Thankful Thursday: Expectations

Expectations is defined in the dictionary as “a belief someone will or should achieve something“.  I actually like the NA definition better “Expectations are premeditated resentments”.

Do you have expectations of yourself or others?  I will admit, I have lots of them.  I am working on getting rid of them because they really are the stepping stone for resentment and anger.  So, why then would I be grateful for expectations, right?  Because having them allows me to learn and grow…

imagesLet’s start with the expectations we have for ourselves.  If you are like me, they are pretty high and as a result, I seldom reach the level of perfection I expect of myself.  I know, no one is perfect BUT don’t we set those milestones for ourselves.  Thinking we can handle everything, juggling all the balls in the air – motherhood, work, life, and whatever else comes our way.  The word “NO” seldom escapes from our lips because we “expect” we will be able to everything.  Self expectations allow my inner gremlins to have a field day in my head. Expectations  of others  leaves  me  feeling  frustrated,  angry  and disappointed.  Whether it is business or in love, setting expectations whether they be realistic or not is a setup for disaster.  If  the  words  would  of,  could  of  or  should  of  are  part  of  sentence,  I know I am  in  trouble.

Whether you grew up in a house with demanding parents or would strive every day to meet someone else’s expectations,  somewhere along the way, you lost what it was like to be kind to yourself.  You became a slave to expectations and now it is time to change and be kind to YOU!

#1: Change How You Treat Yourself

I know it is easier said then done.  I’ve been there and on some days am still there.  Can’t imagine being nice to yourself – why not begin by expressing kindness to someone or something you love such as a pet (or a someone special).  Easy right?  Don’t you deserve the same treatment? Try this mantra:

May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.

OR write one of your own.  Then practice saying it.  Start by repeating it for thirty seconds. Embrace the feelings the words invoke.  The longer you can embrace these feelings, the quicker you’ll reap the benefits.  Start and end your day with these to see what a difference in makes in your life.

#2: What You Say Limits You

Maybe on the surface, you are being nicer to yourself, but deep down the inner gremlin is judging you.   It’s true – we judge, and we label, sometimes without even realizing it. What we do to other people is the same thing we do to ourselves.

So every time you have a negative label for someone, come up with at least six different reasons that would stop the label.  It isn’t easy.  The truth is if you can be less judgmental toward other people, you can do the same for yourself.

#3: What You Say Can Belittle You

When was the last time you said “How can I be so stupid? ” or, “OMG what a screw-up! Could I not make a bigger mess of things? ” or, “Why do I do this to myself? I’m such an idiot!”  This is all about not meeting your own personal expectations and how you react.

Despite my best efforts, my inner gremlins love beating me up for every mistake, failure, or setback, real or imagined. Then a little angel voice screams, “Not being very kind to yourself, are you?”

SMACK!  The reality hits nothing is a total failure. There is always something to be positive about.  Find it in whatever the situation is.  Replace those harsh words with positive thoughts.  By doing so,  you will change those demanding expectations.

These small changes are so powerful.  They help you stop being a victim of your own expectations and allow you to  treat yourself kinder.  You realize judging other people is so closely aligned with the labels and limitations we put on ourselves.  Seeing the positives in what may appear as a failure will allow you to cut yourself some slack.

Change is hard!  Changing behaviors are challenging.  The truth is,  if I can do this, you certainly can!

It all begins with a practice taking less than a minute, six times a day showering yourself with loving-kindness.

It’s easy to start. It’s easy to do. Just repeat after me:

“May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.”

Have a blessed day!

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.

 

13087470_1043041325735019_2138704875780846914_n

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!

July is Sizzling…

 

It is July, and here at the Jersey shore things are heating up.  The temps are rising.  The “shoobies” are at the shore for the 4th of July holiday.  The roads are congested and the wait for just about anything is crazy.  No need to wait for July’s awesome Thirty One Customer Special.

Have you seen the summer catalog with the NEW Summer Prints?  Maybe you like to camp or farm or maybe your style is off roadin’.  Maybe you are a mermaid fan or dinosaurs are more the hot trend in your house.  I myself am partial to the cactus cuties.  For those of you who just like a pop of color, the lollipop stripe and the polka dot pop are great compliments to Thirty One’s other Spring/Summer prints.

There is some HUGE news in July…………….

Check out this month’s Customer Special.  I know it is a little early to think “back to school”, right?  I mean the summer just started!  BUT July is when you can grab one of 8 lunch sized thermals for just $10 or $15 with a $35 purchase!

Would you like to be grab one of the newest family thermals for just $20????  When you host a $600 party in July, you can get the Family Picnic Thermal.  It is AMAZING!  It has a leak lock lining so you can use bags of ice to keep you drinks cold while out on the hot summer beach.

Check out some of these NEW Thirty One products from the Summer Seasonal Guide.  These items are only available through the end of August, so be sure to grab yours NOW!

I know you have no time to host a party – everyone is on vacation, too busy with the kids.  The list is a mile long with reasons why you can’t.  What if I told you, you can and it is easy.  At the baseball field – I will come there.  At the pool – I will come there.  No big presentation, just a party on the go – complete in about 1 hour.  OR how about an online party?  We can do a Facebook party LIVE  in one hour!  Everyone shops from the comfort of their home….

Maybe you are thinking…. I can do what she does.  I could use an extra $300 per month to help with bills or have for the kids activities or save (whatever your reason), then join my team, the Rays of Hope.  Join now and earn LOTS of perks along with your commission check.  I will be there to help you every step of the way.

 

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!

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!