Sometimes being all dressed up, doing your hair and getting your eyeliner to go on just right is way too much work for a few hours out with your squad. But deciding to stay in doesn't have to mean slogging through a boring night of organizing your room while your friends party it up. Turn your relaxing night indoors into your own party with a good show to watch, yummy snacks to munch on and DIY spa treatments to make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
First, Find a Show (or Movie) to Binge Watch
Whether you can't wait to check out one of Netflix's originals like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or you're taking a trip down memory lane with old episodes of Gilmore Girls, having a good show to binge watch is a definite essential for a good night in. If you access Netflix from your TV or Blu-ray player, then you'll probably be asked to enter an activation code. It does take a couple of extra minutes, which can be annoying when you're itching to start your show, but you'll never have to log in again.
Once Your Show is Cued, Get Comfy
When you're lounging on the couch with the remote in hand, you want to be as comfortable as possible. Stiff jeans just won't do. Create a pair of soft gym shorts with an included free pattern. They're easy enough for even a novice sewer to handle, and they'll quickly become your go-to outfit when you simply can't be bothered with restricting clothes.
Don't Forget the Snacks — Like These Donut Holes
If you have a box of pancake mix sitting in your pantry, then you're on your way to enjoying these delicious cinnamon sugar donut holes. Combine the dry mix with milk, an egg and vanilla extract before frying and coating the batch in cinnamon sugar. While these are best eaten the day of, they'll still be good for the next two days (if they miraculously last that long).
Pause for No Churn Ice Cream
No night-in is complete without a big bowl of ice cream. This no churn version uses simple ingredients, so you'll know exactly what you're eating, scoop after scoop. Customize the flavor with your choice of cookie crumbs, frozen fruit, candy pieces or other mix-ins, and you'll have a big smile on your face when you return to the couch.
A Funfetti Mug Cake for When You Want a Sweet (and Fast) Treat
Now you can have your cake and eat it, too, after only 45 seconds in the microwave. This single-serving mug cake tastes just as good as its full-sized counterpart, and you'll be able to control how much you have without accidentally eating half a cake in one night. Just don't forget to add a dollop of vanilla frosting and a handful of sprinkles before digging in.
And Oven Baked French Fries for a Salty Kick
Now that you've satisfied your sweet tooth, it's time to handle that inevitable salty craving that comes after. Start up the next episode of your show and chop up a few russet potatoes for the best oven baked fries you've ever had. The key to getting them extra crispy without frying is to soak the fries in salt water for at least an hour prior to baking.
You'll Definitely Need a Margarita to Wash it All Down
Planning a night-in means you won't have to deal with calling an Uber or having a designated driver, so drink up! A classic margarita is a drink everyone should know how to make, and practice does make perfect. Ditch the bottled mix and use a combination of fresh lime juice and orange liqueur for a more authentic taste that's not overly sweet.
Pamper Yourself with a Face Mask
If you're going to be hanging around the house, treat yourself to a little spa treatment at the same time. Whether you have dull, dry or sun-damaged skin, you can make a quick face mask with just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your house, like avocado, yogurt and honey.
Give Your Hair Some Love, Too, With a Hot Oil Treatment
Your hair takes a real beating from the curling iron, coloring it or all those dips in the pool. So while you're relaxing on the couch in your face mask, give your hair a little extra love, too. A hot oil treatment is great because it opens your hair's cuticle and allows the product to really get in there. All you need is coconut oil, water and the rest of the night to let the treatment do its thing.
Update Your Phone with the Best Games
Instead of obsessively switching between the same three apps during commercial breaks, fill your phone with this year's coolest games to pass the time. From truly scary settings in Night Terrors to a superhero traveling through space in Momoka, there is something for every type of gamer. Soon you'll actually be looking forward to the commercials so you can get to the next level!