Tuesday, November 25, 2014

22 Extra! Extra! Organizing Reads!

Hello pals!  I hope y'all are excited for the holiday week ahead!  

Today, I am popping in to give you some extra organizing reads to check out around the blogosphere, as well as some general updates and information.  I love this time of the month as it gives me an opportunity to share a lot of the behind-the-scenes happenings that may not always get the privilege of an entire post.    So much goodness happening over here!

First and foremost, let's take a peek at the articles I have been contributing over on the Better Homes & Garden's Style Spotter's Blog.


As always, many of the items I write about over there, are inspired by things happening here.

I have been working on our son's room for quite awhile now, and designing and organizing for a thirteen year old boy much more interested in sports and friends than the color of his bedding, has proven to be a bit challenging.  However, there are some organizational tips that I use no matter what their age, and I shared those here.



Many people are inspired by the seasons while decorating their home.  Same concept can be applied to decorative storage, and I shared my favorite autumn-esque options that can be used year round, in this article here.



With a kitchen update in our future, I will be thinking about how to maximize every last inch of our space.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at budget friendly ways to organize a pantry cupboard.



We were featured by Bob Vila again, and this time he is sharing great solutions for storing winter footwear.


And if you are planning on getting your home office into tip top shape for the first of the new year, Good Housekeeping has a slew of tips for you here.



I am continuing to contribute to the The Daily Mom App feed, which I still love for a variety of reasons.  The daily jokes are also a huge hit with the kiddos.  And good news!  The app is now FREE!



Are you feeling super ready and prepared for the upcoming holiday season?  It is always a whirlwind of excitement, but can also quickly become overwhelming.  Emily from So Damn Domestic, is hosting a series filled with a variety of holiday focused organization tips from a panel of hand picked experts.


You can keep up with the entire series here.  It is a good one!


OK, I am so excited about this, I am at a loss at how to express my over-the-top enthusiasm.  My extremely talented friend, Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange, just finished up an organizing book as part of the Idiot's Guide series.


Not only is this book filled to the brim with full page illustrations of organizational eye treats...


It also includes an incredible feature of our playroom, and it really shines on those beautiful pages!  I owe Cyndy my first born for this honor!


When the package first arrived at my door, my heart was racing at record-breaking speeds.


We have been featured in magazine print in the past, but this is our first book appearance, so I think it is cause for endless celebratory nonsense and wine drinking.  Thank you so much Cyndy for seeing something in our playroom project and including it in your fantastic piece of work.


If you were wondering if I had suddenly fallen off the face of the earth last week, the answer is luckily no.  In fact, I was organizing once again, only this time I was organizing in Texas!


I fell in love with Grace of A Storied Style Blog, when I met her at a Better Homes & Garden's event last year.  We quickly became dear friends and have been scheming my trip to visit ever since.  Not only did I go down to visit her and her darling clan, I also helped her with some organizing.  I couldn't be more thrilled with how the room came together, just moments before I had to head back to the airport to go home.


I absolutely cannot wait to share more, so I hope y'all stay tuned for the entire story.


And in REALLY big news, I shared last week that we are finally ready to start our very long awaited kitchen project!  I am so excited and nervous all at the same time, as I feel like I have been building this up for years!  Well, in the spirit of just not wanting to wait any longer, the first hole has been made!


My visions and ideas for the space have been changing by the second, and I am excited to share the entire process of our biggest renovation to date.  We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, but we have never shied away from a challenge.

Because we are going to try and do as much of the work as possible, it could impact my posting schedule and the amount of additional organizing projects I am working on beyond our kitchen.  We are planning on spending many evenings working on tearing down the wall, installing our flooring, assembling and installing our cabinets, etc... I plan to share every last moment of the story here, but if the floors take four days to install on our own, I may not have an abundance of daily updates.  If there are other organizational questions and articles you would like for me to post in-between our bigger kitchen updates, feel free to leave some suggestions in the comments below.  Anything from "how to organize a small entry" to "favorite organizing supplies for the office"... I am happy to answer any of those general organizing questions you may have.  And I am sure there will be times when I just need to take a kitchen break to focus on a random messy drawer.

Either way, this is one of the most exciting things that have happened around here in a very long time and I am honored to take all of you along for the ride!

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And last but certainly not least, with 2015 right around the corner, I am looking to add a few fresh faces to the iHeart Contributing team!


As you know, my fabulous team of writers assist in bringing fresh new content to the blog on a weekly basis.  Because we all live in different situations and have different skills to share, they bring elements to iHeart Organizing that I could never offer on my own.  I am delighted to add some new talent to the mix, and I am calling on you to be part of the team!

What I am looking for:
  • People who love to organize!
  • People who love to sew organizational storage!
  • People who love to build organizational storage!
  • People who love to re-purpose everyday items into storage!
  • People who love to write and share their organizational stories!


If this sounds like you, and you are interested in contributing approximately 5 posts per year, then please email me at iheartorganizing@gmail.com with CONTRIBUTE in the subject line.  Please include a little about yourself, a link to your blog, and your favorite organizing project.  I am also happy to answer any questions via email regarding the contributing process and experience.

Submissions due to me by end of day, Saturday, December 6th. 

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It was an honor to celebrate my five year blogging milestone in September and I just wanted to thank you all for your kind comments, emails and notes on social media, congratulating and encouraging me along the way.  Blogging is never something I take for granted and I hope that I still have a few more years ahead of me.  At the end of the day, you pals keep me motivated to continually tackle spaces and share it here, so consider this as me hugging you in a very bear-like way.  You can see all of the posts in the blogiversary series below:

A Day in our Life
The Bread & Butter of the Blog
Ten Things I Have Learned Along the Way
Blogging Photography Tips & Tricks

And a very important reminder that this blog would not be possible without my monthly sponsors.  They are each amazing companies that I love and support right back, you can check each of them out below or on the sidebar.



A few days are remaining to link up your organizing projects as part of this month's organizing challenge!  Check them out and link up here!



Friday, November 21, 2014

38 UHeart Organizing: Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby & Mom

I love that my contributors are filling my blog with baby content, because I am eight years out of diapers (I mean out of purchasing them, not wearing them to set the record straight) and I know I have a lot of expecting and new parents that check in.  Serena sent me this post a few weeks ago, and has since welcomed a beautiful baby girl.  I couldn't be more thrilled for her and her growing family, you can see her most recent baby update on her blog here.

Today, Serena is sharing with us a fantastically thought-out hospital bag checklist.  Boy do I wish I would have had this list when I gave birth.  So good and totally spot on!



With my first bub due any minute, the last few weeks I’ve been madly rushing around trying to get as much organized as possible before the baby comes.
Some of my errands have been practical (baby first aid course), and some ummmmm not so practical (tracking down perfectly pink baby moccasins – they sure are cute though!)

The one task I have made sure was completed was my hospital bag.

To me the hospital bag is so much more than the basics. It’s about everything you need plus a few little luxuries to help you along as you navigate the waters of the first few days of parenthood.

So without further adieu, here are my fave picks for the ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist…



FOR YOU

  • Dressing Gown (Pictured: Pretty Plum Sugar Maternity Robe) – The perfect lightweight cover up for early labor and later on when you’re in the maternity ward.
  • Slippers and Socks (Pictured: Peter Alexander Slippers) – Is it just me or do your feet get FREEZING in hospital? Have some bedtime socks and daytime slippers will keep your tootsies warm.
  • Flip flops – Great for getting around and can be also worn in the shower if you like.
  • PJs
  • Comfortable clothes for around the hospital (Pictured: Country Road Tee) - Our hospital recommends new mums ditch the PJs as soon as they can to feel more themselves again.
  • Nursing Bras (Pictured: Chloe & Lola Nursing Bras) – Or comfortable support wear depending on your nursing plans.
  • Comfy Underwear – The best advice I’ve received is to bring a bunch of Bridget Jones style granny panties for the days after labor. Don’t worry Hugh Grant probably won’t be visiting (and if he is – lucky you!)
  • Pillow – To ensure when you’re getting a chance to sleep, you sleep well on your own familiar pillow. I’ve also been told the tip of making sure the pillow case is not white so it’s doesn’t get mistaken for a hospital one.
  • Magazines – Apparently TV has taught us nothing and the birth process isn’t over and done with in minutes. Having something to read during down time before and after birth comes in handy.
  • Recovery Shorts or Belly Bands (Pictured: SRC Recovery Shorts) – If you’re planning on using these during your recovery it’s recommended you have them on hand so you can start using them as soon as your midwife allows.
  • Going Home Outfit – Keeping in mind you’ll still look 6 months pregnant when leaving, I opted for something comfy that still felt ‘pretty’. Ya know just in case the paparazzi were waiting for me just like they did with Kim Kardashian. A girl’s gotta be prepared!


  • Basic Toiletries including Toothbrush, toothpaste, face cleanser, moisturizer, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, body wash and lotion (Pictured: Milk & Co Body Scrub & Lotion) – I found the easiest way to be prepared was to have new items (i.e. toothbrush) or travel containers (i.e. for face cleanser) so the bag was ready to go as is and nothing has to be taken from my bathroom when the time came.
  • Lip Balm (Pictured: Kiehls Lip Balm #1)– As someone who has spent some time in hospital, you need to keep those lips moisturized 24/7 unless you want cracked dragon lips! I would even err on the side of taking two in case you lose one.
  • Hairbrush/Hairbands/Hairdryer/Dry Shampoo – Depending on your needs you can take some or all of these. As someone who resembles a cavewoman with just a slightest bit of moisture; having some dry shampoo and a hair band for a simple ponytail in those post-birth days will make everything easier.
  • Tissues
  • Stretch Mark Cream (Pictured: Palmers Stretch Mark Cream)– Beauty experts recommend you keep slathering on this stuff for 12 weeks post birth. Plus the brand I use smells like waffles, so I may even go longer than that…
  • Maternity Pads (Pictured: Tom Organic Maternity Pads)
  • Nursing Pads (Pictured: Pigeon Nursing Pads)
  • Make-up – As much or as little as you want. For some, it is neither here nor there, for others it’s a nice pick me up to feel fresh for photos.



FOR BABY

  • Going Home Outfit - Onesie/Hat/Socks (Pictured: Cotton On Baby Onesie // Seed Farm Animal Socks) – Most hospitals provide clothes for your new bub for the duration of their stay. So all you need is their fancy outfit for their societal debut. Which they will probably vomit all over before anyone sees them.
  • Swaddle Wraps – Again the hospital will probably provide these, but if you have a brand you want to get used to, you can always bring your own.
  • Baby Blanket (Pictured: Pottery Barn Kids Blanket)
  • Nursing Pillow (Pictured: Milkbar Nursing Pillow) – If you have a particular pillow you’d like to use, best to use it from the start.
  • Car Seat – Make sure that it has been fitted professionally, so your first trip home with baby is a safe one.
  • Nappies/Wipes – These are usually provided by the hospital, but again if you want to get used to a certain type, you can bring your own.

FOR YOUR PARTNER

  • Birth Plan – If you have one.
  • All IDs, Insurance Papers & Important Documents
  • Spare Pens – To fill in the multitude of forms thrown your way.
  • Massage Oil/Heat Pack for labor.
  • Swimming shorts – In case they decide to go to the beach while you’re in labor. Actually no – it’s in case they join you in the bath and/or birth pool during the labor. Good luck to them if they actually take off to the beach.
  • Snacks/Drinks – Depending on your hospital and situation you may not be allowed to eat during labor, but just in case it’s nice to know your favorites are on hand.
  • Camera and charger – This is one time you don’t want the battery to be dead!
  • Mobile phone/s and charger – Our hospital recommended making sure all your important and emergency numbers were saved into your favorites. If you’re using your phone for music, have your favorite tunes preloaded in too.
  • Optional Extra: A list of all the foods you want to eat once that baby’s out! Sushi and champagne anyone? Ha ha!

What’s the #1 item you packed in your hospital bag that you would recommend to everyone? What didn’t you use?


"I am Serena Faber Nelson, a television producer, writer and fluffy dog owner. Obsessed with home décor, fashion, lifestyle and dogs – I set about creating Pretty Fluffy as a go-to guide for the modern pet owner. Featuring a range of stylish products, celebrity pooches, DIY projects and handy hints, Pretty Fluffy is a daily stop for smiles and inspiration, giving readers the tools they need to enjoy full and happy lives with their furry friends. My greatest loves include fresh peonies, Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts Baby in a corner), Banoffe Pie, spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, and hugging random dogs at the park. I currently live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, Andy, and my 11 year old Border Collie, Soda. As a long time fan, I am super excited to be joining the IHeart Organizing Team!"
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