Make a Difference For Mother’s Day

If you follow my blog you know, a HUGE part of my journey with Thirty One is to help others.  Sometimes it is a fundraising project, or a donation to an event or giving to someone who was just in need of some loving.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small goal or a HUGE goal, I want to help.  As a result, I have been able to donate to various causes throughout the years.

This is not to toot my own horn. None of these projects would be possible if it were not for the support of my friends, family and customers.  Individuals who believe in the cause, or just want to help. Okay, can you guess where this is leading…. YOU GOT IT!

Last year, for Easter, and for Mother’s Day we donated baskets to Dottie’s House.  Dottie’s House is a transitional housing facility designed to aid women and children who have survived domestic violence. They proactively help these families develop the life skills needed to become self-sufficient for their future financial and emotional independence.

Why is Dottie’s House so special to me?  I was a child of domestic violence……..  behind the doors of our seemingly normal middle class family, the was abuse.  My dad was an alcoholic and my mom suffered the consequences sometimes – physically and verbally.  Mom never left.  In fact there was a time when dad left and because I was so clueless as to what was happening, I begged for him to come back.  My mom took him back.  My mom was brave for enduring the struggle.  These women at Dottie’s House are brave for taking their kids and fleeing.  

If you have children, think about how your hubby or your family make sure you have a special Mother’s Day.  For many of the women at Dottie’s House, they do not have the same support system so Mother’s Day could be just another day.  I want them to know they are special too.

So with the help of my family, friends and customers, we are putting together “pampering pouches” as Mother’s Day Gifts for these ladies.  The goal is 31 since – 18 for the 18 units at Dottie’s House and the balance for the moms who have moved into their forever homes with Homes Now, Inc.

The $20 sponsorship will pay for the actual bag and I will use 100% of my commission to fill them with a variety of things like a fuzzy socks, notepad, pen, lotion, and chap stick.  My friends in direct sales will also be adding pampering products to make these hardworking mommas feel special.

Since I began my “give back program”, over $10,000 in products and cash donations have been made to various causes.  It fills my cup to know we have made the difference in the lives of so many people.

In addition, I am selling Domestic Violence Angel Awareness charms for $7 with the proceeds being donated to Dottie’s House.

Who is with me? For $20 you can bring a smile to a mom who is a survivor of domestic violence.   The cut-off is April 20th so the bags will arrive in time to be stuffed and delivered on May 12th.  This project is near and dear to my heart.  It is a tribute to the women I know who have escaped and survived domestic violence.

You can sponsor a bag in memory of someone, in honor of someone or just anonymously. Payments can be made via check or through Paypal at hopesgiftcloset@@comcast.net as a friend/family.  I can also accept credit card payments directly.  Please complete the form for more details:

Won’t you help to make a difference today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

This YUMMY recipe is low carb AND it is gluten free!  This recipe is from “All Day I Dream of Food”. The website is full of LOTS of recipe which are also paleo.  There are some keto meal plans too.  The directions are easy enough to follow….

 

A tender, sweet low carb coffee cake filled with cinnamon and drizzled with cream cheese glaze.

Prep Time: 15 mins     Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Ingredients
Cinnamon Filling:
  • 3 tbsp Swerve Sweetener
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Cake:
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese softened
  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. For the filling, combine the Swerve and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

  3. For the cake, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

  4. Stir in the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Add the almond milk and continue to stir until well combined.

  5. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, then sprinkle with about two thirds of the cinnamon filling mixture. Spread the remaining batter over top and smooth with a knife or an offset spatula.

  6. Bake 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  7. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon filling mixture. Let cool in pan.
  8. For the frosting, beat cream cheese, powdered erythritol, cream and vanilla extract together in a small bowl until smooth. Pipe or drizzle over cooled cake.
Recipe Notes:  Each serving has 5.4 g of carbs and 2.2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.2 g.
Whether you are shopping for ingredients or headed to the beach….. Thirty One’s Fresh Market Thermal is the answer! The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes. A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.
The best part is it is ON SALE for $15 with a $35 purchase.  Be sure to check out my website at www.partywithHope.com.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Come to Me

Thank you Wendy Speake for today’s message:

Since the start of the new year, three words have been ringing in my ears: “Come to Me.” Matthew 11:28 has been hidden in my heart for as long as I can remember, but recently I’ve heard the Lord speak this intimate invitation to me personally, in light of all the things I tend to run to, turn to, “come” to.

“Come to Me.”

As I turn to comfort food: “Come to Me, I’m the Great Comforter.”
As I turn on my computer; “Come to Me, I want to connect with you.”
As I head into Target for a little retail therapy, “Come to Me, let me be your Counselor.”
As I make a phone call to talk through my stress with a friend; “Come to Me… Call on Me!”
As I turn into Starbucks for something sweet; “Come to Me, my words are sweet as honey.”
As I scroll through Facebook; “Don’t follow them, follow Me. Come to Me.”
As I open up Amazon Prime; “Come to Me, I’m free and I’ll set you free!”
As I binge watch another late-night TV show; “Come. To. Me.”

“Come to Me.”

There are so many things that I mindlessly “come to” each day — so many things that I eat, read, watch, buy, consume… But God is speaking clearly to me: “Come to me, consume Me, and let me consume you.”

Are you weary and heavy laden? Experiencing a void that social media, food, and shopping simply can’t fill? Take the weight of it all to the Lord. If you’re worn out, exhausted, running to all the false gods this world has to offer… take it all to Him. He has the shoulders to carry your burdens. The One who shouldered the cross, can shoulder your pain. It’s what He does. Amazon Prime can’t do it. Facebook can’t do it. Brownies can’t do it for you either. It’s not their job. It’s God’s job.
“Come to Me.”

He is able to carry your hurting relationships square on His shoulders. He can handle your fears and your failures. He can carry your sin-struggles and your shame. He alone can carry the weight of it all, all the way up Calvary’s hill. And at the foot of the cross, He can lay it down on your behalf. In exchange for those heavy burdens, He offers His light yoke. That’s what He gives us when we give it all to Him.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Make it a GREAT Day

No…. it isn’t Monday but I do love this picture!!!!!

Mornings are not my best time.  I used to LOVE them.  Yup, I was one of those crazy people who was on the go from early in the morning till I crashed at night.  Then I got OLD!  LOL.  No actually MS hit. Now,  I wake up in an MS fog which takes like an hour to fade away.  I used to say, “Don’t talk to me until I had my coffee”, now it is “Don’t talk to me until I can clear the fog”.

Despite the fog, I do everything I can to make it a GREAT day!  Some days are easier than others but I am determined to make the most of it.

How do you start your days?  Do you set the alarm to get up early (maybe an hour before everyone else)?  Are you full of motivation and anticipation for the day ahead or are you dragging and dreaded what might be.  Despite the struggles which come with MS, I usually have my days planned out in some detail – where I’m going, who I will meet, what work I will get done and even some white space on the calendar for those unexpected curve balls called life.that-wonderful-monday-morning-feeling-L-56cqQ9

Yup, it is all about the Law of Attraction.  The reality is your negative (dreading) thoughts are killing your productivity before you even start your day.  I know some days are tough.  Some times it feels like every day is a Monday.   I try to keep a positive attitude.  Do you let one bad day, set the tone for the rest of the week or even the next few days?  So, are you looking to make a change?

To be honest, when I decided to make the most of every day, I actually took control of my life’s direction.  Now, before you start the negatives of why you CAN’T do these things, give them a chance.  Remember baby steps are what help change the chaotic into the manageable.  I don’t always do them all perfectly BUT I give them my best shot.

#1 REST

Allow yourself to really slow down and unwind.  Maybe it is a glass of wine or reading a book or a bubble bath or a massage or watching endless episodes on Netflix?  Why not, right?  I know, you have a MILLION reasons but a little self indulgence lets you take some well earned rest.  Your weekends (days off) should be different then your work week.  It allows you time to forget the stresses and strains of being a busy woman on the go.  You get to recharge so you are ready to start all over again.

#2 LIVE POSITIVELY

You need to practice this one daily.  I know those inner gremlins are screaming at you.  I know you have bad days.  I have them too.  The first thing I do is remind myself my life is not this one day.  STOP and be grateful for the things in your life.  It will help you  to appreciate how good life really is. Your thoughts, your words, your status’, your tweets, your Facebook posts should ALL be positive. You wont be perfect but if you do your best; it will have a huge impact on the way you live your life.sunshine1

#3 RISE EARLY

I have talked about this before…Getting up early is the most motivating and self satisfying thing you can do.  When I used to wake up before 6am; I knew it was going to be a really great day. Devotions done by 6:30AM. Coffee and a shower and I am at my desk by 7:30am.   Why so early? So I can be done in my office by 10 to enjoy time with hubby.  Days like these, I am unstoppable. My mood is upbeat and I feel energized because I have been productive.  Okay, so things have changed slightly with the onset of MS BUT on those days when I am up early and am ready to go – my outlook is so much brighter.

#4 MAKE LISTS

This is more a part of my life since the MS but I have to admit, I LOVE seeing things checked off.  I make lists to ensure I don’t miss any thing and everything gets done.  It is also a great way to set-up my planner so I don’t over schedule or over commit myself.

#5 TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

Yes, this actually is the key to being productive on any day.  By taking a regular break, I get fresh eyes and enthusiasm.  Planning all my tasks out in small increments helps too.  It ensures I am not working non stop (or running around) for long hours.  This is how I avoid the afternoon sugar and feeling lethargic so my productivity suffers.   Take a tea break.  Go for a short walk.  Take a power nap.  Read a little in your favorite book.  You will see a huge difference in the rest of your day.

So, what are you going to do to make a difference in your day which will ripple into making a difference in your week?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Your Wedding Registry

Do you know someone getting married in the coming months?  Maybe it is you or a close friend or family member, whoever it is wedding registries are part of the planning process.  Just like shopping for rings or meeting with the florist, registering for gifts is one of the time-honored to-dos brides and grooms check off their list as they count down to their upcoming wedding.  I will admit, I had more fun doing this than hubby did.

But like lots of couples (us included), you may have been on your own for almost a decade (or more) and already have a fully outfitted kitchen and bedroom. Sure, you don’t “need” anything, but your wedding guests still want to give you something personal, beautiful or useful for your big day.

Although there will always be some non-negotiables when it comes to wedding etiquette (thank-you notes are a must), couples have more freedom than ever in building a wish list which fits their needs. Here are five ideas for making your registry your own:

#1 Enjoy an experience

If you truly can’t think of any “things” you want or need, make your first year as a married couple more memorable by registering for experiences like cooking classes, zip-lining excursions or dancing lessons. You can also create a special registry to help fund your honeymoon – everything from flights and hotels to sightseeing tours and fine dining.

#2 Upgrade what you already have

If your place is full of hand-me-downs, college-era furniture and the mismatched plates have seen better days, now is the time to upgrade to the higher-end cookware and linens you’ve coveted but wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself. Think stand mixers, eco-friendly cookware and hello, 1000-thread-count sheets! Guests will love they can gift you with something you’ll use every day.

#3 Outfit your honeymoon

You’ve planned the trip of a lifetime, and you need the luggage to get you there! Ditch the beat-up suitcase you took to summer camp and register for a luxe matching set. Or let each of your personalities shine through with monogrammed travel bags from Thirty-One: the All Packed Duffle and new Away for the Weekender come in stylish prints and classic solids. Add a coordinated Glamour Case for your toiletries.

#4 Think outside the house

All set on dishes, towels and sheets? More retailers than ever are getting into the registry game to offer products outside the realm of bed and bath. If homeownership is in your near future, consider registering for gardening tools or even a lawnmower to make yardwork less of a chore, or create a welcoming patio area with furniture or a grill. Does a night under the stars sound romantic? Take your registry to the great outdoors with camping, hiking and fishing gear.

#5 Entertain Your Way

Sure, the fine china set is gorgeous, but when was the last time you hosted a formal dinner party for 12 – and wanted to hand-wash the dishes after? Save the cabinet space and register for the entertaining items you’ll actually use, like board games for casual nights in with friends, beer glasses for your favorite brews or a turntable for your vinyl collection. Build your wine and cheese spread on a personalized Close To Home™ Round Tray – so chic!

I am happy to set up a Thirty One Gift Registry for you which friends can easily access.  Make your wish list, reach out and I will set things up for you.  Need gifts for the bridal party?  Let me help you create one of a kind personalized gifts they will treasure forever.

Have  a ThirtyOne-derful day!