10 Tips for a “Super” Bowl Sunday!

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Are you ready for some football? Super Bowl Sunday is finally here and with this festive day comes parties and fun! Here are 10 tips to keep the party stress free and upbeat!

1. If you are not a big fan of football, be aware that you are in the minority and therefore need to learn to be quiet during the game. If you must speak, do it away from the t.v. and in small whispers!

2. If you are a guest in someone’s home, don’t show up empty handed, bring a hostess gift. Flowers, nachos, nuts and a beverage make great gifts. You don’t need to blow the bank.

3 If it’s a meal, remember your dining etiquette but if it is munchies, don’t pile handfuls of nuts into your mouth. Pace yourself and make sure everyone gets to sample the fare.

4. If you are consuming alcohol,you don’t want to drink too much. There is no “life of the party” when everyone is trying to watch the game. If you are prone to marathon drinking, alternate your drink with a glass of water. And don’t drink on an empty stomach.

5. Don’t ask too many questions during the game. If you are not familiar with how football is played, do some homework before either on the web or ask a friend so you aren’t asking questions during every single play. Nothing is more annoying.

6. If you are in a group that do not want to watch the game and you are carefully ensconced in a private room, stay clear of conversations that include gossip, sex, politics and religion. And if it is a company party, stay away from work topics. Try favorite foods, restaurants, vacations, benign topics that are not hot buttons.

7. If you are bored, help the host with tidying up. You can refresh drinks, clean up plates, wash dishes.

8. If your team loses, be a good sport and congratulate those who rooted for the opposing team. (I’m Canadian and I am use do doing this with the Maple Leafs!)

9. Don’t ask for leftover food or drinks when leaving the party.

10. Call or write the host the next day and thank them for such a wonderful time!

Top Ten Tips For A Pleasant Ride On The Subway!

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At the best of times, riding the subway can be taxing especially in the heat of the summer at the end of an 8 hour work day. However, it is winter and with that comes boots, heavy parkas, bags, lots of slush and wet floors. There are some etiquette rules for riding the subway that pertain to passengers spring, summer, winter or fall. Here are my top 10 to keep in mind.

1. Don’t push and shove your way onto the train. Wait until passengers have disembarked before entering.
2. Sit only on one seat, keep your bags on your lap or tightly tucked against your legs. Don’t use a second seat for bags unless the train is empty.
3. Don’t start eating your messy snack. Wait until you are home. If you need a little pick me up, make it something that doesn’t require a lot of work to eat. And PLEASE chew with your mouth shut. Same rule applies to gum.
4. If someone elderly or pregnant is in need of a seat, get up and give it to them.
5. Don’t sit in the disabled spot, leave it open for someone who is actually disabled.
6. Don’t have a loud conversation on your cellphone. If you must talk to someone, keep it short and sweet.
7. If you need to disembark a busy train, use the words “excuse me” as you make your way to the door. A quick thank you after they move is a nice touch!
8. Have a cold? Cough into the crease of your arm or a tissue. Don’t spray your germs around!
9. Don’t leave any garbage on the subway. Take it with you and throw it in a trash bin.
10.Smile……you never know who you might meet!

Holiday Party Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts!

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‘Tis the season to brush off that glittering top, polish the shoes and partake in the festivities of the season.
Remember etiquette is about behaviors that make others feel comfortable in our presence. Those things we can do to make others experiences a little bit brighter. And good etiquette translates into positive relationships. Here are some tips for navigating the holiday social scene.

1. When invited to a party make sure you RSVP or reply to the invitation immediately. Don’t wait until the day of to let the host know of your presence. Party planning requires numbers to ensure there is enough food and drink for everyone.

2. Show up on time. If it is a sit down dinner, make sure you arrive just a touch early and if it is an open house, give yourself plenty of time to mix and mingle with guests.

3. Don’t spend the evening over eating and drinking, especially at the company party. Keep your drinking and eating to a reasonable level and never ask for a doggy bag for home!

4. Ensure your are dressed appropriately for the event. If it is not stated on the invitation, ask the host what the dress code is to be that evening. You don’t want to show up in jeans if it is black tie.

5. Don’t overstay your welcome, bring a small hostess gift and follow up with a hand written thank you note.

Follow these tips and you are bound to impress the host and the guests with your charm! Happy Holidays!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!

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It is indeed that time of year again when the white stuff is falling quickly from the sky. It is fun to watch children play in the snow! It has been a long time since I made a snow angel or snowman but this year I am channeling my “inner child” and getting out with my kids to design some snow creations!
Just as I was heading towards my car in the local supermarket parking lot, I was jolted from my daydreaming to see a large SUV honking madly at another vehicle. In this case the SUV was correct in using the horn. The second vehicle did not bother to brush the snow off their back window and proceeded to back out of their parking space. They backed out into the fender of the SUV.
What ensued was something I should have filmed. The driver of the other vehicle proceeded to scream at the driver of the SUV. What were they screaming about you ask? They were screaming at the driver for using their horn!!! I maintain that snow is the gift that gifts us some time to slow down, reflect on our actions and practice politeness in all that we do.
Snow is the great equalizer…..it makes it difficult to be impatient when we are driving.So this winter, practice good snow etiquette, use patience in all that you do!

Holiday Greeting Cards

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If you still send cards through snail mail for majour holiday celebrations, do you enclose personal details of your life? Some etiquette experts say “no” and some say “yes”. The advantage of sending cards is that there is only one recipient. Unlike Facebook or other social media outlets, whereby your posts can be seen by many, a card is more personal and private. But is it good etiquette to include in your holiday card all of your trials and tribulations? Some experts would argue that you shouldn’t burden the recipient with all kinds of negative news, keep the tone of the card light and upbeat. Others argue that this is indeed the time to let friends and family know what has been happening in your life, it is the time to be “real” with people.
I think it depends on your circumstances. I know I enjoy hearing about everyone’s life in a letter or card, it is even a bonus if they send a picture, but I also know that I may be the exception to the rule. My advice would be use your discretion, if it is a close friend, they probably already know your trials in life, if it is a casual acquaintance, perhaps some detail but not the gory details may be in order.
Remember however, that the point of Holiday cards is to send that message that someone cares about you and wants you to know that you are in their thoughts!

Poppy Etiquette

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We are just days away from November 11 when we pause and give thanks for the men and women who serve and have served our country with honour and dignity. Many have sacrificed so much for our freedom and one small way we can show our thanks is by wearing our celebrated poppy. As an etiquette expert it pains me to see it worn so many ways when really there is only one way to wear it!
That is to pin it on your left lapel (signifying over your heart as in giving heartfelt thanks for the sacrifice of our veterans). You can begin wearing your poppy on the last Friday of October until the end of the day on November 11th. I know many people who “recycle” their poppy from year to year. Please recycle cans, plastic, newspapers, even your Timmies cup but for goodness sake if you are going to recycle your poppy from year to year, make sure you donate to the cause as this is a way of making much needed money for our veterans and their families. I would like to leave you with this poem!

Why Wear a Poppy Poem by Don Crawford

“Please wear a Poppy”, the lady said and

held one forth, but I shook my head, Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,

And her face was old and lined with care;

But beneath the scars the years had made

There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,

Bouncing along on carefree feet,

His smile was full of joy and fun:

“Lady”, said he, “May I have one”?

When she pinned it on he turned to say,

“Why do we wear a poppy today”?

The lady smiled in her wistful way,

And answered, “This is Remembrance Day,

And the poppy there is a symbol for

The gallant men who died in war,

And because they did, you and I are free,

That’s why we wear the poppy, you see”.

I had a boy about your size,

With golden hair and big blue eyes.

He loved to play and jump and shout,

Free as a bird he would race about.

As the years went by he learned and grew,

And became a man – as you will, too.

But the war went on and he had to stay,

And all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight,

(I can see it still in my dreams at night)

With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire, and the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

“Till at last, at last, the war was won –

And that’s why we wear a poppy, son.”

The small boy turned as if to go,

Then said, “Thanks lady, I’m glad to know,

That sure did sound like an awful fight,

But your son – did he come back all right?”

A tear rolled down each faded cheek:

She shook her head but didn’t speak.

I slunk away in a sort of shame,

And if you were me you’d have done the same:

For our thanks, in giving, is often delayed

Through our freedom was bought

And thousands paid.

And so when we see a poppy worn,

Let us reflect on the burden borne,

By those who gave their very all,

When asked to answer their country’s call.

That we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy,

Remember

And give.

Ice Bucket Challenge Etiquette! Five tips to navigate the pressure!

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Ok, I admit,  I took it! I took the challenge that is sweeping the internet. My daughter dumped a bucket of ice water on me and I donated to ALS. It is personal for me because I had a good friend die of ALS so it was a no brainer. But what if you already donate to a number of charities and just can’t quite see yourself participating in  this one? What if everyone in the office wants to do it but you don’t? Here are some key ways to gracefully bow out without upsetting everyone and maintaining your dignity at the same time.

1. If you are invited via Facebook, thank the invitee for the challenge and then message them to let them know that you will not be participating at this time. It is not necessary to give a reason unless you want to let them know.

2. If you work with someone who invites you to participate, kindly thank them for the invitation but explain that at this time you will not be engaging in the challenge.

3. It is important to look them in the eye, smile and firmly let them know that “no” is your final answer.

4. If further pressed and you want to explain yourself, just ask the person to step aside and once alone, explain your reason for not participating. Many people already donate to causes close to their heart and feel that they have given as much as they can give.

5. If this is a cause close to  your heart, but you fear water that is full if ice, politely with a smile on your face, let them know you have already donated.

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Aggression Linked to How We Eat!

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Cornell study finds children who eat chicken on the bone are more aggressive….

 

By Evan Bleier   |   April 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM   |

 

 

Will eating chicken wings make him more aggressive? (File/UPI /Laura Cavanaugh)

| License Photo

 

ITHACA, N.Y., April 30 (UPI) — Researchers at Cornell University conducted a study about biting versus chewing habits in children and found that kids who eat chicken on the bone are more likely to disobey adults and be aggressive.The study, which was published in Eating Behaviors, found that children were “twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids” when eating food they had to hold and bite.

Researches found that children were more docile when eating cut-up pieces of food, results which would seem to indicate that there is a connection between having to use teeth to eat and aggressive behavior.

Not everyone agrees with the study’s findings.

“I think people have been eating chicken wings, chicken drumsticks for a millennia and I don’t think it’s made them any more aggressive than they otherwise would have been,” clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Russell told Fox News.

The children that the researchers studied were between the ages of 6 and 10.

Office Etiquette

Unless you work by yourself, your ability to get along with others will determine whether you enjoy your job, whether you are able to work as part of a team and whether you are seen as someone to be promoted. Navigating the workplace politics can be draining and difficult to manage, especially if you are not a political person yourself. I still maintain however, that it is easy to navigate politics if you follow these simple rules.

1. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. That includes all co-workers, not just your boss.

2. Check your ego at the door. Learn how to be part of a team to solve a problem, not to have your voice heard just for the sake of listening to it. If you work hard and contribute to the tasks at hand, you will be seen as an integral part of the team.

3. Don’t gossip. Do I have to say more? You don’t know where your information may go and let’s face it, picking sides can be a death trap for your career. If backed into a corner with someone who gossips, explain that you feel uncomfortable talking about anyone and would best be left to finish your work. And always remind yourself that gossip hurts, not just you but the other person.

4. Put a smile on your face. We all have down days, but it is important to leave our moods at the door. No one likes a moody co-worker and it will affect your opportunities for advancement. Yelling at co-workers has a nasty way of coming back and biting you……well you get it!

5. Stay away from sex, politics and topics that are inappropriate at the office. If you want to socialize outside of business hours, make plans away from work but keep the conversation focused on the tasks at hand.

When you are intentional about who you are at work and your level of professionalism, others begin to see you as a leader, someone whom they can trust and someone who is in line for a promotion.

 

 

Write a Thank You Note!!

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In our elementary and high school classes we practice the art of writing thank you notes. Some say this is a long lost art in the computer age, I disagree……a thank you note sets you apart and leave a lasting impression. Our students wrote a letter of thanks to our Prime Minister citing one special thing they are thankful for in Canada. Posted below is his response!

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