Tag Archives: Friends

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Are You Accustomed to Customs? – National Etiquette Week – Day 4

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How many times have you been distracted today? Did you just get distracted when the notification for this post appeared? ūüôā

So, since I have you for a moment, consider this question. Have you allowed yourself a few moments to daydream about what you would rather be doing instead of what you feel like you have to do right now?

What would¬†you think about? Getting off work tomorrow? Warmer weather? TAKING A VACATION? ¬†If a vacation is what you’ve been dreaming about, let me stop you right there and prepare you for your next trip.

Traveling can be the most exciting, yet draining activity ever. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation when you get back from vacation? Why is that? Why do you feel so drained after coming back from what was supposed to be relaxation, serenity and peace?

If you really want to take a real vacation and return back to the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life with a recharged life battery, consider some of these vacation life skill approaches that work like a charm for us:

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1 –¬†Slow Down:¬†The older you become, doesn’t it seem like time just flies by super¬†fast. Well, the truth is that time is not going any faster than it was when you were 5, 15 or 25. We are just much more distracted and continuously rushing from one place to the next. During a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I decided to sit and gaze out of the plane window instead of anxiously awaiting for the fasten seat belt sign to turn off, so I could fire up my laptop. Just those 3-4 minutes that I intentionally sat and looked out the window, I captured this¬†wonderful video of the plane climbing¬†above the clouds. There is beauty, peace and tranquility all around us. If you’re looking to take advantage of it, especially as you prepare to take a vacation, just slow down long enough to take it all in.


2 – Pack Smart: Look, I get it; no one wants to get to their vacation destination and realize that the didn’t pack their must have body wash, medication or phone chargers. There are 3 very simple ways to be a smart, efficient and prepared packer:

  • Don’t wait until the last-minute:¬†I probably lost most people on this one. Waiting until the last-minute is the fastest way to start your trip off on the wrong foot. How can you focus on peace and tranquility when you are busy worrying if you packed enough underwear to make it through the trip? Just slowly pack over a week or even a few days to ensure that you have what you need.
  • Limit your space: ¬†The more space you have, the more likely that you will max that space out. In the pictured above, I severely limited my space on two different trips. The backpack was a weekend trip to New Orleans and even included my laptop, a dress to attend a wedding, shoes and other essentials. The bottom right photo is a new product that I’ve been testing out – Smart Cargo cord keeper. I usually have cords all over the place, since the number of electronic devices that I travel with has increased, so I decided to find a “cord keeper” to keep them organized and in one place while I’m in transit. So far, so good with this new product, but I’ll provide you with a formal review over on Jacqueline’s Product Review page soon.
  • Commit:¬†¬†The easiest way to limit yourself and to not over pack is to commit. People are often amazed when I tell them how efficiently I can pack. Packing efficiently requires you to select clothing that you know will work on the trip. It requires thought, planning and some weather checking, but the outcome is not having to pay for checked luggage, not losing your luggage and being¬†nimble, quick and easily moving from the plane to your vacation.

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3 – Try New Stuff:¬†Your favorite restaurant, activity and hobbies are important, but trying something new, especially while you are on vacation is a fantastic idea. On a recent trip, instead of the normal rushy activities that I’m used to engaging in, I decided to sit on a bench on the resort that I was staying at, and look at the pond. To my surprise, there were two beautiful flamingos who lived in that pond, that kept my attention for close to 30 minutes. When you slow down, embrace flexibility and open yourself up to new things, beautiful things just have a way of happening.

4 РRead the Fine Print: Behind missing luggage, there are few things that ruin a trip besides realizing that you did not read your travel information correctly. Read your confirmation details thoroughly, ask questions and double-check your itinerary. Some of the most commonly misread travel document include:

  • Boarding Zone – Are you really in zone F trying to board with Zone A; just wait your turn.
  • Transportation Pick Up – Don’t get left stranded at a foreign airport because you assumed that transportation was included with your travel package.
  • Excursions – Vacation excursions are cool, but they get expensive very quickly. Make sure that you know what’s included and what’s not.
  • Baggage Rules – The days of 1 free carry on and 1 personal items are slowly become extinct. On many airlines, it costs to even carry on. Don’t get to the airport and burn through $100 in baggage check fees because you didn’t read the fine print.

5 – Ask Before You Assume:¬†Have you ever gotten to your plane seat and someone was sitting there? When they see you approach, then they say, “do you mind if I change seats with you”? That order of operations is not correct. They made the assumption that you would be quite alright with the move before they even really asked. Before you assume that someone will be OK with you taking their seats, just ask first.



Girlfriends who travel well together, Los Angeles, CA


6- Set Some Expectations With Friends/Family:¬† As part of National Etiquette Week, yesterdays blog post touched on the importance of thinking through your guest list for a dinner party. It equally, or some would say is more important to think through who you are inviting on a trip with you. While at a first thought, inviting all of your friends on a trips seems like a dynamic idea, but the reality is that everyone does not travel well together. Stop and consider these common problems that people have with traveling with friends they’ve never traveled with before:

  1. Being late for everything
  2. Would rather watch TV in the room, instead of checking out the city or the resort
  3. Wants to only go to mainstream restaurants that they frequent back home
  4. Is cheap and doesn’t want to pay for anything
  5. Stays on the phone with family and friends back home all day

Just because you can’t travel with someone doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend. It means that you’re simply not travel compatible, and that’s OK.

Scarlet Says…traveling can be a fantastic way to relax, recharge and experience new things. Considering the time, financial investment and energy that it takes to travel, its in our best interest¬†to ensure that our¬†plans, companions and activities are carefully considered. Happy Traveling this summer!

Until Next Time,




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Yes, YOU Can Host A Dinner Party Too! – National Etiquette Week – Day 3

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What visual comes to mind when you hear the words dinner party?  Do you think fancy schmansy? Do you visualize infused cocktails and dishes that require directions to eat? Do you envision dressing up in your finest attire?

If you answered yes OR no, you’re wrong AND you’re right!

Scarlet Says, a dinner party is a social occasion at which guests eat dinner together. There is a lot of flexibility in that definition. The bottom line is that a dinner party can be fancy or casual, at a restaurant or at your home, filled with the finest meats and vegetables prepared by a private chef or prepared by you in your own home.

If you are invited to, or plan to have a dinner party, relax – it’s really going to be just fine.

When we decided to host a couple’s dinner party last year, there were some very specific goals that we wanted to achieve. These items can apply to other kinds of dinner party’s, so let me give you the scoop:

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Food:¬†Decide what you’ll serve and the entire serving/display plan behind it.¬†Food is of course a¬†very important component of a dinner party. One of the highest focal points of the party will in fact be dinner, so it’s in your best interest¬†to get this part right. For the couple’s dinner party, we decided to hire a chef. Chef Samaya prepared a delicious 3-course meal and relieved the stress and¬†hassle of preparing the meal myself. It’s important for you to be¬†present at your event. When guests arrive, you#1 Dinner Party-12#1 Dinner Party-38 shouldn’t be still preparing food, cleaning up or getting yourself ready. There are ways that you can cook the meal yourself and still be in hostess mode when your guests arrive. If you go this route, you’ll just need to watch the time and ensure that you keep a to-do list to ensure that you’ll be ready to rock and roll when the first guest arrives. If you want to go the route of cooking all of the food yourself you may want to consider meal or grocery delivery that could assist with the added hassle of a trip to the grocery store. As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, and because I am an avid user of Hello Fresh, you now have access to try out your first¬†Hello Fresh box at a deeply discounted rate. Hello Fresh provides weekly deliveries of farm fresh ingredients and delicious recipes to your doorstep. Visit their website and use the promotional code,¬†Scarlet35,¬†towards your first box.

Beverages:¬†Right up there with your food selection choices lies another event component that requires¬†some intentional thought ‚Äď the bar and¬†beverage choices.¬†Alcohol¬†and food are usually the most expensive¬†elements of any event, so mind these items carefully as it relates to your budget. While a completely open bar is¬†certainly attractive, and will be very¬†welcomed by many of your guests, if you are looking to¬†reduce costs, consider a moist bar, where perhaps there is just beer, wine and non alcoholic beverages. We decided to¬†have wine, a selection of liquor and non alcoholic beverages. For dinner, we served a selection of white and red wines and for desserts on the roof, we served more wine and a selection of dark liquor. Remember that there are¬†many people who choose to not partake in¬†the consumption of alcohol. As a hostess, its¬†important for you to ensure that there are¬†beverage options for everyone.

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The Guest List:¬†The guest list was and always will be a difficult¬†thing for us, especially as it relates to dinner party’s. It was decided to have this dinner party at our home. Our dining room table sits 10 people comfortably, so really the choice was made for us regarding the maximum amount of people. Now, we have well more than 10 friends who are in a relationships, so there still was some narrowing down that had to happen and knowing that we would have future dinner party’s in the near future helped with decision-making as well. We would have invited everyone if we could, but that size dining room table doesn’t exist yet. When deciding your guest list, think about personalities.¬†Now, here‚Äôs the thing (that you may not¬†want to hear, know or be aware of). All of¬†your friends or acquaintances may not be¬†complimentary of each other.

So, this means that you‚Äôll¬†need to give some honest and careful¬†thought to your guest list. You may be¬†thinking, ‚Äúbut they‚Äôre all my friends and¬†I‚Äôm the connecting link, so why wouldn‚Äôt¬†things all go smoothly”. Look, bottom line¬†is, there a ton of different personalities just within your immediate friend group alone. The way that some people approach, respond or react to things may not be something that you want to have to deal with at dinner. Now, odds are your event will very likely¬†(and hopefully) ¬†be a smooth, harmonious and pleasant¬†event, but giving a few moments of thought¬†to who‚Äôs personalities mesh together ¬†(and whose does not) could be the difference between a success or a¬†disaster.

#1 Dinner Party-124The Environment: One of the most enjoyable elements of the event was having desserts on the roof. The formal party of a dinner party, which usually involves sitting down in front of nice dishes, a well set table and being served is all well and good, but if there is an opportunity to break up the formalities, change environments and continue with the fun – do it.

Get Your Guests Involved:¬†If there is a wine aficionado in the group who¬†insist#1 Dinner Party-43s on opening and pouring the wine, let them. If your best girlfriend wants to come early to help you put the final touches on things, let her. I personally take my hosting duties seriously and do 95% of the work myself – but it’s because I enjoy it. But, if you’re going to be run down and tired,¬†and not fully able to enjoy your event because you’ve tried to do everything yourself, consider commissioning assistance or¬†¬†at a minimum,¬†accept¬† the offer when someone¬†wants to help.

Scarlet Says… dinner party’s come in all different shapes and sizes. The next time that you remotely consider having one or maybe just inviting people over, allow your mind to wander a bit into creative and non-traditional¬†possibilities. The most important thing is to plan. Make to-do lists and give yourself enough time to comfortably plan for the event so that when dinner is served, you can sit back and enjoy the occasion just as much as your guests.¬†#1 Dinner Party-24

Until Next Time, 


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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 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 Рthe 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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STRRIIKKEE! Bowling Like A Boss!

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Have you been bowling before? Bowling is a simple, fun activity that people of all ages can engage in. But, I’ll be honest, there is one part of bowling that seemed so foolish and annoying that I used to glare from afar wondering, “what’s the point?”

That thing is the infamous high fivin’ and fist pounding after each player went to roll their bowl down the lane. I mean, let’s just do the numbers here. Each game generally has 10 frames. If you engaged in high fives and fist pounds after each and every player, with just four people playing, you will dish out over 40 hand slaps. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a whole lot of hand slappin’ – much more than I was¬†interested in or excited about engaging in, at least until I did it.

Last Saturday, alongside our good friends who were recently engaged, I went out on a limb and minimized my negative thinking about how foolish and pointless that I thought the act of over engaging in high fives was. And, guess what happened? I had a down right blast! We played 3 games straight and I was all over the high fives and fist bumps AND I even played better than I ever have before. The reality is that high fivin’, not using other people’s balls and avoiding eating near or around the bowling lanes are just the basic etiquette principles of bowling¬†and once I embraced these things and let my guard down, I actually enjoyed the experience.

Scarlet Says… sometimes we spend so much time complaining, whining and trying to voice our concerns about¬†much we don’t like something that we end up missing out on the stuff that we actually just might like. Before you definitively box out the things that you don’t like, give them a try first…you just might be missing out on your new favorite thing.

Until Next Time,



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Excellence Takes No Vacations

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This past weekend, I engaged in a unique opportunity to be the guest speaker at a vision board party that my good friend hosted. My role was to discuss how utilizing etiquette and protocol would help transform your board from a vision to reality.

I was honored to be asked and enjoyed it immensely, but I found myself slightly more nervous than normal. There is always some level of anxiety that I experience before presenting, but this feeling was different.

It was the nervous feeling of presenting in front of my peers. Up until this point in my life, most of my presentations were given to clients that do not mingle or cross into my current social or friend circles. But this past weekend, I crossed that line…and I’m glad I did.

Although there was some nervous energy, one thing’s for sure, I did think through and plan for this presentation and did so with the same care that I would for a paying client.

Can you think of a time when you asked a friend to do something important for you and they did, but not at the level or excellence that you expected?

It happens, a lot. We often expect our friends to be more understanding, lenient and patient with us, which is somewhat understanding. But, if something is asked of you, especially from someone you call a friend, why not complete it with excellence? Of course, you can’t give away all of your treasures for free, but if you agree to do something that you are revered, recognized, branded or deemed an expert at doing, it would be most advantageous for you to do it with excellence. Consider that the very people watching this presentation could be your potential paying clients in the future.

Scarlet Says… in all you do, do it with excellence! If you can’t fathom committing to performing with excellence, then Scarlet recommends that you consider declining the request.

Until next time,


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How “Doing You” Can Do You In

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Do YouThe holidays have surely been a fantastic time to get in touch and reconnect with friends.

This past weekend, I had a fantastic time catching up with girlfriends in my home town of Detroit. During our girls time catch up, we always engage in a series of serious questions surrounding annual reflection and our outlook and plans for the year ahead.

One of the resounding messages that I heard within our group was that people were going to focus on doing what makes them happy and not focusing too much on conforming to what people think they should be doing, how they should be looking or spending their time.

These types of messages and plans make me elated, because¬†it’s important for you to be happy with yourself and to be the master of your own journey.

But, I started thinking about how this “do me” mentality can be self imploding if it’s not managed well. The reality of this “do me” mentality is that if you take it too far, you will quickly alienate the same people who you need in order to do whatever it is that you want to do.

Doing you shouldn’t mean forgetting about everybody else and their feelings, desires and wants.¬† We don’t occupy¬†earth alone, so at least being aware of and understanding that you, and you alone are not the only person to be concerned with is essential to personal growth and progress.

Imagine that your “do you” is starting a business, networking more, being more health conscious, obtaining a raise, traveling, starting a family or even spending time alone. Either directly or indirectly, these things require other people. Consider how much easier accomplishing your tasks would be if you had people to back you up and help you, simply because you considered them, their feelings and their goals.

Scarlet Says…whatever it is that you’re in pursuit of in the days, weeks, months and years to come, by all means do it! You deserve to be happy, accomplished and successful, but so does everyone else!

Dedicated to the F.I.E.S.T.A.S.

Until next time,


Scarlet Signature



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Just Go With The Flow

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of reuniting with my best of friends. While I really enjoyed myself, I came to a very unpleasant reality. I mean, it really isn’t that unpleasant, but considering how most of us think that time spent with others requires a production with mapped out plans and details, it’s just more of a reality check.

I am a certified hostess. I claim it. I own it. I love it. This simply means that I enjoy having people over my home or at my event, ensuring that they’re having a great time and that it’s comfortable and entertaining. This hostess “mentality” transfers to many other parts of my life as well. I genuinely like for people to have a good time and usually, I feel like there should be a timeline or some kind of plan. Now, some of this thinking stems from my past life as a wedding planner, which I’m very grateful for.

But, I came to a harsh reality this past weekend. The reality that, if you’re with the people you love and care about, you probably don’t need an agenda.

Let’s be clear here. I have not been redeemed from making plans, timelines and engaging in my normal hostess-type behaviors. I have, on the other hand, discovered the joy of going with the flow.

Scarlet Says…Over the next few weeks as you connect and reconnect with the people you love and care about, try going with the flow just a little bit. You just might like it…

– Dedicated to Brandi, Maria & Vanessa



Until next time,


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Are You Carrying Unknown Contagions?

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A few short weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a friend’s birthday party in Michigan. It was quite the end of summer soiree. There’s nothing quite like attending a well planned, well attended event where you can connect with a few folks that you haven’t seen in a while, and of course spend a few moments with the birthday girl! Although the party was truly slammin’, there was another memorable part of the day. It was the moments leading up to the party that I very much cherish.

As I pulled up to the party, a car with two young men pulled up two parking spots over. It wasn’t until several minutes later that I realized that these were actually two of my close friends.

I was excited to see them, so I called them over. They were equally excited to see me at first, and then I saw this shadow of doubt overcome one of them. One friend said to the other quietly, “wait, she (in reference to me) is here…we have to go and get a birthday card now”…

So, after chuckling to myself for a moment, I overheard them searching for the nearest store that sold greeting cards.

I am very aware that sometimes the presence of Scarlet, the etiquette lady, makes people uncomfortable, so I am never overbearing or pushy about protocol, especially in social settings.

What I must say is that it is refreshing that the work that we do at Scarlet Communications has become organically infectious. I never want to or plan to be a party pooper, but at this rate we’ll continue changing lives and positively infecting others with the greatness of etiquette and protocol organically.

Scarlet Says…the vibes and messages that you are putting into the universe matter. How could you be  unconsciously rubbing off on or affecting others? Mind your vibes this week!

Until Next Time,

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