It’s a Family Tradition

Sorry. The title is actually just because my husband is a fan of country music. 😉 But today we are, in fact, talking about family traditions and how important they are. In my opinion, traditions are also basic standards your family expects and show your priorities. If you have monthly family get-togethers, you prioritize family time. If you have holiday traditions, you value holidays. And so on.

Growing up, my paternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Wilder, lived in Irving, fairly close to the DFW airport. Although they moved to their new house when I was around 11 (I’m about to be 31), I still consider this house their home. At night in particular, when everything was quiet, you could hear the airplanes soar over the city. It’s no coincidence that, as an employee for American Airlines, my grandpa loves airplanes. However, he liked them most in mini version – model planes, in fact. He had a shop that he would spend many hours in building airplanes, flying remote controlled planes, etc. It was a topic he was always excited (and still is) to speak on. He has, in fact, been quoted and showcased in several model airplane magazines.

While planes weren’t my forte, they most definitely were for my brother. Today, at the ripe ol’ age of 26, he’s a pilot. I truly believe the interest created by my grandfather cultivated his love for flying high.

On the flip side, my grandma, though very classy and classic, would always let me push the limits a little. I remember one time in particular, she made me peanut butter toast (I remember it being the first time I had tried it) and let me stay up late (it was past 9pm when we started the movie) to watch 101 Dalmatians. It was absolutely wonderful, and it’s a memory I always think back to when I let my own daughter stay up past bedtime for one-on-one time. Although I was one of 17 (?? Not really sure how many at that time) grandchildren, I felt so special that she had made the night all about me.

This bond I made with my paternal grandparents has lasted through the years. At my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, my grandma passed down various items she had at her wedding to the granddaughters. I inherited a handkerchief she carried. It was carried by me at my wedding. When Garrett and I got engaged, she passed down her original wedding ring set, as my grandpa had gotten her a new one for their 50th. For years she had gotten small rashes on her ring finger that she thought was from soap. In addition to her beautiful ring, I also inherited her allergy to white gold. Go figure. 🙂 Regardless, I will absolutely cherish this ring for as long as I live and will one day pass it down to Katherine.Family is a value that has been passed down from both sides. As such, family time is something I truly treasure. I hope you are able to make time for your loved ones and make memories you’ll have forever.

Sweet Summertime

There are very few things like summertime in the South. Somehow things slow to a snail’s pace and speed up all at once. The air is thick and wet, making even breathing a laborous task. One of my favorite things about it? The random showers. The rain pours in buckets, and the sun still shines brightly through. Most of the time, it lasts for five minutes, max. Each rain drop has the ability of making a splash the size of a grapefruit it seems. The showers usually happen when you least expect it – you may be leaving the grocery store with paper bags that break when wet or you could just as easily be in your swimsuit playing in the pool with your kids.

We just keep umbrellas on us at all times. They’re handy to have to keep away both rain and sun in the Texas heat. A couple of my favorite movies always come to mind when this time of year comes ’round. Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and To Kill A Mockingbird. To be honest, most Southern movies make me feel at home and are simply good for my soul.

Tomatoes grow best when the air waters them, too, I’ve noticed. The more humid the weather, the more my plant gives. It reminds me of my frist trip to California. We went to a winery, and the lady truly was surprised I was the age I was (yes, I was over 21). She said the humidity keeps skin younger. I have no actual scientific evidence to prove this, but then again, I don’t have any evidence it isn’t true, either. 😉 What are your favorite things about summer? Thank you for reading!

Keep cool with my kids’ favorite sprinkler!

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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!