As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to more fully appreciate the women in my life. I’m less concerned about chasing men or being on someone’s arm and much more enamoured with the idea of surrounding myself with brilliant, compassionate, hilarious, talented, and beautiful women who bring joy to my life in a myriad of ways.
Of course there are times, especially around Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas when my Facebook feed is inundated with engagement announcements, when I feel sorry for myself and my seemingly immovable state of singledom. But then I call one of my girlfriends.
It’s amazing how a little quality time with someone who understands where you’re coming from, listens actively and makes you feel heard, introduces you to the newest YouTube sensation or remembers to ask how your last big sales pitch went, can buoy your mood.
There are a lot of things men have easier, the list is too long to enumerate, but, in my view, friendship is something that women have better. We are more prepared to enter into our friendships with vulnerability and establish deep emotional intimacy. We have the capacity to let go of friendships that no longer serve us and forge new ones with women who we respect or admire.
I spend a lot of time and energy resourcing my female friendships. As much as I complain or joke about the sorry state of the online dating ecosystem, I am also reluctant to put too much time into scrolling through the apps because I’d really rather be spending time with my girlfriends. While there’s a chance that a date might cancel last minute or might be a total waste of time, the investment I make in my squad always pays dividends.
Whether we are bingeing Cheer on Netflix, going dancing or sharing a meal at home, I know that one-on-one or in a group, time with my girlfriends will leave me feeling full.
Fittingly, I am spending this Galentine’s Day, February 13th, on a girls’ trip to Austin, Texas. Even though I won’t get to spend quality time with ALL my friends this week, I wanted to share my gratitude to each and every one of them for opening themselves to me and allowing me to do the same – for every tear shed and every peel of laughter, you have and continue to bring me more joy than words can measure.
For those of you who are feeling similarly inspired and grateful, I wanted to share some ideas for how you can take this made-up holiday as a chance to celebrate your female friendships – but I think these ideas would work whenever the mood strikes.
As you might have guessed, one of my favourite ways to show my love is through food and drink. I pulled together this moody tablescape in shades of pink and purple to inspire a decadent dinner for two or four or ten of your closest friends.
Whenever I host a fancy dinner party, I always like to settle on a theme, inspired either by a feature ingredient or cuisine. This sample Galentine’s Day menu employs strawberry as the star ingredient (with the exception of the main that focuses on simplicity and minimizing the time you’ll spend doing dishes, so you can spend more time with your friends).
- Cocktail: Strawberry Fields
- Appetizer: Strawberry Basil Crostini
- Main: One-Pot Greek Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Asparagus
- Dessert: Strawberry Coconut Semifreddo
And a playlist to help set the mood? Try this Galentine’s Day playlist on Spotify.
If you’re not much for cooking, here are some other ideas on how you might want to mark the occasion with your crew:
- Have a spa day – visit Le Nordik or just get your nails done together.
- Do something active – skating on the Rideau Canal or cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park and stopping into one of the cabins on the trail to enjoy some cheese and wine.
- Learn something together – whether it’s cookie decorating, pottery, or wine appreciation.
- Do a clothing swap – instead of buying something new, shop each other’s closets.
- Have a sleepover, build a pillow fort, watch your favourite flicks.
- Take a road trip – Montreal anyone?
- Have a games night – a perennial favourite amongst my girl gang.
- Volunteer – help out at an organization that is important to you.
Whatever you do – cherish your moments together and be sure to toast your friendship.
Source Resource for the Tablescape featured throughout: Dishware, IKEA // Napkins, Chapters Indigo // Placemats, Chilewich // Velour Table Runner (similar here), Ricardo // Gold Flatware, Anthropologie // Pink Bud Vase, LD Shoppe // Cylindrical Pink Vase, LD Shoppe // Pillar Candles, LD Shoppe // Brass Candlesticks (similar here), Etsy // Taper Candles, Yummi // Stemless Wine Glasses, Anthropologie // Coupe Glasses (similar here), Cocktail Emporium //