Christmas is surrounded by traditions, both old and new. Hats were a traditional accessory worn to church once upon a time, and I believe they deserve a come-back. I like the way hats dress up an outfit and turn eyes as people stop to look. Christmas Mass is my excuse to dress up my holiday outfit with a favorite red felt, timeless hat. I hope you find inspiration to wear your favorite hat this season. And, if you do, please be sure to take a picture and post it for us to enjoy.
The timeless Girl Scout song “Make New Friends” plays out in my mind the moment I meet someone new to me. I highly recommend this magic, considering how much I enjoy working with new as well as old friends. Image expert Marytina, our in-house image consultant and long-time friend, joined the Premier Etiquette team this year. Then, along came new golden friends Doris Gularte, Corrie Cubillas, Sister Barbara, Mandy Lebow and star student Theresa from Notre Dame High School in Salinas, CA. These angels made our dreams come true through their insight and conviction to share our latest and greatest etiquette program.
Thank you Notre Dame High School for making friends with us! The mother/daughter event challenged the audience to re-establish civility and elegance in their homes, businesses and communities. Gaining self-respect by learning to like exactly who they see when looking in a mirror inspired their determination to go out and make a positive impact on their surroundings. Wow!
Personal image and etiquette leadership were the hot new topics for 25 girls at Valley Preparatory Charter Academy. These smart and sophisticated girls relinquished their Saturday afternoon to hang out with “yours truly.” Keep in mind, they CHOSE to be there.
Mock interviews and confidence building activities broke the ice, helping the young women move comfortably past what they might have feared their Saturday would turn out to be- a boring lesson on how to be nice. Yes, we spoke to them about pleasantries and why they should abundantly use magic words like “please” and “thank you,” but we also guided them to use the principles of etiquette so they could learn how to make this “life thing” work for them. I’m always surprised when I hear people say that their kids wouldn’t enjoy such a program. Au contraire!
There comes a point in education when we leave scissors and glue behind for more grown-up classroom materials such as computers and interactive white boards. In this case, since we believe it is more fun to interact than listen to boring lectures about “do’s and don’ts” of how to look and behave, we splashed tables with craft supplies and fashion magazines to open a montage of collage making. The agreeable chatter of “Oh, I love that!” and “I want these shoes. They are so me,” crafted the perfect opportunity to teach the girls how discover their personal image.
A three course dining etiquette lesson included warm bread, tasty soup and a deliciously prepared entrée followed by a late afternoon dessert. Mix good food with fun tips on how to refrain from grossing people out at the dinner table and you get a pleasant-to-be-around, graceful, enjoyable person.
Each girl received a personal consultation from my in-house image experts Marytina Lawrence and Sabrina Jimenez. Some people might not see how image and etiquette are connected, but they are. Imagine what it is like for a young girl to hear she’s beautiful and perfect just the way she is when statistic show eighty percent of girls find fault with their image?
It was our mission to energize these young women to become the best possible version of themselves. We owe an abundant amount of gratitude to Executive Director, Shelly Melton, Educator, Lisa Taylor and Nutritional Coordinator, Janice Walstrom (below, third to the right) and her thoughtful team. Without them, this program might not be possible. Thank you!
Be on the look-out for these shining stars. We are so proud of them and we are forever grateful that schools like Valley Preparatory Charter Academy find means to continuously invest in their kids, knowing they deserve every ounce of it.
© Tiffany Nielsen
Sporting Shorts at Work
Fashionista or Big Mistake?
Lucky you if you get to wear shorts to work. Keep in mind, shorts are like any other clothing; some look and feel like casual weekend shorts while others lend a more dressy appeal.
Style experts like “Professionality” and Ann Taylor suggest you keep it classy and in touch with your work culture.
Ann Taylor marketers nail it by suggesting women pair dressy shorts with shoes that make others say, “Wow” or “She’s got it together”.
Wondering if you have it together? Check yourself in the mirror before you dash out to work and ask, “Am I ‘wow’ for the right reasons?” The right reasons, in case you’d like to know, would include:
- I won’t be like a school girl whose skirt is too short and sent home by my boss to change clothes.
- “Oh, I want to look like you,” not, “Oh jeez, she did it again!”
- When the president of the company or your boss walks in unexpectedly and doesn’t notice your outfit, I say “Good!” because then you know you aren’t a distraction for the wrong reasons.
Workplace Tip: Follow the company policy regarding image. It’s a perfect guide to help you dress for success.
Stay cool this summer; however, if you live in California you are wondering if you will ever sport shorts this year, period! But then, history shows a balmy June in these parts doesn’t necessarily indicate no heat wave in July!
This morning during my Royal Wedding Breakfast, Pearls and Pj’s party, my mother-in-law heard me mention the shamrock on Prince William’s collar, but “Why was Prince William wearing red? Prince William holds an honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guards, and he opted to wear an Irish Guard’s officer uniform instead of his Royal Air Force uniform. He also wore his Garter sash and star, Royal Air Force “wings,” and Golden Jubilee medal”.
Thank you, Dear “Mother of the Groom” for the great insight in royal couture!!