Tips Archives - Living Room Cincinnati
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Wardrobe in the Workplace

Standing out while following the rules can sometimes be a challenge. When it comes to dress codes in the workplace, there are often professional wardrobe boundaries you should always keep in mind as much as you may want to express yourself with your everyday style choices.

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Cabin Fever

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It’s Monday morning. You crawl out of bed, peer out your bedroom window and what do you see? White.

(Dude, where’s my car?)

Winter is full of unpredictable days… weeks, even! Whether it’s a change of schedule, delayed flights or working from home, you never know if you’re expected workday is going to completely shift gears at the last minute.

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Boost Your Energy During A Meeting

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I’m sure as a facilitator or sales manager you’d like to believe that when leading an all day meeting, you have created an agenda that is packed with excitement – so much that your team will be fully engaged for the full eight hours. Well, we have all the confidence in the world that this is true! But what’s also true is that even the food and drinks you serve during a meeting can affect your colleague’s ability to focus and participate.

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Overcoming your fear of selling

For most of us, selling for the first time is a terrifying hump to get over. It’s intimidating, overwhelming, and easy to feel completely out of place.

The first time I set out to sell for the Living Room was exactly one of those times.

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Flower Tips

We love flowers. They can elevate any gathering and make your space more beautiful and interesting by adding color and texture. If all else fails, flowers! They give any space that ‘I tried without trying’ look. However, if your budget is limited or you don’t feel comfortable putting together your own arrangement, here are some quick and easy tips.
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Networking Event Prep

Many of us have been in this situation, the day before you attend your first networking event ever. The uncertainty of the environment as well as your own anxiety quickly develops to falsely convince yourself of imminent failure. The simple fact is that no one is an expert in his or her first networking event. Expertise in this field requires experience, which will ultimately eliminate those senses of anxiety and uncertainty. Although it is impossible to be an expert initially, it is however, very possible to be prepared. So what does it take to be correctly prepared for such an event? Here are some simple ways to correctly prepare yourself for success in your first networking event:

Be aware of the attire recommended or required for the event.

There is nothing worse than showing up to a social gathering looking like a complete fool because you are either under or overdressed. To avoid this embarrassing situation, review the invitation, visit the event website, or contact the hosts to be sure that you will arrive to the event in a professional manner.

Make sure you have your business cards handy.

Through your preparations for the event, do not lose sight of the fact that you are not just trying to meet people, you are trying to keep in touch with these people outside the event. For the sake of future connections, make sure that you have plenty of business cards to provide the people you meet an easy way to connect with you.

Memorize how you are going to present yourself.

Develop a way that you can smoothly describe yourself or the company that you are endorsing so that people know you mean business. Prepare yourself how to answer certain questions that might be asked, as well as how you can break the ice to start up a conversation. You do no want to overwhelm the people with information that will lose their focus, so keep it simple and professional.

Relax! You’re going to do great!

Yes it is going to be awkward at first, but remember that you are not alone. It’s normal for most people to initially feel a bit uncomfortable at the event. It is important to also remember that these people all share at least one goal with you, the goal that they are looking for someone to talk with. So do not be afraid to approach someone for a conversation, because odds are that you are doing that person a favor by eliminating the awkwardness of standing alone.

Congratulations, you are now fully prepared to attend your first networking event! Now get out there and enjoy yourself.

Business Etiquette

Ever get invited to a business dinner and feel a little out of your league when you looked at the menu? Or maybe the sight of several forks and spoons was more daunting than the shoptalk at the end of the night? Seems in these modern times with life being so busy maybe your own parents never really taught you the basics? The good news is there’s nothing wrong with needing a little refresher course on business etiquette. Here are some of our top tips for looking like you’ve got it all figured out, even when maybe you don’t.

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  • Attire – Better to be over-dressed than under-dressed
  • Seating
    • Don’t put your wallet or keys on the table. You can put your cell phone on the table, face down – but clarify why? Example – I have my kids with a sitter, so I just need this here as a precaution.
  • Paying
    • If you asked for the meal – you are paying.
    • Be discrete, but let the waiter know you are the person paying so when the bill comes it’s not uncomfortable for the client.
  • Ordering
    • Let the host order 1st
    • If you are with a client who knows the restaurant very well – it is nice to allow them to order for the table
    • Try not to be too complicated… think When Harry Met Sally
  • Drinking
    • Allow the person paying to order the wine
    • To establish the price you are comfortable with, tell the sommelier what you like and then point to a wine on the list that is in the range you are comfortable with.
    • After you test the wine – do not send it back unless it is awful
    • Don’t be the only person drinking at the table
    • 2 drink max – don’t drink the hard stuff!
    • Drink water throughout dinner.
    • Look into your wine glass not over it when drinking
  • The napkin!
    • Take a cue from your host and place your napkin on your lap when you are about ready to eat
    • If you have to get up from the table, place the napkin on your chair arm or seat (not the table)
    • When you are finished with dinner it should go on the left side of your plate. Again, wait for the cue from your host.
  • FOOD
    • Wait for everyone to get their food before eating
    • Chew with your mouth closed
    • Don’t talk with food in your mouth
    • Cut meat one piece at a time – not the whole thing!
    • When you are finished – place the fork and knife at 10 and 2 – fork facing up – knife to the right
  • Basic manners
  • Keep your elbows off of the table while eating
  • Wipe your fingers and mouth often with your napkin

If that menu at the fancy French restaurant is all Greek to you, here are a few words you should know that might help you order.

Truffled

This simply means the dish has been cooked, garnished, or stuffed with truffles (subterranean mushrooms) in some way.

Tartare

A preparation of finely chopped raw meat. There are many variations on the tartare, including steak, chicken, salmon, and eel. The most common is tuna tartare.

Deconstructed

This is just a fancy way to say we are taking all the ingredients in a normal dish, and putting them together in a different way.

Ceviche

This is a popular Spanish seafood dish that is made with raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spiced with aji or chili peppers. It can then be seasoned with chopped onions and salt.

Mignardises or Petits Fours

Often times tasting menus simply end with “Mignardises” or “Petits Fours,” which are tiny, bite-sized desserts. They usually include tiny cookies or chocolates.

Anti-Valentine’s Day

We all know Valentine’s Day can either be a wonderful thing, or just downright terrible. For those of you who aren’t being smothered with cheesy gifts and affection this Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone.

Here are a few tips on how to turn what could potentially be a lousy holiday into a fabulous one.

Call up your single friends.

Having people in your life whose relationship status is equivalent to yours is very important, especially on days like this. So pick up the phone and invite all of your friends who are willing to join in on the anti-celebration with you. They probably need it just as much as you do. 

Indulge in snacks.

On this particular occasion, it’s okay to skip the gourmet cheeses and go straight for the sweet stuff. Ask each of your friends to bring a half-pint of their favorite flavor ice cream, and you could offer to provide the toppings. And if you all want to feel extra sweet, put out a jar full of Dove chocolates where each wrapper contains an encouraging message inside. Chocolate and words of affirmation? Hell yeah!

Wine & cocktails, of course.

What better to pair up dark chocolate with but a delicious, smooth red wine? Try Moda Talamonti, a 2012 Italian red suggested by the famous Zach Eidson, owner of a shop local to us called Oakley Wines. If not all of your guests are into reds, try Pannonica, a 2013 Austrian white with a scent of apricots, limes and roses. Both wines are provided for under $20 and can be found in most wine shops near you.

However, if you’re looking to get creative with your evening, check out the Living Room’s very own cocktail under the “Favorites” category.

Music that fits.

This is by far one of the best opportunities to break out the dusty karaoke machine that’s been sitting in the back of basement and really let loose. Yes ladies, this means you can rock out to Taylor Swift’s latest album in front of your friends guilt-free. Whether you’re a 90’s or an 80’s child, be as cliché as possible and sing along to all the oldies you can get your hands on. I’m talking from Michael Jackson to Bon Jovi to the Backstreet Boys. Don’t be shy!

Games, Games, Games.

It’s extra important to laugh today. Here are a few of our favorite games that are bound to take your mind of anything else but trying not to fall out of your chair.

Feel free to add your favorite alcoholic beverage to the mix; we sure did!

Cards Against Humanity

Apples to Apples

The Game of Things

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Pick a movie that proves why being single has its perks.

If you’re looking for a movie with a beginning full of bittersweet romance and an ending with a lesson on being alone is a positive thing, try some of these old and new films that’ll make you feel confident riding solo.

Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

Blue Valentine (2010)

500 Days of Summer (2009)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

High Fidelity (2000)

Annie Hall (1977)

Treat yourself for being so awesome.

Buying things for yourself may cause little more harm to your wallet, but who knows your style better than you? Sure, receiving gifts from a significant other is always a nice (free) gesture, but it’s not always something we actually want… So go ahead to your favorite store and purchase the most amazing thing that catches your eye. You earned it.

Love yourself.

Don’t let one day out of the year get you down. Instead, take it as a reflection of how wonderful you are, with or without a significant other. Take pride in all the amazing things you do and pat yourself on the back for it.

So sit back, eat a cookie (or five), and enjoy this new, self-satisfying holiday we call Valentine’s Day.