New On The Blog

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.

  • Sami Reyna

Gifts Ideas for the Mom in Your Life

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. Here are some thoughtful ideas for the loving and selfless moms in your life!

For your mom or mother-in-law:

1. Upgrade her tired, old loungewear! Chances are, this probably is not on Mom’s priority list. Make her feel luxurious with a fluffy new robe and slippers or some silky soft pajamas. Monogramming these items is a nice touch!

2. Make a gift basket with a new study Bible, planner, or journal. Add a cute coffee mug, some pretty pens, and a bookmark. She will think of you every morning during her quiet time!

For your daughter or daughter-in-law:

1. A trendy, personalized necklace that says “Mama” or her children’s initials. I love Lola James Jewelry!

2. A coupon for a day off or a night out! Whether she works inside or outside the home, your daughter will deeply appreciate some time to refresh and recharge. Offer to babysit the kids and go the extra mile by booking her a nail appointment, foot massage, or a dinner reservation!

For your sister or sister-in-law:

1. Gift her some self-care products she might not normally treat herself to such as cooling eye gels, a body scrub, bath salts, or a facial roller. DIY spa day!

2. Inspire her with a new cookbook from her favorite cooking personality! I love Joanna Gaines. Add an oven mitt and matching apron set from Williams Sonoma and tie it all together with a pretty ribbon.

3. Sis will love a wine subscription! She will enjoy a glass after the kids are tucked in bed and she is unwinding after a long day of mom life!

For Grandma:

1. Brighten her day with fresh flowers or a houseplant.

2. Satisfy her sweet tooth with some cookies or cupcakes from a local bakery. Then sit and enjoy them with her! Brew a pot of coffee and spend quality time together.

3. When it comes to Grandma, you can never go wrong with photos. She will love displaying a framed picture of her children or grandchildren!

For the mom who has it all:

1. Give her a spa day! Every woman loves to be pampered! Book a massage or a facial at an upscale location. She will not forget it!

2. Take mom out to brunch! Enjoy some avocado toast, mimosas, and celebrate motherhood!

3. Personalized gifts never miss the mark. Give her a monogrammed makeup bag, hand towels, or jewelry case.

Samantha Reyna

Mom to 2 toddlers and loving wife