New On The Blog

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“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. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

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.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Lisa Lou

A Man's Guide to Wearing Shorts

Updated: Jun 3, 2020



Even in our modern society where you see every form of fashion on our cosmopolitan streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA. Until the early part of the twentieth century, shorts were worn mostly by young boys. 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 young boy was not in complete control of his body and not responsible enough to take care of the finer clothing. Moving out of shorts was considered a rite of passage in a boy’s life. It was not until he reached his teen years that he was allowed to wear long pants, thus, being viewed as a man. So, in our subconscious mind, we may sometimes 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 in order to help them tolerate the heat. It was at this point in history that shorts began to enter the fashion scene, but even then, they were mostly worn for playing sports or some other type of physical activity.


Today, men wearing shorts has become acceptable to our eye. There are guidelines every man should follow, though, so they do not come off looking childish.


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 places to wear shorts. Heading to a party with a bunch of strangers is probably 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 in our area one evening 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 he did not get the job. Assumptions were made as to why this was the case, but the consensus was, backed by some good intel, 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…image matters.



3. Shorts should never enter 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. In order to keep the more formal traditions of their British roots in place, though, they paired the shorts with a blazer, tie and knee-high socks. This beautiful British Overseas Territory is one of the only places you will see shorts worn in business, and if you ever have a chance to visit Bermuda, it makes for a unique, but special look.


4. If you do wish to wear shorts, I think the best look is a basic solid like navy, khaki or white. Most men look best in straight-legged shorts that end a couple of inches above the knee. Pair the shorts with a collared 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 only be worn in hot weather. If it is cold out, why would you 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. Generally, 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.


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 unconsciously, a pair of shorts reminds us of that little boy who would rather be climbing trees.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou