Hope Wissel

Must Haves for Back to School

Some may already be back to school BUT for those in NJ, they still have some time to soak up the sun.  I honestly don’t know many who think back-to-school shopping is an exciting time of the year except those who graduated from crayons and glue sticks to a college campus!   I am sure many wish colleges and universities sent out a handy school supply shopping list like they did during the first 12 years of school.  This way we could put together the must-haves for those first time college students….

School in style

Good grades are important, but who said studying can’t be stylish, too? Whether you’re hitting the library, meeting a project group at a local coffee shop or running to class, there’s a Thirty-One bag for every student.

Are you a nothing-but-the-essentials kind of person? The Call Me Crossbody is the perfect size for your smartphone and a few cards when you’re on-the-go. If you need to pack a little more but still love the convenience of a hands-free bag, a Boutique Backpack can hold a few books, a water bottle, keys and more while also adding a chic pop to a casual outfit. And if you need to pack for a day’s worth of classes or need a work bag for your internship, the Around Town® Tote is perfect for books, folders and your laptop.

Dorm organization hacks

Space is limited in a college dorm room, so maximize every inch by investing in utility products which are durable, functional and come in the cutest prints.

Stow a Large Utility Tote  (LUT) under your bed to hold shoes or seasonal clothes that could take up space in your closet. With tons of prints available, from staple neutrals to whimsical cacti, you can match your LUT to your bedding or wall art. A Stand Tall Bin is the perfect size for a hamper or laundry basket, plus it comes in handy during move-in and collapses for easy storage. Guess what?  The Stand Tall Bin is on SALE this month.  Get TWO with a $35 purchase!  Finally, organize your desk or study space with a  Fold N’ FileTM, Double Duty® Caddy or Littles Carry-AllTM Caddy to hold documents, pens and office supplies.

Lunch break

You may not be packing PB&Js for the cafeteria anymore, but every busy college student needs to eat – and chances are you’ll be doing it on the go. Make snacking between classes a breeze with a lunch thermal that matches your personality. Choose a Thermal Tote in a bold, bright print or go for the Lunch Break Thermal Ltd. in elevated fabrics and finishes. With so many options, there’s a great lunch bag for every student.

Not your average backpack

You don’t have to leave your trusty backpack behind in grade school. In fact, when your classes and meetings are on opposite sides of campus, there’s no better way to stay organized and prepared than with a backpack for every occasion.

Heading over to the rec center for a quick workout? Grab a Cinch Sac or Sling-Back Bag to carry your water, headphones, deodorant and a change of clothes. Looking for something a little roomier for class? Go with the Adventures Backpack, complete with a thermal pocket for drinks and snacks, or the Crossbody Organizing Tote for organization on the go.

Weekend reset

After you’ve worked hard all week, it’s nice to have the weekend to relax, have fun and take some time for yourself. Whether it means staying on campus to hang out with your roommates or heading home to see your family for a few days, these stylish, versatile solutions will have you covered. Opt for an All About the Benjamins® wallet for a lunch date with friends, or choose a Retro Metro® Bag to bring along to the store or while running errands. If you like to spend your weekends at home, pack up an Away for the Weekender with all your overnight essentials.

What’s on your back to school shopping list? Can’t decide what bag will fit your needs, I’m happy to help you find the perfect solution for your organizing or back to school struggles.

Have a blessed day!

Making a Difference

Who Needs a Care Package?

Giving back has always been one of my favorite things to do in my business…Whether it’s showing support in a time of crisis, to help someone start a new phase of life or just to let someone know you care, sending a care package is like sharing a piece of your heart.  The blessings you receive from just one simple act of kindness is AMAZING!

Whether it is a few small items found at your local grocery or drug store or a card with a gentle reminder they can carry with them….it all makes a difference in someone’s life.

Want to do something but don’t know where to start?  Have a cause near and dear to your heart…..Here are a few simple care package ideas for six special groups:

Service Members

Send your loved one in the Armed Forces a taste of home with their favorite nonperishable snacks – especially ones with extra protein like nuts and energy bars. They may be experiencing a lot of downtime, so board games, cards, movies and even video games are always appreciated. And because they may be on the move, easy-to-carry items like travel-size toiletries and instant coffee or cocoa packs are preferable to full-size. With the help of some local kids, we sent a batch of Zipper Pouches filled with yummy treats to a battalion stationed in Iraq.  Don’t forget to check your country’s regulations for sending items overseas (here’s the info for the U.S.)

Cancer patients

Every year, my AMAZING customers do Chemo Care Bags for those who are newly diagnosed and receiving treatment at the Cancer Center at the local hospital.  In addition, I have was able to bless a friend on her cancer journey with items to help her stay comfortable, like warm blankets and socks, lip balm, water and snacks. Puzzles, books and movies can keep her busy during long treatment sessions. Add wet wipes and hand sanitizer so she can stay germ-free when she’s out and about. Tuck it all inside a versatile Thermal Tote or All-In® Organizer or a Zip Top Organizing Tote.  Be sure to include a personal note letting her know you are always there for her.

College students

Is your baby all grown up and on her own for the first time. Whether it is at college, or in their own apartment, a care package it ALWAYS appreciated. Help them tackle “adulting” tasks with items like cleaning supplies, laundry pods, a first aid kit and microwave-safe cookware. Encourage them to connect outside of text messages with pre-addressed, stamped postcards to send home. Healthy snacks and single-serve foods will fuel late-night study sessions. Pack it all in a Crossbody Organizing Tote, which – bonus! – doubles as a great school bag.  There are some great totes options for the boys who are growing up too.

NICU parents

I was blessed with a healthy baby but I know some who have had to spend numerous days in NICU.  It can be a long and stressful experience for new parents. Most-wanted items for parents of preemies include gift cards for local restaurants, gas cards to pay for trips to and from the hospital and snacks for long days at the NICU. Fill a Double Duty® Caddy with self-care items for mom like essential oils, a water bottle and a hardcover journal to document their journey.

Children’s Mental Health Unit

Did you know one in five children is living with a mental illness?  The stigmas surrounding mental and behavioral health mean these kids often don’t receive the visibility and support they need. Why not put together care packages for kids in your local children’s mental health unit with books, puzzles, art supplies and games to help break the stigma and support these kids on their journey.

Looking for more ways transform children’s mental health and support life-changing research? Round Up! your order to the nearest dollar or make a donation of any amount when you shop Thirty-One this month.

Random Acts of Kindness

Make a difference in someone’s life today.  Your small act of kindness can be the ONE thing which brings a smile to their face.  Whether it is holding the door, saying thank you or even paying for someone’s coffee.  Those small gestures can make a difference.  Check out my “A Simple Act of Kindness” page for more details on how I would LOVE to help you make a difference in someone’s life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Clear the Clutter, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

How To Spend Your Me-Time

Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips…

The kids are off from school this week and maybe you will be able to grab a few minutes of ME TIME.  The ever elusive “me-time” is the key to great self-care. Even 15 minutes per day doing something just for you will go a long way toward keeping you mentally strong and healthy so that you can give your all to your family and career.

Depending on what you enjoy, how much time you have or even the kind of day you’ve had, me-time can look different from day to day. But one thing’s for certain: Me-time will help you rest and recharge both physically and emotionally. Here are five fun and easy ideas to try for meaningful me-time this month.

1. Write in your journal

Taking some time to write in a pretty journal (like our beautiful Keepsake Journal) is a great way to reflect on your day, express gratitude or plan out your intentions for the day, week or month. If something is troubling you, try writing about it. It may help you let go of the problem or come up with a better solution.

2. Take a bubble bath

A nice hot soak with your favorite bubbles or bath salts will have you feeling relaxed in no time. Add in a fun novel to top it off. To make things even more relaxing, fill a Double Duty Caddy with beauty essentials like a facial mask, scented moisturizer and some nail polish to indulge in an at-home spa treatment afterward.

3. Treat yourself to lunch

Head to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant to enjoy a peaceful lunch all by yourself. Have fun people watching while you’re there – and why not order dessert, too? Choose a restaurant within walking distance to get the added benefit of some fresh air and exercise.

4. Dance to some great tunes

Dancing is fun, therapeutic and great exercise. Put on some songs you haven’t heard in a while and dance like nobody’s watching! Besides being a great mood booster, dancing on a regular basis can help improve your physical fitness.

5. Get your craft on!

There’s just something about losing yourself in a crafting project – maybe with your favorite movie playing in the background and some yummy snacks – that can be oh, so satisfying. Grab your Get Creative Carry-All packed up with your knit or crochet project to amp up the fun and relaxation!

One way to give yourself more freedom to indulge in me-time is to control your own work schedule. If you’re interested in a great work-from-home idea, consider starting your own business with Thirty-One Gifts! Working YOUR way as a Consultant means choosing your own hours, enjoying the flexibility to earn on your own schedule and having a blast sharing innovative and stylish products designed to make life easier – and more fun!

Whether your idea of relaxation is spending time alone at home or getting out and meeting new people, it’s important to choose something you thoroughly enjoy. Taking some time for yourself every day will help you feel happier, have more energy and experience less stress. To find out how you can enjoy me-time while meeting new people, setting your own work hours and the opportunity to earn some extra income through direct sales, check out our Consultant program today.  Have some questions, I’m an open book….. send me a message and I will answer your questions.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!.

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

In Want or in Plenty: Real Ways to Create Contentment in Your Life

Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message…

On that sunny August day, I thought my life couldn’t get much worse.

Recently separated from my husband and with no support from him, I was teetering on the financial edge. My kids and I had just moved in with my parents, and I was desperately looking for a job to support my two middle schoolers.

I thought about our old life where the only thing I needed to get them ready for a new school year was a debit card and a couple trips to the mall. With school only a few weeks away, I didn’t know where I’d get the money to buy clothes and shoes or pay for annual physicals.

That was fifteen years ago.

Today, I do have enough, but the dread of not having what I need can still make me sick to my stomach.

We live in a tiny house, but one that is situated in the most expensive county in the US, with plenty of food, enough money to buy clothes we need and go out to dinner occasionally. Even take an occasional vacation.
This is the land of plenty. No doubt about it.

But what I’ve discovered? There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

When I was in want, we pulled together what we needed with the help of my parents, hand-me-downs from friends, Goodwill, and a small amount of surprise money that showed up in our mailbox. We didn’t have extra, but we had exactly what we needed.

Living in want is a scary place to be, whatever your want may be. But the other thing I discovered about living in want? It gives you plenty of room to see and experience God’s provision first hand, evidence of God’s care and provision for me and my kids.

Now, living in plenty? Whew! Finally, you can be relieved of the day-to-day worry about how you’re going to pay the rent, or the next car payment. But there is a drawback to living in plenty: You can forget to notice all the miracles around you.

We falsely believe we are making things happen—and that can even turn into thinking if only people were as ______________ (conscientious, hard-working, smart, etc.) as us, they would not be in want.

And suddenly we forget about the love, graciousness and strength only God can provide in both of these times.

So how do we stay content in a world that actively works to keep us discontent?

Limit your time around agents of discontent.

Where does your discontentment grow? For me, it’s looking at Pinterest or home decorating sites. I see all-white country chic homes and am transported into another world—until I have to come back to earth and see my stained carpets, saggy couches and 1970’s bathroom. Not only can I become dissatisfied, I can project that dissatisfaction onto my husband, who works hard to provide for me.

I’ve learned to limit myself when it comes to my house. Currently, we are replacing our carpets with flooring. Instead of spending months perusing different websites, I’m heading to Home Depot. No muss. No fuss.

Get radically, ridiculously grateful.

This is an exercise I do when I need to recalibrate my gratefulness. Notice how many things you have directly around you.

As I write this, within a foot of me are:

2 Bibles
A notebook and pen
A coffee cup with hot coffee in it
A banana peel from the banana I just ate
A tray a good friend gave me
A couch I’m sitting on
A quilt my mom made me
My dog cuddling with me
Just noticing the blessings in my immediate surroundings changes my perspective.

Here is what I know from reading God’s word: We need to set our hearts on God and not our circumstances. We must learn to live both in want and in plenty.

God will meet us, no matter our situation. Our ability to be content is not determined by our circumstances, but our connection to Him.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

How to Make Your Own Swiffer Pads and Solution

DIY-Swiffer-Pads-2

Thank you bloglovin for today’s tip….

I will admit I love my Swifter. It makes things quick and easy on the hardwood floors.  I even have a Swifter Jet to do the kitchen floor.  So you can imagine how excited I was to find this inexpensive solution.

This is so much cheaper, with a mild scent and reusable cleaning pads.  I’m not usually one for making my own solutions BUT this seems easy enough….  It’s so simple, you’ll seriously wonder why you didn’t start making your own refills sooner.

For the cleaner, all you really need is water and white vinegar. Add a dash of dish soap to de-grease the floors and some essential oils for scent and shine. Pour the solution over your reusable rags and go to town. When you’re done, just toss the rag in the washing machine and use it again later.

If you have the Swiffer Sweeper, it’s easy to just cut up a couple of old rags for the pads. But if you have the Wet Jet, some people use chenille socks instead of terry towels. Just slip one over the Swiffer’s base and cut two small holes where the solution sprays out. And speaking of solution, to refill the Wet Jet’s bottle, submerge the cap in an inch of boiling water until the plastic softens (it should take about a minute). Then use your hands or a screw driver to gently pry off the cap. Refill the bottle with homemade solution and screw the cap back on. Voila!

Ingredients

2-3 old dish towels
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
3 drops dish soap
5 drops orange essential oil

Instructions

  1. Trim dish towels to fit the base of your Swiffer. Fold towels and place in a plastic container.
  2. In a small bowl, combine water, vinegar, dish soap and essential oils.
  3. Pour solution over the towels.
  4. Wash the floors as usual.
  5. When you’re done, toss the cleaning pad into the washing machine and reuse.

Need a place to store your DIY kit?  Why not try Thirty One’s Double Duty Caddy

Whoever said you can’t take it with you didn’t know about the Double Duty Caddy. Picnic utensils, condiments, art supplies, cleaning supplies, baby needs, cosmetics and lots more are easily transported in this sturdy, structured carrier. With two separate interior compartments and 4 exterior mesh pockets, there’s plenty of room to take whatever you need with you when you’re on the go. Not going anywhere for a while? Keep it on the kitchen table, counter or in the cupboard to hold napkins, salt and pepper shakers, sugar and more, or put it in the bathroom to keep all your beauty products together and organized.

The best part is when you spend $35 in the month of JUNE (there is still time left!), you can get ANY product in the solid crosshatch print for 50% off.  What an amazing deal and a great way to stock up on some of your favorite organizing products.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!