Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday FIVE

It took me all summer, but I am so happy I am blogging again!  Mini K is back in school and Baby C goes back to preschool on Tuesday.  I can almost feel the fall air (it may only be in my head) and I am actually looking forward to packing up my open toe shoes and white jeans and pulling out the fall clothes...I just may have to crank the AC!

Mr. G surprised us with a MUCH NEEDED trip away this weekend, but I wanted to post before our road trip begins!  This has been a summer of ups and downs with some family health issues and the past few weeks have just been a lot.  I tend to force myself to  be busy when I am feeling stressed as it helps me focus on the positive and not the things I cannot control.  My Jesus Calling book, some quiet time and creating distractions have made this summer so much better.

1.  Just Because Gifting
I challenge each one of you to do this for someone this week.  There is something about surprising someone with a happy that makes you feel better yourself.  I swear it's better than therapy.  So this week, surprise a teacher at your child's school with lunch, take flowers to a friend in a new vase, deliver cookies to a neighbor or take a shiny new coffee table book to a friend.  Just do it!  Life is full of these little moments that when you look back you will hopefully see more of them than the stressful stuff!

2.  Lists
We make them each season.  I do not like the term BUCKET LIST so we just make lists of everything we want to do as a family each season.  I look at it as teaching the kids to make goals and follow through with them.  Our fall list includes:
1.  Start a Happy Plate (I will post on that next week)
2.  Mini K wants business cards, she has promoted herself to bow tie expert at the Grove!
3.  Apple picking
4.  Make homemade caramel
5.  Have some more cookouts

3.  Books
We have had a bunch of happy mail lately:  birth announcements, weddings, new homes and big birthdays and I always like to include a hardcover book with a note so they can keep it and remember.

For a new home I try to either find something on the style of house if I know it, or their personal decorating taste and make sure to out their full address on the inside so they remember why I have it to them.

For weddings, always a fun cookbook!

4. Pillows
Let's just say after 4 more arrived this week from our fabulous seamstress, Mr. G has CUT me off on ordering any more pillows for awhile!

5.  Vests
We will NOT discuss how many I have, but as soon as I saw this camo one in the J.Crew catalog I knew I had to add it to my collection.

As always my Friday FIVE is all over the map, but as a working momma with 2 kiddos that is my real life!  So this Labor Day weekend, I hope you are laboring on something you truly enjoy and PLEASE let me know if you are posting a Friday FIVE and share your Just Because Gifting too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Twice As Nice

I know it isn't December, but I am blaming all of the fabulous photos on Facebook because they are screaming to be on the front of a HOLIDAY CARD.  We are doing it again this year, the early bird gets the worm, or in this case CARD and lots of them.

From now until September 9th we will DOUBLE YOUR HOLIDAY CARD ORDER FOR FREE.  SO if you order 50 cards with return address, you will get 100 with return address.

I know this is early, so if you don't have your picture picked out we have 2 options for you:
1.  This sale also applies to cards where you apply your own photo.

2.  While this is the best deal of the season, let's just say you will want to have chosen your photo by October 7th!!

You can see all of the designs HERE.

Maybe it's the bow or the polka dot, or let's be honest the boys expression reminds me of Baby C, but I love this new design!

For those of you staring at an adorable photo from the beach this summer, who says you cannot celebrate the holidays with a FUN design like this one?

I am a sucker for rounded corners, my business cards are rounded, same for my stationery and we have a LOT of new designs with rounded corners, but this one may be my favorite!

And last but not least, if classic with a twist is your signature style, have a holly jolly card with this new design!

So look at this as an opportunity to get your cards out of the way so you can enjoy that candy corn without worrying about how your photo outfit will fit!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back To School

Today was not the first time Mini K has gone to school.  In fact her first day was 5 years ago, but for the past few weeks I have been staring at these 2 feet wondering how they got so big and screaming to myself SLOW DOWN TIME.  

Being a parent is the hardest job I have ever done because I want my children to succeed but I catch myself in moments of sadness knowing I cannot get these days back.  I wonder if I am giving them all they need, telling them enough, but then a day like today happens and I realize, yet again, they are gift from God and he is with them always.  They are lit from within and able to see the joy and hope in each new day and my job is really to make sure that light not only stays lit but gets stronger.  So I gave her a hug and kiss, said a prayer I am still allowed to do that without embarrassing her in front of her friends, took way too many photos and let her go.

She emerged bubbling with excitement, ready to fill her me bag to share with her class tomorrow only to tell me when I asked how the day was with a response of GREAT, FINE what are we having for dinner.

I am laughing at my smug mommy self of last year when we would tell me in detail about her day.  So I promptly came to the computer and started uploading and ordering photos once they were asleep tonight.  If you are having one of those same moments, at least let me share something with you:

1.  Snapfish will give you 10% cash back on your order when you shop through your Ebates account (so you can drown your "how did my children get so big" sorrows in free Starbucks or wine).  You can JOIN HERE.

2.  You can save 36% off your total Snapfish order with code:  PET36

It's official, she is growing up and I am old!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday FIVE

If you read my post earlier this week, then you know I wrote these posts out when we were at my in-laws.  You also know that I am in NYC so please forgive the LACK of photos!  School starts for us on Monday.  I confess that even before I was married and had minnies of my own I thought of my years on a school schedule and I still do today.  So today's Friday 5 are not really things, but apps.  ALL of them have been a huge help in my life for some reason or another.  I would love to know what your favorite app is because I always feel like everyone has one that makes their life a little easier.

Here are mine:

1.  Gate Guru
I travel with the minnies a lot by myself to see their grandparents or meet up with Mr. G when is on travel and Gate Guru has saved me more times than not!  It's an app of airport maps with what is in each terminal...restaurants, bar, restrooms, stores, etc.  We have used it many times to find out critical exactly where the Garrett's popcorn is located in O'Hare and what time it closes!

2.  Springpad
I like to think of this as a marriage between pinterest, google and a to do list.  You see a recipe on pinterest and pin it, Spring Pad will give you the list of ingredients, a wine that goes with it and the location of your closest grocery store.  I think I can hear all of you downloading it now.

3.  Ink and Postagram
Postagram, the app, is free and I think Ink is less than $2.  Postagram allows you to send postcards from your iphone with your own photos.  The photos on the postcards also pop out to small sized polaroid sized pictures.  Ink allows you to send personalized greeting cards with your own photos from your phone.  I use this ALL THE TIME.  Mini K loves to send her friends postagrams with photos from her playdates that we take with a note of thanks and I love using the Ink app to send a thank you note with a photo after a fun night out with friends.  I still send a handwritten note, but I love the idea of sending a photo.

4.  Chorma
Now if you do NOT have kids, you won't get why this app has changed my life.  I am a big believer in teaching kids that actions have consequences.  This app allows me to assign each chore a monetary value and a schedule of when it must e completed (i.e. once a week, daily, etc).  Mini K can use her itouch in our house to let me know when she has completed chores and I can total it up at the end of the week and pay her her allowance.  The more she does, the more she makes.

5.  Instagram
I know this is not new,  but there is something about being able to open it up and see friends smiling faces, latest finds, adorable children and remember that life goes by so fast and what we all seem to remember is the little moments.  Not a day goes by without me seeing something on Instagram that makes me call a friend or send an email and I don't care how old you are, but hearing from a friend is ALWAYS a good thing.

I hope everyone had a good week and I promise the photos will return next week and the posts will continue because we have new things coming to the Grove this fall!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School Shopping

By the time you are reading this we will be on the train.  Mini K thinks we are getting up early to run errands before school starts on Monday...the exciting stuff like snack and sandwich bags, socks, underwear and shorts to wear under her jumper.  She has been grumbling about how errands.

Well, she is in for a surprise when she wakes up because she and I are going to New York City, for a mother daughter back to school trip.  I planned this on a whim and am so happy I did.  I packed out suitcases while she was at the pool today and they are hiding in the spare bedroom.  She has noticed her doll is missing and promptly blamed her little brother (I owe you a treat Baby C)!  We are having at fancy NYC dinner at the hippest place (aka The American Girl Doll Cafe), afternoon tea at the Plaza and I am sure a Magnolia Cupcake or too and of course a stop by our favorite bakery Le Vain.

I promise to post photos of our adventure on Facebook and Instagram.

No doubt the boys will be eating balanced meals (takeout) and watching education programs (college football previews) while we are out of town!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Handwriting & Snuggles

Are you wondering what these 2 things have in common? Well we spent last week with my in-laws and the wifi wasn't working so I HAND WROTE a bunch of blog posts. yippee!!!!

I had every intention of typing them all in tonight and adding photos, but then the littles asked if we could watch American Ninja Warrior and snuggle and who was I to say no!

All too soon they will be grown up so I will not refuse one bedtime story or hug!

The posts can wait until tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Glasses and Braces Oh My!

Big news in the Grove this week....braces and eyeglasses!  If you were thinking Mini K is growing up much too soon, you are correct, because I AM the one getting both!

Clearly I am feeling old if I need glasses and if braces were NOT bad enough the first time, think about how it feels to be getting them again, at 30...well 30 something.

Am I getting those snazzy trays that are not too obvious....NOPE the full on silver removable (Thank you GOD!) bottom bottom braces with a spring on each side.  Being pregnant with Baby C made my lower teeth move and 3 years later I am getting them fixed.

Now onto the glasses, I knew this day would come, it seems to arrive for everyone.  I am choosing to focus on 2 things:
1.  It's a "minor" prescription, my doctor's own statement not just myself trying to make it better

2.  I am going to get cash back thanks to Ebates!  I just ordered these from Warby Parker.  For the record, I am not being paid for this post, in fact, I PAID for my glasses and they were a steal!  Warby Parker lets you try on up to 5 pairs at home of their prescription or sunglasses.  So I ordered5 pairs, never mind they that all were basically the same.  They shipped them to me in less than a week and I had 5 days to basically put them on and off at home and pretend that I was daring and ordered crazy shapes and colors when in fact I ordered the same shape in 5 very different shades of tortoise.  I ended up with these and got free shipping, no sales tax and 6% cash back because Warby Parker, like so many of my other favorite stores is on Ebates!

This getting old is rough!  How has your week been?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday FIVE

I am BACK with the Friday FIVE.  If you post a Friday FIVE on your blog, please let me know as I love to see what everyone is loving these days.

1.  BOWS
On dresses, shoes, Mini K's hair, pearl bracelets and now pillows in my living room!  A friend texted me a photo of the bow pillows at the Kate Spade offices in NYC and I knew I wanted to create my own version in my house.  So I called my dear friend, and super talented seamstress Elizabeth and gave her my latest must have.  As always she delivered my vision to my house and I couldn't be happier and the best part was I could support another small business owner.

2.  Skin Saving Time
I feel like I put 20 different types of cream on my face and when you add in summer humidity, it just gets depressing.  My dermatologist told me about this miracle cream and I am SOLD.  It is a combination of a BB cream, good sunscreen and my beloved Perfekt.  The best part, as far as skin care goes, it is a STEAL!

3.  New Beauty Products
I seem to be on an airplane, in an office or at one of Mini K's sporting events this summer, which means I have been living on lip balm, mascara and #2 above!  I am in LOVE with the new Fresh lip balm in petal and their new mascara is amazing.  For those of you that haven't tried Sara Happ's Lip Slip, you need to order yourself some RIGHT NOW!

4.  Backpacks & Boxes
I get Mini K and now Baby C a new backpack each year.  I am sure some people think this is wasteful but I hate germs and after a year of being thrown God knows where, it is just easier.  I think the Garnet Hill packs last better than any other brand and until September 3rd they are running their yearly special: FREE monogramming and a FREE lunchbox with every backpack ordered.  This year Baby C wanted rockets and Mini K wanted horses.  We are ready for the first day with three weeks to spare!

5.  Unexpected Finds
LB and I were out running errands in Atlanta and went into a random store in search of small plate hangers.  Twenty minutes later we stumbled upon these antique sconces that I knew needed to hang in my front room.  Thanks to a little help from the UPS store, a ton of bubble wrap and 2 nails in the wall later, I am still in LOVE with them!

I confess it feels so good to be back to blogging and I have loved catching up on everyone's blog.  If you are new here, get a glass of champagne and welcome!