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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“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. 

  • Lisa Lou

7 Tips to Become a Gracious Gift Receiver

Updated: Dec 29, 2020




People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.


1. Open the Card First: If you receive a gift that has a card attached, always read the card first. This shows you are more interested in your relationship with the gift giver than the material item inside.


2. Announce the Name of the Gift Giver: If you are opening presents in a group, for example at a wedding shower, then announce who the gift is from. If they write a personal note on the card, you should keep this private.


3. Say Thank You: No matter how much you like or dislike the gift, always give a big thank you! Find something nice you can say about the gift. “I love this color! Thank you for thinking of me.”


4. Two of the Same Kind: If you are in a group, and you receive two identical gifts, make each giver feel comfortable by saying, “You both have great taste!” Then quickly move on to the next gift. Do not discuss in front of everyone how you can return one or exchange the other. This can be handled later. These things happen, and there is no reason to make anyone feel awkward.


5. Keep it Packaged: When opening gifts in a group, do not waste other people’s time by taking presents out of their manufacturing packages. If it is little Johnny’s turn to open a Christmas present in front of the family, and he starts taking all the parts from his new toy out of the package, then everyone must wait for him to finish. Enjoying your new gift should wait until all presents have been unwrapped.


6. Open in Their Presence: When someone brings you a gift, open it in their presence. Do not set it off to the side. The giver enjoys seeing you delight in what they have brought you and opening their present in front of them is one way we can show our appreciation. The one exception to this would be hostess gifts. If you are hosting a party, and several guests bring you a token to show gratitude, either pull them aside privately and open their gift or set it in a corner and tell them you cannot wait to open it after the party. Many people do not bring hostess gifts, and you do not want other guests to feel awkward.


7. Do Not Reciprocate: If someone brings you a gift unexpectedly, do not feel obligated to reciprocate. Some people are gift givers, and this is how they express their feelings. To run out and buy an item for the only reason that they brought you something will scream inauthenticity. They will know you did this out of duty and not love. The gift will be meaningless.


Gift giving is an art, and gift receiving requires a gracious attitude. Always focus on the love that is intended by the gift giver. Which would you treasure more? An unwrapped necklace thrown in your lap with a tone of indifference, or a heart-shaped rock your loved one presents, because when he saw it, it made him think of you? I can buy my own necklace, but I cannot buy the love my husband pours out on me. No matter what the gift is that you receive, remember it comes from the heart of the giver. Treat it well.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou