Thursday, February 19, 2015

Packing for the Cabin with Thirty-One bags

I can't wait for my starter kit of Thirty-One products - a big pink box full of fun - arrives! In the meantime I thought I would share some ideas of how I use the Thirty-One products I do own and have been using for the past several years.

My family is so fortunate to own a small cabin about an hour away from our home. It's winterized so we can use it year round, and close enough that we can get up there practically every weekend. I keep an extra set of personal care products and pantry staples up there, so when we want to head up, we just need to throw a few clothes and fresh groceries in a bag and we're gone. Typically I use my two Thirty-One Large Utility Totes for clothes and dry goods, my Picnic Thermal for the fresh groceries and one of my Organizing Utility Totes for everything else!





I keep one of the Large Utility Totes handy and during the week I toss in any items that I need to bring up to the cabin that coming weekend. Then, before we leave, I top it up with some snacks and staples that I have on hand. (Please don't judge the nutritional value of items pictured...cookies and chips are just part of a weekend at the cabin!) 

 
Then I grab clothes and pjs from our drawers for all of us and throw them in the other Large Utility Tote. Two days worth of clothes for four people fits in easily, with room to spare.


A container of milk, some fruit and veg, cheese sticks and a pack of hotdogs or hamburgers goes in the Picnic Thermal along with an ice pack and a bottle of wine! I need to bring more food if we stay up at the cabin for more than a day or two, or if we are having guests up. I typically end up hauling out our big camping cooler, which is a bit of a pain. I'm looking forward to seeing the capacity of the Fresh Market Thermal as I'm thinking it might be the perfect size for our weekend needs!


My workhorse is my OUT...my Organizing Utility Tote (now affectionately called the ZOUT because it now has a Zip-top!) I use it instead of a purse ('cause who needs a purse at the cabin?) and it has room enough for 2 iPads, magazines and books, the sleeve of movies and CDs for the car trip, the boys' DS cases, gloves, mittens and hats etc. plus my wallet, sunglasses, makeup case etc.


And I still will have room for the water bottles in the outside pockets. This is the bag that initially introduced me to Thirty-One Gifts and I LOVE IT! Over the last three years it has been on many family road trips through BC, California and Montana. It was my tote during days at Disneyland, the beach and ski resorts. I've taken it to swimming, skating and karate classes. It's even gone to meetings and conferences with me as it is wide enough to hold my laptop (although it's not padded...I can't wait to see the new Jewel Fashion Editor Tote which has a padded sleeve especially for your laptop!)

So here are all my bags packed and ready to go. It's easy to load them into the car and then bring them into the cabin because of the strength and size of the webbed straps. Even when they are loaded up, the straps of the Large Utility Tote easily go over my shoulders and I can carry both totes out to the car and into the cabin at once. The strap on the Picnic Thermal is adjustable and Shane has even carried as a cross body when we have gone on a hike and taken our lunch with us. 


Once were at the cabin, it's easy to unload the bags, squish them down and store them flat under a bed or in a closet...you just can't do that with suitcases and hard sided coolers! And when space is at a premium like in our tiny cabin, you appreciate those details.

Although we' re blessed to now be able to getaway to our cabin, in the past I used these totes for camping as well. When we would go out in our trailer, the boys clothes, books and toys would be packed into one tote and would live at the bottom of their bunk for the duration of the trip. The open top made it easy to pull out clothes and toys and to put them away again at the end of the day. I would pack Shane's and my clothes sideways in the other tote and then stand it up on end inside the closet, again making it easy to grab what we needed. They worked great. And now Thirty-One there has so many more great totes and thermals that I think would make camping even easier.

Finally, I can't forget the Bleacher Blanket shown in the first photo. Mine is the older style, but it's still amazing. I keep it in the car most of the time as an emergency blanket, but I make sure it gets packed when we go to the cabin as it is perfect as a "sit-upon" on a cold outdoor chair, and for use around the campfire. It packs small, opens up to a generous size, is fleecy and soft on one side and has the nylon exterior on the other side. What more could you ask of a blanket?

















I've appreciated the convenience and quality of these bags since I got them and I am so glad to be able to bring them to ladies in the Calgary, Alberta area! Check out my website to have a look at the whole collection and to learn about the phenomenal hostess plan!

I'll be sharing the bags I use everyday going to work with and of course the contents of my starter kit as soon as it arrives. And I haven't forgot about scrapbooking...I'll be posting the February Sketch of the Month in the next day or so.

Take care friends...

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