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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.

  • Lisa Lou

A Man's Guide to Wearing Shorts



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. Until the early part of the twentieth century, young boys exclusively wore shorts. A playful child was expected to run, climb and be adventurous. Putting them in long pants meant their wardrobe would need constant repair due to falls and skinned knees. A boy was not in complete control of his body and not responsible enough to take care of finer clothing, therefore moving out of shorts and into long pants was a rite of passage. Shorts were for little boys and pants were for young men. Thus the reason subconsciously we may view a man wearing shorts as someone that has not matured.


All of this began to change when shorts came on the scene in the early 1900s. A group of British soldiers were stationed in Bermuda, and due to the hot and humid climate of the island, they were allowed to cut off their military pants to help them tolerate the heat. It was at this point in history that shorts began to enter the fashion scene, but they were mostly worn for sports or some type of physical activity.


Today, men wearing shorts has become acceptable to our eye, but there are still guidelines men should follow so they do not end up sending the wrong message.


1. Shorts are considered more casual, so they should be reserved for events with close friends and family. A day on the boat or a backyard picnic are good examples of when to wear shorts. Heading to a party with a bunch of strangers is not the best place to flash your kneecaps.


2. Wearing athletic shorts when doing yard work, playing sports, having fun in the park, or going to the gym are obviously fine. Wearing athletic gear as a part of normal attire, though, is a habit worth breaking. I knew a guy who went to a popular local restaurant wearing a pair of athletic shorts. It just so happened he ran into the CEO of a small company he had just interviewed with. The guy readily admitted he did not put his best foot forward in the way he was dressed, and shortly after the encounter he learned from an inside source he had been passed over for the job. Assumptions were made as to why this was the case, but the consensus was the boss felt if this guy would not represent himself well in public, how could the firm be confident he would represent them well in public. Remember my previous posts, our image matters.



3. Shorts should not be worn in a business setting. There are two places in the world where this fashion rule can safely be broken, and that is South Africa and Bermuda. Because of the origin of shorts in Bermuda, the style quickly caught on for civilian men. To keep the more formal traditions of their British roots, though, they pair the shorts with a blazer, tie, knee-high socks, and dress shoes. This beautiful island is one of the only places you will see shorts worn in business, and if you ever have a chance to visit you will enjoy seeing this unique, but special look.


4. If you do wish to wear shorts, the best combination is a solid color like navy, khaki or white, and a collared shirt. Most men look best in straight legged shorts that end a couple of inches above the knee. Pair this with a polo type shirt or short sleeved button down. Wear boat shoes or nice sandals, and you will look fashionably chic for summer.


5. Shorts should be reserved for hot weather. If it is cold out, why not wear pants? Just as it looks strange to see someone wearing a heavy coat in 90-degree weather, it also looks out of place to see someone in shorts in the middle of winter.


6. Long pants are more flattering on men, so unless there is a specific reason to be in shorts, err on the side of a good pair of trousers. And always remember, the more we mature the more formal we should dress.


Your image matters. When deciding if you should wear your favorite Bermuda shorts or a pair of cool, linen slacks, ask yourself which one represents the best “you.” You never know when you might run into your boss, or that business executive you are trying to land as a client. And as far as women go, most would prefer to see a man in pants, because consciously or subconsciously, a pair of shorts reminds us of that little boy who would rather be climbing trees.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou