Tag Archives: Scarlet

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Hey! Dinner Party Over Here!

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This is the look of an excited dinner party hostess! In t-minus 3 days, I’ll host a wonderful dinner party for 10 and kick off a partnership with Hello Fresh! I’m not sharing just to share…I’d like you to consider coming to a dinner party in the future. Interested in attending a fun, engaging, swanky dinner party filled with great food (of course), delicious beverages and good company? Let me know by joining the guest list. We’ll let you know when a dinner party is headed to your area, so we can add you to a guest list in the future! SIGN UP HERE!

As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, and because I am an avid user of Hello Fresh, you have an opportunity RIGHT NOW 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. 

Happy Eating and feel free to share with a friend or two!

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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I’ll Support You… If I Can Get A Discount

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SLP-280Who pays the full price for anything anymore?

Let’s face it…we are all trying to find a way to stay within our budgets, exceed goals and advance to what’s next, all with a particular (usually limited) amount of resources, right? So, trying to cut corners and take advantage of discounts, deals or promotions is pretty wise. But, when does this taking advantage approach turn into down right negligence?

It turns into this when you start trying to get over, get on or get the hook up at the expense of your friends and family and their goals.  For example, think about your friends who are small business owners. Do they provide a product or service or manage a place that you frequent? Is your first question every single time you stop by their establishment, “can I get a discount on this” or “come on, I know you can do something”?

You absolutely should try to stretch your dollar and make it go as far as it can, but I’m suggesting that you genuinely and whole heartedly support people – especially friends and family – without always peaking through the lens of “what’s in this for me“?

Supporting someone does not always have to come in the form of a monetary exchange. There are surely other ways to show your appreciation and support of someone, including:

  • Sending someone an article that has content that they would interested in
  • Passing along a discount that you can’t use but perhaps they could
  • Calling (actually picking up the phone and dialing numbers – not texting) someone just to say hello
  • At work, let a colleagues’ superior know they do an outstanding job
  • Encourage someone to try something you know they want to try, but haven’t yet because they’re scared, and offer to try it with them

Scarlet Says…no one wants to feel like their relationship with someone is solely based on their ability to provide a “hook up”. Take the time – when you are not in need – to show the people around you that you are grateful for them, so when you actually do need something, making the ask will be appropriate and not awkward.

As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, I’d like to pay it forward to you. You now have an opportunity 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 and is a dinner party partner to Scarlet. Visit their website and use the promotional code, Scarlet35, towards your first box. Consider this our way of paying it forward! Happy Eating!

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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How To Entertain Like a Boss! National Etiquette Week – Day 5

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The E-Word – entertain, can really rattle some people. If you are used to being the guest versus being the host(ess), even considering entertaining family and friends may shake you up a bit. Contrarily, if you are the master host who regularly has family and friends over, today’s post will merely be a refresher, with perhaps a few new nuggets that you can use at your next event.

So, how is it done? How do you position and prepare yourself to host your own event? While being a seasoned, experienced and efficient event host takes a while to master, you can certainly pull off a dynamic event by following some key elements:

Mind Your Guest List

Your guest list just as important as the event itself. Unless you are in to planning and solely attending your own events, you’ll need some guests to make the event complete. Now, here’s the thing, which we mentioned in Wednesday’s blog post – Yes, YOU can host a dinner party too, all of your friends or acquaintances may not be complimentary of each other. So, this means that you’ll need to give some honest and careful thought to your guest list.  Complimentary personalities does not mean that everyone must be a parent, attended an Ivy League School or work in government. This just means that you will have to ask yourself some simple, yet effective questions in determining who is best to attend THIS particular event.

Questions like:

  • What is the maximum number of people my venue can hold?
  • Is there a theme for this event? Is my guest list representative of people that I would enjoy being around and would they embrace this theme?
  • Does my guest list consist of people who will only talk about themselves or are they open to collective discussions?
  • Is my guest list filled with people who have picky personalities that would pick this event apart piece by piece and make my night a challenge?

Now, you certainly don’t want to alienate your potential guests solely because they are picky or have certain expectations, but you do have to ensure that your event goes the way that you planned it. In a perfect world, you’d be able to invite any and everyone, but if you really want to have a successful, enjoyable and peaceful evening, do give some thought to who’s on the list!

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You Are The Event Host. Embrace It!

The bottom line is that you are the ringer leader, the front runner, the pioneer, the champion and the torch bearer for the event. People will likely accept an invitation to an event in large part because YOU invited them. While there may be good food planned, perhaps an expectation of great music and maybe event a hosted bar, many people would forego all of those things if the host left little to be desired personally. This is why you have to own this thing. This is your name, your vision, your personal brand out here, so invest some thinking and some planning into this!

Before your first guest knocks at your front door, rings your doorbell or sends that text that says, “I’m here”, you should already be in “host mode”. Host Mode (or as I referred to it in my wedding planning days, GO MODE) is when the imaginary director in your head says, ACTION. It is when you turn on your gracious ability to ensure guests are comfortable,  snacks are being snacked on, libations are being poured and people are generally having a good time. Mentally switching to host mode ensures that you will be fully ready to engage with your guests instead of finishing up last minute things in preparation for their arrival.

As you think through your event and what’s going to happen, you’ll also have to make some decisions on what you’re not going to do that may conflict with your regularly scheduled life. For example, perhaps you are a huge fan of Game of Thrones (as many people are), but subjecting your guests to watch it just because the season finale is on and it happens to fall on the same day as your dinner party isn’t the best move. Now, if everyone that you invited is a huge Game of Thrones fan, perhaps its not that big of a deal, but if it will detract from the focus of the event or bore half of the crowd, perhaps its best to just save it for you to watch another day.

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What’s On The Menu?

Whether you decide to go the cheese and crackers route or spring for sushi and an array of the finest cured meats, it is in your best interest to give some intentional thought to your menu selection. The menu selection starts with one fundamentally important component for all events, the five words that most of us dread hearing or considering – HOW MUCH IS YOUR BUDGET?  Being honest, up front and accountable to your budget will make your event experience a positively memorable one. There’s nothing worse than wrapping up what you thought was a fantastic event, only to realize that you spent 200% of what you thought you were going to spend.

As you move towards actually selecting your food items, make sure that the items themselves are complimentary toward any activities that you have planned. Have you ever had a delicious meal and ended up feeling immobile for the remainder of the day? Do you want to have a philosophical conversation after the food is served? Are you planning to have open dancing? If your food selection has consisted of an array of comfort food like, mashed potatoes, short ribs, greens and cornbread, chances are your guests are going to be completely wiped out and very much uninterested in rigorous activities. When choosing your menu, be sure to keep your overall goals in mind.

Additionally, allergies are no longer a uniquely rare thing that just a few people have. About 1:5 people have some level of an allergic reaction to food. This means that if you took a quick poll of your immediate friend circle, at least one of those people will have a food allergy. Chances are, at least one of the people that you plan to invite to your event has a food allergy, so you may want to have multiple options to choose from, or if your guest list is small enough, take a poll to see what you’ll include and what’s left off the menu.

When guests arrive, you 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 decide to go the route of cooking all of the food yourself as opposed to hiring a caterer, 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 an opportunity 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. 

Ok…now back to the list…

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How Wet Is Your Bar?

Right up there with your food selection choice lies another event component that requires some intentional thought – the bar and beverage choices. Generally speaking, your beverage choices are:

Wet Bar: consists of complimentary alcohol beverages during the event. (also referred to as an Open Bar)

Dry Bar: is completely void of alcohol or in some cases, alcoholic drinks that you can purchase.

Moist Bar: may consist of complimentary beer and wine and in some cases alcohol is available for purchase. Your decision to serve (or not serve) alcohol at your event is completely yours, but if you decide to, consult your budget first. Alcohol and food are usually the most expensive elements of any event. While an open bar is certainly attractive and will be very welcomed by your guest, if you are looking to reduce costs, consider a moist bar.

Also consider that, there are many people who do not consume alcohol or consume it, but are at a particular point in their life where they can’t consume right now, like pregnant women or people who are on specific medications. Of course you can have carbonated beverages, juice tea and coffee on- hand, but you could also take it one step further and have non alcoholic cocktails.

Scarlet Says…at some point in your life you just might get an urge to switch roles from guest to event host, and when you do Scarlet wants you to make sure that you are cool, calm, collective and pleased with the event outcome. Give yourself sufficient planning time, use these tips to your advantage and most importantly take time for you to actually enjoy the event yourself. Happy Planning!

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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The Well Dressed Man – National Etiquette Week

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Mr. Aaron W. Jackson – Scarlet Instructor

On this very first day of National Etiquette Week 2016, what better way to kick off than by highlighting the well-dressed man? We are continually thankful for the male leadership that we have at Scarlet Communications, and also very thankful that they dress so exquisitely.

About a week  or so ago, my older cousin attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Either he was trying to taunt me (since I wasn’t going) or he really needed and wanted my input about his attire. Since we’re pretty much siblings, I’m gonna say that it was a mix of both.

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Mr. Justin Kimpson    –  Scarlet Instructor

We exchanged a number of texts back and forth about attire choices, which are minimal compared to what women have, especially for a Black Tie Event. Time and time again, we kept arriving back at a classic black tuxedo with a traditional black bow tie  and a vest. For some reason, this situation  stuck with me. I kept thinking about the fashion disparity among genders, and decided to dig in to see how disadvantaged men really were in the formal attire category.

After a bit of research, I’m still convinced that women have a lot more options, but men definitely have a great pool of options to choose from. From switching up the collars and cuffs to ensuring the detail of the cufflinks is considered, men have more options than you’d think. The question is, are these options known and more importantly, are men taking advantage?

From choices in suspenders, to bow ties,  to of course the fit itself, men really do have plenty to consider. From white tie to black tie optional, to pocket square choices to lapel options, there are tons of clothing options and accessories to compliment a man’s personal style.

Scarlet Says...  While women may seemingly have more attire options when it comes to formal wear, it isn’t the quantity of the items that should be considered, but instead the attention to detail of the items selected. There is certainly something magical about the simple, uncomplicated and effortless attire of a well-dressed man.

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet

 


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I Bet You Think This Weekends About You

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Hosting out-of-town guests can be exciting, but sometimes equally as anxiety inducing. So, it’s no surprise to me that this past weekend while hosting my dad and aunt, there was a bit of a mix of both emotions as I worked through what types of activities would ensue.

Both my aunt and my dad have visited me in the past, so it wasn’t a complete guessing game about what types of things they wanted to do, but yet, I still should have asked.

When people are way from home, it is my belief that making them feel as comfortable as possible will result in everyone’s experience being enjoyable, relaxing and filled with positive memories.So, I did just that. I also took the liberty of scheduling some things that I knew they would enjoy, including a game night, a few jazz related activities, plenty of food outings and even a surprise drop in visit from other family visiting the area over the weekend.

Now, for me, this amount of weekend activities seemed pretty appropriate. But, I quickly learned that for my dad and aunt, it was a bit too much. I am very much used to a weekend filled with hustle, bustle and more hustle. It’s common for me to fit in 100 million things into a weekend trip somewhere, but that’s just me. My aunt and dad were more than happy with one day time outing and a delicious meal of some sort every day. So, during one of the completely overfilled days, one of them said, “maybe we can just go back home after this”.

And then it clicked…

Scarlet Says… Just like the evolution, growth and change of almost everything else in our lives, even the Golden Rule itself has advanced. Let’s make it a point to embrace not doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, but instead, treating others how they want to be treated. The next time you host someone at your home or are entertaining out-of-town guests, just ask them, “what would you like to do with your time here”, then take it from there!

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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LOVE… is in the air

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b22e34ea-2d85-4c80-b248-f3a817217203What is it that you definitively LOVE? Is it traveling, shopping, cooking, your mate, FOOTBALL? If it’s football, today is definitely your day, since the NFL Draft kicks off this evening.
Speaking of football…while I was quickly shuffling from one plane to the next over the weekend, I saw a gentleman with this shirt on. Now, while I have my fair share of football knowledge and for the 5th straight year, Scarlet will be providing the Detroit Lions Rookies multi day etiquette training, I do not attest to being a football fanatic. So my first reaction to this shirt was an eye roll (in my mind).
Of course, I was walking alongside my husband who thought that the shirt was the absolutely best thing he had seen this year.
We are a household who listens to sports talk radio pretty much every day, even when the sport of choice (football) isn’t in season. So as you can imagine, we’re almost always on sports overload during every season of the year.
Now, let’s be clear. I knew EXACTLY what I was signing up for when marrying a sports aficionado a few years ago, so I keep most of my griping to myself. More importantly, when an eye roll starts to try to make an appearance, I remind myself that my husband isn’t the only one who has some borderline obsessive behavior, as it relates to thing things he enjoys doing. My love for cheese, deep house music and all things etiquette can sometimes border on obsessive as well. Despite this, I can say that there is a continual purposeful attempt to not over expose (or annoy) each other with our own individual likes, loves and obsessions. (READ MORE)...

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It’s The End of March – Are You Mad?

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I hate to break the news to you, but we’ve already seen 1/4th of this year pass us by! It is the absolutely last day of March and some of you may be wondering, when am I going to find the time to do all of those amazing things that I had on my list of resolutions?!?!

Well, just like we recycle and remix music, past fashion trends, movies and TV shows, we have the pleasure of doing the same thing as it relates to our personal growth and goals.

In January, we placed a strong focus on Goal Setting and in February, we followed it up with Staying Focused. If you’ve found yourself struggling to determine where your time went, what you’ve truly accomplished this year or what your next steps should be, don’t look too far or too hard because the help that you need is just a few lines up highlighted in blue and conveniently underlined.

We spend so much time trying to figure things out or work on ourselves that often times, the answers are right in front of us. If you are trying to focus on professional development for yourself, you have an arsenal of information at your fingertips via the internet. You probably also have a slew of books on your book shelf that you’ve been meaning to visit (or revisit) at some point in your life. You also likely have a network of friends, family acquaintances who are skilled in something that you want to be proficient in…(READ MORE)


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When Customer Service Goes… Good?

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About 4 years ago, we were in the market for a travel agent to assist with planning our wedding in Mexico. Although I’ve had a significant amount of experience in wedding planning, doing so internationally wasn’t quite my thing, so I knew that I needed an experienced travel agent. With all of the do it yourself options online nowadays, coming across an experienced and dedicated travel agent seemed almost impossible.

I recall that some dear friends of ours, the now married coupled, Mack and Linda Ornsby Hendricks, had just hosted a beautiful wedding in Costa Rica, so I reached out to see if they had used anyone to assist, and luckily they did. Now, at a first pass, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Brenda has an email address that ends in comcast.net, which always makes me a bit eerie. I always expect that in business, a company or person should have a non-public domain name, but I digress. I pushed that piece of information to the side and took the recommendation at face value and reached out to her and I’m so happy that I did.

This is where the, now 4 year relationship, with our travel agent began. Mack and Linda referred us to a woman named Brenda Stock, who has been our consistent, reliable and dedicated travel agent since we’ve met her. While I take recommendations from my friends seriously, Brenda has surpassed the recommendation and went above and beyond proving that she is a highly qualified resource. She has even planned trips for my friends and family because of our recommendations. I was recently doing a brief tally in my head of how many trips she has planned for us or from a recommendation from us and that number is quite impressive.

But why? What has made Brenda’s service so outstanding and even caused me to push some usually, baseline business basics to the side. It really boils down to 4 things:

  • Consistence
  • Responsiveness
  • Professionalism
  • Industry Knowledge

Over the past 4 years, every encounter with Brenda has had the 4 components above. Unlike many professionals, who get used to your business, then begin to be a bit more lax in their responsiveness or professionalism, this is not the case for Brenda. The even more ironic and partially amazing things about this business relationship is that I’ve never physically met Brenda before; all of our encounters have been either via phone or email, which is completely against how I prefer to do business. Brenda gives her perspective of industry specifics and recommendations and she consistently meets or exceeds our expectations. In an industry where most people take to the Internet to “self serve” their travel needs, it’s nice to have a reliable professional who consistently exceeds expectations and does so with professionalism, industry knowledge and impeccable response time.

Scarlet Says… Customer Service has one key word that should be kept in mind – “customer”. The success or demise of a business is strongly indicative of how the customer is treated. If you want your business to succeed and thrive, take special care in how you treat your biggest asset – your customer.

Until next time,

SC
Scarlet 

Want to learn more about Customer Service Etiquette and how it can enhance your organization, just click HERE!


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Being Focused Can Save Your Life!

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CelebrationWhat is it that you really want to do? Where do you want to really spend your time?
Although most of us spend a substantial amount of time working hard – really hard, it’s not where we want to spend all of our time.
Most of us want to spend the majority of our time enjoying friends and family, relaxing, taking vacations or participating in our favorite hobbies, activities and celebrations. Most of us do not want to spend every waking hour working our lives away. But, unfortunately, many of us do. We spend more time in our offices or with our co-workers and colleagues than we do on the things that we value the most.
So, how does this happen? It happens because we often lack focus.
Think about what you’ve done just today. READ MORE…

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HAVING A GOAL OVERLOAD?

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Doesn’t it seem like time just comes and goes so quickly? I mean – we all just welcomed the new year of 2016 and we’ve also welcomed and will soon say good bye to the month of January. With all of life’s commitments, it may leave you wondering, where does all of your time go and when will you really be able to find the time to complete all of the goals that you’ve set for yourself this year? (READ MORE)…


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