Bright Ideas for Camping: Part 1

camping

Spring weather tends to draw us back to the desire to go out and enjoy nature. Even if just for a weekend, time spent immersed in nature’s glory allows us to recharge for the upcoming week and enjoy quality time with friends and family. Living Direct offers many compact appliances and other products that are perfect for your outdoor travel adventures. These products make great additions to your camping equipment supply.

Be sure to share your best camping tips in the comments!

EdgeStar mini Kegerator1. EdgeStar Mini Kegerator

Nature lovers are doing more to practice “Leave No Trace” camping. This portable mini kegerator is an easy way to avoid the task of storing, carrying and cleaning up multiple cans and bottles. As an added bonus, you can rest assured that it will be easy to make friends with your neighbors at your campsite. The EdgeStar mini kegerator’s highlights include:

- Electronic temperature controls
- Compact size
- AC/DC power compatibility

Peak 30 LED Rechargeable Worklight2. Peak 30 LED Rechargeable Worklight

This flashlight’s affordable price, flexible design and durability make it a must-have for outdoor expeditions. The Peak 30 LED rechargeable worklight has an integrated hook making it great for hanging from a tree or inside of your tent. Powerful LED lighting technology and the thought of no disposable batteries is a win-win for me. The highlights of the Peak rechargeable worklight include:

- 8 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- An ultra strong magnet and 360 degree swivel hook for hanging, mounting or both
- An LED flashlight tip that lets you direct light when you don’t need all 30 LEDs

Peak Power Inverter & Charger3. Peak 150 Watt Cup Power Inverter

While it is nice to unplug from technology while camping, who’s to say that you can’t have your mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices charged up and ready on the way home. With two USB ports and two AC outlets, you can charge two electronic devices, a mattress pump and a camera simultaneously. The Peak power inverter is a great choice for camping because:

- Can charge four electronic devices at the same time
- Includes two USB ports and two standard 3-prong AC outlets
- Has a secure, sleep and compact cup-like design

ShelterLogic Popup Canopy4. ShelterLogic Popup Canopy

This canopy is easy to use and provides relief from the elements; whether it’s the sun shining or a bit of rain. A truly high-quality item with drip-free seams and anti-fungal agents, the ShelterLogic 10×10 popup canopy is the perfect complement to a relaxing day camping. The features that make this canopy great are:

- Quick and easy set up
- Sealed with water proof tape for drip-free seams
- Canopy made of patented fade blockers and anti-fungal agents

 

Part 2 of our Bright Ideas for Camping series can be found here!

It’s Wedding Season: What to Give the Happy Couple

White Wedding Gift

If you’re anything like me, your fridge tends to be covered in “save the date” postcards this time of year. And while I’m excited to spend my summer celebrating my friends’ and family’s wedded bliss, I’m kind of freaked out about what to get the Mr. and Mrs. (there are 5 couples!)

Then I realized that I work for a company that sells appliances for smaller living spaces. Putting that into the equation, along with the fact that my friends getting married are just starting out and buying their first homes, I knew I was golden. So without further hesitation, I give you my top five wedding gift recommendations.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If the couple you’re buying for doesn’t already have one these, I’m willing to bet that they want one (and it’s on their gift registry). This thing is a kitchen essential for people who like to bake or cook. It comes with attachments for preparing homemade pasta, ice cream, fruit juice and, of course, mixing among other things.

I’m getting this for the people that treat me like their child and have me over for dinner every now and then. I figure the menu will only expand once they get my gift…

Nesco Roaster2. Nesco 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Roaster

I have some friends that practically live at restaurants and seem to have never used their kitchen but swear they want to learn to cook. I’m getting them this roaster. Call it a crock pot, a slow cooker, a roaster – whatever you want, but this thing is the perfect tool for those aspiring to cook.

It goes like this: buy food, put in cooker, set cooker and voila! Dinner is ready when you get home from work. This is the perfect gateway cooking device!

EdgeStar Mini Kegerator3. EdgeStar Deluxe Mini Kegerator

One of the couples is having an open bar at their wedding, so naturally, the mini kegerator is a perfect wedding gift for them. They like to entertain and the groom is a bit of a beer snob. And for the nights they’re not entertaining, it can easily be placed in a closet due to its compact size.

The mini kegerator holds a 5L mini keg, which more breweries are starting to produce, and it’s the perfect size for two people to enjoy.

 

Portable Propane Grill4. Keg-a-Que Portable Propane Grill

Tailgating brought the couple I’m buying this for together. I find it’s only fitting to get them this as their wedding present.

It’s compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car and has handles on the side for carrying around to wherever their favorite teams take them. Plus, the fun football shape makes it perfect.

 

EdgeStar 18 Bottle Wine Cooler5. EdgeStar 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Nothing says love quite like wine… or a wine cooler for that matter. The last couple I’m giving a gift to is going to have their honeymoon in Napa, so what better gift than to give them a unit to properly store all of their new favorite wines?

This unit isn’t over the top big and has two different zones so they can chill both their reds and whites at the proper temperature.\

 

If you’re in panic over wedding season this year, don’t fret – there’s something out there for everyone!

Let us know in the comments what wedding gifts you are planning to give.

 

Top Commercial Products: EdgeStar Beverage Coolers

EdgeStar BWC70SS Beverage Cooler     EdgeStar BWC90SS Beverage Cooler     EdgeStar BWC120SS Beverage Cooler

Are you looking for a great, compact beverage cooler for your office or a customer waiting area?  The EdgeStar 62, 84, and 118 can beverage coolers would be a perfect choice for your needs. Whether you are a workout facility looking to store your energy drinks or an auto-repair shop that likes to offer a soda while your customers wait for their service repair, we have the beverage cooler for you!

The 3 different capacities allow you to pick the right size for your space.  These are also great for promotional gifts and can easily be labeled and decal-ed.  These beverage coolers will come in a stylish black color with stainless steel trim and handle.  The wire shelving inside the unit can be moved and arranged to accommodate different bottle sizes.  Give us a call if you would like to add these to your business or personal needs.

Ryan is the head of Business Sales for Living Direct. If you are interested in learning more about any of our commercial products or wish to make a bulk purchase from our site, you can reach Ryan at 1-800-297-6076 or contact him through this form.

Top Commercial Products: EdgeStar Medical Freezer

EdgeStar Medical Freezer

Our #1 selling EdgeStar medical freezer is being used all over the country at leading pharmacies.  This 1.5 cu/ft vaccine freezer has the ability to hold temperatures at -20°C and -5°F.  This is important because a lot of vaccines, including the new Zostavax vaccine for shingles, need to be constantly monitored and stored at these very low temperatures.

The convenient countertop design makes this mini freezer space efficient, which is important in a pharmacy setting.  We offer this unit in white, with stainless steel handle and built-in lock.

If you are looking for a solid, dependable and space efficient medical freezer for your pharmacy, please contact us!  We would love to add your pharmacy or medical center to the list of leading facilities using our EdgeStar CMF151L medical freezer!

Ryan is the head of Business Sales for Living Direct. If you are interested in learning more about any of our commercial products or wish to make a bulk purchase from our site, you can reach Ryan at 1-800-297-6076 or contact him through this form.


4 Built-In Appliances to Replace a Trash Compactor

trash compactor

If your kitchen has a trash compactor, but you hardly ever use it, then maybe it’s time you replaced it with a different appliance. Trash compactors are typically 15 inches wide, but make sure to measure your model and the opening it sits in before deciding on the new appliance you want to exchange it with.

To help get you started, I’ve put together a list of appliances that are 15” wide and could easily replace your outdated trash compactor. Start dreaming of the ways you can upgrade your kitchen:

Wine Cooler

Like all under counter appliances, you will want to make sure you are purchasing a wine cooler that is specifically designed for built-in purposes. A freestanding unit should not be built into cabinetry because it will overheat and stop working, and in the process, your wine could be ruined.

A wine cooler will definitely upgrade the look of your kitchen. There are many different designs you can choose from, but all of them are sleek and sure to be a conversation piece amongst visiting family and friends.

Aside from the aesthetics, if you enjoy wine, then having a wine refrigerator in your kitchen is convenient. You can easily pair a wine with your dinner, entertain guests or enjoy a glass after a long day at work. The wine will be perfectly chilled to your preferred temperature and waiting for you when you want it.

Some of my favorite 15”, built-in wine coolers:

Koldfront Built-In Wine CoolerKoldfront BWR300BL Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 30 bottles

- Temperature range of 40 – 65 degrees F

- LED display & interior lighting

- Slide out wire shelves

 

EdgeStar Built-In Wine CoolerEdgeStar CWR261DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

- Dual zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature ranges:
Lower zone – 40-54 degrees F
Upper zone – 54-64 degrees F

- Slide out steel-trimmed, wooden shelves

 

Vinotemp Wine CoolerVinotemp VT-26 Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature range: 45-65 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping your wine secure

- Slide out wood shelves

 

Beverage Refrigerator

What’s great about having a beverage fridge in your home is you’ll free up space in your kitchen refrigerator. Sodas and beers can take up quite a bit of shelf space that could instead be used for more groceries or leftovers from dinner.

Having a designated fridge for your drinks will also make it easier when entertaining because guests will know exactly where to go for a refill. It also means your refrigerator door won’t be constantly opened and closed, causing temperature fluctuations, which can cause some food items, like eggs, to go bad.

My favorite 15”, built-in beverage fridges:

EdgeStar Beverage FridgeEdgeStar CBR900SS Beverage Fridge

- Holds up to 84 cans

- Temperature range: 38-50 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- Slide out coated wire shelves

- Blue LED interior lighting

 

Avanti Undercounter Beverage CenterAvanti BCA1501SS Beverage Center

- Holds up to 72 cans

- Temperature range: 34-43 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- 2 slide out glass shelves, 1 slide out wire shelf, 1 basket

- LED interior lighting

 

Marvel Beverage Fridge & Wine CoolerMarvel Beverage and Wine Fridge

- Holds up to 60 cans & 4 wine bottles

- Temperature range: 40-65 degrees F

- Slide out maple-trimmed, wire shelves

- Double pane, tinted, UV-resistant glass door

- An alarm if the temperature is higher or lower than desired point for an extended time

 

Refrigerator

Maybe instead of drinks, it’s too much food that’s making it difficult to close your kitchen refrigerator door. An under counter refrigerator might be the answer to your problems then.

Beverage fridges and regular fridges have a similar temperature range, but beverage fridges might get warmer than you need for storing food. Also, many refrigerators have door storage and adjustable shelves, which most beverage refrigerators don’t have.

Here are my favorite built-in refrigerators:

Avanti Built-In RefrigeratorAvanti OBC32SS Outdoor Refrigerator

- 3.2 cubic foot capacity

- Reinforced for outdoor use, but can be used indoors

- Comes with attachable caster wheels for easy mobility

- Full range thermostat

- Reversible, stainless steel door

 

Marvel Built-In RefrigeratorMarvel 30AR Refrigerator

- 3.0 cubic foot capacity

- 3 adjustable, chrome-plated wire shelves & 3 door shelves

- Auto-defrost

- Filler kit allows usage in 18-inch wide opening

- Leveling legs

 

Ice Maker

Large families, or those that just really love ice, might find that their refrigerator ice maker can’t keep up with their needs. Luckily, you can get a separate, larger ice maker than can be built into your kitchen cabinetry.

There are quite a few different under counter ice makers available on the market and most make what is known as clear ice, meaning it contains no impurities; it’s restaurant quality. However, the Scotsman that I’ve included in my list of favorite built-in ice machines makes what is known as nugget ice or, as most people call it, Sonic ice. That’s right; you can get delicious Sonic ice right in your home!

My favorite built-in ice makers:

EdgeStar Built-In Ice MakerEdgeStar Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 45 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Gravity drain line

- Insulated ice storage

 

Danby Ice MakerDanby Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 32 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Built-in drain pump

- Produces bullet-shaped ice cubes

 

Scotsman Sonic Ice MakerScotsman Nugget Ice Maker

- Makes up to 125 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 22 pounds of ice

- Produces “Sonic” ice

- Drain pump with 10 foot pump line

- Uses 40% less energy than standard machines

 

So, now that you know about the variety of built-in appliances available, it’s time for you to update and upgrade your kitchen by getting rid of that outdated, unused trash compactor. Fall in love with your kitchen all over again with any one of these amazing appliances!

 

A Baby Shower with a Splash

Nostalgia Electrics Party Fountain

This past weekend I threw my very first baby shower for some amazing friends!  In my beginning ventures to pick out the perfect theme I was caught up in cookie cutter themes that have been done a thousand times over.  If you have a boy you should expect trains, baby bears or prince themes to name a few.  It wasn’t until I starting looking online that I found the perfect custom theme “Woodland Creatures” and all things natural and outside.

So I went to town on creating little woodland creatures, and beautiful flowers that felt random and fresh picked in mason jars, and crinkled grass.  But I wanted something that made…well a splash and found the  Nostalgia Electrics Vintage Party Fountain.

Because this was a baby shower I made lemonade for the fountain and it turned out amazing!  It became the hit of the party and what everyone was talking about.  It just added that extra bit of sweetness and whimsical delight needed!  It was extremely easy to put together and operate and sounded so relaxing in the background with the trickling lemonade.  So I hope when you plan your next shower, party or get-together this inspires you in finding those extra special touches and maybe even your very own fountain!

Nostalgia Electrics Party Fountain  Nostalgia Electrics Party Fountain  Nostalgia Electrics Party Fountain

Keeping Your Resolution to Get Fit in 2012

As the clock ticked to 2012, many of us pledged the same resolution we do each year and that’s to get in shape, lose the extra pounds from the holidays, and really, just lead an overall healthier lifestyle. With the help of a few key appliances, this year could be a lot easier to keep your resolution and stay motivated and all without even visiting a gym!

Check out these products that will aid in your transition to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year:

Kettler Exercise Bike1. Kettler Polo M Exercise Bike

By investing in a Kettler exercise bike, you’ll be able to work out on your own time and in the comfort of your own home. Exercising at home is great because it’s so much more convenient than driving to the gym and you can even catch a couple of episodes of your favorite TV show while burning a few hundred calories.

This model is perfect to track progress to your goal with the easy-to use display showing your calories burned, distance traveled and even your heart rate during the workout.

 

Deni Food Steamer2. Deni 3 Tier Digital Food Steamer – Stainless Steel

A food steamer is a great way to get started with a healthy cooking routine. Not only can steaming retain 50% more vitamins and nutrients than boiling, but another bonus is you can prepare your entire meal with just the use of this product.

The extra tiers on the Deni model allow you to steam everything from rice to seafood and, of course, vegetables all at the same time.

 

Cuisinart Electric Blender3. Cuisinart Smart Power 7-Speed Electric Blender

No kitchen would be complete without a multi-speed blender. The Cuisinart 7-speed electric blender is powerful enough to mix, chop, crush or pulse whatever healthy meal or snack you’re making.

Smoothies and protein shakes will be a beneficial addition to your new lifestyle and a breeze for this powerful blender.

 

I wish you the best of luck in staying motivated and reaching your goal this year — I know you can do it! Check out our full line of fitness equipment, steamers and blenders for additional options to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Small Appliances

Small Appliances

Small kitchen appliances make great gifts for any occasion. They are affordable and usually appreciated for the purpose they serve. Finding the right appliance can be confusing and time consuming but with these tips we hope to make your next shopping trip a little bit easier! Do your research and make sure you compare reviews so the gift-receiver isn’t left with a useless appliance.   Here are the top three most common small appliances for gifts:

 

1. Coffee Makers

Kalorik Coffee Maker

One of the best and most popular appliance gifts for the holidays is coffee makers. These are excellent gift choices because they will provide the receiver with hot beverages, a great way to warm up during this cold weather period.

Coffee makers typically range in price. Choices vary based on your budget and the special add-ons you want to include that may or may not be necessary for its overall purpose. For the best decision consider the recipient’s taste. Do they enjoy bright colors? If so, the Kalorik 12 Cup Coffee Maker is a great choice, we love its bright cherry red color and it can make enough coffee for the recipient and their family. It also has great digital features for the high tech people in your life! We offer a variety of coffee makers available in different colors, serving sizes and features, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for the coffee lover on your list.

 

2. Mixers and Blenders

Tailgator Portable Blender          Oster 10-Speed Blender          Kalorik Stand Mixer

Mixers and blenders are the next most popular appliance gifts. They make the perfect gift for the baker in your life or your health-conscious friend who enjoys a morning smoothie.  Both are also usually inexpensive but again, the price varies depending on the features you want.

Does your brother love to tailgate?  Get the green Tailgator Gas Powered Portable Blender for him to enjoy frozen drinks at his favorite sporting event.  For the more traditional model, try the Oster 10-Speed Blender . Then we’ve got this amazing Kalorik Silver Stand Mixer, for the Betty Crocker in your life.  You can choose from any of our mixer and blender options that come with a variety of features.

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3. Toaster

Cuisinart Toaster                    Sunpentown Breakfast Maker

And finally, another common appliance gift is the toaster. Many families use toasters every single morning for breakfast. You can choose a regular toaster for the typical 2-4 slice appliance, or you can opt for a more multi-purpose toaster oven, which can toast your bread as well as cook frozen foods and bake small quantities of cookies and small entrees.

Our Cuisinart Classic 2-Slice Toaster is the perfect gift for your friend with a modern kitchen. Or you can combine the conveniences of coffee and breakfast by giving this Sunpentown Stainless Steel 3 in 1 Breakfast Maker as a present.

Finding the right small appliance for your gift giving needs can be easy if you consider the functions and preferences of the user.  Small appliances are excellent gifts for loved ones; they will keep on giving, providing the recipient with freshly made coffee or cooked food and drinks for many years to come!

Must-Have Products for Holiday Entertaining

Tis’ the season to entertain!  Many of us love entertaining and the holidays but entertaining during the holidays can be downright stressful.  As a child you enjoyed all the festivities had to offer whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah or, for some, maybe even Festivus! As we become adults we get to see the behind the scenes of it all and unless you have super powers you have had your challenges.  So here is a helpful guide on must-have products to make your entertaining season full of cheer!

Slow Cooker:

One of my favorite must-haves is the infamous slow cooker. This is a great product for even those nights when you have to fit in some holiday shopping and still manage to cook dinner for the family. The options are endless: you can make a wonderful, warm apple cider, an amazing dip for Christmas Eve, baked applies for dessert or, on Christmas, a hearty soup as an appetizer. Growing up every Christmas, we had Escarole and Bean Soup, super delicious and super easy!

Simply any appliance that allows you to get all of your other duties done while it does all the cooking is a life saver. There are some great options to choose from depending on your family/guest size. I typically have small get-togethers and find the perfect size for me is a 3.5 qt, like the Cuisinart 3.5 Programmable Slow Cooker, but if you have a larger family a 6.5-7 qt might be right for you. Check out the Cuisinart 6.5 qt Programmable Slow Cooker or the Kalorik 7 qt Slow Cooker for larger groups.

Knife Set/Food Processor:

Whether you are a purist or practical, you need a great tool to help with food preparation.  For the purist who really takes cooking to a higher standard, a great knife set is key. I highly recommend any knife set from the Ginsu Knife Collection as they are the epitome of high quality! For the amateur chef or the professional, you have a range to choose from. A couple of my favorite knife sets are the Ginsu Chikara 5  Piece Bamboo/Stainless Steel Set and Ginsu Shoku Ebony 8 Piece with Magnetic Strip.

For the practical chef who doesn’t have enough hands to keep up, a great food processor can help out a lot. Preparation is half the battle and these are some of the great options available: Cuisinart 4 Cup Food Processor, Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor and, for the budget-minded, Black & Decker Food Chopper.

Gravy Boat:

My father (who is a chef, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about) always said a good gravy boat is essential to a holiday meal as the gravy ties the entire meal together.  There are many wonderful gravy boats on the market today, but I have a new favorite.

What is better than a regular gravy boat? A heated gravy boat with a wide handle and nice design, the Next Level Gravy Boat.  Not only is it great for serving gravy, but it can also be used for morning brunch as a syrup warmer!  You could probably use it for many other sauces as well. I believe anything that warms something dear to your heart is a great product and a must-have!

Wine & Beverage Refrigerators:

If you are the type of entertainer to throw big lavish dinners, cozy get-togethers or rowdy parties (so pretty much, any type of entertainer), then enjoying a holiday beverage is key. Whether you love a cold beer, tall glass of wine or some bubbly, a great beverage or wine cooler is a big convenience. There are so many different options available that you are sure to find the right product for your needs.

Here are some wonderful units for all of you different types of entertainers:
- Cold Beer: EdgeStar 84 Can Beverage Cooler
- Cozy Get-Together: Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler
- Red OR White Wine: Koldfront 30 Bottle Wine Cooler
- Red AND White Wine: EdgeStar 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Coffee Makers:

Lastly, but definitely not least, is a great coffee maker!  Coffee is many things for different people. Some use it as their alarm clock to wake up, it’s what keeps others going throughout the day and for people like me, it is just nice to sit and enjoy a lively conversation over a hot cup of coffee.

If you’re going to be hosting a crowd this holiday season, then make sure you have enough joe to go around! Get a large coffee machine like the Cuisinart 12 Cup Coffee Maker or the Cuisinart Grind & Brew 10 Cup Coffee Maker. And don’t forget about the tea drinkers in your family, the Kalorik-JK31099 Dome Jug Kettle will help them feel right at home.