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

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