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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.

  • Lisa Lou

Quarantine Gift Ideas for Mom

Updated: Jun 3, 2020



How do we celebrate Mom when we are stuck in quarantine? Get your creative juices flowing and make a list of things she loves. This will help focus you in the right direction. To get you started, I have listed 15 ideas that you can pull off when you cannot leave your home.


Virtual Wine Tasting: I love this idea. You can sign up with different wineries and do virtual tastings. Offerings vary based on the company, so do some research. Here is a link to get you started. https://www.wine.com/content/landing/virtual-tastings#

Flowers or Balloons: I don’t care what gift experts say, flowers NEVER get old! I sometimes mix it up and send a bouquet of balloons. This is so festive.


Find a Friend (or company) to Serenade Her: My mother had two friends come over, unannounced, and sing to her outside her home. They then left a batch of homemade muffins. It was so memorable! If you hire a professional, not only are you giving a great gift, but you are also helping support them during difficult times.


Kindle: If she enjoys reading and has not tried books on Kindle, quarantine is a good time to start.


Home Shopping Spree: Instead of sending her out the front door, where many stores are not open, she can curl up on the couch and shop from home. Most boutiques have websites, and I strongly encourage supporting our local businesses. Shopping on Amazon will work, too. But shop local if you can!


Coupon Book: Ideas: clean the house; make breakfast, lunch or dinner; whatever her chores entail let the family take over for one week. There is no end to what you can include in this book. Make one coupon for each month to last a year, or one for each day that lasts a week. Let the children get involved in crafting the book. The sky is the limit on this gift!


Puzzle: Order a puzzle with a picture of her favorite vacation spot with a promise you will visit as soon as you can travel again.


Favorite Dessert: Make it or order it. Let the children be involved if you are making.


Art Set: If she enjoys art, or has wanted to start back up, order a beginner’s set from Amazon.


Pajamas and Slippers: We are spending a lot of time in clothes other than our normal street wear. Now is a great time to invest in a nicer set of pajamas and slippers.


Comfortable and Stylish Lounge Outfit: For the same reason mentioned above, a new, chic lounge outfit will be greatly appreciated.


Create a Playlist of Her Favorite Songs: This is a special treat for those that do not enjoy technology but want to have a solid playlist of music. Having someone else create the list for you is a treat.


Online Course She Wishes to Take: If there is a course she has wanted to take, purchase this online, and give her a coupon book that offers to take over her responsibilities so she has the time to complete the course.


Instant Pot or Slow Cooker: With all the homecooked meals we are devouring, now is a good time to upgrade the Crock-Pot you received when you married or invest in a first-time Instant Pot. Include a recipe book of easy to follow meals. Go a step further. Tell her she will receive her gift in the evening. Don’t let her in the kitchen. Make a great meal for her in her new appliance and then present both to her at the same time. (I may have to do a blog on competing opinions: slow cooker or Instant Pot?!?)


Silky Sheets: Sheets can be expensive. Indulge her in a beautiful set of new linens for the bedroom. This might be something you let her choose, but you can include it in the coupon book!


Although we tend to think of tangible items when it comes to gift giving, the best way to please Mom is to learn to speak her love language. These languages include words of affirmation; acts of service; receiving gifts; quality time; physical touch. If you have not taken the 5 Love Languages quiz, I encourage you to do so. Everyone of us speaks all five languages, but some of our languages rank higher than others. When it comes to gift giving, if you know which of Mom’s languages rank the highest, it will help guide you in the type of gift that will please her most. And if you can learn to master her language, this will be the greatest gift of all. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/


Together with you,

Lisa Lou