Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Pigs Can Fly

I’m sure you are tired of the turkey leftovers by now, right?  I mean you can only eat so much turkey, so many different ways…..

Last week was the first Saturday in a LONG time I didn’t have a vendor event.  Crazy, right?  But sometimes a girl just needs to take a break.  I did stop by a few of them and was excited to run into my friends from “Wicked Good Spices“.  I shop with them all summer long when they are at the Brick Farmer’s Market so it was nice to get to catch up with them.  They shared this yummy recipe with me


1 – 10 lb Boston Shoulder Pork Butt (rinsed and patted dry)

1 head of garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 large onion (peeled and cut into wedges)

4 TBSP of “pigs can fly” Wicked Good Spice Blend

1/3 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar



  1.  Place all ingredients in a 6 quart crock pot
  2. Set crock pot to High for 30 minutes, then turn down to Low for 8 hours
  3. Pork is done when it falls away from the bone
  4. Remove pork from crock pot and reserve 1 cup of juice
  5. Shred pork with two forks
  6. Add any BBQ say you prefer and add juice back into the pork
  7. Serve on rolls with coleslaw, red onion and ranch dressing.

Thinking ahead to Super Bowl parties, this would make a great party dish.  Take it along to a covered dish party as well.  How will you travel with it?  Use ThirtyOne’s Fresh Market Thermal to carry your crockpot.  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes . A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a favorite recipe? Share it with me and if I put it in my blog, you will receive a free gift from me!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

5 Years of Love


Five years ago, I married my soul mate. It doesn’t seem possible. Together for almost 15 years – WOW!  Our story seems like a fairy tale…


Rob and I had what some many call a “unique” love story. Hang in there if you have already heard this…

We dated the summer before High School. From two different schools – he was Neptune and I was Ocean Township. Two competitive schools from very different backgrounds.  We didn’t care because we were happy until school started. I made new friends, joined clubs and found what I thought was a “new interest”. So, I ended our summer romance.

Fast forward 30 years to July 2000.  Rob is driving in the Monmouth/Ocean County area and saw a roadside tribute that said “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure that it wasn’t me. Really??? Well, he spent about a year hunting me down.  I get a note in the mail with an email address in July 2001. A little skeptical but I sent an email and as they say – the rest is history.

In October 2001, after 4 months of emailing, Rob drove to Atlantic County to visit me at a craft show. I didn’t want a relationship. I was content for it to be “Belinda and I” till she went to college. He was divorced and wasn’t looking either. We agreed to be friends.

Rob spent that day with me selling our hand made American Girl doll clothes. He helped me pack up and we went back to my house for dinner. We spent hours just talking and reconnecting. He even showed me a picture of me that he kept  all these years. Over the next 5 years, Rob traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us. He went to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.  I am not sure when but we realized that God had brought us together for a reason…. to be a family.

Our second Christmas, Rob proposed! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life – high school, a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known. She is the daughter that he never had.

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for Miss Independence. I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there.

Our wedding day was beautiful surrounded by family and close friends. It started off a little shaky – Pastor got stuck in traffic.  Then my Mom was running late because of traffic.  Who would have thought that my daughter would be the picture of calm as my Maid of Honor. I was a tad nervous. Really, I was!!!

3 generations at wedding

As I walked down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out and the pictures show the slight look of panic. It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those that meant the most to us.


The last five years have been filled with tears of happiness and sadness. We have learned the meaning of “in sickness and in health“. We have learned the art of compromise.   We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?

There is nothing that I would different and if Rob asked me again, I would marry him in a heartbeat.

Thank you for being there through the good times and the bad. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you for being my solid rock when I am ready to roll down the cliff. Thank you for being my cheerleader when I think I can’t go on any longer. I love you more than words can say and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you.

Happy Anniversary!!!

Business Tips and Tricks

Holiday Bazaars – Love them or Hate Them?


Happy Saturday!  It is the first Saturday in November and the first of many weekends filled with Holiday Vendor events.  I LOVE doing vendor events well they used to be called craft shows.  I have about 30+ years experience in craft shows.  I am now an “Angel” crafter.  I love making angels – with bells, as ornaments, and in plastic canvas. This is just one of the styles…

angel ornament

Yes, I squirreled.  Today I am in Farmingdale sharing the gift of Thirty One:

sat 11 7

As a direct seller it is a great way to meet new people, expand your customer base, book a few parties and who knows maybe even recruit a new team member.  Did you notice that I didn’t say “sell some products”? I know it sounds crazy but the truth is that I never go to a vendor event with the thought of “selling”.  Thirty One – like most direct sales companies – is a party plan business. Yes, we love the retail orders.  Yes, we love to sell at events.  The truth is that “face to face” is “heart to heart”.  The more people we share our products with in the form of a party, the bigger our business will grow.

According to Lynn Bardowski, Million Dollar Party Girl, here are some basic questions to ask BEFORE you commit to doing a vendor event:

  1. Is this the first time you’re holding the event?  If not, how many attendees did you have last year?
  2. Who attends (Moms, families, etc…)? Note: Pets and children are big distractions.  If you decide to do one with children, have something for them – stickers, coloring sheets, etc.
  3. What kind of marketing are you doing for the event?
  4. Do you have a Facebook event page I can share and post my website link on?
  5. How many vendors total (be wary of too many vendors)?
  6. Will you provide a table? If yes, what size is it? 
  7. Is there a fee? Note: Most will ask for a table fee ($25 – $30 avg) or a % of sales, and  a $25 door prize donation. I prefer a % of sales because it only costs you money if you make money. Everything is negotiable. Ask if you can donate a % of sales instead of an upfront fee before you say yes.
  8. Are you going to have duplicate vendors (more than one of a product type or industry)? This is a no-no in must direct sales companies per their Policies and Procedures.
  9. Tell me about your school/group/charity…how many active members do you have? (The more active members, the more successful the vendor event will be.)
  10. Do you have access to electricity and/or wireless internet?

For me, the most important thing is foot traffic.  If there is foot traffic then I have an opportunity to share the gift of my business with everyone that walks by my table.  The truth is that when I changed my perspective from “getting sales” to “making contacts”, I found that I had sales.  Relationships are the key to every direct selling business.  You start building those relationships at the event and then continue them as you do follow-up.  Remember the “money is in the follow-up“.  If you don’t plan on following up with people, why are you taking their information, right?

Did you know that 70% of direct sellers will make 80% of their money during the holiday season?  Don’t get me wrong, that is GREAT but wouldn’t you like that business to carry throughout the year?  Use vendor events as a stepping stone to build relationships and your business so that you can make money all year long.

What is your best tip for a successful vendor event?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Tips for a Successful Vendor Event


I LOVE the fall…. time for hoodies, jeans, boots and LOTS of craft/vendor events.  I am a crafter at heart so when I started in direct sales, I wanted to figure out the best way to use these for my business.  I can remember telling my sponsor “I am only going to do vendor events, no home parties for me”.  Well that worked for sales in the first year since I was still working a crazy busy work schedule.  When I decided that I wanted Leadership, craft/vendor events took on a whole new meaning.

They went from being all about the sales to all about getting outside of my own circle and building leads with potential customers, hostesses and team members.  Don’t get me wrong, sales are GREAT but they are the cherry on top of the cake.

Here are some tips for making the most of your next vendor event:

1. ARRIVE EARLY.  I love being early.  I know that it only takes me about a half hour to set up but arriving early has its perks.  Honestly, some event coordinators don’t pre-assign tables which gives you a chance to scope out the best spot.  I ALWAYS take an end spot.  Being early will give you more time for unloading and booth setup, and less problems with parking.   The best thing for me about arriving early is that I get to walk the event before it starts, talk to other vendors while they are setting up and maybe even help them.  It is my social time before the event begins.

2.  STAY FOR THE WHOLE EVENT.  We have all been at shows where things are slow or there isn’t a lot of foot traffic but I  NEVER leave an event early.  It is simply bad form to be packing up and leaving, while customers may still be browsing other booths. You never know who might stop by, and the end of events is often the time that vendors network with other vendors.  Some of my best customers of the day could be other vendors.

3.  STAND WHEN POSSIBLE. First impressions are lasting impressions. This is the best way to engage with your customers, move about your booth freely, and present the best possible, positive experience.  You will be able to pull product more easily, or direct to various display pieces that might be of interest to passers by.  Remember that direct sales is about building relationships.  You can’t build relationships if you are buried behind the table reading a book until someone asks you a question.

4. NETWORK WITH OTHER VENDORS.  Vendors will often refer events to other vendor friends. Talk to vendors around you.  You might not gain customers, but at least you’ll gain relationships that may yield future event leads.  Networking with other vendors is a great thing to do when the event traffic is slow.  I always offer them a discount if they place an order – who knows where a $5 coupon could lead.

5. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS.  I know that this may be a no brainer, BUT how many times have you seen a vendor sitting behind their booth, staring at their phone , and NOT engaging with their customers?  I don’t mean give them a sales pitch.  I mean a simple “hello” or “how is your day” or if they hesitate at my table, I usually ask them “what caught your eye”.  Greet each passerby and invite them to view your product and display.  Ask open ended questions to start a dialogue that will hopefully move into building a relationship. Ask a question then LISTEN!

6.  OFFER A WAY TO COLLECT CUSTOMER INFORMATION.  Remember the money is in the follow-up so the primary goal at a vendor event is hostess, customer, and team member leads.  Offer a raffle entry or a drawing where all your leads can enter and provide their contact information.  People like the chance to win.  Then, be sure to follow-up with those leads within a reasonable amount of time.


Vendor events are what you make of them.  No matter how “bad” they may seem on the surface, you want to make an impression on the event coordinator, the other vendors and your customers.  You want to be known as someone who is respectful, reliable, and relational.  Believe it or not, you will soon build a network of other vendors who will invite you to participate in future events.  You can ROCK your vendor events, just by being a good vendor!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!