Bad Manners of 2015…The Year in Review!

  Happy-New-Year-2016-Wallpaper

So… we have decked the halls and spun the dreidel and now it is time to look back and reflect on the year gone by…

Here are some manner mis-haps that might help you jumpstart that New Year’s RE-invention list!

Not in any particular order, mind you, but we have hit the highlights or low-lights as you will see…

  • Respect the word integrity…do you know what that means? Webster’s definition: the quality of being honest and fairC.S. Lewis was quoted as saying “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”.  Tell Tom Brady from the New England Patriots that deflate-gate is not great!
  • Being respectful in politics…Clearly we all don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the political arena, but having the improper body language can make an emotionally charge conversation even more explosive. Tell President Obama & Vladimir Putin that.

Vladimir-Putin-and-Obama-on-Dr-Phil-Shoot-Each-Other-with-Nerf-Guns--112372

  • Respect being a “good sport… Swiss plainclothes police entered the annual meeting of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. FIFA executives accused of bribery and corruption. Now that is not setting a good example for any sport.
  • Respect for one another… Laurence Sternes said “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guide our manners”. So a Taco Bell executive, Benjamin Golden , 32, was taken into custody after beating up his Uber driver! The video already has half a million views on YouTube
  • Respect your neighbor… Tell that to actor Tom Selleck who is accused of stealing truck-loads of water from a public hydrant and delivering the precious resource to his 60-acre ranch where he is said to grow avocados.
  • Respect in public places…Pop Star Ariana Grande, after video surfaced, appears to show her licking doughnuts at a shop in California. Local police said the 22-year-old singer and a friend appear to “maliciously lick” the doughnuts that a clerk says they did not pay for.

AG doughnuts

Did you know that more than 65% of all business conducted happens during a meal?…Well we are taught to not talk with our mouth full and at this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, there was no time for talking!

Social Media has a loud voice… Your questionable actions, which 5 years ago may have flown under the radar, now have wings thanks to Social Media. Public shaming trend growing on social media is a bad idea. Tell Donald Trump that! #benice!

Donald Trump gestures while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Original Filename: Conservatives Conference.JPEG-052a8.jpg

So as we bid farewall to 2015, we hope that Mother, May I has enlightened you’all on what to do when it comes to professional protocol and mindful manners.

Thank you for engaging and we wish you’all a happy and healthy New Year…

Cheers!

Lisa and Demetria

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Co-founders- Mother, May I

What is Most Important This Thanksgiving?

TurkeyDid you know that some of your best memories are made while gathered around a table? Thanksgiving is a wonderful, memory making time of year to be with family. Do you remember what you said you were thankful for at last years Thanksgiving celebration? Be prepared to state what you are Thankful for this year.  Make everyday a little like Thanksgiving by finding what you are thankful for…being grateful everyday makes find you positive part in everyday life. Thankful

This Blog is about being Thankful.

Do you really need a blog to tell you how to be thankful? I doubt it. Yet, it takes some mindful thoughts to help you answer everything that you are thankful for… Where ever you may be gathering this Thanksgiving, whether with family, friends, or solo—try to be thankful for what AND who you have (even if its just YOU). If you need help on how to be thankful..here are a few tips:

  • Keep a gratitude journal.-This is such an awesome way to make yourself feel better when you need some uplifting words and memories.
  • Use the right words to turn your thinking around. Talking about things with a negative connatation, only leads to negative thinking.
  • Practice mindfulness while you are eating, going on a walk, or in a conversation. I use the word practice, because it takes ‘practice’.
  • Begin to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Sounds challenging. Yet, if you don’t challenge yourself-you are not going to change.
  • Tell someone you appreciate them. I LOVE this one. It is a great way to start feeling and being Thankful.

This thanksgiving take the time before sitting at a table, and celebrate happiness, success, health, and the memories that have grounded you. AND….Be sure to think about those people who you feel you could not live without.

Although Mother, May I believes that good mealtime manners are important, and help you make a great impression, the family time at Thanksgiving are what make good memories. Good memories can be made when you said up about sincere gratitude that answers ‘What you are thankful for…’, and let someone realize you are thankful for them.

We would love to hear your answers..your replies help us recognize whats important to you.

Have A Thankful Thanksgiving Everyday..not just this November.

Oh, and by the way-if you are wondering—What am I, Demetria, thankful for? I am thankful for having infinitely great support from my husband, George. And I am also thankful for having trust in God. (who is never too busy to be present with me-just like George)

Demetria and Lisa

Etiquette Experts-MMI

How to Be an Outstanding Host for the Holidays

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Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so we thought we would take some time to talk about being a good host. Have you ever been over someones house and didn’t feel very comfortable? Don’t let that happen to your house guests. Make sure your guests feel at home while in your home, and alleviate stress for everyone. Making people feel at ease and at home or at an event is an art form, but it really is your responsibility as a host to make the experience for your guests the best it can be. Even the most carefree parties demand guests and hosts alike meet certain expectations.

What does that really mean? Do you think you are a good host/hostess? Here are some tips to help you be an ‘Outstanding Host for the Holidays’

  1. Invite clearly. Include necessary information for your guests in the invitation: the date, the time, the place, the occasion, the host(s) and when and how to respond “yes” or “no.” Add any special information such as what to wear or what to bring, say, for a pot-luck.
  2. Guest list…Take care creating your guest list. A great group of people will make any party a success and assist in seating arrangements – Take the guess work out of it for your guests and be strategic when determining who sits where.
  3. Be prepared and anticipate your guest’s needs, particularly if you are hosting someone with a food allergy or a friend from another country.
  4. Be welcoming and attentive. Make sure guests are greeted warmly, then made to feel welcome throughout the party. Look after each Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.10.23 PMguest as much as you can. If you notice a guest with an empty glass or if there’s one person standing alone, take action and remedy the situation.
  5. Don’t fret about the unexpected. Be flexible, as not everything will go as planned. If an unexpected guest arrives or the food is a bit behind, adapt and don’t get spun up…your guests will take on your anxiety.
  6. Be the leader and the spark. It’s your job to run the show and let your guests know when it’s time for dinner, or dessert, or charades. Circulate among your guests, introduce newcomers, and stay with a each group long enough to get a conversation going.
  7. Be appreciative. Thank people for coming as you bid them good-bye. And don’t forget to thank anyone who brought you a gift.

Being a good host is a very doable thing…you just have to be aware of yourself and your guests, maintain balance. So start small…invite a few good friends and try our tips out on them. Let us know how it goes via our the MMI Facebook page.

Thanksgiving Thankful

 

Happy Hosting and Happy Holidays

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Promise to Play Nice…

I remember going to baseball games with my dad. I remember the pleasure in tasting a hotdog (before I became a pescatarian). I remember wishing to catch a foul ball. I remember people walking out to the bleachers in sleeveless shirts on a sunny afternoon. And I remember passionate fans following their favorite player. I remember people watching the game. Think about that!…Watching the game with no interference except for the promise of catching a foul ball. No one standing up in front of you to capture a selfie with the jumbotron in the background. Or endless photographers by the front row seats.

Today, going to a ballgame is a different experience. Today, you have to be more mindful of your surroundings. Today you must make an effort to be courteous of others attending from parking to tailgating. Here are some things Mother, May I suggests we should all practice when it comes to attending any sporting event:

  • Be mindful of where you park your car. Be sure you are not parking in an illegal spot for any reason.
  • Tailgating is a great opportunity to gear up for the game, but taunting the opposing fans or leaving trash behind shouldn’t be a part of the experience.
  • Helping those in need should always be a priority before getting to your seat. Assist others if they seem dazed and confused. Or if they need serious help, like the fans that helped save a mans life during a recent Pirates game.
  • Attending a stadium is a first time experience for many. Don’t push and shove others just to be the first to see the field.
  • Sit in your ticketed seat.
  • Be courteous to those sitting around you. Offensive language is never in style so refrain form using it, and don’t cross words with a foe.
  • Wait for the play to be over before excusing yourself to grab a hotdog.
  • Exit the stadium with manners, and your left over cups and wrappers.

Manners…just like baseball, are an important part of our heritage. People will follow good behavior, so be a champion of proper behavior!  Children will follow good sportsmanship. So no arguing, no pushing, or yelling…Just a good shout out from the umpire “your safe”!!!

Lets practice our best behavior this summer at all sporting events. Share with us your favorite sports memory on our Facebook page!

Manners…Pools, Parks and Parties…Oh My!

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So… summer is official apon us, hooray! What to do now? Getting out for a little summer fun perhaps? Well there are manners involved with sharing public spaces like a pool, park or even at a neighborhood party. Knowing how to act and react this summer while out and about will make for a more pleasant time! You remember the “Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my” in the movie Wizard of Oz? Well they can all co-exist, and so can we if we are mindful of our manners…check out these unlikely friends at the zoo.

Can't we just all get along

I guess you are asking is how?   Well Mother, May I can toss you a lifepreserver of mannerly tips that will keep your summer cool and enjoyable!

 life-preserver

 

So for the pool…

  1. Mind your manners! Unless you are at an all inclusive in the islands, leave food and drink poolside. The last thing anyone wants is a taco floating in the public pool.
  2. Don’t stare! It is impolite to stare anywhere, but a pool where people are in bathing suits, the temptation to look longer at a swimsuit faux pax is greater. Use your indoor/ outdoor voice…though it is understandable have excitement levels high about being outdoors, there is no need to rachet the decible levels up on your voice or your music.
  3. Be mindful of your space and others: This goes for laying out your towel or when you are leaving and shaking off your towel. Take a look at those around you to make certain you are not going to disturb. Splashing in the pool is fun, but when it continuous and reckless that is rude…so no cannonballs when lots of people are in your splash zone.
  4. Don’t bring things to the pool that you may not be willing to share. This is for you parents, if your child has a favorite toy that you decide to take to the pool, understand that other kids may like it too. To avoid any hardfeelings or a meltdown, I would leave those important toys at home.

So for the park… the suggestions for the pool apply to heading out to the parks this summer, but there are a few others that are park specific.

  1. Leave No Trace Ethic. It is very simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there, so that others – both human and animal – can enjoy the place the rest of the year. With 75% of Americans admitting to littering, well cutting that in half would make a huge impact on the ecology and the economy!
  2. Respect Mother, Nature and the rules of the park! If there is a sidewalk or trail that will get you to your destination, use it vs. trampling through the grass or forest. Practice this with your kids by suggesting they use the sidewalk vs bolting across the grass at your next neighborhood party.

So speaking of parties… again the suggestions for the pool and the parks apply to heading out to parties this summer, but there are a few extras to be mindful of.

  1. RSVP! Just take the extra 5 minutes to check your calendar and respond. There have been huge gaffs when people don’t…take the client party for the Blue Ribbon Bag Company for instance. Why put your gracious host under pressure by having to handle your showing or no-showing.
  2. Kids will be kids… but at someone else’s home it is your responsibility as parents or guardians to keep your children under control. The best way to do this is decide with your children the ground rules and the penalties before you step out of the car.

 

Mindful manners is what can make a good time great! So get out there and share some sunshine!

 posh picnic

As the Beetles sang so sweetly “Here comes the sun…and I say, it’s all right.”

 

Thank you for reading and enjoy your summer!

Lisa and Demetria…

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Make Wedding Planning Easier with Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

Todays’ wedding events are more than they used to be. There was a time when the proposal was popped, a date was picked, a registry was selected, the dress was bought, the invite list was put together. Once the invites were sent, the bride and groom would then wait for the hopefully, on time RSVPs to make their final plans.

Well, times have changed, and wedding planning has gone from a simple place to a grand destination, from Mom and Aunt Edna making the plans and a mountain of cookies to the launching of butterflies and swans. Wedding Etiquette topics range from fashion, money, bridal party, reception, venue, gifts, dining, invitations…the list goes on. Since we don’t have the space to hit every subject, here are some real questions that Mother, May I is asked frequently:

Do I have to wear a veil? Of course not. Traditionally, wedding veils were worn to ward off evil spirits, or to prevent any sneak peaks from the  groom. Well, veils have gone in and out of bridal fashion so its really your day…wear what you want.

We know are about 8-10% of our invitees are vegan. Do I have to provide a vegan entrée? Yes, you should prearrange with your caterer what can be served. And be sure to double check that list so your vegan guest does not feel uncomfortable waiting for their food.

Do I treat our out-of-town guests with preference? Out of courtesy, there should be something specail to indicate your happiness that they made such an effort. A small token in their room accommodations or a nice note for them at the dinner, perhaps on their place setting.

Can I hand-deliver my invites to close friends? Yes, of course…BUT you must deliver them from your hands into theirs.

What about the “Plus One”? Generally, when invited to a wedding, you are given a plus one. Usually the plus one represents a significant other, or a good friend that is appropriate for the wedding. However, budgets and other important factors do not include the plus one. This can be disturbing to you. If it is important to you to attend with a companion, then call the couple, and politely explain your situation and request their inclusion.

Do I pay for my flower girls’ dress? It would be nice to offer it as a gift, especially if the parents of the flower girl are not in a financial position to buy the dress. Be sure to think about this and inquire about their involvement at the same time you ask for their daughter to be the flower girl.

Can I safely assume that guests are not coming if I have not heard from them at the time of RSVP? No, go ahead and give them a ring. Who knows, Maybe they thought they sent the card in, but didn’t. Or maybe it got lost in the mail. Nothing is more cringe-worthy than having invited guests show up with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat.

Are E-vites tacky for a wedding invitation? In todays’s technology-based world, where your guests receive hundreds of emails every day, a physical invite has become that more special. Your invitiation is the first thing your guests see and read about your wedding. It sets the stage. If you are having a casual pre and post wedding event, then you can use email. But your wedding ceremony is a ceremony to celebrate with a physical invitation.

Getting married is more than just spending this important commitment with family and friends. It sends a message to your guests about your expectations for each other. It creates a memory that everyone should be able to sit back and smile upon. Using the right manners and etiquette will keep any mis-steps to a minimum. Be sure to ask MMI for guidance on this event. Lisa and I are the experts in creating that special day the right way. For more wedding information of all kinds, visit The Knot.

 

Demetria and Lisa

Making Mom Matter with Manners

 

Its May 2015, and what makes my Mother’s Day matter more this year is that I will not be listening to my Mother as she passed away peacefully on 03.29.15. As a daughter of immigrant parents from Greece, my mom personally did not really celebrate Mother’s Day…she would tell me that everyday is Mother’s Day and Christmas also fell into that category. In as much as I miss all of my mother, what I miss the most is her voice. I miss listening to her broken English and a high-pitched sound that rolled out with a really thick Greek acent. She yelled a lot…and she did not have any qualms on telling people how she felt about their behavior. With that said, she would always find it perplexing that I would be a teaching people manners. My mother would ask, “Themetria, why do you have to teach people to be nice?” My mother could not understand that. However, what she did understand is the value of knowledge. So she listened to my passion and supported my tuition to become a licensed expert in protocol at the Protocol School of Washington PSOW.

Everybody has their own way of “listening” when it comes to their mother’s advice. Listen to your mother, what she said then and what mothers’ are saying now might be delivered differently, but the same message is there..Here are some tips from mothers that made manners matter.

“My mother taught me to cross my legs at the ankles and angle a little towards one side”…Dena in Hollywood

“My mother emphasized the importance of writing thanks you notes”…Cindi from Chicago.

“Do unto others what you would have done unto you”..Sadie from Pittsburgh

“Be nice”…Jimmy from Upper Saint Clair

“Really listen when someone is talking and focus your attention on that person”…Gretchen from Pittsburgh

“My Mother, Sue would say don’t brag about your children, let other people say good things about them.” Violet from Aliquippa

“Don’t talk with food in your mouth.”…Leo from Chicago

“One of the greatest things one can have in life is…choices. Make them wisely”…Helen from Pittsburgh

“Take time to write a thank you note. It makes people feel good and you show your appreciation and gratitude”…Rachel from Pittsburgh

“Don’t mumble”…Tanya from Greensburg

Mother, May I is very supportive of all these “mommy” manners!  Manners mean so much more today than yesterday. Our mothers might have been more available to pick us up when we fell, physically and mentally, but  today’s moms are all too busy caregiving, working, and managing households. Read “10 Ways Moms Can Balance Work and Family” on Parents.com

With such a demanding day, how can todays mom keep up with modern manners and impart on children all they need to know to make a good impression? Here is a suggestion…visit and share our advice via Facebook, Twitter, or online. Use your listening skills to help others be nice as your mother taught you and remember to pass those lessons onto your children…while sharing your own words of wisdom as well.

Mother, May I is here to help.

 

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

 

How Manners Start From the Ground Up!

 

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In honor of Earth Day this week, I thought I would talk about where good manners started to grow. Some might view proper manners as a scene out of Downton Abbey Manners of Downton Abbey  . Well they actually have a different origin…though etiquette has been known since ancient times, it acquired its classic form in the Middle Ages. Most researchers dealing with history of culture attribute the appearance of etiquette as a regulatory system to those times… the “law” you might say, that was put in place to keep order. Etiquette had the character of the law and had a very strong influence on the high society. Violation of the rules of etiquette was regarded as a crime.

So fast forward to today…bad manners won’t land you in the stocks, but could deter your opportunities to get into the school you want, or get the job you desire. Learn more about Interview Etiquette here: College and Beyond with MMI

Some, feel manners are a lost art, but we say go to lost and found and find those manners, because good manners and professional behavior will find you avenues you may not have thought existed.

So we will start by discussing the “Family Table”…

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What’s that you might say?   Well as the name suggests, it is your family sitting around the table for a meal…consistently. From personal experience, that’s where it was sketched into my head: “Put your napkin on your lap” “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” “What do you say when you leave the table…oh yes…May I be excused?   Well that table talk has lost its priority and has been all but eliminated for lots of reasons:  multiple households, many afterschool activities, forgetting the importance, and the list goes on.

Our suggestion is to find that Family Table…even if it is only once a week! Treat that time as a technology free zone and go through the details of manners at the table with your family. Help create small talk during the meal by having everyone discuss the best part of their day. Hopefully they will say…this meal!

The New York Times just published an article about our up and coming youth Make Way for Generation Z . Preparing kids with the best possible soft skills, like manners, will improve their opportunities as young adults!     Good manners as a kid, turns into a positive impression, which turns into personal and professional SUCCESS throughout their lives!

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Mother May, I has contributed to a podcast on Tuesday, April 21st at 10AM EST.

Please tune in at Mom Talk Podcast Mother, May I and listen to some helpful hints for kids and young adults or click play below!

Let us know how you have created a Family Table. We would love to share your successes with our followers.

Thank you and Happy Earth Day…Grow something good today!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts