Holiday Road Trip Survival Guide

 

This week starts one of the busiest travel period of the year…

Why this week?  In NJ, it is teacher’s convention add to that Election Day  and it makes for a week (or almost a week) off from school for the kids.  Next up is Thanksgiving then Christmas.

What about the weekend trips to see the leaves change?  This is what I think about hitting the road…. So, whether you’re going away for a long weekend or just a day, road trips can definitely add to the holiday joy – and stress. But from packing to snacking, Thirty-One has some helpful tips that will have you looking forward to the journey as much as the destination!

 

Savvy packing

My husband always jokes about the packing skills.  I can fit LOTS of stuff into a small space and still see out the back window.  It comes from all of the trips to cheering competitions and craft shows.  Organized packing can mean fewer bags, and fewer bags means more room to stretch your legs on the long car ride! For your clothes and other essentials, load up a couple of All Packed Duffles or Fold-Over Weekenders. These travel bags are just the right size for holidays away, and their soft edges mean you can squeeze several into your trunk more easily than boxy suitcases.

Blankets and pillows are road trip essentials, whether they’re for napping on the way to your destination or extra bedding once you get there. Instead of letting your backseat become a sea of blankets, fold and store bedding in a Large Utility Tote (LUT) in your trunk so it’ll be easy to access during pit stops. You’ll be all set to snuggle up by the fire with family and friends, and LUTs are also great for keeping all of those carefully wrapped gifts safe and sound!

Packing toiletries for travel is always tricky, but the Fold Up Family Organizer is a great option to store all your bottles and brushes. The clear zipper pockets make it easy to see what’s where without products falling out during the drive.

Smart snacking

Packing snacks can help you save money and time on the road. Juice boxes, string cheese sticks and fruit like grapes or apple slices are all easy, no-mess snacks for kids and adults alike, and they fit perfectly in the Fresh Market Thermal. This cooler keeps all your food and drinks secure during long road trips and then folds up nicely once its empty, giving you even more leg room. Or, load it up with holiday leftovers for the trip home!

Holiday gatherings usually mean food and lots of it. Whether you’ve whipped up a tasty casserole or some decadent desserts, bring something special to the table with our Perfect Party Set. Just the right size to tuck securely under a seat, this cooler helps you transport all your hard holiday work safely to the table.

Activity tracking

Nothing makes time fly like keeping yourself occupied during a road trip. If you’re looking for some inspiration to help pass the time while travelling, try out these ideas:

  • Audio books or podcasts are a great option if passengers have differing music tastes, and they still let the driver be involved! Download a couple of funny podcast episodes or holiday-themed books before your trip to switch things up from the radio.
  • Plan fun pit stops. If you’re going to be spending hours in the car, map out some fun stopping points that will give you an excuse to get out and stretch your legs. Check online before you depart to see if there are any monuments, bakeries or nature sites along your route.
  • Journal challenges: Get the kids’ creative juices flowing! Give each passenger a Journal Trio journal and some pencils. Throughout the trip, call out challenges like “draw a picture of Grandma’s house” or “make up a story about what Santa does the day after Christmas.” It’s fun for kids to share what they’ve come up with, but it’s also fun for you to think up the challenges!
Fashion hacking

A long car ride in your most stylish holiday outfit? After a few miles, those scratchy sequins might make you wish you had opted for sweats. Instead, travel fashionably (and comfortably) by taking your basics and dressing them up with JK by Thirty-One jewelry! Add a little sparkle to a plain sweater with the bold Fringed & Fabulous Necklace or a dainty pair of Gallery Earrings. You’ll feel comfortable and ready to celebrate as soon as you roll up to that holiday party.

Keeping your jewelry secure and organized while travelling can save lots of time, headaches and untangling in the long run. Jewelry organizers like the Baubles & Bracelets Case are perfect for separating delicate chains from dangling earrings so that you can have yourself a stylish little holiday.

When you’re taking a holiday road trip, every item needs to pull double duty, and that includes your handbag! Travel in style with classics like the Organizing Shoulder Bag or the new Colorblock Tote. These fashionable additions complete any outfit, and no one needs to know that you’ve tucked extra socks or toiletries inside!

What hacks help you travel during the holidays? Let us know with the #thirtyone hashtag!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Hungry Chick’ Bell Pepper Nachos

I am all about the Nachos but tend to stay away from them since they are usually REALLY high in points. Here is a yummy recipe from Hungry Girl I am going to make on my next football watching Sunday..

1/4th of recipe (6 loaded nachos): 152 calories, 4.5g total fat (2g sat fat), 299mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 17g protein.  Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 2*

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 40 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
12 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1/3 cup salsa
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp. chopped jalapeño pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet, and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Place chicken on the center of the foil, and sprinkle with seasonings. Cover with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, slice off and discard the stem ends of the bell peppers. Remove and discard seeds. Slice peppers in half lengthwise.
  5. Remove foil pack from the sheet, and spray sheet with nonstick spray. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. Lay pepper halves on the sheet, cut sides down. Bake for 5 minutes.
  7. Flip bell pepper halves. Bake until soft, about 5 more minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, cut foil packet to release hot steam before opening entirely. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl. Shred with two forks.
  9. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from bell pepper halves. Arrange them on the center of the sheet. Top with shredded chicken, beans, and cheese.
  10. Bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
  11. Top with salsa, sour cream, jalapeño, and cilantro.

Want to take this yummy treat to your next tailgating party?  Try Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set…The Perfect Party Set 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!

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Simple Keto Broccoli Crustless Quiche

easy-crustless-quiche-150x150.jpgThank you mostcatomom.com for this recipe..

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time:  25 mins

Servings: 12

Weight Watcher SmartPoints: 5

This simple and delicious Keto Crustless Quiche will be your new keto breakfast favorite! Perfect for meal prep for breakfast on the go! I love the fact it is gluten free too!!!

Ingredients

9 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets – steamed and roughly chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, crack eggs and stir briskly.
  2. Slowly pour in heavy whipping cream and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add in cheese, broccoli, and seasonings and stir until well combined.
  4. Pour into greased muffin tin or baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350* until cooked through and top begins to brown – approx 15 minutes in a muffin tin and 45 minutes in a baking dish.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note* quiche will rise when baking but will settle as it cools. To save, seal tightly in the refrigerator.

Headed to a Sunday brunch or even a tailgating party… take these along in one of Thirty One’s popular thermal totes, the Perfect Party Set.  The Perfect Party Set 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!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Thank you Lori Sharkey, an Executive Manager with Pink Zebra, for today’s recipe from the Kraft Kitchens.  Lori’s family loved this dinner option.

Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 40 minutes   Servings: 7 at 1 cup each

You layer the ingredients of this Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole to save time and deliver big flavor. Enjoy this stuffed pepper casserole as a weeknight entrée!

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1 jar (24 oz.) OLIVO by CLASSICO Traditional Pasta Sauce
1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese, divided

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Brown meat with peppers and garlic in large skillet; drain. Return meat mixture to skillet; stir in rice, pasta sauce and 3/4 cup cheese.
  3. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 25 min. or until heated through.

So, let me tell you a little bit about the AMAZING Lori and Pink Zebra. I connected with Lori many years ago and we have been “unofficial” accountability partners over the last few years.  Getting together with Lori sparks ideas and gets my creative juices flowing.

Pink Zebra is an amazing company offering a fun twist on home fragrance and décor. She’s been a part of the company since 2013, and can go on for pages about each of our products!  Our flagship product, Sprinkles, are scented soy pieces you can use in our fun, decorative warmers. But, the best part, or most innovative fact about our Sprinkles is they can be mixed and matched to create a completely custom fragrance unique to you and your space. That’s kind of what we’re about: making things, “uniquely yours.”  Her favorite part of what she does is watching people take a whiff of any of our 55+ fragrances and recreating a fond memory. Science has shown us scents can bring us back to a place we loved as a child, influence our mood, and even help us focus and work performance so she’d love a chance to help you find the perfect fragrance for you!

And what’s the best way to take this yummy dish to a family gathering or a tailgate party? Perfect party

That’s right!  Thirty One’s Perfect Party SetThe Perfect Party Set 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!  Monogramming and personalization options available.  Approx. 4”H unexpanded, 7”H expanded x 16.25”L x 10.25”D

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!