Friday, October 11, 2013

Will a Britax Roundabout 55 fit in my 2009 Honda Fit?

Short answer: Yes!

Now for a brief review of the Britax Roundabout 55.

After wrestling & fighting with our current convertible child restraint (an Alpha Omega Elite I bought in 2009) and scraping up my hands every time to install it with the vehicle seat belt (the LATCH anchors no longer maintained tension), I broke down and decided we need a new car seat for my daughter. If it can't be installed properly, don't use it.

I looked at reviews online (mainly on Amazon) and took advice from friends. I narrowed it down to these three: Graco MyRide 65, Chicco NextFit, or Britax Roundabout 55. I ended up picking the Roundabout, because there wasn't anything in the consumer reviews about it not fitting in a smaller vehicle. Even though we're thinking about getting a bigger car, I wanted to be absolutely certain I would have no trouble at all getting this in our current car or in a friend's car when we travel. Other key factors were: desired to keep my 2 yr old rear-facing, brand trustworthiness, price, styling, height/weight fit, ease-of-installation, and type of anchor mechanism.

The Britax arrived in the mail today, and installation was a breeze compared to our old Alpha Omega. I'm very satisfied. My daughter couldn't wait to get in and try it out. With the Roundabout rear-facing, I can actually move the front seat aaaaall the way back without interfering with the child restraint! Before, we had to move it up so there was only just enough room for an adult to sit up front.

 The LATCH anchor mechanisms are the type with a button up top, so I don't have to dig to depress the anchor.

See that metal bar under the shell of the seat? 
This seat has a bar upon which the LATCH tethers simply slide up/down, 
so when it's time to switch to forward-facing, I won't have to re-thread the belt path.


 Here it is: all installed in our '09 Honda Fit! It will work great, even  with my 6' 2" husband in the front seat. I hope this seat works out for us, because it's SO much easier to use!
(P.S. It comes in different colors, too!
P.P.S. Made in the USA!)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Upcycling a Crib into a Light (Tracing) Table

This crib/toddler bed was picked up at a garage sale for $5. We got our use out of it, then I was able to turn it into a light table for tracing, as well a place to stash my paper. I do a lot of tracing for craft projects, so this was a great way for me to keep an old crib out of the landfill a while longer (and save a bunch of money with not having to purchase a light table from an art supply dealer). 
If you're handy, you can make one, too!
 I cut one of the side rails in half. I made it into a pyramid shape. You could staple canvas or almost any sturdy material here, or use real hinges.

 Once my straps were on, I adjusted the length so it would stand at just the right height.
 Here it is with the pads of sketch paper. 
This could be fitted with tiny hooks or pegs to hold ribbon, thread, bobbins, 
or even mounted to the wall.

 I put an old TV tray under the glass to hold my lamp, but you could come up with infinite possibilities and types of lighting solutions.
 Using pliers to bend the hook parts, I removed the "springs" from the old bed spring; I found a piece of glass the right size and cut a piece of wood to fit into the frame of the bed spring. 
I mounted it at and angle with screws and wire ties for a temporary fix, 
but with the right hardware, it could be made to be adjustable to any height/angle.
 I love using this, and it cost me pretty much $0!