Thursday, December 27, 2012

Box of Joy!

Merry Christmas! 

I hope you and your family had a wonderful and memorable Christmas! 

Right before Christmas, I received my long awaited Birchbox. This little box of joy contains samples of different beauty care items and the bonus is that I get one every month!

Here's what I got....

So far, I've used the Fibre Lashxtend Lengthening Mascara and really love the smooth application. No clumps!

Nicole Richie Fragrance - A little strong for me with everyday wear - but something I would definitely wear for a special occasion.

I'm interested to see how the Nail Polish Remover works, especially with how much I do my nails and I'm always looking for great products to use that is not harmful to my nail beds.

Next post - KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray
Ever have a day that you just don't want to wash your luscious locks? This is a wonderful product to make any bad hair day turn into a really good one. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Homemade Heating/Cooling Rice Bags

This year we at work all the assistants wanted to get creative with gift giving. So we set one rule – what you give must be homemade.

After much thought and scavenging through my supplies I decided on making homemade rice bags. Who doesn’t need a portable heating pad?? If I could afford the rice I would make a sleeping bag size so I could snuggle down inside of it. Oh, what a happy place that would be.

Size – 8in x 17in – I wanted them long enough to fit around their shoulders.

What you’ll need:
-          2 yards of material (I did 1yd of matching materials)
-          2 yards of flannel (Snuggle flannel was 60% off and it worked perfectly)
-          Sewing machine
-          Scissors
First I  cut out all my material. From 2 yards of fabric I was able to cut enough strips for 12 bags.  

After that, I took the strips and layered them in such order - 

Decorative Material
Decorative Material (they need to be facing each other)

Now sew around all edges, but leave enough of an opening to where you can turn the material right-side out and fill with rice. 

Fill with rice. ( I filled mine half way full) 

Aldi's - $1.69 a bag 
Finish by sewing it closed! 

Ready to enjoy!! 

Heating - 2 minutes on high in microwave
Cooling - at least 2 hours in freezer 

Make a homemade gift this year! I promise, whoever gets it will love it! 

Merry Christmas!! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gruver Style Pot Roast

I love using my slow cooker! So here is my twist on slow cooker pot roast!

1 can cream of mushroom
1 envelope of dry onion soup
1 can of coke zero or coke
Red potatoes
2-3 lb. roast of choice

Easy clean-up is best so I never use my cooker without a liner. They might be one of the best inventions ever, especially for a busy mom! Add carrots and potatoes as the bottom layer, set roast on top. In a separate bowl add cream of mushroom, refill with water and add, dry onion soup, and coke. Mix together. Pour over roast and veggies.

Low - 8 hours
High - 4 hours

Once it's time to eat, make the gravy! Take 1-2 cups of roast broth, stir in little amounts of corn starch until thick on medium heat. Turn down to simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from heat. It will thicken as it stands.

Serve it up and Enjoy!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Recap

I totally missed writing about Fridays at The Gruver's but this weekend was crazy busy. So instead of just one day, I am going to write about the last three days. 

Friday - 

- Taran went to Nana & Pa's house for the weekend
- Christmas party for my work at Stone Creek (YUM) 
- Late night movie - End of Watch (Collin definitely owes me one) 

Saturday - 

- Long's Doughnuts - If you haven't tried these you are missing out. 
- Grocery shopping - signed up for the mperks program at Meijer. You don't have to print and cut coupons! Just go to their website clip the ones you want and it's sent directly to your cell phone and when you pay -  type your number in and the savings start racking up!
- I was on the Worship Team at church this week. It was a powerful service and you could feel the Holy Spirit's presence.  If you didn't have a chance to hear the sermon check it out!!   
- Finished up the night at a friends house for another Christmas party. I haven't laughed that much in a long time! If you haven't heard of the game Quelf, I highly suggest it.  

Sunday - 

- Finished up the last two services at church. Again, it was amazing and powerful! 
- Picked up Taran and watched the Colt's game at my in-laws. 
- Finally made it home, with enough time to start laundry and get the kitchen cleaned up! Oh Joy! 

Hope you had a great weekend!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Decorating your mantel for Christmas on a budget!

Ever get tired of the same decorations year after year? Well, I do. So I thought I would spruce things up this year. It definitely needed to be cheap and I had to be resourceful. Overall I am really happy with the way it turned out!

Green and Gold are my colors for Christmas. One of the main walls in the family room is green and then another is blue. Then in my kitchen, I have an orange wall. Needless to say, I am limited on what colors I can use to decorate with.  

A couple of years ago I bought a bunch of ribbon on clearance at Sam's Club after Christmas. I have used some of it on my tree but that was it. I grabbed some of the ribbon and wrapped it around a short string of white lights and laid it across the mantel.

I needed height and it was just missing something eye catching. Where did I go?? Hobby Lobby! I found the big box paper letters and decided on the word NOEL. Bought a can of spray paint and I was set. The great thing was that both were on sale. Each letter cost me $1.80 and then the can of spray paint was $4.10.

Then while I was in the Christmas section I found some gold glitter twigs, wasn't sure how I was going to use them but I loved them and they were only $1.59 each. I got two. After I got it all home, I wasn't happy with any of the vases I had at the house but on a random trip into Kirkland's I found a beautiful vase for $6.99. Sold!

After everything I spent $21.50 and my mantel turned out great!!

Disregard the ugly black can't be moved. 

OPI Giveaway Winner!!

I wasn't sure how I was going to pick the winner until I saw Madeleine's entry. Cajun Shrimp is one of my absolute favorites.

Congrats to Madeleine for winning The Bond-ettes!! (Please email with your address and I will get it mailed this week!) Don't worry there will definitely be other giveaways!

In other news - watch for my next blog on how to decorate your mantel for Christmas on a budget!

*OPI does not know who I am and did not provide me with the giveaway. I paid for it myself.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

OPI Skyfall 007 **Giveaway**

I love these colors so much that I want one of you to enjoy them as much as I do! So, I am giving away OPI's Skyfall Bond-ettes. This is a set of four mini bottles of the Skyfall collection including - Golden Eye, The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, and The World is Not Enough.
All you have to do is tell me your favorite OPI shade. Leave your entry as a comment on my blog. 

Entry Rules - 

1. One entry per person. 
2. Giveaway ends on Monday, December 3 at 8pm EST. 
3. Must be official name of the shade - example: Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ (One of my fav.) 
4. I will post the winner's name on my blog and if it is you please email me your information at  so I can mail it to you! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fridays at The Gruver's

1. Taran and I got to hear Kalin's heartbeat today at the doctor's office.  Everything is going good and my due date is still April 27 even though he is measuring small.

2. I really wanted to put up christmas lights this year on the house. In previous years I've only done around the front door and our tree in the front yard. So, Taran and I took off to Hobby Lobby after our appointment and got lights, clips, more decorations for our mantle, and this handy poll - that was worth every buck!

3. I had a coupon for a free item at Bath & Body Works and I really needed some new wallflowers. I've not had much luck with the plug-ins lately - they will work for a few months and then they stop diffusing. So aggravating!! But I'm loyal - so off I go to buy a few more. Well, my favorite thing that I got was my free item - Aromatherapy Foam Bath Lavender Chamomile for Sleep. It smells amazing and makes you feel wonderful. (If I could, I might just take at least 2 bubble baths a day! It is one of my simple pleasures in life!)

4. While Taran took her afternoon nap, I hung the lights. That must have been a sight for everyone that passed by! It's not quite finished but not too shabby!

5. Finished up the day going on a double date (including kids) with my sister Sarah, her husband Tyler and my nephew Lincoln in downtown Indy. We went to Buca di Beppo for dinner and then walked around looking at christmas lights.

*Bonus - I redesigned my blog! What do you think?  Let me know!

Enjoy the weekend! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Skyfall 007 - OPI Collection

Skyfall 007 – First off, I think this was the best James Bond movie in a long time. Second, I love it when OPI comes out with nail polish collections that coincide with movies. This collection celebrates 50 years of James Bond films.  

So of course, I had to go get a new polish. My pick – The World Is Not Enough. I wanted a polish with a little sparkle for the holidays. The World Is Not Enough has just enough sparkle but not so much that it looks tacky. This shade is a silver/pink glitter. It’s definitely looks better versus me trying to describe what color the glitter is.  Plus, I can’t tell you the last time I wore a sparkly/glitter polish, but it’s all the rage this season. Plus, they have great names; I want that job – coming up with clever nail polish names. I think that would be pretty fun!

Here are all the colors in the Skyfall 007 line – 

 Here is what it looks like on my nails! (minus my thumb)

 Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Disney Vacation

My family and I (Parents, sisters, niece, & nephews) went to Walt Disney World over the week of Thanksgiving. My philosophy for the trip was “flexibility.” All together we were a party of twelve; eight adults and four kids (three – one year olds and one two year old).  Call us crazy, but it was fun and exhausting but totally worth it when Taran would get so excited seeing Winnie the Pooh, Mickey, and Ariel.

So here are a few tips that I learn from the trip…..

-          -  Make sure you pack plenty of snacks. (for adults and kids – saves a lot of money while in the parks) 
-          -  Make a stroller cover – so the little ones can nap while you walk in the parks and you don’t have to go back to the hotel every time they need a nap. 
-          - Pack extra socks and shoes (ones with shoe strings) for the day & pacifiers. You never know when they will chuck them overboard when you aren’t looking. 
-          -  Even if the forecast is supposed to be warm – pack a few items to keep you warm if it turns cold, because the weather man was wrong for two of the days we were there.  ( We were ill prepared for cold weather) 
-           - Make sure you go with a “go with the flow” attitude or you will never make it when traveling with a large group. 
-          -  It’s ok if you want to go off for a few hours and do your own thing. 
-          -  Get to the parks when they open – and ride all the little kid rides first….we had hardly any wait time. If you wait then you will wait for hours and no kid (at least mine) can be happy for that long standing in a line. 
-         -   Staying for fireworks is well worth it! 
-          -  Always check your receipts that you get in Magic Kingdom because almost all of them have a 20% off coupon to multiple places within each park and Downtown Disney.

Hope this helps for any of you traveling to Disney in the near future – with or without children. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fridays at The Gruver's

Fridays at The Gruver's 

So, today has been really good.  First I got to sleep in a little thanks to my sweet girl T then the first thing on the agenda was meeting my mom at what I call " The Supply House." For those that don't know, this is one of my favorite stores because it has every product imaginable for hair and nails and  I laugh because I'm pretty sure this is the main reason why I wanted to get my Cosmetology License.  It doesn't get better than professional level hair products. :) 

I  love going to CosmoProf (The Supply House) because usually I come home with a new product to try out! Today I came home with Joico's new hairspray - Power Spray. So far I love it. It is fast drying, firm hold but you still have flexibility with your hair. That is key with long hair...I don't want my hair to feel like a cement mold, but I want a good hold for those pesky fly-aways.  It is definitely in the running with Kenra 25 hairspray. 

After stocking my mom up with every hair product she will need to get her through the holiday's - we headed home because my grandparent's were on their way. You know when the day starts out at CosmoProf - the Gruver household is turned into the Beauty Shop for the day. 

My wonderful mamaw needed a perm and mom needed a little a color and cut before we leave for vacation on Sunday. Poor papaw - he became the broom boy.  

After all the craziness, I'm doing laundry and cleaning the house before we head off to Disney World on Sunday. Yes, I typed that correctly! I can't wait to see Taran's reaction to all the magic of DW! 

*Bonus - I got my necklace that I ordered for super cheap today in the mail. I love it when I get an unexpected surprise! Can't wait to wear this baby! 

Happy Friday! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taran is turning ONE!!

My sweet baby girl is turning ONE!  Where has the time gone? She has brought so much joy and laughter to our little family. Taran has always been “nosy,” even from birth. After she was born she kept her eyes open for well over two hours just looking around and taking it in. A year later, she is still like that, so afraid that she might miss something!

Taran Makenna Gruver
Bright Eyes!
Our "normal"
1st Halloween
Love at first sight!

 Taran has such a sweet temperament - always smiling, giggling, and just babbling about something. Even though she is tiny (at the time of her birthday she will fully be transitioned into 6-9 month clothing and size 3 diapers) she holds her own.  Right now her three favorite words to say is daddy, doggy, and “ishy,” (fishy) everything is one of those. I can dream all I want that she will say mama on a regular basis….lol!

Boiler Up!

Easter 2012
Cutest Purdue Pete!

1st corn on the cob

I want to thank my daughter for making me a better person. She has taught me so much. God has truly blessed Collin and I. We look forward to teaching her about Jesus and what a special place He has in our lives.  

Point your kids in the right direction -
    when they’re old they won’t be lost.  Proverbs 22:6 Message