Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I've Been Called Worse

Bag Lady
Basket Mama

Although, to be fair, I only hoard for documenting purposes. I haven't saved every movie ticket stub since high school, but I do have a pretty hefty stack of national parks brochures.

Hello...my name is Ally and I love bags. 

I love bags and totes and purses and anything with a zipper and 2 handles, really. Or even one handle. I especially love it if there are pantloads of pockets and pockets within pockets. I have been known to organize my things inside of a bag, inside of another bag, inside of another bag. I knew that I had met my soul mate when a box arrived from ebags.com. Neal had purchased a stack of organizing bags to put within a suitcase. Yes...bag-mates forever.

So, naturally, when a high school friend of mine opened her Thirty-One business a couple of years ago, I was intrigued. Bags. Cute bags. I immediately ordered a beach tote for my sister's birthday.
This is Thirty-One's Awesome Blossom tote with monogramming on the front. Lots of pockets, a keychain clip, and nice long handles for carrying.

And I had plans. Big plans. But then it was time to move...again...and we were just barely under our allowed weight per big-A Army so all of my bag-buying plans came to a screeching halt.

But now I can buy bags and benefit a worthy cause. A friend of Traci's (aptly also named Allison...we'll let it go that she spells it with that crazy "i" stuck in there) has opened a Thirty-One party to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation via The Pixie Chicks! Proceeds will benefit our fundraising efforts through the end of February and into next month. I'm so over the moon, I'm going to have the most impossible time trying to pick one item. And since there is a different special each month (February's special is the Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote in "Bold Bloom" for $10 when you spend $35. Plus monogramming is only $5.), I may have to pick up two items.

This is the Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote:
7 pockets and a zipper. Yes, it's a good thing.

The best part about this bag is that there is a lot of pink, making it less likely that Neal will commandeer it at some point. It's so handy with all of the pockets that I can see him getting a bit drooly over it, but bursting blooms of pink may be just enough of a deterrent. This tote also comes in a lovely nautical print...
But this would find its way into his hot little hands in no time. 

So, what kind of fabulous can you find for around $35 in the Thirty-One catalog? (Because I know it's for a good cause...but I also know we just had Christmas and Valentine's Day and some AmExs are still kind of smokin'. Although, let me remind you that Mother's Day is literally just around the corner.) 
The Large Utility Tote 
 Approx. 11.75"H x 21.5"W x 10"D
There are about 10 color and pattern combinations to choose from, but I picked blue because this is the one I'll be buying. GO UK! My initials are going to be just gorgeous on this Big Blue bag. It's also collapsible for easy storage. We order our fruits and vegetables from a CSA called Bountiful Baskets and twice a month, I meet at the Lions Club hall in the neighboring town to pick up the week's delivery. I take a laundry basket. There are a couple of women there who use these totes to pick up their food. I hope they haven't noticed me staring and lusting. But I'm going to rectify that soon...so very soon. 

When I was pregnant and designing Blue's nursery, I knew there would be a need for baskets and bins and lots of hidden storage. The special that month was on the mini utility bin so I stocked up. 
Mini Utility Bin
 10”H x 8”W x 8”D
I have 3 of these and I can't believe how handy they've been in the last 2 years. Although I had "diapers" and "bath time" and "toys" embroidered on them, they are used throughout the house for many more purposes. Currently, the "diapers" bin holds the play food in his kitchen and the "bath time" bin stores all of the sentimental baby items we've picked up along the way. Blue can be a destructive force to anything with stitching, but these bins look just as good as the day they arrived. I love the new Black Cross Pop design (featured above) and it just proves that Thirty-One can produce bright, trendy patterns or more neutral, subtle prints...a little something for everyone.

Picnic Essentials
I'm completely intrigued by the new line of picnic accessories that Thirty-One has started offering. There's this Picnic Essentials bag, a Picnic Party Set ($60), a lawn blanket and wine tote ($58), and a larger picnic bag and small round tote ($75), but there are no descriptions on the product pages. If any of the Thirty-One consultants would like to comment on the size or design of these, please do so in the comments and I'll publish it ASAP. Basically, since our trip to Paris during Neal's last deployment, I've been thinking how lovely it would be to have a mid-week picnic dinner in the park a couple of times each month. Now that the weather is finally starting to warm and I've found a nature preserve right outside of the Ft. Knox gates, all I need is a picnic bag. Bingo! Have plastic plates, wine, and fried chicken...will travel!

When Traci posted the flier advertising the Thirty-One party, I saw several ladies comment on this little beauty:
Euro Straw Tote
Comes in coral or turquoise stripe

It features a tie closure, an interior zipper pocket, a lobster claw, and 2 interior flat pockets. And it is the perfect beach/pool bag for the summer. My most difficult decision will be trying to choose a color. This is probably my favorite Thirty-One product to date.

The last item on my current shopping list is the About Town blanket. It features waterproof nylon on one side and soft fleece on the other. It folds, fastens and can be toted around by the handle. I wish I had owned this when Shana, Blue and I were picnicking our way across NYC last summer. When the weather is warm, we often find ourselves popping a squat in parks, gardens, and nature preserves, but rarely do we have something to sit on...something to keep the ants from meandering up my shorts. This will be simply perfect.
About Town Blanket
Measures approx: 60”H x 38”W
So, that's my Thirty-One wish list as of right now. There are SO many more items to choose from, though...from key fobs and wristlets and stationary to weekender bags (some on wheels), purses, and thermal totes. The prices range from $5 to a couple hundred (I think the Weekender is $180) and it all benefits St. Baldrick's Foundation and their mission to cure pediatric cancer through innovative and effective research. I can't imagine a better reason to go shopping.

To peruse the party catalog or to treat yourself, go here. Give The Pixie Chicks a "like" on Facebook to stay informed of our fundraising goals, the online craft auction, and kids we are honoring. You can also donate through our St. Baldrick's team page.

Thank you for your support of our cause and for shopping with Thirty-One!

1 comment:

  1. You are in so much trouble now! I thought that Mitchell was the world champ of bag collectors - just don't get me started there. I hereby promise that when it comes time to dispose of his worldly possessions ... i will rent a UHaul and send you all of his bag collection. (Have been wondering how I would get rid of it!)

    Love the aqua striped summer bag. That may have my name on it ... but don't tell Mitchell!


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