How to Detox from Your Cell Phone

Well, it is the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend.  It is when we get the first taste of what the summer will bring as the “shoobies” make their way to the Jersey Shore.  This is always a tough weekend for me…. not it isn’t because of the influx of people; it is the weekend I am reminded of the loss of my aunt, Elsie AKA “my buddy” in 1999.  Yes, I squirreled for a moment, sorry back to today’s blog post…………..

Does the picture look like you 99% of the time?  When your phone isn’t in your hand, scrolling Facebook, reading emails or sending text messages, where is it?  I will admit mine is usually close by at least within arms reach.

How often has your Hubby or family or even you wished you could have “phone-less” time!  I mean a time when the phone was either shut off, put away or on “do not disturb”?  Are you starting to sweat at the thought of missing out on notifications?  Are you already picturing the fight with the kids over not being able to talk to their friends?

Most days, my cell phone is on “do not disturb” so the only people able to reach out to me are family.  Why?  So I can stop being obsessed.  So I can work my “at home business” on my time not when ever any calls or texts.  It wasn’t long ago I realized the ONLY time I have been totally “unplugged” from everything (cell phone, computer, tablet) was when we were on a cruise.  It is an automatic switch when I get on the ship, it goes off and it doesn’t come back on until we reach the car on our drive home.  I know a week worth of emails and messages can make your head spin but the truth is, we all need it once in awhile.

If all of these boxes apply to you, you’re clearly in need of a detox

  • When your thumb on your dominant hand is sore from all the scrolling
  • You look at your phone first thing when you wake up
  • A panic attack is around the corner when your battery is running low
  • You get anxious when being separated from your phone
  • You lack concentration and check your phone too often (even unconscious)

Did you answer yes all (or most) of these?  Then you are in desperate need of a cell phone detox!

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Start with 8 hours of disconnectionyou’ll feel restless at first, but getting used to being phone free takes time.  The easiest way is to turn it off an hour before you go to bed and don’t turn it on until you have had your coffee in the morning.

2. Throw a phone free dinner – see how the conversation changes.  People actually talk and listen to each other.  Oh and no photos of food.  Dinner is a no brainer for me.  I don’t do the phone at dinner, especially on the nights hubby is off.

3. Go out in nature and connect to the real world.  The weather is nicer so this is a whole lot easier to do. No pictures or checking your phone.  Depending on where you go for a walk, you may need to take your phone in case there is an emergency.  I carry mine in my pocket when I go for a walk only because of the MS.

4. Set a phone curfew to turn phones off after 8PM and have a relaxing night.  Okay, so this may be a little bit tougher but I am willing to try it.  The problem is when I switch off the phone, the iPad is close at hand to check emails and Facebook.  How do you totally unplug?

5. Grab a magazine, a coffee and go soak up some sun by yourself!  This sounds great in theory but my books are on my iPad which then keeps me connected to the internet if I am close to the house.  UGH!  Solution – I have been buying some old fashioned books at yard sales so I can start reading “electronic free”.  Then I donate them back to the church rummage sale.  A win for everyone.

So, be honest… how many times a day do YOU check your phone?  I’m getting better but it is still a process.  How about you, are you willing to give it a try this holiday weekend?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

 

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day!  Well, one can dream, right?  The Jersey Shore seems to have more clouds then sun lately but we know it won’t be long, right?

With the Memorial Day weekend here is just about a week, a picnic is a wonderful way to celebrate!  There will be lots of barbecues and tailgating happening during the holiday weekend and we want to be sure you are prepared.  So here are some tips from Thirty One to help you pack the perfect picnic….

Whether you are picnicking alone or with a group of family or friends, we have a tote or thermal just for you!

For the gang….

When you’ve invited all of your daughter’s soccer pals or each of your son’s camp buddies to join you on a picnic, only Thirty-One’s Large Utility Tote will do!  A best-seller since it was introduced, the Large Utility Tote is big enough to pack everyone’s favorite foods. The wire support around the opening means it holds its shape, and you can see all of the food and drinks you have packed so you don’t forget a thing. Add a Top-A-Tote to keep the contents covered and secure.

For the family..

Create some memories by taking the family dinner outside! The Perfect Party Setreally is perfect – perfect for keeping food either hot or cold in one of its two thermal compartments. Each water-resistant section is large enough to fit a 9×13″ pan, making it a flexible option for any picnic. Place your hot casserole in the bottom compartment, and don’t forget a dozen cupcakes on top!

A picnic for two

Whether you’re picnicking with your bestie or your special someone, the Picnic Thermal Tote is an ideal option. Tall enough to fit your favourite bottled beverage, the tote even has a Leak Lock thermal lining for ice to keep things cold. The zip-around closure makes it easy to load and unload, and the adjustable, detachable strap means you can keep your hands free. Remember to stick a few extra napkins in the exterior front pocket!

A picnic for you

At work or at home, the Lunch Break Thermal is the convenient choice when you need a picnic all to yourself! Throw it in your car, tuck it in your office refrigerator or take it to the beach – the durable fabric will make it your thermal of choice when you want some time alone. The extended handles allow you to throw it over your shoulder in a moment, and the exterior pocket is roomy enough for your keys, phone or wallet. So go ahead: Make your escape!

On the go

Life is busy, and the Around The Clock Thermal is ready to follow you at lunchtime, snack time or anytime! If you’re not quite sure where you’ll be throughout the day, this thermal is one of your most versatile options. The thermal lining means you can be confident your food will stay cool, and (bonus!) it’s water-resistant to make clean-up a breeze. Large enough for lunches or a variety of snacks, the interior mesh pocket and front exterior zipper pocket also are handy options for storage. If you’re on the go from dawn to dusk, this thermal is the one for you!  Need a visual…. it will hold a 6-pack with some room for a few snacks.

Picnics are a blast, so make sure you have some fun with whichever picnic thermal or tote you choose! Don’t forget: A monogram or other personalization adds a special touch to a special meal, all season long.

Thank you ThirtyOne for today’s blog post…  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Swap and Save Calories

Save 100s of Calories: Choose Egg Whites Not Eggs
The LONG week-end is over.  There is still time to shed a few pounds before the summer season kicks off for real on July 4th.  Try some of these swaps courtesy of Hungry Girl.

1. Go egg-whites only for your morning scramble or omelette. A 3/4-cup serving of liquid egg whites (the equivalent of 3 eggs) is about 100 calories, and 3 whole large eggs are about 215 calories. I like the nutrients from the yolk so I only keep 1 yolk if I am having more than 1 eff.

2. Opt for English muffins over bagels.  The average whole-wheat English muffin has around 130 calories; a wheat bagel has closer to 300.

3. Three words: Powdered. Peanut. Butter. I LOVE Peanut butter. I mean who doesn’t right but who wants all of the calories (or points), right?  PB2 is good and can take the place of PB for less than half the calories.  Want it to be a little creamier?  Add a few extra drops of water.

4. Trade doughy rolls for flat sandwich buns.  These come in lots of flavors including bagels.  These slim 100-calorie versions are really good.

5. Making tuna or chicken salad, use fat-free plain Greek yogurt in place of regular mayo. For every 2 tbsp., you’ll slash over 150 calories!  I am a Miracle Whip Light kind of girl since I can’t have dairy and slash the calories as well.

6. Exchange rice for cauliflower rice.  I will admit, I love this swap BUT I do buy the frozen or bits since I never got it right with my blender.  Mash it up with your potatoes to cut the calories too.

7. Use nonstick spray on your skillet instead of oil. The spray is practically calorie-free, while a 1-tbsp. “glug” of oil runs about 120 calories.

8. Combine finely chopped brown mushrooms with ground beef to cut calories! Replace 4 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef with 2 cups of the mushrooms to save around 100 calories — just think if you were swapping out the fattier stuff!  I need to try this.

9. Spaghetti squash! Zucchini noodles! Veggie noodles are a great calorie saver — ditch conventional carby pasta, and you’ll save around 160 calories per cup.

 10. Eat an orange (or clementines) instead drinking orange juice. OJ has around 112 calories per cup, while a medium orange has just over 60 cals, plus filling fiber.

11. Switch from sugary sodas to zero-calorie carbonated water or seltzer. Or eliminate carbonated beverages totally.  Save about 120 calories per can!

12. Got dip? Use veggies instead of chips to scoop it up. An ounce (about 9 chips) of tortilla chips has around 140 calories and will be gone in no time.  Eat an entire large red bell pepper or about 14 baby carrots instead for around 50 calories.

13. Choose popcorn over chips — you get more volume! A single-serving baggie of Lay’s Classic has 160 calories. You can have 5 whole cups of 94% fat-free popcorn for 100 calories or less.

14. Having a chocolate craving? Why not have a fudge-flavored Enlightened The-Good-for-You Ice Cream Bar for 70 calories (plus 8g protein!).

15. Want something refreshing and sweet? Give fruity ice cream the cold shoulder. A measly 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream has around 130 calories; have an entire cup of frozen berries for half the calories.

16. Halve the cheese. Cheese is great, but we’re generally served way more than we need. At a restaurant, ask for half of the usual amount to save calories without sacrificing flavor.

17. Request a to-go box right when your meal arrives. Keep a reasonable serving, put the rest in the box, and set it aside for another meal. (Or just split one entrée with a pal when dining out — save calories AND cash!)

18. When at the sandwich shop, opt for mustard over mayo. A tablespoon of full-fat mayo has around 100 calories, while standard yellow mustard has closer to 5. Yes, 5!

19. Trade dressing for salsa. Salad dressing can add hundreds of fatty calories to a healthy meal; 10 – 20 calories’ worth of salsa is a total bargain in comparison!

20. Choose broth-based soups over creamy ones. Fun fact: Yeah, you’ll save calories by selecting a lighter soup option — around 100 vs. 200 — but studies have shown starting a meal with a brothy soup leads people to take in fewer calories overall!

21. Lettuce buns. It’s gotten pretty trendy for restaurants to offer lettuce in place of traditional sandwich and burger buns; this is a stellar way to easily ditch around 200 – 300 calories. Don’t want to be extreme?  Take off the top, and eat the sandwich open faced.

22. Skip whole-milk morning lattes and sugary cappuccinos; grab a coffee with skim milk instead. We’ve been known to carry packets of our favorite natural no-calorie sweetener around for this very purpose.

What are your best tips for cutting calories?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

For some today is an extra day off. For others it is spending time with family and friends kicking off the summer season…Today is really about remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Those who gave their lives so that we might live in freedom. It is about celebrating the lives of those who dedicated themselves to serving our country and who never returned home to their families.

As the sun rises on Memorial Day, STOP and say a prayer asking for the safety of our men and women near and far who serve this country. Say a prayer for the families who have an empty seat at their barbecues.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback Thursday – A Holiday Weekend

Yes, I know it is only Thursday but I am sure you are already planning for a long holiday weekend, right?  This post was originally written back in 2013 (when I was a newbie to blogging).

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend was filled with mixed emotions. It was the start of the summer season which meant the “bennies” (or shoobies as we called them in South Jersey) would be invading for the next few months.

In high school, I worked at Kohr’s at Third Avenue so this was the first BIG weekend we got to work. Typically, we started working on weekends when it was nice around Easter. This was the weekend we were able to reconnect with old friends who came home from college or those who traveled to work for the summer. We enjoyed days on the beach and long nights on the boardwalk – working and hanging out with friends. The summer traffic was never really thought about nor did we really think about the people invading our beaches.

Fast forward to my mid-20’s when I moved to South Jersey – living just outside of Ocean City and working in Atlantic City.  I came to dread this weekend. No longer did it hold the joy of traveling to the beach and long nights of hanging on the boardwalk. Now it was filled with shoobies/ bennies who congested the roads and littered our beaches. It made parking impossible. The joy of the summer was replaced with dread. Honestly, we spent more time at the beach from Easter to around the middle of June then we did the entire summer. Those were the days filled with sunshine, quiet moments on the beach and only a little bit of traffic mostly caused by locals.  

Yes, I know it is great for the economy and a definite plus for all of the small businesses in the area. For many businesses, the summer season is what carries them through the long cold winter.  As for me, I will wait until the mid-week between now and mid June to enjoy the warmth of the beach and strolls on the boardwalk. Then I will wait, patiently, for the crowds to go home before I head back to the beach. The pool at the complex will be my haven during the day and on an occasional mid-week night, we may travel down to take a stroll on the boardwalk.

Last Sunday after we celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Wharfside in Point, we rode along the beach.  I will admit, the excitement of seeing the rides going, people walking on the boardwalk and some traffic brought back so many memories. I actually can’t wait this year to enjoy some of the craziness.

What are your plans for this weekend at the Jersey Shore? Do you have any tips for avoiding the crowds and still enjoying our wonderful beaches? I would love to hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!