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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

7 Daily Mental Hygiene Habits



We take showers, wash our hands, and use deodorant, but a lot of us let stress, anxiety, and fear rule our lives because we do not take the time to keep our minds clean. If you are trying to keep yourself on a healthy and happy track it is crucial to have daily mental hygiene habits. It is far easier to put up protective barriers and prevent a negative spiral from happening than it is to crawl out of a negative spiral mid-storm. Here are 7 ways that you can assist your mental state by taking care of things before they escalate.

1. Worry on Paper – Our brains are fast to worry. They identify the issue, multiply the issue, and then multiply the multiples of the issue! What started out as a small worry quickly spirals into the red zone of worst-case scenario. In order to stop the spiral in its tracks, it is important to not let your brain worry itself into a pit in the first place. Next time you feel a worry rising in your mind, grab a notebook or your notes app on your phone and write it down. The act of writing forces you to slow down and look at the initial issue without all the amplified projections filling your head as well. If you are able to stop the worry from ballooning, you will be in a far clearer headspace.

2. Set Boundaries – A huge trigger affecting brain overload is constantly saying yes or going along with things that you do not want to do. When we do not speak our needs in a given moment we can quickly fall into resentment or frustration over a situation. These feelings are not helpful in achieving a relaxed state of mind, so do yourself a favor and set clear boundaries around your time.

3. Sleep Consistently – A fundamental piece of the puzzle, sleep quality dramatically affects your relationship with the world in every aspect from immune health to mood. In order to receive the best rest, aim to go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time each night, even on the weekends.

4. Flex Time – Take a few moments of your day, I like to do it at the end of the day but do it whenever works best for you, to sit with a journal and say whatever needs to come out. Some days I doodle, others I write poetry, and on others, prayers. Take a few minutes to give your brain space to decompress in whatever way it needs. If you are constantly going without stopping to check in on your thoughts, they have the potential of stewing and building into anxiety.

5. Work Out – I am a huge believer in the benefit of exercise. Whether you walk, lift, or do a HIIT workout, move some way every day. Exercise not only produces endorphins, which make you feel great, but it is a fantastic way to distance yourself from your worries. It is difficult to focus on any other problems when you are concentrating on the weights in your hands or on the next step of your trail.

6. Quiet Moments–Even if I do not have time for anything else in my usual morning routine, what I find most beneficial to my day is taking 5 or 10 minutes to pray or meditate first thing. I like taking these few minutes to reset and be grateful as it sets my mind on a better trajectory for the rest of the day.

7. Eat Good Food – If you are anything like me, food massively impacts your mood and disposition towards the world. “Hangry” is a common term in my vocabulary. To quell this, I always keep a healthy bar on me. Not only that but I try to eat a whole foods diet and avoid things I know do not leave me feeling great. As delicious as fries and a milkshake are, all I want to do is sleep after consuming them. They are not the ideal building block for a clear head. If you know certain foods trigger a negative reaction for you, or you become pessimistic if you go too long between meals, be proactive and prevent these situations from occurring.

The more safety’s you can put in place to protect from negativity causing situations, the better. Whether it is packing a protein bar in your purse or waking up at the same time each day, small changes can make a huge difference on how you feel mentally. Find what works for you and try to incorporate them daily to help keep your mental state in tip top shape!

Alina Gersib