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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

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!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 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! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Lisa Lou

Image: Story of an Interview



I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. Her son is in his 20s, and he made it to the final 3 for a job he is seeking. After a one-on-one interview with one of the executives, her son relayed an interesting conversation that had occurred. The executive told him, “You are smart, a go-getter and you know what you are doing, but the thing that has set you apart from the other two candidates is the way you dress. Whether we offer you the job or not, I want you to know how important this is. The other two guys showed up in sports coats and no tie. You have always been dressed in a suit and have shown us that your image matters. This is important, because if we hire you, you will be representing this firm, and we have to know you will represent us well.”

Whoa!!!! I felt like this executive had been reading my blogs! This is EXACTLY why image matters! You can read some of my other articles that talk more in depth about image, but I just wanted to use this example as an important reminder that how we present ourselves can make a difference in our level of success.

Our bodies are like a billboard on the main street of a busy intersection. When we walk into a room, we are telling people what they should think about us. A first impression will be formed about you in 2 seconds, EVEN if the other person never speaks to you. I often hear people say, “But that isn’t fair. Someone shouldn’t form an opinion about me without getting to know me first.” Wrong! The other person is forming an opinion about you, because you are telling them what to think about you! It is not the other way around.


When you are groomed, and your clothes are tailored to fit your body type it shows you care about yourself. It shows you take pride in who you are as a person. I always clarify when I speak of image, I am never referring to what one person might perceive as physically attractive. What constitutes beauty in modern society changes with each generation and is based on what is promoted in pop culture. In the Marilyn Monroe days, a curvy figure was what the world desired. Then came the toothpick-thin era where boney, narrow hips were all the rage. Now, we have moved to the bigger and more voluptuous “behind” as a sign of what others find attractive. Hey, that is good news for me. My pear-shaped body means I am back in vogue!

When we take pride in ourselves, groom ourselves, and wear clothes that fit, it does not matter what size we are, we will be seen by others as beautiful! Why? Because it is the pride and confidence that shines from within that is the real gem.


Counseling offices in universities across the country have begun bringing back etiquette, image, and protocol courses for their graduating seniors. Why? They have begun noticing many graduates are not being offered jobs in the work force, even when they have well-rounded resumes that appear to make them a desirable candidate. When these departments began asking companies why their students were not being hired, the common thread that was missing among the applicants was a basic knowledge of soft and social skills. These include dining and business etiquette, good communication, a well-groomed image, along with other intangible skills. It was not uncommon for an employer to say, “The candidate looks great on paper, but there is no way I can put them in front of a client. They would not represent us well.”

Nicholas Wyman with Forbes, stated, “Sadly, many college graduates lack both practical work experience as well as soft skills. These are the crucial people skills you need to land a job…”

Professor Cary Cooper of the Manchester Business School said, “…some graduates lack social skills and the ability to conduct face-to-face conversations.”

Image matters, because first impressions matter, and when you take pride in yourself you are portraying confidence in who you are as a person. As we have seen with my friend’s son, the positive portrayal of his image, along with his soft skills, may be the deciding factor to him securing his dream job.

The best news about obtaining soft skills and portraying a good image? It is 100% in your control!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou