Erika Preval - Simply Put

Tag: etiquette

Going Up – Lifting Elevator Etiquette IQs

Elevator - vintage

There’s etiquette for nearly everything. The purpose of etiquette, however, isn’t to bog the world down with a plethora of rules to abide by, but to ensure that there’s a consistent flow within our daily interactions. I’ve witnessed a few mishaps that interrupted the rhythm of riding the elevator recently, so let’s delve into a few basics of using this mode of public transportation.

  •  Wait for it – When awaiting the arrival of an elevator, stand to the side of the doors. This allows passengers arriving on your floor to exit efficiently. If the call button has already been pressed and is lit, please don’t press it again. This displays to the person that has already done so that you don’t trust them – not the first impression you want to give. Remember that rule with buttons inside the elevator, as well.


  •  Who’s on first – Chivalry isn’t dead when it comes to riding the elevator (not that it should be in any other instance). Please allow women and those who might need assistance to enter the elevator first – holding the doors open for them, if necessary. Beyond that, the person closest to the door should enter the elevator first.


  • Places, Everyone – Once onboard the elevator, stand near the walls. If you’re going to a higher floor, position yourself in the rear. Everyone should face the doors and allow sufficient room for other passengers. When standing near the buttons, please be courteous and press the floor numbers, as requested, for others. Step aside for anyone exiting the elevator.

I could certainly go on about the etiquette of elevator rides, from conversations (generally discouraged) to wearing headphones (turn down the volume), but follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to riding in style!

Warmest regards,


The Protocol of Pollen


Spring is my favorite season and the celebrations of my wedding anniversary and the girls’ birthdays occur during the months of April and May. With gardening as one of my hobbies, the array of floral planting options are one of the things that excite me most about this time of year. The downside of that assortment of beautiful flowers, blooming trees, greening grasses, and the like, is the layer of pollen they bring to our outdoor surroundings. If you’re sensitive to the yellow stuff, follow this advice for remaining polished this allergy season!

Cover your sneeze, please. Though once the norm to sneeze into your hand, it is now frowned upon. Please cover your sneeze with a handkerchief or tissue. Neither of those handy? Direct the sneeze into your upper sleeve or bend of your elbow. This simple act will greatly reduce the spread of germs and make for a more desirable handshake!

Go before you blow. There are times when a sneezing attack sneaks up on you and a quick getaway isn’t possible. If that’s the case, turn your head away from others before you sneeze. The best practice, however, is to excuse yourself from present company and take care of your sneeze, or need to blow your nose, in the restroom or an isolated space within the room. It is in very poor taste to blow your nose (no matter how softly you feel you’re doing so) at the dinner table or in shared spaces.

Keep it clean. No matter your level of curiosity, never look at the contents of your used tissue. Don’t reuse a handkerchief or tissue. Soiled handkerchiefs should be stored away until cleaned and used tissues should be discarded immediately. Always be certain to wash your hands once your allergy attack has been resolved and before rejoining your party.

I hope you fare well this allergy season. Just in case, be prepared with a small pack of tissues as you tiptoe through the tulips!

CAKE Vintage Table & Home – Nashville, TN

CAKE Vintage Table & Home - Nashville, Tennessee

CAKE Vintage Table & Home – Nashville

A few years ago, having no plans set for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, my sister and I decided it would be great to meet halfway for a girls only weekend – Mom and my daughters included. We mapped it out, and decided on a destination: Nashville, Tennessee. The trip was amazing, from our accommodations at Union Station to breakfasts at Pancake Pantry and Loveless Cafe. I left with one regret, though: not being able to visit CAKE Vintage Table & Home.

I had no prior knowledge of CAKE Vintage. By happenstance, while my sister was choosing a cupcake at Gigi’s, I happened to glance across the street and saw their sign. The simplicity of their logo – ovals enclosing a fork and clean fonts, caught my eye. Sadly, they were closed. Though intrigued, I didn’t even peek into their windows to see exactly what was being sold.

Once back in Atlanta, I became extremely knowledgeable of their product line. All of my favorite shops carried CAKE Vintage products. I found their paper items at Anthropologie and Paper Source. Star Provisions used vintage flatware from CAKE Vintage on their display table. Imagine my excitement when a tournament in Franklin, TN, appeared on my daughter’s volleyball schedule. Franklin was only 20 minutes away, so I’d finally be able to explore CAKE Vintage!

CAKE Vintage Interior - Broadway Location

CAKE Vintage Interior – Broadway Location

Housed within the parent company of Hester & Cook Design Group, CAKE Vintage Table & Home (est. 2007) is self-described as an elegant home goods line offers a variety of table linens, vintage sliver-plate flatware, handcrafted light fixtures and other unique kitchen accessories. In short, it’s everything that I love! The store is currently tucked away at 1707  Broadway, a busy street full of both traffic and hotels. The space is an escape from the hustle and bustle just outside its doors. Stepping across the threshold, the intimate surroundings beckon you to slow down a bit and admire reclaimed treasures from the past mixed with whimsical lighting and creative papers.

Kitchen Papers

Kitchen Papers – Beautifully Strung

All of the linens and vintage silverware I’d become familiar with were present, as well as pieces from sister companies KnobStoppers and Kitchen Papers. My daughter and I had such a wonderful time in the store and I even created my very first Vine submission while there. Thank you to the pleasant staff of CAKE Vintage for being such gracious hosts during our time shopping with you.

CAKE - Collections of Vintage Tableware

CAKE Vintage – Vintage Tableware

Though they’ll soon be relocating from their Broadway location, you can find CAKE Vintage products online and in over 2000 retailers throughout the United States. I’m certain they’d make a charming addition to your home.


Stuck in the Middle


There was a time when I loved the middle seat. In fact, I have fond childhood memories of riding there, in the front seat of the latest Lincoln Continental that Granddaddy purchased for Granny. They would position me between them – atop the armrest so that I could get a better view of our surroundings during my summer visits. It was the perfect space. Unfortunately, I’ve outgrown the coziness of sitting in the middle, whether in a car or airplane.

When it comes to air travel, most adults dread being assigned a middle seat. If your boarding pass reflects such an assignment and the row remains full after the forward door has closed, remember these considerations for a more comfortable flight:

Use the restroom before boarding the plane. Hopefully, that will save you from having to do so again before reaching your destination.
You’re allowed use of both armrests. If you’d like to share them, offer the forward or rear portion of the armrests to your neighbors.
Make good use of the overhead compartments to maximize your space. You’re likely 31-34 inches away from the row in front of you and squeezed into a 17-inch seat. Give yourself more legroom by storing your carry-ons overhead.

My fingers are crossed that your requests for a window or aisle seat on your next flight are honored. In case they’re not, I’m sure these tips will improve the scenario of being stuck in the middle.

Safe travels!


Welcome! Please do make yourself at home. I hope you’ll stay awhile, as this is my very first blog post, and I’d love to embark upon this journey with you as my company. The mission: to make approachable the sometimes-uneasy subject of etiquette.

Please and thank you are still the magic words. Chivalry is not dead. Manners do matter. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s unrealistic to read 700+ pages of Emily Post’s Etiquette when deciding what’s proper behavior in any given situation. Consider this blog your Cliff’s Notes to day-to-day manners. You’ll find not only which fork to use, or what to do if said fork should fall onto the floor, but where to stand when waiting to enter the elevator and who has the right to use the armrest when seated in the middle seat on an airplane.

I look forward to sharing tidbits of everyday etiquette with you and welcome any and all of your questions about the social graces. Chances are, if you’re wondering about something, someone else is, too – which makes for a great discussion topic. I’ll also keep you in the loop about upcoming events that I’m hosting in Atlanta, and of any charming local businesses that I’ve discovered while in town and when traveling.

Please subscribe, and join me on what’s sure to be an awfully fun and enlightening adventure. About that fallen fork: if at a restaurant, do leave the fork on the floor. Simply let your server know it’s fallen – they’ll retrieve it and bring a replacement. When dining in someone’s home, pick the fork up discreetly and ask your host for another. Thank you so much for stopping by!