Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day by definition is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

Today, I am blessed, to be a daughter, a step-daughter and a MOM!  Today will be a day filed with lots of emotions – lately I have become a crier.  LOL.  Okay, so maybe I always way.

To my mom, my best friend and biggest cheerleader.  The road has been filled with more than our share of twists and turns but through it all you have stood by my side.  Through thick and thin, the good times and bad. I’m grateful for a monthly “mom and daughter” days.  I’m grateful to be able to laugh and cry with you.  To share things I never thought I would.  When I was a child, you were there to guide and support me now as MS takes away my memory, you have been able to fill in those gaps.  Thank you for being my traveling buddy, my cheerleader and for always understanding.

You have taught me about strength and kindness. You have taught me how to be a good mom. You taught me to cherish my family. Mom, thank you for all of the lessons. I may not have always appreciated them at the time, but I am grateful for them now as an older, wiser and sometimes a more mature woman.  I am who I am today because you allowed me to grow and struggle through the bumps in the road. I am who I am today because you love me when I can’t love myself.  Thank you…..Happy Mother’s Day to the BEST MOM in the world. I love you!

To my daughter, Belinda who makes MY Mother’s Day so special. They say you never know what it means to be a mom until you have a child – I can’t agree more. I now understand why my mom put up with everything (the good, the bad & the ugly) all of those years. My daughter is my heart.  It was “you and me, kid” for most of her life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Being a single mom had its struggles but with the love and support of family and friends we made it.  As a child, you were a challenge – having your own opinion and questioning everything but you helped me to grow as a person too. Our road has been rocky lately but I’m grateful to be working our way back the bond we used to have. You have grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to say is “my daughter”.  MS may steal the memories by in my heart I know it will alway be “you and me kid”.

To those who have lost their moms, cherish the memories. To those who have a strained relationship with them, reach out, re-connect – bless and move on – for you don’t want to live with regrets when they are gone.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and those who have been like a mom to so many.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Tasty Tuesday: Kids’ Snack Ideas

Never fear! Here are some practical and creative solutions for you to try to make you parent of the year in the eyes of your kids – or at the very least, parent of the week in the eyes of the team.

Healthy snack ideas

It may be tempting to bring treats the kids will love like cookies, chips and soda, BUT you might not get high marks on the nutrition front from the coach or the other kids’ parents. Don’t be known as the “junk food” mom or dad when there are plenty of healthy, delicious snacks the team can enjoy. The idea is to keep them energized during the day, not give them sugary treats that will cause them to crash later on. These healthy options will keep little athletes going strong!

  • orange slices
  • bananas
  • apple slices
  • disposable cups filled with berries
  • mini boxes of raisins
  • grapes
  • small bags of carrot sticks
  • fruit kebabs on wooden skewers
  • watermelon slices
  • cucumber slices
  • sunflower seeds
  • celery sticks with cream cheese
  • squeeze-pouch applesauce
  • pumpkin seeds
  • string cheese
  • pretzels

If you want a little variety to your treats, consider creating little sandwich baggy packs or plastic containers with a little bit of everything. Mix berries, grapes, apple slices, cucumber slices and carrot sticks in individual baggies or containers – one for each child. With individual servings, the kids can eat as much as they want and then come back for more later. (Just make sure to bring along a permanent marker to write their names.)

Of course, if you bring fresh fruit or veggie snacks, you’ll want to keep them cool for the long haul, so we recommend packing them up in a roomy insulated cooler that can hold ice. The Fresh Market® Thermaland our Tote-ally Thermal are perfect options due to their larger size and Leak-Lock® water-resistant thermal lining that allows for loose ice.

  • water-resistant Leak-Lock® lining allows for ice
  • sides unsnap for additional space
  • exterior flat pocket holds utensils and more
  • zip closure

Tote-ally Thermal

 

  • water-resistant Leak-Lock® lining allows for ice
  • exterior flat pocket holds utensils, etc.
  • extended straps for easy transport
  • zip closure

Team tip: Personalize your favorite family thermal with your child’s sport in his or her team colors. Choose from icons for sports teams, band, hobbies and more in our Personalization Studio. Don’t forget to add your team’s or school’s name for extra spirit!

Creative snack ideas

Now, if you really want to go for the parent-of-the-year award, these fun ideas just might get you there. Your kids and their teammates will love these creative treats that are not only fun to make and look at, but nutritious to eat as well. Click on each treat for directions on how to make them.

Healthy drink ideas

Aside from the snacks, make sure your kids teammates have plenty to drink to stay hydrated. Be sure to avoid sugary beverages like soft drinks, fruit punches and sports drinks that are often loaded with sugar and sodium. Here are a few healthy options to consider.

  • Bottled water (minis are particularly nice)
  • Fruit juice boxes or pouches
  • Coconut water or sweet chia water
  • Homemade iced tea with lemon
  • Homemade lemonade with agave juice instead of sugar

Things to remember

Be conscious of food allergies. Things like nuts, gluten and dairy can keep a kid on the team from getting his or her snack. Check with the coach or other parents to make sure there aren’t any allergies to what you decide to bring.

Consider making extras. Oftentimes, your kids’ teammates will have younger brothers or sisters in attendance who also want to have a snack. Although it’s not your responsibility, it is a nice gesture to make a few extra snacks in case the need arises.

Don’t overdo it. You don’t need to provide the team with a meal. Keep it simple and nutritious without filling them up too much. You don’t want to ruin their lunch or dinner!

There’s nothing wrong with pre-packaged. Some parents may feel a bit uneasy about homemade food and any allergens or germs their kids may encounter. Pre-packaged items like apple slices, carrots, applesauce and nut butters may be the best route. It all depends on how well you know the other parents and your own comfort level. Find out what other parents provide. Pre-packaged doesn’t have to mean unhealthy.

Don’t forget the extras. Be sure to provide napkins, plastic wear, garbage bags and plates as necessary. Sanitary wipes are also a good idea if bathroom facilities are sub-par or far away from the playing field.

What is YOUR kids’ favorite snack?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Holiday Gift Ideas

We are 19 days away from Christmas and the panic has already set in on many struggling to find the PERFECT gift for those on their holiday list.   I will admit, I had those moments looking for the “perfect gift”.  Having moments where I let the inner gremlins step in bashing those out of the box ideas and stealing my JOY!

Has your gift giving list grown?  Has your office just decided to hold a Secret Santa?  Are YOUR friends looking for gifts for people in their office or do they know someone who is looking to give gifts to their co-workers or customers?

For those of us in direct sales, I know this sounds OBVIOUS but have you approached them about using YOUR products as gifts.  Now, I don’t mean just hand them a catalog to look through, I mean really help them with their gift giving dilemnas.

Maybe you (or someone you know) has mentally made their Christmas Wish List.  Remember the wish list of your childhood.  The one where you scoured the catalogs and sale papers making a list of EVERYTHING you could possible want then giving it to your parents who shared it with everyone in the family.

While some may have created their own list of wish list and then told family to contact me; .  others, provided me with a the challenge of helping them pick the perfect gift.  They gave me a list of people,  a few words describing the person  and asked me for practical suggestions from our product lines.  I know you are all thinking – when do I have time in addition to my shopping, work (full and part-time), kids, etc.  The reality is it could save YOU time, money and the chance to give someone the “perfect gift”.

Here are some suggestions based on the Thirty One products on sale THIS month::

  • Busy Mom, Mom Taxi – what about a Thirty One Hanging Traveler Case bag filled with pens, pencils, note paper, crayons, etc. to leave in the car.  Maybe even a few non-perishable snacks for the kids or an energy bar or two for mom. You never have to hunt for a pen or you can keep the kids busy while in the car.

  • For the Mechanic, Car fanatic, Teacher, Business Owner, Crafter, College Student or Mom – How about the Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote ?  A great deal this month with a sale price of $21!  Fill it with fun items they can use depending on their interests.  What crafter doesn’t like a gift card to their favorite craft store or yarn or supplies to make their favorite craft.  Teachers go crazy for a tote filled with school supplies, or a gift card for their favorite coffee shop.  This tote has so many uses……

  

  • For someone who does Yoga or exercises… the All Pro Tote keeps everything together.  This is also great for the busy mom.  A spot for extra shoes for the kids or wet clothes when the baby has an “accident”. The pocket in the back, it great for a yoga mat, a towel, a blanket if you are going to the park or maybe an extra lightweight jacket.  This retails for $80 BUT is on sale for $48 (a steal)!!!

  • The Rubie Mini has sooo many uses!  It is a pouch, a travel case and a wristlet all in one! With a zipper closure and a D-ring attachment for a Wristlet Strap, the Rubie Mini is a small, stylish bag to help you stay organized. It’s the perfect little partner when you travel, run errands or shop. Keep the mini pouch in your purse to store cash, cards, makeup, mints or change. Pack it in your carry-on to keep money, medicine, cameras, batteries and power cords close by.  It is on SALE for just $13.20 this month!

      

  • The Twice As Nice Tote is a great gift bag during the holiday season AND all year long. It will hold a bottle of wine (or two) and even has a divider to keep the bottles from rattling.  It is a versatile gift the recipient will use over and over again.

  • College Student, Mom, Dad, ANYONE on your list! – How about a Large Utility Tote filled with everything they would need in an emergency?  Blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.  Our daughter got one when she started driving. I know, most people have AAA but honestly sometimes they take FOREVER!  In the dead of winter, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bag in the trunk so when a good Samaritan stopped to offer assistance you had the supplies you needed.  How about filling it with snacks along with a gift card or two.  Perfect for grocery shopping, keeping the truck organized, storing extra bed linens, kids toys and so much more!

So, have I sparked any ideas?  Are YOU thinking outside of the box?  Some people will think it is tacky to give a gift of the product you sell but think about how special it will be if it is combined with something they know you picked out just for them.  I mean we all LOVE Thirty One’s products, why not share them with friends, family and co-workers.

What are you doing for “outside of the box” gift giving this holiday season?  I am still looking for a few gift ideas, how about sharing YOUR best company gift idea with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Casual Cargo Bag – Not Just a Diaper Bag

First, my “baby” has turned 30 years old so I definitely don’t need a diaper bag BUT I do LOVE this bag.  I have actually been using it every day for the last few weeks.  It is AMAZING!

For those of you who have been around Thirty One for awhile, you may remember the original Casual Cargo Bag… it was actually the #1 choice by moms in 2014.  Don’t believe me, check out www.babycenter.com.  I know you are wondering why did it go away, right?    Like all good things, it went away and came back even more AMAZING!  How can you improve on great, right?  Well, we did!  

The NEW Casual Cargo Bag is part of Baby by Thirty One.  So, it is officially a diaper bag but it is so much more! It’s an easy-to-wear, everyday canvas cargo tote for anyone who’s on the go. Do you commute to work?  How about travel to practices with the kids?  Spend a lot of time on the road playing mom taxi or for work?  This bag is a great solution!

Let’s start with its extended top handle straps and detachable, adjustable strap which gives you the versatility to wear it as a shoulder bag or a crossbody bag.  It is in a cotton/canvas fabric with a polyester lining.   The crossbody strap let’s you keep your hands free when chasing after the kids.  It has two exterior pockets with magnetic closures which is the perfect spot for your keys or maybe the baby’s binky.  I have my business cards in one along with a note pad to gather potential customers contact information.  I know you are wonder, why didn’t I say these pockets were good for your cell phone.  Because there is actually a cell phone pocket on the outside which will fit most phones including some of the new larger ones.   No need to go digging around in your bag when you are juggling the baby.

Let’s move to the inside which has multiple pockets and LOTS  of space.  My favorite new feature is an interior thermal pocket with a leak lock lining.  This is a great spot to keep a snack and a bottle of water.  I haven’t put it to the test to see how much it can hold but there is quite a bit of room.  It did hold enough snacks/ light food for a recent vendor event.

Also on the side is two flat pockets AND 2 elastic side pockets which are great for bottles or containers of snacks.  Top it off with a zipper closure and you are ready to hit the road with a stylish, yet functional diaper bag.  Did I mention you can have it personalized too?  The best part is when you don’t need a diaper bag any more, it is still a GREAT bag to use every day.  It is roomy but not HUGE.

The next question is – “Is it washable?” I have to admit the company does not recommend washing this item.  They do recommend wiping it with a damp cloth using mild soap only and then air drying.  I will tell you I have customers who have tossed this into the washer on a gentle cycle and air dried it who give it rave reviews when all was said and done.

At a cost of $68, this durable, fun, functional and stylish bag is the perfect gift for the new or soon to be mom.  How about for the college student or even the work at home mom.  If you want to see this product up close – contact me for a product experience (one-on-one product showing) or have a home party where you can get all the things you will want to keep the new nursery neat and tidy…

Whose ready to shop??? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is another Thanksgiving filled with lots of emotions…as usual, I will be spending a lot of time crying.   Tears of gratitude for the blessings of this year mixed with tears of sadness.

This is our second Thanksgiving without my dad.  Since Belinda was a baby, we locked in two holidays which were always spent with dad – Father’s Day and Thanksgiving.  We will be spending the day with my step-mom and extended family but it will be a struggle.  Belinda is in NC celebrating Thanksgiving with her in-laws.  As I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, I struggle with memories of past years filled with high school football games, homecoming floats, dinner at Grams with the entire family.

Today I am counting my blessings….  Blessed to have a supportive hubby, it has been a rough year but he has been my rock.  I am grateful I was able to fix us a mini Thanksgiving dinner on Monday since he is working today.   I am grateful my family is healthy as mom and Sal head off on a cruise..

This Laura Story song is one of my favorites…

Thirty One continues to bless my life and be the thing which keeps me going on those bad days.  Who would have thought 7 plus years ago, a $99 kit would make such a difference in someone’s live?   Over the last 6 months, my business has grown beyond my wildest dreams.  I have an amazing team of women who inspire me with their strength, courage and friendship.  I’m grateful I am still able to earn an income despite the challenges of MS.  I have a multitude of women who have gone from customers and hostesses to friends.  The greatest blessing is the ability to share with those who are struggling by giving back to our community.

Words can’t express how grateful I am today and every day. My wish is each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving – enjoy the time with your friends and family. Cherish the moments for all the years to come.

A Thanksgiving Prayer by Gwen Smith…

Dear Lord:

We come with hearts of gratitude today to bless Your name and to ask that Your hand of blessing would be upon us. THANK YOU, Father, for loving us with an eternal love that stands firm, even when we are unlovable. THANK YOU for being faithful, righteous, holy and just, yet willing to see us, Your children, through divine eyes of compassion, mercy, forgiveness and grace. THANK YOU for being a God of restoration and renewal in the midst of a broken, pain-filled world. THANK YOU for providing for our needs, directing our paths, and establishing our steps.

We acknowledge Your sovereignty, Lord, and freshly submit to Your will today. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our children, grandchildren, marriages, families, and loved ones. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our country, president, governors, senators, representatives, and local officials. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our communities, churches, schools, work places, decisions, and opportunities. Please FILL US with the presence of Your joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, and self control today. HELP US to see as You see and to love as You love. HELP US to serve others humbly for the sake of Your name. HELP US to be light that shines in the darkness. HELP US to follow Your ways and continually seek Your leading.

You are our hope and our strength, Lord. We give you THANKS in all of this and ask for the fullness of Your BLESSING in all these things, according to the power of Jesus Christ who is at work within us through Your Holy Spirit.

Amen

Have a ThirtyOne-derful Thanksgiving!