Entertaining On The Cheap

In response to a reader’s question, today’s post is over entertaining inexpensively. This is an area I’m very passionate about. I never want someone to think they can’t “afford” etiquette. Etiquette isn’t for the elite – it’s for everyone. Entertaining doesn’t need to be a big show. We can get together with friends and family for birthdays, holidays or just because without it costing an arm and a leg. Let me show you some of my favorite inexpensive ways to be the perfect host.

1. Don’t Forget About Pinterest!

I nearly went the other way on this one simply because for a while, I got very caught up in Pinterest and how I wanted things to look. I would go ALL OUT for birthdays because it looked like that was the new norm. No more. Instead, I use pinterest for inexpensive homemade ways to have fun while stretching my dollar a little further.

2. Host a Game Night.

You could have a snack supper (my absolute favorite) or you could keep it small to reduce costs. Never feel obligated to host more people than you can afford. A big pot of chili or soup can help feed many for just a little, as well. My favorite games are simple ones, such as cribbage or 42.

3.  Have a Potluck!

I’ve actually had several people ask if having a potluck goes against etiquette. It doesn’t, unless you’re using it as a way to essentially get out of entertaining your guests. It really isn’t appropriate for a wedding, regardless of what the current trend is. However, for a casual evening, it is 100% appropriate. It also allows for people to try new foods and showcase their top recipe. 🙂

4.  Don’t Worry About the Joneses.

If you’re having a birthday party, don’t worry about having a thousand things to do to keep the kids entertained. They’ll have more fun playing with each other anyhow. You also don’t need to worry about having a 5-course meal. Truly, just cake is perfectly fine.

What are some ways you save on entertaining? Thank you for reading!

When You’re In The Trenches

I’ve had several mommas reach out to me feeling overwhelmed. They want to eat dinner as a family at the table every night. They have every intention of teaching their babies to say “please” and thank you.” They know thank you notes are a kind gesture. It’s the implementation of it all that makes them feel like it’s not doable.

I know. I have felt (and still feel in many cases) like it’s not attainable – that my family will not be like the Cleavers. Laundry goes unfolded many days; we have eat-in-front-of-the-tv nights like that vast majority of Americans; I forget to send thank you notes (have I mentioned that’s my etiquette flaw…ahem). Anyhow, it’s all okay, and it’s all going to continue to be okay.

We’re not perfect, and try as we might, we never will be perfect. And it still will be okay.

Instead of giving up, I hope you find encourgement in this post. Give yourself grace. Instead of continuing to think about whatever it was that you missed (a thank you note, dinner for a new mom, etc.), let it completely go. We can start again right now. We don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂

Something that truly helps me is to make a list. A to do list, a to buy list – whatever is needed. Getting it on paper helps me prioritize what needs to be done. To help me with gifts for showers or birthdays, I try to buy ahead. This is most helpful with hostess gifts, as I tend to give similar items. These are also items I personally love and would use. If I’m hosting my own party, the cocktail napkins I have in my stash come in handy.

For my kids, they learn best by example. In theory I’d love to go over the history of tea with them, but to be honest, they just wouldn’t be into it beyond an American Girl tea party. Repetitition is what helps them learn with etiquette. Instead of expecting them to know when to say thank you in public, make it a habit at home.

In most cases with etiquette, the saying “better late than never” holds true. I’d much rather receive a belated thank you note and know the recipient got the gift than to never receive one because they thought it was too late. I find people have more grace for us than we have for ourselves.

What tips would you add?

Thank you for reading!

 

New Look!

I hope y’all like the new look of Etiquette By Emily. 🙂 After finally figuring out how to add the affiliates (BIG thank you to Matt Dunn), I decided that old lay out just didn’t work.

Regarding the affiliates, I promise to ONLY offer affiliate marketing that I feel will be beneficial to you. I’m currently working on approval of my third affiliate. I’m a little anxious about it because I REALLY hope to be approved. This company offers great incentives to anyone registering for a baby shower or wedding shower, and it simply offers great deals to everyone. Personally, I shop here often (probably too often if you asked my husband).

On that note, HAPPY 31st BIRTHDAY to my very sweet, very supportive, wonderfully dependable husband. He has been there for me always, and I know he always will be there for me.

In our little town, yesterday ended my term as mayor (cue cheers). While I enjoyed it immensely, I am also glad to get a little more wiggle room back in our family life. We had gotten into a bad habit of eating too often separately or in front of the tv because our evenings would be too jam-packed with activities. Through it all, though, Garrett was unwavering in his support of me and all I do. I know without a doubt I couldn’t do it without this handsome hubby of mine. Thank you, Gar.

That being said, I’m very excited to having more time for family, this blog and reading. 🙂 If you have any topics you’d like for me to cover, please leave a comment, and I promise it’ll be covered. 🙂 As always, thank you for reading!

2017 Announcement #1

Happy New Year! I am so excited about some of the blog changes coming in 2017, and I hope you will be, too!

I feel like I need to make a confession. I am not prim and proper. I simply have a love of all things etiquette. I’m going to take the easy way out and blame it on being a Gemini. 😉 However, to be more authentic, I am adding a series on Everything Emily. I want y’all to see a real life and how etiquette is brought into it. I want to promote etiquette for everyone, and that means showing y’all the times I fail miserably at it. Do I dream of having a perfectly clean house, a guest book ready and waiting by the door and non-sticky kids? You betcha. Do I have any of that? Excuse me while I go laugh for about six hours. Nope. Not even close.

I expect my kids to be polite. I want them to grow up having etiquette as part of their everyday life, but I struggle with the middle ground. I know the implications of not following etiquette too well to just let things always slide. But I also understand the importance of living in the moment. Let me be as clear as I can be. Having kids jump in mud puddle is NOT against etiquette. Co-sleeping, bottle feeding, nursing, cry-it-out – whatever your parenting choice may be – is NOT against etiquette.

Etiquette is simply the bringing together of cultural and societal norms. It varies by region, which is why I state I teach Southern etiquette. It varies by country. I love this so much about etiquette. I don’t want so much sameness in the world that we lose our core values – the same values that make up our etiquette.

If you’re using etiquette to put others down, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re using etiquette to feel superior, you’re doing it wrong. NOTHING about etiquette would ever approve this. Etiquette is about feeling comfortable in any situation, but more than that, etiquette is about making OTHERS feel comfortable in any situation. You may absolutely guide someone if they are breeching etiquette, but if you’re doing it correctly, they’ll never know you did it.

Everything Emily will post weekly. I’m not sure of the day, yet, but I will let y’all know!

Announcement #2 sneak peek. Are y’all following my #southerngracesocialclub? If not, you should. 😉