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Organizing A Fabulously Useful Wedding Gift Registry // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Imagine this. You and your partner have just been given a scan-gun and free range over Macy’s to put whatever you’d like on your wedding gift registry. With no real plan in mind, you’re just scanning tons of items that you like or have always wanted. Sound fabulous? Well it is, until the wedding has passed and you have a bunch of clutter and ridiculous items you wish you’d never put on that list! Not to mention all the things you wish you had put on your registry.

A wedding gift registry is a wonderful opportunity to create a well put together newly-wed home. It allows you the chance to declutter and reorganize using functional and usable items based on an assessment of the current spaces {or soon new spaces}that you and your soon-to-be spouse will share. It’s your one chance to nest and cozy up your home with items that you personally select and are given as gifts from people who want you to have a good start. So, let’s make the most of it and plan well!

Create a Fabulously Organized Wedding Gift Registry // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

{peonies}

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Tips on Organizing a Plan for Your Wedding Gift Registry

1. There are a few things you will want to do before selecting items for your gift registry.

  • Have a guest list mapped out so you know about how many gifts to actually put on the registry. Nothing is more frustrating for guests than not having a good selection of items from which to choose. The more items on the registry, the better! Just make sure you’re only adding things you need or could realistically use.
  • Click the highlighted words to read, download, and print this document –>  Before You Shop
  • Click the highlighted words to read, download, and print this document –>  Gift Registry Item Checklist
  • You can also check out these posts below for some inspiration as you’re pulling together items for your gift registry

Fabulous Things that Inspire Me in the Kitchen It may give you some ideas for your own kitchen!

Fabulously Host Overnight Guests

Posts on Organizing Your Entire Kitchen + Pantry

Posts on Putting Together a Functional Laundry Room

2. Have your registry completed at least 2 months before any party for which guests will be purchasing gifts.

3. Click HERE for my simple {but comprehensive} guide on organizing, purchasing, and writing THANK YOU NOTES for gifts.

4.  I’ve created a Pinterest board called {organize} wedding gift registry for some ideas HERE.  I will be adding to this board soon so be sure to follow!

I hope this was helpful! Please share this post with anyone you think could use it!

Also, are you following us on Facebook???  Click HERE to LIKE Simply Fabulous Living!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Simplify + Organize Your Diaper Bag for Quick Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Hi Folks!

Today I wanted to show you how I organize a bag for little M when we’re going for quick morning or afternoon outings.  This would include times that I take her to appointments and shopping trips.  These outings are generally no more than 4 hours. Little M is only 7 months old so being out for 4 hours is usually our limit these days. It also helps not to have to pack bottles, either :-)

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Let’s start with the diaper bag that I’m using…

You guys know I like things to be simplified.  When I pack a bag for little M, we just pack the essentials.  My diaper bag is more like a medium size purse than an overnight bag {like some of the larger diaper bags}.  I wanted something that was functional and fabulous.  I discovered Ikabags. It was exactly what I wanted…sleek and snazzy with inside pouches to organize my little lovebug’s outing essentials.  My best friend, Andrew, bought the bag for me when we learned we were getting little M.  I should also mention that these bags are handmade in Paris, France!!!  And, for those of you who are new to the site, I LOVE the French!  It was like a match made in Heaven :-)))

Organize Your Diaper Bag For Quick Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Diaper Bag Essentials

  • a “onesie” that fits and is suitable to replace the clothes she is wearing, in the case of an emergency.  For the amount of time that we are out, I would only take one spare outfit.  If it was an all day affair, I would take a couple, just in case.
  • a large package of wipes
  • 3 disposable diapers
  • 2 grocery bags to dispose of dirty diapers
  • A good sized changing pad that folds or rolls in to a small package.  I got ours from Mod momMe and chose a neutral black and white print so I could use it for a future child as well.  I made sure to get 2 of them so I could wash and use and never be stuck without it.
  • 2 pacifiers in a Ziplock bag
  • 2 Aden and Anais Burpy Bibs for full coverage in the carseat and stroller :-))) The functionality of these is magical.  They can be used as a burp cloth and then snapped around baby’s neck to be used as a bib…hence the name Burpy Bib.
  • 1 blanket that is only used for going out– I bought this cloud blanket from Aden and Anais {part of their Classic Swaddle collection} because it was a fun theme for going out and because their classic swaddling blankets are fantastic.  It washes well and rolls-up to fit perfectly in my diaper bag.  Note:  Their bamboo swaddles don’t last as long.  They don’t wash as well, they lose their shape, and they fade.  They’re also a thinner blanket than the classic swaddle.
  • a bottle of hand sanitizer — I purchased a few travel size containers that I refill and keep in the diaper bag and in my purse.  I can’t tell you how helpful it has been to have this stuff on hand
  • a teething toy {Sophie the Giraffe} and a SMALL toy to have in the stroller and car seat that wouldn’t need constant monitoring when she’s playing with them {like THESE}

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Organize Your Diaper Bag for Short Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Putting it Together

I always replenish the bag when we RETURN from a trip out.  This prevents me from forgetting things when I’m rushing out of the door for an appointment.

I put the clothes {onesie and bibs} on the bottom of the bag.

I tuck the sanitizer, diapers, wipes, grocery bags, and pacifiers into the pouches of the bag.

Organize Your Diaper Bag for Short Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Organize Your Diaper Bag for Short Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Finally, I tightly roll the blanket and changing pad to go in vertically, and then tuck in toys where there’s room.  I usually give her the toys when she’s strapped into her car seat, so even if there isn’t any room in the bag for toys, we always have the toys alongside the bag so they make it into the car :-))) That’s the important part.

  Organizing  a Diaper Bag for Quick Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

Organize the Diaper Bag for Quick Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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Some Extras:

I always keep a grocery bag with a roll of paper towels and a package of wipes in the trunk to supplement the essentials in the diaper bag.  I like to be prepared.

There is one other thing that lives in the car.  He takes every car ride and stroller ride with little M.  That’s Mickey Moose :-))) She got him when she was in the NICU and he’s been her pal since.  It’s so sweet how smiley she gets when she sees him in the car.  We don’t leave home without da moose!

Organize Your Diaper Bag for Quick Outings // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

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That’s all for today.

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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May. 13, 2014

Hi!

I just wanted to share a bit of my first Mother’s Day with you guys.  Last week was incredibly busy…like Monday ran straight into Saturday.  And, by Sunday, I’d completely forgotten it was even Mother’s Day.  Though, Smith had not forgotten. :-)))  He had the sweetest cards, one from him and one from little M. I cried halfway through the first card.  Y’all, they were so beautifully written!  After getting a late start to the day, we ended up having a fabulous late lunch at our favorite Persian restaurant, Garson, here in Houston.  Not only was the food fantastic, little M was so well behaved.  The restaurant was filled with families and lots of noisy children and our little M just hung out and “people-watched.”  Cool as a cucumber!

Sunday evening, after getting little M to bed, I thought about the last 7 months and how our lives have so drastically changed.  On one hand, I sometimes feel like I’ve given up everything, while on the other,  I feel myself becoming a better person because of it.  Parenting little M has been one of the most life-giving things I’ve ever done.  It’s worth every struggle, challenge, set-back, and everything I’ve had to give up in this process.  Life is simpler in some ways.  And, Smith and I both feel like we’re figuring it out and we’re knocking it out of the park!  She’s happy, healthy, and so loved. And, she laughs constantly!  Probably because her mother is super animated and nuts! Haha!

Being a mother is so awesome! I mean really.

Here’s the boo and her Papa at Mother’s Day lunch.  Gosh, how I love them…

Mother's Day Lunch

I hope your Mother’s Day was special, too!  Tell me about it below! I’d love to hear what you guys were up to.

Miss and love y’all!!!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Mar. 22, 2014

Hi folks! I know…I never write on Saturdays.

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up–I’ve decided to be a little more organic/random with my postings here on the blog. I know I mentioned a personal goal of weekly posts, but the truth is, I just can’t do it right now.

As a blog writer, I’ve always committed myself to creating worthwhile content.  I’m not a fan of following people who recycle old posts or material that lacks substance just for the sake of posting.  I simply can’t post things I wouldn’t enjoy reading. That being said, good posts take time and lots of effort to organize and put together. Time that I just don’t have these days.

I had a bit of a reality check this morning…

I realized I hadn’t written this week and that I have a crazy week ahead with appointments for Little M and personal commitments. What does this mean?  I probably won’t find the time to post this week, either.

I’ve also been neglecting myself.  There…I said it.  I haven’t exercised in forever and my prayer time each day is short. I feel yucky and exhausted!  I also realized this week that my spring/summer clothes are sparse and it’s warming up.  I need to shop for myself.  I’m way past due for my semi-annual at the dentist.  The list could go on.

I also find myself feeling some guilt for not being more amazing as a blogger.  Like the kind of blogger that posts amazing content a couple times a week. The thing is, behind the scenes all my energy is going to being an amazing wife and mommy. Little M is demanding so much of me that I can only currently commit to a few things in my life.  And, those few things simply can’t demand much of my time.

In conclusion, I will continue to write at the blog when I have time and when I have great content to share with you.  That I can promise. I will also take care of myself and take all the time I need to mommy Little M :-)

And, the baby is crying…we’ll see ya again soon!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Fabulous Thank You Notes | A Simple Guide for Gifts // SimplyFabulousLiving.com

My mother was always adamant about us writing thank you notes immediately after we received a gift.  I learned the importance of expressing gratitude at an early age. I still to this day appreciate handwriting a meaningful thank you note. I’ve organized something of a guide for thank you note writing based on what mom taught me and what I’ve learned over the years.  I’ve included resource links through this post that you can easily access by simply clicking on the highlighted {pink} words. I do hope you find this helpful :-)

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Organizing Those Thank You Notes for Gifts from a Specific Event

{examples: wedding, baby/bridal shower, birthday party, graduation, etc.}

*** First, here’s a FREE Thank You Note Register {simply click the highlighted words to print this PDF document} ***

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  • Using this Thank You Note Register will  not only ensure the correct gift is attached to the correct giver, it will allow you to keep a record of addresses and a tally of those thank you notes you’ve mailed.
  • Under SENT, you will simply insert an X to designate each thank you note as “completed and mailed.”
  • Print this organizer before your event so that you can either designate a dependable individual to be the gift recorder person or so you can personally record gifts/givers as gifts are received. And just like that, you’ll be fabulously organized :-)

***If you already have a spreadsheet created with invitees and their addresses, simply add a few columns to the end of your document to include GIFT GIVEN / SENT instead of printing my Thank You Note Register.

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Selecting + Purchasing Thank You Notes

Here are some GREAT sites for snazzy thank you notes if you’re looking to shop at places other than the big box stores.

Paper Source {they also make and sell custom thank you notes HERE}

Papyrus

Tiny Prints

Crane & CO.

Minted.

Expressionery

Pear Tree Greetings

Just a little tip on purchasing thank you notes.

When Smith and I got married, I purchased monogrammed thank you notes to match our wedding invitations.  I regretted doing that. Having our monogram on them indicated that we were married.  So, when I had my bridal shower nearly 2 and a half months BEFORE the wedding, it seemed inappropriate to send out thank you notes immediately following the shower that had my married last name on them and we weren’t married yet.  You may have showers well before the wedding  and you’ll need to send out thank you notes. So, when purchasing thank you notes, maybe just get thank you notes that simply say “thank you” instead of getting ones that are so personalized.  Just a thought and something I wish I had personally done differently.  :-)))

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Thank You Note Wording — making it meaningful

Here’s a sample of a casual thank you note to my brother.  I’ve included a list of “must-haves” in the body that encourage a more meaningful thank you note.

 

black and white FINAL

 

To make this thank you note more formal, I would change up the greeting and closing to something more appropriate. Here are some examples:

  • Greeting:  Dear Sir or Madame, Dear Mr. and Mrs. Charles Huckabay, Dear Ms. Charlene LeBlanc, Dear Robertson family, etc.
  • Closing:  Regards, Best Regards, Sincerely, Sincerely Yours, Thank You Again, etc.

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Mail Your Thank You Notes in a Timely Manner

The timing in which a thank you note should be sent is something many people wonder.  Here are the general guidelines my mother shared with me:

  • small number of gifts {like those gifts that received at random times, ones received at the holidays, or ones received at a birthday}, a lunch treat from a close friend  — mail immediately/within the week of receiving the gift
  • large number of gifts {like those gifts received after a bridal shower or baby shower} — mail within a month of receiving the gifts
  • exception:  If you’re overly busy following your wedding or if you receive several gifts after your baby is born and you are spending time in the NICU {which seriously happened to us}, mailing thank you notes within 2 months following the wedding date or birth date would be acceptable. Anything later and it would be considered tacky, folks :-P

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Noteworthy Tips for Preparing Thank You Notes

  1. Always have thank you notes on hand.  You never know when you could need one.
  2. Every thank you note should be handwritten.
  3. Never write large sums of thank you notes at once.  You want the note to be meaningful and not sound or look like you rushed through writing it.
  4. If you’ve been given a monetary gift, NEVER include the exact sum in the thank you note.  Instead: “Thank you for the incredibly generous monetary gift you gave our family for Christmas this year.”
  5. When they’re old enough to write with a little guidance, encourage your children to express gratitude by writing thank you notes :-))) The recipient will be thrilled, I’m certain!
  6. If you’re using your item and love it, have a photo taken of it “in use” and send it with the thank you note. Actions speak louder than words!
  7. Square thank you cards are more expensive to mail, so stick with the rectangle sizes for less hassle with the stamps.

I hope you found this helpful!

Live fabulously, folks! 

Leah ;-)

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