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The Hubster’s Happenin’s

You might very well be thinking you don’t hear much about the rest of the fam and for that I’m sorry. With the business incorporating so much of itself into my life, I get sidetracked and forget about the amazing things happening in the rest of my family’s lives.

Isaac has finally started his fourth (and hopefully final) year of the electrical apprentice program through Associated Builders and Contractors.  He drives 2 nights a week down to Pittsburgh (BOO!) for an intense three hour class.  I was ready for him to just get started and get it over with…I never look forward to him being away from us….especially at 4 PM when the girls are bouncing off the walls and I’m ready to pull my hair out.   I have to admit that since the girls are getting older, surviving solo for a few days isn’t nearly as bad as it once was.

It is amazing to see how far he’s come since I married him. He would agree that he wasn’t the handiest of men! Building a house taught him that you can find ANYTHING (and sometimes more then you bargained for) on you tube.  Common sense seems to be rapidly multiplying inside that brain of his! His talent is starting to challenge my natural, inborn “know how” on certain things! He’s building things, fixing lawn mowers, fixing car headlights that were broken from hitting 2 deer this winter,  finding random cords that work with computers that are going pot, and the list goes on. I can not explain how excited I get when I need something done. HE CAN DO IT! Let’s just say that the handy man can!

Let’s be realistic, too. He breaks his fair share of things (hmm…the oldest tater tot  sleeping next to me just left out a “tuft” of air…one can only guess who she gets those genes from…ahem…), spills things,  slobs things on his shirt that are hard to wash…but what he’s doing around here makes up for all of those little things.  His next big project. Yellow house demolition. It’s taken him all summer to get to this point!!!! Oh, how I want it down so we can start to landscape our yard. Well….maybe after I book another 6-8 parties 🙂

All of this to say, he’s been a very busy man! Owning a home doesn’t come without upkeep…I’m just glad that he’s keepin’ up with it!

Tastefully Serving You,

I haven’t had time to make this recipe yet, but I am a die hard fan of crock pots! Oh how they have saved my life on numerous occasions. People think that if you’re a stay at home mom you should have plenty of time to slave away a four course meal….um…not so much.  I try to stay on top of dinners by meal planning and grocery shopping, but there is nothing better than throwin’ it in, turning it on, and walking away! So go grab your

If only mine looked this good!

and enjoy this recipe from me to you!

Bacon Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 T Bacon Bacon
  • 1 tsp Garlic Garlic
  • 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • egg noddles, prepared

Directions

Combine first 6 ingredients. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker. Cook 3-4 hours on high or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over hot noodles. Makes 4-6 servings.  Let me know what you think!

Tastefully Serving You,

And Then There Was Life

Well, guys….what a week! In the blog’o’sphere I’ve failed miserably. But that’s ok. Sometimes there are more important things in life then writing a lil update. At this point, I’m just happy that I’ve survived the weeks’ events and I’m ready for a good dose of (hopefully) encouraging preaching tomorrow! I’m so glad that even on my worst day, I have joy and strength in knowing the Lord is guiding and taking care of me.

I was reminded of verse (maybe I should keep it my business verse!) Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things thou knowest not. ”  This is a GREAT and ENCOURAGING verse but God requires of us in this verse to call unto Him. How many times during our day do we get frustrated, give up, or get mad at the events that take place. My kids have been driving me BONKERS!!!!!! I would have made the people in Loonyville look normal this week.  When I’m constantly interrupted and can’t get anything finished I get so upset. The Holy Spirit reminds me of two things

1.) Take it to the Lord, not out on the kids and

2.) Remember you are first and foremost a mother and a wife. The rest will get attention after the first two are tended to.

These are both hard to put into action when you have other things you want to be doing.  I just need to remember they will only be this small once. I will never get these moments back! If you have little ones and are trying to run a business from home, there is a balance and we must strive each day to keep our priorities in check.  This is essential to maintaining a great business!

But on an encouraging note I managed to make my first Tastefully Simple Party to Success Goal. I met $1500 in sales and closed 4 parties! To those of you who came to parties, booked parties, or already reordered,  YOU ROCK!!!  Because of you I’ll be receiving 4 party packs, 200 invitations, 50 more catalogs, and 100 order forms. I am now on my way to meeting  my 2nd 40 day goal.  God’s already showing me great and might things! Woot!!  I’ve also advanced to senior consultant by signing up a new consultant! I’m starting to create a great team and would LOVE two more Tastefully Simple team members! Let me know if you would want to jump on board, too!

Well, I hope you all had a productive and enjoyable week! We’ve got one more day before the “official” work day starts again. Whatever your biggest challenges in life are, do not quite. Do not give up. Stay focused.  Be balanced.  Love life.

Tastefully Serving You,

I have been waiting for this day since the Fall/Winter catalog came out! We can FINALLY buy those delicious open and enjoy  snack mixes that have been staring at us for the last month! I have a list of people who have their orders specifically for the Sweet Drizzle Snack Mix and you can add my own order for at least 3 boxes of this stuff! Wow, if that doesn’t tempt your taste buds I just don’t know what will.

The thing I like about these Tastefully Simple snacks is they offer that sweet compliment to many of the richer, flavorful dips. In fact, you better watch you don’t get stampeded by your friends or family when they see you’ve got some Fudgy Popcorn and Chipotle Queso Dip goin’ on!

Who doesn’t love to nibble on snacks at parties or holiday get togethers? It’s one of those things you try to get one or two bites but find yourself cleaning out the bowl. As a hostess, I love having the convenience of popping open a box and placing bowls of snacks in different places of the room. People enjoy chatting AND snacking!!

If you pair a box of snacks with a cute  bowl you’ve got yourself a great gift for a coach, teacher, or anyone else you want to get a gift for but don’t want to spend a fortune.  I’m a piano teacher and I’d be thrilled if one of my students wrapped it up for me.  Who’s that lucky person on your list that would get something like this??

So go ahead and try them…you can purchase them here.  It is well worth your money. You have nothing to lose but disappointed taste buds.

Tastefully Serving You,

Key Lime Pound Cake

Part of my endeavors as a consultant and blogger is to service my friends, family, and customers with great recipes using the Tastefully Simple products.  As of right now I’ll just be posting the ones that make their way to our tum-tums and leave only crumbs behind! 🙂 I decided to go simple with the first. I made it for my second taste-testing party at my dear friend, Val’s house.  I needed something that didn’t require much attention since I spent most of my evening prepping for the party and calming my nerves. It’s been a while since I felt like I was in high school speech class again. I had my 3 x 5 note card scribbled on with as many words as would fit and the entire speech was floating through my head. It was torture…

So..the recipe. Right.

I followed the suggestion card for the Simply Almond Poundcake and layered it with the Key Lime cheeseball. Garnish with red raspberries and wahlah, you have a gorgeous lookin’ dessert that took maybe 20 minutes to throw together, tops! Here you go…

Ingredients:

Pound Cake:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 c. water

Key Lime Cheese Ball:

  • 1 (8 oz) bar of cream cheese softened

Raspberries

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mix butter and water with cake mix; blend well but don’t over mix. It should look lumpy.  Place in batter in greased 9 x 5 greased loaf pan. (loaf pan…haha…that just makes me chuckle!)

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (note: if hubby is helping you take it out of the oven because you’re taking a short rest on the couch from sheer exhausting of the week’s events, instruct him to check the cake with a toothpick…otherwise it may not be completely done and center can cave in. Not that that happened to us 😉   Make sure it cools completely then remove it from the pan and slice in half, lengthwise.

Mix your Key Lime contents with the cream cheese.  The powder is white but as you stir it magically turns green! Should look a lil like this…

  I nuked mine several times at 15-20 second intervals to get a thinner consistency. Since the pound cake is so moist, I didn’t want it tearing apart as I tried to spread the Key Lime mixture.  Spread half of your cheese mixture on the bottom half then gently place the top piece on. Spread the remaining mixture on the top of the Simply Almond Pound Cake. Sprinkle with graham cracker coating that comes with the Key Lime Cheeseball mix and place red raspberries on top. (Don’t mind the plastic wrap…I’m still workin’ on this whole take-a-picture-as-you-go thing. I forgot to snap this beauty’s portrait before I wrapped her up!)

Um…Yummo!  Add a sprig of mint and a dollop of whipped cream if you’re the Martha Stewart type.  Pretty sure I’m salivating just thinking of it…too bad there is none left.

If you can think of adding a twist to this dessert, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say!!

Tastefully Serving You,

A+ Customer Service

So being the new consultant that I am, I entered one of my parties completely wrong! Way to start out, eh!! In fact, even my sponsor told me to call customer service and see what they could do. You know it must be bad when your very successful upline tells you to get the corporate office to help you out.  I was really nervous because 1. I don’t like talking on the phone  and 2. My girls always have a melt down 30 seconds into any phone conversation.   I think they have little sensors on them that activate when I press “send” !

Let me just tell you that every single person I talked to throughout the whole process was exceptionally polite and very nice! Even if I was talking to the wrong person (which happened 2 times) they gladly directed me and were friendly about the matter.  Never once did any individual seem irritated that I screwed a few things up and they gladly sent me a certificate on my account for a certain amount of money!

Since Tastefully Simple’s corporate office is located in MN most of the customer service reps all had that Minnesota accident.  I couldn’t get Bobby’s World “Don’t yah know” out of my head!  🙂

My girls DID manage their breakdown, but I hid myself in our master bathroom until the first call was over.  I later dealt appropriately with the matter and I was once again whistling through the day.

End conclusion: If you have ANY questions or concerns don’t be afraid to talk to the big guys! They are there to help us and will do so in a friendly manner.  As a consultant if you mess something up while placing your order, their number is 1-866-448-6446. I had a great experience with my first real boo-boo!

Tastefully Serving You,

One Down A Million To Go

Hard to believe that my very first Tastefully Simple party has come and gone!  It’s probably a good thing too, for the stress was killing me. The day of the party I had just enough time to drink 2 energy provoking cups of coffee and scarf down my lunch at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  I do believe I swept the floor about 4 times and was starting to loose it when the hubster decided to mow the grass on a rainy day.  Did he not know that those bright green grass clippings would make their way all over the place?!?! I looked a lil like this.


Funny how often we have in our minds what we think or want the other person to do, only to find they do absolutely nothing in the ball park of what you were hoping. I chuckle now. I didn’t chuckle then.  You know what though? Ise is actually one of my biggest supporters. He had his moment of skepticism (ok, more like a day or two) but has become so very interested in the details of how things are progressing.  Sometimes we’re like oil and water, others we’re like maple syrup and a stack of warm pancakes!

Back to the party. So I was anticipating about 13-15 people. They always say, “expect less then you think.”  They were right, but my total wasn’t too far off. I was, however, thoroughly surprised at a few people who I randomly invited, came, and placed over a $50.00 order!  People, it pays (literally 🙂 ) to invite anyone you can think of.

Having never been to a Tastefully Simple party other then the one I shadowed AFTER I became a consultant (yes, I promise the food is that good!) I was somewhat frantic in the kitchen trying to prep everything. It was all made, but then you gotta transfer it to the buffet plates and soufle cups.  My sponsor Carrie totally helped me out, but took off the lids to the sauces. Yah, I hadn’t a clue what some of them were and looked perhaps extremely “green” with my lack of product knowledge. But hey, that’s why you’re surrounded with your friends and family for your first party. They all know, you know nothing! Plus, you can only get better, eh?

The evening progressed by briefing the guests on how the company got started and what you get when you decide to host a party of your own. We got our sampling on rather quickly since that was what the guests were there for! One thing I might change when I do parties, depending on the size of the group, is make the event a little less formal. In our setting the other evening, samples get passed around in a moving buffet style. You take a wee spoon, plop some gooey yumminess on your chip, and pass the plate on.  I feel guests are a little mislead. They are told to come hungry and ready for a fun night. Perhaps not everyone had their fill with a dollop of flavored Daisy the size of a dime.  I would love to try everyone having their own plate and taking a scoop of everything. We still sample the product in order and at the same time, but we’ll have a more home style feel to the process.  I know when I do my first party a la solo that I’m going to run out of things to say while the plate is getting passed around.

My mother-in-law ran over to the party after traveling all day from visiting her daughter in CT! She managed to snap a few pictures of the evening and captured the fun  we were all having!

A nervous me 🙂

The rest of the display

A surprised guest

They just can’t decided!

Just because they’re little doesn’t mean they didn’t want some yummy in their tummy!

The night ended with a bang.  When it was all said and done I ended up with over a $500 party. Deep down I wanted to be one of those girls who just blew the other consultants out of the water, but who knows where we would have been if I didn’t do what I did to get the orders I got.  So I made $150 bucks in sales and wrangled in another $50 for activating or fulfilling my first $400 in retail products before Oct. 14th. That was another bonus I wasn’t expecting when I signed up as a consultant.  I do believe the $200 for one party was worth it!  I recovered the cost of my Blast off Kit and made profit! I was just a wee bit giddy 😉  I booked 4 parties. Two of which were a complete surprise to me! The one gal who booked I didn’t even think would come…you never know how ONE person can make the difference at your party.  A few things I learned from my first experience:

1. Invite, invite, invite!       Doesn’t matter how well you know them or if you hadn’t seen them in 6 years. The more you invite the better chances you are of increasing your sales.  Some people only place a $12 -$20 order.  You must compensate by gathering more orders to get higher sales.

2. Create your own hostess incentive!   I had one person contemplate booking  a party but chose to do so simply  because she wanted the gifts that I put together. People LOVE free stuff. Don’t be too chinsy, and don’t be too elaborate. Make those gifts look enticing with a good wrap job and pretty bow.

3. Create a customer incentive!        My deal right now is when you spend at least $50 you get 10% off your next order. This not only helps to create a higher sale but encourages the customer to come BACK to you.  I had 2 customers that were originally going to place smaller orders but bumped it over $50 to get the coupon.  Customer incentives work!

I know there will be many more things I’ll learn as I go along. None of us are going to always do or say the right things to increase our sales and bookings or recruit another business consultant, but we need to learn from our mistakes and change our tactics.  We need to be real with our customers, hostesses, and team members.  Connect with them and let them know you care more about them then the dollar. You will reap greater rewards! Maybe not initially, but your business mentality will produce growth.  Think people first. Money second.

Tastefully Serving You,