This is me...

This is me...
I'm having a mom moment....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicago, Day Two, Saturday, Part One

Okay, this is gonna be a LOOOOOOONG post.   I know that this may seem like a big commercial for Kenmore and that it might scare some of you off, but I hope that it won't.  The Kenmore products were amazing.  I WANT to talk about them because this was a very cool experience for me but this is (and always will be) MY blog -- where I talk about what I want to talk about.  I promise that I am not changing my blog format to morph into a review, contest, or give-away blog.  I may do some of those things from time to time if I think I have a product you guys might want to hear about, or if someone offers me a free product to give away or have a contest for or something, but I was chosen by Kenmore because of who I AM.  I am honest, brutally so.  If they read even ONE of my posts, they knew that.  I can honestly say that if I had the money I would totally buy these.  Y'all can do whatever you want when you need to buy a new appliance, these are just my opinions and impressions about the Kenmore products I saw.

My AMAZING bed that I wish I'd had
more time in at The Sofitel Chicago

So, day one ended with me, Lolo from Crazy About My Baybah, and Tricia from The Night Owl Mama hanging out in Tricia's room being silly for a few hours -- sharing about our blogs, our kids, and them giving me a real education about blog-marketing. Then we all went back to our rooms to crash since breakfast was at 8ish the next morning.
At breakfast the next morning, I sat with Janice from Mealtime Makeover Moms and Bobbie from One Scrappy Mom, before Lolo, Tricia, Wendy, and a few others (that I mentioned in the Day One post) joined us.  (Side note here: Bobbie was there with her family, and after the summit they had a bad wreck. Her family is okay, but Bobbie has some pretty serious injuries to her leg and her face after being thrown from the car. Please keep her and her family in your prayers!)  
I'll be honest, I was fully prepared to not like all of these women.  I (as a general rule) don't get along real well with other women because they are not big fans of my brutal honesty.  But I REALLY was enjoying their company (and I think they enjoyed mine).  The previous evening at dinner, when Janice introduced herself, she won me over at once by walking up and feeling my pants to make sure they weren't jersey knit. As you can see from the pictures, we had a selection of croissants, fruit, yogurt and granola, and coffee, tea, and juice.  
This was a bit of a change for me since I usually don't eat much breakfast, and when I do it's when we go somewhere super classy like IHOP where my kids nearly get us kicked out for trying to lick the waiter. (Oh, you don't know that story? Go HERE and read all about it!) I would have loved some cheese, meat, or, eggs, but those Kenmore people know what they are doing -- in retrospect, a heavy breakfast would have made me pretty sleepy, and we were about to have a very busy day. I selected one of everything, ate half of each one (except the yogurt and granola, scarfed that whole thing) and drank about 3 cups of coffee, and had some juice. The only thing I would have changed was the size of my coffee cup -- I usually drink 3-4 32 ounce cups of coffee every morning and I think these might have been 8 ounce cups. But for a breakfast that I didn't have to make and didn't have to clean up it was awesome. After I finished eating I had to run upstairs and put on real clothes (I wore my yoga pants to breakfast), and then it was off to catch our ride to the Kenmore Live Studio.

No comments about how puffy my face looks
after a day of travel and 4 hours of sleep, please.
We arrived at the studio and dove right in.  Suzy Singh (yes, the one from Master Chef on Fox) did a cooking demo for us using the latest and greatest slow cooker from Kenmore.  This thing makes the one I own look like something from Little House On The Prairie.  And Suzy had some great tips for cooking in this (or any other) slow cooker.  From now on, I know that when I use a slow cooker, I should set it and forget it -- I am horrible about lifting the lid to stir, taste, add, taste, stir, taste....Suzy let us know that one of the reasons slow cooker infuses so much flavor is because of the steam trapped inside.
NOT a crock pot

  • 7 quart capacity 

  • 4 adjustable temperature settings

  • Ceramic pan

  • Brushed stainless steel housing and handles for transporting

  • Glass lid for easy checking

  • After watching Suzy cook, it was our turn.  We were divided up into groups, led upstairs to cooking stations, and given a "mystery basket" of ingredients along with 20 minutes to decide what to make and get everything into the pot.   I tasted every teams dish, and although they were all good...I personally thought ours was the best, but at the end of the day, we did not win.  (Congrats to the Fox Force Five Team -- they all got a free crock pot, um, I mean SLOW COOKER.) 

    Okay, after we came downstairs, we had another guest speaker.  Mark BeierTanis from Chicago Fit Club showed Redneck Mommy and Whitney from Rookie Moms how to do dips on the chair while vacuuming your drapes, but honestly, cleaning in my house is an aerobic exercise -- as in "Oh crap, my parents will be here in 6 hours and I have been on Facebook pretending that I don't care what they think and now I must move like a squirrel on speed to get the house even close to being presentable."  And I do not know people that vacuum their drapes.  Heck, I am doing good if I can vacuum my floor.  This was a nice little break for us and Mark is super-fit and funny.  IF you exercise and clean, then you can email me and I'll send you the details about all of the exercises he shared. (And if you do those things, why are you reading my blog??  Kidding...)

    The Kenmore Elite 50/50 Oven that I didn't win.
    (Congrats to Michelle over at
    Mommy Confessions, though.  She got one!)
    After our little "Clean-Yourself-Fit" demo, we got back on track with the Kenmore products.  Samuel Monnie, Kenmore's Director of Marketing, started things off with this oven. (Another side note -- Samuel is British.  I could listen to this man read the phone book because I love British accents.  Luckily, what he had to say was much more interesting.)  This is a true double, convection oven that they call the 50/50 oven. BOTH compartments can hold up to a 28 - pound turkey. I don't know who you're having for your Thanksgiving dinner that you'd need to make 2 - 28 pounds turkeys, but should you need it, this thing has the room.  It also has a setting called "Warm and Ready" -- it holds your cooked food at the right temperature while you finish everything else (like that 28-pound turkey).  The range on top has a rapid-boil feature that I wish that I had.  I don't remember the speed, but it was FAST.  I know it was designed for gourmet cooks, but all I kept thinking was how fast I could bang out a box of Kraft Mac-N-Cheese with hot dogs in it for my kids.  I'm sure I could use it for other things, but seriously, the choruses of "Is it ready yet?" would be greatly reduced with that feature.
    NOW, after the range, which was impressive, Tom DeSalvo, Kenmore;s Divisional VP, took the mic to  showcase another appliance that just about made us fall off of our very high chairs.  I know what you're thinking -- ""What kind of freaks were at this thing that get excited about appliances?!"  Well, trust me, if you had seen this fridge that is in the video, you would have flipped OUT.  I NEED this.  It would make my life SO much easier.  (And once again, congrats to Kim at Accidental Mommies who was selected as an in-home tester/reviewer for this awesome fridge!)

    I made my own 14 second video, but it is nowhere as cool as this 2 minute version.  I really don't know which feature I like best -- those retractable, adjustable shelves, or that oh-so-cool outer door.  Or maybe it's just the fact that the thing has 31-cu. feet of storage in a normal sized fridge.  Seriously, if any of you are interested in getting on my very good side, you can send me one of these. 

    While we were still reeling from the fridge demo, Marty Olson took over to talk about Kenmore's latest and greatest laundry pair.  I'll be honest, I was still interested in the fridge, but I tried very hard to listen to how woefully inadequate and out of date my current washer and dryer are. 
    This laundry pair are awesome. They do everything except fold the laundry for you. There are settings for just about everything -- even a steam setting that can handle some dry-clean items. (Kenmore didn't say that -- they said that "In only 20 minutes, the Steam Refresh™ technology in the dryer only gently refreshes clothes by relaxing wrinkles and reducing odors, eliminating the need for ironing or re-washing." What I HEARD was "Less Dry Cleaning.")  They also have an accelerated wash and dry setting that speeds up the cycle so that you can wash and dry a complete 8 pound load in just under an hour.  My washer and dryer are also from Kenmore, but from around 1984 -- that's how sturdy these suckers are.  My dryer takes approximately 90 minutes to dry a load....I asked about this, and apparently I need a new one (duh).

    One of the coolest things about the appliances that we saw was this new feature that they have called Kenmore Connect.  Let me tell you one of my biggest pet peeves about having something repaired:  the guy (or girl, although it's always a guy with me), gets to my house, takes whatever is broken apart, then tells me after hours of staring at the parts on the floor that it needs part X and he'll have to order it.  This feature -- the Kenmore Connect thingy -- there is a panel that you can hold your phone up to and it uses tone capture technology to diagnose the problem before they even come to your house!  Not only that, but sometimes, the problem can be fixed by following the operators instructions (changing a setting or whatever) which eliminates the need for the technician to come out at all!  How cool is that?

    After the guys from Sears gave us all appliance envy, we had a quick question and answer period and we broke for lunch.  Lunch was A-MAZING and provided by an awesome Chicago Restarunt that had the word "Truffle" in its name but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was.  I will find out though, and lead with it tomorrow (or the next day, or whenever my kids leave me alone long enough for me to actually string more than 2 sentences together.)

    1 comment:

    Brooke McIntire said...

    I WANT that fridge! Oh my gosh! And we're looking to buy a new washer/dryer set with income taxes this year. I just don't want to spend an arm and a leg. Ours still works fine, but I'm just waiting for the hatchet to fall since my washer (which is a Maytag) is about 15 years old and my dryer (which is a GE) is about 8 years old. I love Kenmore products. My sewing machine (the one collecting dust in the closet) is a Kenmore, and I have never been disappointed with a Kenmore anything. Now I have appliance envy for those folks that can afford this stuff!