Invitations: You and me plus who?

Hello readers and happy Tuesday! Today, just a very quick tip regarding invitations and RSVPs. When you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to an event, be sure to pay attention to how it is addressed, as that is your cue to learn who in your household is actually invited to the soirée.

Basic rules of thumb:

If the invitation is addressed to you and only you, then you and only you are invited to the party.

Miss Jane Smith and guest = you may bring a friend or a date.

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith = You and your spouse (get a sitter for the children and have a ball!).

The Smith Family = You, your spouse and your 10 lovely children.

For formal occasions, such as weddings and über elegant dinner parties, even if you believe the invitation is addressed in error, refrain from calling the hostess to ask if you may bring your children or a date. This will put your hostess on the spot, especially if she or he is working within a strict budget.

That said, it is OK and even encouraged to call the host and inquire as to the suggested attire for the event or for clarification of what is meant by “formal island cowboy cocktail chic” or some similarly ambiguous description.

Finally, when you send out invitations, extend the same courtesy and address the correspondence to whomever’s faces you’d like to see at the party.

Happy celebrating.







Cleaning the machine

Happy Monday dear readers. We hope those of you in cold climes are staying warm and that those of you in warmer climes are feeling appropriate sorry for the rest of us. We say us, because alas, even our part of Texas is rather chilly this week.

Today, we thought we might toss out a quick tip regarding gym etiquette, as the snow, sleet, rain and cold temps drive more of us in-of-doors for our daily exercise. We’ve noticed that gentleman in particular have a nasty little habit of forgetting (we’ll allow that it’s not on purpose) to wipe down the gym equipment after use. Tsk tsk.

It only takes a minute and you could prevent a cold or worse (we’ll stop at that), so please, just clean the machine. That said, it never hurts to give it a good swipe prior to your workout … just in case.

We couldn’t resist offering up this little bit of inspiration for your perspiration. You are welcome:



Gossip girls

We have a confession to make to you today kind readers. We are absolutely the worst gossips on the planet here at Re-find. We aren’t proud of it, but alas it’s true. Thankfully, our affliction doesn’t cross over to telling things told to us in confidence, so your secret truly is safe with us. But we love to dish with friends about celebs and — we’re so sorry — regular folks in our orbit. Why are we confessing it? Because we are resolving to stop so much darned gossiping in 2011.

"Gossip" by Norman Rockwell

We blame it on being a reporter, but we know that’s just a convenient excuse. Gossip at its best is frivolous and at its worst, unkind and you know how much we dislike unkindness. That said, we came across this really funny quote about gossip while preparing for this blog entry:

“It’s perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one, behind one’s back, that are absolutely and entirely true,” Oscar Wilde

We are shaking our heads at ourselves as we type!

Interestingly, studies over the past five years have yielded interesting results, such as that men gossip more than women and that gossip is only about 5 percent malicious, which you can read more about in a 2009 article from the N.Y. Daily News.

Are you a gossip? Would you, could you give it up? We promise, we won’t tell anyone.



Simple pleasures: Tele-date

Happy Thursday everyone. Today, we’re thinking about friends and family in far away places and how we might resolve to connect more with them in 2011. One idea we borrowed from a friend in Cincinnati is the tele-date (or tele-happy hour, as it were).

The tele-date is when you set a date and time to chat on the phone, but instead of just chatting, you plan to enjoy a beer, glass (or two) of wine or your favorite cocktail or a cup of coffee or some other beverage during the call.

Exhibit A:

Tele-happy hour wine

Exhibit B:


For some reason, the miles just melt away when you treat it more like a happy hour or a coffee date. It’s truly a simple pleasure.

How do you stay connected with loved ones? Do you have a favorite simple pleasure you’d like to share?



Resolve to avoid digital mistakes in 2011

Today, we offer up some excellent advice regarding digital resolutions for the New Year. On the CNN site, in 7 Digital Mistakes to Avoid Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz of the blog and book Stuff Hipsters Hate (and also news editors at and Psychology Today, respectively), give us a few tips for keeping the online embarrassment and bad net-and-etiquette to a minimum in 2011.

We are especially partial to 1, 5, 6 and 7.

(CNN) — Ah, 2011. A new year and a prime time to make resolutions — a word that stems from the Latin word resolutio, which roughly translates to “intense self-flagellation followed by structured reflection on the things you hate about yourself.”

Allow us to aid you in this endeavor.

Now that you’ve finally finished reading dozens of surprisingly obnoxious top 10 lists, we’re going to start the year off with a review of seven equally obnoxious netiquette faux pas to avoid in ’11.

Think of it as a quick precis of all the dumb moves we tried to shake out of you in 2010 (research, after all, shows that refreshing your memory at spaced-out intervals is key to remembering stuff long-term).

No reverse-order countdown, though. After all, this isn’t a moment of Joose-fueled chanting in Times Square.

Say it with me, now. In 2011, I will not …

1. … send an unspeakably rude e-mail to one of my employees or co-workers.

“?!” alone does not an e-mail make. Forgetting your “pleases” and “thank yous”? Just as bad. Carpal tunnel syndrome be damned, make this the year you actually tap out respectful missives to those in your midst.

2. … chase a messy breakup with sad-clown Facebook statuses and hours of sob-wracked ex stalking.

Quit squeezing lemon juice on your wounds. Apps like Avoidr and the Ex Blocker (which, yes, we inspired by sighing loudly and whining, “Why can’t someone make my loser exes disappear?”) make moving on … well, not as easy as it was in pre-digital times, but fairly comparable.

3. … waste everyone’s time with inane tweets.

Yes, Twitter can be a repository for banal thoughts and stomach-churning overshares. It can also be a useful tool for sharing links, connecting with online and real-life friends, and adding to the general conversation.

(Hey, don’t laugh — remember how the Library of Congress deemed this all archive-worthy? Five hundred years from now, they’ll be like, “Whoa, those 2010-era plebeians were really into laser cats. That must mean something.”)

Aim to give each tweet a bit of value: a tip, a crowdsource attempt, even a little zing to get your followers to :).

4. … keep my wedding photo as my Facebook profile pic for five months or more.

That’s really great that you got married. However, my congratulatory spirit wore out approximately 4.5 months ago. Time to go back to being a Person With a Personality instead of just a Bride, mmkay?

5. … leave offensive, sexist, childish or straight-up stupid comments.

Actual responses and commentary are the lovely nerve network of Web 2.0. As for the trash: Yeah, instead of bothering with the noncontribution, we suggest you check out the billions of other things you could be browsing on the www this very minute. Problem: solved.

6. … drunk-text.

Or drunk-tweet. Or drunk-e-mail. Or drunk-update-le-Facebook-status.

It’s 2011, folks — of course the coders who hand you such digital Tommy guns have figured out how to add safety latches. Apps like Mail Goggles and the social media sobriety test mitigate the damage.

If only you’d done some sober installing before your big NYE open bar, the decade might’ve begun on a much less sloppy, indelicate foot.

7. … peck away at my smartphone during dinner.

Or brunch, or really any moment involving real-life interaction — because it’s incredibly impolite and likely detrimental to your ability to enjoy a tender interaction or a crisp walk through the park.

Look, if there’s one addiction worth breaking this year, it’s your clinically significant dependence on regular CrackBerry checks. Because let’s face it, the whiskey binges and late-night Cheetos you swore off on 1/1/11 aren’t going anywhere.

These are resolutions we can get behind here at Re-find. Do you have any tips to add to this list?



Use your words

Yesterday, we discussed starting off the year by writing thank you cards to those who gave us an unexpected gift during the holidays. Today, we offer another resolution: Why not resolve to leave the locker room talk in the locker room? A dirty mouth just isn’t pretty. Exhibit A:

Dirty mouth!

We’ve touched on this subject in the past, but feel it bears repeating. There was a time when those of us at Re-find didn’t mind f-bomb laden discourse. After all, we’ve worked in newsrooms for years. We’d wave off apologies from the men who normally tried to watch their mouths around a lady, but let a dirty word slip. We’d laugh when our girlfriends let the four letter words fly. In fact, we confess, we’d jump right on into the gutter with everyone else.

But, as the years roll on, we are trying to clean up our language. Old habits die-hard, but we know the impact of words and we think it’s important to be mindful of what we say — especially in mixed company. Also, we find ourselves becoming slightly put off when the men in our world see fit to talk like sailors, with no regard to the fact that they are in the company of ladies. Frankly, we think men are probably put off as well when we revert to our potty mouth ways. Let’s face it, cursing is just not becoming for either sex.

At the heart of the matter, don’t we all want to be treated with respect in thoughts, words and actions?

This year, let’s use our (clean) words.

That said, don’t let us put words into your mouth, however clean. What do you think about cursing? Does it matter? Do you feel disrespected or put off by it? Ladies, is it a way in business to show that you can hang with the boys? Gentlemen, do you care if your lovely lady has a dirty mouth?



Celebrate kindness

Hello and happy 2011!

After a short hiatus, we are back and ready to celebrate the many ways we can spread kindness and good manners.

First, let’s bid adieu to 2010, with this symbolic photo:


Bye-bye 2010


Now, it’s time to tackle the etiquette, style and grace issues of this brave new year. The No. 1 order of business, thank you notes.

We are fortunate enough to have received gifts from a few friends and acquaintances from whom we didn’t expect a thing. It’s so important to acknowledge these kindnesses, whether or not you intend to reciprocate. To make this task more enjoyable, we recommend you pour a cup or glass of your favorite bevvy, find the pen you most enjoy using and dig out that lovely paper you have tucked away for just this sort of thing. You might even want to light a scented candle, who are we to judge?

Simply thank the giver, tell them how you have used or intend to use the item and sign it with your usual salutations. For example,

Dear Sally,

The gorgeous scarf you gave me for Christmas is an absolute hit! It complimented my various holiday ensembles so well, I wore it to nearly every fete. Thank you so much for thinking of me amidst the hustle and bustle of the season.

With love,


It’s really just that simple and what with your delicious couple of glasses glass of wine, it was also a treat.

May your 2011 be filled with many treats and even more reasons to say thank you.




We see London, we see France … gasp!: Part II

Let us start this post by saying we are not prudes. We think that if a lady has lovely legs, she should be all means play up that asset. However, we do not think she should play them up so much that we see her, well — um — assets. Know what we mean?

Recently, we were in Austin and met a few friends downtown on the famed Sixth Street. Normally, we are not into Sixth Street shenanigans, but we felt game this particular evening and so, we joined the party.

As the evening wore on, we noticed more and more young ladies flowing into the establishment and it seemed as each one arrived, we saw more and more leg and more and more breast and … well yes, it began to resemble KFC up in that club.  

Most — and we feel confident saying most, because trust us, we were in the covered minority — of the “dresses” were so short in fact, we were afraid that after one or two of the questionable “dance moves” of the women, we might see something no one expects to see outside of certain gentleman’s clubs.

Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t know any other way to say it, please for the love of sweet Pete, cover your chocha! We assure you, the quality of humans you attract might be of a higher caliber if the junk in your trunk is appropriately clothed and you won’t have to worry about Dad having a heart attack because he just saw said junk in a “Girls Gone Wild” DVD commercial.

Cheers and happy Monday!


The days of wine — er G and Ts — and rose-colored Polos

The day is nearly upon us, so just a reminder that Oct. 18, we’ll be in Austin, Texas for the Texas Book Festival, to moderate the author session for “True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World,” written by Lisa Birnbach (of the iconic “The Official Preppy Handbook”) and designed by Chip Kidd.

To read the Re-find hostess’s piece on the book and interview with Birnbach that published today in the Austin American-Statesman, click here.

As I’ve mentioned, the new book is a sequel to the book that launched a million pairs of Sperry Top-Sider’s and will let us in on what Muffy has been up to all these years. It includes a chapter on etiquette, of course and loads of information on preptastic style.

The session is 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., in room E2.010 at the Texas State Capitol.

Join us at the festival!



Need closure? Try (almost) custom shirts

Whether your cup size runneths over or not, you’ve probably dealt with a gaping, pulling or boxy and too short/long button up shirt. Recently, we discovered Rebecca & Drew, a store that makes and sizes its shirts according to height, waist and bust size.

Custom tailoring is of course nothing new and we’ve beaten you over the head advocated having clothing altered for years. But this is revolutionary. This will save us so much time and possibly cash, which we can now spend on buying and drinking wine volunteerism and our retirement fund.

Rebecca & Drew is based in New York, but there is a location in Houston and you can purchase online. We recommend visiting a location if possible for a proper fitting, because as we learned, you may need to try on several sample shirts moving up and down in waist size and cup size until you find the perfect fit. Also, pricing differs according to the area in which you live. For example, the shirt dress we are obsessing over admiring is $250 out of New York and $165 from the Houston location. 

Houston readers can find the local store, owned by the delightful Lindsay Aronstein, who was patient and helpful beyond words, at 2015-D West Gray in the River Oaks Shopping Center. UPDATE: Austin readers, Lindsey is planning a trunk show in the coming weeks, so check back for details.

So, today’s takeaway: Splurge now for the right fit, so that later, you aren’t — er — falling (out) all over your friends, family and acquaintances.