Face Time With Friends at Applebee’s (Giveaway!)

It’s funny how social media has made us closer and yet farther away than ever from our friends and family. Why bother calling and possibly disturbing someone when you can send a text or a tweet? We no longer have to ask, “So, how have you been?” because it’s all spelled out on our friend’s Facebook wall.

I have several friends who live in Columbus, but due to the logistics of work schedules, kids (mine), and being in different parts of the city, we rarely have the chance to get together. Yes, we should probably make more time for it, but we’ve all been guilty of letting other things get in the way.

I was recently invited to learn more about Applebee’s Life is Better Shared campaign. Their message is simple: we all spend a lot of time online, and probably have too much Facebook and not enough face-time with the people we love. It’s all about balance — it’s great to be so connected online, but it’s important to have some offline fun with friends, too. Applebee’s even has their own tumblr with some funny videos to help promote their Girls’ Night Out message. (They have a Girls’ Night Out Goddess – I can’t quite decide what I think of her. You’ll have to watch and decide for yourself.)

I’m no stranger to Applebee’s. It’s a common spot for the occasional family night out. We love their Kids Eat Free Tuesdays, and I really appreciate that the kids’ menu is standard enough to convince my picky eater to eat. (And even though it isn’t an option, they always let her choose a salad as her side.) But I’ve never really been to Applebee’s without the kids, despite seeing their promotions for Happy Hour and Girls’ Night Out.

So a few weeks ago, I decided it was time for a Girls’ Night Out. It also just so happened to be my birthday. I emailed two friends (who were my maid of honor and matron of honor in my wedding) and my sister-in-law and suggested we all have dinner out at Applebee’s. I haven’t had the chance to spend quality time with any of these three ladies in quite awhile.

My girl-power crew got there just at the end of Happy Hour, and the bar was surprisingly full. The vibe was great; the bar area had a mix of men and women of all ages, smiling, socializing and clearly enjoying their night out. It didn’t take long to decide where to start with the menu:

Applebees has great drinks, and I love that I can get a giant sized drink for less than the cost of a tiny drink in a nightclub. Three of us had two drinks before the night was through.

As we munched on appetizers of spinach & artichoke dip and wonton tacos chicken (OMG, I wanted to lick the plate these came on – so good!), the conversation came back quickly. Beyond the Facebook wall updates, we shared more intimate stories of our lives recently, discussing triumphs and frustrations, new places around town we had discovered and the lives of long-time friends.

When our meals arrived, the conversation stopped just long enough to appreciate the food in front of us, and then we began the delicate trade off of eating and talking. I was so glad my kids weren’t there – it took well over 45 minutes to finish our meals because of the non-stop conversation in-between bites. I had the sizzling Asian shrimp & broccoli – a favorite of mine. Lots of crisp veggies, plenty of shrimp, and it really does come out sizzling hot!

Yum!

As the sun set and the bar area became dark, we continued to laugh and commiserate, never short on topics to talk about, one blending into the next with no awkward silences. It felt awesome to spend time with friends in person, sharing a conversation over a meal.

And then, of course, since the waiter heard it was my birthday, the staff brought out a sundae and sang happy birthday to me. (I may have turned a lovely shade of crimson at that point.) Shortly after, I found out that my second drink was picked up by a gentleman at another table since it was my birthday. First time a stranger has ever bought me a drink! Sadly, he left before I had the chance to say thank you.

We finally left about two and a half hours after we arrived and only because everyone had to work the next day and didn’t want to stay out too late. Had time not been an issue, we probably could have entertained ourselves until closing.

I love that social media keeps me so close to my friends, day and night, but there’s something to be said for getting together in person to talk. Without the barrier of technology limitations between us, interactions feel more natural and relaxed. Our night at Applebee’s was a good reminder to unplug every now and then and make the time to share some of our time and our lives with friends face-to-face.

Now WIN some time out for yourself!

When’s the last time you had a Girls’ Night Out? A week ago? A month? A year? Applebee’s and I want to know, and BlogHer and Applebee’s are giving you a chance at a $150 Applebee’s gift card just by leaving your answer to that question in a comment below!

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/16/12 – 8/3/12.
Be sure to visit the Applebee’s Life Is Better Shared page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! Also, check out the Life is Better Shared campaign on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr!

Good luck!

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Comments

  1. Miraculously, I just had a girls’ night out last night.

  2. I had a girls night out last week with my soon-to-be maid of honor and I’ll be having another this weekend!

    Applebees has an awesome happy hour :)

  3. I haven’t had a night out just with the girls in over 9 years!

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  4. I had one last month at book club – we are pretty tame, but it’s a night out without the kids!

  5. Headless Mom says:

    I had 2 of my girlfriends over for a glass of wine last night but that doesn’t really count since it was here. With my husband. And my kids in the other room. Ugh. I’d love the chance to take a few friends for a Girl’s Night Out! Thanks!

  6. Rachael Heiner says:

    My last girls night out was months ago. I have been trying to set one up but everyone’s schedules conflict so much. Soon though! I did get to go to my book club yesterday, we meet once a month, and it’s sort of a girls afternoon/night in. Last night one girl got pretty drunk, so I think it qualifies. Ha.

  7. kellyr78 says:

    My last girls night out was 5+ years ago, but I am having one this weekend.
    KellywcuATyahooDOTcom

  8. kellyr78 says:
  9. Shannon Frederick says:

    It’s been a long time, like several years.

  10. My last girls night out was this amazingly fun time at Applebees with… You! Really, it was so lovely eating and chatting with you girls. I’m ready for another, anytime!!!

  11. Sadly, it’s been a couple of years.
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

  12. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/225404677758525441
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

  13. adriennemcc says:

    My last girls night out was months ago.

  14. LM(Love Muffin) has a Girl’s Night Out about once a month. Me? Not so much. Even though most of my Internet Peeps ARE women, Girl’s Night Out … well … not so much.

    Besides, personally, Girl’s Night Out for ME happens when the woman (or women) I’m with has (or have) gone braless.

  15. AubreyLaine says:

    I last had a girls night about 3 months ago.
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  16. Julia Roberts says:

    At least once a month for dinner/movie and..just hard girls’ lunch this week!

  17. I recently had a whole girls day out – to a wine festival! But we like margaritas too, so yay for Applebees, hehe!

  18. chambanachik says:

    I cannot remember my last night out with friends…maybe 3 or 4 years ago? It’s been far too long!

    chambanachik@gmail.com

  19. i think it was in December and even then several gals bailed on us. I really wish that I had more time with my girlfriends, I keep saying that when the kids are out of the house it will be easier, but in reality something will always keep me from doing this and I need it!

  20. It’s been far too long since I had a girls night out! Love your pics, Christina.

    I love getting together with the girls, chatting, giggling and just being.

    SO fun. I need to organize a girls night soon!

  21. The last time I had a girl’s night out was too many months ago…I think over 6 months ago…so long that I lost track. I can’t wait to plan my next girl’s night out and enjoy some great food at Applebee’s!

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  22. tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/226554910127316992

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  23. Elisabeth says:

    It’s been about a month!

    vandango33 at gmail dot com

  24. Elisabeth says:
  25. We had one this past friday. We like to have nights out at applebee’s too. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  26. Last time I had a girl’s night out was last summer.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  27. a couple nights ago

  28. If a Girls Afternoon Out counts – it was about a year ago.
    bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. LAMusing says:

    Wow, my last girls night out was over 5 years ago! That’s just sad.
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. LAMusing says:
  31. HappyEnchilada says:

    Its been way toooooo long (over a year or more!!)but the last girls night I had my friends and I attended an Indigo Girls concert with dinner and great wine beforehand and some mischievousness afterward!
    amethyst2272 at gmail.com

  32. HappyEnchilada says:
  33. Gina M (crave to save) says:

    tweet–https://twitter.com/CrazyItalian0/status/227757137575673856

    gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

  34. Gina M (crave to save) says:

    Last time I went to a girl’s night out, it was about a year ago and we went to P.F. Changs. It has definitely been a while!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

  35. kimalli1 says:

    My last girl’s night out was about 4 months ago for a friend’s bachelorette party.

  36. Judy B. says:

    It was about 2 months ago.

  37. Judy B. says:
  38. We finally just went out this past weekend to dinner. It had been a really long time before that!

    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

  39. Amy @ A Little Nosh says:

    I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had a Girls Night Out, but next weekend at BlogHer, that’s what I’ll be doing all weekend!

  40. I didn’t have a girls night out in 7 years

    elena150980@yahoo.com

  41. ellen b says:

    so long along I can’t remember :(
    elliebunny at hotmail dot com

  42. ellen b says:
  43. ms-texas says:

    had a girls night out about a month ago – dinner and a movie!

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

  44. ms-texas says:

    i tweeted here:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/229353318416257026

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

  45. nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 says:

    girls night out- what’s that? LOL

    yeah it’s been awhile! at least a year!

  46. nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 says:

    girls night out- what’s that? LOL

    yeah it’s been awhile! at least a year!

  47. nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 says:
  48. nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 says:
  49. It’s been about ten years.

  50. Bluecupcake says:

    I’ve never had a girls night out .I’m a 20 year old single mommy of a 2 year old girl .I dont even have many friends lol .

    xoxo
    fingers & toes crossed
    i’d definitely love a girls night out to distract myself from the issues i got with my daughter’s father .Lets just say i’ve been to hell and back with him .

  51. jenspurg says:
  52. jenspurg says:

    It’s been about 10 months since I had a GNO.
    huntandride@hotmail.com

  53. over a year!
    ohsmiledarling(at)gmail(dot)com

  54. The last time I had a girls’ night out was at least 6 months ago that I couldn’t remember the date. I love this promotion, if I won I can plan to have my next girls’ night out soon and enjoy great food at the Applebee’s.

    ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

  55. I tweeted about this promotion: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/230491823255203841

    ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

  56. I had a girls night out two weeks ago, we went out for dinner and drinks.
    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  57. It’s been over several years ago
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  58. luckynordberg says:

    Mom’s Night out was last week and boy did we need it! With the kids at home, we never have time to get together.

    labfpto@comcast.net

  59. The last time I had a girl’s night out was sometime before I got married…prior to August of 1993. Now we go out as a couple and its always a blast as we share all the same friends both male and female.
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

  60. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/231130621488021504
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

  61. ewhatley says:

    It’s been way too long since we had a girls’ night out – we need to work on that.

    mybeachylife at gmail dot com

  62. i havent had a girls night without the kids in 6 years, yes, correct 6 years…i would sure love to have another…Thanks for a super giveaway!

    My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  63. Tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/anashct3/status/231193847244410880
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  64. Nicole Larsen says:

    The last time was WELL over a year ago!

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

  65. Nicole Larsen says:
  66. OH wow! Last girls night out for me was about 10 years ago before I had my first back surgery. I dont get out often anymore, but it sure is needed!
    landfjacobson @ charter.net

  67. I also tweeted
    https://twitter.com/Ilovemybeagle2/status/231242399135981568
    landfjacobson @ charter.net

  68. i had one in may or june of this year.

    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  69. I’m a working mom, so I cherish the time I get away from home with the girls…..often we just stay in at someone’s house, but I think it would be great to be able to go out and have other people prepare and clean for once!!!It’s been a while since our last time, and we are due!

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