New On The Blog

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“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. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

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.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Alina Gersib

7 Tips for Better Sleep


Whether your sleep has gotten off kilter from COVID or you are just looking for some added consistency to your day, having a nighttime routine will prepare your body, mind, and soul for some restorative rest. Most people say only add one new habit at a time. If this is a method that works for you, great, slowly incorporate the tips. However, if you want a total overhaul of your evenings, jump in with two feet and enjoy some well needed sleep.

1. Unplug

When we are on our phones, computers, or watching tv before bed, our brain is perceiving the blue light produced as sunshine. This light confusion is highly detrimental to our circadian rhythm and prevents our bodies from naturally producing melatonin and becoming sleepy after the sun sets. To minimize this affect, I try to avoid screens at least an hour before bed. Most experts recommend limiting exposure two to three hours before bed, which is ideal, but do what you can.

2. Plug Your Phone in, in Another Room

I find it helpful to charge my phone in another room at the beginning of my evening routine. This not only prevents any dings from going off which may interrupt my sleep, but it also keeps me from grabbing my phone first thing in the morning, which I am convinced makes me feel like I did not sleep as well the night before.

3. Brew A Warm Cup of Tea

There is something about the methodical process of preparing a cup of tea that calms my mind quickly. I enjoy selecting a tea, and then sitting and sipping on it while I do my evening journaling and reading.

4. Skin-Care Routine

While my tea is cooling down, I wash, tone, and begin applying various serums to my face. I have finally found clean products that work well with my skin and help me stay hydrated and healthy, and I find that doing them in segments, interspersed with other things, makes them more fun.

5. Curl Up with a Good Book

I enjoy spending a bit of time reading in the evenings. I usually stick to non-fiction, poetry, or short stories as fictional books cause me to become too immersed and stay up later than intended. As I am reading, I will jade roll my face with oils.

6. Briefly Journal and Brain Dump

Spending a few minutes writing gratitude, a thought, or even just lists of things I do not want to forget, tends to help me sleep better. If something is put down on paper my mind can relax and more easily sleep without feeling like I am forgetting something.

7. Stretch and Serums

After reading and writing and once the oils on my face have soaked in, I stretch while applying a few other products and enjoy the sensation of doing something good for both my skin as well as for my muscles and ligaments. Stretching before bed not only causes me to drop into the present moment but it also helps me work out any pain points before laying down for 8 hours.

These are the top things that help me sleep better, but I would love to hear if you have any tips you swear by that are not on the list! I definitely notice a huge difference in the quality of my sleep when I do not follow these steps, and I hope they can help you achieve a far better night’s rest as well.

Alina Gersib