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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

Decor Ideas:
1. Use a decorative wine bucket filled with flowers as your table centerpiece. This works if you have a separate table where you will place the food. If the wine tasting is conducted at one table where your guests are sitting, then you need lower height decorations where everyone can see over the arrangements. Use wine glasses randomly placed down the table with sprigs of flowers in them. 

  • Olivia Bergeron

A Hope Chest

Updated: Jul 14


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

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