Flight Etiquette: How to behave at 35,000 feet

6833689914_b211fa3d5bAs published in Azalea Magazine Fall 2016

Will you soon be traveling for business or pleasure? Remember to pack your best travel manners. Here is a simple code of in-flight conduct:


There are no wardrobe requirements to fly, but minimal jewelry, and shoes that you don’t have to lace, buckle or tie are both helpful with security checkpoints. And while I can certainly understand wanting to be comfortable, be mindful that you are not attending a pajama party or gym class.


You must wait your turn when boarding at the gate- only board in your zone/group/row. Have your ticket ready. Get out of the aisle as quickly as possible once luggage is stowed.


Stow your suitcase in the overhead bin closest to your seat. If you have two carry-on bags, keep the smaller one at your feet.


Middle seat passengers get the right to both armrests. Always. Those to his right would get their right armrest, and those to his left would get their left.


Airline seats recline to allow passengers to sleep and relax, but it may cause discomfort for the person behind you. If you intend to recline your seat, do it gently or better yet, turn around and make sure you don’t inconvenience the person behind you.


Do your best to minimize odors and noise. Use headphones to listen to music or movies, keep calls brief and conversations to a low volume. Avoid perfumes and foods with strong smells that may bother your neighbors.


At last! The plane touches down, the seat belt lights go off, and everyone jumps up. Rather than grab your luggage and make a run for the door, allow those in front of you to disembark first.

In general, be respectful of those around you, a little consideration can go a long way to make a flight as smooth as possible for both yourself and others.

Safe travels!

Bundle of Joy

img_5621-editWe are pleased to announce the arrival of our son

Thomas “Tennyson” Donehue

born September 22, 2016

8 pounds 13 ounces

20 inches long


Arranging A Buffet

wedding-barrelThere is no one way to set a buffet table, though the following tips may help in arranging the space for the best flow ensuring that your guests can maneuver the line with ease.

Begin with placement of the serving table. Ideal positioning would allow guests access to the food from both sides of the table .

Stack plates at one end of the table so that guests have access to these first.

Food comes next. Arrange it at various heights so that guests can see and reach everything with ease. Make sure each dish has a coordinating serving utensil so guests can easily dish up their food.

Finish the table with utensils and napkins. Only provide utensils that your guests will need to use. If a knife is not needed, don’t offer one.  To make the grab-and-go a breeze, wrap each set in a napkin and secure it with a piece of ribbon or twine. Condensing the utensils and napkin will make it easier for guests to carry their plates to their seats.
Plan a separate table for beverages. By situating the beverage table away from the food table, you give your guests a chance to choose their food and put the plate down before pouring a drink.

Buffets are a great way to serve food for any size gathering. Remember that the key is to make it functional and easy for your guests as they serve themselves.



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.