Table this discussion: Salt and pepper’s here!

When it comes to dining, there are of course scores of rules designed to keep things civilized and to make life easier on those who are gathered around the table. One of the first things we remember learning as a wee tot was not to “divorce the salt and pepper.” It’s easy to remember and it prevents losing track of one or the other among the rest of the tableware.

That said, we are big fans of Fiesta and with its bright colors, it’s nearly impossible to miss. Check out these cute little green shakers ($14. 99 on the Dinnerware USA website:

Photo courtesy Dinnerware USA

We own a vintage set, but ours don’t match, because we are cheeky. Or because someone divorced the salt and pepper. Sigh.

So, from our table to yours, cheers!

M

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Being kind on the run

Is it already Tuesday? Please forgive us for leaving you high-and-dry yesterday, but we are still running around like lunatics catching our breath from the whirlwind hold onto your hats fun working road trip to Mobile, Ala. for the LoDa Art Walk. Pardon the shameless self promotion, but click here if you’d like to see photos of the show.

As mentioned, we were in Mobile, Ala. for a few days for the art walk. While there, we also had a grueling refreshing walk of the exercise variety, in which we arose at the indecent  early bird hour of 6:45 a.m. The reason we bring this up is not only to pat ourselves on the back for keeping up our fitness regime, but also to relay that the other morning walkers, bikers, joggers and dog walkers — literally every single one of them — bid us a good morning or a quick hello upon passing.

Wow.

It was such an unexpected treat and such a gentile way to start the day, we almost completely forgot about having risen so early in the middle of the night morning. We may even conduct an experiment to see if Texans are that friendly in the early hours. Maybe.

Cheers!

M

Tuesday turnaround

Happy Tuesday readers! Today, we decided to turn things around and ask you about your top etiquette pet peeves. From people eating with their mouths open and oversharing to bad hygiene and bad FB habits, let’s gab about what makes you gasp. For example, people who drink too much and behave badly. Exhibit A:  

Image courtesy AMC Mad Men

Mad Men’s Don Draper is smart, charming, elegant and mysterious, but we all know when he drinks too much, he is a naughty boy. OK, he’s bad with or without the booze, but you get our meaning.

So, post your comments here, on Facebook or Twitter or shoot us an e-mail at charmfinder@gmail.com and tell us what offends you or what society could do to re-find its style, sophistication and respectability.

Cheers!

M

Manic Monday

Dear readers, it is indeed a manic Monday, so today we will give you a simple tip for powering through a hectic day with style and grace:

Do

Dress for success, because it will boost your confidence.

Eat healthy and drink lots of water throughout the day, to keep energy up and your brain “on.”

Let your co-workers know that you are trying to focus and give them instructions on how you’d like to be approached if at all.

Don’t

Skip meals or eat too much junk, risking crankiness and headaches.

Spread your stress all over the over the office by complaining — or worse — going all screecher monkey on everyone.

Links we love

We’ve been meaning for some time now to tell you about a few of our favorite online haunts. So, when a friend recently asked for a list, we thought we might use the opportunity to multi-task a bit. That said, we’ve had linkage posted at the bottom right of the blog since its inception, so for those of you who have already seen it, please accept our apologies.

This list includes blogs, websites and print publications from the areas of style, travel, design, etiquette and all around lifestyle-type of content.  It is in no particular order, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings:

A Life Obscura: A fun and informative blog about travel, life, experiences, people and things written by a dear friend.

All Things Austin Design: This is the design blog of a former colleague and fellow writer in Austin. She knows her stuff and keeps it fresh, funny and fairly local. The design scene in Austin is hoppin’ so if you like design, check it out.  

Daddy Likey: A hilarious fashion blog. You will likey.

Garden & Gun (Think of it as the”Vanity Fair of the South”): You can thank me later.

Ivy Style: Intelligent, informative and lots of good eye candy.

Mad Men Unbuttoned: Because one night a week isn’t enough Draper or Holloway (Harris) for any of us.

Melanie Spencer Words and Pictures: In case you want to look at my fabulous photography.

Muffy Martini: Because we like martinis.

Preppy Princess: We’ve been reading Preppy Princess for years. She keeps us informed about all things pink and green (especially as it relates to Lilly Pulitzer) and all things preppy and for that, we love her (and her little dog, Silly Tilly too!). The Princess also has an online boutique at www.preppyprincess.com.

Social Primer: Manners, Conversation, Style and Handling Your Liquor — what’s not to like? All from the male perspective. This is also a good place to find a few select stationery (swoon) items and things with monograms (be still our hearts).  

Social Q’s (New York Times): This is another long-time favorite, written with style, wit and taste by Philip Galanes.

Town & Country: An absolute must in everyone’s periodicals library. Unfortunately, the website leaves a lot to be desired, but we are purists and prefer print, so no harm, no foul.

Thanks to all of the above for entertaining and educating us. Please check the links list often, because we update and add to it whenever we discover something fun and fabulous. Also, send us your fave links. We love to share!

Cheers!

M

Why is etiquette important?

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today we ask (as you can see in the title of this post), why is etiquette important? A reader who agreed with yesterday’s post about saying please and thank you (to which we say thank you for reading, commenting and agreeing!) shared a link to his blog Middle Man. In it he writes:

“Manners, good and bad. Etiquette. Class. They have been much in the news recently. I am not entirely sure why this is newsworthy when there is a war on in Iraq and Afghanistan and a maniac gunman is massacring students in American universities. But, newsworthy it seems to be.”

To which I rambled on and on and on replied:  

… I’m convinced that if we keep spreading kindness, it’ll eventually catch on. Pollyanna-ish? Maybe, but I’m OK with being called that name — I’ve been called worse! As for the seemingly sudden interest in etiquette and manners, especially when there are so many more important things going on in the world, maybe because hate, war and all around sadness dominate the headlines, we are searching for goodness in ourselves and others. Also, as our respective countries become further  entwined via the global economy and our various ethnicities, cultures and religions clash and meld, we are compelled — or should be — to search for ways to get along socially and in business.

As Emily Post, the grande dame of etiquette said, “Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” I couldn’t agree more.

Dear readers, if you know me at all, you know that this I believe (where’s Ira Glass?) with all of my pollyanna-ish heart. Please be kind  — maybe even learn to use the right fork, but that isn’t as important — and maybe, just maybe we can all just get along. Come on friends, help me spread good manners! I promise, it won’t hurt and, it might even help.

In unrelated business, happy Shark Week!

From the Preppy Princess

The Preppy Princess (master of fun photo finding) shared this on her Facebook page and we couldn’t resist reposting. We wish someone would do this to our office building. Sigh.

Cheers!

 M

Please and thank you

“Whether one believes in a religion or not and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion. “ Dalai Lama

When you ask for something say “please.” If you get it or if someone does something nice for you, say “thank you.”

It really is that simple.

Cheers!

M

Listen up

The Mister and I agree on a lot of things, especially that it is neither charming nor kind to talk over someone when they are trying to speak. Essentially, that means you aren’t listening to the other person, which makes them feel unimportant.

Listening is a skill, perhaps even an art form. So like many things, it takes practice, practice and more practice. The beauty of perfecting the art of listening, is that you get to have scores of fun, exciting, meaningful conversations with acquaintances, friends and loved ones.

The next time you are on the phone or face-to-face with someone, just listen. If your mind wanders to what you might want to say next, stop yourself and redirect your attention to the words coming out of the other person’s mouth. Focus — we know you can do it. When your companion finishes speaking, pause, then respond. Rinse and repeat.

Imagine what it feels like to have someone hang on your every word. Wouldn’t it make you feel good? Wouldn’t you feel as if what you were saying mattered to the person to whom you were speaking? Wouldn’t you feel as if you mattered to that person? That would be a nice feeling.

Re-find your inner listener. We know he or she is in there, you just have to hush. Shhhh.

Cheers!

M

You’ve got mail — or not

In our ongoing conversation regarding e-mail and social media etiquette, we’ve come across a certain glaring breach — lack of response.

This applies to a specific sort of correspondence between two well-acquainted parties. When you e-mail a friend, colleague, former co-worker or some other type of social or professional contact to ask them about leads, their thoughts on a project or to solicit advice or contacts, you should thank them for or at the very least acknowledge receipt of their reply.

We at Re-find love to help others and share information and resources, but we are consistently disappointed when we send a thoughtful response to a question or offer advice when asked, but then never hear back from the person.

A simple thank you is always appropriate, either via e-mail or better yet with a handwritten note, but that plus a follow-up detailing the outcome is always nice too.

As usual, just proceed with kindness. It’s that easy.

Cheers!

M

Watch your (expletive) language!

At Re-find, we try to be good, be kind and behave, but like most people, we occassionally need our potty mouths washed out with soap. We are not proud of it, but we are trying to be honest. 

On our best days, we come up with clever replacements for popular curse words and phrases, such as:

  • Mother trucker!
  • God bless America!
  • Cheese and rice!

OK, they aren’t very clever, but they get the job done (especially when you are prone to ramming  your knee or toe or leg into every object in the house and office) and no one is offended. Our rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say it in front of Grandma, you probably shouldn’t say (or yell) it at all. 

Let’s all work together to stop cursing like sailors. Grandma, your co-workers, your children and your fellow humans will thank you.

Cheers!

M