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!

 

Holiday Cards & Tiny Prints Giveaway

***This giveaway is now closed***

Wow. Am I the only one wondering how we’ve somehow made it to October already? How is it already time (or past time in my case) to be scheduling photo sessions with photographers and ordering Holiday cards? This year has really flown by and like it or not the holidays are right around the corner. I seriously cannot believe it!

I am super excited to be working with Tiny Prints again this year for our Holiday Cards. They have an awesome program for bloggers where they give me my holiday cards in exchange for me spreading the word about their holiday cards. I always order my cards from Tiny Prints as well as all of our invitations, birth announcements, etc. Their customer service is amazing and their products never disappoint. They totally rock and I’m happy to spread the word since I already love them 🙂

I started looking at designs this afternoon and (not surprisingly) they have SUCH cute options. Here are a few (or 6, or 7) of my favorites:

Who doesn’t love Chevron? I know I do!

This one is classy and preppy, both high on my list.

I love the bubbles and that it simply says “Merry.” Super cute!

Again, I’m drawn to the chevron. I really like the little ornament card option too. What a cute idea!

This one is a contender for favorite for sure. I love glitter and the colors are so bright and fun.

Although I’m thinking this one one will be the winner. There is an option to reverse the colors so that everything red is green and everything green is red. I prefer the card that way and I absolutely love the paper bag like paper. The hubby agrees, this card is perfect!

Have you started looking for cards yet? Am I the only one who just started thinking about this? Guess I’d better get on the ball!

***GIVEAWAY***
Super cool – You could get some free holiday cards too! I get to give away a $50 Tiny Prints gift certificate to one lucky reader! Here are four ways to enter this awesome giveaway:

1. Check out the Holiday Cards at Tiny Prints and leave me a comment below with your favorite design.
2. “Like” Tiny Prints on Facebook and leave me an additional comment below telling me so.
3. “Like” Made In Earlysville on Facebook and leave me an additional comment below telling me so.
4. “Follow” Made In Earlysville on Twitter and leave me an additional comment below telling me so.

The giveaway is open until October 29, 2012 at midnight. The winner will be contacted by email so make sure you leave yours when you comment. Good luck!

And for those of you who don’t win the contest but still love discounts (like me!) you can check out the Special Offers page for more great deals: http://www.tinyprints.com/promo/tiny-prints-coupon-codes-promotions.htm.

10 Free Thank You Cards From Tiny Prints!

Tiny Prints 10 Free Thank You Cards

For one week only, you can get 10 FREE thank you cards from Tiny Prints. All you pay is shipping (as low as $3.50).

Just use the promo code FREETHANKS when you check out and pay the shipping and Tiny Prints will send the 10 cards right away. I love Tiny Prints and I am super excited about FREE Tiny Prints!

Visit Tiny Prints now to take advantage of this deal. Yay free!

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!

 

Tea Collection: Back to School

I had a great opportunity to get some of the super cute items from Tea Collection’s new fall line and I just had to share. I rarely buy clothes for my girls since my sister totally rocks and passes down all of her daughter’s thing (lots of Tea, of course!) but I made an exception here. Tea Collection makes such nice quality things that you would never know that a dress has been handed down between several cousins (or more!). They hold up and still look new wash after wash. Not to mention they’re crazy cute, comfortable, and my girls love them.

Here is what I got for my girls:


Tea Collection Sanga 4 Piece Set


Tea Collection Butterfly Dot Dress


Tea Collection Mikko Floral Bubble Dress

The box came in the mail last week and the girls were practically ripping the dresses out of my hands as I pulled them out. One look at the butterflies and they were pulling their clothes off and putting the new dresses on. They crack me up these two, little fashionistas!

Here they are in the Tea Collection Floral Vine Dress. They dressed up to match their cousin Eva for dinner with a little dance party mixed in. So fun! They love their dresses and keep asking me if they can wear them again and again. Thanks Tea Collection!

Just in time for back to school shopping Tea Collection will give you 10% off of your first order if you sign up for their emails AND shipping is free on orders over $150.

Happy Shopping!

Huggies Diapers for $2.33 at CVS!

This week CVS is running a deal where if you buy $30 worth of participating baby products you will get $10 ECB. This promotion includes Huggies and Pampers and a number of other things as well. They are also still running the sale from last week on CVS brand and Huggies Jeans diapers. They were marked as 2/$10 but I took them up to the CVS Coupon Center and rung them up to see the price at $5.99. This made for a really great deal when combined with the ECB deal this week.

Here’s how it works:
Buy 6 jumbo packs of Huggies Jeans Diapers at $5.99 each = $29.95 (it still works)
Use 6 $2/1 Huggies Diapers (6/17 SS) = $3.99 each
Your total will be $23.94 + tax out of pocket and you will get back $10 ECB!

That’s $13.94 for 6 packs or $2.33 each after your ECB!

I was pumped to find this deal when I went this week and it was even nicer since I came with $5 ECB from last week. Hopefully this is going on at your CVS!

$2 Super Doubles at Harris Teeter!

I had a FANTASTIC shopping trip today at Harris Teeter and had to share! They are doubling coupons up to $2.00 instead of their regular $1.98 during Super Doubles week. There are a ton of $2.00 coupons out there so this makes for a really fun week! A few things are missing from my picture above (the other 2 cases of Propel, the bread, etc.) but this is most of it.

Here is a list of what I got this morning:
Chex Mix: 2 @ 1.39 – .50/2 = .39 ea
Kashi Granola Bars: 2 @ 2.99 – 2/1 Recylcebank = 2 FREE!
Kashi Cereal: 2 @ 2.99 – 2/1 Recyclebank = 2 FREE!
Gain Detergent: 1 @ 4.97 – 1/1 P&G & 1/1 eVic = 1.97
Bounty Napkins: 1 @ 2.35 – 1/1 Vocalpoint (sent to my home) = .35
Bounty Paper Towel: 1 @ 2.59 – 1/1 Vocalpoint (sent to my home) = .59
Propel Fitness Water: 3 @ 3.00 – 1/1 (Washington Post) = 1.00 ea
Bear Naked Granola: 1 @ 5.19 – 5.00 (Free up to $5.00, Stonyfield Rewards)  
Fruity Pebbles: 1 @ 2.00 – .55/1 = 1.10
Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion: 1 @ 3.29 – 2/1 = FREE
Aveeno Baby Wash: 2 @ 5.89 -2/1 = 1.89 ea
Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns: 6 @ 1.19 – $1/2 = .19 ea
International Delight Iced Coffee: 1 @ 3.99 – 2/1 Vocalpoint (mailed to my home) = FREE
Neosporin: 1 @ 5.49 – 2/1 = 1.49
Nature’s Own Bread: 1 @ 1.99 (no coupons, just for lunch today!)

Total Value: $74.52
Total Spent Out of Pocket: $20.47

The total value above reflects the on-sale prices of the items that I purchased plus tax. I didn’t take the time to look up what the regular prices were but I’m guessing you could add another $30ish to my number and you’d be close. All of my coupons except for the free Bare Naked Granola one doubled up to $4.00 off of each item (craziness!). My receipt says I saved $86.28 in coupons plus $27.98 in VIC savings.

Now I will warn you, the $2.00 double coupons sounds really appealing and there are A LOT of $2.00 off coupons out there right now. They are not all a very good deal, in fact many of the products are more expensive to buy right now with the $4.00 off that you would get after your coupon doubled than if you just purchased them without a coupon during a regular sale. Or better yet save that coupon and use it when your item is on sale! That said, there are still many great deals to be had this week and I totally plan on heading back over there tomorrow for more!

Have fun!