More Than Minimum

I have seen so many posts and memes lately glorifying getting through and simply doing the bare minimum. Life, though, isn’t about getting through. I get that the memes are intended to be cute and funny. I know we all have days (or weeks) we struggle, and it is so important that we give ourselves grace.

May I gently encourage you to consider less? If too much is causing you to feel as though you’re doing the bare minimum on all of it, reprioritize you life.

Now, please, please keep in mind that each season of life is very different, and I don’t have a newborn at home. My kids are older now and have accepted a decent amount of responsibility for jobs around the house. My season of life may be (and likely is) very different from yours.

If, however, you find that constantly having people over for dinner is causing you more stress than not, it’s okay to stop. If being overly involved is causing you to not give your all to any of the groups, it’s okay to stop. Our culture needs to stop glorifying busyness.

I think it’s okay that we expect more from ourselves and others than sweatpants and missed meetings. Our culture says that it’s okay to not send thank you notes because we’re so busy. Our culture says it’s okay to connect only online because we’re so busy. I hope that you’ll find encouragement in this post and find the peace that can come with doing fewer things well, whether that is at work or at home.

Hello, Spring!

I’ve had a few readers request for me to talk about my family’s life, which I’m thrilled to get to do. I think my famils is the foundation for who I am and why etiquette and traditions are so important to me. I also believe that, as a mother, I understand the struggles other parents share with trying to teach etiquette to their kids. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, but it’s also truly worth the effort.

Pear blossoms

I absolutely love spring. Actually, I love all seasons, as there is just so many possibilities that each season holds. I thrive on anticipation. Spring brings warm days, picnics, new growth, promises and so many more “good” things. I struggle, though, with sharing any difficulties I experience because I feel as though I never want to be a disappointment to my readers. However, I’ve resolved to be completely authentically real. So, each month I plan to share areas of etiquette I’ve either struggled to understand or implement. I hope this will give you hope.

I’ve mentioned in the past I have a *slight* Pottery Barn addiction. I get frustrated with how the world seems to glorify failure. I’ve read a lot of good articles recently on it, as I’ve attempted to understand why it’s become so popular lately. In my opinion, it goes beyond the idea of us all being human and making mistakes. I don’t believe that mistakes doom us to simply giving up trying. My goal in sharing my struggles is for us to share ideas on how to help each other.

Outdoor eating is one of my favorite things about warmer weather!

In no way do I believe that life should look like a Pottery Barn magazine all of the time. I also disagree with the idea that we should all give up trying. So, here’s to sharing what makes us real while continuing to try our best. There will be a lot of grace along the way.

Small Business Expectations

I am a huge supporter of buying local. I enjoy farmer’s markets. I love local restaurants and shops. I feel at home in local coffee shops buying local honey. Recently a local business reached out and asked if I have any guidance for them, as they had seen a decline in sales over the past several months.As a supporter of all things local, quirks, such as pricing inconsistencies when an employee forgets a promotion or a longer wait time for food, rarely bother me. I will tell you, though, I’m in the minority. As a small business, consistency is key. So, here a few tips for setting expectations for yourself and your customers. Afterall, etiquette is about fulfilling expectations. 😉

  1. Be cautious in issuing change. If your new hours aren’t attracting new business, is it because you haven’t promoted the hours or given it enough time to catch on? Most customers don’t come to your place of business even weekly, so it may take a few months of consistently applying the change to see any difference. Also, the easiest way to lose a customer is to close down early or open up late. If a customer can’t depend on you, they’ll depend on someone else.
  2. Be consistent with food and money. The food, of course, only applies to restaurants, but money applies to all businesses. Customers expect a business to be up front with the cost of something. If you have a promotion for 10% off on Tuesdays, make sure your employees know to apply that. Similarly, the customer will have an expectation on portion size and quality. Meet those expectations.
  3. Remove “no problem” from your vocabulary. Every time a person walks into your place of business, you’re given an opportunity to either gain a customer or retain a customer. Positive responses go a long way, which is why Chick-fil-a is so known for their response of “my pleasure.” Read more about the problem with no problem here.
  4. Don’t overextend yourself. Do what you love and are passionate about. Slowly add to what you offer instead of doing it all at once. Etiquette by Emily started as a blog in 2015. In 2017 I added cotillion, and this year I’m now adding debutanate. I had to find what worked for my family and myself. This also has allowed me to not have to go back on anything I’ve started.

I hope you gained a little information from this post. If you have other suggestions you’d like to share, please comment here or email etiquettebyemily@gmail.com. As always, thank you for reading!

In Your Easter Bonnet…

            Classic dress from Boden

Easter is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of all holidays. There’s something very special, though, about the trees sprouting new leaves and the smell of spring rain in the air. I also notice that people tend to use Easter as the one occasion they still dress up.

             Floral Boden dress

 

A tradition in my own family is for everyone to get new clothes. I enjoy wearing dresses regularly, and the clothes my kids gets for Easter are the church clothes they usually wear throughout the summer, with some variations.

              Traditional Easter outfit

My kiddos are four and five years old, so I don’t buy a ton of nicer clothes for them. In addition to both kids growing quickly, they also tend to be a bit rough on clothes. Still, at Easter all rationalism flies out of the window.

I love classic clothing, particularly for kids. Seersucker and bowties are top picks of mine. My hubby will occasionally humor me with both options. Here are a couple of picks for my kids this year.

You can shop these looks at http://www.janieandjack.com and http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/kids-clothing.

Bonus: In the South, it is traditional to bring out your white clothes again!

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