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

Decorating For Spring

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Top 5 Must Do’s

Are you ready for spring? Although I love the beginning of a new year where I can re-set my goals and turn over a new leaf, I have always felt spring brings about a cleansing of the soul like no other time or season. There is something about longer days, more sunshine and flowers bursting forth with color that brighten almost any mood. Spring is the time I take inventory of my home and prepare to make the transition from winter to summer. Here’s a list of my Top 5 Must Do’s:

1. Take Inventory: The first thing I do is take inventory of the things around my home that need attention. This can be from repairs to cleaning. That doggy door that was broken during Christmas? Time to get it fixed. The eaves that are overflowing with debris? Get the blower out. What about those filthy windows? Grab the Windex. Other items to consider: clean the refrigerator; power wash the patio furniture and sidewalk; deep clean your bathrooms and kitchen; change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


2. Organize: Spring is the best time to organize your home. The pantry is usually overflowing with extra food from the holidays that has been sitting there for 3 months. And your garage often becomes a storage unit during winter, because you are too tired or it’s too cold for you to tackle. Use the spring to organize your pantry, closets and garage. I also organize all the drawers and cabinets in my office. After a year has passed, I have so many stacks of mismatched notebooks, pens and paperclips I could open my own supply store. It’s time to purge!


3. Go Shopping…At Home: One of my favorite ways to feel as though I have a fresh start is to re-arrange my furniture. If you have a room that just is not working, start by moving some pieces to another room. Or, store it in the garage to give you some breathing room until you can figure out what to do with it. If you find that piece no longer works in your home, then donate it to someone that will put it to good use. If you put away certain décor during winter, it is time to pull it back out. Changing up a room, even if that means you are just moving items from one place to another, can keep things from looking stale.


4. Add Color: After I have cleaned and organized my home, I have two more rituals that complete my spring preparation. I shop for color! This can be in the form of painting or refreshing an old wall or making a new purchase for my home. My favorite thing to do, and it seems to get the most bang for my buck, is to add a few brightly colored throw pillows to my couch. A pop of red, pink or green will do wonders to brighten up a room. I also bring color into my home in the form of flowers and foliage. Place a potted floral plant in a high traffic area in your home, like the great room or the kitchen. You do not need to overdo this, but a few well-placed plants can liven up a home. Don’t forget to add color to the outside of your home. This can be done with fresh planting, flowers and porch decorations. We have two rocking chairs out front, and I love to place a festive, colorful pillow in each of these. It’s the first thing I see when I come home each day.


5. The 5 Senses: When I decorate and entertain, I make sure the 5 senses are engaged. Not only do we want to see a beautiful home, but we need to be able to touch, taste, hear and smell a beautiful home. See and Touch: this was taken care of when we cleaned, organized, brought in beautiful plants and added new spring fabrics into our décor. Taste: now is a great time to bring in fresh fruits and revitalize your favorite summer recipes. Hear: it is a rare moment that you will walk into my home and NOT hear music playing. Songs are an easy way to lift your spirits, and spring is a perfect time to turn your thoughts to the beach with summer tunes you love. Smell: once I have completed all (or most) of the above, I celebrate my spring makeover by lighting a newly purchased candle. Smell is the most powerful sense we have that conjures up memories. Introduce beautiful aromas into your home that will cement happy times in the minds of those you love.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou