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

Halloween Fun During COVID



Murder Mystery Dinner with Friends


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.


1. Decorate: I always feel “in the moment” when I put the final touches on my Christmas decorating. Halloween is no different. In fact, go bigger this year. Hang lights on the trees and fill your porch with jack-o-lanterns you and the family have carved.


2. Murder Mystery Dinner: This is my favorite party to host. You can find these dinner party games online. Make this event as formal or casual as you wish. The key to success? Your guests need to be good sports. Introverts do not work as well when you are asking everyone to step out of their comfort zone and play a character. But ohhhh, this party is a blast! Is it safe during these times? That is up for you to decide (and based on your state’s regulations). For most of the games you only need 10 people, so this party works well in a COVID world.


3. Scavenger Hunt: There are numerous options online for scavenger hunts. You can do this with your family or gather a few neighborhood friends. This type of outing allows you to social distance, but still gather in small groups. Once the hunt has concluded, have everyone return to your front yard. Gather outside for cookies and drinks. Remember to have prizes for the winners!


4. Cookies and Cheer: Decorate Halloween themed cookies with your children. Take this a step further. Let the children dress up and deliver these treats to neighbors and friends. Everyone loves a random act of kindness.


5. Scary Movie: Who does not love this! Build a fort inside, pop some popcorn, and watch an age-appropriate Halloween movie.


6. Fire and Stars: Host family and friends, with whom you are comfortable socializing, and have an outdoor campfire. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs and tell stories. If you have a telescope, do a little celestial gazing. I find there is nothing more mysterious about God’s world than when I stare into His star-studded sky.


7. Driveway Treats: If you have an active neighborhood with a lot of children, organize your block for Halloween. Have each family set up a table with Halloween candy and treats. The neighborhood children can go driveway to driveway. Have bags pre-made with goodies inside each package. Ask an adult from each home to hand a bag to the child. This avoids dirty hands digging into baskets.


8. Haunted House: Yes, there are social distancing haunted houses! In many cities drive-thru exhibits are popping up. Check your local listings.


9. Pumpkin Carving Contests: This is a blast and is something the adults can do. It takes two people. One person is the carver. The other person stands facing the carver and describes the carver’s face. The carver must follow the verbal directions of the describer and carve a pumpkin to reflect what the talker is describing. The trick? The carver does not know the talker is describing the carver’s face. As you can imagine, the end results are hilarious. Oh, and the describer has a sheet of paper or clipboard they hold so the carver does not know there is not a drawing of a face that the describer is describing. Of course, you could print out real faces to describe, but it is more fun to have the carver create his own face on the pumpkin (without knowing!). Have prizes for the best and worst likeness.


10. Floral Pumpkins: My son and I made these when he was in elementary school and gave them to each of his teachers. Find smaller pumpkins. Cut the top and remove the insides. Place a floral foam piece inside soaked in water. Buy cut flowers and make a floral arrangement. These are sweet gifts and a great way to have fun with these beautiful fall gourds.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou