Hope Wissel

How It All Started: Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible

I know it is Tuesday and we usually do a Tastefully Tuesday BUT this is a milestone for me.  I swear it has been longer BUT the internet doesn’t lie, right?  LOL.  So, 9 years ago today I took the first step towards blogging.  For those who don’t know the story………it was a challenge issued by the AMAZING Vanessa Coppes to step out of my comfort zone.  Well, I did it!  It was the start to a daily  blog posting for many years.  Since MS, I have cut back to about once a week but I’m excited to be writing again.

My heart breaks that this still goes on today.  Bullies come in all shapes & sizes; young & old.  If you know someone who is making you uncomfortable in your surroundings (home, work or neighborhood)… guess what you are being BULLIED!  No one deserves to live like this…. With the advancement of social media, the bullying techniques have changed; sadly it now is more prevalent than ever before.

This is MY first every blog post… yes there are grammar mistakes, yes there are some typos.  I didn’t change anything about it because it was from the heart ❤ and I wanted to share my heart with you………

I just wanted to share how “bullying” can be hidden by our children. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, it just means that you may have taught your child coping skills to help deal with the bullying from school mates. Bear with me as I share some background information..

As a single mom for 14 years who worked full-time trying to provide all of the things that I had when I was growing up and more for my daughter, Belinda. Isn’t that every parent’s wish – to give their child more?  I moved to a double wide trailer in a trailer park in an area that had a good school district, lots of children my daughter’s age and it was affordable.  My daughter was involved in a lot of activities outside of school – first competitive gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheering. This was my way of making sure Belinda stayed away from the “wrong crowd”. She went to public school until she was a Sophomore in HS when she asked to be changed to a private Christian school where our Pastor’s family taught and went to school. Her reasons made sense so we juggled the budget and Belinda graduated from Pilgrim Academy – smiling, happy, ready for college & still living in the trailer park. Belinda traveled 13 hours to go college – Western Carolina University. I was heart-broken that she was so far away but after the first semester, she excelled – graduated with honors in the Honors College program.

Here is when the “clueless mom” found out what had really been happening…My daughter is a social worker that loves working with troubled kids. As she was preparing her applications for grad school for her Masters in Macro-Social Work, she had to write some essays as to why she felt she would belonged in this field. Since I am a grant-writer, she asked me to review her essays (like she usually did) to check grammar, etc. This is when I found out the “horror” of my daughter’s school years….

Belinda recounts many tales of verbal abuse from school mates because we lived in a trailer park that as the years passed became like the “projects” of the Township. She only invited her closest friends back to our house for sleep overs, parties, etc. I never really thought about it since I was working, juggling her activities and making sure that her homework was done. The truth was very few parents wanted their children to come over because of where we lived – not necessarily our home but the neighborhood. Belinda talks about how people used to call her “trailer trash”. The outside sports activities along with my example of what a strong woman could do is what she attributes to her success. Some called her a “snob” because she was involved in outside sports.  Then when she became active in church, more verbal abuse came.  Some of her friends from the trailer park fell into the lives that people expected – sexually active, lots of unsupervised parties, drugs, alcohol and more. I was blessed, Belinda didn’t do any of that. 

Many believe that if I was clueless about the verbal abuse, I would be clueless about everything else…My daughter and I had and still have an amazing relationship. When I asked her why she never told me, her response “I didn’t want to hurt you because I knew you were doing the best you could. The material things didn’t matter because you were always there for me”. My daughter has amazing attributes – self confidence, speaks her mind (sometimes without tack) and is forever looking to help the underserved youth in her community.  She tells me on a regular basis how she hopes to accomplish all that I have both professionally and personally. 

I wanted to share this to let people know that bullying isn’t always visible, it can happen to any child. As I travel back to our old hometown, I look around and ask my husband – was I that “clueless” about what life was like. His response is always the same – “You did what you had to do to make sure that Belinda had everything she needed even if it wasn’t always what she wanted. As a result, she is a bright, intelligent & confident woman who wants to take on the world to make it a better place”.

Thank you for taking the time to read this….share this with someone who may need to know they are not alone….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge



It’s the time of the year when we all give and receive: gadgets, toys, perfumes… our time. While in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, some of us tend to fall into a bit of a rut. Don’t! Here are 3 things you can do today towards feeling the warmth in your heart not just during the Holidays, but every day of your life!
Instant gratification is on high alert, with all the deals and steals we’re being bombarded with every second around this time of the year, it’s hard not to feel the pressure! Feeling whole is a daily exercise in self discovery and self awareness and when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change:
Step 1: See the world as an abundant, providing, friendly place.  When you see the world as abundant and friendly, your intentions are genuine possibilities. They will become a certainty, because your world will be experienced from a world that provides rather than restricts. You’ll see a world that wants you to be successful and abundant, rather than one that conspires against you.
Step 2: Affirm: I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am. This puts you in harmony with your Source. Your goal is to eliminate any distance between what you desire and that from which you pull it into your life. Abundance and success aren’t out there waiting to show up for you. You are already it, and the Source can only provide you with what it is, and, consequently, what you already are.
Step 3: Stay in an attitude of allowing. Resistance is disharmony between your desire for abundance and your beliefs about your ability. Allowing means a perfect alignment. An attitude of allowing means that you ignore efforts by others to dissuade you. It also means that you don’t rely on your  ego-oriented beliefs about abundance being a part of or not a part of your life. Picture the abundance you desire freely flowing directly to you. Take a moment to bask in the laughter and cheer created by the people and things around you…that will be your daily fuel!
Thank you Vanessa Coppes.  I find that when I follow these 3 steps my life continues to be blessed in ways that I would never have imagined and as a result, I am able to bless others.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Hope Wissel

Confused by Style

I talk about my “style” or “fashion”  or should I say lack of both a lot.  I look with envy at those who seem to be able to pull an outfit together with little effort.  I am grateful for the help with some AWESOME shirts from Marina of The Virtuous Closet but I still get stuck.  I was grateful for an article that appeared online in BellaNYC Magazine entitled MAKING STYLE SIMPLE by Kara Wahlgren .  This is excerpts from the article that gives me hope that I might actually be able to pull together an outfit and develop my own personal style.

Everyone has their own unique look, but what draws one person to casual comfort and another to haute couture? Find out what factors influence your fashion sense – and how to find a personal style that truly flatters you. From Jennifer Aniston’s low-key Cali style to Victoria Beckham’s sky-high heels and skin-tight dresses, celebrities have a look they’re known for. But developing your personal style isn’t always an easy task. If you’ve ever changed your outfit six times before heading out the door, you know how overwhelming fashion can be. Luckily, pinning down your personal style doesn’t have to be a painful process. We asked three local style experts how to find – and flaunt – your own signature look. 

 Assess your personal taste. The first step to developing your personal style is to figure out what you’re drawn to. Natalie Tincher, founder of the image consulting firm Buttoned Up in New York City, asks clients a few key questions to help them define their personal style: “What is your current go-to outfit and what do you like about it? What brands or celebrities are you drawn to? What parts of your body do you like to accentuate or camouflage?” Asking yourself these questions will help you ignore the fads and focus on what you really like. 

Make comfort look chic.  Self-expression and comfort can go hand in hand. You don’t need to wear stilettos to the grocery store to be stylish. “There is a happy medium between being comfortable and still feeling put-together,” says Valerie Halfon, a personal shopper at ShopWithVal.com. “Wear color. When you color-coordinate, even your gym clothes will look well-thought-out. Take a simple outfit to the next level with a scarf or statement necklace. 

Don’t be tempted by trends.  The key is to adapt the trends to fit your style, rather than changing your style every time a new trend comes along. “It’s never good to chase a style that doesn’t feel comfortable or doesn’t flatter your body type,” Tincher says. Before you buy a trendy item, she cautions, “Make sure you can make at least three outfits by pairing it with items you already own.” This will help you gauge whether it really complements your style. 

Recognize a style rut when it happens. As long as your style reflects who you are, it won’t take long for your new look to become your signature look.

My go to outfit is always a pair of jeans (blue and colored) and a nice top.  Time to invest in some statement jewelry and a few scarves to add style to my outfit.  Not good with heels but I do LOVE my shoe boots that have a small heel.  Going out to do some shopping this weekend in between my vendor events and parties.

What is your go to outfit?  Are you tempted by trends?  Share your style tips with all of us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#hope  #hopes31