Finding A Quality Child Safety Seat On A Budget

Convertible car seat shoppingEven though the safety of our children is the most important concern of any parent, we all can’t afford to spend $400 or $500 on a high end safety seat, and we should not feel bad about that. We do not want to end up skimping on security for the sake of saving a few bucks and this may cause some to feel a bit guilty, but you shouldn’t fret about it. There are a number of high quality child seats on the market that allow you to buy something that will offer protection for both your children and your pocketbook. Buying a convertible safety seat is also a smart economical choice as it can be used as your child grows. The versatility to use it for infants all the way up to toddlers is something that is desirable for parents and it is a major reason why these types of car seats are so popular.

Having a child can be quite expensive, and a new car seat is an important purchase. You want the money you spend to provide you with something that is going to keep your little one safe and free from harm. So, what are some of the best choices? We decided to go through current convertible car seat reviews for parents to find some options that are lighter on the wallet while providing peace of mind while you are out on the road.

Convertible Car Seats That Won’t Break The Bank

While the higher end car seats may offer slightly more safety features, any seat being sold today in a reputable store must meet certain standards. Knowing this should help put your mind at ease as even a budget-friendly choice will be able to provide the features needed to secure your child in the event of an accident. Below are some of top convertible car seats that are quite affordable.

Graco Size4Me 65

This convertible car seat is more of a mid-range option as it will cost you between $150 and $200. This model has can be used for kids from 5 to 65 lbs. As your child grows you can switch or “convert” the seat from rear facing to forward facing. It features a simple to use “InRight” LATCH system specific to Graco models that make it a breeze secure into place in your back seat. This help deliver much needed convenience when getting the seat in and out of your car. It comes with side impact protection, EPS energy absorbing foam, a five point harness, and it has been thoroughly tested to meet or exceed current safety standards. It also has comfortable materials, a cup holder, and is something that kids will enjoy riding in. Owner reviews for the Size4Me line of car seats has been extremely positive as well as parents really love how it performs on a daily basis.

Britax Marathon ClickTight

Not exactly budget-friendly, the Marathon will run somewhere around $250. For that price however, you do end up getting exceptional value as far as safety features are concerned. Side impact protection, sturdy frame, energy absorbing base, and SafeCell technology all designed to protect your child from the forces of a crash and shield them from flying debris. The materials used are also excellent as they are breathable, easy to clean, and comfortable for your child. The Britax Marathon is perhaps the top rated seat for its protection, performance, and how much kids love riding in it. If you can afford to stretch your dollars, this would be an terrific option for your first, or second, convertible car seat.

Evenflo Tribute LX

This model is a wonderfully capable basic convertible car seat. It does what it is supposed to do which is provide protect for your little one while driving at a price point that is under $100. This is the least expensive of the models on our list, but it still meets or exceeds current safety requirements. Where this model may lag behind the others is its attention to detail and its overall comfort. Some owners complain about the lack of padding of the seat and how difficult it was sometimes to install in their vehicle in the rear facing position. Despite some of the minor complaints of this seat, the overall scores from users is still pretty decent. If you are in a pinch, this seat will be more than adequate for your child. As long as you use your seat correctly and avoid the most common mistakes, then you should not worry about getting a seat that you did not spend a lot of money to purchase.

These three convertible car seats are just some of the options available. Luckily, there are a number of other quality safety seats on the market that you should have no trouble finding one that fits all of your needs. Having a child is expensive, and all of the things that you have to buy for them in their first years can really add up. There are ways, however, to save without compromising their well being. Hopefully some of the models above will help you zero in on something that is perfect for your child as well as your budget.

Warning Signs Of Child Depression

child-depression

Studies aimed at understanding depression in children have been a field of intense research in the last two decades. Infants, toddlers and kids under thirteen years old have been observed and some of them have been found to display depressive behavior. Surprisingly, even infants have been observed to show sadness, sleep and eating problems, fatigue, fussiness and tantrum fits. Although not all bouts of bad moods and feelings of melancholy can be classified as depression; it is the lingering of such behavior over prolonged periods of time that is cause for worry.

Symptoms & Signs

The primary symptoms of depression in children usually include persistent feelings of sadness along with a feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness, especially in the slightly older ones. It is generally accompanied by severe mood swings including anger and irritability. There is a perceptible change in appetite and sleep patterns, it may be either too less or too much. It may also lead to social withdrawal and extreme fear of rejection. The child is plagued by fatigue, low energy and poor concentration levels. These may be accompanied by vocal outbursts and intermittent crying in some of the kids. Complaints of physical pain such as stomach aches or headaches that do not respond to conventional medicines are also indicative of depression.
 
These symptoms are only indicative in nature and not all children who are depressed display all the symptoms. Some may exhibit different symptoms at different times and under different circumstances. They undergo a noticeable reduction in their ability to function in extra-curricular activities, events, and academic performance in schools. Although a relatively rare phenomenon, some kids do attempt suicide in fits of anger or frustration. Children above twelve years of age are also vulnerable to drugs and alcohol abuse in depressive state of mind.
 
However, depressed children especially those with suicidal tendencies do display some warning signs and parents need to be vigilant to banish such morbid thoughts in their child. Some of the warnings of depression are talks about death and dying, focus on negative aspects of things, reduced emotional expression, hyper sensitive behavior, social isolation, lack of interest in friends and all fun filled children’s activities.
 
As in the case of depression in adulthood, the possible causes for the onset of depression in children is rather obscure. Depression is believed to be caused by disruption of neurotransmitters levels in the brain thereby interfering in the person’s ability to feel good. Depression is in all probability a combination of a number of factors that may include after effects of physical illness, family history, and certain events in their life and hormonal imbalances in the body.

Treatment For Depression In Children

In case the parents are able to detect the signs of depression in their child, the real bit of good news is that professional help is effective in dealing with the problem. Depression can be treated holistically with psychotherapy and medicines in consultation with the child’s pediatrician. Medications for treating depression in children may in extreme cases also include anti-depressant pills to cure school phobias, panic attacks, bed wetting in older children and other anxiety disorders. Other medication options that may be administered after the prescription by a qualified doctor could include anti-psychotic medications for hallucinations, disillusions and disorganized thinking. Mood stabilizers, anti convulsions and sleep medications are also used for short duration of times.
 
Psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be very effective in treating depression in children. Other effective depression remedies include Dialectical Behavior Therapy for slightly older children with suicidal tendencies. This often involves both group and individual sessions for completer relief. Family therapy focuses on involving all the members in the family in helping the child cope with his problem. This helps open up communication channels between the child and his immediate family members and well wishers.
 
Sometimes, these sessions may be held together in groups of patients and families with a common counselor. This helps in finding how different families cope with the same illness; it is a great learning experience for all those who are involved in the therapy sessions. Play therapy is truly beneficial in cases of kids who are unable to verbalize their problems.
 
All the above mentioned therapies and remedies are no quick fix solutions, they require considerable amount of time and patience. Treating mental depression remains a formidable task, yet with a sustained and concerted effect the child can bloom into a healthy and pleasant adolescent and adult.

A Toaster Oven Designed To Make Your Life Easier

Top toaster oven for moms

We all are familiar with the time constraints placed on us being a full time mother. We barely have time to catch a 5 minute nap let alone cook a healthy homemade meal for ourselves or our family. This is where having the right kitchen appliances can come to our rescue. We take help where we can get it and if there is something out there that can make things easier for us it is prudent to take advantage of it. A toaster oven is one such appliance that can deliver what you need in less time and with less work.

Now, if you have not taken a closer look at countertop ovens lately you may be thinking that how can something that makes toast help me eat better. The fact is that these machines have really advanced to the point where they can now handle just about any kind of cooking job that your big sized oven can handle. From casseroles to cookies, today’s toaster ovens can help you prepare your favorite recipes with exceptionally delicious results. They give you the power and versatility of a conventional oven but in a smaller, more convenient, and more energy efficient package.

Now that we have you intrigued, it is time to look at one countertop option that has just about everything that a full time mom would want.

What Can The Cuisinart TOB-260N Do For You?

We are huge fan of Cuisinart products and their line of toaster ovens is quite impressive. They recently came out with a new oven to try and compete with Breville’s popular countertop oven models. The Cuisinart TOB-260 convection toaster oven is their high end entry into this market that is packed with features and settings that can deliver you mouth watering results. From its modern styling to its cooking performance, this may be the only oven you ever need.

Convection Cooking Function

small-ovenThis is the area where the TOB-260 really shines and it is what sets it apart from other models in its class. It comes with not 1, but 2 different convection settings to help speed up your cook times and ensure that everything is done evenly on all sides and all the way through. You do not have to worry about hot spots with this feature. Convection is the new big thing for home ovens as it has a fan inside the blows and circulates the hot air around the food. This air flow also has the advantage of reducing the amount of time needed to cook while using lower temperatures. Perhaps the only downside of this feature is that you will now have to experiment with your recipe time requirements. Luckily, there are some useful tools that will allow you to easily adjust your convection cooking times.

The second of the 2 convection settings is called “Speed Convection” and it allows you to completely skip preheating the oven and get right to cooking. This is something that other countertop ovens just don’t have. You can use these settings with any of the presets to take advantage of what cooking with convection can give your food.

Other Prime Features

  • Exact Heat” – This is Cuisinart’s own oven technology that guarantees that food is cooked evenly. The quartz elements inside of the oven deliver heat where it is needed with no user interaction needed.
  • LCD Display – You can really see the influence of trying to compete with Breville here. Modern appliances take things to another level with their LCD displays and the TOB-260 is no different. It is easy to read and navigate. Looks fabulous in any type of kitchen.
  • Stainless Steel – Again, this is something that is almost a must have for a modern kitchen. This looks really sleek and should fit it nicely with any other steel appliances that you may have.
  • Pre-settings – No matter what kind of food you want to prepare or how you want to prepare it, there is probably a setting for it. It has 11 in all, and when combined with the convection settings, it gives you the ultimate customization to get the results that you desire.
  • Size – This oven is also great for hungry families as it has plenty of room for big meals. It can accommodate up to 9 small slices of bread for example. Need to roast a chicken? It can do it. If you have a lot of mouths to feed, then this is the oven for you.
  • Simple To Use Controls – With one main dial, and easy to push buttons, there is not a big learning curve required to use this oven. Everything is laid out rather intuitively so you can get right to cooking.
  • Easy To Clean – This is perhaps the second biggest advantage next to its performance. Non-stick materials only require a simple wipe down with a wet cloth to get it looking like new.

Why Use A Toaster Oven?

Even though the features look appealing you may be wondering why you should go out and spend money on a toaster oven when you already have an oven in your kitchen. This is a fair point, and it is something that often keeps people from getting one of these, but they are missing out.

The smaller size of this oven means that you will have to wait less time for preheating. Your food will be done faster without sacrificing taste. If you get an oven with convection functionality then that can be reduced even more. Clean up will also be less of a hassle which is another advantage of having a smaller oven on your countertop. The energy savings, as well, will probably pay for the cost of a toaster oven in the long run, so there is really no excuse to try one of these out in your home.

Time is always the most valued commodity to a Mom, next to sleep, so finding ways to save it is always welcome. We often go for something fast to eat and settle for something that is not all that exciting or healthy for us. Using a countertop oven will allow you to make something that is good for your diet that actually taste delicious, all while saving us some precious time in the process.

The Cuisinart TOB-260 is just one example of the many wonderful small ovens that are available for your counter. You can find more toaster oven reviews on sites like Gouverneur Times to get something that fits exactly what you need in your kitchen. You can truly rediscover the joy of home cooked meals with one of these ovens, and your family will thank you for it.

The Best Juicer For Full Time Mothers

nc800-juicer

Being a full time Mom can be extremely taxing on your energy and your time.  Often our sleep and our diet ends up suffering.  This is where having a juicer in your kitchen can be extremely helpful.  It is super simple way to get the nutrients you need every day and it can give you a natural energy boost to keep up with the little ones.  You can improve your diet without much effort or time put into it.  But what if there was also a juicer that could make all natural baby food as well?  The Omega NC800 is one such machine that both parents and kids can benefit from as it is an all in one nutrition center.  Veggiefiles.com has this ranked as its best juicer for 2016, and for Moms concerned about the diet of their children it offers an added bonus that makes it an extremely valuable machine to have in your kitchen.

Advantages As A Juicer

The NC800 HDS is most enjoyed as a powerful and efficient masticating juicer.  This method of juicing is preferred for anyone who plans to juice a ton of leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, or wheatgrass.  The pressing action of this type of machine extracts very high amounts of juice from whatever type of food you drop into it to ensure that nothing goes to waste.  Some of the aspects of this juicer that get extremely high praise from owners include;

  • Juice Yield – The amount of juice this machine gets from hard to handle foods like kale make this a winner for users.  Omega has made some improvements to the NC800 that make it produce around 20% to 30% higher juice yield than previous models.
  • Wide Feed Chute – These types of masticating juicers typically come with small feed chutes which means you have to waste time cutting fresh produce into smaller sizes just to fit inside of the machine.  A larger feed chute helps reduce food prep time and makes the entire experience less of a hassle.
  • Adjustable End Cap – Unique to the NC800 is an end cap which can be adjusted depending on what type of food you are juicing.  This lets you get customize and maximize the juice yield for both hard and soft fruits and vegetables.
  • Slow Juicing – This model operates at just 80RPM which helps produce a quieter machine.  The slower speed also lowers the oxidation of the juice and allows it to keep longer without spoiling.  This will come in handy if you want to juice enough to last for 2 or 3 days.  Centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, produce a juice with higher oxidation that should be consumed right away.

Advantages As A Nutrition Center

As we mentioned earlier, the NC800 can do a lot more than juice fruits and veggies.  It comes with different nozzles that transform this machine into a complete nutrition center.  Some of the different things that it can do include; extrude pasta, grind, make natural nut butters, soy milk, and of course baby food.

  • All Natural Baby Food – This is something that a lot of mothers really appreciate.  Being able to control what you child eats and knowing exactly what is in their food is something that a lot of parents strive for.  The NC800 allows you to produce soft, palatable, and tasty food that your baby will enjoy.  Food such as steamed carrots can be broken down into a consistency that your child can handle with one of the included nozzles.  While juicing veggies is not advisable for babies, preparing your own baby food is safe and healthy.
  • Natural Nut Butters – We all know how much peanut butter we can go through on a weekly basis with plenty of hungry kids around.  Well instead of buying tons of jars at the grocery store, you can make your own natural and healthy peanut butter at home.  Again, the different nozzles included with the NC800 offer you amazing versatility to experiment in the kitchen and improve the diet of your kids.
  • Pasta Maker – The same can be said for pasta lovers.  The pasta extruding attachment is great for anyone who loves to create their own homemade meals with out prepackaged ingredients.

This is just a small sampling of what this machine can do and a complete NC800 juicer review will shed more light on all of the ways this juice extractor can help you improve the diet of your entire family.  Now it is a relatively new model so the price is going to be somewhat of an investment.  It currently will cost you around $300 for one of these, but given that you can do so much more than juicing produce, it offers one of the best values of any juicer on the market.  The ability to transform the nutritional intake of not only you, but your children as well, is something that few small kitchen appliances can do.  In our opinion it is worth every penny.

Staying In Shape With A BOB Jogging Stroller

Top stroller for runnersOne of the challenges that full time mothers often face is finding personal time to do things that they love or want to do, like workout. Jogging strollers are a great way to combine looking after the kids with getting daily exercise. It is also something that children can also benefit from as they can get out and see the world with Mom or Dad. There are a wide variety of different running strollers available, but one that stands out for comfort, performance, and safety is the BOB Revolution Flex jogger. If you are looking for a way to get back into shape without sacrificing time with the kids, then this is one piece of equipment that is definitely worth the investment. You really do not have to run that far to see the benefits that jogging can produce. Below is a brief run down of the Flex stroller.

Features

The main selling point of this stroller is the adjustable handle bar that is able to accommodate runners of varying heights.  If Mom and Dad like to run, then the stroller is able to fit them both comfortably.  This is where the “Flex” comes into play.  Having a correct handle bar placement not only makes it more enjoyable to push, but it also helps keep the hands and arms from getting fatigued and the runner is better able to maneuver the stroller safely.

Some of the other features that make this stroller standout include;

1. Premium quality materials

The BOB’s fabric is made of strong breathable materials which promises long life and a cool ride. Moreover, the plastic components of this stroller are very strong and are not vulnerable to bending hence guaranteeing durability.  The frame is light weight but strong which makes it ideal for going off road on bumpy terrain.

2. Tracking adjustment dial

This is an important feature that helps you to straighten your stroll when the front wheel starts drift to one side. This increases the flexibility of this product.

3. Tough pneumatic tires

These tires are able to handle terrains of all kinds: tough or smooth. This ensures that your baby enjoys the ride irrespective of the terrain.

4. Warranty

The BOB Stroller has a limited warranty of which gives you the peace of mind when purchasing this product. The frames have a limited warranty of 5 years while the fabric and other small parts have a limited warranty of 1 year.

5. Foot brake

This brake allows you to control the stroller. It locks both wheels. However, your shoes may have some scratches since the brakes are not flip-flip friendly. The brakes enhances the safety of your child while riding.

The pros

  • A huge canopy: this stroller has two huge panels that provide enough shed. In fact, the canopy of this stroller is among the best canopies in the 21st century.
  • Roomy seat: when it comes to the size of the seat, this stroller gets a good rating. The width and height of this seat is seat is about 14.5” and 23” respectively.
  • Adequate storage at the back: this stroller has enough storage to carry things that your baby may need when you are out. It offers enough space to pack small items that will keep your child comfortable throughout the day.
  • Easy fold: the folding and unfolding process is extremely easy. Usually, it is a process that uses both hands: in two steps. You need to lock your stroller with a clip once you have folded it since it does not lock automatically.
  • Lightweight: 25 pounds is a reasonable weight for a stroller. It is also smaller when folded especially if the wheels are taken off.
  • The adjustable handlebar lessens the fatigue on parents hence allowing then run over long distances. The adjustable suspension and adjustable tracking makes the passenger comfortable and helps you to run straight.

The cons

  • The stroller does not lock automatically once it has been folded. This means that you must use a clip to lock your stroller. However, the manufacturer has promised to add this feature to the next generation.
  • The stroller is not cheap.  While a lot of owners find the Flex worth the price, it is not exactly budget friendly.
  • Unfortunately, this stroller does not contain a cup/bottle holder. This means that you must look for an alternative for this since water is necessary during exercise.

Investing In Your Health

Even with the higher price, the BOB Revolution Flex is perhaps the highest rated jogging stroller on the market in 2016. The performance of this product is second to none which is reflected in its high scores from customer reviews.  Whether you are training for a marathon, or you just want to get outside and walk at a brisk pace, this stroller will be able to handle just about any type of terrain and speed.  Its versatility and ease of use is something that just about every mother can take advantage of.  So let’s get moving.