Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Eloise and Lion are back from their trick or treating adventures and we have enough candy for the entire neighborhood! We will be donating most of it to the soldiers at school tomorrow! Our little Lion ended the night with a roar....the last of his molars are coming in...all of them and Mini K spent an extra minute brushing her teeth after all of that candy!

SO off I went to CVS to get his nighttime Orajel in hopes of sweet dreams.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Countdown Is On

I cannot believe the last time I posted was Tuesday...of last week! I don't think I have stopped moving...actually I take that back....I stopped in my tracks yesterday when Mini K told me it was October! I am officially nervous about this winter!

We have been processing teachers gifts and holiday card orders nonstop in the Grove these days. I promise this week I will post some gift ideas in the under $30 category. We have received a lot of requests for that price range and ladies it is possible to give a gift that looks great and feels great on your budget!

A lot of you have chosen a traditional red, green or red and green card this year, but we have some favorites in the outside the box category. The best part: they are all 20% off through tomorrow night at 11:59p.m. EST with 50% off your envelope printing or return address labels. This is our best DISCOUNT of the season so click on over HERE. The best part, you can see your proof immediately. This means that if you always aspire to be the gal that gets her cards in the mail the day after Thanksgiving...this is your year to make it happen!

If you love ribbons and pink and green like we do, then you will LOVE this card. Such a preppy twist on holiday cards. We love it!

Red somehow goes from classic safe choice to modern with this coral card. It is perfect for a black and white photo from the beach!

Maybe it's my love of my new chevron dress, but I absolutely think one of you MUST order this card. It just makes smile!
How can your days not be MERRY & BRIGHT with this card? We love the unusual color and text box!

Who doesn't love chocolate that has ZERO calories but is super chic? We love the fact that pattern is printed on the back of the card too! You can get it HERE.
You Family is the star of your holidays so why not make them the star of your card? We love THIS full bleed style.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trinket Dish

I grew up hearing my mother call these trinket dishes so that is what I call them. I think most people call them ring dishes. At the Grove if we cannot find what we want, we just have it made. I have never been a fan of those dishes that have the stick in the center that you put your ring around because they never have space for my watch, bracelet and earrings.

So off we went in search of what we wanted....we have partnered with an American painter to create these monogrammed trinket dishes. In my opinion they are the perfect gift for sisters, friends, mothers, teachers, name it! The dishes are $40 each that includes your monogram and a painted bauble if you wish. You can choose from diamond earrings, a sapphire ring, a diamong engagement ring and your bauble can either be "platinum" or "gold"! Your monogram or initial can be in your choice of color. The dishes are 4.25" in diameter.

We just had a bride order these dishes for her bridesmaids and we are going to wrap them up for her with a pair of earrings and ribbon to match her wedding colors. One of these would make the perfect gift for a newly engaged gal!

Because there is somuch to customize we are selling these at our trunk shows and through email. You can leave a comment on the blog and we will email you to help you with your order or you can email us directly at grovegifts

Which one is your favorite?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Etsy Find

I order from etsy...A LOT. I love the concept, supporting a small business and purchasing something that is custom and unique. There is something about a monogram or a custom piece that makes it mean more to me.

If you are on twitter you know that Baby C is a BIG BOY. His feet are the same size that Mini K wore when she was 3! A couple of weeks ago we put him in a 2T romper and he looked like he was waiting...on a massive flood. The 3T was huge around the middle and call me crazy but I refuse to pay to have aleterations done on every single outfit for an 18 month old.

So I thought, etsy will solve my problem and solve they did. I discovered Bradley Jean and immediately fell in love with their designs, style and their prices shocked me. A custom designed monogrammed smocked out for the same price I would pay for non-personalized out of a catalog.

I messaged Bradley Jean, took Baby C's measurements and ordered a bubble and a romper, both monogrammed and made to his measurements. H
ere is the stunner...they arrived, and fit perfectly, in less than 2 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wasn't able to get him to sit still for a photograph on Sunday when he wore the romper, but considering I could have sold 12 of them during mass alone, you get the idea. The fabric is great quality light khaki cord, the applique is monogrammed with top notch stitching and it fits perfectly!

I love the green of this romper. The thread is an ivory and it looks adorable with his white walking shoes and knee socks. I believe in knee socks. Little boys have the rest of their lives to wear Ralph Lauren and Thomas Pink button downs with pants so I plan on dressing Baby C as a baby!

Bradley Jean is offering you 10% your order with code: Fall2011. I am NOT being paid for this post and plan on ordering from them again, and again.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Comments From The Backseat

I am still in shock that it is Friday night, that there are only 10 days left in October and that I am already making the list to order Christmas wrapping supplies! It's official, I am getting old.

I haven't been on twitter that much this week, but it seems that everyone feels that 2011 is flying by.

Today was Mini K's class field trip to the pumpkin patch. She should have woken up and been super excited to get out of the house right???


She kept asking for the parental snooze button as we call it....the Mom, Dad, please let me sleep 5 more minutes.

We finally got her out of bed, wrapped her breakfast in foil to eat in the car with her usual cranberry juice and drove to school. It is NOT a long drive, but don't let the distance fool you, because she can come up with some pretty funny statements in less than 10 miles!

I had to post about today's "idea", because, well it just cracked me up. When she has an outdoor field trip I make her wear pants. Today was no different. She sported miniBoden jeggings and a tunic and her standyby short Uggs. I type this so you know she was not wearing some intricate outfit.

Our conversation went something like this:

Mini K: Momma sometimes it is soooo hard to wake up and get out of bed I need some help.

Me: okay, what would help you.

WAIT FOR IT........................

Mini K: Pajama Jeans! I saw them on Food Network (she did understand why this statement about Food Network made me laugh)

Me: Why would you need pajama jeans

Mini K: Because I could sleep in the them and not have to change clothes for school AND if you order them during Chopped, you get a free shirt so all I would have to do is put shoes on.

Me: That's not really why people buy pajama jeans, but wouldn't you get tired of wearing the same thing everyday?

Mini K: Don't they come in different colors?

Me: No and thankfully they don't come in little sizes.

Mini K: Nevermind.

I dodge a bullet on that one. The funniest part to me was that she thinks they are somehow related to the Food Network and that they really are pajamas.

Tonight she and Mr. G are on their weekly date to the ice rink and I am making a pumpkin struesel coffee cake. I can't wait to share my new favorite etsy seller, and a discount code, but the items are in Baby C's room and he is asleep so the post and photos will have to wait until tomorrow.

We also want to say THANK YOU for all of the photo card orders coming in! We are thrilled with our new paper store, the values and the quality, but most of all thank you for supporting our business. You can now shop directly through the blog by clicking on Paper Store above and all photo cards are 20% off until October 31st and matching return address labels or envelope printing is 50% off.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cocktails Anyone...

I have spent the last 3 days in Tampa for my day job. I spent my evenings rushing back to the hotel after dinners to work on orders for PGG, in my pj's, in the hotel bed on my ipad with reality tv on. It probably sounds boring to most of you, but I have come to the realization that I am just one of those people that cannot sit still unless I am by the pool or on a beach, or trapped in a plane.

Which brings me to today. Both Tampa and D.C. were having storms, but they boarded our flight anyway, pulled back from the jetway and then gave us the news....get ready for bumps....the entire flight! Well let's just say bumps were an understatement. I am used to being on planes. Before Mini K was born I probably flew close to 400,000 miles each year. I have been on bumpy flights, I have been on flights where the cabin has lost pressure, but I have never been on a flight like today. Let's start with the fact that this wasn't what I would call a jet, more like apuddle jumper without propellers. Thankfully, we made it to D.C. I have never been so happy to be on the ground, but the flight left me with more nervous energy than I know what to do with. So jittery that Mr. G poured me a cocktail as soon as he saw me and offered to cook dinner for the kids.
Image courtesy of

They are both in bed, Mr. G is at one of his hockey games and I am catching up on today's orders, making lists and finishing up egg free cereal cupcakes for Mini K's assistant teacher's birthday tomorrow.

I promise I will post the recipe!

I also am going to multi-task and answer emails on this blog (forgive me, but I don't know how long I can sit at this computer!). Several of you ladies have emailed about our holiday card specials so here are the details:

1. You can access our fabulous paper store by clicking on the link above.

2. Our current special is 20% off all photo cards AND 50% off your choice of return address printing on the envelopes or return address stickers.

3. Our cardstock is thick...I am's not a business card if it bends so we don't sell flimsy paper!

And finally...for everyone that orders holiday cards from us by December 1st, you will be entered to win one of our fabulous new personalized ring dishes! We will announce the winner on December 2nd and you will have the dish in time to give for the holidays, and we say wrap it and give it to yourself!

So I am going to return to my champagne cocktail and block out today's flight from my mind and not think about the 4 miles that my running shoes will make me do tomorrow at 6am.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cookie Monster

Never in a million years did I think that one of my favorite recipes would come from the NY Times! The Times claimed that this recipe is the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe and our entire house, Mini K's class, my office, Mr. G's office and our neighbors agree. I am pretty sure the flour is the secret.

I have altered it by using dark chocolate chips, heath bar pieces and mini m&m's instead of regular chocolate chips and am convinced it is the cookie dough base that is winner!

I believe in sharing, especially when it involves calories!


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour (8 1/2 ounces)

1 2/3 cups bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons course salt

2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds (yes POUNDS) chocolate chips (Iusually do half milk and half semi-sweet)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Using a mixer cream the butter and sugars for about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla, and begin adding the dry ingredients slowly. Add in chocolate chips.

Now the dangerous part...refrigerate the dough for 24-36 hours...I suggest locking up ALL of your spoons!

To Bake

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For gooey dough like cookies bake for 8 minutes, for a more crunchy cookie bake for 11-13 minutes.

I usually take half of the batter and freeze it.

Gift Hint

Cookie dough is a great hostess gift if the party is at someone's house. Place the cookie dough in a cute container. I prefer old fashioned white ice cream pints. Fill pint with cookie dough and place a gift sticker on top.

Last year our stickers said:

Chocolate Chip Cookies For Santa's Helpers
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and serve with milk!
Sweetest Holiday Wishes!
The Grove Family

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Turning Back The Clock

I feel like time is flying by at a speed I find difficult to handle. My to do list is manageable, Grove Gal E and I are excited about the holiday shopping season, but I feel like time is just moving at a fast forward pace. I realize I probably say this every year at this time, but this year just feels different. Remember feeling like turning 21 was a lifetime away, when getting your driver's license felt like the be all end all. I realize for many of you it wasn't that long ago. The world wide web has always been the internet, there has always been MTV and Rick Perry has always been a Republican, but for some of us (ME!) it was 20+ years ago that junior high was our home.
I think junior high was also the last time I carried a Coach handbag. In fact I can remember when Coach opened its store in Dallas Galleria, back when the Banana Republic store looked like a safari, Units outfits were oh so school and the only two choices a girl had for her bedroom decor were Ralph Lauren's allison or blue floral print. I can remember sporting some Benetton outfit with my Coach bag. For those of you that haven't understood a word you have read, just go with it and let me feel young again! I think in some storage tub I still have two of them: the tiny saddlebag that you wore across your body with the brass lock in brown and my large unscructured hobo that I thought was oh so trendy in an olive green color.

High school gave way to other brands and Coach started printing that double C fabric. That decision drew a reaction from my grandmother that to this day I remember: there is only one designer that can use two c's on a bag and Coach is not that designer.

But something has changed with Coach or maybe it is just me trying to relive my youth. Two bags have caught my eye this fall, and I must admit that when most labels have increased their prices I think Coach has kept theirs in the same range.

The Kristin Satchel

The Dowel Flap Bag

I keep thinking about my grandmother used to say once you have worn a trend once, you don't wear it the second time around. Do we think this is true for Coach?

To cope with my feelings of age, Mini K and I made a batch of what the New York Times declared the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tend to agree with the Times and that doesn't happen often. The best part about this recipe, besides the almost 2 full bags of chocolate chips in it? The dough needs to be refrigerated overnight!!! Can you guess what I ate for dinner after the minnies we sound asleep?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Look

I am so lucky to have Miss E as a friend, a very talented friend. She has given my blog a little freshening in. Last week's malware unpleasantness left it feeling a little tired and stressed.

I love how it looks so far: clean and classic, just like a monogram. I spent the weekend working on finalizing some new products, help some great friends and clients with their holiday card selections and joined Mini K in the kitchen to make our first batch of pumpkin soup for the 2011 season. I promise to post the recipe along with some other fall must haves this week, but I am so excited to share one of our new products.

I love a ring dish! I am not a fan of the ones with the center pole, but a classic dish. This should surprise any of you now that we know each other, but I believe that a monogram makes everything, well better.

I had so much fun working on these with a very talented artist and am so excited that we will be carrying them! You can personalize your dish with your monogram, name and a bauble if you wish. Each dish is hand painted and made in the USA. Your toughest decision might be which bauble: a diamond ring, a cocktail ring, pearls earrings or diamond earrings. The best part, each dish is only $40. If you want to add a date or message instead of a monogram or in addition to we can add that for an additional $10. They are the perfect gift for newly engaged friends, in-laws, teachers, babysitters and don't forget yourself!

We have always said that we sell products that we would like to give and receive and these dishes are one of my favorites. We will be taking orders on our Facebook page and you can also email us at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple of My Eye

Yesterday started with learning that some lovely visitor had left malware on this blog, it ended with finding out that cancer had claimed another victory and we had to say goodbye to a truly great American, Steve Jobs.

I had a scheduled post for yesterday and today, but after yesterday's news I felt like I needed to post this instead. My mother always said that God gives us all a car in this life and it is our choice to drive in our lane or someone else's lane. It sounded like a great story as a child, even better has a teenager, I wondered what my car was supposed to be, and then life seem to take over and I went from one thing to the next, years passed, I worked on some amazing campaigns, got a job, job married and then Mini K was born.

I was still at home a few days a week with Mini K in May of 2005. We were still trying to figure out what her diagnosis was and how we could help her. Looking back now as I think of her playing sports, running and enjoying everything a 5 year old does this very sentence makes me laugh.

I was at home when I saw this video for the first time, Mini K was asleep in her crib and I was mesmerized by this speech. I have it in my toolbar and watch it often. Watch it, it will be 15 minutes of your life that you won't get back, but it will change it forever, for the better.

I think millions of us can look at our iphones, computers and ipads and know that Steve Jobs changed the way we communicate, live and work, but for me, like so many others, it was something bigger. He has changed the world in a way few people do, he is the ultimate comeback kid and he succeeded with passion and hardwork. In a time where government seems to think they need to be involved in the quest for the american dream, let us all remember that Steve Jobs accomplished so much with passion, failure, drive and hardwork.

So today I want to say thank you to Mr. Jobs for the following:

1. His facetime application has enabled my children to see and talk to my mom as she goes through rehab for West Nile and radiation for cancer.

2. For giving me countless more hours with my children escaping to the wonderful world of Pixar and watching the expressions of wonder on their faces.

3. For inventing products that allow me to do my job anywhere which means I can be at Mini K's tennis or Baby C's therapy and still in touch with my work world.

4. For teaching millions of children that technology is cool and not to be feared.

5. For showing me that sometimes the ultimate failure results in the ultimate success.

6. For allowing Mr. G to help Mini K with her homework when he is out of town.

It is strange to think of how many times a day this total stranger enables me to do more, more of what I love and more time with the people I love. I hate that cancer has taken him to soon and hope his wife and four children know how grateful so many of us are for his work and his passion.

He ended this speech with a quote: "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"

On days like yesterday, it is easy to think about how fast life goes by, but today the work begins on living the life you still have.

Godspeed Steve Jobs and thank you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is It Me?

I am completely baffled with this blog tonight.  I can open the blog on my ipad no problem, on my laptop no problem, on my computer at the office no problem, BUT when I go to open it on my desktop in my kitchen I get a warning that my blog may contain spyware.  Mr. G said I should take this as a compliment that my computer thinks I am computer literate to be able to create and load spyware, I tend to agree since I am beyond thrilled when I can remove red eye from a photo.  Is anyone else getting this message and how do I fix it or know if it is true on a mac?  SO until I can fix this, my witty posts with photos that I planned out today will have to wait.

As a result of this little speedbump I am taking my tervis full of Market Pantry cherry limeade to the sofa to watch Biggest Loser and tackle my Christmas countdown list.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Manic Monday

Can I say Manic Weekend? The last 4 days have been a blur. All of us got flu shots and both Baby C and Mini K turned into manic sleepers. I realize that virtual dirty looks are being thrown at me right now, but when you are used to your kids being on a schedule to get things done and all they want to do is sleep that posed a see my work was what else but errands. I can carry Baby C in and out of everywhere but Baby C, Mini K and the dry cleaning, groceries, boxes to ship, well not so much!

We also fast forwarded right through fall this weekend into winter and it seems that Baby C was expecting a flood so we are pant shopping. I am just going to say this, but this weekend was yet another reason that I find shopping for a baby boy depressing. Cargo pants, for what pacifiers, motorcycle pants, complete with zippers and pockets and my favorite sighting in D.C. camo, because if you cannot own a shotgun then you really NEED hunting pants, for an infant.

We ended up with a massive mini Boden order of pants and another box of longsleeve t-shirts to send off to the monogrammer.

The silver lining was the luxury of hours spent on Pinterest and etsy and new Butter nail polish for the fall!

I did manage to get some work done and confirmed that we will be launching some new products just in time for the holidays.

Tonight I will do my weekly routine of going to the grocery store at 9:30pm at night, with my earbuds in, pandora turned on and get everything for the week.

Not a very exciting post, but sometimes being a working mom is crossing things off of your list and one of the blessings is being able to do it with your kids or when they are asleep.

Speaking of making lists...who has a wish list for Christmas and what is on it????