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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.

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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

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.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

Decor Ideas:
1. Use a decorative wine bucket filled with flowers as your table centerpiece. This works if you have a separate table where you will place the food. If the wine tasting is conducted at one table where your guests are sitting, then you need lower height decorations where everyone can see over the arrangements. Use wine glasses randomly placed down the table with sprigs of flowers in them. 

  • Lisa Lou

Decorating For Spring

Updated: Jun 3

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

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