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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Use these 1-minute interactions with fellow passengers to show kindness. Even the smallest gestures can make someone’s day better.

Every party needs an invitation, and there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. You have made your guest list and chosen your theme, so the next step is creating or purchasing invitations.

There are different forms of communication you can choose, from evites to hand-written notes. For a special evening, I recommend staying with an invitation that requires a stamp. For something quick and easy, an evite might be a suitable choice. No matter what you decide the information included will remain the same.

Do any of you relate to this question I received from a reader? “Hosting a dinner party alone can be stressful. I know all the work will be on me, and I am still expected to have a nice meal ready, the house clean, and have my hair and make-up done. I also need to get the children dressed, looking clean and tidy, all while nagging my husband a thousand times to do his man-chores and shower before guests arrive. He seems to wait to the last minute to get ready, then I get upset and no one is happy. Help!”

Creating the guest list for a party can be stressful. My desire will always be to minimize the pressure we put on ourselves and get to a point where all aspects of entertaining become a joyful experience. With that said, I admit deciding who will and will not be invited to an event can be intimidating. Not to add more pressure but who makes it on the guest list and who does not often pre-determines if the party will be a success or just ho-hum. Here’s the good news. If you follow these steps when creating your list, it will not matter what type of event you throw as fun will be had by all!

At Lisa Lou’s we believe no table is complete without a decorative charger! These underplates, along with napkin rings, are the go-to accessory every tablescape needs. They can dress up, or dress down, the simplest of dinner plates. Just as we can change the look of a black dress by the accessories we choose, we can do the same to basic pottery with the chargers and napkin rings we use.

What is a charger plate and why are they used? Drop into any boutique that sells place settings, and you will see tables decorated with, what appears to be, exceptionally large dinner plates. Chargers, sometimes called an underplate or service plate, can set the tone for your entire look. This is the one piece in your setting that will stay on your table throughout most of the meal, and it is the item that will be most visible to your guests once they are seated.

“I don’t know what to say when I enter a room full of strangers!” I hear this quite often from people, including some you would never suspect had any type of social anxiety. Knowing how to engage in small talk is an essential tool we need to increase our soft skills. But before we learn a few tips, we need to change our psychology.

A duck on water. On top, it appears to glide gracefully over the pond, but underneath you see webbed feet paddling energetically towards its destination. When hosting a party, we may feel more like the duck under the water than the duck on top of the water. Throwing a gathering takes time and can be stressful, but our goal should be to reduce as much of these feelings as possible. Is this realistic? It can be if we get our priorities right.

When I read the words, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” I am reminded that as a spouse and a parent, our homes and families come under our leadership. We cannot control whether those under our roof accept Christ, but we can control how we act within those four walls.

Have you attended a party where you were enjoying (or maybe not enjoying) a conversation with the people around you, but you needed to remove yourself to speak to someone else? How do we graciously extricate ourselves without seeming rude. Here are a few tips to help you exit a conversation with style.

  • Lisa Lou

Top 7 Tips for Good Cell Phone Manners - Part 1

Updated: Jun 21



I am convinced we need to start thinking of our phones as a human persona. I do not care if you make it look like your spouse, mother, or college roommate. If we were to add eyes, a nose, hair, and a big smile to the front of our phones, we might begin making the connection that every time we converse with someone via text or email, we are allowing them to become a part of whatever we are doing.

If I am out for a romantic dinner with my husband, but I continually check my texts, the person on the other end of my phone has now crashed my date, and with my permission. When we are on our phone but the person in our physical presence is speaking to us, how do we usually respond? “Go ahead, I promise I’m listening,” while our head is staring at a screen instead of the eyes of the one speaking. By doing this we demonstrate we are not 100% present with the person across the table.


Think of it this way. If I were on a date with my husband, and a friend walked up to our table, would I leave my husband, even for a few minutes, to spend time with my friend? Of course not. I would not allow another person to crash my date. Imagine if my husband was in the middle of a sentence when my friend came to our table, and I just stood up and walked away. We do not need to be told how rude this would be. Not to mention hurtful. When we allow our phone to take us away from being present, we cease to remain fully focused on the person we are with.

Neuroscientists have proven splitting our attention among various sources makes us less effective. Contrary to what many of us were taught, multitasking is not productive. When we talk with someone while simultaneously checking our phone, we become less effective in our listening skills.


Learn these seven tips to help manage your cell phone while still staying engaged with your friends. They will love you for it!


1. Put your cell on silent and leave it in your purse. Only if you are expecting an important update, you MUST KNOW NOW, should your phone be placed in view of others. According to a researcher recently quoted in the New York Times, when a person checks their phone while in a meeting or social setting, the message they are sending to others says, “You are less important to me than my cellphone.” Checking your phone while talking with someone else is the same as talking with someone at a party but looking around the room at the same time. Your body language is saying you would rather be spending time elsewhere. Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, states checking your phone while with a group is one of the top habits that can get you fired. “They know that while your butt may be planted in the chair, your mind is roaming,” says Oliver.


2. This tip really correlates to the one above. Keep your cell out of sight! An article was published a few years ago and the headline read: Mobile Manners: How Even Putting Your Phone on the Dinner Table can Convince Your Friends You Don’t Care. The piece analyzed two research studies conducted by Essex University. The researchers found the presence of a mobile phone on a table, even if not being used, was enough to cause a negative impression of the person to whom the phone belonged. It affected closeness, connection with the individual, and the quality of conversation that took place.


3. If you are waiting on an important message that is time sensitive, most people will understand. It is important you communicate this up front. Say, “I apologize, but I may need to check my cell during our meal, because I am waiting for an important text/call from my son’s school.” Place your phone on vibrate, place it in your lap, and cover it with your napkin. Out of sight, out of mind! If you do receive the interruption, excuse yourself from the table (if it is a phone call), or quickly check the text and respond. Remind the others at the table, “I apologize for texting, but the important message came in and I need to respond in a timely manner.” Do not get into a back-and-forth texting conversation. If this needs to occur, excuse yourself from the table, handle your business, and return as quickly as possible. If you are the type of person who has a tough time ignoring your phone when a text comes in, I recommend using the Do Not Disturb automated response. Along those lines, if you have a relationship in your life that texts often, you might consider letting them know you will be unavailable for a while. Do whatever works for you but figure out a way to put boundaries around yourself so the use of the phone does not affect the quality of your relationships. In a business setting it is also your reputation that is on the line.


Part 2 coming next week!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou