Thankful Thursday: 31 Mom Hacks

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Just a few household items, some creativity, and you can make those long summer parenting days just a little easier while keeping the kids happy, too!

Did you know according to a NEW Groupon survey, most parents are ready to send their kids BACK to school after 13 days of summer vacation?  Are you one of those parents?  I would have to disagree with this survey.  When Belinda was growing up, I loved summers.  It was a nice break from the craziness of school, sports, competitions and more.  When she was younger, she spend mid-week in Ocean Grove with family and weekends at home.  Once she got hooked on gymnastics – life changed but summers were fun.

These hacks may not change your life, but they might save your sanity – and give you more time for the things which really matter.

  1. Save time in the morning by putting your children to bed in their school clothes. (Boy moms, especially, swear by this one!)  Would you do this?
  2. Recycle used coffee creamer containers or use our Hide & Peek Pouch for on-the-go snacks. They fit perfectly in diaper bag bottle pockets and car cup holders.
  3. Place two layers of fitted sheets and waterproof mattress pads over your little ones’ beds for easier cleanup of overnight accidents.  Genius!
  4. Keep a portable, Cinch Sac or a Picnic Thermal Tote in your car for wet or soiled baby clothes.
  5. Did you know the shoulder tabs on infant bodysuits are meant to help you pull a soiled outfit down instead of up over the baby’s head? Who would know this? LOL!
  6. Save trips from the car to the house by keeping a Deluxe Utility Tote in your trunk for all of your shopping bags.
  7. Use a makeup brush to apply diaper rash cream to help keep your hands clean.
  8. Poke your ice pop’s stick through a cupcake liner to catch drippy messes and keep hands and clothes clean.
  9. Cupcake liners are also an easy way to protect kids’ drinks from bugs during picnics. Just put one over a plastic cup and pop a straw through the top.
  10. Make more room in your diaper bag by keeping an Essential Storage Tote, packed with an extra blanket, toys and a change of clothes, in the car.
  11. Lay painter’s tape over your door locks to prevent toddlers from locking themselves in their room.
  12. A pool noodle under the fitted sheet makes a great impromptu bedrail.
  13. You can also cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise and wrap it around a door to prevent slammed fingers.
  14. Line a collapsible Stand Tall Bin with a garbage bag to create an on-the-go trash can for camping trips.
  15. Use a hanging shoe storage bag to organize blocks and other small toys.
  16. Keep a sliced apple from browning before lunch by wrapping it in plastic wrap.
  17. Detangle doll hair with a little dish soap and conditioner. OMG!  I wish I knew this before….
  18. Use a pizza cutter to slice pancakes and waffles into bite-sized pieces for little fingers.
  19. Make any footed PJs slip-proof with a little puffy paint on the soles of the feet.
  20. Sunshine can be a surprisingly effective baby stain remover. Just leave the item of clothing outside to dry and watch the stain fade in just a few hours.

 

  1. Fill a Double Duty Caddy with art supplies so it’s ready to go on rainy days.
  2. You can machine wash your kids’ plastic building blocks and other toys in a mesh delicates bag. (Just don’t put them in the dryer!)
  3. Hang bibs on the back of a highchair using removable hooks.
  4. Free up space in your child’s lunch bag by using a frozen juice box as an ice pack.  Did you know lunch thermals were on sale this month????
  5. In a pinch, you can quickly childproof cabinets with hair ties.
  6. Store ice pops vertically in the freezer to make them easier to cut open.
  7. An empty blow-up kiddie pool makes an impromptu play pen indoors or outdoors.
  8. Pack kids’ outfits – tops, pants, socks and accessories – in individual bags or Zipper Pouches for easier travel.
  9. Give each child his or her own Large Utility Tote to carry their laundry to the washer and back from the dryer.
  10. Freeze homemade baby food in an ice cube tray for perfect portion sizes.
  11. Create a giant dry erase mat with a dollar-store shower curtain.

What are some of YOUR favorite mom hacks? Share them with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is Your Life Purpose?

 

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  I don’t mean just in this house? Or in this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  Honestly, most days I wonder what my purpose is….I’m sure many have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Many have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last few weeks.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days (very few) when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  Torn between what I think I “should be” doing and what I really want to do.  Torn between having the confidence to work my angel business releasing my creativity or just sticking with what I know works in my direct sales business.  Some may say do both BUT my MS requires me to keep things simple.  What about you, do you know your purpose?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  I know I can’t!  If you are like me, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special”. I like to help people.  Maybe it is the people pleaser in me.  Maybe it is just the “helper gene” LOL.  Or maybe it is just the fact someone was nice to me when I was struggling.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life (and in mine).  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.  It means you are willing to share your gifts and talents with others.  I am seeing new gifts develop or at least come out again – my creativity in making angels.  Seeing how putting the pieces together to form something wish brings memories to life is so humbling.

I think about my success as a Social Work….I know I made a difference. Some may think I am being conceited but I actually saw the difference I was making.   I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.  Even when things are tight for me, there is a way to give back – a cup of coffee, a ride to a meeting, a smile, a thank you – everything makes a difference.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question….Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

If you are in Jersey, it seems like the dreary days of April may continue into May but it won’t be long and we will be able to enjoy the wonderful Spring weather (hopefully)….

May is an AMAZING month for so many reasons.  In our house, it is celebration time. First my birthday, then Mother’s Day, then our wedding anniversary followed by my one year anniversary in recovery!  So many things to be grateful for…

Things are happening at Thirty One, too!  The May Customer Special is TWO of the upcoming totes in Thirty One.  They are the Crossbody Organizing Tote and the newest addition to the Thirty One family the Small Utility Tote.  It is actually half the size of Deluxe Utility Tote!   This versatile product has so many uses, you will need more than just one.  It has become one of my new favorite bags!

There are THREE great ways to take advantage of this month’s customer special…

#1 – Could you use some extra money? Maybe you could pay off some bills? Or pay for the kids summer activities?  Maybe you just need some girl time?  Maybe you are looking for a career change?  Whatever your reason, I would love to help you reach your dream…We have TWO different Enrollment Kits to pick from…. the Signature for $99 (over $350 in product) or the Deluxe for $179 (over $450 in product).

PLUS with sales of $1000 up over the next 4 months, you earn Wishes Rewards!  You will be able to use them for more free products or business supplies, VISA gift cards or Disney gift cards.  Think of all of the possibilities.

#2 – Not sure about starting your own business…. how about hosting a girls get together? When was the last time you hung out with the girls without the kids?  Need a break from the craziness of life?  You supply the friends and I will do all of the work….  We can have a home party, a trunk party, a “happy hour” party, text party, or a Facebook Party.  I also do fundraisers so we can help out your favorite cause while having a great time. Which one will fit into YOUR busy schedule

For just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party. Did you know only 6 orders of $35 will get you a $200 party? I offer home, catalog/online, drinks at a local restaurant and 31-minute Facebook LIVE parties.

With a $600 party, you get this AMAZING hostess special for just $35.  The Miles of Style Bundle includes: the Miles of Style purse and a Rubie Mini. A great gift for the graduate.

#3 –  So maybe you just LOVE to shop? Don’t need any extra money.  Don’t like to hang out with the girls.  BUT you do love a good deal…

So here is the AMAZING Thirty One Customer Special for May – DRUM ROLL, please!!!!

 

The small utility tote is just $12 with a $35 purchase.  OR the Crossbody Organizing Tote for $15.

 

 

So, to sum things up…there are THREE opportunities with Thirty One this month (actually every month!):

3 options

Which one is for you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Unknown.jpegThank you Barb Poland Ung one of my AMAZING customers….
Everyone loves these cookies topped with Hershey’s kisses chocolates.  Fun, each and full of peanut butter flavor, they are a must for any holiday baking list.  These have ALWAYS been one of my favorites

PREP TIME : 20  MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.

Do you know what a GREAT gift would be??? Bag up some of these YUMMY cookies and put them in a Thirty One Littles Carry All. The novelty Littles Carry-All Caddy is the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your 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 gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.  It is the gift which keeps on giving.  The BEST part is they are on sale this month for $6 with a $35 purchase.  You can stock up on them and be done with your holiday shopping.

For submitting a recipe AND having me post it.  Barb will be receiving a special gift from me!  Do you have a recipe you would like to share?  If I use it in my blog, you will receive a gift from me as my way of thanking you.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Mexican Quinoa Bowl

This healthy, gluten-free recipe is a one-pot wonder which comes together in a snap! Skip the sour crean and it becomes a great vegan option.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1   orange or red bell pepper, stem removed, seeded
  • 1   medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 3” (7.5-cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 2   garlic cloves
  • 1 can (15 oz/425 g) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz/411 g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) Tex-Mex Rub
  • ¼  cup (50 mL) fresh cilantro leaves
  •  Diced avocado, sour cream and lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in the Deep Covered Baker. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the bell pepper into quarters and the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using the Quick Slice, cut the bell pepper (skin-side up) into strips. Slice the zucchini halves crosswise.
  3. Remove the baker from the microwave. Stir in the vegetables, garlic pressed with the Garlic Press, beans, tomatoes with juice, and rub.
  4. Microwave, covered, for 8–10 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid.
  5. Remove the baker from the microwave and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. Snip cilantro in a small bowl with the Professional Shears.
  7. To serve, sprinkle the quinoa with cilantro and top each serving with avocado and sour cream, if desired.

Yield:  5  servings of 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 230, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 660 mg, Carbohydrate 46 g, Fiber 9 g, Sugars 8 g, Protein 11 g

Cook’s Tips:

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder and 1 tsp (5 mL) of ground cumin can be substituted for Tex-Mex Rub.
  • To make this recipe on the stovetop, increase vegetable broth to 1½ cups (375 mL). Combine the quinoa and broth in Rockcrok® Dutch Oven and cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Continue as directed in steps 2 and 3. In step 4, bring to a simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed the liquid. Let it stand 5 minutes. Continue as directed.

Want more recipes to help you change up boring dinners?  Check out Patti’s website where there is over 250 recipes to spice up your dinner menu.  If your wish list is bigger than your wallet, host a party to earn free and discounted products.  Just like to shop, check out the monthly customer specials. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!