The Grove Collaborative

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission or credit to the Grove.co to fund my addiction to sustainable and healthy cleaning and household products if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll help me to keep my house clean (plus there’s a free gift after your first purchase)! It’s a win for everyone, really!

If you haven’t heard of the Grove Collaborative I am here to tell you about all the wonderful things that it has to offer, and no I am not getting paid to write this post – though read my disclaimer above, I may be credited if you check out using my link that I’ve provided below (SPOILER: There’s a free gift set in it for you once you check out)!

So what is the Grove Collaborative? Well in layman terms, if you sign up to be a VIP member you receive recurring shipments (that you schedule – it could be once a year if you preferred) of sustainable household products from brands that seek to have the cleanest ingredients and ethical supply chains! If you are a VIP member you receive your own personal guide that will suggest different products to you that you may not have though of or sought out.

Some of my favorite brands are the Mrs. Meyer’s household cleaning products – these have not failed me yet! They smell fantastic and get the job done. Another brand is the Grove’s personal brand which comes out with new products quite often! One of their newest products that I received is the toilet paper (I know, who knew I’d be talking about TP) and tissue paper, the twist is that it is made from Bamboo rather than trees! Plus every time I buy a cube it goes towards restoration efforts here in the U.S., which I love knowing that when I buy products that I’m doing what I can for the environment.

There isn’t just household products either on the website they have household products, personal care products (you can see the coffee facial scrub in the left of my photo above, the brown stick with the word YES on it, or even my hand sanitizer on the right – they have a pump bottle and travel sprays which make it convenient!),  products for kids and pets!

Some of the products I receive monthly are coconut oil (so many uses), sponges, hand sanitizer, dish soap, candles, essential oils, I mean the variety of products that I can get from the Grove Collaborative and feel good about is amazing! I have been receiving shipments from them since February of this year and haven’t bought a single cleaning product from another store. I’ll have to admit I’m a fan of the convenience that it is delivered to your door and they email you a few days before asking you to check your cart and make any last minute changes.

So if you’d like to see what I’m raving about or what your free gift may be after your first purchase, go over to the Grove Collaborative and check them out! If you use this link: https://www.grove.co/referrer/7618640/ you’ll receive a 5-piece gift set after your first purchase!

Have you used a subscription service before? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Cookies made easy!

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I like cookies, like I REALLY enjoy them. However I don’t always want to mix up a fresh batch on a Wednesday after a long day at work and other errands. So on days that I have the time to mix up a batch I do BUT I don’t bake them… except for maybe one or two, gotta reward myself with a warm cookie! So what’s the process of making them and keeping them fresh to bake whenever I want one or two?

First you gotta make the cookies… scroll down for my chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve been making for years and is a favorite of my families.

Then it’s quite simple all you do is scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet in a single layer, I didn’t have a cookie scoop so I aimed for about 2 tbsp scoops with spoons.

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You’ll then want to throw this sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes, you may have heard the term flash freezing. This is just freezing the cookie dough slightly so that you when you transfer them into a freezer friendly storage bag they won’t become one big cookie! I would recommend flash freezing anything you bulk freeze from fresh goods.

Then once you’re ready to have a cookie or you have guests coming over plus have the amazing smell in your house that happens when you bake fresh cookies, you just take however many cookies you want, preheat your oven to 375°F and bake for about 12 minutes. You can use this trick of flash freezing for most drop cookies!

So next time you have a few free hours on a weekend, whip up a fresh batch of cookie dough and freeze them up!


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
Makes roughly 36 cookies, depending on how much dough you eat 😉

2 1/3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Sticks unsalted Butter – Softened to room temp.
3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
3/4 C. Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1-2 C. Semi-Sweet Choc. Chips (amount varies on preference)

Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Then in another bowl cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (you can do this with a spoon, but it’ll take a little more elbow grease!). Add the eggs 1 at a time incorporating each fully. Then add the flour mixture in about a cup at a time until incorporated, then add the desired amount of chocolate chips, walnuts or anything else you may like in your chocolate chip cookies! Place on a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. [If your cookies are straight from the freezer they will need 12 minutes].


 

Vacation!

Recently I took a vacation from work, an entire week off, it was grand and quiet and wonderful. I stress a lot on vacation about work because I have this mentality of “oh I could be doing this at work instead of absolutely nothing” and it can get bad. So this vacation I decided I wouldn’t check my email (I did once… this was progress from the last vacation I took) and I wouldn’t think about work. This made my vacation so much more enjoyable that I was glad I had that mentality going into the week off.

I flew to Idaho, to see my brother, his wife, and my niece and nephew who are 2 years and 3 months old respectively. I lived in Idaho for 12 years before I left, went to high school in Meridian and College in Caldwell, I loved it when I lived there but after living in the South I will continue to only visit!

Day 1 – I had to leave at 3 a.m. for a 2 hour drive to get to the airport on time for my flight at 7 a.m. I love an early flight because you land earlier and it doesn’t necessarily take your entire day away from you. This was not the case today. My first flight was from Raleigh to San Francisco and ended up being roughly 6 hours due in the air instead of 5 because we were flying around thunderstorms. I thought this would lead to my benefit to cut my layover in half… then my second flight got delayed and doubled my original layover. So I ended up landing in Idaho at 4:30 getting the my brother’s house at 5:15ish. To put it in perspective for eastern time I was traveling from 3 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. That’s a 16 hour day, you could say I was wiped by the time I got there not to mention that Idaho is 2 hours behind my bodies time!

Day 2 – I was shocked that my body woke up me up about 8:30 a.m. considering how tired I was the previous night. I hung out with my brother who was home from his day job, and the family for the morning. My niece calls me Aunt Mow and every morning I came out of my bedroom to a 2 year old yelling “AUNT MOWWW”, cutest wake up call ever. That afternoon my best friend, Taylor, came to pick me up. Now this was a reunion! We hadn’t seen each other in 2 years, and it was so great to see her and catch up. We had a pool day that afternoon since the weather was in the 100’s and then we went back to her place had some good food and drinks, watched criminal minds and just caught up.

Day 3, 4, & 5 – These days were a LOT of lazing around which I was grateful for because my mind wasn’t on work rather just hanging with the family. I was able to go get Costa Vida which is my favorite Tex Mex restaurant in the area (the sweet pork enchiladas are my go to!), my brother made me his egg rolls which are to die for and we were able to go to a Mexican restaurant in town because the Mexican food in Idaho is way different than here in Virginia and frankly Idaho does it better. I was introduced to the game Fortnite, both playing and watching others who stream playing it which was surprisingly entertaining. You can play on your phone or a gaming console, because I don’t have a gaming console at the house I play on my phone which is not easy, I definitely do better on an Xbox or PlayStation…so might have to invest in one of those!

Day 6 – Final day before I had to travel back to Virginia and while I love vacation I could tell I was ready to go back home. Taylor picked me up from the house so we could have one more night together before I had to leave, we went to a new burger joint in town which was so good and then just hung out for the rest of the evening.

Day 7 – This was an interesting travel day to say the least. We had to leave the house at 5 a.m. to get to the airport on time, my flight was leaving at 7 a.m. My flights all day were on time no real delays, the second fight they did a mechanical check which I was grateful for considering the turbulence we ended up flying into. It just so happened that there was a giant thunderstorm right over Raleigh, flash floods were in progress it was nasty. We had about an hour of turbulence and I like turbulence, but this was the most extreme turbulence I’ve ever experienced. We ended flying around Raleigh for about 10-15 minutes trying to find a pocket to fly down through the storm to land which we did but then the ramp was closed. So we had to sit on the plane while our gate was 50 feet away for an HOUR due to lightening. I understand why they don’t let the employees out on the ramp and I want everyone to be safe but by that hour mark I was glad to be off the plane. Unfortunately it made the car ride back almost twice the amount of time due to rush hour. So my travel time in eastern time was 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. which was only 11 hours compared to the 16, but man did it feel long!

Overall I had an amazing time in Idaho though it really made me see the differences in the cultures where I live now in Virginia and where I did in Idaho. I live in a town now of 12-13,000 ppl when the college students are here and 8,000 when they aren’t. It’s much slower of a lifestyle, everyone knows everyone and definitely a southern way of living. While I love Idaho and everything that it has to offer, with the amount of people and fast pace lifestyle I don’t know that I could ever live there again, and if I did it was take a few months to get back into the swing of things there.

A few of my favorite parts were being able to cuddle my niece and nephew, seeing my brother, the turbulence on the air plane and the food! What are a few of your favorite things when you go on vacation to see your family?