Eating Together: Dining With Your Family

The most important conversations usually happen at the dinner table. Getting together with those that you love and sharing a meal, nearly every night, is as important as getting dressed in the morning.


Talks with those in our community about dinnertime etiquette revealed a few tips on how to reinforce this longtime cultural practice, which we share here.

Family 2


  • Have “Family Dinner” at every opportunity. If you’re new to this, start with 3-4 nights a week. Ideally, it is best to dine together every 5-6 nights
  • Make time for dinner. Encourage your family members to say, “No, I can’t” to other invitations and practice saying, “we are having a Family Dinner tonight.”
  • Make an effort for family dinner to be a great dining experience in a beautiful and inviting environment
  • Eating your meal together, in the dining room, will create a calm, civilized atmosphere
  • Prepare a nutritious dinner. Use real plates vs. paper cups and plastic utensils
  • Establish a few ground rules. Most important is that TV and cell phones should be shut off, and controversial conversations should be avoided
  • Practice good table manners at all times. The most important include:
    • Knife edge always face inward
    • Teach children how to set a table
    • Hold both your fork and knife
    • Remember the Silent Service Code when you are partially done, and then again when finished with your meal
    • At home, clean up after yourself. Teach your children to do the same
  • Children need to learn how to set the table, prepare dinner and help clean up
  • When dinner is over, encourage group cleanup followed by hot tea or a little dessert


  • Encourage family discussions. Share with each other about interests, academics, books, politics, jobs/careers, goals, friends. Encourage going around the table and making sure each person gets a chance to speak. If a guest joins for dinner on occasion, include that person(s) in your discussions. When eating out for dinner as a family, try to maintain most of the routines you’ve built.
  • Acknowledge individual achievement. Celebrate birthdays, awards, and milestones!

An important aspect to eating at home includes dressing nicely for dinner, most of the time. This doesn’t mean formal wear, but it does mean you should look clean and presentable at the table. Encourage your children to do the same.

These traditions may sound simple and obvious, but the routine created helps to deepen relationships, reduce anxieties, and create overall benefits in your life.

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Personal Branding: Essential for Business Leaders

As a business leader, taking care of your own visual identity is not a superficial thing; it’s professionalism. “Looking the part” in the role that you play is expected. You are responsible for your own professional success. Considering how others perceive you for that “first second” impression, and spending some time on your visual identity, expands your opportunities for success.


Thinking of yourself as a product and service is a first step to building your visual identity, which you can think of as your invisible business card. When you start to look at yourself as a brand and then consider your customers’ satisfaction with your brand, you’ll increasingly leave a positive image, personally and professionally. Considering these factors allows you to build on the steps necessary to market yourself.


Leaders' dressing


As trainers of image consultant, we consider some of the following points to enhance a professional’s image:


  • – We analyze every visual element of our client’s professional life
  • – We take a critical look at a client’s manners
  • – We examine a client’s communication skills – verbal and nonverbal
  • – We analyze our clients’ online presence
  • – We bring out a client’s authenticity in their personal and professional image, from clothing style to the way each client carriers herself
  • – We get to know you and understand whom you are as a person, to make the very best of you.


If you haven’t had the chance to work with an image consultant in your professional life yet, for yourself or your colleagues, let us know. Having an objective advocate on behalf of your personal branding goes a very long way, paying itself again many times over.

To learn more about image consulting at


The Perfect Jeans for Your Body

It’s too bad that not every outfit will fit into place as perfectly as those magical jeans that fit all four friends despite their different shapes and sizes in The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. But, don’t worry! Finding a pair of Perfect Jeans for your body isn’t a rocket science if you understand what your body assets and challenges are. Just follow the tips below you’ll find a best-fitting jeans in no time!


The Perfect Jeans


If you have a small waist – Having a small waist is an asset. But when you are buying ready-made jeans, you might find a problem with the fitting.


Look for a low-rise style that has a waistband that sits on your hips, not at the waist, which can prevent gapping. Opt for a style with a waistband that is slightly higher in the back and drops lower in the front.


If you have a flat butt – Look for a lower-rise style with back pockets that sit higher on the butt. It offers a snugger fit, and the pockets draw the eyes up, giving the butt a visual lift. Or ask for a style with a built-in panel in the back which lifts the butt.


If you have a big butt – Try to look for a style with no additional design on the back pockets. A trouser-cut style with a darker wash will be more comfortable and will give you a slimmer look.


If you have full thighs & hips – Avoid a low-rise style and try to look for a pair of trouser- cut jeans, if you want to have a streamlined look. Stay away from skinny jeans and look for the relaxed-fit style.


If you have a full tummy — Try to find a style that fastens below the belly button or looks for a dark colored style with built-in tummy control panels in higher-rise — it’ll help remove any unflattering bulges. Pair it with heels for a slimmer look.


Just remember the dressing ABC:

Accentuate your body assets, Balance the difference and Camouflage the body challenges.

We hope these tips inspire your seasonal shopping plans. Let us know what you think on the blog and Twitter, @nycimageacademy For more info at

#image-consulting, #jeans, #personal-shopping, #personal-style, #shanna-pecoraro