Colleen Reilly and Stephania Stanley first connected in college in Indiana, where they began a tradition that's become something of a phenomenon. For seven years straight, no matter where they were geographically, emotionally, or physically, they've hosted Thursday night dinners.
This event was pretty simple — a bunch of girlfriends getting together to cook, craft, and connect. It's evolved into a meaningful tradition for all of the women involved, and provides a way for the friends to reconnect and spend time together. Last Fall, Thursday night dinners was named the winner in the "Fun" category in Daily Candy's Start Small Go Big Contest.
Since many CasaSugar readers (myself included) have wanted to host more home events in 2011, it seemed like a perfect time to sit down with Colleen and Stephania and chat about how to make Thursday night dinners a reality in your home and circle of friends.
CasaSugar: You've been hosting Thursday night dinners for seven years running. How do you keep the momentum going?
Stephanie Stanley: Thursdays is truly all about cooking, crafting, and girl time. We keep it low-maintenance, affordable, and most importantly, fun. Over the years it has simply become a part of our weekly routines. It's a day of the week that I know I'll be able to catch up, vent, laugh, and cry (usually tears of laughter) with the ladies. We don't worry about being the perfect hostess or that the house is spotlessly clean. It's a great time to experiment with recipes (Colleen and I have definitely bombed a few) and to finish off any crafting projects that are in the works.
Colleen Reilly: I think definitely for those of us who have been participating in Thursdays since college, it's such an ingrained part of our routine that we just can't miss it. When Stephania and I lived together in Brooklyn, for several months our other roommate Caitlin (who's very noncommittal in general) was very skeptical about dedicating every Thursday to hanging out with her girlfriends. She would play it cool and tell us maybe she'd make it, maybe she wouldn't . . . but now she's one of our most dedicated members, and she won't miss a Thursday night dinner. If your group starts feeling unmotivated, be sure to switch up the location of the dinners, try new recipes and craft projects, and realize that some weeks everyone is going to be lazy and you're just going to want to make pita pizzas and sit in your PJs and watch Grey's Anatomy. Just as long as you're being lazy together.
Keep reading for tips on keeping your girls' night cheap, fun, and no fuss!