How To Eat Healthier : Black & Decker Steamer

This IS The Steamer You Are Looking For

If you follow the Eat To Live Diet, or other similar low fat, high nutrient diets, I’ll bet you’ve been told that you need to need a lot of steamed vegetables. And I mean a lot – cups and cups a day. It was a huge pain for us to get a pot going, boil water, put the steamer basket in, put in the vegetables, track the time, and take them out when done. Well, this puppy does all that and more much more easily. Basically you fill it with water, put on the baskets, put the vegetables in the basket, then turn the timer dial to the amount of time you want the vegetables to steam. There is a handy guide in the box which give you an idea of how long to steam stuff. For example, the other day we had a bunch of leftover Swiss Chard from our organic weekly veg delivery and didn’t know what to do with it – so we put it in the steamer and set it to spinach. Fifteen minutes later – retro DING! – and it was done. Toss it in a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and bam delicious and nutritious meal – or side dish. If you are looking for a steamer (it cooks rice and eggs too) this is the one you want!: Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer with Flavor Scenter Screen

For healthy, delicious meals in minutes, this countertop appliance can cook rice while simultaneously steaming vegetables, meat, or seafood. It provides a large 4-quart steam basket and a 5-cup rice bowl, as well as a built-in egg holder for cooking eggs. Simply set the adjustable countdown timer by turning the knob to the right for up to 75 minutes of cooking time. It will automatically shut-off and signal when the cooking time has ended. The units water window makes it easy to check the water level at a glance, and an external water-fill inlet allows for conveniently adding water anytime during operation. Even more, a unique built-in flavor-scenter screen provides added versatility; add herbs and spices and their flavor will infuse into the food. Other highlights include durable construction, a drip tray, and an easy-to-clean design. The food steamer measures approximately 12-1/5 by 9-1/5 by 10-2/5 inches.

via Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer with Flavor Scenter Screen: Kitchen & Dining.

Why You Should Never Opt For The Extended Warranty

FAIL: Almost Immediately Or Never

So I’ve worked with PC’s since their infancy back in the 80s and I can tell you two things to expect from most electronics and failure:

  1. It will fail right out of the box or
  2. It will last a very long time

Sure there are exceptions, but most of the time whenever I work with anything, be it a PC, stereo equipment, TV’s, pretty much most anything will either fail immediately, or  never. The other day Kitty was plugging in a brand new conference phone into a conference room at her office and it was completely dead. No lights, tone nothing. That was an out of the box fail. On the other hand, I have computers that have lasted forever, and I only scrapped them because they were out of date.

So basically what this means is that in all likelihood that there is no need to buy that “extended warranty” – your new device will most likely either fail within the regular warranty period, or far outlast its usefulness. Take it from experience, you don’t need it.

How To Light Your Way : LED Battery Powered Motion Sensor Lights

I’ve recently become a huge fan of these lights – one day I was just thinking to myself: LED lights are cool because they use so little power, motion sensors are cool because they only go on when they  sense human beings nearby (some of the even cooler ones not only sense motion but also heat, so that you don’t have to flail your arms around every time it goes off when you are in the room – it can sense your body temperature and remain on even if you are just sitting there watching TV or typing up a blog post). Someone should combine these things and while they are at it, make them battery powered so that they can be mounted anywhere, easily in seconds. So of course, someone did it.

There’s a number of different styles, these particular ones are great for outdoor use, they only go on when its dark as well. Others are great for mounting under cabinets, or for lighting dark hallways so you don’t have to flip on any lights if you need to get up and traverse the hallway.

If you as me – this is the future of lighting – compact long lasting easily placeable lighting. Now all we need is some super cool designs and here I come, Dwell Magazine…

Designed for indoor or outdoor use, the Fulcrum 20031-101 is a motion sensor and LED porch light in one compact unit. Equipped with six LEDs, the porch light can detect movement within a 25-foot range and at a 100-degree angle to provide instant security to any area in or around your home. The light also rotates so its cool, bright white light can illuminate all dark areas. To preserve battery power, photocell technology prevents the light from turning on during the daytime. The porch light requires no hardwiring and comes with all necessary mounting hardware. It runs on four C batteries not included.

via Fulcrum 20031-101 Motion Sensor LED Porch Light, Silver: Home Improvement.

How To Destinkify Gymbags

Powerful Stuff

I’m not even sure that really is a word, but it definitely is something that you need. My kids now both take an MMA class each day – that means a gym bag with headgear, boxing gloves, shin pads, a cup, mouth guard and Gi each. And boy, is it ever a good workout – they get home dripping with sweat and like all teenage boys, a bit ripe. For the longest time, we had a tough time getting the smell out of the gymbags, looking high and low for some solution which works – we eventually came across some sneaker balls which did not look up to the task of destroying the odors emanating from those bags. I mean, you had to drive back with the windows open – if we could have strapped them to the top of the car we would have. But then while we were looking at the sneaker balls we thought – what else is rank? Being a few years separated from diapering duties, we’d completely forgotten about nursery deodorizers, so we picked up a pack of these Munchkin Nursery Fresheners, Baking Soda with Lavender Scent, 5 ct. and thought maybe we could put three in one bag and two in the other and see if it worked. We didn’t even need that many – one of these bad boys in each bag did the trick.

How To Properly Stock Your Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet necessities

Are you one of those parents that have been in a car at 3am looking for a pharmacy that had cold remedies for your sick child. Worst is when they are with you because you can’t leave them at home alone. The solution??? Keeping a stocked medicine cabinet at all times… cold season or not.

This exercise will save you time, energy and money.  Time and energy because you are not going out at 3am. Money because you can purchase and stock up when the items are on sale and not purchased at a premium price at 3 am.

My experience as a single mom a few years back made me realize that I was alone one night with a sick child and very little money. I felt desperate and not in control. From that point on I told myself I wouldn’t put myself or my child in that situation again.

Now newly married and 2 more kids in tow, I find that being prepared is an absolute necessity.


Supplies needed for adults and children:

  1. Tylenol or Advil – for all age ranges in the household
  2. Cough syrup and cough drops – for all age ranges in the household daytime and nighttime formulas
  3. Antihistamine for allergic reactions for all age ranges
  4. Wound cleanser – non stinging
  5. Antibiotic cream for cut and burns
  6. Maalox for all age ranges in the household for diarrhea and heartburn
  7. Band-Aids – assorted sizes – non latex
  8. Gauze in a roll and prepackaged squares
  9. Eye drops – tear maker type for cleansing
  10. Aleve – anti inflammatory for sore muscles
  11. Oral rinse
  12. Sunscreen 30 SPF
  13. After sun cream
  14. Vaseline
  15. Lip balm
  16. Hot water bottle

Also, any medication that is needed for anyone in the household…ie. inhalers and nose spray for asthma/allergy, epinephrine (EPI) pens for allergies etc. (check the expiry dates at daylight saving time to keep track of these items)

Try to purchase from only one pharmacy.  The pharmacist can check drug intervention at time of renewal or new prescriptions being added.



Enter The Blendtec!

Will It Blend? Why, yes it will.

So if you read my post on our current diet – I think it might be number 500 – we finally hit a diet that works and works well for both of us – Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Diet. One of the key tenets of that diet is a lot – and he means a whole lot – of greens, mushrooms, onions, beans etc. Most of the diet is vegetables and fruit, and that sometimes gets really boring. If you look at the recipes, however, a tons of them require “a high powered blender” – which seems to be used in every recipe – yes including the ones for cookies, pancakes, brownies, soups and smoothies. So we went on the hunt for a decent blender.

Having scoped out our local Sur La Table, who was pushing either the Vitamix or the Cuisinart (blech – I have never had good luck with anything Cuisinart – which you’ll hear about over time)  just before I was about to pull out my credit card and buy the Vitamix, a wave of sense rolled over me and we decide to do some research.

Internet! What did we do before you? Suffer in anguish terrible purchases? A quick search led us to Blendtec, apparently the blender of choice at Starbucks, possibly Jamba Juice (not 100% sure but it sure looks like them) and of course, the YouTube sensation Will It Blend? (BTW, just in case you are wondering the answer usually is yes)

A few clicks and a few days later, we were the proud owners of a kick ass Blendtec blender. Man, this thing rocks. It’s like a blender designed by engineers – its all pre-programmed with all of these settings and its crazy powerful. It takes almost anything you can throw at is and asks for more. We’ve done most recipes from our diet and it never complains. If you are looking for a blender, this is hands down your best deal. It’s not a cheap ass blender – will run you around $300-$400 but its well worth the price.