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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. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

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.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my 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 handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

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.

  • 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

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

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