Why the Dinner Table is Important

One of the most important rooms in the home is the kitchen. The second most important is the dining room. In kitchens, we prepare our meals and enjoy chatting with members of the household who buzz through the area. It’s a meeting place. When our food is ready to be eaten, we (should) take it to our dining areas so we can peacefully enjoy our meal. The piece of furniture we use is the dining room table and it’s the single most important thing we have in our homes and too often it goes unused.
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Baltimore Rioting

With recent rioting in Baltimore, I noticed that those who are being violent don’t go home for dinner. Why? It isn’t because they aren’t hungry; it’s because no one is waiting for them to come home and share a meal. I’m a firm believer that cultural change begins at the dinner table. If we expect people to behave like good citizens, then we need to encourage the activities that produce good citizens. Families who gather together over dinner are likely to have conversations that include moral elements and create a sense of belonging for each family member. The food they eat doesn’t matter, only the bonds they develop.

Many of these young rioters come from broken or even absent families. I think it’s likely that they’re out on the streets causing chaos because they want to feel like they’re apart of something. Humans have a deep need to be apart of a group. Does the Baltimore rioting create a group identity for young people to cling to? We certainly cannot assume that anyone who came from a broken family will cause problems. However, we should be aware that young people like those rioting who (likely) don’t have a stable home environment are at risk for being drug into such groups because they want to have an identity.

As a nation who wants to see peace and love prevail in the face of anger, we need to encourage families of all types to spend a few nights a week at the dinner table. Our world is shaped by the people in it. We must be the change we want to see.
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Monday Morning Inspiration

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Happy Monday lovelies! I hope your weekend was restful or at least enjoyable. I went to a Baltimore Orioles vs. Red Sox game Saturday and it was crazy! The game went for 10 innings before the Orioles broke the tie and won the game. Red Sox fans were not too happy. Before the game let out, there was an announcement made in the stadium that the Mayor of the city and the police department had closed the stadium gates because protesters were rioting nearby and it wasn’t safe for anyone to leave. A few cars had been damaged and businesses were vandalized but no one was hurt, which is the important part.

Monday Musings

Every Monday I wake up with two thoughts: what am I going to wear and do I have to get up yet? No more of this! It isn’t the start to a productive day. I’m probably too regimented in how I like things done, however I’m learning that being prepared for the day makes the morning go much smoother. Here are 5 things that can improve your Monday morning!

  1. Choose your outfit the night before. Scrambling around, trying to find a necklace to go with your top isn’t the way to do things. When you’re getting ready for bed Sunday night, pick everything out so you aren’t rushed the next day.
  2. Organize your planner. If you don’t have one, you need to get one. Having your day and week planned out in advance saves you the headache of wondering what’s going on and if you forgot anything.
  3. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. Drink up for a happy morning! Combine that with some eggs and toast and you’re fueled up for the day. Bonus: you stay slim by eating a good breakfast.
  4. Put on lipstick. I’m telling you ladies, this just puts the pep in my step! Feeling beautiful on a Monday makes the rest of the week so much better. I have a lot of confidence when I do this.
  5. Buy fresh flowers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- flowers bring life to any space. Get some for your bedroom and office to add a little something extra to the area. Mornings are so much easier if you’re surrounded by beauty.

Enjoy your day and smile!

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What I Keep at the Office

Rejoice pretty people, it’s Friday! We’ve all been working hard (or hardly working) this week and it’s time for a break. Living near Washington, D.C. means that we need it more than everyone else. We truly are the city that never sleeps. We’re also the city that knows way too much about happy hours and not enough about how important it is that our livers function properly. That’s another post though.

office_must_havesI mentioned in another post that I got my first “big girl” job. I started about two weeks ago and have been going through some introductory meetings several times a week with my new team members- all of whom are guys. I’m the only girl to be hired on for this project. Many of you might run away at the idea of this but trust me, that would be a mistake! There’s a lot of power I have because of my unique position. Ok, maybe not. However, there are some advantages such as playing a leadership role when no one else is sure who should. Or being the only female voice, thus automatically getting more attention. Like I said, it isn’t a bad position to be in!

With everything in life, you need to be a little prepared though. I have a few #bosslady necessities that you’ll always find me with at the office or in a meeting. Let’s start with my red lipstick because it’s becoming my persona. Nars Cruella lip pencil is something I don’t leave home without anymore. It’s dramatic and eye catching! In a city that’s all business, this beautiful red fits the bill of being a business savvy Washingtonian.

My next must-have are heels. Ballet flats don’t command the attention of anyone. Heels, on the other hand, are quite attention grabbing. I work with men whom are all taller than I am, the heels really level the playing field for me. Plus, my legs look great! #winning

I feel like this next one goes without saying, but my grande vanilla iced latte will always be near by. I need energy to keep up with my team members. They’re smart, witty, and have commutes that are far shorter than mine. The coffee stays with me to cling to in my most desperate hour, which usually comes around 2:30 when I’m ready for a siesta.

Being the grown-up I am I always carry with me an agenda/planner. Little things I need to remember for certain dates always seem to come up in discussions. With my hot pink pen, I write down the details of events, projects, and the occasional happy hour.

Finally, I rock my reading glasses. Ladies, never underestimate the visual power of such a tool. Glasses suggest so much about a person’s intellect. I’d wear them more often if they didn’t get in the way of my Audrey Hepburn-style sunglasses.

I’m always adding to and updating my must-have list. Aren’t we all? I’m always falling in love with something new. During the winter months, my must-have was a heating pad so I wouldn’t be cold. I may be keeping it on the list if this new office proves to be chilly!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Mason Jars: A Love-Hate Relationship

mason_jar_usesI have many pet peeves in life. From messy desk tops to my pants creating an unwanted muffin-top, my little dislikes range from normal to crazy. One pet peeve that I rarely am brave enough to mention because everyone is obsessed with them is mason jars. You read that right. I can’t stand them… for the most part. There are a few times when I think they’re appropriate to use and about a million times when they’re just, dare I say, tacky.

What’s my least favorite use of these glass, Pinterest-y objects? Wedding decorations. Dear Lord, don’t get me started! At first, it was kind of cute, but then everyone thought so and all of the sudden every single wedding had mason jars. It is no longer clever to wrap twine around the tops of the jars to make bows and then put flowers inside. It’s also not unique to put lights inside and then hang the jars from the rafters of your barn/reception space. I’m not a hater, I’m just over this trend. Since I’m talking about trends I’m so over, I may as well mention my severe dislike of using chalkboards for anything at a wedding. It’s been done too many times.

Mason jars do have their purposes though, and these are a few of my favorite Pinterest-inspired uses.

  1. Portable Mason Jar Meals– I really like this idea for salads as a slightly prettier way to carry in lunch to work. Tupperware just isn’t as cute.
  2. Herb Garden– I don’t garden and never will but being able to grow herbs in my home for when I cook (if I cook) is really useful. Sit them in the sun and give them a watering everyday and you’ve got herbs!
  3. Kitchen Storage– I hate opening a bag of nuts or popcorn kernels and having them spill all over my drawers after a period of time. Putting food items like that in a clear, glass jar make it easy to see and super organized.
  4. Make Up Brush Storage– This is way cleaner than throwing it in a make up bin and you can actually find it without digging around for a few minutes.

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Kentucky Derby 2015 Style

kentucky_derby_outfitHappy hump day lovelies! I’m counting down days until the weekend when all of my fun can start! In the mean time, let’s focus on something important that will be here before we know it: the Kentucky Derby. One of the oldest sporting events in America, this year horse lovers, millionaires, and preppy college students will flock to the racetrack on May 2nd!

In a previous post, I talked about my trip to the Derby in 2013. While it was memorable, I won’t be going back until I can get in an executive club suite to wait for the races to start. For those of you who are going this year, I suggest wearing this new Lilly Pulitzer shift that just came out! Bright, flamboyant colors are very appropriate for this day as ladies (and a few gents) go big or go home for the event. If there’s no rain in the forecast, try wearing espadrille wedges in a muted color like these Jack Rogers. Accessories wise, you can never go wrong with Kendra Scott! These earrings bring out the green in the dress beautifully.

Here’s the most important part of the outfit: the hat. Women wear some pretty incredible hats as part of the Kentucky Derby tradition. As someone who spent more time hanging out with other college-aged girls under the Vineyard Vines tent in the infield, I can tell you that this age group stuck to their monogrammed, wide-brimmed floppy hats. Older age groups wore more eccentric hats. The hat I featured is from The Palm Gifts.

Let me know if you plan on going to the Derby this year! I’d love to know what you’re wearing!

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