how to throw a great girlfriend dinner party

Day 1 Month of Friendship – Throw a Girlfriend Dinner Party

how to throw a great girlfriend dinner partyMonth of Friendship –  30 Days, 30 Ways to celebrate your Girlfriends

It’s September 1, aka: the first day of better friendships for you, the beginning of new connections, the day that begins the month where girlfriends kinda sneak up the priority chain to make your friendships better and stronger.

It’s the Month of Friendship here at Girlfriendology and we’re celebrating with 30 days and 30 ways to be a better friend and celebrate those relationships that make us healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer and feel more beautiful – girlfriends!

Day 1: Throw a Girlfriend Dinner Party

Tonight the girls in the photo will gather at Jill’s house. We’ll bring a typically-odd selection of appetizers, desserts and whatever we could grab on the way out the door – but it will all be tasty and perfect for our gathering. Hugs, laughter and wine will generously flow and I’m pretty sure the neighbors will know this girlfriend dinner is underway!

While the dinner tonight isn’t specifically a ‘Month of Friendship’ celebration, unofficially it is. We don’t need a formal excuse or ‘holiday’ to connect and share. We shouldn’t have to wait until a designated day/month to ‘break bread’ with girlfriends, we just need to find the time and make a plan. Our girlfriend group hasn’t gathered in too long so the timing is perfect – as it always is when friends get together.

So, today’s Friendship Month recommendation/way to celebrate friendship is to host a dinner party for your girlfriends. And not just any girlfriend gathering but a GREAT Girlfriend Dinner Party …

Invite the amazing women who help you through life to a dinner at your home or favorite restaurant. Make the dinner extra special with:

  • A personalized card with friendship quote for each friend or with a photo of you and your friend(s) (or frame it as a gift).
  • A small gift or gift bag that you’ve made for your friends (I filled a little bag with things from the dollar store a couple years ago for National Women’s Friendship month – like a journal and frame that I personalized, and earrings that I made for each friend).
  • A poem that you’ve written or a song that you can play that reminds you of them and how much their friendship is to you.
  • A CD that you’ve created from friendship songs – like ‘For Good’ from Wicked, ‘You’ve got a Friend‘ by Carole King, ‘Thank You for being a Friend‘ from the Golden Girls, ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me‘ from ToyStory/Randy Newman and ‘Lean on Me‘ by Bill Withers.
  • Bring a camera to capture the smiles. Then frame these or put into mini scrapbooks later as a girlfriend gift and reminder of your friendship and this fun girlfriend dinner party.
  • A little speech to express your girlfriend gratitude. Tell each friend something you love about her, why her friendship is so important to you, how she has made your life better by being your friend.

Consciously stop during the evening and look at each friend.

Recognize the wonderful women before you – how each one adds to your life, the lessons you’ve learned from/with them, the memories you share, the fun moments to come. Think about how different your life would be without them in it, how they make you feel when you hear their voice and see their smiles, how you feel accepted and beautiful in their presence. Restore your commitment to stay in touch with each other a little better. Make plans to do this again – and set the date.

Celebrate this month of friendship by being a better friend. It’s going to be a great month girlfriends.

Tomorrow … Day 2 in this Month of Female Friendship. Just a hint … we’re sharing ways to make your girlfriend feel loved and appreciated. Come back and join us!

Friends accept you

This Week on Girlfriendology: Month of Friendship Launches!

Friends accept youDay 1 of an amazing Month of Friendship!

I love the anticipation of special moments. Presents to open, laughs to share, smiles to greet me and arms open to hug. I embrace the hope of good things to come. New friends and the lessons they’ll teach me, trust that my true friends will be in my life for a long, long time and hope for cures for my friends’ cancers (we’ve got to have hope, right?).

As a friend, I want only the best for my friends and love knowing they wish the same for me. As a friend, I want to accompany them on this journey through life – through the highs and lows, around scary corners if necessary and into the light of knowing that together we can make it. Together we can do amazing, wonderful things. Together we can help each other reach our dreams, be better people and live our lives with purpose and joy.

That’s what friendship is about. That’s our goal at Girlfriendology – to inspire you to be a better friend, to share and appreciate those special moments, and to celebrate the friends who are family and family who are friends.

That’s the basis of our celebration of September as a Month of Friendship. We want to inspire, challenge, share and connect … women with old friends, new friends, trusted, caring friends, friends who share our sense of humor and cry our tears, friends we’ll make memories with for the rest of our lives. We want this to be the start of new friendships, the month where girlfriend groups connect and launch, where you and your BFF start new traditions of staying in touch and where you reach out to someone who needs a friend.

On Girlfriendology we’ll share 30 Days and 30 Ways to Celebrate your Friends – little things you can do to build into these friendship, enjoy time together, make memories with your fabulous female friends. Some come back everyday and share your thoughts in the comments and on our Facebook page.

friends, friendshipThis week’s Girlfriend Shopping – You know how gifts from a girlfriend usually are your favorite?! How friends know what you’d love but possibly wouldn’t buy for yourself? We’ve got those kind of girlfriend gifts – great gifts and ways to make her friend as special as her friendship is to you.

And to end this little update, we all need some inspiration. This is our most popular ‘”Liked” quote on our Girlfriendology Facebook page for the previous week:

“A friend is: a push when you’ve stopped. A word when you’re lonely. A guide when you’re searching. A smile when you’re sad. A song when you’re glad. A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future & accepts you today, just the way you are.”

(from ‘Friendship is a Blessing‘ book)

HAVE A GREAT WEEK GIRLFRIENDS!

girlfriend,gifts

Fall Gifts for Girlfriends – Birthday, Sad Day, Special Day, Just Because Day

girlfriend,giftsThe greatest gift in life is to be remembered.
Ken Venturi

Do you remember your girlfriends’ birthdays? Make them feel as special as their friendship is to you? Do you make an effort to cheer up their sad days? Are you the kind of friend you’d like to have?

It’s a new season and we’ve got lots of reasons to show your friends how much they mean to you with thoughtful girlfriend gifts. So, here’s our 7 Fall Gifts for Girlfriends!

1. Fall Girlfriend Wrap / Scarf: I LOVE Fall and getting to accessorize with my favorite fall scarves! So will she with this beautiful, warm and soft Autumn Tartan Scarf Shawl!

2. Fall Harvest Candles: Want her to think of you when she walks into a room? We girls love our Fall Candles and she’ll love these Old Factory Candles with Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves candles. (You totally know which girlfriend would LOVE this girlfriend gift, don’t you?!)

3. Love this Flattering Fall Cardigan: This Sofra Open-Front Soft Draped Long Sleeve Cardigan Sweater is the perfect flattering and casual throw for cool Fall nights! I love the look and feel of this – and it’s only $12?!?! Okay – one for her and one for you! (Comes in this beautiful Fall orange – see below – as well as black and taupe.)

4. Autumn InSPAration Gift Basket: Inspire your BFF this Fall with luxurious scented bath products, wonderful spa gifts, and indulgent gourmet chocolates!  This InSPArational gift includes: Bath Fizzers, Bath Sponge, Godiva Solid Dark Chocolate Bar, English Toffee Caramels, Vanilla Cream Caramel Hand and Body Lotion, Bamboo Bath Strap and Hardwood Pedicure Groomer.

5. Fall Coffee Lovers Assortment – Love having a cup of coffee with her – or wish you could? Send her this 20 Cup FALL FLAVORS Coffee GIFT BOX Sampler – then set a coffee date even if she is far away!

fall, autumn,girlfriend,gifts

6. Next to a BFF, the perfect Fall Accessory – Yes. Having a girlfriend with you is the best accessory. This autumn-inspired Iridescent Copper Plated Real Sugar Maple Leaf pendant necklace and chain will remind her of you every time she wears it.

7. Pumpkin Souffle Body Cream: Hate to even mention it, but Winter is coming and that’s dry weather season. Be there to keep her scented and soft with this nourishing body cream. Made with shea, coconut, and chamomille, it gets its fall festive scent with pumpkin and pumpkin butter. She’ll love to lather on this whipped pumpkin body cream!

We totally confirm – the best gift is being remembered on her birthday, special day, sad day, or just because day, by her amazing friend! Give her the gift of your thoughtfulness.

Happy Fall Girlfriend! Be the friend you’d love to have!

 

 

back to school friendship quote

5 Ways to Make New Friends (for you and your kids) | Back to School Tips

back to school friendship quoteLabor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.  ~Bill Dodds

Whether you’re celebrating or regretting it, the kids are headed off to school soon and it can be a tough time for kids and moms to make new friends. We’re all about women’s friendship but we’re also about ‘girlfriend advice,’ so here’s …

5 Ways to Make New Friends for you and your kids – for Back to School:

1. Say HI – It seems so simple but sometimes a “HI” is a great ice-breaker with someone knew who might be afraid to say HI themselves. “Hi – I’m Anne.” “Hey – Do you know what time the bus is supposed to be here?” “Hola – como estas?” Practice with your kids on how to be friendly and start up a conversation with a new schoolmate or mom.

2. Find things in common – Often we connect over commonalities. It could be other kids who went to the beach this summer to those who love chemistry, to those who want to join the chess club or go out for football. Among women, it could be those who also bring a dog to soccer games or volunteer to bring treats because they also love to bake. Use that

3. Looks for Friendship Diversity – We don’t have to have EVERYTHING in common. It’s nice for women (and children) to have friends from other cultures, who look/worship/dress/vote/talk differently and friends who we can learn so much from! Welcome other types of women into your circle of friends – those who are older, younger, live in a different neighborhood, have more kids than you or no children at all. Make them feel welcome. And, by doing so, inspire your children to being open to a diverse world of potential friends!

3. Listening – It’s the little thing that makes such a huge impact on friendships! When we’re nervous, like starting a new grade or walking into a music parents meeting full of strangers, some of us get chatty. Moms and kids often ramble when we’re not sure what else to do. Sit back and listen. Be the attentive, caring, interested listener. You may learn some things and make a new friend.

5. Look for Others who Need a Friend – You and your kids aren’t the only ones who need a friend when we’re often with new people during Back to School. Look around for others who might be standing by themselves and introduce yourself. Pay attention to who might be new – they definitely need a friend. Even if you or your child are shy, have something to say to make them (and you) feel at ease – like, “Are you new too?” “I have a rule that no one stands alone.”

So, now you’re ready for school to start and for those friendships we make with other moms (and new friends our kids make). How do you make new friends? What girlfriend advice do you recommend for Back to School?

 

 

walking with a friend in the dark, dear girlfriend who is stressed

Dear Girlfriend Who’s Stressed … Three Girlfriend Lessons on how to deal with Stress

walking with a friend in the dark, dear girlfriend who is stressedDid you know that one of the benefits of female friendship is ‘less stress?’

It’s true.  Research shows that “stress-reduction benefits are derived from feeling connected to other people.” (Cleveland Clinic findings) And stress is the number one cause of primary care visits – so friendship makes us less stressed and healthier.

But why are women so stressed? (Another report by the Cleveland Clinic said: “some experts feel that women are particularly susceptible to stress.”)

Personally I think I lot of women internalize the cares of their life, their families, their futures with an intense ownership. We are care givers and take on anything we can to support the people we love – even taking on their stress.

I’ve been there and have seen my girlfriends … friends who have dealt with sadness, sickness, loneliness. Job stress, lack of job stress, relationship stress, lack of relationship stress, the stress of our children or partners, the stress of a business or future of our dreams. We women take on the cares of the world as if it our sole responsibility.

Walking with a FRIEND in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. Helen Keller

Thankfully, we have our friends, as Helen Keller said it, to help us through any dark times.

So, dear girlfriend who is stressed, here are three girlfriend lessons on how to deal with stress

1. Invest in her life – Sure. We’re all ‘busy.’ Our schedules are full, our responsibilities are too many, and we’re women – we take on the world. We have jobs, kids, bills, relationships that aren’t always perfect – right?! Make time for what is important to you – your friends. Don’t wait until you’re stressed or sad or lonely or bored or just need a favor. Invest in the lives of your friends. Care about her jobs, kids, bills, relationships. Make happy moments together – fun things to smile about when we need things to smile about. Don’t wait until you need a friend to be a friend. You’ll miss out on the gift of a great friend and you’ll take on a lot of unnecessary stress.

2. Anticipate her needs – Be it intuition or just being conscientious of the uprising of stress in her life, care about each other. Know her job review is coming up, she’s struggling with finances, or the anticipation of an unhappy event (anniversary of a death or dream) … Make plans in advance. Make a date for wine or a walk. Send a card or make a special call to check in with her. Be there for her. You’ll actually probably get as much out of being there for her, as she will.

3. Lean on your Girlfriends – Know that you’re going to have a stressful day? Have an unhappy event in your life or anticipate stress? Call a friend. That is what we’re here for – to take care of each other. It may require a call in the middle of the night or just a glass of wine and listening skills. But it’s okay to lean on each other – that’s what friends are for. Be there for her, she’ll be there for you. Your friendship will help each other walk through the stress, through the ‘darkness.’

The strength of women amazes me. We are powerful beyond measure. (Thanks Marianne Williamson for that quote!) Stress or not, life is tough but together we women can make it. Through stress, heart-break, loss, fear, sadness – whatever life hands us. TOGETHER we can take care of each other. Together we are the answer to each others’ stress. Thankfully, we have our girlfriends for that. Life is better with girlfriends!

gardening,friendship,quote

5 Gardening Tips to Grow your Friendships

gardening,friendship,quoteGirlfriend – how’s your garden? Be it flowers or fruit, veggies or herbs, ’tis the season for plants to grow and produce a bounty of beautiful harvests. In this summer season of green growth and bright blossoms, it’s a timely topic – how to be successful in growing things … including friendships.
 
Our mission at Girlfriendology is to help you be a better friend and have stronger, longer, growing friendships. In this season of gardening, we’ve got 5 steps to grow your friendship garden:
 
1. Hydrate! – It’s HOT out there and my flowers need daily watering in this heat to continue growing and blossoming. Just like my beautiful Black-eyed Susan’s, sweet potato vines, geraniums, etc. who start wilting by 8am – friendships need regular watering. Girlfriends need that too – we need attention, we need support, even just a LIKE or note on Facebook reminds us that we’re thought of. Make time for your friends. Give them encouragement and support. Be there for them if and when they need you. Nourish your friendships and they’ll keep growing.
single rose garden friend
A single rose can be my garden … a single friend my world. Leo Buscagliar
 
2. Good Soil – I remember my mom saying: ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ Well, it helps when you’re ‘planted’ in a place that is good for ‘growing, you’re more likely to ‘bloom’ – right? Do you provide a good environment for friendships to grow? Do you give your girlfriends the benefit of the doubt? Listen when she needs to talk? Ask her about her life? Do you make her life better by being her friend? Provide a great ‘soil’ for friendship to grow – and they will!
 
3. Weed your garden – We don’t like to talk about the negative side of friendship – we don’t want to ever discourage you from being a better friend. But there are times in all of our lives where friendships turn into ‘weeds’ and we have to choose to walk away. Before you ‘pull them’ from your life, make sure the relationship can’t be saved, the friendship can be resolved. Or walk away temporarily then give it time to heal and try again.
 
garden,friendship,quoteLet us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust
 
4. Get ‘Gardening Advice’ – You talk to your friends who garden for tips and advice, right? Help each other be better gardeners of friendship. Check in with her when you need girlfriend advice. Take note of the things your friends do that make them such great girlfriends. Learn from your ‘master gardeners’ of friendship on how to be a better friend. (Your friends will be glad you did – you will too!)
 
5. Enjoy your Garden! – There’s nothing better than sitting on your deck or porch – with a friend (of course!) and a glass of whatever beverage you love, and enjoying the beauty of your garden – right? Take time to ‘smell the roses’ – again, right?! Do the same with your friendships. Enjoy the beauty of true friends. Experience the season together and appreciate the way that the friendships you’ve helped grow, and blossomed into sisters who will encourage and support you for the rest of your life. Access your blessings, express your gratitude and – by all means! – celebrate your friendships!

 

How’s your friendship garden? Growing beautiful friendships or are your relationships starving for time and attention? Grow your friendships. Life is a beautiful garden – girlfriends are the best blooms!

viniq, cocktail, recipe, girlfriends,celebration

Celebrating Friendship Day with Viniq & Girlfriends

friendship day,viniq,celebration,cocktailHappy Friendship Day! August 2nd is officially ‘Friendship Day’ but here at Girlfriendology, we think EVERY DAY is a great day to celebrate girlfriends!

We’re all about inspiring you to spend time with your fab friends and this day is a reminder to get the girls together for some Summer fun and, in this case, with a celebration that SPARKLES like you and your girlfriends!

A girlfriend of mine gave me a bottle of VINIQ as a gift (Thanks Caryn!). It’s the tall purple bottle of ‘shimmery liqueur,’ described as “a fusion of premium Vodka, Moscato and natural fruit flavors.” (AKA: YUMMY!) It comes in original purple, shown here, and ruby. (Gotta try that one!) It is the perfect ingredient for a Friendship Day celebration or your next Girls Night Out! Get the girls together for these sparkly cocktail recipes!

viniq, cocktail, recipe, girlfriends,celebrationLittle Purple Cocktail Recipe – created by CaliMiXers

Ingredients:

  • 1 mint sprig & 1 lime wedge muddled in shaker
  • Add the following ingredients:
  • ¾ part Rum
  • ½ part Viniq original
  • ¼ part of sweet N sour

Method: Shake in shaker with ice & 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries. Top off with lemon lime soda. Garnish: blueberries, lime wheel & mint sprig.

viniq,cocktail,recipe,celebrationLadies Night Cocktail Recipe – created by CaliMiXers

Ingredients:

  • 1 part of Viniq
  • ½ part of mandarin vodka
  • ¼ part of peach schnapps

Method: Squeeze of fresh lime juice. Fill up with Energy drink. Garnish: Blueberry & peach infused ice cubes or may use pieces of driven peaches & blueberries.

Thanks to our friends at Viniq who provided these recipes and are providing the next bottle for our girlfriend celebrating! :) (As always, everything we post on Girlfriendology is what we would honestly share with our girlfriends.)

How are you and your friends celebrating Friendship Day? Or whatever day! Every day is a great day for celebrating female friendship!

 

girlfriend advice

3 Qualities of a Wise Girlfriend | Advice on Girlfriend Advice!

girlfriend advice“Asking for advice is an act of humility … The act alone says ‘I need you.’” – Dennis Bakke

We’re friends right? Mind giving me a little advice?

When you’ve got an important decision to make, it’s fine to ask for a little friendly advice from your girlfriends – that’s what friends are for.

The thing is, it’s always a good idea to spend a bit of time up front to determine which of your girlfriends are going to give you the answer that you need. I say “need” because it’s not all that difficult to find a good friend who will say what you want to hear to make you happy. That is often not the best advice or the right advice or even honest advice. And you can never really be angry with someone who gave you what turns out to be bad advice when you asked for it in the first place.

I’m not talking about asking advice on what shoes to wear to a social event here.

There will be as many opinions as there are shoes. What I’m talking about is life advice on everything from finances to romances to serious health issues. The point is, you don’t want to ask a girlfriend who is notorious for carrying credit card debt advice on how to invest your 401K. So when you’re looking for sage, honest advice, there are a few things to consider about who you ask. I’ll call these the 3 Qualities of a Wise Girlfriend:

1. Living that validates their opinion

Look at the friends you have who are successful and happy in the areas that you want to ask advice about. Someone who just bought a new car that you know was painstaking in their research and is really happy with their choice. That person will love to share the legwork they put into buying the right car. Other friends might just tell you to buy that Jeep you’ve always talked about just because they think it will make you happy.

2. Listening more than proscribing

To really get an honest, thoughtful, considered opinion, think about the friends you have who are good listeners. Those you know make good decisions not on snap judgment and gut reaction, but on listening to as much as you can tell them about a situation first, then ask meaningful questions to clarify their understanding before they even begin to offer advice. When they do, remember it’s your turn to quietly listen to all they have to say – without interruption. Lots of great advice can be stifles with a single “but…”

3. Loving truth more than approval

For advice that will ultimately lead to your happiness in a situation, think about your friends who have it in them to be totally honest with you. They are the friends who will consider your asking for advice an honor, take it very seriously, and be honest and truthful in their response. Remember that they may not always tell you what you want to hear, and yes, the truth sometimes hurts, but they believe in the long run that what they tell you will have the best outcome and eventually result in your happiness. If you ask for advice, ask for truth rather than validation.

We’ve all experienced getting good advice that we’ve ignored, as well as giving great advice and having it go unheeded. It’s natural to push back on advice that doesn’t meet our expectations; it’s difficult to put your emotions aside and objectively consider an opinion that is opposed to yours. You always have the option of doing exactly what you want.

As far as advice on what shoes to wear, my advice is to ask as many girlfriends for their opinion as you can. We do love to give advice on fashion – and it can’t get you into too much trouble.

What girlfriend do you trust for great advice? Why?

Some girlfriend advice on girlfriends:

sparkle, quote,women,inspire,inspiration

5 EASY ways you can Inspire Your Girlfriends …

sparkle, quote,women,inspire,inspirationNever let anyone steal your SPARKLE.

Girlfriends have a wonderful way of bringing light and hope into our lives, right? Okay – well the GREAT Girlfriends do, but that’s our goal here at Girlfriendology, to be a GREAT Friend and that means we inspire our girlfriends to believe in themselves, feel beautiful and never let anyone steal their sparkle.

In the spirit of inspiring each other, here’s our 5 EASY ways YOU can inspire your Girlfriends …

1. Be POSITIVE. It’s easy to go negative but it’s inspiring NOT to. Be the friend who takes the supportive, affirmative, SPARKLY and helps her see the good over the bad. It may take a little effort to be positive when it would be so easy to go the opposite direction, but it’s kinda funny how being positive (even if you’re *kinda* just acting like it) can actually make you and her feel that way.

2. Be THOUGHTFUL and KIND. It just takes a moment to be thoughtful and kind. Be there for her on a bad day. Listen. Make her laugh. Inspire her by going a little further in your friendship – giving a thoughtful gift, offer to run errands when you know she is completely overwhelmed, calling her when she needs to talk, asking about her day or performance review. It only takes a moment to be thoughtful – and I’m pretty sure you’ll inspire her to be there for you when you need her too!

life is a beautiful ride3. Make it just about HER. My BFF Cath is doing amazing bike races this summer – like 100 miles in one day! Make your girlfriends feel special by showing up when they do something *crazy* like ride 100 miles! Or give her gifts that are personalized to her and her favorite things. Don’t make it about you and what’s going on in your life – make it about HER. What can you do/say/give her that makes the moment and memory special? Like how special her friendship is to you! Remind her that ‘life IS a beautiful ride’ with her as your friend!

4. Give her INSPIRING Gifts. I have a rule on holiday gifts for girlfriends. NEVER give them anything you’d give your mom, a random co-worker or the neighbor who you barely know. Gifts for girlfriends should be personal and meaningful, like a mug to express your friendship or a piece of art that shares your true sentiment.

5. Be GRATEFUL. And help remind her to be too. Show your gratitude for her friendship, for the good memories and happy times ahead, for the gift of health or even the gift of time together. Gratitude is contagious. On those days when she feels down, share your gratitude and faith that tomorrow will be a better day.

And – it is pretty EASY, right? The way to inspire your friends, is to BE A BETTER FRIEND. You can do it!

Friendship, Girlfriends, Vitamin

What your body might just be telling you that you need

Friendship, Girlfriends, VitaminYou know how our bodies often tell us what we need? If we’re deficient in a vitamin or mineral, we often long for something with it in it. When we crave fluids, it may be an indicator that we have a Vitamin B6 deficiency or that we’re just not taking in enough water. When we’re stressed, our bodies react with sleeplessness, weight gain or loss, changes in our physical appearance and attitude adjustments. All of those indicating, of course, that we need to reduce stress – right?

What would you pay for a drug that would reduce stress, make you healthier, happier, live longer and even feel prettier? Think there’s no such supplement or ‘magic pill?’ Or, think it isn’t legal or really good for you?

I can’t speak for men here (sorry guys, but you’ll want to share this with your female partners/friends), but there is such a supplement for women – it’s known as girlfriends. (Seriously!) Research has proven that it is part of our DNA to long for community with other females. Women are inherently social and have a strong need for female friendship.

Research has proven that:

  • For years, scientists have confirmed the “fight or flight” response to stress. However, those initial stress tests were only based on male participants. Once women were tested, we had a totally different reaction. Women respond with a need to  “tend and befriend.” Especially when stressed, we long to tend to our young/children and befriend other women.  The scientists studying this confirmed. When the female scientists were stressed, they got together with each other for coffee while the males often withdrew to their own offices/cubes.
  • Their research also confirmed that, for women, spending time with their female friends reduced their stress levels. And, on the other hand, not befriending other females raised their stress – which in my book makes it worse and by avoiding making it better with friendships is a double dose of stress!
  • Dove’s recent study found that 70% of women feel prettier because of their girlfriends. That’s better results than any miracle cream or plastic surgery claim!
  • Men who are married, have a longer life span than single men.  Marriage has no impact on women’s longevity although female friendships do. Interesting, isn’t it?
  • In fact, on the opposite site, women without strong social ties risk health issues equal to being overweight or a smoker. It’s that serious.

Relationships impact our health, happiness, longevity and self-esteem.

Based on this research, and in honor of this girlfriends, consider this article is a ‘public service message.’ Celebrating your friendship on a regular basis, will make you healthier, happier, less-stressed and live longer.

Check in with your body. Need a healthy dose of laughter or a kind shoulder to lean on? Crave some time where you can totally be yourself? Are you deficient in giving your girlfriends some of your time and making them more of a priority in your busy life? Supplement your schedule with some girlfriend time. Listen to your inner voice. Does it need to laugh and share?  Make plans with your favorite gal pals for National Women’s Friendship Day then keep the fun going all year long for a healthy dose of female friendship. Listen to your body and soul. Girlfriend time might be just what you need!

  • Most research from The Tending Instinct by Shelley E. Taylor. Also, information from Kappa Delta NWFD facts and Dove Beauty study.

 & Remember … The best vitamin for making friends: B1. — Author unknown

What is your body telling you about your friendships? Spend some time with your girlfriends and see if you don’t feel like you’ve got more energy and feel happier!

time friendship quote

Not enough time? 3 Impromptu Ways to see your Girlfriends

time friendship quoteThe way we spend our time defines who we are.” Jonathan Estrin

I met my girlfriends for Happy Hour tonight. We haven’t seen each other for too long and while we talk about getting together more, it is really hard to do when we all have jobs, lives, schedules that completely fill our lives almost 24/7. (Can you relate?)

We decided, over our second glass of wine and countless shared updates and laughs, that we HAVE to get together more often. HAVE to.

While we’d love to be on a schedule of making time for each other every week or every other week, or even once a month, we know our crazy lives. That is tough to do.

But what works for us sometimes? IMPROMPTU gatherings. A shared text with plans to meet. An opening in our schedule that gives us room to see each other.

It made me think. As the quote says: The way we spend our TIME defines who we are. It totally does. How we spend our limited extra hours is a great indication of what our priorities are, what – or WHO – is important to us.

So, in the spirit of my girlfriends and my assumption that you and your girlfriends might face a similar challenge of getting together, here are three ideas of impromptu girlfriend get-togethers:

1. Combining Tasks with Friends – You know the situation. You have so much to do that you spend all weekend running errands to catch up before another crazy week of work or plans. Right?! Why not ask a friend to join you? Groceries? She probably needs to go shopping too. Picking up dry cleaning, a run to the pet food store, clean out your closet, even weeding the garden – all things that are much more enjoyable when they’re with a friend – just ask!

3. Try a new time/plan – On our recent Friday off work, my BFF Barb texted me about meeting for lunch. It was mid-morning and a time we normally don’t even think of meeting up with a friend. It worked out perfectly and probably wouldn’t have if we’d planned ahead. Evenings not good for her and days not good for you – find a compromise and plan a weekend coffee date or a Friday night time for just the girls. You never know when you might start a new girlfriend tradition!

3. What-the-Hell Planning – I often say when I speak on social media marketing, I believe in the WTH marketing. WTH – TRY it! I also believe in WTH planning with friends. The next time you have a spare ticket to a play or concert, or hear about a new restaurant, or want to explore a new store – text or call a friend. She just may have time on her schedule. And, if she doesn’t, find another friend to join you. Don’t hold it against anyone if they can’t go – just trust that they’d rather be going somewhere with you and call them the next time.

So, girlfriend – who will your next impromptu girlfriend get-together be and with whom? Make time for your girlfriends. They are totally worth it. Inspire your friends with your impromptu planning and maybe they’ll surprise you as well with an impromptu girlfriend get-together. Life is short – spend time with your girlfriends!

friendship is a pricess gift

The Greatest Gift of Friendship is …

friendship is a pricess giftFriendship is a priceless gift
That can’t be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
Than a mountain made of gold.

- Helen Steiner Rice

What gift of friendship do your friends give you? What one word describes how they impact your life? How does your BFF(s) bless your life?

They can’t be bought or sold. Their value is far better than a mountain made of gold.

Funny how friends come into your life. Crystal is a blogger and I wish I could remember the second that we met – I’m pretty sure it was at a blogger conference. Eventually, at another blogger conference, she introduced me to her BFF Monique. Of course, we all felt the joy and bond of friendship.

I got to see Crystal and ‘Mo this past weekend when in their city for a wedding. We haven’t been together in two years but it was just like yesterday. We picked up where we left off. We gave each other grace and showed the kindness and understanding of true friends. (And Crystal did give me a lovely gift of a necklace with an orange gerbera daisy :)

What’s the lesson? What can we learn about friendship and being a better friend?

It’s doing a few simple things …

1. Be there for each other – in good and bad times, are you the friend who gets ‘the call?’ Be there for each other. It’s so worth it!

2. Cheer each other up – We’re there for each other in good and bad times. Be the friend who is there for her friends!

3. Make time for each other – It’s probably the littlest BIG thing you can do – make room in your busy schedule for your BFF(s). Do that and she’ll always make time for you. (And you never know when you need some girlfriend time!)

Thanks Crystal and Monique (aka: #MoCris) – for the awesome gift of your friendship! LOVE YOU BOTH! & Here they are talking about how they became friends:

Friendship Summer quote

A Summer of Sister-Friend Fun … Happy Summer Solstice!

Friendship Summer quoteThe days are now getting shorter (WTHeck?!) but we’ve got the summer ahead, so let’s plan some fun things with our girlfriends! Here’s a Summer of Sister-Friend Fun – start planning!

A life without FRIENDSHIP* is like a year without summer. ~Improvised Swedish Proverb (our version, ‘Love’ is another option)

I love Summer – especially when it means I get to spend time with a friend. Actually, spending time with friends is a great excuse to forget the Summer chores and take some time off to just be around each other. I’m so ready for Summer to spend time meeting my college BFF Barb for Yoga in the Park, or some pool time with Cath, or biking with Paula. Who are you looking forward to spending with time this Summer? Here’s come ideas for making it a special Summer for you and your girlfriends!

Summer is the season for girlfriend time together! Like these 5 ways to Beat the Heat with Your Girlfriends5 Ways to Beat the Heat with Your Girlfriends this Summer!

And, it’s a great time to remember to be HAPPY. Here’s 5 Ways to have a Happy Summer | Girlfriend Advice on Happiness for Women

Make her feel special for her Summer Birthday or Special Summer Day! One of the great ways to show a friend how much her friendship means to you is to give her a special, thoughtful, unique and personal gift. (Don’t give her something you’d give your mom or coworker – give her a gift that is perfect for HER!) Here’s 10 Great Girlfriend Gifts for Summer.

What are YOU and your BFFs doing this Summer?

empowered women powerful beautiful

Girlfriend Advice … 3 ways to be an Empowered Woman

empowered women powerful beautiful

Empowered women are powerful and beautiful

“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.” Steve Maraboli

We all have it inside of us … the power to take control of our life, the strength to go after our dreams, the faith in ourselves that we need to shine as we should. But, admit it girlfriend, we often let others dim our light, seize our power, and cause us to doubt our dreams.

Today’s girlfriend advice is on regaining that empowerment and the power and beauty that comes with it. Here’s 3 ways to stay an empowered woman:

1. Find (& follow) your passion – It’s tough to cheer for others’ dreams when we’ve forgotten our own. Go after your “if only I could” list, then encourage other women to do the same. Don’t just say it – lead by example. It could mean leaving the ‘safe job’ and starting your own business. It might take you back to school or forward to your next profession. Whatever you dream, now is the time to go for it. Life is too short to not be a good friend or to go after your dreams.

2. Help others dream – and achieve their dreams – We like to think we’re here for others, right? We have the supreme honor of making an impact for other women on their road to their dreams. Maybe it’s working together or helping the other find a new career. Perhaps it is listening while she explores her options and being there whatever route she takes. Sometimes, it will probably be just being there as her cheerleader and biggest believer. Help your girlfriends seize the dreams that empower them.

3. Celebrate your feminine strength – As Winnie the Pooh (or A.A. Milne) said: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Celebrate the powerful female creature that you are and trust that you are stronger than you seem. Just remember that. And that your girlfriends believe in you and are there for you. 

Girlfriend, feel EMPOWERED today to do what you need to do to be who you need to be. Your girlfriends believe in you – do the same!

 

12 Ideas for a Fun Summer with Your Girlfriends

12 Ideas for a Fun Summer with Your Girlfriends

 Happy Summer Girlfriend! What are you and your friends doing this summer for fun? We’ve got 12 Ideas for a Fun Summer with Your Girlfriends – to beat the heat, have fun in the sun, and just enjoy the joys of girlfriends!

Girlfriendology friends are the sunshine, friendship quote“FRIENDS are the sunshine of life.” (Be someone’s sunshine today!)  – John Hay

1. Plan a picnic. There are so many wonderful ways to picnic during the summer. Find a picnic table at a park or bring your own blanket (red check table cloths are not mandatory). Find portable, easy to eat food, and savor the sunshine while you share lunch or dinner with your favorite outdoorsy girlfriend.

2. Go someplace you’ve been meaning to visit for a while. Go explore with a girlfriend! You know that list of places you’ve said you’re going to get to “someday”? Make now that “someday.” Call up a gal pal and head out to explore a particular part of town, a flea market, or park that you’ve never gotten around to visiting.

3. Nothing says summer like water. Whether you’re a swimmer or not, there are all sorts of ways to enjoy water activities in the summer with your friends. Find a pool, a pond, a lake, or a river, and relish the sights and sounds. Consider kayaking or canoeing on a lazy river or lake. Perhaps you and a friend prefer to float the day away in an inner tube or on a raft or at a local water park. Maybe hanging out with your friends while you take a dip in a pool is more your style, just don’t forget the sunscreen!

4. Share watermelon. We all love the freshness of summer fruits and vegetable, and when you can grow them yourself or buy them at a local farm stand, they are even better. But the most ‘summer’ fruit of all is watermelon. And it is the perfect size for sharing with a bunch of girlfriends.

12 Ideas for a Fun Summer with Your Girlfriends5. Try a new flavor of ice cream. If you’re not in the mood for fruit, consider trying new summertime ice cream flavors. It seems everyone from large ice cream distributors to local mom & pop stores bring out fantastic new flavors each summer. (What’s your favorite? And what’s your BFF’s favorite flavor?!) Or try making homemade ice cream and the sky’s the limit!

6. See a movie. On days when it is blazing hot and the idea of even walking to the mailbox seems dreadful, why not head to the movies? There are dozens of new releases this time of year and you are sure to find one that you and your girlfriends will enjoy as much as you enjoy the delightfully cool air conditioning. (Just checking – who’s seen BRIDEMAIDS? Who loved or didn’t love it? Share your girlfriend review!)

7. Read a great book. Summer is a wonderful time for reading a new book. The days are longer and it feels like there is extra time to sit and read for while each day. Are you part of a book club? What books do you recommend to your girlfriends?

8. Catch up on fresh looks with a favorite magazine* (or two). There is something completely indulgent about reading fun magazines (and blogs!) and summer seems like the perfect time for catching up on your favorites. Grab the copies you’ve been meaning to read for a while, set up a lawn chair, and relax. Then share those magazines or books with a girlfriend and have your own little reading group. Or read the same book as a long distance girlfriend then catch up on life and the book the next time you chat. Enjoy all the things you love – summer, reading and your great girlfriends!

9. Work together to be Healthier – Did you know that female friendship actually makes women healthier? It reduces stress (definitely a healthy thing) but it also means we support each other. Why not take a healthy challenge with your friends and these 5 ways to be healthier this summer?

10. Brunch! – Who doesn’t love Brunch, right?! It’s a perfect way to spend time with friends on a Saturday or Sunday mid-morning (probably not too early!). Invite the girls over, set up a picnic table or trays to take brunch outside (or stay in, if it’s just too hot!). What should you serve? How about a brunch bread bowl with ingredients that each girlfriend selects herself?! Check out the brunch recipe and wine pairing from the Wine Sisterhood. (They’re not only Wine Sisters, they’re also fabulous Foodies!)

11. Grilling Girls – Sure it’s hot, but some things are worth it! Fire up the grill with/for the girls with a tasty Cilantro Lime Beef Satay. Serve with Middle Sister Rebel Red or PromisQous Red and voila! Then jump in a pool and cool off! (Even if it’s just a wading pool or you feel like a kid again and run through a sprinkler

12. Celebrate Summer! Girlfriend parties are the BEST, right? So plan some time together. That’s all it takes. TIME TOGETHER! Summer Solstice, Pool Day, Sangria Saturday (check out that recipe!), Birthdays, 4th of July, Chick Flicks – or just make up an excuse to see your girlfriends!

What are YOU and YOUR GIRLFRIENDS doing for the Summer?