Must Haves for Back to School

Some may already be back to school BUT for those in NJ, they still have some time to soak up the sun.  I honestly don’t know many who think back-to-school shopping is an exciting time of the year except those who graduated from crayons and glue sticks to a college campus!   I am sure many wish colleges and universities sent out a handy school supply shopping list like they did during the first 12 years of school.  This way we could put together the must-haves for those first time college students….

School in style

Good grades are important, but who said studying can’t be stylish, too? Whether you’re hitting the library, meeting a project group at a local coffee shop or running to class, there’s a Thirty-One bag for every student.

Are you a nothing-but-the-essentials kind of person? The Call Me Crossbody is the perfect size for your smartphone and a few cards when you’re on-the-go. If you need to pack a little more but still love the convenience of a hands-free bag, a Boutique Backpack can hold a few books, a water bottle, keys and more while also adding a chic pop to a casual outfit. And if you need to pack for a day’s worth of classes or need a work bag for your internship, the Around Town® Tote is perfect for books, folders and your laptop.

Dorm organization hacks

Space is limited in a college dorm room, so maximize every inch by investing in utility products which are durable, functional and come in the cutest prints.

Stow a Large Utility Tote  (LUT) under your bed to hold shoes or seasonal clothes that could take up space in your closet. With tons of prints available, from staple neutrals to whimsical cacti, you can match your LUT to your bedding or wall art. A Stand Tall Bin is the perfect size for a hamper or laundry basket, plus it comes in handy during move-in and collapses for easy storage. Guess what?  The Stand Tall Bin is on SALE this month.  Get TWO with a $35 purchase!  Finally, organize your desk or study space with a  Fold N’ FileTM, Double Duty® Caddy or Littles Carry-AllTM Caddy to hold documents, pens and office supplies.

Lunch break

You may not be packing PB&Js for the cafeteria anymore, but every busy college student needs to eat – and chances are you’ll be doing it on the go. Make snacking between classes a breeze with a lunch thermal that matches your personality. Choose a Thermal Tote in a bold, bright print or go for the Lunch Break Thermal Ltd. in elevated fabrics and finishes. With so many options, there’s a great lunch bag for every student.

Not your average backpack

You don’t have to leave your trusty backpack behind in grade school. In fact, when your classes and meetings are on opposite sides of campus, there’s no better way to stay organized and prepared than with a backpack for every occasion.

Heading over to the rec center for a quick workout? Grab a Cinch Sac or Sling-Back Bag to carry your water, headphones, deodorant and a change of clothes. Looking for something a little roomier for class? Go with the Adventures Backpack, complete with a thermal pocket for drinks and snacks, or the Crossbody Organizing Tote for organization on the go.

Weekend reset

After you’ve worked hard all week, it’s nice to have the weekend to relax, have fun and take some time for yourself. Whether it means staying on campus to hang out with your roommates or heading home to see your family for a few days, these stylish, versatile solutions will have you covered. Opt for an All About the Benjamins® wallet for a lunch date with friends, or choose a Retro Metro® Bag to bring along to the store or while running errands. If you like to spend your weekends at home, pack up an Away for the Weekender with all your overnight essentials.

What’s on your back to school shopping list? Can’t decide what bag will fit your needs, I’m happy to help you find the perfect solution for your organizing or back to school struggles.

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday: SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH BACON

As many of you know, it has been recommended I try several different things in an effort to reduce MS symptoms and deal with my gastro issues.  Hubby came across a book by Terry Wahls, MD who has lots of success with this eating plan in reducing and in some cases getting rid of MS symptoms.  I have talked to several who are on this plan, and it works for them.  I am doing most of it anyway, so I figured I would go all the way.  The only change is that I will add some meat back into my diet, eliminate eggs and sugar while I increase fruits and veggies.  Hopefully, this will help with some of the new MS symptoms cropping up.  Thank you and Heather Christo for this yummy recipe.  This is from Wahls Protocol Recipes.

I love potato salad, but mayonnaise is not my friend.  So, this one sounds YUMMY!  The color and crunch from sweet potatoes, celery, and a bit of bacon sounds like the perfect combination. Serve this at your next backyard BBQ and no one will be missing the goopy white old-fashioned potato salad. 

PREP: 15 minutes     COOK TIME: 15 minutes     SERVINGS: 4 TO 6

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 red Fresno chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 uncured bacon slices, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer until just fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and briefly and gently rinse them with cold water. Set aside.
  2. To make the mustard vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the chili, mustard, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, bacon, celery, and green onions and toss with the mustard vinaigrette. Season with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Did you know????  SWEET POTATOES are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin A and a great source of vitamin C. One 8-ounce sweet potato will give you 100 percent of your recommended daily vitamin A. If you consume a little fat with the sweet potatoes (like the olive oil in the recipe here), it helps your body utilize all the vitamin A even more efficiently.

Want to take this YUMMY salad to you to work for lunch or maybe to the next barbeque???   Check out Thirty One’s Thermal Tote….  One of our most popular items, the Thermal Tote is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

The best part is…. they are on sale this month along with all of the thermal totes for either $10 or $15 with a $35 purchase.  This is a great time to stock up for the school year.  A size for everyone in the household.  Which one will you pick????

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day

 

Tasty Tuesday: WW Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Thank you  “Skinny Diet Recipes” for today’s post.  This awesome website is chock full of recipes for those who are Keto eating, just watching calories or on Weight Watchers (the new WW).  Be sure to check them out.  I’m trying to get back to staying on track with my points so this has been a huge help.

READY IN:  23 mins     SERVES: 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter  , melted
  • 1 (11 ounce) package refrigerated breadstick dough
  • 1cup low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1cup confectioners sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter in small bowl, set aside.
  3. Separate breadsticks into 12 strips. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar mixture and roll each one into a spiral, pressing to seal the ends. Arrange in baking pan 1 inch apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 15-18 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.
  4. To prepare frosting, combine confectioners sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla in a small bowl, adding a few drops of water if needed to make a smooth, spreadable glaze. Drizzle over the tops of the warm rolls and let stand a few minutes to set. Serve warm.

I’m looking for gluten free dough so if anyone has any suggestions on how to make this gluten free friendly, I would I would love to hear them!!!

Want to take your muffins with you to work or out and about with the kids?  Check out Thirty One’s Thermal Tote….  One of our most popular items, the Thermal Tote is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

The best part is…. they are on sale this month along with all of the thermal totes for 50% off with a $35 purchase.  This is a great time to stock up for the school year.  A size for everyone in the household.  Which one will you pick????

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Taco Pasta

 

 

Today’s recipe is from BuzzFeed.  It is the combination of TWO awesome things – tacos and pasta.  A quick and easy meal, the kids will love.

The recipe will serve 10 – 12 people.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
  • Pepper
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Brown beef in a large quart pot over medium/high heat. Drain fat and return beef to pot.

2. Add taco seasoning, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and corn. Bring to a boil.

3. Add uncooked macaroni and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15

minutes (until pasta is cooked through). Stir occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover.

5. Serve once cheese is melted!

Headed to a covered dish party? Place your pan in Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set and head out the door.  It expands to hold two 9” x 13” casserole pans inside 2 interior water-resistant thermal compartments. Handle grips make it easy to carry, while the exterior zipper pocket can keep additional items like utensils, baking instructions and additional ingredients secure during transport. It’s the most convenient way to take your favorite casseroles, desserts, appetizers and more to your next family picnic, neighborhood cookout, celebration or camping trip!

OR if you just want to take some leftovers for lunch….Check out the Lunchbreak Thermal.  It is one of my favorites and it is on the retirement list so it will be gone at the end of February.  Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Beefy American Goulash

Beefy-American-Goulash-5b.jpgThank you EMILY BITES for this yummy recipe….

This one-pot Beefy American Goulash goes by many names.  This is a much better alternative than “hamburger helper”! No matter what you call it, there’s no denying  this is classic comfort food.   Meaty, saucy and full of juicy tomatoes and hearty macaroni, this savory dish comes together simply and all in one pot (yay, less dishes!). This recipe makes a little over 15 cups total, so each satisfying serving is almost 2 cups! That’s a lot of comfort for just 379 calories or 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.

This is great just the way it is and PLEASE  don’t omit the soy sauce, paprika or seasoned salt – they’re necessary for the flavor!  Some people add bell peppers or cheese (yuk) or any other kind of veggie.

Nutrition Information:  379 calories, 49 g carbs, 10 g sugars, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 33 g protein, 5 g fiber.  Makes:  8 (2 cups) servings . WWSP: 8

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs uncooked 95% lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (I used gluten free)
1 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
12 oz uncooked elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the ground beef in a large dutch oven and bring over medium heat. Cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula, until the meat is browned and in small pieces. Drain the grease from the pan.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and stir together. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, seasoned salt, paprika and black pepper and stir together.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the macaroni and stir until well combined. Re-cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the macaroni is cooked through.
  6. Remove from heat, stir and remove the bay leaves.
  7. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Have leftovers?  Why not take them to work with you the next day?  Why not try Thirty One’s NEW Lunch Break Thermal Ltd?   I know the LunchBreak Thermal is NOT new but this style is…. You can elevate your style with one of our popular lunch thermals in sophisticated fabrics and finishes. Perfectly sized and styled for packing lunch and snacks for work or travel, our roomy insulated cooler bag has a water-resistant thermal lining, zipper closure, extended handle for ease of carrying and chic cotton fabrics. I love the feather personalization because it reminds me of angel wings….  What would your lunch tote say?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!