Mad for Plaid: A Cozy Girls Night In
I remember when Girl's Nights used to mean hours of getting ready and sore feet from heels at the end of the night. Those nights are fewer and farther between now, but I am a-okay with that. You might remember, that my group of girlfriends does a monthly get together, better known as GNO. Last year I teamed up with one of my friends to do a Favorite Things Party. This year, I had February and nothing sounded better in the dead of winter than cozying up and staying in for night. Paired with my obsession with plaid this year, the "Mad for Plaid" theme was born.
I invited the ladies to come over in their favorite plaid and flannel comfy clothes for some soup, s'mores, and a trail mix bar. And, you can't forget the "Liquid Flannel" aka lots of red wine.
To create the look of the table, I used a plain black tablecloth and draped a plaid wool blanket we have to create that cozy feel. Because I adore that blanket, I made sure to keep less messy food (i.e. the soup) on the kitchen counter. I also created a separate drink station on the bar to avoid spilled red wine.
Cup O' Soup Station
At a previous GNO, one of our girlfriends had the genius idea of serving soup in mugs, so people could easily eat it anywhere! Remembering that, I took some washi tape to jazz up my white mugs to fit the party theme. If you haven't experienced the magic of washi tape yet, you are missing out. This stuff works just like painter's tape. You can put it on anything and it just peels right off with no damage. I've used it on walls, dishes, my lightbox, gift wrapping, and more! My only mini-fail here was the soup itself. I tried a new recipe for broccoli cheddar soup and I think using frozen broccoli made it a little too watery. It was edible, but not my best effort.
Trail Mix Bar
M&Ms (I went with Peanut Butter)
Dark Chocolate Chips
To create the trail mix bar, I put the ingredients in a few different things. I rolled down lunch sacks for a few of them. (For a tutorial on how to do that, see my Harvest Hash post from this fall). I put a few of the other trail mix goodies in wood salad bowls. For the main ingredient – peanuts – I used a galvanized mini-pale with a plaid ribbon handle (Target holiday clearance re-purposed!). Each ingredient was labeled using plaid place cards that I also picked up during the holidays in Target's dollar section. I set out clear plastic bags from Dollar Tree and some plaid washi tape for guests to mix a bag to take home or eat while girl chat happened on the couch.
I also whipped up a quick sign for the Trail Mix Bar using a piece of scrap plywood we had around the house, some plaid wrapping paper I'd picked up around the holidays from the Michaels dollar bins, and kraft-colored sticker letters I snagged during Target's 90% off Halloween clearance. If you are an avid reader of my blog, by now you know I am a super fan of buying items at holiday clearance time that can be used for parties and projects at any time during the year. When you pay $0.10 for a package of place cards, you don't feel so bad recycling them after one use.
A cozy night by the fire isn't complete without a s'more. After a little searching, I saw one of my favorite food blogs, "A Pinch of Yum" had a recipe that looked good for a s'more bar. They were an absolute hit and pretty painless to make. Although, one of my gal pals came over early and helped me get these whipped up. She said stirring the chocolate and sticky marshmallows with the cereal was the hardest part.
I used some birch wood place card holders that I liberated from my sister-in-law's wedding to label the bars and a few other snacks I had out. The canvas tags were another Halloween clearance find and were so cute with the rustic/outdoor theme.
No girl's night is complete without some beverages! A cold February night called for red wine. I dressed up the bar with a piece of flannel fabric I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics and styled a tray using birch log candle holders, an antler leftover from my winter décor, and my Letterfolk sign (one of my new favorite things). I hadn't used my chalkboard paint dipped wine glasses in a while, but they were perfect for this theme.
We had a fun night of girl talk and snacking on goodies! The real win was getting to do it all in comfy clothes by the fire!