Monday, July 30, 2012

Tech Finds

For those of you that know me in real life, STOP LAUGHING!  I know the very thought of my offering tech advice or finds is laughable, but let's just say that these two items help me achieve my goals and assist with my lip gloss addiction so it will make sense, and the last one is too good of a deal not to share.

I take my camera everywhere and am constantly taking photos...even when I have my iphone with me. The issue is, I haven't travelled with my laptop since I got my iPad.  I mean why would carry something that weighs five times as much?  This means that my photos are trapped on my camera until I get home.  UNTIL NOW!!!!!!!  I have been researching the iPad camera connectors on and off all summer and was about to purchase one at the Apple store last week for $59 when Baby C announced he needed to potty.  Don't worry I won't turn this blog into one of those that chronicles potty training, but my desire to rid my house of diapers forever is growing by the day.

We left the store in search of relief and then it was time to pick up big sister.  That night I was checking my email and found an offer for the EXACT SAME connector for $14, not $59.  What's a girl to do but order it!  It came this weekend and I LOVE IT!  I took my camera to the pool and to tennis and took a ton of photos as always.  I then just attached the camera to the connector and everything was on my iPad and on my iPhone in my cloud within a couple of minutes.  I cannot wait to take it on our vacation next week.  Just think you can take photos with your good camera, get them on your iPad and use them for Postagram within minutes!  You can purchase the deal HERE.

Now my second find is somewhat vain and somewhat practical.  I have been using a Casellet for a few months and while I like being able to carry business cards, a credit card and some cash with me, I didn't really like the look of the hard metal and plastic and the opening mechanism could wreck even a gel manicure.  Cue the much to late at night internet searching and I found the eyn for iphone and I couldn't be happier!  This case is more of a hard silicone and it has rounded edges.  It also holds everything I need it to and it has a mirror.  How great is that?  You can apply lipstick, check your teeth, text a restaurant review and pay the bill all with one thing!  Unlike so many cases out there, it is only $29.99! You might be surprised to know I purchased the turquoise and NOT the pink one.  The real test came yesterday, I was able to open it an hour after a manicure with ease and no smudges or chips!  How could I not share it with all of you?

Now this last one has me a little green because I wished I paid this price for it!  You all know how I love to find a deal and despise finding out I paid more than I should have for something.  I LOVE my Canon Rebel.  It is small, fits all of my Canon lenses, takes great photos and allows me to switch over to video with a push of a button and video Mini K's dive, or serve or Baby C's chants of GO USA!  I thought I misread my computer this morning when I saw that you could get the EXACT SAME Rebel for $150 less than I paid HERE.  So if you are in the market for a great SLR Digital camera, here is your deal.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Steals

We had a LATE night in the Grove last night.  Needless to say Olympic fever has arrived at our house, specifically swimming fever.  Mini K asked during the opening ceremonies why everyone on tv was asking which swimmer is cuter because the only thing that matters is who is faster.  I am pretty sure Mr. G would have bought her a car on the spot for not having a care in the world about boys.

I will do a post on Olympic fever tomorrow, but I haven't been the best this summer about Saturday Steals so I am trying to improve my record.  Call it the Olympic spirit if you will.  I am about to draw virtual dirty looks, but Christmas is less than 150 days away, which means in less than 160 days I will have celebrated Christmas, Mr. G's birthday, Mini K's birthday and the birthdays of 3 really good friends.

I am one of THOSE people.  I start shopping early.  What can I say, there is a certain thrill to trying to find the perfect something for people that matter to me!  I make a list with one rule in mind:  a PRESENT is something that I know someone wants, but would most likely not purchase for themselves, because regardless of what people say, who doesn't secretly love to untie a ribbon, tear some paper and be surprised?

These aren't so much gifts, but more gift wrapping accessories!

I LOVE these Chalkboard Labels.  A set of 12 is only $4.  You can order multiple sets and put a specific shape on each family member's gifts.  I ordered two sets and plan on using them on the plastic storage containers in my pantry to label flour, sugar and the different cereals we have.  You can purchase the deal HERE.

Holiday Mail and Boxes
I LOVE the idea of having a special return address stamp for the holidays.  These mantle stamps are both fun and personalized and only $14.99.  We don't carry stamps at the Grove, but I can tell you this is less than wholesale.  You can purchase this deal HERE.
We exchange gifts with a few families outside of our own every year and I love thinking of unusual gift tags.  When I saw these hand stamped personalized ornaments were only $10 I did a double take.  How cute would these be personalized with everyone's name?  Even better, if you have friends who have just gotten married, had a baby or even for grandparents who welcomed a grandchild.  These are perfect as a stand alone gift or tied to a plain white or kraft paper wrapped package tied with a wide grosgrain ribbon.  You can purchase this deal HERE.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fat Flush

I know the title is kind of in your face, but I seriously cannot believe how much this actually works.  I know a lot of it is water weight, but after 4 days I am down 5lbs of my last 10lb and crave it over sugar.  I am not bloated and think this might be my new must have in the fridge.  What is IT?

Jillian Michaels Detox Water

I saw it on Pinterest.  Now excuse this little detour...I try to always link to the original "pinner" so I can credit them, but I found the pin too me HERE which has the recipe but seems to just be a recipe site.

I have been making a pitcher of this every night and drink it throughout the next day.  My Tervis and I have been gulping down the 60 ounces and I have LOVED watching the numbers on the scale get smaller so I had to share it with all of you!

Let me know if it works for you.

The Recipe

    60 oz distilled water
    1 T 100% pure cranberry juice (no sugar added, non-cocktail)
    2 T lemon juice
    1 dandelion root tea bag

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shipping Business

I love the Grove with one exception:  shipping.  Not the wrapping of orders and boxing them, but the constant game to figure out which company charges the least and actually delivers on time.  I think a lot of people think businesses make money on shipping.  I can tell you we DO NOT...or at least the small shops don't.

When I opened the new website UPS seemed to offer the lowest rates so I went with them.  I was WRONG.  I hate that I am you are paying way too much to ship small items.

The great thing about being a small business is that I don't have to ask for approval when I want to make a change.  If you "like" the Grove on Facebook you know what I am about to type, if you don't LIKE us, what are you waiting for?

Starting today the Grove has switched from UPS to Fed Ex, but even better we are now offering FLAT RATE shipping!

All NON-PAPER orders under $100 will ship for $10, orders under $300 will ship for $15 and all orders over $300 will ship FREE.  All of our products in our paper section ship from our printer and we will continue to charge the weight rate.

I hope this helps everyone.  My goal has always been to offer items in price ranges that everyone can afford and I am so excited about the new items that we have coming to the Grove this fall.

Our stadium cups will be ready for purchase this week and I think they are great for hostess gifts during the holiday season (it will be here before you know it!)

Our new personalized pouches have been a HUGE hit.  At $26 they are a great price point.  Personalize one and fill it with your favorite cosmetics and it is a great gift.

Speaking of pouches, make sure to check our Facebook page this's giveaway time!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Back To School Savings

I know this is probably an extremely boring post for you to read on a Saturday...if anyone is even reading.  Clearly my Saturday night is not that exciting.  It rained today, ALL day, Mini K had a birthday party to go to, Mr. G bought a new golf pull cart, we cooked dinner as a family and all of us had to practically LOCK up the snack bars that Mini K and her babysitter made yesterday courtesy of Pinterest and I started the back to school shopping list tonight.

I feel like I say this once a week, but it is true, I LOVE EBATES.

If you aren't a member, join HERE.  All you have to give them is your name, email address and mailing address so they know where to send your check every quarter.  Once you have joined you just go to when you want to shop, enter the name of the store and the cash back will be deposited in your account within a couple of days.

School Uniforms
If your school does uniforms through Land's End take advantage of their 30% off EVERYTHING sale with code:  OCEAN and pin:2012.  You will also get 6% cash back in your Ebates account.  The 30% off is good on everything, not just uniforms.

Their fall line for the minnies is up in addition to women and the clothes do not disappoint.  Baby C wore their pants all over the playground last year and they never tore or faded.  You can get 2.5% cash back in your Ebates account and if you enter code:  W32N you get 15% off your purchase plus free shipping and free returns.

I am in love with the new catalog.  I feel like they have gone back to the basics and I adore the bejeweled elephant bracelet.  They are offering 6% cash back when you shop through Ebates

Mini K can only wear brown or black shoes and Baby C's foot seems to grow a size every 3 weeks.  When you shop through your Ebates account and enter EBATESBTS you get 20% off your purchase, plus 8% in your Ebates account.  They carry a ton of brands including Merrills, which never seem to go on sale.

That's all for tonight.  I hate finding out I paid more for something than I should I alone?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heat Wave

I know I should be used to the heat, I am from Dallas, but can someone please explain to me why Dallas is cooler than Washington, D.C.?  We are in the middle of a heatwave and I have grown tired of the weathermen claiming it will break tomorrow.

I have taken to multiple showers a day instead of blogging and there is something wrong wtih getting up at 5:30am to run and it is already 88 degrees!

Needless to say my beauty routine, and there wasn't much to start with, has been streamlined to survive the constant sweat!

For starters, I might single handedly be making the ponytail a business hairdo.  I frankly have stopped myself twice from making an appointment to have my hair chopped just to get it off my neck.  Fortunately, I have a stockpile of Emi + Jays and for the rare 10 minutes a day my hair is down, they double as a bracelet!

I am a sunscreen junkie!  I put it on every morning.  I also don't leave the house without my Per-Fekt sink perfection and cheek stain on.  I have been using this product since 9-11, because it was the only make-up that I could carry on the plane when all liquids were banned.  I became a true believer when I realized it doesn't come off when you sweat, cry, etc.  It is the BOMB!
 I can't leave the house without lip balm, gloss, or lipstick, but I hate looking down at my water bottle and seeing a big smear of color.  The woman that does my facials told me to try Jane Iredale's Sugar & Butter lip treatment.  One end exfoliates and the other is a balm.  The balm has stolen my heart away from the La Mer lip balm and no more chapped lips!

The last item in my bag this summer is mascaras.  Yes you read that correctly, two different kinds!  I apply Illegal Lengths by Mabelline first and then Bobbi Brown's Extreme Party mascara second.  Illegal Lengths has some magical power in it that makes your lashes super long and Bobbi Brown's has something in it that makes them super thick.  If you purchase the Illegal Lengths on right now, it is buy one get one for half price.  If you want to try the Bobbi Brown, enter in code ONLINE712 and you get FREE shipping and FREE samples of lip gloss, eye cream and mascara.

Now if only someone would invent a product that makes me super tall and another that makes me super thin.  A girl can dream right?  For the record, I was NOT paid for this post and purchased all of these items, in mass quantities, myself!

Now where is my fan.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seek And You Shall Find

I may be alone, but I have a list of things in mind of products I wish I could find and don't have the energy to invent.  The "need" usually comes to me when I am in the middle of something and think of what would make it easier.

This is not the how to get my children into college with zero stress, the Harry Winston bauble I have coveted for years or the desire to avoid what I DESPISE shopping for most: mattresses, but merely random things.

Imagine my excitement when I have found 3 of those products I didn't think existed in the last week.  So what'a girl to do other than share with all of you?

Hands Free Exercise
I have been getting and walking in the mornings while I do my post surgery running rehab on the treadmill at night.  I usually walk with my iphone, house keys, coffee money and earphones.  Since it has been 85-95 degrees at 6am one thing I haven't been wearing is a jacket or long sleeve shirt with pockets.  This means my hands are full and I look more like a pack rat.  Que the box on my front porch yesterday from my mother and it was like the angels had delivered for my morning walk.  The box contained a Booty Wrap and while the name sounds confusing, the product is simply amazing!  It is a bulk free wrap with POCKETS and SLEEVES that you can tie around your waist and keep your hands free.  So in addition to holding my stuff, it also hides these last 7 pounds around my hips that will be gone before Mini K starts school.  The material is a thick cotton and it comes in 3 sizes.  I am having mine monogrammed, of course, and plan on giving these as gifts to my friends this year!  The wraps come in 4 colors (I have the black) and 3 sizes so anyone from a size 0 to a size 24 can wear one.  Compared to my Lulu jackets, they are a steal at $39.99 and if you use code TS20 you can save 20% off your order!

Preppy Minnie Belts
As you know Baby C is a BIG boy.  He is long out of baby clothes and at 2 years and 3 months is wearing a 4T for length.  This means that while his pants are long enough, they are too big around the waist even with a diaper.  I have been trying to find a classic preppy belt that is adjustable and not covered in super heroes.  I confess I had given up....until I found these:

These belts sell for $35 for 1 initial engraved with a strap and $40 for 3 initials engraved with a strap.  If you need extra straps they are $12.  As with my first find, this one gets MUCH MUCH better.  You can purchase a $50 gift certificate to the store that sells them for $25 via Plum District.  You can purchase the voucher HERE.  If you purchase tonight and use code:  GOBTS you can save an extra 20% so for $20 you can get a $50 voucher.  They also have some great monograms for girls.

Non-White Onesies
I think of white onesies as underwear, even if they have a monogram so I always try to find cute onesies for friends with newborns or who are expecting to keep in their diaper bags as that emergency outfit, when your little one is already wearing their emergency outfit.  Zulily solved my problem when I saw these adorable Kate Quinn Organics onesies for only $13.99.  How can you not love the ruffle and the matching yoga pants.  You can save an extra 10% off orders with code:  CHEAPSEEKZU73

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Postcards From The Road

or the EDGE...depending on the day.  I have LOVED postcards since I was a little girl.  Both my mother and father used to send them to me when they were on business travel and once a week when I was at college.

Now that I have minnies of my own, I love that they can spot a postcard display from 100ft.  This weekend, we escaped to Nemacolin for a weekend work trip and a friend told me about Postagram.

Postagram is one of the BEST FREE apps I have found.

Postagram is a FREE app that will put a photo from your iPhone or Android on a postcard and mail it through the post office to the person of your choice for $0.99!  It gets better--the photo actually pops out of the postcard so your recipient can put it on the fridge, bulletin board or frame of their choice.  For me the best part, might be avoiding a trip to the actual post office!

Mini K and Baby C sent a Postagram to their grandparents of their trips down the water slide.  I cannot wait to use this as a way to say thank you when we visit friends or relatives, or after a cocktail or dinner party.

You can also purchase credits for Postagrams and send them as a gift.  What a great idea for someone going off to college as a way to get them to write home or if you are on vacation in Europe...send a postcard with a photo from from your trip and not have to waste time finding a post office.

You can join Postagram HERE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stop the Clock

I have no excuses, this blog isn't more fun that watching my kids have the time of their life this summer!    Baby C is now officially a kid, no longer a baby and I have had so much fun watching him interact with Mini K.  He has a determination to keep up, or try to, with her and her friends.

This weel I am attempting to add some new products to the website and believe it or not have started my list for both back to school and WAIT FOR IT....Christmas!  I know I am insane!

Mini K has spent what feels like hours selecting her new lunchbox and backpack and now we wait for them to arrive so we can have them monogrammed.  This brings me to my yearly rant, why is it that Pottery barn Kids will only put your child's NAME on the backpack when EVERY SINGLE child safety expert tells you to NOT put your child's name on their backpack as stranger's can call it out and confuse out little ones?  We continued our love affair with Garnet Hill and ordered from them for the 3rd year in a row.

I have also managed to find some great deals lately that I thought I would share.

Land's End is offering an additional 20% off all sale items with code:  Banner and Pin: 2323.  I just purchased Baby C his first burnt orange puffer vest for a mere $15...marked down from.  The girl's vests are the same deal.  Even better, sign up and shop through your Ebates account and get an extra 3% cash back!

Gilt also had some great deals on stuff for your minnies!  How cute are these bracelets and necklaces for little girls?  Mini K doesn't know it, but I got her a K and a couple for her friends for Christmas.  If you aren't a Gilt member you can join HERE.  If you are a member of Gilt, don't forget you can get 4% cash back on your purchases when you shop through your Ebates account.

And how cute is this Elmo hat?
Last but certainly not least, all of the little feet here in the Grove have grown this summer.  Our wellies no longer fit and puddles are much more fun to jump in when our feet our dry...and monogrammed.  So from now until September our kids wellies are on SALE!  Trust me, when their wellies have their monogram on them, they do NOT get lost at school!  You can order them HERE.

I am taking dinner to some friends that just had the sweetest little baby girl tomorrow.  It will be an all pinterest meal and I promise to post a review of how I think the recipes turned out!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Days

Today is a happy day!  We have power and NO major damage from the storm.  I consider this a HUGE blessing when so many people are without power and we are churning out the sunnies in hopes that we can beat our promised 2+ week turnaround time.

In between all of the emails from friends asking if we had damage and listserv postings asking if power was back on, I found a few happy sales and finds so I thought I would share them with you!

Our sunnies are still on sale for $32.50 in honor of summer's arrival!  You can order them HERE.

We decided that sunnies need a party and a cocktail so we have added to the sale!  ALL party invites and coasters are 30% off through July 16th with code: INCS30

My favorite coasters to give as gifts in the summer are these crab ones!

Or you can start your Christmas shopping early with these festive ones or this moose design for your favorite hunter!

You can find all of the coaster designs HERE.

And who doesn't love a good summer cocktail party?

Let's just say that Mr. G loses pens, and has issues at times with his ipad so Mini K wanted to get him a pen like her doctor has to write on his ipad.  We gifted godfathers, grandpas and yes Mr. G with these iPad/iPhone pens for Father's Day and I have to confess I LOVE them.  Unlike the stylus pens, they are the same size and weight as an actual pen.  When I saw my email today that they were on super sale, I had to share the deal with you.  You can purchase them HERE.

I was excited to see that one of my favorite designers was on Zulily today:  Tracy Nagoshian has been a favorite since Mini K was little.  Her dresses all have POCKETS and I can't say no to a pocket.  The best part about today's sale is that the prices on Zulily are LESS than the sale prices on her own website.  It gets even better when you enter in LUCKYZU712 because you will save an extra $10!

I am little embarrassed to admit how excited I was when I got an email from Ebates yesterday.  I confess I might have actually cheered.  The one site that I seem to shop from on a weekly basis is Amazon.  What's better than Ebates?  Amazon participating in Ebates!  That's right, you can now get 3% cash back on your purchases and when students shop via Ebates they can get a 6 month Amazon Prime membership for FREE.  You can join Ebates HERE and all you need to give them is your name, address and email.  Before you shop just log into your Ebates account, type in the product you are looking for or the name of the store and then your cash back will be credited to your account.  Your biggest decision will be deciding where to spend your BIG FAT check from Ebates every 3 months.