Product Review: Brother MFC-9130CW (an all-in-one color laser printer!)

Brother MFC 9130CW

 

As a stay at home parent, I use my printer on a daily basis.  From digital copies of medical records and bills, to word scrambles, coloring pages, and fun pictures for the kids, our printers get constant use.  And before the kids, we were in college; The printing just never stops!  And the worst part is that ink refills were so expensive, it was cheaper to get a new photo printer at Walmart than refill the cartridges, and who wants fifty trashed printers going into the dump every year?  So a few years ago, my husband and I made the switch to laser printers.  Sure, we still keep a photo printer around for the occasional high quality color print, but 99% of our needs were originally met by an $80 Brother HL-2170W wireless laser printer!  We’ve only had to replace the toner a couple times over the years, and have spent so much less than we had been with ink!

So now that we’re growing as a family, we need to be able to scan school documents, print color birthday invitations and wall decorations, flash cards, or make quick copies of things the kids bring us (Alex wants to carry around his class photo but you know it won’t last long playing outside with him!).  We looked into our options for quality printing, preferably in an all-in-one so we can scan, copy, and print with just one machine.  Hoping to stick to laser printers, we decided on the Brother MFC 9130CW.  This wireless color laser printer is amazing!

 

Brother MFC 9130CW Setup via Touchscreen

 

The MFC 9130CW printer also works as a copier, wireless scanner (yep, it will send documents to your computer from anywhere in the house), and even a fax machine!  We don’t have a landline, so we were unable to test the fax option, but we gave the rest of the machine some good use.  The set up was so incredibly simple that I was able to set it up on my own with a 4 year old by my side.  The toner needs a few plastic covers pulled off, and some stickers holding doors closed need removed.  A simple illustrated instruction paper shows where each item is and how to install the toner cartridges.  Once the printer is set up and powered on, the touch screen allows you to set things up.  Within seconds it found our WiFi, I typed in the password right there on the touch screen, and it connected!  All of our computers were able to find it instantly on both Mac and PC.  One thing the instructions did not specify, but I recommend, is going into the options and tools and pressing “calibrate.”  The printer will adjust itself so your don’t have streaks or ghost images in your printed pictures.

 

Brother MFC 9130CW color laser printer, scanner, and copier!

 

As a scanner, the unit was great.  You can scan and copy at different quality levels.  Higher quality will take a few seconds longer to scan, but will be a much richer and more detailed image than the low quality scans.  When connected to your network, the scanner can send images to a destination such as your computer.  And with a top loading slot, you can drop a stack of documents, set to scan to your computer, and walk away.  Those 20 pages will be automatically taken care of.  I thought this was especially great, because I hate having to sit at a scanner and put one page on, wait for scan, open the door, take page off, put new page on, wait for scan… you get the idea.

 

We found so many fun activities for the kids in the Brother Creative Center!

 

The printing quality is also highly dependent on your settings.  Standard quality is perfect for black and white images, text documents, and general printing.  We often use a low quality by default to save toner, because our kids really don’t care if the lines on their coloring pages are perfectly crisp and clear.  We really want to save toner, because once we found the Brother Creative Center, the printer was going non-stop for the afternoon!  The Brother Creative Center has a huge selection of free crafts, activities, educational flash cards, games, and more for the kids to enjoy, and Alex and Evan were more than happy to yell “PRINT! PRINT!” at almost everything.  The Creative Center will prove useful for Mommy and Daddy too, with free business templates, brochures, letter head, and more.

 

Avengers birthday activities, decorations, and invitations printed at home (on my color laser printer!)

 

The real test we wanted to perform was a photo test, using the high quality setting on the printer.  Laser printers do not offer the same level of crispness and clarity that ink can provide, so we set out to test how far laser quality has come in recent years.  My husband made birthday invitation post cards featuring HD images of our son’s favorite characters.  The front is a large and colorful promo image of Lego Marvel Super Heroes, including hundreds of colors and a high range of lights to darks.  The back features Baymax, Lego Iron Man, and stylized text for the invite information and addresses.  He set the printer to thick paper media, since he printed on cardstock, and set the quality to “Best.”  On Wifi, the images took a couple minutes to send to the printer and be processed.  But again, this was an HD picture, so that was understandable.  Once processing completed, the cardstock was pulled in the manual feed slot and was done printing in about three seconds.  There were a couple areas of very bright light in the image where lines from the printer heads were visible, but otherwise the images were very high quality!  We were actually surprised it did so well; High quality prints are clear and bright enough to frame and nobody can tell it came from a laser printer!  We are definitely impressed with how far consumer model laser printers have come in quality.  Just make sure to use laser-compatible photo paper!

As you can imagine, copying combines the scanner and printer and the same parameters apply to each.  If you select high quality copy, it will both scan and print in high quality.  And of course, with two ornery little boys and one big one in the house, hands, feet, and even faces were copied directly on the scanner bed.  Lower quality copies of faces came out very dark and a bit creepy!  But the high quality copies of soft tiny squished faces were incredibly cute, and the boys had a great time with the printer!  (Note: No, the scanner light isn’t bright enough to hurt the eyes, but in case you’re worried, all eyes were closed and I promise no children were hurt in the process of this review.)

And one last thing – I have had so much fun printing directly from my iPhone.  Generally I email myself the pages to print from my laptop, but now I can save myself the extra steps.  I can even print our own free activity sheets from FamilyCentsability.com!

If you’re looking for a printer, and are tired of constantly refilling ink, buying new printers, and having your old ink dry up and clog the heads, head over to Brother and make the switch to laser!  Go wireless or All-In-One for even more fun and functionality!

 

Disclosure:  We were provided a complimentary product in return for an honest review.  

 

Make a difference by teaching babies to swim with Pediaswim! #MomBuzz #PoolTime #Baby

baby swim lessons

 

Hey moms and dads, have your babies or toddlers gone through swimming lessons?  Did you know swimming lessons can start within months of birth?  Does your community even have a resource for baby swim lessons?

My husband’s school system had an amazing swim program.  All students were required to do swimming lessons in gym for 4 weeks per year.  In order to graduate 8th grade they had to pass a vigorous swim test, including non stop swimming of various strokes, multiple forms of diving, water treading exercising, and survival techniques including jumping in fully clothed and being able to use your clothing as floatation devices!  When he started at that school system, he was able to stay above water, and that’s about it.  He’s amazing in the water now, and forever grateful for that course which has saved him a number of times in the ocean.

But many areas are not lucky enough to have such programs, and many children grow up with a fear of the water and no ability to save themselves if swimming or floating is involved.  This is where PediaSwim comes in!  PediaSwim is a great program that teaches proper instruction of swimming for infants.  After completing a PediaSwim training program, you will be qualified to provide infant swim lessons for your community!  Not only can you help the children in your area, you can run your own business and be your own boss.

PediaSwim is a four week baby swimming instructor training course based in Winter Garden, Florida.  With accommodations and transportation assistance available, you’ll be given one on one training working with infants ranging from six months to three years old.  The lessons range from working directly with children and all that entails, to marketing and business practices you’ll need while getting started as an instructor back at home.

If you know someone who is looking for a way to invest in themselves, build the community, or start a profitable business, let them know about PediaSwim’s infant swimming instructor training!  No child should be left without the ability to survive around water, and infancy is an amazing time before the fear of water sets in; You could be the one to save a kid’s life!

 

 

Now for an awesome GIVEAWAY! 

 

 

PediaSwim Giveaway Image

 

PediaSwim is looking across the country to find the perfect people to become their communities PediaSwim instructor! As an instructor, you will own your own business, be an important asset to your community, and have fun every day with unlimited earning potential.

PediaSwim is a comprehensive infant swimming instructor certification program teaching infants and toddlers to swim-float-swim for fun and safety. In three to five weeks children learn to swim facedown, kicking in the correct posture and then rolling to a calm float, then flipping back over to a propulsive swim. You can become an asset to your community by becoming a PediaSwim Instructor.

 

Click to learn about PediaSwim’s baby swimming instructor training course.

Mom Buzz Media bloggers have teamed up with PediaSwim and will be hosting a fun giveaway!

3 Winners will be chosen!

Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and Toddler Swimming Gift Basket
2 other winners each get $25 Amazon gift cards

Giveaway Ends 5/17 – GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize will be sent by the sponsor. Winning entries of this giveaway will be verified. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

 

 

Visit Pediaswim online:
https://twitter.com/pedia_swim
https://www.facebook.com/PediaSwim

 

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media. All opinions expressed above are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Hawaiian Inspired Recipe: Kalua Chicken

I was provided complimentary chicken from Zaycon Fresh to facilitate this review, however all opinions and photos are that of our own.  

 

Kalua Chicken with rice and pineapple - an easy alternative to the Hawaiian Kalua Pig recipe my family brought back to the mainland!

Remember that time you bought a package of food and absolutely LOVED it, so you get a craving and rush out to buy another package?  You get home, get everything put away, sit down to enjoy your food… and it’s nowhere near as good as the first time!  This has happened to me all too often, so I am grateful when I find a brand with good taste AND consistent quality like Zaycon Fresh.

 

40 lbs of chicken and the most convenient pick-up ever!

 

I wrote a review of Zaycon Foods’ chicken breasts last year, and decided to try them again to see how consistent our local products actually are.  While they may have changed their name, the products are still the same…and as great as ever!  The chicken came as quick and easy as before, taking less than three minutes to pick up from the delivery truck.  Very convenient – I was able to stop by the event after picking my son up from Pre-K.  The chicken breasts were very large, clean, and well packaged.  Suffice to say the quality is amazing, some of the best chicken we’ve ever had and for a pretty great price.  Since the quality and price hasn’t changed since my last review, I’m going to focus on one of our favorite recipes for the chicken!

Kalua Chicken with rice and pineapple - an easy alternative to the Hawaiian Kalua Pig recipe my family brought back to the mainland!

 

My husband’s family has a long history with Hawaii, and he loves Kalua Pig.  So with forty pounds of chicken, and no pork on hand, he made some Kalua Chicken!  Chicken requires a different method than the pork, and the recipe is simple, but the taste is amazing.

 

What you’ll need:

4-6 chicken breasts
1-2tbsp coarse sea salt (preferably pink)
1-2tsp liquid smoke

 

Kalua Chicken recipe (easy to make!)

 

 

Recipe preparation:

Put the chicken breasts in a slow cooker, cover with water, and cook on high for 6-8 hours until the breasts fall apart easily when you try to lift them out of the crock pot.

Remove the chicken and use a fork to gently pull the chicken apart in strips.  Follow the ‘grain’ of the meat to get long strips.

Drain the crock pot, then add the chicken back in.  Add the salt and liquid smoke, mix in gently.

Cook on low for 30 minutes.

Serve!

 

Variations:

My husband likes to mix his with sticky Calrose rice, veggies, chopped pineapple, and a hint of teriyaki or shoyu sauce.  I prefer to keep the chicken and rice separate, with pineapple on the side.  The best part is if you get tired of the leftovers, just add barbecue and stir to get barbecued pulled chicken!

What’s your go-to simple chicken recipe?  Let me know in the comments then head over to check out the Zaycon events in your area!

 

Kalua Chicken with rice and pineapple - an easy alternative to the Hawaiian Kalua Pig recipe my family brought back to the mainland!

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