Travel Tips

How To Build a Busy Bag

The warmer weather has arrived, hopefully to stay, and for many it means ROAD TRIP!  Or maybe it just means a staycation.  As a kid, long car rides and I would fall asleep.  Belinda liked to be kept busy when we traveled in the car.  What about your kids do they sleep or are they a “when are we going to get there” kind of kid?
Another recipe for disaster: Take an important meeting, or doctor’s appointment, add one squirmy toddler and hope (or pray, as the case may be) for a tantrum-free hour.  You know what I mean, those times when a quick trip turns into an hour plus mess.
Fear not because there is a simple way to ward off a boredom-induced meltdown – build a busy bag!  This tote  can be filled with quiet toys, books and crafts and is an easy way to keep your little one entertained and (relatively) silent.
Here’s how to make your own:

Start with the bag

Help your child choose a bag or tote to fill and then decorate it together! The Statement Canvas Shopper – or for littler hands, a Statement Canvas Mini Shopper – can be personalized with their name, a fun Icon-It, graphic or even their own photo or artwork! You can upload your littlest ones’ fingerpaint masterpieces online and create a bag they’ll carry long after the “originals” have been tossed.

Bring along something soft

Smaller children may enjoy having a comfort item or “lovie” they can snuggle while the grown-ups are busy. For older children, choose soft dolls or finger puppets for imaginative play instead of noisy plastic action figures.

Add a little fun

A simple activity keeps little fingers engaged and focused. Old-fashioned toys like lacing cards, paper dolls or a matching card game don’t take up much space and can be enjoyed over and over.

Encourage reading and writing

Babies and toddlers who can’t yet read love books with different textures and flaps to open and close. Older children may enjoy age-appropriate books or a notebook and pencil to practice handwriting. Include some coloring books and crayons (as long as you know they’ll be used only on paper).Add some of your child’s favorite toys and activities to customize your busy bag with whatever will keep them content. Keep your bag ready in the car or diaper bag so it’s always with you on the go, and switch out toys and games frequently to hold your child’s interest. And most importantly, have fun, because they’re only little for so long!

What do you carry to keep your little ones busy when you are out and about?  Do you have a favorite game to play on car trips?  Share it with us…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

Tips for a Successful Sports Season

Back to School means back to sports for many of parents.  The two often go hand-in-hand, and many times, the sports season begins even before the school year does! While the coach usually provides a list of necessary gear, like helmets, rackets, cleats, etc., they don’t always mention the other important items you’ll want to have on hand for a successful season.  I actually looked forward to the fall – the start of Belinda’s sports seasons (gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheerleading).  It was a crazy busy time but so much fun.

Here are a few products you and your sports star will be glad you have:

Water bottles. Being hydrated isn’t something moms just nag about. Kids who play sports expend tons of energy. Each drop of sweat is fluid lost from their body. It’s important they have a good water bottle to help keep them cool in warmer weather. Even in the coldest winter months they’re still running and sweating and need to keep the fluids coming.

Healthy snacks.  Whether or not they play sports, it’s important for growing bodies to receive proper nutrition. Sports kids need even more to fuel their bodies. Some easy snacks are things like fruits, veggies, and protein-packed yogurt and cheese. To keep the snacks fresh, use Thirty One’s Around-The-Clock Thermal.  When practices and games fall within meal times, this thermal will allow you to pack enough to keep everyone fueled up. It holds up to 15 lbs. and is generously sized to fit water bottles, sandwiches, and snacks.Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Quality backpacks are also an important thing for sports kids to have. I love the Sling Back Pack. If you’ve got a kid who flings their bag of gear over their shoulder, a sling back pack is a good solution. It’s easy to carry, stylish, and holds everything they need. It’s the perfect pack for in school use, sports games, and for weekend trips as well.

Duffle bags. Our Thirty-One All-Packed duffle bag holds everything from tablets to laptops to knee pads, football helmets and snacks. One of my favorite features of this bag is the separate compartment for shoes, so the rest of the gear doesn’t get dirty. The bag also does double duty if we travel, holding enough clothes for a few days away from home. This is an especially attractive and versatile bag that will really work for anyone.

Thirty-One also offers personalization options, allowing you to customize items with your name, your team’s name, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it is to have your child’s name on their bag when there are 30 of them laying on the ground after a game! You can also personalize using icons like soccer balls and cheerleading megaphones. Sports mom lesson #1: Label everything!

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is wipes are necessary long after the child is out of diapers. Whether they’re 5 or 15, they still spill things and/or get them on their clothes. And your car’s seats too! Wipes make short work of little messes. Sports gear gets a little messier, as you can imagine, and for that we use antibacterial wipes. Cleaning the equipment after use helps keep kids healthy. Wiping things down immediately also makes for easier deep cleaning later. Mud comes off a football helmet with less effort before it gets dried on!

How about keeping a plastic bag or laundry bag inside the kids’ bags. It makes it much easier to collect dirty uniforms after events. Most kids can’t seem to find the laundry basket if their life depends on it, so by providing the laundry bag inside their bags, You have a much better chance of washing those socks before they can stand on their own. Grab the bag and throw the stuff in the wash.

It should also be said sports gear isn’t something you should skimp on when it comes to quality. If you purchase a lower quality item at your local discount store, you’ll likely end up doing that two or three times throughout the year. Usually this happens at 9pm when your child says something like “Hey mom, I forgot to tell you there’s a big hole in this thing needed for 6am practice tomorrow.” It just makes more sense financially and from a convenience standpoint to buy the higher quality items the first time.

Sports seasons can get crazy, but it is likely the most fun that you’ll have while your kids are in school. There’s nothing quite as exciting as sitting on the sidelines cheering them on as they play hard and work as a team toward a goal. Being a sports mom is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, and with a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’re in for an awesome season.

Are you a sports mom? Do you have tips to share?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Thirty One Business

Spring Premiere 2017

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Today is Thirty One‘s Spring Premiere for consultants.  For those in direct sales, you know the introduction of NEWNESS creates a lot of excitement.  You are eager to share the catalog with friends, family and customers.  You want everyone to be excited so YOU can fill your calendar.  This would be AWESOME, if the catalog started in the next few weeks.  What happens if you get a sneak peak in December and the catalog doesn’t start until February 1st?

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As a hobbyist, I was one of those people who wrote off the rest of December and January; eagerly sharing the new catalog with everyone.  I didn’t have a plan on how to get through December and January.  I would just push for the Spring.  I mean who doesn’t want to think about warm sunny trips when the temps are dropping every day?  My customers had seen the same catalog for the last several months and they were ready for something fresh.  What was the result?  Not only were sales down BUT my paycheck took a nose dive.  Could I have expected anything more?

The last two years as a result be being a part of an AMAZING upline team with Thirty One, catalog changes take on a whole new meaning for me (and my team). Now, I put a Damage Control Campaign in place.  These two months are crucial because they are part of the numbers for the Leadership Incentive Trip I am working towards for hubby and I.

We are in the busiest selling season of the year, so make the most of it.  Your direct sales company may have a cut-off to ensure delivery in time for Christmas BUT don’t close up shop once it has passed.  Does Macy’s close their doors after the holiday blitz?  What happens over the next six weeks will effect your business in three months.  Do you want to be sitting with an empty calendar in February or March?  I know I don’t.  It’s crucial to set GOALS and have a plan.  This way we can kick off an AMAZING Spring Summer season.

Here are some of the tips:

  • Use Customer Care Card or Door Prize Slips to secure bookings and leads at events.
  • Use Hostess Stacking and booking games at parties.
  • Use games to keep the party fun and help to fill your calendar. To keep your business growing, your goal should be at least 2 bookings from every party or event.
  • Build strong relationships with customers and hostesses. Communication before, during and after the party is the key that builds trust and begins building a solid relationship.
  • Think outside the box of a home party in December or January.  Take your party on the go. Couldn’t we all use a break after the holiday madness? What about a Facebook Live party or a ZOOM party?
  • Knowing what is available, and what is coming in the following month helps to build consistency. It encourages conversations with potential hostesses.  It allows you to have one on one conversations,  making them feel special because you are providing them with a sneak peek of the upcoming hostess and customer specials.
  • We all want to keep our January booked and busy even though our customers are going to want to get their hands on the new Spring catalog.   Offer a fun enticing way to get them to book in January. Give your hostesses the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new spring catalog at their party in January.
  • January is a great month to offer last chance opportunities for the current catalog. Last chance/ first glance parties.  These give your customers a chance to purchase retiring product as well as get a glimpse of the NEW items. Encourage your hostesses or customers to plan parties or purchase early in the month, as items begin to sell out closer to the end of the month.

So, what is YOUR best tip for keeping your calendar full during a catalog change? Share your tips with us.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

Let’s Have Picnic

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Happy Friday…… I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of the year.  The summer crowds have left the Jersey Shore – well, most of the them, the humidity is gone and the weather is perfect.

Whether you’re looking to have some inexpensive fun with the family, or getting ready to tailgate while watching your favorite football team or looking for some quiet time with some one special…. a picnic is a great option!

Picnics come in all shapes and sizes and, honestly, there is no right or wrong way to do it. The best picnics seem to be the ones handled with a carefree attitude and positive energy. Hanging out with friends (or family)…on a blanket…eating your fave foods is supposed to be fun. Don’t worry about having a cute picnic basket (but a Thirty One thermal always helps).  Not sure what to bring? Don’t fret — food is food and it doesn’t need to be packaged in cutesy DIY wrapping. Picnics are — and should be — the most mellow, fun and relaxing way to hang with friends or family or solo, so your stresses drift away.

Here are 5 super simple things to keep in mind for your next picnic adventure.

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Location.  I remember picnics in the mountains, next to highways, on large boulders, in the backs of trucks, and in tiny backyards. Translation: it doesn’t need to take place in a park or at some epic location. What I would suggest is the space accommodate the amount of people coming. Large parks and beaches are perfect for big groups, whereas just a few people can fit pretty much anywhere.

Food. You can be as elaborate as you want to be when it comes to food. I’m basic making sure I have something everyone likes.  There is always some cheese, seasonal fruits and nuts, a bottle of wine, chips and salsa.  However, summer salads, and deli sandwiches are great too!  For large groups, potluck is fun where each person brings their favorite dish.

Blanket. This is a must!  Of course, these days I usually am making sure there are fold-up chairs or a picnic table close by too.

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Gear.  Maybe the “gear” with all the “right” picnicking stuff is not necessary BUT when you travel with a “bag lady”, you are sure to have lots of options.  You can get a “proper picnic basket” with matching essentials (plate, cups, silverware) or you can create your own.  Depending on what you pack for food, be sure to bring the appropriate tableware. But don’t forget cloth napkins, a cutting board, bottle opener, water, trash bags.

Games. What the heck is a picnic without games? Pack your favorite board games, cards, frisbee and book. Also, consider toting a camera and mobile speaker if you want music.

What else would you add to this list? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Travel Tips

Calm The Clutter in Your Camper

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 I have some great memories of camping with my family…. we went cross country in a station wagon with tents, we spent endless weekends hanging out at local campgrounds, and my grandparents RV was often my mode of transportation back to college.  RV’s have come a long way since I was growing up.  They are now designed with organization in mind. I am always amazed at where there are hidden storage compartments.  Being organized can help you make the most of your space.  You won’t have to worry about finding things or battling clutter because everything will have its place.  In most RVs the kitchen and living area are combined and it is the heart of your RV.   It’s the place to gather for meals, conversation, games, and entertainment.  Having this area organized makes food preparation easier, and creates a warm and welcoming space for everyone.

Most RVs now come with plenty of cabinets, BUT they usually don’t have shelves, just a big open space. Adding an extra shelf or two greatly increases the space and makes it easier to put things away.  A wire shelf gives more room in the kitchen cabinets.  Thirty One’s Your Way rectangles help keep cupboards clutter-free and keep things within easy reach.  The clear front allows you to see what is inside too.

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Spices add to the flavor of things grilled on the open fire but those glass bottles can quickly get unruly without a system in place.  LEFT: Spice gripper clip strips from Amazon TOP MIDDLE: Ditch the glass bottles all together and store spices in small-labeled ziplock bags.  BOTTOM MIDDLE: How about designing your own magnetic spice rack? An old pie tin for the magnetic spice jars to stick on.  BOTTOM RIGHT: Spices in small drawers. The spices are labeled for easy identification.

I LOVE this inexpensive idea of using desk organizers (or file folder holders) for the closet to keep things organized and in place on the bottom.

RV Organization Tips

Use velcro to keep your remotes in place.

Use velcro to keep your remotes in place.

To make the most use of space in the living room, how about some bins to stow things in cabinets, under furniture, and on shelves. Storage bins can be a great place for extra toys, blankets and craft items for those rainy days.

12743976_992100247495794_5472616629628768676_nI was always a barefoot or flip flop kind of girl… BUT I was always looking for one of them…instead of fighting the never-ending battle to keep shoes under control, try Thirty One’s large utility tote.

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A bedside caddy serves as a makeshift nightstand.

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Here some tips on keeping clutter to a minimum in small spaces like bathrooms.

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Another popular bathroom organizational tool is color-coded towels for each member in the family.

Utilize the inside of your doors

Utilize the inside of your doors.

Use broom holders to store your flashlights in a convenient place.

Use broom holders to store your flashlights in a convenient place.

 Make a “quick drop zone” for keys and sunglasses.  Directions here.

Make a "quick drop zone" for keys and sunglasses.

Add slide out drawers to an RV table.  Great for storing games and art supplies.

Add slide out drawers to an RV table.Calling all my RV travelers….. what are some of YOUR best tips?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!