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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my 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 handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

  • 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

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

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