My girlfriends are unbelievably important to me. In the fourth grade, I met my first friend and we were pretty much inseparable until life took us both across the country though we firmly believe our hearts are permanently strung together by the thread that’s tied us together since we were eight. Around sixth grade I met another amazing lifetime friend who fought my friendship at the beginning because her mother and my grandmother were friends and she refused to be set up on another friend date. The first time she spent the night, she called with a long list of crazy demands; light-weight cotton pillows, temperature has to be at sixty-eight degrees, Cheerios for breakfast with skim milk and there the list went. I made sure every last thing she asked for was done and in the end, we hit it off. She later confessed that she was being difficult on purpose because she did not want to meet anyone new. Joke was on her because she is still stuck with me to this day. She taught me how to swim, took me to parties to get me out of my shell in high-school and was my best gal pal over long weekends and hot Florida summers.
In college there was a sorority sister who I bonded with immediately as we both tried to learn a dance routine for the new recruits. She lived off campus and I loved spending the night at her place. We would both fall asleep in her twin bed and we would leave each other notes if one of us had to get up earlier for class than the other. We watched our favorite TV show at the time, Pushing Daisies, and ate Ben & Jerry’s and went on all sorts of adventures in our little college town.
Then, I moved to Spain. I missed my girls so incredibly much. I went from being able to fill a room with all the lovely ladies I had in my life to feeling so alone. It took time to meet anyone but eventually, it happened. I met quite a few incredible women who I can’t imagine my life without. The girl from South Africa who I genuinely love with my whole heart and is one of the most beautiful human beings I could ever hope to meet. There was my fellow American by way of Hawaii girlfriend who also married a Catalan man. She and I would find pleasure in daydreaming about all the food we missed from the states and she was always my partner in crime in finding ways to celebrate Halloween and other holidays we missed in our new country, which proved to usually be a feat in itself. There were my two fellow English teacher friends, one British, one Irish and together we made a new version of the Three Musketeers. Together all day and then together for tapas and wine at night. Shopping at weekends and dancing at the discotheques, we were together more than we weren’t and it was beautiful. I honestly could go on about a few more incredible friends I had. The Australian who though we were friends a short time, it was a great friendship and my tattoo shop owning American friend from Chicago who ran away at eighteen and married a Belgian and in her forties was European all the way. My ‘kiwi’ friend from New Zealand who is stunningly gorgeous and has an accent I could listen to for days. My no-holds-barred, artistic, glamazon amiga from Monterrey who will forever be my soul sister-Point is, these girls who I would have never known existed came into my life and filled places that I didn’t know were empty.
Leaving them all behind may have been the hardest thing I have ever done, harder than even moving to Spain in the first place because I lived six years of my life with them by my side through not so easy times. Here I am though, almost four years into living in the states and I can say I have been so fortunate a third time in my life, to meet another group of amazing women and make more memories with my first friends once again. So when I watched Parks & Recreation and Leslie Knope threw a Galentine’s Day party, I knew I had to take-part in that tradition. If you aren’t familiar, the protagonist throws a breakfast party for her friends on February 13th each year, therefore calling it Galentine’s Day. Loving your lady friends and showing them the same love and affection you would your significant other (well, almost the same! ha!)
Here are a few tips on throwing your own Galentine’s Day party for your friends!
Let’s start here, shall we? Brunch is not brunch without Mimosas and although the classic is well, classic it’s best to have a few options. Pineapple juice makes a great mixer with Champagne as does Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Limeade, Cranberry Juice and Grapefruit juice! Pour the juices into bottles or pitchers and line them up on the counter complete with fresh fruit! I also had a few bottles of Rose and White on hand and don’t forget the Bailey’s for a nice Irish coffee when the festivities begin winding down.
Although it is still quite chilly outside, fresh flowers make it feel warm like spring inside! I boquets of Pink Tulips and it tied the room together. I also had white flowers in jars on the kitchen island to make it pop. I bought my boquets at Trader Joe’s for $4.99 each! They even have smaller bunches of flowers for $2.99 so there really is no reason to not Treat yo’ self!
My gal pals love cheese! Goat, Gouda, Cheddar, Brie-put it all out on the table. There are cheese guides galore on the internet, you can find my guide on my first post about throwing a fabulous party here. However, rules schmules when it comes to cheese. If my friends like it that’s enough for me. If there are two types of cheddar, who minds? This time around I went with Pesto Gouda, Toscano dipped in Syrah, Unexpected Cheddar (also from Trader Joe’s) and the classic Brie. Brie gets a little more attention, I warmed in the oven and topped it with candied pecans and a champagne jelly. It was beyond delicious and within minutes-the bowl was clean! Set out some fig jam and crackers and you’re already on your way to happiness.
I had to splurge on my gals and when I was thinking what was decadent and delicious, I thought of Lobster and Truffle Oil. Since it was breakfast, I whipped up some scrambled eggs with lobster and truffle oil. The easiest dish to put together (be sure to add milk to your eggs) and voila-top it with creme fraiche and you have another party, in your mouth.
In the show, waffles are Leslie Knope’s favorite
breakfast food by far. Her and I have that in common. There are few things I love more than a good waffle so I made Lemon Rosemary Waffles with Berry Compote. Delicious! Take your everyday boxed batter (I was on a time-crunch folks!) and add the zest of four-five lemons and a couple springs of chopped rosemary leaves. The result is a divine, light and fluffy waffle with an edge! Top with berries, creme fraiche, maple syrup and a dab of hot sauce and it’s pretty much perfection. To save time in the kitchen, I had the ladies pour their own batter into the waffle iron. It was a fun, interactive Waffle Bar and I think it was a hit!
I may have gone overboard, as I do, and I also made crepes. Light and airy and a breeze to make, I had those on hand incase there was a waffle jam at the iron. For those, I made hollandaise sauce and a mix of mushrooms and leeks to go inside. Crepes are so versatile so you can have any filling you desire! Some friends added their scrambled eggs to theirs and topped it with the hollandaise so anything works!
I wish I would have taken a photo of this but it was devoured within minutes! I made a petite one with homemade caramel sauce and I cannot tell you how delicious it was. If you make your own cream puffs, it will take you a considerable amount of time but if you go store bought and make your own caramel, you can get away with it. I’ll have a recipe on the blog for you soon!
I had the most fun making my playlist for the day. Using Spotify, I included music from all our favorite artists from ‘back in the day’, everything from Hall & Oates to Robyn and The Spice Girls, every now and then there was a guaranteed, “Mmhmm, oh yeah girl this is my jam!” which is something you always want to hear.
So when you create your own Galentine’s Day Fest, remember that all you truly need is a great group of girls to share it with. I have to thank my neighbor-friends for making the party extra special by way of their amazing friendship! I highly recommend throwing your favorite gal pals a brunch or even going out to breakfast as I have done in the past-we often don’t say Thank You to our friends as often as we should so use this fun holiday to show you care!
If you decide to throw your own party, tag your photos #wanderfullifestyle so I can see how it turned out!