Tips for Polite Political Conversation


As published in Azalea Magazine Spring 2016

You have surely heard the old adage to, “never discuss, religion or
politics,” deeming the two topics unfit for polite company.

Well, the times, they are a-changin’. The elections are everywhere,
and talking politics is happening everywhere from boardrooms to family

Here are my tips for polite, constructive political dialogue:

  • Stick to the facts. What are the recent headlines? What is the
    candidate’s stance? What was discussed in the debate?
  • Listen. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Even if you disagree with
    the comments of others, show respect by asking questions. You may be
    surprised to learn something new!
  • Keep it clean. Use your best judgment and keep your interactions
    civil. Don’t allow yourself to get worked up. It is best to remain
    reserved not only with your words but also with your tone of voice and
    body language.
  • Assume nothing. Don’t presume that someone agrees with you–or
    disagrees, for that matter.
  • Have an exit strategy. If you find yourself in a political debate and
    it’s getting heated, you can say, “I guess we just don’t see
    eye-to-eye;” or: “I’ll have to consider that;” and then change the

The principle of etiquette is to treat others with consideration. I
would venture to say that with respect and consideration, even
politics and religion can be topics fit for polite conversation.

Celebrating the Olympics


As the Brazilian actress Regina Casé, who warmed up the tens of thousands of fans at Maracana stadium, put it: “Here in Brazil, we like to party.”

Well, here at the Donehue household, we also like to party! We enjoyed the 2016 opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics with an “around the world” party.

We kicked things off with an Olympic soundtrack, some songs included:

• “We Are The Champions” by Queen
• “World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly
• “Olympic Fanfare” by John Williams
• “All I do is Win” by DJ Kahled
• “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses
• “London Bridge” by Fergie
• “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
• “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
• “Bugler’s Dream” by Leo Arnaud
• “Sandstorm” by Darude
• “The Olympic Spirit” by John Williams

Each couple was asked to bring a signature beverage from a different country, creating a colorful, fully stocked bar with selections from around the globe.

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To me the Olympics are about uniting all the different countries together. For this party we really wanted to bring an element of global unity to the decor. I hung garland of various flags on the popcorn bar, olympic rings on the big screen, and an olympic tissue paper torch served as a centerpiece for the drink table.






Well Appointed Guest Room


As published in Palmetto Magazine Spring/Summer 2016

They flew. They drove. They have arrived. Are you ready?

It is an honor to have guests in your home. Ensure rested friends and pleasant memories with a well-appointed guest room. Consider stocking the following amenities:

  •      Freshly laundered bedding and several pillows

A cozy bed is number one on the guest list!  Opt for white sheets, blankets and quilts. They can be washed and bleached and they look crisp and new.

  •      A place to put clothing and suitcases

Ensure there is an empty drawer and extra set of hangers waiting in your guest room closet.

  •      Towels and washcloths

Having clean towels ready for guests in their room saves them from rooting around the bathroom or having to ask you. Again, I suggest white, as they are easy to launder.

  •      Refreshments

A carafe or bottle of water and glass is a welcome addition to the nightstand.

  •      Alarm Clock

Many of us rely on cell phone alarms, but a clock on the nightstand can be helpful.

  •      Reading Material

Set out an assortment of interesting fiction and nonfiction books, as well as a local paper or pamphlet to highlight nearby activities and attractions.

  •      Fresh Flowers

Snip fresh flowers or greenery from the yard. That little bit of effort will make guests feel wanted.

Get that guest room ready; you never know when guests might be knocking at your front door!