Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to Encourage Yourself





I've been thinking a lot lately on what it means to encourage yourself. In life we will all go through both daily moments as well as long seasons of struggling, frustration, feeling defeated, grieving and experiencing being overwhelmed. While it's wonderful to have those you love and care about most support you and encourage you along, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.  Maybe you're miles from home and don't have the listening ear of your closest friend or the pain you experience comes from a relationship where encouragement was once found. Whatever the scenario, it is important to know how to pick yourself back up during hard times.

This post comes at a time when I'm digging deep to encourage myself during a low time. For me, no one major earth shattering event has occurred, rather it's the culmination of smaller events and circumstances over months and in some cases years that have left me feeling a bit defeated, a tad unmotivated and a little sad. I feel so blessed to have an amazing husband who has always been such a great source of encouragement, motivation and love. I do know though, that no matter how awesome the people are in our lives, we are the ones who have to do the actual work, nobody else can do it for us. With that, I wanted to share some tips on how to do just that. While I'm still in the midst of working through all the thoughts, circumstances and feelings swirling around my own head, I have of course been on the other side of this, coming out ahead after having encouraged myself many times before. Sometimes it's nice to share a message though when you're in the middle of something vs. sharing after making it to the other side. I hope this post serves as encouragement to someone who is in this place right now and that it also gives you the tools to turn things around. :)


Tips for Encouraging Yourself





1. Become More Grateful- Right about now you might be wondering what there is to be grateful for. Don't let your present feelings and circumstances cloud the 'good' that exists in your life. No matter who you are, where you live or what you've endured throughout your life there is always something to be thankful for. Last year I began writing in a gratitude journal, documenting 5 things that I'm most grateful for each day-they teeny tiny things and the big things. I love that journal because likes these, I can flip page by page and remind myself all of the things that have come into my life or that make me smile. The act of physically thinking of those 5 things each morning or evening forces you to think about what is positive in your life, regardless of the chaos that exists at the same time. I got busy for a few months and stopped writing in mine and I realized a definite change of attitude and heart, so as you can imagine I'm back to writing in it again. Yesterday's entry was: (1) a croissant with organic raspberry jam, (2) my husband's smile, (3) a beautiful white orchid to brighten our home, (4) good health & my knowledge of natural health remedies, (5) the scent of freshly laundered clothing. Nothing else will change in your life until true gratitude is exercised daily.





2. Surround Yourself with Encouraging Words & People- I work from home and am thankful that the person I live with (and whose office I work next to) is uplifting & encouraging most of the time but I know that some of you are surrounded by catty co-workers, drama queens, gossips, negative family members, complaining friends, demanding bosses and manipulative people. Why do I know this? Because I've been there, I've worked in many office and job environments where this goes on daily. This can break you down if you let it. The best way to counteract the negative, unpleasant people in your life is to avoid them as much as humanly possible and balance your life out with positive people, uplifting TV shows/books/magazines/blogs and encouraging words. That was one of my goals when I started my Facebook community page, that it would encourage, inspire and uplift. Sometimes I also get blessed by the lovely comments you-my readers, leave. If you're feeling down about your finances, watching an episode of Million Dollar Decorators or even one of the Real Housewives shows probably won't make you feel better about your own bank account. Be choosy about what you allow into your life. For me, I choose to read my bible, listen to positive music (often with no words at all such as instrumental), watch Tony Robbins on YouTube or one of my favorite Pastors such as T.D. Jakes or Joel Osteen (which were all favorites of mine many years before Oprah introduced them via her Life Class series). I also love to read biographies about how others have successfully overcome many obstacles. One great book that I recommend is called 'Unstoppable'. It's a compilation of multiple stories of how others persevered and overcame. It's also a great gift idea for someone who is struggling.




3. Quiet your Mind with Prayer or Meditation-Time and time again, studies have proven the positive effects of both prayer and meditation when done regularly. Do whichever you're most comfortable with, neither have to be a big production. Some who are new to or still feeling their way around prayer often think that God expects it to be done a certain way or in a certain place. I'm here to tell you that's not true. You can pray anywhere, any way and any time. I have found personally, however, that my prayers are most effective when there are no other distractions so I can truly focus on God and my prayer or worship time. When I'm not distracted it not only allows me to think more clearly and focus on what I'm praying about but that solitude allows me to be present and hear His voice.

Meditation cannot be done effectively in a noisy space. I usually like to do this after a workout at home where I can sit on my mat without any music or noise, close my eyes, dim the lights and just listen to my breath and be still. I try not to 'fight' the thoughts in my mind but rather let them come and dismiss them instead of holding on to them and seeing where they lead and distracting my focus (this is the hardest part of meditation). When you're able to quiet your mind  for even 5 minutes per day, you reclaim time for yourself, invite peace into your heart, let negative thoughts go and in the case of prayer, you're trusting a big God to unburden you from your problems by taking them off your shoulders. If you're not sure what to pray, here are a few short favorites that I often say: "Lord, order my steps and order my stops" (lest I waste too much time going down the wrong path), "God, remove every fear and fill my mind and heart with your peace." (fear robs us of our joy and prevents us from living our dreams), "Lord,  forgive me for a negative attitude" (hubby and I always pray about this and wrong words spoken if we've argued, creating a less than positive environment in our home).

Of all the things I do, prayer is by far the best along with reading bible scriptures which is an immense source of encouragement and reminder during tough times.





4. Be an Encouragement to Someone Else- Taking action by helping others who are suffering will always make you feel better and encourage you too. Just be sure that the time spent with the other individual isn't spent commiserating over your pain-keep it positive! If someone you know is grieving a loss of a loved one-spend time with them, be their shoulder to cry on, bring them a fresh baked loaf of banana bread. When you build up others and encourage them along even in the midst of your own pain, you cannot help but feel better and it is character building. Sometimes seeing how they've been able to pick themselves up in a small way is just the encouragement you need for yourself. Keep the focus on them, be a blessing and not a burden to someone already experiencing pain. If someone didn't get that job they were sure was theirs, sincerely remind them of all the reasons why they'll get the next one! In the process, you should also be reminded that just because you are experiencing low times doesn't mean your best days are behind you. Spending time with others also helps us to focus on something other than our own problems and pain, even for just a little while. Often, knowing what someone else is going through in greater detail, makes us thankful for what we do have-yes it all leads back to being grateful. ;) I don't know about you but when I spend good quality positive time with others, I leave feeling happy and recharged in a new way. I love this scripture:



"Encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing." 
~1 Thessalonians 5:11





5. Reflect on Past Success- If your need for encouragement is with regards to where you're at personally in life and the direction of your future, look at your past track record for clues. We've all had success in life and while we may have hit a bumpy road that seems lonely and dark, we know what we're capable of because we've already proven it. Sit down and make a list of what positively accomplished in your life throughout the months and years. Think about your education-what level did you achieve? Ponder for a moment on all the tests, assignments, long study nights and hard work that went into achieving that level of success. You are capable, you are an overcomer and you've already proven that to yourself. What hard times have you already made it through? If you're in debt, how much have you already paid down? If you're working towards better health, what accomplishments have already taken place? Do your clothes fit better, maybe your blood pressure or cholesterol is lower? This is success and hopefully an encouragement to you that you are making progress. Do you feel like you're never going to meet someone worthy of marrying? Think about the people you have dated, the lessons you've learned and how each person helped move you closer to ideal mate you dream of because you know more of what you do and don't want in a partner as well as more of who you want to be also as a wife. We can focus on our failures or we can focus on our success. Make a list and write down everything that you've accomplished in the past week, month or year that makes you feel happy or positive.





6. Have an Action Plan- Part of the reason why many feel unsuccessful or need encouragement in the first place is because they've failed to plan properly and feel as though they're floundering around without any real direction. When we lack purpose, we tend to feel less happy and joyful. I can honestly say that contributing to my current low feeling is a bit of lack of planning on my part in a couple different areas. While we don't need nor should we have control over every detail of our life, there is something to be said for taking ownership and having some level of control to contribute towards a positive outcome. When we know that we didn't prepare in the ways that we could have, sometimes that feeling alone is enough to sink us. Even if it is a more emotional place you're in such as becoming recently divorced or losing a loved one, feel that pain, experience it but then release it and move on, don't live there. Your plan does not mean you'll feel a certain way by a certain date but as you make plans to move forward, those feelings will naturally change along with it. Set mini milestones for yourself. If you're grieving, try to get out of the house or visit with someone once per week, once per day-whatever you need since we all handle things differently. If you've just lost your job, take a moment to grieve that loss but plunge into how to replace the new loss of income. Vow to look for jobs and apply for 5-10 each day. When we set tangible goals that we can achieve (if we make the goals realistic and not pie in the sky) we can begin to see accomplishment and that alone will encourage us that we are moving in the right direction. As time passes, you will need new goals to reach. Be sure to update your list or action plan regularly. In order to stay accountable to your new action plan, keep it somewhere you can review daily to ensure you're staying on track. Here are some key tips on creating a plan of action that I wrote for a New Years' Resolution post a few years ago but apply to the everyday goals.




7. Envision Your Bright Future- Now that we've focused on the present moment, delved into the past and talked a bit about what to do for our future, let's discuss our bright future and the dreams we hold for for ourselves. We all need something to look forward to, even if the outcome does not turn out exactly the way we envision it, it's the dreaming which leads to action that matters most. When creating an action plan, as I just mentioned above, really feel each goal. Envision how your new healthy body will look and feel, really foresee your success in a new position or in a new company, dream of how your skills will be used in your own business, anticipate what your future baby that you've been praying for will feel like in your arms one day, visualize your bank account growing as you work harder to contribute to it. It's one thing to plan, but it's another thing to really believe and envision your future differently than it is today. If you are a visual person, like myself, you'll probably benefit from a vision board. It doesn't need to be fancy but it does need to be filled with things you're dreaming of-big and small. Whether it's an image of a diploma symbolizing a degree in which you wish to obtain, an image of the home you wish to purchase one day or hand drawn images of a product you wish to create, seeing it in front of you on a daily basis is very powerful. In some ways it holds you accountable too, so don't tuck it away or contain it in a binder. Use a poster board on the back of your bedroom door or pin images with a thumbtack to a pretty cork board near your desk which will inspire you daily to keep chasing your dreams.





Just remember that you've come this far already, don't quit now! There is so much of the story yet to be revealed to you if you would just keep pushing, keep dreaming and keep pursuing. Even when you feel as though every door you knock on presents a 'no' or you feel defeated, think of these words that may father has often said to me in the past while working in many different sales positions and facing much rejection, 'A 'no' is just one step closer to 'yes'. When I was much younger I didn't get that statement the way I do today because I hadn't seen it's proof. If we keep putting ourselves out there, keep putting one foot in front of the other, little by little a yes is bound to come. Here is a great video that I shared once before in this post which I think is one of the best motivational videos every. Can you imagine if these success stories had listened to their nay-sayers?




If we keep trying, keep fighting, keep striving, keep believing, that yes WILL come. The yes can represent anything from the right relationship, the right job, better finances, weight loss, the outcome of an ill loved, your own health and on and on. It tells us that even if we haven't yet arrived that delay is not denial. I believe in you, you're going to make it and you can do whatever you set your mind to do! Now go and do it! :)

I'd love to hear how YOU encourage yourself when the storms of life roll in! Leave your comment below and share your success tips. :)

From my heart to yours,

XO





*Image Credits

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fashion Friday: Best Black Friday Deals Online!




I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! We had a fabulous time with family and are thankful for so much, but most of all we're thankful for each other, our Heavenly Father and good health. :) Today's Fashion Friday post is a quick one with lots of great deals for 13 of my favorite shops. The best part is that you don't have to brave the crowds, you can do it all online in your pajamas if you like! Happy Shopping!

Tory Burch- Up to 30% off + free shipping!
J.Crew- 25% off entire purchase. Use code: COLOR25
Club Monaco- Offering an extra 30% off sale items
Nordstrom- Save up to 50% off + free shipping.
Piperlime- 20% off entire site.
J.Crew Factory- 40% off everything + additional 15% off $100 or more. Use code: GIVEANDGET
Asos- 20% off side wide sale with + free shipping both ways with code: BLACKFRIDAYBONUS
Bloomingdale's-Up to 50% off & $25 off every $200 you spend.
Shopbop- Spend $250+ and get 20% off
C.Wonder- Extra 30% off your order of $100 or more.
Madewell- 25% off everything + free shipping with code: TREAT
Dorothy Perkins- 25% off everything + free shipping on orders over $75 using code: DPHOLIDAY25




Visit Stella & Dot to get an extra 25% off their fabulous jewelry this weekend!
&
For CyberMonday they are offering their Hematite cuplink bracelet for just $9.95 (Regularly $59) 
when you spend $50 or more, it's like getting your $50 purchase for f ree! Get this deal {here}.



I have one last discount to share and it's my own! Have you wanted to advertise your blog, Etsy shop or b business? I'm offering 75% off of our small ad space starting today, Black Friday and ends the evening of Cyber Monday. This means all monthly small ads are just $5!!
Use Code: BLACKFRIDAY and click {here} to grab yours!

I hope you all have a relaxing day!

XO





*image source

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manners Monday: A Guide to Holiday Etiquette



Since we're just a few short days away from Thanksgiving (hopefully you're feeling more excited than stressed) and weeks away from Christmas, what better time to do a refresher crash-course on all things related to holiday etiquette? Some of my older blog posts are the best and for many of you who are newer readers here at The Classy Woman, you may have missed out on these gems (if I do say so myself) so I'm sharing all of them again in a single post.

While I'm not sharing about how to decorate your table for Thanksgiving or how to roast a turkey (which some of you may be searching the web for), knowing how to conduct one's self in the company of others is even more important than if you get the stuffing just right. It's something every classy woman should aspire to do.

Spend a few minutes reading through all the tips in these posts below and you'll be ready to present your best and most ladylike self as a guest or hostess for turkey day (and any social gathering or holiday event for that matter).

















Depending on whom you are spending Thanksgiving with this year, all of these may not apply to you. However, if you're meeting new family members or someone's significant other for the first time or maybe haven't seen your family in a long time, you may find the tips on conversation helpful.

How are you planning to spend Thanksgiving this year? Will you be the hoste or a guest this year?

Thanks for reading!

XO





*image source


Tiny Prints Holiday Card Giveaway Winner!





Thank you to everyone who recently participated in the Tiny Prints $50 gift card giveaway for holiday cards! We could only have one winner for this one and as always, I let Random.org choose our winner which was No. 30!  The lucky lady is Janna who commented that she'd choose the Big Bark of Yappy Howlidays card. Congratulations! Please provide me with your e-mail address so I can have my sponsor get in touch with you. :)





We'll have other new giveaways posted shortly. :) It's Monday so be sure to check back in a little while for today's Manners Monday post which is sure to be handy for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

Thanks for checking in!

XO

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why I love Tiny Prints Christmas Cards



As I was pouring over all of the fun Christmas Cards last week for the Tiny Prints giveaway (find out how to enter at the bottom of this post), it was so hard to choose just a few images for my post that represent their array of beautiful designs. I also wanted to share some neat features that make them a bit different than some of the other custom card companies that I thought were worth considering.

Since I'm a lover of fine stationery and cards, I was thrilled to see that Tiny Prints now offers double thick matte paper. You can learn more about their quality paper {here}. When we take the time to send a beautiful custom card, it should last and can often become a keepsake. With their ornament cards which can literally be hung on a tree, durability is important.

Another thing I was impressed by is that they offer a white shimmer effect to add extra sparkle to your cards. There is an option on all of the cards also to have the corners rounded which is a nice finishing touch. It's the one time of year I really splurge on cards that will be sent to a large group of people so I love having options to customize them as much as possible.

Whether you favor classic & elegant, colorful or modern designs, there is something for everyone. I like a mix of elegant, modern and fun. :) I'm a big fan of cards that tell a story, whether it be multiple pictures or photos with some descriptive 'year in review' text, especially for those you don't see often, they'll appreciate the fun update.


Here are a few of my favorites designs:


I love the simplicity of a single image with a pop of colors via the text 
and all those gold polka dots on the front and back.  



I love expandable cards that tell a story. Why not use beachy colors if your photos 
are from some recent travels instead of sticking with the tradition of red & green.





If you're camera shy, feature your fur baby instead! Isn't this card sweet?




Make your holiday card multi-purpose! It can be a beautiful ornament for this year 
and years to come for yourself and your dearest family and friends. 
Since it's made of durable thick paper, it's build to last.





Here's a sweet card to showcase the newest addition to your family!




If you like the modern look of square cards, this one with a big pop of red and 
breakdown of the kiddos by age is a fun update for everyone on your Christmas card list.



Find all the latest Tiny Prints Promotions on their special offers page {here}. Want to try a few samples first to test out the quality for yourself? For a limited of time you can order three free samples with this code:

3FREESAMPLES.


Be sure to check them out for loads of great options and don't forget to enter our giveaway to win $50 worth of Tiny Prints holiday cards which ends tonight at midnight!


Thanks for Reading!

XO




*Please not that while this is a sponsored post, my thoughts on Tiny Prints' quality and designs are that of my own personal opinion and experience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

$50 Tiny Prints Christmas Card Giveaway!




We haven't run a giveaway here in a few months so I was super excited when one of my sponsors, Tiny Prints, wanted to give one of my readers $50 to put towards their Christmas Cards. One less thing to budget for on your holiday list! They offer and endless amount of beautiful custom cards for the holiday season. So, if you've already purchased your Christmas cards, perhaps you'll find the perfect invitations to send out for a holiday event or New Year's Eve party! :)

Here are a few fun examples to inspire you to switch things up this year....
















GIVEAWAY DETAILS: **{This giveaway is now closed}**

ENTRIES:

1. To enter, leave a comment to let me know that you're a public (not anonymous) follower of The Classy Woman blog via Google Friend Connect (GFC) & also tell me which Tiny Prints' item caught your eye by visiting the red holiday cards link above

2. For a second entry, 'like' The Classy Woman on Facebook OR 'follow' on Twitter (feel free to do both!) and let me know you did.

3. For a third entry, copy this text below (minus the quotation marks) & share via your Facebook or Twitter page. Leave your Facebook name/page name or Twitter account in the comments:

"Enter to win a $50 gift certificate for Tiny Prints holiday cards from The Classy Woman! (ends: 11/18) http://tinyurl.com/bk8p6ta"

*Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and don't forget to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blog, so I can contact you if you win!

GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Sunday, November.18th @ 11:59pm EST

NUMBER OF WINNERS: One

PRIZE: $50 to spend as you choose at TinyPrint.com *Does not include shipping & cannot be combined with other Tiny Prints offers.

RULES: The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on 11/19/12.

OPEN TO: U.S. & Canada Residents

Good Luck to Everyone!

XO

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fashion Friday: Stylish + Affordable Jewelry




We're back with another Fashion Friday post, the series that you inspired after hearing from many of you that you'd like to see more classy fashion pieces and learn what to wear, how to wear it and more. For me, no outfit is complete without jewelry. I feel naked without a pair of earrings, my wedding rings and either a watch or bracelet. I wanted to share two of my favorite online shops for jewelry that are stylish, affordable and are pieces you'd own for years to come. I like pieces that last and by trial and error I've discovered which shops sell pieces that hold up in the long run vs. those that don't. I'm a huge fan of Stella & Dot and so are many celebrities, their pieces are worn regularly by all of your favorite stars and showcased in all the top fashion magazines. All of their pieces arrive in the most beautiful boxes too (just scroll down to the end of this post to see what I mean). The Kirra Tate collection found via the Layla Grayce shop is also another great line, I am continually amazed by the reasonable prices they offer for such gorgeous pieces! Layla Grayce just redesigned their whole website and it looks more fresh than ever, adding customer reviews so now it's easier than ever to shop for everyone on your list!




Between the two companies, here's a breakdown of what you can find at the following price points: Under $30, Under $40 and Under $50. While $50 may seem steep to some, I believe you get what you pay for. Like my wardrobe, I want to invest in accessory pieces that won't break, chip or fall apart months down the road. Through wearing different jewelry you can change the look of current outfits. I love all of these because they provide a pretty pop of color and/or fun design. These are all perfect as we move into the festive season with holiday parties and events just around the corner. Maybe you'll also get some gift ideas too for the special women in your life!



















On My Wish List....















{Left to Right Row 2}: blue & gold bangle  /  feather cuff  /  black & gold bangle


I really adore each and every one of these 21 pieces I've compiled here and many of them are on my immediate wish list and a few are on my Christmas shopping list for others too. :)




Which piece is your favorite? Have you shopped Layla Grayce or Stella & Dot before and own a piece you love? Leave us a comment and gush about it! :)

Psst...If you missed the previous installments of the Fashion Friday Series, you can read them in order {here}:  1, 2, 3, 4.

Thanks for reading!!

 XO






*All images from Layla Grayce & Stella & Dot website-image boards created by me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Criticizing Opposing Political Views isn't Classy




Here we are, it's election day. For many the outcome represents either monumental fear or reassurance regarding the future of this country (depending on how you voted). Yet for others not so emotionally invested in a particular political party, it simply represents change and a different path ahead or moving forward with much of what's already in motion. 

I think the real difference comes down to true faith in our good Lord above. When your faith is in your creator who loves you (instead of hanging your hopes on a political party or Presidential candidate to be your country's savior), things look and feel different. There is peace, trust and a gentle spirit that does not burden you with the the need to hammer your points home and put your political map on friends, family, neighbors and even strangers if they don't agree with you (hence today's reminder above on political etiquette and how a classy woman behaves during election time). In fact, it can alienate the very people we care about most, turning our viewpoints into a war zone and causing division among many long after harsh words are spoken.

I wrote these words below this morning, first on my own personal Facebook page and then moments later on The Classy Woman Facebook community page (feel free to click the link and join us if you like). My hope is that we all keep things in perspective and focus more on unity than division.



No matter what happens today, here is one final thought. His very own words were written for our eyes to see and be confident in what lies ahead. "For I know the plans I have for you, (declares the Lord) plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11.

As always, thanks for reading!

XO





*All images with text content are my own.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manners Monday: Tipping Etiquette




I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and enjoyed the extra hour of sleep (or time spent anyway you pleased). Today's Manners Monday post was actually prompted by a reader, Amber Y., who wrote me a message on my Facebook wall last week and requested more information on how much to tip for various services (things that go beyond just restaurant tips).

Every classy woman should be armed with the knowledge of what to tip and when. So, today we'll explore various venues and general amounts that are appropriate as it pertains to everyday tipping etiquette in North America. We'll explore international tipping as well as holiday tipping at a later date so this post doesn't become insanely long. ;)


Everyday Tipping Etiquette 



Restaurant Services:

1.  Host or Maitre d'- $10-$20 if they have gone above and beyond to provide you with a special table with a view, in a particular location of the restaurant, for a special evening or occasion or on a busy night. Nothing is required if they offer the standard of greeting and showing you to your table.

2. Restaurant Server (full service/sit down)- 15-20% is customary, the higher amount showing that you were quite pleased with the service, atmosphere and food. Tipping percentages are based on the before tax amount (there is no need to tip on top of tax). If an automatic gratuity is built into your check, you are not required to provide anything further, it is optional to tip on top of the amount included which is typically 18% for upscale restaurants and is typical when dining as a party of 6 or more.

3. Restaurant Server (basic service/buffet)-10% is customary before tax since these servers are generally replenishing drinks and clearing plates vs. taking full orders, specific requests and serving you multiple courses of your meal. 

4. Take Out- 10% is optional if the order was large or complex, otherwise you are not obligated.

5. Curb-side pickup-Same rules apply as take-out, they'll bring it out to your car.

6. Home Delivery Service-10-15% of the bill is sufficient. Usually $2-5 dollars for pizza delivery depending on the size of the order and how difficult it is to get to the location is standard. (Think long country roads in the snow at night)

7. Bartender-$1-$2 on a per drink basis or 15-20% of the final tab

8. Tip Jar- Optional. Many people feel obligated to leave a tip when they see a tip jar but it's set up for Baristas at cafes, dry cleaners, etc. Anything is acceptable and is shared among the staff.

9. Valet- $2-$5 is customary upon the return of your car.

10. Restroom Attendant- Anywhere from 50 cents to $3.00 depending on the service offered. Such attendants usually supply paper towels, lotion, feminine products, mouthwash etc inside the restroom of upscale restrooms, special events and clubs for your convenience. You can simply avoid the extra service by not using any products and simply saying, "No, Thank you." 


Salon & Spa Services:



1. Hair Stylist- 15-20% for hair cuts, color, highlights & updos. If you're service pertains to your wedding day and you feel more is appropriate, your stylist will be grateful for the extra. *Please note that if you cannot afford such a tip on top of the cost of a pricier salon, you may want to receive your services elsewhere or stretch out the time between visits. Know what the cost is going in and calculate the tip so there are no surprises and yours stylist gets what they deserve.

If you have one person that provides the cut and another the color or shampoo, be sure to either pay each person individually in cash or indicate on the receipt who gets what amount if paying by credit card. Many used to follow the rule of not tipping the owner who provides the service, modern etiquette recommends otherwise-tip no matter what as they are still providing good service to you.

2. Special Shampoo service-$2-$5 is the average for those who provide your shampooing service. If they are gentle, avoid splashing water on your face, use products that stimulate the scalp and most importantly provide a wonderful scalp and neck massage, do tip them! They'll remember the next time you come back and you'll be sure to get a relaxing shampoo experience again.

3. Manicurist-15-20% is the standard for all nail treatments for manicure and pedicure. Extra credit goes to those who give a relaxing forearm and hand massage or foot and calf massage for more than just 2 minutes. If they provided something extra or did an ultra amazing job on the polish   20% or more should be given.

4. Massage Therapist-15-20% can be given for massages although be aware that some therapeutic massage establishments actually frown upon tipping (make sure you ask ahead of time when you make the reservation). If you are receiving treatment after a car accident or injury and the massage is being billed via insurance or you are being reimbursed, use your discretion on tipping in such cases as it is more about body restoration than relaxation.

5. Waxing services- Again, 15-20% as it is a salon service.

6. Makeup Application- Anywhere from 10-20% tip. If they take a few minutes to show you how to apply eye shadow like a pro or provide tips for you on how to get a more dewy look (or whatever questions you may have or that they feel they want to share), tip them accordingly. 


Hotel & Travel Services:


1. Door Man- $1-$4 for carrying luggage or anything that involves them going out of their way for you and is not in their description. $1-2 is recommended for hailing a cab for you.

2. Bell Hop-$2 for the first bag and $1 for each additional bag thereafter. For each additional service (such as room delivery), tip $2-3.

3. Housekeeping- $2-5 per day depending on the level of service. Always include a hand written note that thanks the housekeeper and indicates it's for them. It's best to do this on a daily basis as you may likely have a different person each day.

4. Concierge-$5-10 if they got restaurant reservations of special tickets for you. Add an extra $5 if the tickets or reservations were hard to come by. Of course, you need not feel obligated to tip for having them answer a few questions for you.

5. Taxi Driver-A minimum of $1 for very short rides, 15-20% of the cab fare. If they are assisting your with luggage/bags, add $2 for the first bag and $1 for each thereafter.

6. Sky Cap (air travel) -This is a specialty service for air travelers to make life easier, $2 for the first bag and $1 for each bag thereafter (as with other venues) is appropriate.



Tips on Tipping:

It's important to remember that tipping is a personal gesture and at the discretion of the giver, while guidelines are set, if you have been extremely disappointed by someone's service provided or delighted when someone has gone above and beyond, your tip should reflect. A lady knows that certain things are done in private and the act of tipping is no exception. Tipping should be done discreetly, it was never intended to be an opportunity to appear as the big spender nor should you compare amounts with others, everyone's experience is different. Also, be mindful that for many in the service industry, their tips are the bulk of their income as hourly compensation can often be meager and as such tips are always greatly appreciated.

Today, it seems that even when someone has experienced horrific service, many feel compelled to leave the standard 15%. In such cases, it's best to speak to management and make them aware of the issue (without causing a scene or fuss of any sort), only then can they help correct what you were displeased with and speak to the person in question. It is considered poor taste to leave pocket change or nothing at all upon receiving services, especially within a restaurant environment, for poor service a tip of 10% of the check's total should be the absolute minimum. Other members of the restaurant are often affected (in many restaurants bus boys, dishwashers, food prep and chef receive a portion of the server's tip and they should not be penalized in the process).

***A note on gift certificates and Groupon or group coupon deals. Even if your gift certificate covers a large portion of your meal or spa service, tipping is always made on the full value of the services or meal before tax and not on the portion that remains after your gift card.




Have you had someone provide exemplary services and have re-warded them as such for their thoughtfulness and/or skill? I'd love to hear what they did to make you so happy, please share the positive vibes in the comments section! :)

Thank you for reading!

XO






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