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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

29 Journal Prompts for Growth



These are unprecedented times. In the midst of the uncertainty the world can feel incredibly unfriendly, or it can feel like an opportunity is just on the horizon. We have a choice in the matter. A shift can be made in the way we look at the world and in the way our thoughts exist within our heads. I find that journaling is a powerful tool to assess our mental state and re-establish priorities.

It can feel intimidating to sit down in front of a blank page so here are 29 journal prompts which will help guide your process. Let these be a jumping off point for your own needs. If you feel resistant to the process that is okay, just press in and write. I find the times I least feel like writing are the times I usually need it the most. Once you start you may find a dam is released and you cannot stop. That is great, let things flow. Embrace the process and where you find yourself today.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally?

2. How did you sleep last night? What did you dream about?

3. If you close your eyes, do any parts of your body feel extra sore, painful, or weighty? Write about those areas.

4. What are 3 things you have coming up this week that you are excited about?

5. Write down 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste. Now write down 3 things you are grateful for.

6. When you think of your childhood what is the first memory that pops into your head?

7. What do you love/think is unique about your personality?

8. Do you have any goals for this next year, the next 5? What are they and do you feel like you are taking the steps to accomplish them?

9. Are you happy?

10. What color makes you instantly smile?

11. Write about a special memory you cherish with a family member or friend (bonus, mail it to them, it will brighten their day)

12. What was an activity you loved as a kid? Do you ever do it now, as an adult? If not, what’s holding you back from trying it again?

13. Who was your favorite teacher growing up? What did you appreciate about them?

14. What makes you feel safe and taken care of? How can you get more of this in your life?

15. What is an artform that speaks to you? Have you ever tried creating in that medium? If so, what was the experience like?

16. What were your parents like while you were growing up?

17. What would an ideal weekend look like for you?

18. What is one thing you could do today that would take some stress off your life?

19. When do you feel most at peace? What activities are you doing? Who are you with, or are you alone?

20. What is your favorite thing to eat? Who introduced you to the dish, or what about it do you love so much?

21. How often do you read? What do you like to read?

22. Where is home to you?

23. What activities make your heart come alive?

24. What is something you have always wanted to do? What is keeping you from doing it?

25. When was the last time you felt incredibly loved and seen?

26. What voices come into your head when you are making a decision? What is their tone, are they excited, judgmental, supportive, negative, etc.?

27. What is one thing you would change about yourself? Why do you want it to change? What are you lacking now without it?

28. What is something you have been putting off? Why are you putting it off?

29. Where do you go for support?

I hope these journal prompts can give you inspiration and direction to dig a little deeper with yourself and spur on a time of growth and healing.


Alina Gersib