Friday evenings are my favorite time of the week. This used to be because it meant putting on a hot outfit, whipping up some cocktails, and getting ready to wreak havoc (more or less) at some local bars with friends. These days I’ve calmed down quite a bit, and almost always look forward to a Friday night in at home with my husband and pups.
There’s nothing better to me than a cozy night ahead, with a fresh queue of Netflix waiting after a long week of commuting and work responsibilities. But sometimes this can get monotonous, and too often I can end up falling asleep on the couch too early to even enjoy the evening! Maybe this thought alone drives you to go out, but you’re really trying to cut back and save some money. Without leaving the house and spending money, these are my favorite ways to enjoy a Friday night at home!
Tidy Up Your Home. Cleaning and fun? I must be confused. But no, I’m not! I’ve actually found that cleaning and tidying up can be a great way to relieve stress, and that’s something I’m always in need of. Not only is the act of cleaning itself cathartic, but the absence of messes afterwards play a vital role in reducing my stress levels. You know when you wake up to a dirty pile of dishes in the sink and a pile of laundry taunting you in the corner? Just imagine how much better it will feel when you wake up on Saturday morning to a clean kitchen, just waiting for you to scramble eggs in tidy peace. Knocking some chores out on Friday when you’re staying home can help you enjoy the weekend a little more fully, especially if you’ve got a busy one ahead. And there’s no shame in fueling the cleaning with some wine!
Get Your Sweat On. Another way I love to ease my anxieties and let go of some stress is by getting in a really great workout. It allows my mind to focus on something other than all of my daily worries, and scientifically it releases those endorphins we’re always after. Even if exercise is the last thing on your mind, give it a try on an open Friday night, and relish in the way you feel after you’ve finished. There are no limits or rules on what kind of workout you do! Try an at home yoga video on YouTube to keep it more relaxed, or kick it up with a Fitness Blender video focusing on intense cardio. I tend to lean more towards the intense workouts, mostly because I get too bored too easily and abandon the workout all together. A quick and effective workout I find myself coming back to is running sprints on the treadmill for 20 minutes with a 5 minute warm-up. Simply run as fast as you can for anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute, and then walk for recover for 1 full minute. Repeat this for 20 minutes, cool down, and done! If you have a gym you can head to, a bonus about a Friday night workout is that it’s likely to be emptier than most other days and times.
Light some candles and turn on some music. I know, how cheesy right? Maybe so, but also so fun. A few weeks ago, Levi (husband for future reference) and I found ourselves dancing around the living room to Motley Crue, Shania Twain, and Britney Spears just to name a few (bet you can guess which picks were mine). We popped a bottle of champagne, lit some candles, and just let ourselves relax. It was a great alternative to just turning the TV on when you’re feeling burnt out on binge watching (but really, who is ever actually sick of that?). The candles lend to such a nice ambiance, with their warm glow and delicious scent (my favorite linked here: volcano blue from Nordstrom), and the champagne, well that doesn’t need an explanation does it? I did switch to La Croix after a glass or two so that I’d be able to make it to my Saturday morning workout! We also made a point to only use our phones for the music, and just focus on enjoying each other’s company.
Read a book, also with candles. Can you see a theme here? I love candles. And I also love books! Maybe dancing in the living room isn’t your style, or maybe you’re looking for a solo activity (although you can ALWAYS dance in the living room solo). Reading is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and escape, especially with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea . My favorite book genre is psychological thrillers, I can never get enough of them. Murder, dark secrets, plot twists, I love it all! Some of my favorites include Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Good Girl and Pretty Baby, both by Mary Kubica, and The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. That’s just to get you started. I’ll do a more expansive post on book reviews at a later date! I would highly recommend putting your phone in a different room on silent, so that you can really unplug and get lost in your book of choice.
Skip the takeout, make your own dinner. Friday nights are typically my pizza night. Cheese, bread, loaded toppings, and I don’t have to leave the house? Perfect. But lately I’ve been trying to practice my healthy habits on the weekends, instead of exclusively during the week. Pair this with also looking to save more money, and I’ve found myself cooking my own dinners when the weekends come around. This also makes for a fun a date night, if you’re looking for one. While Levi and I are big Uber Eats customers, we really enjoy the time spent when we can cook together. You might be thinking, “But I’m not a cook!” and I hear you, but give it a try! One of my favorite places to find easy, healthy recipes is #broccyourbody blog . Created by Carissa Stanton, she often finds most of her ingredients at Trader Joes, which I love because this is where I do the majority of my grocery shopping, and all of her recipes are delicious, fulfilling, and healthy! Some of my favorite recipes include her Sweet Potato Nachos, Chicken and Lentil Curry, and Veggie Fried Rice. I highly recommend checking her out on Instagram (@broccyourbody) for some foodie inspo! Cooking with a glass of wine and my favorite tunes is another way I love to wind down and relax, and it soothes me into a good mood. To make it feel a little fancy, I like to set the table (our coffee table that is) with the fancy plates, and, you guessed, some candles.
Have an at home spa night. This classic sleepover activity is just as fun, if not more so, as an adult. I love a long hot bath with a Lush bath bomb, a soothing face mask, and an at home manicure. While the tub is filling up, prep a good playlist, a glass of wine, and light a candle (really, I light them for everything). Prep your manicure tools, a face mask, and have a robe and slippers waiting. My manicure tools simply include clippers, a nail file, my favorite polish, and a luxe hand cream. I’ll leave the rest to the professionals! My favorite face masks are a purifying clay mask, or a plain Greek yogurt mask, made simply from scooping full fat Greek yogurt straight from the container onto my clean face.
How do you like to spend your Friday nights? Are you more of a homebody or out on the town type of gal (or guy!)? Thank you so much for reading, and enjoy your Friday night!