A Note To Our Loyal Followers and Friends

We've received more than a few emails lately addressing a rumour buzzing around that we will be taking our leave of Lily Lemontree and this site.
Those rumours, my friends, are true.
But fear not, for we are not taking leave of our mission to revive the charming arts of good manners and gracious living, we're just having a much needed makeover of sorts.
A new name.
A new website.
And a new blueprint to make it easier for us to spread our message to young and old, from Baby Boomers to Millennials, Gen's X to Z.
For it's the youngest of our society that seems to need our help the most and yet we have left them with no clear examples of how to live with grace, charm and kindness towards our fellow man.
The great Fred Astaire once said "The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any."
At our new home 'Things Your Mother Should Have Told You' we will try to change the landscape of that vanishing example, picking up where our moms left off with a daily dose of good manners, commonsense and savvy life tips to raise a society of gracious grown-ups!

We are live at our new site and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where we invite you to join us This page will continue to be accessible for the near future until we have fully completed our move.

Thank you!
xo Lily Lemontree

THE MODERN MUSE Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan Shipka

Award-winning actress, undercover foodie and quite possibly the most stylish teenager you will ever meet!

Born in Chicago, she is currently splits her time between home in Los Angeles (her family moved there when she was 6 to pursue her career) and work in Vancouver where she is currently starring in the much buzzed about series 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'

We've been obsessed with Kiernan Shipka ever since Sally Draper became a household name during her run as Don Draper's precocious young daughter turned rebellious and occasional envelope-pushing teenager. It might have been her on-set ease at skillfully mastering some pretty heavy material that first caught everyone's attention but it was her performances in the style department that cemented her as a promising chic starlet to watch on and off the set.
 Her style equation is simple; fierce + fanciful = absolutely fabulous! Kiki will give you a serious case of the fashion envies with her timeless style that can run the gamut from the teen uniform of jeans and a t-shirt to mad fabulous frocks that were made for you to day-dream about. Google her name and I dare you to find even one instance of a style misstep (you won't). She's mastered the perfect balance between remaining age-appropriate (she was only 6 when she started on Mad Men!) and taking her rightful place amongst the fiercest of fashionistas twice her age.
I challenge you to take her in and not be as obsessed as I am with the young Miss Kiernan Shipka!

Kiernan Shipka's story so far → Instagram // Twitter


Ugh, another show about the royal family??
(A quip from my husband when we first started watching Downton Abbey 😆)
At that moment, I was captivated with the conundrum of Lady Mary finding herself in a most compromising position, that of having a naked dead guy lying on top of her in her bed but since I had to set the record straight and quick (he was itching to switch to the hockey game that was on), I did what I had to do.

I launched into a vague explanation of the ins and outs of royal titles and 'non-royal' titles; how a person with a title is not necessarily 'royal' so despite what it looked like, Downton Abbey was not about royalty. I went on just long enough for confusion to take over and at that point, he shrugged his shoulders and continued watch along; mission accomplished on my part!

Until the following week's episode when he asked me what the difference was between someone like the 'royal Earl' of Wessex (Prince Edward) and the 'not royal but still noble Earl' of Grantham? Good God, wasn't it just my luck; he had been listening to me and my desperate attempt to save my screen time.
But now, we were on to the tricky stuff; trying to make sense of it all to someone who cared more about the Stanley Cup than Lord Stanley himself.
You see, a title doesn't necessarily mean you are considered 'royalty'. We North Americans assume that anyone with a stuffy sounding title must have some sort of familial relation to the Queen but it just ain't so.

For example, Lady Diana Spencer had a title, her father was an Earl, she came from a preeminent aristocratic family that dated back to the 15th century and yet, for as many people who recognized she was from a noble family, there were just as many of the old guard members of Buckingham Palace's inner circle that considered her a 'commoner'. Much like Lady Diana's father, the fictitious Earl of Grantham had a title and came from an aristocratic family, had an ancestral home and land he presided over but was not considered royal because his genealogical line did not descend from a past or present monarch. Simply put, his blood was blue but not blue enough to run through the same veins as any king or queen who reigned supreme in jolly old England. He came to his title through its passage from hereditary male heir to hereditary male heir and once the last hereditary male heir dried up so would the title and everything that went with it. 😞

Earlier today, while I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, I was reminded of my husband's confused look when it seemed to spread across my friend's face shortly after the news broke that Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child. The news segment had mentioned that although the baby will be a great-grandchild of a reigning monarch, it doesn't necessarily mean that the child will be given the title of Prince/Princess.
As it stands the new royal baby will most likely be titled the Earl of Dumbarton (a lesser title of Prince Harry's) if it is a boy, while a daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor, unless the Queen steps in to alter the standing rule.
That rule was introduced back in 1917 when King George V, Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, decreed that the titles His/Her Royal Highness (HRH) and Prince/Princess should be restricted to the children of the sovereign (like Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward), the children of the sovereign's sons, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (that would be our boy George). Of the Queen's own grandchildren, only 4 out of 8 are styled Prince/Princess, two are styled Viscount and its equivalent Lady at the request of their parents, while two have no titles granted to them at all (the children of Princess Anne and also at her request).

A mouthful for anyone to say let alone clearly understand, even for those of us who like to think of ourselves as royal enthusiasts. While my friend and I hashed out the traditional potential names for the future royal baby and a few of our personal favs over a second cup of espresso (crossing our fingers that it is a healthy baby girl named Lady Diana Mountbatten-Windsor), the discussion turned to titles in general and more importantly who tops who?
My friend came late to the Downton Abbey party and now that she is slowly binge-watching all the seasons to catch up before the new movie comes out in the fall of 2019, she's hellbent on absorbing any info she can so she can better understand who she is watching.

The Titles in British nobility (also known as the peerage) denote rank or order of importance within the British nobility and all fall below King/Queen, and then Prince/Princess. Sons of a King/Queen also are given lesser titles like Duke of So-and-So or Earl of Nowhere when they marry but their title of HRH Prince takes precedence over those.

The five ranks, in descending order, are:
(pronounced MAHR-kwus/MAHR-shuh-nus)
(pronounced VYE-count/VYE-countess)

The funny thing about all these British titles is that, with one exception being 'Earl', they all come from the French. William the Conqueror was originally the Duke of Normandy and in 1066 when he invaded and conquered Britain, all those French noble titles came with him and then anglicized to the words that are still in use today.

Still on the fence as to who is who, who was who or just want more detailed information? If you have a few hours and your ADD is in check, Debrett's The Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland is the book for you!

SOCIAL Q's Whose Parent's Names Should Be On My Wedding Invitation?

Dear Lily,
I am getting married this winter and I need to pick an invitation. I have narrowed it down to a few that I like but the only thing that is stopping me is the wording. My problem is that both my parents and the parents of my fiancée are divorced and remarried to other people. I have noticed that most invitations usually list the parent’s names first before the bride and groom but with all those names, I don’t want my invitation to look ridiculous. My fiancée suggested we leave out our parents names off of the invitation but a friend mentioned that it isn’t proper to do so since both of my parents are equally paying for the wedding. What should I do?

Carole J.

Dear Carole,
Congratulations on getting married! Your wise friend is correct in that you really shouldn’t leave off your parents name’s since they are paying (and therefore hosting) the wedding. Much like any other party given in honour of a specific person, the host/hostess is the one issuing the invitation to the guests and their names should be placed at the top of the invitation wording. The only instance where you could omit the parents name’s is when the wedding is being paid for by the bride and groom, which is when they become the hosts as opposed to the individuals being honoured.
In your specific situation, which rest assured, is very common with the increase of blended families, since your fiancée’s parents are not paying for the wedding it would be totally appropriate to not list their names at the top of the invitation. If you still want to include their names somewhere on the invitation, you could do so below your fiancée’s name. For example, just below the groom’s name, his parent’s names would be listed as “son of Mr. and  Mrs. Lawrence Abbot” or more specific to your situation “son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Abbot & Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Smith”.
In regards to the wording at the top of the invitation, I would suggest starting by looking at what will be least offending to the step parents involved. Are you close to your step parents and are they also contributing to the wedding? If this is the case, I would use similar wording as I mentioned for the groom’s parents and place both sets of your parents name at the top issuing the invitation. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Carole Elaine
Edward Thomas
son of
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Abbot
Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Smith

If you are not particularly close to your step parents and/or they are not technically contributing to the cost of the wedding, it is perfectly acceptable to leave their names off the invitation as outlined below.

Mr. John Jones
Mrs. Alanna Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Carole Elaine
Edward Thomas
son of
Mr. Lawrence Abbot
Mrs. Karen Smith

If all else fails (and just in case old family dramas are trying to bubble back up to the surface), a more casual way to go is to mention the parents all together without specifically naming them all at the top of the invitation in this fashion:

Together With Their Parents
Carole Elaine Jones
Edward Thomas Abbot
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

Hope that helps and again, congratulations and good luck!

Best Regards,


How you stand and carry yourself can have a unimaginable effect on your mood and on how the world sees you. If you project to the world that you are happy and confident, you will be rewarded with actually feeling happy and confident. You can achieve that by perfecting your posture and standing tall.

Most people are unaware of their actual posture and how it affects us physically and emotionally. We assume that since our knuckles are not scraping the sidewalks that we must be standing upright to the best of our ability but for most that is far from reality. Physically, a weak abdominal core and days spent hunched over a computer can curl your torso into a permanent 'C' shape. Emotionally, you'd be surprised what a few spirit beatings at the hands of life itself can do to our bodies. Shoulders weighed down by mental turmoil, anxiety or depression can curl forward before you know it and the longer that position is left uncorrected, the harder it will be for you to straighten up without discomfort.

With that in mind, there is no time like to present to throw off the physical and emotional barriers that way us down and to get our bodies into the position they were meant to be.

1. Stand against a wall with your heels touching the baseboard; your back, shoulders and head should all be in contact with the wall. Make sure your body weight is evenly spread.
2. Imagine that the top of your head is attached to the ceiling with a piece of string, and 'pull' yourself upwards, feeling yourself stretch from the lumbar region of your spine (that's the lower back).
3. Victorian ladies of the aristocracy were known for their outstanding posture but I think it had less to do with their general air of superiority and more to do with these cruel contraptions that were know as corsets and waist-cinchers 😄
Pour yourself a cup of tea to get into the Victorian mood and pretend you are laced into a corset and contract your abdominal muscles, sucking your tummy up underneath your rib-cage. (Even better if you have a real corset laying around, try it on and see how your body is supposed to feel. A corset is very unforgiving to bad posture and forces you to sit or stand up properly.) While still in the 'corset frame of mind', let your shoulders relax downwards, getting as much distance as possible between your shoulders and your ears. Do a quick run through of your whole body and make sure you aren't holding extra tension in the classic places: shoulders, neck, hands and even your legs.
4. With your chin lifted slightly so that it's parallel with the floor, walk away from the wall, cross the room and then back to your starting point. Repeat a few times to familiarize yourself with how your body positioning should feel when mobile.
Repeat this exercise every morning until it becomes second nature to you and make sure you make a habit of 'checking yourself' throughout the day. Whenever you remember and have a moment to yourself, run through steps 1-4 to reinforce the perfect posture position.
(You could even supplement the tips above with the OG standard by adding a book to balance on your head while doing step 4. A bonus for those with a perfectly formed head but I tend to think of it as a bit of an impediment for the rest of us mere mortals who might not be as perfectly shaped.)

I've unearthed this adorable little cheatsheet you can use so that you can ensure the proper form until you re-train your muscles.