Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Get Prepared for Taxes

November is a crazy busy month for my business.  I always have a bunch of parties in November and the huge Black Friday Sale is November, so I choose to do less in December.    
I don’t hold home parties (with the exception of the monthly meal in a jar party I have at my house).    I do keep working on my business.  I focus on organization, preparation, planning, and everyone’s favorite taxes.   

I get all of my tax documentation in order so I can take it to my accountant in the New Year.
I do that using an Excel Spreadsheet, and a 3 ring binder. 
Let me walk you through it.

The Binder: 
I use this throughout the year.  Don’t worry if you didn’t use it this year.  It is still a great way to catch up.
What I do:
I have a binder with a divider and envelop for each month.  I keep track of my finance by month and category. 

Here is what my binder looks like: 

Want to make your own?  Here is how.

You need:

  •  12 copies (one for each month) of  Monthly Expense Record
  • 12 Envelopes (to put receipts is)
  • 3 ring binder—or file folder (to organize it all) 
  • Hole punch

Write the name of each month on each of the monthly expense records.
Staple an envelope to the back of each month.
Punch holes in the side of everything
Insert into the binder.

The Excel Spread Sheet

I love love love this spreadsheet.  It makes going to the accountant to do taxes so much easier.  

Notice that each month has its own page to enter data on.  You enter the data on the monthly pages and it then everything auto populates to the first sheet and you have your income and expenses. 

You can download the 2014 Tax Spreadsheet here.
Disclaimer:  I’m not a tax professional be sure to consultant your own accountant.    

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup--Meal in a Jar

If you are new to making Meal in a Jars please read this how to post about How to Make a Meal in a Jar--Two Methods

Chicken Noodle soup is my kids all-time favorite meal.  They always eat it well without complaining (insert happy dance here).    

I’ve been making Chicken Noodle soup for them using freeze dried Thrive Foods for about 5 years and just recently realized I could speed up the process by making a bunch of Chicken Noodle Soup meals in a Jar.   So I made 12.  

Best idea ever.  Now I have a bunch of meals ready to go that I know my kids will love that only take 10 minutes to make.  Love it.

Chicken Noodle Soup in a Jar
For printable recipe and mason jar labels see below.

1 cup Freeze Dried Chopped Chicken
2 Tablespoons Chicken Bouillon
1 tsp Chef’s Choice Blend
1 tsp Salad Blend
½ cup  Celery
¼ cup Carrots
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Onions
2 cups Egg Noodles

8 cups water (to be added during cooking)

Jar Directions:  Layer ingredients in a wide mouthed, quart-sized jar, shaking the dry powder ingredients into the bulkier items. Top with an oxygen packet (300 cc) for longer-term storage, or seal with a food saver.  Cover with a new canning lid and hand-tighten the metal ring. 

Cooking Directions:  Add contents of jar to 8 cup of rapidly boiling water.  Stir well.    Simmer 10 -12 minutes until noodles are soft.  

A note on Food Safety:
The Meal-in-a-Jar method is a form of Dry Pack Canning.   The food inside the jars is preserved because the food is free of moisture and oxygen, the lack of which inhibits bacterial growth.  Jars should be stored in a dark environment to prevent any nutritional degradation due to light.  
When packing your jars remember to always
  • Sanitize all equipment before use. Be sure to dry all equipment thoroughly before using.
  • Wash hands and or wear food handler’s gloves.
  • Keep work area clean and dry. 
  • Use either method 1 or method 2 to remove the oxygen from your jar.

Read more:
Recipe Card
Regular Mouth Mason Jar Label
Wide Mouth Mason Jar

Interested in Learning More about Making Meals in a Jar?  Join my meal in a jar facebook group.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Make a Meal-in-a-Jar Using a Food Saver OR Using Oxygen Absorbers

I’m excited to share of my favorite Meal-In-A-Jar recipes with you.  I’ve been making these easy recipes for my family for just over a year and I love how easy they are to prepare.  I am concerned about the quality and nutrition in the foods my family eats but I don’t always have time to cook from scratch, these Meal-In-A-Jar recipes have become the solution for my family.  

How to Make a Meal-in-a-Jar:   Two Methods

Method 1:  Use a Food Saver to Seal the Jars
Step 1:  In a clean, dry quart jar, layer ingredients. Shake the powder down into the jar if needed. 
Step 2:  Place the lid on the jar.  Don’t add the ring. 
Step 3:  Attach one end of the hose to the accessory port and the other end to the jar sealer.  Place the jar sealer over the jar.
Step 4:  Turn on your food saver and remove the oxygen from the jar.  
Step 5: Remove the jar sealer (it is easier to unhook the hose from the jar sealer first), add label and ring, store in a cool dry place. 

Method 2:  Use Oxygen Absorbers
Step 1:  In a clean, dry quart jar, layer ingredients. Shake the powder down into the jar if needed. 
Step 2:  Wipe the top of the jar with a paper towel to remove any powder.
Step 3:  Top with a 300 cc oxygen absorber. Seal tightly. 
Step 4:  The lid should seal within a few hours.  Add label and date.  Store in a cool, dry place.

I purchase my oxygen absorbers from Amazon.  Oxygen absorbers are a onetime use product, they can NOT be reused, if the jar does not seal after one hour remove oxygen absorber and discard.  Then add a fresh oxygen absorber and reseal. 

A note on Food Safety:
The Meal-in-a-Jar method is a form of Dry Pack Canning.   The food inside the jars is preserved because the food is free of moisture and oxygen, the lack of which inhibits bacterial growth.  Jars should be stored in a dark environment to prevent any nutritional degradation due to light.  

When packing your jars remember to always
·         Sanitize all equipment before use. Be sure to dry all equipment thoroughly before using.
·         Wash hands and or wear food handler’s gloves.
·         Keep work area clean and dry. 
·         Use either Method 1 or Method 2 to remove the oxygen from your jar.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meal in a Jar: Chicken Chili

Every month I teach meal in a jar, make and take classes.   So when my friends Jodi and Julie gave me a meal in a jar as a gift I was super excited to try it.  My family loved it.  
This June I've been using this recipe in my classes.  It has been a huge hit.     

I always seal my meals in a jar using a food saver.  This month I used this recipe from Your Thrive Life for Thrive Chicken Chili. 

Click the above link to see the recipe:  
Here are the printables to go with the recipe that I created. 
Printable Recipe 
Printable Recipe Cards to attach to the jar
Printable circle labels to put on the top of the jar

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thrive Life Incentive Trip--EVERYONE can earn a Caribbean Cruise

Fantasy Getaway
EVERYONE who earns 2,000 points will earn a cruise!!
If you hold 1 average party a week you will have earned enough points to go.  30 parties. Anyone can do that.
The details:
Our next Fantasy Getaway contest was announced at convention, and on Jan 31­–Feb. 5, 2015, our winners will be going on a Caribbean cruise, with stops in Belize and Cozumel, Mexico!

Points for the contest can be earned from April 1–Oct. 31, 2014. The best thing about this year’s contest is there is no limit to how many people can win—anyone who earns 2,000 points will win a spot for them and one guest on the cruise!
If you are working on earning the cruise please let me know.  I'd love to help you earn this amazing vacation.
Check out our Facebook page to download this awesome graphic to help you keep track of your points (thanks to Chad and Rachel Mano for the graphic).

Team Booking Challenge--Summer 2014

It is time for our annual Summer Booking Challenge.   For the last 2 summers I’ve offered this to my team and those that participated have really loved how it boosts their business.

The Challenge

·         What: In a one week period book as many parties as you can.  Both you and all of your hosts will be entered to win.
·         When:  Saturday April 19 – Saturday April 26th. 
·         Why:
·         How the contest works:
o   Each consultant (that is you) will be entered into a random drawing to win all of the new products.  (see below)  You will get one entry into the drawing for each party you book.
o   Each Host will be entered into a host only drawing to win each of the new products (see below).
o   At the end of the contest you will email me a list of your parties (with their ID number) and I’ll enter you all in the drawing.  Simple.
·         The Prizes:
o   For the winning consultant:
§  Food Saver Vacuum Sealing System PLUS the food saver Mason jar attachment.   This will be awesome for doing meal in a jar parties. 
o   For the winning host:
§  Classic Cookie Dough Mix - #10 Can  
§  Country White Dough Mix - #10 Can  
§  Golden Cornbread Mix - #10 Can  
§  Honey Whole Wheat Dough Mix - #10 Can  
§  Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix - #10 Can  
§  Instant Dry Yeast - Pantry Can

Here is the action plan:
1. Set aside some time each day during the week to contact potential hosts.   If you can vary the time each day to make calls. .  Some people are easy to get a hold of during the day, others you will need to call at night.   You might need to find a babysitter, or send the kids to Grandmas so you have some uninterrupted quiet time, to work on the challenge.  

2. Look at your summer calendar and circle all the dates you want to have filled.  You might want to double check when your summer activities will be, so you don’t schedule a party the same day as a family reunion.

3. Create a list of potential hosts.  This should go way beyond friends and family to include all your customers, q customers, past hosts, contacts from expos, people who said they wanted to host but never had a party.   
4. Remember that some people are going to say “no” that is okay.  Don’t get discouraged.  You might even want to make a goal of how many people you want to say no. 
5.   Come up with something new and fun to offer.  For example you might have a cookie party or a pizza party (both with the new bakery line).
6.  Pick up the phone and call, call, call. 

I guarantee there is someone out there that has been thinking about doing a party that just hasn’t gotten around to calling or has lost your number.

7.  Create a phone call note card.  This is simply a note card with an exact script for what you want to say when calling your future hosts.  It will help in calming nerves if you know what you are saying.  Here is an example of what you could say:
Booking Challenge Script—From Amber Pearce, who is amazing.

Opening of every call:
“Hi, May I speak with _________ please?”
“Hi, ________, this is ___________ calling.”
“I am your Thrive consultant you may recall we met at ____________ (state when you met).”
OR for future customers...
“I wanted to tell you about something I’m really excited about that I think you will love as well!”
Get permission:
“Do you have a quick minute?”
“I’ve been calling all my customers to make sure you are aware of some great things going on with
Thrive but first I wanted ask some questions if that is ok.”
Establish rapport while identifying needs: Question Ideas...
Q customer: “You get food on our fantastic Q program. Do you use our Food Storage Q or Home
Store Q?”
Regular Customer: “You’ve gotten Thrive in the past. Did you know that we have new recipe based Q
that helps you create a home store in a budget friendly way?”
Non-Customer: “Have you ever heard of Thrive?”
Other Questions: “Are you happy with the amount and variety of Thrive you have in your Home
“Do you mainly store your food or have you started to cook with it?”
“How comfortable are you cooking with our food?”
Listen carefully to the needs that are expressed. Take notes. Reflect back what you heard and

Extend an invitation that addresses their needs:
I’m doing new cooking parties to help people learn how to cook with Thrive and be the first to
experience our new tools and products. I’m holding these special parties in the next 4 weeks. I would
love to do one for you. All you would do is invite some of your friends over. Is that something you think
would be helpful?
If yes: Schedule a date right then. “Do nights or mornings work better for you? Ok, weekends or
weekdays? Great, I have ____ and ____ available which would you prefer?”
If no: “Is that a “no for now” or a “no never?”
If it is a no for now ask permission to check back in a week/month/few months.6.  When they say yes and book the party.  Start coaching them right away on being a great hostess.  Here is an example of what I say.
“Great I have you down for _____________________, at _____________________.  Now I just need a little info from you.
  • Contact Info: e-mail address, phone number, address of the party, mailing address.
  • What Items would you like to earn for free from your party?
  • What food would you like me to bring.  I have a couple of options or we can customize one to fit your preference:
    • Pizza  (use Chef Todd’s pizza Recipes)
    • Chocolate  (cherry chocolate cobbler (made from brownies and FD cherries), chocolate dipped macaroons, strawberry chocolate chip cookies, etc)
    • Quick Meals (Taco Soup, Thrive Express)
    • New product sampling.
  • I need you to make up a list of about 40 people that we can send out a save the date e-mail to.  This is just letting them know you are having a party.  I’ll e-mail an example of it in a few minutes.  anyone who doesn’t e-mail will need a phone call.   Feel free to post it on facebook or twitter.
  • We will need to mail the invites about 2 weeks before the party.  So I’ll get the invites to you so we can send them out.  (or if you send them out get the labels from the host)  I find it works really well to mail the invites.  Will you be sure to mail one to me so that I know your guests got their invites?

I’m excited for you party.  I’m sure that we will have a great time.  If you have any questions please feel free to call me.  And good luck on the prize.  I’ll let you know next Monday who won.

7.  E-mail me with your list of hostess with the party ID number.  
***You must have the names of your host and party ID submitted to me by Sunday April 27th. 
  • Fill up the dates that you are open early in the summer first.  The farther away a party is the more chance of it canceling.  
  • During the summer the best time to do parties are weeknights mostly because people are out getting projects done during nice weather on the weekends.  
  • Don’t forget that family reunions are a great place to do a little Thrive demonstration.  
  • Where are you traveling? Slide in a Thrive Life party at your travel destination.
  • Host your own party and do a THRIVE new product review.  Inviting all of your existing customers to come and try the new products.