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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. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

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.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

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. 

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.

  • 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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