Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter!

Today we are celebrating our first Easter as a family of 4! We now a blue monorammed basket to go with Mini K's pink one!

We are joining friends for brunch after mass this morning and I promise to post photos of the minnies in their monogrammed outfits!

Mini K woke up screaming we should go outside and see if we could see Jesus in the air, because he is all around us. I love that her first thought was the meaning of this day and not the candy. The candy was the second thing she asked for...for breakfast nonetheless!

I hop eall of you are with family and friends and am so blessed to have met so many new friends through this blog and my business!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Etsy Fab Find Alert

I have to apologize...I meant to do this post on Wednesday, and then I remembered we had to do Easter baskets for Mini K's class. Thursday, that would be the last minute client dinner and yesterday , well Baby C had his 1 year shots, Mini K had a haircut and a now it's Saturday!

You all know when I find a fab find I share it. Since I am not a fan of cake (it's a texture thing!), I always try to have a dessert alternative at parties. Sugar cookies have always been my go to, but it is really a challenge to find a cookie that looks great and tastes good. I have ordered from a lot of the cookie experts that are mentioned in blog world and on twitter and while the cookies look amazing, the taste of fondant or a crsip cookie have left me looking for other options.

I braved ordering food from etsy last year and wasn't exactly thrilled with my caramel purchase, but I decided to give another store a try.

For Baby C's party I ordered sock monkey and number 1 cookies from Batches. The cookies were adorable and the icing was a cross between royal icing and a buttercream. The cookie was thick, but had the taste of a butter cookie not crunchy.

Those of you that follow me on twitter know that I gave up flour for Lent so I didn't have a cookie at Baby C's party. I did save one and ate it yesterday (after 3pm so Lent was technically over!) and guess what, the cookie was still fresh and chewy, the icing didn't crunch...a week after they arrived.

The team at Batches were great to work with, their prices are a bargain compared to other bakeries and the cookies arrived in tact and package with a lot of care.

How cure would Hello Kitty cookies be for a sleepover, or monogrammed cookies for a birthday or shower? I also love sending something like this after I have been the guest at someone's home.

I will be ordering from them again, but wanted to share them with all of you in case you needed to place an order for your next event.

Mr. G liked the fact that they were delivered to our door, no parking or errand running needed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sock Monkeys Everywhere

As some of you know, I am an only child. I have 2 half brothers, but they are much younger and we didn't grow up together. As soon as I found out I was expecting Baby C, everyone started telling me stories of how they did so much more with their first than their second. maybe it was the selfish only child gene in me, but I swore to myself I would do the same things for Baby C that I did for Mini K: birthday parties included. As with every party, I had to pick the theme and looking at this cute little monkey every morning I knew right away. Sock Monkeys!

I did Mini K's 1st birthday at our house, so Baby C's would be here too! I should say the ONLY 2 birthday parties that will be at our house!

One of the great things about PGG is I get to look at great invites all year so I chose one of our designers to do the invite...with his monogram of course.

For wording:

Swing on by and have some fun, our little monkey is turning 1!

I found some amazing women on etsy to do his outfit and hat, the sock monkey cookies, the highchair banner and door sign and candy bar and buffet printables.

I LOVE how his outfit and hat turned out and am so happy I ended up doing a banner for his highchair.
Kristy Stone of Tastefully Treated did both of his cakes and everyone raved about them. She did both his smash cake and the big kid cake as Mini K called it. If you are in the D.C. area she is well worth the drive and a gem to work with!
We had a candy buffet of red and brown candy with coordinating ribbon and cards. There have been a bunch of discussion on twitter lately about ordering bulk candy. I ordered ours from Candy Favorites for 1 reason: FREE SHIPPING. I feel like most websites have the same prices for candy, but shipping can be anywhere from $9.95 to $40+ so when I save FREE I was sold. I did pay the $5 rush free so my order would s
hip within 24 hours.

I purchased red and white sand pails at the craft store and personalized them with stickers that said Go Bananas for the kids to use for our water logged egg hunt and had small stuffed sock monkeys for the little ones who were not big enough, or fast enough to hunt.

Since our party was at 11am I did a more brunch menu: bloody mary's for the adults, lemonade, iced tea and water bottles as well as monkey bread, sausage balls, Chick Fil A nuggets, spinach dip and baked brie. Nothing fancy, just comfort food.
The best part was the cleaning crew arrived that see you learn some things with number 2!

Tomorrow Baby C is officially 1 and I have to go finish his birthday letter. My mother gave me my birthday letters when I was pregnant with Mini K. I knew as I read each one I would continue this tradition. We were a family of 3 for almost 5 years before he was born, yet in some ways it seems like he has been with us for longer than a year.
Sleep tight my sweet boy, your birthday cupcake awaits, and we know you LOVE cake!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Party's Over

I confess last week was a blur of preparations...Baby C's first birthday party yesterday, a friend's 40th birthday party, a mother daughter tea, Mini K's lacrosse game, prepping for Mini K's class Easter Baskets and final confirmations for the surprise trip to Disney.

Mr. G and I have a running joke that our family tradition for all firsts is rain and this year did not disappoint!

Wedding Day: RAIN

Mini K's Birth: RAIN (and SLEET)

Mini K's First Birthday Party: RAIN

Baby C's Birth: RAIN

Baby C's First Birthday Party: if you guessed rain, you should have guessed MONSOON!

We woke up Saturday to an alert from the city on sandbag distribution for flooding. NOT JOKING!

If you follow me on twitter you know I had planned a sock monkey themed party for our little monkey. I loved how everything turned out, but you cannot control the weather. We were so touched that our friends still braved the rain to come celebrate with Baby C. I promise to do a full post on the party but here is a little sneak peak.

I can tell you one thing, this boy LOVED his cake!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lucky Kids and More Discounts

I am mortified to admit that I have a magazine problem, as in I subscribe to more than I want to admit. I finally sat down last night to go through them all and have to say the new Lucky Kids is fabulous!

My favorite part of this issue were the discount codes in the back. I took advantage of the Olive Juice Kids discount to stock up on skorts for Mini K, peter pan collar white onesies for Baby C and couldn't resist a pair of purple patent Salt Water sandals for Mini K...everything is 35% off with code: LUCKYKIDS1

I am always on the search for a bag that I can use to throw in Baby C and Mini K's stuff, but one that if I don't have enough time to switch bags before a meeting doesn't scream baby bag. I have seen the JPK bucket bags around and to be honest I am not a fan, but I finally checked out their website and found a couple of styles I love. The bags, by handbag standards, are inexpensive and the best part, I can save you 20% off of your purchase with code: toasttofashion
JPK Spark, $198

JPK's Vera Bag, $242

Grove Gal E and I are getting ready for a small Alexandria, VA open house this Sunday. If you are in the area and want to pick up some great hostess gifts, Easter basket items and some Lilly gift items, email us or check out our facebook page as there will be specials for show attendees.
Speaking of the cello and ribbon are calling my name!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fresh Start

Since my last post the Grove has had so many orders (THANK YOU), Mini K has attended 3 birthday parties, a skating lesson, her first lacrosse practice of the season, Crossfits kids, Baby C had a swimming lesson, we had an event for the parents at Mini K's school and Mr. G had a hockey game.

This roughly translates to my nonpaid job as a professional driver would have netted me a fortune...if it actually paid.

Both the minnies are now tucked in their beds and I have a date with pails, ribbon and stickers to start preparing for Baby C's first birthday next Saturday.

I promise to be more exciting this week and will take lots of photos leading up and at his party.

I have a HUGE favor to ask of you...we have a DSLR camera and a few lenses, but I really hate to travel with all of that bulk now that we travel with baby gear again so do you have a small digital you love? I want to stay away from the point and shoot elphs of the world, because they have such a long delay before the flash and let's face it, Baby C and Mini K aren't the most patient of subjects!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Night Night!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Break Pictures and Discount Or Two

Not ours...Mini K's spring break is very late this year, but I am guessing most of you are back from fabulous trips, tan and not in the middle of nonstop local news on the impending government shutdown.

Grove Gal E and I fell in love with these frames when we first saw them and knew the Grove had to have them in stock!

What's not to love about bamboo, pink and green and a great photo?!?! I think a lot of people struggle with unusual hostess gifts. I don't like to take a bottle of wine to friends's houses when they are expecting (taunting is not nice!) and if they are a wine expert I hate the pressure of selecting a bottle, food always makes the hostess feel lik ehe or she should put it out....

These come wrapped and ready to give as pictured. The 5x7 is $20 and the 4x6 is $16. Shipping on these is a flat $5 or if you are local you can come pick them up.

And remember, we always believe in self gifting!

You didn't think I would forget about the discounts did you?

Olive Juice Kids is offering 35% off with code: LUCKYKIDS1

Gap Kids is offering 25% off with code: MUSTHAVE

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Year!

It's official, I am another year older and despite the photo I am not in Paris.

Mini K proved to have a little of me in her this weekend. For those of you that know her, well you know she is my husband's twin, but this weekend she officially claimed her place as southern.

Mr. G took her to the jewelry store to pick out my present. Mini K wanted to get me a gold charm bracelet, bigger than hers but the same style so we could match. She then insisted on putting a charm on it, because she has heard my mother and I say more than once it is bad luck to give a charm bracelet naked. Full Disclosure, I have no idea if this is true, but if your grandmother says it, well then it must be true right?

Any guesses as to what charm she picked? If you guessed the Eiffel Tower you are correct. Her reasoning, her favorite books these days are Eloise Goes to Paris and Fashion Barbie in Paris. I love that she thought this all out herself. When Mr. G asked her if she thought Baby C would be okay with her choice, she responded he can't talk so I don't have to ask him.

Now the truly funny thing is the Eiffel Tower is the one thing I HATE about Paris, but now that sweet Mini K selected it for me I love it. There are many times when I wonder if she is listening to me, and after this weekend I realize that she absorbs everything and I am so touched she put so much effort to my birthday!

I tend to make my birthday more about getting ready for spring, getting organized and making sure I am on track. Despite my blackberry, my iphone and now my ipad, I still like to do my schedule...wait for it...ON PAPER. I also confess that up until last year I swore by a Graphic Image desk agenda and then Mini K started ice skating lessons, and tennis, and school, and crossfit kids and then I had Baby C and we won't even discuss Mr. G's travel schedule, my day job and the Grove so I had to find a better way. That is when I crossed over to the Mom Agenda. Well 2 years later I LOVE it. I can keep everything in one place. I say it is as close to a minivan as I will get...EVER!
I just ordered the soft gold with the clear embossing for 2011-2012. Why not glam up soccer practice and camp schedules with a little gold.

You know I am all about sharing a find and a deal so if you have been on the fence, you can get yours HERE and save 10%!
And for those of you without kiddos, well they have a My Agenda for you.

Between the bracelet and the momAgenda, this might be my golden year!