Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Skis or Not?

Tips Down the Hill - Colorado!
It was the perfect day of skiing - blue skies, no wind, no lines. Sounds like a perfect day - right? But not before JHW found he had left the car key in the ignition all night and the battery was very dead. 

We had to call "Jeff" the only garage/gas station guy in this little town to come up and give our car a jump start. (will make front page of tomorrow's paper in this small town)
Then ... we finally get almost to the lift to find JHW's boots had busted wide open. (See third photo) Next, he had to be fitted for new boots, which meant new skis for him too. He is a "tips down the hill skier" and NEVER falls. With this new stuff - he fell three times today. Not fun getting up and putting yourself back together again.

But, with his new shiny boots and skis, it made me start thinking, maybe I want new boots and skis too! I have had my boots and skis since my early twenties. Ohmygoodness - lots has changed since then - I have managed to keep my cell phone # and my ski equipment (two of the few things consistent in my life:) 

As for skiing - I am in control, tips down the hill (wahoo!) with my old stuff. Apparently my boots and skis are now vintage (I think they're cute) and can't be rented or bought anywhere. Very old - how distressing!  

So, here's the question...I can see people in the ski line pointing and snickering at my ohso old ski equipment. Should I attempt to change and learn with new improved skis and boots, or should I keep ignoring the snickers of others and keep my old, but easy and comfortable boots and skis?    


Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the Season for Socializing-Part Two

Etiquette Tips for Christmas Parties - The Socializing Season (Part Two)
In my last post I gave you five basic tips for success when invited and attending a party. Here are five more tips to help you feel polished for your next party.

  •  RSVP/ASAP—Always respond within a few days of receiving an invitation. The host/hostess needs to know how many people will attend in order to plan the party. And never say ... "I am calling to RSVP" - say, "I am calling to respond to the invitation to your party."
  • Please keep your cell phone on manner mode at holiday parties.  It is not impressive to “cell yell” over the crowd. If you must talk on your phone—go somewhere private.
  • Maintain a balanced conversation. Refrain from boring “business talk” or too much “kid talk.”
  • Prioritize socializing at holiday parties, instead of just eating and drinking.
  • Attempt to send a thank-you note for gifts within the first week if possible. However, thank-you notes are always better late than never! 
Party on!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tis the Season for Socializing!

Etiquette Tips for Christmas Parties - The Socializing Season
The following tips are basic but easy to overlook. 
Remember to adhere to these tips both personally and professionally during the holiday season. 
1. Always err on the side of being conservative, especially when it comes to: a. Drinking b. Dressing c. Gift-giving  Being excessive and extreme with any of these can cause you
much embarrassment.

2. You must attend your company Christmas party. This is a “must
attend” event and can be a career-killer if you decide not to
go—this shows disrespect for your company, supervisors, and

3. Thank the host/hostess for the party by: a. Bringing a gift to the host/hostess to  show
 your appreciation.
b. Thanking the host/hostess before you leave
 the party.
c. Sending a thank-you note afterwards.

4. Give gifts that honor the recipients. Know their taste and always
give a well-thought-out gift.

5. When uncertain, call to confirm the proper “holiday attire.” This
term can have various meanings to different people. It could
mean anything from a sweater to holiday sequins.  

Five tips today and five more to follow...
Merry Christmas - 10 more days ...

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perfect Houseguest

Houseguest Etiquette

Be the perfect houseguest and you will surely be invited back again.

  • Always take a well-thought-out gift and present it upon arrival to show your appreciation. Such thoughtfulness makes a great first impression! 
  • Do not eat, drink, or use anything without asking first. 
  • Find out immediately where your host wants you to park your vehicle during the daytime and overnight. 
  • Never invite a guest or take a pet without discussing with your host or hostess. Your host may not love Fi-Fi or Benji as much as you do! 
  • Refrain from smoking in someone else’s home. Always ask for an acceptable place you can smoke. 
  • Do not expect to be waited on or served. Always offer to help with the household duties. For example, be sure to make your bed each day, keep the bathroom and other areas you use clean, and ask what to do with used towels and laundry. 
  • Offer to buy groceries and/or pay for an evening out when you have an extended stay (more than three days). 
  • Always (always!) send a thank-you note immediately after your visit. 
  • Do not overstay your welcome. If you have the feeling it’s time to go, it probably is! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dallas' Way To Start Thanksgiving!

A Family Tradition!
It is the 5K (3.1 miles) Turkey Trot! JHW and I joined 35,000 of our closest friends for the 43rd annual YMCA Turkey Trot. It benefits all the Dallas area YMCA's, and a great big THANK YOU this year to Capital One Bank who was the big sponsor.

Save the date for next Thanksgiving Day 9am! It is an excellent way to give back to the community, have a super fun time, and burn off calories before even eating one bit of the Thanksgiving Meal! Hope to see you  there!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Host and Hostess Etiquette

Photo from Spenderosa
Company is Coming!
The holidays are here, and we must put on our best host and hostess hat! Get busy now and determine details with your upcoming holiday houseguests so there are no surprises.
Be the perfect host and hostess when you have over-night guests. 
  • Before guests arrive, set expectations on details such as length of stay, daily routine, pets, eating habits, allergies, parking, etc.
  • Always have the guest room perfect when your guests arrive. Fresh flowers, chocolates, water, new magazines, books, stationery, towels and all toiletries they could ask for while visiting.
  • Let your guest know when meals will be served, and provide details on any meals that will be eaten out.
  • Show your guest around your home and be sure to include information and locations on snacks and drinks, extra blankets and towels, and all electronics including intrusion alarms, WIFI #'s, and remote controls.
  • Find out what your guests would like to do while visiting, and plan activities with their input.
  • Make sure your guests have a key or access to your home so they can come and go as they wish if they are going to be with you for an extended stay.
  • Discuss transportation needs with your guests, and provide a map of the city with points of interest shown.
  • Make sure your guests have privacy and time to themselves.
  • Most importantly—make your guests feel at home. Remember to treat them the way you would want to be treated.
Coming up on the next All Things Refined post - how to be a wonderful houseguest~
Until then ... happy hosting!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Neiman Marcus Coconut Cake

Neiman Marcus + Cake = Delicious
I wanted to rub this cake on my face - it was delicious! You must add this to your bucket list. I'm not sure if it is offered in every Neiman Marcus restaurant, but if you are in Dallas make a special visit to Neiman Marcus Northpark to the Mermaid and have a piece (and one to go) of the coconut cake. Even if you are not a coconut fan (I'm not so much) but you will be after tasting this cake. 
Have a delectable weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Secrets of Chanel No.5

Table #10
The Adolphus Hotel, located in downtown Dallas, one block from the Neiman Marcus flagship store hosts Authors at the Adolphus book review event. As usual, the Adolphus team did not disappoint! Tilar Mazzeo discussed her new (launched today) book entitled:“The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume”

Harper-Collins describes her book best: Tilar goes back through time and deep into the life of Coco Chanel, the brilliant, controversial, and steel-willed businesswoman at the heart of the fragrance. She takes readers to the rose plantations and celebrated jasmine fields where the perfume begins and then to the laboratories and boardrooms where scent and sex are forever intertwined. And she travels to the heart of the Chanel empire: 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel's flagship boutique, where six decades ago American GIs stormed the counters to possess the magical elixir that captured the luxury and romance of Paris for their girls back home. A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire: Chanel No. 5.

Katherine, Paige, our very own Coco and I had table #10 at The Adolphus French Room (be impressed  - they received the highest rating ever of any restaurant in the United States by the Zagat Survey) 
We had a super time! Between, Tilar, the conversation, the fabulous friendships, and the delicious halibut, it was a day to remember - chalked with glamorous memories, not soon to be forgotten.
Paige, Tilar, our Coco, Katherine

Joy, Paige, Tilar, Katherine, Coco
Tilar and Joy

You can follow Tilar Mazzeo on her blog, twitter or facebook.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Save The Date!

It’s that time of year 
to set a date for your upcoming
Thanksgiving or Christmas party, 
or holiday event and send out a
hold-the-date card.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Etiquette Answers!

Transition! Transition! Transition!

After posting Southern Etiquette Rules I was bombarded with questions about transitional dress. If you live in the South you know the weather is warm sometimes through December. It is not rare to see walking-shorts being worn the week of Christmas. (however, may I remind you that last year we had snow in Dallas Christmas Day (first time in a very long time)
All Things Refined: Q and A -

  • Being a southern girl as you, I loved reading your Southern Rules of Etiquette!
 if you live in Florida where it is steaming hot up until November?! 
Do the rules for clothing change if you live in Florida? Thanks. HP Dear HP - I live in Dallas and I feel your pain. Just stay clear of linen and white clothes, bags and shoes and try to follow the traditional rules as best you can. Of course, just because it is fall - does not mean I'm going to start wearing suede and wool. It's just to hot! In a few months - the weather will change and southern ladies will enjoy our winter clothes. All my best, Joy

Joy, I am also a Southern girl and was just talking with women clients of mine about the rules we were taught on what to wear after Labor Day. I want you to know that I too was taught EVERY rule you have listed below.  I have two girls that I have tried to pass these rules too, however, they have only incorporated about 80% of them….something about the Texas heat. Signed, CB   
Dear CB - I agree, the rules can be confusing in the south because the weather is not consistent - alot of heat, and our cold weather sometime comes later in the season. Keep setting an example for them and it will become part of your legacy - a true southern woman! All my best, Joy

Hi Joy, What about a nice khaki suit in the South as late as October or early as Easter?  After all, it can still be warm and sunny down South. CDG
Dear CDG, Yes sir! It can be down right steamy in the south. It all depends on the color of the khaki, the weight of the fabric and the event you are attending. Do not wear it at night or to an important meeting - stick to a dark color. After Easter - you are good to go! All my best, Joy

Joy, My Southern mama says all your southern rules and two more. 1) Regarding trends that come back around, “If you are old enough to remember it, you are too old to wear it.” 2) About those bold prints like a leopard dress, wear it sparingly, VERY sparingly since it’s so noticeable – and memorable. Otherwise, people will say, “Oh, that again.” R
Dear R - I like your mama! She has excellent words of wisdom - I will be incorporating her tips in my Socially Savvy Dress for Success sessions. Give her my thanks and to you ... All my best, Joy

The weather is starting to change, but we are still going through transitional dress in Texas. The mornings can be cool, and the afternoons really HOT. This calls for layering. Great pieces for layering:
Light sweaters over shirts, scarves, vests, and leggings. Remember: it is all about the weight of the fabric! You can get away with wearing a light weight sweater dress. You can also wear a leather jacket if it is a light weight leather. Heavy wool  - not yet! Winter is coming and we will have time to wear our winter wardrobe.

Here's hoping you have had a super lovely weekend and to the best week ahead - ever!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's All About the Monogram!

 Here's an excellent etiquette question I received regarding monogramming.
JR asked: I have a question about monogrammed stationery, which initial do you use —your first name initial or your last name initial? 
Dear JR - there's not a rule when you are selecting pre-engraved or embossed stationery. I could choose J for my first name or W for my last name. If you are sending the note from your entire family - your last name initial would be best. 
More information on monogramming!
If you are engraving stationery or monogramming a shirt, bag or anything at all, the same rules apply when using your full initials. 
Thank you for your question and let the monogramming begin! 
The Basics - what I must know about monogramming!
  • If you want to use blocked letters in the monogram which are all the same size, your initials appear in order. JAW (these are my initials - Joy Ann Weaver - my husband says, this is God's sense of humor that my initials are JAW as in JAWS! 
  • If you choose a monogram that has a larger center initial, the initial representing your last name appears in the middle with the initial of your first name on the left and your middle name on your right. JWA
  • If you are using your first initial and your husband's too  - your first initials goes on the left and his on the right of your last name initial in the middle. JWJ (his name is James)
  • For a person with no middle initial, use a two letter monogram with both letters the same size. JW
  • For a person with two middle names, use a four letter monogram with all four letters the same size. Joy Ann Elizabeth Weaver would be monogrammed JAEW.
  • For last names with an apostrophe or "Mc" use the first letter of the last name. For O'Reilly, use "O" in the monogram or for McDowell, use "M".
  • For couples with a hyphenated last name, place the woman's first initial followed by the first letter of both last names slightly larger, and the man's first initial the same size as the woman's first initial.
Monogramming will always be in style and you must find a good monogrammer wherever you live. You can have almost anything monogrammed, whether with stitching, engraving or a peel-off sticker. Here's one of my favorite blogs and monogramming sites - enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Southern Etiquette Rules and More ...

A little history ...
Some of you know my mother died right after I was borne, my dad decided he did not want me so he gave me to his sister. Her name was Sally - she was "my mama". (1st rule of the South - your mother is called Mama)  Sally was 60 when she took me to raise as her own. She had already raised six children of her own who were by then grown. We lived in remote west Texas and she raised me as an only child. I loved her and she love me. She taught me things I never dreamed I would be traveling the country teaching to others as my career. The values she taught me we're never referred to as "The Rules of Etiquette", it was just the way things were done - common sense.
Here are some examples:
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated. (later to find out, that one is in the Bible - Luke 6:31)
  • Always be nice to those who aren't nice to you. This one has paid off big time! (hey, that one is in the Bible too - read Matt: 5:44)
  • Do your best! (now I know why I stay confused whether my mama said it or if it comes from The Bible - See Col:3:23)
  • People will let you down - God won't. (come to think of it, she was teaching me Scripture all along, I just didn't know it - Matt:28:20)
At an early age, she taught me to set a table properly, write a thank-you note immediately, and put away white after Labor Day (always my birthday weekend). We brought out our linen clothes and patent leather after Easter each year. The reason was never discussed and I never asked why - it was just the way we did it.

Here's a question asked on my "Just Ask Joy" email regarding dress after Labor Day.
Dear Joy,
I read your "Socially Savvy" book, follow your blog, and your Tweets too. Here's my question: With so many people claiming to be fashion experts, there are no firm rules to follow. Can you tell me traditional fashion rules since you are a Texas/Southern girl.
Thank you,

Hello RT, Thank you for your question.
Let me give you some valuable traditional information below, then we will ask our audience what traditional values and rules of etiquette their Mama taught them!
Traditional Rules for dressing after Labor Day:
  • No linen
  • No white clothing (not to be confused with winter white, champagne, or cream - of course you can wear white shirts, but not linen)
  • No white handbags
  • No white shoes
  • No white watches
  • No flipflops
  • No patent leather - shoes or handbags
  • No straw bags or hats
  • No seersucker
  • No madra shorts or tank tops
This was switch-out weekend. I switched out summer to fall clothing. 
Here's a glimpse of my shoe closet before the switch-a-roo.
Before the switch-a roo
Spring and summer shoes from closet waiting to be packed for annual trip to storage

Summer suits and dresses

Bright white and linen clothing - off to storage

I could not resist showing you this picture of Scooter (my snoopy cat) sticking his head out of part of the wall closet mirror during the switch. Do you see his head? (middle right - he is black and white)

Okay - now it is your time! Please advise RT and me about your traditional values and rules of etiquette that you were taught.

Love and hugs to you,xoJoy

Friday, September 10, 2010

Personally and Professionally Polished

Proper Introductions 
Do you want to be perceived as polished personally and professionally - here's valuable information you can use to make a proper introduction. 
I received several questions this week regarding proper introductions.
Here are some very valuable introduction tips :

  • Women and men should always stand when introduced, look the person in the eye and smile.
  • Shake a woman and man's hand the same, straight up and down. Extend a firm (not a bone crusher) handshake to show respect.
  • Never use an honorific such as Ms., Mr., or Dr. to introduce yourself. (Example: A doctor should never introduce himself/herself as Dr. Jones, but the person making an introduction gives the honorific of Dr. Jones.)
  • Socially: a woman’s name is said first in the introduction: Sally Smith this is Paul Miller.
  • Keep introductions equal. If you use Ms. Jones, use Mr. Smith. Never say Mr. Smith this is John. It is best to use first and last names when making introductions. 
  • It is important to create common ground between the two people you are introducing so they can springboard into their own conversation. Then you can excuse yourself and let them carry on a conversation.


  • The most important persons name is said first. Introduction is based on rank, not gender or age.
Correct: Ms. President, I would like to introduce Mr. Vice President
(never add “to you” in the previous sentence – it places the emphasis on the wrong person)
Incorrect: Ms. President, I would like to introduce to you Mr. Vice President” FYI -
When making a very formal introduction, such as dignitaries use the word "present" instead of the words "this is" or "introduce."

  • NEVER use the word "meet" when introducing people. When using the word "meet" to introduce someone, it always throw the emphasis toward to the wrong person. 
  • For example, in reading the following sentence you can’t tell who is the CEO and who is the newly hired employee. "Jack Jones, I would like you to meet John Smith." Which person is the most important person in this sentence? Is Jack or John the CEO? 
  • Rather, for an informal introduction, use the words "this is" as the bridge between the most important person's name said first and introducing the second person. "Jack Jones this is John Smith, our new staff member. Mr. Jones is our CFO."
  • The client, guest or visitor outranks the boss or co-worker and should be introduced first.

A note to All Things Refined readers: The protocol of proper introductions is difficult to understand. I wish I could explain to each of you in person to make it easier for you.

Have a wonderful weekend my well refined friends!
Polish up!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Your Favorite Mexican Food?
Just arriving back in Texas - the first stop is always Mexican Food.
I have a list of my favorite and I know you do too!
What is your favorite Mexican Food Restaurant and what do you order?
This is serious business!
For me: Cheese Enchiladas at Mi Cocina.
I also like Uncle Julio's and La Hacienda Ranch
Remember: you can tell if a Mexican Food Restaurant is good or not by the chips and hot sauce they serve! If they get that wrong ...don't expect much!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handbag Etiquette

What you must know ...
Do you have “Purse-onality?” We have always heard, "you are what you eat” and "clothes make the woman,” but for “purse-driven” women there is nothing more accurate to say than ... “You are your handbag!”
Whether it is a tote, a shoulder bag, a handle bag, or a clutch, our handbags are a combination of form, function and fashion. Many do not know there are rules of etiquette to follow regarding your “purse-onality!
  • The difference in a handbag and a purse. (a purse is under $100.) Never go into Neiman Marcus and ask for their purse department - they don't have one!
  • Never place handbags on dining table or conference table. (huge faux pas)
  • Carry/hold your handbag on your left side. Leaving your right hand/arm available for socializing. (think of the Queen - she knows to carry her handbag on her left arm)
  • Place handbag on the right side of chair when seated in a restaurant. 
  • Never hang handbag over the back on your chair. 
  • Clutch should be placed in lap or in seat behind you. 
  • When to carry a clutch vs tote. A clutch is high maintenance and used for limited basics. Totes are many sizes and can also be used as briefcases. 
  • How to change bags quickly. Using the easy “Inner-Purse”
  • Keep handbags clean! (germ-free) Handbags/purses can be germ collectors - think of all the place they are set through-out the day. Depending on the material, use a bacterial wipe or spray. Some bags can be dry cleaned.
  • Never ask if someone’s handbag is real or how much it cost! 
Just adore this bag! The Tory Burch Reva in the brown reptile print! I bought it at the beginning of the summer and have enjoyed it until my recent aforementioned bag in my last blog. (what's up with the reptile theme?) More power over the reptile - I suppose.
(Pardon my red toes at the bottom of the picture - oops!)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shhh! Don't Tell My Husband

Power Over The Python!
If you know me, you know I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs over handbags. Yes - I dream in handbags! I'll never have enough, but according to my darling JHW I have "way to many bags" - (oh quit cussing!) 
Poor thing - he had to have my closet extended last fall to accommodate all my babies.  He has also tried to shame me out of my lustfulness. Can you believe it? It will never work, actually, I believe handbags are biblical! Read Luke 12:33 (niv) ... provide purses for yourself that will not wear out ..."
How can you argue with that?!

Okay - now that I know you are onboard with me - I am going to share my latest secrets with you. Shhh - don't tell JHW!

First, I am NOT a snake person, in fact I HATE snakes, so to be dreamy over this bag was a big surprise to me. I HAD TO HAVE IT! Perhaps it is a feeling of "power over the python" that makes this bag so yummy. Go to Michael Kors and see for yourself - it is Python fabulous. 

Okay - so while I was at it, I decided to keep going with the whole "power over the python" defense explanation thing and take home a pair of python shoes too.
I love heels but, these Michael Kors pythons (kind of like driving shoes) are the coolest and beyond cushy. I don't want to take them off ... think I'll sleep in them tonight :) 
Oop! Gotta run...
This is our secret - SO SHHHH....  DO NOT TELL MY HUSBAND!
Love and hugs,