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Friday, August 28, 2015

Scrapbooking Organizer Special, Retiring Products, Salsa, and My Birthday

This has been a crazy week! Every year I can about 100 quarts (every year that number seems to increase. Just 5 years ago I only did 60-70.  We just keep adding more Pedersens!) of salsa for my family. Yep, you read that right.  We really do go through that much. My kids and hubby LOVE it and it truly is a labor of love for me to spend about 5 full days each year the end of August canning salsa. Photos and my recipe are a little later in this post.

FIRST, I wanted to remind you about a few Close To My Heart things:
1.  August Get Organized Special
2.  Retiring Products (they'll be gone on August 31, or while supplies last, whichever comes first)
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1.  August Get Organized Special:  During the month of August, get your hands on the latest and greatest in organization products from Close To My Heart—with a few perks thrown in!  To take advantage of either of both of these deals, click here.  Read on for details...


  • Simply place an order for the new marker roll-up and receive the new D-size stamp set My Acrylix® Balloon Wishes FREE! The marker roll-up will be your new best friend, providing storage space for up to 25 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers.  
 
 
This organizer is GREAT for so many things, not just markers. How about other papercrafting tools like these??
 
 
  • Or place an order for the new accessory roll-up at full retail price and receive two new Base & Bling style sheets, Affirmations and Lovely Blooms, FREE! The My Acrylix® Balloon Wishes stamp set is perfect for coloring, making them a practical pairing. The accessory roll-up is ideal for sorting and storing accessories, Base & Bling items, and embellishments, while the new Base & Bling style sheets are full of gorgeous floral designs and hip icons and sentiments perfectly suited for creating stunning jewelry pieces.  I plan to get several and fill one with my papercrafting embellishments and one I'll save as my jewelry travel organizer.  Nice!



All of the items offered as part of this campaign are featured in the Annual Inspirations 2015–2016 idea book which debuts September 1, but are available for early purchase during August only as part of this campaign.   Place your order for one—or both—deals and get an exciting sneak peek at just a few of the many new products found within Annual Inspirations’ pages!

Bonus: There is no limit to how many of either you can purchase (and you'll get the freebie with each purchase), but this offer is only good while supplies last. So hurry and get yours today!
 
2.  Retiring Products:
  
 
The brand, spankin' new Close To My Heart Annual Expressions Idea Book and Seasonal Holiday Expressions debut on September 1. To make room for all of the exciting new products, we are retiring some old favorites.  You have until August 31 at 11:59 pm (MT), or while supplies last (whichever comes first) to order these products.  You can see all of the products, and order them on my website here.
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Now, on to salsa and birthdays....
 
My father-in-law grows the MOST AMAZING garden and keeps me supplies in tomatoes, sweet peppers, green peppers, onions, garlic and jalapenos each year for my salsa.  Our family is a HUGE consumer of said salsa and it is a huge job to can 100 quarts each year.  In fact, it takes me about 5 full days.  I have spent 2 days this week, 2 days last week (and have another day to do more next week) canning salsa.  Luckily, Kori and Daysha came to help. It made it so much more fun and the job got done in half the time it would have taken me alone. 
 

 


For those of you who may be interested in my recipe, here you go:
 
Karen Pedersen's Salsa
single recipe makes 5-6 pints or about 3 quarts

24 large tomatoes

Wash and scald tomatoes. Peel. My family likes smooth salsa so at this point I gently puree the tomatoes in my blender, but this step is not necessary. Cut in quarters if you are not pureeing. Cook for at least 1 hour in a large heavy pot. Skim off juice while cooking.
 
Chop the following by hand or food processor. I puree these too, not until it is totally liquid but until it is a nice thick and smooth paste. Be sure to wear gloves while doing your jalapeno peppers. If they are good, hot ones they will blister your bare hands.

2 large white onions
1 sweet red pepper
2 large green peppers
1/2 medium sized garlic clove, minced
2-4 jalapeno peppers (I love my salsa HOT so I use at least 4 of the hottest peppers I can find. If you leave your seeds in it will be even hotter. I leave the seeds in.)

Mix this in the tomato mixture in the pot and cook down another 45-minutes - 1 hour. The longer you cook it the thicker it will be, but it will also make less salsa.

Then add:
1 Tbs. white sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
6 tea. salt

Cook again for another 30 minutes. Fill bottles and process* for 10 minutes to seal.

Note from Karen:
*I have never processed my jars in the 20 years I have canned salsa. If you turn them over right after putting your lids on, they will seal from the heat. I just lay out several layers of towels on my kitchen table and turn my jars upside down there and leave them over night. I have never not had a jar seal. 
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Lastly, yesterday was my birthday. Although I'm not a big fan of continuing to get older (at least not physically), I am a fan of where my life is. I love being in this stage of life. I love watching my children become productive members of society, good spouses, loving parents. I love being a grandma. I love that my husband and I have shared all of this together and continue to get old and grey together.  If I could just figure out a way to halt the physical aging and enjoy everything else that comes with getting older, I would be perfectly happy.  Because ripe tomatoes wait for no woman, I spent my birthday canning salsa.  Kori and Daysha came to help  and arrived with grandkids carrying cookies and balloons. They were so excited to give them to me!  Dan came home for lunch and brought my favorite chocolate cake.  He wanted to take me on a birthday date but I was so exhausted (and smelled like a great big jar of salsa) from all the canning,  I decided to postpone our date until tonight.  I was in my jammies by 6 pm yesterday and that was awesome!  My dear friend, Jody was visiting from Arizona and she and her daughter and granddaughter came by to visit too.  All of my children, sisters and parents, near and far, sent me the most beautiful birthday messages. I am one blessed girl!
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stamp Pads and Reinkers Going Up in Price on September 1 and Retiring Colors


Our wonderful stamp pads are increasing in price on September 1, from the current price of $5.95 to the new price of $6.95.  Because of that, I encourage you to order any colors you want NOW, before the end of August.  The same is true with our reinkers. They will be going from $4.95 to $5.95.

Order your stamp pads and reinkers for the current price through August 31.

Also, you will want to note that we have several colors retiring from our Enchantment color palette to make room for some awesome new colors that will debut on September 1.  If there are colors retiring that you would like to get now (cardstock, stamp pads, reinkers), NOW is the time to get them. They are all gone as of August 31 at 11:59 pm (MT), or whenever we run out of stock...whichever comes first.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thinking of You Card with the August Stamp of the Month


Sometimes a 4" x 4" card is the perfect size to top off a plate of treats for a friend....just because.  This card was made with that intention. I used the August Stamp of the Month, paired with Dizzy Circles to create this fun and trendy little card.



Don't forget that the August Stamp of the Month is only available this month, and is yours for only $5 ($12.95 savings) with each $50 you spend (before shipping and tax).  Spend $100, get 2...and so on.  When ordering on my website, you'll be prompted to add your set(s) before you check out.  Not sure what to spend your $50 on?  Why not get some of the the items I've listed in the products used list (complete with photos and links) at the end of this post?









Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Share a Smile Today!


I am proud to be part of a company that donates a portion of every single stamp set sold to Operation Smile, an organization that brings free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to those around the world who have no access to such medical care. Approximately $240 pays for one surgery.  I am proud to say that my customers have paid for MANY surgeries throughout the years just by rounding up the totals on their orders. 

Be sure to take 4 minutes and watch this video. I promise it's worth your while...and you'll probably want to grab a tissue or two while you watch!

There are several ways you can help in Close To My Heart's efforts with Operation Smile:

1.  Purchase the Operation Smile stamp set. $3 of that purchase goes straight to Operation Smile to help with a surgery.

2.  When placing an order with me, round up to the next dollar and I make sure your $ goes straight to Operation Smile to help with a surgery.

3.  Purchase the brand new t-shirt   (in red or grey...I got one of each!) for $25 and $10 of that purchase goes to Operation Smile. The rest just pays for the t-shirt and silk screening. Close To My Heart is not trying to make any money on these shirts. They just wanted to find another way to help. I also don't make any commission on these shirts. They are meant for bringing in money to help Operation Smile and nothing else.

 


Our very own COO, Monica Wihongi, spent a week in Mexico this past Spring assisting in Operation Smile surgeries. When she came home, she said she would never be the same. The experience had left an imprint on her heart that would stay forever.

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Monica and the family of one of the children who was fortunate enough to be chosen for surgery that day.  Unfortunately, many have to be turned away because there is only so much money to go around to pay for the surgeries.  Wouldn't it be great if EVERYONE who came was able to be taken care of?

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Here is Monica with Kate Walsch (remember her from Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice?).  Kate is a spokeswoman for Operation Smile and spent the week in Mexico doing the same thing as Monica...assisting families and children through the surgical experience.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Thank You Cards



I had fun pairing the August Stamp of the Month with 2 other sets for this 2-card set.  I used the darling Dizzy Circles stamp set (which reminds me of the Spirograph kit I had as a child) and the Documenting Moments stamp set for the lines.  I know they are meant for journaling lines on a scrapbook page, layout or pocket piece, but I thought they also added a fun accent on these cards.


This fun Stamp of the Month can be yours only in August and is only $5 ($12.95 discount) with every $50 you spend (before shipping and tax).  When ordering on my website, you'll be prompted to add your set(s) before you check out.

Here's a close up of the detail on this card. I love the gold and white with the black and pink. It's trendy, feminine and fun!









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