Check out the January/February 2013 issue of Smart

Click to see our e-zine.

I know a thing or two about a salad fork.

I never panic around a charger plate.

And you can bet I memorized which glass is for wine and which is for water.

I grew up a mile down the road from one of the biggest catering companies in northeastern Pennsylvania.

When I turned 16 and needed a job, I knocked on The Epicurean Delight’s door.

In a hand-me-down necktie and long, black apron, I was quickly thrust into a world of silver flatware and delicate china.

I passed hors d’oeuvres in homes that had kitchens bigger than my entire first apartment.

I watched brides say “I do” and clink heirloom toasting glasses. I rolled sushi, stirred risotto and assembled crepes to order.

And, in the process, I learned my way around a table setting. Though, sadly, that cooking prowess didn’t transfer outside the catering world.

But because I can fold a napkin into a French pleat, I tend to think I know a thing or two about proper etiquette.

However, even I learned a few things in this issue. OK, a lot of things, since Miss Manners I apparently am not.

Hopefully you will find a few takeaways, too — consider it a crash course in manners.
Inside, look for tips on teaching your little ones to mind their p’s and q’s. Local experts weigh in on page 54 with age-appropriate etiquette lessons. The key? Time, patience, practice and plenty of reinforcement.

You’ll also learn how to work out like a lady in the gym. Yes, even sweating in public comes with a list of preferred behaviors — check it out on page 7.

And we’ll teach you how to share. Whether it’s a cramped closet or a gender-neutral space, learn to live together in harmony — without too many floral pillows. Our home section begins on page 24.

I’m excited to introduce our newest columnist, Sarah Mock. Sarah has been sharing money-saving ideas on her blog since 2009, and we’re delighted to bring you her penny-pinching tips to our readers. For January, she tackles the topic of regifting. On page 22, she says it’s what’s on the outside that really counts when presenting a present to a new owner.

From cellphones to thank-you cards to table settings, you’ll find all the do’s and don’ts inside this issue of Smart.

And what better way to start the new year than with a handbook of proper behavior for every social situation?

I can’t think of a more proper way to ring in 2013.

April Trotter

Editor of Smart. NEPA transplant. Penn State and Shippensburg grad. Kickball and craft beer enthusiast. Collector of cardigans. "Bennie and the Jets" fanatic. Contact me at, at "Smart magazine" on Facebook, @SmartMagPA on Twitter or by phone at 717-771-2030.

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1 Response

  1. December 25, 2012

    […] a gift from Smart. The January/February 2013 Smart e-zine is here. Get etiquette tips to start the new year off on the right foot — including when to […]

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