My friends all adore my daughter, because Tatjana has remarkable manners for a young woman in this day and age. When she was little, our family motto was “have daughter, have nanny, will travel”, and we did take Tatjana with us everywhere.

Arriving at Nick’s birthday bash, 1991
Nick and I are both extremely social creatures, so we taught her proper etiquette right from the start. There is nothing more obnoxious than an unruly, spoilt brat.

The social whirlwind of the holidays is nearly upon us. Nannies and babysitters might once have been the norm, but in this economy, more and more people are taking their children with them when they go out. I think this is one of the few benefits of the economy. It’s important for children to learn to socialize from an early age, and the more time families spend together, the better.

Nick, Tatjana, and Julie Anne Rhodes at the Antony Price Fashion Show, 1989

If however, the invitation is not clear about whether “das kinder” would be welcome, it might be a good idea to check with your host first. There are people that do not find children as enchanting as you and I do; or they may have homes that are far from childproof with expensive breakables, and accident prone zones. Unless you are willing to spring for childcare, politely decline those invitations. You’re asking for trouble if you ignore the circumstances.
Monsters and bouncy castle at Normandie Keith’s

Ask if there will be other children of similar ages, and what if any arrangements have been made to entertain them? If the answer is none, but your children are still welcome, be sure to arrive prepared. Bored children tend to mutate into naughty little monsters. Bring books, art supplies (do keep an eagle eye out that your little lovelies do not decide to redecorate your hosts’ house), and age appropriate toys. iPads seems to miraculously entertain both children and adults of all ages for hours on end.
Pool time for the bigger kids at Normandie Keith’s

Just like you would not arrive at a black tie event wearing jeans, make sure your children are dressed appropriately for the occasion as well. Hungry children make for grumpy whiners, which puts a damper on your fun as well as theirs. You can kill two birds with one stone by bringing a hostess gift of something kid-friendly to eat like a lasagna or cottage pie. That way you guarantee there is something your children will eat, under the guise of lending a helping hand to your host (make sure you make enough to serve the other guests too).
Tatjana, Sean Borg, and Julie Anne Rhodes

Involve your children in the discussion as much as possible so they learn to converse easily with others. The art of repartee is a much less daunting lesson when they are learning by your example. Once they tire of the adults (and they will), suggest they make your host a drawing in thanks for having you, sit quietly in a corner and read, or play with their toys. Do not under any circumstances let young children run wild and completely unattended. It is bad form on your part as a guest, highly annoying to the other guests, could be dangerous, and you will be missing a golden opportunity to train your children in proper manners. Be a parent, and discipline when necessary.
When all else fails, a little bribe such as “if you behave, I’ll let you stay up an extra half hour past bedtime” used to work a treat with Tatjana. Just be sure you are in control of any negotiations – you don’t want to raise little terrorists; and under no circumstances do you carry through with that reward if they have not lived entirely up to their end of the bargain.
Tatjana and Julie Anne Rhodes at Amanda Eliasch’s Christmas party

It is our job to be our children’s parents, not their friends. If you succeed, the most enjoyable friendship will follow naturally. There is no one on the planet I would rather hang out with than my daughter, Tatjana. This white meat lasagna would be right up her alley!
Jewels White Meat Lasagna
 

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
3/4 pound lean ground turkey
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with the back of a spoon
1 can tomato paste
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
salt and pepper to taste
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
12 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces goats cheese
1 egg
1 pound mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

1). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2). Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the turkey sausage and ground turkey, breaking apart with the back of a wooden spoon, and stirring to cook evenly. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

3). Add onions to the poultry drippings, and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic, stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sugar, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add turkey and sausage back to the sauce, basil, 1 tablespoon parsley, oregano, fennel, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

4). Mix ricotta, goats cheese, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining tablespoon of parsley in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

5). Assemble in a 9×13 inch baking dish sprayed with olive oil. Spread 1 cup sauce evenly over the bottom, arrange half of the no-boil noodles lengthwise over the top, spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture evenly over the lasagna, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat with a second layer, then top with the rest of the sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.

6). Cover carefully so foil does not touch the cheese, and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until top is bubbly and beginning to go golden brown around the edges. Cool 10 – 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serving Suggestions:Serve with a mixed green salad, roasted or marinated vegetables, and garlic bread.

« Previous PostNext Post »
  • October 19, 2010
    2:07 pm

    I couldn't agree with you more. The motto manners cost nothing is what we live by. If you make sure a child mixes with as many adults in social settings then they will be so much better for it when they are older.My nephew has always had it drummed into him how to behave and he's a joy to take anywhere. He's used to eating out and mixing with adults and we talk to him about everything, hoping to do the same with my niece

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:10 pm

    Jewels, I loved this post!!! I couldn't agree more. With seven kiddos of my own, I am always complimented on my kids and how they act when out in public, but then again we've always dragged them along to public things. I think it's good for kids to learn how to act in public from an early age, then as young adults they will be more comfortable in social settings — I see this in my 3 young adult kids, who have been surprised at college by how few of their peers have these skills. Kids and adults enjoy it more this way. :-)

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:20 pm

    I like that Amanda – "manners cost nothing", but they do – they cost attention to your children, and sometimes feeling like a witch when you have to discipline them (it's so much easier to give into their demands).Wow, Mari – I forgot you have SEVEN kids! YOU could definitely have written this post!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:21 pm

    awwww very nicephoto julieannShannon Marie Moyer

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:22 pm

    what a beautiful picture ;) Tracy Williams Walls

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:23 pm

    You two are gorgeous! And you look like sisters :) Jenny Ison Wan

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:23 pm

    Beautiful! ;) Jade Vanity

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:24 pm

    I bet she feels the same way at times!Justine Owls

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:25 pm

    Thanks guys- blushing a little here. Hope your actually reading the blog post and not just looking at the pictures.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:28 pm

    Absolutely. I enjoy reading your blog post.Melanie Angel

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:29 pm

    See how strict I can be? (All front, with mush underneath).

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    4:45 pm

    Always read the blog… I truly enjoy them! ;) Tracy Williams Walls

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:25 pm

    congrats on your daughter. Best wishes to the both of you!Manuela Salvade

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:25 pm

    I love your blog. Discipline is a must, especially today. Too many brats out there. The time for friendship will come once they're adults. At least that's what I'm telling my five year old.Fernanda Arbulu Boehm

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:26 pm

    That is a lovely photo of the two of you. I can see that you are very proud of your daughter – she is a credit to you.Rachel Day

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:29 pm

    BeautifulJoe DiMaggio Jr.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:30 pm

    Gorgeous girls!Deborah Waugh

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:31 pm

    Two lovelies…….:-)Bj Nelson

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    6:31 pm

    she is so beautiful. i can tell by your photos that you two have a very special and loving mother/daughter relationship. we should all be so lucky. :) Samantha Hodgins

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:25 pm

    Thanks for the Bitchincamero blog, the "pieces" she uses in her recipes are some of my all time fave. mixes like spinach and feta cheese, I'm doing the chicken & spinach quesadillas tonight w/ the pear salsa. Phenomenal….Carly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:25 pm

    hat lasagna looks really yummy,I'll try it cause family loves lasagna! Thanks for the recipe and the lovely blogs as usual :) xxxMariFer Cruz Ortega

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:26 pm

    Beautiful pics of the grownup Tatjana!JoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:29 pm

    You two look great in that pic! I agree that it looks you have a wonderful mother and daughter relationship :) MariFer Cruz Ortega

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:30 pm

    I agree. Right now my 13 year old daughter is trying to be "my friend." Unfortunately my ex- her father- gave her an iPhone. I have had to limit her use- more texting time only if her grades improve. Thankfully, she has been doing better and when I tell her she can't do something she replies with, "Yes, M'am."Lisa Van Ore Thompson

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:30 pm

    yes, Im working to get lots of daddy time before she is grown up!congrats on tatjana's exhibiotn !Michael Beam

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:34 pm

    Thanks everyone – I am a proud mamma. Lisa – it's twice as hard to play the heavy when you're parenting apart (I know). I was lucky, Nick is even stricter than I am, but your daughter will thank you for it in the long run. Michael – I idolize dads that realize how important and short that time really is. You get my daddy of the week vote.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    7:55 pm

    Beautiful post! I really appreciate the tips, also! It seems manners are becoming increasingly scarce today, so parents need to be more vigilant. I'm hoping I can be strong enough to be wear the disciplinary hat when needed with my little man. I can see already that this is easier said then done. Those dang little smiles are disarming! You and your daughter look beautiful, as always!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    8:13 pm

    Couldn't agree more with your post! While my friends were taking their kids to Applebees for dinner, I was taking Kirsten to French Restaurants and Steak Houses and introducing her to Foie Gras and Escargot. It's so important to expose your kids to the finer things in life. I doubt she will be dating anyone that would dare take her to a place of less discriminating taste! :-)

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    8:17 pm

    Your post is so true. I've seen so many university/college aged students with manners that would shock their parents. But you have to wonder if the parents did take any time to teach their children how their behaviour can label them once they're older and that behaving properly is a requirement, not an option. I guess you can tell that I don't have children. LOL But, after having worked with thousands of children in the past ten years, I have had a pretty good view of parenting skills and the absence of them.Love the recipe! No cook noodles are such a great thing. And, this is a recipe I can portion up and freeze. That is key to my eating properly these days. Thank you again Julie Anne. You have such a special relationship with your daughter, we all can see how much love is shared between the two of you.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    11:14 pm

    You can tell who's the proud parent..Minnie Sanchez

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    11:22 pm

    I absolutely love your photograph, Julie…she has grown into such a beautiful person,inside and out,you and Nick must be so proud of her. The saying beauty comes from within is so true.it would be great if you and Nick started seeing each other as friends again,for the sake of your daughter. XxxHester van der Poll

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010
    11:23 pm

    Oh we are on friendly terms Hester. He lives in London and I'm in LA, so we do not bump into each other often, but we do speak occasionally.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    12:19 am

    The lasagna looks super yummy, I love the photos of you and Tatjana and I couldn't agree more with your child-rearing philosophy! (boy that was quite the run-on sentence!). It's really not terribly difficult to teach your children manners, the sad thing is it seems most *parents* are lacking in that department, so they can't teach the kids!

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    11:23 am

    great article, just stumbled onto this blog and looks good so far the-food-place

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    4:30 pm

    Beautiful photo of the 3 of you. I do agree with what you said in your blog. I think its so important for you children to start socializing at a young age. I bring my 2 1/2 yr old son with me just about everywhere. Proper etiquette is so very important too. It seems there are so many parents who just don't care. Sad actually. You need to be that parent figure that your child so desperate needs to have in order to develop properly. Great blog Julie! Thanks!! :) Julie Moreschi Barrientos

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    4:30 pm

    I'll never understand why people become parents, if they don't want to take the time, give the attention, and BE a parent?

    Reply
    • September 29, 2011
      3:29 pm

      Clear, infmoratvie, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

      Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    4:30 pm

    I completely agree! Its a huge responsibility and not to mention one of the most important jobs in the world! I love my son more than words can say and I want to make sure we have a wonderful relationship while at the same time, raising him the proper way.Julie Moreschi Barrientos

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    5:01 pm

    I actually had a parent tell me that my 12 & 14 yo sons are too quiet…huh, really?? I've worked hard to get them to understand respect and manners, and it's nice to be able to go and do and all of us enjoy it.Evelyn Preast Cooper

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    8:03 pm

    I had a small get-together this weekend and one of my friends brought her daughter as a sitter was not an option. Her daughter was so pleasant, well mannered and just an absolute joy. Obv. she gets that from her mom. I think kids do need to be in more social situations – it will help them later in life, IMO.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010
    9:54 pm

    It took me being a medical assistant and working govt. security to realize how badly I wanted to stay @ home w/ my babiesCarly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 21, 2010
    1:49 am

    lol What a goofy pic of Nic!Kim Brand

    Reply
  • October 21, 2010
    1:49 am

    I have a 5 year old and take him everywhere. I couldn't agree more.Eileen Herncane

    Reply
  • October 21, 2010
    1:51 am

    I think that pic of Nick is lovely – that's his softy, loving face.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2010
    12:39 pm

    I have worked in a restaurant and have seen a lot ;(Proper etiquette is important and thank you for bringing that up.Btw, the lasagna looks delicious. I try to cook it ;) Joanna Janeta

    Reply
  • October 21, 2010
    9:01 pm

    Love this post Julie Anne and the pics are gorgeous. I agree totally on the manners thing. Mia is 22 months and knows when to say please and thank you. Parents need to set examples for their children. They are sponges when the are young and take everything in.Aussie Mum

    Reply

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