New On The Blog

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 Ways to Cure the Travel Bug During COVID


With limitations on travel to most international destinations and less flights going out domestically, people experiencing the travel bug in our COVID world need new ways to approach the situation. Below are 7 ideas you can incorporate into your life right away!


1. Watch Earth Documentaries

Though nothing quite compares to experiencing the beauty of the world with our own eyes, nature documentaries allow us to look inside parts of the world few humans ever see. Not only that, but with travel limited to many destinations, these documentaries are our opportunity to connect to the wonder of nature in a more tangible way. With so many streaming options, you can find incredible documentaries to suit your interests from a variety of sources. If you enjoy cooking as well as travel, National Geographic via Disney+ has a fantastic series called Gordon Ramsey: Uncharted which gives you a unique and hands on look at destinations via their culinary scenes.


2. Visit Museums Locally (Or Virtually)

Since most museums are housed in larger buildings and are currently limiting the number of occupants allowed, they are a great place to visit. Depending on where you live, you can experience creations from local as well as international artists.

If you prefer to stay home and still have a gallery experience, Google Arts and Culture has curated a number of virtual tours which take you through renown museums around the world, from The Met to the National Gallery, London.



3. Plan Your Dream Get Away

Planning a future trip is a great way to channel an adventurous spirit. I love using Pinterest to consolidate inspiration. From location ideas, to top activities, and what to wear to your next destination, it is easy to categorize information and create a visual guide to all of the places you want to visit.



4. Keep Your Eye on Flights

Even if you are not currently in the booking phase, it is fun to imagine all the possible routes you can take for future flights. I like to research using Skyscanner as they have an interactive map which allows you to compare prices for destinations around the globe.



5. Play Tourist Locally

Follow all local guidelines for your city or state but if you want to get out and do something, find an option that allows you to play tourist while also keeping yourself and others safe. If possible, find activities that are outdoors or in large areas. Visiting a monument in a park, going to the zoo, or walking down a historic street to enjoy the homes or shops on the block, are great ways to play tourist responsibly. No matter where you live, there are people around the globe wanting to visit, so search your own town and see what you discover!


6. Cook an International Meal

Spice up your weekly routine and prepare a dish from either a favorite destination or a location you cannot wait to visit. From Thai green curry to hand tossed pizza, your options are endless. Make a new dish and enjoy being transported with every bite.



7. Look Through Old Photos

When was the last time you looked through your old travel photos? After finishing a trip, we may post a few pictures on Facebook or Instagram but after that the photos sit hidden on our phones and computers. While we may not be able to visit exotic international destinations right now, it is easy to go down memory lane and re-live your past travel experiences by looking at your digital memories. Once you finish, print out your favorites and hang them on your wall!

I hope these 7 recommendations give you inspiration for ways you can actively work with your desire to travel during this time. For more resources and the most up to date information on travel restrictions visit the below sites.

Mayo Clinic’s coronavirus travel advice.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s travel advice.

Alina Gersib