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n” is the New Out! Host a Girls’ Night “In” Party! as featured on MSN

By: Martie Duncan
Photos: Arden Photography

ou’ve shuttled the kids, cleaned up after the new puppy, crammed for a test, put up with some real pain in the neck at work, and/or got your heart stomped on yet again. Your whole attitude needs an overhaul. There’s nothing better than a night with the girls to kick back, relax, and talk it over. Instead of going out on the town, why not stay “in” and indulge in all of the guilty pleasures you don’t get to enjoy very often? Doughnuts, cupcakes, chocolate, gossip magazines, Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, and cosmopolitans were on the agenda for this party but your gang can design your own brand of fun. Cooking, cards, karaoke, or your favorite cheesy romantic comedies can be the cornerstone for your girls’ night in party.   

Party Basics: Food and Decorations
The menu was pure indulgence. Mini cheeseburgers and pigs-in-a-blanket are so easy to make, we didn’t even need a recipe. Nachos are always easy but chocolate or cheese fondue is even better. Ask the girls to bring their favorite “guilty pleasure” candy or dessert plus a favorite DVD. Check with each guest to see what they’re planning to bring so you don’t end up with four plates of Rice Krispy treats and six copies of Grease. (Admit it, you know every song)  Serve a signature cocktail or drinks that fit the theme for the evening. Since Sex in the City was on the agenda for our party, cosmopolitans were on the menu. Get a bottled mix at the grocery and rim each glass with pink sugar found in the cake icing section for a festive touch. Pre-mix a large pitcher of your signature drink so you don’t have to play bartender all night. That way, you only have to refill the serving pitcher when necessary. Use this recipe for the classic cosmopolitan if you can’t find a mix:

Classic Cosmos for Five
5 oz premium vodka
2.5 oz Grand Marnier
2.5 oz fresh lime juice
2.5 oz cranberry juice

Shake vodka, Grand Marnier, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a pitcher. Serve in chilled martini glasses garnished with a lime. Serves 5. Double or triple as necessary for a party.

Decorations
Use colorful candies and treats as decorations by displaying them in clear bowls and vases. Lollipop sticks from the craft store make a doughnut or marshmallow sculpture to add height and interest to your table. Grab a bouquet of mixed flowers in your party colors at the grocery and pull it apart to use in assorted vases. For an informal party like this one, use stylish paper plates and napkins to cut down on clean up.

Entertainment
In addition to watching your favorite movies, watch your own! Start by scanning pictures of your past good times and make your own movie using Microsoft Movie Maker. Add your favorite tunes from back in the day as a soundtrack.

So call the gang and treat yourselves to a girls’ night IN party; it’s a chocolate covered attitude adjustment just when you needed it!

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Martie Duncan offers ideas for affordable parties, weddings and entertaining and her tips for fabulous but frugal parties can be found on MSN.
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