Time Management

Kitchen Chaos to Calm

 

It is the holiday time of year which means lots of parties, family gatherings, and holiday events.  Spending time with the people we love – family and extended family.

Growing up, my mom  was the ultimate “hostess with the mostest.”  Our house was always a gathering place.

I was always amazed at how well things came together.  She planned the meal, the decorations and made sure everything came together in an attractive range of colors. When she said, “dinner will be served at 5:00 PM,” dinner was served at 5:00 PM, give or take ten seconds. Hot foods hot, cold foods cold. She always seemed to pull it all off effortlessly, never breaking a sweat or allowing anyone in the kitchen to help.  Okay, maybe a little help but not much.

I didn’t inherit this gene.  There have been periods in my life when things may have come together but then there were those times when I was just moments from a melt-down. And by the time my guests arrived, the last thing I wanted to do was eat. All I wanted to do was hide in my bedroom until they were gone!  I can even remember cooking my first turkey and forgetting to take out the “bag with the gizzards and stuff out”.  Yup, we found it when we cut the turkey.  I was horrified!

 

Do you get caught up in kitchen chaos when you’re trying to practice hospitality?  Do gatherings make you excited, nervous and down right sick?  Here are five steps to create kitchen calm I found in a recent blog:

1. Take breaks

Breaks are vital to self-soothing when chaos starts creeping in.  They aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity.  Taking a break simply means getting out of the kitchen for a few minutes and …

…sitting in a favorite chair with a good book.
…reclining on the couch (with or without a purring cat!)
…listening to quiet (or upbeat) music.
…taking a brisk walk.
…whatever else works for you!

The goal is a mind set change. Think of it as “cleansing the palate” of your head and heart before you move on to the next step of meal preparation.

2. Make a written plan

I have always written the menu and gotten all of the ingredients together.  My problem always seems to be I get them in the oven okay but then I end up with some dishes done too early while other still need to cook.  It took awhile but now I work backwards. I figure out how long each dish needs to bake, cook, set, or chill. Then I do the math to calculate when I need to begin.  Calculations are far more realistic than gut feels or guilt-filled “shoulds” will ever be. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can assure ourselves—It takes as much time as it takes.

3. Prepare ahead

Chaos always seemed to result when planning a gathering because I waited too long to start or didn’t allow anyone to help.  Now, part of my plan includes figuring out everything I can do ahead of time and what I can delegate.

House cleaning.  Not a strong point so I now start cleaning days prior and do strategic touch-ups on the day of.  Additional advance preparation includes:

  • buying pre-made ingredients rather than making everything home-made.
  • doing all the chopping, slicing, and dicing a day or two ahead.
  • taking the first step of a recipe (such as cooking the rice for a casserole) the night before.

Fixing a meal feels so much less daunting when everything is ready to “throw and go”!

4. Accept help

This was a hard lesson to learn.  I still struggle with shooing everyone out of the kitchen mainly because I never want to admit I need help.

Now, when someone says, “How can I help?” I refer to my plan and give them a specific answer.  “Could you peel and slice the carrots? ” “Would you put those rolls in the basket?”  “If you could pour the drink—it’s on the top shelf of the frig.”

5. Clean as you go

This is one is easy for me.  I quickly scrub and rinse everything in the sink and set it all in the dish drainer to air dry.  I use a towel as necessary and put everything back where it belongs.  It makes clean up so much easier and is a smart step toward sanity. Starting the next stage of meal preparation in a clean kitchen automatically creates a sense of calm.

So who is ready to host Thanksgiving or other holiday gatherings?  What steps do you take calm kitchen chaos?  Thank you Cheri Gregory for sharing your tips.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

September Basics

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Where is September going? In just a few short days, it will officially be autumn.  The Jersey Shore has been hit with some hot humid weather so it is hard to believe that it is actually the middle of September.

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Being in direct sales, I always feel like September is a restart.  Thankfully, every month we get to wipe the slate clear and start again.  I just came off an awesome 3 months in my business with personal and team volumes back to where they used to be.  So, I was riding on the high of summer unlike the past when I was in Vacation Veronica mode. But the reality was, my numbers for September during the BEST special of the Thirty One year were not where I wanted them to be.  I have been working hard to turn them around by putting forth a little more effort…. actually going back to basics.

I know it can get old, right?  Many times, I have written off a month when my numbers were not where I wanted them to be and began focusing on next month.  It always seemed easier to get excited about something NEW coming then to WORK in the here and now.

I was a Doubtful Debbie for a long time.  Never really taking some of the suggestions to heart OR doing any of them.  Never really trying. Playing the “comparison game”.  This time, I let the doubts linger for a day or two and then I kicked it into overdrive.  Sat in my office to do “money-producing” tasks.  Yes, that means picking up the phone – making calls and texting.  Calling people just to thank them for their support of my business.  I have been sharing my business with EVERYONE! Well, almost.

Occasionally,  I slip back into the “JOB” mindset.  Yes, I work a part-time job. Although, I don’t want people to see it instead of my business when they think of me.  I ran into an ex- co-worker from WAWA.  She asked me if I was working.  I said yes and proceeded to tell her about my part-time job!  OPPORTUNITY  MISSED!!!!  I called my hubby to tell him I was on my way home and had an AHA moment.  I had only causally mentioned Thirty One, I mean I was wearing a Thirty One t-shirt so did I really have to say it?  DUH???  I guess so because she asked “are you still doing Thirty-One”? OMG!  How did this happen?

When I started with Thirty One, I told everyone about my business.  I am not sure when the mindset changed and the worse part is I didn’t even realize it.  I LOVE my business.  I LOVE making a difference in the lives of others.  The passion is still there BUT I began thinking “people know what I do”  so I don’t need to say anything.  WRONG!!!!!  Talk about an AHA moment.  As I struggle with health issues, I have found I need to PRACTICE sharing about my business when people ask me what I am doing.  I say practice because it is a habit  I got out of and need to desperately get back into.

Thirty One pays the bills (or a lot of them) AND I want it to be the ONLY thing paying the bills.  It affords me the opportunity to spend time with my family and make my own schedule. It is my business!  My part-time gig is just a part-time thing – nothing permanent.  It has helped to fill the gaps as I struggle with health stuff. Or, do I hold onto it out of FEAR?  That is a scary question.  Do I not have enough faith in the fact with God’s help I can make my business a success?  Did the mindset change when I lost some of my faith and I didn’t even realize it?  WOW!  No, I am not going to try and answer these in this blog…

I just wanted to share my thoughts with you… maybe you are having an off month, maybe you are desperately seeking to have your own business but hold onto a JOB out of fear, maybe you need to change your mindset?  Whatever the struggle, there is still time this month to KICK out of the old mindset and bring in the NEW.  Almost sounds like a New Year’s Eve blog, huh?

What do YOU need to do different in your business?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gives Program

Give Back With Me

A new month and a new opportunity……….I am committed to making a difference in the life of others particularly children who are suffering as a result of nothing they have done.  Last month I was able to bless 4 girls who lost their mom to drug addiction.  Their grandmother stepped in and is now raising them.  My goal was to make let them know “They are Brave! They are Strong! They are AWESOME!”.  I even pampered grandmom a little because I am sure that she could use a smile.

I say all of this – not to brag, or to toot my own horn – I share this so that you know I am sincere in my efforts to make a difference.

My passion is to bring hope and a smile to a child, reminding them that they are special and worthy.

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Would you like to help me spread the “rays of hope” to a child who is struggling?  Would you like to #impactasoul?

It is easy! Just nominate a child you know who could use some encouragement or needs to know they are loved in the space below and they will get a FREE personalized zipper pouch from me on YOUR behalf!

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If you have followed me for awhile or even have just started to read my blog, you know my passion is to make a difference – one small act at a time.  Over the years, I have found one of the most fun and rewarding ways to do this is to ‘pay it forward’.

Here’s How:

Each month you can nominate a CHILD you feel deserves a ‘random act of kindness’ and one winner is randomly selected on the 15th of each month.  The winner will receive words of encouragement and mailed a FREE Thirty-One Product from me!

Here’s Who:
This could be someone who is:

-battling an illness
-going through a difficult time
-someone who has impacted you in a positive way
-or just a CHILD you want to pour some love on!

Here’s Why:
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 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 when I was able – I would make a difference in the lives of other children.  Children who are struggling many times because of no fault of their own.  To me, the greatest success I can have in my business is knowing I did what I could to make a difference in another’s life.

So if you are ready to start making a difference in the life of a child – think of someone you can nominate and WHY this month and submit it to me below or at HopeWs31@gmail.com by the 15th so that together we can make make a difference!

Thank you for allowing me to use my business to bless those who are struggling. I appreciate the opportunity to partner with you and give back in this way.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope

Personal Causes

Our Self-Esteem Impacts Our Children

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Today is the day many kids are headed back to school.  With it comes fears and anxiety especially for those entering a new school or just starting school.  Regardless of the age, positive self-esteem is important.

As parents, we want to believe our kids are confident – maybe just a little shy.  We want to believe they are ready to handle any situation.  The truth is despite our best efforts, some children don’t always get it.  The cold hard fact is they learn by example.  They follow our lead.  Are you a picture of positive self-esteem or does Negative Nelly invade your space?

I struggled with low self-esteem since I was a child.  There is not one incident which changed things for me – just a lot of little things.  As I grew into an adult, the fears and negative self-esteem were stuffed deep down.  My fear of disappointing others became the one thing that controlled my life.  Only to later show up during my years of addiction and recovery.  There are still days when Negative Nelly shows her face.  There are still days the fear of disappointing others control my actions.  I say all of this to share how this impacted my daughter….

In reflection, my negative self-imagine had a dramatic impact on my daughter.  What I perceived as a confident, self-assured athlete with lots of friends was far from the truth.  I made excuses for her not showing emotion in most situations.  I tried to overcompensate so she would not fall victim to Negative Nellie.

Years later she shared her true feelings.  She shared about the years of bullying.  The years of stuffing the negative feelings.  The years of never wanting to disappoint me.  Why?  Because she saw me do it.  YIKES!  Despite my best efforts, Negative Nelly made her way through the “perfect veneer”.

Thirty One provides these statistics – my daughter was one of those statistics.

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Social media was not big until my daughter’s teen years, so the negative self-image was a direct result of what she saw in school, conversations she was involved in combined with the harsh words of the other children.  Now a days, social media is a strong  basis for social comparisons, self-evaluation or self-enhancement.   images

As our kids go off to school, we need to be aware.  Aware of their reaction to positive or negative evaluations of themself when they compare to others.  The verbal comparisons our kids make in conversation can shed the light on their personal self-esteem.  Also, the things they don’t say.  Their actions or lack of reactions.  Bullying or social comparison is HUGE in today’s society.  We unfortunately live in a world driven by more money, better clothes, the perfect looks and the need to have “it all” (whatever that is).

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In this busy world, full of social media which allows us access to information about a wide range of people and allowing unlimited networking opportunities, there is a potential downside to frequent social media use. When people with low self-esteem use social media sites, it can create a vicious cycle which can further impact their negative self-esteem.

Okay, so I have been rambling a bit today.  Some brain fog BUT I wanted to share how important this subject is especially as kids head back to school.

My concern is for the 62% of children who have low self-esteem; who think they are fat, or not pretty enough, or not good enough.  For those children who believe their parents aren’t as good as their friends who appear to have a perfect life.  I grew up in an era of, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.  The secrets of the family stays in the family – so on the outside things looked perfect but on the inside things were a mess.  It is those beliefs perpetuating the negative comparisons that effect our children.

Let’s work together to put a stop to the bullying and the negative self-esteem.  Let’s make a difference in the life of a child, letting them know that they are special and worthy EVEN if they are different.  Won’t you join me?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Unclutter Your Life

How To Embrace Your Life At Any Age

It’s FRIDAY!!!!!  I always say that “age” is just a number.  Some might disagree BUT I think I have a great attitude about getting older.  Some would never believe that I am 59 – yes, really!  I am ready to embrace life instead of worrying and dreading it.  I read recently that only 25% of our genes are responsible for visible signs of aging. Most of us have preconceived notions about what getting older looks like – do you?

If you are approaching 45 (mid-life for some), are you in a “mid-life crisis”?  What if you took the word ‘crisis’ away from the word mid-life ‘crisis’. The second half of your life could be the best part of your life….

Here are some ways to make the second half of your life as exciting as can be:

  1. Get your finances in order. Your will, insurance policies, retirement statements and estate planning should all be done. Be sure to know where all your documents are.
  2. Live in gratitude. Be thankful for what you have, look forward to what is still to come.
  3. Try to shoot for 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
  4. Get a mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy, full skin check up and a full blood work up. You will feel better knowing you did.
  5. Take a new route to work. Mix it up. Enjoy the scenery.
  6. Connect with like-minded and interesting people. Spend time with the people you enjoy being around. People that lift you up not bring you down.
  7. Tell your loved ones that you love them every day
  8. Look in the mirror, tell yourself, “I love you!” (Sometimes harder than it sounds ;-))
  9. Make exercise a non- negotiable. We lose muscle over the age of 40 and more over 50! Take the steps.  Take a short walk.  Start somewhere BUT keep moving.
  10. Take on new and exciting opportunities
  11. Do what you love and love what you do!
  12. Learn new things. Attend conferences, workshops, and read at least 1 new book per month.
  13. Avoid stress and drama as much as possible. Do not let someone else’s drama become yours.
  14. Up your water consumption. I was told the rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces daily. This isn’t always easy for me but I try.
  15. Enjoy your journey and where you are in life in the present time.
  16. Health is the most important thing we have. It feels good to know that we can create better health through the simple steps and actions we take each day.
  17. Schedule ‘me’ time. Self- care is imperative. Get a massage regularly. Enjoy your pampering time without guilt. Go out with girlfriends you can be silly around and be yourself with.
  18. Unplug from your cell phone and all social media whenever you can. We all need a break from everything. It will all still be there when you plug back in. I know this one is hard from personal experience but it needs to be done.
  19. Take a vacation just for fun at the very least once a year. Travel to try new things and to meet new and interesting people.
  20. Don’t spend money on things you do not need to impress people you really don’t care about. What you do with your money is your business, period.
  21. Not everyone is going to like you so accept it and move on. Stick with the few people that have your back and are always there for you and distance yourself from the rest.
  22. Understand and appreciate your worth. Be proud of what you have done and what you are still going to accomplish. With age does come wisdom. Don’t let anyone younger try to take that away from you and never let them try to under value your worth.

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Life will always be filled with its uncertainties.  I may not always get the tips that I shared right BUT when I do they have given me the opportunity to experience better health, more peace, and happiness in my life. I hope some of them can help you too!

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I know that by thinking positively and doing positive things, I create a foundation to live the best, most energetic life possible. My intention moving into my sixties, and beyond, is to age gracefully while engaging a purpose-filled life.

Will you join me?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!