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4. No one wants to hear your conversation. When you must speak on the phone in public, remove yourself and take your call in private. If you cannot find privacy, step at least ten feet away so you minimize the chance of disturbing others. No matter how private we try to make our call, our body language speaks volumes. Patrons enjoying a dinner out do not want to be disturbed watching someone throw their arms around while arguing on their phone.

​I am convinced we need to start thinking of our phones as a human persona. I do not care if you make it look like your spouse, mother, or college roommate. If we were to add eyes, a nose, hair, and a big smile to the front of our phones, we might begin making the connection that every time we converse with someone via text or email, we are allowing them to become a part of whatever we are doing.

  • Prostrate on the ground praying earnestly for those in his life.

  • Living on 3 hours sleep for months to build something special to improve the lives of thousands.

  • In all his busyness, never making me feel I come in second. Even when it means sacrificing himself.

“The hardest job kids have today is learning good manners…without seeing any.” Fred Astaire. 

 

Women have great influence in their family, and much of the work falls to us to provide each person with the tools they need to succeed. But how can we pass along knowledge that we do not possess? 

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!”

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.

  • Lisa Lou

What Do I Wear to the Party?


You just received an invitation to a great party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture.


WHAT????


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a 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.” When we are unclear, this only serves to add stress on those we have invited. An invitation to a party should be a joyful experience from beginning to end. Growing up with grandparents that were cattle ranchers, if I received an invitation that said “cowboy” in it, I would don my favorite pair of jeans and boots and head out the door. The word “couture” might give me a clue that I should elevate my choice of attire, but why leave your guests wondering?


Here is a guide that will help clear up any confusion you might have.


Casual


Let me clarify up front. Casual does not mean athletic gear or cutoff shorts. Save this for the gym or yard work.


Women: If your invitation says casual, the best choice is a pair of jeans and a cute top. A comfortable pair of crop pants and flats always works, too.

Men: A nice pair of jeans and a collared shirt. This can be a golf shirt or a button down with the sleeves rolled up. *


*Casual Chic


Women: Step up your game a little in the casual department. Add heels with your jeans and throw on a blazer.

Men: If you mix jeans with a sports jacket, you will fit right in.


Business Casual


Women: Business skirt or slacks and a blouse. Maybe throw on a blazer.

Men: Slacks, a collared shirt, and a sports coat. Know your audience when choosing your dress. There are some groups that feel Business Casual is your standard khakis, button down, and no jacket. When my husband receives a Business Casual invitation, he always wears some type of jacket. If his attire is too dressy when he arrives, he can leave the coat in the car. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.


Cocktail


Women: A short, black dress is usually a great “go-to” outfit. Throw on some jewelry, heels, and a great handbag, and you are set.

Men: Dark suit with a tie.


Black Tie Optional


I find this dress code more difficult, because it leaves people wondering which way they should go. Let me clear this up. When the hostess of an event says “optional” what they are trying to say is, “If you do not own a tux, or do not feel like renting one, we do not want this to keep you from attending our event, so come on anyway.” The hostess is saying she wants you in a tuxedo, but your presence is more important to her than your attire. So, when my husband and I receive a Black-Tie Optional invitation, we always err on the dressier side and go Black Tie! If you do not wish to do this here is the best choice.


Women: A longer dress (does not need to be floor length), heels, and great jewelry.

Men: Dark suit, white shirt, and very dark tie. Preferably a solid black or dark navy. This can be a regular tie or a bow tie.


Black Tie


This is the easiest to decipher because we all know what to expect.


Women: Floor length gown.

Men: Tuxedo. In all things know your audience and your hostess. A Hollywood gala or political black-tie event might be dressier than a friend’s 7p.m. wedding. Use your judgement and feel free to ask the hostess what she is wearing. This is sometimes the best route!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou

*A comment about men and shorts. In our casual culture, it is more common and acceptable to see grown men wearing shorts. A word of caution, though. Here is a quick recap on the history of shorts and when they should and should not be worn.