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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.

  • Patti Hatton

The 5 Love Languages: Quality Time

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

If you have not taken the The Enneagram evaluation, I strongly suggest you do. It is very revealing regarding how we are wired. Knowing how those in your life interpret actions and words can help you communicate with them in a way that speaks to their heart.

If you are a Type 9 with a one-on-one subtype, chances are you speak the love language of quality time. If you are married to someone who ranks high for quality time, then what they most want from you is…wait for it…your time! Thirty minutes here or there, dinner together each night, and a weekend away will speak volumes to this person.

Notice the language is called “quality” time. Your attention requires the right kind of focus. Put your phone away and be fully present to meet the needs of the other person. When you are interacting, maintain eye contact and pay attention to emotional fluctuations. Listen with the intent to understand and clarify by reflecting what you have heard by asking questions.

A quality time person wants assurances that you are “with them” and they are not alone. Whatever the struggle or victory in life, they want to share it with you. If you are emotionally unavailable, whether it be because of fatigue or stress, tell them. But follow up by saying, “I would like to set up a time to listen and connect.”

The quality time person will look forward to and treasure the scheduled event if your intentions are sincere. Just like a quality time person wants you to know them by hearing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, they are usually just as interested in learning about you and your perspectives. They need the conversations to be two-sided. If opening up does not come easily to you, learn from your quality time partner what it looks like to be vulnerable. Humans connect in deep and meaningful ways when we share our hearts, and this comes naturally to those who speak the love language of quality time.

Another aspect of this language is shared activities. Activities can range from visiting National Parks together, cleaning the garage, hosting a dinner party, or taking a walk as long as the intent of the activity is to be together and strengthen the relationship. This will tell your loved one you care for them. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, says one of the by-products of quality time activities is they provide a memory bank from which to draw in the years ahead. You will remember the experience when you wall papered the nursery together or took a stroll along the seaside. Quality time is not meant to be one-sided. You need to be present to fully show your love for the person in your life whose top language is quality time. Embrace it!

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC