; Life is like champagne......: 2008-09-14

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Martini Update

Today is day three and big kitty has still not come home.  My brother-in-law is getting married today and my husband and I are in the wedding so at least this happy occasion will keep it off my mind for a little while.  I keep thinking I hear him clawing at the screen to come in, looking out the backdoor he is not there.

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Last Call For Yoplait Kids Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter the Yoplait Kids Yogurt Giveaway, don't miss out on the free yogurt, cooler and Brain Quest cards!

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Kids Lunch Box Cards

You make your child's lunch everyday for school, the usual which is a sandwich, piece of fruit, maybe some cookies and a drink. All I can think of is the commercials I use to see where the kids are bartering for each others meals, who has the beter choice and what can you trade it for. Well why not give them something that they can trade or handoff instead of their meal? Kids Fun Cards have created just this which are the Kids Lunch Box Cards.

Kids Lunch Box Cards come in a pack of 5, enough for one week of entertainment. The cards are very colorful, contain fun facts and are topics that are truly kid tested! Just what you want to have the other kids say to your child "Wow your Mom is cool to give you these!". And yes, you kid endorses that comment! This is a great concept instead of filling the lunch box with calories, you give them a little laughter and fun, sugar free!

The back of the Kids Fun Cards are blank and can be used to send as a post card or write a note. Of course these cards are not limited to the lunch box. Drop them in their backpack, on an over night stay or in their coat pocket. I know a few of my cousins that will love these cards and I even caught myself giggling when I read and looked at them. The idea is to make it a surprise, a laugh and smiling is good for you. I love that they are made in the USA and are lead free!

This review was written for the Family Review Network.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm Worried............

Have you seen this cat? I haven't seen Martini in almost TWO days and that is VERY abnormal for him. He loves his food, sleeping on the bed and Bugaboo Girl! I am now officially worried. My neighbor called this morning and I told her to keep an eye out, she stated the other neighbor is also missing her cat. This is not good. We have coyotes, fox and fisher cats here and I have seen all in my yard. As you can see he is also not just a snack but a complete meal!

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Champagne Food Friday - Pepper Jelly

This is one of my favorite jelly to make! I use the jalapeno peppers and the green bell peppers we grow from our garden, add a red bell pepper. My pepper supply is doing extremely well and I know I will end up canning more of this jelly this year than last. How many did I can last year? Well I had thought 45 jars would last me through the season, I have 4 jars left right now. So I am thinking I am going to do one more extra batch. This is a great quick appetizer poured over cream cheese with crackers, a little sweet with the heat, yummmmm. I also love to give them as gifts, or pass them on to the family! Now my problem is I need more jars, the jars passed out last year are not making it back. Don't they know that if they return the jar, you get more?
So I have made my first batch, straight off of the pectin recipe box, no need to list a recipe. Oh sure I add a little bit more jalapenos than the recipe calls for, 6 is not enough! My first batch yielded 14 jars, not bad. Only three more to go!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

And The Mericreation Tote Winner Is....

Thank you everyone for entering the Mericreations Tote Giveaway. Anothe wonderful Etsy shop to support! And the random winner is......

Minxy Mimi who stated "I love The Murphy Totebag in Blue Katie Jumprope FabricIts so cute!"

Congratulations and please email me your contact information!

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The Fur Buster is Here!

If you have a dog or a cat, then you mostly deal with shedding. I have a 19 pound cat who is always shedding white fur and a border collie that blows her coat in the late summer. I feel like I am sweeping and vacuuming all of the time, finding hair in places I never knew it could hide! And oh how I love seeing the "tumble weed" like hair balls across my wood floors that were hiding under the old radiators! So when I was offered to try the Fur Buster, I felt I had a challenge to meet and see if I could cut down on my housework and make my pets happier!

The Fur Buster is a grooming tool that has interchangeable heads depending on the size of your pet. It is designed to be easy on the wrist, brushing from head to tail in a very light easy motion. The Fur Buster is designed to remove loose hair and the undercoat from pets. What I like is the fact that the interchangeable head feature eliminates the need to buy another size brush for your other pet.

So, what were the results from using the Fur Buster on my border collie Hana and "big kitty" Martini? I was pleasantly surprised! Hana is afraid of me brushing her and keeping her still is always a task, she is a border collie. As you can see from the picture, this is what I removed on my first attempt to use the Fur Buster on her, she managed to wiggle out of my arms after 10 minutes. That is a lot of hair I would otherwise be vacuuming or sweeping! And Martini, he loved it, taking off at least three times the amount of fur more than Hana, amazing! I would have had a picture of it but I used the tool on him outside and when I ran to get the camera the fur stated to tumble all away in the wind.

You can find the Fur Buster at Walmart, Target and many pet specialty stores nationwide.


Now it is your turn to try the Fur Buster on your dog or cat. I have one up for grabs, see rules below.

1. Post a comment on this blog what pet you have and why you need a Fur Buster.

2. US address only, one post per person and please leave your email address for contact!

3. EXTRA CREDIT!!! Be a NEW subscriber to my email feed and post this as an extra post that you did so.

4. EXTRA CREDIT!!! Blog about this giveaway on your blog linking both Fur Buster and Life is like champagne, post a separate comment on this post with the link to it.

5. Giveaway ends midnight 9/24/08 with the winner announced 9/25/08. Prizes must be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And the Carissa Black Winner Is...

Thank you everyone for entering this giveaway and your continued support of my campaign for Homemade for the Holidays, helping support home businesses just like this one. So the random winner of the Carissa Black Zippy Pouch Giveaway is...
kristan who said "i like the water lotus medium pouch. i'd likely use it to try to organize some of our baby stuff/diaper bag."
Congratulations and email me with your contact information!

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Simple, Sweet & Sassy

Last Saturday night I went out for my future Sister-in-Law's Bachelorett party. I do not go out much, let a lone a girls night out so this was a very special occasion. It was a small group of 6 girls, all married, all a little older and wiser. I say this because we seemed to be the oldest Bachelorett group at the casino. Here was a chance for me to wear a dress and something fun, wow I actually have other clothes besides T shirts and capri pants. I found a sweet and sassy necklace and earing set from Versajewel, an Etsy shop of course. It was perfect, simple, fun and matched my dress.

Kami is a stay at home mom who has taken her passion of making jewelry for relaxing down time to the store front! What I love is her goal which is to make it affordable to wear jewelry with every type of outfit you have whether it is out on the town for a party or a T shirt and jeans running to the grocery store! That is what I call real life! Her designs are fun, simple and a little sassy which we all need.

The detail of Versajewel can be seen in her choice of look and texture. I love the colors of this Black Freshwater Pearl Ring antique gold blending with the bronze undertones of this freshwater pearl. Looking for a piece of jewelry to match a specific outfit? Kami can custom make you a complete set to match, taking less time than spending money for gas and wasting time looking at the mall for jewelry that is mass produced!


Versajewel has offered choice of either a glass or scrablle style pendant with 18" ball chain for one winner! See rules below.

1. Pop on over to Versajewel and look at her selection of jewelry. Post a comment on this post what design you like the most.
2. US address only, one post per person and please leave email address for contact.
3. EXTRA CREDIT!! Be a NEW subscriber to my email feed and post a separate comment that you did so.
4. EXTRA CREDIT!! Blog about this giveaway linking both Versajewel and Life is like champagne, post a separate post linking your blog post.
5. Contest ends midnight 9/23/08, winner to be announced 9/24/08. Prizes must be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Wordless Wednesday

Baby's go a new pair of shoes!

Sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Last Call for Mericreations Handbag Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter the Mericreations Handbag Giveaway! Why not start the fall off with a new handbag for your self , or even start your holiday gift giving check list.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And The Long Winter Farm Winner Is.......

Thank you to everyone who entered the Long Winter Farm Giveaway! And the winner is....

windycindy stated "How fun! I love handmade soaps. The"Basil and Mandarin Goat Milk" sounds scrumptious. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi".

Congratulations and please email me your mailing information.

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Telling Stories Using Blocks

I love the concept of nesting blocks. Bugaboo Girl has a set that is quilted fabric for the alphabet that she loves. So when I saw the see-thru stories transparent nesting blocks by Alex Toys, I had to give them a try.

There are four nesting boxes with transparent pictures on them and each nesting box frame is a different color. The four windows of each box have a complete scene of either a farm, jungle, water or a backyard.

I started out by handing the nested boxes to Bugaboo Girl who immediately her eyes got very big and started to "Ooooo", something new and pictures that interested her. We have been working on colors so it was easy to begin with the color of the each block. She pulled out the first smallest block pointed to the tree, looked up as if looking up at the sky and then pointed up. I talked about what lives in trees and how the leaves are green. This interaction continued for each block she pulled out. Then I showed her how to put them back in, looking at each picture as she did. When she noticed the dog in the water, she had this big question look at me saying "mommy...woof...wawa" as if to ask if this was correct. I then told her how dogs like to play in the water, but don't live in it, like the fish and the whales, showering her the whale. After seeing that combination on the blocks, she had fun looking at all of the others.
I know my daughter enjoys this toy for the look, pictures and ease of use. I enjoy it for her development of motor skills with the nesting, learning colors, explaining picture scenes and just simple fun!
Alex Toys has graciously offered up a see-thru stories for one winner! See rules below.
1. Visit Alex Toys and post a comment on this post what your favorite toy is.
2. US address only, one post per person, please leave your email address to be contacted with!
3. EXTRA CREDIT!! Be NEW subscriber to my email, post a separate comment on this post that you did so.
4. EXTRA CREDIT!! Blog about this giveaway linking Alex Toys and Life is like champagne and post a separate comment with the link.
5. Contest ends midnight 9/22/08 with the random winner announced 9/23/08. Prize must be claimed within 72 hours or will be forfeited.

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Tackle It Tuesday - Processing Tomatoes

Remember last weeks Tackle it Tuesday, selling my vegetables? Well take this basket and multiply it by 5! I am up to my ears in tomatoes and I am back logged in processing. So today is the day for making sauce and jarring whole tomatoes. This Tackle it Tuesday will be a two part series depicting the life of a tomato in our house, from plant to canning jar.

PART 1 From the Plant to the Jar

Let's start out with the facts. We have 45 Roma tomato plants. The average plant produces about 10 pounds of tomatoes which makes about 450 pounds of tomatoes. I obviously am not processing that much since I am selling a few, giving them to friends and relatives, not to mention us eating tomatoes every night with dinner! I know within three weeks, the season will be completely done and I will be in mourning for not having a tomato that tastes like a tomato until next season. The picture above is just one of five baskets I have picked, only about 1/4 of the garden and there is so much more out there! The first thing I do is wash all of the tomatoes outside in a large cooler, basically getting any bugs, leaves or dirt off of them. They are then sorted into three categories: large ripe, bump and dent, not fully ripe. The large ripe ones are canned as whole tomatoes, the bump and dents are sauce and the rest is left to ripen and process at a later time.

The first tackle is the large ripe plums. You have to get the skins off which means blanching them. Start out by cutting the tops off and using a double boiler to cook them for about 5 minutes. My husband tells me that he has developed a callus from pinching hot tomatoes to get the skins off, I do not have that ability and they are HOT! While you are doing this not so fun task, boil your canning jars and lids to sterilize before use. I happen to have both the screw top jars and the glass top where you can use the rubber gasket.

You can purchase the complete canning kits on line or at your local hardware store. Definitely invest in the tongs for removing or placing jars, they save your hands from getting burned! Also, if you can do most of the process outside, saves a lot of the mess and also keeps the heat out of the kitchen. I process the tomatoes in my kitchen and boil the jars outside on my grill.

Once all of the tomato skins have been removed, use a slotted spoon and fill the whole tomatoes in the jars, using the least amount of liquid as possible. Do not fill them up to the top as the jars may explode, leave about an inch plus of room. The tomatoes also throw off more water when cooked so keeping as much out as possible gives you more packed tomatoes. Once they are all in the jars, boil them for 1 hour to preserve.

Part 2 Canning Tomato Sauce.....to be continued!

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Last Call for Carissa Black Bag Giveaway!

Today is your last chance to enter the Carissa Black Zippy Pouch Giveaway! Organize your handbag to make your life pretty and easier!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

SNL Palin/Clinton Opening

I haven't seen something so funny on Saturday Night Live in a long time! Tina Fey did a great job as Sarah Palin, you could have easily thought it was her! In case you missed it, here is the link, let me know what you think!

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The Big Week!

We are now on the home stretch of Aunty Mip and Uncle Mop getting married! I would tell you what I did today to prepare for the Rehearsal Dinner set for Friday night but I know several people, including the bride to be reads my blog! I do not want to spoil the fun. I will tell you the theme as it is a Barn Dance with a pig roast. Bugaboo Girl will have a twirly dress on and some boots, just need to find the cowboy hat. Wow, we could be looking at something like a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers here, if only we had the materials to do a barn raising at my house, this maybe something of an idea for next year! Of course, everyone will have been married already and we will just have to make it a dance.

We have the out of town relatives from Louisiana and Mississippi coming in this week and a few final details. Weather looks good and we cannot wait to see everyone. I will be taking pictures throughout the week and they probably will not be posted until next week so you will have to be a little patient!

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Last Call for Long Winter Farm Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter the Long Winter Farm Soap Giveaway! Don't delay, pick your soap today!

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