Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MIche Bags

While the Cyber Monday sale is no longer going on, most of these bags are still in stock:

Miche Bags is having a big Cyber Monday Sale.  A lot of their shells are 50% off and a lot of them are already on sale.  It makes it a good time to start, if you want to.

Let me share some of my favorites:

This one is Ashley, she's so cute and fun she's not on sale, she runs 19.95

This one is Whitney.  I LOVE her, I think she's new.  She's also not on sale and she's 24.95, but darn it if she doesn't SCREAM to be partied with.

This adorable little lady is Natalie.  SHE IS on sale.  She is of my official "out of the box" bag.  I mean, I currently have no idea when I would wear her, but I hope to.  I mean, a girl needs to stretch, right?  She'll be 10 bucks on Cyber Monday.

And this last one is named Scarlet.  Wonder how they got that name? :)  Anyway, she's 19.95

Isn't it crazy how these are all technically the same bag (at least on the inside).. but they all look so different, and unique, and lovely...

And now, for the big bags (Miche has 3 sizes, Big, classic and mini).

This one's "Oakley" which, btw, I don't really think fits her at all.  Just my opinion. :)  I ADORE her though, she also needs some serious partying.  Sadly, she's not on sale and she's priced at 34.95

This one is SO Cute, her name is Heidi.  She is 39.95  I love how this one could totally be super dressy, or it can "come out and play" as well. :D

And this little number has the best name of all.  She's a bit of a whore because she's totally pimpin' herself out at 50% off, being only 17.48...She's not this brown in person, much more tan.  Because we all know that Hilary's just don't tan. :)

Here's the purple Ms. Julia.  She's also quite a bargain at 19.95 -- anyone aware of my current purple obsession?

And finally Ms. Laney.  I just can't quite wrap my head around her but I think this bag is SO some of my friends, I bet they'd love her and have lots that went with her.  On Cyber Monday she's a whopping 50% off making her just around 20 bucks.

Anyway, in an effort for full disclosure, I did just have a Miche party over the weekend.  Depending on what you order, and if you're willing to jump through like 12 hoops I may or may not get some hostess credit... but honestly, this is a product that I just realy like.  All the bags that you've seen on this blog are ones that I have just purchased, on my own with no discount attached.  I mean, ladies, that's rare.

OH, my goodness, I forgot the best part.  On the big bags (the second ones I listed) the BIG BAG IS MACHINE WASHABLE.  I never knew that.  I mean, that is A-MAZing, isn't it?  So, sippy cup spills in your bag, no biggie... just wash it!  So, I'm getting a big bag, I'm thinking it may be my new diaper bag.  Honestly, I just don't know other than that I really "need" one.  All the products are available at http://www.andreasmichebags.com/.  Before ordering you'll need a password which you can get from Andrea.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why CSN, I'd LOVE a giveaway, thanks for asking!

CSN has given me the opportunity to do a giveaway off...
{drumroll please}
a SIXTY FIVE dollar gift card.

Basically, this store sells EVERYTHING

People, sixty five bucks!  Let's not have this be the loser giveaways I normally give.  I hope to have 100 comments here.  Now go, and comment.  Please say what you think you might be interested in buying.  I'll make the drawing next weekend.  Comments accepted through next Friday (11/26) at midnight.

I'll even give another chance to win!  Please share on your own blog one of your favorite pulling curls posts.  Then re-comment with a link to your post and voila, an extra entry.  I know, you want the pressure cooker, don't you? 

The winner will have a 65$ promotional code emailed to them to anything their heart desires in the CSN stores (which, is pretty much everything).

{Sorry peeps, contest now closed, stay tuned for a winner!}

And the winner is FLYING PRINCESS... #23.  Congrats, Katherine.  You have til' next Saturday to reply to my email...  And if you don't, well let's just say there will be no lovely pressure cooker for YOU!

Sorry friends, I hope you persued the CSN store at some point (especially with the other 9 million blog readers out there who also have contests).  I think it's a pretty great store.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Got my Thermometer

I got my thermometer from CSN -- and I love it. :)  It was fairly prompt to be shipped and it came well packaged and arrived intact, what more could you want?

This is the thermometer that America's Test kitchen loves.  I, of course, love that I can wear it around my neck.  I can check time outs, I can clock speed as the kids run down the street, it's great.

Honestly, it's mostly the wearing it around my neck thing that I love so.

Anyway, CSN is going to be something I keep in mind, next time I'm shopping. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CSN Stores

CSN stores has come to me wanting a review of their site and service.  To me, it looks like one stop shopping.  They seem to have a little bit of EVERYTHING!!! 
Things that caught my eye:
Honestly, I haven't heard much about them but they seem to be a hub for lots of different items.  They're going to be sending me a new kitchen timer soon, so be on the lookout for that review in the next few days, and we'll be following that with a giveaway!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Can, You Can!

Jarden 60000 Ball 1/2-Pint Mason Jars, 12 PackLast night I held a houseparty at my house.  I sign up for those and then I always am so nervous, will anyone come?  BUT, the nice thing about it, is you get a lot of free stuff to have the party and you're obligated to HAVE the party, so even if no one comes it's still a win.

But, people came.  Phewsh!

The theme for this party was learning how to can, with some help from Ball.  I told myself I'd take pictures at the party, but it was a busy time and that just didn't happen.

We made salsa and jam.  Here's a basic overview of how to can salsa:

1.  Prep your jars.  I threw mine in the dishwasher.  You need to make sure that they're hot before you start adding hot salsa to the jar.  We come from an era of pyrex and I forgot that whole glass expand/contract thing.  Hot things need hot jars.  If you're cold canning I guess you could use cold jars.

Jarden Home Brands 1440010740 21 Quart Stainless Steel Boiling Water Canner2.  Boil your water.  Ball sent me this pot.  It took almost an hour to boil.  For real.  In other news, wow!  That pot is 81 bucks on Amazon... and yes, I got it for free!  Nice.

3.  Get your salsa ready.  Now, here's a clue from me.  You need to FOLLOW THE RECIPE.  Ball has tested it to make sure that it has the right acidity to sit in jars.  Our recipe was a little spicy for my taste, but good.  I was nervous to decrease the # of jalapenos though, in fear that it'd make it wrong.  I also read that you should blanche your tomatoes and skin them before making it since if you don't the peels will come off and float to the top of your jar.  Ew.  we also used my immersion blender to get the salsa less chunky (we also used that same blender on the salsa, so I think it's a pretty handy thing to have around). 

Back to Basics 5-Piece Home Canning Kit4.  Put the salsa in your hot jars.  Ball sent me this nice little kit with a jar lifter, a funnel, a little magnetic lid grabber (it wasn't the kit in the photo but you get the idea).  We found the jar lifter and funnel to be super helpful.  We have another little magnetic thing that you could use to get the lids out (or even just tongs).  There was also a spatula/head space measurer.  It was fairly useless. After you put the salsa in, you are supposed to run a spatula around the endges of the jar to make sure there aren't any trapped air pockets (I think this would be more important if you were canning larger items, like whole tomatoes).

5.  Check your head space   You could just use a ruler or figure out where it is on your jars.  You need to leave a certain amount (your recipe says how much) of air at the top of the jar or I think they can explode, or not seal correctly (but exploding is much more exciting, don't you think?). 

6.  Wipe the top of your jars, so no food gets between the jar and the seal.

Ball Regular Dome Canning Jar Lid, Box of 127.  Put the lid and ring on (lids and rings are separate in canning jars). The ring doesn't have to be super tight, as it's just kind of holding the lid on, it has nothing to do with the sealing process (you can even store them without the rings and just use the rings for your canning process).

8.  Put it in your water (which is hopefully at a simmer by now) -- this is where the jar lifter comes in REALLY handy... it's a lot easier with that than tongs.

9.  Bring water to a roaring boil.

10.  Boil jars for as long as your recipe says (boiling time only starts from when the pot is at a roaring boil, not when you put them in and the water's at a simmer).

11.  Turn off heat to water, let jars sit for 5 minutes.

12.  Remove jars and let them sit on your counter (on a dishtowel, you don't want hot jars touching your cold counter... or guess what, they could explode!) for 12 hours.

13.  After 12 hours (leave them alone for the 12 hours) check the seal.  Push down on the lids, if they don't compress you should be good.  You can also remove the ring and gently see if the lids are attached.

I was pretty proud that all of mine sealed, and we had a taste of the salsa last night and it was really good!

Will I do it again?  Possibly.  I mean, now that I have all the stuff there isn't a huge investment into it (but I'd probably need to buy some larger jars).  We have a lot of tomato plants in the back yard and I think that canning some crushed tomatoes or possibly more salsa/spaghetti sauce appealing.  I do like the fact that I know everything that's in it.  I can control any preservatives, salt or sugar.  It was fun doing it with my friends.  I hope they learned a little something out of it too.  The great thing about houseparties is that you are NOT selling anything.  You demonstrate, and then give them free stuff.  My guests got 2 boxes of pectin, each 2 jars of jam and salsa and some reuseable grocery bags.  I hope it was worth their time.  All in all it took about 4 hours, from when I started the jars til' they left (we did let the jars cool a little before they left).  We were canning pretty small jars and it was slower then it would be if you were doing larger jars for your family.  Also, we did jam and salsa.  Jam alone probably only would have taken an hour, which would be well worth it if you had a good deal on berries!

Ball is also really promoting small batch canning, which makes sense because then you woudln't need to boil a GIANT pot of water.  They sent me the small kit to the right.  It comes with the basket and 3 larger jars.  I think this would be really helpful if I have a giant batch of tomatoes I just harvested,  I could just make a nice pot of crushed tomatoes and get them canned fairly quickly.  My only problem is that I need a larger pasta pot then what I have.  I am guessing I could borrow one from a neighbor though.  **I did just read on amazon that the plastic on this thing melts.  I have yet to try it, so buyer beware. :)  When I was showing it last night, that was everyone's question "does it melt?".  So far, I haven't heard that it does melt from any of the other hostesses who also recieved it free.  It may have been just that one person's pot or whatever.

In other news, I watched a lot of youtube videos on how to can both salsa and Jam and this one was the most amusing.  Does anyone else feel like they are a living SNL sketch?