Southern Grace Debutante Ball

I am thrilled to announce that the 2018 Southern Grace Debutante Ball will be held in Sulphur Springs, Texas on Saturday, April 21st at the beautiful The Venue at 219, which is located at 219 Main Street.

This event is for young ladies in grades 9th through 12th. The cost is $100 for those who register prior to March 15th. A full meal and live band, along with presentations will take place in the evening of the 21st of April.

Space will be limited due to the nature of the event.

Please email etiquettebyemily@gmail.com to reserve your space today!

Library Etiquette

My kids and I like to go to our local library on Thursday evenings. It’s open until 8pm on Thursdays, and, as a working mom, this is our little getaway each week.

I enjoyed just walking the aisles until something catches my eye. My daughter, 5, always migrates to the My Little Pony area, despite my attempts. I was always a Romona Quimby girl, to the point where I wrote “Ramona Quimby, age 8” at the top of all of my school papers when I was in the 3rd grade. I’m just grateful I went to a small school and my teacher, Mrs. Jaggers, knew who that was. My son likes The Berenstein Bears (it’s how I know he’s mine) and books about firemen.

Regardless of your interests, I’d bet you’ll be able to find them at your local library. I’ve surprisingly had a few emails informing me that people want to go to the library in their hometown, but they’re unsure of how to act. Here are a few pointers.

  • Unless you have a bottle-fed baby, don’t bring in food and water. Many libraries will have signs letting you know it’s not allowed, but it can easily harm books, which is the reasoning behind it.
  • Bring your kids! Most libraries have a kids’ section/area. Ours does, and it brings out their love for reading, which is essential.
  • Be timely in your returns. Aside from the minimal fine you’ll incur, it’s inconsiderate to other people who may have wanted to read that book.
  • Take phonecalls outside or to a designated area.
  • Don’t fold the pages! This one goes for any borrowed book. Don’t earmark the page to let you know where you are. Get a bookmark.
  • Limit computer use to an hour, if a time limit isn’t stated. Plenty of people use the library and all of its abundant resources, such as computers and/or wi-fi to do work. An hour is usually enough time to do what needs done while not preventing someone else getting their work done.

What other guidelines would you add to the above list?

As always, thank you for reading!

Remembering Your Friends

A tradition of yesteryear is that of having a guest book at your house. I don’t mean for your wedding, though I certainly encourage said book for that occasion, as well. I mean having a guest book for the Halloween parties, the Easter egg hunts, the birthday parties, etc. that happen in your life.

I’m bringing this trend back for 2018 (even if it never fully catches one). I had the opportunity to take a history walk with a local historian, John Sellers. Now, John’s expertise isn’t limited to local history. He has spoken all over the USA and is well-known for his love and knowledge of history.

During this history walk, he mentioned that the home we were touring had a guest book in it where he found his mother’s name signed in it. Her maiden name. I mean, how neat is that?! I hope one day my kids are able to look back through various guests books and will recall the family traditions we had and the fun with friends we shared. You can get this beautiful Guest Book: Illustrated Nature Edition here.

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Pineapples and Hospitality

Pineapples have a long-standing history of being associated with hospitality in the South. But do you know why that is?

Pineapples, over three hundred years ago, were exceedingly rare. They, also, are delicious and one of my favorite fruits. Pineapples were given to guests as a generous welcome gift. They helped signify the host family’s wealth, as well.

Similar to the “no white after Labor Day” rule, the pineapple was typically reserved for well-to-do families. Three hundred years ago, reading wasn’t as common as it is today, particularly among poorer citizens. Symbols were used like brands are today. The pineapple on an inn’s sign let people know they were welcome.

Today we still use the pineapple as a sign of hospitality. In fact, it’s one of my favorite symbols. I recently gave a very close friend a set of pineapple bookends, which, thankfully, she loves. You can get a similar set here:

They are a bit of a splurge, but I can just about guarantee they’ll be loved and treasured for many, many years. They’re perfect for a housewarming gift or for a close friend’s birthday gift.

Also, legend has it that if a guest overstayed his or her welcome, a pineapple would be placed at the foot of their bed fro a nonconfrontational way of saying, “Here’s your hat. What’s your hurry?”

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’d love to hear of any other meanings behind the pineapple that you may know!

Southern Traditions

I am absolutely mesmerized by various Southern traditions. The South is uniquely made up of various culture, creating a new one in its own right. I love this so much. However, it’s easy to be drawn into other cultures and fail to see what’s so special about your own.

For me, this is best highlighted by my own family’s Christmas Eve meal. Instead of having the same food each year and having that be our tradition, we explore new cultures and even time periods. In 2016 we had an Italian feast, and in 2017 we were transported back to the 1950s. This is our personal tradition.

I’ve always been one to romanticize what others do. After watching Pocahontas, I desparately wanted to be Native American. It’s this way with everything, though. I think it’s what makes etiquette so special to me. Traditions are the foundation of who we are, making traditions a cornerstone of culture. I get such a thrill learning about new people and new cultures.

I had the opportunity when I was in undergrad to study abroad in China. Again, I was struck with wanderlust. I genuniely felt sad at the thought of leaving this world without ever having seen it.

While we may not be able to travel extensively now, I enjoy bringing other parts of the world to my family.

However, it’s also important for me to not forget about the culture I live in. I mean something on a more micro level, though, than Southern. The South has several regionally distinct areas that all have their own sub-culture and traditions.

Today I want to highlight a favorite tradition of mine here locally in Hopkins County, Texas – Hopkins County Stew. It’s amazing. If you’ve never tried it, I enjoy mine best with crackers crushed in it to soak up some of the broth, loaded with cheese and a side of pickles (which may or may not also end up in the stew). It’s simple and comforting. If you’ve never made it before, this cold weather is the perfect time to start! Enjoy! Learn more about our annual stew contest! Fun fact: I worked this event the day before Grant was born!

P.S. If you try it, let me know what you think!