Travel Etiquette

We recently went on summer vacation and thankfully had easy and enjoyable flights to and from the beach. The boys nibbled on snacks, watched their favorite shows, colored, and even napped. You never know how the little ones will do on the plane, but thankfully the boys were stars. It’s not always sunshine and smiles when flying though, as we’ve had our fair share of tears, motion sickness, missing shoes, lost strollers, and the list goes on. However as you all know, once you reach your destination, it makes the journey there (no matter how challenging!) entirely worth it.

Since many of you are traveling throughout the end of summer (it’s hard to believe summer is almost over!), I wanted to share a few travel etiquette tips to keep in mind. Even if you have flown hundreds of times and consider yourself an expert traveler, I think it’s always nice to have an etiquette refresh and even learn something new. And so, cheers to flying the friendly skies and  enjoying the final weeks of summer vacation!

  • Take cues from your seat-mate: Your seat-mate (or you!) might love to hear a fellow passengers life’s story, or prefer to be incognito for the flight a la ear buds from take-off to landing. Either way, observe their social cues and respect them (and their personal space).
  • Mind the armrest: Let’s face it, we all want to use the armrest during the flight. If you’re sitting in the aisle or window, kindly let the middle seat use the interior armrest for some of the flight.
  • Recline Slowly: While it always makes for a laugh when depicted on a TV sitcom, in reality, flinging your seat back is less than ideal for the person behind you. If you want to recline your seat, try to do so slowly.
  • Sweet smelling snacks: Due to the tight quarters and recycled air, consider bringing in-flight snacks that don’t have a strong smell.
  • Patience is a virtue: From the crying baby behind you (or your own crying baby!) to exiting the plane, at the end of the day travel can be stressful and everyone wants a pleasant flying experience. Try to be patient and understanding of others, including the flight attendants.
  • Courteous of carry-ons: Most people carry-on these days leaving little room in the overhead bins. So everyone has a spot for their luggage, aim to put one carry-on in the bin designated for your row, and one below at your feet.
  • Enjoying entertainment: Whether you plan on listening to music or watching a movie, use your head phones so the rest of the plane isn’t disturbed.
  • Be respectful of the flight crew: The flight crew works hard to keep you safe and comfortable during your flight, so aim to be polite, courteous and friendly to them.
Quick Tips
Etiquette

No. 1

“WHEN ATTENDING A WEDDING, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE OVERDRESSED.”

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

Fourth of July Flag Cake & Outfit Ideas

 

Happy Monday all! With July 4th just two days away, I wanted to post one of my favorite and festive desserts in honor of the holiday, as well as a couple of cute outfit ideas for watching the fireworks.

I can’t say enough fabulous things about this cake courtesy of chef and hostess extraordinaire, Ina Garten. The bejeweled berry design is such a show stopper and the combination of the airy cake, creamy icing and fresh berries is absolutely delicious. Ina has done it yet again! You could easily make and decorate this dessert the day before and serve it on the 4th, or make it for any summer party. I actually baked this cake a couple of weeks ago for some close friends, and both the kids and adults enjoyed every last bite. Yum!

As for Independence Day attire, because it’s always fun to dress in patriotic colors on this special day, I love this dress and these sandals for casual look, as well as these jeans and this top would be darling for evening. This bathing suit would be cute for the 4th too, especially paired with some fun sunglasses and denim shorts.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

 

Flag Cake 

For the Cake

9 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups sugar
3 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 Cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

For the Icing

16 Tablespoons (8 oz./two sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups (24 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups confectioners sugar

For the Decorating

1 Pint blueberries
2 Pints raspberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a rectangular cake pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high-speed, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium, and add the eggs, one at a time. Next, add then add the sour cream and vanilla. Be sure to scrape down the sides  of the bowl and stir the batter until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Turn the mixer to low-speed, and add the flour mixture to  until just combined. Try not to over mix! Pour the batter into the buttered pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake to room temperature.

For the icing, mix until smooth the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries (to resemble a flag). Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe, and put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (or you can make your own pastry bag by using a large ziplock bag and cutting the tip) and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is finished.

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Advice
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

No. 2

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHTFUL DETAILS WHEN ENTERTAINING, SO CONSIDER LITTLE EXTRAS SUCH AS CUSTOM NAPKINS OR UNIQUE PARTY FAVORS.”

MORE SOCIAL ETIQUETTE TIPS

Flower Arranging Class at Avant Garden

 

Several weeks ago one of my best girlfriends invited me to a flower arranging class at Avant Garden. We both share a love of home and garden (and Ina Garten!), and so it was such a treat to have a girls night celebrating flowers. As we stepped through the golden doors and into Avant Garden’s beautiful shop, we were greeted by what they deem their Flower Bar – endless vases of fresh and fragrant blooms. Flanking the flower bar are floor to ceiling sapphire hued cabinets filled with books and luxury home decor, as well as incredible art – this store is a real treasure trove!

We made our way downstairs and after nibbling on macaroons, the class began. We learned about the importance of using clear tape to create a grid for the flowers, as well as techniques to trim stems and how keeping arrangements in the fridge at night will help them last longer. Much to everyone’s delight, we were given a “recipe” and told to choose our favorite flowers from the flower bar for our arrangements. I loved this part because at other flower arranging classes I’ve attended, we’ve had to recreate a sample arrangement, and so having the freedom to choose our own colors and flowers really let us all have fun and be creative. And everyone’s arrangements looked different – some were teeming with pinks and greens, others with yellows and oranges, and others with whites and blues. They were all absolutely stunning! I chose purple and white hydrangeas, bright pink peonies, pale pink roses, and delicate greenery to fill in – all of my favorite flowers and colors nestled into one special little pave style arrangement.

While we snipped stems and tucked flowers neatly in the vases, the class host’s played flower trivia and some of the attendees even won prizes. I had so much fun at Avant Garden’s flower arranging class, and look forward to attending another one again soon. Here are a few pictures and if you live in Dallas, try to pop into their store!

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