It’s too hot! What should I do?

  I am sorry to tell you that blowing on your food is not ok!  You should not blow on it before it goes into your mouth, and you should not fan your food with your mouth open after you have taken a bite of something that is too hot.  The best way to cool… Continue reading It’s too hot! What should I do?

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To twirl or not to twirl: when is it good manners to use a fork?

  Is it ok to eat ribs or a T-bone steak with your fingers? Also, what is the proper way to eat spaghetti? It is not ok to eat any kind of steak with your fingers! However, it is OK to eat ribs with your fingers if the restaurant or dinner is casual. Most likely,… Continue reading To twirl or not to twirl: when is it good manners to use a fork?

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A Mother's Love

Mother’s Day: Love is bigger than mistakes

I lost my stepmother 3 days before Mother’s Day a few years ago. It was shocking and heartbreaking and I watched my brother and my father nearly fall apart from the grief. Gwen loved baking mostly, but I learned many classic techniques like brining, frying, grilling, and how to make a roux (gravy!) from her.… Continue reading Mother’s Day: Love is bigger than mistakes

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A secret about a secret

Possibilities are an undeniable inspiration to me. And because of that exuberant piecing of the puzzle that my brain adopts without a pause, reality is sometimes a secondary consideration. It seems I have always been more interested in what could be, in what should be, rather than in some cases, what actually is. It’s a… Continue reading A secret about a secret

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Learn to teach etiquette to children.


Susan has been a spokesperson, appearing on television and in print advertising, hosted a talk-radio program, and written weekly newspaper columns: Everyday Occasions, Kitchen Life, Curious about Cuisine, and The Social Child for the Gaston Gazette, and Manners Matter with Truman and Mrs. F for the national publication, Kidsville News. She has provided cooking and manners day camps for elementary-high school-aged children since 2005, and was invited to teach etiquette at Hope Lutheran School and Gaston College. She has made numerous appearances on Fox News, WBTV, WTVI, “The Johnboy and Billy Show,” and PBS Charlotte with presentations on children’s etiquette and cooking with kids.

She developed a Carolina Panthers Super Bowl Party Menu for the Gaston Gazette and has hosted cooking presentations at the Southern Ideal Home, Southern Living, and Southern Christmas Shows, and she was invited to be a special guest in the Southern Spring Show’s “Celebrity Kitchen.”

She is a former or current member of many Boards for local, state, and national organizations including the Gaston County Museum of Art and History, Junior League of Gaston County, Family Service, Inc., Children’s Advocacy Center, GC Museum Auxiliary Board, GC Historic Preservation Commission, Gaston Dance Theatre, and the Gaston County Women’s Commission.  She has volunteered for the Shelter of Gaston County and was invited to speak at events and vigils for the prevention and awareness of domestic violence.

She has received several awards, scholarships, and honors for her work as a volunteer and as a professional. She attended UNC-G where she majored in journalism; additionally, she attended the Protocol School of Washington’s “Etiquette and Leadership Institute” where she specialized in etiquette instruction for children and young adults. She was named Mrs. Gastonia in 1994. Susan is the mother of 3 children and currently spends her time writing, teaching, and traveling between FL, TN, and NC.