Our community water supply has been a huge issue for our family for almost 20 years. I was pregnant with our third baby (now 19), when we moved here. I absolutely love our community and consider it my hometown, but we were told on our first day here, that we should not drink the water, [...]
Our community water supply has been a huge issue for our family for almost 20 years. I was pregnant with our third baby (now 19), when we moved here. I absolutely love our community and consider it my hometown, but we were told on our first day here, that we should not drink the water, especially with me being pregnant. Once a week, we made a trek to the city, 30 miles away and filled 8 to 10 three-gallon water jugs at the distilling plant. We had a water cooler to flip them onto, in our kitchen, and even filled our ice cube trays at it.
Several years ago, the city built a brand new water treatment facility and while many people started drinking the tap water, we had gone so long drinking distilled water, we were never able to break the habit. Until we moved into a new home with a reverse osmosis filter system and a filter in the fridge, we continued to buy water. We have been drinking city water, filtered by our whole house system for almost one and a half years, now, and we’ve been fine. I can say with confidence that I don’t really think or worry about it anymore. So, when the opportunity to review a Zero Water pitcher came up, I almost passed it up. Then my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to test the difference. There IS a difference. At least the difference between tap water and the water from the Zero Water pitcher was significant! There was even a small difference between the reverse osmosis filtered water and the Zero Water.
The pitcher filtration system comes with the pitcher body, a reservoir that fits into the top of the pitcher, a lid, a filter, a testing meter and the easy to follow instructions. I actually assembled it in a matter of seconds and the only thing you really need to be careful about is that the black gasket around the top of the filter is seated properly, so you get a tight seal between the filter and the reservoir.
Once the filter is screwed into the opening in the bottom of the reservoir, you just place the complete unit into the pitcher. Then add tap water to the reservoir and allow it to drip down, through the filter and into the pitcher. I actually filled the reservoir three times over a total of about 20 minutes to get a full pitcher of filtered water.
The lid fits snugly on the top of the pitcher and it has a covered spout that opens itself as you begin to pour. I love that feature. I also like that there is a recessed area in the lid to snap the test meter into, when you are not using it. I never have to worry about not being able to find it. The meter measures TDS, which is Total Dissolved Solids. Total Dissolved Solids is basically anything in your water that isn’t pure water. That can mean minerals, salts, metals and any other suspended solids. In the range of 000-001 TDS there are no known municipalities in the U.S. that have naturally occurring water in that range. The range of 002-050 occurs naturally in only a few cities and can still have dangerous impurities, like lead. Most water in the US will measure between 051-200 TDS. There are other ranges up to 500+ TDS.
What were the TDS measurements in our area, when I measured using the meter with the pitcher? Our tap water came in right at what I would consider the national average – 168. The name “national average” doesn’t necessarily mean I think it’s super safe, it means it comes in within the range that would be expected in most US communities. I was pretty impressed with our RO system which registered an 008. While the process for filtering water with the RO system is pretty much the same as for the Zero Water pitcher, the water from the RO system still needs to travel through the water lines in the house and so will pick up some particles along the way. That made sense to me. The water from our Zero Water pitcher, drove that fact home, even more clearly. It came in at 0 TDS. That’s pretty amazing!
My husband rarely drinks water, now, that isn’t from the Zero Water filtration pitcher. He actually never allows it to go empty. It produces crystal clear water with no “floaters”, as he calls them. It tastes good and he is without a doubt, a bonafide convert. Actually we all like it, but I mention him, specifically, since he is usually our biggest skeptic when it comes to water quality. Our fifteen-year-old says he can actually taste a significant difference between the RO water and the pitcher water. He’ll drink either, but for some reason prefers the flavor of the RO water. Personally, I don’t notice much difference in the taste, between the reverse osmosis water and the water from the pitcher, but I love knowing that the water from the pitcher tests perfectly clean!
The other nice feature about the pitcher is that you can keep it icy cold in the fridge. That’s another selling feature for David, since he doesn’t like ice in his drinks. You can just pour cool, refreshing water straight from the spout or use the spigot in the bottom of the pitcher, to fill your glass. That spigot option works really great for younger kids! And lastly, I love that the filters can easily be picked up in stores that we are all used to frequenting, like Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Meijer and so many more.
You are going to love the convenience and peace of mind that comes from owning a Zero Water Pitcher. Zero Water has been extraordinarily generous and I’m excited that all Busy-at-Home readers can get 30% Off a 10-cup Zero Water Pitcher for their family, by using the coupon code MC30 at checkout! That’s a savings of $10.50! What a great deal! And then…….Yup! you guessed it — They’re also sponsoring a fantastic giveaway with TWO winners. Each will receive a Zero Water Pitcher for their home! Be sure to enter before the deadline at midnight on April 15th.
The Giveaway is simple. Go to ZeroWater.com and put your zip code into the “Check TDS Reading” form. That will open a page with a map of your area and you will need to input your zip code one more time in the white box above the map. The average TDS number for your area will pop up just below the graph, at the bottom of the page. Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me the TDS number, where you live. Click DO IT on the Rafflecopter form, then ENTER, and you’re done. -OR- You can also take advantage of the optional additional entries that you will have unlocked by entering. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of ZeroWater. I received a ZeroWater pitcher and filters in order to test them in my own kitchen and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.
Are you a pressure cooker pro? I had absolutely zero experience with one, prior to last week, and after some of the old horror stories I had read, I fully expected to burst, damage or maim myself (Gross! That would be so messy!) or others if I was foolish enough to try and use one. [...]
Are you a pressure cooker pro? I had absolutely zero experience with one, prior to last week, and after some of the old horror stories I had read, I fully expected to burst, damage or maim myself (Gross! That would be so messy!) or others if I was foolish enough to try and use one. -lol- It turns out that I had nothing to fear! Thankfully, some of those stories may be slightly exaggerated and ALL of them were from a point in time where the technology had not developed to the level we enjoy, today. What a relief to see how safe modern pressure cookers have become! The Instant Pot Electric slow cooker was easy and safe to operate. And best of all, the Instant Pot is electric. I don’t even need to use a burner on my range, which means more space available to cook other dishes while my Instant Pot pressure cooker cooks a dish for our meal!
Pressure cooking has many advantages, speed being the most noticeable, for this novice. However, after preparing several different recipes, it was soon evident that speed is just scratching the surface of the list of benefits of using the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.
- During pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed. This provides not only faster cooking times (up to 70% reduction in cooking times!), but consistency throughout your dish. Foods, especially meats, tend to be more tender and juicy when prepared in a pressure cooker. Dishes burst with flavor, since they are cooked in a sealed environment, with only enough liquid to keep the pressure cooker filled with steam. This pressurized steam pushes seasonings and flavor deep into the food and also results in the greater retention of nutrients.
- The InstaPot has 10 safety features built in, that exceed the already vastly improved safety of modern pressure cookers.
- Instant Pot has eight intelligent programming, one-key operation buttons built in. You can select pre-programmed cooking times for Soup, Rice, Multi-grain Rice, Congee, Meat & Stew, Beans & Chili, Steaming, and Slow Cooking. (Yup, it can also function as a slow cooker!)
- You can select Manual Mode to select your own specific length of time for the recipes you’re preparing.
- It’s automatic! Once a dish has completed the selected time or cooking program, it automatically switches to Keep Warm mode. You don’t have to stand over the cooker, monitoring every second of cooking and timing it to remove it from the heat at the proper time.
- The delayed cooking feature allows you to plan up to 24 hours ahead when preparing dishes.
- Reduced cooking time, means reduced energy usage and it already uses far less energy than your range or oven. Imagine the energy-savings recognized in 70% shorter cooking times!
- You don’t heat up your kitchen using it and it is extremely energy-efficient. The Instant Pot exterior housing is fully insulated and cool to the touch during short-term operation and only lukewarm during long-term cooking. The “intelligence” built into it, means that only the inner pot is being heated in order to maintain the pressure level and that energy is concentrated on cooking the food. Having to heat the inner pot only to reach and maintain specific pressure levels means that the heating element is only actively “heating” about 40% of the time during long-term cooking.
- It is totally quiet during operation. I remember a spitting, steaming, click-click-clicking pressure cooker on my Grandma’s stove top when I was a child. There is none of that with the Instant Pot. I have the option of opening the pressure valve and releasing steam quickly at the end of cooking or simply allowing the steam to dissipate naturally as part of the pre-programmed settings. Even with the manual quick-release of the pressurized steam in the pot, the noise is minimal.
- It has been easy to learn to use. I was somewhat fearful, in the beginning, but have really enjoyed how simple it is to operate the Instant Pot. Straight from the box, I was able to have my first dish cooking away in a matter of minutes.
If I had to pick one thing that I wish was different, it would be that the User Manual and Recipe Booklet, included, would be more detailed. Both seem to assume the user will have some general knowledge of pressure cooking and so did not answer all the “newbie” general questions I had about pressure cooking. Many of those questions were easily answered through Google searches and studying pressure cooker recipes, at Food.com and Allrecipes.com, however. I have also heard of using pressure cookers for home canning and there was no mention of this possibility, so I will need to further research that, as well.
The Instant Pot is definitely one of those multi-use appliances that is going to be heavily used in my kitchen. It’s a slow cooker, rice cooker, vegetable steamer AND a pressure cooker. I’m really anxious to see all the ways I will be able to use it for holiday cooking. The first day I received it, I prepared this beautiful and absolutely mouthwatering pork loin roast in only 40 minutes.
I also used the Instant Pot to cook dry beans. From dry to tender and ready to use in any recipe, it was only 45 minutes! I forgot to take any pictures in all the excitement of mass cooking all those beans so quickly, but here’s all I did. I used a 1 lb bag of red beans and a 1 lb bag of black beans. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Allow them to soak for about 4 hours (Skins will be wrinkly.) Drain and rinse the beans. Place the dry beans, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup butter in the Instant Pot. Cover beans with water, making sure the water level is 2 to 3 inches above the level of the beans. Lock pressure cooker lid into place and make sure steam valve is sealed. Press the program button for beans and leave the cooker to work. At the end of the 45 minute cycle, quick-release the steam and remove the beans. They are ready to use in any recipe. I actually used some for taco soup and then froze the rest in quart-sized ziptop bags.
The recipe I want to share with you was one I devised hurriedly on Wednesday afternoon, when I realized I hadn’t thawed anything for supper, which was going to have to be early because of Wednesday night church activities. I decided to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen and make a hearty soup that would fill every one up, for their evening out. This yummy Potato Bacon Chowder was the happy result. It was so simple and exceptionally fast, which was just what I needed.
Are you hungry, yet? Me, too! Well then, let’s get down to it. You can certainly purchase this fantastic Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for your kitchen and wouldn’t it make a fabulous gift? The price at Amazon is a good value for such a versatile, multi-purpose appliance. However, if you’re feeling lucky, you may just want to enter below, because one very blessed Busy-at-Home reader is going to win an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker! Now, this giveaway is slightly different from others that I have done. While it is still open to everyone residing in the U.S., it’s also open to those in Canada. The other major difference is that residents of Hawaii and Alaska would incur some shipping charges to receive their prize, as it is shipping from Canada, not the U.S. So, with that in mind, enter, enter, enter! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one!
I received an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker in order to test it in my own kitchen and write this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
Having been a mom for twenty-six years, I know ONE thing with absolute certainty. Chocolate disappears! No one is exactly sure what happens to it, but one moment it’s there and the next –POOF– it’s gone! As a mom, yourself, I know you’ll understand when I say, sometimes I need to have some chocolate. Sometimes, [...]
Having been a mom for twenty-six years, I know ONE thing with absolute certainty. Chocolate disappears! No one is exactly sure what happens to it, but one moment it’s there and the next –POOF– it’s gone! As a mom, yourself, I know you’ll understand when I say, sometimes I need to have some chocolate. Sometimes, I need to have it, right now! In those moments of chocolate insanity, I don’t really want to hear, “I dunno what happened to it.”
I have devised amazing hiding places, gone to unimaginable lengths to camouflage chocolate and render it undetectable — all in vain. I no longer have a single hiding place that has not been rooted out. As you know, I have four daughters, any one of which have been known to “need some chocolate, right now!” There only brother, or even one of their other sisters can often be heard to ask, “Did you look under Mom’s bed, on the top shelf of the cupboard above the refrigerator, in the shoe box at the back of Mom’s top closet shelf…” Oy!
This week, a marvelous company called Wordlock, gave me a new chance at private chocolate ownership. Heretoforward my chocolate is secure. I had the great pleasure to test a Wordlock padlock and let me tell you why I will never worry about my chocolate, again:
- I don’t need a key. I don’t have to remember where I hid the key. I can’t lose the key. The magical chocolate gremlins cannot sneak a key out of its hiding place. There IS no key!
- My menopausal brain does not have to remember a “twist forward to this number, three times backward to that number and around the horn counterclockwise to the next number” type of combination.
- I only have to remember one word and I get to choose it.
- The padlock is über strong and can withstand marauding bands of giant, behemoth chocolate thieves or curious, hungry children.
- Given that after eating all my well-protected chocolate, I might want to spend a little time at the gym, I can use my awesome Wordlock word combination lock to secure my locker, never worrying that I won’t be able to get my clothes out again. Huzzah! The simple combination is a word I select, myself, meaning there is a much higher probability that I will remember it and be able to retrieve my belongings.
On a serious note, I wanted to say that I loved how simple it was to set up the combination on the lock. The included instructions were concise, clear and in English. I read through them and in under a minute had reset the combination to a word of my own choosing. Super simple!
All their locks come set to “WORDS” and you need to rotate the letters to spell “SPELL”, to unlock the padlock. Easy, peasy!
Next, I used a dime to turn the slot on the side of the lock to the word “RESET”.
Once you have the slot on the end pointing to RESET, use the combination dials to spell the word you want to use for your combination. Pick any word that is easy for you to remember. I think mine is quite appropo. What do you think?
Once you set your combination, use a coin to turn the slot back into place. That’s it! Yes, it truly is that simple. Your lock is set, using a combination you will remember and your valuables will be protected with great Wordlock strength!
I tested silver, but the lock actually comes in your choice of four colors: red, black, pink or silver. They would be perfect for locking up bikes at school or securing a garden shed. Use them on school or gym lockers or on a toolbox at work. They are made to be used indoors or out, so no matter where you need one, you can count on it to be durable and secure. Each padlock has 2 5/8 inches of hardened steel forming the body and shackle; and is rated to 3,000 pounds of pull strength. At only $9.99, Wordlock word combination padlocks are an excellent value and you can purchase one in Wordlock’s online store.
One lucky Busy-at-Home reader is going to get to lock up THEIR chocolate, too! Enter to win your own Wordlock word combination padlock in our giveaway, below.
You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to win. Mandatory Entry must be completed for any other entries to count. Winner will be selected at random from all verified entries, using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, February 27, 2011.
In a comment below, tell me where you would use a Wordlock padlock.
Additional Optional Entries:
- Like Wordlock on Facebook and leave a comment, below, letting me know you did, as well as your Facebook Name.
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- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Enter to win an awesome Wordlock word combination padlock at Busy-at-Home! http://ow.ly/3WyP7 Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
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I received a Wordlock padlock, through Mom Spark Media, in order to conduct this test and review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. Views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.