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!

 

Party Ideas

How To Create a Cute Pumpkin

Fall means Halloween is just around the corner, with witches, ghosts and monsters galore. I used to love this holiday because I got to make some fun costumes for Belinda and her friends.  You can start getting in the spooky spirit with Halloween totes, pillows and embroidery designs in Thirty One’s Fall Catalog – and this easy DIY pumpkin painting craft that’s perfect for big and little ghouls alike.

What you’ll need:

  • Small pumpkins or gourds
  • Acrylic paint
  • Alphabet craft stickers
  • Assorted paintbrushes
  • Paper plates
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Cups of water

Optional:

  • Glitter
  • Rhinestones
  • Glue

Directions:

Lay down newspaper to keep your table or counter mess-free. Use paper plates as paint palettes and squeeze out the colors of paint you want to use. Then, get painting! When you need to switch to a new paint color, just rinse out your brush in a cup of water and dry it on a paper towel.

These pumpkins can be as simple or as funky as you want! Go for one neutral color palette, or let the kids go to town by choosing the colors for their own personal pumpkins.

Spell out spooky words like “Boo!” or “Trick or treat” by placing letter stickers on your pumpkin before painting it, then peeling them off after the paint dries. Or go for a bedazzled look with glitter and rhinestones attached with glue. Check out Hallmark’s Think. Make. Share. blog for more pumpkin-painting inspiration.

Bonus tip: Opt to paint your pumpkins this year to save on the mess and cleanup of carving! Decorate your windowsill or mantelpiece with mini pumpkins, or use them as a festive Halloween centerpiece on the dining room table. Plus, they stay fresh much longer than carved pumpkins.

Looking for some place to store all of your craft supplies.  Check out Thirty One’s Get Creative line.  The Get Creative Caddy is great for crafts, work, or church. Craft time is any time when you pack up our specially designed shoulder bag with paper crafts, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, painting and more. The stylish Get Creative Caddy has three compartments and seven pockets to organize and transport crafting and sewing items as well as toiletries, toys and travel essentials. These craft caddies partner beautifully with our Get Creative pouches and cylinders.

The Get Creative Carry-All is my favorite.  I carry craft supplies to show and have plenty of room for lots of “stuff”.  I have home health aides who use this to carry their supplies.  Teachers love it because it is roomy. Don’t leave home without your favorite project in this craft bag or sewing bag! Pack up your yarn, paper crafting and scrapbooking items, art supplies and more in this stylish and sturdy travel craft bag. The structured satchel top stays open for easy access to projects while you work, while eight pockets organize crochet hooks, knitting needles, markers, brushes and more. This craft bag can be personalized to make a distinctive and special gift.

Share your pumpkin creations with us…. Have a blessed day!

Favorite Products

Teacher Solution Sets

I can’t believe Summer is almost over.  It won’t be long (maybe a week or so) before many will be leaving the sunshine and sand while they head back to school.

Summer may be leaving BUT  it isn’t so bad when there’s so much fall fun to look forward to! Cozy sweaters, leaf piles and of course the hustle and bustle of back to school are right around the corner. I can see many moms doing the happy dance now.  LOL!

Who knows more than teachers about starting the school year off right? From classroom heroes to bus duty buddies, here are eight of  Thirty One’s top styles to create save-the-day solution sets for the ones who put the cool in school (or anyone else who needs to get organized)..

For taming the desk mess

From paperclips and pencils to staplers and snacks, teachers ask a lot of their desks. Make it more manageable with the desktop organizing combo of a Littles Carry-All Caddy (or two), Get Creative Slim Pouch and Get Creative Rectangle Pouch.

This durable, wipeable caddy is perfectly sized to fit a small box of tissues or extra coffee pods for your morning brew, while its exterior mesh pocket can stow paperclips, sticky notes and rubber bands at hand. Pop your markers, pens and pencils into the slim pouch, and use the rectangle pouch for large index cards or to keep loose bits and bobs in one place. Plus, both pouches are made of clear PVC, so you’ll always be able to see what’s stashed inside!

 

For manic mornings and laid-back lunches

One of a teacher’s many superpowers is getting up and ready before the sun, so make mornings a little brighter with a tote-ally perfect pairing that’ll pull double duty. The Crossbody Organizing Tote is one of our top styles for the season, and teachers know why! With all the pockets you could ask for and a spacious design, this tote is an organizing dream. Perfect for the ones who have to take their work home with them (we’re talking grading papers galore), plus the adjustable crossbody strap means hands-free organization, even on the go.

This functional work tote only gets better when paired with our tried-and-true Thermal Tote, its lunchtime partner in crime. Make lunch hour sweeter with an insulated tote in tons of fun prints, and add a personalized embroidered design for a thermal tote that’ll be the talk of the teachers’ lounge. Getting up early might be tough, but packing your lunch in the morning doesn’t have to be!

For classroom clutter

With kids comes mess, but that mess doesn’t have to equal stress. Meet your new all-star organizing team: the Large Utility Tote (our #1 style for the season!) and Double Duty Caddy. With its top handle and two side compartments, the Double Duty Caddy is just the structured sidekick teachers need to store cleaning supplies, art materials, papers or even plates, napkins and plastic utensils for classroom parties!

You already know there are a thousand uses for the LUT, so here are just a few ideas fit for the classroom. And don’t forget to add a custom embroidered message or design in Thirty-One’s personalization studio – just click the “personalize” button under Large Utility Tote to see your design come to life!

  • Stash toys and stuffed animals for indoor recess
  • Fill with books for a portable classroom library
  • Stow pillows and cushions for story circle time
  • Tote playground equipment to and from recess
  • Organize craft supplies for art projects
  • Make a portable lost-and-found!

For after-school fun

When the backpacks are packed and students are on the bus home, it’s time for teachers to take some time to unwind and focus on themselves. No matter the after-school destination, whether it’s a dinner out with the family, running to a yoga class or going out for drinks with the girls, the Boutique Backpack and Perfect Cents Wallet are your go-to duo.

Backpacks are perfect for the ones who are always on the go, and the Boutique Backpack’s faux leather finish elevates it to a statement piece that can also hold all your essentials with ease! And we can’t forget a coordinating wallet to keep your cash, cards and ID neat and organized.

For even more great back-to-school solutions, browse our hand-picked collection of school-ready gift ideas!

Hope Wissel

How To Make Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Thank you Vickie Howell and Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I think I have just found the perfect use for those retired fabric swatches.  New angels on their way….

If you don’t know Vickie Howell, you definitely need to check her out!  She  is a TV host, designer, ambassador and entrepreneur in the DIY space. She has LOTS of great tips on her website!

Here is a great way to use those sewing scraps and leftover fabric pieces (or if you are a consultant – those retired fabric swatches.  This is a fun indoor activity for the kids, too.  Let them design their own to give as gifts this holiday season.

Raid your closets and find some fabric scraps – you know the ones you were saving!  We never want anything to go to waste. Admit it, crafters – you have a spot in your closet just like this! I might even have more than one!  Here is what Vickie came up with as a fun way to give old fabric scraps and swatches new life as sweet home décor or heartfelt gifts.

Follow the steps below to decorate your own Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, front door wreath or dining room table centerpiece with ornaments handmade from materials around your home!

Materials needed:

  • Clear plastic bulb ornaments (get them online,  at your local craft store or even the dollar store)
  • Scraps of fabric, trimmings and/or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Optional: Glitter, buttons, sequins

How-to:

  1. Gather scraps and cut them into different lengths. (1″-4″ pieces work great!)
  2. Organize scraps and other trimmings by color family.
  3. Get creative! Combine a small handful of scraps from the same color family – or create your own palette – and insert them into a bulb.
  4. Tie a decorative ribbon onto the bulb’s wire loop for hanging.

Wrap your ornament in a little tissue paper and pop it into a Thirty One Little’s Carry All to give as a gift.  Small in size, but big on benefit, it is  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for a gift basket, small toys, crafts, office desk supplies and wrapped candy.

Feel merry!  Show us how crafty you are! Share your photos using the #partywithHope  Who knows you may find some happy mail headed your way.

Love to get crafty? Be sure to check out Thirty-One Gifts’ Get Creative line of portable craft storage bags and more, including totes, work mats and clear pouches.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

How to Organize Your Great Ideas

Thank you Christie Browning for these AWESOME ideas..

 I used to think I was the person who took ideas and made them happen.  Over the last year or so, I have become an idea person.  The problem is, I get the idea – maybe write it down and then forget about it.  Or I get obsessed with it and go over board doing everything in my power to make it happen.

Can you relate?

Most ideas which fizzle out probably should.  They would be the ultimate Pinterest fail (at least in my case).  But sometimes there are some really good ones, I don’t want to lose track of.  Maybe the timing is wrong or worse the ideas keep coming to the point I am on overload.  Overload and MS are definitely not a good mix!!!  I then end up not taking action on anything or implementing any of the amazing ideas.

Are you someone who has a lot of ideas but struggles with keeping them organized or putting them into action?  Thanks to Christie, there are some suggestions for you…. I am going to try to start organizing my ideas, so I can move into action mode and ultimately make them happen!  Want to join me?

#1:  Dump your brain

I have been to MANY trainings where we have done this at the start of the session to help us focus.  It is a great way to just empty the mind-clutter without losing the great ideas! YES, it is possible.  So, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!  Keep the notebook on your desk,  your nightstand or wherever as long as it is close so when an idea hits, you can write it down. Get the thought on paper and stop depending on your brain to remember!  My brain is useless for this.  LOL!  By writing them down, you have a written record of your ideas.  Believe it or not, some of them will overlap and work with ones you have already had.  Also, by writing it down, you can review them when the “aha moment” passes to see if it is really a great idea.  Maybe you will pass on it now, but who knows in a few years, it might be doable.

#2:  Organize the madness

Having ideas is a great ….BUT every brain dump needs a little bit of organization.    I use color coding in my planner, so why not use the same principle in organizing my ideas. Create a color reference for each category. My categories are:

  • Blue – Personal (medical in my planner)
  • Pink – Business
  • Yellow – Family/ Household
  • Green – Financial
  • Orange – Spiritual

Once, you jot down an idea make sure there is enough information (not a book, just a few sentences) so if you come back to it, you remember what you were talking about.  Now, highlight it with a color.  In a “perfect world”, all of the ideas would be together in a notebook by category.  Yup, I’m so not there yet.

#3:  Plan to take action

So every idea I have doesn’t get acted on or do I even attempt.  There are some ideas  which die the minute I wrote them down or when I come back to look at them with a fresh pair of eyes, I think… “that ‘s crazy!”  I still keep them around in the never ending notebook because you never know, right?  The truth is, you will be able to tell from a brain dump which ideas will work at at that moment and which ones you need to hold on. The ideas I want to work on, I transfer to my planner and start planning it out. I figure out what steps I need to take to get started.  I identify what needs to happen. Then… jot dates (a basic timeline) or I prioritize what needs to be done first, then second, etc.  Unfortunately,  identifying a budget has always been last on my list.  If it is going to cost money,  I find someone with a more practical head to talk with about it so I don’t go off half cocked.

Organizing your ideas is a way  to help you stay focused on what needs attention now. I “squirrel” a lot lately so using this system has helped.  Be sure to ask yourself, “What needs to happen first?”.  “What projects have I already started I need to finish before I launch another idea?”  Sometimes ideas are great, but need to wait until other things happen first.  It’s easy to get distracted when something is new and exciting comes along, but the reality is, you will never actually cross a finish line or reach completion on an idea if you keep jumping around.

We all have goals, visions or even are why, right?  So be sure the idea you want to launch gets you closer to your goal, to your vision for your life, your business or your finances?  If it does, then hold onto this idea.   If it isn’t a perfect fit, push it to the bottom of the priority list.  Keep your list alive but updating it and reflecting on it regularly.

How do you organize your ideas?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!