New On The Blog

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Why a Travel Agent Makes Sense!



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.


When you hire a professional, you benefit from all the influence and connections they have built over the years with the various hotels and resorts. Whatever perks the company is given, they can easily pass along to their clients. Look at the bonuses Caz and Cecelia received because they hired a travel expert:

  • $560: 7 days of free breakfast-for-2

  • $100: resort credit to spend as they wished

  • Bottle of champagne greeting them in their room upon arrival

  • Free wi-fi

  • Early check-in and late check-out

  • And the best upgrade of all: because there was availability, they were moved to one of the most expensive suites which came with a private butler!

Total benefits received: Just under $3,000!


Using an agent also guarantees other benefits. When Caz and Cecelia arrived, the hotel had already been informed of their food likes/dislikes/allergies, as well as the reason for the vacation, which came with its own bonuses provided by the hotel.


In our current, and post, COVID world I believe utilizing the many services of an agent becomes even more important. I am planning a trip to Maine for the summer. One of our friends who is traveling with us has a family member who lives in the state. We were just informed that a negative COVID test is required for those of us coming for a visit outside the state. It is either that, or we must quarantine for 10 days. I would not have known this if we had not been privy to this inside information.


My travel agent, though? She would have known. She would be able to give me all the scoop I need before departing on a trip. Flight delays or cancellations? Call your agent. Last minute emergency? Call your agent. Unplanned tour you wish to take after you arrive? Call your agent. And even better than this? A good agent will solve the many hiccups that arise with travel before you even know there is a problem. They become the point person for everything you do.


With a seasoned professional, your stress level is reduced dramatically, not to mention they know how to navigate the world of travel much better than most civilians, because they do it every day. For me, using an agent is like buying insurance for a trip. As our world begins to open back up, and we start to venture back out, having someone watch out for me is something I will not leave town without!


This is not a paid-for advertisement. I write this to convey my strong feelings on having an advocate when you travel, as well as to give a big THANK YOU to Cristina Buaas of CSB Travel for making my son and daughter (in law’s) honeymoon a smashing success! Be on the lookout for future posts on vacation etiquette, including one on traveling with friends! Here’s to exciting adventures for all of us in 2021!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou