the best car seats {by review.com}

Car seats. Ugh. Almost no other kids’ item gives me more anxiety than car seats.

If you know me, I am a bit of an anxious person and can keep myself together, but I am close to neurotic about car seats. There are so many choices and so much information, it is overwhelming, even to a non-anxious person. I tried to be pragmatic, but when I was pregnant, I spent hours and hours poring over blog posts, websites, books, articles, Consumer Reports, etc. about car seats. And then I asked every single parent that I knew what car seat they had and why they chose it. Every one is different and has different needs, but I got a lot of good information.

The first decision that Aaron and I made was that we would start with an infant seat. For us, it felt like a no-brainer because our stroller (ours is the Bugaboo Bee 3) had the ability to adapt to a car seat. Even before we were parents we knew the convenience of leaving the baby in the car seat (if possible) was worth it! For our infant seat, we settled on the Chicco KeyFit 30 (which we also used for Daphne) and I would highly recommend it!

But then, we had to start thinking about another car seat less than a year after Eloise was born because infant seats have such a short life (it is one of the cons of this type of seat) and babies get bigger, and in this case, longer. We moved Eloise into a convertible seat (rear-facing) just shy of her first birthday. And after hours and hours of research, we settled on the Britax Boulevard. Again, we highly recommend this seat and even bought another one (but with the Click-Tight feature) when Daphne grew out of the infant seat.

Enter: reviews.com. Specifically, the reviews on Best Infant Car Seat and Best Convertible Car Seat. Reviews.com is a local Seattle company that researches household items and goods and then posts reviews on the BEST products in any given category. Guys, this is life-changing! Imagine the hours you could save not googling or scanning 10,000 Amazon reviews. This is the information that I wish I would have had when we were buying car seats or really any household good!

Top Picks for Infant Car Seat

{image via reviews.com}

In each article, there is a quick synopsis about what product is the best so you don’t have to scroll and scroll to find the answer, and then there are highlights of the best two products, followed by a much more in-depth review of why and how the best products in that category were picked.

As the articles both state, all car seats have to meet the same minimum safety requirements, so when you are choosing a seat, it is features you are really shopping (and paying) for. And because incorrectly using a car seat is extremely common, the best car seats are really the ones that are the easiest to use. For example, most infant seats have a separate base that you leave buckled into the car so that you can easily take the seat in and out without having to secure it each time. And even convertible seats are getting upgraded features that help ease use, like the Click-Tight feature on the Britax seat that allows for much easier installation.

Featured Image for Convertible Car Seat

{image from reviews.com}

The emphasis on these easy-to-use features is a great way to simplify car seat shopping and help narrow down the options. And while you don’t necessarily have to buy exactly the seat that is recommended in the article (we have different versions/models of two of the seats recommended) it does save you from having 25 open web browsers to compare and contrast car seat features. (Yep, that was totally me!) I wish I would have had this basic guidance when choosing car seats for my kids!

Be sure to go check out the Best Infant Car Seats and the Best Convertible Car Seats!

And be sure to check out all of the reviews over on Review.com!

Disclosure: Review.com reached out to see if I would share these car seat reviews to my blog readers. I was not offered any compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

my weekend in pictures.

WP_20140712_12_49_35_Raw

{at our childbirth class this weekend we learned about how baby lower will navigate the pelvic bones – pretty crazy stuff!}

IMG_5017

{sadie & my 35 week bump!}

IMG_5018

{in the middle of a diy project for the house & so excited about it!}

IMG_5019

{fro-yo doesn’t doesn’t last long around here when its 90 degrees. & there is no A/C.}

IMG_5021

{a much-needed car wash!}

IMG_5022

{admiring the gorgeous salvaged wood floors at the house. more pics to come on thursday!}

IMG_5023

{we dined in west seattle with some friends & enjoyed the view of the seattle city skyline.}

IMG_5024

{tried marination ma kai – a food truck turned restaurant – & it was awesome. there wasn’t shave ice since the freezer was out which was a bit of a bummer. 90 degrees + pregnant misha = wants shave ice}

IMG_5025

{walking out of whole foods this evening the sky was breathtaking!}

this weekend was hot, hot,, hot! a lot of you can easily do high 80s or low 90s without breaking a sweat {pun intended!} but I know you are doing it with A/C. I was able to make it most of the day, but by about 5 or 6 I was ready to be cooled down. luckily both mornings this weekend we attended a childbirth & breastfeeding class at swedish hospital – it was not only very informative but had A/C! I am gearing up for my last two weeks of work before I start my leave {!} & looking forward to enjoying some summer before baby lower joins the fam {though a bit cooler would be more pleasant!}. how was your weekend?

M

highlights of 2013.

2013 2014

{via}

happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.

DSC02562

IMG_3140

DSC02640

february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!

DSC02663

DSC02679

march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.

_DSC2697

SONY DSC

jez

april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!

_DSC2727

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.

_DSC2821

_DSC2849

_DSC2851

front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!

_DSC2935

seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.

IMG_3657

_DSC2993

august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

MISAAR_1915

SONY DSC

_DSC3164

_DSC3233

september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.

IMG_3907

_DSC3250

october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.

_DSC3248

_DSC32761380499_10201673674635081_818032991_n

november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.

_DSC3386

IMG_4198_DSC3536IMG_4296_DSC3624

december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.

_DSC3398_DSC3412_DSC3440

reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?

M

see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

my weekend in pictures.

IMG_3469

{on thursday evening i attended the anthro petite launch at the downtown store & got to meet joy from oh joy! she is as lovely in person as she is on her blog. #bloggercrush}

IMG_3471

{i needed a few jelly bellys to get me thru my friday at work.}

IMG_3472

{it is finally peony season – at least at whole foods. i am waiting it out until tj’s gets them so i don’t have to spend $12 a dozen. #mightbeworthit #peonyseasonbegins}

IMG_3474

{saturday was a beautiful sunny day which called for a floral dress & my fun new oxfords..}

IMG_3475

{i finally got a new wreath for the front door.}

IMG_3477

{i ordered some moo cards & am so excited!}

IMG_3478

{sadie was great at supervising yard work on sunday afternoon.}

IMG_3480

{happy mother’s day to my mom! #circa1992}

IMG_3481

{we finally hit 1000 miles on our new car. pretty exciting!}

we had a fun weekend with some sun & some storms. it was nice to get a few projects out of the way & gear up for aaron’s big birthday bash next weekend {spolier alert: he will be thirty!} we got a chance to catch up with both of our moms today, but since neither of them are in town, we took my grandmother out for a mother’s day dinner. how was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

IMG_3413

{finally arranging on our new bathroom counterspace. i picked up these fun silver mint julep cups from one kings lane to hold cotton balls & q-tips.}

IMG_3414

{got diesel for the first time in our new car. the green is fun!}

IMG_3415

{paint rollers & drywall – story of our weekend.}

IMG_3417

{ikea bins. i was in organizing heaven!}

IMG_3418

{finally sorted out the mess in the bathroom vanity. since i don’t have a label maker (yet) i used fun chalkboard labels instead.}

IMG_3419

{aaron joined me on sunday morning in my favorite vinyasa flow yoga class. afterwards we noshed on a bagel. carb loading post-yoga is totally legit, right?}

IMG_3420

{i had already prepped & primed the hallway before i realized we didn’t have the paint color i needed to finish painting it. alas, i see hallway painting in my future next weekend.}

IMG_3421

{i am glad that someone likes & enjoys these upholstered tables. they sit in front of our front window, so sadie has a view of everything in front of the house. plus, she likes to bring her favorite toys up to join her.}

we had a great weekend, but as always it went so fast! there were a lot of house projects which is exhausting but it feels great to get a few things off the checklist. we had terrible wet weather all weekend with the sun only peeking out for a few hours at the end, but we are in for a warm week (seriously, mid to high 60s you guys!). how was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

IMG_3383

{sadie was making friends at anthro on friday night. sometimes we have to be careful that she doesn’t fall in love with another person & follow them home!}

IMG_3385

{we had a yummy veggie lunch on saturday at chaco canyon.}

IMG_3386

{rain, rain go away. we had lightning & thunder that shook the house in the late afternoon on saturday.}

IMG_3389

{we hosted some friends for dinner on saturday night & aaron made homemade gnocchi – yum-o!}

IMG_3390

{sadie was hunting squirrels, & aaron & i enjoyed all of the spring tulips on our family outing sunday morning.}

IMG_3393

{the sun was out – after days of rain this week – so we celebrated with a bit of open sunroof.}

IMG_3394

{we had sunday night dinner with my grandmother & saw 42. it was awesome. go see it, stat!}

we had a fun weekend mixed with a few small house projects & some good quality time together – like a dinner date on friday {fancy!}. it is hard to complain about wanting spring to come faster after a sunny day like today, but we have had so much rain the last week that we are ready for a change {though the wet conditions have made growing grass seed much easier}. per usual, the weekend has come & gone so quickly leaving us wishing it was just one more day. oh well, back to the grind. how was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

IMG_3341

{my building’s cafeteria closed but there is always a food truck around. i got to enjoy a yummy meal while enjoying the sunshine!}

IMG_3342

{hung out in post alley at pike place market on friday to celebrate my friend miriam’s birthday.}

IMG_3343

{we saw an improv comedy show the pretty wonderful club. it was based on the john hughes 80’s high school movies. so fun!}

IMG_3345

{yes, that is a gum wall behind me. post alley is filled with gum. it is a disgusting tradition, but you pretty much have to participate if you are there.}

IMG_3346

{sadie & i patiently waited outside for aaron to get us lattes on saturday morning.}

IMG_3348

{when it is sunny outside, which it was ALL weekend!, everyone in seattle washes their car. including us.}

_DSC2719

{we went “car shopping” this weekend just to look & ended up buying a new car. this is the final picture of us with jez, our old jetta. bye bye jez, it was a great 9 years!}

IMG_3351

{bluetooth in cars is awesome!}

IMG_3352

{got a new coffee table book by the one & only kate spade, my fav. can’t wait to flip thru it for some inspiration!}

IMG_3353

{happy easter sadie! yes, that dog toy has bunny ears.}

IMG_3354

{good morning new jetta sportswagen! i haven’t had it long enough to give it an official name – any suggestions? we are thinking something german perhaps. what, you don’t name your cars?}

IMG_3355

{making sure the new bathroom hardware is level.}

IMG_3356

{had to paint a few touchup spots on the bathroom walls where old hardware came down. i think our latest bathroom project is nearly finished & i am hoping to be able to share it later in the week!}

we had a wonderfully sunny weekend, busy but fun. our weather was spectacular, especially for seattle in the early spring, & we were even wearing shorts to work around the house & in the yard this afternoon. we often get a burst of very early spring weather that gets everyone a little hopeful (& nervous for a very hot summer) but inevitably we will be back to normal cool spring weather. also, we accidently bought a car this weekend. i say accidently because we were really just going to look at cars on saturday. it was our first day out looking & there were a few types & models that were in the running, but next thing you know, we were buying a new jetta. we opted for the sportswagen because, you know, we could use the space for the constant lowe’s & home depot runs/sadie/future babes/etc. but the real reason why we bought the sportswagen was because of the full sunroof which is amazing! we had a great easter weekend – how was your weekend?

M