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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

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