All posts by Peggy Chenoweth

I am a soon-to-be middle aged below knee amputee. I am also the Mommy to a very active little boy, and expecting my second child. I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. I've lost my leg, but certainly not my courage and love of life!

Bed Rest and Easter Magic

Due to complications which have arisen during the pregnancy, I have been officially put on bed rest. My initial reaction to the directive was one of mild optimism. After all, I am always being pulled in several directions at once. I reasoned that being ordered to stay still and relax would feel like a vacation.

Within 24 hours the novelty of bed rest wore off, rendering me frustrated, anxious and feeling guilty about not actively caring for my family. I hate being limited and, even though I know that this situation is temporary, I have been struggling to maintain an upbeat demeanor. My son and husband have been wonderful, pitching in to take care of everything that needs to be done. They have shown nothing but support, but I am still feeling guilty about being rendered dependent.

Spending so much time in bed has left me with a whole new appreciation for pillows and linens. My husband surprised me with a fabulous pregnancy pillow for Christmas, but this long body pillow is only beneficial when I am prone. I have to remain still, but I can still be propped up in a seated position. I found it nearly impossible to maintain a comfortable posture by stacking all of our pillows behind me. I needed something with more support, but I also knew that a typical back wedge would be inadequate. The baby bump forces me to constantly shift my weight, and I needed a solution that could be easily adapted to my position.

I may not be able to hit the mall and go shopping, but thankfully I have a strong internet connection in our bedroom. It didn’t take me long before I managed to find the backrest I was seeking. The Contour 10 in 1 Flip Pillow is the perfect solution for my bed rest woes. Because of the jointed sections, I am able to shift my weight and quickly reorganize the pillow configuration to maintain comfort. The back rest is firm yet soft, allowing me to sink back and relax without struggling to remain upright.

Although I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as enjoying bed rest, I can say that my lower back is no longer aching because of it. Being able to remain comfortable during a difficult situation is paramount to remaining upbeat. There isn’t anything I can do right now about my limited activity, but I’m glad I found a pillow to help make me more comfortable as I wait for baby to arrive.

I highly recommend the Contour 10 in 1 Flip Pillow for anybody who is rendered to bed rest, whether the directive stems from a difficult pregnancy or recovering from a surgery. The ability to reshape the pillow into a variety of configurations has proven to be invaluable to maintaining a level of comfort in a difficult situation.

On a different note, this Sunday is Easter. Saturday night, before tucking the little ones into bed, have them plant some jelly beans (either outside or in a flower box.)  As the Easter Bunny hops by, his magic makes the jelly beans grow into lollipops!

Below is an explanation of Easter Magic, courtesy of my little boy.
http://youtu.be/4Lxql1M8_0w

Painting Made Easy

In our home, this past week has been dedicated to interior painting. While part of this desire certainly stems from Spring Fever, specifically my need to spruce up a bit after the extremely long winter, the majority of my motivation lies squarely on nesting. I’m about a month away from giving birth, and my head is racing with projects that I feel compelled to tackle before we meet the newest member of our family.

Truth be told, I haven’t picked up a paint roller since the last time I was pregnant. I suppose I should be embarrassed to admit that our walls have been untouched for eight years, but in reality I don’t enjoy painting and therefore I tend to avoid the task at all costs. I don’t mind the prepping and the painting, but I detest the ladder climbing that is involved. Because of my prosthesis and balance issues, I don’t feel safe on a ladder. I begin to panic on the second rung and break into a full blown sweat by the third.  Whenever I feel vulnerable I tend to shy away from the activity, hence the reason for our scuffed and dirty walls.

Of course, aversion doesn’t always work and sometimes reality intervenes. The baby’s room, which had been used by my husband as his “man cave,” was left in a state of uninhabitable disrepair.  The wall paint was beyond redemption, necessitating both priming and painting before we could assemble the furniture.

Last weekend I finally broke down and decided to conquer the painting. I went to the local paint store to secure supplies, and to pick the colors. While talking with the salesman, I conveyed my dread of climbing ladders. He ushered me to a corner aisle and showed me a product that he promised would make the task easier and safer for me.  I was skeptical of course, but the store’s money back guarantee made trying the gadget worthwhile. After all, the only thing I really had to lose was some time, and if it reduced my reliance upon the ladder it was certainly worthwhile.

The Wagner Spray Tech Smart Flow Roller was easy to assemble and fill.  Within minutes of assembly I was rolling the paint onto the walls, transforming the man cave into a bright and cheerful nursery. The extended reach did just what the salesman promised, eliminated my need to climb the ladder! Unlike normal extension poles, the roller was easy to maneuver and handle from the ground. I didn’t feel like I was losing control of the roller, and was able to paint the entire ceiling without stepping on a single rung.

Because the paint is contained inside the Smart Flow Roller, I didn’t have to contend with messy paint trays and dripping cans. The paint flowed at an even pace which was easy to control.  All I had to do was fill the reservoir and start rolling!

The room which I dreaded painting was complete in less than 3 hours, and much of that time was dedicated to drying between coats. I avoided painting for eight years, but I am now motivated to repaint my entire house.This tool makes the task both easy and (dare I admit) fun! Because I don’t have to contend with paint trays, dripping and splattering colors and climbing ladders, I finished the “dreaded chore” with a smile on my face. In many ways, this handy roller has UNlimited my painting potential!Image

Loving my Swiffer

The Swiffer family of products has been heavily advertised on television, with commercials featuring individuals with disabilities demonstrating the ease of use and versatility of each item. While I hate to jump on the bandwagon, I must admit that I am a Swiffer convert. Speaking as an individual with a disability who utterly detests cleaning, my Swiffer mop and duster have simplified these dreaded chores.

While I certainly don’t contend to keep a spotless home, after all cleaning has never been my passion, I do strive to keep the environment relatively sanitary. I continue to be amazed at the amount of dirt one little boy can track into the house after an afternoon playing outside. Sometimes just trying to maintain a status quo of cleanliness is enough to keep me busy for hours!

One of the reasons I hate cleaning lies with lugging around the heavy and awkward equipment.  From schlepping out the vacuum to wrangling the mop and ringer apparatus, some days it felt like I was spending more time preparing to clean than actually working on the chore itself. Because of my prosthesis, I am cautious when carrying and moving equipment. My balance is already impacted, and trying to walk with an unbalanced load simply makes moving more laborious. While I never used my amputation as an excuse to avoid cleaning, I have certainly learned that it makes it more difficult and time consuming.

After watching the Swiffer commercials for what felt like the thousandth time, I finally broke down and bought one. (Yes, I am apparently one of those individuals who is highly susceptible to persuasion.)  I was skeptical that it would reap the results promised, but I was willing to give it a try.  With the baby bump becoming bigger by the day, and my mobility becoming increasingly impacted, I figured it was the perfect occasion to put the Swiffer promise to the test.

To my surprise, the Swiffer floor mop was remarkably lightweight. I could easily hold the mop with one hand, allowing me to quickly switch grip and hand position as I moved throughout the house. The swivel head actually swiveled, enabling me to reach spaces that have long been ignored by my cleaning efforts! I was shocked at how much dirt accumulated on the cleaning pads, which I took as visible proof that my floors were becoming clean.  In addition to the lack of weight and the ease of maneuverability, my favorite feature rested on what I no longer needed. I didn’t have to contend with buckets of soapy water, dripping ringers and sloshing dirty water in a quest for clean floors!

Because this mop is so easy to use and maneuver, I highly recommend it to everybody. By using the Swiffer, I have eliminated at least 30 minutes from my cleaning routine. It is nice to be able to use a product which is so simple in design yet effective. I love that I no longer have to struggle schlepping buckets of water or unruly mops to clean. My house is still not spotless, but keeping it acceptably clean is easier with the Swiffer!

Managing Swelling

By far, the most frustrating aspect of being a pregnant amputee lies with prosthetic fit. Unlike sneakers, which can be adjusted or changed to allow more room, my prosthesis is fabricated out of rigid carbon fiber. By design, there is no give or flexibility.

Some mornings I feel like I am trying to stuff a sausage into a casing which is entirely too small.  The remaining limb tissue bubbles over the top of the socket, creating an odd muffin-top effect. Not only is this unsightly, it can be dangerous. The tissue becomes vulnerable to sores, pinch cuts and edemas. A sore on my residual limb immediately equates to foregoing the prosthesis until it heals, and this is not something that is easy to accommodate.

In order to increase the chances that I’ll be able to wear my prosthesis in the morning, I have taken steps at night to minimize swelling. I try to avoid consuming excess salt. I also thoroughly massage my limb each night to help promote circulation. My Homedics Massage Pillow definitely helps with this task!  I simply put my limb between the two massaging balls, press start and relax. Not only does it feel fantastic, but it is therapeutic as well!

In addition to massage, perhaps the most beneficial intervention is wrapping my limb with an ace bandage before sleeping each night. (I have a pile of shrinker socks from my Prosthetist, but I have found the ace wrap provides me with a snugger and more consistent compression.) The constant compression through the night definitely helps to keep the swelling in check, allowing me to don my leg in the morning.

Despite my efforts, there are still mornings where it is difficult to slide into my leg. When this happens, I reach for my “go to” solution: hand sanitizer. I squirt about a tablespoon into my socket, and another tablespoon onto my liner. After both surfaces are thoroughly lubricated, I can normally slip right into my leg. Because the sanitizer is alcohol based and evaporates, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up excess or damaging my socket or liner.

Swelling, a reality for everybody, is simply intensified by pregnancy and other health issues. Although I can be frustrating, it is not impossible to manage. With a few steps, and some ingenuity, I expect that I’ll be able to continue to wear my leg through the remainder of my pregnancy.

Never Be Stranded Again

I am in the final weeks of my pregnancy and, although the baby is growing beautifully and is healthy, I am starting to have difficulty. The baby bump has off-set my already compromised balance, making simple tasks more laborious. No matter now many adjustments we make, my prosthesis is too snug and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I hesitate to remove it during the day because I can no longer bend at the waist to put it back on independently!  Needless to say, I am miserable.

 

As the pregnancy has progressed I have found myself relying upon home modifications that I haven’t needed in a long time. During the past few weeks my husband and I have rummaged through the garage to retrieve my wheelchair, extra shower chair, shrinker socks and portable grab-bars. I consider myself lucky to have everything I need to modify my home stowed away for when it is needed.

 

Yesterday afternoon I sent my husband down to the garage (aka the abyss of boxes and clutter) to find one more home modification. I have discovered, through an unfortunate event, that I can no longer independently rise after sitting on the commode. I’ll spare the details, although I am sure someday I will look back and see the comedic value in the story, but I assure you that being stranded on the toilet was certainly not humorous at the time.  I am also confident that the frantic phone call my husband received from me, while in the midst of my predicament, will not soon be forgotten!

 

My recent experience has only strengthened my testimonial for the portable toilet safety rails. Because I don’t need this Imageaccommodation on a consistent basis, I appreciate that the rails can be easily removed and stowed until they are needed. The fact that I don’t have to invest a lot of money and effort into major bathroom renovations is certainly a plus!  These lightweight, yet sturdy, rails offer me the stability and support I need at this time to be completely independent.

 

These portable toilet safety rails are not only beneficial when I am pregnant, but I have also used them after revision surgeries and when nursing an injured limb. When we have visitors with orthopedic impairments, the rails can be quickly installed to make the guests feel comfortable and safe. After all, a little planning can save a lot of embarrassment. Trust me on this!

Elevated Garden Bed- Truly UNlimiting!

Spring is almost here!  With only one more winter event forecast for the end of the weekend, I’m optimistic that the warmer temperatures will stop flirting and will finally stay in place. This winter has been nothing short of brutal, and I can’t wait to stop hibernating under my electric throws and again seek warmth from the sun.

With my thoughts focusing on warmer weather, I have begun one of my favorite Springtime endeavors- planning my garden. I am, by no means, an expert gardener. However, I do enjoy tinkering in the soil and watching my efforts grow into a variety of delicious vegetables. As an unanticipated bonus, I discovered that my son is far more willing to try new vegetables if he has had a hand in the growing process. For our family, gardening has allowed us to spend some quality time outdoors while expanding our palettes.

Because I have a little boy who is eager to help, I don’t have to deal with the discomfort of stooping and bending while tending the garden. He is at an age where he is happy to assume this responsibility! Unfortunately my Mom is not lucky enough to have eager young hands to help her, and after her knee replacements she almost abandoned her favorite Spring/Summer hobby altogether.

Kneeling and squatting with knee replacements is both painful and difficult. Her back is not nearly as spry as it was in her youth, so bending at her waist to tend a traditional garden was not an option. Unwilling to allow her to give up, I searched for an alternative to the traditional raised garden.

I purchased this elevated garden bed for Mother’s Day a few years ago, and it has been a game changer. Because the garden is on Imagelegs, she can plant, tend and harvest her produce without bending, kneeling or stooping. She could even tend the garden from the comfort of her wheelchair!

The large bed offers the depth she needs to grow all the vegetables she desires. She was even able to grow a small patch of carrots! Because the entire garden is on a tall platform, weeds are virtually non-existent and her dogs don’t dig up her harvest prematurely.

The elevated garden box is easy to assemble, and required no tools. Although neither of us are mechanically inclined, my husband and I had it assembled in less than an hour. We filled it with potting soil (which in truth was probably the most difficult task) and she was ready to start planting. Set-up could not have been easier, and the end result was surprisingly sturdy and durable.

My Mom accepted that she had to give up a beloved activity because of mobility issues. This elevated garden is more proof that anything can be accomplished with a combination of desire and adaptations. It turns out that it is possible to enjoy the benefits of tending a garden without bending, and without pain. For my Mom, the elevated garden bed has been UNlimiting!

Robo Stir

Before I was a busy, working Mom, I used to love cooking. Time in the kitchen became my creative outlet. I prided myself on preparing delicious and nutritious meals with little regard to the amount of time required.

Now the stress of having to cook every single day has worn on my creativity and passion. Lately, it feels more like a chore. Every once in awhile I find something that reignites my passion in the kitchen, but for the most part it has been relegated to something that is looming everyday on my “to do” list.

In addition to the stress of having to come up with a menu every single day, spending time on my feet has become increasingly difficult. I’m now in my 7th month of pregnancy, and I’m tired! My prostheses fits, a fact for which I am grateful, but my gait has been compromised because of my growing baby bump. Walking, standing and moving in general are all becoming more fatigue inducing. At the end of the day, all I want to do is slip off my leg and relax on the couch. Instead, I find myself in the kitchen desperately trying to cook a quasi-nutritious meal in the least amount of time.

This past Christmas I received the Robo Stir from my Mom. At the time I thought that it was a clever contraption, but I never envisioned Imagethat it would become my go-to tool in the kitchen. After all, I’ve had little success with the “As Seen on TV” miracle products.

I wasn’t expecting much, but shortly after the holidays I pulled the Robo Stir from its clam shell package and decided to give it a try. I have to admit that I was shocked not only by how well this little pot stirrer works, but by the amount of time it saves me on my feet. Right now, anything that keeps me off my feet and saves me energy is elevated to one of my favorite things!

From stirring cheese and spaghetti sauces to basic gravy, this wonderful little device has been a godsend in my kitchen. After I make the sauce, I simply put the Robo Stir into the pot and press the button. The stirrer keeps everything moving, allowing it to cook evenly and without burning. And my favorite perk- I no longer have to stand at the stove. While everything is coming together I can sit down and relax.

The Robo Stir has UNlimited me in the kitchen. I have been impressed with how consistently everything is stirred. As a bonus, I have yet to have anything burn while using it. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same when I’m stirring by hand. Perhaps surpassing the function, I love that I can sit down and relax while cooking dinner. I have such limited energy right now that anytime I can save myself standing it is worthwhile!

Eliminating DVD Boxes

Our house is an electronics lover’s paradise. A quick count reveals that we have four DVD players (including the one in the car), an Xbox and a Wii. While I have come to accept the cords and power strips, there is one aspect of living with all of these devices which has been driving me batty.  Every DVD, and every single game, comes in a plastic case which I found impossible to conveniently and aesthetically store.

My husband blames my desire to tidy-up on pregnancy nesting. I contend that I’m just tired of living in clutter. Either way, this past week I have been on an organizing mission, and those plastic DVD boxes was at the top of my list.

Organizing the games and DVD’s on a bookcase did not work for our family. I discovered quickly that my husband and son would find the desired case, pull out the disk and put it in the appropriate player. When they were ready to switch games or videos, they would get another game without putting back the one which had been in use. A pile of silver disks quickly accumulated on the edge of the TV table while the plastic cases littered the couch and coffee table. Unfortunately, the cats find playing with the silver DVD disks amusing, perpetuating the clutter factor.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a solution to my DVD/ game storage problem. I bought a large CD storage binder. Although not heavy

Imageor bulky, this binder has the capacity to store 336 disks! While everybody was at school (my husband is a teacher), I gleefully liberated every video and game from it’s case. I tossed the empty containers in a large box (for storage in the garage) while I organized the DVD’s into the binder. In less than an hour I had liberated three shelves of DVD boxes and consolidated all of the games and DVD’s into one convenient location.

Now instead of having piles of DVD’s and empty boxes strewn through the family room, everything is organized in a zippered binder. The previously overwhelming game and movie library is now stowed conveniently under the coffee table, allowing it to remain accessible for my gamers while still accommodating my emerging organizing compulsion.  I wish I had thought of consolidating everything into a binder years ago!  It is amazing how such a simple concept, such as consolidating everything into a binder, can solve a frustrating issue.

Quick and Easy Beauty on a Budget

I have always been a sucker for skin care. From ointments touting perfect skin to lotions which promise to miraculously erase the wrinkles of time, I have them all.  Not surprisingly, most do not work and have taken up residence in my large “drawer of disappointment” under my vanity.

My interest in skin care and make up wafts and wanes throughout the year but always crests in mid to late February. I suspect that the dreary cold weather, coupled with the post-holiday depression combine to make me feel inadequate and ugly. I’ve noticed that make-up advertisements and sales seem to inundate us this time of year, so I must not be the only woman with this seasonal reaction.

Despite spending thousands of dollars over the years on hundreds of little tubes and bottles, I have finally settled on two products which I use on a consistent basis. In fact, this is the first year that I haven’t added a few little bottles to the “been there, tried that” abyss of failure.  This year, instead of scouring the ads for the next best thing, I happily trudged along with my existing skin care routine.

I don’t have the time to mess around with multiple products. I have no interest in investing 30 minutes in a skin care routine. I like to keep things simple, and with L’Oreal Youth Code Day Lotion, this is possible.  I love the slight scent, which I find uplifting but not overpowering. The lotion goes on smoothly, and probably more importantly, it absorbs quickly. After a few days I noticed that my skin was smoother and had an even tone. Although I don’t know if it erased any of my emerging fine lines, I do know that I feel prettier and younger since using the product.

After the day lotion is absorbed, I use the Youth Code BB Cream as my foundation.  This tinted cream goes on quickly and is easy to apply. With this BB Cream, those pesky foundation lines are gone and my skin tone simply looks naturally flawless. The coverage stays put throughout the day, allowing me to avoid transferring my foundation on my shirt collar, napkins, my cell phone and any other item which touches my face throughout the day.

I love my Youth Code Day Lotion and BB Cream, and I don’t see myself switching products anytime soon. These products suit my needs and my lifestyle. (My husband also appreciates the fact that I am not spending oodles of money searching for the next best thing!) The Youth Code products have Unlimited my skin care routine, allowing me to feel pretty with a minimal time investment.

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Prosthesis Snow Tips

One of the most common questions I receive from new amputees, especially in the winter and cold months, involves footwear. Never being a shoe connoisseur myself, having to tackle footwear post-amputation quickly became an exercise in frustration. With my apologies to my fashionista friends, I admit to sticking with the same pair of shoes regardless of the rest of my outfit. I prefer to go for comfort and, with the exception of a social protocol, I would probably never change out of my sneakers.

Of course, some situations require a change in footwear. With a massive snowfall and a little boy eager to go outside to play in the winter wonderland, I was confronted with one of those situations yesterday. While I technically only need to wear a boot on my biological foot, the difference in heel height makes trudging through the snow difficult. My lower back and hips thank me when I take the time to put the same shoe on both my prosthesis and my foot.

Slipping a boot onto my prosthesis is not always an easy task. Because the ankle is fixed, guiding the foot shell into the bed of the ankle can be difficult. Thankfully I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to donning boots onto my prosthesis.

First of all, I always try to buy the boots ½ size larger than my needs. Because I know I will be in the snow, I anticipate wearing thick socks to make up the size difference on my biological foot. The extra room makes sliding the prosthesis into the boot a little easier.

I don’t worry about wearing a sock on my prosthesis (after all my toes certainly are not going to become cold) so I have forged even more wiggle room to fit the boot. Perhaps my favorite tip, I have discovered that slipping a plastic bag over the entire foot shell helps to minimize friction, making donning the boot a breeze. Since I learned the plastic bag trick, I no longer dread putting on boots!  If need be, I pull out my extra-long shoe horn to make the final push into the boot.

While my foot never becomes cold in the snow, my residual limb can become downright icy. The compromised circulation, the result of the amputation, makes me more vulnerable to temperature extremes. On more than one occasion I have come inside after snow fun to discover my residual limb is purple from the cold.  Image

My second winter as an amputee I discovered the joys of air activated hand warmers. Typically sold in the check-out lines of the big box stores and sporting goods stores, I now buy them by the case online. Before sledding, snowball fights or fort building commences, I always activate and throw two hand warmers into the bottom of my socket. These little satchels help to keep my limb warm, regardless of the temperatures or the depth of the snow.

With a little preparation and some of my “go-to” winter tips, I have become completely UNlimited in the snow.  How do you deal with the winter weather?

Valentine’s Week Plans

Next Friday is Valentine’s Day or, as my husband refers to it, the worst day of the year. While I tend to love all holidays, he leans towards the curmudgeon side. It isn’t that he lacks a sense of romance, but he does resent being told when he has to dote. 

Regardless of his feelings towards Valentine’s Day, I plan on celebrating all week. Thankfully my little boy has inherited my love of revelry and is fully on board with all things holiday related. I am sure that my son loves holidays because he knows that he will be showered with surprises and treats. Some say that I go overboard, but I know that I don’t spend a lot of money to make fun holiday memories and traditions. Instead, I rely upon a series of no or low cost surprises staggered throughout the week to make the holiday special.

One of the best investments I made was in the Balloon Time Helium Tank.  Balloons are expensive and not always easy to obtain and hide. This little tank makes it possible for me to blow up just a few balloons at my convenience. The look on my son’s face when he staggers out of his bedroom in the morning and discovers a few colorful balloons is priceless!

He also loves shaped and themed breakfast treats. The Norpro Heart Shaped Pancake Mold is perfect for fashioning a festive and happy breakfast to start the week off right. I make enough to store in the fridge so that I don’t have to cook breakfast for the rest of the week. He’s happy because he is eating a special treat and I’m delighted with the minimal prep work.

I don’t just spend the week pampering my son, I also treat myself a little better during holiday weeks. One of my favorite, and cheapest, luxuries involves painting my nails. Of course, painting the plastic nails on my prosthetic foot shell does involve some advance planning.

The foot shell tends to become stained and discolored. I’ve tried just about everything over the years to clean it and found that the MrImage. Clean Magic Eraser yields the best results with the least amount of work.  I am always amazed with the improvement in appearance after just a few minutes of cleaning! (Save yourself some aggravation by avoiding the store brand. For some reason they just don’t work the same magic.)

I don’t have to use any specific nail polish, but I do need to rely upon an acetone based remover when I want to change colors. The non-acetone nail polish removers just smear the polish across the plastic foot shell. I guess in some situations the heavier chemicals are the best option!

I love to take long baths, but I found that using oils or bubbles is not conducive with my residual limb. If my limb is coated in a thin sheath of oil, it slips right out of the liner. Trying to walk without a strong seal in the prosthetic is definitely not safe!

Instead of oils and bubbles, I rely on bath salts. I found that the minerals make me feel relaxed and do not damage my skin. I’m not intoImage heavy scents, so I prefer the Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Salts. I am always a happier and more relaxed person after a long soaking bath.

Of course, I won’t ignore pampering my husband next week. I know that he detests Valentine’s Day, but I won’t let that stop me from including him in our fun. He loves gummy bears, so when I found this 5 pound version I knew I had to get it for him. Again, it doesn’t cost a lot of money but will certainly bring a smile to his face.

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However you celebrate, I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Week!

Super Bowl Prep

Rumor has it that a big football game is being played on Sunday. Admittedly, I am not a football fan but instead become the hostage companion of my sport fanatic husband during every big game/match/event.  While I doubt I’ll ever relish watching the game, I have learned to embrace the festivities. For me, the Super Bowl is all about gluttony.

In our house, no big game would be complete without chili, nachos and assorted snacks. For my husband and son, the food magically appears at the end of each quarter. So engrossed in the television, I am fairly confident that both fail to realize that I am the one in the kitchen prepping and cooking all afternoon.

I have always loved to cook but it has become more difficult during the past few months. Between my prosthetic issues and my pregnancy, it is uncomfortable for me to stand for long periods of time. Thankfully I have cabinets full of appliances to help make the task both easy and fun.

In order to minimize the prep time required for our football feast, I will be relying heavily upon one of my favorite appliances- the food processor.  I have tried a few other mini choppers over the years and have always been dissatisfied. For a growing family, the 1 ½ cup choppers simply weren’t big enough.  I found I was spending more time chopping and emptying small batches from the machine than I would have spent had I just pulled out the knives myself.

Storing and pulling out the cumbersome and heavy 12 cup food processors became more trouble than what it was worth, especially when I was looking for quick prep work.  I was more apt to let the food processor in the cabinet because the assembly and cleaning required was simply too time consuming.

This Sunday I will be relying heavily upon my Cuisinart Mini-Prep 4 Cup Food Processor. For our family, the four cup capacity is ideal. The motor is strong, providing even and consistent pulsing blades capable of chopping through everything from onions to hard cheese.  Although the bowl is larger, the machine is lightweight and compact. (Keeping appliances within each reach is a huge factor in whether or not I will use it.)

Thanks to my strong little chopper, I am saved both the time and the ensuing discomfort which comes from food preparation.  I love to cook, but I also appreciate anything that simplifies my life! With the chopping simplified, I’ll be done in the kitchen and able to enjoy my favorite part of the Super Bowl- the halftime show.  Image

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