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

Manner Monday®: Practice, Practice, Practice… even with Manners

I receive phone calls on a regular basis from moms with young children wanting to know if we offer programs for younger kids (our programs currently start for 5th graders and go all of the way up to grown adults). The callers are always asking for tips on how to get their little ones to sit through dinner and to use their table manners.  I find myself answering time and time again… practice, practice, practice.  As a parent, we have to start somewhere by setting Expectations, providing an opportunity to Practice, and Repeat.

Start off by asking yourself what are your expectations?  Keeping in mind that the expectations need to be in line with our child’s age and social development; if your kiddo is a toddler, what can you truly and reasonable expect of him? Whatever the desired outcome is, it’s not going to happen overnight – but it will happen over a series of many nights, and many meals. Practice.

Think about it in relation to dance or sports.  You would not send your son to his first t-ball game without going to practice first.  You wouldn’t let your daughter participate in a recital without first attending dance class.  Same with table manners, you can’t expect your child to ‘perform’ at Grandma’s house or out to eat at restaurant if you haven’t given them the tools to be successful.

We still have a LONG road ahead of us with our 9 year old.  But I was tickled pink to see him stepping up to the plate and knocking it out of the park during our recent cruise.  When we went to dinner in the dining room, he looked the waiter in the eye when placing his order.

BV ordering

He stayed seated (what!?!?!?)… at home I keep threatening super glue for his seat to keep him in his chair at dinner time.  He said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the waiter and other crew members. And, he used his silverware like a little human.

BV cutting food

Was he perfect?  Absolutely not.  Did he meet the age-appropriate expectations, pretty darn close!  I’m not going to lie… super proud mom moments!

Something we find tremendously helpful is having conversations prior to ‘performance’.  During these conversations we talk about our expectations and ask questions; we talk about what’s getting ready to take place. We’re setting him up for success by giving him a preview, kind of like a dress rehearsal, or practice. Do we still have to prompt him? … Yes. But for the most part, it works! Here’s a picture of the process working.  One night we were lucky enough to enjoy dinner with our friend, Tommy, we used to work with on cruise ships years ago.  Before the dinner, we explained to our son that there might be times during the conversation that he may get bored; and if that happened, what could he do to entertain himself. So we put pen and paper in my purse, and he knew he could help himself to it.  And he did!  We also let him head off to the kids club after he finished his meal.  For us, sitting and chatting for an hour and half is fun.  For a kid – that’s painful.

Dinner with Captain Tommy

And just in case we were feeling a bit too ‘proud’… we were brought back to reality when we returned home and he commenced to standing up while eating and randomly walking around the table… it’s a constant learning process; Practice, practice, practice!!!

I’d love to hear – what are your favorite tips to set your kiddo up for success when it comes to table manners?

Click to Tweet:  You can’t expect your child to ‘perform’ good manners if you haven’t armed them with tools for success. bit.ly/TblMnnrs #MannerMonday

And always… thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


On another note…

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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Cruise Ships, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

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

 

No comments | leave a comment
Classes, Manner Monday, Senior Spotlight

Manner Monday®: Packing for a Cruise with Julie and Gopher

Happy Memorial Day from the M/S Norwegian Getaway!   We are SOOOO excited to be on a ship again!  It’s been 15 years since Ricardo and I worked for NCL, so we thought it was about time to enjoy cruising as a passenger (not as a crew member).

We are having so much fun showing our son, Billy, what we used to do for years before moving to ‘land’ and starting our family.  For those of you who may be new to Manner Monday and don’t know our story yet, I worked for Norwegian Cruise Line for 10 years.  Starting as a Youth Coordinator and working my way up to Cruise Director (yes, think Julie McCoy).  Ricardo worked for the company starting at the Front Desk (the front line of customer service) and worked his way up to Hotel Director (yep, he was Gopher!)  He had been with the company for over 7 years when we met as crew members on a ship that sailed out of Houston, Texas in the late 90’s (cue the Love Boat theme song).  After dating for a couple of years and working on different ships – it was when he was on a ship in Hawaii, and I was on another ship in Egypt – we decided we needed to move to land and ‘get a life’.  So, we decided to ‘drop anchor’ (pun intended – I can’ t resist) in Oklahoma City during 2000.  That year, not only did we get married, but we bought cars, got ‘jobs’, and started figuring out what the real world was like as far as insurance, utility bills, grocery shopping, and everything that comes with being home owners.  It was overwhelming to say the least.  But we are really glad we decided to land in Oklahoma City, we love it here.

Last week, as we were telling friends that we were heading out on a cruise, everyone asked ‘are you packed yet?’  And as I answered no, ‘I’ll do that the night before’ –  most everyone looked at me with a strange look on their face.  I guess after packing to be away for months at a time for so many years, we kind of have it down to a science.

A few friends asked for some packing and cruise tips, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

Packing and Planning Tips for a Cruise:

Fly out the day before if you can:  Of course the majority of the time your flight is not delayed and everything goes as planned.  But for a cruise, if you’re flight is delayed, there’s a good chance you will miss the ship.  And if  that happens, you’ll be stressed trying to figure out how to meet the ship at it’s first port of call.  Not fun.

You really don’t need that much stuff:  A few mix and match pieces for evening.  Maybe a ‘formal’ outfit (check the website of the line you’ll be sailing).  A few mix and match pieces for day.  Two or three pairs (no more) of shoes that will work with everything.  Swimsuits (more than one so you’re not trying to put on a wet swimsuit everyday) and sport sandals for walking to and from the pool/beach. I have a pair of old-school Teva’s I’ve had for years that are perfect! Not only are they good for getting you to the beach, but they’re great in the water if there is rough terrain.  If you like to workout don’t forget a couple of outfits for the gym.  Don’t forget a light jacket or wrap, it can be chilly at night and in the air conditioning. I always keep a pashmina in my carry on ‘just in case’.  A hat is also a great accessory to bring.  Once you have picked out what you would like to take, take a hard look at everything and whittle it down.  The cabins are not that big and you really don’t have a lot of storage space – so lighten your load and you’ll be happy you did.

Ziplock Baggies:  These are the best travel accessories you will ever have!  They’re obviously great to keep liquids corralled, but they’re also great to pack your clothes in and they help to save space.  I suggest buying the extra large 2-gallon size, the 1 gallon size, and the quart size.  The quart size is great for small bottles of liquid, stockings, undies, etc.  I use the larger gallon and 2-gallon bags for clothing.  I can pack two-three mix and match outfits in one of the 2-gallon bags, then squeeze the air out and throw it in a suitcase.  For my son (9), we take his outfits and roll them together; shirt, shorts, undies, socks, and stuff them into a baggie.  It makes it so easy for him to pull out an outfit and go.  The baggies help to keep things organized and they also provide an extra barrier of protection from luggage that may have been caught in the rain, or a bottle of lotion that exploded and made it’s way out of it’s little baggy.  And don’t laugh at this one – but you can put your smartphone inside of a ziplock baggie to protect it from water and sand and still be able to talk and text on it.  You just need to remove it from the baggie before you take pictures!  They’re also really helpful in keeping dirty clothes compartmentalized for the return trip.

Divide and Conquer:  When placing your clothes into the suitcase, divide your outfits and put them into different suitcases. For the three of us, each suitcase will have a few outfits for each person instead of each family member having all of their stuff in one.  Again, you hope everything goes as planned, but when you show up to the ship and a suitcase doesn’t…I’ve seen ‘lost luggage’ situations way too often – not fun.  If you find yourself with lost luggage, head to the front desk, they will be able to help you in some way.  They may not be able to find your suitcase, but they will more than likely be able to help with a small stipend for something in the gift shop and they may even have a few items of clothing to loan you. Hopefully the airline will find your luggage and it will meet you at your first port of call.

Carry On:  Realizing that carry on’s are limited by the airlines, you’re going to have to be very creative.  I suggest packing at least one or two outfits in your carry on.  Remember the part just above about lost luggage… you want to be prepared just in case.  Plus, it usually takes quite awhile to get your luggage to your room.  By having the items you’ll need as soon as you get onboard in your carry on, you will be able to venture out and explore the ship without waiting for your suitcase and a change of clothes.

A few items I leave in my carry on for every trip (land or sea):  a short extension card.  It never fails, the outlets aren’t where you need them.  And I keep my toiletry bag packed and ready to go at all times.  When I return home from a trip, I refill the small bottles of soap, lotion, etc., and repack my toiletry bag so it’s ready to go.  This saves a ton of time every time I pack, even for camping trips or weekend getaways.  Throw in some of those ‘command hooks’ and they give you extra hanging storage wherever you need it and they won’t damage the walls. And last bust not least, duct tape!  Wrap some duct tape around a sharpie, and you can MacGyver just about anything!

Toiletries:  Unless you’re a crew member signing on a ship to work for a four month contract, you really don’t need the Sam’s size bottle of shampoo and lotion!  Take a look at what you need, and transfer it to smaller containers.  Most ships offer shampoo and conditioner if you need it.  If you have to have a particular hair dryer, bring it.  The small hairdryers found in your cabin will work, but they’re definitely not like your favorite.

Leave room for souvenirs:  Don’t stuff you luggage so full that you don’t have room for a few souvenirs.  Even if you are not planning on doing a lot of shopping, trust me, you’ll end up with something extra to bring home. We won’t talk about the rugs, china, crystal, samovar, drum and many other things I bought while traveling 😐 but I always found a way to get them home! :-)

Packing for Shore Excursions:  Make sure you pack a small tote for heading ashore or trips to the pool, you can throw your ziplock baggies in the tote that has your sunscreen, phone and cash and you’re ready to go.  If you’re planning to do a lot of snorkeling, you may want to consider bringing your own gear.

Important Documents:  If you need a hard copy of your boarding documents, don’t forget to pack it in your carry on.  Keep copies of everything on your smartphone.  Take pictures of your passport, drivers license and any other important documents and save them to your device in case something goes missing.  While you’re at it, take a picture of your kiddos so if you get separated you can easily access a picture to show anyone who may be helping you find the little vagabond.

Books:  If you plan on reading while you’re on vacation, don’t forget to pack your book (a ziplock baggie is great for books too!)  If you read books on your smartphone or tablet, make sure you download them before leaving.  You don’t want to eat up expensive onboard data charges because you forgot to download your favorite book.  And while you’re at it, make sure you charge your tablet at home before you leave so you’re ready to go!

Once you’re onboard…

Learning your way around the ship:  It can be overwhelming, some ships are bigger than the small town you may live in!  Look closely and pay attention to the details, often times different decks will have different colors in the carpet.  Sometimes the carpet may have a pattern that points forward.  There will be little things that can help you if you look for them, artwork, sculptures, and other landmarks will be helpful in finding you way around.  Ask crew members to point hidden landmarks out to you – they’ll be happy to help!

Just because there is a line – doesn’t mean you have to stand in it!  This obviously doesn’t have anything to do with packing, but it will make your experience onboard SO much better!  Not sure what it is about lines, people see them, and think they have to get in line or they’ll miss out.  Find out first ‘why’ people are standing in that line.  If you don’t ‘have’ to be there standing and waiting, then don’t.  Go and do something else!

Vernacular:

  • It’s a ‘ship’ not a ‘boat’  :-)
  • Port – is the left side of the ship when facing forward (four letters in left, four letters in port).
  • Starboard – is the right side of the ship when facing forward.
  • Forward and Aft – Front and Back.
  • Poop Deck – it’s a funny phrase for the kids (and grownup kids) to get a chuckle out of.  Historically, the poop deck is the deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear or aft part of the ship.
  • Fullfart – another great one for the kids.  It’s Norwegian for ‘Full Speed’.  And yes, I’m apologizing now to the many families when back in the day as a Youth Coordinator I taught that phrase to their kids :-/

And if something does go wrong, don’t demand to speak with the Captain!:  You’ll get much farther going to the front desk and being nice to the crew member waiting on you.  Trust us!  We’ve seen it all, and we can promise you, the nicer you are, the better off you’ll be, and the farther you’ll get!!!

I hope you found these tips helpful, if you enjoyed them – please share with your friends!

BillySailaway2

Click to Tweet: Just because there is a line: doesn’t mean you have to stand in it! #MannerMonday has more cruise tips for you! http://bit.ly/Packing4Cruise

And always… thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


On another note…

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

 

No comments | leave a comment
Cruise Ships, Manner Monday

Manner Monday®: Benefits of Technology and Face-Time

If you’ve been following Manner Monday for any length of time, you know I’m a fan of unplugging, putting the phone down and engaging in some good old fashioned ‘face-time’. Just as Business, Social and Dining Etiquette all have many layers, so does Electronic Etiquette: Email Etiquette, typing in ALL CAPS, voicemail messages, voicemail greetings, inappropriate social media sharing, you get the picture. And more than likely you’ve heard many spiels on the basic premise of Electronic Etiquette – giving the person in front of you 100% of your attention. We all get it by now. But sometimes rules are meant to be broken. If the use of technology can improve the conversation, solve a problem, or enhance the social interaction, then by all means, bring it into the equation. It’s the blatant disrespect for the person in front of you when you ‘tune in to tech’ and ‘tune them out’ that causes problems and ruins relationships.

So yes, there is a time and a place when the benefits of technology and the new and improved digital ‘face-time’ come in handy. For example during our recent end-of-the-year event for our high school students, we had unfortunate complications with Mother Nature and had to reschedule our formal dinner and ball. Needless to say, I was saddened to find out a couple of our students would not be able to attend the rescheduled event. One of those who had had a conflict with the new date was a senior, who had not missed a formal dinner in the eight years she had been participating in programs with us. So, to make the best of a difficult situation, we decided to turn to technology… Face-Time to the rescue. We were able to give her a glimpse into the evening and let her ‘chat’ briefly with some of her friends. It’s obviously not as good as attending in person, but it sure was a nice alternative to missing it all together.

Click to Tweet:  If tech can improve the conversation, solve a problem, or enhance social interaction – then bring it on. #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/TechFT

Channing Justice FaceTime

On another note…

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

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

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

Manner Monday®: Graduation Gift Ideas

After seeing the post on Graduation Announcements and Invitations, a friend reached out asking ‘what to get’ for the graduates in her life and how much to spend. Her kiddos are much younger, and she wanted to know what would make a good gift and how much she should spend.

I think it totally depends on your personal situation as well as the relationship with the graduate when it comes to how much to spend. Keep in mind it is the thought that counts and you don’t have to break the bank to show the graduate how happy you are for them!

Some of my favorite ‘go-to’ gifts for High School Graduates are:

  • Personalized Laundry Bag – If you’re crafty and can sew, these are easy to whip up and you can have them monogrammed for a personal touch. I know many students who carry their laundry bags for years to come!
  • Personalized Bath Towels – Having their name on their towel makes it easy to identify. Velcro towel wraps make a nice gift too!

Some of my favorite ‘go-to’ gifts for all:

  • Nice Picture Frame – is a great gift that the graduate can take to school and help to decorate and brighten their dorm room.
  • Portable Phone Chargers – these make great gifts for college kids when they out for the day and every plug they come across is already taken.
  • Gift cards – Gift cards make nice gifts for both High School and College graduates. Whether it’s a gift card to a box store where they can stock up on supplies for their dorm or apartment, or a Gas card to help fuel up when cash is tight, gift cards seem like an ‘easy out’ but if you know the graduate needs some general store items, this can be a huge help to their already strapped budget!

Some of my favorite ‘go-to’ gifts for College Graduates are:

  • A nice engraved pen – not only will this be a gift they will cherish for a long time to come, but it will also make a great impression during interviews they may be going on soon!
  • Personalized Stationery – this is something that every graduate needs, but doesn’t want to spend his or her own money on! The stationery can be used for thank-you notes after an interview, and believe it or not some kids still write good old-fashioned thank you notes! At least they should if they want the job!
  • Tool Set – As adults, we know there is always some DIY task that needs to be done around the house and how important our tools are! Whether it’s hanging a picture, tightening a water faucet, or just about any other little ‘honey-do’ trick we can do ourselves, having those tools in a compact tool kit, is a huge help!

Whatever you choose to give, make sure you spend some time on the presentation. Wrap it nicely and include a handwritten note of support and encouragement! This is a big time in their life and a huge transition for the graduate; your kind words may just be the support they need to remind them they can do it!

Click to Tweet:  This is a big time in a Grad’s life; your kind words may just be the support they need! #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/GradGiftIdeas

I created a Pinterest board with some ideas if you’d like to check it out. Here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/careysue/graduation-gift-ideas/

Feel free to leave a comment below and share your ideas!

FullSizeRender

 

 

 

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Etiquette, Hostess Gifts, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Wisdom from Mom

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock – everywhere you go, the grocery store, the drug store… you name it , I’m sure you’ve seen all of the ‘gentle’ reminders – don’t forget mom on Sunday!

A few years ago I spotted this sign at our local grocery store,

I think we all know many women who are not ‘biological’ mothers; maybe by choice, maybe not.   There are also many women who act as role models and mentors, leaving an indelible mark and positive influence to those whose paths they cross and who are treated like a member of the family.

What is your favorite ‘life lesson’ you learned from a ‘mom’ mentor in your life?

One of my favorite lessons? … “Be nice to everyone.  You don’t have to be best friends with them, but you do need to be nice to them.

Mom – Thanks for planting that seed of respect early on!  And thanks for all of the love and support you’ve showed us over the years!  Not to mention the respect you’ve shown to all of my friends!!!

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great ‘Mother’s Day’, no matter how you are connected to your ‘family’.

Click to Tweet: Lesson from Mom,”Be nice to everyone. You don’t have to be best friends, but you do need to be nice.” #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/CSVmomwis

 

On another note…

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 atwww.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

 

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

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Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, 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

Manner Monday: The Oklahoma Standard

In case you missed the live ceremony Sunday of the 20th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing , I wanted to share something with you that was a highlight of the event and felt important to pass along.

You may have heard the phrase “The Oklahoma Standard” by now. It’s the phrase that has evolved to describe Oklahomans in general and how our community is known. It’s how our citizens come together during a disaster with servant hearts and do whatever is needed to help others. It’s also the attitude of our community on a daily basis when we see our neighbors in need.

As a way to honor those who were killed during the bombing, “The Oklahoma Standard” initiative was created. In a nutshell, the project asks us to commit to at least one act of ‘service’, on act of ‘honor’ and one act of ‘kindness’ during the month of April.

I’m looking at this as a great opportunity to share “The Oklahoma Standard” with the young people in our life. We all know our children learn best by watching our actions; my husband and I are going to start by taking our son to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.

If you would like to learn more, please visit:

okstandardlogo

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Family, Manner Monday

Manner Monday®: Treating Others Like A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

I was recently at the Dallas Love Field airport, getting ready to board the same flight as a small group of 10 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. It was obvious who they were as they all had matching Cowboy Cheerleader logo luggage. They were beautiful young ladies. They were dressed respectfully, and they had flawless hair and makeup. They looked camera ready, which I think I’ve heard is part of their contract. If I haven’t already painted a good enough picture for you, I’m sure you can imagine it was definitely fun people watching in the waiting area. Between the grown men and women who were literally tripping over themselves as they walked by, turning to get a better look, to the sweet young girls who were looking up to the Cheerleaders with huge smiles.

What I really loved about the whole process was how the Cheerleaders stopped and put their technology away and would give each little girl 100% of their attention and focus and ask the little girl questions as if she was the star. The exchange always ended up with the parent getting a picture of the young girl with her new BFF’s.

I’m sure the Cheerleaders receive extensive training on how to act in public, but it was reassuring to see the interaction and what appeared to be their genuine interest in each person who approached them. They didn’t seem putout or annoyed, they truly acted as if it was their pleasure to accommodate the interruption.

For all of the negative stereotypes that are associated with the beauty behind the Cheerleader image, it was definitely enjoyable to watch how poised and professional these young ladies were. I’m thinking the training they’re receiving behind the scenes, as a Cheerleader, will serve them well into the next phases of their professional careers.

It all was a good reminder for me to treat the person I’m interacting with as if THEY were a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

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Click to Tweet: Treat the person you’re interacting with as if they were a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader! #MannerMonday

 

In Other News…

I’m hosting a Free Webinar to learn more about our programs.  Do you know someone who may be interested? They can register for the free webinar that will take place Tuesday, April 14, by clicking on the button below. We only have a limited number of ‘seats’ so please sign up now!:Reg for webinar

During the webinar, I will go into detail about all of our programs for our:

  •  5-8th grade programs
  •  9-12th grade programs
  • Adult Business Training
  • How the classes are setup
  • The M/F ratios
  •  And much, much more!

If you have a specific question you would like answered during the webinar, please feel free to shoot me an email via the ‘contact us’ form and I’ll make sure to include it. We’ll also have time at the end of the live webinar for Q&A, so no worries if you don’t have a question now.

AND if for some reason you’re not able to make it to the live webinar, please go ahead and register anyway, we will send a recording of the event out to everyone who registered so you can watch it at your convenience.

 

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

 

 

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Fashion, Manner Monday, Manners