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Sponsored: CES 2014 Whirlpool Innovations

While at CES 2014, I had the opportunity to learn more about the new Whirlpool innovations. The concepts are exciting because they will not only add more functionality and control over my kitchen but also enable me to be more productive. Listed below is a summary.

 

Whirlpool Induction CooktopInteractive Cooktop:  One of the most exciting demos was of the Whirlpool interactive cooktop concept which turns a simple surface such as a cooktop into a multi-functional information, cooking and entertainment space.  For example, while I can cook anywhere on the surface I can also browse the internet to pull up a recipe to view on the same surface! While entertaining, I can cook while checking the guest list online.  Combing the functionality of a cooktop with digital connectivity will enable a busy mom like myself to be much more productive in the kitchen.  With three “always hungry” boys I spend lots of time in the kitchen so I need all the help I can get! The Interactive Cooktop concept would also allow me to have less devices in the kitchen but still have access to digital connectivity on capacitive touch surface or hands free when needed.

 

Here is a Whirlpool video about the Interactive Cooktop:

 

 

Whirlpool Wash AppConnected Appliances: Whirlpool also introduced a digitally integrated suite of appliances and smartphone app that would not only give me more control in the kitchen, but also on the go. Because my appliances would be connected via a WiFi network, they can be controlled via a smartphone. This would allow me to do things such as saving energy by using my smartphone to run my washer during the right time of day, even if I am not at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a video that explains more about Whirlpool Connected Appliances:

 

 

 

Whirlpool Duet Series PaisleyDesigner Duet Series:  The Whirlpool Designer Duet series goes behind the simple solid colors to allow for personalization such as paisley or chrome bubbles. This type of customization is exciting because it would enable me to bring some stylish touches into my laundry area.  The Duet series also has technology to help whoever is doing the laundry (hint, hint to my older sons who need to start doing their own laundry!).  The Adaptive Wash Technology in the Duet® washer automatically selects the cycle settings for every load and Advanced Moisture Sensing technology in the dryer prevents over-drying clothes by sensing how long the dryer should run (and also saves energy!). I could even use the Whirlpool WashSquad app to assign laundry tasks to my sons!

 

 

 

Here is a Whirlpool video on the Designer Duet series:

 

 

 

 

Whirlpool CoolVoxThe CoolVox™ sound system refrigerator concept (available Q2 2014) extends the functionality with wireless Harman Kardon Speakers built in that are not distrupted when the doors are closed! This would allow me to listen to music or podcasts from my mp3 player, tablet, smartphone or computer (Note: “Only one device can be paired to CoolVox™ at a time“). I can also use apps such as Pandora, Spotify or my playlists.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Whirlpool video on CoolVox:

 

 

  • Since Whirlpool 20/20 is all about a future focused on you, we, want to hear your ideas for it. Leave a comment below telling us your idea for the future for your home and be entered to win a $1,000 grand prize.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/2/14 – 1/18/14.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

Sponsored: CES 2014 Preview – Whirlpool Innovations

  

Whirlpool Your Future In FocusAs I prepare for CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2014 it has been exciting to see the new innovations ahead that can help my life as a busy mom and working professional. Of course, what is more in the center of managing my family life than the kitchen. I am excited this year to be working with Whirlpool to learn more about Whirlpool’s innovations that will be highlighted at CES.

 

Whirlpool’s new products, and several still in development, are designed to help the family workflow.  As a mom of three constantly-hungry boys, saving time in the kitchen makes a big impact on my schedule. The overall concept of a connected home and a connected kitchen, where devices use WiFi and the cloud to share and report data, is a key technology enabler to help families in their home and on the go (mobile).

 

Whirlpool will be back at the MommeyTech Zone showcasing the evolution of the kitchen beyond 2014. Whirlpool’s concept is “simplify your life by designing products that sense and adapt to what you need, the way you want to cook, clean and entertain—the way you want to live”.  I received some press information in advance of CES to provide a sneak peek and here are some of the fun details:

 

Whirlpool’s concepts concentrates on three pillars:  Connection,  Innovation and Expression.

 

Whirlpool Apps

 

 

Connection: Whirlpool will be introducing “a digitally integrated suite of appliances and smartphone app, that manages the information and activities of your kitchen for you.By connecting your appliances to each other and your family, the kitchen begins to anticipate and understand your family’s needs. And access to the information you need gives you more control than ever in the kitchen”. Whirlpool views our homes in the context of this connected world, designing concepts that anticipate and understand a family’s needs while adapting to your preferences and daily habits. Examples include communicating the best times for energy consumption as well as alerts that help ensure the food is cooked properly and preserved for freshness.  These are all things that as a mom I really want to know about. Having an intelligent appliance will not only save me time but also make me more productive each day.

 

Whirlpool Induction Cooktop

 

 

Innovation: Whirlpool is using technology innovation to evolve the kitchen as a more interactive hub of the house.They are even innovating with kitchen surfaces. Their press release explained these exciting concepts:

  • Cooktops can also browse the internet:“When your cooktop can browse the Internet and connect with your social network, the kitchen becomes a hub of communication and exploration within the home and beyond.”
  • Cook Anywhere Surface: With a cook anywhere surface, serving as the kitchen island, consumers can monitor the weather, manage appointments, find favorite recipes and make a delicious dinner—all without leaving their kitchen island or using multiple devices.
  • Entertain and cook on same surface: Entertaining is revolutionized too when you can plan your dinner party (invite and monitor your guest list, search for recipes, make phone calls, and more) on the same device that cooks the meal. The concept applies technology that consumers are familiar with in their daily lives—hands-free devices and capacitive touch—to help her focus on cooking.

 

 

Whirlpool Laundry Room

 

 

Expression: The next pillar is Expression which for Whirlpool means customizing  everyday appliances with personal style. Debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 will be the new Duet® Designer Series from Whirlpool®, consisting of front load washers and dryers in a variety of colors.  The technology in the Duet® washer is called ”Adaptive Wash Technology” which automatically selects the perfect cycle settings for every load. The Duet® Dryer has Advanced Moisture Sensing technology that saves time and energy and prevents over-drying your favorite clothes.

 

Whirlpool Max Art

 

 

Also showing at CES will be a concept called MaxArt Microwaves that brings together design, art and appliances to create a functional piece of work representative of culture. Whirlpool® brand collaborated with with the Local art collective Los Contratistas to turn a set of 50 Whirlpool microwaves into a colorful, modular installation representative of Mexican culture using graffiti techniques. The final pieces work together “to create a unique take on the modern day appliance, enriched by culture, design and the arts”.

 

 

Whirlpool CoolVox

 

 

Expression + Innovation + Connection: The new CoolVox™ sound system refrigerator concept, enabled by Bluetooth® wireless technology and Harman Kardon Speakers, will allow users to play music/podcasts through the refrigerator directly from streaming through Bluetooth®-enabled devices (i.e. mp3 player, tablet, computer). This opens up new entertainment options in the kitchen including the ability to cook to music without any additional wires, cords or speakers.  Music can be played through iTunes account, a playlist on a Bluetooth®-enabled computer and Pandora/Spotify apps on device. The device (i.e.  iPhone, tablet) acts as a remote to do things such as change the volume.  Another option is listening to “How to Cook” podcasts directly through the refrigerator. I like the concept of adding more features to my kitchen devices! Note: Only one device can be paired to CoolVox™ at a time and the current iteration of CoolVox™ does not allow for speaker phone capabilities.

 

 

Whirlpool Fridge

 

Here is the link to find out more information about Whirlpool 20/20 at CES.

 

Throughout the week of CES, consumers will have the chance to win a custom laundry pair of their own with the You Be The Designer Sweepstakes!   
  

Also, since Whirlpool 20/20 is all about a future focused on you, they want to give readers of this post a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize. Leave a comment below, tell us your idea for the future for your home and you could win.

  

Sweepstakes Rules:

  

No duplicate comments.

 

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

 

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

 

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/2/14 – 1/18/14.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity Hub of My House: Kitchen

 
 

With three boys and frequent teen visitors, our family spends more time together in our kitchen area then any part of the house. Whether it’s meal time, snack time, or just “grazing time”, kids are visiting our kitchen multiple times each day to eat and adults are frequently there to prepare meals. Because the kitchen is such a hub of activity, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to make this part of the house more efficient and welcoming.

 

 

The year is young, and as a first step to satisfy this resolution I am exploring how to better organize the kitchen and incorporate helpful appliances and gadgets. A well organized kitchen just makes cooking easier, which makes my life easier. I plan to incorporate some of the new kitchen technology trends including Bluetooth (wireless) and personalization. This will allow me to use my other important mom tools (smart phone and computer) to interact with the kitchen and seamlessly plan my day. I want to create recipes that can seamlessly translate into shopping lists. Once the food is purchased and stored in the refrigerator, I would like an automatically generated food inventory list which also details how long the food will last before spoiling. If I know vegetables will soon go bad – time to cook some vegetable soup! I’m also considering adding some color to my predominately white kitchen.

 

 

 

 

The second step will be to reorganize my kitchen and make it a more comfortable central “hang out” location. The kitchen is small, with a breakfast area separate from our dining room. Even on special holidays when we use the dining room, guests always seem to spill over into the kitchen. To accommodate the crowd, I want the flexibility to change our regular family meal space into a space for entertaining as well. For example, it would be great to have a simple way to stream music into various parts of the house, including the kitchen, while we are cooking and entertaining. We can play music on some of the family room’s gadgets, but they are frequently in use (games, videos, etc…) when we would like to share music with our guests. It would also be good to find some multi-device chargers so my kids can put all of their phone in the kitchen to charge at night without lots of wires hanging around. Another idea for re-organizing the kitchen would be incorporation of a dining table that converts to a comfortable lounging area when we have guests. This example of built in seating near the kitchen counter in Houzz looks like a good example of creating extra seating in a small space:

 

 

 

Do you have any new years resolutions to reorganize or retool your kitchen or tips for others who are starting their planning? If so – please share.

 

I am excited to be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week and will be stopping by the Whirpool booth to see their new kitchen concepts and get some fun ideas for my kitchen redesign and re-organization. They will be sharing updates on their Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest. So check it out! I will also be sharing my fun CES updates.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) – Easy Cooking Gadget for The Kitchen

I enjoy reading all the food blogs, especially Citymama who shares her yummy recipes and  Stephanie Odea who blogs about crock pot cooking. Recently we signed for organic fruit and vegetable delivery and started getting the kids involved with cooking. Luckily I love organizing the list and shopping while my husband likes leading my boys in family cooking sessions. One of my 9 year old twin boys has also declared he wants to be a cook when he grows up!

 

This morning my husband and 9 year old son made a crock pot lasagna that is slowly cooking away (making the house smell great) and waiting for it’s last coat of cheese.  When I posted a picture on Facebook of my 9 year old son preparing the lasagna this morning, one of my friends asked for the recipe. Because we used a really old slow cooker recipe book, I decided to find one online that is similar to the recipe we used. Stephanie O’Dea of “A Year Of Slow Cooking” has a recipe for super easy crock post lasagna that we will try next time. We like to cook vegetarian lasagna to mix in non-meat meals into our dinner schedule, using all types of vegetables including eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini and more.

 

Slow Cookers ( or Crock Pots as many call them) is a great cooking gadget that provides a simple way to get a hot meal on the table for busy families. The main benefit of a slow cooker/crock pot is the ability to throw in all the ingredients and then have it cook on it’s own without monitoring it. Some crock pots have features such as removable inserts, handles for carrying to pot lucks, timer to set a specific time to cook and a setting that turns the dish to warm after it is finished cooking.

 

My new slow cooker challenge will be to find one we can brown meat in – which will enable our famous Brisket recipe to be prepared fully in the crock pot instead of using a saute pan first to brown. During my research for a new slow cooker that browns meat in the same container,  I found information on Breville Slow Cooker with EasySeal that has a removable non-stick coated cast aluminum stove top insert. But I did not see any timer features (other then the low, high and auto) which I like to use to set to a specific time to cook.

 

Does anyone have any slow cooker recipes to share? Or does anyone have a recommendation for a slow cooker that also browns meat?