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10 Tips to Quickly Unpack From a Trip

I recently returned from a road trip back home to attend my sister-in-laws super pretty backyard wedding.  Don’t worry you’ll get to see how cute it was soon.  When we returned from our 12 hour drive I had a strange amount of energy and got us unpacked so quickly.

After getting bags unpacked and put away so quickly I just had to share with you a few of the things I did to make it such a quick and smooth process.  I did a quick search and there are a lot of packing lists and checklists, but not many that will help you unpack quickly.  I’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks today, plus a free unpacking checklist to help you get it all done quickly.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

1. Dump out all of your laundry right in your laundry room

No matter if you wore all of your clothes or not, washing everything that has been in your suitcase will give you a fresh, clean start.  Dumping it all out on the laundry room floor makes it easy to sort and start laundry right away.

2. Have a ready made meal for dinner

I highly recommend having a quick frozen meal ready to throw in a skillet or the oven once you return home.  You will definitely not feel like cooking after traveling.  Having something ready to go makes your life so much easier.  A great option is one of those one skillet Voila frozen meals.

3. Sniff Sniff

If you have gone on a road trip you most definitely will need to air out your car and make it smell nice again.  A simple way to do that is to place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in your car for a day or two.  It will smell so nice afterwards.

4. Put your suitcases away right away

There’s nothing worse than feeling like it takes forever to unpack because your suitcases are left out.  If you get them put away right away the trip is visually over and you’re ready to get back into your routine.

5. Clean your house before you leave

Picking up big messes, making beds, and cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving for your trip will make unpacking so much easier.  Plus, coming home to a clean house is so much nicer than walking into a mess.

6. Keep separate bags

Keep toiletries and chargers constantly packed in a separate bag.  All you’ll have to do to unpack is take the bag out and put it away. No need to put everything inside of it away.  This means you’ll have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, etc. but they’ll all be grouped together and packing and unpacking will be a breeze.  All you will have to do is throw a toiletry bag in your suitcase and not have to fish out everything you need from your medicine cabinet.

7. Take care of the car

If you are taking a road trip, schedule an oil change or car detailing within a few days after your arrival.  Set this up before you leave to help you get back into your routine.  This will also take care of any car issues that may have come up on your trip.

8. Set a Timer

For procrastinators it may help to set a timer once start unpacking.  Have a time limit will help you get motivated to get everything out and put away.  Give yourself a prize if you need to for finishing unpacking before the timer goes off.

9. Don’t repeat

When unpacking, be sure to put like items together.  One way I do this is to put everything that needs to go back upstairs on the bottom step. This way I’m not running up and down the stairs a bunch of times, but can take everything at once.  If you use a central location to unpack, like your laundry room, you can even just make piles of items by which room they need to go back to.

10. Enlist Help

You probably didn’t go on a trip alone, so you shouldn’t be the only one doing all of the unpacking.  Get your husband, kids, or hey call a neighbor if you need to to help you.  Having someone sorting laundry while someone else is cooking dinner will make the unpacking go much faster.

Now that you’ve gotten some great tips, feel free to click on the image below to print out a quick cheat sheet to help you unpack.  I highly recommend just posting this in your laundry room or central unpacking area as a reminder.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

Do you have any other unpacking tips?  If so be sure to leave a comment so I can reply.  I hope you get to go on a great adventure this summer! I’m sure it will be a breeze to unpack with these tips when you return home.

 

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FREE Printable Father’s Day Cards

Well, Father’s Day is only about a week away.  If you weren’t sure when it is, it’s this Sunday June 18th.  Isn’t Father’s Day always so much harder than Mother’s Day to make special?  Dads are just hard to buy gifts for in general.

I’ve got you partly covered today with a few Father’s Day cards that you can use in a pinch if you need something to give your Dad.  Super easy to just print out on cardstock, cut out, sign, and place in an envelope for your Dad.

Here are a few Father’s Day gift guides that you might find helpful if you are still in need of a gift.  Mine from last year, this one from Jones Design Company, or this one that’s a full grilling gift guide.  My husband personally has a few items off the grilling gift guide and he loves them!

Either way, if you get a gift or you don’t you’ll need to write a special little note for your Dad.  Feel free to print off any of the cards I designed below.  There’s one for an awesome dad, a hard working dad, and the world’s greatest dad.  Just click the picture to download the card.

Free printable Father's Day Cards, awesome dad father's day card, green and blue father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, hard working dad father's day card, blue and orange father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, greatest dad father's day card, camoflauge father's day cardI sometimes find that cards in the store are either super vague or way to mushy for my taste.  These cards are pretty simple, but give you lots of space on the back to write something specifically for your dad.  Card prices are out of control! I hate the idea of spending $4-$5 on a card, it’s ridiculous!  These are free!

Be sure to click on the images above so you can print out your free Father’s Day cards.  Then all you’ll have to do is add your personal message to the back and pop it in an envelope.  Either attach it to a gift or give the card all on it’s own.  These would also be great to give along side a gift card if you plan to go that route.

What are you planning on getting your Dad, husband, or grandfather for Father’s Day?  I already have quite a few ideas for my husband, but he reads these posts so I won’t be giving him an spoilers.  I hope you have a great rest of your week and your Dad has a special day on Sunday!

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Party Prep Tips and a FREE Party Set-Up Timeline

Happy Monday friends! How are you adjusting to the time change? I was so tired yesterday! I hope you’ve recharged a bit.   How about a free printable to help you get ready for your party faster and I promise it won’t tire you out?

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.I find that anytime you search for a timeline or guide to help plan a party, everything you find doesn’t give enough detail for what to do right before the party. I always find timelines that are months and weeks ahead of a party. But what about those of us that tend to wait until the last minute to get ready to celebrate?  Or just need to know what to do once the guests have been invited?

I like to have a to do list for each day and hour leading up to the event. Today, I’m going to help you do the same. I’m also going to give you some awesome tips that will help you get your party ready and be done before your guests arrive. No more rushing around when your doorbell rings.

One Week

By the time your event is a week away, you’ve probably already decided on a theme, invited guests, and have a plan for food, drinks, and decor. So now you need to start executing your plan.

One week before the event, purchase or start making your party décor. This will give you enough time to make homemade decor and not feel rushed to get it done.

If you plan on purchasing helium balloons, place the order now. Schedule to pick the balloons up a few hours before your event.

Four Days

Four days before your event is all about the food. By this point you’ve nailed down your menu and made grocery lists. So, purchase groceries and all the things you’ll need for drinks.

Once you’re home, be sure to prepare your food for the party. If things need to be washed, cut, or stored specifically for your party do it now to save you time closer to your event.

Two Days

A couple days before your event you’ll want to start preparing your event space. To do this cut and arrange flowers if you’re using them. Start decorating your tablescape or food/drink buffet area. This step is crucial because you’ll need it set up now to prepare for other steps in the days leading up to your event.

This is also a great time to set out anything on your table or food station that isn’t going to go bad in two days. Things like plates, cups, napkins, serving ware, flatware, and platters.

One Day

The day before your event is exciting! But there is a lot of work to do. First you’ll want to start making any of the food you’re preparing yourself. If it doesn’t have to be freshly cooked prepare it today.

Storage containers, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap are your friend. Wrap up your prepared food and store it in your refrigerator until the big day. You’ll have time to assemble and finalize recipes later, so use this time to do as much prep cooking as possible.

Once you’ve gotten your food prepared, it’s time to clean your event space. I highly recommend using this method to clean for guests. You don’t have to get carried away cleaning, focus on the areas that your guests will spend the most time. Typically, around the food and drinks, any sort of activity areas, and be sure to clean your most used bathroom.

Night Before

Are you ready for one of my biggest tips to party planning? The night before your event, label your platters and serving ware. It will save you so much time and energy. It also helps you plan out your table and spacing of food and everything else that needs to be on your table.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.This is also a great way to help anyone that’s helping you. If you hand your husband a bag of chips and ask him to put it on the table, he’ll clearly see the bowl labeled chips and guess what? Those chips will be in the exact spot you want them to be. Amazingly reducing the amount of rework you’ll have to do.

Also the night before is a great time to put up all of your party décor. Doing so now will free up so much time the day of your event. It’s also a great way to see how well your décor is going to hold up. If you put everything up the night before and it has all fallen down by the morning you’ll know that you’re going to have to try some new ways to keep it up throughout your party.  Use this method to have everything you need handy and avoid running around after tape and scissors.

Four Hours

Whohoo, it’s the day of your event! Let’s get ready to party! At this point you are ready to go. Décor’s done, most of the set up is done, guests are on their way, now to put the finishing touches on your party.

It’s time to get all of that pre-prepared food together. This is the time to start putting salads together, mixing all your ingredients for dips, assembling sandwiches, or decorating a cake. It’s so much easier because you’ve prepped everything the day before.

If you have food that needs to be baked or cooked do it now, so all you have to do is warm it up later.

This is also a great time to set up your dessert bar or buffet. It’s plenty of time for your cake, cupcakes, or cookies to not get dry or melt. If you have desserts that need to stay cold, be sure to wait to put them out.

Two Hours

A couple hours before your party you should have almost all of your food taken care of, décor done, and desserts ready. It’s the perfect time to touch up any cleaning that you did the day before. Whether that be giving your bathroom a once over, fluffing your couch pillows, or cleaning up any messes in the kitchen.

It’s also a great idea to make sure all of your trashcans are empty and ready to be used at the party. Another great tip is to label your trashcans, especially if you plan on recycling. Cleaning recyclables out of a trashcan is not fun to do after a party.

One Hour

One of the last things to get ready is the drinks. Do this about an hour before the party so drinks are cold and ice hasn’t melted yet.

Also be sure you have plenty of cups, straws, glasses, and a way to label individual glasses. Great options are a sharpie on plastic cups, wine charms or these drink labels.

30 Minutes

Now, right before your party you’re going to want to just put the finishing touches on everything. This is when you’ll want to pull out any food that has had to be cold or warm up any food that needs to be warm.

It’s a great idea to use your oven on a low temperature setting, a warming drawer, or use a chafing dish with a warming flame under it.

Finally, my favorite part of party set up, is enjoying how your party and house looks before all of your guests arrive. It’s a great time to take a few pictures of all of your hard work. Let’s be honest, your house probably doesn’t usually look this good, right?!

Congrats!  You’re ready to party!

Here’s a handy dandy printable to help you remember all of the things you need to do leading up to your party. Putting these steps in place will definitely help you be ready for your party more quickly and be set to go before your guests arrive.  Just click the picture below to download a copy for yourself.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.

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Party Rewind: Daniel Tiger Birthday Party with FREE Printables

Today, I’m trying something a little different.  I’m going to take you back to a party I did about nine months ago because I’ve added some things I think you’ll like!

Let’s travel back in time together and look at this Daniel Tiger themed birthday party I hosted for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  Click here to see the full party.

In case you’ve forgotten how it was decorated take a peek at some of these highlights.

I loved how the teal blue and red color scheme really screamed Daniel Tiger without being overly cartoon-like.  I’ve since been able to pass along the trolley photo booth and color coordinating paper garlands for another little one to celebrate with.  It felt great knowing that something I spent time crafting was going to get more than one use.  And I’m sure be the hit of another party.

To share the love even more, I designed a few things for your Daniel Tiger themed birthday party.  Try using these cupcake toppers and food label tents at your party to help streamline your decor.  Just click on the picture to download the printable you like.  Print it out on cardstock, cut it out, and top a cupcake with it or label Prince Wednesday’s Pasta Salad.

With these two printables, you’ll be on your way to hosting a super cute Daniel Tiger birthday yourself!  I’d love to see how you use these printables. Be sure to take a picture and hashtag it with #thedailyhostess on Instagram so I can see how creative you are with using these!

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A Step by Step Guide to Writing the Perfect Thank You Card

Welcome back from the weekend!  First, I want to give a quick plug to my Rodan and Fields business and the awesome promotion I’m running until Tuesday.  Click here to hear all about it, and here to see what skincare would work best for you.

Now that that business is taken care of, let’s talk about probably one of the most important parts of parties, get togethers, and celebrating.  The Thank You card!  It’s so important!

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!I think it’s a bit of a lost art in this high paced, technology filled world, but getting that hand written thank you note makes you feel so good, right?

Below are a few of my tips and a template to help you write the perfect thank you card.  Using the template, you’ll be a thank you card master able to whip out a bunch of amazing thank you cards.

Thank You Card Tips

Emily Post says that the two most important things when writing thank you notes are sincerity and promptness.  So my first tip is to try and write the thank you note within a week of the event or receiving a gift.  Using the template I’ve provided it won’t take any time at all to write.

As far as sincerity goes, it’s best to add some sort of personal flair to your card.  Definitely mention the gift giver by name, but also talk briefly about them or your relationship.  Something as simple as, “It was great to celebrate with you,” or “I loved catching up with you at the party” work fine.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when the thank you note doesn’t specifically reference the gift given.  You should mention the gift specifically, like “thank you so much for the decorative vase,” not “thank you for the gift.”  I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty judgemental when I get a thank you card and it doesn’t reference the gift specifically.  Not my best quality I know.

Write the thank you note as if you were speaking to the person directly.  Use your normal tone of voice, but be sure to be positive, it’s great that someone gave you a gift!  Just try to keep the note on the shorter side, it isn’t supposed to be a novel.

If someone gifts you money, be sure to tell them what you plan to use the money for.  Don’t say “thanks for the money.” Instead, say “thank you so much for the generous gift, I plan to use it to purchase a new coffee table for my apartment.”

It’s a great idea to give a thank you note or card not just for gifts, but lots of other occasions.  Be sure that if someone is hosting you for dinner, or overnight you write them a quick thank you.  Also if someone is hosting a party or gathering in your honor, you want to make sure to thank the host specifically.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Thank You Card Template

Now that you have a bunch of tips to make your thank you card writing great, use this easy template to crank out the thank you’s in no time.

Click the template I created for you below to download it. Keep it somewhere handy to reference while writing thank you cards.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Here’s a sample thank you note using the template above.

Dear Aunt Lisa,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful bottle of wine you brought to our dinner party.  We’re looking forward to pairing it with a great steak in the future.  It was so great having you at our dinner party. Your dinner jokes really kept everyone laughing and having a good time.  Thanks again for the wine, and we’re looking forward to spending time with you again around the holidays.

Love,

Amy

See how easy that was?!  Short, positive, named the gift, added some personalization, and wrapped it up.  You’ll be writing perfect thank you cards in no time using the template above.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Now, tell me your tips for writing thank you cards.  Or have you ever gotten a really good, or really bad thank you card? I can’t wait to hear all about it. There are a lot of Valentine’s Day posts coming up over the next few weeks. Just in time to help celebrate the love in your life!

 

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Celebrating everyday!