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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

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

3 Tasty Coffee Substitutes

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages around the world. From the ritual of preparing the brew to the caffeine kick in the morning, it is popular for a good reason. Though I love coffee, some mornings my body does not feel up to the highly caffeinated beverage. If you ever have issues with the acid in the drink or dislike the jitters that can accompany the brew, look no further than these three concoctions that are delicious without the negative side effects.

Creamy Matcha Latte

Matcha is my go-to morning pick me up. There is a plethora of health benefits to the powdered green tea leaves. I love the flavor of matcha and find that the caffeine does not cause me to crash or have jitters. I like mine best with oat milk but you can substitute any variety of milk. I am currently adding in lions mane mushroom powder which supports cognitive function. However, I have used ashwagandha powder and reishi powder in the past and reishi is my favorite. I love adding adaptogens into my drinks to give my body some added support.


*1/2 cup (ish) of milk

*1 cup of hot water

*1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder

*1/4 teaspoon of lions mane powder

*1 scoop collagen peptides


*Add water into kettle to heat

*Pour milk into cup and microwave for 30 seconds

*Add all remaining ingredients to milk and pour in hot water, stir with milk frother

Black Tea and Milk

This recipe is super simple but incredibly delicious. I use either an Assam Tea, Chai Tea, or Earl Grey. Mix it up and add in collagen, cinnamon, honey, or turmeric. This tea is a blank canvas that is as tasty alone as it is with add-ins.


*1 teaspoon loose-leaf tea (or 1-2 sachets)

*Splash of milk


*Boil water

*Steep tea

*Add splash of milk

Golden Milk Latte

If you want something creamy and caffeine free, this latte is a great choice. Anti-inflammatory turmeric and healing collagen peptides both provide extra support for your joints at the start of the day. I love adding in a scoop of butter to get some healthy fats. This drink is also great for sipping in the evening.


*1/2 cup of oat milk

*1/2 cup of hot water

*1 teaspoon of Golden Milk powder

*1 scoop of collagen peptides

*scoop of butter (add however much you like, I slice a little chunk off)


*Boil water

*Heat milk for 30 seconds in the microwave

*Add in golden milk powder, collagen peptides, scoop of butter, and hot water

*Let butter melt and then stir with milk frother

I hope you enjoy these morning coffee alternates. Dress them up anyway you want and most importantly have fun experimenting in the kitchen!

Alina Gersib