Common Courtesy

Common Courtesy is often a misconstrued and misunderstood term. I view common courtesy just like I view common sense… it’s not so common! #FACTS. I literally just Googled, “What is Common Courtesy?” and here is one of the first items that popped up:

In fourth grade, my son received a handout about common courtesy. All elementary schools should incorporate a lesson about common courtesy each year!

Yes, you read that right. Fourth graders are being taught about the concept of common courtesy. Because I literally just had this conversion with a grown person (as ridiculous as that is…), I thought I would blog about it. Here is what fourth graders are being taught (emphasis mine):

  1. Show respect for others. When appropriate, say please, thank you and excuse me. After you receive a gift, make sure you write a thank you note or follow up with a phone call, email or text message. Do not use the word “shut up” – it is offensive!
  2. Always apologize when you do something wrong. When you physically or emotionally hurt someone apologize even if it’s an accident. If you make a mistake, try to make amends whenever possible. This starts with being self-aware and honest about your actions, regardless of your intentions.
  3. When someone is having a conversation, do not interrupt. If you must interrupt a conversation, make sure you are polite and say, “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt but…”
  4. When you change your plans, let others know. Honor your word. If you commit to plans, make sure you show up. If something comes up (which it always does), make sure you contact others immediately. Why is this so difficult? When you don’t have the basic foresight to do this I call it #selfish #inconsiderate #nohometraining
  5. Respect the needs of others in public. Do not talk obnoxiously or loudly in public. Be aware of your surroundings and the people in the vicinity; use your cell phone in a private place. Always be respectful towards the people that serve you.
  6. Never embarrass another person. It is NOT polite to embarrass someone. In fact, it’s rude and mean and only serves to portray you as a bully. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. I read something great  in a book one time – You have the right to remain silent!
  7. When refusing an invitation, be kind and honest. We cannot attend every function so sometimes you will need to politely decline an invitation. Remember it’s okay to decline an invitation but it’s wrong to lie to someone. #priorities
  8. Respect your elders. Always be polite to adults and treat them with respect. Go out of your way to help elderly people, e.g., hold the door open. Consider having a conversation with them – that may put a smile on their face.
  9. Use good table manners. I’m not implying you should put a napkin on your lap or keep your elbows off the table every time you eat. You should however, chew with your mouth shut and never speak with food in your mouth – that’s gross! Do not use your fingers unless, of course, it’s finger food. Use your napkin not your shirt and don’t lick your fingers.
  10. Respect other people’s property. Treat other people’s possessions like they were your own. If you lose or ruin something that belongs to someone else, fix or replace it. How about we also add put things back where you found them!

If fourth graders are being taught these basic concepts / principles, what excuses do adults have?? NONE. ZILCH. ZERO.

One thing I can say is that regardless of whether or not people show common courtesy to you, never let it alter your behavior or standards.

Give what you expect but also demand what you deserve! ~Bri Alys

A Random Wednesday Morning

It’s a random Wednesday morning. I am sitting in the concierge lounge of a Marriott Hotel in Detroit, Michigan. On this morning I had a random thought … spend less.

To be honest it’s not so random. Before I left Atlanta, my garage looked like a warehouse (from all the shipments I have received this week). So much so that hubby had to “organize” all the boxes. Additionally, I analyzed my last Amex statement by category (by hand) last night to see where my money went and how many times I made purchases in each category. As an example, I have two (2) charges for gas, totaling $76.93 (not so bad). By stark contrast, I had thirty one (yes, 31) charges at Target totaling $1,771.37 with $428.11 in returns, bringing the total to $1,343,26. Yes, I know that when you order stuff online they sometimes will charge you multiple times for a single order (depending on where your items are shipping from). Also, most of those expenses are Christmas Decorating (mostly one-time in a new house); but, in my humble opinion that’s still WAAAYYY too much! 🤦🏽‍♀️

Side note: Not to go off of a tangent; but, I do use my American Express card for everything. I also pay it off every month so interest is not a concern.

So my general goal is to spend less. PeriodT! It’s way too easy for me to click a button and order something from Amazon and Target. That will stop. If I can just get a couple of categories under control my monthly financial analysis (that I often do not do) would look so much different! I have three (3) goals:

  1. Limit Target/Amazon purchases to one time a week (maximum). Ideally I should be able to get by with one or two times a month; but, baby steps… Fridays are the only day I will shop in Target. I am ditching Amazon for a while. I also deleted both apps from my phone.
  2. Spend $0 on paper and planning supplies. I have enough paper. I don’t need anymore.
  3. Actually pay attention to what I am being charged at the checkout counter (in any store) and review my bill! I cannot tell you how many times I walk out of a store with a basket full of goodies and have no idea what I paid. #smh

We Don’t Buy Things with Money, We Buy Them with Hours from our Life. read this

So that’s it for me! When is the last time you analyzed your spending? For me, it’s super easy because I put all my charges on one card. As we go into the holiday/shopping season (when I tend to view so many buying guides online), I highly encourage you to do a similar exercise on your most used account (if you have more than one). When you do so, set realistic goals for yourself. Your eyes will truly be opened for the better and your wallet/bank account will thank you!

My New Favorite Place in LIFE

Every now and again you find a thing (person or place) that you adore. Restoration Hardware gives me LIFE! Do you hear me?? 👂🏽  I have visited their Atlanta Showroom many a time – dreaming – and ultimately selected a few immaculate pieces for my son’s bedroom decor (airplane themed). Suffice it to say that if I could buy ALL my furniture from Restoration Hardware (RH) I absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt WOULDt!

While searching their website one day, I discovered that they also have seven (7) rooftop restaurants. I immediately added them to my wish / to go list; but, in my mind wrote off the concept of visiting a city just to try out a (furniture) restaurant as silly. #NOT! Here are the restaurant locations – all with their own unique decor / ambiance:

Restoration Hardware in West Palm Beach, Florida is GOALS! 🙌🏽🏳️🖤 Can I throw a party in there? Can I live my life in there? Can I work there? 👀👀👀 Somebody tell me WHAT I have to do to have this experience FOREVER! I spent 2 hours in their rooftop restaurant (packed!), another hour walking their four (4) floors of amazing furniture setups and took fifty 50 pictures… Yes, I was that impressed!

Here are some stock photos of the West Palm Beach Location from the company’s website:

I literarily drool every time I look at these photos. Check out all the pics I took  by clicking the link/photo below:

Restoration Hardware West Palm Beach – Photo Album

RH is a curator of design, taste and style in the luxury lifestyle market, offering furniture, lighting, textiles, rugs, bathware, décor and outdoor, as well as baby & child and teen products.

Boost with Cash App

Cash App is a service, similar to PayPal and Venmo, that allows you to send cash to friends and family, free of charge. Cash App now has a (debit) card that allows you access to your funds (after linking your personal bank account) as well as funds transferred to you by others. The card is free, just log into your Cash App account and sign up (or click here). You can customize your card by selecting a black or white card, as well as by adding other text/graphics. A physical Visa debit card (with a chip) will be mailed to you. In case you are wondering, a credit check is not required to get this card.

Under normal circumstances, this card would be useless for anyone who already has a debit card through their bank. So what has changed that makes me consider getting this card? A feature called Boost. Basically, when you use your Cash App Card, you select and apply pre-determined Boosts ($ or % discounts) to you transaction for immediate in-store savings. Here are the Boosts I currently see in my account:

  • Coffee Shop – $1 of each transaction (ANY coffee shop: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts)
  • Chik-fil-A: 10% off
  • Grocery Store: $5 off one purchase (ANY grocery store)
  • Marta (train in Atlanta): $1 off each ride
  • Cinemark (movie tickets): $3 off each visit
  • Nike: 10% off one purchase

You can use a Boost once every 30 minutes. So if you want to get a coffee then head to the grocery store, just be sure to switch your boost before you checkout. Boosts often change so be sure to check your Cash App frequently. I plan to use my Cash App Card only for this purpose!

Let’s Boost together! Sign up today! https://cash.app/app/JFGLLWQ

Apple TV+

Apple’s new streaming service has arrived! At $4.99 per month, Apple TV+ lets you stream all-new Apple Originals, ad-free and on demand. If you purchased any Apple Device after September 10th, you get 1 year of Apple TV for FREE! Click this link on your new device to activate your subscription. If you are eligible, you will see a button that says, “Enjoy 1 Year Free“. Once you activate the service on your new device you can log in from ANY Apple Device you own and stream content (i.e. after activating Apple TV+ on my iPhone, I logged in on my MacBook and watched my first show there). Note that Apple will start charing you $4.99 per month exactly 1 year later so set a calendar appointment NOW to reminder yourself to cancel (or not). Basically, Apple has 1 year to prove to you that this service is worth $60/year ($4.99 per month @ 12 months). The website to watch is tv.apple.com

Apple TV+ debuts The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston alongside Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell that seems promising. And of course, Oprah’s Book Club is launching on the service. Other shows available now include: For All Mankind (Drama), See (Drama), Helpsters (Kids & Family), Dickinson (Comedy), Ghostwriter (Kids & Family), The Elephant Queen (Documentary) and Snoopy in Space (Kids & Family). Upcoming shows noted on the site are: Servant (Drama), Hala (Drama) and Truth Be Told (Drama starring Olivia Spencer).

Check out a few of the trailers below:

You can find all trailer’s on Apple TV+’s YouTube Channel. Follow Apple TV on Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date on Episode availability and new show alerts.

Happy Watching!!!