Latest "Just for Fun" Posts

My Holiday Wishes for You

December 22, 2017

May your hopes dance like snowflakes in the winter wind, that decorate your life with beauty.

May your dreams glitter like tinsel and illuminate all that you are and all that you can be.

May your world be filled with wonder and may the magic of this season touch you and your loved ones in ways you’ve never imagined.

~ Margaret


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Gifts That Say “I Love You” All Year Long

February 5, 2017

Love You GiftsLooking for some unique gift ideas to express your love and affection for that special someone this Valentines?

We thought we’d have some fun by sharing a few unique ideas we found.


My brother absolutely loved this gift I gave him for Christmas. Help him discover his inner chef—and master the skills for a great meal – with the “Everyday Gourmet” cooking course.

Etsy is a great place to go for homemade gifts, and more. This personalized bottle opener is pretty sharp and I love the packaging.


Flowers and candy are classic, but if you are looking for a unique gift idea, this personalized heart in the sand canvas will definitely show her you’re a romantic at heart. 🙂

You could really be romantic with these “reasons I love you stones.” With sayings like “…because you’re an inspiration” and “… for always getting my jokes,” she’ll love the sentiment. And the pretty bag the stones come in. Or hide them around the house – in places you know she’ll find them. This gift could go on giving all year long!


These were a fun gift idea – for any occasion. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a Personalized M & M’s Romance gift box. Very cute.

I gave these personalized fortune cookies to someone a few years ago and they were a hit. There are some yummy-looking Valentine’s Day themed options now/

Take a look at these super cute and unique plants. Very unique gift idea.

If you have a way with words, this may be the perfect gift. Tell your own love story with The Love Book. Very romantic!

When I saw these pillowcases, I knew they would bring a smile to someone’s face. True pillow talk 🙂

What special or unique gift have you received for Valentines Day (or any other day!)? Share some ideas with us!

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My Personal Wish for You

December 23, 2014

Christmas 2014Here we are again, about to celebrate the holidays and launch into a brand new year! It’s amazing to me how fast time flies!

As you celebrate the holidays with family and friends, soak it all in. This time of year, more than ever, is a time when we are reminded of all the wonderful people who touch our lives throughout the year.

From home to home, and heart to heart,
From one place to another.
The warmth and joy of Christmas,
Brings us closer to each other.

My wish for you is this: peace and prosperity; health and happiness. I hope your holiday season is filled with love and laughter and that the new year brings you much success.

Happy holidays to you!

~ Margaret Page

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Why I Love OpenTable

April 7, 2014

OpenTableI’m a huge fan of OpenTable, for so many reasons. You can search for a specific restaurant to make a reservation, or key in an area to find restaurants that have availability for a specific day and time. You can also tailor your search by price and cuisine, and get a preview of special offers around specific holidays.

For sales people meeting with clients for business lunch or dinner meetings, this makes it so much easier to ensure that the client receives all the information they need prior to the meeting. Once you book the reservation, a confirmation is sent to your email and you can then just forward the details to the client.

I use the OpenTable app all the time and it’s great for finding those unique restaurants that you may not know existed. When I was in Toronto for a speaking engagement I was planning lunch with a friend who I know liked interesting experiences. I checked OpenTable and found a chocolate and tea place nearby. And what a cool place it turned out to be! The restaurant was decorated in a modern style, but with a twist. On the walls was a collection of beautiful antique teapots and the glass display case was filled with Technicolor macarons and other delectable goodies!

If you’re trying to make an impression, or want to share a unique dining experience with a friend or a client, OpenTable saves you time and allows you to discover hidden dining treasures. It takes going to a restaurant out of the realm of something you “need” to do and makes it much more delightful.

Open TableOpenTable is also testing out another feature that I think will be a huge hit with diners. They recently launched a pilot program in San Francisco that enables you to pay your bill via the OpenTable iPhone app. After you book your reservation you’re asked if you’d like to pay for your meal using the app. If you agree, you simply scan your credit card using the app and your card remains on file. At the end of your meal, just open the app to see your bill. This new feature takes the guesswork out of how much to tip, as well. Just tap a button for 15 percent, 20 percent, or higher – and you’re done. A receipt is then sent to you so you can keep it for your records.

Another benefit? You can earn dining rewards points when you make (and honor) reservations made through OpenTable. Get paid to dine out? Now that’s pretty cool!

Of note: It’s even more important than ever to keep the reservations you’ve booked through OpenTable – or cancel them if your plans change. If you rack up “no-show,” your account will be banned.


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Posted by Margaret in Business Etiquette, Just for Fun and tagged ,

Motivational Monday: Success

June 25, 2012

Motivational Monday: SuccessI love reading motivational quotes. They elevate my mood and allow me to look at something from a new or fresh perspective. And sometimes they just make me smile. 🙂

This week we’re launching a brand new inspirational blog series we’re calling “Motivational Mondays.” We’re hoping to jump start your work week by sharing our favorite snippets of inspiration every Monday morning.

For our first week, we’re sharing some of our favorite inspirational quotes about success.  I hope you enjoy them!

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehann

To succeed in life we must stay within our strength zone but move out of our comfort zone.” ~John Maxwell

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” ~ Tommy Lasorda

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” ~ Henry Ford

Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers

Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” ~ Conrade Hilton

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Now it’s your turn! Is there one particular quote about success that resonates with you? Maybe you have it taped to your computer screen or stuck to your fridge as a reminder? Share it with us so we can add it to our list!

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Giveaway to Celebrate National Etiquette Week!

May 9, 2011

Happy National Etiquette Week! To celebrate, as promised, I’m posting etiquette tips, interactive quizzes, and more this week!

To kick off our celebration of good manners, I’m announcing the first annual “Miss Maggie’s Manners Moment Giveaway”!

etiquette cardsThe winner will receive the Cognito card set. Cognito-Modern Wisdom for Dining & Social Etiquette contains 52 illustrated cards presented in a custom-designed box. A great way to test your etiquette knowledge–and challenge your family in a game of “Where’s Your Manners?”

It’s easy to enter. Just do one (or all)of the following. You have 3 chances to win. You will receive one entry for doing each of the above.

~ Leave a comment below and tell me what you are doing this week to promote good manners in your house or at your office

~ Share an etiquette tip on our Facebook page

~Mention this post about our giveaway on Twitter, using the hashtag #NtlEtiquette

This is a great way to recognize civility and good manners!

This giveaway will close on Friday, May 13 at 10 p.m. PST.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 14 on our Facebook page.

Good luck!

“Good social behavior has less to do with cutlery and and correctness than with courtesy and confidence. Doing the right things at the right times for the right reasons”

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Mind Your Manners! It’s National Etiquette Week

May 5, 2011

Gentleman Tipping FedoraNext week marks the launch of the 14th annual National Etiquette Week. Established by children’s etiquette consultant, Sandra Morisset, National Etiquette Week was developed not to get you thinking about what fork to choose first, but as a self-assessment on the current status of civility in our society.

So as a reminder of the importance of good manners—and the little niceties that set us apart in our everyday interactions–I’m celebrating National Etiquette Week by posting an interactive way for you to participate every day!

I’ll be sharing etiquette quizzes to test your etiquette knowledge; polls and surveys to get your feedback on etiquette and good manners; and a personal challenge to participate in “Etiquette Page’s Random Acts of Etiquette!” We want pictures!

So sign up for updates and drop by next week to see what we have planned!

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My Magical Journey to The Netherlands

April 14, 2011

I’ve been out of the country this week–traveling through The Netherlands, visiting with family, attending the Global Speakers Summit, and enjoying the miles and miles of sandy beaches. It’s been quite magical and I am trying to savour every moment of the journey. It’s always so exciting to me, to immerse myself in another culture.

Canals in AmsterdamI’m traveling with my son, which makes it all the more special. We’ve learned about the history of Amsterdam while sailing along the various canals. And we took a boat trip around the harbour of Rotterdam–which was once the largest port in the world (now the second-largest). Rotterdam is very modern, with some of the most unique architecture I have ever seen. Cube homes and buildings with large overhangs across the street or water. Certainly much larger than the overhang over the Grand Canyon!

It has finally sunk in why the Dutch are so hard working… it’s the caffeine.  Yesterday, I was determined to keep up but I had to quit at 2 espresso’s 2 cappucino’s and 2 teas. Even while shopping, I was issued an espresso. There’s no looking at clothes until you’ve had a conversation about life, and  had your COFFEE!

The current fashion trend here is boots, boots, boots. Ninety nine percent of the women were wearing boots.  Tall, tight boots are for winter and cold days and ankle length wide-legged boots are for warmer spring days. Apparently, then the air can circulate.

Another new fashion trend is “treggings,” — a cross between leggings and trousers. Tight legged is the norm, with stretch.  No woman is caught in the main centers wearing jogging pants.

Tunic tops and longer tops are everywhere, with short jackets. Remember when we would not be caught dead with blouses longer the jackets? Well the reverse now holds true here.  Silver is everywhere and the jewelry is definitely big and chunky.
Makeup is minimal.

beautiful rosesOur last errand of the day was to buy flowers to take to my mother’s twin sister.  The cost of 20 roses was 6.50 euros, or just under $10. Why wouldn’t you have your home filled with flowers??!!

The Dutch are so much more direct and open than we are, especially about body parts.  When the women were discussing
breasts (and not in general terms but very personal terms)Michael, my son, was a bit uncomfortable.  A Dutch man simply explained to him in his broken English – “Isn’t it nice to hear woman talk about their breasts”.

As for me I’m just going with the flow.  While in Holland I will do as the Dutch do as I explore my cultural roots.

Next up? A bicycle tour! (stay tuned for more on that!)

Life Explorer

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How to Make a Perfect Pot of Tea

January 12, 2011

National Tea Month

To celebrate National Hot Tea Month, I thought I would share some tips on brewing up the most perfectly perfect pot of tea.

First things first: Make sure your tea is fresh. Yes, tea does have a lifespan. Black teas–if stored in a cool, dry, airtight space–may last you for years, but white and green teas will likely lose its appeal after a few months. Trust your palette.

Then follow these steps for a perfect pot of tea:

1. Boil water in a kettle. Just because you can boil water in a microwave, doesn’t mean you should. At least not for tea.
2. Warm your teapot by filling it with hot water, leaving the water in the teapot while you’re boiling the water for your tea.
3. Boil enough water to fill your teapot and then set it aside.
4. Empty the “warming” water from your teapot, through the spout. This will ensure that the entire teapot is warmed up and ready for your tea.
5. Place tea into the teapot. You can use teabags (Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe are favorites) or one of the many unique blends of loose tea. If you’re using tea bags, pop the teabags into the pot and let them sit for 30 seconds before pouring water over them. This will release some of the flavor and oils into the pot.
6. Next, pour the hot water from the kettle over the tea and replace the lid. Let your tea steep for 3 – 5 minutes.
7. Take tea bags out, put the lid back on the pot, and cover the pot with a tea cozy.
8. If you’re adding milk to your tea, warm the milk first – so that it doesn’t cool your tea – and pour into teacup BEFORE you add the hot tea. Add sugar if needed.
9. Enjoy!

Bonus Tip
Every tea family has a optimum steeping temperature and brewing time. Here’s a simple guide to the four tea families:

  • Black tea: 4-5 minutes at 212° F
  • Oolong tea: 2-4 minutes at 195°-205° F
  • Green tea: 2-4 minutes at 175° F
  • White tea: 3-5 minutes at 165° F

And Now, Some Tea Trivia
To kick the tea celebration up a notch – and test your knowledge on tea– see how many of the following tea trivia questions you can answer correctly.

1. What famous tea party was held in the U.S. in 1773?
2. What popular tea is named after a British Royal?
3. What temperature should be used to brew green tea?
4. Afternoon tea is also known by another name. What is that name?
5. What is the Chinese method of stopping oxidation when processing tea leaves?
6. What is a Japanese tea ceremony?
7. What is referred to as the champagne of tea?

Share your answers in the comments below and be sure to drop by next week to find out all the answers!

image: yakubovich

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The Best Eggnog Ever!

December 24, 2010

‘Tis the season of giving so I’ve decided to share my all-time favorite eggnog recipe with you. (Feel free to share this cup of cheer with all your friends this holiday season! ).

The recipe calls for bourbon, but tastes just as yummy without the punch of alcohol.

Serve eggnog at a party in a large punchbowl with “puddles” of whipped cream spaced over the suface, sprinkle with grated nutmeg and set out with wine glasses or Irish coffee mugs for a decorative touch.

Happy noggin’! And cheers to a wonder-filled holiday season!

Eggnog Recipe

Best eggnog recipeIngredients

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture

Recipe compliments of Alton Brown.

photo credit: isik

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