New On The Blog

The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most 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 managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

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!

  • Alina Gersib

Challenge Your Mind


The world feels especially scary and divided right now. Copious amounts of negativity are being thrown around in the media and it can be all too easy to simply become frozen. It feels like everyone is walking on eggshells, not quite sure what to believe let alone what to share with others out of fear of judgment or condemnation. Instead of building each other up and opening up conversations for the purpose of mutual growth, challenge, and insight, there is a spirit of judgment, separation, and anger.

In the midst of this, I charge you to not resign yourself to a bleak pessimism over the state of the world. I know it’s all too easy to simply say nothing because it feels like it doesn’t matter. But it does matter, it is crucial not only to yourself but to the wellbeing of all humanity. Take responsibility and accountability of the mind you have and use it for good. Ideas are shared, refined, and changed when we use our abilities of reason to converse and grow together.

Do not let fear keep you from speaking your mind. The information that you have within your head could be exactly what someone else needs to understand a crucially important thought within their own. I’ve also found that when you approach conversations out of a place of wanting to listen to and learn something from the person you are speaking with, your outlook on the world will widen and the conversation will be far more productive and life giving.

With that said, now more than ever it is important to educate yourself and learn everything you can. Read books from all sorts of authors, nonfiction, fiction, biography’s, it doesn’t matter. The more you learn about topics from all over the map the more you are able to refine your own beliefs and outlooks on the world.

We are truly all in this together and when we bring judgment or lump certain schools of thought, people, or teachings into specific categories we negate the ability to connect completely. Humanity would be better for it if we listened to others more, had less judgment for everyone, ourselves included, and were not held back by fear. Don’t be afraid to try new things because you never know what might work for you. Above all, be kind to yourself in the process. The world is changing, and we are all changing too, give yourself space to develop and become. With much hope and excitement for change and the future,

Alina Gersib