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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

7 Simple Practices to Connect with God on Busy Days


Whether it’s rushing from work to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store, because all you have in the fridge is a sad apple, eggs and some questionable greens… most days seem to skew more towards busyness than peace. During Covid-19 your day to day life may have slowed down. However, now that things are opening up again and life is finding a “new normal” it will be all too easy to slip back into old patterns of busyness. Below are 7 simple practices for you to try that will create space to connect with God on even the busiest of days.

1. Set Your Intentions Each Morning

Your attention will go towards your intentions. At the start of each week I try to roughly plan out the tasks I want (or need) to get done during the week. I do not like assigning certain items to specific days, because some days I may not feel up to the task assigned. Instead what I’ve found to work best is to take it one day at a time. In the morning as you’re waking up, assess how you feel and think about your day. What do you want to cross off your weekly list, today?

Do you want to hit the gym, try that new recipe, vacuum the house? If you plan to tackle a few items each day, your list of to-dos will keep shrinking and you won’t feel as stressed. This frees up your mind to not chatter at you over tasks that need to get done and instead allows you to go about your day knowing everything will be accomplished.

2. Find Quiet Places to Connect with God

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Mark 1:35

Over and over again in the New Testament Jesus goes off by himself to pray. He knew that his energy, guidance, and peace would come from connecting with God individually. If you aren’t taking the time to recharge from the ultimate source of life, then you will be filled up by counterfeit sources that will constantly leave you searching for more.

There’s something sacred and special about sitting with God. Whether you’re praying or simply appreciating the world around you. Find a pocket of time in your day to reconnect, even if it’s just for five minutes.

3. Take A Few Minutes to Pause and Reset

After a day of work, it can be all too easy to zone out on your drive home, rush to get inside, and just settle onto the couch to scroll on your phone. Instead of mindlessly going about these tasks, break up the pace by intentionally taking a moment after you park (especially if you just finished a commute in Houston) to catch your breath. Slow down for a few minutes and revisit the intentions you set for the day. It’s far easier to stick to your intentions if you give yourself a moment to re-center after work. Not only that but by taking a moment to yourself before going inside to your spouse or roommates, you can sort through your emotions from the day and only bring the good into your home.

4. Slow Down While You Walk

If you’re anything like me, it’s all too easy to get caught up on the destination and miss out on what’s happening right in front of your nose. The phrase “stop and smell the roses,” is spot on. You’ll be astonished how much beauty jumps out at you if you slow down your pace as you’re walking.

5. Gratitude

There’s nothing quite like showing appreciation to set your mind on things above. When we pull ourselves out of our moment and give appreciation for the things around us or in our lives we realize the blessings that exist. Even during difficult seasons, there is always something to be grateful for. I have found that journaling or speaking out loud the things I’m thankful for makes them even more powerful.

6. Give someone a compliment

Nothing connects me to my humanity and to God quite like giving another person a compliment. When we slow down and take the time to really look at someone else, we see them with eyes of wonder. Speak that wonder into their life and you’ll be surprised about how good it makes you feel, too.

7. Stretch Your Body

We all have beautiful, strong, capable bodies that deserve some extra attention after, or during, a hectic day. Take a moment, even if it’s just as you’re sitting in your car at a red light, to stretch your body. I love activities like yoga, swimming, and stretching that make me appreciate the body I was given and connect me to my creator.

These are some simple ways I’ve found that help ground and reconnect me to God on busy days. Try them out and see what works for you. Above all else, remember that no matter what the day in front of you looks like, breathe deep, you can do it!