Hope Inspires

The Gift of Time

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you (Luke 6:38, NLT)

This has been a CRAZY year to say the least….. Yet, the countdown to Christmas is still on and you can see the panicked faces of the shoppers even in the grocery store.  I know you are thinking “how can you tell when everyone is wearing a mask”…. Watch as they leave the stores and take the mask off.  Look and SMILE at people as you are sitting at a traffic light.  You will see the stress on their face.

Everyone is worried about so many things this year……..finances, COVID, and this “new way of life”.  Christmas is still for the children, I know the presents are not the true meaning but explain it to a small child who has been watching TV and seeing Santa bring gifts.  So we shop online hoping to pick out the right gift for that someone special.

Can I tell you in some ways I am grateful Belinda is grown.  Yes, the gifts are a little bit more expensive but they are also a lot more practical.  Yes, I miss the wide eyed excitement of Christmas morning – I mean who wouldn’t, right? They are memories I struggle to remember but am grateful for the pictures.

Over the last 13 years, since Belinda left for college in North Carolina, our family has dwindled in size – the real meaning of Christmas as started to shine through.  It is sad it took death, separation, recovery and major health issues to make me begin to see the real meaning of Christmas.  Yes, we went to church.  Yes, we sang all of the traditional Christmas carols.  Yet, I still was worried about finding the perfect gift for everyone.  My hubby’s family is not big on gift giving once someone turns 18 years old so we used to call him the “Grinch”.  They would gather for holidays to spend time with each other and gave of their time.  The true gift one can give someone…

I re-read a devotion on ibelieve.com to help me remember to give the gifts which truly matter this year – the gift of time, encouragement and prayer.  I think back to the days when I used to make everyone’s holiday gift – holiday table runners, recipe rolodex, ornaments, etc.  It was done because I didn’t have the money to spend on presents but I think some of them were the best gifts. I took the time to think of each person and what would mean something to them.  I still like to do the handcrafted gifts, but I am not always the one making them.  I have been blessed with friends who make some amazing things so it makes shopping a little easier.

The gift of time is probably the most precious gift to give someone.  In this crazy COVID world, we need to take more time for our family and friends whether it is in-person or on zoom, skype or facetime.  I have learned the importance of “seeing” people instead of just talking to them.  You can truly get a sense for how people are when you see them – how well we jump to use the word “fine” when we are emailing or talking on the phone.

Being an absolute introvert, giving the gift of time to friends is a struggle.  Probably sounds crazy since I am in direct sales, right?  I am quite content to stay home seeing family.   Yet I know, it is not good for my mental health or my recovery.  The days I like myself are okay but on those off days, my mind can really beat me up.   What about you?  During these crazy times, are you learning to love yourself so you can freely give the gift of time to friends and family?

This year is the first year in our new home.  New traditions. Missing Belinda and wishing she were home even though she visited in July.  Life has had its ups and downs for all of us the last few months.  I’m grateful for FaceTime and the time we spend together.  Grateful for the time spent with Mom and the fact we are now closer so we can do things together.

The gift of time and encouragement – more precious than any material gift.  Who do you know who would love these two gifts from YOU?  Take a moment and remember the true gift of Christmas didn’t come wrapped up in a box with a fancy bow.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

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!

Hope Wissel

Holiday Road Trip Survival Guide

 

This week starts one of the busiest travel period of the year…

Why this week?  In NJ, it is teacher’s convention add to that Election Day  and it makes for a week (or almost a week) off from school for the kids.  Next up is Thanksgiving then Christmas.

What about the weekend trips to see the leaves change?  This is what I think about hitting the road…. So, whether you’re going away for a long weekend or just a day, road trips can definitely add to the holiday joy – and stress. But from packing to snacking, Thirty-One has some helpful tips that will have you looking forward to the journey as much as the destination!

 

Savvy packing

My husband always jokes about the packing skills.  I can fit LOTS of stuff into a small space and still see out the back window.  It comes from all of the trips to cheering competitions and craft shows.  Organized packing can mean fewer bags, and fewer bags means more room to stretch your legs on the long car ride! For your clothes and other essentials, load up a couple of All Packed Duffles or Fold-Over Weekenders. These travel bags are just the right size for holidays away, and their soft edges mean you can squeeze several into your trunk more easily than boxy suitcases.

Blankets and pillows are road trip essentials, whether they’re for napping on the way to your destination or extra bedding once you get there. Instead of letting your backseat become a sea of blankets, fold and store bedding in a Large Utility Tote (LUT) in your trunk so it’ll be easy to access during pit stops. You’ll be all set to snuggle up by the fire with family and friends, and LUTs are also great for keeping all of those carefully wrapped gifts safe and sound!

Packing toiletries for travel is always tricky, but the Fold Up Family Organizer is a great option to store all your bottles and brushes. The clear zipper pockets make it easy to see what’s where without products falling out during the drive.

Smart snacking

Packing snacks can help you save money and time on the road. Juice boxes, string cheese sticks and fruit like grapes or apple slices are all easy, no-mess snacks for kids and adults alike, and they fit perfectly in the Fresh Market Thermal. This cooler keeps all your food and drinks secure during long road trips and then folds up nicely once its empty, giving you even more leg room. Or, load it up with holiday leftovers for the trip home!

Holiday gatherings usually mean food and lots of it. Whether you’ve whipped up a tasty casserole or some decadent desserts, bring something special to the table with our Perfect Party Set. Just the right size to tuck securely under a seat, this cooler helps you transport all your hard holiday work safely to the table.

Activity tracking

Nothing makes time fly like keeping yourself occupied during a road trip. If you’re looking for some inspiration to help pass the time while travelling, try out these ideas:

  • Audio books or podcasts are a great option if passengers have differing music tastes, and they still let the driver be involved! Download a couple of funny podcast episodes or holiday-themed books before your trip to switch things up from the radio.
  • Plan fun pit stops. If you’re going to be spending hours in the car, map out some fun stopping points that will give you an excuse to get out and stretch your legs. Check online before you depart to see if there are any monuments, bakeries or nature sites along your route.
  • Journal challenges: Get the kids’ creative juices flowing! Give each passenger a Journal Trio journal and some pencils. Throughout the trip, call out challenges like “draw a picture of Grandma’s house” or “make up a story about what Santa does the day after Christmas.” It’s fun for kids to share what they’ve come up with, but it’s also fun for you to think up the challenges!
Fashion hacking

A long car ride in your most stylish holiday outfit? After a few miles, those scratchy sequins might make you wish you had opted for sweats. Instead, travel fashionably (and comfortably) by taking your basics and dressing them up with JK by Thirty-One jewelry! Add a little sparkle to a plain sweater with the bold Fringed & Fabulous Necklace or a dainty pair of Gallery Earrings. You’ll feel comfortable and ready to celebrate as soon as you roll up to that holiday party.

Keeping your jewelry secure and organized while travelling can save lots of time, headaches and untangling in the long run. Jewelry organizers like the Baubles & Bracelets Case are perfect for separating delicate chains from dangling earrings so that you can have yourself a stylish little holiday.

When you’re taking a holiday road trip, every item needs to pull double duty, and that includes your handbag! Travel in style with classics like the Organizing Shoulder Bag or the new Colorblock Tote. These fashionable additions complete any outfit, and no one needs to know that you’ve tucked extra socks or toiletries inside!

What hacks help you travel during the holidays? Let us know with the #thirtyone hashtag!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

How to Find Balance with Vacation Veronica

Today is the last day of school for many so enter Vacation Veronica.  You have consistently been working your business and along comes the “Double J” months.  The kids are on vacation.  The pool is calling.  The sun is enticing you.  Those inner gremlins taunt you with “you deserve a break”, “you worked hard” or “no one wants to shop during the summer”.  Yup, we have all heard or thought those things, right?  What will it hurt to take a few weeks off?  I will jump right back in when the kids are back in school.  Been there, done that and the results were not pretty.

Summer living is easy, at least here at the Jersey shore unless you are fighting traffic from all of the “shoobies”.  Pools, picnics, gardening, homemade ice cream, life at the beach, on the lake, and the lazy days of summer are what we want our lives to be full of, right?

Most adults have to work a JOB, so all of the fun summer things are squeezed into weekends or vacation.  For those who have their own business, there are BIG choices to make. Sometimes, it is hard to remember our “business is flexible, not optional”, especially if you want to get paid!

I know it is the end of June and we still have the whole summer to go, right?  What are you going to do with your business?

Have you mentally put your business on hold?  Are you going to do it all summer?  Sure you can BUT how is it going to effect your customers, your team, and maybe even your company.

We often talk about “vacations” during the holiday months, right?  I can’t be the only one who finds it hard to work between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We tend to take a “holimonth instead of a holiday”. Not good for your business then and certainly not good during the summer.

Think about the excuses everyone has about not working their business during the year:

  • July/August – Summer time is vacation time, fun time. Who wants to work when everyone else is enjoying summer fun
  • September/October – Back to School and sports
  • November/December – holiday times.
  • January – No one has any money because they spent it all on gifts
  • April  – Easter or Spring Break
  • June – Graduations, weddings, end of school year parties, etc.

Do you see the pattern?  So, if you don’t have a plan, you can end up working your business maybe two months out of the year.  I don’t know about you but I definitely would have to work 24/7 to make sure I made enough money to pay the bills all year long.  No one says you can’t enjoy lots of vacation time when you have your own business, you just need to have a plan.

Here are the 5W’s of Direct Sales which helped me keep “Vacation Veronica” away:

  1. WHO will I share this with? Who will have my next show?
  2. WHAT do I want my business to provide for me? What is my vision? What difference do I want to make in this world?
  3. WHEN will I make time for my work and for my family?
  4. WHERE will I be in one year? Where is my time best spent right now?
  5. WHY am I really doing this? WHY does this bring me joy?

When I keep the answers to these questions in front of me, Vacation Veronica doesn’t have a chance to get me sidetracked. I am not saying we don’t all need a break but let’s put it in perspective. If you owned your own store-front and took a month off, don’t you think it would be hard to get back into the swing of things. What if you work a full-time job and took a month off? Would you want to go back to work and when you did, wouldn’t you still have vacation brain?

When you imagine your summer, think about what you want, and create an intentional plan.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours.  Take a break and enjoy your family and friends but don’t neglect your business.  If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you?  So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

The Night Before Christmas

It is Christmas Eve day….. the hustle and bustle is reaching immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Some are nursing hangovers from the holiday office parties.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

Tonight will be dinner with my step-mom and half sister.  A chance to share special memories of holidays with dad. Christmas Day will be spent with mom and Sal, dinner out embracing the special moments.  Just another indication the times are changing.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash before me.

The years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree. It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room. It always made for a lot of laughs. Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents. The early morning calls to wake everyone up. The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up. Really, on Christmas morning???? Opening presents was a process which took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift. We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for our family over the next year.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans. You have blessed this year for me in so many ways…