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What Would the Countess Do?: Combining Families; Classy Memorial Day Parties

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May 24 2011, Published 8:11 a.m. ET

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When it comes to etiquette, manners and overall good behavior, even celebrities need help navigating the rough waters of stardom! It’s a good thing Countess LuAnn de Lesseps of the Real Housewives of New York is joining forces with OK! to school them on the right thing to do! In a rough situation, we just ask, “What Would the Countess Do?” This week the Countess discusses a royal diss and firming up for summer.

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Any tips on combining families — whether it's becoming a step-mom to your new husband's kids, or dealing with your children having a new stepparent?

Today’s families often include children from past marriages and relationships and the blending process can be challenging. The best advice I can give to new stepparents is to relax and not force yourself on your spouse’s kids. Never criticize their birth parent or expect that they will love you. Instead, be happy if you can establish a harmonious and trusting relationship built on friendship.

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Countess LuAnn De Lesseps

Tip: Your stepchildren will come to respect and admire you if you give them time to adjust to their new situation.

WHAT WOULD THE COUNTESS DO?: PUBLIC DISAPPOINTMENTS; TACKLING SWIMSUIT SEASON

How to throw a classy Memorial Day party that's fun for kids as well as the adults — any tips to keep it elegant without feeling stuffy?

Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays and I love to have friends over to BBQ. If you are inviting kids to your party, have activities for them like badminton, swimming, croquet or volleyball and make sure that you serve kid friendly foods and drinks. For the adults, I serve fun cocktails, like mojitos and watermelon martinis and I always have chilled salads and grilled chicken or steak.

Tip: When serving dinner outside, keep it simple and keep it chilled! Use non-breakable plates and glasses in fun, festive colors.

WHAT WOULD THE COUNTESS DO?: CELEBRATING OSAMA BIN LADEN'S DEATH; ODD BABY NAMES

For everything Countess LuAnn, check out www.classwiththecountess.com, follow her on Twitter and check out her Facebook page!

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