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April 25, 2008

KitchenAid Blender KSB560

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Our KitchenAid KSB560BW blender (Blue Willow color) is definitely the most used appliance in our kitchen. I actually found a refurbished KSB560 blender for under 70$ on eBay and it works fine and comes with a warranty just like a new one. The amount of vegetables and fruit in my diet has shot up since purchasing this. It has also been a great way for our newborn to avoid the unnecessary sugars and additives of canned baby food. With a very powerful blender like the KSB560 it is easy to puree fresh vegetables and fruit with any combination of milk, yogurt, juice, protein whey, flax seed, etc.

KitchenAid products are built sturdy and have some weight to them - the KSB560 blender is no exception as you can tell the base has a solid motor within. The Polycarbonate Jar cleans up well and is unbreakable, and you can take part of the lid off for adding ingredients or stirring. It is nice to have the blade within the jar as one as there is no leakage. After the blender is used, just fill it up halfway with hot water and put the lid on. Hit the stir and then blend button to watch the blender get clean.

Despite all the handy features, the value in this blender like any top end one is that you will mix a smooth smoothie. No chunks of fruit / vegetables left over - just start off slowing blending and then work up to puree for maximum power. Check eBay to save over 100$ with the best KitchenAid KSB560 blender deals as there are dozens of colors to choose from to make it work with your kitchen counter.

April 18, 2008

Dyson DC21 Stowaway Canister Vacuum Review

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When this came out a few years back we picked this up as we were eager to see how a Dyson Stowaway Canister Vacuum would perform. It was well over the 500$ price tag it is now but a few convenient features were evident right from the start.

As you push this around you will immediately be able to see the difference compared to an upright vacuum. It requires less effort to move around and has a lot of the features that newer Dyson models have to improve suction and aid it in maneuvering.

The ball technology allows for easy winding around corners in the house or around furniture, beds, etc. Once you get the hang of how it moves you'll grow to love the convenience of it compared to static vacuums that do not move, and features like this along with the powerful brushes for intense carpet cleaning are available with the use of foot controls.

The suction power is the same as any other Dyson. Especially with the lower brush, the power of the Dyson can clean the deepest depths of any carpet. If you are vacuuming rugs be sure to use your foot as leverage for these rugs so that they do not get caught within the power of this vacuum! Ensuring the success of the Dyson power is effortless, with the forever lasting HEPA filter and an easy to empty and clean bin.

Newer Dyson model vacuums like this Dyson DC21 Stowaway Canister Vacuum are becoming even more quiet. It is still a vacuum cleaner and will freak your cats out but for the power this thing wields you would expect something louder. As stated above cleanup is easy with the bin, though you do have to empty it often because it is rather small for the large amount of dust / dirt this monster picks up. Putting it away is easy as the cord is retractable and you can just wrap the attachments up and put it in a closet.

We have a pet related website and it is amazing because when we run polls for which vacuums dog / cat users prefer at any given time, over 80% are using Dyson vacuums. With persistent cat hair that is a daily issue, cheaper vacuums just do not have the power to sustain the amount of hair over time that is picked up, if they can even handle it at all.

There are many other Dyson vacuums that we have purchased over the years, but this is just the first review because this is one of the more recent Dyson's in our inventory and thus fresh in our memory in terms of performance.

April 8, 2008

KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5 Quart Mixer

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It took us a few cheap stand mixers years back for us to consider a KitchenAid artisan stand mixer. The reviews were always 5 stars but these mixers were 300$ or more back then and we really did not have too much use for them. Now though even the 5 quart Artisan Series is around 200$ and there is more a need than ever since we make our own bread / pizza dough. The dough hook attachment does wonders and there are a ton of other attachments like the juicer. You would be surprised how much money you save in the long run getting bulk ingredients to make your own healthy bread (we put Flax Seed in everything).

KitchenAid products earn instant respect as they are still made in America and you can tell by the quality and weight of their products. In turn it is built to last for a lifetime and you can see this in how long the warranties are for these products.

In terms of functionality the mixer is very simple. So long as you don't put massive amounts of ingredients in it (get the KitchenAid professional mixer if the 5 quart is not big enough) you will be able to see the mixer do the job by itself with no assistance from you. Compared to a handheld mixer the KitchenAid stand mixers process thoroughly. Everything is mixed evenly and in an orderly manner so you won't need a spatula to push the ingredients further in like a lot of cheap mixers.

The only real complaint one will find in reviews about these mixers is that they leave ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. When you buy one and read the instructions, they give directions as to how to lower / raise the adjustment screw at the bottom. So when you read a comment like that you will know it is from someone who bought the KitchenAid 5 quart stand mixer and did not read the directions.

April 6, 2008

Bissell 5770 Healthy Home Bagless Upright Vacuum Review

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After our Hoover Windtunnel s3765 (but before our Dyson vacuums) we had a Bissell 5770 Healthy Home Bagless Upright Vacuum. At the time we were growing tired of the Hoover Windtunnel since it was losing the suction that made it good initially. Once we saw the normally 350$ Bissell 5770 Healthy Home Vacuum on sale for just under 200$ on eBay we decided to take a shot since the Bissell 5770 Healthy Home vacuum review we read have been positive about this particular vacuum.

We've owned it for a few years and the suction has not subsided. It may not have the suction power of a Dyson but keep in mind you are paying half the price or less than that. For us it was used daily for a time and in turn was cleaned and emptied all the time too, so if you take care of it you will get long lasting power. Emptying the Bissell 5770 can take some getting used to because you will need to use both hands, but the reviews of dust and dirt spilling all over users when they empty seems a little unlikely to us (even first using it). If you empty it often you will have no troubles. Also the brush features are handy and won't rip your carpet up since the brush is not super long.

The light on the vacuum proves useful when vacuuming in the basement (or anywhere dark). Post-vacuuming it also smells fresh and the vacuum runs relatively quiet, for a high-powered vacuum. The Bissell 5770 Home Healthy Bagless is a heavy machine, no doubt. It is hard for my lady to lug around up and down stairs. But when the Bissell 5770 gets to wherever needs to be vacuumed, it gets the job done. The weight actually helps press down and suck out more dirt / dust deep within a carpet.