Category Archives: registry tips

My Summer Story 2014

Did anyone take the 21 Day Summer Challenge and squeeze in a few more summery experiences?

The summer countdown continues. 6 days until Fall officially arrives. I can feel it’s approach here in Pittsburgh where the air is getting crisper, the temperature cooler and sunset is arriving earlier and earlier.

My calendar insists that I say goodbye to the Summer of 2014 and so I’m reflecting back on my experiences and what a gift they’ve been.

cape cod beach landscape photo

I’m titling my summer story 2014:

The Gift of Time With Friends

A friend and I conquered our first destination half marathon.

Photo of Shannon and Lori after their half marathon

I found a gem in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with a bed and breakfast on a working horse farm. Not only was it beautiful and relaxing, I also got to spend a weekend hiking and enjoying great food and drink with this hot guy.

Shannon and Andy in Laurel Highlands

And there were those summer evenings spent with great friends and some of my favorite bands.

Concert photo

There were many more pages to my summer story including time with family, the gift of a new niece, walks in the park and a few cold beers on hot afternoons.

What’s your summer’s story?

Tell us about it! Leave a comment or share it with us on Facebook or Instagram #mysummerstory2014.

The Gift of More Stories

And if your summer flew by like mine did, maybe you ran out of time for all of the experiences that you planned. Well don’t abandon those ‘not yet experiences’! If we fit them all in, what would we have to dream about? 🙂

We designed giftbug with your stories in mind. Tell your friends about them! What better way for them to celebrate you, thank you or just make you smile then by knowing about your list of ‘not yet experiences’?!

Check out my giftbug registry where I’ve created categories like The Gift of Time With Friends and Things I’ve Always Wanted to Do.

Lucky Number Three


My friend and sister-in-law is just weeks away from delivering baby #3. I’m impressed by her and my brother-in-law’s courage in the face of being outnumbered by the mini-humans. I can’t blame them for going for the hat-trick though, the first two are certainly super adorable and endlessly entertaining.

This is the third time they are holding out for the game day gender surprise. And while my niece and nephew continue the little brother vs. little sister debate, preparations progress for the arrival of the newest Miller.

The crib is set up and the car seats are dusted off. The changing table and boppy pillow, high chair and ‘My Aunt is the coolest’ onesie are all pulled from storage and being prepped for their third call to service.

In our family like many others, it’s not uncommon to forgo a baby shower for younger siblings, and yet friends, family and co-workers may still be looking for ideas to
honor and celebrate this little achievement to you know, grow a human being (I can’t manage to water my houseplants.)

With a giftbug registry like Ann Marie’s we can get lots of great ideas:

To surprise and excite Mom

giftbug wish list to excite Mom

To trim the honey-do list

giftbug wish list - the honeydo list

To replace misplaced or well-loved items from the first go-round(s)

giftbug wish list - replace loved items

Cool tricks and gadgets popularized since the last mini-me arrived

giftbug wish list - cool gadgets


We’re More Than Just Holidays

Giftbug was 4 months old yesterday! Those 4 months have flown by in a blur and here
we are flying head first into the Christmas holiday season. And in the coming weeks we will continue to send you tips and ideas for using giftbug to the fullest for your family’s holiday gift giving.

While the Christmas carols have been piped into our malls for weeks now and the holiday lights begin to make an appearance on lamp posts, we still have an important holiday before the Christmas season is  officially in full swing. I’m certainly counting down the days until Mom’s filling (aka “stuffing”) hits the table!

And it’s in the spirit of Thanksgiving that I’m really excited to use our powers for good – the greater good and introduce you to a way to take giftbug beyond personal gift registries and share it with some of the amazing charities providing a hand up to our neighbors, our
military and our 4 legged friends, just to name a few.

Passion took over and we got a little carried away with examples!
Passion took over and we got a little carried away with examples!

Check out our sample registries on

There are so many things that I love about giftbug, and they translate to a powerful tool for charities:

1. You can link to any item on any website and you aren’t just limited to shop in one location

A 6-pack of soup from Amazon for a food pantry, apparel from Dick’s Sporting Goods for a soldier’s care package, a blender from Bed Bath & Beyond for a Women’s Shelter.

2. You can actually link to ANY web page; to an existing wish list on another website like Amazon or Barnes and Noble or directly to a cash donation link on your charity’s website.


I mean SERIOUSLY who can resist making a donation with that face?! (And yes, this was an excuse to show you the cutest photo of Bella ever.)

3. You aren’t limited to just web links. You can upload personal pictures and type in information about a gift (ex: request for homemade items, gently used items, etc)

The first 2 examples above show how you can use the links to add personal pictures and information about the charity or the gift registry. The 3rd picture is a gratuitous excuse to show a super cute picture of Bug but also a great example of using a personal picture and then writing a description of your charities need (in this case toys for the dogs at an animal shelter or rescue).

4. You can create your own categories to customize your gift registry to your organizations individual needs.

5. With our description field you can enter information that tells a story about who will use the items, why they are needed or just specific information about sizes, colors, etc.


6. The I want this too! button means that patrons of a charity can add the requested items to their personal gift registries and let friends and family know how they can help the charity.

7. Giftbug is easy to use and that means charities can easily update their giftbug registry to keep their wish lists current.

8. Impulse buying for the greater good! The ability to purchase an item online and have it sent directly to a charity means I can do it right now and I don’t have to wait until I have time to go out and pick up the items and drop them off at a location.

I hope you’ll check out our sample registries on and share the information with the charities that you support. Sample-Animal Rescue Organization has the most detailed examples. We are a small, dedicated and passionate team, so any questions can be directed to me personally

Raising Awareness For A Favorite Charity

Looking ahead at October holidays there are a lot of crazy ones listed on the internet (and if they’re on the internet, they must be true.)

Did you know that October is Sarcastic Month? Although, I’ve been celebrating that one all year. October is also Eat Country Ham Month, Cookie Month, and National Pizza Month; none of which are going to help Shannon with her self-proclaimed holiday “Get Your Butt Out the Door and Run Month.”

As with all months there are also a lot of important awareness holidays that remind us that there are people and organizations doing great work to help others who may be struggling, in pain or in need of a hand up. Some of the notable holidays in October include:

* Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
* Breast Cancer Awareness Month
* Domestic Violence Awareness Month
* Fire Prevention Week, Oct 6-12, 2013

You can create a gift that suggests donations to a cause close to your heart.

One of the things that we love about giftbug is the flexibility that we built into our registries. We know you’ve heard us say before that you can link to an item on any website.  Of course this means that you can also link to your favorite charity.

What’s new?

What’s new at giftbug? Funny you should ask, What’s new? is part of what’s new.

…yeah, I thought I’d have a lot of places to go with an opening line like that, but I’ve got nothing. So anyway, we’ve pushed out another round of updates to giftbug and we wanted to tell you about them., and yes, the first one I want to tell you about is called ‘What’s new?’

The ‘What’s new? menu item
With all the changes that are taking place we wanted to provide the users with a changelog or place to review the features that we’ve added to the website. We’ll write about most of them her in the blog, and now you can also find the list of Website updates right from the bottom of the main menu with our What’s new? link.

Use this link to keep up on all of the Website updates.

Tightening up the Share page 
Since we’ve been getting some questions about the Share and Nudge emails on the Share page, we took a stab at making it all clearer. In addition to tweaking (you just thought about ‘twerking’ didn’t you?) the descriptions we added links to new FAQs that include screenshots of the Share  and Nudge emails.

Signing up your friends
We’ve been wanting to make it easier for people to sign up for giftbug if they are viewing someone else’s registry and they’re like ‘Holy gift-giving genius Batman, where do I sign up?!?!’ So we inserted a sign up link right there next to the friend’s profile photo on their registry.

When your friends see your giftbug registry we’re pretty sure they’re going to want one of their own, so we are making it easer than ever to sign up right from any registry.

Well that’s the highlights of the latest changes. And now it’s time to start
thinking Christmas here at giftbug HQ and to start working on our Secret Santa feature for the website. We’ll share more on that later! First order of business is convincing Andy that we are not calling it ‘Secret Winter Holiday Nondenominational Gift Giving Fantasy Creature’.