September 2013

Month Archives
Blog, Travel Bags

Travelling Made Easy

Travelling with my family can be a nightmare. Because checking a bag has become so expensive, my entire family frequently travels with carry-on items only. This is easy for my son and husband, who would wear the same clothes for an entire week if I’d let them. However, for my daughter, it’s a different story. She refuses to go anywhere without her arsenal of makeup, shampoo, lotion and I don’t even know what else. Every time we pack, she is put into a panic, desperately trying to fit all of her necessary items into a Ziploc bag.

Whenever I bring up the suggestion that perhaps she doesn’t need to pack all of those things, she again panics, fearful that the right product won’t be available in our vacation spot. Instead, she struggles to fit all her beauty products into the designated one-quart size bag.

Often, while going through security, her items are seriously scrutinized. Many guards have raised an eyebrow at how tightly packed her Ziplock bag usually is. On our way to the Bahamas, a security guard even questioned if that bag would really stay closed.

It turns out that question was prophetic. On the trip, her Ziploc bag burst open. An entire bottle of face wash and half a bottle of moisturizer exploded into her luggage. When we got to our hotel, my daughter was in tears as she pulled out her sundresses and new shorts. Almost all had unsightly stains. She was forced to hand wash all of her clothes in the hotel sink while her brother got to go out and enjoy the beach.

To avoid this incident again, I decided to give her a TSA Compliant Carry On Bag. She absolutely loves it. The pink border makes the bag feel fashionable. It fits the TSA guidelines to the T, but the double zipper ensures that the bag won’t come open in her suitcase.

While clear, the bag is also much sturdier then the Ziplock bags we were using. The bag is lined with two layers of nylon, which will ensure the bag lasts for years. The slick, clear plastic makes for easy clean up in the unfortunate event that some of her bottles leak again and the sturdy bag won’t rip, tear, or leak.

The bag has made security go so smoothly for my daughter that I ended up buying the black one for my son, and his and hers bags for my husband and me. They’re handy not only for liquids, but they also make finding things like passports and plane tickets a snap. Before owning this bag, my husband was almost always searching his backpack for his passport and ticket. It was embarrassing how long he could hold up a line. Now he just finds the sturdy clear bag and it has everything he needs.

With these new clear, one quart sized bags my entire family breezes through security. Travel has never been so easy.

Blog, Transparent Tote Bags

The Switch Up

It’s funny, I never wanted a big family, but life had other ideas in the form of my brother, who had five kids and then lost his job and came to live with us for a while. I already had one son and two dogs, so adding in five kids and my brother’s three dogs meant we were suddenly swimming in warm bodies in our modest house. I didn’t mind; I love my brother. But it was a challenge. And he inspired me to buy a bunch of clear bags from the Clear Bag Store after one unfortunate holiday we now refer to in the family archives as The Switch Up.

 

My brother was a bit depressed, as you can imagine, and the kids were unhappy as well, so we had a brilliant idea of heading out to a park one day with all the kids and the dogs, just to have a relaxing day of burgers, sodas, and fun. Everyone cheered up at the thought, and I carefully packed up tote bags for everyone, including a towel, a lunch, a snack, and other essentials. I even packed up one for the dogs so they would be taken care of. We packed ourselves into the cars and took off.

 

The day was a smashing success from the start. Songs were sung, pranks were played – and that was just in the car on the way over. At our destination everyone ran off in different directions – the swings, the field, the lake, the basketball courts, and I was handing out the totes like a madwoman. Finally it was just my brother and I and the tote I’d packed for us.

 

Except, when I opened our tote for the delicious lunch I’d made, it was filled with dog biscuits and flea medicine.

 

We spent the rest of the day hunting down our tote, by which time the children had eaten our lunch and their lunch, and my brother and I had to go find a snack counter for some dubious edibles. So I went online and found the incredible clear tote bags at The Clear Bag Store  in order to avoid this sort of mix up going forward. After all, my brother’s family would be with us for a while, and even after he got back on his feet there would be family trips galore!

 

Everyone got their own Medium Tote Bag with a pocket on the front for a picture and were told they could put any picture they wanted to mark the bag as theirs for future trips. The kids all loved that part.

 

The dogs? The dogs got their own tote, too, marked clearly with a paw print. Because I swore from that day forward I would never eat dog biscuits for lunch again.

Blog, Clear Backpacks

No Rest for the Wicked … Busy

Like everyone else in the universe, I graduated from school owing a monstrous amount of money to an awful lot of people. This was expected, though seeing those numbers in black print was a bit of a shock of cold water. But I wasn’t raised to moan and groan, or to have debts; my parents advised me sternly to clear up that debt as soon as possible, and also to move out of the house as soon as possible and get my own place, because they had big plans for my room.

 

So, I got a job. It wasn’t the best job in the world but it was a start and it was in my field and they seemed to care that I had a degree, and it didn’t involve a cash register, so I was happy. Until I got my first paychecks and realized my job paid for precisely 80% of my expenses.

 

So I got a second job. I felt proud, in that moment. I was a go-getter. I was responsible. I was exhausted. I was also frequently late for job #2. I had about twenty minutes to race from my desk to my second employer, and security in the lobby of my building always slowed me down as they inspected my bags before I left – part of the nature of my employer, which I understood, but pretty annoying as I was desperate to not lose my second job, which was my margin of survival.

 

One day, while standing impatiently while a security guard I had nicknamed Slow Dennis picked through my bag while chatting with co-workers about television programs, I saw one of my coworkers breeze through security in thirty seconds, just holding up a perfectly clear plastic bag as they walked. The guards scrutinized it, nodded, and she was free!

 

I had one credit card left with some room, and that night I used it wisely on a large clear backpack from The Clear Bag Store.

 

The next day, I was able to walk from job one to job two. I even stopped for a coffee to carry out. I didn’t have to run, leap over baby carriages and small animals, or mutter curses while waiting for a light to change at a corner. It was heaven. Every day I just pack my lunch and gear into this sturdy plastic bag and I am able to get in and out without any trouble at all, then back out to my night shift. And then I go home and dream the dreamless sleep of the just, knowing I’m that much closer to being debt-free.

Blog, News

Schools and Everything Else

The new NFL policy is just the latest advance in the World Domination of Clear Bags – something we’ve been talking about for years now. Schools all over the country have been revising their policies to require clear or mesh bags because of the madness of students bringing weapons to class – like the five year old boy in Tennessee who brought a loaded gun to his elementary school, where it went off in the cafeteria. Luckily, no one was injured – but it’s a wakeup call about the need for more security in our schools. When it comes to keeping children safe, a Clear Bag is a small price to pay – especially when they’re as cool and well-made as the ones we sell (http://www.theclearbagstore.com/wp2product-category/school-bags/). We’ve got every kind of back your little boy or girl needs to stay safe and carry even the most demanding course load.

It’s not just schools. It’s becoming a Clear Bag world. More offices and other workplaces like correctional institutions and hospitals are requiring clear bags as part of their security screenings. It makes sense – we’re all busy and if you have the choice between standing in line waiting for a pat down and bag search or breezing by as the security team visually inspects your bag, we’d choose the latter – and we’re pretty sure everyone else will, too.

That’s why we’re excited to be back, better than ever. We can’t claim the sort of power and influence to change the world in our image, but we’re kind of smug about being ahead of the clear bag curve. We offer clear bags of all sizes, designs, and looks – each one built to last and great-looking. Come on by and see our new design, test-drive the new user-friendly store, and check out our new lines, including the NFL-compliant bags everyone’s going to want as the new season kicks off!

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Blog, News

NFL Goes All Clear

If you’re a football fan, you know that sound you heard last week was millions of women screaming as one in outrage over the new NFL All Clear bag policy, which limits the type and size of bags that will be allowed into NFL team stadiums – they all have to be clear, aside from small clutch-style purses you can’t fit a foam finger or a good supply of body paint into. You’ve probably also heard about the chaos that has ensued. Some stadiums are denying entry to people who bring the wrong bags, while others have quite a mess with chaotic and poorly run bag checks.

Avoid all the hassle with our line of NFL-Compliant Totes!

http://www.theclearbagstore.com/wp2shop/nfl-compliant-stadium-bags/

With or without a super-cool football Run logo, our line of NFL-Compliant Totes are guaranteed to pass muster at every stadium. Like all of our products, these bags are tough and sturdy, easy to clean, and really stylish. And available in pink and black so boys and girls can coexist peacefully.

Blog, News

Back Just In Time to Save the World with Clear Bags

Greetings from The Clear Bag Store! You may have noticed we went under the radar for a while. We had some nagging issues with our website, and as anyone who’s ever started a renovation in their house knows, once you start poking around you quickly decide to just tear it all out and start fresh – which is what we did. We’re back with a fresh new design, a more user-friendly online store, and some brand new product ranges.

And just in time, too! Between all the schools adopting new clear bag policies in the wake of even more (unbelievable) school violence and the new NFL All Clear policy at stadiums, the world needs The Clear Bag Store more than ever. With great power comes great responsibility as the saying goes – and we’re ready to save the world from Clear Bag Madness.

Blog, Clear Duffle Bag

The Efficiency Expert Gains Another Two Minutes

I got the nickname “E” through a series of adolescent events wherein my friends discovered, slowly, that I was a bit … structured. At first I was referred to as The Efficiency Expert by a room-mate at school who I wasn’t even that friendly with, and obviously it was meant as an insult. Though I couldn’t and still can’t see how living your life according to a certain code and schedule is a thing to feel ashamed about.

 

My real friends thought this hilarious and The Efficiency Expert became my official nickname. In the name of efficiency they then reduced it down to “E”. Whenever I am tempted to imagine they have forgotten the origins of my nickname, I usually do something like organizing my socks alphabetically by color.

 

Whatever. I know one thing: Life is short. I evaluate every pragmatic, life-sustaining activity based on how quickly I can get it done without sacrificing effectiveness, in order to squeeze out more time for fun. That’s the point. I’m not insanely efficient. I’m insanely fun, because I am the efficiency expert.

 

Recently, I gained two minutes from my workouts and deposited them into my fun account. I work out for forty-five minutes every morning, not including the seven-and-a-half minute walk to my gym and back for a total gym investment of an hour. Or that’s the plan; my phone rings constantly and my job requires me to answer if they call. So I would get set up on a treadmill, dump my gym bag on the floor nearby, and begin my workout. Then, every time my phone rang in my bag I would have to pause, reach down, and see who called. Cost every morning: Two minutes.

 

Sure, I could have put the phone in my pocket or on the treadmill panel, but that would be distracting. I would check my email and have to Google every stray thought I had while running. Total cost of having my phone accessible during the workout: Five minutes. A simple equation meant the phone stayed in the bag.

 

But, two minutes. It rankled.

 

The solution? A simple one. I spied a gorgeous clear gym bag on the floor one day, went home, and found clear gym bag in the Clear Bag Store eshop. Problem, solved. I placed my phone in one of the pockets, dropped my bag on the floor by the treadmill, and every time the phone rang I was able to just glance down without breaking stride, see who was calling, and decide whether to ignore it or answer. Net gain every morning: Two glorious minutes, immediately donated to lingering over coffee at the local café before work.

 

The best part? Not only is this gym bag bigger and better organized than my old one, it’s super easy to clean, which is really, really important for a bag that holds a sweaty ecosystem for several hour every day, incubating. Net loss for cleaning the bag: One minute. Bu totally worth it.

Blog, Clear Backpacks

Clear See Thru Backpack and the Case of the Missing Puppy

Who would have thought? A clear see thru backpack and a missing puppy. Having children, I think – and tell everyone after my second glass of wine – is a three-stage experience. At first they are formless beings that are alternately cute and horrifying but are largely free from opinions and individual will. Then comes the second stage, which lasts approximately until they are thirty years old, when they begin to think they have their own ideas about what to do with their time, and complain loudly when you forbid it. Complain, or, in the case of my own children, scheme.

This is a story about me solving a mystery and smashing a smuggling ring. It involves an adorable puppy named Yolo, a pink clear see thru backpack, and two daughters possessed of incredibly audacity.

It starts with the adoption of Yolo, a shivering puppy in the local shelter. Under our care, Yolo quickly filled out, growing the most amazing coat of shining golden fur that had me contemplating eating dog food in the hopes it would make my own hair shine like that. Yolo was, without question, the cutest puppy I’d ever seen. I came to really enjoy our afternoons together with him sleeping on my belly as I relaxed before the girls come home from school.

Then, one day, Yolo went missing. I raced around, searching everywhere, shaking his kibble bag – nothing. When the time came to get the girls I spent the whole ride home an emotional wreck, wondering how I would break the news. I sent the girls inside and took one last walk around the yard, just in case – and there he was! Looking fit and happy, he bounded over to me. Everything was saved.

I walked the perimeter, looking for his escape route, and could find nothing. Then I got caught up in the usual evening activities. The next day, I took the girls to school, came home, and Yolo was nowhere to be seen. I had a repeat of the day before: Emotional distress, worry, and then Yolo appearing in the house like magic. Except that night when I opened my daughters’ backpacks looking for their lunchboxes, I was hit with the unfortunately familiar scent of dog poop. And all became clear.

I immediately went online and found The Clear Bag Store. ordered two large pink clear see thru backpacks from The Clear Bag Store, collected my daughters and Yolo in the kitchen, and told them sternly that smuggling their puppy into school with them wasn’t healthy for poor little Yolo or for them, if I was going to be faced with cleaning poop out of their backpacks. And so henceforth they would use clear backpacks that allow me to visually inspect their bags every morning to make sure they were puppy free. And now I have my belly-napping puppy back. Although he’s not a puppy any more, and I’m starting to worry about being suffocated, but at least he’s not pooping in backpacks any more!