Not In Jersey: Secrets to Southern Charm Secrets to Southern Charm - Not In Jersey

Secrets to Southern Charm

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hi all, today I have a special treat – a guest post from an amazing blogger – Kalyn from Love.Laughter.Happily Ever After. I just love that blog name! Not only that, but Kalyn is a super sweet girl from Alabama and she has an awesome post to share on secrets to southern charm! Enjoy!

Hello everyone! I am Kalyn and I blog over at Love.Laughter.Happily Ever After. I journal all my OCD and ADHD rambling thoughts of faith, amateur photography, completing my degree, the joys of having a Pinterest obsession on a Dollar Tree budget, and a little here and there about being a new wife. I am so thankful for this opportunity to guest post today for Dara! I am so thankful to have met her in this big ‘ole blog world. I am especially thankful that she has allowed me to share a few secrets with you all today about southern charm.

I am a southern belle and absolutely love having roots in the Deep South. Being born in the bayou of Louisiana and raised in a small paper mill town on the Alabama-Mississippi state line has taught me the ins and outs of southern charm. As you may probably already know, southerners are known for having grace and charm during the best and worse of circumstances. We keep calm drink the sweetest of tea, and drawl out all our words. Honestly, some of the more important southern traits I have learned have been my saving grace many a times! In today’s culture, mastering this art of charm, grace, and poise is easier than ever.

Today I am excited to share a little of my world with you! I recently read an article in Southern Living and thought it would be fun to share a bits and pieces to such awesome readers. From party etiquette, hometown hospitality, personal fashion attire, social status, and proper manners, I have 15 tips and tricks of the trade to share with you!

Charm them with your party etiquette!
  • Learn to master the 60-second centerpiece. Grab varying sizes of water goblets from your china cabinet (Heck, mason jars will even work!). Fill them with small flower petals of choice. Then, add a small tea light candle to the top. Additionally, you can do this without water. Instead, flip the glass over and put the candle of the top if the glass stem.
  • Return an empty dish with something delicious inside. If someone brings you a covered dish for whatever the reason, return it with dinner inside! Should you take a covered dish to the next church potluck, ensure the return of your dish by writing your name on the bottom with nail polish. Believe it or not, nail polish will withstand a zillion washes whereas tape or sharpie marked eventually wears away.
Charm them with your gracious home!
  • Monograms, we all love them! Monograms are one of those timeless pieces that are used and passed down through the years. Of course we southern folks like to monogram everything. From barware, kitchen and bathroom towels, bedding, totes, jewelry, and paper goods- you can bet we stamp it with pride showcasing scripted initials.
    • When it comes to towels, the monogram should always be first, last, middle when representing the user (male or female). When it comes to universal pieces for family utilization, one letter script is always more productive for travel and ballpark usage. When it comes to bedding or kitchen linens, defer and use the initials of the lady in the house (first, married, maiden).
    • Pin it! No, not Pinterest, which I am sure was your initial thought. :) Personalize your jewelry or clothing pieces with a removable gold monogram brooch for a chic, polished finish to your daily outfit.
  • Make house guests feel at home. We all know there is no place like home! Before the arrival of guests, scope out the bedroom and bathroom and make sure they have everything that you think you would need should you be away from home and not in your comfort zone. This will help you prepare to for your guests anticipated needs. Candles, magazines, and extra closet space are wonderful additions to guest room while additional q-tips, cotton balls, and towels help ensure their morning routine goes smoothly.

Charm them with your fashionable style!
  • Look  fresh faced even when you aren't. If a late night has you wilted and tired, try the $2 fresh faced masks from Wal-mart or Target in the cosmetic section to ensure your beauty outshines those dark under eye circles. I cannot tell you how often I run to these products when I need a little bit of a "face lift" in light of minimal sleep.
  • Pearls Galore! Every southern woman should have a classic single strand of pearls. You can never go wrong with the simple look or the statement pearl necklace with multiple strands. 
  • Arm your handbag for emergencies. My husband always makes fun of me for carrying a "bag" instead of a purse. However, when in doubt I always have him taken care of in advance when it comes to band-aids, fingernail clippers, wet wipes or Kleenex. Equip your purse (or "bag") with these multitaskers (most can be found in the travel section of any Wal-Mart, Target, or drugstore).
    • Also, throw in clear nail polish, bobby pins, small travel size hair spray, and black mascara. The nail polish will shine dull nails, stop panty hose runs, and tighten screws on glasses. The bobby pin has triple effect to hold back fly-aways, thread a loose drawstring, and clip loose papers. The hair spray will tame fly-aways as well as remove ink or lipstick stains. The black mascara will make your eyes pop and hide shoe scuff marks. Did you know all of these awesome little products double in use?
  • "Fashionably Late" no longer makes you look important. It makes you look like you do not have your crap together. Being 5 minutes late to an event is considered rude, yet okay. This does not mean arriving to a party 20 minutes after it has started is okay. Should you plan in advance, you should never be late. However, life does happen and there is no way to plan for the unexpected. The occasional wreck or traffic jam could hold you up longer than intended. Always, always leave early and be prompt.

Charm them with your social graces!
  • Always, always have something nice to say. My mother used to tell me "Kalyn, if you do not have something nice to say, do not say anything at all!" I have stuck by this saying my entire life and will continue to do so. However, I truly believe that there is always something that can be said without acting fake or lying to someone. If you are in public and get the a negative idea in your mind about other turn it around into something positive. No one likes a Negative Nelly when you can at least attempt being Positive like Polly. :) We all know that women can be catty so to ensure that gossip is not stirred or words are not put into your mouth consider these little advice tips if you are not sure that you can hold your tongue. #sarcasmnotintended
    • If you are thinking "She is so self-centered," say "She's deeply in touch with her emotions."
    • If you are thinking, "I can' believe that is her FOURTH marriage," say "She optimistic about marriage."
    • If you are thinking, "He is such a know-it-all," say "He should totally be on Jeopardy!"
    • If you are thinking, "He sure has put on a few lbs," say "He is such a well rounded man."
    • If you are thinking, "Gosh, she is SO loud!" say "She would be a great actress because she can really project in a small group."
  • With introductions, keep the focus on the person. This is something that I recently have picked up on, as I am doing more introductions of others or am meeting new people. Also, being a new wife I am sure to introduce my husband more often than others. It is of the utmost respect to introduce the person before their title, no matter what the title represents.
    • Example: "This is Ashley, my friend from work." NOT "This is my friend from work, Ashley."
  • Follow the 3x Rule. Outside of the South many things are different. Not all people speak, drink sweet tea, and say y'all. Specifically, elsewhere doors may be held for folks only 10 feet away from the entrance. In the south, we increase that common courtesy by 3Xs. Meaning, you should hold the door for anyone within 30 feet of the entrance.
  • Say Goodbye to Gossip. This totally goes back to my point above about "If you can't say something nice, do not say anything at all." Instead of whispering through the grapevine about something that you overheard from another, do not be tempted to share the news firsthand. In order to establish a good foundation with friends, if someone tries to start gossip abruptly change the subject, be direct with who you are talking to (not who are you talking about), and use humor to share that your flaws are no better or worse than another's flaws.
  • Every Southerner Should Have a Thank You Note Station. Yep, I said it. I am still one of those women who enjoy sending and receiving snail mail. Thank you notes are essential when it comes to receiving a gift, no matter how big or small in size or price the item may be. Thank you notes are classic, traditional, common courtesy that extend one step further your appreciate of their time, thought, and money spent.

Charm them with your modern manners!
  • Please do us all a favor and put away your phone. By now, the majority of us have an iPhone so there is no need is showing off (unless you have a super cute monogram case!). At your next get-together consider starting the event with a "call waiting station" by the front door for guests to stash their phones. It is an easy way to encourage company to focus on those around them instead of checking emails or Twitter updates.
  • Maintain a little mystery. I know we bloggers like to share, share, share. When it comes to southern social graces it is always important to keep things at a minimum with everything- words, fashion, and photos! Simplicity is always better and goes a lot farther. When it comes to social media, there are numerous ways to stay connected while not always sharing everything.
    • Adhere to the 140 character rule no matter the social media site. The maximum length of a Twitter post is also a great template to keep in mind when posting on Facebook, Google+, or Instagram. Any longer, girl go write a blog post on that topic!
    • Personal pictures are fine but remember to capture (and post) about the world and those around you. These are the people and places that make the roller coaster of life so worthwhile. Selfies get lost at sea, y'all. #letsbehonest Followers are interested in what you are doing and where. Followers are not interested in 84356 pictures of your beyond gorgeous face taken within an arm's distance.
    • Award silence. It is something that is typically inevitable. Avoid awkward silence at a social event by knowing what to ask without sounding like a Facebook stalker or freshman in college.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read today, friends! I have enjoyed writing about my small town USA life with you. I hope you will visit my little corner of blogsphere to say hello. I love meeting new bloggers, making new friends, and finding awesome blogs to read!

As always, until next time- Happy Blogging! 

Thanks again Kalyn!! Leave her some love and don’t forget to visit her blog!