Improving The Quality Of Your Cooking Experience

If you are like me then you have one cabinet in your kitchen devoted to small appliances that you never use. I have been guilty too often of getting over excited about something, buying it, using it once, and then putting it away to collect dust. I am talking to you bread making machine. However, once in a while you do run across something that you actually enjoy using regularly and it becomes a mainstay on your countertop. My juicer turned out to be one of those gems and so did my new toaster oven.

I never really did all that much cooking because my full sized oven was something that I tried to steer clear of. It was big, I wasn’t too fond to try and clean it, and eating out was much more convenient. I started to look at my diet and wanted something that could help me change it for the better that wasn’t too much work. I knew that cooking for myself needed to become part of my routine so I started looking into getting a small oven for my kitchen that wasn’t so intimidating to use.

This turned out to be one of the best decisions that I made recently. I spend a lot more time in the kitchen and I am eating a lot better. If you are looking for ways to turn around your diet and explore new recipes then having one of these at your disposal can be a real game changer.


Believe it or not, toaster ovens can make more than just toast. If you have not looked closely at modern countertop ovens then you just might be surprised with everything they can do, especially those with convection cooking features. These are full fledged ovens. You can make just about anything that you can with a big oven, only quicker and more efficiently. Pot roast, full sized chicken, casseroles, baked and broiled ribs, meatloaf, fish, cookies, brownies, cakes, and a lot more. This are very robust cooking appliances even for a family of four.

You are really only limited by your imagination. Of course, something like a large turkey can only be prepared in a full sized oven, but that is just one of the few limits that you have. In the short time that I have had my Breville Smart Oven I have been able to create a number of full meals and side dishes that have surprised both me and my family. The overall versatility of these units is quite astounding and really gives you tremendous value for the money spent.

Healthy Cooking

There are many advantages of cooking for yourself, but one of the major positives is that you are in charge of all of the ingredients. You can really fine tune your recipes to make meals extremely healthy without sacrificing taste. I found that while I was eating a bit more than I usually would because of how much more I was cooking, I was able to lose weight because I was able to skip fats, oils, and ingredients that were not as healthy for me. If you are worried about what your family eats then this is going to be a huge bonus for you.

Savings All Around

Smaller toaster ovens are more energy efficient than that large oven you currently have in your kitchen. If you get one with a convection feature then your cooking times are going to reduced as well. This will give an opportunity to not only save money, but a fair amount of time as well. You will also spend less time having to clean a countertop oven. The benefits of owning one of these machines keep adding up the closer you look at what they can offer you.

Family Time In The Kitchen

One of the other added bonuses that I did not anticipate was how much more time our family spends together, especially in the kitchen. Cooking homemade meals has a way of really bringing everyone closer together. The kids help out and they get to create their own dishes and learn something about cooking for themselves that they can carry with them when they are older. This is perhaps the one thing that I love the most that I never thought about before I owned a toaster oven. It really has been a blessing in this regard.

Break Out The Credit Card

If this all sounds appealing to you and you now what to get one of these ovens for your own kitchen then you may want to know which ones are worth your money. Fortunately, these ovens are not all that expensive when compared to other small appliances. Sure there are some expensive options with high end ovens topping out around $270. There are however several good choices between $100 and $200. If you want a full featured small oven that can roast, bake, broil, toast, reheat, and have a convection cooking option, then you are going to probably spend between $200 and $250.

To find something that fits your budget TurnagainTimes list of the best toaster ovens. You should find a quality option no matter how much you are hoping to spend. Any countertop oven that ranks highly with owners is worthy of consideration for your kitchen.

I cannot recommend getting yourself a toaster oven enough. As you can see, it can have quite a positive impact in so many different areas. It transformed the way that my family and I eat on a daily basis, and I am sure it can have the same impact for you.

A Stroller Built For City Activities That Parents Will Enjoy

The Baby Jogger City Mini, as its name implies, is a wonderful option for those living in urban areas specifically due to its swiveling front wheel, excellent suspension system and folding frame. Implementing a reclining seat that can be adjusted as needed, the stroller provides better comfort than most other models providing an enjoyable riding experience. With a large adjustable canopy that will shield your little one from the sun and weather, this unit also provides superior safety. This Baby Jogger model can be folded for easy transportation and storage, and it comes in a wide selection of colors to suit your needs.

This stroller also offers versatile performance and features a lockable pivoting wheel that can keep your wee one steady and secure. This stroller has been very well received by owners and gets very high ratings and recommendation rates for its overall value, convenience and easy of use. It may not be ranked as the best jogging stroller but it is great for getting around the city at a faster pace. For active parents, it is still a great choice.

If you are looking for a higher end jogger that offers a little better off road performance then just released rankings are an ideal place to find something that suits your needs.

Recommended weight capacity: 50 lbs.

Product Features

Fully-Rotating Front Wheel: Probably the most noticeable feature of this model is its fully-rotating front wheel, which can swivel according to your needs to successfully avoid obstacles, turn tight corners and maneuver the item in basically any situation. If the terrain becomes rougher or you wish to turn up the pace a little, the front wheel can be locked forwards, improving stability and making it easier to keep in a straight line.

Padded, Reclining Seat: Having been engineered to provide ultimate comfort, this model integrates an ultra-padded seat that can be reclined to a nearly flat position, allowing your child to take a nap, whether you are walking in the park or jogging. The seat top is vented, which will increase airflow. It also comes with a multi-position canopy that can prevent direct sun exposure, keeping rain and wind away from your child.

Five-Point Harness System: Coming with a five-point harness system, this jogging stroller will keep your child perfectly stable and safe during the entire ride, regardless of the terrain. Safety is enhanced due to its suspension system, which can absorb shock that shows up when going over rougher surfaces. Babies are typically more sensitive, which can potentially result into causing him or her discomfort whenever this happens, and this unit has features to help minimize it.

Folding Frame: As with most Baby Jogger models, this unit has their quick fold technology that makes it simple to collapse and fold down. Even when you are not using it, this stroller can be folded and stored anywhere in your home, occupying very little space, which makes it convenient and versatile.

What Owners Like About the Baby Jogger City Mini?

This unit continues to get very favorable ratings from parents and some of the aspects of this stroller that they tend to like most include:

Easy Maneuverability: Most customers who have bought this running stroller have been pleased with its easy maneuverability. Since the front wheel is swiveling, you will be able to avoid obstacles, turn corners and conveniently guide the stroller where needed. It can also be locked into place, making the stroller much steadier when going at a faster pace.

Lightweight Construction: Another aspect buyers loved about this Baby Jogger stroller is its lightweight construction, which makes the item significantly simpler to handle and maneuver. This will be advantageous especially if you are going to recline the seat to a nearly flat position, as the top of the stroller can get very heavy. Owners like how easy it is to use on a regular basis.

Excellent Frame: Something users really like is this stroller can be folded down to a more compact size very easily. Transporting and storing the unit away is a breeze and a lot of owners were pleased with how well this feature performed.

Great Comfort: This model was also appreciated by parents due to the great comfort it could provide to children, specifically due to the five-point harness system, which offers more safety as well. This unit tends to provide a very enjoyable ride for kids.

What Could Be Better?

While getting overall high marks from buyers, there were some aspects of this stroller that some owners wished were slightly better:

Not for Serious Jogging: This unit was not designed for off road terrain, trails or fast paced running. This stroller is more for those who go at a more casual pace, long distances and smoother surfaces. As its name indicates, this was mostly designed for those that live in the city.

Wheel Durability: Some owners had issues with the wheels after a few months.

Bottom Line

Exercising as a family offers tremendous benefits and using a jogging stroller is a great way to take advantage of these. The City Mini is another great product from Baby Jogger that delivers an performance, functionality, versatility and convenience for parents. Even though it is not geared for those who run a lot, it does offer users in a city landscape who travel on mostly paved and smoother surfaces an extremely capable stroller. Owners typically give this model high scores of around the mid 4’s out of 5 stars.

One Way Mothers Can Improve Their Nutrition

I have always been curious about juicing and whether or not it would actually provide some benefit for me. I never really looked really deep into the prospect of getting a juicer until recently. Having a kid can really drain your energy and I was looking for a healthy way to get a little boost. This is when I came back around to the idea of juicing and decided to look a little closer into seeing if one of these small appliances would be worth it. So last month I was poking around trying to learn more about juicers. This is when I came across a couple of juice extractors that seem to be made with mothers in mind.

Now going into this hunt I just had my own health and diet in mind, but I found a couple of Omega juicing machines that would let you make your own baby food and nut butters and soy milk. This is when the light bulb went off and it made getting one of these for my kitchen that more appealing. So I really dove in head first.

Benefits For Mothers

After reading a number of the latest ratings, the two main machines that I was drawn to were the Omega NC800 and the J8006. I have always wanted to try and make homemade baby food, as well as juicing, and here are two machines that can give this to me. These really have a lot to offer parents of small children.

Juicing – Of course this is the main function of the machine and from what I have learned either one of these are two great options. They can juice greens, produce great quality juice, and they are very efficient. They get exceptional ratings for being a juice extractor so this is already one major positive it has going for it. But there is much more that they can do.

Nozzle Attachments – The great thing about these two juicers is that they come with several different attachments that transform the machine into a nutrition center. You can drop different fruits down the chute and make your own delightfully mushy baby food. It will also grind different nuts so you can make your own natural peanut butter. Want to try tofu or soy milk, they will get the job done here as well. The versatility built into these machines are quite amazing.

Very Little Noise – Here is another aspect of these juicers that Moms love. These are relatively silent machines and you should not have to worry about waking a sleeping baby. For parents this is going to be a huge plus. There are certain appliances that are always off limits when the kids are asleep, but these don’t have to be one of those. It emits a slow grinding noise instead of the loud roar of a blender.

Just About Perfect

I did end up ordering one of these and it will be here in just a few days. Perhaps I should have waited to write something up on it, but I will update this post after I have had some time with it in the kitchen. I am very excited to get started and my mind is racing with all of the possibilities. Now I know this was not designed specifically with mothers in mind, but with everything it can do it sure seems like it was.

It is intriguing to see how it does on the baby food side of things. I anticipate being able to make a killer apple sauce and look to find some more recipes to add to my repertoire. I am tired of feeling sluggish all the time and my diet is rather lacking in fruits and vegetables so hopefully juicing regularly will help me overcome this. One of the drawbacks of these two Omega juicers is that they are not cheap so I hope my enthusiasm will stay at a high level. I do not want to add this to my collection of dust collecting small appliances that I have in the garage. Check back for the updates.

I found a video that I hope to emulate to try and make some fruit sorbet as it gives a great demonstration of just some of the things that this particular juicer can accomplish.