The Last 90 Days…

 

SURPRISE!!!  This is not about the actual past 90 days but about how I plan to do things differently in the next 90 days so I can end the year on a different note…

If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis yet, you must be living under a rock!  LOL!  I am reading her book “Girl Wash Your Face” again and loving it!  I was introduced (not personally) to this amazing women by my pink bubble sisters and I have to say, I wasn’t sure I could jump on the bandwagon…. WHY?

Damn MS has taken a lot of my processing abilities away along with my memory!
Occasionally, I get glimpses into the mind I once had, when things seem to be clicking again. These moments are reminders of a time (since passed) when my cognitive abilities got me  through grant writing, managing a non-profit, being a single mom and creating programs to help make a difference in the lives of others.  I was blessed to have those abilities and be able to share them with others.  Now, after years (yup memory loss has been going on for about 5 years) of battling with cognitive dysfunction (a fancy term for memory loss) because of Multiple Sclerosis, I have fewer moments when my brain feels like it’s clear and working like it did.  Of all of the symptoms I’ve experienced because of MS, the loss of memory is the the one which bothers me the most.

So what does all of this have to do with the last 90 days?  Instead of focusing on what should of, would of or could have happened, I’m taking baby steps into being the best me I can be right now!

I have told myself countless lies which I actually started to believe them about being less then and not deserving of good things.  WHY?  Because those nasty inner gremlins of my past addictive personality were raging their ugly head.  I couldn’t see the good happening around me because the trees of negativity were growing fast and furious.

Instead of beating myself up on the days I can’t get things done, I am embracing the things I can get done.  Some days, it is just getting up, taking a shower and plopping in the chair watching mindless TV.  Then there are days when I am awake at 4:30AM, ready to ride the stationary bike for a half hour before getting into my office to get to work.  Really, it does happen!

So, when the #last90day challenge was issued by my pink bubble sister, Hope Shortt, during a leadership call – I JUMPED in.  Not literally because I was filled with fear and doubt.  As others expressed their fears, I knew we could overcome them if we banded together – set goals and cast the vision out into the universe.

As you can tell, today is a good day!  The brain is running at full speed and I am rambling on about things which hopefully will help someone else.  I need to remember to not worry about tomorrow, and to stay in the moment.  I need to not kick myself with regrets for things not done yesterday, I need to stay in the moment.

My cognitive problems can either be my demise or I can consider them a blessing.  Honestly, there are days I beat myself up, apologize profusely and wallow on the pity pot because of my cognitive problems.  As I reflect on why I stopped working in a job I loved, the truth is the struggles were taking a toll on my health.  Could I admit it then, nope!  Who would have thought the memory problems I was having were related to the lesions on my brain?  Let alone end in a diagnosis of MS.

I am learning to embrace the  “fog” in my head when it happens.  Working my own business allows for those days.  I have moments when I’m not thinking clearly or logically (some would wonder if I ever did).  I do puzzles and games on those days to help stimulate my brain to think differently.  There are days when things flow smoothly – yup, it happens, but it’s unpredictable.

For the #last90days, I’m going to try each day to be a better version of ME.  I’m not going to get frustrated when getting interrupted means completely losing my thought process or what I’m doing. I will embrace my GPS even when I think I should know where I am going (yup, I forget directions).  I will stop thinking of the person who excelled at multitasking and embrace the person who sometimes can’t even have another sound in the background when trying to work or write.

Yup, I squirreled (maybe even a lot) but the whole idea is about making a change in the last 90 days of 2018!  Why is it so important?  Because when I set my goals at the start of 2019, I want to know I am already on my way to reaching them.  It is time to kick it up a notch to finish the year strong, meeting the goals I set in January 2018 so 2019 does not look like a repeat of 2018.

So, who wants to join me on the #last90days?  Don’t worry about the big goals, work on just these 5 things:

  1. Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use this time for YOU!
  2. Workout at least 30 minutes
  3. Drink half your body weight in water
  4. Give up ONE food category you shouldn’t be eating
  5. Write down 10 things you are grateful for each day

When you do these things, you will be amazed at the difference in makes in your life.  Have faith and JUMP into this journey with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Halloween Party Fun

 

Boo! It’s the time of year, when the ghosts and goblins appear and an added bonus is Thirty-One comes out with some adorable Halloween-themed printables!  So whether you are a room mom, a home schooler, or  just like to have some plan old fun with your kids…. you are going to LOVE these Halloween fun and festive decorations inspired by Thirty One’s fall-exclusive Littles Carry-All Caddies and Icon-Its!

Gather your supplies….

  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon, twine, yarn or string
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Pen or marker
  • Optional: glue or glue stick
  • Optional: stapler

First up is a Trick-or-Treat (or just some fun holiday decorations) banner…..  Thank you Thirty One for these great ideas…

Choose the printable banner to match your space! Use bats for a crisp, black-and-white color scheme, or go for monsters for your little one’s Halloween celebration with friends! You can also spice up your banner with other phrases like “Boo” or “Happy Halloween” by drawing and cutting out your own letters!  My favorite is the little monster….What about you?

Directions: Print and cut out the letters and enough bats, skeletons or monsters to span your space. Use a hole punch on each printable where marked and thread your letters and characters on twine, yarn or ribbon. To make sure the printables don’t slide around on the string, reinforce holes with tape or staples.

Tip:  Let your little ones choose their favorite character and make a mini-banner to hang over their bedroom door during October.

Are you a make your own costume kind of gal?  I made all of Belinda’s costumes for years.  I remember when funds were tight (the early years of recovery), we were all DUCKS!  Yup!  Yellow sweatshirts & sweatpants with masks made of craft foam.  It was a fun year…  Here are some Lil’ Monster masks (and more!)

So, if you are not a big costume person and want to have some fun with your kids.  You may  enjoy “wearing” this easy and casual look!  Match a bat mask with an all-black outfit or the monster with a cute green shirt for a Halloween “costume” you can easily flip on and off.  I”m thinking of doing one of these for my vendor events in October, which one would you pick?

Directions: Print and cut out your choice of masks. Cut out holes where marked (eyes, mouth, etc.). Then use glue or tape to attach the top portion of the popsicle stick to the side of the mask where marked for your handle.

Tip:  If you’re looking to go the extra mile and keep your hands free all night, or you know the kids will end up needing both hands to grab twice the candy, punch holes on either side of the mask and attach string instead of a popsicle stick. Tie it on and trick or treat away!

I will admit, I am not must on decorating anymore…. what about you?  Do you go all out for Halloween or do you just put the light on to hand out candy?  Here are some easy candle or cup wraps to add a holiday touch to what is already on display at your home.

Cup wraps are a great way to jazz up plain party cups for a Halloween-themed bash! Go with bats for a classic black and white look, or spice things up with colorful monsters and skeletons.

Directions: Print out wraps. For candles, cut along the outside of the rectangle. Wrap around your candle and tape into place. For cups, cut along the dotted lines. Wrap around your cup with the longer edge near the top of the cup and tape into place.

Tip:  Go for candle wraps to create a unique and festive table centerpiece. Add pumpkins, fake spiderwebs or candy for a fun and spooky look that your guests are sure to love.

Are you a mom business owner (even if you are n to a mom, these are fun) Why not hand out some candy bags (with your business card) to the parents as they walk around with the kids.

Whether you are looking to give out something a little different than the same old candy this year or you what to share your business with some parents, why not try these fun tags.  These tags add a little something extra for trick-or-treaters or party goers! These easy printables can help you make sure even the smallest details of your Halloween celebration are special and spooky.

Directions: Print out tags. Use scissors to cut tags out and then hole punch where marked. Use ribbon, twine, yarn, string or a stapler to attach the tags to gift bags of candy. Or, tape an individual piece of candy to each tag.

Tip:  Besides fun decorations, these tags are also useful for categorizing your candy! Use a bat tag to denote nut-free goody bags or a monster to label treats without milk or eggs. This will make it easier for your trick or treaters and their parents to have a sweet night!
Can’t wait to see how you use these AWESOME printables……
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Printable templates:

Tasty Tuesday: Hungry Chick’ Bell Pepper Nachos

I am all about the Nachos but tend to stay away from them since they are usually REALLY high in points. Here is a yummy recipe from Hungry Girl I am going to make on my next football watching Sunday..

1/4th of recipe (6 loaded nachos): 152 calories, 4.5g total fat (2g sat fat), 299mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 17g protein.  Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 2*

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 40 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
12 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1/3 cup salsa
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp. chopped jalapeño pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet, and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Place chicken on the center of the foil, and sprinkle with seasonings. Cover with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, slice off and discard the stem ends of the bell peppers. Remove and discard seeds. Slice peppers in half lengthwise.
  5. Remove foil pack from the sheet, and spray sheet with nonstick spray. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. Lay pepper halves on the sheet, cut sides down. Bake for 5 minutes.
  7. Flip bell pepper halves. Bake until soft, about 5 more minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, cut foil packet to release hot steam before opening entirely. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl. Shred with two forks.
  9. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from bell pepper halves. Arrange them on the center of the sheet. Top with shredded chicken, beans, and cheese.
  10. Bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
  11. Top with salsa, sour cream, jalapeño, and cilantro.

Want to take this yummy treat to your next tailgating party?  Try Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set…The Perfect Party Set expands to hold two 9” x 13” casserole pans inside 2 interior water-resistant thermal compartments. Handle grips make it easy to carry, while the exterior zipper pocket can keep additional items like utensils, baking instructions and additional ingredients secure during transport. It’s the most convenient way to take your favorite casseroles, desserts, appetizers and more to your next family picnic, neighborhood cookout, celebration or camping trip!

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Surrendered Giver


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…..

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us (2 Corinthians 8:1-5, NIV).

My husband is a surrendered giver. I struggle with giving. I tend to blame my reluctance to give on the fact that I grew up in a shack on the edge of town. My mother often worked two and three jobs a day just to put food on the table. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a middle-class family, lived in a very nice house in a beautiful neighborhood, and never had to worry about having his needs met. You can see where my rationalizations took me. Yep – to a place of sin.

God wants us to surrender everything we have to Him because the reality is that giving is the antidote to selfishness. I can choose to be selfish or selfless. But I need to live in a way that searches for opportunities to be generous. Over the years, Dan has taught me so much about what it means to be a surrendered giver.

We are to give as much as we are able to give. Two years ago, we downsized so that we would have more money to give away. We both drive older used cars. There is nothing wrong with buying a new car or a bigger house – unless it affects our ability to give.

The church in Macedonia saw giving as a privilege. We need to do the same.

We need to look for opportunities to give. Love gives. For God so loved the church that He … gave! A surrendered giver gives out of gratitude for what God has done in his life and is willing to stretch and develop a generosity reflex when presented with a need.

Jesus measures what we give by what we have left. Do you tithe the ten percent we are challenged to give? How would you respond if Jesus asked you to double your tithe? Whoa! That is a lot to ask – right?

We have a friend who attended a conference where the speaker challenged each attendee to double their tithes and see what God would do in their lives. Our friend accepted the challenge and has seen his business mushroom into a huge success. Today, he not only gives a double tithe, but he also gives to meet the needs of many in our community. He is also one of the most humble and unassuming people I have ever met.

Another friend has a great way to look for opportunities to give. He has two accounts. One for his living expenses and then there is his God account. He is a Day Trader. Each morning he gets up and says, “Where are we going to give today, Lord?” I know this attitude absolutely delights the Father who is the ultimate surrendered giver.

The reality is that if my checkbook does not reflect my faith, I have an immature faith. God does not need my money. He wants me to give so He can bless me!

How about you? What kind of giver are you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How You Can Make A Difference

October has arrived and it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a cause near and dear to my heart….

Since the age of 18, my aunt Elsie dealt with little lumps on her breasts.  They were always removed and thankfully they were benign.  In 1989, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had a mastectomy and an implant.  Life was good and she was placed on tamoxifen for five years.  When she stopped taking it and it worked its way out of her system,  they discovered a problem with the implant.  PLUS her cancer test came back positive.  Studies now show how tamoxifen can give false positives.  Another surgery including reconstructing her breast from a tummy tuck.  Those days, there weren’t many options.  Life was good for a little while after the surgery, she fulfilled her dream to have her own business and was doing treatments.  Then things started to change – her eyesight got worse (glasses weren’t even helping), and the pain throughout her body was taking its toll. After a trip to Maine with some friends, she lost the battle and ultimately  the will to live in May, 1999.  She was my buddy, my friend and one of my biggest cheerleaders.  Maybe my favorite color is pink for this reason – she is always close to my heart.

Thirty One is donating all Round Ups this month in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.  So be sure to round up when you place an order. 

How can you make a difference with your business?  Here are some ideas:

  • Fundraising for local organizations.  This helps to not only get your name out to the community but also helps the organization raise much needed funds.  It is a win-win situation.
  • Be a sponsor.  It may be a table at an event or advertising when they hold an awareness program – whatever it is be a part of it.  I have taken ads in program journals, donated gift baskets for auctions, sponsored “water” for a run – think outside the box.  Get creative.
  • Promote Local Causes.  I need to do this more.  Tag a cause on my Facebook Page to help publicize their work or mention their cause when talking to customers.  Distribute flyers when your favorite cause is hosting an event.  It will help to build good-will and ultimately, your business.
  • Volunteer.  I know, no time, right?  Make a Difference Day is in October with MANY ways to get involved.  It may be making bags at a local food pantry, pulling weeds, building a home – whatever time you can spare is appreciated by the organizations.  While you are volunteering, wear your company tee shirt.

How are YOU going to MAKE a DIFFERENCE this month?  Stay tuned for more details on this month’s Chemo Comfort Bags for Southern Ocean Medical Center.

I would love to hear about your favorite causes…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!