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As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Social Guidelines for Wearing a Hat

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


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.


The purpose of a hat was to keep you warm and the sun off your face. It also served as a barrier to dirt and dust. Imagine walking down a road where horses and carriages were passing. The amount of grit tossed in the air meant those walking nearby were coated in a layer of grime. The brim of a hat functioned to keep dirt and water away from the head and face. We see the hat had a purpose other than style, but why was it proper for men to remove their hat when entering a building? For the simple reason, the hat was usually dirty. If a man were to leave his hat on while sitting at the dining table, dirt and dust would fall from the brim and most likely into his tablemate’s food.


Today, if you walk into a restaurant with a trench coat covered in rainwater, would you keep it on at the dining table? No. You would likely remove it at the entrance to the restaurant and retrieve it upon leaving. If you are working in the yard before dinner, do you wash your hands before sitting down at the table? Yes. Why? You do not want to contaminate your food.


A man removing his hat, especially in the industrial era, was a matter of personal hygiene.


Why were women not required to remove their hats? Because their hat usually served a different role. A woman’s hat could be used to keep the harsh elements away, but these head coverings were more for fashion than function. They were also used for modesty reasons. In some religions covering a woman’s head was (and still is) required.


Some female hats had brims, but others were simple caps that coordinated with their attire. Pins, ribbons, and bows were used to secure them in place, and removing the hat was a big ordeal as they did not come off easily. The purpose of a woman’s hat was not for hygiene (although it did protect from the sun and could keep her head warm), it was primarily for fashion. Therefore, women were exempt from removing their hat.


Now that we understand the background to hat etiquette, we need to know what is expected of us today. Here is the simple breakdown.


Men still need to remove their hat when entering a building. If you are simply walking through a corridor or a public place, you may leave your hat on. Once you enter an area where you will be staying (office, restaurant, theatre), remove your hat.


“Do I remove my hat at the dinner table?” If you are expected to remove your hat when you enter an establishment, then, yes, your hat stays off at the dinner table. Your hat should be off before you approach the dinner table, since you would have removed it as soon as you entered the building.


Other places you are expected to remove your hat:

1. Places of worship (unless your religion requires you wear head covering)

2. When you stand for the National Anthem (if you are attending an outdoor baseball game, you are probably wearing a hat, therefore remove it during the anthem)

3. Whenever the U.S. or state flags pass by (as in a color guard ceremony)

4. During a funeral procession (even if you are outdoors)

5. During a prayer at an event (even if outside, the hat is removed during a prayer)

6. Weddings (even if outside)

7. Dedications (inside or outside, the hat is removed during a dedication)

8. Photographs (if a picture is being taken of you remove your hat)

9. When you are being introduced to someone (this is a sign of respect)


How to take your hat off when greeting someone:

Remove the hat with your left hand so your right hand is free to shake. Place the hat lining towards your body so only the outside of your hat is visible to those around you.


Where to put your hat during the anthem (or another ceremonial event):

Remove your hat with your right hand and place your hat over your heart. You may also set your hat on a chair. It’s up to you.


When entering an establishment, ask if they have a hat rack. If not, place your hat on a nearby chair. Do not put your hat on a table. Why? For the same reason women should never put their purse on a table. Hygiene!


If you are taking your hat off to greet someone, and then putting it right back on, how do you hold your hat? Remove the hat with your left hand and keep the lining of the hat facing toward you. The inside of your hat probably has dirt rings. No reason to show this to others.


Most hat rules for men have not changed throughout history. The biggest change in hat etiquette has been for women. Women are still not required to remove their hat when they enter a building, unless they are wearing a unisex covering. An example would be a baseball cap. This is a type of hat that can be worn by both men and women; therefore, a woman is expected to remove this type of hat. The easiest way to remember this is when wearing a unisex hat, women should follow the same rules as men.


Example: If a woman is attending a ballgame in her baseball cap and the national anthem is played, she should remove her hat. Why? She is wearing a unisex covering.


Overall, women still have more leeway than men when it comes to hat etiquette. A decorative hat, for example, does not need to be removed. A unisex hat does need to be removed. The exception to this is if your fashionable hat has a wide brim and will obstruct someone’s view. If you are attending a theatre performance, remove your hat if it interferes with other’s ability to see.


Side note: Wide-brimmed hats are meant for daytime. Why? A wide brim was used to keep the sun off your face. If it is evening, then the purpose of the wide brim is no longer relevant. If you are attending a theatre performance in the evening, you should not have a problem with your hat interfering with others if you stick to the protocol that brims are only for daytime.


Let’s wrap this up and make it simple. Men, remove your hats. Women, remove your unisex hats. If you can’t remember…remove your hat.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou


(The above points are for civilian men and women. Military protocol regarding head coverings are quite different.)

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