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

Airport and Plane Etiquette

Updated: Mar 22

1. Weigh your bag before going to the airport. If your bag is overweight (50 pounds for most carriers), you will be forced to shuffle items around between your suitcases. This holds up everyone behind you waiting to check-in. Buy a simple luggage scale so you can weigh your suitcase at home. This is the one I use. It has lasted for years and they make great gifts for the seasoned traveler in your life.

2. Remove all metal items from your clothing before you enter the security line if you know you are wearing something that will beep. I have my go-to “day of” travel outfit that I know will make it through security without setting off alarm bells. Part of my air travel “uniform” includes no jewelry. I keep these items in a small bag in my purse so I can easily put my jewelry on after I get through security.

3. If you did not have time to eat before arriving to the airport, grab a bite once through security, but try to finish your meal before boarding the plane. Airplanes consist of re-circulated air and cramped quarters. When you bring your food on the plane others around you will not have any choice but to inhale the smell of your half-eaten pastrami sandwich! If you simply must bring a meal on the plane, try to consume something mild that does not insult the olfactory of those around you (a bagel and cream cheese is a much better choice than your sandwich piled high with sauerkraut).

4. Once you board the plane and find your seat, always greet the person sitting next to you. If you do not wish to carry on a conversation throughout your flight, after greeting them and getting settled, plug your earbuds in as this will be a visual sign that you are out of commission.

5. The overhead compartment above your seat is the storage area you should use, and the space under the chair in front of you is for your smaller items.

6. As a vertically challenged female, I appreciate how difficult it can sometimes be to get my bag in an overhead compartment. If you see someone struggling, offer to help.

7. Always use headphones when listening to music or watching a video. No one wants noise pollution.

8. Know where your personal space begins and ends. If you are in a window seat, you get the window and the armrest next to the wall. If you are on the aisle, you have the space in the aisle and the armrest by the aisle. If you are the unfortunate traveler stuck in the middle, the good news is you get both armrests!

9. Be aware of your hygiene! Shower before you hop on a plane, use deodorant, make sure your breath smells nice and leave off the perfume/cologne. Oh….and please don’t take your shoes off midflight! No one wants to smell stinky feet, and most toes are not cute!

10. If you need to recline your seat, do so very carefully and only go back as far as you need. Yes, we have the right to recline, but it’s almost always unpleasant for the person behind us. Just be cognizant of who is behind you and how you are affecting their comfort.

Bottom line, when it comes to airport and plane etiquette, treat others like you wish to be treated. Knowing you will never see that person again does not excuse poor behavior. Remember, our manners are really nothing more than a condition of our heart. Be patient, kind and respectful in all circumstances. You will feel better about yourself and so will those around you.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou