Three Cool Kid-Friendly Ice Cream Makers

Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker

Homemade ice cream has many appealing aspects. It is potentially healthier because the amount of sugar and fat is adjustable. Additionally, it does not contain unknown or unwanted ingredients. Many parents like the idea of serving homemade ice cream, instead of store bought, because they see it as a do-it-yourself lesson for the kids. And guess what? Kids love churning ice cream, which gives you a break, and gives them some exercise!

Here are three ice cream makers each offering varying degrees of child participation.

White Mountain F64306-X 6-Quart Hand-Crank Ice Cream Freezer

This traditional hand-cranking freezer makes 6 quarts of ice cream; a 4 quart size is also available. The three–gear drive makes cranking easier but a commitment is still required to achieve the frozen prize. This ice cream maker gives older children an opportunity to take part in food preparation process by contributing to the preparation of something they love eating. The process takes 30 to 45 minutes and the machine has a 5-year warranty.

Donvier 837409W 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

This is an eco-friendly ice cream maker in that it needs neither salt nor ice. Children can make a small but important contribution by periodically opening the freezer and turning the crank on top of the unit during the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to produce the frozen dessert. This ice cream freezer requires some planning ahead as the freezer bowl requires seven hours in the freezer before pouring in the mixture.

Play & Freeze™ Ice Cream Maker

This ice cream maker needs salt and ice but no electricity. The unit is composed of a hollow ball that holds the ice and salt for freezing in one part and another area for the ice cream mixture. The ice cream forms as the ball is rolled or passed from person to person. It comes in a pint size that takes 10 minutes to make and a quart size that takes 15 minutes. Even little kids can help by rolling the smaller size ball.

Care and Cleaning for Stainless Steel Countertops

stainless-steel-counter-top-with-integrated-sink

Stainless steel is very popular material used for counter tops today. It looks elegant when it’s clean, since it resists rust and corrosion. The main risks (and not to mention major eyesore) to stainless steel are dirt, grime and dust. These are easily overcome as long as you can manage to keep your countertops clean and shiny.

You can wash stainless steel with a microfiber cloth and warm water for routine cleaning. This is the easiest method and also the option that poses the lowest risk to the steel. Microfiber works very well on stainless steel. This type of cloth can hold a lot of water, and although it may absorb oil and dirt, it won’t damage or scratch it, as long as it’s not dirty. Microfiber is durable, too, and it doesn’t shed lint like some cleaning cloths tend to do.

If you need more power in your cleaning, use warm water and a mild detergent. Be sure to rinse the counter top first to prevent spotting or staining. You can use many different kinds of dish soaps that are environmentally friendly and will still do a good job on the counters. Today’s Eco-friendly dish liquids can degrease and clean quite effectively. Use a few drops of your dish detergent liquid to lift away food and cut through grease. Use a towel to dry it off, to prevent water spotting, which is sometimes caused by the minerals found in water.

If you have children, you probably tend to get a lot of fingerprints on your stainless steel countertops. You can clean them with ammonia or glass cleaner. Rinse the counter after cleaning, and dry it with a towel. You may also purchase a newer finish that works to resist fingerprints on stainless steel.

If they have become scratched or stained, you may need to use stainless steel cleaner to clean and polish the counter. Most of these polishes and steel cleaners will remove the stains and help in minimizing scratches. They will also give your counters a beautiful shine. Test your chosen brand on a spot that’s not easily visible, to be sure it works properly. Rinse the counter well and dry with a towel. With a bit of work and the right tools, you can keep your stainless steel countertops looking new.

Homemade Cleaner for Stainless Steel Appliances

cleaning stainless steel

Stainless steel appliances are the current craze in new kitchen appliances. Everything from the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and even smaller appliances like mixers and blenders are all being made in this shiny, futuristic-looking finish.

While the new appliances have a nice, high reflective finish, a few years of wear will remove some of the protective coating and make the surface more susceptible to showing fingerprints and water spots. A number of commercial cleaners are on the market, but they can be costly, toxic to children and pets, and generally packaged in non-recyclable containers.

You can help the environment and your pocketbook by making your own stainless steel cleaner from common household ingredients.

1. Water and a soft cloth – For routine cleaning, a spray of warm water and buffing with a soft cloth will remove most fingerprints and water spots. Wipe immediately and dry with a microfiber or soft cloth to prevent water stains.

2. Dishwashing Liquid – Any mild dishwashing liquid without ammonia mixed with warm water can remove stubborn spots. Clean with the damp solution and a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any traces of soap. Polish with a soft cloth.

3. Vinegar – Fill a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar. Spray the surface, rub gently, and wipe off with a soft cloth. The acetic acid in the vinegar cuts the oils left by fingerprints.

4. Baking Soda – Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with enough mild dishwashing soap to make a paste. Apply the mixture using a sponge and rub the area well. Rinse thoroughly with water and dry with a soft cloth. For a higher gloss, finish off with the undiluted vinegar spray mentioned above.

4. Olive oil or club soda – Dampen a sponge with a drop or two of either olive oil or club soda. After using any cleaning method above, polish the surface with either ingredient. Clean the surface with a paper towel if too oily.

Benefits of homemade cleaners:
• No extra packaging to dispose of
• Safe for the environment
• Safe around children and pets
• Saves money

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Choosing a Good DeHumidifier

dehumidifier

Air quality is essential to overall health, and the humidity levels in a home can have a dramatic effect. Excessive humidity can lead to a host of problems, and it is most often associated with the growth of mold and mildew. Mold may be toxic, and reducing the humidity with a good dehumidifier is one way to get rid of the problem. Here are several things to consider when buying a good humidifier.

Size
The size of the area to be treated is a primary concern. This is usually measured in the amount of moisture that can be removed from the air during the course of a day. The measurement that is used for this is pints. It is better to purchase a dehumidifier that is too large for several reasons. Small units will often have to operate constantly, and they still may not remove all of the moisture from the air. Larger units can work quickly and will lower humidity in a short time. The humidity levels in the air and the size of the home will influence the size of the dehumidifier that is used.

Built- in controls
Most of the newest dehumidifiers have built in hygrometers that constantly monitor the air’s humidity. They will turn on and off automatically and will keep the air at a constant setting. Dehumidifiers with automatic controls make it easy to keep the home’s humidity within recommended levels.

Continuous Drainage or Tank
The way that the machines get rid of the water that is removed from the air is another thing to consider. Some models are designed to be tied into the home’s plumbing to drain. Others feature a tank that can be emptied when it gets full, and some dehumidifiers have an automatic way that evaporates the water for ease of use.

The Three Best Low-Cost Air Purifiers

Honeywell-Air-Purifiers

With pollution a constant concern for parents today, never has air quality been of higher importance. While an easy problem to overlook, respiratory illnesses are on the rise, even among children of non smoking households. While it may seem hopeless, a quality air purifier can be employed by any individual to improve their children’s air quality, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

The Honeywell HHT-011 Compact Air Purifier is an excellent choice. Featuring a permanent HEPA filter, it’s small size allows maximum portability. This air purifier is guaranteed to reduce pollen, smoke and other allergens from the home, all for under 50 dollars.

For just a slightly higher price, the Hamilton Beach 04383 True Air Allergen-Reducing Air Cleaner weighs in as a prime candidate for anyone looking to enhance their air quality on a budget. At only six pounds, it can annihilate allergens in rooms up to 160 square feet! Also including a permanent HEPA filter, the buyer can save even more money over time with the ability to simply clean the filter with a vacuum.

For those wishing to invest a little more for a quality air filter yet still spend less than 100 dollars, they need look no further than the Five Star FS8088 Ionic Air Purifier Pro Ionizer. This innovative device uses UV light to effectively eliminate pollutants in the air and also features the capability to be cleaned without changing filters. By using the rebate offered on this model by many retailers, the unit can be acquired for around 65 dollars.

While there is not much we can do on an individual basis to stop the advancement of new technology that results in the continual pollution of the air we breath, by exploring cheap and effective air filters, anyone can take the first step to improving their own.

Which Kind of Juicer is Best For You?

BrevilleJuicer

Beverages available for kids today are chock full of sugars, flavorings and other useless filler designed to please the taste buds rather than nourish the body. Concerned parents can find themselves spending a lot of extra time they don’t have reading labels on juice containers to find the best options for their children. This time can be saved by investing in a juicer.

Juicers are amazing machines that convert a whole fruit or vegetable into juice. The food product of choice does not need to be cut up, sliced or peeled; the consumer simply must drop it into the feeder, push it down into the juicing machine and watch it convert into juice using either centrifugal or masticating technology. The end product is a juice that is 100 percent natural.

There are some crucial tips that should be taken into consideration when shopping for the best juicer for your money. Simply grabbing the cheapest option is not wise as they often malfunction shortly after the warranty expires. The careful shopper must first consider if they wish to purchase a masticating or centrifugal juicer.

Centrifugal juicers use tiny blades that spin very quickly and shred all of the solid material into a mash. The liquids are able to filter through the blades while waste material is stored in a bin. The preferable method is mastication. These juicers, also known as auger juicers, operate by slowly pressing the liquids from the produce. Unlike traditional orange juicers, the action is fully automated. This method is ideal as it allows the extraction of higher quantities of juice than those using centrifugal technology, and they can be purchased for under 100 dollars. The blades on centrifugal juicers are also known to destroy valuable enzymes in the juice which auger juicers protect.

Juicing has become more popular over the past decade. The benefits they offer the next generation are vast, and choosing a quality juicer can yield years of healthful satisfaction.

keurig-single-cup-coffee-maker

Mom’s with kids of any ages will all agree on one thing, their morning routine is what gets them up and running every morning and what they drink is actually a very large part of that routine. For some mom’s, they drink tea although most will enjoy a cup of coffee to get them going first thing in the morning. The problem with making your own coffee at home is this: who really has time to drink an entire pot of coffee before running out the door?

The newest technology when it comes to the morning cup of Joe is the one-cup coffee pot. The premise is simple, it only brews a single cup of coffee at a time giving you two big advantages over the traditional coffee pot, first is it only takes a minute for your coffee to be ready to drink and second is that you no longer need to waste coffee just for that one needed cup. Now that you are ready to try one of these, you are probably a bit confused as to which one to buy since there are so many on the market today. Here is a breakdown of the top 3 one-cup coffee makers, each has their ups and downs and in reality, it will come down to which one will suite your needs and your budget the best.

Keurig

Keurig is the top selling one-cup coffee maker on the market but you are going to be limited to the types of coffee you brew as well as the size of your cup. That said this coffee maker does have some features that others will not. For starters, you do not need to brew only hot drinks through the Keurig; you can also brew cold coffee drinks as well. This is a feature that is not found in most other models. This system typically runs about $80-$120 and can be found at most stores that sell coffee pots.

Cuisinart

The Cuisinart one-cup coffee maker is similar to the Keurig as it costs about the same and uses the same K-Cups. What sets them apart is this coffee maker gives the user the choice of five different sizes of cups to use and holds up to 80 oz. of water so you just put the K-Cup in, set your desired settings and off it goes, no need to add water every time.

Hamilton Beach

The Hamilton Beach one-cup coffee pot is a wonderful addition to this line-up of expensive machines. This one is priced around $30 and can be purchased at most box stores. This maker does not use K-Cups, instead, it uses pouches which just go into the slide out, and then the water goes into the one cup reservoir and voila, a hot cup of coffee in less than a minute. You can choose any size cup you want with this maker and you do not have to use the pouches, you have the option of purchasing the mini coffee filters that fit into the machine and then you simply add your amount of coffee.

The Magimix Vision Toaster

magimix vision see through toaster

The Magimix Vision Toaster is an amazing, new toaster that is see through! The toaster is one of a kind, not only can you watch your food toast, but it has an amazing quartz heating process that evenly browns toast and other foods toasted inside. You can actually see this all as it happens due to the new see through feature. The toaster also comes with four great cooking options. You can use the toast setting, the bagel setting, the defrost setting, or the reheat setting. Each has a different process of heating to perfection!

No one should ever have to wonder if their toast is done, overcooked, or even ready! With the new toaster you can see before your eyes how brown your food is and pop it out just when it’s perfect for you. The other great feature of the Magimix Vision Toaster is that it has much wider slots that allow you to toast bigger items such as waffles and bagels. As cool as this toaster is, it does even more! You can have your waffle, toast, or bagel only toasted on one side with its unique settings! The toaster has a nice steel tray at the bottom that allows for easy cleaning and maintenance. The Magimix Vision Toaster is made strong to last years and years. If anything goes wrong with your toaster, they have a good three year warranty so you have nothing to worry about with exchanges or repairs.

Try the Magimix Vision Toaster today and see how much it can add value to your kitchen!

Three Water Saving Toilets Under $300

kohler toilets

Are you looking for a water saving toilet? Toilets that require less water are very popular these days, as they save you money and improve the environment with each and every flush. Now, if you want to buy one of these, then it is imperative that you look to see what is out there. I highly recommend staying away from toilets that are priced too high, because in reality they do the same thing as ones that are at and under $300. This is why I have decided to share with you the best 3 water saving toilets under $300.

Niagara’s Power One HET – This is one of the best water saving toilets on the market today. The benefit of the Niagara Power One is that it only used 1 gallon of water per flush. This is more than 70% lower than the typical 3.5 gallons per flush toilets. Something that I believe you will like is that this looks like the typical toilet, except it uses much less water and costs a fraction of what other high priced water saving toilets cost.

Kohler 3611 Highline – This specific toilet offers Kohlers Comfort Height system, which means that you are at the right height for optimum comfort. Many toilets don’t offer this and that is why this is so special. Something that I like about the Kohler 3611 is that it only uses 1.28 gallons per flush and costs around $250. Depending on where you will buy this toilet, the cost could be a little higher or a little lower. This is the toilet that I have and when I bought it online it ran me roughly $235.

Kohler EcoSmart – As the name says, the EcoSmart toilet is perfect for all you Eco-friendly people. This toilet uses a little over 1 gallon per flush and has the Kohler guarantee.

All 3 of these water saving toilets are great, so choose one that you like and buy it. Remember, it is better to spend a little more one a toilet now, in return for saving money on water usage each and every year.

Five Great Vacuum Cleaners Under $200

Dirt-Devil-Dynamite

The vacuum cleaner is a staple in just about every American household, and we all expect it to do its job and do it well for the health of our families. Some companies however are advertising powerful vacuums that cost more than we would spend on a used car. It can leave you wondering if it is even possible to get a vacuum that can really get the place clean. Well today we are going to cover five vacuums that do that for you, all for under $200!

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series

This upright bagless vacuum cleaner comes in at an easy breezy $99 if purchased through Amazon. It features all the cleaning power of Hoovers WindTunnel technology along with sporting a 27 foot cord to make it easy to reach everywhere you need to go. Unlike many vacuums in this price range this one even has a filter made with HEPA materials to help remove allergens while cleaning.

Eureka Boss SmartVac

If anyone in your house suffers from allergies this powerhouse of a vacuum is what your looking for. It features a true HEPA closed filtration system that sucks in and traps even the tiniest and most pervasive of allergens. It also comes with a special tool for removing pet hair and dander, which is great for those of us who won’t give up out cats despite the itching and sneezing fits that come with them.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum

Just squeezing in to our price range at $199.99 through Amazon, the shark is worth it all the way through the last penny. Featuring an impressive amount of suction power combined with HEPA filtration that traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens, this vacuum keeps on coming with the features. It even features an attachment for cleaning hard floors.

Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum

Speaking of hard floors this vacuum specialized in just that. Not only will this one suck up all the loose dirt and grime it converts into a wet cleaner allowing you to vacuum and mop that tile with one machine. It just doesn’t get any better than that folks.

Dirt Devil Dynamite

This one comes in nicely at the low end of the price range with a tag of only $51.54. However don’t let the low price fool you, this vacuum will easily tackle your toughest messes. It is incredibly light weight and easy to move too, only weighing in at nine pounds. For anyone who has ever tried to drag a dinosaur of a vacuum around, you know how much the weigh of a vacuum can add to the energy it takes to use it.