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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 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