A Child Car Seat That Does It All

So we recently had to go out and purchase a new car seat. No we did not have another kid, but we bought one as a present for one of the in-laws. It has been a few years since we went child seat shopping, but we were surprised with just how many options there are out there. They mentioned that they really wanted to get a convertible car seat, so that is where we focused our attention. This narrowed things down a bit, but there are still a number of high quality options to choose from. It took some time, but to make a long story short, we ended up springing for the Chicco NextFit Zip.

This seat seems to have a ton of features that we are sure the parents will find super useful when it comes to installing it and using it every day. It was not cheap, but it does come packed with safety, comfort, and convenient technology that made it seem like a smart buy. When it arrived we unpacked it and were thoroughly impressed. It is built like a tank. When the in-laws finally got a look at it they are extremely happy as well. For any other parents out there looking for suggestions when it comes to getting a new convertible child seat, here is a quick run down of what this Chicco model has to offer.

Car Seat Features

Like I said before, this seat is loaded with tremendous features. Perhaps this is why it has gotten such high ratings from parents. We pulled some of the following information from a review of the Chicco NextFit Zip that lead us to finally pull the trigger on this seat.

  • ReclineSure 9-position leveling system that allows compatibility with a wide spectrum of vehicles.
  • Improved ventilation courtesy of the 3D AirMesh fabric that allows improved air flow.
  • Washable seat pad that zips right off the shell to allow for machine washing.
  • RideRight bubble feature that indicates the correct angle for the seat in either forward or rear-facing orientations. This ensures that you always have the right position for the seat on either orientation.
  • An effortless tight and secure vehicle fit made possible by SuperCinch Latch tightener with force-multiplying capability.
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • 6 positons headrest and auto-widen harness for older children.
  • 5-point harness with 2-positions for a chest clip
  • Incorporated FloThru belt path that makes it easy to transition from rear to forward facing without rethreading.
  • Compatible dimensions of 20.5”L by 19”W by 26”H.
  • LATCH storage compartments for keeping LATCH connectors when you aren’t using them.
  • Built-in lock offs for seat belt installations.

Advantages of the NextFit Zip

  • FAA approved for aircraft use.
  • Has an infant insert which adds support for smaller kids.
  • Allows the baby to rear face for longer, that is from 5lb to 40lb.
  • A futuristic seat pad design that allows for breathability.
  • Easy to clean seat pad that zips out from the seat shell for machine-washing.
  • Adjustable harness and side impact protection to allow for different heights and growing children.
  • A life span of up to 8 years.
  • The smooth bottom base has grip material that will not damage the upholstery on the vehicle or slip on leather seats.
  • Harness straps are made thick enough to prevent twisting.
  • Clear and easy to use instruction manual.
  • Takes up less space on the rear-facing position. This works well for smaller vehicles and taller passengers who push the front seat all the way back.
  • Comfortable premium padding.
  • Allows easy accurate and secure installation.
  • Removable cup holder on either side of the car seat
  • The 3D AirMesh enhances airflow that guarantees much more comfortable rides.

Some Drawbacks

  • It is heavy and bulky.
  • LATCH weight limits require that you change to a seat belt installation when the baby weighs 35 lbs rear-facing or 40lb forward facing.

Overall Great

It is clear that the NextFit car seat has a lot of beneficial features that ensure convenience, comfort, and safety. It is true that the idea of a perfect car seat is far-fetched but Chicco is a near perfect in design and functionality. This puts parents in a much more calm position when traveling with babies.

I would totally recommend using the NextFit car seat. The fact that you can use it on any vehicle, leave alone an airplane is very appealing to me. The car seat has actually been tasted on every vehicle you can imagine. This includes old trucks, pick-ups and luxury vehicle with contours on the seats. The one year warranty goes further to emphasize the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Most other car seats carry shorter warranties.

If the NextFit Zip is out of your budget then there are plenty of other high quality options out there that won’t break the bank. If you can afford it, however, this Chicco seat is definitely worth looking into and me and the wife ever have another child then this will be one of the first things we buy for the little tyke.

Essential Small Appliances For Modern Kitchens

Every well-stocked kitchen has basic appliances, pots and pans, and the other tools needed to cook a meal. However, there are three small appliances that can drastically change the way you cook, add greater convenience, save money, improve the quality of your diet as well as being a lot of fun to use. So if you want to get the most out of your kitchen you can try adding a juicer, toaster oven, and food processor into your arsenal. These three items may not seem necessary at first, but they have a huge range of uses for everyday cooking and food preparation.

Juice Extractors

Although juicers are great for anyone who enjoys making fruit and vegetable juices, they also can be used in a wide range of other dishes. Some of the popular uses for juicers include nut butters, soups, sorbets, and even baby food. To get the most use from a juicer, make sure to have a high-quality model. The top machines will last for years, are easy to clean, and they will help you improve your overall health. In most cases, these small devices can also be used to chop, puree, and liquify fruits and vegetables as well as mix ingredients. Some people even use their juicer for making breads so the possibilities are limitless. The versatility of these small devices makes them a great tool to have in a kitchen.

Many people also enjoy using juicers to make sauces and reductions for their kitchen. Because these small appliances can be used for both hot and cold recipes, they’re going to have greater use than other items. Whether buying a masticating juicer or a centrifugal juicer, the impact can be dramatic.

Toaster Ovens

Most people who have ovens don’t think about toaster ovens, but a small countertop oven is actually a huge asset in the kitchen. A small oven reaches high enough temperatures to bake and heat, but it uses only a fraction of the power needed by a full-size oven. Toaster ovens also can be used to toast breads and bagels, make garlic bread, and brown the tops of dishes or other foods. Also, unlike ovens, toaster ovens reach warming temperatures of about 170 degrees, which is great when keeping dishes warm before serving.

A toaster oven is a great tool when cooking in large batches and needing multiple cooking space. There are literally tons of scrumptious recipes that you can use to delight your family. The greater control that toaster ovens offer are a huge asset in the kitchen, and these small tools don’t take up much space. Find one that fits easily on the countertop and can be set to heating or broiling. These settings ensure the maximum use from the oven.

Food Processors

Having a food processor available while you cook is going to end up saving you a lot of time for just about any recipe. If you are sick and tired of messing with a cutting board and a knife for those mundane chopping and slicing tasks then this is the appliance that you have been dreaming of. With a simple push of a button you can accomplish what used to take you 10 or 20 minutes and reduce it down to just a few seconds, with consistent results. These machines are perfect for recipes that call for cutting vegetables down to just the right size. The biggest benefit will come with onions as well since you can totally avoid the tears in the eyes that these will inevitably produce.

But these machines are quite versatile as well and can do more than just chopping. With optional attachments you will be able to mix batter and dough as well. For bakers this adds an extra bonus and will make having a food processor a tremendous asset to have on your countertop. They are also easy to clean and pretty hassle free. If you are serious about what you cook and like to experiment with your meals, you simply must have a food processor to help make everything go smoother and faster. You check out the latest food processor reviews to find one that fits your cooking needs as well as your budget. Any of the top models can offer you the time saving, and finger tip saving, benefits that you will want in your kitchen.

Finding Versatile Small Kitchen Appliances

The main reason why these appliances are so handy is because they don’t take up much room and they have a wide range of uses. For the economical chef, it’s best to choose devices that are going to create less work in the kitchen and save space. All three of these devices offer these advantages, but most people don’t realize that they can use these kitchen appliances in so many ways. Consider having these in a well-stocked kitchen for regular use. These advantages are the reason why every kitchen should have these three appliances for use on a regular basis.

Check out the video below for today’s best food processor options that can making cooking more fun.

The Burden Of Hating Cheese

Well this may seem like a strange way to kick off a site about the love of food, but one thing I need to get off of my chest is just how bad it is to not like, or rather hate, cheese. Yes I said it, I cannot stand cheese. I cannot stand the taste, smell, or texture of this food. There is one exception however, mozzarella cheese. This is the only kind that I actually eat but only because it does not have a strong odor and it is rather bland. I do love me some pizza. I have always had this strong distaste for cheese ever since I was a kid and it is something that is still with me.

Grilled cheese sandwiches….No Thanks!

Parmesan on my salad or pizza….Heck No!

Swiss, American, Cheddar, Gouda, Brie, Romano, Asiago, Feta…you name it and I want nothing to do with it.

Now most cheese lovers may not realize just how many recipes, foreign cuisine, frozen dinners have some sort of cheese included. It’s everywhere and it is hard to escape.

The Burden of Being Finicky

Not liking cheese can be quite a challenge, especially when going out to dinner or eating over someone else’s house. One of the biggest drawbacks that has to be endured is the sheer look of astonishment on somebody’s face when you tell them that you don’t like cheese. “How can you not like cheese? It is so delicious!” It is almost as if they look at you and are trying to decide if you are one of those aliens that inhabit the Earth that the Men In Black are constantly keep tabs on.

And as a little kid, it can be doubly worse. Being judged, making friend’s parents work harder to prepare something just for you that is “cheese-free”, usually something that is not as good. It can downright stink.

And while I do love to get into the kitchen, I also am a frozen food junkie. If you do not sit there with the door open letting out all the cold air while you read the ingredient list on the back of the box, then chances are you are going to get a frozen dinner with some cheese in it. Especially parmesan, they sneak that sucker into a lot of different meals. What a hassle.

Overcoming the Burden

What I quickly discovered as a kid and the quickest and easiest way to avoid the weird looks was just to say that you were allergic to cheese. I am not talking about being lactose intolerant, which I tried once but it produced it’s own set of weird looks from others. I am talking risk to your health and well-being allergy, the kind that sends you to the hospital. The first time I tried this line I was amazed at how well it worked. Eating over at a friend’s house I was surprised how well this worked on their parents. They sure don’t want to be responsible for sending someone else’s kid to the ER with an allergy attack. So every time I was invited over for dinner there was a very tasty meal without cheese waiting for me. Awesome!

Now I did feel bad about lying, but sometimes a little white lie is worth it. I remember telling one of my friends Mother after years of eating over at their house that I wasn’t really allergic to cheese, I just didn’t like the taste of it. She couldn’t believe it, but everyone, including her, got a great laugh out of it. She really thought something would happen if I ate cheese.

Cooking With Cheese

I am not a professional chef, nor do I have any type of formal training. I do love to cook though, and sometimes that does include using cheese. I try to avoid preparing dishes with food, for obvious reasons, and the people that I cook for understand this.

For one, I cannot taste it as it’s cooking to check if everything is seasoned just right. I just have to hope and pray that the dish comes out right. This has caused a few disasters in the past, so I usually just cook dishes that do not contain cheese.

Rant Over

Ok, I am done whining about cheese. But if you read through the different articles on here and notice a distinct lack of cheese, now you know why. Oh, did I mention that I also hate mayonnaise!

For those that do love cheese, here is a great video on how to prepare the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.