30 Girls Night Ideas

30 Girls Night Ideas for Fun, Intentional Gatherings

I love and even need a good girls night. The break from my usual routine and the opportunity to connect and grow with like-minded people is so valuable. Problem is, our girls nights can kind of get in a rut. We all know each other's birth stories, we're all frustrated with the endless rants on Facebook--what else is there to talk about? And what else is there to do besides sit around and talk?

I brainstormed some ideas to help add some intentionality into girls night. Plus, a loose plan is a good start for inviting people you don't yet know well. Having something to do or something to talk about can break the tension and help grow deeper connections even with people you already know.

1. I've Never...

It's an oldie, but a good one to keep conversation interesting with your girl friends that you think you know well.

2. Dinner Club

Either get together to teamwork on making a meal. Or divide up who brings what--an appetizer, a salad, a main dish, a side dish, a dessert. Each person just focuses on bringing one thing and all together it's a delicious meal. We all know food is the foundation of good conversation and full hearts.

3. Collage Night

Gather magazines you're done with, scissors, glue sticks, and some 5x7 cardstock. Let people decide what they're making a collage about, or set a loose guideline of making a collage that's you (your identity or likes or interests), spiritual (a prayer, view of God, or your faith walk), or dreams (goals, hopes, plans). Let everyone flip and cute and paste while you chat about whatever. Then, conclude the evening with each person sharing their card and a little of what's on it.

4. Chick Flick Movie Night

Choose an old chick flick, or even a new one, pop some popcorn, and watch together. Even better if it's a movie everyone's already seen, so no one misses something if there's a little talking through the movie.

5. Imagine If or Loaded Questions

These are two games we have with fun, sometimes obscure, get-to-know-eachother type questions.

6. Intentional Conversations

Sometimes all it takes is 2 or 3 questions to get the conversation going into something meaningful or connecting. I like choosing one silly ease-in question (like If you were a shoe, which show would you be?) followed by one or two deeper questions (like What's a time you felt loved by a friend? What about left out?) We've done this with a group of 20 or so, along with a couple Bible texts and prayer time, and it was a really special time.

7. Girl Talk

If you're spent on talking about current events, try some good ol' fashioned girl talk. Talk about hair or nails, past loves, shenanigans when you were a teen.

8. Book Club

Even if your group isn't specifically a book club, maybe you would still enjoy going through a book together. Make it low key and easy to keep up with. You could read it separate, or even read parts of it together. Read something impacting that feels like it needs debriefing after reading like Love Warrior by Glennon Melton Doyle. Then share how it impacts you, what you might do, or something you've experienced where you felt similar to the author.

9. Bible Study

Again, even if you're group isn't specifically a Bible study group, maybe you could still enjoy a week or two of Bible study. Especially if you need extra group support and prayer. Beth Moore and She Reads Truth are great sources for what to read and discuss and pray over together.

10. Favorite Things

This can be a show-and-tell type gathering, or it can even be a gift exchange especially around the holidays. Each person brings something that is their favorite--something they rave about, buy repeatedly, and even suggest to or give to others. Then take turns telling about it or open them one-by-one gift exchange style.

11. Beauty Spa Night

Nail-painting, pedicures, face masks, even hair masks. Put on a nice thick face mask, soak your feet in a tub of warm water and bath salts, and paint your nails pretty while you all chat.

12. Craft Night

This is a little out of my element, but if you're crafty or someone in your group is, you could craft together. Either let someone take the lead and all work together to make the same thing. Or do a Pinterest craft night where each person brings their own project to work on while you talk.

13. Zumba

It's just fun! Get a DVD from the library or on Amazon and spread out in a family room or basement and zumba it out. Laugh and dance together. Other aerobics videos could work, too. Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons anyone?

14. Viewing Party

Watch a live event together--a game, the Bachelor, or other live TV. Watch, snack, and talk all about it during commercial breaks.

15. Paint by Numbers

You could go to one of those wine-and-paint places to work out your inner Picasso together. Or get paint-by-numbers kits from a craft store and meet at someone's home to paint while you chat.

16. Color and Talk

Similar to the painting idea, but a little easier and maybe cheaper. Get some of those trending coloring pages and colored pencils, and color away together to give your hands something to do while you talk.

17. Brainstorm Sesh

I bet your friend group is a bunch of smart women full of great ideas. Have an evening where each person brings something they're struggling with or need ideas on, then brainstorm together solutions. We do this in our mastermind group as we talk about business and blogging ideas. But it could on topics for home, motherhood, work, marriage, and more. Let's leave our time together with an idea or two to try!

18. Dance Party

I'm not much of a dancer, but I have great memories of dancing with close friends in our dorm rooms. Weird to do as an adult? Turn on a Just Dance video game or go through a dance tutorial video together. Salsa or line dancing, anyone?

19. Share the Love

Get together to bake cookies and write encouraging notes to neighbors, coworkers, family, or friends. Spend the evening talking while baking and writing. Then, everyone will leave with a small plate of cookies and a note to take and share the love with someone in their life.

20. Make and Take

Get together and pool resources to make something in bulk--bath salts, granola, freezer meals, etc. Then each person takes a little with them.

21. Volunteer or Service Project

Host a Sole Hope shoe-cutting party or volunteer together at the local homeless or women's shelter. Serving others together can be a great way to give your group a truly lasting impact, on yourselves and others.

22. Coffee Shop Takeover

Gather at a local coffee shop for talk and of course coffee. (Skip this idea if most of you aren't actually going to order coffee.) Especially for friends who don't get to

23. Swap

If you and your friends have similar interests or style, consider doing a swap together. It could be nail polish, accessories, home decor, kitchen gadgets, board games, whatever. Each person brings one thing in the category that they're done with but is still in good condition, then swap. While shoes or clothes could be fun, I'd avoid that unless you're all similar sizes.

24. Night Out

Sometimes you just need a good ol' fashioned girls night out. Meet at a restaurant for dinner or drinks and dessert, or window shop and catch a movie together.

25. PJ and Cereal Night

Everyone shows up in their pajamas and brings a box of their favorite cereal, then cozy up to munch and talk about life.

26. Conversation Cards

You can find table topic cards at novelty and book stores, or you can browse my 100 questions or make your own. The intentional conversations (#6 above) are usually a little more planned. Conversation cards can be random or rapid fire or grabbed anytime you need a reset on what to talk about.

27. Game Night

Get together to play Apples to Apples or a favorite card game. This might be a fun one to invite the husbands or families to.

28. Improv

This is so out of my comfort zone, but could still be fun. Get together and do an improv night. If you need ideas, checkout episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway. It helps if some of it is planned out ahead or if someone is designated host.

29. Bonfire

Meet at someone's house who has a firepit in their yard. Gather around to roast marshmallows and tell stories.

30. Weekend Getaway

This may not be able to happen often, but every now and then you need a girls weekend. Go to a women's retreat or conference together, or just visit a nearby town even for the day.

What's a fun or memorable girls night you've enjoyed?


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30 Minutes to Not Waste Your Vote

30 Minutes to Decide Your Vote for President (and Not Waste It)

I have an embarrassing confession today: I've made it twelve years of voting age without actually voting. Okay, I take that back. I voted once in our small town's local elections when my dad was running for mayor. (And he won, yay!) But I have never voted in a presidential election. Sad, I know.

I partly believed the lies that my vote didn't count. Mostly, I was afraid my vote would count, and I didn't know enough about government or politics or the candidates to make my vote count in productive ways. So, I avoided it. I faded into the background when anyone talked about it. And I conveniently kept my mouth shut as I avoided the polls on election day.

This election I was introduced to ISideWith.com. This is exactly what I've said I needed in order to vote, and whatdoyaknow, someone created it. It's a pretty thorough quiz of the big topics (and you can click an arrow to answer even more). You say where you side on various issues, and there's explanations for each for people like me who have a hard time following along with some of these issues. You can also toggle how important various issues are to you.

Then, it shows where your beliefs and values on those issues line up with each of the candidates. When I took the quiz a while ago, it even helped me figure out which party I am, because I just wasn't sure. I took it again today (because who I would have voted for when I took it last is no longer in the running), and I'm again impressed with how helpful it is in making sense of it all.

Now, at thirty, I'm finally going to do it. I'm finally going to vote. And what a year to step out of my my-votes-don't-count-but-crap-what-if-they-do box.

After the last debate I heard what I've heard many times before: That voting outside of the two candidates currently in the debates is wasting your vote. I like my husband's response: The only two ways to really waste your vote are to not vote or to not vote your conscience.

So, I'm not wasting my vote. When this election is over, I'll at least have peace-of-mind that I voted my conscience and that will be worth it. Don't waste your vote either. Take the quiz at ISideWith.com and within 30 minutes you could have a little more clarity on your own stance and where it lines up with all of the candidates (not just the two in tonight's debate).

Now I really need an Isidewith alternative for our local candidates. If you find something like that, namely for Nebraska, please let me know.

Happy voting!


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30-Piece Yearround Wardrobe

30-Piece Wardrobe Basics for a Minimal All-Season Capsule

This is my 30-piece year-round minimal wardrobe--my full wardrobe ends up being 40+ pieces after having multiple options for some items. If I have at least these things in rotation, I likely have plenty to wear, and yet not too much to feel overly stuck with too many options. This includes shoes, but does not include workout or lounge wear. Although some of these pieces double as my workout and lounge wear.


1. Jeans

I usually aim to have two pairs of jeans in rotation--it's my daily go-to since I don't work in an office. Lately, I've been sticking with skinny jeans. I usually find whatever style I like, then have one good dark pair that can look more dressy, and one lighter or fun pair that might have little details in the wash or holes, etc.

2. Black Pants

If I worked in an office, these would probably need to be a nicer material and I'd have a couple to rotate. Since I spend my days at home, my black pants are more of a skinny jean and I only have one pair. They work well with tees, or can be dressed up a little with a blouse and cute shoe.

3. Color Pants

For a while I had red pants that were fun, but I eventually embraced red isn't my preferred color. So, now I'm on the hunt for a mint or olive green. Again, if I worked in an office, I'd look for a nicer material. Since I stay home, I'm looking more for a jean or khaki type pant.

5. Yoga Pants / Leggings

I try to keep at least 2 pairs of full-length black yoga pants or thick leggings in rotation. They work well for gym days, but can also be worn under a tunic or short dress in cooler weather, and are a good lounge option for evenings at home. I love some of the patterned ones, but have been sticking with plain black so I can get more use out of them.

6. Jean Shorts

It gets hot around here and I spend my days "at home" which also means taking the kids to the park or running errands, so shorts for the summer are essential. If I worked in an office, I might swap out one of these pairs of shorts for another pant option.

7. Black Shorts

Black shorts can be dressed up a bit with a blouse and cute shoe.

8. Color Shorts

I've had a cool grey as an option, and currently have a pair of olive green. I've also seen some light blue or even bolder colors that would work well. The color adds some variety and gives a good option to spice up any neutral or plain tops--which I have a lot of.


9. Tank Tees

I usually aim to have 3 tee-type tanks. I've been loving the racer-back style, but also have some basic crew or boat neck. Tanks can be paired with an open button-up or a sweater for cooler weather, or they can be worn with accessories and either pants or shorts. These can also become my lounge or active wear.

10. Short Sleeve Tees

I try to keep 3 nice tees in my wardrobe. I try to have a mix of solid grey, white, and a stripe. Like the tanks, these can be worn under a button-up or sweater, or by themselves with accessories. If I worked in an office, these might be less necessary, but they're part of my current go-to wardrobe.

11. Long Sleeve Tees

It gets really cold here, so having a couple long sleeve tees in rotation is essential. Sometimes I end up layering these up under a sweater, or they can be worn by themselves with a scarf or other accessory. I usually end up getting one plain white or black long sleeve, then one or two others with buttons or stripes or a pocket.

12. Chambre

Alternatively this could be replaced with a plain white button-up. This can be worn buttoned up with pants and accessories, worn open over a tee or tank, worn as a layer over a dress or even tied up.

13. Plaid/Flannel

This has been in style for years, but has been pretty popular lately. The same as a chambre, it can be worn buttoned-up, unbuttoned over a tea or tank, or tied over a dress or skirt.

14. Tank Blouses

These are different than the tee tanks because they're a nicer material and usually a dressier look. When I was home with babies, I only had one or two go-to blouse-type shirts for the occasional opportunity to dress-up. As my kids get older, I've been trying to reach for nicer shirts that are still comfy and keep at least 3 tank options on hand. Tanks can be worn by themselves during the hot months, or paired with a sweater during cooler months.

15. Short Sleeve Blouses

I also keep at least 3 go-to short sleeve blouses in rotation. I make sure these are comfy so I get good use out of them even if I'm spending the day at home. I try to keep in mind that they go with pants and shorts, and that they can be worn by themselves or under a sweater.

16. Long Sleeve Blouses

These give me an easy option to look nice without the extra thought of layering. I like options that have faux layers sewn in or a cute patterned button-up blouse.


17. Little Black Dress (LBD)

The Little Black Dress is a staple for any wardrobe. I try to make sure I find one that can be worn with sandals, heels, or boots. As well as paired with a sweater or fancy jewelry or even under a cardigan. This is my go-to dress for all occasions.

18. Maxi Dress/Skirt

The maxi dress or skirt can be a comfy, dressy option for the average day. Or it can even be an easy option for church or a night out. My favorite is a versatile option that can be worn as a dress or a skirt, but I lost mine this summer.

19. Shift Dress

These can be worn with sandals, flats, or boots. They can be worn as-is or with a belt or sweater.

Over Layers

20. Neutral Cardi

Something to turn those tanks, tees, and blouses into a more complete outfit for cooler weather.

21. Bulky Sweater

A cute, warm option for our cold weather months.

22. Pullover Sweater/Sweatshirt

I recently got a cute grey sweatshirt with a white floral print on it. It's comfy but still cute. Can be warn over a tee or tank, accessorized, or even paired with one of the collared shirts.


23. Sandals

These are my go-to if the weather is remotely warm enough. I like getting them with secure straps so they're easy to walk in (no flip flops), and some kind of gold or fun detail to look nice even with a dress or blouse.

24. Flats

These become a go-to when I'm trying to dress nice during the cooler fall or spring months. I used to have a black pair, then replaced them with a shiny nude.

25. Wedge Sandals

These are a good option for dresses and dressing up jeans.

26. Heels

I don't wear heels often, but I have a nice pair of shiny nude cork wedges that I keep for special or fancy occasions. Or if I just feel like wearing heels because I can.

27. Tennies

I used to always have a pair of good running shoes, but I'm not a runner anymore. So I go for something a little more casual and fun. My current pick are retro-style Nike with mustard and mint colors. Comfy and cute.

28. Riding Boots

This is my one splurge in my entire wardrobe. I spent too much on these boots, but they've lasted me 4 years and still have plenty of wear in them. Plus, they're a timeless style. They become my staple during our long, cold winter months. Cute with jeans, leggings, and dresses.

29. Rain Boots

I needed a better winter boot for when it snows, since my riding boots aren't exactly great snow boots. I decided to get rain boots that I can wear when it's warmer out, or I can layer up with socks and leggings and wear when it's cold and snowy.

30. Ankle Boots

These are my cool weather option for dresses and dressing up jeans.

What are your 30 wardrobe essentials?


also see:
new? start here...
31 days celebrating three-oh
monthly dose of simple