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Booster Seat Options For Growing Kids

Booster safety seat optionsLike most Moms, we love to feed our children and cook them nutritious meals that will help them grow big and strong. We as they grow, chances are they will no longer fit into their convertible car seat. When this happens finding a suitable booster seat is imperative. This is often an overlooked aspect of car safety that some parents unknowingly overlook. There is usually a gap between the time that a child outgrows their conventional safety seat until the time that they are big enough to use a regular seat belt. This is where getting a quality booster seat can protect them. We just went through this ourselves so we thought that we would give you the lowdown on the booster seat that we currently use.

The First Years Compass B540 car seat has been a popular choice amongst parents who wanted to offer their children a safe and comfortable place in the car ensuring them of proper protection each and every time. Being rated with five stars by NHTSA for its ease of use, this model is definitely a wise option due to its enhanced comfort head rest and EPP foam that can absorb energy in an impact successfully.

With all of its safety and comfort features, the B540 is one of the higher customer rated models being sold, receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews for most part. When it was time to get a booster seat we went searching online for the latest child safety seat ratings, and this seat got excellent feedback from parents. It is also quite versatile and is able to accommodate children of a wide range of ages. It is also budget friendly and one of the best performing safety seats under $100.


Enhanced Safety – The First Years Compass B540 Car Seat ensures you of enhanced safety, keeping your child entirely comfortable and securing them with belts of a superior quality. The taller belt was specifically designed to accommodate taller children..

Easy Installation – Aside from enhanced safety, this model provides color-coded belt paths in order to make the installation process easier for all parents who might have troubles following complicated user manuals. Instead of spending hours trying to adjust the car seat to fit your child’s dimensions and weight, you will only need a few minutes to install it accurately to your car.

NO GAP Back. As your child grows, regular car seats might have trouble accommodating them properly during car rides. However, The First Years Compass B540 Car Seat was designed to offer your little one proper support and comfort, allowing you to easily adjust the back and side height in order to make sure that they will always have the greatest experience regardless of his weight or height.

Side Impact Safe – The B540 was tested against side impacts, being fully equipped with EPP foam (which is the same foam found mostly in bicycle helmets) that can absorb energy in an impact. Should an accident occur, this feature is designed to minimize harsh impacts and offer maximum protection.


In 90 percent of cases, all customers who have bought The First Years Compass B540 Car Seat were very satisfied with their acquisition, particularly due to the excellent performance and many features it provided.

Side-Impact Safe. The most important aspect people like in their B540 is some of the advanced saftey features which can redirect the energy in an impact whilst keeping the child entirely safe. One customer has even reported that his grandson has gone through a car accident, but suffered only a few scratches due to the enhanced safety offered by this car seat.

Retractable Cup Holders – This has nothing to do with safety but owners really like this feature and found the retractable cup holders very convenient, particularly because they were able to easily use them only when necessary. For those kids who like drinking lots of liquids, this aspect is certainly a very important one.

Sturdy Construction. Owners really like how well built their B540 feels and how durable it has been for them. It is a very resilient seat that provides enhanced sturdiness. It was built to last.

Easy-to-Follow Installation. Due to its easy and convenient installation, The First Years Compass B540 makes an excellent choice for all owners who have bought it. Owners for the most part find that the installation process to be rather straightforward.


Small Dimensions – For some customers, the small dimensions might make it inappropriate for bigger toddlers, some choosing to purchase another car seat when their child outgrows this one.

Bulky When Folded – Even though the B540 can be entirely folded, it still is pretty bulky, which might make it very difficult to store. Some owners wished that it did better in this area.

Is It Worth Buying?

Even though the B540 is less expensive than most of the car seats on our list, it does not mean it is less safe. It pass international standards for side impacts and comes with EPP foam headrests, the same thing found in bicycle safety helmets, for premium protection. It was also built with parents in mind, receiving a 5 star rating from the NHTSA for ease of use. Until your child is ready for a regular seat belt, a booster seat like this one is a worthy investment in their safety. Parents who have bought and used this car seat for the most part are extremely happy with their purchase and give it very high marks. For those who want supreme protection but are on a strict budget, the First Years Compass booster seat would be a great choice.

Start Off The New Year With A New Toaster Oven


If you love to eat, don’t mind grocery shopping, but hate to cook, then getting a modern toaster oven for your kitchen is a great way to change your outlook.  The Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven is a terrific option for those with smaller kitchens with sparse counter space to spare.  Technological advancements have enabled these types of appliances to cook as good or even better than your full sized range but without all of the hassle.  Perhaps the best rated countertop toaster oven in its class, this Breville smart oven has tons of positive reviews from owners for its performance and design.  Let’s see what this model has to offer.

BOV450XL Features


The Breville BOV450XL Oven is housed in reinforced stainless steel that has a sleek design plus a simple interface with an LCD display to ensure it looks great in any kitchen. Its small size makes it easy to store. It can easily be squeezed into cupboards, pantries or shelves when not in use.

Element IQ

What separates the Breville smart oven from other ovens is the Element IQ technology. This enables the oven to adjust the power of heating elements automatically; thus, the specific type of food is cooked properly. For instance, baked food must be cooked evenly throughout to avoid hardening the outside. The Breville oven knows how to handle this: It reduces the power of the heating elements to 1500 watts and distributes the heat over the top as well as bottom elements. When toasting, it is imperative that the toast be cooked evenly on both sides to prevent the inside of the bread from drying out. This model achieves this by using 1800 watts and distributes the heat between the 4 elements to crisp the outside of the bread quickly.


You get 10 by 10-inch enamel baking pan, a removable crumb tray, and a wire rack. It does not come with a broiler rack, but if you need one, go for the larger Breville BOV650XL or BOV800XL.

Eight Preset Cooking Functions

This oven comes with eight preset cooking functions to choose from. They include toast, pizza, reheat, bake, boil, cookies, bagel, and broil. You can customize the settings depending on your preference. Moreover, the oven can remember your custom settings until they are changed or it is unplugged; thus, there is no need to keep on changing your preferred and most commonly used settings. With the BOV450XL oven, all the guesswork of cooking times and temperature setting are taken out.

LCD Display

Below the oven’s cooking functions dial is the LCD screen and time buttons as well as the temperature setting. If you want to adjust them, press the up and down arrows in between. When the model is operating, the LCD screen will illuminate with an orange backlight. Consequently, the LCD display will turn blue once the food is ready, and this indicates that the cooking cycle is complete.


The BOV450XL gives users many reasons to smile while in the kitchen and some of these include:


The oven’s performance has seen many consumers leave positive reviews concerning the model. Aside from distributing the heat quickly and evenly, the Breville smart oven hold temperature steadily for perfect cooking results. You can do a number of things from baking cookies to broiling fish, all with satisfying results.


Its compact size not only ensures multiple functions but also smart heating technology for outstanding cooking results. For this reason, majorities of buyers are always happy with the model and feel it is worth the price.

Pre-set times

The Breville BOV450XL features settings that make the oven easy and fast to use. The recommended settings eliminate the guesswork involved when cooking or heating anything. It also has the “a bit more” feature that makes it even easier to get your ideal cooking results.


  • Size: 16 inches long by 13 inches wide by 9 inches high
  • Tempered glass door
  • 4 Quartz heating elements
  • Non-stick interior
  • 3 rack positions
  • Slice Capacity: 4 slices
  • Convection: No
  • Can fit an 11-inch pizza


  • A BIT MORE button in the case you want something cooked a bit longer
  • A Front-access crumb for easy cleaning
  • Easy to read backlit LCD and user-friendly interface
  • Element IQ for improved heat distribution
  • Quartz heating elements for more even heating
  • Makes excellent toast which should be a requirement for any “toaster” oven
  • Automatic shut off


  • Overly loud timer
  • Lacks an automatic slide out rack
  • It is expensive


This is Breville’s smallest “Smart Oven” but for it sure does pack a lot into its small package.  This is an extremely modern looking appliance that delivers terrific versatility for such a tiny oven.  The Gouverneur Times BOV450XL review has more details as to why this model is such a huge hit with amateur chefs.  With such glowing feed back from users, it is easy to see why this oven constantly ranks as one of the top options for anyone looking for a new toaster oven.

If you have a small kitchen, very little counterspace, or live in a dorm room, the BOV450XL would be an excellent choice.  These types of ovens are a great alternative to using your full sized range, and they also make excellent gifts for the people in your life that you want to surprise.  This is a great oven for just about any type of kitchen and it is a great way to cook more in the upcoming year.

How Juicers Can Help You Get Your Daily Dose Of Veggies


We love to spend time at local farmers markets looking for the very best produce that we can take home.  However, we often buy more than we could ever eat and this is why we first decided to get into juicing. We have experienced first hand how juicing vegetables and fruits can transform the way you feel, boost energy, and improve overall health. We do it every day and we can’t imagine not having it be part of our daily routine. A great way to truly take advantage of the power of fresh produce is to get a juice extractor. Who wants to spend all day eating tons of vegetables when you can quickly throw them in a juicing machine and conveniently drink all of the goodness that they have to offer.  Finding the best juicer for your kitchen is not as hard as it may seem.  Although there are a number of quality options to choose from, getting something that is perfect for your needs is something that is rather doable with just a little bit of research.

Keys to Purchasing a Juicer

Some of the more important aspects to look for when buying a juicer include the following:


If you are truly in a hurry, and you just don’t have any time to spare, then a centrifugal juicer is the way to go. They are fast machines, and they offer the quickest way to juice. Speed does come with a price however, as they be quite loud.


If you need a quiet machine and don’t mind the juicing process taking a little bit longer, then a masticating juicer will be your best bet. They run at much slower speeds and they do not sound like an airplane engine when operating. They are not as fast, but they are definitely a lot gentler on the ears.

Juice Quality

Generally speaking, masticating juicers are going to give you a better quality juice. This method has lower oxidation levels in the juice, and you will be able to get slightly higher nutrient levels as well. The juice will spoil at a slower rate allowing you to make a lot of juice at once. Juice made with centrifugal juicers should be consumed right away as their is more air in the juice which will speed up the rate at which it goes bad.

Finding Juicer Reviews

There are plenty of quality juicers on the market, and trying to find one that best suits your needs may seem like a difficult task at first. Once you figure out which factors are the most important to you, then finding a model that is perfect for your needs will be a lot easier. To find the best juicer there are plenty of juicer reviews of the top brands like Breville, Omega, Kuvings, Cuisinart, and Tribest to help you make a more informed choice. Most of the top juicers on the market will be able to deliver a high quality juice, but there are some aspects that may be more valuable to you than others. Whether you choose a masticating or centrifugal juicing machine, chances are you will end up with something that will greatly benefit your health.

Types of Juicers

After reading through numerous reviews of various juice extractors you may notice that there are two types of juicers for fruits and vegetables. So what are the differences between the two?

Centrifugal Juicers

  • Fast
  • Loud
  • Usually easy to use
  • Usually easy to clean
  • Slightly lower juice yield
  • Slightly lower juice quality

Masticating Juicers

  • Slower
  • Quiet
  • Higher juice yield
  • Slightly higher juice quality
  • Great at juicing leafy foods
  • More expensive

Personally, we have always used masticating juicers as we juice a ton of kale and cabbage. These types of juicing machines handle these foods really well. We get a lot of juice and it tastes great. We have had experience with centrifugal juicers, and they do a good job, but they are just not something that suits our needs.

We actually just got a brand new machine, an early Christmas present and we absolutely love it. We bought an Omega VSJ843R, which is an upright masticating juicer. Omega juicers are also some of the best machines that you can buy. So far we have been amazed with how quiet it juices. You can barely hear it when you first turn it on. It is not a particularly fast model, and one thing that we weren’t thrilled about was its small opening to the feed chute. You have to cut up anything that you want to juice into smaller more manageable sizes. Other than that, we have been impressed. Not to plug one model over another, but this juicer has exceeded our expectations.

Which Juicing Machine Should You Get?

Buying a juicer is a totally individual decision. There is not one machine that rise above all the others and stands out to be the best for everyone. Make a checklist of what you hope to do with the machine and what are the most important aspects for you in a juicer. Speed, noise, price, the types of foods you plan to juice, clean up, and ease of use are some of the key points of a quality juicer. Once you know what you need, you can zero in on what you want.

Any juicer is better than not having one at all as juicing can provide you with tremendous health advantages. So in the end, there really is no wrong choice. The key is to buy a juicing machine that you enjoy using every day.

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