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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

How to Exit a Conversation with Style

Updated: Jun 29, 2020



We have all attended parties where we are enjoying (or maybe not enjoying) a conversation with the people around us, but we need to remove ourselves from the group. How do we do this graciously without seeming rude. Here are a few tips to help you exit a conversation with style.


Body Language:

1. You can use your body language to end a conversation. In the United States we have a typical “conversation range” between 18”-36”. To end the conversation with your body, begin stepping outside this “conversation range.” The other person will read your physical cues and know it is time to move on. Use this tip carefully, though. Pulling away from a conversation can come across as rude. I much prefer to use my words with a few of the examples below.


2. One thing not to do with your body: do not start looking around. This sends the signal you are bored. Remember, your goal is to exit gracefully.


3. Hand off to a third party: This is probably my favorite thing to do, especially when I am the hostess. I love to match people up so they can expand their social networks. The best way to do this is have a conversation with someone for a few minutes, then say, “I would love for you to meet Debbie. Her son will be attending the same high school as your son next year, and you will be a great help to each other.” Then, grab Debbie and put the two together. At this time, you can graciously say, “I am going to let the two of you talk while I check on my other guests.”


Verbally:

1. When I end a conversation verbally, I let the other person know I enjoyed our time together. Examples of easy and polite exit lines might go like this:


a. “I enjoyed getting to know you. Please excuse me while I run to the powder room.”


b. “This was a very enlightening conversation, and I look forward to more. I need to catch my friend before she walks out the door.”


c. “This has been delightful. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and we get to see each other in the New Year.”


2. Offer something before you leave. This is important in business settings, but also a kind thing to do in social settings. I attend gatherings with the goal of trying to improve someone else’s day during my time at the event. This can occur in endless ways, but two examples might sound like this:


a. “I enjoyed our conversation about social skills. I am going to send you a copy of my favorite “go-to” book that I use for research. I think you will really enjoy the contents.” You have now improved their day by the promise of a gift (just make sure you are true to your words and follow through in a timely manner!).


b. “This has been a delightful conversation. Since I grew up with the CEO of the company where your son just applied for a job, I am going to give him a call on Monday so he can be on the lookout for your son’s resume.” You have politely ended the conversation but also extended a helping hand by your willingness to use your influence to help her son.


3. Have sensory acuity. Knowing at what point in a conversation to exit is important. If the person you are speaking with is about to share something important, it is probably not the best time to walk away. There is an unspoken rule that the person who starts the conversation should be the person to exit the conversation. If you are at a cocktail party, and someone approaches you to talk, that person should also be the one to exit. If they approach you, and then you exit, it can make them feel dejected. If the person that started the conversation does not know to exit, then you may employ some of the tips above to remove yourself.


Remember, the bottom line in all conversations: treat others as you want to be treated!


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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