advice on how to have a wonderful holiday without a +1.

REALLY stressed out? Check out this helpful article from the Mayo Clinic on reducing holiday stress. (And recommend to a friend if she needs it too.)

* per a report on Stress.About.com.

This week on Girlfriendology:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

day 4 of 12 days of friendship

4th Day of Friendship | Celebrating the Gift of Girlfriends, Making Memories

day 4 of 12 days of friendshipWe’re celebrating the 12 days of Friendship and the Gift of Girlfriends and today’s ‘gift’ – making and sharing memories.

I met Barb when we were freshmen in college. Our rooms were across the hall from each other and we spent hours doing ‘stuff’ freshmen girls do – talking, laughing, figuring out our lives. We eventually roomed together and were in each others’ weddings. We’ve stayed friends over miles, kids, through different life changes and in between busy, busy schedules.

Now, so many years later, we have years and years of memories. From those early days in her Volkswagen Beetle (there are LOTS of memories in that car!), to now sharing a glass of wine together for our birthdays and every chance we can get, we’ve shared our stories and the gift of friendship – such a wonderful present! It’s true …

“It takes a long time to grow an old Friend.” John Leonard

long time to grow an old friend quoteThis year for our holiday gifts to each other, she came up with the perfect gift – the gift of spending time together. Instead of ‘stuff’ we wrap up to show our love and appreciation, we’re foregoing the gifts for the gift of spending time together. We’re committing to getting together every month over the coming year.

By spending time together, we’ll no doubt still share the stories and memories of our long-time friendship, but we’ll also be making more memories together and having the conversations that keep us close and connected to each other.

So, as we celebrate the 12 Days of Friendship, we’re taking Day 4 to recognize and enjoy the gift of friendship – especially the memories that we make and share together. The memories that can only be made and shared among dear, true, wonderful girlfriends. May you be blessed with the gift of friendship at the holidays and throughout your life. Celebrate your girlfriends!

Be the kind of friend you’d love to have! 

See all 12 days in the links/box below!

More Fun Stuff:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

How to Dress for Holiday Parties

Quick & Easy Ways to Dress for the Holiday Parties | Fashion Advice from Guru Donna Gamache

How to Dress for Holiday PartiesOf all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.  ~Janet Lane

We’ve all heard that our smile is our most important accessory. While that may be true, it is generally not enough to wear a smile and an old paper bag. Most of us have figured out how to dress on a daily basis, but when confronted with an event, uncertainty often raises its head.

Fortunately, Girlfriend Guru and fashion expert DONNA GAMACHE is here to help us understand the difference between holiday casual (turns out, that doesn’t mean wear a pair of antlers) and come as you are. And what do you do for a work event that doesn’t specify the dress code?  Read on, girlfriend!

‘Tis the season for holiday parties both for work and play. Ever wonder what to wear? What is holiday casual? What is holiday formal? How do you avoid under-dressing or over-dressing? Here are some tips that might help you this season.

  • - Find out what the dress if for your party
  • - Ask the hostess what she is wearing
  • - If the invitation says holiday casual or casual, consider wearing:
  • - Red blouse or top with black or off-white pants
  • - Dressy jeans with a sparkly jacket
  • - Business casual attire (like you do for work) with an added seasonal scarf or shoes
  • - Blingy jewelry
  • - A great metallic wrap
  • - If the invitation says holiday formal, consider wearing:
    • – A cocktail dress
    • – High heels
    • – Velvet pants with a silk red blouse
    • – Black velvet jacket
    • – Blingy jewelry

You can’t go wrong with adding a metallic sweater or jacket this season. It is all the rave and you can use it for both casual and formal parties. Just pair it with a dark wash jean and black top for a casual party. Or, pair it with a dress, black dress pants, or off-white dress pants for your formal party.

Girlfriend Guru fashion adviceWhatever you choose, make sure it is in your personal style and fits your body shape. For more about your personal style, visit www.DonnaGamache.com where you can get your free e-course “7 Ways to Feel Even More Confident in Your Appearance”.

Thanks Girlfriend Guru Donna for your great fashion advice, like your previous Girlfriend Guru posts:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend- check it out!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology  and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 70,000 women and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes& Did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

day 1 12 days of friendship

12 Days of Friendship | Day 1: Celebrating the Gift of Friendship

day 1 12 days of friendshipOn the first day of Christmas my best friend gave to me … We’re celebrating the holidays, girlfriends and the wonderful gift of friendship.

Happy Holidays Girlfriends! It’s the magical season of showing the people we love how much they mean to us. It’s the time when we get to express our friendship, our gratitude and our love.

We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Friendship with a daily reminder of the wonderful Gifts of Friendship. Join us as we unwrap each gift of friendship and share the wonders that friends add to our lives.

“I think we’re here for each other.” Carol Burnett

On this first day of Friendship, we celebrate knowing our friends are there for us.

Think of those friends who make your day with a phone call or note, a Facebook message or Twitter tweet. Who are the women who make you feel like you’re never alone? Who are the fabulous females who make you smile just thinking about their friendship and the happy memories that you’ve shared? Who comes to mind as a friend you can’t – and don’t want to – imagine going through life without?

Here for each other quoteIt doesn’t take much to be a better friend – sometimes it’s just being there for each other.

Unwrap the gift of friends who are there for you. Pause to reflect on the times they’ve taken the late call from you or showed up on your doorstep to help. Be thankful for their thoughtfulness, the lessons they’ve taught you, the forgiveness they’ve shown you, the ways they’ve supported and encouraged your dreams. Admire the way they’ve accepted you, laughed or cried with you, be happy for the day your paths crossed and how that grew into beautiful friendships.

Be there for your friends. And be thankful and appreciative when they’re there for you. Life is better together – with our girlfriends!

CHRISTMAS DISCLAIMER: We want ALL WOMEN to feel welcome here at Girlfriendology. ALL WOMEN. That means you’re welcome here whether we vote, worship, dress or think alike – or not. You don’t have to be born in a certain decade, have reached a level of school or corporate office, or even live all in the U.S. ALL WOMEN need female friends. ALL WOMEN are welcome here.

So, why is this a “Christmas Disclaimer?’ We’re very conscientious that not all women celebrate Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah, others enjoy Kwanza or winter festivities. Some choose not to acknowledge any formal holiday around this time. That’s great. ALL WOMEN are welcome here. We just want to be authentic.

In my home (Debba here), we celebrate Christmas and I can’t make this holiday generic all the time – sometimes it is what it is, in this case, Christmas to me. Judi (our fabulous ‘Chief of Insanely Brilliant Ideas’) celebrates Hanukkah (and is our resident expert that there are ‘no good Hanukkah’ songs out there to share on Girlfriendology!). We have friends who are atheist or agnostic, pagan, who were raised Catholic or Protestant, and the majority that we don’t even know their beliefs. Every woman is welcome here!

Again, ALL WOMEN are welcome here. But we ask that you give us grace if I say ‘Christmas’ – it isn’t to imply that you need to celebrate or worship in any certain way. So, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanza! and Happy Winter! Any ‘excuse’ to celebrate and show our friends how much we care about this is okay with us! Or even just expressing our girlfriend gratitude regardless of a date/holiday … glad we have our girlfriends every day of the year!

THIS WEEK ON GIRLFRIENDOLOGY:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.