Monday, February 20, 2017

February Supper Club (& How It All Got Started)

One of the most common questions I'm asked anytime I post about Supper Club is "how does your Supper Club work?" So today I'm going to share about how we got started...
How it All Got Started
I've always been a people gatherer. Bringing people together (especially fun people) is a passion of mine and it always has been. In high school I loved hosting my best guy friends on the football team over for pancakes on game day mornings. In college I led bible studies for my sorority. On winter breaks I hosted annual pasta parties back home with my best high school friends. I've always been the party and vacation planner of all my friend groups -- and I love it.

After graduation I moved to Charlotte where I knew NO ONE -- and so the pursuit began for some solid girlfriends. Lucky for me, I made some pretty incredible friends right away through my new job. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have met my husband! I also joined a bible study and made a few more friends there. And I made friends with their friends. Then Matt and I moved to a new neighborhood and made a few more friends. And so I was feeling pretty good about all these wonderful groups of people in our life and we found ourselves planning vacations with these friends, hosting them over for dinner, going out for drinks together and more.

And then I had a baby.

Shortly after Caroline was born I quickly recognized how much less time I had in my life for hanging with friends. Things changed so much after a little person came along and began monopolizing all my time not spent at work. Then my friends started having babies too and it seemed like getting together was nearly impossible. And honestly, it was a bit lonely. I missed my friends. And I definitely missed late nights of funny, inappropriate conversations over too many glasses of wine. My biggest challenge was making time for each group of friends -- work friends, bible study friends, neighbor friends, etc. It was difficult to keep up with them all regularly and still have time for my family.

Then one night I told Matt I was going to start a Supper Club -- and he loved it and encouraged me to do it. And it's honestly been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. 

So I approached each friend separately and asked if she would be interested in joining a supper club. Through these discussions I learned that I wasn't alone in feeling like regular fellowship with gal pals was certainly missing. And although some of the girls did not know each other well, there was a resounding "YES!" from them all to kick off the club. And so I did...

How It Works
Once I rallied enough girls together we flushed out the organization and the process: 

ORGANIZATION: At the beginning of the year each member selects a month she would like to host Supper Club in her home. We have liked using Sign-Up Genius to plan out the year because it's first come, first serve for grabbing a month and the website automatically sends reminders to the host when her turn is coming up.

We also agreed on the third Thursday of every month at 7 pm so the timing is consistent and the girls could plan accordingly (several of the girls have husbands who travel and need to secure babysitters for the night).

We have 11 girls in the club which leaves one month open each year. The past few years we've used this month for a girls night out. However, this year we're trading our open month in for a girl's beach weekend!

HOSTING: A few weeks before the next Supper Club the hostess sends out an evite so she can collect RSVPs and plan for the night. The fun part about hosting is you can literally do whatever you want -- create an ultimate salad bar, require pajama attire, make a large pot of chili, go fancy, celebrate babies, throw a party under the stars, grab takeout, celebrate birthdays, etc. The only rule is the hostess provides all of the food and each guest brings a bottle of wine. It's that easy!

If you aren't in a Supper Club, don't be afraid to start your own! I can speak for our entire group when I say that this club has been a blessing to each of us. So many friendships have evolved over the years -- from weddings to birthdays, we've celebrated countless events together, welcomed 11 babies (and have a handful more on the way), started a weekly play group for the kids to get together, share a group text that dings all day with mom questions or funny stories, been there for each other in the toughest of times and many of our husbands even get together on a weekly basis for beers and trivia. 

***
February Supper Club
This month I hosted Supper Club! I kept things as simple as possible with a crockpot meal and prepped far in advance because Matt had an event the same night. Thankfully, my bestie Mel came straight from work to help with the kiddos and last minute dinner prep. 
For the tablescape I threw a lightly shimmered tablecloth down and ran a $3 roll of pretty gold dot wrapping paper (from Target dollar spot) down the center of the table. Then I crammed as many gorgeous tulips as I could into 3 of my coffee mugs and set out some gold votives. Easy.
For fun, I sprinkled some fun TableTopics across the table. In typical fashion we were too busy chatting away about everything that we didn't really get through too many of the cards but they were still fun!
 
Sticking with my "easy" theme, I picked up a log of goat cheese, a round of boursin cheese and crackers from Trader Joes for an appetizer.
Caroline desperately wanted to hang "with the ladies" as she kept saying, so I let her party with us through dessert with only a few ear muffs along the way. Once Matt got home he scooped her up and put her to bed. But the very first question she asked when she woke up the next morning was "are the ladies still here?!" 
You're welcome, Lisa.
For dinner I served Sausage & Cheese Tortellini Soup that I slow cooked all day in the crockpot (adding the tortellini and the spinach in the last hour of cooking). Alongside the soup I served fresh bread I picked up from the Teeter and warmed in the oven for a few minutes. Then Mel sliced it for me while I put a screaming toddler to bed. Thanks Mel!
For dessert I whipped up some homemade ice cream sandwiches! I kid. I kid. I unwrapped a box of M&M ice cream sandwiches and arranged them on a plate.
And finally, may I introduce the cutest little new member to our Supper Club? To the right we have 6 days new -- baby Belle! She is pure sugar and enjoyed her first party with the ladies.

As is standard, my Supper Club ran late into the night, many bottles of wine were drank, dinner was devoured and I kicked the last 3 usual suspects out just before 11 pm and collapsed into bed. Another successful Supper Club in the books!

My Previous Supper Club Dinners
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25 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your tips! I'm totally in the "small baby stage" feeling like I need more connection with my girlfriends, sounds like I need to see if they want to start a supper club :)

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  2. Thanks for the info. I've been trying to figure out the details on my own, but now you've given me much more guidance!

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  3. Thanks to your Supper Club blog posts, I started a Supper Club with my girl friends almost 1 year ago! We have 11 girls as well and this club has been such a blessing! We also are in the stage of our life where babies are being born and it's harder to get together, but we know we can always rely on our 1x/month Supper Club to see each other. We always walk away at the end of the evening saying "I needed that!" I love when you share fun ideas from your Supper Clubs - keep them coming. From our Midwest Supper club in Columbus, Ohio to yours, Cheers!

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  4. I just love that you do this. I still feel stuck in trying to keep up with life, but, like you, I really love bringing people together and celebrating. Thanks for the framework though - I'm definitely going to keep this in mind.

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  5. This is excellent! I've been toying with this idea now for well over a year - no joke - I just need to pull the trigger and organize this so I can get it started! Love it! Thanks for sharing! xo

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  6. This is so awesome!! My husband and I do a supper club with one other couple (guess not sure if it's a club with 2 couples lol!) but it's great and we love it! I love how you have such a close group of girlfriends - I would love to do one with girls!

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  7. I love this! It sounds awesome :)

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  8. I've seen your posts before and always wondered how you guys organized this. I love it so much! I'm considering getting some girlfriends together and starting one, too! :)

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  9. We love supper club and we have that group text thing going on too! Maybe sometime we should do a joint supper club night out?!!

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  10. I love this idea so much!! & such a pretty tablescape!!

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  11. I LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing the details!

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  12. I love this idea!! What a great way to just have girl talk and enjoy!! I love the tablescape as well!!

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  13. I love this idea and love being the one who brings friends together. Unfortunately I just moved (so not a lot of friends yet) to the Bay Area and we have a tiny apartment. Maybe some day I can start this!

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  14. I always enjoy your supper club post & have talked to my husband many times about doing a couples supper club. My BIL & SIL did this for many years & it was a great success! However, we currently live the furthest out & I know it wouldn't be easy for everyone. I'm hoping once we move closer to everyone this is something I can start!

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  15. Love this idea! Such a good way to keep in touch with girlfriends, it's so hard once everyone has kids.

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  16. Oh friend, we could be TWINS!!! I am also the planner and hostess in our group of friends and mom friends - hence the reason I started our bookclub (which now includes zero books!) and our supper club too. Ours follows the same principles as yours - we each host a month at our home for bookclub and our supper club choose a restaurant each month. I love these nights for an awesome girly catch up...

    Our December month always includes either a girls night out, weekend away or spa day as a Christmas treat and we exchange gifts too!
    x

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  17. Love this idea!! Thanks for sharing! xx

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  18. This is SUCH a sweet idea and perfect for maintaining friendships when life gets in the way. I wish all of my friends didn't live out of state! And "the ladies!" Ah, little Caroline is so sweet.

    XOXO Rachael
    http://aduchessandablog.blogspot.com/

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  19. Are you Supper Club girls a mix from all of your assorted groups? Or mainly from one group? Love this idea!

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  20. I love this idea!! I've been wanting to ask you basically everything you answered here haha
    what are your rules regarding children though? like your littles were there because it was at your house, and the newborn, but otherwise?

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  21. This looks like so much fun and much needed as we get older and our lives get busier. I'm not the best cook BUT want to start one now!!

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

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  22. This is so fun, I love this idea! I've done bachelor nights and game nights and book club, but always thought about supper club. And thank you for the name - people gatherers - I've always looked for the right word for people like us :).

    Erin, Attentino to Darling
    www.attentiontodarling.com

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  23. Wow! Your table decor looks fab, and this is such a brilliant idea. Looks like you may be the NC version of Sara Lee! Hugs...RO

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  24. Oops! Meant to say Sandra Lee (lol)

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