Hope Wissel, Travel Tips

Summer Must-Haves for Moms

Hey mom, are you ready for summer?

As the school year winds down, we’re dreaming of sunny days, family vacays and all the fun summer brings. The kids may be out of school soon, but it doesn’t mean their schedules slow down! Summer camps, trips and graduation parties can keep your family busier than ever. But don’t sweat it – no matter what your plans are, Thirty-One has you covered with helpful products that were made for busy mamas.

Congrats, grad! Graduation gift ideas

For many moms, the kickoff to summer starts with graduation. Whether you’re the proud parent of a graduate or you’re congratulating a grandchild, nephew or friend of the family, a thoughtful gift is always appreciated. Luckily, we’re gifting experts! And with the ability to personalize almost all of our bags, accessories and organizers, there are thousands of ways to make your gift extra special. Here are a couple of our favorite graduation gift ideas.

Graduation gifts: Packing pals

If your graduate is moving or heading off to college, they’re sure to appreciate storage containers for their new space. The Move It All Bag is a packing all-star – this super versatile drawstring bag can be used to hold clothing, blankets or shoes, plus it makes the perfect laundry bag once your grad is settled in their new space.

What else might your grad be packing? Lunch of course! For those busy days when they need to take snacks on the go, a personalized lunch bag or snack pouch is a must. We love the Around the Clock®Thermal and the Clear Clip Pouch, which can snap onto their bag or backpack.

Graduation gifts: Adulting organizers

Treat your grad to an office organizer to store their documents, notebooks and school supplies. The Deluxe Double Duty® Caddy is ideal for keeping their desk organized – just personalize it with their name, monogram or a fun Icon-ItTM and put some goodies inside for a gift basket that keeps on giving. For an extra touch, clip on a Photo Key Fob customized with a favorite picture of you two together. 

Or, go for a personalized pencil pouch, a small but sweet gift they’ll get a lot of use out of. Tuck a gift card or cash inside for a complete grad gift they’ll love! Our top picks? The Get CreativeTM Zipper Pouch or Get CreativeTM Double Pouch.

School’s out! Summer fun solutions

The final bell has rung and the kids are loose! Summer means cookouts, pool days and trips to the lake for many families. The right products can make packing for these outings quick, easy and organized, which means mom can spend less time tracking down beach towels and more time enjoying the fun.

Summer fun: Totally chill cookouts 

Backyard barbecues, tailgates, picnics in the park – if you’re not eating outside this summer, you’re missing out! We love family cookouts, and packing for them is easier with a couple tote bags and a cute cooler bag. The Round About Cooler Tote can hold ice inside, which makes it perfect for keeping drinks and food cool. Use a Large Utility Tote for chips, buns or picnic blankets, and keep napkins and silverware organized in a Tiny Utility Tote. Just like that, dinner is served! (P.S. Love these prints? Check out our New Arrivals!)

Summer fun: Days by the water

For trips to the beach, lake or pool, keep the essentials handy with a bag + pouch duo. Pack up towels, snacks and the kids’ change of clothes in the Everyday Essentials Tote, which we like to call mom’s best friend because it has pockets galore! Toss sunscreen, headphones, phone and keys in the Clear Clip Pouch and you’re ready to lounge while the kids splash around.

Happy camper! Get ready for summer camp

If your kids are headed off to camp this summer, help them pack for the great outdoors with bags built for adventure! Looking to earn some mom bonus points? Personalize their duffle bag or backpack with a cute critter icon and their name for a bag that’s twice as cool (and twice as hard to lose!).

Summer camp: Packed & snacked  

To carry everything on that trusty camp packing list, go for an All Packed® Duffle or an All Packed® Mini Duffle (depending on the size of your camper!). For smaller items, clip on an insulated Clear Clip Pouch to store things like granola bars, snacks, sunscreen or bug spray.

Summer camp: Day trip sidekicks

For camp outings spent at the pool, lake or hiking, make sure the kids have a smaller day bag to carry. For younger kids, the Cinch Sacis just the right size, and because it’s a drawstring backpack it’s easy to open and close. For older kids, the Adjustable Sling Backpackhas plenty of pockets for items like their water bottle and phone.

Hit the road! Road trip car organization

After a busy school year, summer is the perfect time to plan a family vacation and get away for a while. Road trips are a great option for those looking to save a bit of money, plus they give you the chance to explore on the way to your destination. The only downside? Fitting everyone’s luggage in the trunk! For a smooth ride, try these travel-ready styles.

Car organization: Trunk bunch

When it comes to efficient packing, the Large Utility Tote is a champ. When topped with a Top-A-Tote®, it’s easy to stack, meaning you can make the most of your trunk space! Another great overnight bag option is the roomy New Horizons Tote – bonus, it doubles as a cute beach bag!

Car organization: Backseat buddies

The key to any road trip? Snacks! If you have a bit of space, pack a Fresh Market® Thermal full of goodies for the road. Or, give each kid a Clear Clip Pouch with some small snacks to munch on.  For mom, the Everyday Essentials Tote makes the ultimate road trip bag. It has plenty of pockets for things like tissues, hand sanitizer and wipes, and the roomy inner compartment is great for books and games. Now, where to?!

Mom, consider summer handled 

No matter what you’re up to this summer, stay organized and stress-free with solutions from Thirty-One. Host a party to earn cute, functional styles for free plus other rewards, or become a Consultant and start earning extra money for summer activities by working from home. Join our mission to celebrate and support women with fun, flexible opportunities!

May is the PERFECT time to host or join……..As an insider, you can help your friends grab some great tote deals at the Terrific Tote Sale starting on May 21st.  

Join our Thirty One family by May 31st to earn the cost of your kit BACK!  It’s Money Back May.  Ask me for details..

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

How Do You Stay Positive?

How do you feel when you hit a goal?  Maybe your goal weight?  Maybe you ran a marathon?  Maybe you hit your sales goals?  Whatever it was, do you remember how you felt?  The excitement of achieving something you have been working for – were you giddy with happiness, or are you like me and cry tears of joy?

Now, how did you feel working towards the goal?  Frustrated?  Overwhelmed?

May is full of celebrations – my birthday, my 10th wedding anniversary and God willing, my 3rd year in recovery.  May is the end of the ThirtyOne fiscal year and I have already hit my HIGHEST year in personal sales since I started with the company.  With all of these exciting things, you would think it would be easy for me to stay positive, right? The truth is I struggle with staying positive.

So many of us work hard in pursuit of big bold goals – because it feels so good when we make them happen, right?  The truth is BIG wins don’t happen every day.  Sometimes not even every month, quarter, or year. Sometimes big dreamy goals take time, patience, and a whole lot of devotion to make happen. And it’s okay, it’s how it’s supposed to be.

But are we supposed to defer our happiness, our joy, and our contentment until those BIG dreams happen?  How many of you actually celebrate or give yourself credit for the baby steps you made on the way to your BIG goal?

Most of us (me included) forget to feel proud of ourselves in the here and now – in the moment BEFORE we reach the big goal. It is important for us to allow ourselves to enjoy the moment. We can make ourselves crazy if we continue to defer our happiness until some day in the future when we make those big dreams happen.

So what if we started to obsess over our little wins instead of the big ones?  What if we reconnected with the things which truly matter most in my life – the present, the here and now.  When we show up each day for our work and our life while taking care of ourself, our family, and our business – these are the things which truly matter most. The big wins are then the icing on the cake.  The little wins are the ones which truly shape and define a well lived successful life.  One of my biggest struggles in recovery (combined with the MS) is living in the moment.

What do some of your little wins look like? Do any of these look like yours?

I paid my bills this month on time and am reducing my debt.  That’s awesome.

One of my favorite customer/hostess wants to host another party. That’s amazing.

I got 6 hours of sleep a few nights this week! Go me.

I gave myself time and space to read an incredible book this month.  Woo hoo!

I created and shared original posts on social media this month I’m proud of.  I sure did.

I embraced guilt-free rest this week whenever I needed it.  Yes!

              I didn’t beat myself up with I made a mistake. Yes!

             I rode my stationary bike 3 times this week. Yes!

Do any of these sound like baby steps you took?

Maybe you got up, showered & dressed at least twice this week?  Maybe you you reached out when you were struggling?

So, what happens when you think about the little steps you took this week?  Were you energized, excited, and aligned?

Believe it or not, when you are focused on the little wins, you are less attached to the outcome.  You can feel proud of the hard work and devotion it took to make the BIG dreams happen without diminishing what it took to make the little, everyday wins happen too.

I’m challenging you to obsess about your little wins instead of the big ones.

What are five things you’re really proud of this week?  No matter what they are, embrace the positive feelings about the little wins.  Enjoy the feelings as you celebrate showing up each day and giving your life everything you’ve got.  Because it’s what really matters in the end.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Favorite Products, Travel Tips

Cooler Destinations for Summer

Warm days call for cool drinks and snacks, especially when you’re away from home enjoying the sun or getting work done! Our selection of insulated lunch totes, kids’ snack bags and family-sized cooler totes for large parties and gatherings is just the solution you’ve been in search of!

 

We made finding the right size and type of cooler tote easy for you by pairing our recommended styles with popular Summer destinations. Check out our handy graphic to find the best insulated cooler to help you chill out this season!

1. Heading to the beach or pool?

We recommend: The New Horizons Tote Clear Clip Pouch  The tote will hold your beach towels, book and other “stuff” which the clear clip pouch can keep your suntan lotion from melting in the heat.  I love the canvas fabric on the tote which is also a great solution when hitting the farmer’s markets or flea markets this summer.  The washable fabric makes it easy to care for if it gets dirty.

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

  • Adjustable Sling Backpack: carry essentials hands-free!
  • Fresh Market® Thermal: holds ice to keep food & drinks cold!  This large thermal is also a great way to see your ice cream from melting on the way home from the grocery store.  Pack all of your frozen items in it with the refrigerator items on top and your will be surprised how solid the freezer items still are when you get home even on the hottest days.

 

2. Off to the office?

We recommend: Thermal Tote OR Around the Clock® Thermal .  Not sure which one to pick, it all depends on what you take for lunch.  A visual is a “6-pack” will fit in the Around the Clock Thermal with some room to spare.  The Thermal Tote is great for the kids for their school lunches.

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

  • Zipper Pouch: great for office supplies, small electronics and more! 
  • Everyday Essentials Tote: lots of pockets to keep your work items organized!  This is the NEW favorite for the beach, the gym, school, crafters and teachers.

 

3. Off to a lake cabin? Leaving for a camping trip?

We recommend: Large Utility Tote + Essential Storage Tote   You can never enough of either one of these bags!  The large utility tote is a must have for everyone – beach, grocery shopping, sports equipment, car clutter and so much more.  Did you know TWO Essential Storage Totes will fit in a Zipper Pouch?  This makes them easy to store.

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

  • Journey Backpack: when you want to do a little hiking or biking!  The best part is this has a thermal pocket to keep your drinks and/ or snacks cool.
  • Move It All Bag: don’t forget blankets, towels and extra clothes!

 

4. Taking a road trip? Family vacation by car?

We recommend: All Packed® Duffle +All Packed® Mini Duffle  Where will you be traveling to this summer?

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

 

5. Family picnic in the park? Neighborhood backyard BBQ?

We recommend: Round About Cooler Tote The NEWEST Thirty One thermal.

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

 

6. Planning a kids’ playdate? Taking the kids to the zoo? 

We recommend:Cinch Sac

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS!

  • Tiny Utility Tote: a handy storage basket for toys and other playtime essentials!
  • Snack & Go Pouch: Food safe snack bag for kids to keep treats in when away for the day!

Not sure which thermal or tote is perfect for you?  I am happy to help you find the right combination for all of your needs.  Believe it or not, each bag has over 31 uses so one bag may actually solve more than one of your dilemmas.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Recovery, Weigh to Goal

Jiggle Thighs and Acceptance

Once a month, I am doing a “me blog post”.  Basically, sharing my strength, hope and experience about something.  I looked back on past blog posts for inspiration when I stumbled on one I did in April 2013.

I am learning to accept me for me.  Not easy since I have had a negative self image for as long as I can remember.  Why is it the negative is easier to remember with my MS than the positive things?  A post for another time….

For as long as I can remember, I have had “bumps” on the top of my thighs and my thighs jiggled.  Yes, they got smaller with the loss of 105 pounds but they are still there!  There was even a time when I was working at WAWA where I think they were not as obvious – at least to me.  I mean standing on your feet and doing lots of walking (15,000 steps a day) had some benefits even though I usually felt like a MAC truck hit me.  As my MS reared its ugly head, I struggled with walking long distances.  I struggled with being on my feet a lot so of course working was no long an option. What is a girl to do?  I ride a stationary bike at least 3 times a week, I walk when I can but probably not nearly as much as I should. Opps, there is that word “should”.  I hate wearing my brace on walks because I am forced to accept my limitations due to my MS.

Since COVID and the move, I have been living in yoga/leggings.  I have maintained my BIG weight loss and am about 10 pounds from my original goal weight yet the “jiggle thighs” seem to still be there.  Of course, to me they are really obvious because my waist shrinks (the first place I lose weight) and nothing is in proportion.  So maybe this isn’t your problem area, maybe it is the “jiggle arms” or the muffin top or the roll our bra creates – no matter what we all seem to judge ourselves when we look in the mirror.

How about this thought….My jiggle thighs (or your problem area) are evidence of God’s goodness in my life! Sounds crazy, right? Mind you I never notice this or any other problem area on other people, just on myself.  Most people don’t mention it – okay maybe an occasional child who is curious but why wouldn’t they be – I’m curious as to know why God has blessed me with these wonderful thighs.  LOL.

 
I read something awhile ago by Jen Wilken who wrote The expectation of physical perfection hits modern females early and often”.  Expectations, OMG!  I have learned in my recovery journey, expectations are not good.   She goes on to say Increasingly, physical perfection is the legacy of womanhood in our culture, handed down with meticulous care from mother to daughter, with more faithful instruction in word and deed than we can trouble to devote to cultivating kindness, peacemaking, and acceptance that characterize unfading, inner beauty.”
 
I say all this to say – let’s not torture ourselves with lies about the need to have a perfect body or to be an ideal weight.  I am not saying – don’t be healthy, what I am saying is strive for a goal that is reachable for you.  I am learning to accept me for me – jiggle thighs and all – knowing I am beautifully made by God.  I am not less than because it has taken me a “LONG” time to reach my goal weight.  I am not less than because my body is not a perfect size 10.  There will be ups and downs in my weight loss journey just like there is in life.  Consider those “downs” as blessings where we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with our Higher Power. Learning to love myself is one of the hardest things I have ever done!  
 
Today, I am living in the hope, security and the arms of a Higher Power who loves me unconditionally.  Give yourself a break today and know as long as you are trying your best – that is all that God is asking of you.
 
For tips on healthy weight loss check out – Weight Watchers. This is the program I lost all of my weight on.  It took me longer than I expected. There are those “expectations” again.  I compared myself to others (guess that is a character defect I will need to deal with, LOL) and still do in many areas of my life.  Just for today, I looked in the mirror and actual like the person I am.  Give yourself a break.  If you can’t love yourself totally, find at least ONE area you can love (great smile, pretty eyes, great personality) and count your blessings.  Have patience, and think positive thoughts.
 
Have ThirtyOne-derful day.
Clear the Clutter, Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

How to Spring Clean Your Closet

Show your closet some TLC

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and it’s time to dust off those shorts – spring is here! You’ve spring cleaned your bathrooms, your pantry, your kitchen (pretty much every surface now smells lemony fresh and you’ve worked up a sweat), but there’s still one last space that needs a refresh: your clothes closet.

Giving your closet a good spring clean is the perfect way to declutter your wardrobe and go into the season with a fresh slate. Follow along with us as we take stock, make some small changes and get our closets spring ready.

Step 1: Clear everything out and clean your closet

Pile them on the bed, the floor, the desk – just get those clothes out so you can see what you’re working with. You’ll probably find that some non-clothing items have snuck their way into your closet, things like holiday decorations, books and knickknacks. If you have the space, store or display these elsewhere so your closet can be a one-stop getting dressed shop.

Once everything’s out, it’s time to clean. Wipe down shelves and drawers and use a broom or vacuum to sweep the floor. Most vacuums have a wand attachment that’s especially handy for reaching dusty corners, high and low.

Step 2: Put your winter wardrobe into hibernation

Those scarves, gloves and fuzzy hats have served you well, but the snow is long gone, and your sandals are just begging to be unboxed! It’s time to say goodbye to cold weather clothes to make room for spring essentials.

Start by going through all the clothes you took out of your closet. Things like heavy coats and sweaters can be folded up and stored in bins in the basement or hall closet for next season (a few Deluxe Utility Totes can handle the job). As you go, set aside anything that you didn’t wear or only wore once all winter. If these don’t fit or just don’t fit your style anymore, donate them or sell them to give them a second life.

Step 3: Take stock of your spring wardrobe

Time to repeat Step 2, but with your spring clothes. Take them out of storage (or from where they’ve been squished at the bottom of your dresser) and go through them. Set aside anything you didn’t get much wear out of last spring, that doesn’t fit or that’s a style you’ve outgrown. Add these to the donate and sell pile.

Step 4: Now for the fun part – organizing your closet!

The first step to getting your slimmed down spring wardrobe into your closet is figuring out what to hang and what to fold. This can vary depending on what clothes you have and your space, but here are some tips to start.

Hang things like blouses, dress pants, jackets, dresses and any pieces that wrinkle easily. You may also want to hang favorite items that you reach for frequently. For everything else, folding will do just fine. You can fold t-shirts, jeans, shorts and activewear. When organizing your hangers, pick a system that works best for you. You can organize your clothes by type, color or even by how dressy or casual they are.  

Another idea is when you hang your clothes, place the hangers in reverse or backwards.  Once you wear and wash an item, place it back in the closet with the hanger facing correctly.  Then at the end of the season, you will be able to which clothes you actually wore.  It will make cleaning out the closet easier each season.

 

Step 5: Bins are your best friends

A few good storage bins are all you need to pull off a mini closet makeover! Bins are helpful for separating clothes, storing folded items or organizing accessories. The Your Way® Cube in canvas is the perfect roomy storage cube for jeans, t-shirts, pajamas, activewear and more. You can also find this bin in some fun neutral prints.

We love the Canvas Storage Caddy for accessories – its pockets make it perfect for sunglasses, belts and scarves – while the Felt Display Bin is a cute way to keep your purses and wallets all together. The finishing touch to any Thirty-One storage bin? Personalization! Add embroidered words to label what’s inside or go for a fun monogram or phrase. 

Step 6: Last but not least, upgrade your hamper 

When it comes to laundry hampers, choose one that’s large enough (to avoid clothes all over the floor) but not so big that it takes up valuable closet space. We like a soft-sided hamper like the Stand Tall Bin – interior metal rods add support and structure without being too rigid or bulky. Plus, the long straps make carrying heavy loads so much easier. This is another great place for personalization, so have fun with it!

Say hello to fresh starts

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to clean you out – just take it step by step. Soon your closet will be refreshed, full of clothes that bring you joy and so organized that getting dressed will feel like a total treat. For more bins and caddies to tackle your spring cleaning projects, check out our bestselling organizing styles.

Looking for the prefect solution to your organizing challenge?  Be sure to comment below or reach out to me.  Want to know how to get your #wishlist for FREE or at a deep discount? Let’s do a BINGO & Bags virtual social…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!