Saturday, November 28, 2015

Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday!  Consider supporting someone who owns a small business today!  Why not help individuals instead of the big box stores this weekend?  It's easier, no lines, shop from your seat, not your feet!
 Of course I'd vote for you to shop with me today!  I'm running a 12 Days of Christmas Sale on my VIP Facegroup page Here.  Join my group for detail.  Here's a direct link to my website, too, if you'd like to shop with me!  The order will go in on December 8th and will be delivered on time for Christmas.
I hope you and yours enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Zucchini Cake

I'm not sure if it's a Midwest thing, but it seems that many of my Western friends don't know about freezing zucchini or what to do with all of the zucchini from the garden, like Midwesterners do.  So lately, when I bring a dish to pass at potlucks, my friends are surprised at how good my zucchini recipes are.  You can check out how I freeze zucchini and one of my favorite muffin recipes Over Here.
One of my favorite zucchini recipes is this Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I get a ton of compliments when I bring it as a dish to pass on how moist and delicious this is.  I'm not usually a fan of cake, but this one has a crunchy chocolate chip topping, so no frosting needed!  I love that you don't have to make a separate frosting for it to taste wonderful.
My Mom used to make this when I was young.  I remember how proud she was that she found this recipe and tried to lie to us about it being a real chocolate cake, and yet she had snuck in the much dreaded zucchini on us (she was always looking for ways to use up all of her zucchini without us knowing!). 
Back in 2010, I started to search for the yummy recipe that has a very distinct taste and crumb topping.  After much trial and error (fortunately, my family likes zucchini!) I was able to find a recipe on HERE.  In case it every disappears from there, I'm going to put it here for you as well. 

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. grated zucchini
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Then sprinkle with a topping of 3/4 cup each chocolate chips, brown sugar and chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks & 12 Days of Christmas Sale!

Hoping you and yours are blessed beyond measure today! 
As you begin your holiday shopping, please consider shopping with a direct sales consultant.  Although I don't have a physical store front, every purchase you make directly effects me and my family!  Beginning today, I am having a 12 Days of Christmas sale in my Facebook VIP Group.  Please come check it out!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why I don't unfriend people on Facebook

I've had very few occasions where I have unfriended people on Facebook for any reason.  I've had a couple of scuffles with some people where they were stealing my pictures and content and using it for their own, and in that occasion, I actually block them, rather than unfriend them.  I don't friend people I don't know in the first place.

I was recently posting a post on my Facebook wall encouraging my friends and family to consider making their holiday purchases with some of my friends that are direct sellers.  In my effort to tag all of my fellow direct sellers, I noticed that one of them had unfriended me recently.  I messaged her to ask if she was still doing it, and she replied that she still was. 

I responded back that I was trying to tag and recommend my friends that are direct sellers and noticed that we aren't friends anymore on Facebook.  Here's the response I received back:
"It is nothing personal, about 3-4 times per year I go through and delete a ton of people... I try really hard to keep fb limited to family (because ours is huge and we live far away from them) and closer friends. Sorry! I usually message people to let them know, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet. Thank you for thinking of my little business"
I wanted to scream back at her that it is personal, if she chose to remove me!  It hurts my feelings. Not only that, but, I won't be recommending her, or purchasing anything from her in the future! This leads me to sharing with you the top reasons that I think, especially as a small business owner, why it's unwise to unfriend people on Facebook.

Top Reasons not to Unfriend People on Facebook:

  1. It hurts their feelings - Ok, I know that Facebook doesn't notify you that someone unfriended you, but I do notice when people have removed me.  I usually stumble upon it when I try to message that person, or I see them comment in a group or common friend's posts. 
  2. It's bad PR!  Let's face it, we all usually have some sort of agenda on Facebook at some point.  Whether you are in direct sales, looking for a job, trying to sell something in a rummage sale group, or just trying to network with others, it's very important to be friendly with everyone on your Facebook page.  I's just not friendly to unfriend them.
  3. "It's who you know, not what you know."  A quote that really ruffled my feathers recently when a very successful business person in my town told me that.  I don't really like the thought that you can get an up in this world by who you know, but the truth is you can.  You don't know who can help you find a job, or recommend your product that could lead you to the next million dollars!  A comment I made on Facebook recently on our struggle to find affordable health insurance led me to a friend I went to grade school with that is an accountant and he's willing to help with our taxes!  You just never know who might be able to help you in the future (or you help them!).
  4. Unfriending, makes your in-person interactions awkward at best!  I just don't know what to say to my "unfriend" above the next time I see her in the grocery store with her kids, or when I go to have an X-ray done by her at our local clinic.  Do I say: "Oh, hi unfriend - so good to see you in person.  I really miss you on Facebook?"  or "Now that I have no idea what's going on in your life, how are the kids?" or "Are you still talking to me, now that I'm not good enough to be your Facebook friend?"
  5. There are so many options to make sure that people are not seeing you or that you are not seeing them that you don't need to unfriend them.  You can block people from seeing posts.  You can even hide their posts from you seeing them in your feed.
I personally spend a lot of time networking with people online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to promote my direct sales business.  I don't need to make one person feel hurt by unfriending them on Facebook.  No relationship is worth that!  If you are concerned about that, then don't friend anyone in the first place!  In fact, don't even be on Facebook, because everyone has a reason behind being there.  If you can't commit to being friendly on Facebook, don't go on Facebook.

What do you think, are there any reasons to Unfriend someone on Facebook?  The only reason I can think of that they are a danger to your life.  Hopefully, that's not the case.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

DIrect Sales Tipping

I don't know why I've never thought about this before, but I recently had an aha! moment with tipping.  Drum roll please!  Here it is:  When you leave a tip, leave a mini catalog or flyer with a nice note for the service provider thanking them for their service!  So simple!  I try to be sincere and hand write a note on the back of my mini catalog from my direct sales business as well as leave a generous tip, and that's it.  I haven't yet received a call from one of these, but I've only gone out two times so far where I could leave a tip. 
This is a tip that I left for the maid of our hotel room recently.  I'll be honest, I don't always tip in a hotel room, but this room was so fantastic, clean and a free upgrade from management, that I felt like I should give back to the maid.  My husband used to be a hotel man service, and he feels you should always tip too!
I went out to Red Lobster, recently, and left a tip with a note thanking the server.  I used to be a waitress, and there were very few people who went out of their way to compliment my services.  The ones that did, still stick out in my mind - 20 years later. 
What if it made that server's day? What if you made someone smile today?  What if you built up someone's self esteem by making them feel special? What if that just led to one new lead for your direct sales business today?   I think it's worth a try! Let me know how you thank your servers and make an impact, too! 
Of course, you can support my businesses HERE and HERE, too! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Elderberry Tincture

I'm new to elderberries.  I don't ever remember seeing them in the Midwest.  I've heard quite a bit about them since moving to the West, but have been really intimidated by the.  The house that we moved to last year has the bushes (or shall I say trees) everywhere on the property.  Several people told me how poisonous they are and how they can cause stomach problems if you don't handle them right.  Last year, I thought about harvesting my many bushes of them all season, but chickened out!  
This year, I decided that I wasn't going to use them again, but at least I would try to let people in my friends circle come pick them. So I put up a post on a local Facebook group.  I got a couple of takers.  Of course, the one evening that we could pick together, it was pouring rain and really cold!  While I was helping my friend pick a 5 gallon bucket of elderberries, I got to thinking that maybe it was time for me to give this a try, too.
Let me tell you what I've learned from locals to my area about making Elderberry Tincture:
  1. Pick the elderberries. Most people in this area, wait until it frosts to pick them.  You can just snap the bunches off the trees, and in our case, we just cut the branches down with a chainsaw and then took off the bunches.  They grow back like crazy, so you don't have to worry about pruning the bushes back that much.
  2. I then put a couple of Walmart bags of the berries, stems still attached into the freezer and then I left them for another day when I had more time for them.. 
  3. Next, I had my 5 and 9 year old pick all the stems and leaves out.  You can use a fork to push them off, but mine just fell off. 
  4. Wash the berries and pick anymore stems from them.
  5. Fill clean jars with the elderberries.
  6. Cover the berries with your favorite Vodka.
  7. Put a lid on it and store the jars in a dark cook place for 2-3 months.
  8. In 2-3 months, strain off the berries and re-jar the tincture.
  9. Take 1 teaspoon as needed for any number of ailments.
When picking out my Vodka, I chose a brand I was familiar with (and knew tastes ok) as well as was reasonably priced.
Check out this great article about elderberries and about some other uses for them.  I plan to use this as a immune booster for my family when we start coming down with colds and flus.  I just hope we don't have too many more bouts of illnesses before it's ready!
For younger children, I've heard that you can mix a teaspoon of this tincture into hot tea, which would cook off the alcohol.
One Walmart bag and about 1/3 of a large bottle of Vodka made 3 quarts of tincture.  I think this is a great payoff for not a lot of work.  I'll keep you posted about how it works in a few months! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fall Happy Mail

My personal love language is gifts, so when I was reading posts about going the extra mile for my hostesses, Happy Mail jumped out at me as a wonderful way to do that!  If you're not familiar with what Happy Mail is, it's sending weird and fun packages in the mail to make the receiver happy.  Let's face it, we all smile when we get something other than a bill in the mail.
I've been trying to send out a Thank you Happy Mail to my hostesses following their party.  Here's what I mailed out for the fall. 
I found these cute candy corn gift bags at the Dollar Tree and knew that I could do something with them for Happy Mail.  There were 6 bags in the pack.  I also looked high and low for the Candy Corns in a smaller bag (so it doesn't weigh so much) and found this one at Walgreen's for $1 which is my price range.  I also added in some fake leaves to make it fun!
I cut the handles off the bag and put everything in.  Taped it down and put this label on it.  The label says: "This may sound CORNY, but you FALL in as one of my best hostesses! Thanks!" On the other side of the bag, I just put the address label for my hostess.  It cost my about $2 to mail it out.
I know that I would love getting something like this in the mail!  My post lady is about as excited as I am about my Happy Mail when I send them out. What do you think?
If you'd like to get some of my Happy Mail by having your own party, go HERE and email me for the details!