What is the Link Between Self-Esteem & Technology in Girls?

I am excited to tell you about a groundbreaking study of more than 10,000 U.S. girls which Thirty One Gifts cosponsored with Ruling Out eXperiences, Inc. (ROX).  It is the largest of its kind and revealed surprising information on the role of technology on girls’ self-esteem. I know we have all heard about cyber bullying or “the mean girls” on social media and for some, they say “it won’t be my kid”.  Well, I felt the same way many years ago, until I read something my daughter wrote about being bullied.  You can read the story on my very first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs The Invisible“.

The findings of this study is heartbreaking.  While they give us a glimpse into the raw truth about girls fifth through 12th-grade and their perception, it is also an opportunity for us to look for ways to be mentors and be a positive influence in their lives.

The mission of ROX (Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc.) a Columbus, Ohio-headquartered nonprofit organization is:

TO EQUIP GIRLS WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO LIVE HEALTHY, INDEPENDENT, PRODUCTIVE AND VIOLENCE-FREE LIVES.

ROX announced the findings of their study from The Girls’ Index: New Insights into the Complex World of Today’s Girls a few months ago.  This national survey was taken of 10,678 fifth- through 12th-grade girls with the sole purpose of capturing the girls’ perceptions and experiences around fitting in, body image, peer pressure, academics, friendships and relationships. The report is a comprehensive picture for parents and educators on the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors of girls across the country.  The demographics are from every walk of life – cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic of the school district, and the type for school for a broad spectrum of girls.

The findings of The Girls’ Index include:

#1 Most girls like to be in charge, but self-doubt can impact their pursuit of leadership.  A surprising 46% of the girls reported they don’t say what they are thinking or disagree with other peers.  WHY?   Because they want to be liked with 1 in 3 girls being afraid to be a leader because they don’t want others to think they are bossy.

#2 30% of the girls with the highest grade point averages (4.0 or above),  don’t think they’re smart enough for their dream careers. Despite their high academic achievements, they are still filled with confidence issues.

#3 Girls who spend the most time using technology (8 hrs./day) are 5x more likely to be sad or depressed nearly every day compared to the girls who spend four or fewer hours.  If this isn’t a reason to restrict technology time, I don’t know what is.  Technology and social media greatly impact girls’ relationships, achievement, confidence, mood and school engagement.

#4 By high school, sexting is common and prevalent with 2 out of 3 girls reporting by 12th grade they have been asked to send a sexually explicit photo to another person.  I am so grateful cell phones weren’t popular when my daughter was growing up.

#5  Girls who have strong and trusting friendships with other girls fare better and report significantly lower levels of sadness and depression.

ROX concluded “girls who have strong and trusting friendships fare better, it is crucial girls receive the opportunities and tools they need to forge the positive friendships which safeguard their emotions and experiences.

This study shakes me to my core.  I grew up lacking confidence.  I had friends but not the kind of strong trusting friendships which helped me to battle sadness and depression.  Those emotions and experiences traveled with me through my college years straight through to my years of addiction.  My goal was for my daughter’s life to be different.  She was blessed to have one or two strong, trusting friendships growing up yet on the inside she lacked confidence despite the outward strong appearance.

The bottom line is we as parents, teachers and coaches are missing out on at least half of what girls think, know and believe.  YIKES!  We are losing the creativity, contributions and impact these young girls can make on the world.

As these studies become public, as awareness grows, we have an obligation to do better and a responsibility to make the world a place where girls can feel confident and capable.

Thirty-One Gifts proudly partner with ROX to provide girls with opportunities to talk candidly and openly about their experiences, while arming them with tools to positively and safely use social media, navigate relationships and manage pressure to ultimately develop a positive self-concept. Learn more about ROX, including ways you can get involved, at rulingourexperiences.com.

Share some of the products from Thirty One’s URU collection.  The Be the Give! Littles Carry-All Caddy comes with a special message “Love who you were born to be”.   A great way to encourage and celebrate the young girl in your life for Valentine’s Day or Easter or just as a “thinking of you” gift.  It is also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks and candy.

Won’t you help to make a difference in the live of a young girl?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Stuffed Portabellas

Hungry Girl's Healthy Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Recipe

Thank you Hungry Girl for another YUMMY recipe…

1/2 of recipe (1 stuffed mushroom): 203 calories, 6.5g total fat (3.5g sat fat), 464mg sodium, 15.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 22.5g protein  FreestyleSmartPoints® value 4*

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 20 minutes    MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

2 large portabella mushroom caps (stems removed)
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. light/low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
Dash ground nutmeg
2 dashes each salt and black pepper
4 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped spinach
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Place mushroom caps in the center, rounded sides down. Top with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, ricotta, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and a dash each salt and pepper. Mix until uniform.
  • Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with remaining dash each salt and pepper. Add onion, and cook and crumble until beef is fully cooked and onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium low. Add spinach and tomato/ricotta mixture. Cook and stir until spinach has wilted and mixture is hot, about 1 minute.
  • Cut foil packet to release steam before opening entirely. Remove top foil, and carefully drain excess liquid. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from mushroom caps.
  • Evenly fill mushrooms with filling. Sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake until mushrooms are tender and cheese has melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Top with basil.

What is the best way to enjoy this YUMMY meal again?  Take it for lunch in one of Thirty One’s thermal lunch totes.  How about the Around the Clock Thermal…

Want to know why you’ll love it?  It is great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, poolside, beachfront, golf course, boating, or sporting events. It will fit a 6-pack with a little room for a snack.  The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes clean up easier. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including cross-body for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids’ teachers, and everyone else on the go! Best part… it holds up to 15 lbs. and can be it monogrammed and personalization.

Have a yummy recipe?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Want to Fall in Love with Your Business?

I know you are thinking…. “why be in business, especially direct sales, if you don’t love your products and your company, right?”  Most of us get into direct sales because we fell in love with the product, not because it was “easy money”.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Parent Your Business” where I shared what I learned in a seminar with Caryn Chow.  She talked about the need to parent our business with the acronym meaning:

P = Patience

A = A lot of Love

R = Resilience

E = Endurance

N = Nurture

T = Time Out

During the month of February our theme is LOVE, in all areas of our life.

 

Today we are going to talk about how your business is much like a marriage or a relationship (if you aren’t married, there are still some good tips so keep reading). Not only do we need to PARENT our business but we sometimes we need to fall in love all over again.

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On a leadership call this past week, I was taken back to a time when I had a vision of my goals.  An emotional link to them.  As the story of my journey to leadership was shared, I remember the passion and the emotions tied with reaching the desired goal.

So, here is how your relationship with your direct selling business mirrors a marriage. You have a passion for the products and the company. You are committed for the long haul. You are emotionally attached to the vision and the people. BUT just like a marriage, it’s easy to take your eyes off what you fell in love – maybe the company changes their compensation plan, discontinues your best selling product or your team stops producing which effects YOUR paycheck.  Life happens and the road gets bumpy….

Some will jump ship to another company thinking the “grass is greener” on the other side. Others will continue a downward spiral until their sales are gone, their team is lost and they just quit.  Then there are those who desire to find the spark.  Those who want to ignite the passion in their business.  Those who want to cast their vision into the world and see what happens. Those who want to fight for their business, no holds barred.

Staying in love with your business requires the awareness and determination. How often take stock of how you ‘feel’ about your business?  Negative Nellie is a sneaky devil and she usually shows up when you least expect it.  When the shine begins to dim in your love affair with your business, it’s time to take intentional action.

Here are five things you can do to fall in love again:

  • Create a list of 100 reasons to be grateful for your company. I know it sounds like ALOT.  It is BUT if you push all the way to 100 – you will see something happen.  Believe it or not, the final 25 will be the ones which truly touch your heart.
  • Make a list of all the people who have come into your life through your business. No matter what your reason for joining a direct sales in the beginning, the “sisterhood” is what is a big part of why people remain with their company.  It is a blessing many of us never expected or thought of.  Take time to ponder what “the sisterhood” has added to your life.
  • Review the income you have earned.  Remember, you are in this to make money.  So make a list of all the things it has provided for your family or you were able to pay as a result of the income you earned.  Kids activities, credit card debt, school loans, household bills… get the picture?

  • Look around your home and notice all the places you find your products. Consider how they make your life and your family’s life better.  Remember you are a walking billboard of your business.

  • Make one more list, “How I have grown and changed through my business.”  This one is HUGE for me.

Take time, preferably an entire day, to appreciate your business. When you do, you will remember WHY you fell in love.  Then you will be able to count the many reasons to renew the love affair. You will be refreshed with a renewed passion and ready to get back to work!

My love affair with my business may waiver when Negative Nelly stops to visit.  BUT I am cashing my eyes on my vision and ready to put a plan in place.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4   garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750 mL) uncooked mezze penne pasta
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine such as Chardonnay
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups (300 mL) lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼/50 mL cup packed)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced grilled chicken breasts
  •  oil for spritzing
  •  Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil using the Kitchen Spritzer. Add garlic sliced with Garlic Slicer and tomatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 4–5 minutes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 10–12 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 5 minutes. Meanwhile, use the Herb Mill to grate basil, reserving 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate the cheese with the Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater.
  3. Carefully remove the baker from the microwave and remove the lid, lifting it away from you. Add the basil, cheese, and chicken to baker; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Yield:

  • 8  servings of about 1 cup, excluding optional ingredients

Nutrients per serving:

Nutrients per serving (about 1 cup, excluding optional ingredient): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips:

Additional chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired.

To make this recipe in the Mini Deep Covered Baker, simply divide the ingredients in half and reduce the cook time by 1–2 minutes

Want more recipes to help you change up the boring chicken dinner?  Check out Patti’s website where there is over 250 chicken recipes to spice up your dinner menu.  If your wish  list is bigger than your wallet, host a party to earn free and discounted products.  Just like to shop, check out the monthly customer specials.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Don’t Miss The Beautiful

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message….

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. ~ Hebrews 12:2a, NIV

A few years ago I was invited to speak and sing in Tennessee at a women’s event. To my delight, my daughter Kennedy was able to join me. The two of us are all about “mommy-daughter time” so we were all smiles as we started off on the three and a half hour drive.

Prior to the trip, I had given Kennedy permission to use my iPad to watch a movie. So once we hit the highway, she got cozy with her pillow, her headphones went on, and her attention became fixed on the rectangular screen in front of her. Random giggles floated from my little movie-watcher as I drove and prayed for the event we were heading to.

It was the first week of November, and in the Tar Heel state that’s primetime for fall tree color. Once we past the congested traffic and the hullaballoo of the suburbs, the splendor of God gripped me. Showcased through traces of red, yellow, orange, and brown, the leaves danced in the breeze under the backdrop of a brilliant blue Carolina sky. The trees continued to boast of more and more glory as I neared Virginia… and then the mountains joined in.

Oh, the mountains!

They puffed their chests with the majesty of color and power!

My heart was captured by the glory of it all.

And then I realized that Kennedy was missing it. Ugh!

I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed out the window. “Look around! Lift your eyes and soak in the wonder, sweetie! Don’t miss the beautiful…” I urged.

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She paused her movie and joined in on the beauty moment, totally agreeing that God was showing off with His fall art. Minutes later, she went back to watching her movie as I drove on undone. Wrung out by glory. Overwhelmed by the sacred sanctuary I’d stumbled upon. I stayed in the moment and celebrated the beautiful as the psalmist did in Psalm 96:

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Worship poured from my heart. Splendor and majesty were before both Him and me. I thanked God for the beauty show. And as praise and adoration continued to rise, a God-thought settled on my heart. Tell them, Gwen.

“Tell them what, Lord?” I wondered.

Tell the women what you told Kennedy. Tell them not to miss the beautiful.

Ahhhh, yes! I would tell them, and I would chew on that challenge for days to come. Convicted by questions like: How often do I drive right through the busyness of my days and miss the beautiful? How many moments of glory do I not even see because my eyes are on the mundane? Do I even look for it?

As we dance between the days of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years – as we decorate the doors and the hearths of our homes and communities – let’s be intentional to decorate the doors and the hearths of our hearts with ribbons of God’s grace.

Let’s live with eyes lifted to the Gift of gifts, Jesus Christ.

When we face the stresses of our lists, and our tasks, and our activities, and our heart burdens, let’s commit to remembering that the best present is His presence. He’s our Hope, our Peace, our Joy… our Beautiful.

Don’t miss the beautiful.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!