* Sponsored Post: Someone was kind enough to give me something to try, because they believe in the product. I use it and am going to tell you what I think about it.
People often note two things about me being a mother living with a chronic health issue and raising two kids with the same problem. Dang, that must be overwhelming. And how do you do it? Well, I’m not gonna lie: it’s really hard sometimes! My energy and my patience are on borrowed time, and my memory is gone, baby gone. I rely heavily on my charm, my winning smile, an over-inflated sense of self, and products. Many, many products.
I had already known about and used 31 products before I was given several pieces to take for a spin. I have never been to a presentation and gotten the whole rundown on the company, but like many things, I tried them because a good friend endorsed them. After my Physical Therapist told me to LOSE THE PURSE because the weight of it was killing my neck and shoulders, I needed to replace my items stat. I bought my infamous, er hip sack (I’m trying to not say fanny pack anymore) but my old leather wallet was too big for it, and frankly still too heavy.
I wanted something lighter, but most cloth wallets I had seen in stores were tiny change purses, and I had way too much stuff in my EDC (Every Day Carry) to use a simple change purse. My neighbor let me know that she could get me a 31 regular-sized wallet made of cloth, which was both light and cute, and I have been loving it ever since. I also picked up a novelty item at the time for our new rescue dog, a portable water bowl that looks adorably like a purse. Well, the dog refuses to drink out of it, but guess what other use we have found for it? The Durable Daughter gets spectacularly car sick, and we don’t always have ziploc bags. Boy was it a relief to chuck that at her and catch the…well… 31 has been a beloved name in our household ever since.
So when Crisi “The Bag Lady” Ellsworth, Independent Director, Thirty-One Gifts joined our MM community, I was delighted (you can find her at www.bagladycrisi.com). Crisi and I have been connecting and sharing with each other through my Facebook page over the past several months, and like all of my fans, and especially those struggling with chronic health issues, she is amazing. I
whined noted that I was missing some tools in my Life, and she generously offered to provide them for me. Sweet! In turn, I am to tell you what I honestly think about them. Can do.
One of the things I looked forward to the most was this adorable thermal tote (Lunch Break Thermal – Hoo’s Happy). As a chronic, food is the foundation of my Life. I have eaten clean for a very long time in an attempt to “quiet the noise” that my body has to contend with on a daily basis. Also, people with EDS do not absorb nutrients very well, so I am always having to shove them in there. I end up taking food around with me a lot, and I didn’t have a cute bag, never mind one that was thermally lined like this one. But it’s not too heavy, so I can’t get yelled at by my PT. And, OWLS! Before now, It was not unusual to see me walking around with whatever leftover lunchbox my kids no longer think is cool, which on poor appetite days didn’t help my motivation to “remember” to bring it with me. I recently took this bag with me to get a diagnostic cervical nerve block. The first time I did this procedure, I didn’t eat or drink much beforehand (Surgery Centers don’t love for you to do that.) When my Neurosurgeon was done, everything tanked – my blood pressure and sugar. I couldn’t stand or walk. And I had to drive myself home! This time, I came prepared. I packed this bad boy with water, protein shake, cheese, and potato chips. I ate and drank all the way up until go time, and when it was over, Hoots the bag was waiting with it’s cheery little faces and more rescue calories. It totally worked, and I felt like a million bucks.
The next item I received is the Timeless Beauty Bag (in Black Chevron). Essential Oils are all the rage right now, and Crisi noted that not only am I starting to get oil-curious, but knowing my flakiness (curse you, Topamax!) I probably needed some help organizing them. She cleverly labeled my bag (which is always good for me, because, Topamax.) She also showed me how REAL WOMEN use their snake oil bags. Woah. I have some serious catching up to do. I love the feel of this bag. It’s well made, the clip is sturdy (always the first to go), and the material is wipeable for those pesky moments when the bottle cap is not screwed on all the way and oops! Or when you attempt to put on mineral powder. Ever. Just one simple swipe of a damp cloth and you’ll keep this bad girl looking like new. It’s large enough to hold a crap ton of stuff, but surprisingly small: perfect for grabbing and going on your weekend trysts.
Probably the product I was most excited to receive is the Hang-Up Activity Organizer. 31 markets this product to be clipped on to the back of a front car seat, so the little ones in the back can have an array of snacks and activities. But being that I no longer have toddlers, I had other plans for it. What I do have is a collection of medical tools that I use weekly to treat and manage our EDS pain, that end up getting spread all over the house. The worst part is when it’s time to go on trips, I go on a mad scramble to collect them all. I almost always leave something out that we need. Screw that. Here is our new therapy organizer. As you can see, it hold my TENS unit, leads, and extra batteries (so, so key…) I have Kinesio tape, alcohol skin prep and cotton to get the oils off of our skin before taping, ensuring that it doesn’t peel off right away. Also, good, sharp scissors, because I have the “professional” roll and it’s not pre-cut. The pockets are large enough to even hold my big bottle of compounded topical medication, a few braces, and whatever else I or my kids may need. As you can see it hangs perfectly on my closet door. I walked each kid over to it. Pointed it out with a grand gesture, and said, “There. Now you can’t ask me where ___ is again.”
So my review should be considered rave, for now. I have not had these products long enough to tell you whether they stand the test of time, or even if the novelty of having them is outshined by their practical use. But my shopper’s instinct is strong. I can usually tell when a new product enters my Life that is going to transform it. This may not be what the original intent of all of the items were for, but I am learning that the consultants of 31 love and appreciate the variety of ways in which their products help us do Life better. If you need a consultant, please contact Crisi. She not only great at this, she is a worthy cause. Everyone talks about shopping local and being Green. I can think of no more honorable way to support local, small business than to support someone you know with a home-based business. The overhead is almost nil, and in the case of some of us chronics, we are no longer able to work in our original field, and these businesses are a way for us to continue paying some bills when working is no longer an option. I declare 31 MM approved.