How Bright is Your Light?

Have you ever noticed, you are happiest when you are helping others, or making a difference in your own unique way?

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The last month, I have been struggling.  Struggling with changes in my MS.  Struggling in my business.  Struggling with life.  I have been pondering why this month, what makes this one different.  I feel like my light has been dimming.  Sounds weird, right? I don’t mean it is a morbid way, just not feeling like I am making a difference anymore in the lives of others. No, I’m not on a pity pot.  I’m simply trying to adjust to the changes MS is making in my life.  A reality which is sometimes tough to grasp.  Talking with my sponsor the other day, she said “your brain my think things are jumbled but the words actually come out clearly and concisely.”  Yup, I needed to hear those words because it is the exact reason I have been taking a backseat in things.  Ok, I squirreled so, let’s get back to how you can let your light shit….

No matter what your purpose in life is, there is an underlying mission.  It is all about living your life in a way people say to themselves, “There’s something different about her and I want to know how to have some of the peace, joy, and love in my own life.”

Here are five ways you can let your light shine:

1. Look for ways to be a blessing.

Letting your light shine means letting everything good within you come forth. There is so much negativity around us on a daily basis when good enters our environment, it brings light into the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing—even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind coworker.  Small random acts of kindness do make a difference.

2. Refuse to be judgmental.

One of the fastest ways to turn people off – in business or in your life is to judge them. A person can done wrong without condemning them for it.  Honestly, I have made mistakes during my addiction BUT I was glad people did not judge me.  They gave me chance.  Honestly, we have all done things we need to be forgiven for, so be merciful to others. Embrace and support those you want to judge when they are trying to do better.

3. Speak up for what is just.

Speak up for what is just—not right. Do you confuse the two of these?  I know I do!  Focus more on being just so those who cross your path are better off for having done so. At work, in your business or in a personal situation, when others are being cheated, disrespected, or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do it in a direct, calm, straightforward, and nonjudgmental way.  Of course, the “old social worker/advocate” in me is sometimes far from calm.  LOL!

4. Let go of the desire to fit in.

Maybe this is part of why my light has dimmed this month….. I’m a proverbial people-pleaser.  As the MS effects more of my life, I struggle to find a place to fit in.  I never thought about how difficult it is for my light to shine when I feel like I need to fit in everywhere I go. Sometimes, people think I am odd just because I  am smiling and talking to everyone.  I need to focus more on being a symbol of truth and love on a daily basis instead of trying to fit in.  What about you?

5. Don’t hide your spiritual life.

This may be a hard one for some.  For me, I have learned my Higher Power is central to everything in my life.  When I pretend that is not the case, my light dims.  It is by his grace, I have survived the craziness of my life.  I am not saying you need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When the chance comes to tell people where your strength comes from in difficult times, or to acknowledge how your Higher Power has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.

My Challenge to you is to identify one way you will share your light this week. Then set out to be a symbol of love and light in the world…  Share with us…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Why You Can’t Live Without A Large Utility Tote

Thirty One’s original (and famous) Large Utility Tote, or LUT for short is celebrating it’s 10th birthday…Don’t get why this is such a BIG deal?

Millions of these totes have been sold over the years and for many it has been your go-to tote from the grocery store to the beach and back. And with more prints to choose from than ever, now is the perfect time to stock up on them – and the accessories to make the best even better!

Check out what makes this customer-favorite so special, and how the addition of the Double Chill Thermal Set and Stand Tall Insert has upped the game on this #1 seller.  The list of the 101 most creative, practical and just plain wacky uses customers have found for the LUT  is CRAZY!!

It’s storage made portable! When the best-selling tote debuted in 2009, the original Large Utility Tote featured, and still does, a sturdy wire support around the top to hold its shape and reinforced stitching on the handles and seams for unmatched durability.  Did you know it could hold up to 100 pounds?  Yes, it has been kid tested!  It also collapses flat for easy storage.

The two-piece Double Chill Thermal Set is soft yet structured and fits perfectly inside the Large Utility Tote, transforming it into the ultimate picnic basket or tailgating tote! Or quickly snap in a Stand Tall Insert to add structure, stability and handy interior pockets.

Want to get inspired????   Here are 101 of the favorite uses shared by Thirty One Customers and Consultants.  Which one (or ones) would you use it for?

1. Warehouse store shopping
2. Wine caddy
3. Cleaning supplies
4. Gift bags, boxes & tissue paper
5. Hockey equipment
6. Christmas lights
7. Winter hats, gloves & scarves
8. Campsite dishwashing tub
9. Yarn storage
10. Basketball camp

11. Junk in the trunk!

12. Classroom posters
13. Garage storage
14. Cold cellar storage
15. Portable tool box
16. Cowboy boots
17. Take puppies to the vet
18. Camper organization
19. Under the bed
20. Lift-out chest freezer divider

21. Bathroom storage

22. Beach or pool bag
23. Fitness equipment
24. Battle ropes
25. Band equipment
26. Hide Christmas gifts
27. Photo albums
28. Hunting gear
29. Kids’ science fair projects
30. Extra diapers

31. Boating needs
32. Car cleaning supplies
33. Calving supplies & milk bottles
34. Carry sewing machine to quilting group
35. Dry/wet towels
36. Store chips in the pantry
37. Newspapers for delivery
38. Camping gear
39. Soccer balls & kits
40. Swim team gear

41. Pack for a potluck

42. School supplies drop-off
43. Scrapbooking supplies
44. Gardening tools
45. Cake decorating supplies
46. Ice fishing equipment
47. Snowmobile helmet & gear
48. Kids’ hide-and-seek spot
49. Cookbooks
50. Beauty supplies

51. Coach’s bag
52. Birthday party supplies
53. Computer repair items
54. Church youth group
55. Painting supplies
56. Weiner dog bed for road trips
57. Tae Kwon Do sparring gear
58. Carry hay to the goats
59. Nerf guns & ammo
60. End-of-school locker clean-out

61. Ultimate picnic basket
62. Clothing & toiletry donations
63. Cub Scout bag
64. Cheerleading equipment
65. Packable extra luggage for travel
66. Hot tub essentials
67. Seasonal closet clean-out
68. Mixing bowls & utensils
69. Floor tiles & grout
70. Vinyl record collection

71. Extra baseballs for practice
72. Take coffee & snacks to the office
73. Transport a large piñata
74. Deliver May Day baskets
75. Dog boarding & grooming items
76. Toy racecar tracks
77. Carry birthday presents
78. Clean laundry sorting system
79. Artificial Christmas tree branches
80. Spare sheets in each bedroom

81. Family Sunday

82. Sleepover bag
83. Extra shoes by the door
84. Farmer’s market
85. Sweet corn picking
86. Pretend airplane
87. Stuffed animals
88. Blankets & throw pillows
89. Air mattress, pump & batteries
90. Take NICU/chemo care kits to hospital
91. Cosplay costumes

92. Grandma’s crochet projects
93. Softball catcher’s gear
94. Kayaking accessories
95. Magazine storage
96. Camera equipment & tripod
97. Trading card binders
98. Baby-wearing class supplies
99. 100 feet of garden hose
100. Ham radio supplies
101. Clothesline, clothespins & hangers

So, are you convinced you need one?????  Grab them while they are on sale this month…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are Emotions Ruling Your Decisions?

We have all done it, right?  Let emotions rule our decisions.  I am sure there are more time than I can remember where I made impulse decisions based on how I was feeling instead of thinking them through.

When we make an important decision at the height of an emotional state – whether we are angry or ecstatic, frustrated or giddy – can lead to decisions you regret.  How about the shopping spree when you were feeling down?  Or the eating binge? Or maybe you left a job after a bad review or incident?

Emotions are powerful. Sometimes they are positive and sometimes they are negative, but they always have the power to move us into action.

I have to admit, I take action more often when the emotions are uncomfortable – like fear or anger or frustration.  The end result was to always get rid of the feeling.  Yup, stuffing feelings lead me to my addiction and then to my relapse so many years later.  Those inner gremlins reared their ugly head and made me feel less than in so many ways.  They compared me to what others were doing in similar situations (or so I thought).  The end result was some really bad decisions leading to credit card debt and more negative feelings.

Emotions can  be brought on by the circumstances and events in your life, or by the manipulative behavior of a particular person in your life.  The key is to take notice when you feel pressure to make an important decision in the midst of strong emotion. Is it easy – NO!  The pressure of our emotions is strong.  It allows those inner gremlins we thought we had dealt with so many years ago to gain some strength.  Emotions or stuffing them, allows old behaviors to come back creating more of a mess.

The next time you feel pressured by your emotions, I want you to do something different…

That’s right. Do absolutely nothing. I know it is scary – trust me, I have been there more times than I can count lately.  Let yourself feel uncomfortable, afraid, angry, sad – and don’t make a decision or take an action. Just sit with the emotion.  No, I’m not crazy (well, maybe a little).  Talk it out with someone BEFORE you make the decision.  Over the last eight months, I’m grateful to have found a group of like minded people who help me through the emotions BEFORE I make a decision.  I hate asking for help.  I mean at 61 you would think I could make them on my own.  The truth is I can’t….

We need to embrace the idea that your emotions don’t have to rule. The are not facts they are feelings.  Emotions can actually teach you something. What message is your emotions sending you? What can you learn? And when would be a better time for you to make a decision or take action?

I’m a person who seeks instant gratification.  I hate feeling uncomfortable.  I don’t like people to see me being emotional so I stuff feelings which doesn’t make for good decision making either.  Do you stuff your emotions or do you share them?

The reality is – it is oaky to be emotional. It’s natural. Just don’t let your emotions think for you. Slow down. Take a breath. Be wise.  Remember emotions are not facts!

Today, I challenge you to not let your emotions rule your actions. STOP! Be still. Hold off on making a decision until you are less emotional. When we are emotional, we fell the NEED to make a decision immediately to get rid of the feelings.  But, what would happen if you refused to make a decision or take action in the midst of high emotions?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Many Ways Can You Use a Large Utility Tote?

Have you ever thought about it?  Do you think totes are just for the grocery store?  Or maybe you think beach bag? Or purse (okay maybe not a large utility tote)?  The truth is totes come in every shape and size, right?  If we stop to the grocery store, how many times have you forgotten the bags at home or maybe they are still in the trunk of the car…. admit it, I’m not alone, right? Yes, this “Bag Lady” does occasionally forget to take her totes with her….. SHHH!!!  It will be our little secret.

Let’s talk about Thirty One’s Large Utility Tote for a minute…. Did you know it has been the TOP SELLER (usually the #1 spot) since it was first introduced?  You may ask why?  It is just a tote… but not just any tote.  No, it doesn’t have magical powers…..

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The top use is for grocery shopping….I have a simple system to ensure the totes are in the care when I head to the store. Once I unpack the totes, I set them by the door so they are in plain sight when I go out to the car the next time.  They are always put in the truck of the CRV.  So, how do I remember to take them with me?  On the days I am grocery shopping, I put my purse in the trunk.  Yup, I can’t go shopping without my purse, so when I open the trunk to get my purse, I pick up my totes.    Sometimes I will place them on the seat next to me.  I don’t know about you but I need to have things written on a list OR right in front of me in order to remember them.
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Add a Double Chill Thermal to your large utility tote and you have the perfect way to keep your frozen foods solid during the hot summer months.  Okay, so most of us are battling the frigid cold right now but summer is just around the corner. This set of two water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal inserts lets you pack ice without worry, and side handles make these soft-sided cooler bags easy to carry.  Great for grocery shopping, a day at the beach or a picnic.
Everyone is into decluttering these days…. why not use a large utility tote it to keep your closet in order.  Can you imagine how many blankets you could fit in one if you used the Tidying Up method of folding???  It even collapses for easy storage!  AND it can be personalized!  Shoes all over the floor?  Why not try dividing a tote with bottle dividers from the liquor store?
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Have kids in sports?  Admit it, their equipment is ALL over the trunk of the car.  There is always something that goes missing – a glove, a sock, a shirt – why not make it easy by putting a tote in the trunk JUST for sporting equipment or after school activities.  How about tailgating at all of the games/ practices this spring?   Picture-201.png    Know someone getting married?  The large utility tote is a great wedding gift…

Did I mention the BEST part of the large utility tote in February????  It is on SALE!!!  Who doesn’t love a sale right?

Why not grab TWO and split the cost with your bestie!

So many uses for just one bag… which one is calling you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Getting Organized: Bedroom

I don’t know about you but our bedroom (and even the spare room) becomes a haven for collecting “stuff”.  I mean it is usually a secluded part of the house and is unseen by guests unless of course they are overnight guests.  LOL.
I have found when our bedroom is organized it makes a HUGE impact on my life – I don’t have as much brain fog and I see to be more focused.  The bedroom is the foundation of where you begin every day, an organized bedroom helps you wake up with the mindset to conquer the day’s challenges and enable you to get each day started on the right foot.

Here are a few ways to organize (easy and cost-free):

  • Give away or toss what you don’t use.
  • Sort out off-season clothes for separate storage.
  • Move non-bedroom items out and store them in other parts of the house.
  • Make your bed daily – it’s a quick and easy way to declutter the look of your room.

Once you’ve cleaned out some of the clutter,  you will have a better idea of what you need to store what’s left.  To save money, you want to find ways to use your current storage as efficiently as possible and invest in items which will help round out your bedroom set and expand your storage space.

Next step….

Drawer organizers – socks and underwear drawers are usually the messiest, right?  I toss mine in baskets to make it easy.  How about organizing your drawers with drawer dividers or honeycomb-style organizers to keep things moving on busy mornings.  You can pick some of these up in the dollar store.

Closet systems – We have two SMALL bedroom closets.  So for mine, we added an extra rack which helps to keep my clothes organized with long items on one side of the closet shirts and tops are on also on the top rack with pants on the bottom row.

I put the things don’t use often on the top shelf in a Thirty One Your Way Cube. The clear window lets me see what is in there in case I forget!  I store off-season clothing and extra linens in Thirty One’s large utility totes with lids.

Shoe rack, shoe tree or shoe ladder – keep your shoes in their best shape and easy to find with a shoe organizer. Double the space at the bottom of your closet with a couple of shoe shelves.

Another Option is to Add Storage………

Look at your bedroom pieces and add missing items which offer extra storage including a dresser stack, nightstands, chest of drawer, storage bed, storage bench and media stand. Storage beds and headboards – bed frames can boast the bed to product under-bed storage making the most of unused space.  It is also a great place to store extra linens and off-season clothing. Headboards with built in bookshelves and compartments offer valuable space to keep books, clocks and bedside necessities handy and organized.

Swap out your night table for something biggernight tables keep a few things handy, but they don’t help you stay organized. Choose a two drawer nightstand instead or if you need more storage space, upgrade to a small dresser.

Dresser stack – add a couple of extra storage drawers with a dresser stack, attaching to the top of a matching dresser many offer a contemporary asymmetric look.

Bedroom chest – a chest, chest of drawers, bureau or gentleman’s chest typically have a profile that is taller and more narrow than a dresser. This is great if you are tight on floor space because it increases storage space with a vertical stance.

Accessories and Extra Pieces

Look for extra pieces that might not be part typical bedroom sets to add extra storage and utility to your room. When shopping for these pieces you can choose to match similar wood tones to the furnishings you have already or choose contrasting finishes to create an accent in your room.

Bookshelves – are not just for living rooms and home offices, bookcases can help you keep things organized, utilize baskets and boxes on lower shelves to conceal clutter.  I have one in our bedroom.

Storage bench – placed at the foot of your bed (ours is off to the side), offers the perfect place to keep throw pillows and extra blankets handy while doubling as a handy spot sit when you lace up your shoes.

Hall tree – the one in our bedroom was made by my grandfather MANY years ago.  It is  place to hang tomorrow’s outfit or keep last minute wardrobe changes off of the floor.

Today’s tips are courtesy of Furniture.com.. be sure to check out their bedroom sets and other home furnishings at a store near you.  I did not receive any compensation for sharing their information in this blog post.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!