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!


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!
Hope Wissel

Casual Cargo Bag – Not Just a Diaper Bag

First, my “baby” has turned 30 years old so I definitely don’t need a diaper bag BUT I do LOVE this bag.  I have actually been using it every day for the last few weeks.  It is AMAZING!

For those of you who have been around Thirty One for awhile, you may remember the original Casual Cargo Bag… it was actually the #1 choice by moms in 2014.  Don’t believe me, check out www.babycenter.com.  I know you are wondering why did it go away, right?    Like all good things, it went away and came back even more AMAZING!  How can you improve on great, right?  Well, we did!  

The NEW Casual Cargo Bag is part of Baby by Thirty One.  So, it is officially a diaper bag but it is so much more! It’s an easy-to-wear, everyday canvas cargo tote for anyone who’s on the go. Do you commute to work?  How about travel to practices with the kids?  Spend a lot of time on the road playing mom taxi or for work?  This bag is a great solution!

Let’s start with its extended top handle straps and detachable, adjustable strap which gives you the versatility to wear it as a shoulder bag or a crossbody bag.  It is in a cotton/canvas fabric with a polyester lining.   The crossbody strap let’s you keep your hands free when chasing after the kids.  It has two exterior pockets with magnetic closures which is the perfect spot for your keys or maybe the baby’s binky.  I have my business cards in one along with a note pad to gather potential customers contact information.  I know you are wonder, why didn’t I say these pockets were good for your cell phone.  Because there is actually a cell phone pocket on the outside which will fit most phones including some of the new larger ones.   No need to go digging around in your bag when you are juggling the baby.

Let’s move to the inside which has multiple pockets and LOTS  of space.  My favorite new feature is an interior thermal pocket with a leak lock lining.  This is a great spot to keep a snack and a bottle of water.  I haven’t put it to the test to see how much it can hold but there is quite a bit of room.  It did hold enough snacks/ light food for a recent vendor event.

Also on the side is two flat pockets AND 2 elastic side pockets which are great for bottles or containers of snacks.  Top it off with a zipper closure and you are ready to hit the road with a stylish, yet functional diaper bag.  Did I mention you can have it personalized too?  The best part is when you don’t need a diaper bag any more, it is still a GREAT bag to use every day.  It is roomy but not HUGE.

The next question is – “Is it washable?” I have to admit the company does not recommend washing this item.  They do recommend wiping it with a damp cloth using mild soap only and then air drying.  I will tell you I have customers who have tossed this into the washer on a gentle cycle and air dried it who give it rave reviews when all was said and done.

At a cost of $68, this durable, fun, functional and stylish bag is the perfect gift for the new or soon to be mom.  How about for the college student or even the work at home mom.  If you want to see this product up close – contact me for a product experience (one-on-one product showing) or have a home party where you can get all the things you will want to keep the new nursery neat and tidy…

Whose ready to shop??? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel


Thank you to ChaoticallyCreative.com for this tip! These flexible DIY Ice packs are awesome and I so wish I knew about them when the kids were little.  It would have made life so much easier.  The kids could have used them and then tossed them. These Ice packs don’t leak and are extremely flexible so you can mold them around a child’s injury. Plus they are super inexpensive. A DOUBLE WIN!!

Here are the materials you will need for the DIY Ice Pack:

  • Paper Towels
  • Water
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Baggies
  • Tape
  • Add rubbing alcohol to bowl

In a bowl add about two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol keeps the ice pack colder for longer.  This step is optional since rubbing alcohol is toxic so be careful if using these for small children who may put things in their mouths.

Now add water to the bowl (fill the bowl).  Then place a paper towel in to bowl

Saturate one paper towel with the mixture by dipping it in to the bowl. Squeeze excess water out and in to bowl. Fold the paper towel several times. And place it in to the bag. Fold the bag over. Zip it shut. tape up the baggie

Next, you’ll use decorative tape to seal the bag.


Now your ice packs are ready for your little one at any time.  If your freezer is on the bottom or is accessible for little ones, place the ice pack within reach so they can get it on their own.

Headed to a sporting event or out with the kids?  I don’t know about you but there was always a boo boo incident when we were out and about.  So, why not put one of these in a Thirty One Cool Clip Thermal and take it with you.


You can add a bottle of water too.  Everything will stay cold for about 6 – 8 hours. The handy clip will let you clip this onto a stroller, a diaper bag or on your backpack.

Do you have any DIY projects to share?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Travel Tips

How to Keep Your Kids From Getting Cranky

It is Friday and families all across America are gearing up for a big vacation, a small family getaway, or a fun-filled weekend because we are still in the midst of the busiest vacation time of the summer.  Despite all of the excitement, how many of you have seen this face on your child?  I mean we are excited about vacation, we can’t wait to get away from the craziness of our daily lives, so why aren’t the kids, right?

Whether you’re embarking on a road trip, traveling via plane, taking a cruise, or doing virtually anything in between, here are some travel tips that may help keep the crankiness away….

#1. Less is more.13466261_1072249162814235_5737085668642488373_n

I know I was probably the worst offender of this rule.  I was always over-packed in an effort to ensure that Belinda was never bored.  The truth was that despite all of the extra snacks and toys, she really only needed one or two toys and/or games to keep her entertained for an entire trip. Resist the urge to overdo it in this area. I usually included card games or activity books that easily fit into my purse so that they could be taken into restaurants.

#2. Remember the 3-1-1 rule.

Are you flying to your destination?  Remember that the TSA has strict policies on flying with liquids.  Specifically, you can only bring one quart-sized bag per (one) traveler filled with no more than three ounce travel-sized bottles.  Baby formula, breast milk and baby food have different requirements so be sure to double check those rules.  By following the 3-1-1 rule, you will definitely save time and hassles.

#3. All hands on deck.

No matter the age of your children, they can provide valuable insight when you are shaping your itinerary. Keeping the kids involved in the planning process will not only incentivize them to have as much fun as possible, but it will also give them something to anticipate while reducing the feeling that they’re being dragged on vacation. Encourage the  kids to be on the lookout for road signs, gate information, etc. too.

#4. Put some prep in your step.

Preparedness is the name of the game: Pre-print your boarding passes, keep copies of your itinerary on hand, and be sure to play the “Did You Bring?” game with yourself and your family members several times. This way, there are less likely to be major surprises or “bumps in the road” along the way!

#5. Pack some snacks.


When we took road trips, even when I was a child, we ALWAYS had a snack bag.  When flying, we packed snacks too because let’s be honest – you don’t want to rely on airplane or rest stop services for food.  Traffic, flight delays and other unforeseen circumstances could prevent you from addressing your child’s hunger before the moodiness kicks in.  I liked to always have snacks on hand that children can access on demand so you won’t need to pull over and prolong the travel process.

#6. Traveling isn’t a race.

I wish someone had shared this tip when I was traveling with Belinda.  I mean doesn’t the airline ALWAYS let parents with small kids board first?  Of course, this depends on whether or not there are others in your row of seats BUT it is a great tip for those with toddler’s or even the tween’s who hate being confined.  Take your sweet time and wait by the gate with your children until the plane is almost full before boarding. Think about it: Depending on the age of your child, being on a plane may not be their favorite place to be – so your best bet is to spend as little time on the airplane as possible. If you’re worried about overhead storage space, send your significant other or eldest child (if they’re old enough) onto the plane first in order to reserve some bin space.

#7. Smile, smile, smile.

Things happen — maybe your flight gets delayed, you’re late for an event, or something else totally unexpected happens. Regardless of what comes up, it’s important not to wear your emotions on your sleeve. As long as you’re having fun, your kids will rise to the occasion and do the same!

As long as you keep these things in mind before and during your travels, this vacation might prove to be the most fun and rewarding trip your family will ever take. Safe travels!

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!