Sunday, September 16, 2012

5 Ways to Practice Peace at Home

 September 21st is International Peace Day.  It might sound ridiculous to some given the state of the world lately, but I believe there can be peace in our lives and in the world.  Peace is not simply a state of being, but the result of practiced skill.  How can we expect our future leaders to resolve conflicts with people and nations if we have not taught them to do it at the most primary level, at home? 

Families are the perfect training ground for peace.  No one can offend as easily as family and arguments or standoffs are frequently the result.  It doesn’t have to come to blows to be war.  Just the motivation to undermine someone else is war because it keeps both individuals in a state of conflict. 

 We may not be able to end war in a day but, what we can do is take this day to consciously practice peace with those closest to us.  

Here are my top five Go-To’s for keeping the family peace:

1    1.    Use Humor
When someone in our family is being unpleasant we often place a stuffed Grumpy doll (I found in my daughters toy collection) in a spot they are sure to go to soon.  A Grinch figurine or even a picture would work just as well.  

2.     Show Concern
When people are out of sorts they usually save their release for family. We come home and seem rude or insensitive to the very people who love us the most.  Instead of responding with criticism, try asking, “what’s going on” and then listen attentively. 

3.  Don’t fuel the fire
People tend to respond to other’s behavior with the same degree of force.  So, when a teenager doesn’t get her way and spits out those words, “I hate living here,” and dad spits back, “don’t talk to your mother that way!” and Mom joins in raising her voice, “you don’t know how lucky you are.”  The teen has little conscious choice but to defend her position with even greater zeal.  Before you know it, a little flame has been fanned into a bon fire.  Try maintaining your calm.  It’s extremely effective in defusing a situation. 

 4.   No one wins when there’s a loser
Nothing creates a power struggle more quickly than fear of losing an argument.   It doesn’t even matter what the topic is.  If one person “wins” at the expense of the other, the “loser” is going to feel resentful.   If we are willing, a compromise can always be made so that each person gets some of what he wants or needs.   (**This is especially important for parents to model for their children.  Not only will it improve parent child relations but it will give them the tools for being successful in their future relationships). 

 5.  Stay on Topic
People tend to use past grievances to support their current argument, but instead of proving their point they simple create a whole new topic to argue. 

You may ask yourself, “why should I be the one to have to initiate peace?  I’m not the problem.”  Well, someone has to start.  Someone has to lead.  It doesn’t matter who “the problem” is.  Each of us can choose to be the solution.  As people experience peaceful resolution in their own lives they will be likely to apply these tools themselves.    

For more information on International Peace Day go to
To go to our website:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Honor of Grandparents Day Sept. 9

In case you were not aware, Grandparents Day is September 9, 2012.

I for one will be honoring this day.  Although my "Grams" is gone now I was so fortunate to have had her in my life.  I cannot over emphasize the important role she had in my personal development.  In honor of Grandparent Day I would like to share just one of the ways in which she influenced me.

I recently came across this quote:

“Love me when I deserve it least because that’s when I need it the most.”

That’s exactly what my grandmother did.   My “Grams” had a way of looking at me that both nailed my behavior and said I love you at the same time.  She didn’t even have to say a word.  No preaching or scolding.  Her look simply said, “I’m so sorry you screwed up and I love you.”    The reason this was such an effective parenting tool was because it made it bearable to own up and take responsibility for my actions.  In fact, it facilitated the process!  Kids typically know when they’ve done something wrong, but, what they often don’t know is how to go about making things right again.  Had my grandmother focused on making me feel guilty or ashamed or on punishing me, I might have tried to deny my culpability and protect my fragile ego.  It’s very hard to admit, “I’m wrong” when you’re in a corner and people are shouting at you, “you’re wrong.”  Instead, what my grandmother did was give me room.  She allowed me space to contemplate my actions.  After a while I would go to her apologize and we’d talk about it.   I would genuinely want to do better. Incidentally, I never once had my old mistakes dredged up and placed before me as evidence of my past failures.  This too instilled a sense of trust.  Instead of having to hide my mistakes from her, I had an adult I could go to without losing my dignity.     I’m not sure if my Grams was aware of her “technique” but I certainly have adopted it years later with my own children.  Sometimes my husband mistakes my reaction as no action until he sees the results.  When he does he just shakes his head and smiles.  So, in honor of my grandmother and all the grandparents out there teaching and loving children unconditionally, I salute you.  You deserve to be honored!  
Me and my Grams under her favorite Cherry Blossom Tree


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sneak Preview!

Monday, August 13th I will be a guest blogger on Be sure to visit as I will be sharing something very new!    Go to

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zulily Eating Right and Etiquette Event!

If you have never heard of Zulily then you are missing out!  It's a new online store that offers discounts on top quality brands for moms, babies and kids. We are talking savings of up to  90% off of retail prices.  Not only do you save on gas and time schlepping kids to and from the mall but you can find the things you need at rock bottom prices! 

Golly Gee-pers is so excited to be part of the Zulily Eating Right and Etiquette event this Monday, August 6-9.  This is a terrific opportunity if you would like to buy several Table Manners Card games at once to use as party favors for a girl's tea party,  Thanksgiving or as stocking stuffers for the kids. You could save a bundle and help make the world a little more polite in the process!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Celebrity quiz...

What celebrity couple would this gift wrap be for? Hint:  They donate an enormous amount of time and resources to help children around the world.

answer:  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of course.  Golly Gee-pers hopes they love their new Table Manners Card Game.  To get yours,  go to

Monday, July 2, 2012

Does Mommy Love it?

Oh, yes she does!  Thanks to the popular website giving the game a try,"Table Manners Cards" receives a thumbs up and by the way so does this handsome little guy!

Is this darling or what?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Winner of The Birth and Baby Fair Raffle!

Congratulations!  The winner of our 2012 Birth and Baby Fair Raffle is #16, Jaynny Max.

All other entries will receive a 20% discount off the purchase of Table Manners Cards when you buy from our website .

It was a pleasure meeting all you new moms, existing moms and beautiful families!  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kate Hudson gets "Table Manners Cards"

We hope that Kate Hudson, now a mum to two darling boys, will enjoy how easy and fun it is to teach table manners with her brand new set of "Table Manners Cards." (available at
And, if you didn't know, this busy actress now has a new clothing line with Ann Taylor.  Talk about a super mom, talented, smart and stylish.  We wish Kate and her budding family all the best!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Website Gets a Makeover!

Well, thanks to my extrememly talented and patient graphic designer turned web designer, Andi Botto, has been updated and is now interactive! 

product imageVisitors can view our brand new video demonstrating how the game is played, read headlines from our blog, twitter and facebook page and of course purchase the game.

Our freebie page is still in the works but fear not, those coloring pages, sticker charts and fairy letters will be available shortly. 

By popular demand we will also be adding an email list so people can sign up for our latest info. 

Stay tuned for more surprises, tips and fun to come!!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Top 10 Things Dads do to Teach Good Manners

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17!

I thought I would take this opportunity to acknowledge the importance of dads in teaching their sons and daughters good manners. After all, sons will model their fathers and daughters will learn how they expect to be treated based on watching the primary male role model in their lives.

Here is my top 10 favorite things dads do to teach good manners:

   When Dads…
  1. treat the mother of their children with respect
  2. refrain from using vulgar language
  3. attend father/daughter dances. Dress for the event and break out the date treatment; opening doors, holding her chair and be engaged in conversations.
  4. show up on time
  5. listen to other points of view
  6. allow people through when driving
  7. show good sportsmanship
  8. give compliments
  9. review expected behavior with their sons before leaving for prom
  10. have good table manners (if they need help with this one go to
Thanks dads for all you do!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golly Gee-pers Wins an award and is featured on the Toginet “Believe In Your Fairytales” radio show?

After Table Manners Cards recently won The Next Big Zing award I was invited to be a guest on Debbie Glickman and Dhana Cohen’s radio show, “Believe In Your Fairytales.”

Not only was it an opportunity to tell listeners about my game and how it works, but also a chance to share my experience bringing a product to market. If you know of budding entrepreneurs who could use a little encouragement and direction have them take a listen. Go to: under Recent Shows choose 5/22/12. My segment begins at 11:30.

Believe in your fairytales!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Table Manners Cards go Hollywood!

I am so excited! Celebrity Baby Trend Expert, Rachel Florio-Urso just gave me the go ahead to send our Table Manners Cards game to two beautiful mommies, Tori Spelling and Jessica Simpson.

If you haven’t heard Tori is pregnant with baby number 4 and of course she still has three in tow and Jessica is a brand new first time mommy to a beautiful baby girl.

We at Golly Gee-pers wishes them all the best!

But wait, there is more glam- and style! Table Manners Cards were just listed in the prestigious Eat Love Savor Luxury Gift Guide 2012

JPEGand the popular website

I feel like I should be wearing some bling!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Table Manners Cards to be at the International Nanny Association Conference!

The International Nanny Association is the authority on in-home child care. It serves as the umbrella association for the in-home child care industry by providing information, education and guidance to the public and to industry professionals. If you would like to know more about this organization and what they can do for you, visit them at

This year’s annual conference will be held at the Tuscany Suites & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 3-6. I am very proud to say that Table Manners Cards will be in the welcome bag of every attendee. Thank you INA for this wonderful honor.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Have a fairy or an elf compliment your child...

Spring has sprung! It's a magical time. Flowers and trees are blooming, the grasses are emerald green and rainbows grace our skies. Nature nurtures children’s imaginations as they gather sticks, moss and leaves and search for small life hidden under rocks and inside of flowers. It’s a wonderful opportunity to encourage and reward kind, gentle and polite behavior in our children.  

Imagine your child receiving a tiny little envelope. Inside is a letter. The writing is so small you have to use a magnifying glass to read it. When you do your child realizes that she or he is being complimented by a fairy or an elf who has noticed your child’s good behavior. What a memorable reward! To create this experience for your child, Golly Gee-pers is providing free down loadable letters and envelopes. You can choose Fairy Poli for girls or Elf Raffi for boys. Simply go to and click on freebies. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Mixes Manners and Music

According to March is “Music in Our Schools Month”

They started sitting and ended dancing!
 Coincidentally, (although I don’t believe in coincidences) Golly Gee-pers was invited to a local school to debut a few of our new manners songs. Thanks to the cool and melodic voice of Rebecca Sayre, kindergartners through 5th graders embraced the songs and their message with unabashed singing, humming, tapping and lively discussions. In one of the classrooms an autistic boy who had remained sitting at his desk working with an aid, quickly joined in. His teachers were delighted to see this otherwise unresponsive child suddenly participating along with the rest of the class! It struck me (not for the first time) how alive and focused the kids became and what an important tool music can be to learning. In honor of this month’s celebration, I would love to hear from people on the ways in which music has contributed to their child’s education or development. Although the Manners CD has not yet been completed, you can still hear this wonderful singer's voice at

Friday, February 3, 2012

Table Manners Cards gets 5 stars on!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
 Table Manners Cards - Played During Meals
5.0 out of 5 stars l Social Skills much needed today, January 31, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars   
In an era of fractured mealtimes, children isolated in front of screens and buttons, here is an opportunity to bring a family together at an important time/event of the day, and at the same time all can participate in a game that takes the stress out of mealtime and teaches a child much needed social skills that will be used throughout a lifetime.

Table Manners Cards - Played During Meals

I will be revamping my website in the near future to make it more interactive and easier for people to find.  However, Table Manners Cards can still be purchased through in the toys and games section where I am trying out a lower price!!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If Valentine had been a school teacher...

This Month’s Assignment: Come up with a way to express your love to the important people in your life. You can use any medium you wish but bonus points will be given for the inclusion of heart shapes and the colors pink or red. Due February 14. No credit will be given for assignments turned in late.

yours truely,
Professor Valentine

Monday, January 30, 2012

Congrats to 24/7 Moms Winner!

WINNER OF – Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Card Set 

Congrats Tara Corcoran. Enjoy your cards!

On December 28, 2011 the popular website 24/7 Moms posted this.

WIN: 24/7 MOMS and Golly Gee-pers! are giving away one Golly Gee-pers! Table manners Card Set.
Enter for a chance to win.
Golly Gee-pers! are fun cards that teach children proper table manners by incorporating fun games. The unique cards are given out during the dining experience and depict good table manners (like chewing with your mouth closed) with a thumbs up, while the bad table manners (elbows on the table) have a thumbs down. The person with all thumbs ups cards and no thumbs down cards gets the ‘Ready to Dine Out’ award! The cards are ideals for children ages 4-12 and even come in the cotton carrying bag to take on-the-go. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When is a child being rude not a rude child?

Spear 2836 Cartoon: Respect in School
(cartoon courtesy of
If you have taught your child the importance of good manners but are dismayed at some seemingly rude behaviors, there might be something else going on. Consider a daughter with a kind spirit who looks the other way when a schoolmate says hello. Or, a son who is generally appreciative but, "forgets" to send out thank you notes. What about a teenager who seems to dote on her friends at school but doesn’t return their phone calls? From the outside, it might look like these kids are lazy or selfish and we might be tempted to read them the riot act. But, if we take a moment to look deeper we might discover important clues about these children’s personalities and emotional needs.

Many of the “polite” things we ask kids to do are fairly sophisticated. For example, looking an adult in the eye when being introduced. If a child is shy or insecure this kind of obligation can create uncomfortable feelings and even anxiety. Some children are gregarious and can strike up conversations anytime with anyone, but a more pensive child might feel put on the spot to perform and become verbally paralyzed. Think how frightening this would be. It’s no wonder if she ignores people. After all, you don’t have to talk to someone you don’t see. For some children, expressing their gratitude on paper can feel awkward. It’s understandable then if these children put off their duty until so much time has passed that they now have to explain their tardiness as well. At this point it‘s easier to pretend that the card really doesn‘t matter. Or, consider an introvert who’s been told “don’t be anti-social.” This child may try to be something she’s not and as a result exert a tremendous amount of energy trying to be social. By the time she returns home from school she’s exhausted and the thought of continuing the social demands by phone are unbearable.

Because the emotional health of children is more important than what people think of us, we parents may occasionally have to give our child a manners break. Instead of demanding to know why your child is being so rude, try asking non judgmental questions or sharing your own struggles to meet society‘s expectations. Then allow your child to explore comfortable options. Also, don’t forget that displaying good manners is a skill that will come more naturally when a child is developmentally ready.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who Made You The Big Manners Police Of The House?

 Does anyone remember that comedy routine by Bill Cosby where the kids are fighting over pudding and one blurts out, “well, who made you the big pudding police of the house?” There were so many side splitting funny parts to that routine, but it was that one quote that stuck with my husband’s family over the years. Any time one of them started to tell the other what to do, out it would come… “well, who made you the big TV, chore, jelly doughnut etc., police of the house!” It would immediately diffuse any growing tension. Of course, it had to be said with a significant amount of Cosby flair to be effective. And so when I came up with the Table Manners Cards game you can imagine the ribbing I took at family gatherings involving meals.

Well, as it turns out that is exactly what the game does. It deputizes kids at the table to become their own manners police and gives them the authority to hand out tickets (thumbs-down cards) to manners offenders. I have to say it can be humbling for us adults at times, but if you keep your eye on the prize you will find it serves a purpose without you once having to nag, threaten or prod.

We recently had a large family gathering that included our dear 13 year old niece, Caroline from North Carolina. She spontaneously picked up the cards and in no time, much to her glee, had arrested several adults for repeat offenses. After some initial lame defenses the adults pleaded guilty and made concerted efforts to shape up. We all had a good laugh, the kids felt vindicated and everyone became more aware of their table manners. So, if anyone ever asks you or your family “who made you the big table manners police of the house,” just say, “Golly Gee-pers did.” I’ll take the heat from there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When criticism becomes bad manners.

Is it just me or does it seem that more and more people are using the web to ridicule rather than provide constructive criticism? I’m not talking about those sites and blogs where people have made a commitment to a particular topic and provide a service by evaluating products and ideas for the greater good. I’m talking about those people who roam the web searching for something they can take out of context and pick fun at. Sure, it’s their right to say whatever they feel. But, I’m not sure the motivation is to inform the public or even freedom of expression. There seems to be a perverse desire to find negativity in the things that others are doing. If Mother Teresa were an unknown and decided to take her cause to the web and posted her thoughts with a picture (not in religious habit), even she would be a target! Not that she would care of course. But, the point is, there are people out there who just love to shoot others down. It might be tendency. It might a form of self aggrandizement or perhaps a defensive mechanism. But, I think the most likely reason of all is that their hearts are three sizes too small. Bring anyone to mind???? Unfortunately many of these Grinches are parents too. Can you imagine what their children are learning? If you don’t feel good about yourself, no problem, just focus that energy on criticizing others. I actually have empathy for these people. I think most of them do it unconsciously. Perhaps it was how they were treated as children. Moreover, we as a society tolerate it. In fact, our society’s desire to feel better about ourselves through the criticism of others is so popular that we have made it a profitable career for many. Well, guess what? It’s not clever or funny. It’s just bad manners and even though these people may get others to laugh with them, they’re not really contributing anything to the world other than negativity. What our children really need is to learn genuine skills for critical analysis so that they can differentiate for themselves what is valuable.

It’s unlikely that the perpetrators of this kind of criticism are going to read this, so I guess I’m really speaking to the victims. Chin up I say and know that this kind of criticism, although painful, is impotent. Even if it comes from those close to you. No one is perfect, but the conscious effort to put forth a creative solution to problems out trumps the lazy critic every time.