Etiquette, Lists and Printables

Micro Lessons in Etiquette #3: Thank You Notes

Wow! This little area of social graces has changed without me noticing…

Over ten years ago (while I was raising babies I missed this!) it became acceptable to TEXT, EMAIL, OR CALL (and just leave a voicemail!) in place of a handwritten thank you note!!!! This is easy! I am so happy!!!

The process of writing a handwritten note is one that I used to enjoy but now it really stresses me out (which is why I have failed to do it 😳). I still to this day feel guilty for not writing more of these messages of gratitude. But modern etiquette to the rescue!!!

I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be Gratitude.

Benjamin Disraeli

In the past, the only acceptable means of thanking someone was in person or via a handwritten note. Period. Exclamation point!

Today – in a world where millennials are blamed for not taking the time to thank people by any method – the rules are changing to encourage any means of kindness.

‼️But beware (or be aware 🤨) that the gesture of a handwritten note is still used and expected by many. This practice is also very much appreciated in the business world.

Etiquette, Holidays, Lists and Printables

Micro Lessons in Etiquette #2: How to Address Envelopes (basic)

Weddings, Holiday Cards, Family Reunions, and other formal mailings all have one thing in common… You need to find out cousin Ana’s new address! And you need to know how to address the envelope. This is one that most people get wrong and I’m not sure it matters UNLESS the person receiving the envelope is offended (in which case, it mattered😬!).

“You can be hurt, not by what others think of you, but by what you think of what they think or you think they think of you.”😆

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Modern etiquette on this continues to change. If you are concerned about how to address your envelopes, I did a little research on if the man or woman’s name goes first on today’s envelopes. In one area I found clear answers: addressing married couples. Here is a quick tutorial on how etiquette dictates addressing married couples:

Etiquette, Holidays, Lists and Printables

Micro Lessons in Etiquette #1: Dining Room

When I was growing up, my grandmother had a store with an entire wing of the shop devoted to china and crystal patterns. I learned what each plate was meant to serve and which glass to use. She knew everything about etiquette. Most of the lessons in manners I learned from my mother who learned them from my grandmother. The rest I learned from reading books by Emily Post.

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

Emily Post

Manners are a form of respect for others. With that in mind, I am also aware that etiquette has changed in recent years. This is where it gets complicated. While many social graces are respectful, some can now appear sexist, rude, or ignorant.

The first change in etiquette that comes to mind is in a formal dining environment. What do you do when someone approaches the table? Does everyone stand to greet them or do women stay seated? When I was young, men stood up or half stood (called mock stand) when a woman left and returned to the table. Is this still a thing? I did some research and here is my answer to those questions:

It’s interesting what has changed and what hasn’t. There is a shift towards equality between men and women in terms of greeting business associates or acquaintances approaching the table. Meanwhile, there is still the traditional gesture by men towards women of standing when a woman leaves or returns to their table.

I am intrigued by what else is new or different! Micro Lessons in Etiquette might be my calling 😂

Health and Wellness, Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, School Days, Shopping

75 Screenless Activities for Kids – and Adults too!!!

Anyone else have kids addicted to the digital heroin? Well mine are all screen junkies and the pandemic didn’t help.

We had Covid-19 in December of 2020 (the whole family) and my husband and I barely had enough energy to take care of the little people. The boys had mild symptoms and were fine after day two, but Aaron and I got worse and stayed knocked down for 10 days. No one could help us or we’d risk exposing them… so it was computer, tablet, and video game central over here.

Weaning the kids off their 24hrs/day screens was not easy and we are still struggling. We needed ideas so we came up with the following document:

Most of this you probably either already own, can make (check on Pinterest!), or can procure 🥳 (I put some fun ideas below). But having a list on hand is key. Tape it somewhere everyone will see it (we have ours by where the kids hang their backpacks).

Having bins labeled with said activities is my favorite way to organize AND it lets you rotate out ideas. The best is when I forget I have a bin full of fun and find it – everyone is so happy!!! 😂

Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, School Days, Shopping

25 Packed Lunch Ideas (because packing school lunch is hard!)

I find that meal planning de-stresses my day. The difficulty isn’t always in finding ideas – it’s in lunch ideas that work for your family. Most idea lists do not work for my people so I have to combine several and experiment on my children (mwa ha ha). I try to do a protein, carb, fruit/vegetable, and something sweet or salty to round it all out. Here is what has worked THIS year (and yes my kids love to decide they cannot eat something anymore if I serve it too much or just cuz… so good luck!):

And yes I love a good Thermos! Character ones are a hit with my younger babes and the solid color (and larger) ones are great for my older kiddos and for camping!!! Here’s what I’m talking about (click below):

Birthday, Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, Shopping

Birthday Party Planning Lists (free printables!)

Having just wrapped (hehe) up a birthday party I thought that maybe my birthday party basics checklist and some ideas could help reduce your stress level with these mini-holidays:

This is honestly the simplest birthday checklist but all together you have a super special day! Switch it up too! Put a candle in a burger and have a cookout! Make a stack of pancakes and put rainbow sprinkles in the syrup! Nothing has to cost a lot of money to make someone feel special – just make sure you are keeping that special birthday person’s interests in mind with what you decide to do 🙂 Here’s links to a few ideas:

But let’s say that special birthdayer wants something more than basic. Here’s a few party and event ideas I have collectively hosted over the years! Mix and Match themes – add some more to the list!