It's not old age, a need for interesting activities, or even a lack of motivation — it's just the sheer desire and enjoyment of staying in
. We all feel it sometimes, and hey, these nights at home (alone) often trump the raucous dance-till-dawn moments you have out with your friends — that is, if you're doing it right. So, in order to add some TLC to that "me" time, we put together our editor-approved checklist for the ultimate night in.
No annoying midnight cab rides, no aching feet, and certainly
no hangover (well, that last part is up to you). Click through for our favorite zen accessories to 13 perfectly relaxing evenings at home. It is, after all, where the heart is.
1. "Bourbon. Does that count as a tip? The one I'm really into now is actually a rye." - Andrew Abshere, Director of Product Management
2. "For a night in, being as comfortable as possible is essential. So, I make this insanely good blackened-chicken alfredo for dinner, slip into my Nike track & field sweats, and queue up as much guilty-pleasure TV I can stomach — ideally, a variety pack of Say Yes to the Dress, Toddlers & Tiaras, and Bridezillas." - Holly E. Thomas, Washington D.C. Editor
3. "Finally getting around to organizing my Mac! Download new music and make new work-out, chill-out, mellow playlists on my iTunes. Finally put together online iPhoto albums to not only send around to family and friends, but also create albums to then send to a printer and give as gifts (photos from a friend's wedding in Tuscany that will be sent as part of the wedding gift for example)." - Aisling McDonagh, Director, Key Accounts
4. "My ultimate night-in involves the "This American Life" radio podcast to listen to while cooking (yes, I'm a nerd), a stack of '80s DVDs, ideally featuring Coming To America and Die Hard, and some "rapid roastini" to munch on. This is a Nigella Lawson recipe that puts a slightly posher spin on popcorn, no forks needed. Just buy a bag of gnocchi from the refrigerated section at the grocery store, and, rather, than boiling it, fry it on the skillet with a dollop of olive oil. The trick is to add just a cup or so of the gnocchi at a time, continuously stirring and flipping them over to ensure a nice golden brown (not burnt!) color; estimate about four minutes per side. Once done, plop them in a bowl, sprinkle some sea salt on top, and grate parmesan cheese over it. Serve to friends, and don't get too miffed when it all vanishes within minutes." - Erin Donnelly, London Contributor
Mitcher's Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey, $44.99, available at K&L Wines; Nike Track & Field Vintage Read Women's Cuffed Pants, $63.97, available at Nike; Apple iPhoto, $14.99, available at iTunes; Die Hard, $4.99, available at Amazon.
5. "I'm one of those people who thinks they'd have a much better time at home when he's out, and get a serious case of FOMO when he doesn't go out. It's a terrible condition I don't wish on anyone. When I do decide to stay in, it usually involves embarrassing sweatpants, a bottle of Dearly Beloved (it's not Two Buck Chuck, but it ain't a French delicacy either), popcorn, and a casual viewing of Moulin Rouge (a good tearjerker mixed with over-the-top extravagance gets me every time). Sometimes a face mask comes out to play, too. To curb my FOMO, I leave my phone on silent in my bedroom, and "unplug" as best I can for the night. It usually does the trick till my morning Instagram crawl." - Hayden Manders, editorial assistant
6. "Getting together with friends and making dinner is one of my favorite ways to hang at home. Everyone brings ingredients and we create the meal together. Real Simple's "Pasta with Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Sauce" has been my go-to recipe for years. It's quick, easy, and seriously delicious." - Samantha Yu, editorial assistant
7. "Since my fiancé and I have recently found a new appreciation for staying in on Fridays, our favorite thing to do is make up a platter of cheese (preferably at least three different types), McClure's pickles (cut up all nice and cute), and yummy crackers. His drink of choice is any sort of small-batch whiskey, whereas mine is usually a yummy glass of wine or a Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat Beer (no judgements). Paired with some sort of Netflix marathon and we aren't leaving the couch until Saturday a.m.!" - Caitlin Komora, senior fashion sales manager
8. "More often than I would like to admit, my night involves me wearing pajamas, ordering Chinese food, and watching the same movie — Practical Magic. It was my mom's favorite movie growing up, so as a child I watched it a million times. I can quote the majority of the movie, including the lyrics to the songs (great soundtrack!), and blame it for the disappointment I felt when I realized I wasn't going to get magical powers. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are great, but baby Camilla Belle and Evan Rachel Wood really steal the show for me. It always leaves me inspired, happy and ready for a midnight margarita with my own kooky family. And how can you not love the tag line, 'There's a little witch in every woman?'" - Rebecca Smith, SEO editor
Dearly Beloved Red Blend, $9.99, available at The Wine Spies; McClure's Pickles, $96, available at McClure's Pickles; Practical Magic, $1.99, available at Barnes & Noble.
9. "Oh god, is it lame that all I really need to pass on a bar-hopping night in the L.E.S. is my Netflix account with a bag of Kettle's potato chips and a full bottle of chilled pinot grigio? Is that sad? Okay, what makes a Friday night in thoroughly enjoyable is sharing it with my roomie on the couch with a light '50s rom-com. Pillow Talk, Roman Holiday, or Some Like It Hot will always deliver easy-going laughs to close a rough week. An order of steamed pork buns from your favorite Chinese takeout and some Bandit boxed wine can't hurt." - Sharon Yi, assistant managing editor
10. "I like to buy fresh hydrangea for my living room, light a Diptyque candle, open a bottle of Papapietro wine, and hang out by myself. Sometimes that involves an amazing book; sometimes it involves a solo apartment dance party to Robyn; and sometimes, it involves watching Evening, one of my all-time favorite watch-and-cry-alone movies. But the most important — and indulgent-feeling — part is that this is time spent entirely alone. And it's always amazing." - Neha Gandhi, deputy editor
11. "My best friend and I have a habit of staying in with cheap Chinese takeout, some beer (Sixpoint Resin, if we're being picky), and a bad movie...and I mean bad. Recently, we tracked down Atlantic Rim, a rip-off of the recent and amazing Pacific Rim...If you thought Sharknado was the bar of quality, you haven't seen anything yet. But Bad Movie Night is the most tangible form of comfort that exists." - Chris Beer, video editor
12. "Uh, my idea of a great night is a night in. When the weather cools down (it's sooner than you think), I like nothing more than making boozy mulled cider. You take some fresh ginger, lemon, and bourbon and heat it with fresh apple cider. Couldn't be easier. The cinnamon makes the house smell wonderful, and usually my beau and I will watch a movie or play some Scrabble while enjoying our drinks. It's not a party-animal thing, but it is just the best." - Annie Tomlin, beauty director
13. "Lazy night in must-haves include throwing on a pair of super-soft sweats and any schlubby T-shirt, making Puppy Chow, and either a super-thick fashion magazine or tuning into some throwback '90s movie on cable." - Lisa Dionisio, production editor
Kettle Potato Chips, $9.99, available at Kettle Chips; Roman Holiday, $14.10, available at Amazon; Bandit Pinot Grigio, $7.99, available at Astor Wines; Netflix Membership, $7.99, available at Netflix. Diptyque Figuier Scented Candle, $28, available at Nordstrom.
The Great Gatsby DVD. No explanation needed here — you guys had us at "Leonardo DiCaprio."
The Great Gatsby Blu-ray + DVD+UltraViolet Combo Pack, $26.99, available now.
Headpiece. Instead of a fringed frock, channel your inner Daisy Buchanan with this elaborate headpiece.
Erickson Beamon China Club Headpiece, $423, available at Shopbop.
Coupes. Keep the 1920s' vibe going with vintage-inspired champagne coupes, and don't forget to dramatically nod back to Gatsby during the party scene.
Monique Lhuillier Waterford Champagne Coupes, $125, available at Bloomingdale's.
Insta-cams. Snap candid moments throughout the night. Trust, it'll definitely help you ladies remember it tomorrow.
Instax Mini Instant Cameras, $22 to $140, available at Photojojo.
Face Mask. Get girly with your girls and smear on this oh-so-flattering clay mask that, unlike those paper ones, lets you do the Charleston around the living room.
C.O. Bigelow Power Berry Mask - NO. 1675, $18, available at C.O. Bigelow.
Nail Polish. The movie is longer than two hours, which means you gals have more than enough drying time for a pretty mani/pedi sesh.
Floss Gloss Nail Polish, $8, available at Urban Outfitters.