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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Lisa Lou

12 Tips to Being a Great Guest




This summer is seeing an increase in house guests. We are traveling by car more and making stops along the way to see friends and family we have not visited in years. It is a pleasant change. BUT, if you want to ensure you receive a return invitation, it is a good idea to brush up on the responsibilities we all have when sleeping over.


1. Surprise! Unless it truly is a surprise, I suggest not arriving unannounced. Give your host as much notice as possible. Personally, I offer to stay in a hotel. If they invite you to stay at their home, then you can make that decision.

2. Groceries: Offer to provide food for your weekend stay. Or, agree you will split the cost depending on your relationship with the host. Being an overnight guest should not be a burden. Do what you can to carry your load.


3. Sorry, Colonel and Louie: Our pets are our family! But do not show up at someone’s home with pets unless you have cleared this ahead of time. Not all people are as welcoming to our 4-legged friends. There also might be allergies you are unaware of. My father was deathly allergic to cats.


4. Fish and People Smell after 3 Days: The rule of thumb is 2 nights (3 days), unless you are family or close friends and have been given an extended invitation.


5. Hostess Gift: We tend to think of these for parties, but when staying overnight, it is nice to bring a gift. It can be anything from wine, a cookbook, or maybe a certificate to their favorite restaurant for the hosts to enjoy once you have departed.


6. Make Your Bed: No matter how loved we might be, guests disrupt a routine. Do everything you can to minimize the distraction. This starts with making your bed and keeping a tidy room. Include the bathroom in this, too.


7. Do Not Assume: If you need something, ask before grabbing! Do not rummage through cabinets looking for the item you forgot to pack. This is not your home. Do not take liberties. Are you hot? Do not assume you can adjust the thermostat. There may be a reason the A/C is set to a certain temperature. I am a big believer a hostess should provide guidelines for all house guests, but if she does not, you should ask for the rules of her home. Boundaries make everyone happy!


8. Servant’s Heart: Be self-sufficient. Do not rely on your host to transport you places, buy tickets to the theatre, provide your meals, or serve as your guide. In fact, if they are providing you a place to stay, I think the nice thing to do is for you to take on the role of hostess. If your friend has small children, offer to babysit them one day so she can have a break outside the home. Help her clean around the house or do some of her daily chores. Think of ways to make your stay enjoyable.


9. Be Invisible: Although you are a welcomed guest, everyone needs a little down time. In our family, after lunch seemed to be the time we would head to our rooms for a little R&R. This allowed us time to rest, to clean up for the evening, and rejoin the group refreshed before dinner.


10. Departing: Ask the hostess what she would like you to do with your bedroom upon departing. I ask my guests to strip the sheets and put them, along with the bath towels, in the utility room.


11. Thank You: A handwritten note is in order once you return home. Showing gratitude never goes out of style.


12. Bonus Points: Let your hosts relax in another room with a glass of wine while you prepare dinner. What a treat! If you can accomplish all twelve of these points, your friends will be begging you to come back again!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou