Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Thank you Janet Kinkade the creator of JK by Thirty-One jewelry for today’s tips. Her ultimate passion is to inspire women and help them recognize their own beauty and potential. Read more on Janet’s blog, and follow her on Instagram!

I love how we set aside a whole day to honor and celebrate the women who raised us. My mom is an amazing mother. She is selfless yet strong – and the most beautiful woman I know!

Mother’s Day holds a special place in my heart because of my own daughter – Belinda.  I remember several Mother’s Days in the past, waking up to handmade gifts she had poured her hearts into making. These moments remind me motherhood is a gift and my favorite job of all despite the fact my “baby” is all grown up.

Thirty-One makes it so easy and fun to find the perfect gift for all of the special women in your life! Here are a few ideas for you:

Save the day with a fun and funny “New Mom Survival Kit”

New moms get so many gifts for baby, why not take this opportunity to put together a cute and creative gift just for her? Help ease her transition – and give her a little chuckle at the same time – with a sweet “survival kit” tucked into a reusable Zipper Pouch or Swap-It Pocket, along with a note explaining each item:

  • A healthy snack to keep her energy up!
  • Hand sanitizer so she stays healthy. (Moms can’t get sick!)
  • Dry shampoo, because regular showers are a thing of the past.
  • Yummy-smelling candle to help create calm when she needs some alone time.
  • Snickers® bar and Laffy Taffy® to keep her sense of humor.
  • Bag of marbles to replace the ones she’ll lose!
  • Rubber bands to remind her that flexibility is key!
Take something off her plate with an all-in-one meal kit

You can pack an entire meal inside one of our gorgeous totes that Mom will love to use long after the meal is over! Put all the ingredients for a delicious dinner in a personalized Zip-Top Organizing Tote or Catch-All Bin – or in one of our new Summer Essentials like the Summer Fun Caddy or In the Clear Tote. You can even add some hand-painted soup bowls, a matching kitchen towel and potholder – and don’t forget a bottle of her favorite wine!

Why not try one of my family’s favorite meals: Taco Soup! Most of the ingredients are in cans, so it’s perfect for packing.

Taco Soup
Ingredients:
3 cans of beans (I mix red beans and black beans)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of ranch dressing mix
32 oz. of chicken broth
2 cups of cooked ground beef

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook on high for 4 hours. (You can cook on low for 8 hours, instead, if you’re going to be gone all day.)

Express your love and gratitude with custom home décor

If you’re looking for a personalized gift that will last long enough to become a family keepsake, look no further than our custom Statement Canvas Pillows, Statement Canvas Wall Art and wooden Close to Home Tray! These gifts can be a creative way to show off her Personality, talk about her Passions and inspire others with her Purpose as a mother. Check out our 3 Ps of Personalization for tips to make a beautiful gift for her home that she’ll always treasure!

Stay close to her heart with a mother’s necklace

Our new Charm Catcher Necklace is the perfect way to design Mom her very own meaningful – and wearable – keepsake! Create a beautiful piece of jewelry (moms LOVE jewelry!) that she can put on every day to remind her of all the joys of motherhood.

Start with our Charm Catcher Necklace in gold or silver tone, then add:

What special gift are you getting your mom?  Share it with us, we won’t tell…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy 4th of July

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According to Wickapedia “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain”.

For me, the 4th brings up all kinds of memories that are bittersweet…

Life in Ocean Grove over the 4th of July was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I can remember many 4th of July parades and bar-b-ques with the family. Belinda was always in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes were made by me – Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Peter Pan… are you getting the Disney theme? Yes, we were obsessed with Disney and we wore out many VHS tapes before DVDs came around. Then as Belinda got older, it was decorating her bicycle. Cards in the spokes to make the flipping sounds – okay, am I really showing my age now? Red, white and blue shirts, shorts, hats…

Sitting on the side of the parade route on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy that was thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried that Belinda would get too close to the trucks. Belinda hiding and covering her ears as the fire trucks came by – her sensitive ears were always a concern for Grams.

Life in Ocean Grove was fun and has lot of memories for us. I mean there was a time when ALL of us lived in Ocean Grove on Broadway – Edythe, then Grams, Pop-pop & Elsie then closest to the beach was mom and I. Okay, so that was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Believe it or not, I miss living in Ocean Grove… this is so off topic. Yes, I squirreled!

Best wishes for a ThirtyOne-derful day with friends and family celebrating today…

Happy Easter..

EASTER cross
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”

As the sun begins to rise on Easter morning, I think of Easter‘s past…

Growing up, I went to my grandparents while my parents and aunts went to sunrise service on the beach. Then home to get ready for church. New outfits for church. Sometimes even a trip to the Boardwalk for the Easter Parade in Asbury Park. Then back to my grandparents for a traditional Easter dinner with the whole family. Easter baskets overflowing with candy from the “Carmel Shop” and “Old Monmouth“.

As the years passed, life seemed to get in the way – no more fancy Easter outfits, no more Easter baskets combined with a feeling of not belonging. Then I was blessed with my daughter, Belinda.  Childhood memories and traditions came back to life starting with Belinda’s first Easter.  Four generations – Grams, Mom, me and Belinda.4 generations Easter

Easter was different.  Easter baskets were filled with toys and games because Belinda didn’t like chocolate – I know SHOCKING, right?  It was a treasure hunt to find the basket with clues left in Easter eggs throughout the house. I can still remember the squeals of excitement as she found the basket. I even remember making her Easter outfits and heading to Atlantic City for the traditional Easter parade. That is my cutie in one of those outfits!

B & me Easter

Dinners were a little smaller but family was still together.  The family was smaller – Edythe, Elsie, Grams, Mom, Belinda and I but we were blessed with 4 generations at dinner for several years.

Now, as the miles stretch between us, we each celebrate Easter with our extended family.  Hubby and I will spend the day with friends and hopefully Mom and Sal.  Gone are the Easter baskets filled with candy. Our loved ones in heaven will be celebrating together while those of us left behind will struggle with making new traditions.  This is one of my favorite songs…

Blessings from Laura Story:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I am blessed. I have a loving, supportive family, and a devoted husband. I have a faith that at times is as small as a mustard seed but is enough to get me through the toughest days.  For I know that even the trials are blessings from God. Count your blessings – even those that don’t seem like them. I know that I do.

Share your Easter stories and pictures with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful Easter!

Happy Birthday Belinda

Belinda copy

At 7:57AM exactly 27 years ago my baby girl was born – Belinda Joan Heldreth Steinel.  I am sure she is cringing at me calling her a “baby” but she will always be my baby.

When I found out that I was pregnant, there were a whirlwind of emotions.  Belinda’s dad opted to leave us since he “wasn’t ready to be a dad”.  Was I ready to be a mom?  Probably not.  This fun-loving, workaholic, partying women thought “I can do and have it all”.  Reality quickly sunk in as I was banished for health reasons to bed for most of my pregnancy.  Life was a little, okay ALOT, crazy but I knew that we would be okay.

The morning Belinda arrived, I was due for a stress test because despite the doctor’s prediction, she was NOT early nor was she a preemie!  When I called the doctor to tell him I as in labor, he was like I will see you for the stress test. NO WAY!  Within an hour, the pain was unbearable so off Elsie and I went to the hospital.  I was having contractions but it was too early for pain meds.  By the time the doctor came back in it was too LATE for pain meds.  Yup, 100% natural labor along with a vow that I would NEVER had another child.

belinda & me wedding

It has always been “you and me kid”.  Yes, Rob entered the picture when you were 13.  Yes, I had tremendous support from family.  At the end of the day, it was “you and me kid” snuggled in our mobile home getting through life with the cats and Tinkerbell.

I picked and chose my battles when you were growing up.  Some things just weren’t worth it.  I was blessed.  You were basically a good kid.  A gymnast (thank you Edythe & Grams).  A field hockey player.  An All Star Cheerleader.  A hard working girl from the age of 16.

Do you remember the first time the realization hit you that your “baby” was a grown up?  Was it when they went to HS? How about when they got their first job? Or was it when they got their driver’s license?  Most will say, it was when they went off to college.  For me, the realization came as Rob and I walked her down the “aisle” to the waiting arms of her finance.  Yup.  It took that long – just this past August.  I was not ready for the flood of emotion that would hit as we drove back to Jersey that weekend.

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Belinda, you have grown into an amazing woman.  I have always been proud of you.  I love your giving heart.  I love your energy.  I love your self-confidence.  Yes, I even love your lack of tactic when telling people how you “really” feel.  You have inspired others to reach for their dreams.  You have fought for those who could not fight for themselves. You have blazed a trail advocating as far as Capital Hill for the things that you believe in.  You stand up for what you believe in even if it goes against the norm.

Yes, mom is shedding a tear or two as I write this.  We may not physically be together today since you are in North Carolina and I am in New Jersey but our hearts will be bound together forever.  I wish you a day filled with love and happiness.  I hope that all of your dreams come true.   Happy Birthday Baby!  It is “you and me kid”.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

North Carolina Bound

roadtrip

Today’s the day….I am so excited!  Rob and I are headed to North Carolina.  It is WEDDING weekend.  I know you are all thankful,right?  Now you don’t have to hear about it anymore, right? No more using the wedding as an excuse for procrastinating in my business either, right?  I figure excuses are the result of fear.  Fear of success.  Fear of failure. September is going to be chock full of NEWNESS – new fundraisers, coaching with the amazing Brit Bolnick, and the awesome Hope Shortt. I am so ready for things to change but for this weekend, it is family and friends.  I am sure that there will be some posting on Facebook.  I am ready to share the gift of Thirty One with whoever I run into that expresses an interest.  That means leaving minis at the rest stops and with our tip at restaurants.  I even have magnets for the car that say “catalogs on board”.  Hubby figures if I have sales, book a party or recruit someone on the trip that we can write off the whole thing.  You never know, right?

Back to road trip details…. I like to travel early in the morning, you know getting up at o’dark hundred to get on the road BEFORE anyone else.  BUT things are a little different, now.  Hubby moves a little slower as a result of health issues so I adjust.  It is a process and it has only taken about a year but I think I finally get it.  Yes, I am a little slow on the uptake.

We agreed to leave no later than 8AM.  Yes, it is a compromise. I packed most of the stuff in the car yesterday and there isn’t much room left.  I am always so amazed at how much stuff we take with us.  Of course, this time in addition to the 4C green tea mix and the Taylor pork roll and whatever Belinda has requested from the house; we have all kinds of things for the wedding.  Coming home there might be some room which will be nice.  The only thing I have to add is our suitcases.  We have progressed from the filled Thirty One thermal for the road trip to the cooler – the BIG one that plugs into the outlet to run like a refrigerator.  I haven’t had to use that since we did cheering road trips.

A quick stop to Taylor Sam’s for a grab and go breakfast to give us energy for the first leg of the trip.  The goal is NOT to stop until we get on the PA Turnpike or a little later.  I drive the first and last legs of the trip; hubby covers the straight route down 81.  Our goal is to drive straight through which usually takes us about 12 hours.  It will depend on how hubby feels if that happens.  Bad backs are no good for long car rides.  I am always happy to stop in Staunton, VA since they have a great winery that we found several years ago.

I know the mindless ramblings of the mother of the bride…..YIKES!  I can’t believe that this weekend is here, we have been planning it for what seems like forever…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!