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More of the Story – Day 1 of 3

Ok…so hopefully you read the first part of this story.  If not you should go check it out first!  Click HERE to read that and then come back!

No…really!  If you don’t read that first – this will totally not make sense!

So…after my inventory arrived and Tiffany and I brainstormed I decided late one night (Monday night) to read through the entire Show Guidelines.  It all seems pretty normal – UNTIL I realize that it says that our booth has to be COMPLETELY set up by 6:00 pm on Friday night!!  Oh yeah – and that we can only do set up on Thursday or Friday.  Oh! yeah – and that any vendor that doesn’t follow the guidelines could lose their booth!! Eeeek!!! 

BIG.  And I mean BIG PROBLEM!!  I am a Full Time Usborne Consultant – but I do bartend 2 days a week for a billiards club.  I have been there for almost 7 years and honestly the 2 days a week that I “get” to work – they are like my days off!  I get to go to the bar and hang out with the friends I’ve made over the last 6 (and something) years – not feel pressured to drink (since I’m working) and not have to change dirty diapers, save a toddler from certain injury because he’s crawling up his dresser…again, or stop arguing teen/pre-teens!!!  And I only get to do this on Thursdays and Fridays!  What the heck am I going to do?  Ok. Breathe dummy.  You can fix this.  But first – it is now 4 am on Tuesday morning.  How about you get some sleep and you can figure it out tomorrow.

Tuesday morning I called and asked one of the other day bartenders to swap me her Wednesday shift for my Friday shift….which is actually kind of crazy.  Friday is payday for most everyone – so that is the best day to work.  And if I work Wednesday that means I have 1 day less to prepare for the show this weekend.  But…I will have Friday off to set up the event so we don’t miss out on being able to do this for the Shriner Hospital.  So, I make the call.  She says yes – which actually helps both of us out!  I’ll make less money but not totally miss out because I’m not just taking the day off – I’m swapping  and she’ll make more money! 🙂 Win/Win.

So the booth is saved.  Now, I’ll just read the rest of the these guidelines – WHAT?!  We have to provide our own tables?!  For 40 feet of booth space! POOP!!!!  I do events so I have a table.  A table.  A tiny little 4 foot table.  Tiffany says she has a table or two and she’ll see what she can come up with.  Tiffany’s upline Kayla says she may have a friend that can loan us tables.

Nope.  He switched jobs.  Poop again. 😦  But he did suggest a few churches that may loan us tables.  I called a left a message with one and then hopped on Facebook with a plea to all of my FB buddies.  Several of them offered up their tables!  (Thanks guys!)  The only problem is most of them didn’t fold down – so they weren’t going to fit into my mom’s Ford Focus – which I’m using until my little put-put is out of the shop and all better (Damn timing chain.  or belt…or what the heck ever.)  And all of my friends offering tables are doing it from all over the metroplex!!  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to go pick them all up – or find someone with a truck to do it all for me.  Especially now that I have to work Wednesday. Poop. Poop. Poop.  Oh!  And the church called and left a message saying they don’t “loan” tables and chairs out and she’s not sure where I got my information…sheesh.  A simple, “Sorry, no.” would have been fine.

Oh! Wait – what is this?  Our fellow Uzzie Alyssa that is loaning us the banners has 3 tables we can use?  Score!  That’s a start! 

Wednesday: Off to work from noon to nine!  And a friend brought her card table to me at the billiards club. Sweet!  Ok…  Tiffany was able to score a few tables herself from friends/family.  I think we can do this.  I think this will all work out…. maybe.

Thursday: Off to work again! 🙂  Last day before we start the big show!!

Friday:
6:30 am – Wake up!  Gotta get kiddos up for school.  Yes, they are 11 and 13 and both have several alarm clocks.  But on a day like this I have a lot to do and do not want any problems.

7:20 am – Big Kid #1 Out the door walking to school – only 6 houses away so I can watch the whole way! 🙂

7:25 am – Calling my mom.  “Can you please come watch Little Man so Daddio can get some kind of sleep?  He wasn’t feeling well all night and couldn’t sleep.”  Nope.  Not possible – she and my dad have plans.  Bummer.  Daddio is gonna have to get up. 😦

7:30 am – Still trying to wake Big Kid #2 up.  Finally (with minor threats having something to do with ice water), success! Big Kid #2 up.

7:40 am – Checking email and going over To Do List for the day…again.

7:48 am – Big kid #2 out the door.  Walks to the bus that goes to middle school.

7:55 – Hop on computer (and ignore Daddio – who is finally sleeping and snoring happily – and whom I would much rather be snuggled up to then stressing – but this is all for a good cause!  I can’t wait to visit the Shriner’s Hospital to deliver those Free Books.)  Work on all of the “printables” we will need for the booth.

  • “Bob is a Unicorn” Coloring Sheets, Word Finds & Mad Libs
  • “The Cuddle Bear” Coloring Sheets
  • Flyer for “Cards for a Cause” Fund-Raising Display
  • Flyer for “Reach for the Stars” Pledge Based Reading Incentive Display (my fave!)
  • Flyer for recruiting table – Someone will think Usborne is as fabulous as I do!
  • Gift Basket Giveaway drawing slips
  • A couple of other printables that I find under the “Files” section in our Facebook Group Page.

9:20 am – Get up to load my 6 boxes of books in the car so that I can leave by 10:00 am to meet Alyssa to pick up banners and tables.

9:50 am – Finally figure out how all of them are going to fit – along with the tote I’m taking and my rolling suitcase with business supplies and the card table and my folding table…..breathe.  Ok that isn’t going to work I can’t see over the card table.  No biggie.  I’ll just throw it into the trunk.  CRAP!!!! My mom has tons of stuff in here!  I don’t want to unload it all just to have to re-load it later – I’ll have to take it to her.

10:00 am – Go in house and get purse and keys.  Kiss Daddio bye.  Kiss little man a tiny kiss on his head (as lightly as I possibly can, so he doesn’t wake up right now and maybe Daddio can get some sleep – even though I really wanna wake him up, feed him breakfast and get smooches before I leave). sigh. 😦

10:13 am – Text Alyssa that I am running late and that I’ll have to go by my moms.  I’m always late.  It is always something. Ugh! Paaaaooooop!

10: 40 am – Drop moms stuff at her house and high tail it to Alyssa’s.

11:15 am – Get to Alyssa’s (who has to leave at 11:30 for a RFTS (Reach for the Stars) appointment.  She is absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt – awesome. I totally should have capitalized, bolded, italicized and underlined that!! I meant Awesome!  Not only does she let me borrow 3 tables and 3 banners – she let me borrow 3 book racks!! 😀  2 table racks and a floor rack!! My poopy day is starting to look a whole lot better! 🙂

11:40 am – (Yep – I made her leave late. 😦 )  Stop at QT to fuel up the car and get some ice to munch on. (No I’m not anemic – I just like ice – chill out (no pun intended). 😉 Stop at Dollar Tree for some cheap (and yes I do mean cheap not just inexpensive!) table cloths to cover our tables and our inventory that we have to leave over night.  I also buy a couple of bags of candy (Be a Smarty Book a Party – lol…that one always gets me.  And who doesn’t like Smarties?!) and a bowl to put them in, some pens and a pen holder.

12:05 pm – Quick stop at Walmart to go potty – I’ve been on this whole “Nothing but water and 2% milk since September 1st.)  Waste of time – apparently everyone in the Burleson Walmart had to potty at the same time.

12:15 pm – Back in car – driving through Taco Bueno’s drive thru.  2 party burritos (with onions) and a beef taco roll up.  And a glass of water.  (Yeah – cause that matters after I consume this artery clogging lunch I am about to inhale. – Don’t judge me – I have no time to stop for a salad…lol)  Inhale lunch and drip grease on my shirt – AAUUGGHH! SHIT!!  Grab an ice cube and rub that spot like a mad woman.  I’m sure the dude in that big truck next to me was wondering what the heck I was doing…

12:30 pm – Finally. On my way to Dallas Market Hall.  I think the grease is gone mostly.  Not real sure since my entire right boob is still soaking wet from the stupid ice cube I rubbed on my shirt until it slipped out of my fingers under the seat. Sigh.  Text Tiffany – by voice – I was not texting and driving.  She will be on her way soon Siri tells me.

1:31 pm – Finally arrive.  I really have no idea where to go.  I check in on Facebook and Four Square (yep I’m a social media junkie).  I walk in, talk to a couple of people and they point me in the direction of our booth.  I round the corner and….Wow!  40 feet is a lot of feet!  Deep breath.  Ok.  We can do this.  So one table at a time I start taking stuff in.

1:53 pm – Tiffany is here!! Yay!  And her (brilliant) husband told her to bring their kids wagon since we couldn’t get a dolly!  Genius!  We rolled our inventory right on in the door – with a few (ahem.) trips.

2:00 pm – 10:00 pm – We set up our booth.  We analyzed.  We discussed.  We moved this here and that there.  Table by table.  Book by book.  We set it all up – and it looked good.  And then we took 1/2 of it down and covered the rest with the extra table cloths.  Then we left.  We stopped at Chili’s on the way home to grab a bit (because we were both hungry) and to strategize and go over any questions that either of us had.  We also talked about what charity we wanted to work on for the Fort Worth Home & Garden Show that we get to do in February!  I think I want to do St. Jude’s and she agrees.  I’ll start working on that next week!! 🙂  We finally said our good byes – recited what we both needed to bring the next day – and headed our separate ways.  I called 2 people – First – the Ex to see if we could swap weekends.  Turns out Tiffany is bringing 2 of her girls to the show tomorrow to help us out and my little mini-me would love that.  He says yes – I’m shocked.  Second, I call my upline Kim – just to go over a few questions.  She answered all my questions – and then said the nicest thing!  She said that I have a personality that makes people want to talk to me and that she knows I’m just going to draw people in to our booth! (I feel a bit better now!  She totally believes in me!!)  Off the phone – I stop at McD’s to bring everyone home some super yummy, nourishing dinner – yep at 10:00pm – cause I’m an awesome mom like that.

12:30 am – 2:30 am – (Technically this is Saturday) Everyone is asleep and I have just about everything I need for tomorrow – except for 2 bins which we are going to grab on the way tomorrow.  I wanted to get my blogs out before I lose all my info.  Now I’m going to take one last potty break and hit the sheets.  I have to be up at 6:30 so we can leave at 7:30 so we can be in Dallas at 8:30.

Day 2 of 3 coming soon…  We are nervous and excited and hope we make the Shriner’s Hospital and Usborne…and most importantly ourselves – proud.  (still holding breath)

….stay tune for the REST of the story. (see what I did there?) tee hee – I crack me up.  Man I need sleep.

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Holy cow – Are you for serious?!

So I have been given an amazing opportunity…..and I am so stinkin excited!!

A quick little history – For those of you that don’t know, I am an Independent Educational Consultant for Usborne Books & More (EDC Publishing).  Usborne is a company that provides amazing educational books for children of all ages – from newborn to teen….and then some.  I joined about 2 years ago because I wanted to buy a few books for my kiddos and their friends for upcoming birthdays.  When I found out that I could get 25 books for $129 – I was sold.  I told the woman (my now friend Kim) that I signed up under that this would NEVER be a business – I was only using this as a discount for my kids books – she said that was fine and she was glad she could get me these books at such a great deal.  I found out that there were no monthly minimums!  As long as I make a purchase every year – I was still active!!  Even if it was just one $5 book!!  So that was 2 years ago – but I found that I was always talking about them – and people wanted to buy them! So I began to think about the bigger picture.  If my kids enjoyed them, surely other kids would too!  Ok… I’ll call a couple of people and maybe a few schools and libraries – and then I was hooked!  I loved seeing those tiny little hands grasp the books and WANT to look at them!  I really do make a difference in the lives of children every day…one book at a time – and I love it. ❤

Obviously, you can see my passion…  Anyway, as an Educational Consultant I get the opportunity to touch children’s lives every day in so many different ways. Now – back to my awesome story!!

Usborne offers a ton of different programs because every organization or group has different needs.  One of my favorites is a Book Fair that benefits a charity.  Those are a total win/win for everyone! 

So last week I was online checking out my Facebook page and I saw an interesting post.  I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (No, we don’t all ride horses or wear boots – just incase you were wondering.).  This post was from a fellow Uzzie (that’s what we call other Consultants with Usborne.) 🙂  She had just covered a booth at the Austin Home & Garden Show and the Home & Garden Show contact was wondering if there was anyone in the D/FW area that would be available to do the Dallas Home & Garden Show in September.  Another local Uzzie and I were definitely interested, but the problem is that booth space can be E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. – so we needed the details.

That is when the Heavens opened up, Angels began to sing and I could hardly believe it.  The contact for the show has a personal connection to the Shriner Hospital – so all she asked in return for the booth is for us to give some free books to the Shriner Hospital!!  Um…..what? No, seriously – what else do we need to do? Just share Usborne books with everyone at the show because you think they are awesome?  Ok – Sold!

Within 24 hours the contract was signed and we began to brainstorm.  Instead of just giving them “some free books”, we decided to run the show as a book fair.  Why, you ask?  Because with an Usborne Book Fair – the school/organization/group/church – or in this case, the charity gets 50% of all sales back in FREE BOOKS!!! 

They expect over 8,000 people to come to this event and walk past our booth.  If only 5% of those people stop at our booth and buy 1 book at $4.99 – that is $1,996 in sales – which means the kids at Shriners Hospital will get $998 in FREE BOOKS!!!!

So – what was next?  Well, Tiffany (my local Uzzie friend that is sharing the booth with me) and I began to brainstorm because we got a CRAZY bit of news.  Apparently, because this is essentially a charity booth (because the charity is the whole reason the booth is going up to begin with) we don’t get a booth space assigned to us until last minute.  That way once they have everyone set, they pick the space that is left and give it to us.  They were so excited to find an Usborne Consultant (or two) that could do the show they gave us a 10 X 40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Holy crap…that is 40 feet!!!!  For those of you that have ever done a booth space – you know the typical booth is 10 X 10 or maybe 10 X 20.  But 10 X 40?! Oh my! 

Ok…so now you are wondering how some little ol’ Texas Gal has a random inventory of over a few thousand dollars available – enough to fill up 40 feet of space.  I don’t – well…I didn’t.  Usborne is so AWESOME that they basically said, “Hey – you’ve been a Consultant for over 2 years and you’ve done such a great job, and we are so excited that you have the opportunity to benefit such a great cause, we are going to let you pick out $2,000 worth of books to sell at this event.”  Shut. Your. Mouth. –  No – this is not my joking face!  Totally serious!

So what do you think I did?  Well I hopped my little Texas hiney online and picked out a selection of books that I thought would most benefit the little gardeners that would would be tagging along behind mom & dad/grandma & grandpa – bored out of their minds – at this show.  And then I hit “Submit” just incase the last two zero’s on that $2000 were typos!

And wouldn’t you know it – a slick 4 days later (including the weekend and a National Holiday) I had six big boxes of books on my doorstep!!  I opened them all up one by one and marveled at all of the books I had not gotten to actually see yet.  (We have over 2,000 titles to choose from and new ones come out all the time.)

Oh the fun.  Now, my 11 year old was none too happy that these weren’t going on her bookshelf (how awesome is that?!) – but she got to add a few things to her wishlist for Christmas!!

Ok.  Booth – check.  Inventory – check. 

Oh yeah – and did I mention that we have a week and half before show time?  Yes.  Yes, we are crazy!!  We got this!! (holding breath)

Stay tuned….for the rest of the story…

P.S.  Yes I was sort of quoting Paul Harvey at the end there.  hee hee.

P.S.S. You don’t know who Paul Harvey is?! Gosh – I am old…