Summer Travel Tips

Summer has arrived and it is time for vacations.  Did you know the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August are when most people go on vacation?  Where are you headed on your next vacation?

We are planning to travel in the fall when the weather is a little cooler and the kids are back to school.  Hopefully there will be less traffic.  I don’t know about you but I am the proverbial last minute packer,  I always change my mind a zillion times before we finally leave for a trip. Between changes in the weather, my moods and what our plans will be while we are away – I pile all of the “maybes” together and then sort through them the day before.

I love to travel even though it is a bit of a struggle these days. When Belinda was younger, I used to spend weeks getting things together – snacks, clothes, accessories, etc.  I checked and double checked to make sure we didn’t forget anything.  Of course, we usually did.  Now traveling with hubby, I seem to do the same thing – planning things out since both of us have health issues but when it comes to clothes I wait till the last few days to get things together.  When I travel on my own, you will find me packing on the last day..

Here are some travel tips courtesy of “iheartnaptime.net“.  I use her free printable packing list so I don’t forget anything.

Tip 1: Fill a pill case with any medicines you might need and label them.  This is for all of those “just in case” medicines so you aren’t hunting for things while you are traveling.  This is a HUGE help with those things you always seem to forget or don’t think you will need.

Tip 2: Use a contact case to store smaller items like earrings. It also works great to fill with makeup, like foundation so you don’t need to bring the whole container.

 

Tip 3:Place a garbage sack in your suitcase to fill with dirty clothes. In the past, we definitely would have have been know to use the plastic laundry bags from the hotel but I prefer to use a Thirty One large utility tote especially on a road trip!  Plop the bag in the car and just carry it right to the laundry room when you get home.

Tip 4: Place your necklaces between two pieces of sticky (plastic) wrap, so they don’t get tangled.  Then you can place them in Thirty One’s zipper pouch or glamour case.

Tip 5: Fill travel containers with shampoo and lotions. Then keep them in a bag in your suit case so it’s already packed.  This is so much cheaper than buying the travel size bottles, too.  I leave mine all ready to go in Thirty One’s Hanging Traveler Case.  It is even big enough to handle some full size bottles if you are traveling with the family.

Tip 6: Place a fabric softener sheet in your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.

Tip 7: Place your shoes in a zip top bag to prevent dirt from getting on your clothes. OR use those throw plastic shower caps you can get at the dollar store.  Thirty One’s All Packed Duffle is a perfect solution for this since it has a separate compartment just for shoes!  So, it works for travel or for the gym.

Tip 8: Place your favorite snack bars (mine are Aloha bars or Graze snacks) in a snack bag on a  so you always have a tasty and healthy snack.  Check out Thirty One’s Beach Ready Tote which is a great alternative.  It has a wipeable interior and can hold up to 8 beach towels.  So when you unpack all of the goodies, you can use it to head to the beach or pool.

 

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Thirty One’s July Customer Special offers your favorite lunch-sized thermals for either $10 or $15.    You can get one item on sale for every $35 you spend!  Gather some friends together either in your home, at a local happy hour, on Facebook or  have a texting party……. to get some FREE products along with a great HOSTESS SPECIAL which  is  the  NEW  Family  Picnic  Thermal  for  just  $20.

The NEW Fall Winter catalog will be out too soon be sure to click the link, fill out the simple survey and get your copy along with a coupon on your order.

Bonus: Print out a packing list from “iheartnaptime” to keep track of everything. It is a HUGE help for me.

Source: 10 Essential Travel Tips + Free Printable Packing List – I Heart Nap Time

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Country Style Pork Ribs

Summer is here (well, almost) and everyone is pulling out the grill….I will admit, it is one of the things I miss from our old house.  As soon as it got warm, we started grilling EVERYTHING!  In the condo, the rules are so crazy about storing one, it just isn’t worth it.  
This recipe is from Rachel at Wicked Good Spice Mixes Company.  Be sure to check out her website. The spices can be used for so many different things – veggies, potatoes, dipping sauces and more..
Ingredients:
Instructions:  
  1. Grill or oven temp 375 degrees
  2. Rinse ribs thoroughly and pat dry.
  3. Rub both sides of ribs with olive oil and then rub Achilles blend on both sides.
  4. Grill  or roast  on both sides until nicely browned .
  5. Check with meat thermometer  for an internal temp of 145 degrees.
Serve with Tuscan potatoes and roasted veggies
Rachel started this company to show people how easy, healthy and fun it can be to make a delicious meal at home!  Rachel always thought the hardest thing about cooking is how much of this spice and how much of spice you should add.  So go ahead and throw all of those spices you use infrequently and start using our spice blends! They are fresh and economical!  Our blends are perfectly formulated to use for just about everything you like to cook.

Live in Brick? OR travel to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday from 9AM – 2PM. Be sure to stop by and sample some of the vinegars or spices at their table.  If you can’t make it, check out these awesome products at these local stores.

502 Baking Company, 502 Brick Blvd, Brick, NJ 08724 (732) 477-4502

Berry Fresh Farms, 151 Brick Blvd, Brick NJ 08723  (732)477-0606

Cream Ridge Winery, 145 Route 539 (PO Box 98), Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 (609) 259-9797

Dearborn Farm Market, 2170 Rt 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733  (732)264-0256

Delicious Orchards, 320 Route 34, Colts Neck, NJ  (732) 462-1989

New Egypt Marketplace, 53 Main Street, New Egypt, NJ 08533 (609) 458-7900

The Lusty Lobster, 88 Bay Ave. Highlands, NJ 07732 (732) 291-1548

Twin Ponds, Rt 9 Howell, NJ 07731

Lovelandtown Grocery and Provisions, 219 Bridge Ave, Point Pleasant,NJ 08742  (732)903-6855
Princes Farm Market , 1123 Mountain Ave, Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908)358-3311
Have a great recipe you want to share?  We would love to feature YOU (and your business)!  If you try this, let us know what you think…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is Your Life Purpose?

 

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  I don’t mean just in this house? Or in this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a 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!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  Honestly, most days I wonder what my purpose is….I’m sure many have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Many have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last few weeks.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days (very few) when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  Torn between what I think I “should be” doing and what I really want to do.  Torn between having the confidence to work my angel business releasing my creativity or just sticking with what I know works in my direct sales business.  Some may say do both BUT my MS requires me to keep things simple.  What about you, do you know your purpose?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  I know I can’t!  If you are like me, ask yourself this question:

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

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special”. I like to help people.  Maybe it is the people pleaser in me.  Maybe it is just the “helper gene” LOL.  Or maybe it is just the fact someone was nice to me when I was struggling.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life (and in mine).  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

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.  It means you are willing to share your gifts and talents with others.  I am seeing new gifts develop or at least come out again – my creativity in making angels.  Seeing how putting the pieces together to form something wish brings memories to life is so humbling.

I think about my success as a Social Work….I know I made a difference. Some may think I am being conceited but I actually saw the difference I was making.   I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.  Even when things are tight for me, there is a way to give back – a cup of coffee, a ride to a meeting, a smile, a thank you – everything makes a difference.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question….Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Your Business “Mobile-Friendly”?

My instant response is always “OF COURSE!”.  I mean I have a website for my DS business, right?  I am a walking billboard for my angels and my Thirty One business.  But is that enough to qualify for being “mobile-friendly”?

Whether you are in DS or have your own business website, do you know if it is mobile-friendly?  I don’t mean able to take it on the road but is your website “mobile (phone) friendly”?  Did you know 57% of all US web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, and it is only growing every day. People are using the internet on desktops and laptops less and less – which means your business needs to keep up.

So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, here are some reasons to change it quickly!

#1 – Easy to View on a Small Screen

Take a moment to visit your website on your smartphone. I’ll wait. LOL.

Now, answer these questions:

  • Was it easy to navigate?
  • Was it difficult to scroll sideways to view the entire page?
  • Did it feel cramped with all the information squeezed into a small screen?

I honestly never thought about the difference between how things are viewed on a desktop vs. a smartphone.  Thankfully, my DS company takes care of all of those things.  BUT, as I consider setting up something for “The Angel Connection” this is something I need to consider.  Visitors to your website on a desktop is very different than mobile visitors, so you need to consider it with a responsive website. What does that mean?  The site needs to adapt to the size screen it’s being viewed on. Or maybe you can have a mobile-first site, which is a version of your website with fewer menu options but easy to navigate to key information.

#2 – Simple to Find in Search

I never knew this….. there are different search engine options (SEO) for desktops and mobile-friendly devices.  I had a hard enough time figuring out desktop SEOs.

The key for mobile is 75% of people searching for local businesses will visit the store within one day. So, if your business isn’t set up with local SEO, you’re missing out on business.  Now, if you don’t have a store-front, be sure to let people know where locally they can find you – vendor events, business partners, online only, etc.

People using a mobile search might say “where can I get my comforter dry cleaned?”.  So it’s important to include keyword phrases people would say when using voice search on a mobile device to capture new business.  Google maps tends to prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. This means sites which are easy to navigate on smartphones are at the top of the search results, while those lagging behind would slip farther out of view. Where will your business fall?

#3 – More Sales

This is KEY for those who sell primarily online!  Estimates who by 2021, nearly 72.9% of all e-commerce sales will occur on mobile devices. WOW!!  So, it should be mega simple for mobile visitors to your site to make a purchase without having to go to their computers.

Is your checkout form simple?  It can be rough on the eyes and fingers to see and fill out many tiny fields.  Does you credit card payment system syncs with your traditional website, mobile website, and even payments collected on the go.

#4 – Make Google (and Customers) Happy

Did you know, Google will give preference to websites which have a responsive or mobile-friendly web design?  This is HUGE because you will now have an which is an opportunity to rank higher in the search results.  Don’t you usually grab the first few businesses when you do a search?  Many customers expect businesses to have an easy-to-navigate mobile web experience, so if you deliver, chances are you’ll see more business and referrals.

So, are you panicking?  Ne need to….. It’s not difficult to get a mobile-friendly web design.  If you use a legitimate website designer, they should be well-versed in creating versions of your site for mobile, including SEO.  Are you a more DIY website builder?  They also have tools so you don’t even have to worry about creating a second site which is mobile-friendly.  It will be created automatically as part of your chosen theme.

This is not the future, but is happening right now. If you want to grow your business, you’ve have to make sure it’s easy for people to both find you in mobile search and navigate your site on their mobile devices.

Share your website with us so we can check to see if it is mobile-friendly.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Little Reminder From God

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.

Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.

Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything stays a mess. I fix things for a moment, until: my kids come home and mess things up, I get busy and I forget to keep up with it all, or clutter becomes impossible to throw out because I fear I’ll lose future-memories.

I want to be a better mom than this; my family deserves better.

With a heavy heart, I decided to approach my husband, “Uh…,” I said. “Can I share something with you?”

He waited.

“There’s an area I haven’t told you about where – all the time — I feel so angry at myself. Every time I open up a cabinet, I mentally get furious at how I feel like I’m the most unorganized woman on the planet.”

Compassionately, he looked at me and replied, “Well, maybe Jesus just wants you to remind you that His grace is sufficient.”  And He was right. I finally understood. My cabinets – and my deficiency — are a blessing, not a curse.

How could a deficiency be a blessing? Deficiencies point us to Christ’s all-sufficiency. Through them, we come to the One prepared to help us. The One with answers. The One with all the grace to accomplish true and long-lasting life-change.

Grace accomplishes far more than our hardest labor ever could. Certainly, God often calls us to meet Him in this venture by working, but work without God is — toil.

My cabinets would now be a reminder of this. They, in all their untidy-glory, would almost speak, “Kelly, invite Jesus in to help you with this.”

Where do you need to invite Jesus in? What personal issue do you hate to look at? What feels unconquerable? Heavy? Burdening?

Jesus’ grace is sufficient. It is sufficient to change you, to rework you, to remake you, and to renew you.

It is more than okay to desperately need Jesus’ grace. It is life-changing to be in need of God.

Be encouraged. Wherever you feel powerless, God is powerful. Wherever you are hungry, God has food for you. Wherever you feel blind, God restores sight. You are not left behind or forgotten. God will help.

Today, rejoice by saying: No matter where I feel deficient, Christ is all-sufficient.

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!