New On The Blog

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. 

  • Alina Gersib

6 Ways to Exercise for Mind, Body, and Spirit



Exercise can bring with it a slew of viewpoints from all over the map, providing advice on everything from the best way to run to how “everyone” should do HIIT workouts. In this blog I want to share my experience with exercise and six ideas for how to shift exercise from a practice based upon physical performance to one which incorporates the spiritual and mental aspects of movement.

My relationship with exercise has taken on many different forms over the years. Growing up I was constantly competing in basketball tournaments, performing ballet, or racing at swim meets. As I got a bit older, I put my emphasis on swimming and ended up competing in college for a few years before a shoulder surgery. I viewed practices and weight sessions in a highly competitive mindset, as things to accomplish and mental barriers to break through.

After I stopped swimming in college, I continued to exercise but it was more from a sense of routine. It was towards the end of college that I finally began to look at exercise not as something to simply “get done” but as a crucial piece of my overall wellness. This shift of perspective changed my relationship with working out and also with myself. It made me realize that working out does not always need to be a killer session in the gym. Though I love workouts that push me mentally and physically, some days I do not feel up to an intense workout. With that said here are six ideas for how you can move your body while also cultivating your mind and spirit in a setting outside of a traditional “workout.”

1. Meet a Friend for a Walk – I love catching up with friends during a walk. I am the type of person that can get fidgety sitting for long periods of time, so I prefer going on a walk versus meeting at a coffee shop. Whether you walk around a neighborhood, park, or shopping area, walking with a friend is a great way to bond while also getting a dose of movement.

2. Dance Around Your House – PreCOVID I loved going to salsa clubs to dance all night! Now a days, I enjoy dancing around my apartment to whatever music I am in the mood for. Whether by myself while cooking dinner or with friends around the living room, dance is a great way to connect to your body.

3. Yoga – With a wide variety of approaches and many schools of thought, you can take all sorts of approaches to yoga. From cardio infused flows to more stretching friendly practices. There is something to suit everyone.

4. Go on a Hike – There is nothing quite like going on a hike and enjoying nature. I love hiking as a way to connect to my body and connect to the natural world around me. Not only that but walking on uneven ground is the best place to build our kinesthetic awareness through activating all of the small muscles needed for balance. If you live in Houston here are 10 great parks with trails, and if you need help finding trails in your area, “trailforks” is a great app that shows paths all around the country.


5. Clean Your House – Chores like changing sheets, rearranging furniture, or vacuuming all work your muscles in small ways and have the benefit of making a clean environment. As the adage goes, a clean space = a clean mind.

6. Walk or Bike When Possible – If you live in an area which allows you to walk or bike to work, school, or the grocery store, do it! You will benefit physically from the movement, mentally from time outside, and spiritually from slowing down. Not only that but the less time spent driving, the better.

I hope these six ideas can spur you to view exercise not as simply a task to get done but as a way to add a little more movement into our life whenever we get the chance.

Alina Gersib