Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Everyone Deserves A Treat

For those of you that live in D.C., or within driving distance, Grove Gal E and I will not be responsible for your caloric consumption. For those of you who don't live near, I don't think it is possible to gain weight from simply looking at a photo, but you may notice your Fed Ex or UPS man "taste testing" your boxes.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that back to school time always leaves me thinking of fresh starts, or in this case a sweet fresh start. My friend Erica is amazing...for starters, she is stunning, tall, thin, perfect curly hair (I consider myself an expert on perfect curly hair, because I have spent a small fortune making imperfect curly hair straight!), a Notre Dame law school grad, amazing mom and now business owner!

If she can go from learning to play tennis to being captain of our club team in a year, you can imagine how successful her latest venture will be: let me introduce you to Treats By Erica.

Mini K can spot one of her marshmallow pops at 100ft, and Mr. G will pick one of her bon bons over any chocolate store, but my downfall, and ladies, let me tell you, these are worth every single extra minute on the treadmill: her chocolate covered pretzels!
If you want to see more photos of her sweets you can find her on Facebook right HERE.

She makes everything herself, and puts so much effort into every last detail, from the pink label, to emailing you to get things just right. She will ship and if you are lucky enough to live here, she will deliver! Her treats make great favors and I have been known to show up with dessert trays as hostess gifts! The best part is unlike many bakeries, Erica doesn't make you order 3 dozen of anything and will work with you to create the perfect treat package for you.

So the next time you need to send a little sugar to your college student, friend or just want an indulgence, consider yourselves introduced to Erica!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day

What is it about the first day? We all must be born with something that makes us excited for the first day of school, of camp, of college of a new job. As a child it is 100% excitement, as an adult it can be mixed with a little nerves to keep us humble.

Today was a first: the first day of kindergarten for Mini K. She woke up no less than 3 times last night asking if she could put on her dress and backpack. Finally, I said yes, and after a quick (read inhaled) breakfast, we were off to school. She has a few new kids in her class, but most of them have been in class together since they were 3 so it was more like a reunion. She signed in, whispered to me that I could only take "a few" photos and went to her assigned seat. Her smile said it all.

When I picked her up, the same smile was there. Today was yet another lesson, taught by a 5 year old. On the way home she said today was amazing, because she learned new things with her friends. I stopped and wondered if anything I did today brought me as much joy as her first day of school...what popped into my head was a quote I have seen often, and would love to cite, but I have no idea who said it, but I think all of us owe this unknown to me person a thank goes something like this: We should all be so lucky to be able to do for a living what we find ourselves doing when we are putting off our work. For me it is PGG, for Mini K, it was exactly how she spent her day. My wish for my daughter is that never changes!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back To School Teacher Gifts

Tomorrow is Mini K's first day of kindergarten and we are all beyond excited with the teacher and teacher's assistant she was assigned. If that wasn't enough, her two best friends are in her class and there is NO REST time in kindergarten. I am pretty sure this is the 5 year old equivalent of being told you can walk out of Bergdorf's with new shoes, a Verdura ring and all the Goyard you can carry!

I always like to take a little something for the teacher and assistant on the first day. They work so hard getting the classrooom ready and deserve a special treat. I try to think of something that Mini K and I can do together. I altered a teacher appreciation week candy gram idea I saw on Eighteen25.

I purchased the plastic paint can at Michael's and picked upt he candy at our local CVS.
We added and changed the original wording so it reflected the start and not end of the school year.
For the aide in her classroom, we filled one of PGG's fabulous double insulated 24oz cups with individual packets of Crystal Light and added a scallop punched note that says:
I am so excited you will be the kindergarten "ade"!
Mini K cannot wait to take them into school.

Last year we made a Sharpie bouquet. I let her pick out about 12 sharpies at staples and we wrapped them in grosgrain ribbon and put them in a mint julep cup with a card that said: "Teachers are just like Sharpies, they leave a permanent mark!"

You can always fill a chinese takeout box with mints, gum and other treats with a note that says: " I am so FORTUNE-ATE to have you as my teacher!"

Or a coffee tumbler with some Starbucks instant coffee packets and a note that says: "I PERKED right up when I heard you were my teacher!"

All of these ideas are somuch fun to put together with your little one and don't take a lot of time, which is great for working moms like me!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bye Bye Irene

This past week has been one of ups and downs. On Tuesday, D.C experienced what I thankfully call an earthquake. After being in this city on 9-11, I can tell you that when most of us felt that rumble, our first thought was terrorist attack not earthquake. I am sure all of you California natives think we over reacted, but after 9-11, we think a building has been hit when we feel a jarring motion like that.
As soon as the earthquake stopped, the news reports of Irene's impending arrival started. I prepared for the hurricane, by having coffee with Landlocked Mermaid, a trip to the liquor store and making sure all of our electronic devices were fully charged. Mr. G was in charge of the generator. I will never understand why people panic and buy milk at the grocery store when the news says you might lose power. Who wants to drink milk from a non-working fridge?

This picture made me laugh as it sums up what most people thought of the hurricane. They prepared for it on the outside, but didn't really think it would amount to much. This time, we were blessed and it was just a lot of rain and short bursts of wind.
Photo from MSNBC

Well Irene came, and if you weren't watching the news you might have thought it was just a severe storm. In fact the thunderstorm we had last summer did more damage than Irene. Thankfully, we didn't lose power, but more than a few trees in our neighborhood came down.

Tomorrow is Mini K's last day before school starts. We are going to put the finishing touches on our welcome gifts for her teacher, layout her chosen outfit, pack her monogrammed backpack and write out her lunch schedule for the week. I promise to do a post on our back to school gifts, but tonight I need to write our all about Mini K letter for her teacher. This is yet another great idea from my mother. She said until I was old enough to reach, write and fully communicate she would write a letter to the teacher on the first day about me. Essentially, how to tell if I wasn't feeling well, because I wouldn't say anything (Mini K is the same way), to make sure I ate my fruit not just my veggies, etc. I have done this every year since Mini K started school and every year her teachers tell me it is helpful.

It has been years since I have had a first day of school, but I always think of the year in semesters and fall, for me, is always the season of fresh starts and new choices. I am starting this "school year" off with my new 6am running schedule and so thankful that I have a running partner to catch up too, it will make be better and hold me accountable, and a new straight head of hair thanks to today's Brazilian Blowout.

I hope none of you experienced any damaged from Irene and those of you in the South, I hope September brings a temperature that is only 2 and not 3 degrees. I am off to tackle the unpacking of the fall clothes and the start of another season of ebay listing!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer's Walking Away...Be Back Soon

Mini K starts kindergarten in less than a week and I feel like this summer has flown can probably guess I have lost track of time due to my lack of posts!

Our summer highlights have included:

The birth of our good friends' son and promotion to Big Sister for his sister

Mini K & Mr. G's first roadtrip solo

Watching Baby C take his first steps, followed by his first fall

Mini K take the scissors to her hair which resulted in a very short bob for this school year and her constant inquiries as to why a girls hairstyle is called a boys name (I have no answer)
Watching Mini K jump up and down when she opened a letter from her new kindergarten teacher (the one she prayed she would get all summer) and finding out her best friend Abby is in her class...more jumping and screaming

Starting my running back up with a new partner that is faster andholds me 6am

Feeling like I am back in school the moment I put on my new Tory Burch loafers, BUY THEM, they are the shoe fountain of youth or remembrance

Being relieved that it was only an earthquake in D.C. and not a terrorist attack

But most of all, this summer I tried to step back and enjoy and photograph ALL of the moments and I am so happy I did.

I hope you will come back next Monday, as I promise to be back to regular posting, and I cannot wait to share some of my new finds and Grove Gal E's and mine's latest venture with all of you!

Until then, hug your loved ones a little bit tighter, write an ACTUAL letter to a friend, put a stamp on it and mail it and buy some crayons, smell them and remember your first day of school and donate them to a school supply drive so another child can start the year with a sense of wonder as it is PRICELESS!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back To School Prep

I decided to throw all of my energy into my to-do list. With Mini K's first day of school less than a month away, it is a long one.

Her big decision every year is picking out her backpack and lunchbox. The older she gets, the more memories it brings back of doing that same task.

While she always picks, I always steer her towards the Garnet Hill catalog. Their backpacks hold up and they always run a great August special: a FREE lunchbox with every backpack order....not to mention I still haven't figured our while Pottery Barn Kids really only offers a full name on their backpacks. Seriously, every child safety expert tells parents whatever you do, do NOT put a kid's name on their backpacks, coats, etc because it gives strangers too much personal information about your child.

So kindergarten will be the year of the peace signs for Mini K!

I had Garnet Hill monogram the lunch box for only $6, but I always take the backpack to Chase Moon Designs inside the Purple Goose for its monogram. Garnet Hill monograms the backpack the same size as the lunchbox and that is just too small for my taste.
Chase on the other hand, might be a Texan at heart, because she knows the Bigger is Better rule!

For those of you not in the D.C. area you can find Chase Moon at her etsy store and she does ship! A few friends have had items ship directly to her and she ships them right out! If you are in D.C. head on over to her store inside of The Purple the entire summer collection (clothes AND shoes) are 50% off!

Next on the running and tennis shoes for me! It's tax free weekend here after all!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reality Bites

In this case I wish I was talking about the movie, but it is real life. My mother ushered in another birthday with some rather bleak news from the doctor and let's just say it has been tough to swallow. I apologize for not posting, but gifts and paper have seem a bit trivial to me lately.

That is until one of mother's friends who I didn't realize read this blog, told her I had gone "missing". Let's just say this 36 got a talking here I am.

We received our prototypes in today and I am quite pleased with how they turned out. Leave it to a 5 year who thinks she needs her own iphone and ipad to help me design our first product! They will soon be for sale on both the PGG site and our soon to open etsy site! We have been selling great products designed by others for so long, and still will carry all of them, but these new products are designed and made by us!

Thankfully, I am hosting my annual Kate and Libby trunk show this week which will keep my brain busy! I love their fall can you not love a reversible, monogrammed fleece vest?
SO here is my question....what are you looking forward to this fall?