August 2013

Month Archives
Lunch Bags

The Case of the Stolen Lunch

Like a lot of people, my office has a small break room with a kitchen area – some cabinets, a microwave, coffee machine, and fridge. The line for the microwave is always endless – I am amazed at what people bring in to work to heat up for lunch. Not just a frozen meal or some leftovers in Tupperware, but elaborate things in casserole dishes requiring three or four separate components to be heated in a complex ritual. I’ve seen people spend fifteen minutes using the microwave in order to make their incredible lunches like they’re a chef in a food truck while the rest of us gnaw on our fingers out of desperate hunger.

So, I gave up on the microwave lifestyle and started brown-bagging a sandwich. I make a mean sandwich. I prepare everything the night before, and I figure you only live once, so if I’m going to eat a sandwich at my desk in lieu of living, it’s going to be an amazing sandwich. Which they are. Just ask whoever it is that stole every other one from me.

My third day brown-bagging it, I pluck my paper bag – with my name written on it clearly – from the fridge, frown at its lightness, and open it to discover just my apple and bag of crisps. Fighting the urge to do a full-on action-film NOOOOOOOoooooooo! scream to the heavens, I grit my teeth, wrote a nasty note to affix to the fridge door, and went out into the rain to procure someone else’s sandwich, which was terrible. This happened a few more times. I put notes in my bag, I complained to HR, I tried to keep my eye on the Break Room. Finally, I got serious and purchased a pink Medium Lunch Tote Bag from the Clear Bag Store. I placed my lunch in it, then sent an email to everyone in the office with a picture of the bag: IF THIS BAG IS EMPTY, CALL ME! with my extension.

My idea was that at least I’d know when my lunch was being stolen. And the plan worked, because three days later I got an email from someone at 10:45 in the morning saying they’d just opened the fridge to get some milk for their coffee and the bag had been raided. I started investigating, and it took less than ten minutes to discover that just one person – the Intern, seventeen years old and skinny as a rail – had been in there before her. He even had crumbs from my excellent brioche all over him.

Since then, I have fallen in love with my pink clear lunch bag. Mustard spill? Easy to clean. When packing up in the morning, a glance tells me if I’ve forgotten a pickle or (sometimes) the actual sandwich. And I no longer fear lunch theft, and only partially because the Intern was summarily dismissed.

Backpack Accessories

Backpack Mania Patient Zero

It’s true: My kids started the Gutzy Gear epidemic.

I’m not proud. I’m not ashamed either, but proud is a little much. They didn’t invent and market Gutzies, after all, making me instantly into a Lady who Lunches. All they did was start complaining that they all had the same backpack.

I have three kids. Two fraternal twins and one boy a year older. Since they’re so close in age it’s always easier to just buy everything in threes and distribute it to them like I’m outfitting a small army for war. This year I bought them all clear backpacks from the Clear Bag Store because I spent last year cleaning various compounds out of their backpacks, including but not limited to clay, potting soil, some sort of green toy slime, extremely wet socks (not their own), milk-soaked cereal, and something completely and totally inexplicable I dubbed The Stuff. The Stuff was the most difficult to clean out. Ever since The Stuff I decided a clear bag was ideal – I can hose those babies off in the yard!

My children, however, decided I was crippling their creativity because they’d each gotten the same bag. So when they spotted the Gutzies on the Clear Bag Store site I went ahead and bought the strap covers and a selection of Gutzies for each of them – letting them choose their own. The boys liked the Metal Mouth Joe and Rock N Joe ones and my daughter, currently in a somewhat adorable Girl Power phase, went for the Girls Rule! Gutzies. We festooned their backpacks, I taught them what the word festooned meant, and all was quiet in the house for about fifteen minutes, by biggest success to date.

A few days went by, and then I started getting phone calls. At first it was just parents asking where I’d gotten the Gutzies, because their kids had seen my kids and wanted them. Slowly, though, the tone changed as it became clear that every single child in the school wanted to sport Gutzies that matched their own interests, and parents were investigating who was responsible for forcing them to spend more money on their children than the ungodly amount they were already spending.

I didn’t know how deep it went until our first Parent-Teacher Day, when I arrived to discover that literally every kid in the school had acquired Gutzies, and that a thriving black market had grown up around them, with children selling off their Gutzies, trading Gutzies in complex multi-child deals, and creating tiny economic empires built on what could only be described as a Gutzy Bubble. There were some unkind remarks aimed in my direction. I just smiled, because now I know my children are trend-setters and taste-makers.

It’s only a matter of time before they make me a Lady Who Lunches.

Clear Backpacks

The Clear Solution To Back To School Chaos – Part 2

For my teenagers in high school, the large clear backpack is huge, and easily holds all the many items they require. It’s made with very durable, strong PVC material, which isn’t threatened by the weight of the numerous textbooks and binders needed for the long day of classes my kids attend each day. The ease and speed of finding homework, folders and writing implements at the start of each class, without having to empty out the backpack’s entire contents, is a recurring advantage of the fantastic transparent design, and my kids actually think having a see-thru backpack is really quite cool.

The large design also features various pockets and compartments that convienently hold smaller items. Also, with the increasing school security policies being implemented, many schools are now requiring students to carry only clear backpacks. The Clear Bag Store is my solution to that requirement, giving me a diverse selection of clear products at very attractive prices..

As if my family’s schedule isn’t packed enough, each of my five children is committed to extracurricular activities and sports. I feel blessed to have found the clear, heavy duty gym bags offered by The Clear Bag Store. These bags are extremely roomy, water resistant, and super tough. They have numerous pockets, a durable shoulder strap, and once again, the clear design helps my kids perform a quick inventory of all their gear before leaving the house, and to quickly grab exactly what they need once at practice or a game.

My personal favorite feature? Because these bags are made of PVC, instead of fabric, eliminating the smelly odors left from forgotten gym clothes, or a dirty soccer uniform, is a breeze – just wipe down the inside of the bag with a wet cloth and the bag is smelling like… well… like a clean bag again!!

Food and kids – can’t have one without the other. I almost did cartwheels across my living room when I found the clear lunch bags! Kids come in all sizes – and so do these deliciously wonderful bags. Every morning, five clear lunch bags are lined up next to the backpacks, like kindergartners at recess – all displaying the favored midday meal and snacks of each of my kids. With a quick glimpse, each child effortlessly scoops up the provisions that match his or her unique appetite.

I just adore The Clear Bag Store, and in a gesture of motherhood solidarity, if I could stand atop the school building and shout out how easy these clear bags have made my life, and my kids’ too, I would. But I’ll keep it more low-key, and borrowing a quote from my 17-year-old – “These bags are ‘clearly’ epic!”

Clear Backpacks

Clear Kids Backpacks To End Back to School Chaos – Quickly

The Clear Bag Store and their clear handbags and clear kids backpacks have made thing so easy. There is no more joyous day of the year for me, a mother of five, than the first day of school after a long summer. It’s back to routines, schedules, and never-ending attempts at organization. As glorious as Back to School time is, with a clan this size of school-age children, the amount of preparation needed is overwhelming. I have two kids in high school, one in middle school, and two in elementary school. The amount of “stuff” they all require rivals that of an Army soldier on a year-long tour of duty. Instead of flak vests, canteens and gas masks, we have half a library in books, binders, pencils, crayons, laptops, cheerleader uniform, pom poms, soccer gear, baseball gear, ballet gear, lunch boxes, gym clothes, science projects and money.

And that’s just for the first semester! Keeping track of which items belong to which kid can make a well-educated, intelligent, grown woman such as myself, weep with frustration. And wept I have. For many years, beaten down by the chaos of too many “things”. The resulting meltdowns of children who didn’t have everything they needed to have a successful day.

Our Clear Kids Backpacks Keep us Organized and Efficient

Not anymore. My sobs have been replaced with inflated smiles. Because of my fortunate discovery of The Clear Bag Store. I am the proud mother of five of the most organized, orderly little soldiers on the planet! Every evening, as a result of purchasing numerous clear kids backpacks, the school work of the day and homework is neatly arranged in a perfect little row on the kitchen island. The clear kids backpacks help get them through a long day of Algebra, story time, cheer leading practice and baseball games while keeping homework in its place.

My first purchase was five clear kids backpacks. The Clear Bag Store clear school bags come in three sizes – small, medium and large – as well as trimmed in either black or pink. The small clear kids backpacks are perfect for my two toddlers in preschool. They are lightweight, and very durable, a big plus because all moms know that it’s the little guys who inflict the most abuse on their possessions. When my son came home announcing he dropped his clear backpack in the mud, I didn’t bat an eyelash. I simply wiped it clean with a damp cloth while humming! Its transparent design allows for my children to easily locate what they need quickly. It is so convenient not to remove every last item in the backpack and then load it all back up again. The small clear kids backpacks are still awesome, now two years old.

The medium sized backpack matches the needs of my elementary/middle school child to a tee. With more to carry, the padded shoulder straps offer a comfortable fit. Again, the clear kids backpacks design lets her see all her books, binders, and supplies quickly and easily. The additional two front pockets are a great place to stash her most used items for quick access.

Continued next week…!



Bag Your Favorite NFL Bag and Lose Your Fear of Clear

There is nothing transparent about the NFL. At least there never has been until now. The NFL is, and always has been, one tough sport. It’s concept, however, is simple – enormous, huge-muscled men ruthlessly throwing similar looking men to the ground upon catching them, others ferociously crashing into the bones of their opponents, while others are grunting and growling their way down a stretch of grass to get a pigskin ball across the threshold of celebration.

And football fans are just as tough. They are so devoted, they are known to mimic this grunting and growling in the stands, proving fierce loyalty to their teams, antagonizing their opponents, and expressing their unmitigated love for this most spectacular game. So for many football fans, the news of the tough NFL instituting a new policy this season banning them from bringing any non-clear bags of any kind into the stadium seems kind of, well, paradoxical.

Beginning with the 2013 season, the only bags that will be permitted into any stadium in the NFL will be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags, not larger than 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches. In addition to this policy, each fan is only going to be allowed to carry in just one bag. This means no more purses, backpacks, coolers, briefcases, diaper bags, computer bags, seat cushions, camera bags or fanny packs will be permitted entry into an NFL stadium.

And as for those official team logo-drenched tote bags sold on every team’s website, and in every team’s stadium stores, and perhaps even already owned by you – well, they too are no longer allowed inside a football stadium.

The reason for all these items being shunned and having to stay at home on game day? It certainly isn’t a new fashion controversy. And surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the league making money. It is, says the NFL, about increasing public safety, and delivering a more efficient process at the security gates when entering the stadium.

A spokesman for the NFL has voiced that the fans of the sport ‘deserve to be in a safe and secure environment.’ By only allowing clear bags into stadiums, security at the stadium gates will be easier, and faster, to enforce. Ever since fans have been required to have their bags individually searched before entering a stadium, this has resulted in long, frustrating wait times, as security officers root around in dark bags, often removing some items to see the bag’s entire contents.

Transparent bags permit the security officers to clearly, and rapidly, see the contents of every bag, therefore lessening the threat of illegal contraband entering a stadium, and ensuring a safer environment for the fans. But no diaper bags? No purses? Obviously, this new policy may not receive much favorable response, especially from the female fan population. Many fans feel it is simply outrageous that women not be able to bring their purses with them to football games, something they have been doing since the invention of the game. It also seems a bit discriminatory, in fact. A woman’s purse is an extension of her, and contains all her life essentials.

Of course, cameras, iPads and binoculars, as well as the contents of purses and diaper bags, are still permitted in the stadiums, they simply have to be ensconced inside a clear plastic bag. Like the policy or not, if you show up at the security gate with a non-clear bag, you will be either turned away, or the bag will be confiscated. So for those fans who wish to comply with this new policy, rather than watch the game from their couches, there is The Clear Bag Store, an online store dedicated to offering only clear, plastic bags, in numerous styles and sizes.

One of our newest arrivals is the ‘NFL Stadium Compliant Bag’, and it meets the NFL’s size regulation, and comes trimmed in black or pink. The bag is completely transparent, and has a sturdy construction. Also available are clear bags that replace purses, backpacks and diaper bags, as well as a large number of other styles for a variety of other uses.

These clear creations may not be when you had in mind for NFL fashion, and a stadium full of fans all walking around with nearly identical clear bags may definitely present a somewhat comical vision. But if you want to bring your favorite things with you when you go watch your team play at the stadium, you’re going to have to ‘clear’ away those negative thoughts and just say ‘plastic please.’