Thankful Thursday: 31 Mom Hacks

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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!

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!

 

Southwest-Style Slow-Cooker Pork Chops

Thank you Pillsbury.com for today’s recipe….I know crockpot season may almost be over at least for me since I really only use it during the winter month BUT this looked too good to pass up. It’s not the same old pork chops! Tender chops slow-cooked with flavorful creamy mashed pinto beans make a tasty dinner for four.

Prep:  10 minutes     Cook time: 4 hours & 10 minutes     Servings:  4

Ingredients

4 – bone-in center-cut pork loin chops, 3/4 inch thick (about 2 lb)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, drained, rinsed
Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning. Cook pork chops in skillet 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until brown.
  2. In 3- to 4 1/2- quart slow cooker, mix remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon seasoning, the salsa, corn and beans until well blended. Top with pork chops, overlapping as necessary, pressing gently into bean mixture.
  3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 5 hours.
  4. Remove pork chops to serving platter. Cover to keep warm. With fork or potato masher, mash beans slightly until slightly thickened. Serve pork chops over beans. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Additional Tips

  • Browning the pork chops before placing them in the slow cooker adds flavor to this dish.
  • Substitute black beans or red beans for pinto beans in this recipe.

Nutrition Facts:  Calories 360, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 3 1/2g, Cholesterol 85 mg Sodium 1110mg, Potassium 760mg, Total Carbohydrate 32g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 9g, Protein 33g.  Daily Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 4 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;

Since I am the Queen of leftovers – LOL.  I love when there are 4 servings because it ensures I have a meal or two to freeze for hubby’s dinner.  Since he works the swing shift, he uses Thirty One’s Picnic Thermal.  It holds his dinner, snacks  and LOTS of other stuff. We actually weighed it one day and it was 35 pounds! So whether you are headed to the beach, campground or family picnic with your favorite foods. The Picnic Thermal Tote 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.

Share your favorite recipe with us, and if I publish it….YOU will get a FREE gift from me.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, the holidays are barely over AND maybe you are just putting your decorations away.  The kids just went back to school and you are trying to get a grasp on the New Year…..Have you been in the stores lately?  Christmas sales are GONE!  Valentine’s Day, St. Pattys and even Easter decorations are out. It is CRAZY!  So I figured I would jump on the bandwagon since Thirty One is having an AWESOME Outlet sale. What better time to shop then during a sale, right?

Thanks to a little help from Thirty-One Gifts, you can convey a message to leave a lasting impression on that special someone’s heart. Forget the box of chocolates – there’s nothing sweeter than a shared memory or sentiment which holds a special meaning. If you want to touch someone’s heart with a truly special gift, check out these customized ideas sure to become their all-time favorite gifts.

Straight from the heart

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without giving someone your heart, right? But if you’re not quite ready for a commitment, why not give a heart on a pillow or tote instead? The new heart-themed print designs allow you to add a heartfelt message to your gift. Each is a graphic print you can add to any of several Statement Canvas products including throw pillows, custom wall art, a Mini Shopper or Zip-Top Pouch.

Bundles of love

There are lots of things which come in small packages, BUT think of all of the AMAZING things which could come in a BIG Thirty-One bag! Why settle on one gift when you can pack lots of love in a tote, caddy or bin?  Create a special gift set with everything your sweetheart can appreciate throughout the year.  Check out some of these ideas:

Design a bin just for him

Put together a sports-themed Essential Storage Tote with game tickets, his home team’s jersey, sports magazines, signed memorabilia or a new pair of running shoes or cleats. Or design a fishing-themed Catch-All Bin with new tackle supplies like bobbers, hooks and lures or packed with a new tackle box or fishing hat!  Guess what??? Those Catch-All Bins are part of the outlet sale (you can save up to 70%)!

Create a special spa package

Fill a Mini Storage Bin with bath bombs, sugar scrub, slippers, beauty products, a sleep mask or even a gift certificate to a local spa or massage therapist. On a budget? Search for DIY bath product recipes on Pinterest. And YES, these are also part of the outlet sale…

Have a romantic indoor winter picnic 

Treat your honey to a personalized Picnic Thermal Tote with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, fancy cheeses and crackers. (The Leak Lock® lining means you can fill it with ice!) Just spread out a blanket in front of the fireplace, grab a couple of champagne flutes and toast to the perfect Valentine’s Day!  The best part is you can use this year round when you want to take the picnic outdoors.  It is great for tailgating, trips to the park or even road trips.

Add a little sparkle

Were you thinking more of jewelry??? If you want to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. Our Gallery™ Earrings and Luxe Loop Dangles are the perfect start to any romantic dinner or a night on the town.

Make her blush

While we have your attention, gentlemen…you should probably know she’s had her eye on these fashion-forward styles in her current favorite color since we introduced them this season! For a fail-safe Valentine’s Day gift she’ll love to carry all year long, choose a Convertible Belt Bag, Rubie Mini or Studio Thirty-One™ bag in Rose Blush Pebble and personalize it with her monogram in tone-on-tone Blush embroidery. (You can thank us later.)

Share the love, ladies!

Even if without a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can always be Valentine-mates with your best friends, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters – anyone and everyone you love. Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and letting others know you care. We want you to know we care, too! Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day.  Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!