I love having a night in and to be honest, it’s practically the norm for most weekends – especially when the weather is looking a bit worse for wear. Gone are the days when I would go out on the town wearing a dress and heels in the pouring rain – nowadays it’s all about the fluffy pyjamas and odd socks. I guess you could say it’s a little sad, but with savings at the forefront of our mind – having a night in, is really the new going out.
As I’ve mentioned before, we have very little on our doorstep apart from one too many takeaways and a supermarket – which is handy for when we need a kebab but not so great if we just want to walk to t’pub. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some tips on how to enjoy the perfect night in with your other half and loved ones.
First thing’s first, put on your freshly washed, fluffiest pyjamas
Okay so maybe I like to wear my ‘Pri-marni’ fluffy pyjamas even in June, but there’s nothing better than putting on your favourite and most comfiest lounge-wear. Over Christmas, I received a few different types of pyjamas from an incredibly fluffy pair which makes me look like a polar bear, to a pair of stripy penguin ones which are just oh so comfortable, to a beautiful velvet set. Nothing says it’s time to relax than putting on your fluffy pyjamas, bed socks and a dressing gown.
Prepare the feast of all feasts
With the prospect of enjoying a night-in, comes the temptation of a takeaway or just a whole lot of delicious food. Our night-ins usually consist of takeaways from our local Chinese, but sometimes if we are feeling more prepared we’ll save money by going to Asda for one of their delicious and freakishly large pizzas with ALL the toppings and a drizzling of the garlic oil. If we’re feeling a bit fancy, we may opt for an ‘M&S Dine in for Two’ which never fails to impress.
And if we just want to graze on a picnic whilst watching a film, we’ll prepare the feast of all feasts with fresh bread, smokey and continental cheese, salamis and cooked meats, plump tomatoes, sweet peppers, olives and a good bottle of red wine. It can be a bit pricey, but it’s one of my favourite dinners and I could quite happily eat it for a lifetime.
Plump up your couch with comfortable cushions and fleecy throws
One of my favourite items to buy for our apartment is cushions. I went through a phase of buying new sets every couple of months to fit in line with the changing seasons, but have since reigned that in – mainly to help with savings! But if you’re going to have a night in, you need to enjoy it in a comfortable space.
Pick-up or dig out soft cushions and throws to help make your couch or bed that little bit more comfortable. I dress our couch with a huge, fleecy tartan throw from Marks and Spencers, along with a couple of soft cushions – my ultimate favourite is the navy velvet one it is just so soft.
Transform your room into a grotto
In our living room, we have around 8 candles which I love to light every evening. There’s something about the candles and fairy lights which make our living room feel so relaxing. One of the best ways to change the mood of a room is to dim your lights and to light a variety of candles and fairy lights – it’s a pretty simple thing to do, but can help to turn a normal living room into a grotto.
If you want to go one step further (and trust me, I will be doing exactly this), turn your living room or bedroom into a den. A few months ago, we had to sleep in our living room so we brought our mattress into the lounge and looking back, I wish we had taken full advantage of making a little den with a handmade blanket gazebo draped with fairy lights – but then again, there’s still time!
Catch-up with your reading or your favourite programme
Use your night in to catch up with your favourite programmes (hello Friends!) or put on that film you’ve been meaning to watch. Netflix has such a great variety of TV series, films and documentaries which are bound to keep you entertained for an evening if not into the early hours!
If you’ve had enough of Netflix and films, cosy up with a good old book or magazine. I always find it difficult to get back into reading, but I find by reading in a comfortable and relaxing place I enjoy it so much. If I’m not drawn to a fiction book, I love spending time flicking through my Lonely Planet travel guides looking out for a new destination to visit.
If reading isn’t your thing, then why not use the time to organise your photo albums or create a scrapbook?
Dig out your old board games
I love playing board games and despite not being an overly competitive person, there’s something about Monopoly which I just love. If you’re having your friends over for a night in, why not go old school and play some board games?
If Monopoly or board games in general aren’t your thing, have a look online for some online games which you can play through a games console. Or if you’ve got some more time to plan, create a pub style quiz with your friends. They’re bound to bring about a lot of fun and it could lead to a rather memorable night!
Run yourself a relaxing bath and pamper yourself
But if you just want some time to really relax, run yourself a warm bath and drop in a bath bomb for the ultimate relaxing experience. Treat your time in your bathroom as if it was a spa and light some candles, lather yourself with your favourite products, listen to some music or a podcast and just soak it all in!
Related: Nine ways to relax
Now don’t get me wrong, give us the option for a Nando’s and cinema trip and we’ll be there quicker than you can say “peri-peri” as incidentally, we once drove an hour to meet my parents to do exactly this one Saturday evening. And while I do have a list on my phone for fun ideas to do at weekends, sometimes it isn’t always possible and instead the draw of a night-in is harder to resist – something I never thought I would’ve said when I was twenty-three! What are your favourite ways to spend a night-in?