A Spring Girl’s Night in Party

The Winner is: #114 Wehaf! Congrats!

I recently got the opportunity to host a Girls’ Night In party, so I asked my friend Tracey if she would like to help me out by having the party at her house. She has a beautiful dining room, and she was more than ready to get it spruced up for spring

The party was just the ticket to inspire her to bring out her spring accessories. She happened to be hosting her women’s group that night, too, so we made a party of it.

I went to the grocery and picked up some really good cheeses, crackers, and assorted other party foods. Girls generally love to nibble on cheese and crackers, dips and chips, and with a little sweet thrown in for good measure, it’s a perfect meal.

My kind of nibbling. I love girlie food, don’t you? 042

Tracey has a beautiful dining room and when I told her I wanted to throw a party, she was more than ready to set a pretty spring table. She has some gorgeous silver pieces and by adding some birds, nests, and eggs, as well as a few fresh flowers from the yard, the table was picture perfect. That glass float was picked up on our shopping trip to Asheville earlier this year and came from Screen Door. I love it! 015

White dogwoods and hot pink azaleas are hard to beat for a centerpiece. Simple and elegant.


Tracey added these cute birds’ nests with eggs on top of glasses, along with beautiful thrifty plates she picked up at Scott Antiques. 009

A large glass bottle holds more dogwood branches. This time of year is perfect for clipping outdoors and bringing them inside to enjoy. 034

As part of this Girls’ Night In party, we were asked to try out a brand new product, Simply Cranberry Cocktail, made with not-from-concentrate cranberry juice. 051

I filled a pretty glass pitcher with plenty of crushed ice and filled it with Simply Cranberry Cocktail. The girls all loved it and remarked on how delicious it tasted. It was a refreshing accompaniment to our girlie food fare. 016

I brought along some pink dogwoods to add to another vase on the kitchen island, and that’s where we set up all the food. 018

Strawberries and cheesecake, a winning combo every time. 027

Happy flowers make a girl party special. 021

Plenty of hummus and delish dips along with chips and crackers, and we were all smacking our lips. 040

Cheese and crackers are definitely on my short list of snack foods to enjoy. 024

That’s the hostess, Tracey, at the sink and her friends enjoyed all the food, too. 058

We all went through and filled our plates with plenty of yummy food. 059

A perfect girls’ night in.


Can’t get enough of those flowers, as there is nothing prettier than a pink dogwood. It was a fun evening with the girls, talking and chatting about life issues, and the food and drinks brought us all together for the night and a fun time was had by all.

Simply Cranberry Cocktail is refreshing and delicious, and I would definitely try it again. It’s gently pasteurized with no added preservatives to bring you a taste unlike other cranberry cocktails you may have tried. You can find both the 59oz and 13.5oz single serve carafes in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, as the beverage is kept chilled from the time it’s blended.

What is your favorite way to make a party or get-together in your home more festive? Tell me about it in the comments for a chance to win a $100 gift card.


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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2012 – 6/6/2012

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

“Simply Cranberry” is a trademark of Simply Orange Juice Company.

- Rhoda


  1. Why do so many baby-boomer women insist on referring to themselves as “girls”?

    It’s not cute.

    • Oh, stuff it, Laurie. You’re being rude.

      My 87yr old mother refers to her group as “the girls,” “golden” as they may be.

  2. My hubby and I love Simply grapefruit juice so the cranberry has to be great, too. Thanks for the give away from one of the “girls”.

  3. I love how the Simply Cranberry, strawberries and the flowers all go together!

    My favorite way to make a party more festive is by inviting the right friends and adding a few drinks! I bet I could make a great cranberry cosmo from Simply Cranberry:)


  4. Merri Jo Schaubroeck says:

    Candles and flowers…in every room of the house always makes the house party-ready!

  5. flyingbird says:

    Those flowers are beautiful!

    I think scents help set a welcoming mood–quick simmer of a few spices or herbs on the stovetop, baked bread, or some squirts of a fresh linen room spray.

  6. pam clark says:

    I agree with all the above posts (except Laurie…..are you older or younger than what you consider to be a baby boomer?? lol). I like when everyone feels comfortable together there are just the right number of girls for fun, lively conversation!

  7. karen davis says:

    I like to serve, personalized favorite foods, like when my kids come home (they are all grown) I like to cook, and or bake their favorite foods, especially on their birthdays…it’s their main gift, and they seem to love it! Thank you for the awesome give a way! Sincerely Karen

  8. Arlene Grimm says:

    As Lucy told Ethel on I Love Lucy…when you divide everyone into boys and girls, WE ARE GIRLS. I hope I am always a girl inside!! As for parties, I love to use seasonal decorations. I have lots of glass containers that can be used to showcase seasonal decorations( Easter Eggs, Shells, Little Pumkins, Christmas tree ornaments) along with seasonal table runners and tablecloths. A pretty wreath on the door is always a nice touch for a party!! Loved your party Rhoda…looks like everyone had fun!

  9. My favorite way to make things festive is actually to keep things simple. This helps me and my guests to be more relaxed. A few candles, some good food and conversation, and no one notices that I forgot to dust the mantle!

    Love the naked Dress-Me-Up plate; that baby is so versatile!

  10. Anything cranberry is a favorite of mine, cranberry juice, cookies, dried cranberries (I put them in my cereal and oatmeal.

    I love just inviting some friends over and say bring a dish. Best way to enjoy the food and time together.

    PS I just adore dogwoods. I want many more in my yard!

  11. debbie w says:

    I like to place plates of finger food around the main rooms we are using …den, kitchen, deck etc! everyone mingles and enjoys. thanks for the chance to win.

  12. I like to keep things simple too. I will usually have some candles or scent and then some yummy appetizer before dinner. I like to think about the guests I will be having and plan my meal around what I know they will enjoy!

  13. I love cranberry juice of any kind and it’s color in your glass pitcher looks so pretty! My favorite way to make things festive and comfortable for all is to use what I already have, pretty, simple pottery as serving pieces and to put goodies on, easy finger foods that please everyone, some pretty flowers simply arranged, lots of seating and music. Rushing around trying to still make food and make things perfect is NOT my idea of relaxing! Your gathering looked so fun AND yummy!

  14. I have found that people relax more if they can help. I put slips of papers with little “chores” written on them in a basket. If a guest wants to help, he/she can just pick a chore from the basket. The chores might be things like fill the ice bucket, answer the door, keep the music going. They love it, and so do I!!!

  15. Make it simple, as you did. Everything doesn’t have to be home made! Buying a cheesecake isn’t wrong (is it?). Take the stress off yourself!

  16. Mami2jcn says:

    Lively music makes things more festive!

  17. Mami2jcn says:


  18. Hi Rhoda! What a nice party for the girls! Those flowers are so beautiful and my tiny mouth is watering looking at that food.
    Looks like your friend must have a beautiful home and thank you for letting us come to the party. If I could just manage to get a bite of that cheesecake! 🙂
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia 😉

  19. Fresh flowersbor greenery.

  20. Flowers from my garden, may it be peonies or zinnia’s. So bright and cheery. I like to have having a nice, warm and inviting scent burning at the front door, along with other areas of the home. The smell of a homemade baked apple pie is very delightful too.

  21. Good music, good food and fresh flowers make party more festive

  22. Tracey S says:

    Just being together is really all you need to do!

  23. We really like the simply cranberry cocktail in our house for when we go running, we water it down just a little bit and it is really crisp tasting and great for refreshing your mouth feel while running!

    To make a party more festive I really like to cook stuff from my mom’s native home (South Africa) It always makes things a bit more exotic!

  24. No matter how formal the party is, I always lighten the mood with a funny napkin. Everyone has to have a napkin!

  25. I think fresh flowers always make a party more festive. And a special dessert!

  26. I generally have lots of delicious food that’s usually made from scratch… (at least all of the important items, like bread!) Candles and fresh flowers always set the mood along with a beatifully set table. I have LOTS of dishes, antique, vintage and modern, which I think really adds to the ambience. And let’s not forget the role of appropriate linens, both colorful or classic depending on the time of year ,time of day and the occasion. Lastly, I always try to pick music that jives with whatever mood I’m going for.

  27. Flowers, fun plates, flatware and good wine are my favorites!!

  28. Shirley says:

    Good food, music in the background, and great friends.

  29. I’m having a luncheon with my family this month and it will be about good food, and a pretty table setting. Fresh flowers always makes things more festive to me. Love the dogwoods at Tracy’s.
    I love Cranberry juice…no vodka in that pretty pitcher??

  30. Pretty dishes, glasses, fresh flowers and buying Cheesecake Factory cheesecake at Sam’s Club. I also recently ordered vanilla bread pudding from a friend in the catering business. It was so good and it took the stress off knowing a delicious dessert was awaiting us.

  31. Debbie K. says:

    I love the use of candles and flowers. I had a get together in March when the Forsythia were in full bloom and brought those gorgeous flowers in for some color. Everyone was so impressed with my free arrangements that really made such an impact.

  32. Your party looks like fun! I like to keep things informal, so a help yourself evening is my kind of party. A few flowers and pretty napkins, yummy food, and I’m good to go. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway, Rhoda.

  33. Flowers and lots of pretty little finger foods!

  34. I like mixing cranberry juice, vodka and Fresca for a nice wine cooler. People seem to prefer appitizers to “regular” food at parties. It works for me.

  35. I like to have different types of finger food, and cranberry juice with red wine, and other types of fruit drinks. Festive decorations and soothing music completes the ambiance.

  36. Everyone loves to leave with a little something so I always had a small take home of some kind at the door. Also, I never forgot to “dress” the bathroom as well usually with fresh flowers.

  37. Elizabeth H says:

    I love the use of candles and fresh flowers and finger foods. I loved the way you and your friend used the dogwood and the food looked outstanding. I am not a baby boomer but please call me a girl.

  38. I like to add handmade touches to my parties, and flowers are a must!

    And I think girls are girls at any age! 🙂

  39. Beautiful flowers, cheese and crackers , sweets. Sounds perfect for a GIRLS night out party. Love being with the girls. Good conversation and lots of laughs. We need this every now and then. Thanks for the give away and congratulations on your house. Can not wait to see the end results.

  40. The table looked so pretty. I love the pinks and whites in the flowers. Girl’s Nights are perfect for splurging on the good stuff like cheese and dips. I like to have good food so maybe everyone doesn’t notice my lack of decorations!

  41. My favorite way to make things more festive is good food, wine, and flowers.

  42. I love Simply products … especially their Raspberry Lemonade. Can’t wait to try the Cranberry Cocktail.

    I like to have a fun “signature” drink for the evening. I usually try to have it match a theme for the season.

  43. I need a nice pretty house, then if you have good friends whatever you have is perfect.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with the candles! Every room should have at least one, and they should be complimenting scents. I also will go to local thrift stores to find things that “match” my theme!

  45. I use our fancy glasses to make everyday dinners more special. Our little girl loves drinking her milk out of a fancy glass.

  46. I once belonged to a smallish group of girls that included a lot of gardeners. We would trade off having the get togethers at each other’s house and each hostess would be responsible for having a garden themed doorprise to be given away at the end. Often the gift was incorporated in the table decor, but sometimes it was a surprise in a gift bag. While getting the prize was nice, I think that all of us enjoyed keeping our eyes out for the perfect something to give when it was our turn to be hostess.

  47. You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers, candles and some soft background music!

  48. I like involving multiple senses. Fresh cut flowers for a visual appeal and baking something shortly before guests arrive–bread, cookies, cake, whatever! It fills the house with such a homey smell. =)

    The decorations look so pretty. And the spread looked amazing!

  49. Tardevil says:

    Your party looked like fun! The photos are beautiful of the decorations and flowers. I always like fresh flowers and pretty decor to set the mood. The cranberry juice looks good, too! Don’t know about you, but I”ll be a “girl” when I’m a senior citizen, if I’m fortunate enough to live that long!

  50. My favorite way to make a party or get together more festive is to add fresh flowers. I grow a lot of flowers that can be cut and brought in in the spring and summer so it is pretty easy to do then.

  51. Loved the “Girls In” party idea! I like to use a variety of colors to make a party festive…everything from colorful food, fruit kabobs and unique serving dishes…to a show stopper dessert and fabulous finger foods. Fresh greenery and flowers (+ seasonal items) are always a plus combined with good friends, good drinks and conversation and you have a good recipe for a successful get together!

  52. I love to have friends over, and I try to make it special by making food and drinks that they wouldn’t ordinarily make at home for themselves. I also set a nice table with some flowers (from the yard, usually.) It always shows that you care and that you’re happy to be together. I’ll definitely check out that cranberry juice!

  53. kathy w says:

    I like to fresh flowers set on the table where all the food is and also I put little bunches all around so people can see them up close when they are eating or talking etc. I think it is a perfect conversation starter. Your party looked so lovely.

  54. I love to have fresh seasonal flowers displayed and candles burning to welcome friends! Baking my bread and desserts completely from scratch also brings a lot of enjoyment to the get together.

  55. Linda Hobbs says:

    I think fresh flowers, slightly scented candles, and good food are the way to go for a party! Thanks for the chance!

  56. I think keeping things simple and semi homemade make for a festive event and not a harried hostess.
    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to host a dinner party for a writer friend of ours that was in town for a speaking engagement. I filled three large clear glass container with limes and used white flowers from my snowball bush to fill the top of the three containers. The table linens were bright white and it was such a pretty, elegant and simple table to do. I used clear glass candle holders with white taper candles. I repeated the same in a smaller version for the other tables. The compliments are still coming in and I didn’t have to buy a thing except the limes.
    Great giveaway once again dear Rhoda!

    Mary L

  57. I LOVE that blue glass float! What a beautifully spring table!
    My grandmother always served a small glass of juice with Sunday dinner: either her homemade tomato juice ~ or ~ cranberry juice with a small scoop of lime sherbert. Try it sometime, it looks very festive!

  58. Jennifer says:

    For a GIRLS night in I like to have a nice beverage for everyone to drink and I agree that having snacks is better than a meal. I think everyone enjoys snacking on a variety of food than having to sit down for a meal, less formal and more comfortable! I’m in my 20’s and when I get with my friends we call it girls night- nothing wrong with that!

  59. I love having festive decorations. I hosted a Valentine party for my girl friends and their little ones. I loved how pretty the house looked for them!

  60. GIRL POWER!!!!!!!! I love a GIRL’S night out, or in! Your nibbles looked so fabulous, and all arranged so beautifully!

    Thank you for the lovely inspiration, and for reminding us how important it is to take time to spend with our “GIRLS”. <3

    Lovely post, Rhoda!

  61. I make sure we have great music.

  62. I love to have great music in the background and I adore fresh flowers — the more, the merrier! Of course, having a great mix of friends over is always a treat and my sisters are usually invited as well to whatever I’m doing. I treasure the girlfriends in my life; they make my life so rich.

  63. For me, it’s all about the candles! Can’t get enough of them!

  64. What a nice time it looks like everyone had! I am wanting to do something like this for bloggers in our part of the state.

  65. April was in CT now CA says:

    Lots of snacks and beverages and it all set up where it’s easy for everyone to access. I think it’s much more fun to have things set out to graze on than to have a sit own meal so everyone can mingle.

  66. Rebecca Graham says:

    I do a theme party with decorations.

  67. Rebecca Graham says:
  68. Janet G. says:

    I love to utilize what I have on hand rearranged in fresh, new ways to decorate and a few naturals from the yard or woods based on the season. I also buy food items throughout the year when they are on sale (hard cheeses, desserts, etc.) then supplement with fresh supermarket and homemade items. I am all about frugal; it’s easier to pull together a short notice get-together as well. Can’t wait to try the Simply Cranberry Cocktail! Thanks, Rhoda, from one of the girls!!

  69. anna pry says:
  70. anna pry says:

    music and decorations make it more festive

  71. Peggy in TN says:

    We love to have friends over! Cocktails and food of course and then we like to play a game…like Farkel

  72. My favorite way to make a party at my home more festive is selecting a theme. So, the decorations, food, drink, party favor and maybe dress code too, would all follow the same theme. It’s really festive and fun!

    Amy [at] utry [dot] it

  73. Laurie, in the south your friends are “girls” and your father is still “daddy.”

  74. i make it more festive with party music!

  75. For a Girls’ Night In, we start with a few like minded ladies. Then make a lot of wonderful great tasting food, add to that some music and candles: and we are ready to enjoy some girl chatter. Sometimes we watch a favorite movie or play a board game. Lots of talking and fun.

  76. I use scented candles and make sure there’s some jazz music in the background.

    Your party looks great!

  77. games and partyware

  78. Julie Pounders says:

    I would like to win one of your giveaways. Thanks

  79. julie pounders says:

    The food looks divine and so does the house. You girls were lucky to be there!

  80. tara pittman says:

    I love decorating with flowers

  81. tara pittman says:
  82. Jane-Ellen says:

    I love to try and use everyday items around the house for the centerpiece on the table… makes it interesting and a great conversation piece!

  83. I like to pull out the nice dishes and have some fun music playing when people arrive.

  84. This encourages me to try cranberry juice again – I know it’s very good for you, so maybe I’ll like Simply Cranberry. I enjoyed the photos of the party!

  85. i like pretty glassware, spring flowers, creative desserts, pretty tablecloth, with napkins, make it homey.

  86. simple and sweet. a few appetizers and signature drink (vodka, lime and cranberry juice) and main entree chicken parm, italian bread and green salad. yum

  87. I love adding things liked spiced nuts or a homemade cocktail for the end of the night!

  88. Teresa C says:

    Great music always makes the party more festive!

  89. I like to hang decorations, put on some music, and make way too much dessert! 🙂


  90. Karina Lee says:

    i like having a party theme

  91. Karina Lee says:
  92. Jessie C. says:

    Plenty of all sorts of desserts and music always help.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  93. Jessie C. says:
  94. Cassandra says:

    Here in Oregon we had a late start to summer, so I recently hosted a chili feed with all the toppings for my girlfriends night in – it was simple to assemble and went well with all of our cocktails! Simply Lemonade and Simply Orange Juice were definitely part of the evening. We had so much fun we didnt even get around to playing Bunco! Thanks and I about cried laughing when I read the response to the first person’s comment about referring to oneself as “Girls” — “stuff it!” — ha ha ha that was too funny not to laugh, sorry. <3

  95. I love your site and look forward to all of your posts.

    I did share this contest via twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Cferder/status/202215146259619840

  96. I put out lots of snacks and turn on upbeat music. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  97. Sounds delicious! I love cranberry cocktail.

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!


  98. lots of games and foods

  99. I like to make things more festive by turning on some music,adding a cute banner and fresh flowers.

  100. Take a theme, add decorations, interesting food and drink and add fun people.

  101. oh my goodness your party looks so grand and fabulous, I love having a themed get together, so everyone will get into the mood. Good food, delicious drinks, and great friends. 🙂

    cheers xx

  102. I would have loved being at your party! Looks beautiful!!!!! I like to make things ahead so I can focus on the guests at the party!!! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!

  103. Christine says:

    It’s all about having the right decor!

  104. Brn2lisn says:

    I like to use fresh flowers from my garden to spruce up the place. One of my favorite things to do is use little umbrellas, colored ice, and fresh fruit for the drinks

  105. I love a mix of simple and fancy dishes – the fancy ones make the whole party more festive! Music helps, too.

  106. I am all about an Island theme and lots of juice to drink.

    marybug2 @ yahoo . com

  107. MelissaO says:

    I always make all the fixings for tacos and put on some good music.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  108. Can’t do much entertaining in the home right now because our house is sooo tiny, but we do like to have BBQs in our back yard (when things warm up more). The music helps things be more festive.

  109. Tiffany Winner says:

    i think almost every party or get-together needs a game of some kind

  110. The best way to liven up a get together in our house is to bring out the wii for some interactive games after grilling in the backyard.

  111. Tabathia B says:

    I love plugging up the Wii and putting in Dance Revolution
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  112. Tabathia B says:
  113. Stephanie says:

    I love all the Simply beverages!!

  114. stephanie says:
  115. Debbie B says:

    we don’t entertain a lot but when we do – good food and music make it festive

  116. Kellie Rose Wilson says:

    I would have LOVED to have been at your party! We enjoy having theme nights like White Night, Jimmy Buffet Night, Etc, So much fun!

  117. Kellie Rose Wilson says:
  118. In my opinion cheese always fancies up a party! I also like a nice tablescape and themed drinks/food to get everyone in a festive mood.

  119. Tiffany Winner says:
  120. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    we love to decorate and keep the theme of the party

  121. Amanda Sakovitz says:
  122. I love making a party more festive by making cupcakes catered to the theme of the get together as well as themed ice cubes! 🙂

  123. I always make sure I have lots of different foods out to make sure there is something for everyone’s taste.

  124. Christina Tong says:

    My favorite way to make a party or get-together at my home more festive is selecting a theme but with simple decorations. I love to prepare homemade finger food, nice dessert and drinks. Thanks for the giveaway.


  125. Christina Tong says:

    I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/207025060257599488


  126. ANGEL JACKLYN says:




  127. ANGEL JACKLYN says:
  128. Maria Cantu says:

    I make sure to provide a variety of food and drinks.

  129. Gina M Maddox says:


    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  130. Gina M Maddox says:

    I love to add great music and lighting to make a gathering more festive.

    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  131. When entertaining, I love putting out lots and lots of snacks. I don’t have fancy decor, and my apartment is pretty small, but I do my best to feed everyone well with all my favorites. And, of course, a great assortment of drinks can make it all the more festive!

  132. Marlyce Harris says:

    I take alot of pictures of family and friends. I made coasters using a ceramic tile and cutting out a photograph and sealing it. I use this for seating placements at table or place around on end tables. They are great conversation starters and everyone wants to see everyone elses pictures and know where, when, or what was going on when picture taken! It gets everyone talking.

  133. Marlyce Harris says:

    I should mention the home-made coasters can be of beaches, mts. etc. but usually use pictures of the people at the party. When they go home they take “their” coaster home as a party favor!

  134. Denise L says:

    I always like to have a theme for the food & drink. We did a taco bar one year for my daughter’s birthday and all the appetizers and drinks were authentic Mexican too.

  135. Denise L says:
  136. We love to do themed foods. It’s fun to see how creative we can get having a sandwich theme from appetizer to dessert. Another time might be slow cookers or an ethnic food theme.

  137. Emily N. says:
  138. Fresh flowers always make it more festive.
    Thanks for the contest.

  139. Plenty of food and drinks!

  140. Jessica F says:

    I love having tons of little finger foods as the main course! You can have a huge variety of food to offer and appetizers are always delicious!

  141. Jessica F says:
  142. candles candles candles! nothing sets the mood of a party better than candles! scented pillars, glowing tapers, and floating pretties all can lend soft light and fun to any gathering!

  143. ewhatley says:

    We have a theme for every event and encourage guests to dress accordingly.

  144. I do like entertaining and my favorite thing is to do theme parties. I customize my food, drinks and decorations/decor around a theme and everyone really enjoys it….I just try not to get too hokey!

  145. tracey byram says:

    I decorate my table with fresh flowers and other decorative touches. I have appropriate music playing in the background.

  146. Erica Best says:

    I love having bring a dish party it help everyone feel like that are a part of it and it keep me from having to cook everything and every love to show of by bring the best dish.
    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  147. Erica Best says:
  148. We play festive music and put up décor that creates an ambiance.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

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