Instructional Archive

Caps for Sale – converting your retail model Evenflo Maestro into an institutional model without cup holders


CapsForSaleCaps for Sale was one of my favorite books when I was a kid and it also makes an appropriate title for this blog! :)

As many of our readers know, retail models of the Evenflo Maestro come with cup holders that are permanent once they are attached to the shell. However, “institutional” versions of the same seats (sold to CPS programs) come without cup holders. In their place are little plastic caps that cover the holes in the shell where the cup holders attach. While most parents (and kids) are happy to have a carseat with dual integrated cup holders – those features take up a little extra room. For a parent or caregiver trying to fit two carseats side-by-side or 3-across the back of a small or mid-size vehicle – the lack of cup holders on the Maestro can make the difference between installation success and failure. 


I recently discovered that Evenflo will sell the little caps separately to consumers who own Maestro models. Now, if you’ve already attached the cup holders then this info won’t help you because you can’t detach the cup holders once they’re locked into place. If you try to pry them off, you’ll probably wind up damaging your seat and no one wants that to happen. However, if you have a new Maestro that hasn’t been “assembled” yet, you can call Evenflo Customer Service (aka Parent Link), give them your Maestro model # and order “Armrest Cap” (Item # 24101591). For a pair of caps, it should cost around $7.50 with shipping included.

FYI – It’s very important to cover the holes in the shell with either the caps or the cup holders otherwise your child can get a finger trapped in there.


Side-by-side difference:

The Ultimate Manufacturers’ Name Guide


Britax has gone and done it again. Way back in the ‘90s they were once known as Brit-axe, pronounced like Britain. Then they decided that to sound more Southern, they needed to give their “i” a long sound, so they became Br-eye-tax (can’t you just hear some Southern Belle pronouncing that?). Now they’ve changed again (sheesh, make up your minds already!) and we’re left scratching our heads. Carseat manufacturers are no different than any other companies we come across in our daily lives where we wonder how to pronounce their names. Here’s a list of the manufacturers and their pronunciations.


Baby Trend: Bay-bee Trend. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Britax logo_G+R_CMYK

Britax: Brit-axe. Kind of like a blonde gal named Britt coming after you with an axe.


BubbleBum: Bubb-l Bum. Blow a bubble and stick it on your bum.


Chicco: Key-ko. It’s not Chee-ko like they tell you at BRU, for gosh sakes!


Clek: The sound a rigid LATCH connector makes when it attaches to a LATCH anchor. Clek. Don’t know what that sounds like? Buy a Foonf, Oobr, Olli, or Ozzi to find out.


Combi USA: Com-bee USA. I’m going to go drive the combine around the farm. A comma is used in a sentence to separate two clauses. Com-bee.


Cybex: Sigh-bex. Sigh. Cybex


Diono: Dee-oh-no. Not the other way! Get your brain out of the gutter now. C’mon!


Dorel: Door-el. I wonder how many doors there are at Dorel?


Safety 1st: Safe-tee 1st


Maxi-Cosi: Max-ee Co-zy


Cosco: Cos-co. It’s a lot like Cost-co, isn’t it? But it’s NOT. There’s no T. Cosco.


Eddie Bauer: Ed-dee Bow-wer. Expensive hunter green and tan.


Evenflo: Eeeeee-ven-flow. Oh, oops. I put a W on the end. There’s no W there either. Just like there’s no T in Cosco.


Snugli: Snug-lee. Something your husband gets late at night.


Graco: Gray-co. Not Grack-o crack-o. Gray-co. See, nice and easy!


Aprica: App-ree-ka. Japanese for stroller. Not really; I’m guessing since I don’t speak Japanese.


Teutonia USA: Too-tony-ah USA. Why couldn’t they have spelled it the way I did?


Harmony: Ebony and Ivory, live together in perfect Har-mony!


Kiddy USA: Kidd-ee USA. Here Kiddy Kiddy


Kids Embrace: Kids Em-br-ace each other in friendship and goodwill


Orbit Baby: Or-bit Bay-bee. I wonder if they’ll book my trip to Lifesavers for me. Oh wait, that’s Orbitz. Nevermind.


Peg Pérego: Peg Per-eggo. Leggo my eggo Peg. If you say it fast enough, it sounds right. They’re Italian, you know.


Recaro: Ruh-car-oh. Ruh-roh. I need a Scooby snack!


Safe Traffic System: Safe Tr-aff-ic Sys-tem. Whaddya know? That one was easy.


Summer Infant: Sum-mer In-fant. Oh how I wish it was summer right now!



Tomy: Toe-mee. Toe-mee. Toe-mee. Toe-mee.


The First Years: The Fir-st Yeers. As opposed to The Last Years.


JJ Cole: Jay-Jay-Coal. You expect more because of the double initial. You should expect more because of the double initial.


So there you have it–now you’re the cool kid on the block who knows how to say all the baby brand manufacturer names. You can impress all your friends when you get together for mimosas and mojitos at playgroup. I double-dog dare you to say Chicco after you’ve had a couple of cocktails 😉 .

*We would like to acknowledge that this blog marks an important milestone for us. This is our 1,000th published blog post! Thank you to all our readers who have proven throughout the years that we weren’t crazy to believe that other parents and caregivers would also be interested in a blog about carseats and child passenger safety! :)

Graco Buckle Replacement Instructions


As we reported a few months ago, Graco is allowing owners of some of their carseats to upgrade their harness buckles for a small fee.  Here are a couple videos with instructions for making the change!  So, if you need help installing the replacement buckle, hopefully these will do the trick!



Ho-Ho-Homade Ornaments


salt dough 2Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving was so late, or maybe it’s because this is our first holiday season in a cold environment, but we cannot wait for Christmas this year! I’ve been itching to do some crafts, and I figured the day after Thanksgiving was the perfect time since there was no way you’d find me heading to the mall.

Now, I consider myself a fairly crafty person. I love doing crafts, but I’ll admit I don’t love doing them with my kids. I have a low tolerance for glue and paint in all the wrong places. But I also know it’s good for them to get creative and for me to step out of my comfort zone, so this Black Friday, it was all about family crafting.

snowmanFirst up were the Melted Snowmen ornaments. I forget where I first saw these, but I filed it away in my mind a long time ago. You fill plastic (or glass, if you’re brave) ornaments with salt, add some peppercorn “coal,” and carrots and sticks made of polymer clay. Sculpting the clay parts was the most time-consuming step, but even that went pretty fast. A few minutes to bake and cool, then everything got added to the globes. (Hint: Use a funnel for the salt!) The whole project took less than an hour.

Next: salt dough ornaments. I turned to the interwebs for a good recipe, but everything I found was different, and people reported different levels of success. I lucked out on my choice, though. The dough worked beautifully, and the end result feel more like bisque or stone than baked dough. Here’s the recipe I used:

salt dough2 cups flour

1 cup salt

3/4 cup warm water (plus more if it’s too dry–I needed just a bit more)

Mix together with a spoon then knead until smooth.

I rolled mine out to 3/8″ then we used various cookie cutters to make our designs. Remember to add holes for hanging!

Bake at 200 degrees for two hours. (I put mine on parchment paper, but the bottoms wound up still damp so I had to put them back in without. Next time I’ll skip the parchment.)

The colored ones were stamped with regular stamp-pad ink before they were baked. We planned on painting the other ones, but I think we might leave some blank because the stone-look is so cool.

(In case you’re wondering, I ordered the Minecraft and Starbucks cookie cutters from a seller on Etsy.)

The day wasn’t without mishaps. My 2-year-old spilled a whole bottle of peppercorns on the floor (those things can roll!) and I wound up vacuuming four times. But we had so much fun, I just might declare every Black Friday “Ornament Day.”

What are your favorite ornaments or holiday crafts to make with kids?