Going Green

The Power of Green To Keep You Healthy & Lean

Month: February 2016

Car Seat Protection For Your Child

car-seat-guide

As a mother, the safety and well being of my child is something that often causes me many sleepless nights. It has been that way from the beginning and I am sure it is something that all parents experience. I was so scared to think about riding in the car everyday and trying to find the right safety seat just about gave me an ulcer. Looking back however, I really did not need to stress out that much. While the experience of buying a new convertible seat was a little time consuming just because of all of the options available, in the end I was extremely happy with the seat that I got. Knowing that you bought something that is safe and something that your child enjoys riding in really is a big relief. So to help pass it forward, I will try and help you narrow down the field to find some of the better convertible car seats that will help you exhale and ride easier.

Which Brands Should I Consider?

I won’t get into individual seats, but I will help steer you towards the more reputable brands and what type of budgets that they will fall into. Budget is often a big factor when buying a child seat, but just because you save a little does not mean that you have to give up something for safety. There are many extremely safe car seats that are quite affordable. The latest convertible car seat reviews 2016 illustrate the best rated options that cover just about any type of budget. Once you find a brand that you are comfortable with then you can find the best convertible car seat for your child. Often car seat makers will have a line of different seats with various features and price points. As long as you go with a trusted name you really can’t go wrong as far as safety goes. It will then come down to usability, style and price.

Graco Child Seats

Graco makes a terrific line of car seats for those that have a some money to spend, but where price still matters. Their mid-range seats are widely popular with parents for their durability and safety. They have a wide assortment of colors and their Size 4 Me seat is probably their best selling model. Graco seats pass all required tests to be able to on the road in the US and they have a great record when it comes to making quality products. We have used one of their convertible car seats i the past and we thoroughly enjoyed how easy it was to use. Our child also seemed to really love riding in it and often fell asleep shortly getting strapped in, which is often a good sign.

Britax Convertible Options

This is another well known company that makes some of the best rated convertible car seats that you can buy. Britax’s line of products has always been widely popular with parents and kids alike. They make some excellent child seats but they are not exactly cheap. If you have a decent budget then they would be a great option as their seats can range from $180 to $300. They have had a few hiccups lately and have had to recall some convertible and infant seats, but they owned up and were quick with a fix. They do have a great safety record despite their recent issues and I would still feel confident with my child riding in one of their products. They are quite comfortable and have a host of safety innovations that help set them apart.

Peg Perego Seats

This is for parents that have a healthy budget as their seats typically will run north of $300, but if you can afford it then it will probably be a great investment. Their seats are engineered with race car technology that gives them some very innovative features. Excellent side impact protection, super comfortable and plush materials, and solid construction really makes their seats stand out from the competition. We splurged and went for their Primo Viaggio model seat and we were so impressed. This really put our mind at ease and still does to this day every time we put our child into it. This is probably the best purchase that we made for our child to date.

Other Brands

The above names are just a starting point and there are actually plenty of car seat manufacturers with solid reputations. Evenflo, Diona, and Safety 1st also make high quality options for parent that have received excellent ratings. It may be hard to narrow the field but sticking with trusted companies is the best course of action. Their seats have been rigorously tested to be certified safe and meet all of the requirements to be legal in the US.

If you are just starting your quest to buy a new seat for your upcoming family, a little research goes a long way. There are also some useful tips for parents to keep in mind when shopping. Finding the best convertible car seat for your family may take a little of your time and cause you an undo amount of stress, but you should be able to find something that will put your mind at ease.

Going Green In Your Kitchen With A Toaster Oven

Energy efficient toaster oven

Toaster ovens are a great way to go green in the kitchen.  Not only are they more energy efficient than bigger standard ovens, but they also have the added benefit of saving you time and money.  These smaller countertop ovens take less time to preheat, and if you get one with a convection feature for cooking, then you will also be able to use lower temperatures to deliver awesome tasting meals. You can finally stop wasting energy and use your full sized oven to store pots and pans, which is a nice added bonus.  If you do not own one of these yet, then they are worth looking into.

Of course they can do toast, but they are also capable of so much more.  These are fully functional cooking appliances that can handle just about any type of recipe that you can throw at them.  Roasting, baking, broiling, reheating, defrosting, and browning are just some of the functions that are built into these countertop machines.  You can find reviews of the top 10 toaster ovens at Gouverneurtimes.com to see which oven would be best for your cooking needs as well as your budget.

Toaster Oven Recipes

But what exactly can you do with a toaster oven?  For starters, you can prepare favourite foods like pizza, apple pies, roasted asparagus, lasagna, chicken tenders and bacon. Below are just a few simple recipes you can prepare with a toaster oven in your own home. Not only are they convenient, but they are huge time savers as well. Eating healthy does not have to be hard work.

Salsa Tuna Melt

The salsa tuna melt contains protein, carbohydrates and fats which are beneficial to the growth and development of the body.

Ingredients

  • A can of white tuna in water
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons of salsa
  • 1 tablespoon of light mayonnaise
  • 1 English muffin, split and lightly toasted
  • 2 slices of reduced fat cheese

Preparation

Start by combining the tuna, cilantro, salsa and mayonnaise in a clean bowl of medium size. Proceed by splitting the English muffin in two halves and then place them on a small baking sheet.

Top the English muffin with the tuna mixture and cheese. Start the toaster oven and pre heat it to 350 degrees. Place the mixture of English muffin, tuna and cilantro in the toaster oven and bake it until the cheese melts. This should take between two to three minutes.

The preparation time for the meal is 10 minutes while the overall cooking time is 3 minutes. The meal is for one serving only and contains 430 calories.

Mini Apple Pie

Mini apple pies are healthier and contribute nutrients and minerals beneficial to the body.

Ingredients

  • One pack of Tortilla
  • Half an apple
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preparation

Start by slicing the apple and place the slices on a tortilla. Proceed by drizzling the apples with honey and finally sprinkle the cinnamon on the mixture. You need to fold the corners of the tortilla so as to create a small apple pie pouch. The best way to ensure that the pouch stays intact is to fasten the corners with clean toothpicks.

Switch the toaster oven on, place the mini apple pie in the oven tray and proceed to bake it until the apples are soft. This could take a period of around 5 minutes especially if you use the toast feature found on your oven. Take the mini apple pie from the oven and serve.

The mini apple will contain 150 calories depending with the kind of tortilla you have used and 1.5 grams of fat.

Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is extremely nutritious and contains Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc, protein, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and dietary fiber.

Ingredients

  • One bunch of asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Start by pre heating your toaster oven to 425 degrees. Proceed by washing your asparagus thoroughly, stack them together and finally cut off the tough bottom part. You need to spread the asparagus in a single layer on top of a rimmed baking sheet, pat it as dry as you can as you don’t want the water to steam during the roasting of the asparagus in the toaster oven

Drizzle olive oil all over the asparagus, then sprinkle the freshly ground pepper and the salt too. Place the asparagus in the toaster oven and proceed to roast it for 5 minutes. You need to be careful as the oven will be hot therefore cooking the outer part of the asparagus quickly without the inside getting done. Serve once well done.

Endless Possibilities In The Kitchen

Just about any recipe that can be prepared in a full sized conventional oven can also be done in a countertop toaster oven.  Obviously, a super huge turkey is probably going to be the exception, but you might be surprised with just how much cooking for your family can be accomplished in one of these.  So make room on your counter and go out and get one of these ovens for your kitchen, your family and the planet will thank you.