Happy 4th of July

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”.

This year, the 4th seems to be a bigger struggle than last year….there seems to be a few more memories missing as a result of the MS.  I went on a hunt to find some pictures to go with the post and struggled to remember.  I pulled our the scrapbook I made for Belinda for her 16th birthday and was overwhelmed.  The pictures looked familiar but the memories of the experiences have slowly slipped away. It is times like this I am glad I started blogging before things were too bad because it helps me to remember at least a little bit….

Hubby and I were just talking about life in Ocean Grove  and how we would love to live there again.  The 4th of July was always a whirlwind of fun and excitement filled with July 4th parades and bar-b-ques with family. Sitting on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried 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.

Then came the years Belinda was in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes 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, and hats…

Life in Ocean Grove was fun and is filled with many memories.  I am grateful for scrapbooks – mostly since Belinda was born but at least there are some.  There was actually 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 it was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Yes, I squirreled!

Best wishes for a ThirtyOne-derful day with friends and family. Enjoy the moments and treasure them….

Tasty Tuesday: Cherry Pie Oatmeal Bake

Thank you Hungry Girl for today’s recipe…

1/6th of pan: 241 calories, 6g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 336mg sodium, 37.5g carbs, 7g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 9.5g protein — SmartPoints® value 6*

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned oats (I use gluten free)
5 natural no-calorie sweetener packets (like Truvia)
1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large eggs’ worth)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup frozen unsweetened pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed, drained, chopped
3/4 oz. (about 3 tbsp.) sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, sweetener, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium-large bowl, combine almond milk, applesauce, egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until uniform.
  4. Add mixture in the medium-large bowl to the large bowl. Stir until uniform.
  5. Gently fold in cherries. Transfer mixture to the baking pan, and smooth out the surface.
  6. Top with almonds, and lightly press them into the mixture.
  7. Bake until top is light golden brown and entire dish is cooked through, about 35 minutes.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Headed to a picnic?  Take this along in either one of these Thirty One thermals:

The Rolling Cooler keeps you cool wherever you go this season. This roomy cooler featuring wheels and a telescoping handle for easy transport was a Hostess Exclusive BUT it can be yours in the Christmas in July Outlet Sale (the sale ends on 7/11). Handles make it a breeze to carry, and the leak-lock lining keeps contents cold and helps prevent leaks. Dimensions: 14″H x 15.5″L x 11.5″D

 

Head to the beach, campground or family picnic with your favorite foods. The Picnic Thermal Tote has a Leak Lock Thermal Lining which can hold ice when you need to keep things cool for a longer time. A removable, adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry when you have your hands full, and the zip-around closure ensures everything stays put while you’re transporting it from the car. It has a removable, adjustable shoulder strap, an exterior front pocket and is approx. 13″H x 11″L x 6″D.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Celebrating the 4th of July

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 bittersweet memories….. I’m grateful for them since living with MS has robbed me of many of them.  The many pictures I have of these celebrations allow me to reflect and remember.

Life in Ocean Grove over the 4th of July was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I can remember many July 4th parades and bar-b-ques with family.  Belinda was always in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes 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, and hats…

Sitting on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried 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 it was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Believe it or not, I miss living in Ocean Grove… Yes, I squirreled!

Want to check out a GREAT “Christmas in July” sale?  Stop by my Thirty One website to grab some awesome deals.  The sale goes through July 11th.

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

Saturday Spotlight: Tastefully Simple

Today’s spotlight is on a company whose products I use ALOT!  Tastefully Simple offers amazing products and meal / entertaining solutions which are simple and delicious. Matter of fact most products require 2 ingredients or less to make them. They also have a huge variety of TS Eatwell products containing nothing artificial. Say hello to Lisa!

My name is Lisa Maglione and I am a Team leader with Tastefully Simple. Over the past 2 years, Tastefully Simple has provided me with many amazing opportunities.  I am a Law Enforcement Wife and have two beautiful children Anthony 4 and Brianna 2. My son has Autism and Tastefully Simple has made it possible to pay for many of the expenses we have. I am am so grateful I can work around my husband and children’s crazy schedules. Lastly, I am beyond grateful for the friendships and relationships I have with my fellow team members and customers. I love helping them make their dreams a reality and filling all of my customers needs and wants through our products.

Here are some personal favorites:

Seasoned Salt– my favorite way to eat cucumbers. I mean let’s be honest, cucumbers don’t have much taste. The seasoned salt gives them a little ZIP with just a taste of salt. I hear it is AWESOME on popcorn too but I haven’t tried it yet. I should say, I tried to sprinkle it on but since I use “no butter” microwave popcorn, there is no way for it to stick. I am think I might try microwaving my own popcorn and sprinkle some on BEFORE it pops. Could be interesting.

Onion Onion is the BEST way to add the onion flavor to a recipe WITHOUT the mess of chopping and crying. I use it is my meatloaf ALL of the time. I use it in chili and in my tuna salad. Who would love added onions to recipes without all of the chopping and burning in eyes.

Fiesta Party Seasoning is my quick solution to a lack of salsa in the house because I always seem to have diced tomatoes around. So instead of mixing the fiesta party dip with mayo and sour cream, I use a little in the diced tomatoes for salsa in a minute. I tend to make it too spicy for hubby but I love it! I can also use it as salad dressing to change it up a little bit. Of course the Simply Salsa makes a better salsa.

Corn & Black Bean Salsa is my all time favorite. I could sit and eat the whole jar with some chips or on a salad. I have even mixed some with quinoa and added some veggies for a light dinner.

 I was introduced to Magic Chicken which is AMAZING!  Here is the recipe:

ingredients
4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs or any combination of the two
2 cups water or chicken broth
4 tablespoons Onion Onion™ Seasoning
2 teaspoons Garlic Garlic™ Seasoning
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (optional)

directions

  • Place the chicken in your slow cooker; add remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on LOW 5-7 hours, until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read food thermometer and shreds easily.
  • Shred the chicken. Package in 1 quart freezer bags, about 2 cups of chicken per pack.
  • Makes about 8 cups.

Serving Suggestion: Use prepared chicken for casseroles, stir in any of our sauces for a pulled-chicken sandwich, top salads, add taco seasoning for chicken tacos, the ideas are endless.

I made this with just one pound of chicken breasts and wish I had of made a larger amount.  The chicken was tender – melt in your mouth.  I froze what was left with some barbecue sauce for hubby to have for dinner.  Quick and easy with some quinoa and fresh string beans.

Lisa can help you with all of your Tastefully Simple needs.  Want to try some yummy products and have a fun night out?  Join us for Christmas in July BINGO on July 13th

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Keep Your Team Motivated Over the Summer

There is a sigh of relief among direct sellers with the passing of June.  It is a crazy busy month for most people – end of the school year, graduations, weddings, baptisms, confirmations….. You get the picture.

I have already heard from many on my team, “no one wants to party in the summer” or “everyone is too busy” or “everyone is on vacation”.  I used to be one of those who said the same things.  The end result was – little or no business in the summer.  It translated to little or no business in the busiest time of the year – the Fall.  What happens now has a direct effect on what your business will look like in three months.  Yes, I jumped ahead a little bit…

Think about the people you know who are taking the Summer off from their business.  Are they the same people who take the month of December off? In my early direct sales years, I was one of those people.  I mean, I worked for myself so I could make my own hours, right?  So why not enjoy the break and get back to work in September?  What happen was, I had no business to get back to in September.  I was always starting over.

Summer is a fantastic time to have home parties and help others see the awesomeness of having their own direct sales business. Plus, during the summer, we’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year (the fall selling season), so now is the time to focus on building a strong business.

As a leader, you are an example to your team. Do I admit when I’m struggling?  YES!  But at the same time I offer solutions to help them overcome the struggles.  If you’re a leader, the summer months may take some creativity on your part, but working harder now to keep your team motivated and working will pay off for them (and you) this fall.

Here are three ideas on how to do this from JulieAnn Jones.  If you aren’t a leader, these ideas will help you keep your business on track this summer:

1. Help them set goals for the Fall

I hear the signs and see the eyes rolling.  Who is thinking about Fall, right?  Now, is the time you want to set goals for what you want your business to look like in September.  If you wait till then, it will be too late.  Help them by asking them what they would like to happen in the rest of the year.  The best way is to have them connect with how it will feel to have the money they will make with a full calendar.  What will they use it for?  Encourage them to set specific goals around the income, and the number of parties they want to hold.  With a plan, they will know what they’re working toward now.

2. Give them incentives they really want

What excites your team?  Would a CASH incentive keep them moving forward?  Would fun products? Or how about a trip?  Your direct sales company may offer these along the way but as a leader, you can also offer them.  Keep them within your budget. Don’t know what would get and keep them motivated, ask them.  And what would you like to encourage them to do to earn it?  Is it bookings, sponsoring, sales, or all of the above? Get creative and use the few months to help them work toward a fun incentive (and a stronger business).  I will be using this again this year to help me work towards the Leadership Incentive Trip with Thirty One.

3. Teach them creative ways to work their businesses during the summer months

Yes, you will need to be creative to book home parties in the summer, but fun themes make it a little easier!  How about: Ice cream socials, office parties, block parties, patio parties, BINGO, or Happy Hour parties. How about doing some FB parties to keep things going or to at least fill in the gaps.  Hostess of the Month Clubs.  Trunk parties.  I will admit, there are challenges working from home during the summer.  Encourage your team to share what has worked for them while you share what has worked well for you too.

Don’t be a Vacation Veronica in the summer months so you are a Struggling Sally in the Fall.  An investment of your time in supporting, encouraging, and training your team now will pay off big time this fall.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!