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Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want 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.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most 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 managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, 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. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! 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. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Lisa Lou

Honor Your Marriage By Honoring God


Louie is 8 months old. He is still a puppy and has a lot of energy. Every morning I sit in my reading chair to study my bible, catch up on news and read. It is my quiet time before the storm of the day hits. I crack the door to the backyard so I can hear the fountain outside. I love the sound of running water. In the winter, I keep the door wide open. Our dogs can roam in and out and I feel the cool breeze. Last week my husband said, “It’s that time of year again.” I knew what that meant. The season was upon us where the door must remain shut. Not because of heat, but because of the wayward mosquitos that start hovering in our humid, Texas climate. They usually do not bother me, so their bite is rarely on my mind, but they are drawn to my husband like he is a walking honey pot. So, I gave my annual sigh, and told him the door would remain closed until winter.⁠⠀

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This morning, our 9-pound, 4-legged furball was exceptionally active. My husband had left for the office, and I thought, “I don’t see any mosquitos outside. I am sure it would be fine. I can just open the door halfway, and this would allow Louie to run in and out. It sure would be nice for him, and it would grant me time to read in peace.”⁠⠀

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Sometimes I just need to have a conversation with myself, and this was one of those times. After rationalizing my position, I then said, “But, I promised my husband I would keep the door closed. Whether I think there are mosquitos or not, I gave him my word.” ⁠⠀

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“He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” -Proverbs 10:9. I can pretend my great integrity was why I chose not to open the door, but there was a bigger reason. I was motivated to keep my promise, because I love my husband and want to live honorably. But what really motivated me was knowing that nothing I can do is hidden. “Would not God find this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart.” -Psalm 44:21. I gave my word to my husband, but I am accountable to God. ⁠⠀


I chose to keep the door shut. I lived up to my word. But even throughout all my rationalizing, what it came down to was, yes, I adore my husband, but ultimately, I serve God. And He is the one I want to please. “…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work…” Colossians 1:10.