Years ago a friend was about to get married.  I, the seasoned veteran bride of a year, was her go-to for questions.  What she wanted to know:  what did I miss from my single days?

Frankly, I think she expected something like “toilet seats that are down,” “choosing my own TV shows,” or “Not sharing the closet.”  My answer then remains the same–sleepovers with my girlfriends.

I am younger than my siblings and spent many years as essentially an only child.  I missed having that brother to pal around with and the sister to share secrets with simply because they were adults doing adult things in other cities. As a result, my parents were pretty tolerant when I wanted to have people over (some may say this was a coping mechanism because I would chat their ears off otherwise). My house was the place where my girlfriends would gather for movies and ice cream, to talk about boys or books or whatever we wanted–usually to the wee hours of the morning.

Typical day at my parent’s house in high school. Best summer ever…summer of 88

In college I chose all-female dorms my first two years, then moved into the sorority house.  57 closets to borrow from and endless late-night gab sessions made it the perfect place for me to live.  We would stay up to watch “Silence of the Lambs” or “Pretty Woman” on the top-loader VCR someone brought from home, and eat greasy popcorn and Late Night Pizza (capitalization intentional.  Still the best pizza I ever had in my life).

I suspect most of us were wearing someone else’s clothes in this photo. I know I am! Circa 1990

I love being a boy mom (I think I’ve mentioned that once or thrice), but the lack of estrogen does, occasionally, affect me.  For example, my own mom asked me the other day if I’d seen “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” I asked her if anyone had supernatural powers in it.  Otherwise, I definitely have NOT seen it.  You know, that sort of thing.  I will go to serious crying chick flicks by myself or with friends, and will make a night of “Bad Moms” ANYTIME.

To me, girlfriends are absolutely necessary.  I am and have been surrounded with smart, funny, strong women friends my whole life.  I learn from them and laugh with them.  We share parenting tips, cheer each others successes, and dry tears when needed.  Many of my friends have endured the utter unthinkable and survived to share their beautiful spirits with those in need.  Women are so resilient and courageous, even when they feel their most frightened.  We are a sisterhood, and I think this year, more than any, gives reason to celebrate the sisterhood!

So back to GALENTINE’S…first coined on the show Parks and Recreation, the fictional holiday lands on February 13th and is a day to celebrate women and our friendships. Though it began as a sitcom substory, Galentine’s has gone mainstream with women picking up the mantle for their own celebrations.

In case you hadn’t seen it yet (insert eye roll), my birthday is close to Valentine’s day.  I’ve taken to calling it (thanks to my niece who named the celebration) “Samentine’s.”  I decided this year to host a couple little celebrations to honor some of the incredible women in my life and to thank them for what they mean to me–my own Galentine’s celebration!

The Fancy Pants Soiree

The Oscars party we attend has the MOST epic and fun cocktail kickoff night.  Hosted at the J Verno Studio in Pittsburgh’s south side, this event has Rita’s Italian ice shooters, samplings from great restaurants, and a Photo booth.  Before the event, I had the ladies over for a pre-game to toast our time together.  Several friends invited THEIR friends for a super crowd of really dynamic women.

dressed up for a night on the town! Pre-gaming. Photo by Nicholas Palermo

Champagne for all! Photo by Nicolas Palermo


Safely transported by Uber (because that is seriously non-negotiable people), we arrived and got silly and enjoyed all the amenities of a really posh night for charity!











Pajamas, Pints, and Prosecco

Not interested in getting dressed up? I FEEL YA ON THAT!!!  Critical to the sleepovers of yore was ice cream–and lots of it.  I had no shame downing my own pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk whilst watching “The Breakfast Club” for the 19th time.

So I decided to get up to some PAJAMMIGANS (trademark pending) with my friends on another day.  Individual pints of ice cream, prosecco, and everyone in there pajamas to watch “Say Anything ” and gab.  People, this fed my soul like you cannot imagine.  Just making the time for our friends to visit with no agenda is such a gift and hard to come by.

ALL the pints ALL the flavors

and hey, it’s GALENTINE’S…bust out the good crystal!



Celebrating girlfriends does NOT need to be fancy, nor even does it require actual pants.  Keep it simple to really ENJOY!







Channeled Carrie Bradshaw throwing pearls on over my jammies…

LITERALLY pajamas! Didn’t believe me?









I guess this is sort of a love letter to my ladies.  You are my tribe and I am ceaselessly grateful for that.  I am an empowered woman because you empower me with your spirit.  I adore the stories and experiences each of you has brought to my life and experience.  Are these silly ideas to thank some friends for their companionship….I hope so!  We need more silliness! To me, days like these are an important way to balance work, parenting, and life.  This is self care at it’s finest!

Keep your circle close and honor it.  Tell your friends you LOVE THEM and CELEBRATE THEM!