Category Archives: Food for Thought

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How Many Followers Does Your Baby Have?

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Facebook-babyIt is truly the season of baby making and baby having. In this past year alone, I’ve witnessed or been told of at least 10 pregnancies. New babies are exciting. The whole process is exciting. I mean, the miracle of birth truly is pretty amazing, but with the miracle of birth comes the management of not only your baby, but the people who you choose to let your baby be around.

Just a few weeks ago, I went to visit a friend who recently had a beautiful baby boy. In true Scarlet fashion, I stopped and picked up some food for the couple –  Bucharest to be exact,  a metro Detroit area favorite and food that I knew that the couple would enjoy.

Scarlet Says… when visiting a family who just had a baby, do consider bringing some food or snacks to alleviate some of the stress of cooking.

To my surprise, when I arrived the baby was awake (hurray). It seems that newborns are always asleep, so it was great to get a little bit of eyes open time with the handsome little man. It was only a matter of time before the expected happened – the camera came out. Now, personally, I like babies and I like pictures, so I struck a pose while holding the baby over my shoulder and then went back to our conversation. The mother is a dear friend of mine and we had a lot of catching up to do, so  we chatted it up for a while about everything from career, to child-birth to when we would have some out of the house time together again. I made sure to not focus the entire conversation on the baby. This woman is my friend and although she is a wife and now a mother, it’s essential for me to ask her about her, her well-being and how she is doing, because if she isn’t doing well herself, it’s going to be hard for all of her other roles in life to succeed.

Scarlet Says… even when your friends take on new personal or professional roles, remember that at their core still remains a human, a person and your friend. Make it a point to check in on them and their well-being, not always the add-on accomplishments and roles that they’ve taken on along the way. 

We were able to spend a solid 60-90 minutes together, which comparatively speaking is short for us, but was just the right fix to at least catch us up on life in general.

Scarlet Says… as much as you may want to spend all the time in the world with a new baby or even a mother in the hospital after birth, limit your stay. There are likely lots of other people in line and also, the couple will need to rest and recharge and most importantly tend to the baby often.

So, after I left I proceeded on to the rest of my always busy day until I got a nice little text message containing a picture a short while after. What a pleasant surprise – the picture of me and the little one. I was excited to see that it came out so well. Shortly after, I thought, what a nice addition to my other baby photos and I considered posting it on my Instagram page. Then, I paused and thought, wait… I have not seen one photo of this baby on social media. While the mother did not give me any explicit directions to not post, my common sense detector kicked in and said, let me ask for permission first. Upon asking, the mother said, “thank you for asking, we are not posting public photos yet”.

Scarlet Says… new babies are exciting; they’re cute, cuddly, innocent and just so nice to be around. But if it’s not your child, it’s not your place to go around spreading the likeness of their image on social media. There are all kinds of reasons why parents choose to not post photos of their children from safety to privacy. Even if it’s not explicitly said to not post, think twice about what images you are posting that are not you, about you or belong to you and when appropriate ask for permission. 

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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My Kids & Family Are Great, But What About Me?

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Aggravated ParentThink about your friends who have children. How do your conversations typically go?

This weekend while visiting home (Detroit), I was so elated to catch up with quite a few of my friends, many of whom have or are expecting children. The conversations with my friends with children or a spouse always started out with the normal pleasantries, including the “how are you’s” and “how’s the job”, etc. In almost every case, the next few questions (for those that have kids) b-lined right for their family. Because I genuinely wanted to know how their children and partners were doing, I innocently asked, “so, how are the little ones” or “how is your other half”. In almost every case, they said “fine, they’re all doing fine” and were ready to move on to another subject. Now, I’ve encountered some unfortunate responses in the past when I’ve asked about the family, so I tread lightly when asking these days. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than learning about a recent divorce or a child who is terminally ill, while innocently asking, so “how’s your family”, but it happens and when it does you sympathetically deal with it.

The one thing that I picked up on this past weekend is a simple concept that most parents will likely appreciate and it is this…while people might have children or a spouse, they are more than just a parent or a spouse. So, let’s just be honest here. You do sometimes run across that (maybe new) parent that ONLY talks about their children and acts as if they did not exist before their children or spouse came along, and for those people carry on. But while my friends who are parents and have partners are great in both of those roles, the reality is that most of them want to be and are more than that. Being a parent or a spouse/partner is fine and awesome, but there are so many other roles that a person is, will be or wants to be and that too should be considered and respected.

Scarlet Says…It is perfectly fine and courteous to ask about your friends’ family when you see them. But, it’s OK as well to continue the conversation and ask about them. How are they doing? What’s new with them? What goals do they have? Allow your friends to be more than just one thing, if they want to be. Life can be much too short to do, experience, be or strive for just one or two things and while having a family and a spouse can be magical, so can all the other things that are possible as well.

Until next time,

Scarlet

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Do You Suffer From “What’s Next” Syndrome?

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Rhonda Walker takes a look at the Lions secret weapon

Rhonda Walker takes a look at the Lions secret weapon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lions prep young players for tough situations.

The last few week’s have been an absolute whirlwind in the Scarlet world! Thankfully, it’s been a pleasant whirlwind. The phenomenal feature of our work by Rhonda Walker on WDIV TV 4 has created a great deal of buzz for us and we’re thankful to their entire production team and staff.

This exciting buzz has certainly attributed to our next few months, which are filled with exciting opportunities from dinner parties across the country where we’ll be teaching hands on dinner party etiquette to adults in a fun dining setting, to our venture into our 9th state (Kentucky) and even our first international opportunity in London in October. But, before we hop on another plane, before another taxi is hailed or before we hear All Aboard from the conductor once again, we must pause for this most important cause…

There has and always is this other thing that we are ALL constantly dealing with; the issue of “what’s next”? I am an advocate of continuously looking ahead and asking what’s the next move, the next angle or the newest innovative idea to make some substantial change in the lives that we touch and the work that we do. While there is clearly nothing wrong with that mindset, it can be a detriment to your well-being.  I mean, if you’re always wondering what’s next, you’re never truly enjoying the what’s now! You’ll be working, brainstorming, strategizing, sacrificing and grinding all for the benefit of just working strategizing, sacrificing and grinding. Where does the relaxing, traveling, splurging or just being come in to play? When will you just take a mere 24 hours and genuinely be proud of your accomplishments, celebrate just a little, then get back to business?

Try using these 3 tips to ensure that you are celebrating your accomplishments, instead of quickly acknowledging them and whisking off to the next item on your never ending to-do list:

  1. Thank Your Team – Someone likely helped you with this awesome task. Take a moment to genuinely thank them. Can you believe that there are some managers, some team members and some leaders who NEVER thank their teams? A simple thank you is the most genuine and inexpensive way to recognize someone.
  2. Treat Yourself – Treating yourself isn’t always splurging on the newest gadget, the latest handbag or a luxurious trip to an all-inclusive. It can be something simple, like giving yourself permission to just unplug. Chances are, money doesn’t manifest out of thin air for you, so take advantage of small ways to treat yourself that don’t break the bank.
  3. Acknowledgement –  Take a deep breathe, somewhere alone or in a comfortable space and say “I’m proud of _______________________ (whatever your accomplishment is)“. Things are much more real when they are said aloud. You can think something all day long, but when its said, it’s real and even more believable. Acknowledge to yourself that you’ve done this, your proud of it and happy to have done it.

Scarlet Says… if you too suffer from the “what’s next” syndrome, it’s not all bad news. Let’s face it, there are lots of people who live in the now and never in the what’s next, so someone has to do it. But, avoid missing the opportunity to bask in your now. Your ability to celebrate you, your team, your wins and even the painful losses is how you get to your next. While I constantly recommend and advocate that we show good etiquette to others, the ability to show good etiquette to yourself, to be proud of your accomplishments and reflect on them before moving on, is the best recipe for life balance for personal fulfillment and for success.

Until next time…

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-Scarlet

See the full interview with Rhonda Walker and WDIV TV 4 by clicking below:

Lions prep young players for tough situations


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Selfish In Death

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imageI had a phenomenal weekend. My Aunt visited and we decided to take the laid back, not so planned out weekend approach and it was fantastic.

One of the many conversations was around the subject of my mother, Scarlet, or as the world remembers her, Bette. My mother passed away about 3 years ago suddenly and unexpected and consequently, Mother’s Day and birthdays have a bit of a somber undertone. My grandmother (my aunts mother) passed away about 6 years ago after a long battle with a number of illnesses. Although they both left the earth in a very different way, the fact remains that in both instances, someone lost a mother.

So, immediately following my aunt asking about my best girlfriend who had recently lost her mother, she asks me in a concerned tone “so how are you doing”? Considering the situation regarding my moms death, my aunt (and others) tend to periodically check in to see how I’m doing. I responded as I usually always do – “I’m fine”.

But something quite awful happened next. That something was that my aunt said (without being asked a question) “Well, I’m dealing pretty well. I’m not as sad as I initially was.” At that moment, I realize that I had done something pretty selfish.

I failed to ask her how she had been dealing with the passing of her mother. Granted, both of our losses had different circumstances – mine was sudden and hers was over time, but that doesn’t necessarily make the after math any less painful. Also, my mother was substantially younger than her mother (my grandmother), but that factor, while for me was painful, doesn’t negate the fact that at the end of the day we both loss someone.

This same situation happens all the time, especially if the person is older than us. We forget that other people have similar or equally as painful situations as us and that they too are going through something – we all are.

Scarlet Says… in our haste of just living or dealing with our own day-to-day challenges, remember that the world and the people around you aren’t that much different from you. They’re going through similar situations, experiences, challenges, hurdles and pain. Be aware and passionate enough to stop and say, “ok, enough about me, how are YOU doing?”

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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National Etiquette Week: Friday – What Office Etiquette Would You Mandate? #scarletetiquetteweek2015

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Friday: If you could change your workplace by enforcing this one office etiquette practice, what would it be? Share your item on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Until Next Time,

Scarlet

Scarlet


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National Etiquette Week: Thursday: Who Would Get The Scarlet Award? #scarletetiquetteweek2015

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2015-05-14 08.13.13Thursday: If there were a Scarlet Award – an award for someone who exemplifies what it means to be considerate of others, embrace perspectives and has a great sense of style, let us know. This doesn’t need to be the quintessential standard of what “style” normally is. This could be someone who just has their own flare, style or look. Who do you know? Let us know! Post about them on our Facebook wall, by tagging us and them on Twitter or even uploading a photo of them and tagging us on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Until tomorrow

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– Scarlet


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National Etiquette Week – #scarletetiquetteweek2015

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Guess what week it is! It’s National Etiquette Week and Scarlet will not miss this opportunity to get in on the action! You can look out for fun opportunities to engage with Scarlet all week long.

Monday: Kick off your week with positivity and thanks! Write 3 people a hand written thank you note thanking them for something that they’ve done for you. Believe me – they’ll remember and it’ll get you some major relationship building points. We stopped by Michael’s and they have a fantastic sale on thank you cards!

Tuesday: Share your etiquette pet peeves! The only way we can really live, work and play together is if we’re aware of how to best engage with each other. Share these pet peeves on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Wednesday: What’s one etiquette rule that you think should totally go out the door? We embrace modern, real-world etiquette so we’re dying to know your thoughts! Share your items on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Thursday: If there were a Scarlet Award – an award for someone who exemplifies what it means to be considerate of others, embrace perspectives and has a great sense of style, let us know. This doesn’t need to be the quintessential standard of what “style” normally is. This could be someone who just has their own flare, style or look. Who do you know? Let us know! Post about them on our Facebook wall, by tagging us and them on Twitter or even uploading a photo of them and tagging us on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Friday: If you could change your workplace by enforcing this one office etiquette practice. What would it be? Share your item on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

We are super siked about all your upcoming posts this week! If you don’t want to engage online, but you still want to share, simply email us at info@scarletcomm.com.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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So, How’d You Do?

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Photo Courtesy of: Sports Grid

Photo Courtesy of: Sports Grid

Now that one of the biggest sports weekends of the year is over, it’s time to rate yourself! How did you do? Were you in compliance? Well, Scarlet has to throw in her draft pick choices! We’re not talking about the player choices… we’ll leave that up to you! Let’s talk about the draft party pick choices. As you prepare to have people over later this year, or even engage in conversation about who you think will go to which team, consider these few things:

  • Having People Over? : Where will your guests sit? The NFL draft is a lengthy process. Think through where people will sit. Now, this doesn’t have to be a fancy affair where you rent out fancy chivari chairs and such. Some bean bags and folding chairs will likely do.
  • Engaging In Debate: Debates are fine. I mean, who doesn’t get rowled up about a great player coming to their home team?! But, don’t let your passion for the game result in ruining a friendship or two. Debate…in moderation please.
  • Food. Drink. BYOB. : If you’re inviting a few folks over, plan to at least have a few snacks for them to nibble on. Don’t feel indebted to laying out a four course meal, but remember that for many, the draft starts during peak dinner time. You might even consider having guests bring a dish or beverage to keep the party going.
  • Are You An Internet Thug?: Avoid being that human that uses the internet to post, say, share and communicate things that you know you wouldn’t say in real life. Some friendly back and forth banter and maybe even some good old fashioned smack talk is OK, but when you seek to cross the offensive line or make personal jabs about someone, you’ve probably gone too far.
  • Bring Something: If you are lucky enough to be invited over to an NFL Draft Party, bring something…anything. There are always the safe go to’s for this kind of shin dig like: wine, beer, chips, pretzels, dip, salsa, etc! If you know the host(s) well, do go out on a limb and bring something that you know they’d like. Whatever you do, just don’t go empty handed.

Enjoy your many other sports weekends this year!

I’ll see you again soon!

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– Scarlet


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Scarlet In The Middle…Where She At?

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1908365_10106561465178004_8015367759681770425_nI’m wrapping up what was a fantasmal weekend! We had the joy of hosting one of our favorite couples for a few days. We are those people who thoroughly enjoy hosting guests from out-of-town. I’ll admit – we are certified hosting junkies and we love it!

So, of course these last few days have been chock full of outings, spirits, more outings and of course an infusion of our friends co-mingling and meeting our other friends.

Yesterday, we  engaged in what most social people engage in on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in DC – BRUNCH!  After we reluctantly had to cancel our initial brunch plans at Zengo in Chinatown, I was on the hunt for a new location a little later in the day. I was slighty bummed because our experience at Zengo’s was quite magical….

But, enough of Living In The Past. I ended up discovering a lovely restaurant called Central Michel Richard on Pennsylvania Avenue and it too had a magical spread that was appropriate for entertaining both out-of-town and in town guests, so we did just that. Alongside our out-of-town friends, we invited one of our other friends. The four of us arrived before she did so we all grabbed our seats and started the beverage ordering part of the meal. At this point, we were all famished, so the main focus was definitely on the food, but there was another interesting subject that came up in the midst of getting settled in – the subject of who sits where.

Considering my affinity for a good dinner party, I am normally always cognizant of who sits where, why they are sitting there and if they are sitting next to someone who makes sense. In a casual setting such as brunch among my friends, I tend to be a lot more relaxed? But should I? Well, yes I should be more relaxed, but with the awareness that these are all my friends. Key word – my. Everyone here may have met and been acquainted with each other, but they aren’t all friends. The common denominator is me and should be very much kept in mind.

When the comment about who should sit where came up, it wasn’t in an effort to say there was dislike towards someone or a desire to not talk to or connect with other people. It was instead to say, “hey, you are my friend and while I’m here visiting, I’d like to sit with you connect with you more and soak up the little time that I have while we’re together.”

Scarlet Says… We all have the right and need to relax, turn down and not take ourselves so serious. But, keep in mind that when you take on the responsibility of hosting, entertaining or having guests, technically, you are still in a sense, on. Also, keep things in perspective. While it is essential for you to connect and introduce your friends to other people, the connector is still you and there is a bond that you have that is important and should always be considered, even for things as simple as where shall we sit?

Until next time,

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 Scarlet


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I’m Afraid To Live In The Past

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imageI recently began a very deliberate and calculated journey of ensuring that I create meaningful and valuable memories with my father. As he ages, it becomes apparent that a person that once seemed invincible and unaffected as the years flew by, is in fact aging. The deep and dark reality is that he won’t be with us one day. So, in response to this stark reality, I do as I always do when I want to accomplish something – make a plan and get it done.

For the most part, the plan is going just the way that I designed it. Me and my dad spend time together almost every time that I travel back to Detroit and although he talks a lot and is always the life of the party, even when there is no party, it’s been pretty cool.  But, alas, there has been one particular development that has made me stop and rethink my approach.

If you were to spend a few hours with my dad, you’ll likely be entertained with stories and jokes and experiences that are animated, detailed and filled with laughter. Because of this, my friends absolutely love hanging with, talking to and being regaled with tales from my dad.

For me, I’ve heard these same stories like 50 million times. I can likely tell you the stories detail by detail just as he would. So, for me, I don’t get a natural kick out of these stories anymore. Honestly after hearing them so many times, you start to get tired of them. So, me being the forward thinking, evolving person that I “think” I am, I shared this with him one day.

“Dad, why do we have to keep re-living the same stories over and over again? Can we please talk about the present or what you want to do in the future.”

My dad shared with me that he genuinely felt like his best years were behind him and that he was unsure and uncomfortable with what the future might be. I completely disagree with him, as he (and I) can’t predict what the future holds, because as we all know, life has this way of surprising us in unique and astonishing ways.

While my dad has aged, I do feel like he has many years ahead of him and he likely does. But for him, these aren’t intended years ahead of magic, amazing experiences and travel similar to what he recalls and can relate to from the past.

Regardless us of what I think, feel or imagine will happen in the future, fears, apprehensions and hesitations are real. As an entrepreneur, I have them myself – often. But, it’s interesting that in those moments that my dad deals with his by reveling it what has been, my ability to embrace those memories of his is challenging.  Perhaps, I’m just to focused on my master plan.

So, what does this mean? It means that if it is my plan to create great memories with my dad, I have to be willing to embrace and learn about those memories that he holds near and dear to his heart. If it means hearing that same story that I’ve heard a trillion times so be it, because as the lost of my mother a few years ago has taught me, when you can’t hear those old stories anymore, all you want to do is hear those old stories.

Scarlet Says…In our own natural human haste, we rush and sometimes haphazardly skip through life in pursuit of accomplishing our master plans. Without an intentional pause every now and then to ensure that we’re considering others and what our actions and words do to others (and ourselves), it makes the very master plan that we’re pursuing increasingly difficult to obtain.

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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