Manner Monday®: Spreading Holiday Cheer with Tipping

Do you find yourself asking how much you should spend when spreading Holiday Cheer to service providers? It can be a bit overwhelming when you start making the list of all of the people who not only make your life easier, but also those who help you, take care of you; everything from day care providers, housekeepers, and pet groomers, to hair stylists and personal trainers. And modern times bring new categories to that growing list; personal assistant/errand service, eyelash care, nail tech, and don’t forget the technology ninja who makes sure your home office stays online! After all, they are the people we rely on throughout the year.  To help you navigate the process, we’ve put together some guidelines to help you show your appreciation.

First, take some time to make your list.  I love using Evernote for tasks such as this, it syncs seamlessly between your desktop and phone app so you can update the notes, make changes and access it on the go.  When thinking through who should be on your list, start with the suggestions above and then add to it any other people who you think deserve a special thank-you.

Next, figuring what and how much to give.  How much glee do you consistently spread throughout the year?  For example, your Hairdresser, do you tip them well on a regular basis? If so, maybe consider something a little more creative for the Holidays. Of course cash is always a great gift, and always appreciated. Or, you could opt for something a bit more creative.  More than likely you’ve spent enough time with them to have a pretty good idea what some of their favorite things are, or the things they enjoy doing like going to the movies.  You could get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or to their favorite movie theater.

Here are a few possible categories of service providers and recommendations on ‘how much’ to tip.

Those who help with your Children: 

  • Babysitter – 1 nights pay, plus a small gift or note from your child.
  • Day Care provider – $25/75, plus an optional small gift.
  • Teacher – $10/20 gift cards make great teacher gifts anytime of the year!
  • Pet groomer (your other child) – one service fee.

Those who help with your Home:

  • Housekeeper – up to one week’s pay, plus an optional small gift.
  • Letter Carrier –  gifts up to $20 in value; they are not allowed to accept cash.
  • Handyman – $15-50
  • Technology Ninja – $20-50 if they make regular visits to your home office.
  • Yard/Garden Worker – $20-50
  • Trash/Recycling worker – $10-30

Those who help ‘you’ take care of ‘you’:

  • Personal Trainer – One session
  • Personal Assistant / Errand service – $20-50, possibly more depending on how much and how often you rely on their services (up to one month of fees).
  • Hairstylist – cost of haircut or service.
  • Nail Tech – cost of one service.
  • Eyelash Care – cost of one ‘fill’.

If money is tight:  be careful and think through your gifts, you don’t want to avoid giving a gift to someone you’ve historically gifted – that might send the wrong message.  Instead you can still give something, but maybe a bit scaled down.  Then make sure you include a sincere handwritten note focusing on why you are grateful for them.  More than just ‘thank-you’, share with them why are you thankful.

And last but not least, no matter what you choose to give, be creative in the presentation. If you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills.  If you’re giving gift cards, wrap them and add a nice bow.  If you’re writing a note, use nice paper and a good pen.  Taking the time to make an attractive presentation is just another part of showing how much you care – you’ve thought through the process, and didn’t just hit the drive thru on your way to see them.  If you need some gift card wrapping inspiration, I’ve pinned a few fun and easy ideas to my Pinterest board “Gift Card Wrapping” that make for a great alternative to just handing over the cash.

FullSizeRender

 

In other news….

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program
Our High School events begin soon – don’t miss out!

  • Monday, December 1st, is the last day to take advantage of the Early Bird Special savings!
  • Passport (9-12th Grade) Program registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/high-school

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!

– Carey Sue

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Creative Re-Purposing, Family, Manner Monday

Gift Card Wrapping

Are you looking for ways to be creative in the gifting of Cash or Gift Cards?

  • If you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills.
  • If you’re giving gift cards, wrap them and add a nice bow.

Taking the time to make an attractive presentation is just another part of showing how much you care – you’ve thought through the process, and didn’t just hit the drive thru on your way to see them.

Here are a couple of ideas for creative Cash or Gift Card presents:

FullSizeRender

For this tube effect, you will need:

  • Gift Card or Cash
  • an old toilet paper roll or paper towel roll
  • Tape
  • Ribbon

FullSizeRender

Slide the Gift Card into the roll.  Wrap paper around and tape. Then finish off the ends by tying ribbon.

FullSizeRender

 

Here is another idea:

FullSizeRender

For this festive box you will need:

  • Gift Card or Cash
  • Gift box (I use white 4×4 gift boxes that comes flat and easily fold into a nice box. Buy them in bulk to keep on hand.)
  • Tissue Paper
  • Tulle
  • Balloons

FullSizeRender

Stuff tissue paper into the box and place the Gift Card or Cash into the center.

FullSizeRender

Using tulle, wrap the box, then lay balloons (or anything else fun and festive you have on hand) over the top.

FullSizeRender

Finish off by tying bows with the tulle and fluffing the boys for a festive look.

If you’re on Pinterest, there are TONS of other ideas out there – Here is the link to the “Gift Card Wrapping” board I started for many more ideas – the options are endless!

 

 

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Creative Re-Purposing

Creative Re-Purposing: The perfect hiding spot

You may have noticed by now, I’m all about “hiding” things we use on a regular basis… and trying to creatively “re-purpose” items to serve a new purpose.

I found these two suitcase looking decorative boxes at Hobby Lobby then asked my husband to drill a hole in the back of each one.

Added an electrical cord…

Put it on my husbands side of the bed to hide his stuff.

During the day, everything is tucked away nice and neat and when it’s time for bed, he just pops open the little box and ta-da… all of his stuff is easily accessible.

We placed the other one in the laundry room…

We use it to hide the dust buster.

Do you use boxes in your house to “hide” things?

Please share… we would love to know!

 

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Creative Re-Purposing, Family

Finding the time to send a hand-written note

Happy Spring Break!  I hope you have a great week!

Here is a post from the archives that I thought you might enjoy:

I know I get caught up in “getting things done”.  So much so, that I often forget how important it is to stop and take a few short minutes to write a note.  I’ve added to my calendar every Monday, to “start my week off on the write note” and actually put the pen to the paper and send an old-fashioned note to someone.  I’ve also tried to be more aware of little pockets of time when I can take advantage of the opportunity to write a note.

One such opportunity presented itself the other day.

I cannot remember the last time this actually happened.  So instead of waking him when we arrived at the store, I let him sleep a bit longer.  I turned off the car, turned off the radio and reached for my handy dandy “repurposed” day-timer and was able to get caught up on some long overdue correspondence.

Needless to say, when the Cub awoke from his nap, he was refreshed and ready to go… and believe it or not, the time spent writing the notes was a just as relaxing for me.

I encourage you to take a minute during Spring Break this week and write an old-fashioned note to someone.  If you are traveling and didn’t take stationery, check with your hotel, or look for a stationery store.  Let me know how it goes!

Click here to read more about how you can “repurpose” your old day-timer.

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Creative Re-Purposing, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Creative Repurposing: Cake Carrier and Wet Wipes

I was visiting with a friend the other day who has two toddlers.  She was asking for tips to help teach her little guys some table manners and to see if it was at all possible to make it through dinnertime without everyone looking like they were wearing their food.

My advice was ‘patience’ and ‘time’.  Keep plugging along with the basics, they’ll eventually start to take hold – and keep some wet wipes handy.  When my little guy was a toddler, we hid the wipes under a Cake plate/carrier in the center of the table.

Here’s a picture of the Mackenzie-Childs cake carrier.  It’s fun and whimsical for the middle of the table…

but it also doubles as a secret hide-away for the wet-wipes…

which also come in handy for us ‘big kids’ sometimes :-)

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Creative Re-Purposing, Manner Monday

Can’t wait to make Fabric Pumpkins again!

I have my supplies ready to go… now if I can just keep the Cub in one spot long enough to help me work these up over the weekend for his teachers!

I’ll share our finished product next week.

In the meantime, click here for the link on how to make your own.

 

http://careysuevega.com/?p=1935

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Creative Re-Purposing, Family Dinner

Creative Re-Purposing: Laundry time

I found this really cool drink dispenser on sale (in the wedding department, half price) at Hobby Lobby.

Trying to make the laundry room a bit more “fun”, I re-purposed it into our “Downy Dispenser”… and I LOVE it!

The little dish under the spout is the perfect size for just the right amount of Downy we like to use.

Then, I took an old napkin holder and slipped in the Downy dryer sheets.

What have you done to spice up your laundry room?  Please share! We would love to know!

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Creative Re-Purposing

Creative Re-Purposing: Snack time

When I find something I ‘love’, ‘can’t live without’, ‘have to have’, I try to figure out how I can use it creatively… for something more than it’s original purpose.

Such as this adorable Mackenzie-Childs stacking tea set…

That we hide

snacks in…

That Billy can help himself to whenever he needs a little “pick-me-up”…

Do you have a favorite thing that you’ve “creatively repurposed”?  Please share!

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Creative Re-Purposing, Family

Manner Monday: Finding the time to send a hand-written note

Happy Spring Break!

I know I get caught up in “getting things done”.  So much so, that I often forget how important it is to stop and take a few short minutes to write a note.  I’ve added to my calendar every Monday, to “start my week off on the write note” and actually put the pen to the paper and send an old-fashioned note to someone.  I’ve also tried to be more aware of little pockets of time when I can take advantage of the opportunity to write a note.

One such opportunity presented itself the other day.

I cannot remember the last time this actually happened.  So instead of waking him when we arrived at the store, I let him sleep a bit longer.  I turned off the car, turned off the radio and reached for my handy dandy “repurposed” day-timer and was able to get caught up on some long overdue correspondence.

Needless to say, when Billy awoke from his nap, he was refreshed and ready to go… and believe it or not, the time spent writing the notes was a just as relaxing for me.

I encourage you to take a minute during Spring Break this week and write an old-fashioned note to someone.  If you are traveling and didn’t take stationery, check with your hotel, or look for a stationery store.  Let me know how it goes!

Click here to read more about how you can “repurpose” your old day-timer.

We’ve made it easy for you to order personalized stationery.  Please visit:  www.MannerMonday.PaperConcierge.com we have hundreds of styles and designs from which to choose.  We also have darling place mats that help the little ones in your life get a jump start on their table manners and make dining more fun.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Creative Re-Purposing, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: Keeping organized for your Thank-you notes

As promised from last week, I thought I’d share some ideas on how to stay organized with thank-you notes.  Keeping organized and staying on top of them is half the battle.  Even I struggle sometimes with remembering to write, and getting the notes in the mail; to help, I’ve added note writing to my calendar every Monday.   This prompted the tag line you may have noticed on our Manner Monday stationery “start your week off on the write note“.  I’m not saying I don’t miss an opportunity for a note here and there, but it’s helped tremendously!

One of my friends, Timberly, gave me permission to share this photo of the cute box she keeps on her desk:

I love repurposing things.  Recently I was clearing out some things and ran across my old “day-timer”… with advancements in technology, it was gathering some serious dust!

I cleared out all of the old calendar pages and replaced them with clear sleeve protectors.

Took a few of my personalized note cards, some for Billy and Ricardo and a few Happy Birthday cards,

stuck in some stamps and a notepad, added some magic markers for Billy

and ta-da… we are ready to write notes on the go.  I keep the day-timer in my car so it’s easily accessible.

If you don’t have an old day-timer lying around, Boatman Geller makes a really cute carrying case called the Carrie and Tuck:  It comes in a variety of colors and is available at (scroll down to the bottom of the page):  http://mannermonday.paperconcierge.com/

How do you stay organized and on top of your note writing?  Please share and I will post your suggestions.  (If you missed last weeks post, here is the link:  Thank-you notes )

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Creative Re-Purposing, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners