Take to the Table Tuesday is BAAAACK!

by Mindy Lockard on September 16, 2014

I’m so excited to return to my former series Take to the Table Tuesday! I really have missed cooking for you, I hope you have missed it to. If you are new to the series, it’s simply a chance for me to share my passion for good food, with my other passion connecting with my family. Our family table is our hub. A place to reconnect, take a pulse on what’s happening in our lives and reinforce some of those most important table manners reminders. And by reminders I mean, you may feel like a broken record. A broken record…

Each week I will bring you to my family table with a quick and easy recipe. With two busy girls, an active social life and a growing business I know first-hand the struggles families face. So before we wave the white flag of surrender and head straight to the drive-through, let’s join forces to get our families to the table. Together, we can do this! I want to hear from you too and what’s working in your home… or what isn’t working. It’s all a journey.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Homemade pesto is one of my favorites. I make a big batch on Sunday, divide it into 8 mason jars. Freezing 4 and saving 2. I use 1  jar for pasta in the girls lunches and 1 for pizza.

Pesto starts here…


What you need:

  • 3 cups of extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
  • Juice of three limes (have four just in case)
  •  6 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 5 ounces of freshly graded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (4-5 cups)
  • Sea salt to taste

What to do:

Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the desired consistency. My girls like their pesto to have some texture. Taste as you blend to ensure a balance of salty to acid. If it’s too salty add more basil, lime and olive oil. The beauty of pesto is that it’s rustic and can be made to desired tastes, those who like bland and those who like bold. Different strokes for different folks, I say!

Pizza stars here…


What you need:

  • Pizza Crust
  • Pesto
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil

Throwing it down…

Cook the crust per the directions (any pizza dough bought or homemade will do).


Once partially baked, spread on pesto.


Layer heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put under the broiler until the pesto begins to bubble and the cheese turns golden.


Top with fresh basil and enjoy!


It also makes for great cold pizza in school lunches. If you are lucky enough to have any left over… it’s that good!



Monday’s Manner: Salt & Pepper

by Mindy Lockard on September 15, 2014

Happy Monday! Let’s kick this week off with a Monday Manner.

Today we are talking about: Salt and Pepper.

Not to be confused with…

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Did I just date myself? And I do apologize to my 90s friends who may now have “SHOOP” on repeat in their heads.

SALT AND PEPPER while rather simple and available for our seasoning preferences actually have a deeper meaning to the foundation of manners and kindness.

Best explained by my favorite professor crush (yes, Mr. Lockard is well aware) Dr. P.M. Forni in his book “Choosing Civility”:

“When I teach my courses on civility and manners, I tell my students: “We are eating together in the university cafeteria andI ask you to pass the salt. What do you do?”

The exchange that follows that question usually goes like this: “I will pass you the salt,” answers students, A somewhat puzzled by having to state the obvious.

“What else?” I press.

“That’s it,” he replies. “You asked for the salt and I’ll pass you the salt.”

“What else?” I insist.

Fifteen seconds of silence, then a tentative answer comes from student B: “I will pass you the pepper as well?”

“Yes,” I reply. “That is what we find in books of etiquette: salt and pepper always travel together. The books, however, neglect to tell us why. You tell me then, the reason behind the rule.”

Student B is ready now: “I will give you the pepper as well because you may need it later?”

That indeed part of the rationale. And that’s where ethics intersects etiquette. “You,” I tell student B, “will be thinking of a need of mine that may or may not become apparent. By doing what you are doing, you are not just observing an arbitrary rule. Your act has an ethical component, since it requires attention and consideration. If the essential feature of the creep is self-centered obliviousness, you are the opposite of creep.

While none of us want to be a creep, the fact is that when life gets busy the creep, has a way of creeping in.

So, as we go forward this week, let’s focus on the salt and pepper. In terms of passing it together and in everyday situations of putting another person’s needs ahead of our own!

Oh, but before I forget, pop back on Friday for DIY Friday and my favorite Salt-N-Pepa trick. I promise not to rap, pinky promise.

I now leave you with a little savory eye candy of the Salt and Pepper sort. Happy Monday Manner friends!

Shake it…

My sister has these and I fell in love! The Rhode Spice Tower 

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Jonathan Adler and his darling couple

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 Sadie Hedgehog Salt & Pepper Shakers 

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Oh Joy! Stoneware Metallic Gold Salt & Pepper Shakers

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Perfex Salt and Pepper Mill

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How do you #WearWhite & Win my favorite White Pen!

by Mindy Lockard on September 14, 2014

When we think of etiquette, often times our mind travels to the past, as in the dark ages. A time that doesn’t relate to today. But etiquette is a progressive industry. Which is what I love most about it.

What doesn’t change about etiquette is the foundation on respect, civility and mindfulness. And yes, there are dated rules, like pinkies up (please, please for the love, put that pinky down) or wearing white after Labor Day. But times are changing and so are these rules.

So let’s talk about #WearWhite.

It’s okay to wear white.

There I said it.

White is a beautiful thing. So crisp, fresh and clean. But white goes down a scary path when yellow-ed, accessorized with dribbles of your lunch or heaven forbid arm pit stains. Just gross. How we present ourselves on the outside is a direct reflection of how we are feeling about ourselves on the inside. The care we take in wearing white says a lot about our commitment to putting our best foot forward.

All about the Base

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If you choose to wear white pants just remember to find a shoe that will keep them white. Nothing kills the crispness of a pant like splatters of mud or a soggy hemline.

Warming it Up!

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A classic white blouse is a great look any time of the year. While white is a clean and cool look, it is fabulous when warmed up with chocolate brown, camel or gold.

Fireside Cozy

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An oversizes sweater and jeans or leggings (just cover your bum) is a cozy look for fall and winter.

Keeping it Casual

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A white shirt and jeans, with a long wrap or jacket is such an effortless look that transition easily from day to evening.

These are my favorite ways to wear white. Now, I would LOVE to hear how you like to #WearWhite!

#WearWhite II

Join me on @SheafferPen Instagram page and share under one of our #WearWhite images. I will be giving away my most favorite ‘White Sheaffer’ pen to one lucky winner. It’s truly such a sophisticated pen.



#BacktoCampus with National Panhellenic Conference

by Mindy Lockard on August 27, 2014

So excited that today is the day of our #SheafferLiving #BacktoCampus twitter party! Whether you are heading back to campus, have a child heading back or simply loved your campus experiences… many moons ago, this chat is for you. It’s designed to be engaging, inspiring and of course fun! We will also be giving away a fabulous Sheaffer Pen every 10 minutes and grand $50.00 cash (gift card) prize!


Today we are chatting with our third and final panelist National Panhellenic Conference or @NPCwomen on twitter.  I am so pleased that they are joining us as they have the pulse on the power of campus social involvement and ways to gain leadership experience during campus life!


The Gracious Girl: What did you love about your college experience?

@NPCwomen: College is an opportunity to grow in knowledge, not only in the classroom but also outside of it. College offers the opportunity for a sorority experience that helps you become a well-rounded individual through opportunities for leadership, service, philanthropy, friendship and networking. The best part is that these opportunities don’t end at graduation, they continue to be part of alumna life.


The Gracious Girl: Any advice you have for those heading #BacktoCampus?

@NPCwomen: My advice is to explore your opportunities, so you can grow. Take courses that interest you, join organizations that interest you, go to the activities offered on campus and use the services provided. There is so much you can take advantage of on campus from concerts to speakers to career counseling. One particular opportunity to explore is sorority recruitment. The process offers an opportunity to meet new people and you may find an organization that you can join for life.

Duquesne Grads

The Gracious Girl: What are you looking forward to bringing to our #BacktoCampus twitter party?

@NPCwomen: NPC hopes to offer some insight into the activities and leadership opportunities on campus and provide information on lifelong sorority membership and sorority recruitment.


We hope to see you tonight at our #SheafferLiving #BacktoCampus twitter party 8 – 9 PM ET with expert panelists: @shopbando, @TDNDesignNet and @NPCWomen! Oh and yes, there will be prizes and giveaways!


#BacktoCampus with The Design Network

by Mindy Lockard on August 26, 2014

One more day until our #SheafferLiving #BacktoCampus twitter party!


Today we are chatting with our second panelist The Design Network or @TDNDesignNet on twitter.


We can’t wait to learn from them about creating functional small #BacktoCampus spaces!  After all functional spaces are most important in all of our lives. Can I get an amen?

The Gracious Girl: What did you love about your college experience?
@TDNDesignNet: We loved learning and soaking in as much knowledge as possible and meeting some of the best people along the way!

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The Gracious Girl: Anyadvice you have for those heading #BacktoCampus?

@TDNDesignNet: Our advice for those heading #backtocampus is to be organized and prepared before the school year starts. Select one fun item that is your “must-have” and coordinate the rest around that item.

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The Gracious Girl: What are you looking forward to bringing to our #BacktoCampus twitter party?
@TDNDesignNet: We look forward to bringing The Design Network to the #BacktoCampus twitter party because design is in all areas of life and making a home wherever you go, be it school or work, is the best way to feel confident and comfortable.

We hope to see you tomorrow at our #SheafferLiving #BacktoCampus twitter party 8 – 9 PM ET with expert panelists: @shopbando, @TDNDesignNet and @NPCWomen! Oh and yes, there will be prizes and giveaways!