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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

How to Do Introductions

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

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. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care. They will wonder, though, why you do not introduce an acquaintance who joins your group at a party. When a person walks up and no one introduces them, it is awkward for everyone. As the old advertising slogan said, “JUST DO IT!”


Introductions are made based on hierarchy in business situations, and based on seniority or respect, in social settings.

Example: The CEO of a company is of higher rank than the Vice President of another company. Whereas, in social settings, a grandmother is afforded the respect of having more seniority than someone in their twenties.


To determine hierarchy, seniority, or respect when conducting an introduction, always ask yourself this question. “Which person do I wish to show the most respect?” Emily Post Institute states, “It all boils down to speaking to the person you wish to honor first.” Once you determine the hierarchy of respect, you will then proceed by introducing the person of lower rank to the person of higher rank.

Example: “Senator Jones, I would like to introduce to you, Mr. Smith.” You state the name of the higher authority first (Senator Jones), but you are introducing the person of lower authority (Mr. Smith) to the person of higher authority (Senator Jones).


In a purely social setting, your grandmother would be the person you want to show the most respect as opposed to your college roommate. It would look like this, “Grandmother, I would like to introduce to you my roommate, Suzy Martin.” You would then look at Suzy and say, “Suzy, I would like you to meet my Grandmother, Mrs. Brown.” Do you see how this follows the same formula? You are first speaking to the person you wish to honor. In this situation, you speak first to Grandmother, but you are introducing your roommate to your grandmother.

This is how I remember the order of introductions. Imagine you are living in the day when a young woman was making her formal debut (being introduced) to the king in a courtly ceremony. She would be escorted into a large room where the king and queen were seated, and she would be formally presented (introduced) to the royal couple. It would sound like this, “King Henry, presenting Lady Elisabeth Walton.” The word “presenting” is the same as saying “introducing to you.” The lady was being presented (introduced) to the king. It would be no different than if the escort said, “King Henry, I would like to introduce to you, Lady Walton.” The person of lesser authority was being introduced (presented) to the person of higher authority. The order of our introductions, which came from the aristocracy, are still conducted in this manner today.

Once people understand the formula of an introduction, the only time they tend to get confused is when the roles seem mixed up. In a social setting, females are given the higher honor of respect. You would always introduce a male to a female. “Debbie, I would like to introduce to you Edward McGee. Edward, this is my best friend, Debbie Wright.” What do you do in a social setting if the male is of higher authority? What if you are with a male U.S. Senator and need to handle and introduction with a female? Does the same rule where females are given the higher honor of respect in social settings apply to this situation? When you are unsure, go back to my original question and ask yourself, “To whom do you want to show respect and deference?” In this scenario, I would place the senator in higher authority, even in a social setting. So, the introduction would sound like this, “Senator Jones, I would like to introduce to you my colleague, Suzy Martin. Suzy, I would like you to meet Senator Jones.”

I like to know the “why” behind what I am doing, and most social skills (etiquette) we practice today have their origins somewhere in history. For a few more history lessons on our modern protocol, hop over to the blog titled Rules Without Reason.

As you hear me say repeatedly, manners are a condition of the heart. How we act and treat others reflects the character inside our soul. When it comes to introductions, whether you remember the correct order or not, just do it. Showing kindness to two people is what will be remembered.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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