Breville Toaster Ovens Are Perfect For Cooking What You Grow


One of the best parts of growing your own food is when all of that hard work ends up on your dinner plate.  Cooking can be rewarding too, but often times it involves a lot of unwanted work and can be time consuming.  We are always looking for better ways to save both time and money and for our family that came in the form of a toaster oven.  These are not just toasters, but they are full featured small cooking ovens that fit nicely on your countertop.  We love using ours so much that we decided to write a brief review of some of our favorites.

Over the last few years Breville has built a reputation for creating some of the best performing small kitchen appliances that you can buy.  Their juicers, food processors, blenders, bread makers, and mixers are all some of the most wished for machines by amateur chefs around the world.  Well, you can also add their toaster ovens to this list.  One aspect that is common among Breville appliances is their modern design and the technology they incorporate into all of their machines to make them a step ahead of the competition.  If you are looking for the sleekest toaster oven for your countertop then getting one of their “Smart” ovens is your best bet.

But what makes their toaster ovens so good?  Well, based on our personal experience with one of their models and our search for the top Breville smart oven reviews currently available, we have come up with a quick rundown of all three of their oven options.  Any one of these would be an excellent choice to make fast and simple dishes with the ingredients that you love to grow.

Breville BOV800XL

This is their top rated model and their most popular oven.  It also happens to be the one we own and use a few times a week and we love it.  It is roomy with enough room for 6 pieces of bread if you are into toast.  What sets the BOV800XL apart from their other smart ovens is it has convection functionality.  This basically means that a fan inside of the oven circulates the air so everything is cooked evenly.  This feature also helps speed up cook times and it works great.

Breville calls their ovens “smart” because the heating elements inside will automatically adjust the temperature while it is operating based on the setting that is chosen.  This helps take out a lot of the guess work.  You can also customize the temperature and the oven will remember what you choose for later use.

Another thing we love is the blue LCD screen.  The digital display gives it a real futuristic look that really stands out.  It also works rather well with the control knobs.  The screen changes color to orange while it is in use.

Just a note, Breville does make 2 other models that are supposedly above the BOV800XL, but they are basically the same except for an added cooking setting.  The Smart Oven Pro also comes with a light.  If you can do without these two things then you can probably save some money sticking with this model as it is a great toaster oven for those who actually like to cook things.

BOV650XL Compact Smart Oven

This is their mid-range smart oven.  It is a little bit smaller, weighs less, and it only handle 4 pieces of toast at once.  This oven also does not have the convection cooking feature of the BOV800XL.  This perfect for folks that want to do occasional cooking of meals and do not have a lot of mouths to feed.  Even though it is compact it is still big enough to feed one or two people with great results.

BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven

This is their smallest model but it is also quite popular.  It is a perfect choice for anyone with small kitchens and limited counter space.  This is a huge hit in dorm rooms I am sure.  This has a little less room than the BOV650XL but it can also handle 4 pieces of bread and a 11 inch pizza.  This oven also does not come with convection capability but it does come with the same modern styling and performance.

Pricey But Worth It

Breville has set itself apart with its appliances in its high tech approach to the kitchen.  However, this does come at a higher price.  Their machines are usually not going to be the least expensive options so budgetary concerns may keep some people from enjoying these wonderful ovens.  Even though they can be pricey, most owners agree that they are usually worth every penny.  If you are looking for something that is easy to use, convenient, and extremely versatile to prepare quick and tasty meals, then we highly recommend one of these Breville toaster ovens for your home.

We Went Car Seat Shopping For Our Granddaughter

Shopping for a convertible car seat

My son and our daughter-in-law are expecting in about a month and we could not be more excited. Of course, as doting grandparents we plan on spoiling our first grandchild in every way possible. We also know how tight money is when you are having a child so we are thrilled to help out when we can. A car seat is our first effort to help share some of the burden with them, especially since this is can be one pricey but necessary piece of equipment. When we started shopping for a child safety seat we did not realize just how many options are available or how many different types of car seats there were to choose from. It was a bit of an education for us, so we thought we would share some of what we learned.

Thankfully we could find all of the information that we needed online, which was a much different experience than we had our first child back in the day. We found a lot of helpful parenting sites that let us understand which kind of seat would be best for our needs. Once we decided on the type of seat we wanted we could then go shopping with the knowledge to make a good choice.

Various Kinds of Car Seats

Since it had been decades since we had the need to use a car seat we just didn’t realize how far they have come. This was our first hurdle, but it was nothing major.

Infant Seats

This is just as the name implies. Infant car seats are designed for newborns and they come with the proper support for the head and neck region. This is important because young babies are not developed enough in that area of their bodies to support the weight of their own heads. This type of car seat has a very short shelf life, usually 18 months to 24 months max since their weight limit is usually around the 35 lbs mark.


Easy to carry – Most infant seats come with a handle so that you can easily remove your child from the car or carry them back and forth with ease. They are a lot lighter in weight than convertible car seats which makes it easier to transport your child.

Stroller Compatibility – A lot of today’s infant seats are compatible with different strollers. This will enable you to simply lift the seat and snap it into the stroller. This added convenience is a huge plus for parents that love to use strollers.


Short Time of Use – Since these types of seats are specifically designed for small children you will end up having to buy a convertible seat eventually when they quickly outgrow it. This means an extra added cost somewhere in the near future.

Convertible Car Seats

These are very popular options for parents since it can be used for a longer period of time, even with newborns.


More Economical – You only have to buy one seat for the first few years of your young one’s life. They are recommended for children from 5 to 65 lbs. Once they outgrow them you will probably have to get a booster seat, but that is further down the road.

Multiple Facing Positions – They are called convertible because they can be used in rear-facing mode for small children and forward-facing for larger kids. Great flexibility, especially if you have more than one child of varying ages.


Weight – These safety seats are going to a lot heavier and harder to move in and out of the car than an infant seat. It can be quite a workout if you want to switch between different vehicles and some parents just end up getting multiple seats to avoid this, one for each car.

Stroller Compatibility – What is a plus for infant seats is a negative for convertible seats. You cannot easily lift these with a handle and they will not snap into strollers like infant seats.

Booster Car Seats

This is the final type of seat that you need and is a transition piece of equipment. Once your child outgrows their convertible car seat they probably won’t be tall enough to use your vehicles standard seat belt right away. Using a booster seat ensures that the seat belt fits over their body properly so that it won’t cause injury by riding too high in case of an accident. This is also a very important piece of safety equipment you should be prepared to purchase when the time comes.

We Went The Convertible Route

After speaking with our daughter-in-law we decided to go with a convertible car seat. She said she wasn’t sure how if she would get any use out of the stroller advantages of an infant seat and thought just using one seat was a better option. Once we heard that we could then find something that both parents and their precious child would enjoy using. This is where we could really hone in and find something that was the perfect fit for them. This part was actually fun, since all of our education was almost complete. We used Momma Trauma Blog car seat reviews to narrow down our options and we found a convertible child seat we feel our little granddaughter will love riding in all while being protected from something unfortunate happening.

Having a child is an expensive and nerve racking experience for the entire family. This is why we are so blessed to be in our position to help out when we can. We started by purchasing a convertible safety seat for our granddaughter, but rest assured this is just the first step in our quest to spoil her.

The Top Brand Name Juicers Worth Buying In 2016


For most folks, health related resolutions are a popular topic. Lose weight, quit smoking, and exercising more are often the most common. Unfortunately, before the end of January a lot of these seem to have failed. One way to improve your overall health in the new year is to juice. We love it and swear by it, but getting started was a little daunting. Having a quality juicer can be a key factor in your success in sticking with it long term, it was for us. So as we roll into the new year we thought it would be a good idea to see which models are contending for the best juicer of 2016. The following juicing machines are some of the top rated options for those looking to trying juicing for the first time.

Masticating Juicer Brands

This method of juicing is slower and more deliberate.  The juice is pressed and squeezed out of fruits and vegetables at a more methodical pace so this type of juicer will require slightly more patience.  The payoff is a higher quality juice with less exposure to oxygen or heat build up. The best masticating juicers will give you a juice that you can store for a few days so you can make a lot of it at one time.  They will also have a higher juice yield with not a lot going to waste.  These types of juicing machines are perfect for those that can sacrifice a little more time for better quality.   For juicing leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, or wheatgrass, a masticating juicer is going to be your best choice.

Omega Juicers

Omega is another top juicer maker that gets very high ratings for their line of masticating juicers. They are not fast like the Breville models, but they do make a better quality juice. The other great thing about Omega models is that they are really quiet when juicing. If you live in a small place or you just do not like noise, then this is a better choice. Omega juicers are also great for getting a lot of juice out of leafy foods like kale. They may be a little more expensive, but if you can afford it, these can provide some extra advantages. They also come with long and extensive warranties.

Kuvings Juicers

Not as well known as Breville and Omega, Kuvings is a great alternative. They introduced a new upright masticating model that now has a wide feed chute, the only vertical masticator to currently have one. What does this mean? Well a large feed chute can handle larger sized foods, with less of a need to cut fruits and vegetables into sizes small enough to fit inside of the juicer. This, in turn, saves time.

Tribest Juicers

This company also has a very nice line of juicers. Their masticating juicers get very good ratings from users and their new upright, the Slowstar, is quite the eye catcher. Sharp red and black that really stands out in any kitchen.

Centrifugal Juicing Brands

A centrifugal juicer is a terrific option for anyone who just does not want to spend a lot of time juicing.  These machines are exceptionally fast (and loud) and will give you a nice glass of juice with little effort.  Their main drawbacks are noise, leafy green juice yield, and oxidation.  When using a centrifugal juice extractor you should consume the juice right away as it tends to spoil quicker.  If you are constantly on the go this is the type of machine you need.  There is really only one brand you should consider as well.  Breville is by far the best maker of centrifugal juicers and they have a high end line of machines for just about every budget.

Breville Juicers

Having a fast and convenient juicing machine can be a key component for sticking with it for a lot of people. Breville makes some of the easiest machines to use. Their centrifugal juicers are extremely fast and powerful, are simple to use and easy to clean. They are also some of the best customer rated fast juicers on the market. Typically their one major downside is how loud they can be. But being so fast, they are only loud for a few minutes, and then you are done. They have a wide range of juicers that vary in price and features, but they are all excellent juice extractors that are well built and dependable. Great choice for beginner juicers.

What Type of Juicer Should I Choose?

Fortunately, the juicer market has a variety of high quality models to choose from. For more in depth juicer reviews we recommend  Any juicer is better than no juicer, so you really can’t go wrong with any of the makers listed above. These are generally the most popular juicers out their that get high praise from owners. Make 2015 your best year yet and take control of your health and well being with a new juicing machine. The benefits of juicing can be dramatic and your body will thank you, you just have take the leap and try it out.