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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

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