Hope Wissel

Thankful Thursday


Today I am introducing my new “GIVE BACK WITH ME” program.  Before you skip over this thinking it is just another sales pitch, please give me just a moment of your time.

I want to share with you a story – for those that follow my blog, this may be a refresher but I think it bears repeating….

Many years ago, when I was struggling in my addiction someone made a difference in my daughter’s life. They didn’t judge her because of the bad decisions that I made as a mom. They didn’t judge her because of where we lived. They didn’t judge her PERIOD. They opened their arms and their heart to her. I decided that when I was able – I would make a difference in the lives of other children. There are many children who are struggling because of no fault of their own.

Yes, I am a recovering addict of 25 years.  Yes, I made some horrible decisions that made an impact on my daughter.  I am blessed that she has turned out to be an AMAZING woman who now makes a difference in the lives of others everyday as a Social Worker.

When I was with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance, I started a children’s program that was once a month. This was a time for kids to be kids.  There was art and music therapy.  There was games.  There was gifts.  All designed to take them away from the stress of their lives – yes, kids have stress too. They worry about their parents.  They keep secrets about bullying.  They often learn early how to survive when things are tough.  And unfortunately, sometimes they are never allowed to be a kid.

As I moved on from SJAA, kids remained my heart.  Wanting to make them feel special.  Wanting them to know that despite the craziness of life, they could still be kids.  Now, I am blessed to have my own business and I have the chance to bless others.

To me, the greatest success I can have in my business is knowing that I did what I could to make a difference in another’s life.  I know that may sound like a lot of “fluff” but that is what gets me up every day and keeps me mouthing.

Every month from nominations received by YOU – my customers, my readers, my friends and my family – I will send a “You are AWESOME” zipper pouch to a child that YOU want to bless.  I will select 1 child per month.  The zipper pouch will contain some goodies as well as a letter as to why they are receiving this gift from YOU!  Nominations can be made monthly through my blog page


Won’t you help to make a difference in the life of a child?  Complete the form below:

OR email me at HopeWs31@gmail.com with your nomination…

In addition, every month a local organization will be the recipient of a monetary donation.  I will donate a portion of my commission every month to that organization from YOU my customers.  I am so excited to be kicking this off in August

Let’s bring hope and a smile to a child, reminding them that they are special and worthy.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Clear the Clutter

A Scrapbook of the Future


I have just come home from an AMAZING Thirty One National Conference.  This is just a “few” of the friends that I got to hang out with on The Beacon of Hope team.  I am reflecting on all that I heard and realize that this was life changing in so many ways for me.


This year’s theme was “What Matters Most?”.  If you were asked that question, how would you answer it.  Would you say: Family, Faith, Friends, kids, work, travel, or giving back?  For me, it is faith, family and friends.  But I realized that if I looked at where I spend most of my time, it was definitely NOT in that order OR on those 3 things.

What about you…. do you spend your time on the things that matter most to you?  Are you juggling lots of balls (tasks)?  At the end of the day, is your energy drained and you have nothing to give to the things that matter most?  I have been there.  I know what that is like. I actually thought that when I left my crazy full-time job things would be different.  I would have time for the 3 things that matter most to me.  WOW!  Was this weekend an eye opener when I realized that I was so far from where I wanted to be.


I know that many of you have heard of vision boards and if you are like me, maybe you have been unsure what to put there.  Maybe you have even avoided them.  Maybe you put the things on there that you “thought” should be there.  Maybe your fears have kept you from dreaming BIG.  Sound familiar?  Maybe those Pinterest boards or Instagram pictures have you comparing your dreams to that of others.


Let’s change the picture (actually, the mind set).  How many of you have made scrapbooks of your kids, family vacations, life accomplishments, etc?  Things that have happened in the past that we want to cherish their memory, right?  What if you were to do a scrapbook of the future?  I can see the eyes roll as well as the doubts and negativity creeping in.  HOLD ON!!!  Let’s break it down into 4 sections:

  • Relationships
  • Business
  • Finances
  • Kids

What if you were to visualize (DREAM) where you want to be in each of these areas?  Set aside about 30 minutes for each one and start making notes or flipping through magazines for ideas.  Focus on one at a time.

Relationships: Not in a relationship, do you long for one?  If so, what would that person be like?  What qualities would he/she possess?  Are you in a relationship, do you want to get married?  Are you married, what kind of relationship do you want with your spouse?  Is your relationship having some rough spots, what would you like to have happen?


Business:  Do you have your own business (or would you like one)?  Do you have a career – what is your goal, where do you want to grow?  If you want your own business, why is it important to you?  What would it look like?  


Finances:  Are you in debt and want to pay it off?  Do you want to own a house? What would it look like?  Do you want money to travel? Travel to where?  Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others – what would that look like?

Kids:  Do you have them or do you want them?  What would you like their life to look like growing up?  

For some this may seem like a silly exercise BUT did you know that if you HEART wants it your HEAD will get you there.  It is true!  Your current circumstances DO NOT control your dreams.  Your dreams are YOUR DREAMS!  They are not anyone else’s.  Others may think they are silly.  Who cares?  They are YOUR DREAMS!  You need to BELIEVE that all things are possible.

Im Possible

I challenge you to make your own scrapbook of the FUTURE!  Share it with us.  I am headed out to find some magazines because we don’t get any at the house.  I am read to get my scrapbook together so my head will start heading to where my heart wants to be.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Unclutter Your Life

How to Feel Smarter and Stronger


It is officially SUMMER!  That is what the calendar says, right?  The kids are out of school. We have heard for years that we are all becoming “coach potatoes”, right?  The more technology, the busier we get, the busier we get, the less time we spend enjoying nature and the great outdoors.  Funny, I always thought that it would be the opposite.  

Did you not that there are REAL health benefits from spending time in nature.  I don’t mean just opening the sun roof to your car and absorbing the sun.  I mean taking a walk or sitting outside and just breathing in the fresh air.  

There are awesome environmental benefits that are provided by trees and other plants. BUT do you take advantage of the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits available from nature?

Did you know that, “people today spend up to 25 percent less time enjoying nature than people did just 20 years ago.”

Remember how you felt after you took a break and spent a few minutes outside?  Didn’t you come back energized and ready to conquer the next challenge?  Statistics have shown that people that walked through an arboretum performed 20% better in memory and attention tests then those that walked on a busy street.  Okay, so maybe there isn’t an arboretum outside your home or office BUT there is probably a park close by.  Studies show that long stretches in nature have resulted in dramatic increases in our creativity and problem solving skills. Nature also improves our mood, and  generosity.


Here are some of the other benefits from being out in nature:

  • Regain physical energy
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Decrease stress hormones
  • Heighten immunity
  • Lower heart rate
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Better cholesterol

Why does all of this work?  Because we are actually programmed to spend time relaxing and resting, especially in natural environments.  We are meant to spend a substantial amounts of time outdoors so we can experience our Creator and restore our spirits.


A long walk, gardening, sitting by the ocean — any activity let us disconnect from the crazy and get reconnected to our hearts is a plus mentally, physically and spiritually.  Nature is God’s reset button for our minds, bodies, and spirits. If you’re spending all day indoors, you’re missing the restorative power of nature.

How much time do you spend outdoors each week?

Travel Tips

Flying with Kids Can Be Fun

I feel like every post I see on Facebook is talking about travel plans – from Nationals/Worlds for cheering to graduations to just family vacations.  Although I love road trips, I do prefer flying when the price is right.

I remember Belinda‘s first trip on an airplane.  She was about 18 months old and we were headed to Florida.  It was a business trip. I was blessed that mom and Belinda got to travel with me.  I scheduled the flight for late at night thinking Belinda would sleep on the plane.  I didn’t want her to disturb the other passengers.  I figured she would be so tired when we got to the hotel, she would go back to sleep so we could all get a good night’s sleep.  WRONG!  She couldn’t wait to explore the airport so we walked around forever before getting on the plane.  She napped on the plane BUT by the time we got to the hotel at 1AM, she was ready to go.  I was not anticipating that she would notice all of the Disney signs on the way to the hotel and want to go right then! Lesson learned and I wish had some of these tips from a fellow blogger:

#1.  Avoid checking bags if you can.  I know that this sounds crazy but a carry-on make things so much easier when traveling with kids.  If they are walking, let them carry or roll their own little suitcase.  It is also a good way to save money if the airline offers free carry-on, plus one personal item.  Combing clothes together helps too since carry-ons can now be quite large.


#2. Check in online.  The more lines you can skip, the better it is. This may seem like a no-brainer but the truth is that many just figure it is easier to check in at the airport.  Some airlines use online check-in as a way to assign seats. The best way to get seats together is by checking in 24-hours prior to the flight ONLINE.

#3. Go direct. Changing flights is always a hassle – flight delays, weather, and then there is the sprint through the airport to catch a connecting flight. Throw kids in the mix, and you’re asking for trouble.

#4. Food is your friend.  I always pack enough snacks to feed a small army, whether we are flying or on a road trip.  Snacks will keep kids occupied and from getting cranky.  Yes, snacks are permitted on the plan so try: pretzels, goldfish, carrots, an apple, nutter butter crackers, or fruit snacks.

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#5. Bring your own carseat. Yes, it’s a pain. Yes, they’re bulky and heavy. We made this mistake and didn’t take one.  Add to that, not taking a stroller.  I figured we could just rent one!  I so wish that someone had of told me about the carseat trolley like this one.  It would have made life so much easier.


Now, you have packed for everyone else but be sure NOT to forget about yourself. Grab a book you have been wanting to dive into.  The crossword puzzle you never get to do.  Whatever it is, make sure you have something for yourself to do to pass the time.

Travel can be stressful, so go with the flow.  Remember flight attendants, pilots, and TSA staff are only doing their jobs. They don’t make the rules, delay, or cancel flights. All you can do is make the best of whatever situation arises, and set a good example for your kids.

Do you have any tips for flying with kids? Share in the comments.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

National Bubble Week


pink bubbles

I am always in a “pink bubble” but did you know that today starts the celebration of National Bubble Week.  It runs from today through March 22!   It is the “unofficial holiday” where families can enjoy the start of warmer weather by enjoying a timeless and carefree spring activity of blowing bubbles in their backyards, playgrounds or local parks.

National Bubble Week was started by Gazillion Bubbles who celebrated their 10th anniversary last year of bringing ‘un-bubble-believable’ fun to families nationwide. Gazillion’s has an  impressive line-up of bubble toys including the Typhoon 2.0 bubble fountain that blows more than 5,000 bubbles per minute!

Did you know that National Bubble Week was started as a way to extend the seasonal selling of this beloved toy. What better way to keep a seasons product on the shelf long after the summer?  I mean who doesn’t love this classic toy that is fun for all ages.

Funrise Toys has a line of One & Only Gazillion Bubbles which is the the first branded bubble product with a patented bubble solution.  And I thought it was as easy as a little bit of water and dish detergent?

So, grab some bubbles and start blowing!  OR you can always join me in my Thirty One pink bubble!  Do you have any special memories of blowing bubbles that you want to share?  We would love to hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!