Saturday, June 19, 2010
Queen Bea is going on vacation, y'all!
I'm staying in an oceanfront hotel that's pet-friendly so I can even bring the pooch. I can't wait to watch her frolic in the waves for the first time and try to figure out what to do with a sand crab without getting her nose pinched.
My hotel will supposedly have free WiFi, so I might pop in from time to time--most likely on Twitter, so join me! (CLICK HERE)
In the meantime, don't forget to enter the FLOAT LIFE'S A BEACH GIVEAWAY so you can win your own hot beach accessories.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Charla back in the day.
Oh, my darling Charla, how I have missed you!
In a world full of robotic, cookie-cutter hosts, she's a one-of-a-kind. And while I do realize that Charla might not be everyone's cuppa, I adore her off-the-wall antics coupled with that trademark gravely voice. I'll stop gushing, but if you'd like to read why I think she's "da bomb," click here.
Anyway, I had heard through the grapevine that Charla might be showing up at the new boutique shopping network, EmVee TV. All the cool kids from ShopNBC seem to be headed in that direction--the Ramsey's are already there and so is Pearlfection.
I wasn't sure if there was any truth to the rumor that Charla would finally be back on my TV set, but then she posted this on her Facebook:
well, i'm close to putting my mug back on air at a small start-up. if i can make this happen you ladies will have your luxury product back big time. all prayers welcome!!!
Here's hoping Charla! I can't wait to see you again.
Martha Stewart, with whom I have a rather complicated relationship, is packing up her pinking shears and moving from QVC to HSN.
While I was ecstatic back when I learned that Martha decided to bring her brand of unattainable perfection to QVC, I was completely bummed to learn that she would not actually be gracing us with her presence, instead opting to send a rep in her place (read my original rant here).
However, according to the Martha Moments blog, Martha Stewart will not only be appearing herself, but also providing an exclusive demonstration on HSN on July 19th to launch the Martha Stewart Crafts line.
I can't wait! I love the way she makes me feel completely inadequate for not using naturally multicolored eggs laid by my rare designer chickens that, of course, I raised myself in my custom-built chicken coup constructed from completely sustainable materials. I told you my relationship with Martha was complicated.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Admittedly, I try not to keep up with what plastic-surgery-addicted celebutante Heidi Montag is doing to extend her never-ending fifteen minutes of fame; but rumors are swirling that she's trying to follow in Kim Kardashian's faux-tanned footsteps and parlay her "celebrity" into a stint on QVC.
According to Spoiled Pretty, Heidi has been looking for a place to hawk her dry shampoo ever since her short-lived stint on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here last year. "Rumors surfaced that Heidi (Montag) Pratt had a deal with QVC to sell her upcoming line of dry shampoo. But when contacted by Access Hollywood, a QVC rep dismissed the rumor. "We currently do not have anything in the works with Heidi Pratt," the QVC rep said."
Honestly, I was ready to write off the whole Heidi dry shampoo QVC rumor as just a ridiculous rumor. I mean, surely not even QVC would sink that low! But then the infamous and all-knowing QVC message board poster "Godfreako"--who is always right and constantly getting banned--found this:
QVC Item# A202330 Heidi Montag Really Amazing Dry Shampoo (which isn't listed yet)
Of course, the post was quickly poofed by the QVC powers that be. Noooo, that's not suspicious at all.
So is there truth to the rumor? I would bet my unlifted bottom dollar that there is!
About the picture: Heidi Montag shows off her new beach body in a self-designed bikini as she hosts the grand opening of the Liquid Pool Lounge at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It is the first time the The Hills star and singer has been photographed in a bikini since undergoing 10 cosmetic procedures in one day late last year. The 23-year-old star underwent a mini brow lift, Botox in her brow and frownline area; a nose job revision; fat injections in cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips; chin reduction; neck liposuction; had her ears pinned back; a breast augmentation revision; liposuction on her waist, hips and inner and outer thighs; and a buttock augmentation.
(Hat tip to Godfreako ... whoever you are!)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Queen Bea is going on a beach vacation!!! Praise the Lord and pass the plate twice! I need to get away.
Even though I can't take all you home shopping beauties with me, I'm not gonna leave you empty handed ... well, at least one of you anyway (Sorry, I'm only a Queen, not an Oprah. I can't give everyone a car!)
Float Life, a new line of affordable, chic summer essentials, is debuting tonight on QVC. Previously only an exclusive boutique brand in Southern Florida, designer Ramona Senese is bringing a collection of summer must haves like tunics, cover-ups, swimwear and accessories. Already, the brand touts celebrity fans such as Paris Hilton, Ashley Tisdale and Kristin Cavallari, and has been seen on TV shows like "The Hills" and "Desperate Housewives.".
Float Life designer Ramona Senese combines her own hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind prints and beautiful designs with luxurious textiles from around the world. The light, flowing, silk and cotton blend apparel items are easy to wear and include exquisite details such as wooden beads and patterned linings. All apparel items are made in the USA (how hard is that to find these days?)
Enter to win the Carry All Tote and Reversible Hat in the Sand color and the Jacaranda sunglasses in White/Jacaranda Sunset. Check them out below:
QVC Item # A199290
This lightweight bag is perfect for those headed to the beach or pool for the day and hates to leave anything behind. Created to fit a beach towel or even a beach blanket with ease and still have room for any guilt pleasures you want! The durable, zippered, snap out pocket is perfect for any valuables and details such as durable rope handles, faux leather trim and canvas lining in the bag itself make it a lust and a must item! Available in Sea Grape, Sand or Ocean (you are receiving it in Sand).
QVC Item # A199291
This reversible printed cotton hat is perfect for keeping shady and stylish anytime in the hot sun. Available in three solid colors that reverse into a coordinating pattern, it fits easily into any bag and offers a unique alternative to a baseball cap while at the beach or out and about! Available in Sea Grape, Sand or Ocean (you are receiving it in Sand).
QVC Item # A199287
A summer must-have, these Jacaranda patterned sunglasses offer the best of both worlds – sun protection and beach style. Perfect for keeping a bit of laid-back-luxe throughout the year, these sunglasses provide UV 400 protection to help keep peepers safe from sun exposure yet the colorful coordinating patterns offer fun features to the side of your face! Available in Black/Jacaranda Blush, Plum/Jacaranda Jade or White/Jacaranda Sunset (you are receiving the White/Jacaranda Sunset color).
HOW TO ENTER:
Enter your name and email address below and hit submit. Seriously, that's all you have to do! You may enter up to one time per day from Tuesday June 15, 2010 through Tuesday June 22, 2010. Open to anyone at least 18 years old; however, items can only be shipped to addresses in the continental U.S. One winner will be selected at random. Odds depend on how many entries are received. Void where prohibited. Winner will be announced after Queen Bea gets back from the beach!!!!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Ever since Bob Bowersox suddenly left QVC with only a short
But nobody puts Bob in a corner!
Keep your eyes peeled for Bob to make his first appearance on ShopNBC Thursday of this week. After that, he'll be making regular weekend visits. Key West to Minneapolis ... that's quite a commute.
Because we all need an extra helping of home shopping pie, HSN is launching HSN2.
HSN2 will be another 24-hour shopping channel offering "a curated assortment of encore airings of HSN's must-see shows, products, brands and personalities." Does this just mean re-runs? Like a bunch of You Tube videos cobbled together?
According to HSN:
For the first several months, the channel will focus on feedback from HSN2 viewers and customers and respond accordingly.So basically they're gonna throw a bunch of spaghetti noodles on the wall and see what sticks. Perhaps they should try to offer something different that customers wouldn't expect to find on a home shopping channel--unique items from up-and-coming designers. Obviously they wouldn't want to waste HSN air time on unknowns (dollars per minute, y'all!), but they could certainly afford to take some risks on their little sister channel. Why not? There's already some smaller boutique-style home shopping networks like EmVee TV and Indie Shop nipping at their heels.
Programming for the new channel, which will be either complementary or counter to the programming on HSN, will be developed in unique and different ways to excite customers. The channel will also serve as a platform to test different ideas and develop new business opportunities for the company.
QVC tried this with The Fashion Channel and with Q2 with less-than-stellar results. And didn't HSN try this already with the "Television Shopping Mall?" What is going to make HSN2 different than all the other spin-off flops?
HSN2 will premiere on August 1 on DISH Network
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Corrado and Wendi Russo
Hot on the heels of being crowned Mrs. Minnesota America 2008, ShopNBC host Wendi Russo was recently crowned Mrs. Minnesota United States 2010.
According to the Mrs. Minnesota website:
Wendi Russo is the first woman to be crowned Mrs. Minnesota United States during its May 22, 2010 pageant in Lakeville, Minnesota. The Mrs. Minnesota United States pageant has not been held in the state for over a decade but has recently been acquired by Future Productions. The Mrs. Unites States pageant celebrates the accomplished married women of Minnesota in their careers, their marriages and contributions to their communities.
"I'm so proud to be the new titleholder for the Mrs. Minnesota United States Pageant. Co-Directors, Craig Heitkamp and Denise Wallace are highly respected in the pageant industry for being professional and kind. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of their family, representing Teens, Miss and now the Married women of Minnesota."
As a television hostess with Shop NBC, the premiere lifestyle shopping network, Wendi presents a large range of products, helping her viewers look and feel their best with the latest skincare, cosmetics, jewelry & fashion. A graduate from the University of Vermont with a degree in Business Administration; UCLA with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and an Accredited Jewelry professional with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Wendi was recently accepted into Bilmore's Who's Who Among Business Professionals.
Wendi has worked with a multitude of charities with a bent towards children, but her true passion is Mentoring. Wendi has dedicated her time to mentoring young girls on a one-on-one basis for over 10 years and plans to use her title to promote awareness of the enormous need for mentors for at-risk children through her appearances, speaking engagements and local media outlets. Growing up in a single parent home, Wendi knows first hand the importance a caring adult can make in a child's life.
"I've had mentors throughout my life and they are the ones who have believed in me and supported my dreams. They helped me become the person I am today and that's why I mentor--I know what a difference it can make."
An alumni and mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and a mentor, speaker and Ambassador for Kinship of Greater Minneapolis, a Christian Mentoring organization, Wendi has inspired hundreds to consider becoming mentors. Wendi is currently mentoring two young girls through ACES,( Atheletes Committed to Educating Students), an after school mentoring program that helps close the achievement gap by engaging inner- city youth in learning and service.
Wendi has been married for six years to Corrado Russo, a contractor in Eden Prairie, whom she met on her trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Wendi has a beautiful 5-year old daughter and says her family is her "greatest achievement."Check out Wendi's pictures here and keep tabs on her official appearances here.
According to the Ladies' Home Journal, Christie Brinkley, the seemingly ageless Cover Girl, is bringing her nature-inspired jewelry line, CeleBrate, to QVC.
You can take a look at her collection right now on Ross-Simons and ChristieBrinkleyJerelry.com.
Christie doesn't come to QVC to present the Total Gym (neither does Chuck Norris for that matter!), here's hoping she shows up to hawk her own jewelry. I just hate it when celebrities don't bother to show up to sell their own products. You gotta sing for your supper, y'all!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Was just asked to submit a demo reel for DWTS. In shock, WOW!
Yesterday, Patti Reilly allegedly tweeted that she was asked to submit a demo reel for Dancing with the Stars. This tweet heard round the home shopping world caused mass mayhem on both the QVC message boards and Queen Bea's inbox.
But then the tweet in question disappeared. Or, as some would insist, did it ever really exist?
Since I didn't get a screen shot of the original tweet, I had to go in through the back door. Here is a screen shot of all the people responding to Patti:
So either all these people just suddenly decided to respond with their congratulations for no reason whatsoever, or the tweet really happened and Patti went back later to delete it.
Patti can always be counted on to stir the pot, can't she?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water … the crab cakes have returned to QVC.
The Chesapeake Bay Gourmet Crab Cakes were once considered the gold standard in crab cakes—even recognized by Oprah herself on her prestigious “O” List and by Baltimore Magazine as "the best mail order crab cake."
M&I Seafood (aka Chesapeake Bay) started as a family business back in the eighties. Husband and wife team Ron and Margie Kauffman got their small business off the ground by marketing their crab cakes to local supermarkets and slowly built up the business until they were grossing five million dollars a year a mere decade later.
But that’s when everything changed. They lost a major account in 1994 and revenue plummeted.
In 1995, QVC was running their 50/50 Tour—fifty states in fifty weeks with the twenty best products from each state getting their big shot to market themselves on the Q.
"There were rows and rows of folding tables," says Ron, recalling the event. "We brought the crab cakes and a portable frying pan, but I forgot the extension cord and had to run out and get one. Someone came by and tasted our crab cakes and said they might get back to us."
On October 22, 1995, Ron and Margie made their first QVC presentation, selling 24,000 crab cakes in ten minutes. By 2003, they had sold more than 14 million crab cakes on QVC and could produce up to 35,000 crab cakes a day in their facility.
But then the Kauffman’s sold the company to Astral in 2005. And that’s when the crab hit the fan.
Quantity took precedence over quality as cheap fillers replaced quality ingredients. And even tough they continued to tout that the crab cakes were “Made in the USA,” more and more low-quality crab was imported from Asia to use in the crab cakes. Customers complained that the "crap cakes" tasted horrible, smelled of ammonia, and barely had any crab in them. To make matters worse, fake “5 Star” reviews were discovered on the Chesapeake Bay products on the QVC website.
And then, not surprisingly, Chesapeake Bay disappeared from QVC.
In September 2009, the now bankrupt Astral Foods sold Chesapeake Bay Gourmet to Baltimore Crab Cake Company for $325,000.
Doug Beeman from Baltimore Crab Cake Co. said that the brand “lost some of its luster following its sale to Astral in 2005” and that he is “hoping to rebuild the brand and restore its dominance among the crab cake-eating public.”
And now, after all the complaints and controversy, those infamous crab cakes are back on QVC.
According to the new Chesapeake Bay Gourmet's new website:
Having been around for 25 successful years, we celebrate another transition — in name, from Chesapeake Bay Gourmet under Astral Foods to Chesapeake Bay Gourmet under the new Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake Company.
We marveled at the phenomenal growth experienced throughout the years. From humble beginnings in search of the perfect crab cake and supplying local seafood retailers to being chosen to represent Maryland during QVC’s 1995 “Quest For America’s Best” tour, to growing a mail-order business – and now solidifying our quality and integrity with new ownership dedicated to making the best crab cake commercially available.
While we became the most successful food purveyor on QVC, and continue to sell millions of our crab cakes through QVC, through our own website, in private restaurants and with our retail brand (Chesapeake Bay Brands), we are focusing on what made us successful: striving to provide every customer with the finest handmade seafood delicacies available. The glorious Chesapeake waters, the Bay area, and our relationships drive the quality and commitment we have in our cakes.
Now, as we got out from under a parent umbrella with our new ownership, Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake Company invites you to savor the taste and the tradition that has made us one of Baltimore’s Best! Oprah chose our recipe and hundreds of thousands of QVC customers agreed - but we welcome your opinion now!So--except for the famous name--these new crab cakes really have nothing to do with the original, high-quality crab cakes or the bastardized cheap ones that followed. Whether this new incarnation will be good, bad, or ugly still remains to be seen.
However, if you are hankering for the original Chesapeake Bay Crap Cakes, the closet you're ever going to get is probably from a new company started by Ron and Margie’s sons, JD and Ron Jr., in June of 2009. Originally they were going to use the name Kauffman's Original Crab Cakes, but have since switched to Kent Island Crab Cakes.
The Kauffman brothers verified in a recent press release that the quality of their parents original crab cakes crumbled under the new owners:
Ron Kauffman, Jr.and his brother J.D. grew up within the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a crab cake making family that had begun three generations before, harvesting, picking, and forming the traditional Maryland style crab cakes. They understood, before they even knew they understood, the subtle interplay of flavors between the sweet briny Chesapeake Bay blue crab plucked live from the bay and the unique spicing from traditional Bay style seasonings.
The closely held Kauffman family recipe was a mixture of salt, cayenne, celery seed, sweet Hungarian paprika, dry mustard, black pepper, bay leaf, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. The family did not favor crab cakes that were adulterated with cheap fillers.
"The genuine Maryland style Crab Cake is often imitated, but never improved upon," says Ron Kauffman, Jr.
Success came to the Kauffman family from hard work and treating people right. Recently, the parents, Ron and Margie, decided to retire. They sold the business and began to enjoy their grandchildren.
As Ron Kauffman, Jr, tells it, "When our parents sold Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, the new owners chose to alter our old family recipe. These were not Maryland natives and they did not understand that crab cake aficionados know the difference."
"Soon, none of us in the family could even recognize these crab cakes. They substituted Asian blue swimming crab, because it was cheaper. They further diluted the recipe by using cheap ingredients thinking our customers wouldn't know the difference."
"But we know," continues J.D, "you can never fool a customer. At least not more than once. We grew up in this business. We know our customers and we have always considered them our partners."
"Our parents have taken a much needed rest but since we kept getting calls from our loyal customers, J.D., my wife Rachel, and I have formed a new company on the old principles of honest work, honest products, and reliable service."
I have to end this with this one rather important caveat: I hate crab! I don't eat fish or seafood and--as you can plainly read in my FAQ--I certainly don't like crab cakes. My Krabby Patty expertise on the matter stems from a different source: