Hello and welcome to my about me page! I am Sheila, a stay-at-home-Mom of three daughters and wife to one wonderful husband!
Thank you for taking the time to find out a little about me and my helpers (my family), and what made me start a website about tea parties with no knowledge of HTML and very little knowledge of computers. In fact, I basically knew how to email, type a text document and had just recently learned how to get pictures off of our digital camera (but to do anything with them in the computer always confused me!)
Well, with three girls, you know we/they play(ed) lots of dress-up games! Especially when they were younger, I felt like I was always zipping someone up, tying this or that or helping someone wiggle out of their fancy dress. Now, as they get older, I am not so much the 'Keeper of the Couture Closet' as I am the 'Head Honcho of the Dust Bunny Herd' and 'Disaster Relief Supervisor' when the house looks like a tornado went through, which is frequent!
What concerned me, and at the same time frustrated me, was the fact that the 'niceties of society' seemed to be nowhere in sight, and my daughters weren't getting any positive reinforcements from third party sources of things I was trying to instill in them like manners, etiquette (yes, they are two different things), and good principles that would make them strong ladies, not easily swayed by the whims of a society that places little value on dignity, veracity and decorum.
Try to find out what all our parents and grandparents were taught in the everyday situations of life. I am thankful that my parents relayed a lot of this to us growing up, but to recognize it and affirm it was now my duty to my children so they could now 'practice what we were preaching'! ;-) So, through the years with my acquired knowledge, I tried to implement these findings in my daily duties to my children and in instructing/correcting them and encouraging them when their manners and behavior were commendable.
How to do this?
Everyone knows that to be drilled on something or corrected for something all the time can be mundane. How many of us still roll our eyes or think 'oh, boy, here we go again!' when we hear someone say: 'elbows off the table', or 'stand up straight'?
Well, its in trying to avoid this exasperation in my children that I have wanted a nice fun way to instill some of these principles. Have I succeeded? I'm not sure on some days ;-), but most people will compliment us on our childrens' behavior especially in public places like stores, restaurants, and doctor offices. '
This is a great consolation to us, but makes me sad for the secretaries/receptionists who have to put up with uncontrolled children running around a doctor's office, (remember the old days, when everyone, even children knew you should be still and quiet in such a place?) or youngsters who don't know how to behave at a table in a restaurant? (How many times has your meal been interrupted by a family who thinks their loud unruly children are cute or funny?...and I am not talking about children who are having a rough time, just parents who think misbehavior is funny or cute.)
And, just to make sure no one misunderstands me, I am NOT advocating a "Children should be seen and not heard" mentality. Some take this to such an extreme, that the children, although they can be quiet, STILL do not know how to behave in public and have almost no concept of common courtesies that they should have been taught from a young age.
So, to help others in an UN-mundane way help their children and friends (and ourselves) learn the 'niceties of society' and proper manners, I thought a website about something fun, that uses proper manners, and helps teach etiquette in an enjoyable way would be beneficial to other parents. So the idea of Tea Party Guide was born!
Long story short:
We are celebrating our first year of being online today, (yes, April Fools Day, but this is no joke) and we would like to take this time to thank each of you for your support over the last 12 months. When I started Tea Party Guide, I had my doubts, (and so did others) if I could do it or not, but lo and behold, one year later I have a thriving website!
It was important to be to be able to have a simple way to share my knowledge and interest in helping others be able to encourage better behavior from their children and friends and building a website about etiquette and good manners seemed mundane until I thought about the best way to introduce children to good manners and proper etiquette...throwing a tea party! Even little boys sit up straighter and put on their best behavior at tea parties.
Being what I term a 'non-techie', I needed a sure way to build a site with out too much hassle. I thank God I stumbled upon Site Build It!
With this company everything I needed was included and I didn't have to worry about submitting anything to search engines or what-not. So, here's to many more years of sharing my information with all of you!
Your Tea Party Guide
Update: We are in our 7th year now and I would like to once again thank all of my readers who have joined me over the years to learn more about me and tea parties. Hopefully at some point you have each received some help and joy out of the simplistic beauty of hostessing tea parties, whether a solo party for yourself, or a large all out feast for your dear friends and family. ~Sheila