Tasty Tuesday: Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes

 

Today’s recipe is from Susan Popok of Traveling Vineyards.  These yummy cupcakes will pair perfectly, I’m sure with one of their wines…Great for that upcoming party or barbecue.

Servings: 24  

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dark chocolate, melted

Icing

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 ½-4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

PREPARATION

  1. Combine cake mix, eggs, olive oil, and chocolate in a mixing bowl.
  2. Bake according to package directions in lined mini muffin tins. Allow to cool completely.
  3. In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in ½ cup red wine, until dissolved.
  4. Allow to simmer until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will yield a few tablespoons of red wine syrup.
  5. Combine powdered sugar and butter until fluffy, using a hand mixer. Slowly add the wine syrup and blend to combine.
  6. Using a piping bag or plastic storage bag, frost the cupcakes.
  7. Enjoy!

So what happens  at a Traveling Vineyard Wine Tasting?

Susan, your Sommelier, will bring 5 FREE bottles of wine, worth approximately $100 to the party.  You and your friends will get to try the wine before you buy it!   This is a great idea because I don’t know about you BUT I am pretty fussy about my wine.  You will get to enjoy perfectly crafted food pairings selected by your Sommelier and then provided by the host to enhance the experience.  Not just the “wine and cheese” kind of thing either.  Chocolate and wine.  Fruit and wine.  You will also learn basic wine education in addition to playing fun games.    Lastly, your guests will learn many solutions for their wine needs! We have a wine for everyone, every occasion, and every moment you can think of. So, who is ready for a girl’s night out while you sample some amazing wines?  Be sure to connect with Susan to set the date…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

A Different Kind of Gratitude


Thank you Holley Gerth for today’s message…

The sky outside is a dense, soaked grey today. It reminds me of earlier this year when my husband and I watched from our living room window as menacing clouds rose up in the distance then stretched their fingers tentatively toward the ground. We live in tornado country and we don’t take such sights lightly. Flipping on the television, we heard the weatherman telling us to find a safe place as he pointed to splotches of red on the map. We went to our designated spot and took a moment to pray as the tree limbs began to sway outside.

The dark masses soon gave way to brilliant blue again. The wind quieted, and we stepped back into the rhythm of our routine. It was not until hours later as I curled up in my cozy bed under a pile of warm blankets that it occurred to me to say “thank you” to God for what didn’t happen that day.

I mentally scrolled through the list of other disasters I’d narrowly missed in life. The bad-news boy I had a huge crush on as a teenager. The suspicious test results that worried the doctor but turned out to be nothing at all. The countless times I’ve asked God to keep my husband safe as he headed out for a bike ride and then watched him walk back through the door sweaty and smiling hours later.

And, yes, I understand that even if the storm wreaks havoc, the unwelcome diagnosis comes, or the heart gets broken we are still to say thanks. I have experienced firsthand the mysterious, hard beauty that can come from tears and ashes. But the place where I seem to most often miss an opportunity to be grateful is when everything turns out fine and I just go on my merry way.

God invites us to say thanks then, too. First, simply because He is worthy of it. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good” (Psalm 106:1). What He prevents in our lives is just as full of gifts as what He allows.

Also, this kind of gratitude can cure so much of our discontent. When I think of how I could be suddenly homeless after a storm, I smile a bit more at the roof over my head and don’t notice that stain in the carpet as much. When I recognize I might be in the hospital instead of sitting in a little coffee shop with my computer, it puts that envy-provoking picture on social media into proper perspective. When I think of all the turns my story could have taken, the rocky patches in the road of my relationships don’t seem quite as much like boulders.

I want to remember to express my appreciation for all that’s right in front of me—many provisions, memories being made, dear friends and family. But I also want to thank God for all that isn’t there, for what could have been if things had gone another way or even if I had always gotten my way.

Yes, gratitude is about what we can see. But I’m learning it’s also about what, thankfully, will never be.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Stretch Yourself

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?  Be honest!  I don’t mean putting your toe out, finding it was too hard and giving up.  I mean really stretched yourself?

Honestly, I can’t remember when I last did.  To do it, I would have to BELIEVE in myself.  Hmm, I don’t know about you but I struggle with it.  On the outside many see a CEO of her own business who lives life on her terms.  The truth is most days I struggle to believe in myself!  Okay it is out there and I can’t take it back……

I always find when I stretch myself beyond my comfort zone, I am surprised it really isn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.  As I stay in the “new zone”, I get more and more comfortable.

The last 60 days have been filled with lots of changes for me – personally and in my business.  All good things but things which needed to be done.  Clearing out the clutter to make way for more blessings!  One of the first things I wanted to do was create a list of goals.  I’m great for lists.  When we step out of our comfort zone, too many BIG goals can be so scary we retreat.  So I am working on being inspired.  I know vague, right?  Definitely not a SMART goal but I am working on one.  I am going to set a goal which stretches me and as a result will excite me enough to move into action.  I have been told a “stretch goal” will develop your character by tapping into your strengths.

Since MS seems to have wrecked havoc on my memory and my thought process, I struggle with figuring these kinds of things our.  I know the answers are all in my head, it is just getting them out and on paper.  Thank you Valerie Burton for these questions to help me (and you) find your stretch goal.  Answering these questions will help you (and me) find the inspiration to forge ahead and stick to the goal.  Who is ready to join me?

1. What vision feels just beyond your reach?

Are you great at helping others see their vision but you can’t see it for yourself even if you want it?  Yup, I’ve been there.  Do you want to double or triple your income?  Maybe you want to  explore your romantic streak or event your fun side. Do you dream of eating healthy, exercising and being at goal weight? The purpose of this goal is to not choose something realistic, but to choose something which feels beyond your reach — the one you think is as not really possible.  The truth is “it is possible”.  Do you have the faith to believe it? A stretch goal forces you to reach higher than you think you can. If you don’t have to stretch for it, it’s not big enough for this exercise.

2. What specific, measurable, and time-sensitive goal would bring you closer to that vision?

Now for the fun part where we get specific about the goal. Make it vivid. Describe it in a way you can measure your progress so you know when you have reached the finish line. And most importantly, give yourself a deadline. You know what happens when there’s no deadline, right? It’s always something you’ll start tomorrow. Before you know it, a year has passed and you set the same goal again!   Sort of like those New Year’s Resolutions.  We make them at the beginning of the year with no specific time frame in mind.  A year is a long time when you don’t have a plan.  Here is an example: “I’m going to have more fun and truly enjoy my life rather than treating every activity like a burden” is a great vision (not mine). You could break it down by saying, “I am going to travel for pleasure more. Once every three months I am going to take a fun trip, even if it’s just a weekend road trip somewhere adventurous. And my first trip will be four weeks from now.”

3. Who will you tell?

Make yourself accountable.  Don’t keep your vision and goal to yourself. Tell somebody. Actually,  tell EVERYONE who is a supportive person in your life. Negative people may throw water on your passion and excitement: “Are you sure?” “That sounds hard.” “You’ve never done that before!” You don’t need doubters to fill your head with negativity.  Find someone encouraging, they might even want to join you. Chances are if you keep it to yourself, you will  quietly drop the goal if you don’t achieve it. Commit to it. Declare it out loud. When we  share our plans with others, it is far more likely you’ll actually carry it out.

So, are you going to stop playing it safe?  Are you going to STRETCH????  Share your goal with us, so we can celebrate and encourage you along the way.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Fall in Love With Thirty One

 

 

I know, I say it every time a new catalog comes out, right?  It is the BEST one yet. Those who are part of my monthly club or partying in August have already seen the awesomeness of the new catalog.  See that is why you need to join in the fun or be part of the “club”.

As a consultant, we had the chance to not only see everything first hand BUT we get the chance to buy a few of the new products at a DEEP discount to share with our customers.  Maybe you’re thinking…. I can do what she does. I could use an extra $300 per month to help with bills or have for the kids activities or save (whatever your reason), then join my team, the Rays of Hope. Join us before the holiday shopping season starts.  You get to make some money so you could have a CASH holiday season.  Wouldn’t it be nice?

Pick either enrollment kit – the Signature for $99 or the Deluxe for $179.  I will help you set-up your launch party either via Facebook or an in home party.  You start earning commission with your very first order!  When you submit $1000 in orders in the first 30 days,  you will a $250 commission check.  PLUS you will also earn a $200 credit which you can use for product or business OR you can exchange for a VISA gift card or Disney bucks.  The best part is for every $1000 in sales in the first 4 months you will earn an additional $200 credit.   You will also be able to shop at a 40% discount on products.  Whatever your reason for joining us, I will be there to help you every step of the way.

You don’t need the extra money or this may not be the right time for you, how about hosting a girl’s night to get FREE and discounted products?  August is a crazy busy time for people – back to school shopping, vacations and the list goes on, right? I get it.  I have been the crazy momma  but I will make it quick and easy!  I will be happy to come to you within a one hour radius.  It can be at the baseball field, the pool or where ever you will be hanging out this summer – I’m there. No big presentation, just a party on the go – complete in about 1 hour. OR how about an online party? We can do a Facebook party. Lots of fun and games. Look at this NEW Sling Back Thermal available to hostesses with a $600 party!   Did I mention the average party is $600?

I’m not giving up yet because if you kept reading this post you are probably a Thirty One fan (or maybe you have a secret addiction).  So let me tell you about August’s customer special.  When you spend $35, you can pick ONE of these: a deluxe utility tote OR a bleacher blanket for $20!  Spend $70 and you can grab both of them.  You will be ready for tailgating this fall.

So which will it be?  Will you grab the enrollment kit and give see what this “pink bubble” is all about? Will you have some with the girls which earning FREE and discounted products?  OR will you just shop for some really AMAZING products?  The choice is yours…

Have questions, feel free to call/text me at 609-457-4249.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

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Yes, I am already thinking of Fall…. Why?  The Thirty One Fall catalog kicks off tomorrow, no this is not a blog about it!  Today’s recipe is from Theresa Viehmeyer of Lilla Rose.
No need to wade into the pumpkin patch to make these scrumptious cookies. They’re made with pumpkin-spice flavor pudding—and they’re a year-round treat!
Prep Time:  15 minutes.     Total Time:  25 minutes     Servings:  42 servings, 1 cookie each

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pumpkin Spice Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix flour, dry pudding mix and baking soda until blended. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in morsels.
  3. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 3 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Thank you Theresa for this yummy easy recipe.  Check out this video about Lilla Rose and their uniquely awesome hair accessories.  Be sure to shop with Theresa on her website by clicking HERE!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!