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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.

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.

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.

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.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

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What Do I Wear to the Party?




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.” When we are unclear, this only serves to add undo 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?

If you have been invited to a party, most likely the dress suggested will fall under one of the categories below.


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

Step up your game a little in the casual department.

Women: Add heals with your jeans and throw on a blazer. This has you covered.

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 or blazer. 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. The word “optional” means, “If you do not own a tux, or just 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 black tie, 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, though, here is the best choice.

Women: A longer dress, but not 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, though, 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!


*A comment about men and shorts. In our casual culture today, 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.

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