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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!

  • Olivia Bergeron

A Hope Chest

Updated: Jul 14, 2020


So, we are in the millionth day of 2020. It seems like a lifetime ago when my biggest problems revolved around work deadlines, social plans, and when the next @crimejunkie podcast would be released. Who would have thought that 2020 would bring about so much change?


While our world is shifting, I have hope for the future. So today, I am going to share something that I do not share with many people. It is old-fashioned and (kind of) materialistic, but it is also fun and light and makes me smile every time I think about it. I am going to share one of the ways my sister, Jacque, and I are preparing for the future--our hope chests.



Traditionally, a hope chest (also called a glory chest or dowry box) was a chest that an unmarried woman filled with items for her future home. These items were usually linens, table settings, or serving pieces. I am not a princess waiting in a tower to be whisked away to the castle. Maybe I will build my own palace! But to me, a hope chest is not about getting a ring by spring, it is about collecting items and memories to carry with me as I build my own life.


Don't believe me?


In December my mom, sister, and I went to one of our favorite stores on the planet,

@TheRoyalStandard, to do some serious after-Christmas sale shopping. Jacque was convinced that she was too cool for a hope chest, so she just decided to browse. Not me! I was ready to go with a large shopping bag in tow.


You do not understand--this sale is AMAZING. Try 75% off all Christmas items. I know!


So within about twenty minutes, my bag is full. I found these fab beaded napkin rings, fringed red cloth napkins, and embossed salad plates--the works. Jacque, noticing my treasure, stops dead in her tracks and says, "I need to get a bag" and bolts to begin hunting for her own loot.


My mom and I laughed so hard! We had the best day, and whenever I look at those silly beaded napkin rings, I am going to remember that day!


Even if it is an old-fashioned tradition, I still love my hope chest. It has my grandmother's china set, my mom's crystal rose bowl, and a few fun pieces that I have picked up over the years. I love the idea when I have my own house, I will have a few things to instantly make it feel like home.


I know my hope chest is small and insignificant when compared to the issues facing our world, but it makes me smile, and I hope it makes you smile, too.


Olivia Bergeron-Contributing Writer

Owner: Amigals.com