New On The Blog

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

10 Airport and Plane Etiquette Tips



Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.


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. Airplanes consist of re-circulated air and cramped quarters. When you bring your food on the plane others will have no choice but to inhale the smell of your half-eaten pastrami sandwich! If you simply must bring a meal with you, 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