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Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. 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.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

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.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).


When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Alina Gersib

Mexican Chicken Empanadas Taste Test

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!

This recipe is a 10/10! Not only is the filling delicious but the pie crust makes a tasty flaky shell. If you have kids at home this would be an easy recipe to have them help you with as cutting out, filling, and pinching the empanadas together was a fun process. I ended up having a lot of leftover filling after preparing the shells and put a few scoops over a plate of chips to make nachos while the empanadas baked. I highly recommend this if you have extra filling. I also made a dish of guacamole to serve on the side and the flavors mixed together wonderfully.

Mexican Chicken Empanadas
Download PDF • 1.67MB

Makes 12 servings

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


*1 cup finely shredded cooked chicken

*8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

*1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped fine

*1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

*2 teaspoons lime juice

*1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (in a can at the store)

*Salt and pepper

*2 packages store-bought pie dough

*Favorite store-bought salsa

*Favorite store-bought coleslaw

Preparation for the empanadas filling:

*Combine chicken, cheddar cheese, olives, cilantro, lime juice, and chipotle in bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Preparation for the empanadas:

*Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

*Using 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut circles out of dough rounds (6 circles per round); discard scraps.

*Working with half of dough circles at a time, place 2 teaspoons empanada filling in center of each. (I ended up using about a tablespoon and a half of filling in each and this was a good amount)

*Moisten edges of dough circles with water, then fold dough over the filling into half-moon shape.

*Pinch edges to seal, then crimp with fork to secure.

*Arrange empanadas on prepared sheet, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

*When ready to serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425F.

*Bake empanadas until golden, 23 to 28 minutes.

*Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve with salsa.


*Use 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile adobo sauce to drizzle over top of empanadas.

*Top each empanada with coleslaw.

Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib