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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

Do’s and Don’ts When Planning a Vacation

Updated: Nov 6



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

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