Monday, March 28, 2011

"Manners Monday" - The Importance of Appearance

Appearance has always been important to me, not because I want to impress anyone else, but because I like to feel good about the way I look. In a town where an inordinate amount of emphasis is placed on appearance it feels like I am admitting something terrible. Am I talking about weekly botox appointments (have never tried it YET) or major plastic surgery? No! Do I get weekly manicures and blow dries and try to get to an exercise class at least 3 times a week? Yes!

Come to think of it, I get an awful lot of comments about my appearance. Most of the comments are complimentary, but I do receive a fair amount of teasing from my sister and my closest friends about my attire. Everyone close to me basically knows that I feel much more comfortable dressed in a suit than I do in sweats and I am known for my collection of coats which I wear without abandon just about every day of the week.

So my writing partner, Jennifer Brandt of Perfectly Disheveled, and I decided to break down a few of the manners misconceptions regarding appearance and offer a few tips on how to put yourself together on the fly.

*Moms, set your alarm so you have enough time to take care of yourself along with your family in the morning.

*In addition to laying out your children’s clothing, be prepared and lay out clothing (or makeup) for yourself the night before.

*Dress appropriately for the occasion. If you are going to the park, wear clothes that are not restricting and choose flats rather than heels. For a parent/teacher conference, a pair of slacks and a blouse make a nice statement. Dressing for the gym? Finish your look by adding a stylish casual jacket or sweater.

*Dedicate a quick minute or two for some careful grooming. Regardless of how rushed you are, wash your face, brush your teeth and hair, put on a bit of face cream, foundation, mascara and blush. You’ll be good to go!

*At the very least, maintain your poise and walk with good posture. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and move gracefully, heel toe, heel toe. This exudes confidence and strength.

*A smile makes up for everything. Even if you had minimal time to put yourself together, donning a smile endears you to everyone. (Just make sure you brushed those teeth!)

Let us know if these tips help or share with us a few of your own quick tricks. We would love to hear from you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Manners Monday - Cell Phone Etiquette

Ask anyone their biggest manners pet peeve and one of their top three responses is likely to be poor cell phone etiquette. Rude cell phone behavior is spreading like wildfire and no one is immune to the offense. Friends and families, singles and marrieds, professionals and parents, whether in public or private, everyone is placing calls and accepting calls in the presence of others and it is getting pretty annoying!

We are so consumed with this 24/7 existence where everything must be responded to immediately and acted on right away that we have forgotten how to just relax and be present for one another. Don't get me wrong, this is not easy and I am certainly guilty of abusing the cell phone every now and again. What I do try to do, however, is instill the following tips so that if I must place or take a call, I will have made sure to smooth out any ruffled feathers in advance and hopefully avoid offending others.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips

1. Turn your cell phone off. At the very least, place your phone on vibration mode before meeting others so that you may be fully present to your situation.

2. Communication is key. Communicate in advance if you know you will be receiving an important call. This will put others at ease rather than aggravate them.

3. Never place your cell phone on the table in plain sight. Simply place your phone in your lap so that you may glance down to view the caller if need be.

4. If you receive your important call, politely excuse yourself and conduct your conversation in private.

5. Speak softly so that you do not disturb those around you.

Do you know someone who is in major need of cell phone abuser's anonymous? Send them my way and I'll set them straight. A few quick tips and they'll understand how they can still stay in touch without upsetting those around them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Manners Monday" - Road Rage!

I love driving. I think I have always enjoyed it from the moment I received my learners permit many years ago. Give me some good music and an open road and I am set! Not to toot my own horn (no pun intended), but I actually think I'm a pretty good driver. I've even had a fantasy about opening my own driving school geared towards women because we drive intrinsically different from men. We are perpetually dashing from here to there, we have screaming and fighting kids in the car and we are multitasking feeding baby bottles, checking homework and thinking about the 3000 errands we need to get done in a given day.

Needless to say, we are driving on the edge. We are running on fumes with barely any sleep and our patience is typically lower than our male counterparts. So what do we do? We take our frustration and anger out onto the road. As such, my writing partner, Jennifer Brandt, and I decided it was time to bring to light the increasingly upsetting problem of road rage, especially in the school parking lot. Check out our latest "Manners Monday" video and try these driving etiquette tips the next time you feel yourself on the verge of losing it.

Etiquette Tips to Help Curb Road Rage in the School Parking Lot or Anywhere

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination.
  2. Refrain from cell phone conversations when entering the parking lot so that you can be present to the situation at hand.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff, if someone’s driving is bothering you, take a breath and count to ten.
  4. Lay off the horn and the profanity, especially if children are in the car, you don’t want to set a bad example for them.
  5. Never give someone the “finger.” It is just plain rude!

Do you have a crazy road rage story you'd like to share? Send us your tale and let us know how you dealt with the situation. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Manners Monday" - It's More Than Please and Thank You!

Why Manners Monday? Well, considering the latest insanity going on in the world with "Winning!" crazy man Charlie Sheen's taking over the airwaves, anti-Semite John Galliano's racist remarks, and Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's out of control threats of violence, we are once again at a crossroads and in major need of some help. This trifecta of zero tolerance and rampant incivility is at an all time high and there doesn't seem to be any signs of recourse or responsibility on the horizon.

Manners Monday is not going to solve the problems of the world anytime soon, but we do hope to shed light on some of the everyday incivilities that people are talking about and that happen to affect us in our daily lives. Jenny Brandt, founder of popular mommy blog Perfectly Disheveled, and I will explore such annoyances as poor cell phone etiquette, parking lot road rage, inappropriate attire for school drop off and so much more! Each Monday we'll break down a new topic and provide you with quick tips to ensure you are putting your best foot forward and not offending others.

Please feel free to send us your questions, comments or any topics you would like us to cover. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Very best,

Lisa Gache
Founder & CEO
Beverly Hills Manners