Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hump Day Happies

Today I am grateful.  I didn't blog on Monday because this momma was a nervous wreck.  baby C went in for major surgery yesterday.  We were supposed to stay overnight in the hospital for a couple of  days, but this flu outbreak meant the surgeon would be sending us home with instructions and less risk of complications.  Baby C continued his reign as one tough cookie and might be the only 2 year to ask for food within minutes of waking up.  In fact he found the apple juice a pain once he saw the icy pops!

So the Grove has a little helper this week and I find myself looking at him in awe of his smile and strength!  The one complication was not one we expected, he is sporting a bloody infected lip from the tape used for the breathing tube, but the ointment is working and it could have been so much work.

In fact he keeps saying "am I 3?"  Let's just say that he is loving get well presents.  Since many of you have been so kind as to pray for him, spoil him and talk me off the ledge of stress, I think this Wednesday calls for some surprises.  I mean who doesn't like a mid-week happy?

For our brides to-be and graduates to-be, I thought we would take 30% off ALL of our Save the Dates with code:  GLEE30.

These wedding save the dates remind of my friend Meredith who will be a beautiful bride this June.

And one of my favorite customers and friends has 3 daughters graduating from high school this year and she is going to order these with a photo of the 3 of them and all of the details for their graduation weekend?

For my customers that avoid the birthday card aisle at all costs (even if it is because you are shopping last minute), I am marking ALL calling cards and stickers down 30% as well with code GLEE30.

These are one of my favorite designs and ours say Happy Happy! so I can use them all year long.  You can choose whether to include the star or about 20 other designs.  I pair them with hot pink, white, red or orange ribbon and they will work with any holiday or event!

And for those of you that got a new iPhone 5 over the holidays we are taking $8 off ALL of our cases so they will be $50.  This includes the photo cases!  You can see all of the designs HERE, but this one is my favorite.  I think even I might be able to keep track of my phone with it!

I have a few more emails to send tonight, but ALL orders are shipping on time and I am crediting my cute little assistant this week!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday FIVE

It has been a long time, but I have been looking forward to this all week and these are some of my all time favorites.  I will warn you these 5 items are all over the place.

1. & 2. HAIR
These 2 items are related.  If you know me in rela life then you know we have been fighting the battle to get Mini K's hair to grow & that I am allergic to coconut.  So the explanation of #2 will make you laugh because it involves latex gloves.

Her pediatrician suggested we try this Not Your Mother's Shampoo, and let me tell you a week later and I can tell a difference.

She also has this one section on the back of her head that tends to break so my hairdresser suggested we saturate her dry hair with virginia coconut oil (cue latex gloves) put a shower cap on her and put a hair dryer on it for 15 minutes or no dryer and keep it on for 30 minutes.  We have been using a boring shower cap from CVS this week, but since it is working, I NEED to order her a nice one, monogrammed of course!

Both of these items combined are less than a bottle of expensive shampoo so if you have been looking for a new routine to grow your hair, you might want to try it.

3.  I have dark brown eyes so I didn't have to worry about the pigment changing warning.  I decided to try RapidLash back in December after seeing it at CVS.  You can purchase one tube at CVS for $49.99 or you can purchase 2 on for only $59.99.  I have to say I think it works just as well as Latisse and is half the price.

A friend told me about this site earlier this week.  It is free.  You enter in your address and it searches all of the flash sale and discounts sites and posts all of the deals you are interested in on one page.  I can check it when I want and see what is out there instead of opening 20-30 emails.

5.  A Decorating Dream

Fabric Calculator Lite is a FREE app that tells you how many yards of fabric you will need to recover furniture, make draperies or other home projects.  I LOVE it: no more being at a fabric store and not knowing if the yardage on the bolt is enough.  

I know these are all over the map, but that is where my life is these days.  Please leave a comment with a link to your Friday FIVE as I would love to check it out!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mom Guilt

This post is real, it isn't preppy, or pretty or full of discounts, but this is reality.  Baby C is scheduled for surgery next Tuesday.  We knew his tonsils were too big, the constant ear infections, antibiotics and steroids were not good for him any longer so we scheduled a date.  Both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist have treated Mini K.  We trust them.  So I took one happy Baby C to his pre-op physical and the bad news came:  his right eardrum had fully ruptured.  It was bad, really bad and need to be reconstructed.  This too will now happen on Tuesday.

Our pediatrician had seen him 5 days before and it was clear, well as clear as his eardrum gets.  He never got a fever, or stopped eating, or really fussed, yet the mom guilt still came.  My brain knows that this would have happened whether I work or not, was with him 24 hours a day or 2 and he is still my happy little boy.  We will not know if this impacts his hearing in any way until 6 weeks after the surgery.  It is these next 6 weeks that I fear...the wondering the unknown, let's be honest the fact that it is out of my hands.  I believe in God, I pray, but I am a mother so I worry and look at him in the rearview mirror twice as much, focus on what volume level he turns the iPad to,  because...yes I am a mom.

He is asleep in his bed, with his Build A Bear puppy he made with his big sister and promptly named Snuggles, his favorite thing to do.  He smiles even when he sleeps and he stirs constantly, because this little boy is ALL boy and doesn't like to sit still.

I decided to do this post, because I think ALL moms go through this.  We want to make it all better, even something as simple as a scrape, and even when we know it will be okay, it still keeps us up at night.

For those of you that read my New Year's post, you know one of my goals was to force myself out of my comfort zone, well leave it to my kids to push me so far out of my comfort zone I strain my eyes to try and see it.

So until tomorrow I will drink my caramel tea and.....worry.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


SO happy we are 2 days into this week.  I am feeling thankful that last week is OVER.  Mini K is feeling almost 100% and back at school.  She practically sprang out of bed yesterday and was dressed in her uniform, teeth brushed and backpack on in record time.

Since she wasn't feeling up for cake on her birthday, and we didn't have a party due to pneumonia (we will be celebrating her half birthday with a party instead!), I let her take in cake push up pops for her class celebration.

As you can see from the photo, cake push ups are essentially a tube of frosting with some sprinkles and cake crumbs thrown in for good measure!

The Valentine's and Easter candy are out at the stores and so far I haven't even felt tempted.  I am crediting being back at the box so to speak.  Now that my feet have healed, I am back at the cult of CrossFit and while I am brutally sore, it makes me feel like the workouts are working.

You will start to see some of our new items on the website this week.  I have been photographing and designing and hope you like what I have come up with.  I love a good challenge, so let me know if you think we are missing a particular price point or what items you would like to see.

Several of you have emailed saying you missed the thank you note sale, and we believe in second chances so.........starting tomorrow if you order 25 or more cards, we will DOUBLE your order for FREE.

I ALWAYS give stationery as a gift to the bride to-be or mom to-be when I am hosting a shower.  The guest of honor can thank her guests in style.

These notes are perfect for the stylish mom to-be:

And what bride wouldn't want to say thanks with these cards:

Tonight, I am leaving my comfort zone and attempting something that my friend Jane is an expert at:  menu planning.  Not my usual menu planning of takeout or cereal, but 5 real meals.  House construction scares me less than what I am about to tackle.

Before I go, I have one last treat.  How does a year of Garden & Gun magazine for $3.99 sound?  Just enter in code: STRETCHINGABUCK HERE and you will have a year's worth of fabulous in your mailbox!

Friday, January 4, 2013

On The Mend

I wanted to pop in because I cannot believe it is already Friday night!  My Friday 5 will be late this week, and I had such high hopes for the new year, but Mini K was diagnosed with pneumonia this week and the Grove has turned into a sea of tissues, prescriptions, breathing treatments, saltines & ginger ale(Mini K thinks ANYTIME you are sick, including a bee sting, you need saltines & ginger ale) and I have lost count at the number of times we have watched Missy Franklin Olympic swimming reruns.

All orders have been shipping within 24 hours so we won't keep you waiting and once I get my peanut on the mend I will be back!

Check back on Sunday for my Friday 5!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Waste Not

Someone in my house, that would be me, purchased too much egg nog.  I have 2 options:
1.  Admit to Mr. G that we really didn't need ALL of the egg nog that insisted we needed
2.  Make up a bunch of recipes that use egg nog to make option #1 not happen

Want to take a guess as to what I chose?  Yes, all of you are, as they say in Boston, wicked smart, I chose #2...with my own little twist.

Since I started a high protein diet yesterday to shock my system, I am making up the batters for most of these and freezing them.  And before a lot of you leave comments on crazy diets, this is NOT one, I talked to my nutritionist about this.  I have fitness and endurance goals this year and over the past 6 months I have let too many carbs sneak into my diet so this is a reset week.

I LOVE some egg nog.  My drink of choice for the past month has been Starbucks holiday blend that I add light egg nog to when I get home.  Well the red cups are now gone and I am left with a jug so here is what you can find in my freezer after tonight!

NOTE:  I am including the websites that these recipes were posted on when I clicked through from Pinterest.  I try to give credit as I think I use a recipe from Pinterest at least once a week.

Egg Nog Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice (my addition, because I heart allspice)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temp (hahaha, room temperature butter… I took the butter out of the freezer and nuked it on half power for 30 seconds, then another 30 seconds. And then it did this, but the cookies are still tasty.)
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 tsp vanilla (plus a bit, because I spilled into the bowl)
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, and spices in a bowl; set aside. (The recipe says use a wire whisk, but I hate getting out and dirtying extra utensils, so I always use one of the measuring spoons.)
  3. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
  4. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix on medium until smooth.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients. (I like to use a measuring cup, so I'm not holding the big bowl above the moving mixer and hoping that my kitchen doesn't explode.)
  6. You know the drill for drop cookies. Rounded teaspoonful, inch apart, etc. I bake my cookies on a layer of tinfoil so I don't have to clean cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 21-24 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. I don't know if it's my oven, my altitude, or the tinfoil, but I ended up baking each batch for over 30 minutes.
EGG NOG BLONDIES slightly adapted from Mother Thyme
Makes an 8×8″ pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup egg nog, light or regular (I used light)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips (or vanilla baking chips)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or you can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

It has been a month exactly since my last post.  Our house construction is over, Christmas came and went, Mini K is now officially 7 and a new year has begun.  I am so thankful for all of you!  The Grove had another record year and I am hopeful for 2013!  I have new products in store and some custom designs I have been wanting to release.

I started this blog as an outlet for my business, but since the first post my life has changed so much.  Baby C wasn't around for the first post, my day job was at a firm and now it is another company that I own and Mini K was still relatively a baby.  This blog has evolved and in my month off I have realized that I needed a break from it to see if I missed it, and I have!!!  I will still post new products and discounts at the Grove, as well as my love affair with Ebates (especially in February when I can purchase my annual Ebates bag as I call it!), but I always wanted to keep this blog real which means sometimes you will get the ugly truth too.

I do not subscribe to the notion that you need to be married or have kids to be busy, to feel like your schedule is out of control and you have no idea why.  For those of you that know me, you know that I don't really do New Year's Resolutions, but I go set New Year's goals.  I find them to be much nicer sounding than a resolution.  A resolution feels like you are doing something wrong and I believe that most of us are doing the best we can to survive and thrive in this craziness called life. are my 2013 New Year's Goals
1.   365 Stamps:  I am going to put something personal in the mail EACH and EVERY day.  Sure I could send an email, but I know how much it means to me to receive a hand written card in the mail.  So if you live close or far away, I will hopefully be in your mailbox sometime this year!

2.  WATER:  I will drink more water, plain, not iced tea, not Market Pantry flavored, just water.

3.  Me Time:  It is so hard to get caught up in life that we as women forget to take time for ourselves.  This year I will read books, needlepoint, go for a longer run, whatever, I just won't forget me in the process because if I don't take time for me I cannot be who I want to be for others.

4.  Finish one project at a time.  I have a habit of starting 6 projects and attempting to work on all of them at the same time.  I am going to try something new this year and do one at a time.

5.  Leave My Comfort Zone:  This scares me more than you will ever know, but the only way truly amazing things can happen is if I leave my comfort zone.  I won't say I will be brave enough to do it daily, but at least once a week, I will leave my comfort zone behind and do something that scares me!

I am so happy to be back to blogging and will be back on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest so follow along!

I hope you all had a very happy holiday season and 2013 brings you more blessings than 2012!