A Review: Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker

As you know, I am a Mom Ambassador Blogger for Moms Meet. And I happen to love to cook, especially for my kids. So I jumped at the chance to try out and review the Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker. I have used another baby food making appliance (different brand) and was anxious to see how this model compared. Let me tell you, I LOVE it!

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The Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker was super simple to set up and use right out of the box. I did a little unpacking and it came fully set up which made me happy. It came with very detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures. Who doesn’t love that? They even included recipes from world-famous child nutrition expert Annabel Karmel to get you started.

The Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker steams and blends food for quick, nutritious meals in two easy steps. There are also two texture options – smooth or chunky – so you can continue to make age appropriate purees as your child grows. You can even use it to make smoothies for the whole family. It’s dishwasher safe but I found it just as easy to clean with warm soapy water myself. It literally took 2 seconds and it was clean.

My kids were sick with a stomach bug the week I had set aside to make up a few recipes. I thought I’d have to wait and then I remembered BRAT diet includes apples and bananas! I made this apple banana puree and neither was willing to eat it (or anything else for that matter) but I certainly thought it was delicious.

Apple Banana Puree
(makes 2 servings)

1 large apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks

Place all fruit in the steamer basket and fill the water reservoir to level 3. Turn on steam function.  When fruit is finished steaming, remove steamer basket and set aside. Pour remaining water into a heat safe bowl or glass (I used a glass measuring cup) and set aside. Pour steamed fruit into blender basket. Blend and add water until you reach desired consistency.

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I was really impressed with the consistency of the puree, it was exactly like that of a store bought jar. For those of you who have made baby food before, you know that’s a hard thing to achieve. The other model I’ve used in the past was not nearly as smooth. I also really like that it beeps as soon as it’s done steaming. This is a nice feature for a scatterbrained Mom like me. I can totally see myself turning it on to steam and walking away to do something else, forgetting about it and leaving it all day long. I appreciate a beep!

I also pureed a lasagna casserole that we had eaten for dinner earlier in the week. This is something that I did with both of my girls when they were in the baby food stage and plan to do with our (very soon to be!) next one. Even with the best effort we never are able to eat all of our leftovers and this was a great way to introduce our girls as babies to what we were eating as a family. I believe it is a big part of why they are so willing to eat such diverse foods today. The Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker stood up to the challenge and produced yet another super smooth puree from my casserole. I added milk to it but you could also add breast milk or water. I would do the same with spaghetti or any other casserole. I was really impressed and can’t wait to make purees for our next addition when she is ready!

I’m excited about the optional accessories as well. The freezer containers that I used with my girls are very well used and need to be replaced. I love the options available from Freshfoods! My favorites are the Freezer Tray, Stackable Cubes and the Fill & Freeze Pops. I know my girls would love the pops so that will be my first purchase. They’re a great size and they have a drip catching design which speaks to the clean freak in me.

You can get more information about The Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker by visiting www.Nukfreshfoods.com or Facebook.com/nukUSA. And even more exciting, you can get a $20 coupon for The Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker or a $1 coupon for any Freshfoods accessory here.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinions on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Snow Paint

We are having yet another snow day here. Just what we all wanted, right? UGH. So far we haven’t lost power (crossing my fingers) but more snow is expected today so I’m sure it won’t be long.

Since we were all clearly misinformed that it is now SPRING, I decided to embrace the weather and give snow painting a try with the girls this morning. Like the preschoolers say, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” Not throwing a fit. Not throwing a fit.

I’ve been wanting to try this since Caroline posted about snow painting with her kids. So much fun! I mixed one part plain shaving cream with one part glue in a styrofoam bowl (so I could throw it away afterwards).

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Of course we had to have one for each because who shares anymore?

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Maddie was psyched to put her entire hand in the snow paint and got to painting right away. We were supposed to be making snowmen but she was equally enthusiastic about the snow hand prints she created.

IMG_6070Ellorie was super excited to snow paint and kept running back into the kitchen asking me “Is it ready yet, is it ready yet???” But once she had paint on her fingers it was a different story. Let’s just say she wasn’t too thrilled about getting her hands dirty. This COMPLETELY surprised me since she’s totally the dirty kid in our family. She always has something all over her face or all in her hair. She’s that kid. Little did I know she wasn’t exactly embracing this title.

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The kids had a blast and made some really fun artwork. I was happy because snow paint is super easy to make AND clean up. This was definitely a really fun activity and one that we will do again. Thanks Caroline for the idea!

 

Yard Progress & Crown

A big surprise to me, this happened yesterday…. I’m SO excited!

Pardon the trim across the walk way. Can you guess what’s happening in our house today??

Andy used an edging tool that he bought from Lowes to better define our mulch beds. Then he filled them up with fresh mulch.

Here is the before picture from a few months ago. We hadn’t mulched since we had planned to dig up the old plants and the grass had become overgrown through the liriope. Our mulch was half mud and half grass/weeds. Lovely huh?

I’m psyched because this means even less money that we’ll have to pay to a landscaper, woohoo! We still need plants and bushes but this is a huge improvement (eeeee!). A BIG thanks to the Hubs and his parents for all of their hard work yesterday. You guys rock!

And this is what I came home to today… eeee!

I can’t say that I had anything to do with this project other than successfully keeping the kids away from the power tools for the better part of the day. Although, the second we got home Ellorie was half way up the ladder (big surprise!). A HUGE thanks to the Hubs and his Mom for all of their hard work this morning. We are moving much closer to having this area finally finished! Life is good 🙂

Happy Friday!

In the works this weekend

We have been crazy people lately! School started, we went to the beach (yay!), we have had tons of things going on…. and absolutely none of them have involved doing any kind of work in our house. Now to be fair, we’ve at least cleaned it, done laundry, trash, etc. You know, all of those required things. But our to-do list has just been sitting there collecting dust.

That all changes this week! The hubs has agreed to put up crown moulding in the dining room and kitchen area on Friday while I keep the kids out of the house and away from the power tools. I can’t wait for this because as you can see, we were lazy smart and only painted the part of the wall that we knew wouldn’t have crown covering it. And it’s been sitting like this for.a.month. Not my favorite but it’s being fixed Friday. Can’t wait!

And we have big plans for the kitchen as well. The hubs is going to continue the crown over the cabinets through the kitchen. And my most favorite part, we’re going to finally have a finished wall instead of this ugly mess that we’ve been living with for almost 2 years. Ok, so it was actually a big open hole for over a year and it’s been looking like this for about 6 months (pardon the dishes in the sink… remember, we’ve been lazy!).

Our plan is to take off the huge laminate backsplash and replace it with shiny white subway tile. Like this:

I think it will really brighten up our kitchen after losing the window that used to be over our sink prior to the addition. We will also put a mirror over the breakfast table to reflect a little more light into the space.

Two shelves like these over at Young House Love are next on the list to go over the kitchen sink. Ours will be a bit smaller but you get the idea.

And we can’t forget our awesome light from Ballard. The one we bought last year that’s been sitting in it’s box in the closet since? Yea, that one. It’s going above the sink as well.

I can’t wait for all of this to be done! I’m so excited to be a bit closer to finally having a finished kitchen.

In addition to keeping the little ones away from power tools, I will be on the phone calling landscapers this week as we’ve finally decided to just go ahead and let someone else take on that work. We had originally planned to do it all ourselves and I had this big plan to research everything that I wanted but we keep putting it off and putting it off and we really just need to get it over with. Here’s hoping we can find a good landscaper who doesn’t cost a fortune!

Have you got big plans for the weekend? Hope you have a good one!

 

Hello Camo!

Things are a changing ’round here! Two hours at a time at least 😉

Goodbye “Dofflemyer Green” (guess it should be Meyers Green now?) and Hello Benjamin Moore Camouflage! It has really brightened up our space and will make it so much easier to decorate with color. Andy plans to put up crown molding as well. Can’t wait for it to be done!

Nearly Finished Night Stand

I finally moved my night stand off of the kitchen island into it’s proper home yesterday. It has been sitting either on the kitchen island or in our office on my sewing table half finished for a few weeks. It was about time!

I painted it Annie Sloan Old White, two coats, and washed it with French Linen. I waxed it with clear wax and let it sit for 24 hours before moving it into our bedroom. I love how it turned out! I had planned to distress it but I’m not sure now that I will.

I think it goes well with our space and our bedding without being matchy matchy.

Although I’m going to have to rethink how I had my previous night stand styled. My mirror is way too big now! I’m thinking I’ll hang it on the wall partially below the nightstand to reduce some of it’s height. We’ll see what happens. As helpful as they are, I need more than just my two toddlers here with me to try out mirror heights 😉

I’m hoping to wash my dresser in Duck Egg at some point today but it might not happen this afternoon since I have a sewing lesson (yay!) during nap time. I can’t wait! Surely my house needs some window treatments and pillows and table runners and…..

Happy Tuesday!

 

Dresser Sneak Peek

We needed a dresser for our master bedroom since I sold our other one and I really wanted something I could paint and make my own. This dresser had been sitting in my parents’ basement for  years because my 20-year-old self didn’t like it… I know, what was WRONG with me? It’s gorgeous! And free (woohoo!)… so here we are!

I sprayed Zinsser Bullseye Shellac all over it and inside since I wasn’t sure if it had ever been cleaned with Pledge or an old orange cleaner. Both can really ruin any kind of paint and the Shellac is an awesome trick that the girls at Studio Eleven taught me in class if you are in doubt.  It goes on really easily but make sure you open some windows, it stinks!

I let it dry and put it all back together because I forgot to take pictures of it in one piece. Gorgeous, huh? I love it!

My favorite part, the sassy little feet!

This detail is why my 20-year-old self didn’t like the dresser and why it sat unloved in the basement for so long. I had every intention of covering it up with wood filler before I took the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Class. It really is the perfect kind of detail to paint with chalk paint and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, especially after washing and waxing.

I actually really like the original hardware and I’m going to paint right over it per Annie’s Way.

I tried out two options before slapping paint on the dresser. Option 1 (left) is two coats of Duck Egg washed with French Linen and waxed with a little Old White mixed in. Option 2 (right) is two coats of French Linen washed with Duck Egg and waxed with a little Old White mixed in.

I love both and had a really hard time choosing. The Hubs and I discussed it and ended up going with Option 2 since we felt like Option 1 would have been better on a smaller piece of furniture. It’s beautiful but it would just be too much blue and would compete with our bed which we wanted to be the focal point of our bedroom. Plus, if we ever wanted to change our bedding there is a far greater chance of a gray dresser coordinating than a blue one.

I slapped on one coat of French Linen this afternoon while the girls slept. Here are the drawers…

It definitely needs a second coat but I’m loving it so far!

The details look so much better with Chalk Paint. Then again, doesn’t everything?

I’m hoping to have time for a second coat during nap tomorrow since I need daylight to paint well. So fun!

Did you paint anything this weekend?

Chalk Paint Chairs

I have been painting away this week! I just love how easy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is to work with. I am nothing close to a professional but all of the pieces still look great because the product is just that awesome.

My Mom bought these two chairs at an estate sale a few weeks ago. This week they got two coats of French Linen and one coat of wash with Old White. The one on the right is just French Linen, the one on the left has been washed with Old White. I washed them both in Old White but thought I would take a picture of the difference before I finished. Love my little ballerina “helping” me take pictures on the right.

A little closer… It’s not a huge difference in the picture but it really is in person. The white wash really tones down the gray and I think it makes the chair look old. I love how it turned out. And would you believe that I used the sludge from soaking my paint brushes to wash it with??? Great tip from the Studio Eleven girls!

A close view from the top, you can see more of a difference in this picture. I bought fabric today to make cushions for the seats but I don’t love it now that I’ve got it home against the chairs. I need something in the gray family with a very faint stripe similar to ticking but with far fewer stripes and more of an old look.

This beauty is up next, my new night stand! This is the before. Since taking this picture I painted Duck Egg Blue on the detail and in a few spots on the drawers and then covered the entire piece with two coats of Old White. I’m thinking I’ll try a wash of French Linen and see how it turns out. I am really loving this look! I didn’t spray Shellac inside the piece and I really should have as it was clearly stained but never sealed in there and it turned pink through my Old White paint. Not exactly what I was going for but easily fixable with some more Shellac and paint.

And check out the headboard I scored on Craigslist yesterday morning! A guy in my neighborhood was listing this and I couldn’t pass it up. Solid wood from Pottery Barn for $50, yes please! You’ll have to ignore the fact that our guest room has never been touched and I’m still using a chair as a night stand since I stole them one from this room when I sold all of our bedroom furniture… It will get worked on one day!

Awesomeness! Eeeee!

 

Chalk Paint Progress

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I’ve been painting pretty much every chance I’ve had this week.

Last week I started out with the coffee table in our basement as my “practice” piece. It turned out fine but it really wasn’t the best choice to paint with any kind of paint. It has big open slots in the bottom where the side slats meet and I really should have caulked them. Honestly, I didn’t love this table as it was so I didn’t exactly care how it turned out. I just wanted to practice and I figured it couldn’t look any worse with a coat of paint on it. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint definitely makes everything look better, right? I’m planning to distress it a little more once I buy the right sand paper. The kind I have at home is way to rough and just sands straight down to the wood. I painted one coat of French Linen and then two coats of Old White and planned to distress to reveal bits of French Linen. (Pardon the poor lighting in the basement. And the books on top, just keepin’ it real!)

I am absolutely in LOVE with this chair. I moved it into our bedroom and I just can’t stand how happy it makes me. Eeeee!

The detail on top turned out really well. I may end up distressing the seat and legs a little more. Love! (Can you tell I started trying out new paint colors in the kitchen…)

I bought this little bench at an estate sale on Monday with my Mom for $10 (or it could have been $8, I don’t remember). It had an ugly purple velvet cushion on top but it was easily removable.

Here’s how it looks with one quick coat of Duck Egg Blue. LOVE! Also going in our bedroom…

I’m going to recover the cushion with one of these fabrics. I’m still having trouble deciding. I may go with the burlap and put a stencil on the top in gray or black. Maybe something document looking?

Here it is after one coat of clear wax. Let me tell you, it was WAY easier to wax than my chair if you can only imagine… Note the mirror that it’s sitting on, painted in Old White. I stink and forgot to take a before picture. Just imagine really dark wood, just like the little bench.

I love the detail in the top but I need to get a smaller brush to get in the spaces up there. As you can see I missed quite a few!

The mirror needs a coat of wax after some touch up in the top detail portion and then she’s going up in our bathroom over the bath tub. Can’t wait!

Hope you’re having a fun week so far!

My Newest Obsession – Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

I realize I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. You can blame it on Studio Eleven and their Annie Sloan Chalk Paint class at The Covesville Store. I took their class, Annie’s Way (SO FUN, thanks Elisa and Sarah!!), and I’m pretty sure I’ve had Chalk Paint on at least one body part and/or in my hair ever since. No worries, I got plenty on my furniture as well!

I’ve been collecting pieces to fix up and paint at yard sales and off of Craigslist. Basically, anything beautiful and cheap that was available in this town is now living in our basement. Andy told me on Friday that I really had to stop, ha!

I bought this chair off of a lady on Craigslist, gorgeous isn’t it? I’m planning on painting it and trying my hand at reupholstery.

This one I bought at a yard sale and it’s next on the list to get an update. It has beautiful detail in the top and it’s a great first try at reupholstery project. It’s super simple. I’m thinking Old White and maybe a burlap seat or something similar? I have a few beautiful pieces of fabric in mind.

This one came from the same yard sale. The lady said it was a sewing chair and there is a little storage area under the seat. It should be pretty simple to recover as well.

I love this table, it came from that same yard sale. I wish red went with my house because I love the way it’s already painted. Gorgeous!

My Mom picked up these chairs at an auction for me on Friday. She rocks! Aren’t they cute? I’m going to make little cushions for them and of course, paint them with Chalk Paint!

I bought this dresser off of Craigslist and was hoping to use it as a night stand. It ended up being a little taller than I expected but I still really like it. I’m thinking a fun bright color with a good bit of distressing?

This dresser also came off of Craigslist and I’m not sure if I’m going to paint it or not. It ended up not being solid wood but for only $7 (yes, $7!) I couldn’t pass it up. It has gorgeous lines and I think it will make a great piece to practice on. I just wonder about distressing it. I’ll have to be really careful not to go too far down.

My Mom had this chair sitting in her office the other day when I went over the pick up the other two she got at the auction. It is the PERFECT chair to paint in old while with that detail on the top. Head on over to my Facebook page to check it out painted!

As you can see from the above picture, I have been painting all of this in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. The paint is very low VOC and has absolutely no smell. We even had a dance party the other morning while painting the coffee table from the basement. I’ll post a picture of that when I can remember to take a picture. Obviously it takes a little longer to paint a piece when you have kids running circles around you but it’s still awesome to have the option.

I’ve pretty much been painting anything I can get my hands on: chairs, coffee tables, frames, clocks…. It’s SO fun!