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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

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

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

This dish is an absolute hit no matter where I bring it. Every time someone has tried these pot pies they have asked for the recipe. The puff pastry is a delicious alternative to pie crust and adds a very tasty flakey dimension to the dish.

Once the chicken is poached, I prefer dicing to shredding, though either will work. Utilizing the leftover poaching liquid as the base of the pot pie gives the filling an even richer flavor. I like using Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base over regular chicken bullion, if you do not have either on hand though, add a teaspoon of salt instead. The fresh rosemary gives these pot pies a flavor profile that is different than your tradition pies and is a must try!

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
Download PDF • 360KB

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 40 minutes + 30 minutes to chill

Cook Time: 40 minutes


*1 pound chicken

*1 cup chicken broth

*1 3/4 cups whole milk

*2 teaspoons chicken bullion, I like using Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

*1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

*3 tablespoons salted butter

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1 onion, diced

*3 carrots, sliced into small pieces

*3 celery stalks, sliced

*1 teaspoon dried thyme

*2 tablespoon lemon juice + 1/4 cup water together in a measuring cup

*1/4 cup flour, heaping

*1/2 cup grated parmesan

*1 cup frozen peas

*1/2 teaspoon pepper

*1 sheet puff pastry

*1 egg + 1 teaspoon water

Preparation of Chicken:

*Combine broth, milk, and chicken bullion in a large pan. Turn to medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add chicken and rosemary.

*Place lid on pan, simmer on medium-low, ensuring it does not boil.

*After 15 minutes remove the chicken and dice. Place lid back on pan and set aside the poaching liquid.

Preparation of Pie Filling:

*Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in garlic cloves and onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and thyme, cook for 5 minutes or until carrot is soft.

*Pour in lemon juice and water mixture. Stir continuously until liquid is mostly evaporated.

*Add flour and stir for a minute.

*Combine about half the reserved poaching liquid, stirring it in until all the flour is combined. Making a thick sludge.

*Stir in remaining poaching liquid, parmesan, and pepper.

*Add in diced chicken and peas, stirring til well combined.

*Once mixture is steaming, stir constantly and cook for 3 minutes to thicken the sauce.

*Move off of burner and spoon into baking dishes.

*Cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preparation of Pot Pie:

*Once mixture is in fridge, remove puff pastry from freezer and let thaw for 20 minutes. Then cut into squares large enough to cover the edge of your baking dishes.

*Preheat oven to 350F.

*Prepare egg wash by mixing egg with 1 teaspoon of water.

*Brush the edge of the baking dishes with egg wash.

*Top dishes with puff pastry, folding down over the sides.

*Brush pastry top with egg wash. Cut a small slice in the middle of the puff pastry with a knife to allow steam to escape while baking.

*Bake 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is a deep golden color.


Recipe Creator - Alina Gersib