Thankful Thursday: 31 Mom Hacks

hero.jpg

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!

Summer Travel Tips

Summer has arrived and it is time for vacations.  Did you know the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August are when most people go on vacation?  Where are you headed on your next vacation?

We are planning to travel in the fall when the weather is a little cooler and the kids are back to school.  Hopefully there will be less traffic.  I don’t know about you but I am the proverbial last minute packer,  I always change my mind a zillion times before we finally leave for a trip. Between changes in the weather, my moods and what our plans will be while we are away – I pile all of the “maybes” together and then sort through them the day before.

I love to travel even though it is a bit of a struggle these days. When Belinda was younger, I used to spend weeks getting things together – snacks, clothes, accessories, etc.  I checked and double checked to make sure we didn’t forget anything.  Of course, we usually did.  Now traveling with hubby, I seem to do the same thing – planning things out since both of us have health issues but when it comes to clothes I wait till the last few days to get things together.  When I travel on my own, you will find me packing on the last day..

Here are some travel tips courtesy of “iheartnaptime.net“.  I use her free printable packing list so I don’t forget anything.

Tip 1: Fill a pill case with any medicines you might need and label them.  This is for all of those “just in case” medicines so you aren’t hunting for things while you are traveling.  This is a HUGE help with those things you always seem to forget or don’t think you will need.

Tip 2: Use a contact case to store smaller items like earrings. It also works great to fill with makeup, like foundation so you don’t need to bring the whole container.

 

Tip 3:Place a garbage sack in your suitcase to fill with dirty clothes. In the past, we definitely would have have been know to use the plastic laundry bags from the hotel but I prefer to use a Thirty One large utility tote especially on a road trip!  Plop the bag in the car and just carry it right to the laundry room when you get home.

Tip 4: Place your necklaces between two pieces of sticky (plastic) wrap, so they don’t get tangled.  Then you can place them in Thirty One’s zipper pouch or glamour case.

Tip 5: Fill travel containers with shampoo and lotions. Then keep them in a bag in your suit case so it’s already packed.  This is so much cheaper than buying the travel size bottles, too.  I leave mine all ready to go in Thirty One’s Hanging Traveler Case.  It is even big enough to handle some full size bottles if you are traveling with the family.

Tip 6: Place a fabric softener sheet in your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.

Tip 7: Place your shoes in a zip top bag to prevent dirt from getting on your clothes. OR use those throw plastic shower caps you can get at the dollar store.  Thirty One’s All Packed Duffle is a perfect solution for this since it has a separate compartment just for shoes!  So, it works for travel or for the gym.

Tip 8: Place your favorite snack bars (mine are Aloha bars or Graze snacks) in a snack bag on a  so you always have a tasty and healthy snack.  Check out Thirty One’s Beach Ready Tote which is a great alternative.  It has a wipeable interior and can hold up to 8 beach towels.  So when you unpack all of the goodies, you can use it to head to the beach or pool.

 

13087470_1043041325735019_2138704875780846914_n

Thirty One’s July Customer Special offers your favorite lunch-sized thermals for either $10 or $15.    You can get one item on sale for every $35 you spend!  Gather some friends together either in your home, at a local happy hour, on Facebook or  have a texting party……. to get some FREE products along with a great HOSTESS SPECIAL which  is  the  NEW  Family  Picnic  Thermal  for  just  $20.

The NEW Fall Winter catalog will be out too soon be sure to click the link, fill out the simple survey and get your copy along with a coupon on your order.

Bonus: Print out a packing list from “iheartnaptime” to keep track of everything. It is a HUGE help for me.

Source: 10 Essential Travel Tips + Free Printable Packing List – I Heart Nap Time

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

July is Sizzling…

 

It is July, and here at the Jersey shore things are heating up.  The temps are rising.  The “shoobies” are at the shore for the 4th of July holiday.  The roads are congested and the wait for just about anything is crazy.  No need to wait for July’s awesome Thirty One Customer Special.

Have you seen the summer catalog with the NEW Summer Prints?  Maybe you like to camp or farm or maybe your style is off roadin’.  Maybe you are a mermaid fan or dinosaurs are more the hot trend in your house.  I myself am partial to the cactus cuties.  For those of you who just like a pop of color, the lollipop stripe and the polka dot pop are great compliments to Thirty One’s other Spring/Summer prints.

There is some HUGE news in July…………….

Check out this month’s Customer Special.  I know it is a little early to think “back to school”, right?  I mean the summer just started!  BUT July is when you can grab one of 8 lunch sized thermals for just $10 or $15 with a $35 purchase!

Would you like to be grab one of the newest family thermals for just $20????  When you host a $600 party in July, you can get the Family Picnic Thermal.  It is AMAZING!  It has a leak lock lining so you can use bags of ice to keep you drinks cold while out on the hot summer beach.

Check out some of these NEW Thirty One products from the Summer Seasonal Guide.  These items are only available through the end of August, so be sure to grab yours NOW!

I know you have no time to host a party – everyone is on vacation, too busy with the kids.  The list is a mile long with reasons why you can’t.  What if I told you, you can and it is easy.  At the baseball field – I will come there.  At the pool – I will come there.  No big presentation, just a party on the go – complete in about 1 hour.  OR how about an online party?  We can do a Facebook party LIVE  in one hour!  Everyone shops from the comfort of their home….

Maybe you are thinking…. I can do what she does.  I could use an extra $300 per month to help with bills or have for the kids activities or save (whatever your reason), then join my team, the Rays of Hope.  Join now and earn LOTS of perks along with your commission check.  I will be there to help you every step of the way.

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Summer Corn, Bacon and Potato Chowder

Thank you Weight Watchers for a YUMMY, gluten free recipe..  Sweet summer corn can’t be beat. Highlight it in this chowder along with buttery Yukon Gold potatoes and smoky Canadian bacon.  I can’t wait to pick up some corn from the farmer’s market this week.  Thompson Farms has the BEST, non-GMO corn around.

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cooking Time: 20 minutes     Servings: 4    SmartPoints™ value: 3     Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium uncooked Yukon gold potato(es) 1 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 4 piece(s) corn, kernels removed with a knife
  • 1 small sweet red pepper(s), diced
  • ½ cup(s) uncooked celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup(s) uncooked onion(s), chopped
  • 4 oz uncooked Canadian bacon, diced
  • 2 cup(s) fat free skim milk
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 2 medium uncooked scallion(s), thickly sliced

Directions

1. Pierce potato in several places with a fork; microwave on high power until tender, turning over once, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool; peel and mash.

2. Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Add corn, red pepper, celery and onion; sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

3. Stir bacon and milk into saucepan; stir in mashed potato and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; stir to combine. Cover and simmer 10 minutes (do not allow to boil); serve garnished with scallions.

Making a batch and don’t have 4 people to share it with?  Why not take it for lunch?  ThirtyOne’s lunch thermals are on special this month… One of my favorites it the Crossbody Thermal Tote.    Thirty One turned one of our most popular personal lunch thermals into a crossbody! Stay on-trend at the office or school with our fashionable and functional Crossbody Thermal Tote. Webbed handles plus a long, adjustable strap give you three ways to carry your snacks and drinks in style. Or give it as the perfect teacher’s gift! Choose personalization to make it even more special. You can get yours before the end of the month for just $10 with a $35 purchase.  Stock up for school.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

I know it is WAY too early to think about “healthy school lunches”, right?  BUT these are also some great ideas to use for trips to the beach or the park or even those outdoor activities this summer.

I never thought of Belinda as a fussy eater, she just knew what she wanted and it was one battle I did not want to fight.  So for lunch was usually carrots and dip or peanut butter and no jelly.  She wanted nothing to do with anything “green” but she did like “finger foods” for lunch so baby carrots were always good.

I’m sure some of you have a problem getting your kids to eat healthy.  Although I think it is a little easier these days.  Thanks to Thirty One for these yummy ideas!  We’ve searched far and wide to bring you the most delicious snacks you can easily swap out to boost your kids’ nutrition. (And they’re all perfect to pack in our colorful and hard-working insulated lunch bags!)

Swap out PB&J for a PB&B

We all remember pulling a pale, squashed PBJ out of our lunch bags as kids… with that dark purple splotch of jelly seeping through the soggy white bread. (Bleh.)  I loved it BUT Belinda didn’t do jelly.  Why not give your kids a healthy sammie worth celebrating? A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat or put it in a wrap.  It is packed with 17 g of protein, 7 g of fiber, complex carbs and healthy unsaturated fats. This combo can help kids feel full and energized throughout the afternoon.  Slicing up half a medium banana instead of spreading on two tablespoons of jam adds potassium and cuts out 10 g of sugar! You can even layer in sliced strawberries for a touch of sweetness and a big dose of vitamin C.

Swap out juice boxes for a reusable water bottle

Single-serving drink boxes are convenient and fun, but many also contain artificial color, flavoring and preservatives. Even 100% fruit juices can contain up to 20 g of sugar per pouch!  Instead, try infusing a pitcher of water with citrus slices, torn fresh herbs or muddled berries at home. Combine together herbs and fruits (like strawberry-basil or blueberry-mint) for a refreshing change of pace. Leave your pitcher to infuse overnight in the fridge and pour into a leak-proof water bottle.

Our roomy new Lunch Buddy Thermals feature an elastic-topped mesh side pocket that’s perfect for toting the kids’ water bottles to school and back each day. (And the fun prints are irresistible!)

Swap out applesauce for apple slices

Packing a large, sliced apple instead of a cup of applesauce can double your kids’ fiber intake (5.4 g vs 2.7 g), boost their vitamin C (10.3 mg vs 2.7 mg) and provide them with the beneficial antioxidants contained in the skin of the apple.  Kids love to eat raw apples plain as a healthful snack, or dip slices in a delicious nut or seed butter for added protein and a salty kick. If you want to keep the convenience factor, toss in a whole apple or nab a segmented slicer tool to make quick work of lunch prep.  If you do decide to sometimes opt for applesauce, look for healthier varieties made without added sugar or artificial preservatives. Or make your own unsweetened applesauce, and be sure to leave the skins on!

Swap out chips for nearly anything else

Do your kids crave something salty to go with their meals? (Us too!) Steer clear of the fat, sodium and calorie bombs that are potato chips, which have been scientifically linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   Instead, why not offer your kids one of these tasty (and nutritious) treats?

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Deli turkey-wrapped cucumber slices
  • Nuts (Be sure to check your school’s allergen policy first)
  • Edamame, boiled or shelled and roasted
  • Air-popped popcorn (It’s a whole grain!)
  • Cheese cubes
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Celery sticks with nut or seed butter and raisins, or with cream cheese and dried cranberries
  • Swap out pudding cups for Greek yogurt
  • Kids love spooning up creamy treats at lunchtime. But when you’re packing their lunch bags, think Greek: While the calorie count and amount of calcium are essentially the same, a serving of Greek yogurt can provide as much as 20 times the protein of an individual pudding cup.

Stick to plain Greek yogurt for the least sugar, and add sliced berries or a little honey for sweetness. If the kids want the flavored kind, choose one with sugar near the end of the ingredient list: The first three ingredients should be milk, live and active cultures and fruit.

Keep their yogurt – and the rest of their healthy food swap-outs – cool until lunchtime in a classic Thermal Tote personalized with your child’s name and favorite embroidered Icon-It design. Your kids will be eating healthy and noshing in style!

 

What is your kids’ favorite lunch?  Share it with us…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!