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!

Affordable and Fun Staycations

 5 fun and affordable spring break staycations

The weather has been crazy – some days it is freezing cold while others it is close to 60!  I love the warmer weather and I know many are thinking about Spring Break or those long weekends, right?

As a single mom, I didn’t have a lot of many for vacations and I wasn’t as creative as some of these ideas from the ThirtyOne blogger… We lived close to the shore so trips to the beach and boardwalk were always a easy and inexpensive way to take a break.  Check out some of these “staycation” ideas;

Spa day at home

Fully embrace the spring break spirit with a spa day in your very own home. First, gather the supplies. Fill a Double Duty Caddy with the scrubs, cleansers, mud masks and other items to make you feel relaxed and renewed. Make sure your Glamour Case has a variety of nail polishes so you can choose the hue which strikes you when it comes time for your do-it-yourself manicure and pedicure.

Light a candle, soak your feet and grab a refreshing beverage. Bonus: Now your caddy and case are ready and waiting, it will be easy to create your own at-home spa long after spring break ends, whenever you need a little pampering without the price tag.

Park and picnic lunch

Take in the great outdoors! You don’t need to visit a national park to stop and smell the roses. Head to your favorite local park or playground and relish a few hours under the sun. Hike the trails, spot some wildlife and make the outing a little more special by eating al fresco.

The Picnic Thermal Tote’s zip-around closure makes it easy for you and your companion to pack a picnic lunch, or choose the Fresh Market Thermal when you want to carry enough sandwiches, sides and drinks for the whole gang.

Swim Outing

Swim outing (inside!)

Instead of a trip to the beach, stay closer to home! Find the closest indoor pool or water park and spend a day in your swimsuit, come rain or come shine. You might not be able to dig your toes into the sand, but you can enjoy the next best thing when your Essential Storage Tote is filled with snacks, goggles and water toys. Even better? No sunscreen required!

Movie under the moonlight

See the stars – on the big screen and in the sky. Planning an outdoor movie night add a little bit of pizzazz popcorn alone just can’t manage. Once you locate a projector (pro tip: check your local library), the rest is easy. A mobile movie screen (inflatable or otherwise) is great, but a white or cream-colored garage door or even a large blanket will do.

A Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote is roomy enough to hold everyone’s favorite movies, snacks and drinks with space to spare for outdoor necessities. Keep the bug repellent close at hand in one of the tote’s exterior pockets. Or carry a Catch-All Bin outside, filled with enough candy, napkins and glow sticks to keep even the smallest movie buffs entertained.

Road Trip

Road Trip!

How far can you go on a tank of gas? Forget the overnight bag and instead explore some of those hidden treasures an hour or two from home. A Crossbody Organizing Tote can fit everything you need for a day on the road – books, toys, snacks, water bottles and even a few diapers for tiny travelers. Best of all, you can throw it over your shoulder and keep your supplies close at hand all day long!

What is your favorite type of staycation?  Share it with us…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Apple Pie Fritter Bread

Today’s recipe is courtesy of The Baking Chocola Tess.

Do you like Apple Fritters?  I don’t mean the kind you find in WaWa or any other store bakery.  Have you ever had an apple fritter baked into a fluffy, buttery, white cake loaf with chunks of apples and layers of brown sugar and cinnamon swirled inside and on top?  I mean the moist, delicious and full of home-made goodness from the heart – just like home kind!  I am going to tweak this some so it is gluten free and hopefully it will be just as YUMMY!

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Bread Loaf

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

2 apples, peeled and chopped (any kind), mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Old-Fashioned Creme Glaze

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream- (depending on thickness of glaze wanted)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9×5-inch loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray or line with foil and spray with non-stick spray to get out easily for slicing.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.
  7. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  8. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.
  12. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.
  13. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

 

Take these tasty treats to your next party or tailgating event by packing them in a picnic thermal.  They can be warm out of the oven or just room temperature. You will love the picnic thermal for its many uses – the beach, campgrounds, or family picnic with your favorite foods. It has a Leak Lock Thermal Lining to hold ice when you need to keep things cool for a longer time. A removable, adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry when you have your hands full, and the zip-around closure ensures everything stays put while you’re transporting it from the car. Holds up to 20 lbs! Key features include: Zip-around closure, Removable, adjustable shoulder strap, exterior front pocket, holds up to 20 lbs., keeps contents cool for up to 1.75 hours and monogramming and personalization options available.  Approx. 13”H x 11”L x 6”D

So who is ready to make some apple fritter bread?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Naked Chicken & Eggplant Parm

Thank you Hungry Girl for another AWESOME recipe.  The farmer markets are open and veggies are fresh.  What better way to enjoy them then with some protein.  I’m not usually one to run the oven this long in the summer but it is sooooo worth it.

All the things you crave about chicken and eggplant Parmesan, in one big melty dish… Super yum!

Prep: 15 minutes          Cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes          Cool: 10 minutes

1/4th of pan (4″ X 4″): 350 calories, 12g total fat (5.5g sat fat), 814mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 7.5g sugars, 45.5g protein — SmartPoints™ value 6*

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant (about 20 oz.), ends removed
Four 5-oz. boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, Italian seasoning

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets and an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and lay on one of the baking sheets.
  • Lay chicken cutlets on the other baking sheet, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • Bake eggplant and chicken for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine these ingredients in a medium bowl: tomatoes, 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well.
  • Remove chicken from oven.
  • Flip eggplant, and bake until lightly browned and mostly softened, about 12 minutes. Remove sheet, but leave oven on.
  • Evenly layer the following ingredients in the baking pan: 1/4th of the sauce, half of the eggplant slices, another 1/4th of the sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp. Parm, and another 1/4th of the sauce. Evenly top with cooked chicken.
  • Continue layering with remaining eggplant slices, sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 tbsp. Parm.
  • Cover pan with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
  • Uncover and bake until cheese has completely melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Have leftovers?  What better what to take them to work the next day then in a Thirty One Thermal?  Did you know they are on special in June?  50% off any thermal with a $35 purchase  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Today is all about gift ideas for your dad (or your hubby or the soon to be dad or someone who has been like a dad).

Thirty One has a variety of items for the men in your life….from backpacks to thermals.

We have Camo, Digital Camo, Blue Crosshatch and Charcoal Crosshatch. Check out the Cinch Sac, Picnic Thermal (will hold 2 6-packs of beer) the Around the Clock Thermal (lunch or a six pack of beer), the Deluxe Utility Tote, the Large Utility Tote (on special for $10 with a $35 purchase) and the Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote.  

How about a bundle of products from Simple Man?  Great for the graduate as well as the man in your life.  This bundle includes: 1 Travel Bag, 1 Body Balm, 1 Body Wash, 1 Shampoo, 1 Conditioner, 1 Deodorant, 1 Bamboo Toothbrush and 1 Peppermint Toothpaste.  You can also do a “auto ship” for your collage bound student so they never run out.  I have used these products too and LOVE them.  So, they aren’t just for the man in your life -you can enjoy them too.

The best gifts are those which are home-made….In going through my dad’s things, we found two things in the fire proof box along with his important papers.  They were a letter I wrote him one Father’s Day when we didn’t have any money to buy gifts AND a poem Belinda had written the same year.  I will admit, I was surprised and really didn’t remember it but it showed just how special it was to him.

On a budget, check out some of these cool gifts:

Don’t spend much time with your dad – carve out some time jut for him.  For many years, Father’s Day was just one of the two holidays we spent with my dad.  There really weren’t presents because we didn’t have the money but the gift of time (no electronics) was the best gift of all.

Make your dad’s favorite meal or something special just for him.  Write a letter or a poem or record a song – share your heart with him,  Make him a picture, a mug, a card or anything to show how much you care.

No matter what it is you give – give from your heart.  What are you giving to your dad or the special man in your life this year?  Share your gift ideas with us – we can always use some more.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!