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The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

10 Ways to Support Yourself



Last week I wrote a blog about 10 Ways to Show up for Friends. In order to fully support our friends, though, we need to feel supported, too. Considering the massive shifts in work and life for millions of people during COVID the overall level of unpredictability has increased dramatically. For some, unpredictability does not bode well for health and wellbeing as it causes stress to spike. To bring just a bit of added peace, here are 10 ideas to give yourself some added support.

1. Surround Yourself – This one can go one of two ways. If you are an extrovert, facetime your friends or meet them for a walk at the park. If you tend to be more introverted grab your coziest blanket and a pile of books.

2. Cook Your Favorite Food – Food nourishes the soul. Is there a dish that you love but have not eaten in a while? Break out the tools you need, play some music while you cook, and enjoy the process.

3. Go on a Walk – A multi-faceted form of stress relief, walking provides low impact exercise as well as a time to process thoughts and enjoy nature.

4. Therapy – Speaking to a certified professional is one of the best ways to give yourself support. Therapy is a helpful tool to identify blind spots, heal past hurts, and receive perspective.

5. Consistent Rest – If you want to function at your highest level it is imperative to cultivate the habit of recuperative rest. With all the content on the internet, it is all too easy to be sucked into a Netflix or HBO binge and next thing you know it’s 1 am! If you go to bed at 10pm one night, 2am the next, and 11pm the following, your body will be scrambling to catch up. This causes you to not only be groggy but also increases irritability and moodiness. Your body craves regularity when it comes to sleep. Aim for having a set time to go to sleep and wake up, and try it for one week to see how you feel.

6. Speak Morning Affirmations – Affirmations are a powerful tool to speak life over yourself and focus your attention on areas of growth. If you do not know where to start I highly recommend using a tool like the Enneagram to help you pinpoint areas of growth. If you already know your Enneagram type here are some affirmations specific to each type.

7. Give Yourself Permission – Do you usually say yes to things even if you do not want to do them? Give yourself permission to say, “No.” This will instantly help if you are feeling excessive stress over your schedule.

8. Find a Fun DIY – There is a great sense of accomplishment that comes with making something yourself. Scour Pinterest and find a diy that catches your eye. Whether it is a painting tutorial, a string wall hanging, or a clay jewelry bowl, you are sure to find a fun project.

9. Complete That One Ever-Looming To-Do – You know what I am talking about. There always seems to be something on the to-do list that you keep putting off. For me it was mending a pair of yoga pants with a hole in the seam. I knew it would only take a few minutes when I sat down to do it, but I put it off for weeks. I finally fixed them the other day and it felt great to cross off my list!

10. Facial – I do not know about you but between stress and wearing a mask my face has not been happy with me lately. Whether you schedule a visit to the spa or just light a candle and wash dishes with a facial mask on at home, your skin will thank you. Give some extra time to taking care of it properly.

I hope these 10 ideas help you create space for yourself and find a bit more rest throughout your day.

Alina Gersib