Utensil Etiquette

First of all, if you participated in this Facebook post, thank you!!  I love seeing all of that interaction on my posts!!  Wasn’t this etiquette quiz fun?  Did it make you want to learn more?  I hope so!  I am planning an etiquette course for adults and children, so stay tuned! If you would like to be notified of the courses, please consider subscribing.  🙂

Ok…on to the answer to my quiz!  Where do your utensils go when you are FINISHED with your meal?  The answer is C!  How many of you got that??

The picture in Exhibit A is what your plate should look like DURING your meal.

The picture in Exhibit B is what your plate should look like if you need to get up from the table and you have NOT COMPLETED your meal.


The picture in Exhibit C is what your plate should look like when you have COMPLETED your meal.

Now, next time you go out to dinner you will be confident and relaxed because you know what to do!

If you have any etiquette questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Thank you for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin


The 5 Reasons You Have Nothing to Wear!

How often do you walk into your closet and exclaim “I have nothing to wear”?  My guess is that it probably happens every day, even though there is a closet full of clothing staring back at you.  If this sounds familiar, I can help.  Let’s dissect some of the reasons you may be suffering from “I have nothing to wear” syndrome.  

  1. You have no idea what is even in your closet!   Some of you may know my backstory, but in case you don’t, let me fill you in – I began my career as a fashion consultant, but quickly realized that I couldn’t help people with their wardrobes if I couldn’t see what they had to work with!!  THAT is where my career as a professional organizer began.  I had to organize each clients’ closet before I could help her with her personal style.  The same goes for you!  If you can’t see what’s in your closet, of course you think you have nothing to wear!  My advice = Take the time to get organized!  
  2. You haven’t figured out your personal style.  Personal style is a curious, fun, challenging, and important part of enjoying your wardrobe!  I definitely recommend that you take the time to figure out your own personal style, so here are a few questions to get your started.  What is your lifestyle?  What do you do for a living?  What do you do for fun?  If you could have all of the items from one celebrity’s closet, whose would it be?  What are your best and worst colors?  What was the last outfit that garnered a compliment from someone?  Did you feel like a million bucks in it?   
  3. Your current wardrobe is out of sync with your personal style.  It is not uncommon to want or need to change your personal style every few years, so if you’ve found that you truly have nothing to wear, this may be the reason.  Take the time to redefine your personal style and get rid of anything that doesn’t jive with it.  
  4. You don’t have the right pieces.    In other words, you are lacking a few key staples of every good wardrobe.  Staples include, but are not limited to, the following – Skinny jeans, boot-cut jeans in a dark wash, camisoles in white, ivory, and black, a few trendy tunics/tops, a neutral-colored cardigan and one in a pop of color, black pants in a flattering fit, a little black dress and a fun, flirty dress, peep-toe pumps in a neutral color and a pop of color, knee-high boots in black and brown, fun accessories that will dress and outfit up or down, an every day purse, a cross-body bag, and an evening clutch.  Wardrobe essentials have a lot to do with your lifestyle and preferences, so keep that in mind when adding to your wardrobe.  
  5. You are an impulse shopper.   Impulse shoppers typically purchase items without having any idea when, how, or where she will wear the item(s).  That is a huge no, no!  You should always shop with an agenda and a list!  You will save so much time, space, stress, and money in the long run!  I promise…I had to learn this the hard way.  I LOVE to shop!!  🙂

So, be honest, which of these five reasons speak to you?

Thank you so much for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

Creative Ways to Keep Treasures New & Old

Creative Ways to Keep Treasures New & Old

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I got a bit of inspiration via a Facebook comment,  (Thanks, Sherry!) , so I thought the perfect way to answer her question was through a post.  I hope you find my tips helpful, too.

As loved ones pass in and out of our lives, memorabilia (and beautiful memories) is accumulated.  But, what do we do with all of those little keepsakes?  Package them up and stick them in the attic?  Or set them in a chest rarely to be seen again?  I say “Absolutely Not!”  Those keepsakes should be displayed in a way that preserves the memory, yet keeps it visible for all to enjoy.  Below are a few of my tips for creative ways to keep your little treasures:

Cards & Such – Do you have special cards (birthday cards, love letters, recipe cards, tickets, postcards, etc.) from a loved one that you can’t part with?  I suggest framing them and creating a collage wall or simply place them on bookshelves or in another special place.  I have recipe cards written in my grandmother and great grandmothers handwriting, I have to do this!:
Framed Recipe How to Decorate a Kitchen   Stylish & Practical Ways to Accessorize Your Space

Send yourself a postcard from your trip. | 20 Non-Scrapbook Ways To Remember Your Vacation Forever:

Clothing or Blankets – Clothing and blankets are also kind of hard to give up sometimes, especially when they remind you of your child when he was a baby.  Instead of getting rid of them or packing them into a plastic storage container, choose a few of your favorite pieces and get creative!!  Check out the pics below.

Baby Keepsake Quilt.  Link below is to a company that will make them.  Image was from a FB post:

Teddy bear made from old baby clothes

What a fun keepsake for those favourite baby clothes you can't bear to part with!  NEW Memory Pillow baby clothes quilt Memory quilt by LulasLuvables:

Memory Pillows Keepsake | ... shirts, robes, or dresses make a comforting Sleeved Memory Pillow:

Books and Bibles – In my opinion, there is nothing like reading a good, old book.  There is something about the feel of the pages and the scent of the old paper that makes it so wonderful to me.  With that said, I often run across others who feel the same way about old books, especially Bibles, that were previously owned by a loved one.  Below are my suggestions on displaying old books and bibles.

French books under a dome. what about the pastors journal I have?:

Repro antique glass display case via Miss Mustard Seed (decorsteals)

Love this idea for a display of family geneology items...old Bibles, notebooks, journals and the Christus.  HVÍTUR LAKKRÍS

old books, dough bowl and grain sack

Jewelry – When my grandmother passed away she left me all of her jewelry.  Some of it was great, timeless necklaces, but there were also rings that were too big for me.  Some of them I got sized to fit my finger, and some of them were recreated into stud earrings.  I always suggest trying whatever you can so that you may be able to wear the items yourself, but if that doesn’t work for you and you simply want to hold onto the pieces in their original form, below are a few suggestions.

frame grandma's jewelry on a piece of linen.  I love this idea!:

i LOVE this idea of pinning "momento jewelry" (handed down from grandmothers, etc) inside a shadowbox frame and it doubles as art! :):

75 Ways to Fill Clear Glass Ornaments {Homemade Christmas Ornaments} - Refunk My JunkRefunk My Junk:

Shadow box turned jewelry display - perfect for displaying delicate jewelry or vintage pieces:

I hope this sparks some inspiration for you!!

Have you done something creative with your keepsakes recently?  Please share!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin

Ask Erin

Ask Erin

I’m in the process of cleaning out my closet and trying to rework my wardrobe.  I want fewer clothes that I really love, that go well and easily together.  When I go in my closet, I feel like I have tons of clothes, and nothing to wear.  Other than your “get rid of it if you haven’t worn it in two years rule,” what other tips do you have for cleaning out one’s closet and putting together a wardrobe?

This is a super question!  🙂

Ok, after you have gone through your closet and weeded out everything that you haven’t worn in two years I suggest you take another swipe through your closet for items that you know you don’t like any more, that are torn/ripped/ or in other disrepair, and items that you don’t wear because they are wrinkled, etc. 

Put those four sets of items into different piles.  Take a look at the “haven’t worn in two years pile” and the “things I don’t like anymore pile.”  What is the common theme?  Take note of this theme so when you are shopping next time you will be able to stay away from those items that don’t work for you. 

Those items in the pile that are wrinkled should be pressed and placed back in the closet in ready-to-wear condition.  And those items that are in disrepair should be fixed or thrown out. 

Now, all that you should have in your closet are items that you love and wear consistently.  Make sure they are organized appropriately – like with like and in color order.  This will make each item easier to see and you will be able to find an item at a moment’s notice.  Another tip is to NEVER hang sets/outfits together.  Hanging your outfits or sets together will limit your realm of thinking and make it much easier for you to wear the same outfit over and over. 

After your closet is organized properly you will be able to see what you need to add to your wardrobe.  For instance, is your wardrobe primarily black?  (Don’t worry!  We are women and we naturally gravitate to that color for it’s slimming effects!)  Or are you the opposite and have lots of color but need the key neutral pieces to tie it all together?  Take inventory and really dissect your closet so you’ll know what you need to add!  🙂  Then you can shop!  My favorite part. 

I also suggest that you make a “lookbook” or “inspiration board” of outfits that you like and have found in magazines, online, etc.  Keep them in a binder or on a cork board in your closet and then refer to them when you are putting an outfit together.  Gain inspiration from others!

You should also try putting outfits together ahead of time for the week ahead.  I take time on Sundays to create and try on outfits for the entire week!  I am never late anymore!  Well…maybe sometimes!  LOL!

Yay!  I really hope this helps you!  If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to email me again!!

If anyone else has a question for me, please feel free to email erinlove@panachebyerin.com or leave it in the comments below.







Ask Erin


What kind of hangers do you like best?  I have a friend who invested (and it was a big investment!) in those new hangers that don’t allow anything to slip off…and she hates them.  I have a combination of the clear plastic hangers and the cheap white tube hangers.

  THESE are my favorite hangers!  Clear plastic!  They look great in any closet, work with men’s and women’s clothing, aren’t too expensive, keep things from falling off (due to the notches), and are heavy-duty! 

I have some clients who like the new non-slip hangers, but they seem to be a bit flimsy, in my opinion.  Plus they stick to each other so if you have a packed closet, it’s hard to get them out of the closet.  They do take up a little less room than the hanger above, but I still prefer the clear plastic hangers. 

I do not recommend the plastic tube hangers or wire hangers!  They are very rough on your clothing and do not look good, in my opinion! 

GREAT QUESTION!  Thank you so much!

If you have a question for me, please send it to erinlove@panachebyerin.com or comment below!!

Thanks for reading!



Ask Erin


Erin, you know me.  My weight fluctuates and I have about four different sizes of clothing in my closet right now.  I am trying to decide what to purge but I’m scared to get rid of clothes that I may fit into later!  Please help!


My rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in two years, no matter what, you should get rid of it.  If you lose weight in the near future you are more likely going to want to buy new clothing instead of wearing the old clothes in your closet!!    I hope this helps!!

Do you have a question regarding organizing, fashion, style, etiquette, weddings, or beauty?  If so, email it to erinlove@panachebyerin.com or leave it in the comments below!



Ask Erin

Ask Erin

Hey, Erin! I had a question about etiquette. I’m getting married this year, and I was wondering what bridesmaid etiquette was. Do I have to use the same girls whose wedding I was in? How do you let them down gently? Or do you have to use them for bridesmaids too?

Hello!!  First of all, congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding!  My first bit of advice is to do whatever you can to make sure you enjoy the planning process and the weekend of the wedding.  It will fly by and you will be hard pressed to remember any of it if you are stressed out the entire time.  🙂

Now on to your question…(and what a great one it is!) – Deciding who should be in your wedding party is usually fairly easy, but if your family is large and your circle of friends is extensive it may be a bit more difficult.  One thing to keep in mind is that there are no requirements when it comes to whom you should ask.  If you want to include only family members in your wedding party, for instance, your friends will surely understand, and vice versa.   Also, you should never feel obligated to include someone in your wedding just because you were a part of theirs.  If you feel as though they may be expecting to be in your wedding, simply let them know that you are limiting the number of bridesmaids, or that you are only having family members, etc.  Again, your friends will understand and should want to show their support in other ways, such as helping with a shower, or going on vendor visits with you.  There are so many ways to make sure everyone feels included without actually having them as an attendant.

A few other things to keep in mind:

1.  There is no required number of attendants.  You could have one or you could have 15!  Whatever you want!

2.  You don’t even have to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen!  YOU choose!

3.  You can have more than one maid or matron-of-honor!

All in all, a wedding should be the celebration that YOU want it to be.  Make sure your stamp is on it and don’t worry about what the “typical” wedding entails.  As long as you treat others respectfully and with grace, your wedding can be whatever you want it to be.

🙂  Hope this helps!!  If not, I don’t mind elaborating or clarifying.  Just let me know!


If you have a question for me, please email it to erinlove@panachebyerin.com

Thank you for reading!



Ask Erin


Since summer is right around the corner I was wondering if you had any advice on how to find the perfect bathing suit?

The number one thing I recommend is that you ALWAYS try the bathing suit on before buying it!  I know, I know…it’s not fun for me either, but you’d be surprised at how differently a bathing suit looks and feels once it is off a hanger and onto your body!

Secondly, don’t be afraid to mix and match different tops and bottoms.    It can actually look quite stylish!

Thirdly, don’t stick with black just because you think you have to!!    Try a navy blue, brown, or other neutral color!

Another good rule of thumb to go by is to buy a print that works with your body type.  For instance, if you are extremely petite, try a print that is petite,too.  Anything too large will overpower your small frame.  If you feel you are a little larger, don’t choose an itty bitty print that will get lost in translation.  Animal print is actually a very universally flattering print!  Try it!

Above all, have fun and don’t be afraid to try new things!  Just stay away from barely-there bikinis.  🙂

If you have a question for me, please feel free to leave it in the comments or email me directly at erinlove@panachebyerin.com