New On The Blog

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.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

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.

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. 

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Social Guidelines for Wearing a Hat

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


woman wearing a hat

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.)