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Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekday Weddings

Someone asked my opinion about scheduling a wedding during the week and not on the weekend.  While most weddings occur on Saturday and Sunday, there are some weddings that take place during the weekday.  Planning a weekday wedding has both its pros and cons. 

Pros of a Weekday Wedding 
  •  Facility rental fees are usually less than the weekend rental fee.
  • You can get married at the courthouse and save a ton of money on the ceremony.
  • Your caterer may be less busy and can focus on your menu. This applies to all the vendors you use.
  • If your ceremony is in another city from where you live, your travel fees for lodging and transportation could be significantly lower. 
  • If you are traveling to a popular destination, there may be a fewer number of tourists than during the weekend.

Cons of a Weekday Wedding
  • Wedding guests who work may not be able to take time off to come to the wedding.
  • Some vendors are closed and do not work on Monday and Tuesday, since they have just worked Saturday and Sunday weddings. 
  • Vendors may be willing to open and work with you, but charge you a higher fee.
  • Students are in school, both through high school and college, and may not be able to miss school to attend the wedding. This includes your kids too.
  • If you work during the week, you may not have the bliss time you want to enjoy the wedding and the honeymoon.
It is possible to have a successful weekday wedding by deciding which day allows the bride and groom to have the wedding they both desire.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Video Game Cure? Re-channeling his focus

Our household was faced with a situation not long ago that required me to seek a unique resolution. Once again, I caught a family member playing handheld video games late past bedtime. Now while that doesn't surprise many of my readers, the repeated offense surprised the heck out of me. You see I consider myself a fair parent. I'm the parent that plays chop-chop on Fruit Ninja and avails my body to be hurled without notice onto the bed by the "Incomminnng" rant of my son. So we have plenty of playtime and scheduled video game time.

Somehow the schedule to play video games this particular night did not agree with my son's recent enthusiasm to play his newly-purchased video game. And leave it to a brilliant kid to figure out a way to get his play time after bed time. First he has to investigate if the coast is clear. He gets out of bed and clears his throat as he makes it to the bathroom to get some water. Bathroom light on. Bathroom light off. Mommy is still awake. Back to bed he goes. Ten minutes go by. Then he's up relieving himself of the water he just drank. Bathroom light on. Bathroom light off. "Honey are you okay? Did you drink juice at lunch?" "Yes," he answers. Mommy is still awake. Back to bed he goes. Now only five minutes have elapsed and he's up again! It's too much for him and he may actually be getting sleepy by this time. Bathroom light on. Bathroom light off. Only this time he peeks in on Mommy through my half-open door. "Why are you still up?" he asks. I answer. Ever so cool, he gently closes my bedroom door! I don't have a clue what he's up to. I don't realize I have been bamboozled by this pre-teen that I feed, chauffeur around to voice lessons, and am a regular stand-in as his impromptu pillow fight target.

I'm ready to turn in so I go check on him in about thirty minutes. My, my, my, what could that be? What is it that I see? A blue light oozing from under his pillow, namely a Nintendo DS.  Oh, what nerves he has! I thought about waking him up, because if I'm not going to get any sleep wondering what I will do to him in the morning, then why should he? I couldn't do it. I grabbed both handheld gaming systems and put them in my room. In the morning I didn't say anything out of the ordinary. After my son made his bed, I thought he would say something. He didn't. Smart of him, huh? I finally asked him if he fell asleep playing his game. He said, "No," as if he played no game at all. I began to explain to him all the privileges he was losing immediately. 

Now parents, you know it's hard to discipline our children. It hurts us too. We just want our children to do the right thing. Soon after I spoke to my son, I begin prayer and meditation, something like this, "If this issue keeps recurring, Lord show me what I'm missing. Give me a new way of looking at this because I don't feel like what I'm doing is working." I must have been praying hard, because within the hour I received a fresh perspective!  First, there was the question of why my son liked video games? He is competitive by nature (not sure where he gets that from!). He likes to win. He is persistent, playing a game level repeatedly until he wins. He also loves the chase. Him going after something. Next the thoughts came to my mind that my son is not consistently involved in competitive activities, like sports. Bad Mommy. Could it be that if I involve my son in competitive sports, I could re-channel his desire for competition, chasing, and winning from video games to sports? Well I tell you what - it is a resolution worth pursuing. I asked my son if he would like to be involved in more sports. He said, "Yes."  Guess what? I'll keep you posted if re-channeling his focus to sports is a video game cure that works.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steven Tyler "Star Spangled Banner" Etiquette

Steven Tyler's Star-Spangled Banner rendition has a lot of people Tweeting and upset. During Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, Tyler reportedly "squealed" and "screeched" his way through the national anthem.

Steven is currently a judge on the popular United States television show "American Idol." His position brings this performance under that much more scrutiny.

But what did Tyler do wrong? How was he supposed to sing the song? Tyler is a rock singer, formerly of the American rock band Aerosmith. Those who know him are familiar with his high-pitched screaming voice. That's just how Tyler sings. EttaKit can appreciate Tyler being true to his gift. It's Tyler's art, Tyler's way. Tyler's confidence is refreshing.

Tyler had his share of personal battles. He's admitted to being a drug addict, snorting cocaine to the degree of losing his family and his music career until landing in rehab. Yet through his dark times and his night, Tyler's flag still waves. What a testament to our nations anthem of strength that our flag still stands, as Tyler's does: ..."Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there!"  (Video courtesy of youtube.com)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Men...it's cold

Yes, this one is for the men.

Hi guys! Life's good? Great. I'm glad. I've been talking to a Few Good Men. Some of you are struggling. Phew! Struggling trying to maintain a lifestyle of "Love & Happiness." We women are not easy to deal with, but I will tell you this: if you have an honest woman, she loves your effort to make her smile and keep her happy.

So why is it cold? It gets cold when your lady isn't smiling. The saying is true that a persons smile can brighten a room. Well the same is even more true for a woman because she puts her heart into her smile. BA-AM! Her smile will warm up your house, your kids, your bedroom, your work, and your life!

Is your lady cold or is she smiling?

What makes a woman cold?

1. Feeling unappreciated. Men you can eliminate this by thanking her for the routine things - ironing your clothes, calling herr in-laws, packing the kids lunch, or cleaning the house. Just say, "Thank you."

2. Not hearing what makes her special. Do you like the way she walks? Do you like how she bites her bottom lip? What about how she laughs? Look her in the eye and say, "I love the way you ______."

3. Not getting touched. A rub here, stroking the back of her neck, rubbing your face against hers, holding her hands and paying attention to each finger you hold,or playing footsies at the dinner table. Go ahead. Do it. Just touch her.

4. Not being looked at. You married her, you chose her - look at her. Look her in the eye. Look at her when she gets dressed, puts on her makeup, or when she sweeps the kitchen. Let her know she has your attention.

Reason numbers 5 - 1,000,000! There are many reasons we as women aren't smiling. But there are solutions unique to each woman. Ask your lady what makes her warm. Ask her what makes her smile. Ask her what she likes. She may not know the answer right away, especially if she spends more time on others than herself. But leave the door open, and ask her to get back with you when she has an answer.

It's cold, but men you have the power to make it warm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

I just love the holidays. I love spending time with my family. I love seeing others happy.

For me its a time when I can give to others intangible gifts. A hug here. A kind word there. Fixing someone's plate. An invitation to my place for dinner. While many of us are living a comfortable life, others live uncomfortable in their own skin. What happened if on Turkey Day we opened our hearts to forgive someone who maybe didn't know the protocol, but were guilty of disrespecting others?

Broken homes, lies, deceit, manipulation, and abuse all create conditions for children and people to learn "wrong" instead of learning "right". Thousands of people in this world - your neighbor, your manager, your co-worker, your in-laws - were bred in unloving environments. In turn, they may treat others in a rude, disrespectful and uncaring way. Sometimes it's because they don't know a better way.

Wisdom is a better way. It takes people who are honest, understanding, and loving to point out when a person is behaving badly to others. The disrespectful people have to be willing to make changes. With your love, understanding, and support people can change. Opening your home and heart this season is one way to start. You should not however put up with abuse from anyone. If hurt people are willing to stop hurting others, they deserve a chance to be a part of your Happy Holidays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Other Woman

This morning was a "Movie Review" morning for me. You know, the kind of event where your life plays before your eyes. Then you hear a, "Wow", escape your lips. It's where you are the main character and the whole movie is about you. Don't be so excited that you get to star in your own movie. The whole point is that spiritually you are being allowed to take a look at your life because God is sick of you and The Other Woman.

Once there was a girl named "Me" who saw life through others eyes. For years Me took other people's comments as her own - even the bad and critical ones. Me learned to criticize women's clothes, shoes, houses, hair, spouses, jobs, and kids. Me learned to criticize politicians and leaders. Me criticized the obvious and even what she perceived through her analytical mind.

It just so happened that one day Me was selected to star in a movie. The scenes were glimpse's of Me's life through her own mind - her past, her present, and her future. Much of what Me saw was the possibility that some parts of her life were similar to those she had learned to criticize. Ouch! Me faced the facts that Me shared the same thoughts, actions, or maladies as some of the people she squinched an eye at earlier in her life.

Me became a product of her own thoughts: her critical thoughts and comments were planted in her own garden for her to now enjoy! She was now that other woman. How sad for Me to think she could call the error in the other woman's lives. Me was wrong for living life with negative energy. Criticism is negative. But Me was ready to change. And she is. Will you? We all have the other woman in our life. Who is yours? Who are you similar to - not by choice, but because you cast negative energy around her that now haunts you?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blue Fall

The predictions are in...it's going to be a "Blue" Fall season. We are accustomed to seeing the colors red, orange, green, and gold this time of year. But in 2011, the fashion house is adding blue. The regular navy blue won't cut it, so change your mind and even step out of the box in the new blues for 2011.

Bright blues, royal blues, and cobalt blues are popping up this time. Navy blue became the new black decades ago. Unfortunately it hasn't made it back. That's okay because black won't fit in your color trend now. Instead rock some bright, powerhouse blues that will have right where you need to be - on top of your A game.

Here Christian Louboutin makes you a great blue pump called Daffy. All I can say is, "SSWEEEEET".



If you want more blue, here's something you can try: an entire outfit:




Too much for you? For those who want to play the Minor Leagues with just a hint of color, pick up a scarf or a bright blue bracelet. It's okay to be blue in Fall 2011.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

WHAT A BREAK!

Have you ever just taken a break from it all? I didn't realize I have not blogged in over a year! What happened to me? Well, life came in and took me for a ride - again. A ride away from it all. I realized that writing, blogging, and sharing are who I am. So I'm back again. But this time it's for good.

What have I done these past months? Discovered me! Discovered you! I learned that life is about the relationships you make, cultivate, keep, and discard. We are like plants. Give us some food, water, and sun and we grow. When the darkness of winter comes that can be symbolic of bad relationships, we die off. Just like plants.

The people I know who I consider to be successful are happy, prosperous in what they are doing, giving, loving, smiling, sharing, have abundant relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and others in the community, and love to hug (that's me!). These are the people I want to emulate. They someone leave a mark in my mind that life is good for them, even when I know they may have had some trying times.

You see, we are products of our experiences in life. Mine have been good. Mine have been bad. A good upbringing from a Southern momma. A missing father. An abusive marriage that started when I was 18, but that I endured for 10 and a half years. A loving relationship with God. An ugly custody battle in which only God spared my heart. Good jobs with good companies. All of this is who I am. All of this affects how I love and link up with people. This is how we all do it.

Overall though I have decided to purposefully pick and cultivate and end relationships in my life. If I want a loving husband, I have to stop and think and love him the way "he" wants to be loved. If I want my kids to love me, I have to stop and think and love them they want they each individually want to be loved. To have good professional relationships with my co-workers then I needed to join them for lunch when they wanted to dine. If I want friends to call me and think of me, I need to purposefully send them a card, a text, or show up at their house with carry-out one night.

This is my life now. I've progressed from just "Etta Kit" to "The Etta Kit Way". Of course, I will keep you updated on my progress. I have a feeling that how I strive to love others will sprout so many other positive things in my life in such an abundant way.

I'm on a mission to create an entourage of loving relationships, will you join me?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sustainability...Do you have it?

Sustainability: Your ability to use your present resources to meet your present needs WITHOUT compromising the needs of future generations. Ouch! How sustainable are you?

According to God's word: A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children.

What are you leaving future generations?

It is not wise to use all your time, all your money, all your talent, or all your brains on your day-to-day living.

You really don't have time to play all those video games and watch that much football! A part-time job or a newspaper route gives you a few pennies to buy some savings bonds at the local bank. Ladies, how many earrings do you need?

Is your lifestyle preventing you from investing in future generations?

You can begin now to take the necessary action to plan something for the future of your bloodline. I would like you to think of how critical it is for your children to have something passed along to them. Now think about where you are in life. You may have it pretty good. But you also could have probably used the benefit of a trust account from an aunt, right?

Maybe if you inherited a house, you could have lived in it and not have spent so much money on rent. And the cycle is that you can now invest that money you don't have to spend on rent, for those grandkids to inherit!

Will your child go to college if you haven't saved the $500 that he or she can use for a plane ticket to even try out for that scholarship? Take the little bit you have now and make it work. No money? No problem. Can you pass on some wisdom - maybe written in a little booklet? You know you can cook! Does anybody in the family have your recipes? If not, write them down. You could be the start of something big - Uncle Charlies Bar-B-Q Sauce!

So you think you're not that smart? Sorry, I won't let you off the hook! Whatever talent you have, pass it on. Do you know how to detail cars, clean houses, draw, write music, or hem pants? All of these can be grown into a profitable business by future generations. Now is the time to "Show-n-Tell" your children and your relatives what you know.

I ask again..."How sustainable are you?"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Your Future is here

Hi, it's your FUTURE. You know I'm that point in time that is now here. Ta-da!

You remember how you thought about an idea or where you would be from a long time ago...well now here I am.

I know I sneaked up on ya', didn't I?

You couldn't recognize me, because you forgot to bring me along and nurture me.

That's okay though because I don't go away, I just keep moving ahead!

Anyway, I know the weekends are for sleeping in...ever wonder why your company wants you at work so early? It's because your employer wants to get as much out of you as they can, right? They are smart. But so are you, or they wouldn't have hired you.

So this weekend why not work for yourself and give yourself as much of you as you can? Start early in the morning and do something to help me - your future - out. Just take a little stab at that vision you have. Maybe get some life insurance quotes, download the paperwork for your will, write the letter to get your transcripts to begin college, talk to at least one of your creditors when they call today, buy that Bible for your child, doodle your company logo, send off for the free catalog of stuff you need in your new business venture, have brunch with a possible business partner...

See the many ways you can work for you today? That way the next time I - your future - comes back I will look like something you recognize because you've been building me step-by-step.

Monday, August 24, 2009

M. Obama for short

And shorts they are. I read a news story on the internet about First Lady Michelle Obama wearing shorts while on vacation with her family. It seems the media is keeping this story alive more than the general public.

Since I have not seen many comments, I decided to shed some "Etta Kit" (etiquette) on this issue. You are wondering what I think, correct? Well, I think it is appropriate to wear shorts on a summer vacation. I also believe it's okay to wear a layered cotton t-shirt and a tank top - which Michelle also did.

But I have a problem with Michelle wearing this stuff on any outings other than for working in her garden! Simply put - it just looks bad.

Let me remind you of this last comment: it looks bad. I didn't say she looks bad.

Now I like Michelle. She is all that. She touches all generations. She was raised by working people who had morals - senior citizens appreciate her respect. Michelle is an independent working woman - the mid-generations folks can relate to her. Finally Michelle has children whom she accompanies to concerts - younger people like her attitude.

So I don't think Michelle does anything for popularity - she knows where she stands with people. But I have some concerns for Michelle. Being the First Lady, in my opinion, puts her in an arena where she has the obligation to lead - period. That aura to lead is like a magnet. Whatever dergree of leadership one shows, is the degree of leadership one gets in return.

If Michelle dresses too casual, how much respect will the people of the United States be inclined to show her as a lady when it's time for her to change into something more regal?

Another of my concerns is that Michelle's casual look could be viewed by the public as her not having respect for the position of which the general public "gave" her (and her husband).

Personally I would like for First Lady Obama to take her style up a notch or two. Some comments on the internet are that she's just an average lady. Well, she was an average lady, but now she's the First Lady. When I look at Michelle, I want to see a style that surpasses my own. And I would not have worn that shorts ensemble on my family vacation.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Respect Life

It's been some time since I blogged...why? Because the events in my life have been happening too fast to take any notes. Ever had that happen? A relative of mine asked the best way to handle stuff when you know the stuff can take you out.

I am no surfer, but I remember hearing that the best way to ride a wave is to ride it. Is this true? To ride a wave is not to try to overcome it, but follow it because it will eventually hit the shore and subside. At least to a surfer it will. When you're not trained to be a surfer, you have to look at the best way to keep calm, learn what you can about the situation, and ride it out. Some waves are too big to "man-handle". These are the waves that demand respect.

Learn how to respect the big things in your life. Acknowledge the situations that have the power to take you out. Simple. You don't have to succumb, but you need to understand the risks. Many times I have let go of a situation - just let it go - with no after-thought. Error on my part. In actuality, I should have assessed just how massive the impact of the wave could be and jump on where I could hold on!

For example, last year I made a major move to a new city. No problem. Except when the duration of job, the income, and the housing arrangements changed gears, I ignored much of it. I kept moving, offended by some of the events. So in my defense, I responded like a champion. Ready to take on the fight.

The problem with fighting a big wave of problems was like fighting "The Octupus of a 1,000 Tentacles" that lay beneath the wave. I was fighting in every direction. Thank God, I learned to relax my mind, my thoughts, and my actions because I really wasn't getting the results I wanted. By relaxing, the solutions could surface.

And surface is where I ended. Thank God, I rode the wave to the shore and allowed God's peace to bring me to a place of respect for life and to humility.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hey, Wait for me...

It happens to me all the time, I start walking together with someone - engaged in conversation - and then they are gone. Disappear? you ask. Well sort of, but not really. Rather what I am describing is what occurs when the party to whom I was speaking takes off walking ahead of me for some distance. The person never looks back. He or she is not conscious that the company that was once by their side is no longer there. Or that is what seems to be the prevailing thought until once my travel companion reaches our destination I am once again acknowledged over the shoulder.

Who started this trend? I really do not walk that slow. Please understand that it takes a lady careful calculation to "click-click" in high heels, sway her hips from the right to the left, and then move her head in unison. How we do what we do here when wearing heels is not just some random movement. (If you treat it random, it will show and you won't look cute at all!) We especially need ladies to slow down their pace when walking with other ladies - help us out here.

The ideal walking pace would be one that allows a conversation to continue or begin for that matter. Take the time to make eye contact with the other person with whom you are walking and talking. This activity forces you to remember you have someone talking to and walking with you. If the other person drops out of sight behind you, it is not the Rapture, so do not think you were left here on earth. Instead stop walking, turn around, and wait for them to catch up. Leaders may have a natural tendency to walk ahead of the pack so if you are one, take note.

I get this funny feeling when someone walks off ahead of me, almost as if I am losing a race of sorts. So maybe competitive people (like myself) have a hard time feeling as if we are in second place?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Elevators, I know

There's yet another difference in northern and southern culture which I noticed while riding the elevator in an office building last week. Those of you who know me understand my respect for male chivalry. I whole heartedly support a male figure taking the lead role in most all situations. My southern roots just have me like that.

In the southern United States, I notice that men flex their biceps and hold back the elevator doors for women to enter the cab first. If these men are smart (and single), they will quickly follow. That just put points on the tally sheet for any man hoping to get a woman's attention. As the elevator progresses to its destination and the man happens to be going to the same floor as any woman in the cab, the gentleman (as I will rename him now) will step to the side and once again flex his biceps to hold the doors for the woman to exit first. That's just the way it happens in the south from my fifteen-plus years of experience living there.

How does this same scenario work in the north you ask? Let me remind you I have southern roots, but was born and raised in the midwest (north of the southern states). I lived in the south for many years and now I live in the north. It is in the north that I noticed an absence of male chivalry. For about a week after relocating to the Washington, DC area, I found myself competing with the men to jump on the elevator first. These same men would leave the cab first when going to the same destination as myself. Stepping to the side and holding that door for me was not on the mens agendas! This appeared to be the attitude of old men, young men, gay men, straight men, married men, single men, men of all races, blue-collar men, and white-collar men...you get the picture? I did not notice a consistent male chivalry pattern for at least seven months. However, the local women are not taken aback by these male actions. To me they take it in stride - literally - they keep moving.

I will reiterate how wonderful to a woman the actions of a man taking the lead and providing a pathway for her to both enter and exit to her destination. Aaaahh...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And a child shall lead them...

Recently some associates of mine were impressed when upon meeting my seven-year old son, he extended his hand and introduced himself with his first and last name. The handshake was firm as he looked them in the eye. But the opposite of him leading the introductions was that he waited to hear their names so he could repeat, "Nice to meet you __________." Training children to be confident and proud of who they are increases their self-esteem. Some of the issues children face in school such as low grades, influence of peer pressure, and bullying have been linked to low self-esteem.

When I taught my son this greeting he was apprehensive at first. I realized he rarely saw anyone do this. Even when I meet people, I begin talking without formally introducing myself. It is amazing how our small mannerisms affect our children. By just changing how I respond to strangers I create habits that reinforce my childrens social skills. It's not just my business at www.ettakit.com, but it's also my life.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Step

This time of year poses problems for many women, including myself. There is some truth that a change in the weather disrupts normal brain functions for a period of time until cerebral fluids readjust. During the Spring, we get in touble for daydreaming, wanting to play in the dirt, or just lounging around outside. Albeit, one of my favorite seasonal pasttimes is to spend one day walking into stores trying on sandals. With each trial, I find myself thinking about all the fun places I could wear the shoes: the beach; lunch with some friends on the patio of a cool diner; mid-week church revival; dinner and a movie; family reunions. Before I know it, it feels like I have worn the shoes already, so I place them back in the box and carry on. Some of the shoes though I keep. But, I promise I refuse to buy any shoes for which I have not already prepared a visual in my mind.

As a trained image consultant, I have learned that Rule Number One in this business is to know me. This keeps my personal preferences for myself separate from the recommendations I offer my clients. So I know what I like, what looks good on me, and the styles I should avoid. Flats, gladitor sandals, sandals with less than a one-inch heel, and patent leather sandals all fall into my "NO" category. In 2007, I took my Mom and the kids to our favorite vacation spot for a week. Once there at Saint Simons Island, Georgia I unpacked my suitcase of shoes. The only styles I purchased were those with two or three-inch heels. Even my flip-flops were on a 3-inch heel. But I know my stuff and can walk my walk (the confidence I recommend for every woman) so even my high-heels were appropriate for sandy beaches.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Michelle's Way

Hey Ladies. Let's give it up for the classy, the sophisticated, the elegant Michelle Obama! What a day of fashion for her. Earlier I chatted with some associates of mine and we all agree the First Lady exhibits her own style. She is very unique. It is hard to peg what she will wear next. And guess what? We like it. Michelle has ushered us into an era where we get to be who we want to be. It is great! It is time ladies to be daring. Daring enough to let our self be reflected in ourselves every day. Wow! Not only does Michelle's husbands election empower the word "freedom", but Michelle's style does exactly the same.

So what are you going to do ladies? Michelle has put you up to the challenge to be your own you. How will you handle it. Will you crop your hair and color your ends? Maybe you will wear fishnet hose more often? Could it be that now you will wear big hoop earrings? Whatever you want to do, will you tell us so we can get some inspiration?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Relationships

Why are there so many books written about relationships? Maybe we should all seek to find clues to happier endings. Our individual pride confirms to each of us that the other person needs these books. Our complacency forces our counterpart to put up with our selfishness that eventually turns into bitterness. This happens not only between the male and female, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, but also in casual relationships. Can we talk about relationships in general?

For the most part, I believe that a person who loves him or her self first will then be able to love others. A person who tolerates his or her own actions is also more tolerant of others - I believe. Think of it this way: people tend to view others as they view themselves. If then I believe that I am human, that I make mistakes, and that I will love myself more tomorrow than I did today, then this is the me that I bring to the relationship. This is all the me that I can offer to the person with whom I am involved.

That step takes some soul-searching though. It is without judgement that you learn to love yourself. It's not where you end it - but it is where you start. You end up judging your actions and making corrections, but initially you need to see you for who you are and love you for who you are. Period. Failure to do this puts all your relationships at risk. If you have some obvious issues that you have not acknowledged, recognized, and loved you will not be able to stand the criticism from those with whom you are in relationship. This includes family relationships, personal relationships, and business relationships. Have you ever met someone who can talk about their short-comings and laugh? Further, have you noticed the comfort you feel in wanting to relate to this person? It is not long before you begin sharing your problems with this person. You see the light-heartedness and honesty with which they handle their own self, so your fear of being judged quickly fades away.

To be successful in relationships,
1. first take care of loving and respecting yourself
2. acknowledge your faults - find clues from what others may have said in the past
3. lose your pride and talk about your faults from time-to-time
4. allow others the opportunity to declare their faults without being judged
5. dispel any imbalance in the relationship by taking criticism, especially from someone who self-judges much of the time. It's stressful to be in a relationship with you if you are perfect.

Did that help? I hope it did. After all this is who I am, this is what I do...

Etta Kit

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Call or Not to Call

People just aren't relying on communicating via the telephone to relay messages. Teenagers and young adults especially prefer to text their messages, rather than to communicate verbally. I thought of some of the best instances to pick up the receiver and make a verbal telephone call or not.
*Call from a land line the first month you get behind on your mortgage. The closer you are to pre-foreclosure status, the worse it looks that your cell phone bill has been paid.
*Call your grandparents. I have observed an elderly person trying to figure out which buttons lead to the text message, only to get there and not know how to get back to the main screen saver.
*Call your girlfriend when you invite the guys over. She needs to get in all of her questions about who's coming, who's cooking, who's drinking, and how long are they staying. It is best if she processes all of this information with you on the phone, because she may throw in some slur words that lose their power in a text transmission.
*Call the neighbors when you want to be nosey. They love it that you give them an opportunity to play "big shot" and hear themselves lie.
*Call your managers work phone number when you will be late for work - even if you have his or her cell phone number. It's more courteous, especially since your employer pays you and not your manager.
*Call whomever you need to talk to when you are in a crisis. People sympathize with hearing your voice.
*Call your hairdresser for an appointment instead of sending him or her a text message and here's why: Your haidresser works with his or her hands and texting may take attention away from the client.

Some instances when NOT TO CALL:
*Don't call your wife to argue, instead text her. If you text her, you allow her a chance to beat out her frustration on the cell phone keys in response to your text. She'll be somewhat relaxed when she gets home.
*Don't call in to cast your vote in a contest. First, it's not worth it. It is simpler to send a text message. Secondly a text message serves as a great reminder when you view your phone log that you helped someone else win big.
*Don't call in to your local bank about anything - always visit. The bankers need practice at redesigning their customer awareness skills.
*Last, but not least DO NOT Call your children when they might be in trouble - they need to see the words, GET HOME NOW!.

Got it? Get it. EttaKit it...


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Men...get her present right

Come on guys...you've been around this girl, this wife, for maybe only a short time or maybe for years. But in trying to do something special for the holidays, you surprise her with a garment suited to your liking. Some of my male friends admit that when shopping for their ladies, they actually picture famous females wearing or using the garment. Now fellas, heads up: that doesn't work. Your motives will quickly be questioned. She will accuse you of cheating with "the "skinny" woman you must have bought these for."

Here's some prevention therapy:
Before shopping, jot down her labels in her closet so you can know her brands and her sizes. Does she wear a size 6 jeans, but a L (large) sweater? What colors does she wear most? Does she prefer knit, cotton, or polyester shirts? How high are her shoe heels? Maybe she prefers ankle-high boots in bright colors and calf-length boots in suede. Are her sandals a size 6, but her pumps a 6 1/2?

And don't forget the undergarments - to purchase her a Victoria's Secret gift card. If you like her because she's chest-blessed keep in mind that one Victoria Secret bra carries a retail price between $45 - $75, easily. A $100 gift card yields one bra and maybe two pairs of underwear. If you play here cheap here, you might get jipped on the other end of this present - if you know what I mean.

Throughout the year women buy their personal accessories such as jewelry, scarves, belts, purses, and gloves. If you want to buy a woman something special, you could start a trend. Fashionable women typically have a trademark, called a "signature" piece: big rings, pearl bracelets, belts with big buckles, a sparkly brooch. If not, you could start a signature for your lady. Buy her the same type of present every year. A friend of mine was married to a soldier. Every year he would return from his overseas training with a bracelet from that region. Priceless. A former hair stylist of mine would buy his wife a designer purse every year for Christmas, filled with $1 bills.

Whatever you decide men, make it "her" gift, not yours. Take the time to give her present(s). I make it plural because even if you buy her a car, you can throw in an insulated travel mug, and place a book-on-tape on the passenger seat. All women would appreciate more than one present. Funds low? Watch my blog, I'll post some apprpriate ideas to help you touch her heart. After all that's what I do, that's who I am...

Etta Kit

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Scented Litigation

Apparently a Detroit employee is suing her employer because her co-workers perfumes made the woman sick, causing her to miss work. Some of you are going to say puh-lease. Then some of you with allergies will go to work and start your own journal to follow suit - if I may say.

Allergic reactions can be quite sickening. It is the employers obligation to provide the most equatable work environment for all employees. The need to wear perfume may not hold as much weight as the need to breathe. Some argue the "perfumed" worker may have had a chemical sensitivity, but the issue here is the employer's responsibility to all employees.

On the flip side, what about body odor? A bunch of jocks who run at lunch, but fail to shower, can be just as bothersome as an employee wearing strong perfume. I can think of many scenarios - burnt microwave popcorn, "Big Toe" Jam, drycleaner scents - that trigger allergies in the office.

The offended employee has a right to file a lawsuit - if her employer was negligent in taking corrective action. I thought about a relative of mine who suffers from allergies - a child. Sometimes those allergic reactions lead to difficulty breathing and even wheezing. I believe there is the possibility the employee could have been sickened by the perfume smell.

If you are a business owner and provide a place for people to work, be mindful of how you allow other employees, contractors, and visitors to threaten a "pleasant" and non-offensive work environment. One scented lawsuit was awarded for over $10 millions, but was reduced to $800K - still could wipe out some small businesses.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Social Kingdoms Shaken

Now is not the time to forget your social graces, but if in these trying times you lose your cool, you may be pardoned. The world is in sort of an uproar you know. If it's not your personal life that's in a crisis, maybe the next person's is. Not only are we as a nation re-writing our history, but some of the people I know closely (namely me) are adapting different tolerance levels just to survive.

A few days ago some of my friends discussed their personal financial portfolio in a group of people. At first I was shocked because this couple likes everyone to think they have money. They are also very private people. I listened intently hoping to pick up some measure of their personal worth. It didn't work and I found myself more moved by how the economic crisis has us all forgetting our social manners of discretion.

One of my managers is somewhat moody. We tend to think of her as being so solemn she skips some heartbeats. Well when I engaged a co-worker in dialogue about the stock market, my managers face turned red (not blushing - just showing some form of life). This manager lost almost 10% of her investment in just a couple of days. She was facing the week with fear. To me it sounded like she needed some support - really. If we weren't near strangers I think she would have leaned over and cried.

Society as a whole is changing their economic focus inward. While many of us can't do much about the stockmarket, we have unconciously merged into the group of Rocky Investors. And there are no strangers. No one is an outsider. We are forgetting to "not talk to strangers". Hoping to find some relief in the "misery loves company" scene, we hope anyone at anytime will talk in economic terms. If not as a participant, but as a by-stander, we have seen or become a bunch of nosey folks. We eavesdrop, we lean over just a little bit farther to hear the word "bailout". We even ask people about their private financial business. Shame on us! When it's all said and done, we will have created a new economic social order not soon to be forgotten.