There's nothing like pulling out your stash of board games to instantaneously take you back to that childhood sleepover, epic cottage rained-out weekend, or frozen winter night spent with your best of friends. I should confess that I grew up as a board game fiend... my friends and I played each day during our limited lunchtime in high school... and I may or may not have gotten "kicked out" of our games club after being a little too loud and aggressive during a game of Pictionary. True (and unfortunate) story!
My friends and I had been yearning for another great games night, when Lady Luck (or in this case Mattel) bestowed upon us a box filled with games and the perfect occasion to get us together to compete against one another once again. The kit was personalized according to my Gameology sign, the Wittian (see the here for details and to learn your own Gameology sign!).
I came home one evening to find this personalized beauty from Mattel waiting for me. Inside was a collection of games, colored party favors, and instructions to throw my own Mattel Game On! Party. And then the Martha Stewart party-planning wheels inside my head began to turn…
I created a Facebook event and sent out the invites to the girls, told them to start training, and carefully planned my menu. With a growing cookbook library and Pinterest easily on-hand for inspiration, it took a while to pick the favorites - but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that my friends enjoy their cheeses.
Recipes: Asparagus & Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart | Apricot & Goat Cheese Amuse-Bouche from Reluctant Entertainer | Feta-Yogurt Dip from Bon Appetit Cookbook | 3-Step Mini Cheesecakes from Kraft (a personal favorite!)
And then suddenly it was Game On! Game Day! I finished my baking, set up the G&T bar, and put on some classic cocktail party music (I highly recommend Cocktail Party Jazz, Martini Swing, or Thanksgiving Dinner Jazz from Songza).
With G&Ts in hand, cocktail plates full of cheesy goodness, and preliminary catch-up conversations taken care of, we started the night with Mad Gab (my personal favorite). The game that tells players “it’s not what you say, it’s what you hear,” it’s the game that elicits the greatest laughs and most aggressive hand-gesturing. It also quickly reveals the thought-processes and streams of consciousness that each friend follows…. Beware the danger of these new insights. In the end, no one could match my 9 phrases in 2 minutes (total Wittian, right here!), but I was starting to worry as one of my friends started getting phrase after phrase correct. Check out the Game On! Facebook page for Mad Gab Monday posts to test your own skills.
UNO is the classic favorite, played at virtually every game night I’ve been to. It’s easy to learn, easy to play, and incredibly satisfying to catch your friends forgetting to say UNO! when they were oh-so-close to winning (sorry, Andrea!).
Although we were starting to fade after many rounds of games, too many rounds of G&Ts, and oodles of gabbing breaks, we were determined to finish the night with Apples to Apples. Each player is dealt a round of cards with things like Frank Lloyd Wright, Elvis, Tattoos, and other nouns or proper nouns. One player gets a card with an adjective, which everyone else has to match with a noun card, facedown. The player with the descriptive card reads through the pile of items to pick the one that best matches. The key to this game is playing to the person with the descriptive card. While Jenn may always pick the most hilariously ironic or inappropriate combination, I go for the classic (Timeless and Frank Sinatra was my final chosen pair - kudos to Lauren for that one). Reading all of the potential pairs out-loud can be a riot, especially after a few rounds of drinks.
In the end, one grand winner of the night walked away with her own mini Ladies Game Night kit – a bottle of gin, a lime, a Phase 10 Dice Game, and a cocktail pitcher (way to go Katherine!).
We laughed loudly, enjoyed our fair share of cocktails, got aggressively competitive during tight rounds, and ended the night promising to make Ladies Game Night a regular event.
Thanks to those that came out and to Mattel for the games!