Nice article. Under your Whine and Dine section, you mentioned sending out an Evite. Try http://www.whoozin.com instead. It saves you the trouble of doing an Evite for every event. You could set up Whoozin to send out email invitations on a recurring basis. It's easy to use and its free without all the ads everywhere.
The holidays are officially over and 2012 has begun! While kicking off a new year can be invigorating, many of us find ourselves missing the celebratory mood, busy schedule, and constant company we enjoyed during the holidays.
But if your social calendar is feeling a little empty, you can change that. Grab some friends with common interests and start a group that gets together every week or month. Need some inspiration? Check out these four ideas to keep you in touch with your pals, engaged in your hobbies, and always looking forward to the next event.
Whine & Dine
If you’re missing the tasty indulgences of the holiday season, why not bring a little back? Gather your girlfriends and invite them to join you for a “Whine and Dine”—an evening full of delicious food, flowing wine (or other libations), and glorious girl talk.
Make a roster and have everyone to meet for dinner once a month on a consistent date—like the 15th or the second Thursday—to encourage regular attendance. Each time, pick a different “host,” who will choose the place and time and send out an Evite with the details.
To add a little spin, have each host pick a conversation topic—like romantic moments, pet peeves, or in-law horror stories—that will encourage fodder and laughter. What are friends for if not fun, support, and a little whining?
And what if you’ve had enough holiday indulgence? If you’ve made the commitment to become more active in 2012, get a group of like-minded buddies together for some fitness fun (and some personal motivation). You can build the schedule around kickboxing, yoga, or dance classes, or plan bike rides or tennis matches after work.
Or, if you aren’t set on a specific style of exercise, have a different person host each week—and she can choose the activity and location, or even lead a lesson! For the best turnout, keep the day and time relatively consistent.
Play, Play, Play
If you want to spend more time with your kids (or are just looking for ways to get them out of the house), start a weekly playgroup with other moms and have a little fun of your own. The best playgroups consist of kids within a year of each other in age—not only will they be interested in the same things, but their moms will be going through the same trials and tribulations that you are. It’s a great way to build camaraderie with other women, share stories, learn from each other, and sometimes, just vent!
If you don’t know many other moms in your area, find existing groups or start a new group on Meetup. And if you don’t have the flexibility for weekday playgroups, that’s OK—try an evening or Saturday group with other working moms.
Read Between the Lines
Yes, it’s been done before, but hey, if you like to read and chat, stick with what works and start a monthly book club. For a different spin, decide on a specific genre—chick lit, travel, or mystery—or pick several books by the same author.
Or, if reading isn’t your thing, form a show club and meet weekly to watch Grey’s, Gossip Girl, or Revenge. Ask other members to bring a bottle of wine, appetizer, or dessert and a discussion topic. Start the club by actually discussing the book or show, then let the conversation to digress to whatever comes up!
Of course, this list is just a sampling. You can form a group around just about anything you’re interested in—cooking, jogging, clothing swaps, whatever! The idea is to have fun, enjoy your hobbies, spend time with your friends, and above all, to have something you can consistently look forward to. Let’s be honest, in January, that’s exactly what we need!