Archive for the 'Appliances' Category

Investment Ideas for the New Parent

From learning to deal with dirty diapers to baby-proofing your entire house, having a child is almost guaranteed to change a person’s life completely. The newfound responsibilities might seem endless, but being a parent means so much more than giving up on your previous hobbies or altering your old schedules. A new baby can be just as much fun as it is work, and making the child’s happiness your first priority can aid in turning even the most hectic events into something fun. One way to relieve stress is to invest in reusable materials that can help several times as your child grows, or across the formative years of another baby.

Transforming Cribs

Somewhere between potty training and needing to buy bigger clothes resides the task of transitioning your child from a crib to a “big bed”. While less frequent than other changes, taking apart a crib and purchasing a completely new bed can be frustrating. Thankfully, a new piece of furniture called a “Transforming Crib” can be used to graciously transfer from one state to another. In one phase it looks like a traditional baby’s crib, but you can unlock the corners and slide the walls downward. This leaves a small bed without edges, allowing the child a new sleeping situation and the parent peace of mind. Also, if you have another baby the walls can be pulled back up and locked in place again, returning to a crib state. This process can be repeated until your family has outgrown the need of it.

New Appliances

Having a baby means having another person in the family. You might find that your old appliances can’t handle the extra work of washing or cooking for an additional person’s needs, no matter how small. Thankfully, there are appliances out there that make for a wonderful upgrade to any family’s older units. The Haer washer dryer combo, for example, will have everyone’s clothes read to wear with a minimum amount of wait time. Don’t continue to use broken machines that only do half the work when your time and energy should be focused on your latest little addition.

Gender Neutral Toys

Purchasing toys that cater to both boys and girls can save you a good deal of funds if you find yourself wanting another little bundle of joy. Toy bricks, stuffed animals, and novelty clay are sources of entertainment that can be passed on from older sibling to younger without concern. Many of these toys are also timeless and will remain interesting to a child who is born five or more years in the future. 

Gift Ideas for Christmas 2013

Well, the holidays are upon us. And, because everybody in America is more or less incapable of figuring out what they should buy their loved ones, everyone is looking for gift ideas. Gift ideas, gift ideas. It’s the great conundrum of the season, year after year. Well, we’ve done the research. We’ve consulted the great and powerful Gift-o-tron, the amazing Compu-Tor, and all the mysteries of the fabled Interweb to bring you this list of awesome and unique gift ideas to get you through the season.


Above: Gift-o-Tron

Because time is running out!

1) Team-branded Furniture

For the sports enthusiast in your life. Why would you want to sit anywhere else? The sad truth is that not everything in the world has been emblazoned with the logo of the Montreal Canadiens. Some people can go years — years! In this day and age! — without ever placing their fanny comfortably upon the logo of the DePaul University Blue Demons, the Buffalo Bills, or the Minnesota Vikings. This horrible injustice can be easily and readily corrected by giving your favorite superfan the gift of branded furniture. It may have to stay in the man-cave, but it will fill their hearts with joy every game day to know they can tailgate in spirit right from the comfort of their own home.

2) Repose Sub-Sonic Bone Rattler Video Game Chair

The next best thing to really being there is being seated comfortably in a chair with a built in sound system. Designed to send every shock and jolt and boom and blast shivering straight down your spinal column, the Sub-Sonic Bone Rattler features a sub-woofer located in the seat and two side-mounted precision-aligned speakers that provide clear, crisp, beautiful high-definition sound. Heck, it’s even got a cup holder, an MP3 player holder, and can easily be folded for convenient underbed storage.

3) Your Own Coke Machine

The dream of your childhood of having a soda machine in your bedroom is alive in adulthood. While real soda machines can cost a couple thousand dollars — even used ones usually run about a grand — this miniature push-button soda dispenser is both a super fun way to get something to drink and affordable. It’s a working refrigerator with that classic, retro machine aesthetic. Featuring a tall wndow display so you always know how much you’ve got left, it keeps your drinks at 32 degrees below the ambient temperature. Where nostalgia, irony, or a sense of fun fuels your intended giftee, this is a great choice

4) The Carmelli Inferno 20-in-1 Game Table

Kiss boredom goodbye. You need no longer fear having nothing to do; even if every computer in the entire world were to simultaneously blink out, the Carmelli Inferno would still keep you so entertained you’d never miss Netflix. This table has everything — soccer, billiards, glide hockey, basketball, ping-pong — and all it takes is just a little bit of setup. This is a great gift for kids or even to furnish that game room your husband has been working on in the basement. High quality MDF construction means that this table is built to take a beating and last.

5) Magma Nesting 10 Piece Teflon-Coated Cookware Set

Some gifts are meant to be fun. But we’re adults, and that means gifts that make our lives easier are always welcome. And that’s precisely what this awesome ten-piece cookware set is designed to do. This high-quality set includes three sauce pans, five-quart stock pot, sauté pan, and accessories including lids, handles, and a storage bungee cord to let you store everything in less than a half cubic foot of cabinet space. Milled perfectly flat for even cooking, every pot has a triple-clad bottom perfect for gas, electric, or ceramic cooktops.


Sure, sometimes practical is nice. And sometimes you can throw practical out the window, pally, and go buy an ice cream maker. Whynter’s IC-2L is probably the best self-freezing ice cream maker in the world (according to Cook’s Illustrated), and lets you craft your own gourmet ice creams, sorbets, gelato, sherbets, froyo, or whatever else you can think of. Some sort of bizarre gelato/sorbet hybrid? Could be! Pistachio ice cream? It could happen! This is a professional-quality machine that would be a great addition to every kitchen. And it even comes with some secret recipes to get you started. It’s not only easier than going to the store, but more satisfying, and almost certainly tastier.

Planning Your Holiday Parties Right

Everybody loves a good party, but not everyone can host one! The holiday season is a perfect excuse to throw a festive event. Trying to handle all the odds and ends by yourself can be intimidating, but much of the hassle can be eliminated with a bit of organization and forethought. The following list can be applied to any and all parties you have in the future, so it just may be useful enough to keep around – especially if you have multiple birthday parties in a year to prepare!

The very first thing you should decide on is who will be attending your party. This is most often the easiest step, but don’t feel content to just glaze over on the details. In fact, this step should be completed at least three weeks prior to your planned engagement. How many people can you afford to feed, how many people can the venue hold, are there going to be any unpleasant disagreements between attendees? All of these concerns should be addressed as you draft up the invitations, keeping in mind that the guest of honor should have the final say in who can or can’t attend.

Now let’s talk about one of the key factors that can make or break a party – food! If you’re having a themed party, don’t forget to ensure the food matches the theme. Hawaiian parties should include rice, barbeque, and plenty of fresh fruit, for example. To make things easier, prepare foods that can be frozen – such as cold desserts – a week before the event. This will free up more time for cooking fresh foods on the day of the event. If you’re going to be cooking or chilling a great deal of refreshments, make sure that your appliances can handle the extra strain. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated them, discount refrigerators or ovens might help make your holiday season a lot easier to handle.

Also, if you plan on buying food from a vendor, place the order at least a day in advance. The cooking staff will appreciate it, and you’ll most likely get a better product than if it were rushed. Don’t forget the dietary needs of your guests! A vegetarian who arrives at a party where nothing but meat is being served is sure to be left with some bitter feelings.

Finally, organize the house to fit the expected spacing needs of your party. Is there going to be dancing? If so, you may need to push furniture to the outer perimeter of the room. These interior decorative decisions should be decided on days before hand, otherwise you may end up with cramped guests and a broken fire code. Of equal importance is giving the house a once over, cleaning any room that seems like it could us it. What you consider to be a normal “lived in” room might be unsettling to a finicky attendee. Once all of these preparations are complete, all you’ll need to do is work on your hosting demeanor and casual conversation to throw a memorable event!

LG Mini Split Systems: Heating for Mild Climates

Well, it’s November, and that means it’s starting to turn a bit…wintry out there for lack of a better word. Autumnal, perhaps. But it’s starting to get nippy, and that means it’s time to start looking at heating solutions so you can enjoy winter from the comfort of your own home. If you live in upstate New York, Maine, Minnesota, the Alaskan bush, or any other part of the country notorious for being deathly cold in the wee months of the year, you’re going to want some kind of heavy-duty central heating system, perhaps even a fireplace to make sure you’ve got the warmth right where you need it: in a central location around which your family may picturesquely huddle. But if you’re a bit further from the stark cold, a full-scale heater probably won’t be necessary.

Might I recommend a mini split air conditioner system as a way to get out of the cold? Perhaps the powerful LG LMU540HV 54,000 BTU Mini Split System? But Appliances Connection Blog, you ask me, how can an air conditioner, even one as magnificent as the LG LMU540HV, keep me warm in the winter? Aren’t air conditioners there to cool things down? Well, yes, they are. But this particular unit has the amazing ability to generate heat as well, mild heat to help keep your temperate zone home comfortable year round without necessitating a complete separate unit. You see, the LG LMU540HV uses a heat pump both to cool and to heat a space, by using a small amount of energy to transfer heat either into our out of a room. They don’t create heat — they just move it about. And even when it’s cold outside, there’s still some heat — because atomic reactions are still happening. That means that, even if there’s isn’t a lot of heat, there’s enough to pull in from outdoors and bring it in. That’s a low-cost, low-fuel, efficient heating system, brought to you by the good people at The Laws of Physics.

This particular LG system is extremely powerful, capable of heating eight separate zones from one outdoor unit, all without any necessary ductwork installation. You just run lines from the unit to the rooms, each one capable of independent climate settings, which means mini splits — and this one in particular — give you unparalleled flexibility in making your home exactly as comfortable as you want, which is presumably “very.”

So it’s powerful, versatile, energy efficient, and green. How’s that for a great way to heat your home?

How to Get a Convenient Kitchen

Who doesn’t love to cook? Whether you are preparing a large scale buffet for the holidays or simply whipping something up for a solo dinner, turning a set of ingredients into a polished meal can be both personally rewarding and delicious. Unfortunately, not all of us have a kitchen conducive to comfortably moving from the refrigerator to the stove or oven. If you’re stuck with a small creative space when it comes to making up your culinary masterpieces, worry no more! By trying some of these patented tricks for freeing up room in your kitchen, you’ll finally be able to finish preparing your dinner without knocking anything over!

Hanging Baskets

With so many different goods needing to be stored in the kitchen, running out of space can be a common problem. The breadbasket can take up table real estate, the drain board might consume a portion of your counter, and limited cabinet space might lead to a restriction on the amount of cans you can purchase. Thankfully, if you have wall space there is a whole other dimension for you to find space within. Affixing flat back baskets to your kitchen walls can provide a place to put vegetables, fruits, utensils, or other things that don’t need to be refrigerated.

Lid Racks

Pots and pans are some of the most ubiquitous cooking tools, and many kitchens have them in droves. Though they can be useful, the lids that come along with these items can easily get lost or take up a lot of space. To diminish the amount of time spent searching for your lids, as well as making more room available, attach long bars about an inch away from the back of the cabinet door. Slip the lids between this rack and the door, letting them hang by their handles. The next time you open the door to prepare pasta; the lid will be right where you can see it. 

Double Wall Ovens

Many people would agree that the oven is the heart of the kitchen. As important to cooking as it is, the appliance is unforgivably large. It often consumes the second most amount of space in a kitchen, after the refrigerator. If you’re looking for a great way to free up space, why not invest in a wall oven? By imbedding the appliance into the wall, you no longer need to worry about it jutting out into the walking space you desperately need. The best double wall ovens even include advanced features that allow for increased convenience when preparing your meal.

Replacing Your Washer and Dryer Can be Stress Free

Whether remodeling your house, moving into a new building, or simply replacing old appliances, the larger units can always seem like a hassle. No one enjoys moving the refrigerator, the stove is always trouble, but the washer and dryer can be the absolute worse. Not only are they just as heavy as other appliances, but they almost always have to be taken care of together. Replacing them is inevitable, as all machines eventually break, but doing so doesn’t need to be a nightmare. 

Washing machines and dryers are generally considered expensive devices, but the investment is well worth it. The alternative involves a basin of cold water, and who owns a washboard these days?Instead of resigning yourself to being unable to afford a necessary set of appliances, you could always shop around for a discount or deal and get your washer and dryer at a fraction of the cost. Complex might seem too expensive to look at while browsing, but several companies will put washer and dryer combos on discount due to their high demand.

Manufacturers are aware of how frustrating it can be to deal with multiple large machines and have designed efficient units that take up less space. What’s more, due to improved technology the unit runs off of less electricity. This means that two of the most energy hungry devices in your home have become easier and cheaper to use. What more could you ask for in a home appliance?

Getting a new washer and dryer combo may cut down on your monthly expenses, but what if you aren’t sure which unit is right for you? This question mostly depends on the size and shape of your home, as well as a personal preference for design and color. If you aren’t exactly sure on which model to settle, ask a trained professional for help. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry, especially if you’re lugging home or having delivered an extremely heavy piece of equipment!

Have you ever needed to fix or replace a broken appliance before? If you have, what methods did you use to find the right unit for your house?

For Those Who Think Young


GE has noticed something, something not a lot of companies are catching onto just yet: Millennials are starting to build homes. The twenty-something lot is starting to get established as adults en masse. They’re marrying, advancing in their careers, buying homes and cars and couches and armoires instead of (or in addition to) video games and music. And that means that this most aesthetically-oriented of generations is out there shopping for refrigerators. They’re furnishing their lives, and that means they’re furnishing their kitchens.

GE has responded with a simple, stripped-down line of beautiful machines: the Artistry series. With the tagline “Cool is back,” although we weren’t aware it had gone anywhere, these are undeniably slick and pretty appliances. They’ve got the clean lines and pure colors (exclusively in black or white for this generation raised on the iPod) that have so characterized design for the last five years or so, making them unstintingly, furiously modern, while carrying about them an unmistakably retro air; there’s something special about home appliances that betray that some thought went into making them lovely, they way the very first home fridges looked back in the forties and fifties. Those were luxury items, and they looked it, with Space Age styling, round lines and chrome handles. They were labors of excellent industrial design, and it showed. The GE Artistry series has the same sensibility, a smart move when you’re marketing to a generation as in love with the past as it is the future. SMEG is following a similar approach with fridges that are legit luxury items; GE, however, has set its sights on the masses, by mixing affordability and style, giving these young new homeowners the means to outfit a kitchen for under $2500, the price of a couple of Macbooks.

And the design sensibility is unimpeachable. These styles are the work of 27 year-old GE industrial designer Thomas DeLuna, who describes his work: “Making the critical consumer touchpoints metallic, and set against either a pure, white gloss or black gloss finish creates a look that is both familiar to our consumers, yet remains fresh and modern. That’s what makes the GE Artistry Series special; the design is authentic and contemporary with a nod to the past not currently offered in the marketplace.” It’s that attention, not just to the design of the products themselves, but to how their users — and intended market — will interact with them, tactily and emotionally. The end product — authentic experience, contemporary design that looks back even as it looks forward, familiarity — just about hits every single button Millennials have, making these appliances the perfect products for nostalgia-addled young adults who want to build homes that feel unique.

The fridge — the centerpiece of any kitchen — immediately grabs attention for its uncommon bottom-freezer configuration (which makes sense, because nobody is in their freezer half as often as they are their fridge, which is what should be at eye-level), and its shining, chrome handles and their startlingly-unique horizontal orientation, which immediately calls to mind vintage kitchen design. This is clean, cool design that seems almost timeless in its contemporaneity. The range, available in gas or electric, continues the retro vibe with its analog clock. This oven is not brimming with buttons and dials; it’s simple and sophisticated. And cavernous.

The dishwasher and microwave are less dramatic; there’s only so simple a microwave can be before you start sacrificing vital settings and tools, and dishwashers from a design perspective are already largely plain, unadorned panels. That said, this is a dishwasher with a very important luxury feature: integrated top controls, hidden when the panel is closed, which lets the dishwasher maintain the clean, straightforward look this collection is endeavoring to produce.

A fridge, a range, a dishwasher, and a microwave. Two colors. That’s the entire line. And you know what? I think that might be the most genius part of it. In the same way that Steve Jobs came in and simplified the entire Apple product line into two computers and the iPod, there is something to be said for curated excellence rather than a wide selection of options, and the GE Artistry series may just prove that point.

Brand Spotlight: BEST Range Hoods

Let’s take a minute and talk about BEST Range Hoods.

Italy has a reputation for the best in design elegance. Whether it’s fashion, cars, or anything else, everyone knows that the highest-quality designs come out of that little boot dangling off the bottom of Europe. BEST Range Hoods wants to bring the classic style and excellence of Italian design into homes here in the United States. This Nortek company produces range hoods inspired by the best in Italian manufacturing, each one as beautiful as it is functional. Available in a range of sizes, configurations, and price points, BEST Range Hoods are designed to meet your ventilation needs, whatever they may be and however your kitchen is put together.

BEST is an upscale hood line, so let’s start by casting a spotlight on their high-fashion Sorpresa collection. Sorpresa, Italian for “surprise” or “astonishment” — or even “treat!” — is a chic, top-of-the-line range hood collection featuring unique, seamless designs for every kitchen style.  These are decorative range hoods, usually available in brushed or high-gloss polished stainless steel and featuring quite operation in the 400-450 CFM range. Due to their nature as carefully-designed home fixture masterpieces, they’re normally only available in a single size, but offer a wide range of options and accessories to best accommodate it for your home, including non-ducted kits and flue extensions. And, perhaps best of all, each model features the Heat Sentry system, designed to detect excessive heat and turn to full power automatically, meaning you don’t have to manage your range hood while you’re cooking. That’s a level of convenience I know you can get behind!

At the next price point down, BEST offers the BEST Value Assortment — but don’t let the name fool you! While not the high-fashion designs of the Sorpresa collection, the BEST Value Assortment offers beautiful, quality, impeccably-designed range hoods made from the best materials  and components, with CFM ratings ranging as high as 500. They offer the same seamless construction and quiet operation, meaning they’re easy to clean and easy to use, and each of them is carefully designed to be a remarkable and attractive addition to your kitchen just as much as it’s a useful, functional range hood.

BEST Range Hoods are available in a wide variety of configurations, including wall-mount, island range hoods, downdraft, and pullout silhouette hoods. They also offer empty hoods in which you can install your own motors if that’s your style (not that you’d want to; their revolutionary PK22 power blower system offers best-in-class quiet operation, removes smoke up to 30% faster than comparable models, and is up to twenty-two times more energy efficient, to boot!).

BEST Range Hoods offer style and performance in one remarkable package.

Top Ten Most Awesome Jobs in the Whole Freaking World

1) Riding Shamu

DSC_0067 male trainer riding shamu as he leaps up to the platform en ca

Bad job: Being Shamu

2) Batman


Every single morning, I stare at myself in the mirror, and ask myself why I’m not out there every night fighting crime. Then I go make myself an egg sandwich.

3) Spaceship Delivery Guy


I suppose this falls under the subheading of “pilot,” but there are people who have been tasked with the task of safely delivering spaceships to other people. I really hope they got a good tip.

4) Guy who Parks Cars at the White House


This job may sound bad, but imagine the things you could whisper into the ears of the most powerful people in the world.

5) Roller Coaster Tester


This also falls under the heading of “potentially incredibly dangerous,” but oh man, the coasters.

6) Luxury Bed Tester


This is a job actual people have.

7) Ice Cream Taster


Sweet merciful God so is this one.

8) Pizza Delivery Guy


This job may sound like it sucks, but you’re wrong about that. The great secret all pizza delivery guys are sworn to keep is that they’re all raking in the millions from generous tippers for a job they only have to do a couple of hours a week. These are truly the titans of our age.

9) Waterslide Tester


“Sigh. Another day testing waterslides for maximum funnivation.”

10) Being In Aziz Ansari’s Entourage


Wait. This sounds awful.


Let’s Rock Black Friday

Black Friday will soon be upon us. The day after Thanksgiving here in the United States is traditionally the start of the commercial holiday season, and it’s when consumers across the country decide to start hitting the stores to stock the space beneath their trees with baubles and games of every kind. In response, retailers try to drive traffic to their businesses by offering deep discounts and deals of every sort in a bidding war for your patronage. On that day, above all other days, it’s a buyer’s market, and you can make out like a bandit if you play it right.

So here’s some tips to get the most out of Black Friday, courtesy of Appliances

1. Do your research!

You never know where the best Black Friday deals are going to be offered. So be sure to troll coupon sites, newspapers, and anywhere else you can think of that might be able to give you an exclusive, lowdown scoop on when and where you’ll be able to snag something special for a ridiculously low price. Lots of stores offer time-sensitive deals, too, meaning you can get extra savings for shopping even earlier.

2. Don’t Wait for Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday can be a day to get some great deals you may not be able to find anywhere else, but you shouldn’t just wait for it. Internet retailers offer great pretty much every hour of every day. There may be some highly-publicized crazy deals the Monday after Thanksgiving, but don’t wait until then — trust your web dealers to have great prices straight through November. So there’s no need to load all of your online purchases into one frantic, stress-filled day. There are always top-notch deals online. When it comes to buying online, get it done, but don’t stress Cyber Monday.

3. Compare Price

The Internet gave us PriceGrabber for a reason: we have the power to compare prices across the web at a glance. Between PriceGrabber, Google Shopping, and other such services, this is the most empowered generation of consumers to ever grace Planet Earth. These amazing tools make finding out where you get the most bang for your buck as simple as it can possibly be. With features that allow you to compare options and configurations available at each price you can avoid inadvertantly buying a stripped-down, minimalist version of the product you’re after. Caveat emptor? Not anymore!

4. Be Early — But Not Too Early

Every year, the stores open their doors earlier and earlier, and some of them offer crazy first-in-the-door deals. Don’t do this. The stores will be ridiculously packed, and you’re not in for a shopping experience worth the deals. Be prepared to sardine your way through stores crowded to the walls, braving the longest lines you’ll ever encounter, all for a fifteen percent discount. Spare yourself the misfortune; there are better ways to get a deal. Let’s not forget that websites are open 24/7; so if you do find some magnificent deals available only in the wee early hours of Black Friday, you may not even have to put on your coat and head out into the night; instead, make yourself some pumpkin-spice hot cocoa and snuggle into the warm light of your computer monitor, and bring all the best deals right to your home.

And anyway, most of the great deals in the brick-and-mortar stores will still be going early Friday morning, so if you get there early enough after the holiday, you’ll still find yourself with plenty of discounted high-end merchandise.

5. Plan!

I can’t stress enough how much easier online holiday shopping is going to be. As above, the stores are going to be jam-packed, and nobody wants to have to struggle through the great human morass just to save a bit more on stereo equipment. Stores, by necessity, have limited stock; they only have what’s on the floor in most cases, and aren’t backed by warehouses. Shopping online is more convenient, more pleasant, and less likely to end in bitter disappointment. With online shopping, you’re simply much more likely to end up with exactly what you wanted at the price you want to pay. Otherwise, you stand the risk of waiting in line for hours just to find out that they’re fresh out of that new gadget you specifically went there to buy.

If you simply must shop in person, don’t just wade out blindly into the commercial chaos! Nothing is a better friend than a detailed plan of attack. Plot out our day, what you want to accomplish at each store, what savings you must have and then stick to it. Don’t linger in these retailers; get in, get your merch, and bolt for the next store. You only have so long, so make the most of your time with a disciplined and efficient plan.

Black Friday can be an amazing opportunity if you handle it right. So good luck, and good shopping!

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