A Fun Party Idea – Tea Party with Dolls!

I had a reader write in to ask what “just because” party she could do for her daughter. Her daughter is in the 2nd grade. They’re newer to their area, but they have already made several friends. I couldn’t think of a better party than a doll tea party!

While it’s still spring, you could take advantage of the warmer (but not hot) days by having the party outside. Have all of the girls bring a doll or stuffed animal with them. You could even lay out a blanket like a picnic for the dolls. If you have plastic play plates, set those out. If not, paper is perfect! It definitely doesn’t have to cost a lot.

For food, think easy-to-eat foods.

If your daughter loves PB&Js, go with that! Make the food your own. An easy-to-make craft is to have each of the girls make their own paper plate party hat!

You can find lots of tea-centered games and craft on Pinterest, too! If a little girl in your life loves tea and the classic 18″ dolls, this American Girl – Beforever Rebecca – Rebecca’s Teatime Traditions is amazing!

American Girl tea set

American Girl-brand items are always more expensive than their counterparts (Our Generation, My Life, etc.), and *surprise, surprise,* I don’t always like the American Girl items better. However, I do love the above tea set. My daughter has the 18 Inch Doll Tea Party & Dessert Food Set, Two Complete Doll Sets for Your Favorite 18 Inch Doll | Includes 64 Pieces of Pretend Doll Food & Accessories, which has plenty of items to share. It’s definitely a bigger bang for your buck, and, as often as we have friends over, it was the better choice for us!

18″ Doll Tea Party Set

Hospitality is very important to me, so I’m thankful that she is so willing and eager to entertain! If this isn’t something you’re comfortable with, I highly suggest the book Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation. I first heard about this book from Money Saving Mom.

I feel like Garrett and I became overly busy at one point in our lives, and we’re getting back on track for making time for what’s important to us. Afterall, when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else.

I hope you feel inspired to have a party or get-together of your own! I’d love to hear about it if you do. 🙂

 

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The Differences In Etiquette Books

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I’m often asked which etiquette book is my favorite. To be 100% honest, most from the 1920s-1950s hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. I love The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, 50th Anniversay Edition. This is not the exact one that I have. Mine is much older, but from what I’ve reasearched, a lot of the “older” etiquette remains in this 50th anniversary addition. I feel like Ms. Vandernbilt went into great depth explaining various rules of etiquette. She not only explained the basics – she covered it all.

Another favorite is Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today (Emily’s Post’s Etiquette). Now, this is one I’ve really noticed changes in over time. The writers of Emily Post Etiquette have relaxed a lot of the rules, which, being fairly traditional, I don’t love. Overall, though, the bones hold true, and it’s an easily understood etiquette book, which I feel is important. Should etiquette change? Absolutely. I just feel that some of the guidance is a little too casual for certain circumstances and enjoy a sense of formality many seem to miss in the world?

I really enjoy studying how etiquette books have changed and evolved over time. I always teach that etiquette is the culmination of cultural and societal norms. I’ve never seen a more accurate example than that of etiquette books and how they evolve over time. I hope this post helps you find the etiquette book that is best for you! Thank you for reading!

Reading Is Good For the Soul

One of my favorite things to do in my small town is to visit the local library on Thursdays with my kids. Most days the library closes at 6:00pm. On Thursdays, though, they delay opening for two hours in order to stay open until 8:00pm. The fact that the library is just two blocks from our home doesn’t hurt either.

My absolute favorite time to visit is at dusk. Oftentimes, particulary in spring and fall, the weather will be a bit misty, blurring the lines of the hectic world and washing everything clean. The lightposts glow pink as the light halos around the bulb. Walking towards the building becomes more and more peaceful with each step. It’s my sanctuary.

“Reading allows us to experience different cultures and places…”

It’s always been important to me that our kids grow up loving to read. It isn’t easy, though. It’s a time commitment when time is a rare commodity. It is, however, so incredibly worth it. The first time my daughter read a book on her own, I experienced a pride and happiness I had never known. My son, age 4, is getting close, too, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the day.

With reading, we get to experience different cultures and different places for a low, low price. I am a big promoter on etiquette not costing a lot. Knowledge shouldn’t either. There are many books I re-read because I get homesick for the different places. I’m currently reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story again, and I love it just as much, if not more, than the first time through. If you’re local to Sulphur Springs, the library had another copy available yesterday!

I hope this post encourages you to find a little time each week to devote to reading. I promise it’s time you’ll find well spent.

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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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