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Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Alina Gersib

10 Ways to Show Up for Friends



In the past few weeks I have received multiple texts from friends who are hurting and struggling. COVID has not been easy. I wanted to make my friends feel better and so I brainstormed a few ideas to brighten their day.

1. Handwritten Note – There is something special about receiving a handwritten note. The effort and intentionality that goes into it shines through.

2. Communicate with Their Preferred Way in Mind – Some people love talking on the phone, others texting, while others like facetime. Know what their preferred method is and talk to them in that format, even if it may not be your favorite. The priority is to make them feel most comfortable.

3. Just Be There – When someone is going through a difficult time, they may not need advice. Instead just show up and listen. Let them vent, talk, or cry.


4. Plan an Outing – Plan a special outing or even a girl’s trip. Check nearby cities’ COVID guidelines and follow them while you are there. Going out of town will be a way to get friends out of their “norm,” and shaking up a routine is sometimes exactly what is needed if they are feeling stuck.

5. Do Not Assume They Know – Tell them that you love them, miss them, cherish their friendship. Whatever it is, no matter how long you have been friends or how many times you have told them in the past, we all like to be reminded we are important.

6. Care Package – Send them a care package with some of their favorite treats. Chocolates, a bath bomb, and facemask would make for a relaxing evening and time to rejuvenate.


7. Send Flowers – If you live close by leave flowers at their door, or if they live in another city then find a local delivery service to leave their favorite variety.


8. Them First - A childhood psychologist once said, “If you are hugging a child never be the first one to let go, you do not know how much they need it.” However, this rings true for adults, too. Their love language may be physical touch and holding them could be the therapy they need. So, when you hug them, do not be the first to release.

9. Text Them – A simple and easy way to let someone know you are thinking about them is to send a text. It never ceases to brighten my day when someone dear to me texts to say they are thinking of me.

10. Ask – It may not always be possible to supply an answer or solution to someone’s problems. However, the simple act of asking them and letting them know you hear and see their hurts is a way for them to not feel so alone.

-Alina Gersib