Monthly Archive:: December 2013

Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect Review – Long Live the Queen!


When we published our review of the SnugRide 40 Click Connect, I proclaimed it “King” of all the SnugRide models in the Graco Kingdom. And while it’s good to be King, sometimes being Queen is just as good, or even better. I like to think of the SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect as the Queen of the SnugRide Kingdom.

You might be wondering how many SnugRides there are in Graco Land? By my last count there are now 8 (Yes, EIGHT!) different “Click Connect” Graco SnugRide infant carseat models. If you want to understand the differences between them – see our SnugRide comparison guide here:

Graco SnugRide Click Connect Infant Carseat Comparison

The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect model is available at Amazon, Kohls, BuyBuyBaby & select specialty retailers. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.) and optional harness strap covers. 2016 SnugRide 35 LX models are available in several fashions including “Harris“, “Studio” and “Rittenhouse” .

 Graco SnugRide 35 LX - Harris Graco SnugRide 35 LX - Studio

ABC Kids Expo 2013: What’s New from Baby Trend, Orbit Baby & The First Years


Here’s a quick run down of ABC updates from Baby Trend, Orbit Baby & TOMY/The First Years


Baby Trend:

Inertia infant seat

  • no longer BRU exclusive.
  • 5-32 lbs; rigid latch attachments; anti-rebound bar; no-rethread harness
  • New 2014 fashions

Baby Trend Inertia  Baby Trend Inertia




Hybrid combination seat

  • 22-50 lbs. with harness; 17″ top harness slots
  • 30-100 lbs highback booster; 40-100 backless booster

Baby Trend FastBack & Hybrid

FastBack combination seat

  • Rigid latch attachments
  • Weight limit for 2014 models will be 22-65 lbs with harness
  • Due to weight of product 2014 models will only allow LATCH usage to 36 lbs



G3 infant seat update – primarily changes in soft goods

  • tight mesh cover
  • release levers now grey
  • paparazzi cover sewn into canopy

G3 Base

  • Latch belt routed behind lock-off
  • Single side adjuster

Toddler Seat (Convertible)

  • Height limit now 49″


TOMY/The First Years:

The B830 combination seat that we’ve been seeing at ABC for the last few years will be released at some point in 2014 but it will be released under the JJ Cole brand name. We don’t have any other details but will follow up with our contacts at TOMY and keep you posted.

 Contigo infant seat – currently available

  • must always be used with base (no guides for baseless install)
  • 5-35 lbs; no re-thread harness; forward handle position for rebound management

No changes to current convertibles.


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?


ABC Expo 2013: Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest


At the ABC Show in October, we saw a product we saw in prototype form at the 2012 ABC Show. We thought it was a great idea back then and we still think it’s a great idea now. It reminds me of my old Dream Wings; perhaps those of you who have been around for a while remember those being sold in Skymall and One Step Ahead.

Anyway, the Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest is for kiddos in backless boosters (ahem, or adults) who would like head support while sleeping. A bonus is that it helps keep these same boostered kids from becoming limp noodles in their boosters when they fall asleep. The wings attach securely to the vehicle’s head restraint poles with hooks and star knobs and can be adjusted up or down to fit a person of any size. They can also be rotated up and out of the way for daily use. Here’s a video of the headrest in use.


For more information, see the Cardiff website at The Booster Seat Headrest retails for $49.99 and is available on Amazon.