Gratitude is Like a Magnet | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea
“Gratitude is like a magnet; the more grateful you are,
the more you will receive and be grateful for.”

–Iyanla Vanzant

Expressing Gratitude | Meredith Sweetpea


Growing up, I don’t remember being forced to write thank you notes, but I did anyway. Now, as an adult, Miss Meredith Sweetpea finds that it is more important than ever to graciously express gratitude.

Showing that you are grateful for something you’ve received, or a kindness or gift someone has bestowed upon you, can often be a several-step process.

Say Thank You

First, say “thank you” immediately upon receiving a gift. I have unfortunately witnessed people who, upon receiving a gift, state, “Thanks, but I don’t need this or want this. You’ll have to take it back.” Instead, they should have graciously accepted the gift for the gesture for which it was intended–to honor the recipient, perhaps for a birthday, holiday or special occasion. Simply said, a heartfelt “thank you” will honor the giver who took their time and effort to arrange a special treat just for you. You can always do with the gift what you want later on (donate it or regift it if you don’t want it, or use it or display it proudly.)

Send a Handwritten Note

A handwritten note does NOT mean an email or text–yes, even in today’s electronic times. It means writing words of gratitude on a piece of paper or card and putting it into an envelope that is mailed to the giver’s address, preferably their home address. I recently heard from someone who received a handwritten thank you note who said, “I was so surprised to receive a real letter in the mail. I so rarely get anything that’s not a bill or a solicitation anymore. It was so exciting!” This little gesture can mean so much to the person who took the time to arrange for your gift or service, and is a reminder they will often keep, display, and read again and again.

Tell Others

Spread even more love by telling the recipient later on how much you’re enjoying the gift and how you are using it. Also, glowingly tell others about the gift you received. Even if the gift-giver never hears you telling others, the pleasure you feel from recounting how you received this gift will bring you renewed joy each time you tell it.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Television personality and media mogul Oprah Winfrey swears that her gratitude journal has changed her outlook on life. Writing in it each evening, she recaps the things that happened during her day for which she is grateful. Singer/songwriter Willie Nelson said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

Keep your own gratitude journal and list at least 3 things each evening. At first, you may find it a struggle to find things to write. It is OK to put down things like, “I’m grateful because I felt energized today,” or “I’m grateful to receive a paycheck today.”

As time passes, you will start to notice more and more little things, and you will actually begin to change your mindset from feeling overwhelmed by life’s daily challenges to recognizing life’s little joys. Your entries might change to, “I’m grateful for the bird song I heard when I awoke this morning,” or “I’m grateful that the clerk at the grocery store complimented me on my new necklace.” Be open to whatever highlight enters your consciousness, from world events to the tiniest little spark in your daily life. Make these points the grace notes to the symphony of your day.

A Meredith Sweetpea Visit to Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School


meredith-sweetpea-chef-olwen-woodier-glenfiddich-cookery-school-virginiaFood is certainly one of the joys of life, and what better way to enjoy food than to learn from a professional. Miss Meredith Sweetpea had the pleasure of attending a cooking class at the Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School this past week. Located on a lovely acreage in Loudoun County, Virginia are the gardens from which chef Olwen Woodier selects her fresh produce for the menus she so lovingly prepares. The gardens are filled with vegetables, fruits and herbs to delight any palate.

The Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School was started in February 2005 in a stone-walled 1840s home that was formerly a dairy. The rustic elements of exposed beams and stone only add to the allure of the large, modern kitchen where Olwen conducts her classes many a Wednesday morning. The farm was originally called Gobblers Knob after the multitude of resident wild turkeys, then later was renamed Glenfiddich Farm (Celtic for “Valley of the Deer”) to celebrate the many local deer.

meredith-sweetpea-Glenfiddich-Cookery-Class-mealThis day, I, along with 3 other ladies, prepared a feast consisting of:

  • Potato spinach gnocchi with prosciutto, parsley and parmesan
  • Cucumber tomato gazpacho
  • Sauteed shrimp
  • Eggplant tomato caprese salad with red pepper basil pesto
  • Strawberry fool with homemade waffle cone accompaniments

It was quite the treat to gather the fresh herbs from the garden, and tour through the maze of plantings in Olwen’s backyard. The beautiful landscaping was accented throughout by flowers, birdhouses and sculptures to form a refreshing retreat. And there were baskets of fresh produce and eggs awaiting us in the kitchen. Olwen makes it a point to cook organically whenever possible, so freshness was abundant.

Each month, Glenfiddich features different menus, based around what is in season, and special classes can be held by request.

meredith-sweetpea-Olwen-Woodier-cookbooks

Order Olwen’s cookbooks!

Olwen Woodier is also a cookbook author, with award-winning cookbooks including:

Prior to running the Cookery, Olwen was a publicist and journalist, with hundreds of articles featured in national and regional magazines and newspapers including Woman’s Day, Gourmet, Family Circle, National Geographic Traveler and The New York Times.

If you are ever visiting Virginia and want a real taste of our Commonwealth, plan to take a cooking class at the Glenfiddich Farm.meredith-sweetpea-Glenfiddich-Farm-VA

Order Olwen Woodier’s Cookbooks for Yourself!

–Photography by Linda Barrett

 

 

From Her Majesty’s Jewel Box Blog | Meredith Sweetpea


Miss Meredith Sweetpea has been following a blog called “From Her Majesty’s Jewel Box” for a while now and truly enjoys viewing the various jewels worn by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Cornwall that are posted regularly.

In her blog, the self-pronounced “one snarky magpie American” attempts to chronicle the jewels worn by the royals on their daily engagements. The posts give a brief history of the jewels and links to other events where the jewels can be seen.

There are also sections within the blog where readers can view the jewels by category, like “Tiaras & Crowns,” “Brooches: Ornamental,” and “Orders & Regalia.”

It has been great fun to check on the latest activities of the Queen as well as view the various jewelry she wears that often honors the occasion. For instance, at a recent Ceremony of the Keys event, during her annual week of Scottish engagements, Queen Elizabeth II wore the Royal Regiment of Scotland Badge, the appropriate military badge.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara

Some jewels make more frequent appearances than others, lending one to believe that the Queen may have favorites among the bunch. She is most often seen wearing Queen Mary’s Button Earrings and a Three Strand Pearl Necklace, for example.

The Most Famous Tiara: The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland

One of the Queen’s favorite tiaras is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which was presented to Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding present from her grandmother, Queen Mary. It was her first tiara and is one of her most recognizable pieces due to its widespread use on British currency and coinage.

For a fun look at the Queen’s jewels, take a look at this blog. Wait, you might want to don your own tiara first.

A True Gentleman Is… | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea

“A true gentleman is one that apologizes anyways, even though he has not offended a lady intentionally.
He is in a class all of his own because he knows the value of a woman’s heart.”

–Shannon L. Alder

Fabulous Fascinators of the Royal Ascot Races


ascot-hatHere is a video showcasing some of the fabulous hats and fascinators seen at the Royal Ascot Races in England. Enjoy!

Hats of Ascot video

The Royal Ascot Races begin today, June 20, 2017 through June 24th and attract the finest racehorses from around the world. But some people think the real spectacle is the fashion — the fabulous hats and outfits worn by the spectators.

Ascot Even Has a Dress Code for Hats and Fascinators

The Ascot races website lists a Dress Code for what to wear in the Royal Enclosure, the Queen Anne and Village Enclosures, and the Windsor Enclosure. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Royal Enclosure, the dress code cites that “Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10 cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted; neither are headpieces which do not have a solid base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches/10 cm).”

Miss Meredith Sweetpea wishes she could be there to witness the delightful garden of hats herself. Send us pictures of yourself attending Ascot in your hat!

Why Should I Wear a Fascinator on the Right?


Camilla-fascinator-on-right

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wears a fascinator.

A number of kind readers have been asking Miss Meredith Sweetpea lately why a fascinator is traditionally worn on the right-hand side of the head.

The custom runs far back into history to when women were generally accompanied by men when they walked down the street. Women of any stature would rarely have occasion to walk alone; she was escorted by her husband, or if single, her father or brother. And of course, both men and women always wore a hat whenever outdoors.

Wearing the Fascinator on the Right Made Perfect Sense

Men traditionally carried their weapon, such as a sword, on their left-hand side, so it made sense that when walking with a woman (when armed), she walk on his right-hand side. Even when men no longer carried swords, the tradition of putting the women on a man’s right continued.

Catherine-Duchess-of-Cambridge-wears-fascinator-on-right

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wears her fascinator on the right.

Another reason to put the women on a man’s right was to position the man between the woman and the street to help protect her fine skirts from becoming splashed by passing carriages or horses traversing the often-muddy roadways.

Therefore, in order to have conversation when walking down the street, a women would tilt her hat to the right to offer a better view of her face to her companion. This also prettily framed her face perfectly for flirting, which only added to her fascination. The pert angle of the hat took on the name “fascinator.”

Today’s milliners often design a fascinator to sit on the right-hand side, in keeping with tradition. But many fascinators are made to suit either side of the face, or to be worn in the center of the head at a slightly forward angle toward. Some people even prefer to wear their fascinator to cover the part in their hair, believing it more attractive worn that way.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about which side is the correct side to wear a fascinator. It is simply up to you to choose.

Woman are Always Right

The tradition of having the women walk on the inside of the man on the street carries on today with polite men and women. Remember the catchphrase, “Women are always right” and it will be easy to remember.

Read More About Fascinators

For more information about fascinators, read our other posts:

Find Your Perfect Fascinator

  • Do you have a fascinator? Browse more than a thousand darling Fascinators! You might just find one that’s perfect for your look.

 

%d bloggers like this: