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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

Do’s and Don’ts When Planning a Vacation

Updated: Nov 6, 2020



I asked a friend who owns a travel agency to give me some quick Do’s and Don’ts when planning a trip. These tips were on the top of her list:

DO:

  • Travel with a trusted source. A cruise line, tour operator, hotel, etc. Whoever you do business with needs to have a proven track record. They should be financially sound so you know they will still be in business when you plan to travel.

  • Use a travel advisor to elevate your trip. Depending on the type of vacation there is usually a small fee attached, but you will save this in multiples due to the global connections they have that you do not. Not to mention the VIP treatment they receive that they can then pass along to you. Your advisor will serve as your advocate during the planning process, while you are on your vacation, and when you return home. If something goes wrong, they are there for you. Your advisor takes the stress off you so you can enjoy your vacation. They will also help you prioritize your interests based on your budget. Their expertise will save you time and money.

  • Have a plan and a backup plan as well!

  • Be sure you have all passports up to date. These need to be valid 6+ months past the date you plan on returning from vacation.

  • Be sure you have all necessary visas for your destination based on your citizenship along with any necessary vaccines required for travel.

  • Be sure you have considered travel insurance to cover you in the event of cancellation or medical emergencies.

DON’T:

  • Try to cram too much into a short vacation, especially international destinations. Example: you need 10-14 days just to see New Zealand, not New Zealand and Australia!

  • Make decisions based solely on reviews from websites and anonymous sources that you cannot verify. This is where you need to rely on your travel professional. She has vetted these places and will help you make good choices.

  • Select a destination based solely on lowest price during rainy season and then be disappointed when it rains every day of your vacation! As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

  • Pick the wrong tour operator or destination for your travel style. You want a shopping trip? Then choosing a small town in a remote state, because it fits your budget, is probably not the best fit. Partner with an advisor that will listen to your needs and desires.

  • Eliminate cruising as an option for your family because you do not want to sail on a big ship. There are wonderful cruise lines with smaller ships including river cruises. These can also be great vacations when traveling with multi generations.

  • Go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland without a plan! You will be frustrated and waste time and money! (This was a bonus for our friends with children! 😊)


Cristina Buaas

Owner and Travel Advisor CSB Travel

cristina@csbtravel.com

713-807-0722

https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors/11363383/cristina-buaas#.XxnMcJ5Kgps