Friday, September 21, 2012

My Teacher Bag: A Thirty-One Review

every teacher bag needs an umbrella
When I graduated from college, my parents wanted to get me a very special gift.  Thinking of my future career in teaching, my ideal gift was a teacher bag.  The problem: I couldn't find a "teacher bag" anywhere.  I scoured the internet, I searched stores, and came up with nothing.  Fast forward two years and I finally have a teaching job and the need for a teacher bag.  But this time, my search was fruitful, thanks to Pinterest.  I simply typed in "teacher bag" and came up with several images, although almost all were the very same bag, the Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty-One

6 1-inch binders, 2-inch binder & more
The Organizing Utility Tote is amazing!  It's everything I could ever want in a teacher bag.  (It would also make a great craft bag or weekend trip diaper bag.)  I took the advice of several other bloggers and put an open top file box inside it (I purchased this one from Staples online), which made it much easier to keep it's contents organized.  (Otherwise, it is a spacious bag, so I could imagine easily "losing" items in it.)  Not only do I use it to bring items to and from school (including the six one-inch binders I have for the various grades I teach), but I also use it as I travel from class to class when I teach elementary school in the afternoon.  Being a traveling teacher requires that I have everything with me for the entire afternoon - that's where the side pockets really come in handy.  I put my number flashcards, pens, keys, and even a plastic cup filled with my 100 numbered popsicle sticks (they seriously come in handy for every game we play!).  The tote is very high quality, so I don't have to worry about it wearing out or breaking and not lasting me the school year (or several).  And the best part of this bag? It's so cute!  I've had a serious love affair with gray recently - clothing, accessories, decor - and this bag was the perfect indulgence!
If you haven't heard of Thirty-One, here is a brief run-down in the words of Erin Ringwald, my Thirty-One independent consultant: Thirty-One is a faith-based company that is all about empowering women. Based on teachings from the Bible and Proverbs 31 in particular, Thirty-One encourages women of all walks of life to come together and find a safe place to grow as individuals, all the while offering their customers quality products to help simplify their everyday lives

Large Utility Tote
I am so pleased with my first Thirty-One purchase that I'm already thinking of the next products I'll get.  Right now, I am particularly smitten with these Large Utility Totes which would be perfect in Lucia's bedroom or her future playroom. I also love these Mini Utility Bins. (Can you tell I'm on an organizing kick?)

One of the best aspects of Thirty-One is working with independent consultants.  I ordered my bag through consultant Erin Ringwald and she has been a delight to work with - emailing me at every step of the way to tell me when my product was shipped and checking to make sure I received it.  Independent consultants can offer their own promotions in addition to those offered by Thirty-One.  Erin organizes fundraising shows, donating part of her own commission so that 10% of each purchase goes directly to the recipient that the show's hostess chooses (families in need, children's sports teams/schools, charitable organizations, etc.).  She has set up an online fundraising show for me, with 10% of the sales going to the American Thyroid Association.  My mother, one of my dearest childhood friends, and my husband's cousin are all thyroid cancer survivors and I'm hosting this show in their honor. 
Buy it: If you decide to purchase Thirty-One products through my show, the benefits extend much further than the 10% donated to thyroid disease research.  The Thirty-One company special for the month of September is 31% off an item for every $31 you spend.  Once you spend $31, add any item to the order and get 31% off that item. No limit!  To top it off, if you order through my show, Erin is personally offering free shipping for your order!  Check out Erin's Thirty-One consultant page to see if you love Thirty-One products as much as I do and to take advantage of Erin's amazing promotions.

Win it: Erin is also offering a $25 credit to giveaway for one lucky readers.  Click here to go to the Thirty-One giveaway.

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