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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.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

  • Lisa Lou

December Leftover New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Updated: Jan 1

Decor Ideas:

1. I could give ideas for a traditional New Year’s Eve party but let me tell you what we did in my family for many years. When my husband and I were young parents, the conversation of what we would do for New Year’s Eve was always a source of difficulty. Restaurants seemed to have set menus that were expensive and not what we enjoyed. Even more daunting was trying to find a babysitter that did not have plans. Never one to let an obstacle get in our way of fun, we created an annual Leftover New Year’s Eve party. By the time NYE rolled around, I was exhausted from entertaining, but I did not mind opening our home one last time for the year if my guests could help carry the load. Since many of our friends were in the same stage of life as we were, the party was a smashing success.

2. Friends and their children (any age) were invited. Guests were encouraged to arrive in their pajamas. This was fun for the children and the adults. It was also practical, because most of the parents put their children to bed in one of our spare rooms. So, part of the décor was the attire!

3. Every guest brought a dish. To ensure I had everything covered, on the invitation I asked for a specific item. “Please Bring: A Meat.” “Please Bring: A Dessert.” I let them choose what they wanted to provide, but by giving them a category I knew I had everything I needed. I also encouraged them to bring leftovers from Christmas. On our buffet table we had half eaten Tupperware meals scattered everywhere. We supplied the drinks.

4. My centerpiece was provided each year by my mom. Her birthday is NYE, so this was always a fun party for her. She would save the turkey carcass from our Christmas dinner. As you can imagine, it looked awful! She would embellish it with olives and sprigs of herbs. This party was about getting rid of everything that was leftover from Christmas, along with the rest of the year. To say it was a tacky event would be an understatement. This is also what made it so fun!

5. With a young son in the house, I had odd numbers of paper plates and napkins from every child’s party throughout the year: Valentine’s Day paper plates from school parties; birthday party napkins, etc. I pulled out everything I had leftover from the past year. All my plates, napkins, and utensils were paper or plastic. No nice plates and utensils at this event! Setting all of this around the table also helped form the decorations for the evening.

6. Party Favors: I had noise makers that we handed out to ring in the New Year, and these served as the party favors. Our Leftover New Year’s Eve parties may have been a little trashy, but it was always the best event of the year!

Spotify Playlist for Leftover New Year's Eve Party.

Menu Ideas:

All recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Taste Tests for the menu ideas come out every Friday, so if you do not see the one you're looking for now, be sure to keep checking back here or on our Instagram.

December Leftover New Year’s Eve Menu:

December Leftover New Years
Download PDF • 1.77MB

Mexican Chicken Empanadas Taste Test

Beef Kabobs with Mint Yogurt Dipping Sauce Taste Test

Peppermint Bark Taste Test

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

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