Inside Erin Napier’s Surprise Birthday Week, Including Day With Her ‘Gal Pals’

Erin Napier

HGTV/YouTube Erin Napier gets excited on the set of "Home Town"

HGTV‘s Erin Napier has plenty of time to enjoy life before her August 30th birthday, thanks to her husband and “Home Town” co-host Ben, who surprised Erin five days early with a hand-typed list of his “gifts of time” for her: special experiences with family and friends as she turns 37.

In an Instagram post on August 26, 2022, Erin shared photos of a birthday note she received from Ben that read, “Happy birthday to the love of my life. This year, I am giving you the most luxurious gift there is. Time.”

Ben signed the handwritten note with a heart and his nickname, “Big.” And then he typed up a schedule of events for the mom of two to look forward to.

Meet the Friends Who Took Erin For a ‘Gal Pal’ Lunch

Since Erin’s birthday was still days away, she said it wasn’t even on her mind when she woke up to find Ben’s special note.

Knowing fans were probably going to swoon over the incredibly romantic gesture, she wrote, “I should tell you that Ben isn’t perfect. No one is. But he is completely perfect for me. I had a good cry this morning. Husbands: give your wife time for her birthday.”

The “gift of time” schedule that Ben coordinated said it would start right away, with “lunch in Hattiesburg with the gal pals” on August 26. Hours later, Erin posted a photo to her Instagram Stories of her grinning wide with three of her dearest friends in the car, taking the 30-minute drive from their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. She wrote, “lunch ladies!” and added the hashtag #thegalpals.

Here’s the trio of girlfriends who headed to lunch with Erin:

  • Emily Nowell: Erin blogged about singing at her friend Emily’s wedding back in 2010 and included photos of her and Ben at the wedding. Emily and Josh Nowell are one of the couples who partnered with the Napiers to create and run the Laurel Mercantile Co., two retail shops that attract tourists and townspeople in Laurel for their signature collection of housewares, apparel and more.
  • Mallorie Raspberry: Fans of “Home Town” may recognize Mallorie for her occasional appearances on the show as Erin’s best friend. She and her husband are the other couple who helped bring Laurel Mercantile to life. She also runs a popular AirBNB in Laurel, and speaks to Main Street organizations across the U.S. Her own house is so adorable it’s frequently featured in media outlets like Country Living.
  • Aly Saxton Smith: This friend has actually been the longest-standing employee at Laurel Mercantile Co. and now oversees the team there. A blog about the house that the Napiers renovated for her and her husband reveals that over the years, Aly’s worked as the store manager, organizer, product curator, window decorator, office caterer, and an assortment of other titles.

It hasn’t been confirmed where the girlfriends are and enjoyed their precious time, but the Visit Hattiesburg website says The Depot Kitchen & Market is a favorite lunch spot of the Napiers. They even filmed there during their third season of “Home Town.”

Here’s What Else Ben Has Planned for Erin

Ben and Erin Napier

YouTubeBen and Erin Napier, stars of HGTV’s “Home Town”

According to Ben’s birthday week schedule, August 27 was reserved for an “uninterrupted day with me and our girls.” The next day, the schedule said Erin would spend the afternoon at a movie matinee with her mom, who lives just five miles down the road.

On Monday, August 29, Ben wrote that he and Erin would have a lunch date during their work day. That’s extra special because on the August 7 episode of “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” Erin shared that she and Ben typically head home to see their girls over the lunch hour each weekday.

“We’ve made it such that we only do the show from 8 to 5,” Napier told the podcast hosts. “We will not film before that, we will not film after that. We’re Monday to Friday 8 to 5, we come home at lunch, we see them every day.”

On his “gifts of time” note, Ben didn’t spill plans for Erin’s actual birthdate, but did make an promise to have “meals in the freezer for nights when we don’t have enough time.” He also said that in the future, he’ll help Erin make the most of her time by creating “your painting studio, right outside, ready for you.”

Erin went to school for graphic design but also loves to paint her own creations. The Laurel Mercantile Co. website offers a bunch of her watercolor prints for purchase. So Ben may have some tricks up his sleeve to give her a dedicated art studio at home so she doesn’t have to waste time going elsewhere to paint.

Fans are swooning over Ben’s romantic gesture, commenting on Erin’s post to let her know they think he is, indeed, pretty perfect.

One fan even wrote, “Your husband needs to teach other men how to be good husbands. I swear.. you’re so lucky!”

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