Manner Monday®: Manners and Etiquette, it’s about Hospitality not Formality

I love my job as an Etiquette Expert!  I love almost everything about it.  One of the only things I don’t like are the ‘assumptions’ associated with the title.  After getting to know someone new, they confess how they thought that I’m “Polly Perfect” all of the time.  I’m happy to announce for anyone wondering… I’m not! Just ask any of my friends 😉

I’m on a mission to debunk the notion that Etiquette is about Perfection.  I like to think of Manners and Etiquette more along the lines of Hospitality not Formality.  Yes, there are rules involved, but those rules are in place to make people feel comfortable and confident.  If we’ll start thinking of Manners and Etiquette from a perspective of Hospitality vs. Formality, then we’ll be in a better position to make others feel comfortable vs. uncomfortable.

Knowing the rules of etiquette does not give you a ‘hall pass’ to correct someone else’s mannerly misstep. If anything it arms you with the grace and knowledge to know you don’t point out the mistake and instead, it’s ‘Move along, there’s nothing to see here’.  

When I speak to groups and ask them what they think of when the hear the words ‘Manners’ and ‘Etiquette’, I’m usually met with answers like:

  • ‘snobby’
  • ‘rich’
  • ‘old school’
  • ‘rules’
  • ‘stuck up’

Those are the LAST things I want people thinking of when it comes to manners and etiquette!

I then ask the group to tell me words that come to mind when they hear the term ‘Hospitality’.  And I get answers such as:

  • ‘inviting’
  • ‘generous’
  • ‘warm’
  • ‘welcoming’
  • ‘making people feel comfortable’

Now, we’re talking! By implementing and practicing the rules of manners and etiquette, we end up making others around us feel comfortable. We treat them with respect; we make them feel comfortable. That’s what it’s all about, hospitality not formality!

Just in case you don’t believe me… a ‘picture’s worth a thousand words':

This is the day one of our students dropped something off at our house.  She looked a little shocked when I opened the door in ‘workout gear’.  I guess she thinks I wear heels and pearls around the house all day :-)

normal tennis shoes

Here I am with the ‘Hub’ and ‘Cub’ and a Scouting trip.  Yes, I camped in a tent!!!

normal hiking

Click to Tweet:  Manners and Etiquette; it’s about Hospitality not Formality! #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/HospVSForm

 

Thanks for reading!!!
– Carey Sue

On another note…

Registration is under way for our 5-12th grade programs that start soon.  Don’t miss out – register today!

For more information click on the links below:
5-8th Grade Programs
9-12th Grade Programs
General Information
www.ExpeditionsInEtiquette.com

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Classes, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Give-Away Goodies and Other Updates

I hope you are having a fabulous summer so far!!! We are looking forward to another great season that will be starting before you know it! … I can’t believe it’s already mid June!

Do you have a friend who has not yet registered?
If you have friends who are interested in participating, please remind them to register soon to take advantage of the Spring Special discount.  The discount is available until June 15.
Here is the link to registration info:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/registration/
Here is the link to basic info about the program:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

As an incentive to register early, we’re excited to announce a fun give-away.  I loved the cute bags/totes that Target came out with this summer so much, that I had our logo embroidered on a few of them. We’ve been receiving rave reviews so Ann and I thought we should give one away.  My friend Whitney English said she would be happy to add a ‘Day Designer’ to the bag for the lucky winner.  So… we created a fun ‘prize pack’ that consists of:

  • The darling Navy Tote with the EIE logo embroidered in gold
  • The Day Designer by Whitney English (your choice of design)
  • Gold Glitter Coffee Mug
  • Blue (Cold) Cup
  • A ‘bag of tricks’ with a shoe shine sponge and mending kit to corral all of those little things ‘we might need’ in our purse!

Here’s a picture of the goodies:

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To be eligible for the give-away, you must be registered by June 15.  (Yes, if you have already registered, you will automatically be included in the drawing.)

Video
We have a few videos available.

  1. the end of the season video produced by one of our graduating Student Ambassadors.  It’s a great overview of all of the formal events
  2. the Welcome Video I created as an introduction to new families whom I have not yet met.

All videos can be accessed via our YouTube page:  http://bit.ly/ExpeditionsinEtiquette

Schedules:
If you’re a planner and want to know the dates for the upcoming season, the ‘basic’ schedule has been set.  Once we have secured the majority of registrations this summer, we will announce the ‘detailed’ schedule and send an announcement via email.  Click the links below if you would like to view the ‘basic’ schedule.
Oklahoma City:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/oklahoma-city/
Edmond:  http://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/edmond/

As always, if you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.
– Carey Sue

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Classes

Manner Monday®: More Senior Spotlights

If you missed Manner Monday last week, we’ve been on a cruise and are just returning to the ‘real world. Here’s the post where I shared some fun tips, Packing for a Cruise with Julie and Gopher.   I’ll be sharing updates about our trip soon, but in the meantime, I thought you might enjoy some of the recent Senior Spotlights that have been posted to the blog.

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


On another note… Don’t forget to register by June 15 to save money (links below)!

Have you seen our end of the season video yet?  Thank you to one of our Student Ambassadors, Presley Rhea, for creating the video this year!

And if you’re curious as to why I was verklempt at the end of the video, you can visit this link to read the story: http://bit.ly/SrSpotCT

The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

For more information click on the links below:
5-8th Grade Programs
9-12th Grade Programs
General Information
www.ExpeditionsInEtiquette.com

 

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Classes, Manner Monday, Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Audrey Stine

“I  participated in the Expeditions in Etiquette program for three years and was a Student Ambassador for one year. My favorite memory from the program was my first ball which took place in 2013. The first year that I was involved with Expeditions in Etiquette was my Sophomore year in High School, I absolutely did not want to do it, but after the ball at Gaillardia I was in love. This program has really helped me come out of my shell. I used to be shy and did not like dancing (especially in front of others.)  After realizing how much fun I had been having I went home and told my mom I have to go back!

My three favorite activities were; the civic center outing, learning how to eat a burger continental style, and the final ball at Gaillardia.” –  Audrey

It’s been a true pleasure getting to know you Audrey!  Yes, I remember when you showed up to the first event, you were pretty skeptical of the whole process!  :-)  So glad you gave us a chance!

Audrey Stine

To learn more about our programs such as the ones Audrey participated in, please visit:  http://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Classes, Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Channing Phillips

“For the past eight years I have had the privilege of being apart of the Expeditions in Etiquette program. In the fifth grade I did not think I was joining a program that would last a lifetime for me. It has allowed me to grow within myself and has given me new friends along the way. My favorite memory of this program would have to be the end of the year ball that consists of an evening of dinner and dancing. Along with that we add some fun games, one being the snow ball challenge. For me and many others the snow ball challenge is a great way to break the ice!
I have continued this program not because my mother insisted on it, but because I enjoyed every second of it. It has taught me so much whether it was a basic manner or two or just the confidence of speaking with my peers.
Throughout these years I have also been able to be an assistant for the younger students. I strongly encourage this opportunity because it opens many doors to other opportunities. I will miss every bit of this program and working with my peers. I hope to have the opportunity of revisiting and speaking to the future students of the Expeditions in Etiquette program.
I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Vega for providing me with so much – I will definitely miss this great program!”
– Channing
And Channing… we will miss you too! It’s been a pleasure watching you grow and mature over the years! ‘Break-a-leg’ a Mizzou!!!
channing.SeniorPic

To learn more about our programs such as the ones Channing participated in, please visit:  http://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Classes, Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Presley Rhea

“I have been able to be part of Expeditions in Etiquette for 5 years and I wish that I could have participated for all 8 years. I have made some of the closest friends through the program with people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

Each year I found new questions to ask and how to handle specific situations that I may be put in throughout my life. Now I feel extremely confident entering into college knowing that I am prepared with the knowledge of etiquette that most of my peers will not have.

And if for some reason I don’t know the answer, I’ll keep Mrs. Vega on speed dial!”
-Presley Rhea

Absolutely Presley, you know you can always text or call!!! We look forward to keeping in touch!

Presley Rhea

To learn more about our programs such as the ones Presley participated in, please visit:  http://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Classes, Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Emily Hopper

“From the first class, I was introduced to Expeditions In Etiquette with Mrs. Vega’s welcoming smile that put me at ease. I had been taught to set table and to chew with my mouth closed at an early age but it wasn’t until participating in classes with Mrs. Vega that I learned the ‘why’ behind all of these things!  Immediately I was immersed into a class of great students who were truly happy to be there.”

Emily Hopper was very busy during her high school years.  In addition to her academic work she also found time to work toward a doula certification with DONA International and participate in several different clubs.  Emily even won a community service award for the club she and her sisters founded, Priceless Girlhood.  She also spent her time campaigning for various political candidates, volunteering, and working as a nanny and as a Student Ambassador for Expeditions in Etiquette.  Emily was recently asked to staff a week-long camp for TeenPact, a leadership class that teaches young people about our constitution and government.  Emily plans to spend the next year preparing for university and working part-time at OBA.

Emily Hopper

To learn more about our programs such as the ones Emily participated in, please visit:  http://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Classes, Senior Spotlight

Expeditions In Etiquette 2014-2015 Season Video

Thank you to one of our Student Ambassadors, Presley Rhea, for creating the video this year!

And if you’re curious as to why I was verklempt at the end of the video, you can visit this link to read the story: http://bit.ly/SrSpotCT

Register now for Expeditions In Etiquette; manners, etiquette and social skills training for your child. We urge you to register early to avoid the waiting list. Classes are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information click on the links below:
5-8th Grade Programs
9-12th Grade Programs
General Information
www.ExpeditionsInEtiquette.com

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Classes, Etiquette, Manners

Manner Monday®: Senior Spotlight on Courtney Thompson

May is knocking on our door, which means graduation is fast approaching!  We’re kicking off our Senior Spotlight this season with Courtney Thompson.  We will post the remaining Senior Spotlights as regular blog posts, over the next few weeks and will also announce them in the ‘Weekly Update’ emails.  If you’re not receiving the ‘Weekly Update’ emails, please visit this link to update your choice of which emails you would like to receive: http://eepurl.com/hHJu

In the meantime, I’d love to introduce you to Courtney.  She asked me if she could speak at the final ball of the season this year as she had a few words to share with her fellow students.  She also asked if I trusted her to speak without me seeing her speech first and I said absolutely. Little did I know that she would have me in tears (good tears) by the end of it all!  Thank YOU Courtney for reminding us of why we do what we do!

“Starting in seventh grade, I remember feeling intimidated when I walked into the Marriott hotel for my first class.  I was very shy and closed off and I remember asking myself if this would turn into another school where cliques form and quiet girls get left out, because everyone there seemed to know everyone else.  However, when we lined up to enter the ballroom, I had a feeling it was going to be different.  My escort and I walked up to this lady who was the instructor, I suppose.  She wore this big smile, the kind that you can’t help smiling back at.  Through that entire year, I knew only one person, but Mrs. Vega never forgot my name and that’s what encouraged me to return.

At the ball my ninth grade year, I sat with these girls that all seemed to know each other, but they didn’t leave me out of a single conversation.  I was taken aback because it was unusual that someone would go out of their way to continue a conversation with me. To this day we are still friends because every class after that they continued to approach me and include me in conversation.  That is how I became friends with Presley, Jordan and Payton.

The way those girls reached out to me inspired me to reach out to others who maybe didn’t know anyone or who looked uncomfortable.  My efforts in this actually changed my perspective on myself as well.  I became more confident in myself, and my interactions with other people; for example, one of my biggest fears in the world was public speaking.  It was so bad that I would pass out sometimes and word spread of this, soon all my teachers knew not to call me out.  However this class taught me to see this as a challenge and here I stand in front of all of you, speaking.  I learned that there is more to this class than learning proper etiquette or the placement of dining utensils.  Mr. and Mrs. Vega have been teaching all of us to embrace who we are and do so with confidence so that everyone can see the light within us.  We have become a family within this program because not only do we learn to accept ourselves, but also we learn to accept and be open-minded toward our peers.  I came into this class hoping to find people like me, and I found that plus something greater; people who are the exact opposite.  It’s better because there is never a dull moment; you are always learning something new about the people around you.  Mrs. Vega is my role model.  She has inspired me to become someone I never thought I could be.  I’ll always remember a quote she shared with us by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”   That quote itself has led me through many tough situations and I will always remember it.

Expeditions In Etiquette has been the biggest blessing.  It has given me the ability to be comfortable in every situation and more importantly, to help others gain confidence as well.  It has made me a better friend, a better student, a better sister, and a better mentor.  No matter what comes along, I know the lessons that I’ve learned here can never be taken away from me.  Expeditions In Etiquette will always be a part of me because I would not be the same person today if I had not walked into the Marriott hotel and introduced myself to Mrs. Vega six years ago.  I love this program and I hope to make an impact on someone’s life one day, like Mrs. Vega made an impact on mine.”

And… I have a kleenex in hand – wow… again, thank you Courtney. Thanks for letting us know in such heartfelt words how you feel. We love you, and we love what we do!!!

Click to Tweet:   “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”-EleanorRoosevelt #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/SrSpotCT

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In other news…

Spring Special Registration Discount is available
Registration Information for 5th-8th Grades for 2015-2016 Season

Registration Information for 9th-12th Grades for the 2015-2016 Season

Multi-Season Discount
You’ve asked and we have listened!  We now offer a multi-sesason discount to families who would like to register a child for three consecutive years in the program.  As each season builds on the previous; maximum benefits are achieved by continued exposure for a minimum of three years (many students participate for 8 consecutive years).

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

 

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Classes, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners, Senior Spotlight

Executive Success Series 

I’m so excited for this new series!!!  Please feel free to share this information with anyone else you think may be interested.

Research shows that 85 percent of success in the business world hinges on your soft skills, and only 15 percent on your technical skills.  Yet many people do not take the time to invest in the most critical part of their professional training, the crucial social skills that enhance your ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead which helps you build relationships and close deals.  Are you ready to invest in your 85 percent?

Schedule:

  • Tuesday, March 10, 11:30am-1:00pm, Skirvin, Downtown Oklahoma City  (lunch included)
  • Tuesday, April 14, 11:30am-1:00pm, Skirvin, Downtown Oklahoma City  (lunch included)
  • Tuesday, May 12, 6:00-7:30pm, Cocktail Party, Location TBA

Curriculum:

  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Hosting and being a guest at a lunch, dinner, board, or coffee meeting
  • Communication; verbal, written and electronic
  • Networking Events; advanced techniques for both Introverts and Extroverts
  • Customer Service, and much more.

Course Fee:  $287 for all three events in the series

Click here to register, seating is limited and registration closes on March 3.

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Business Etiquette, Classes