Saturday, May 28, 2016
I received a beautiful email that I felt compelled to share with you. It made my day!
Greetings Miss Estelle,
I just wanted to write to tell you how much I enjoyed your lovely Modern Day Victorian blog. I am a 68 year old teacher from El Paso, Texas who loves reading, history, and gardening.
Your blog is really beautiful, and I so much like your emphasis on the noble cultivation of those qualities that make a lady regardless of the time period.
Again, thank you for the pleasure you give to all who visit your blog, and for the work you are doing with young women.  I have tried to do the same work with my own granddaughter, and I will be sharing your blog with her.
Blessings upon you and yours,
Harriett Henry

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Andrew and Marie Jackson, were the only servants, that we know , were in employment at the Hearthside House in the early 1900's. Andrew was Mr. Talbot's butler while his wife, Marie was the Talbot's cook.

I enjoy keeping the life of the Talbot Family alive along with their servants. You can't tell one story without the other.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Many people underestimate the power of the hand-written thank you note. Some think it is better to send an immediate e-mail or simply say thanks in person. But, a hand-written note is the ideal way to show your appreciation. With the ever-growing popularity of technology, the art of writing an “old-school” note is being lost. It may seem daunting and maybe a bit archaic to pick up a pen and a stationery card, but just remember these tips and you’ll soon be a pro.

  • Hand write the thank you note. Don’t just apply these tips to your e-mail thank-yous. Although it would be easier to send an e-mail or type a letter, a handwritten thank you note is the most sincere and appreciated form of gratitude. The extra effort goes a long way.
  • Buy stationery. Embossed cards with complementary envelopes look much better than folded notebook paper stuffed in a plain envelope. You don't have to splurge on embossed or monogrammed stationery from a specialty store. You can find decent sets at office supply stores and online.
  • Personalize it. Not just in the personalized stationery, but in what you actually say. If you’re going to see the person in the future, refer to the event and say you’re looking forward to it. If the person gave you a silver picture frame, don’t simply thank them for it, but add, “I plan on using the frame for a wedding picture in my living room.”
  • Even if it’s late, send a note. Don’t feel embarrassed. It’s better to send a late thank you than none at all.
  • Take your time. An illegible note won’t do much good and neither will one with scratch marks all over it. Use a nice, fine point pen, so the ink won’t bleed or smudge. Traditionally, thank you notes are written in cursive. Sometimes this can look like a mess if your cursive is not up-to-par, so use your best judgment and do what you think looks best.
  • Send thanks for trivial things. Why not? Whether it’s for a casual get-together or for a neighbor who collected your mail and watered your plants while you were gone, a hand-written note is the best way to show your appreciation. It may also ensure that you’ll get the invite or extra help in the future.

  • Don’t exaggerate. Of course you can rave about a gift, but don’t lie about how much you like something. It may be obvious if you say, “The monogrammed soap is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!” Most likely you’ve seen better, so simply say, “The monogrammed soap was very thoughtful and will be perfect for the powder room.”
  • Don’t be stiff. Show your personality. It’s okay to use humor, sarcasm, or idioms to express yourself, as long as you’re not insulting the gift. If you’re questioning whether you should write a certain joke or phrase, ask yourself if you would say it in-person. Try to maintain the same tone with the person on paper as you would in-person.
  • Don’t refer to specific amounts of money. These might seem like the hardest notes to write, but all you have to say is “I greatly appreciate your generosity. I hope to use the money to…” Just make sure the giver would support your money plans. Your great-aunt may not support a weekend getaway to Vegas, but she would understand a “much-needed vacation.”
  • Don’t ramble. You may want to go on and on about how your new job is going, a family friend you ran into, or that new movie you saw, but don’t. Be concise. It is a thank-you note after all, so stick to the thanks. If you feel like writing more, write them a separate note to fill them in on your life and see how they’re doing.
  • Don’t assume an in-person thanks is enough. If a person went to the trouble of hosting a party or purchasing a gift for you, you surely can take the time to write a note. Make sure to thank the host of a party in-person, but since your thanks may get lost in the excitement, a note is a great addition.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
 What a fantastic afternoon with 44 young ladies having etiquette and tea with me this past Saturday .It was as rewarding for them as it was for me.

  All dressed up, and ready to host the Young Ladies Tea Party at the Gov Lippit House, which is now an elegant museum ..  This beautiful and elegant mansion was constructed for him and his family back in 1863. This home is full of life and history . The house stayed in the family for four generations

My dear friends dropped off the mini scones, that will compliment the Tea Party. Chief Shawn prepared the delightful finger sandwiches and tea was served my grand daughters and a friend.

 It was a huge success. This was a wonderful beginning of Spring Teas!
Monday, April 4, 2016
This is a wonderful opportunity for young girls of any color! Join me!
Stages of Freedom presents this annual event, co-sponsored by Preserve Rhode Island, to provide young girls of color an opportunity to take tea together. Lady Estelle Barada, a Black Victorian re-enactor, uses taking tea to teach social graces and tea etiquette to young girls. The party is a part of a long tradition in the Black community of using tea parties to teach manners, social network and raise funds for important causes. The event is free, but registration is required.Visit to register and sponsor a girl to attend for only $20!
Friday, March 25, 2016

Program goals:
 To teach both children and young adults the fundamentals of social etiquette and dining skills.

Long term goals: 
To introduce etiquette to young girls and young women, ages 6 to 18 years old.
Also offer an extensive range of programs that include charm classes, beauty pageant training as well as etiquette classes.

 To establish a non-profit foundation that focuses on bringing etiquette to everyone across the city.

Program for 6 to 11-year old girls

 You are enjoying your meal with your family when it happens: a very loud child is throwing a very loud tantrum. It has been my questionable "joy" to observe that with each time I eat out that the dining habits of the younger set grows worse and worse. Sincerely, there are manners that even the youngest of children can learn.

Please and Thank You.
This is one of the simplest of manners to use and it is, in my opinion the one that is least used by the under-10 set. Setting a good example at home, insisting that they say "thank you" and "please" in the appropriate situations, both at home and abroad.

Sir and/or Ma’am. 
When addressing someone in authority over them, a younger person should always address them as Sir, if the person is male, or Ma’am if the person is female.
“Would you like a cookie?”
“Yes, Ma’am.’’

Dinning/Tea Etiquette.
Even the smallest of children can be taught to chew their food slowly and with lips closed. From personal experience I can tell you how disconcerting and off putting it can be to observe a child eating loudly, smacking their lips and making gobbling and slurping sounds.

 Sitting quietly at the table.

Children by their very nature are not designed to be quiet or still, therefore, expecting them to remain silent at the table is often not practical. However, insisting that the child stay seated, is.
 Once at the table, the child should be encouraged to ask for permission to leave the table, asking “May I be excused?” If the child is younger than 5, this may not be possible, but it is within all possibilities that this child learn to stay at the table until his or her parents tell them it is okay to get up.
 Allowing the child to stand on the seats in the restaurants, to run up and down the aisles as well as around the table is unacceptable, and should not be condoned at home.

Program for 12-18 years old girls:

At a time when young people spend more time with computers than with people,  this program offers social etiquette, communications skills, and table manners. They will learn such basic skills as introductions, common courtesies, telephone etiquette, and how to set a table.

 The program focuses on socialization and is designed to increase confidence and self-esteem. The girls will learn Proper Introductions, Correct Handshakes, Eye contact, Dining skills, Telephone Etiquette, Thank You Notes, Conversation skills, Posture, Interview skills, What to wear, Fashion Tips and so much more.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
March is Women History Month, so I salute a great literary delight.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (née Moulton-Barrett, (6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861) was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.
Born in County Durham, the eldest of 12 children, Elizabeth Barrett wrote poetry from about the age of six. Her mother's collection of her poems forms one of the largest collections extant of juvenilia by any English writer. At 15 she became ill, suffering intense head and spinal pain for the rest of her life. Later in life she also developed lung problems, possibly tuberculosis. She took laudanum for the pain from an early age, which is likely to have contributed to her frail health.

In the 1830s Elizabeth was introduced to literary society through her cousin, John Kenyon. Her first adult collection of poems was published in 1838 and she wrote prolifically between 1841 and 1844, producing poetry, translation and prose.
Elizabeth's volume Poems (1844) brought her great success, attracting the admiration of the writer Robert Browning. Their correspondence, courtship and marriage were carried out in secret, for fear of her father's disapproval. Following the wedding she was indeed disinherited by her father. The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life. They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. She died in Florence in 1861.
A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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