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!
Celebrate and Connect, Unclutter Your Life

What Lesson is Your Life Offering Now?

I want you to take a minute and think about what lessons your life is offering you right now.  The truth is when we change the way we look at situations, good and bad, we can actually learn from them.

God offers lessons everyday and it is up to us to learn from them.  If you are anything like me, you are hard headed (a typical Taurus trait) and may need to go through things multiple times before you actually learn the lesson. As a result, the same lessons are offered over and over again. Whether you are going through a frustrating or exciting time, there is something to learn which will prepare you for greater opportunities on your horizon.

Today, I want you to be intentional about looking for those lessons and finding ways to apply them to the daily challenges you face.  Here are five lessons you may have learned on your journey. If so, consider these a reminder today:

1. Nothing is permanent.

Believe it or not, change is good.  The first change I remember was moving from my childhood home to a new neighborhood at the age of 11.  It took me awhile but I adjusted.  Over the years of going to college, and changing jobs, I quickly learned to adapt to new circumstances, new people, and new surroundings. Nothing in life is permanent.  This fact should encourage you to revel in the joy your life is bringing right now.  It will help lessen your frustration when you encounter circumstances you don’t like. For some change is not easy, for others they have learned to roll with the punches.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a new job, or a chronic illness, there is a lesson to be learned.  If there is something or someone you love, in what ways could you embrace and enjoy them more? If it is something you don’t think you can handle, just hold on a little longer. This too shall pass.

2. You are either living on purpose or living by accident.

Too many people wander through life haphazardly, for the last few years I have been one of them.  I latched onto acquaintances, jobs, and life situations just because they crossed my path. I lived by accident.  It wasn’t my plan nor did I actually think I was.  I struggled to find my purpose.  A course called “Fit Within” is helping me to create a fulfilling life where I am purposeful in my decisions. Don’t make a decision without reflecting on what long-term impact it will have on you and the people you love. Pursue the things which empower you to express your values and talents. Choose to be around people you feel good being around—inspiring, supportive people who are moving in the same direction you are. Know your purpose and live in it every day in your work, relationships, health, finances, and spiritual life. Strive not to end up anywhere by accident—just because it was convenient.

3. Fear does not necessarily mean stop.

Does FEAR cripple you?  Do you want to run away or are you ready to roar like a lion and face it head on?  Fear is as powerful as you allow it to be. Most of us feel fear and take it as a warning to stop moving forward. Been there, done that and have more t-shirts then I can count!  We should see fear as a natural emotion which pops up every time we venture outside of our comfort zone. When you feel fear, keep moving. Step out of your comfort zone.  It will help you to grow AND get you closer to your goals. What are you afraid of right now which is keeping you from living your best life? Will you make a decision to move forward despite your fear?

4. Less is more.

Are you someone who shows their worth through money and material possessions?  Are you all about keeping up with the Jones’?  Do you play the comparison game?  The simple truth about self-empowerment is it comes from knowing nothing material will ever prove your worth. This is a lesson I need to be reminded of periodically.  Your worth comes from your identity as a child of God and the impact you make in the lives of others. Don’t worry about impressing everyone else. If you are a people pleaser, this might be a tough pill to swallow.  Focus on impressing God (or your Higher Power) by living the purpose for which He created you—serving and blessing others in the way only you can.

5. The power to change your life is in the choices you make.

SMACK!  This is perhaps the most powerful and toughest of lessons. Better choices create better circumstances. It’s not what happens to you which most impacts your life; it is how you respond to it. Your choices create your future. What kind of future are you creating with the choices you are making today? You can choose to enjoy your life or to be miserable. You can choose to be flexible or keep hitting a brick wall at work or in a relationship. You can choose to pursue your dreams or keep making excuses for why you can’t achieve them. The choice is yours.

What is the most important lesson your life is offering you right now? How will you apply this lesson in your future?

Today I challenge you to take an action in the next 48 hours which will enrich your life in a positive, meaningful way.  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Saturday Spotlight: Usborne Books

SideBubble-shop

It is time for Saturday Spotlight and today we are featuring Usborne Books & More business by Marcy Drexler.   Here is what she has to say about her business:

As a team leader and being part of the company for 3 years, I have been able to books into the hands of children. Not sure there is anything better than helping the future leaders of tomorrow find their love of reading.

Literacy is so important and Usborne Books & More offers so many ways to make quality books available to children and their families. As our Mission Statement reflects, “The future of our world depends on the education of our children. We deliver educational excellence one book at a time. We provide economic opportunity while fostering strong family values. We touch the lives of children for a lifetime.”

Marcy gets to work with school, libraries, daycares, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and of course moms and dads to get great, educational and FUN books into the hands of young readers. One of her favorite things is what I call Book Benefits. Helping out families during financial struggles, when they are touched by death or health issues or need fundraising for adoption – we run a Book Benefit and they get 100% of the commission earned and much of the time all the free books!

To SHOP Usborne Books & More
View the current catalog which features the complete line of Usborne and Kane Miller titles.
To Join Marcy on Facebook

I wish I had of known about this amazing company when Belinda was little or when I was working as a Social Worker with kids who were struggling.  What a great way to get books into the hands of kids!

Looking for something to carry those books in?  Why not check out Thirty One’s Cinch Sac. So cute and sporty! Toss all your items for ballet, soccer, school and sleepovers into this bag, pull the drawstring and you’re good to go! There are so many patterns and colors to choose from to make it uniquely yours. Measures approx: 18.5”H x 14.5”W

What book are YOU reading now?  Share it with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!