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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 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