Tasty Tuesday: Molasses Cookies

 

Thank you Bonnie Brown for today’s YUMMy recipe.  Bonnie submitted this recipe during a Thirty One Facebook party hosted by her daughter.  I encouraged the guests to submit their favorite cookie recipe AND if I posted it in my blog, they would win a prize from me!  This is one of her mom’s recipes which has been handed down from generation to generation.  So watch the mail Bonnie for your “thank you” gift from me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups of strong coffee (4 – 5 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 orange skin and join
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 12 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 or more cups of flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat molasses and baking soda until molasses turns to a light color.
  3. Add rest of ingredients(except flour) in order, one at a time, mixing well between each one.
  4. Once all mixed begin adding flour, one cup at a time, mixing very thoroughly until dough is very firm but not to dry. enough to be able to form a soft ball.
  5. Dip your hands in oil, and form a 3″ ball and flatten down into a giant obling cookie on oiled cookie sheet!
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, cool and slice diagonally.

NOTE:  The amount of flour needed will depend on the amount of moisture in the flour and moisture in the atmosphere – each time is different!

I love seeing the worn and well used pages of a family recipe book.  One Christmas, a rolodex of family recipes was a gift to everyone.  My grandmother wrote her recipes on scraps of paper and we wanted to be sure they were passed along.  I know my mom probably has her recipe cards tucked away too – I see another round of recipes coming.

I’m sure both of Bonnie’s daughters will carry on the tradition of these yummy cookies with their families.  They are both successful business owners so please be sure to check out their websites:

Nicole is a Pink Status Presenter with Younique.  Younique’s mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.

Tammy is a consultant with Scentsy.  She has been selling Scentsy for 3 years now and loves every minute of it!  Scentsy is known mostly for their wax bars filled with amazing scents and smells warmed with light bulbs or elements in their warmers to release the fragrance, they also have  so many other amazing products.  They are much safer for anyone with furbabies.  You don’t have to worry about your pets playing with flames (thinking the moving ball of fire is a toy) or going near a flame. The products are also non-toxic and the wax doesn’t get extremely hot so they are safer for everyone.

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think. OR if you have a recipe to share, send it to me and if I publish it in my blog, you will get a thank you gift from me.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Make Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Thank you Vickie Howell and Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I think I have just found the perfect use for those retired fabric swatches.  New angels on their way….

If you don’t know Vickie Howell, you definitely need to check her out!  She  is a TV host, designer, ambassador and entrepreneur in the DIY space. She has LOTS of great tips on her website!

Here is a great way to use those sewing scraps and leftover fabric pieces (or if you are a consultant – those retired fabric swatches.  This is a fun indoor activity for the kids, too.  Let them design their own to give as gifts this holiday season.

Raid your closets and find some fabric scraps – you know the ones you were saving!  We never want anything to go to waste. Admit it, crafters – you have a spot in your closet just like this! I might even have more than one!  Here is what Vickie came up with as a fun way to give old fabric scraps and swatches new life as sweet home décor or heartfelt gifts.

Follow the steps below to decorate your own Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, front door wreath or dining room table centerpiece with ornaments handmade from materials around your home!

Materials needed:

  • Clear plastic bulb ornaments (get them online,  at your local craft store or even the dollar store)
  • Scraps of fabric, trimmings and/or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Optional: Glitter, buttons, sequins

How-to:

  1. Gather scraps and cut them into different lengths. (1″-4″ pieces work great!)
  2. Organize scraps and other trimmings by color family.
  3. Get creative! Combine a small handful of scraps from the same color family – or create your own palette – and insert them into a bulb.
  4. Tie a decorative ribbon onto the bulb’s wire loop for hanging.

Wrap your ornament in a little tissue paper and pop it into a Thirty One Little’s Carry All to give as a gift.  Small in size, but big on benefit, it is  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for a gift basket, small toys, crafts, office desk supplies and wrapped candy.

Feel merry!  Show us how crafty you are! Share your photos using the #partywithHope  Who knows you may find some happy mail headed your way.

Love to get crafty? Be sure to check out Thirty-One Gifts’ Get Creative line of portable craft storage bags and more, including totes, work mats and clear pouches.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Building A Brand

When you are out shopping, and you see something (a cup of coffee, a wine glass, an angel, etc) does a person jump into your thoughts?  For example, when I see “wine” I immediately think of my friend Desiree. Or when I see LARGE mugs of coffee, I think of Lori.  You get the picture.  Hopefully, when you see “angels”,  you think of me. No, I’m definitely not an angel BUT angels have always been a “thing” for me.  For me, it is a sign of my efforts to give back or pay it forward to those who are struggling.  It also reminds me of my many angels watching over me.

So, where is all of this leading, right?  Almost everyone is on some form of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and the list goes on.. The truth is having a presence for your business on social media is just smart marketing!   it allows use to share our business without pushing sales all of the time.  I’m sure you know someone who has launched their business (direct sales or store front), while using their personal social media account.  It is a way for people to get the word out about their new business.  BUT at some point, they and so should you switch to a business page. I have a business page on Facebook and Instagram (click to check them out).

Why? Not only is it just a great business practice, but it helps to keep the two worlds separate.  Believe me, your family and friends will appreciate not being bombarded by business news. Now, I’m not saying you won’t share things on your personal page BUT it will be far less than it was before your business page.  On your Facebook business page, you will have a whole range of tools to help you measure performance and to help you engage with your customers and make more connections. As your connections increase, so does your brand awareness! You want your customers to be clear you are their business (for me Thirty One) connection!

Facebook
Create a Facebook business Page so you can  get discovered and connect with people. With a Facebook business Page, you can communicate directly with customers, help them learn more about your business, offer customer service and tell visual stories. Don’t get me wrong, things can and will trickle over to your personal but personal should be personal!  There are LOTS of tools provided with a business page, so you can gain insight on how your customers are interacting on the the content you share so you can fine tune your message – and it is SEEN!

Instagram
Did you know more than 500 million Instagrammers are discovering new things every month?  I was surprised I have more followers on Instagram then I do on FB!  So, I have started to be consistent on Instagram as a business account.  Like Facebook Pages, Instagram business profiles connect people and businesses. Use Instagram to share your direct sales journey, connect with your audience and generate interest. You can even link your Facebook Business Page with your Instagram account.  I am having lots of fun sharing things on Instagram and connecting with new people.

You can actually drive sales and potential recruits to your business via social media.  With your personal brand, your audience will grow – I was shocked how fast mine did.   The law of averages works great in direct sales – and as your followers increase your sales and team will also.

If you are like me, you want to know how can all of this turn interest into sales, right?  First, make sure ALL of your upcoming events are on your business page.  Hosting a fundraiser, be sure to add it as an event.  Then make sure there is a link to your website for people can order.  I have a “mystery host” party link on my site all of the time.  WHY?  Because, people like a chance to win. My disclaimer is “the party must reach at least $300 in sale” before a winner is selected.  WHY?  Because if it doesn’t reach the level you set,  you can benefit from those Hostess Rewards when you close out the party for the month.  Flip those Hostess products into incentives if you want to generate more business!

Once your business is setup on social media, you have another way to provide friendly, helpful customer service for your customers.  It is also easier for your customers to tag you and share your business with their friends and family.  The ultimate goal is then reached by you gaining more customers!

Share your brand/logo with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Shining the Light On Mental Health

Thank you Thirty One for making a difference in the lives of others!  This blog is a repost from Thirty One

Mental and behavioral health are not always talked about openly, but millions of children in the U.S.need someone to start speaking up: In the U.S., half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14.  While an estimated 1.2 million children and youth are affected by mental illness, fewer than 20 percent will receive the proper treatment.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Thirty-One is proud to recognize the research being done with our support at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the U.S.. Thirty-One Gifts Consultants are spreading the word about ways you can help destigmatize mental health issues and help fund groundbreaking research benefiting youth across the U.S.

 

We’re are proud to partner with America’s largest children’s hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Nancy Cunningham says funding from Thirty-One Gives is supporting two research projects. One has a focus of enhancing girls’ eHealth literacy, helping them to improve how they find and evaluate health information. The second uses neuroimaging to identify girls who could be at risk for anxiety, depression, drug use and behavioral challenges.

Thirty-One Consultants are making a difference, Cunningham says.  The Thirty-One network of Consultants, Customers and leadership who champion these issues is “remarkable,” Cunningham says.

“Together we can discover new knowledge and strategies to support girls and young women, and together spread the word through our unique relationships and areas of influence,” she says.

Learn more: Read Sarah’s story to hear from one of the many young people helped by this type of research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Raising funds, raising awareness…  You can do so much to support the Gives mission in May!
  • Through the Gives Round Up! initiative, Customers in the U.S. have the option to support the important mental health research being done by our partners by rounding up their purchase (after tax and shipping) to the nearest dollar, or any amount. This May, funds raised in the U.S. will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • You also can host a party to share more about Mental Health Awareness Month. The cause is represented by the color green, so incorporate it into your party! Serve green food or drinks. Enter every Customer who wears green into a drawing. Then discuss Thirty-One Gives’ partnerships during the party and share how they are making a difference in your community.
  • Another way to spread the word and reduce the stigma of mental health issues is as close as your smartphone or laptop. Use the #StartTheConvo and #31Gives hashtags on social media to discuss mental and behavioral health issues, and to invite others to join the conversation.

You can also make a difference by purchasing an Awareness Angel from me for $5.  The proceeds will be donated to Gives this month and support Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Searching for Your Purpose?

I may be showing my age but how many of you remember the movie “The Color Purple”???  It was on Broadway not too long ago too.  I was reading a blog recently and I got to thinking about a scene in the movie….

It’s the scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

 

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

Maybe someone has these words to you.  Maybe you have thought them of yourself.  Those inner gremlins like to beat us up when we are at our weakest moment.  I may not be black BUT I have thought many times I was ugly and no one would ever want me.  Over the years, I have stomped on those inner gremlins but I must admit, they do rear their ugly head sometimes.

We are all here for a reason.  There are people who were here this time last year who aren’t here now. They’ve moved on. In some instances, they’ve passed on. Whatever their purpose, it is now done. But you’re here. And one of your most important jobs in life is to know why.

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this…. In my “social work life”, it was easy for me to say what  my purpose was.  My job and my life were intertwined.  I could see the difference I was making.  Does your job define who you are?  Does it help you to explain your purpose in life?  As I moved from the non-profit world to my own business, defining my purpose was a little bit more difficult.

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence? If you can’t, then let me ask you this ONE question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

This answer is something which comes from the heart.  You should be able to “spill it out” in under 15 seconds. What would your answer be?

My purpose is to bring a smile to those who are struggling reminding them they are special.  I love to see the smile on someone’s face when they receive happy mail or an unexpected gift or even a handcrafted angel.  A simple compliment can make a difference in someone’s day.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

At work, it answers the question, how is this company better because I work here? In your family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m in it?  

If you don’t know your purpose, I challenge you to take just a few minutes to get quiet and answer the question.  Once you have the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra.

A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

Share your purpose with us so we can CELEBRATE you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!