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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

  • Alina Gersib

Top 10 Parks Around Houston

In the sprawling metropolis that is Houston, Texas, it can be difficult to get away from the traffic and noise. In order to destress and reconnect with nature, finding a good park to walk, run, or sit on a bench and enjoy is crucial. Having lived in The Med Center, Galleria, and Heights, I quickly learned about the best parks in and around the city. If you’re looking for a spot for some peace and tranquility, be sure to check out one of these Top 10 Houston Parks. (In no particular order)


1. Herman Park

With ample space and a variety of different attractions this park always has something new to see. Depending on what you want your park experience to be you can rent bikes and ride around the outer loop. Visit the Centennial Gardens and climb to the top of the mound. Or go feed the ducks on the lake by the zoo.

2. Brays Bayou Park

Though this park is located right next to Herman Park and even has bridges that attach the two, it has a dramatically different feel from its more structured neighbor. One section in particular, about a quarter mile to the right of the main parking area, takes you into an area which quickly transports you out of the city. The forested grove feels more akin to something out of a Tolkien novel.

3. Evelyn’s Park Conservancy

This little gem was one of my favorite places to people watch or set up my computer and work. There is an adorable little restaurant on the grounds called Betsy’s at Evelyn’s Park which has delicious coffee, food, and drinks. Events happen frequently on the lawn space at this park and there is an area with Alice in Wonderland statues and quotes which is fun to walk around.


4. Menil Park

Photo Menil Collection


Though tiny, this park was a go-to while I lived in Houston. It was always enjoyable to walk through the Menil Collection or sit in the Rothko Chapel before going out to the green space and laying on the grass. The area is perfect for a picnic blanket and to admire a sunset while listening to the hum of conversation floating through the air.

5. Buffalo Bayou Park

Sandwiched between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive this park is a great spot to visit on a hot summer day as a breeze from the Bayou tends to make it cooler than other areas. Though not a park, a must visit while you’re there is the Buffalo Park Cistern. Reserve tickets online so you get a spot, and marvel at the incredible Romanesque architecture while learning about the fascinating history of this cistern that supplied the city with water starting in 1926.

6. West 11th Street Park

This gorgeous little park in the heights is full of a surprising number of wooded trails. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a place to walk, run, or explore. Educational markers give information on native plants, and birds and small wildlife are incredibly active within these tranquil woods.

7. Memorial Park

Memorial Park (Memorial Park Conservancy)

It’s difficult to talk about Houston parks and leave this popular spot off of the list. With its famous dirt running/walking loop and a vast outlet of mountain biking and hiking trails this is an area many enjoy. The Picnic Loop Trail has some great running areas if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path.


8. Levy Park

Photo Urban Land Institute and Levy Park

Filled with all sorts of whimsical playground equipment and climbing areas, this park would be a hit if you have any kiddos. My fiancé and I enjoyed strolling in the park and playing ping-pong at the free tables.

9. Terry Hershey Park

If you’re looking for a spot for either a long run or bike ride, this loop is a great place to check out. With more than 500 acres it makes for a huge area of outdoor exploration. There are also plenty of benches, playground equipment, and restrooms along the route if you’re planning for a day out with your family.

10. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

A park perfect for nature lovers. The many paved, dirt, and wooded paths provide an up close look at native Texas Wildlife. There is no running or biking in the park, so this is a spot to come to if you’re looking for a leisurely stroll on pristine grounds.

-Alina Gersib

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