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Tab’s Tips for Hosting a Girls’ Night In Dinner and Pampering

Most of my ladies are at a phase of life when they’d rather enjoy a night in than a night out. I love hosting Friday night dinners so I decided to put on a little girls’ night in and thought I’d share some tips with you. It evolved over the course of the week into a lime-themed pampering night and everyone raved about it so here are Tab’s Tips for hosting a girls night in.

Set a pretty table.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate but place mats, white dishes and flowers are no-brainers. I had pretty linen napkins and napkin rings, too–so why not?? I thought they were summery! A pretty table says, “I prepared for you” and I love that.

Virtually everything you see here was purchased secondhand including the table cloth, napkins and plates! 

Hosting a girls' night in on a budget. Thrifted linens and plates. Tabitha Dumas

Nothing fancy but it made the evening a little more special. It looks even better with the glasses and food.

Hosting a girls' night in on a budget. Thrifted linens and plates. Tabitha Dumas

Plan your menu.

The food was my main consideration. I invited some hard-working ladies and wanted to give them a yummy and healthy meal THEY didn’t have to cook!

For the last girls’ dinner I hosted, I served a simple taco soup and toppings and my friends brought fruit salad and dessert. This time it was reaching 100 degrees in Phoenix so I wanted something…cooler. A Pinterest search on taco wraps yielded a Whole 30 version served on lettuce that sounded fresh and flavorful so I went with it! The fruit salsa was incredibly flavorful and the colors were so pretty on our plates! Get the Whole 30 Dinner Tacos with Mango Lime Salsa recipe from Paleo Gluten Free here.

How about that pretty food? I made sure to have extra sauce and salsa on the table and we gobbled it up!

Hosting a girls' night in. Whole 30 taco wraps with mango lime salsa Tabitha Dumas

Cilantro lime rice and mango lime salsa.

Hosting a girls' night dinner and pampering. Cilantro lime rice and mango lime salsa. Tabitha Dumas

Avocado lime sauce, purple cabbage and baby heirloom tomatoes (from Trader Joe’s) to jazz up our tacos! 

Hosting a girls' night dinner and pampering girls' night in avocado lime sauce, heirloom tomatoes and purple cabbage Tabitha Dumas

In thinking about side dishes for tacos, the obvious choice was rice and beans. To simplify things, I went with my usual seasoned black beans straight out of the can (a little cumin added is a good idea–garlic would be a nice addition, too). For the rice, I wanted something similar to what they serve at Chipotle so I searched cilantro rice and found this cilantro lime rice version that I thought would pair nicely with the lime in the salsa and sauce and I was right! Get the recipe from Budget Bites here.

My pretty plate. Look at all those colors! 

Hosting a girls' night in. Whole 30 taco wraps with mango lime salsa Tabitha Dumas

I also wanted to offer chicken so I made a simple shredded chicken in the crock pot that fed all the ladies, plus my hubby and I all weekend! Soooo easy. I’ll be doing these a lot over the summer! from Eating on a Dime here.

My ladies brought beverages–we had a “Faux-jitos” (mojitos sans rum) and a sangria (pictured below) made with alcohol-free red wine, plus a choice of soda or water.

My beautiful friend Karen pouring herself some sangria. 

Hosting a girls' night in. Allow your guests to bring beverages. Tabitha Dumas

Play a game.

We played a dice game called “Left, Right, Center” I’d played at a girls’ night the week prior and I used the white roses centerpiece as the prize. The ladies loved it! Here it is on Amazon. My kids had a blast playing it for quarters and candy, too!

DIY your pampering treatments.

Once I had the menu nailed down I turned to the pampering portion and with all the lime we were eating, I figured why not use lime essential oil for a relaxing foot soak?? This recipe was super simple to put together and I made a double batch so they could all take some home in these cute glass tubes from Amazon. I added a little peppermint essential oil, too, just for the cooling factor. Lime foot soak from Kelly Leigh Creates. The bins we used were just dish pans from Dollar Tree.

The glass tubes held the lime foot soak all the ladies took home. 

Hosting a girls' night in on a budget. Thrifted linens and plates. Tabitha Dumas

I also whipped up a coconut lime scrub and placed it in the guest bathroom for everyone to enjoy. Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub from Amber Oliver. I think it’s a fun surprise on the bathroom sink. It left our hands soft and moisturized.

I also diffused “Happy Place,” a blend of lime, sweet orange and peppermint essential oils and it was lovely. I get my oils from Eden’s Garden.

Look at all these fun options for lime essential oil blends! 

Hosting a girls' night in. Lime diffuser blend Tabitha Dumas
I couldn’t track down the source but I’ll keep trying!

Keep dessert simple.

I didn’t get any pictures but when the guest I assigned to bring dessert showed up with wine (ha!), I whipped up gluten free brownies from Trader Joe’s with strawberries and decaf coffee. I served everyone dessert while they were soaking their feet!

Ask your guests to contribute.

As mentioned, everyone brought something whether a beverage, chips and salsa or coffee creamer. Next time I’ll delegate even more…and probably eat off of more paper products. The dishes we produced were impressive…and our dishwasher is our son!

Luanne brought a selection of sodas plus water, plus the yellow daisies you see on the counter.

Hosting a girls' night in. Allow your guests to bring beverages. Tabitha Dumas

Allow a theme to emerge.

The summer/lime theme emerged as the planning was solidified and that worked out great! Even my table linens had the lime green. Plus I found lime paper plates at Micheal’s for serving the chips and salsa and dessert. To see, smell AND taste the lime was fun.

Good food, plenty of opportunity for conversation and some pampering are all you need for a fun and relaxing girls night in! Holler if you have questions and let me know if you host one of your own! 

Hosting a Girls' Night In TabithaDumas.com Tabitha Dumas phoenix image consultant

Hosting a Girls' Night In TabithaDumas.com Tabitha Dumas phoenix image consultant

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About Tabitha Dumas

Seeing women showing UP to their life authentically and confidently--THAT is what excites me. I am a strategist, bringer of the fun, trail blazer and agent of encouragement offering creative and effective strategies to help women elevate their image and expand their influence. I'm also a magazine junkie, dedicated wife, fun-loving mama, bargain shopper and story teller trying to use my powers for good in this crazy world. I love my life!
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