New On The Blog

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Private Plane Etiquette

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! You can be dropped off right at the private terminal, called an FBO (Fixed Base Operator), just 30 minutes before departure. The carrier used was an Embraer, and it holds 30 passengers. The seats between the two window seats have been removed to allow for more room. Because you check in at a FBO instead of a commercial terminal, there are no long lines, and security only takes minutes. This sounds like heaven! Although you are still traveling with passengers you do not know, and it is technically not a true charted flight, it did make me wonder about etiquette and protocol for private transportation. With the creation of companies like the one I mentioned, this form of travel may soon become more mainstream. So, let’s explore this topic in hopes that one day soon, all of us can experience trekking across the country in luxury.

1. What to Wear:

If you are traveling with friends and family, you can go a little more casual. A nice pair of jeans and collared shirt work well. If it is a business trip, or you are traveling with people you do not know, then business attire is expected. Just as on a commercial flight, do not wear flip flops, sweatpants, or revealing attire.

2. The Host Boards First:

If you are on a private flight that serves as a semi-commercial transport (like the one mentioned in the opening paragraph) you will have an assigned seat. If it is a chartered flight, there are no assigned seats. In this case, treat the situation like you would if you were attending a party in someone’s home. Allow the host to board the plane first. The host will choose his/her seat and then instruct the guests where they may sit. The plane is the “home,” and the host has invited you to an event in his “home.”

3. Bespoke Service:

Many accommodations can be made for you on a private flight. Will you need lunch? Tell customer service when you make the reservation. No dairy on that salad? Let them know. Do you have a special wine you like? They will be happy to have it waiting. Flying private allows for bespoke services, so just inform the crew ahead of time. They want to make your experience a memorable one.

4. Internet:

Most private flights have internet connection, and a nice perk is you do not have to power down on a charter plane.

5. Pets Welcome:

This might be the best part when you charter a flight. No need to leave your 4-legged family member home! They will ride in the cabin with you either sitting on the floor or perched on the seat next to you. Just be mindful to let your pooch have a potty stop before boarding. Small planes mean big odors if accidents happen.

6. Bathrooms:

It is best to use the FBO bathroom before boarding. Bathrooms are tiny on a chartered transport. In fact, many lavatories double as an additional seat for passengers. A bathroom is available, and luxurious, but try to avoid using it if possible.

7. Luggage:

Upon arriving at the FBO you may pull your car right up to the plane. The pilot will load your luggage into the compartment, or you may take it with you into the cabin if it is small enough. Although you are not limited on how many bags you may bring, the size of the plane determines the maximum weight the vessel can carry. The storage area under the plane is not exceptionally large, either, so it is best to inquire what works best for the carrier you will be on. The best protocol is one large suitcase and one carry-on per passenger, but adjustments may be made since this is not a hard and fast rule as it is when flying commercial.

8. Do Not Dally:

There are many benefits to flying private, but a big one is your time. No need to arrive at the airport two hours before your departure. For a chartered flight (unlike the semi-commercial private flights), there is no security line to walk through and, at an FBO, long corridors to your gate are non-existent. Pulling up to your plane 15 minutes before your flight is commonplace. Keep in mind the FBO is not a place to hang out all day like you might in a commercial airport. There are no restaurants or food. Some might have a vending machine and a place to pour a cup of coffee, but that is the extent. An FBO is simply a passthrough to use the restroom, freshen up, and hop on your plane.

9. I.D.:

Although you do not have to go through security, you will need to show the pilot your identification once you board. Take along your passport or driver’s license.

10. Hostess Gift:

If you have been invited to join someone on a charter flight, it is nice to bring a hostess gift just as you would to a party. A nice bottle of wine is always appropriate, and it can be enjoyed on your flight if the host wishes. When it comes to alcohol make sure to let the pilot know you are bringing libations onboard. It is allowed, but it needs to be disclosed. An alternative to bringing a gift with you is to send your host a little something once you return home.

11. Clean Up:

Many private flights do not have flight attendants. The pilots are tasked with cleaning up the cabin upon your departure. Just as you would in your home, do not leave a mess. Dump any trash in the receptacle to lessen the work for the crew.

12. Tip:

Tipping your pilots is at your discretion. I recommend asking customer service when you book the flight what is standard practice for their company. There are differing opinions on this. My mantra in life is always: When in doubt, ask.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou