Manner Monday®: Sunglass Etiquette

Spring is in the air (hopefully) and that means sunglasses are coming out of hibernation.

Eye contact is a huge part of human interaction, it helps to gauge honesty, character, and helps to make a good first impression. When engaging in outdoor face-to-face conversations, start things off right by taking off your shades.  Unless you’re Jack Nicholson or Corey Hart – the last thing you want is to appear ‘shady’ (pun intended).  And speaking of Corey Hart, don’t wear your sunglasses at night (yes I went there)!  It worked for him, but if you try it, you’ll look like a goof whose trying to revive your break dancing career from the 80’s.

Do your best to keep the sunglasses off during the conversation, unless of course, you have a medical condition.  If it’s really bright and you find yourself squinting and squirming, apologize to the other person you need to put the shades back on due to the bright sun.

Another nice gesture, when you’re on the go and interacting with another person via a drive through, take your sunglasses off at the window so you can look them in the eye and say thank-you during the transaction.

When choosing your shades, think about the environment you will be in – if you have really cute, trendy, blingy shades, they may be perfect for your summer vacation, but may not be the best choice for a professional situation.  Too much bling will be a distraction for others.  Something a bit more conservative will help to keep the focus on you and the professionalism you bring to the relationship.

Bottom line, you don’t want your sunglasses to create a barrier to relationships or opportunities, just a buffer from the sun and protection for your eyes – their intended purpose.

Sunglasses_at_Night_(Corey_Hart_album_-_cover_art)

 

Special Announcements:

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
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 atwww.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

 

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Etiquette, Fashion, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Napkin Rings

Do you recall, a time not so long ago, when families ate dinner around the dinner table?  I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine in this fast-paced, fast-food focused world we currently live in.  And when families sat down to dinner, quite often they used the ‘real’ stuff – china and cloth napkins??? I say this in jest – but also realizing that many kids today aren’t sitting down to dinner with their family.  Dinner is eaten on the fly from one activity to the next, and it’s usually picked up at the nearest drive through.  Hey, I get it!  I’m there with you!  We’re busy.  And then when we do actually get our family gathered for dinner – don’t get me started about technology at the table!!!

I digress… when we do actually get our family gathered for dinner, we’re not thinking about setting the stage – we’re just happy everyone is in the same place at the same time!  And the thought of getting out the china and cloth napkins – really?  One more thing to clean – no thank you!

When in reality, using the good stuff makes everyone at the table feel special.  My good friend, Suzanne, and I joke that food somehow just tastes better when eaten off ‘real’ plates.  More than likely you have some china in your house that’s not being used?  Get it out and dust it off.  You can look at it as a way to save money, and the environment, by not buying paper (disposable) plates!!!  And not to mention it’s a great opportunity for your kids to help clean up after the meal.  Great conversations happen when you’re in the kitchen together.

So, you’re still following me…  Thanks, I’m getting there! Now let’s take it one step further and dig out some cloth napkins.  We’re on a roll; think of how many paper towels you may save.

And here’s the good news – you don’t have to wash your napkins after every use.  Cue the moans and groans of; ‘gross’, ‘disgusting’, ‘I don’t want my brothers disgusting napkin’.  Believe it or not, that’s how Napkin Rings evolved!  They were originally used to identify the napkins of each family member between weekly washdays!  Did I hear a ‘hallelujah’ from some of you?  You don’t have to wash them after every use (unless they worked overtime during a shift).

The European bourgeoisie invented the napkin ring concept and they first started appearing in France in the early 1800’s.  The trend took off like wildfire and spread to many more countries including the western world.  In the 19th century, most napkin rings were made of silver, but some were also made of bone, wood, embroidery, porcelain, and glass. As the middle class grew to show wealth in household accessories, engraved napkin rings became popular gifts for weddings and christenings.  Once the paper napkin was invented, use of cloth napkins and the napkin rings declined significantly.  Today, napkin rings are viewed more as jewelry for the table setting, an added special detail, or the finishing touch.

I’ve enjoyed collecting unique napkin rings, some of which have been handed down through the family.   I even found an antique one on eBay engraved with my sons name on it! Score!  On a rainy day, you could have craft time and let the kids make their own creations.  It provides another opportunity to give them ownership in the process and to enjoy their time together around the table.

Do you set the stage for family dinner and use the real stuff?  If so, what’s you take on using cloth napkins more than once?  I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Here are some pictures of our dinner table and napkin rings:

I found Billy’s napkin ring on eBay.  It was already personalized!!!

This placemat has been a great tool in teaching him how to set the table!!!
You can order customized placemats for your kiddos at our Etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CareySueVega

Special Announcements:

Cupcakes and Coffee
Will you help spread the word? … this week we have scheduled two ‘Cupcakes and Coffee’ informational meetings.  Please share with your friends that these meetings are not mandatory for new parents, but serve as an opportunity for parents to gather information about the program in addition to the information included on our website.  If they have any questions, they are more than welcome to call or email.  I would love to visit with them.

And we would love to have you join us as well is you’re available!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 6:30-7:30pm, at The Nigh University Center (Campus of UCO), 2nd Street and Garland Godfrey, Edmond
  • Thursday, April 17, 6:30-7:30pm, at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (COHBA) Event Center, 420 East Britton Road, Oklahoma City

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
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 atwww.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

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Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: ‘Fast Casual’ dining and lunch meeting Etiquette

“A friend invited me to a higher end ‘Fast Casual’ restaurant for lunch the other day.  I arrived at the restaurant; stood inside the front by the door, and waited for her. After 10 minutes, I started to worry, thinking I had made a mistake and she went to one of their other locations.  I texted her to confirm  - no response.  I waited a bit longer, texted again.  Still, no response and it’s now been 20 minutes. At this point I decided to go ahead and order thinking she got tied up or forgot.  I went to the back of the restaurant to get water from the drink machine … and there she was – sitting at a table by herself, saving a table, waiting on me.  I about died!  Then I started kicking myself for not checking the restaurant to see if she was already there.  I just ‘assumed’ she would meet me at the front.  What a mess!  Help, what is the etiquette for ‘Fast Casual’ restaurants and lunch meetings?”

Believe it or not, this same thing has happened to me before!  And yes, it was a mess.  After this happened, it reminded me of one of the most important things one needs to do before heading out for a lunch meeting:

  • Confirm with your guest the day before, or the morning of, the meeting.  It’s a nice gesture (hey – who hasn’t forgot to put something on their calendar) and a perfect opportunity to verify the date, time and location (especially if there are multiple locations!)

Fast Casual Restaurants usually have a big lunch crowd and are very fast paced.

The best and most conducive flow for the restaurant is for customers to stand in line, place their order, and then get a table.  This is an organic flow to their system and helps to make their process work and remain efficient.  So wait until your party has arrived, place your order, THEN get your table.  If you have a party of 3 or more and someone is running late, text or call them and ask if you can place their order to help move things along.  This is a nice gesture for those who arrived on time and also helps to keep from clogging up the entry.

photo

 

Special Announcements:

Cupcakes and Coffee
Will you help spread the word? … in April, we have scheduled two ‘Cupcakes and Coffee’ informational meetings.  Please share with your friends that these meetings are not mandatory for new parents, but serve as an opportunity for parents to gather information about the program in addition to the information included on our website.  If they have any questions, they are more than welcome to call or email.  I would love to visit with them.

And we would love to have you join us as well is you’re available!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 6:30-7:30pm, at The Nigh University Center (Campus of UCP), 2nd Street and Garland Godfrey, Edmond
  • Thursday, April 17, 6:30-7:30pm, at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (COHBA) Event Center, 420 East Britton Road, Oklahoma City

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
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 atwww.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Fondue Etiquette

One of our Student Ambassadors recently posted a picture from her outing to The Melting Pot, asking about silverware placement for the ‘pokers’, which prompted the idea for a post on Fondue Etiquette.  Thanks Masen!

Here are a few tips to keep you from a Fondue fail:

  • Setting the table – to answer her question, my initial thought is that it’s part of the ‘fork’ family, so it would go to the ‘left’ of the place setting with the other forks. Once you’ve started the process of the fondue, in between actively using the fork, it would lay in ‘resting’ position on your plate. It would be placed in ‘finished position’ for it’s final debut.
  • Pick your poker - Remember which fork is yours.  The forks have color-coded markers or handles, make a mental note of yours and stick with it so as to not pilfer someone else’s poker.
  • No Double Dipping - Ever.  This goes for the salsa at a Mexican restaurant, and it goes for whatever is on your fork at the fondue restaurant.  The cooking/dipping pot is communal – your germs aren’t.
  • Don’t eat straight from the poker - This goes back to double dipping.  Transfer the morsel from the stick to your plate.  Let it cool for a bit, then use your traditional fork to transport the item to your mouth.  If no service plate is provided for a landing pad, and you find yourself needing to eat from the poker, do not touch your teeth or lips to your fork.  Use your teeth to gently remove the item without making direct contact with your fork.
  • Cheese or Chocolate fondue - Dip, stir and twirl. Dip, then stir a couple of times and make your exit.  By stirring, you’re doing your part to ‘stir the pot’, keeping the temperature even throughout.  Once you remove your item from the pot, hold it over and give a gentle twirl to keep drips and drizzles back to your plate to a minimum.
  • Fun Folklore – Tradition says that if a gentleman loses his bread in the pot, he buys drinks for the table.  If it’s a woman who loses her bread, she must kiss her neighbors.
  • Fire - And of course keep in mind there is an open flame – so safety is important.  Keep long sleeves and other flammable objects away.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy!  Eating fondue is a unique way to break bread with friends and spend quality time together.

photo

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: St. Patrick’s Day Etiquette

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This happy holiday honors Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461) who is one of the most universally recognized patron saints of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day became an official ‘feast’ day in the early 17th century, and has grown into a well-known celebration of Irish culture. Not only is the holiday associated with wearing something green, but also with the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating certain foods and drinking alcohol.

If you’re wearing green and entering into the spirit of this fun holiday, here are few tips to keep you from feeling like a wayward leprechaun long after the celebration has past.

  • Don’t forget to wear green! If you’re already out of the house and you did forget – then swing by the store and pick up a pin/button to save yourself from getting ‘pinched’.
  • Green skivvies don’t count – we really don’t want to see you ‘drop-your-drawers’ to prove a point!
  • If you come across someone who forgot to wear green – go easy on him or her. If you don’t know them, pass on the pinch. If it’s someone whom you feel perfectly comfortable with, keep it lighthearted with a jovial and gentle ‘pinch’ to the arm. No pinching on the backside – keep it PG and professional folks!
  • If you’re celebrating the holiday after 5 o’clock and imbibing green ‘adult’ beverages – keep it to a minimum. You don’t want to find yourself taking cover under a four-leaf clover tomorrow morning.
  • Be careful with the Irish impersonations. The last thing you want to do is offend someone – not to mention coming across as annoying and irritating.
  • And don’t forget to eat some corned beef and cabbage!

Happy Manner Monday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish_clover

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: PDA

With Prom season knocking on our door, I thought it might be good timing to touch on PDA (Public Displays of Affection) for all of the high school kiddos getting ready to venture out on the town….

Falling in love is wonderful, and when it happens, we want to shout from the rooftops and let the world to know.  However, being too affectionate in public isn’t exactly the best way to do this, and it shows disrespect for others and a lack of general Etiquette skills.  When you and your main squeeze make out in front of other people, it makes them feel extremely uncomfortable.  Or as teenagers would say, ‘AWKward’.

When people see youngsters exhibiting PDA, it sends a clear message that the ‘loving couple’ is not interested in those around them, to the extent of pretending that they are not there.  PDA in front of others shows a blatant a lack of respect; it’s tacky and unacceptable.  It is your social duty and obligation to show respect to those in your presence.

When mature couples are alone and in public, most people will agree that holding hands and occasional tender touches or glances are better ways to show your affection than Space Invasion.  One rule of thumb can be that if the action isn’t something you’d want your parent to see, it’s probably too much to do in public.  With that being said, most teenagers and young adults know not to ‘make out’ in front of their grandparents.  However, they may smooch at the mall in front of other people’s grandparents, and that’s just as bad.  You also don’t want to exhibit inappropriate behavior in front of impressionable children.

You may not realize this, but too much PDA in certain places, like school, can damage your reputation.  People around you may think that if you do a lot of heavy petting in the hallways of school, you’re doing quite a bit more in private.  This is not the image you want to be known and remembered for.

So do everyone (and yourself) a huge favor, and keep the PDA to a minimum!

nopda

 

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Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Chewing Gum

Catching some of the red carpet coverage Sunday night… I loved the amazing dresses and tuxedos. Everyone (for the most part) looked so glamorous. Except for the few who forgot (I’ll assume they forgot) they had gum in their mouth.

There they were, all dressed up, heading into the biggest awards show in town, the Oscars… and all I could see was…their mouth… chomp, chomp, chomping… on gum. (If I were a designer, I’d add ‘no gum chewing while wearing my design’ to their contracts!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy gum every now and then; and yes, the management of Wrigley touts two centuries of research finding many benefits of chewing gum. But whether your work is on the red carpet or something a bit more 9-5… save the smacking for the privacy of your car or cubicle (aka: by yourself). You want others to focus on the many talents you bring to the table. Don’t let ‘bubble blowing’ be one of them.

chewing gum

 

Special Announcement:

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
Many of you have asked about the registration process for the 2014-2015 season. 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

5-8th Grade Levels:
We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the $100 ‘returning family early bird’ discount. Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425. Early Bird Discounts are:

  • Returning Families, $325 before March 1
  • New Families, $375 before April 30
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via: https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:
Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall. Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via: https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

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.

Party Pics… Don’t miss out on the Party Pics from all of the events. Here is the link: http://www.oklahomapartypics.com/Q/Proofs.aspx?GroupID=20393&Key=9D74D3

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: #Foodie Photos at the Table

First off, we all know that your focus should be on your friends and family.  But if you feel as though you HAVE to snap a picture, do so quickly and discreetly.  And do I even have to say this part (yes… I do); wait until you leave the restaurant, or event, if you plan to post your photo to your social media sites.

If you do want to snap a #foodie photo here are some tips to avoid ruining the rhythm of the meal and annoying your fellow diners:

  •  Your phone should already be on silent, but double check before snapping your pic.  You don’t want the ‘shutter’ sound disturbing nearby diners.
  • While you’re checking the mute function, turn off the flash.  You don’t want to disturb and distract others with the flash, plus it makes your food look horrible in the photo.
  • Don’t rearrange furniture, food placement or people.  Remember the key is to be quick and discreet.
  • Get a closeup of the food. If you can’t sense being able to touch and smell the dish through the photo, you’re not close enough.
  • Make sure to leave other diners in the restaurant out of your pic.
  • After you leave the event, give the photo a quick edit before posting it. Don’t forget to crop out any extraneous table clutter and correct the white balance before you share it.  And again, don’t even think about doing this at the table!
  • Finally make sure your picture is actually a good one before sharing it.  You don’t want the ‘best-meal-ever’ to end up looking like something you would serve Fido.

It’s great to take pictures to keep as a memento of a fabulous dinner or event, but don’t forget to actually enjoy the moment with the friends and family who are at your table.

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners, Uncategorized

Manner Monday®: What Would George Say?

Happy Presidents Day!

In honor of the Holiday, we’re revisiting George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation which he penned at the ripe age of 16 (yes, 16) to highlight one of his ‘archaic’ rules to see how it’s still pretty relevant in today’s modern world.

Rule #90 “Being set at meat scratch not neither spit, cough, or blow your nose, except there’s a necessity for it.”

In other words:  Sometimes it happens and a bodily function accidentally slips up on you in the presence of others.  If you’re at the dinner table, do your best to cover your mouth with your napkin and not draw attention to it and politely say ‘excuse me’ to your neighbor who may have heard you; at some point I’m sure it has happened to them and they completely understand.

If you feel a sneeze coming on and are not able to make a quick enough getaway: sneeze into your shoulder, turning your head and body away from your neighbor.  Make sure to catch the sneeze in your shoulder so you don’t share it with the table behind you.

If the bodily function is something completely within your control, such as blowing your nose, excuse yourself to the restroom where you can take care of things privately.  You tablemates will be eternally grateful.

I wonder if George knew how hip his ‘rules’ would still be in 2014???

ELAINE-BLOWS-HER-NOSE

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: I <3 U, aka: Love Letters

Love letters… When is the last time you’ve heard this term referenced?  In today’s terms, we’re all probably thinking along the lines of maybe a “love text” = I <3 U, or I luv u, or a “love email”.

I wonder what methods children and grandchildren will utilize in the coming years to assist in storytelling or reminiscing about couples and the current forms of “love letters” … will they scroll through smart phones looking for text messages, will they peruse Facebook pages looking for sweet nuggets of I <3 U and other terms of endearment?  Will they find a post-it note collection of hearts and smiley faces that have been placed on a bathroom mirror, in a briefcase, or in a lunchbox?

If you would like a little inspiration in putting pen-to-paper this Valentine’s Day to send your sweetheart a hand-written “love note”; take 6 minutes to watch this truly special love story:  Barbara and George Bush Love Notes Revealed.

love letter

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Family, Manner Monday