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Did you know that by the time your little one is 10 years old, you may have been through up to five different car seat configurations? One baby + five separate car seats...we may not have made it past pre-calc (true story), but something isn't adding up.

Lots of mamas may not realize it, but it is possible to use one car seat from the infant days all the way through the big kid years. Car seats that accommodate kiddos from birth up to 10 years old are on the rise, and since we are all about money-saving products that grow with your baby and swoon over minimalist baby products with a "less, better, beautiful" mantra, we wanted to break down the pros + cons for you and share our favorite picks.

So you mean I'll only need one car seat in 10 years? Really?

Yup—that's exactly what we mean. All-in-one seats, as they're commonly called, were designed to fit children from birth through 10 years old. (Give or take, of course, depending on the height + weight of your kiddo.) These seats easily transform from rear-facing for infants and toddlers, to forward-facing seats for older kiddos, then to a high-back booster, and even then to a backless booster in some cases.

What are the pros?

Choosing a car seat that fits the needs of you and your family is a pretty personal choice, but, keeping that in mind, there are plenty of reasons to love all-in-one seats.

  • Affordability. The seats grow right along with the changing needs of your infant and child, eliminating the need to buy four separate car seats and instead allowing you to buy just one. Minimalism FTW!
  • Ease. Don't want to think about car seats for the next 10 years? Done and done. While most car seats expire 6-8 years after purchase, all of the all-in-one car seats on our list expire 10 years from date of purchase.
  • Safety. Our all-in-one seat picks are loaded with the newest and best safety features, putting your mind at ease when you're traveling with your little one. Plus, as your little one grows, you'll easily be able to switch over the seat into its next configuration, making sure you'll never be left in a pinch after a growth spurt.
  • Versatility. Are you transporting different sized children? All-in-one seats make it easy to do just that without the need for multiple seats.

And what about the cons?

All-in-one seats aren't for everyone. If you like the convenience and portability of an infant bucket seat, all-in-ones probably aren't the best choice for you. Another concern is the seat's footprint in your car over a period of time. Lots of families like to switch to narrower, more streamlined seats as their kids get older and their family grows.

Our top picks

We've chosen three all-in-one convertible car seats we think are worth checking out. These seats get our top picks for unparalleled safety, comfort, offer beautiful design.

Maxi Cosi Magellan 5-in-1

We were lucky enough to attend a launch event for this seat earlier this year to check it out in person, and all we can say is...wow. The Magellan is one of the smartest, most beautifully designed car seats we've ever encountered.

This convertible car seat works with children 5-20 lbs., from newborn to approximately 10 years old. The first thing that stood out to us with the Magellan was its adaptability. The Magellan boasts seven recline positions, three adjustable torso height positions, and 14 headrest heights. All the adjustments are simple and intuitive, so you'll never spend a lot of time fumbling with the seat. (Most can even be done one-handed!) Combine this with the comfort factor—super soft (and washable) self-wicking fabric, a removable infant pillow system, and more—and your little one may never want to get out of the car 😉

Safety is another huge pro of the Magellan. The seat meets and exceeds all safety standards, and includes innovative features like side impact protection that adjusts as the seat converts to different positions.

And last but certainly not least, the Magellan is packed with smart features designed to make #momlife a whole lot easier. The chest clip features ClipQuik technology, so it buckles together easily with the help of built-in magnets. The seat also has spring-assisted shoulder harness straps and a buckle that's spring-loaded to point forward—so no more fumbling around for those straps or crotch buckles. Genius!

Maxi Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
$349.99, Nordstrom

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Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One

You might know the popular brand Baby Jogger for their amazing strollers, but now they've entered the all-in-one car seat market with the amazing City View—and we are very impressed! It's not only beautiful, but it's filled with all the safety and convenience features you could ever want in an all-in-one seat.

The City View Space Saving All-in-One car seat grows with your little one from 5-100 lbs. Like other all-in-one seats, the City View can be used rear-facing, forward-facing, and eventually as a high back booster seat when your kiddo (and you!) are ready.

One of the first things we noticed about this seat (and loved!) is its size. It's super narrow—at only 17.4" wide, it's one of the slimmest all-in-one car seat on our list. Less car seat means more space for passengers or other kiddos in your backseat, and that's a major win in our book.

Incredible safety features are also a huge plus with the City View. The seat features an anti-rebound bar, adding an extra layer of protection when rear-facing by reducing the amount of rearward movement of the car seat during a frontal crash by over 45%, according to Baby Jogger. The seat's frame is constructed from steel bars, helping it to retain its structure in the event of an accident. And the seat even uses durable, thicker foam, helping to not only make the seat softer but to also absorb energy in a crash.

We also love all of the tired-mom-proof features that were carefully thought out in the design of this seat. Switching from one mode to the next is super easy; you won't need hours of poring over the instruction manual to convert the seat from one mode to another. (Yay!) There are 10 headrest positions, also easy thanks to a no re-thread system, and four recline positions that are very straighforward. And we truly LOVE the easy latch system—it literally clicked right into our car and made installation a breeze. The seat doesn't have a removable fabric cover, but it is able to be spot cleaned, so in the case of spills and messes.

Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat
$349.99, Nordstrom

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Diono Just My Color Radian rXT

For mamas of multiple young kiddos who need two (or even three) car seats to fit across their car's back seat, Diono has long been a favorite for their narrow, safe car seats. The brand new Just My Color Radian rxT adds a fun, new cool factor to one of our favorite seats—and brings with it all the all-in-one conveniences we've come to appreciate from this car seat.

Available in 5 brand new colors, the Just My Color seats are sure to add a little fun to your next carpool. They're stylish, tailored, and come in both vivid, bright colors and more subdued neutrals if that's more your thing. But best of all? They are well thought out, extremely safe, and easy to use.

Similar to our other seats on the list, safety is a top priority for the Radian. Featuring a steel allow frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, and energy absorbing foam, your kiddo will be protected from every angle if there's ever a crash. And if you're worried about all of these features making for a bulky seat, don't be—the Radian is our narrowest seat on the list, coming in at only 17" wide. The design is sleek, narrow, and beautiful, and easily fit 3-across along a back seat.

The Radian rXT is suitable for kiddos 5-120 lbs. and, like our other all-in-one seats, works rear and forward-facing and as a booster. The seat boasts 12 headrest positions, five harness slot positions, and three crotch buckle positions. We do wish there were a few more seat recline options, but with all the other comfort features built in, our little one didn't seem to mind. We also heart that the seat folds flat for easy storage and portability—it makes traveling so much easier!

Diono Just My Color Radian rXT
$349.00, Diono

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When I think about the Super Bowl, two things come to mind: funny commercials and tasty snacks. If you're hosting the Super Bowl and have kiddos around, the name of the game (pun intended) is to offer a spread of snacks loaded with proteins and vitamins that will keep everyone's energy levels up the entire game, and won't make your friends rely on greasy items.

Try these healthy go-to treats for your viewing party that even your toddler will love:

Skinny baked mozzarella sticks

Skinny baked mozzarella sticks

Serves: 16 pieces

Time to cook: 1 hour and 18 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese optional
  • olive oil cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Cut the string cheese in half and place it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Beat egg in a small and set aside. In a separate bowl mix the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and set aside.
  2. Dip one string cheese in breadcrumb mixture than in egg mixture and then back in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat this for all the pieces. Place sticks on a greased foil or pan. Return the cheese stick back to the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes. Note: do not skip this step because the cheese will melt if they are not frozen.
  3. After the cheese is finished freezing, heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray the cheese lightly with cooking spray and place in the oven. After four minutes flip the cheese sticks and continue baking for another three minutes or until they are golden. Do not overbake because the cheese will melt. Serve hot with your favorite marinara sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Broccoli cheese balls

Broccoli cheese balls

Serves: 20 balls

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or panko or Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese mozzarella, cheddar, or favorite melting cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallots optional
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped optional
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cajun or taco seasoning or favorite seasoning blend!
  • Pinch of salt and pepper black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Steam broccoli in boiling water or microwave until tender. Chop broccoli using a knife or food processor until finely minced.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, eggs, almond flour, cheese, parsley and spices. Mix until well incorporated.
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of mixture and form into a ball. Place on a lined baking sheet and spray or drizzle lightly with oil. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Serve on a salad, in a sandwich, with rice, or as an appetizer or snack with your favorite dipping sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Chicken taco lettuce wraps

Chicken taco lettuce wraps

Serves: 4

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Grilled taco chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

To assemble

  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce rinsed
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/4 cup onion diced

Cilantro sauce

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour-cream or mayo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno optional
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

To cook chicken

  1. Add the chicken, garlic, olive oil, and spices in a large bowl or zip-seal bag. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill or pan heated to medium-high heat. Let chicken cook until it is no longer pink on the inside, about 9-10 minutes per side (or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees).

To make cilantro sauce

1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend for one minute or until creamy.

To assemble

  1. Layer lettuce wraps with chicken, tomatoes, onion and avocado. Drizzle with cilantro sauce or your favorite taco sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Eggplant pizza bites

Eggplant pizza bites

Serves: 4

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle the eggplant with the coarse salt, let sit on paper towels for 10-15 minutes and wipe dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bow, combine the crushed garlic, olive oil and Italian seasoning. Brush the mixture onto both sides of the eggplant slices and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove eggplant from oven and flip eggplant slices, top each slice with a tablespoon of marinara sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Rice krispie chicken tenders

Rice krispie chicken tenders

Servings: 4

Time to cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb raw chicken, cut into long thin slices
  • 2 cups brown rice krispies (or regular if you desire)
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place egg whites in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, add rice krispies and smash with the bottom of a cup until it is a crumb like texture (some will be almost a flour consistency, but don't smash long enough for all of the krispies to be completely crushed). Add seasonings in bowl.
  4. Dip each slice of chicken into egg whites, then coat completely on both sides, and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
  5. When all are on a baking tray, lightly sprinkle a little more sea salt onto tenders and place them in the oven.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Combine yogurt, mustard, bbq sauce, honey and seasonings in a small bowl.
  8. Serve with chicken tenders for dipping.
Recipe from TheLeanGreenbean.
Life

I have a love-hate relationship with maternity clothes. On one hand, I love them because they make me feel comfortable as my bump grows, without anything getting in the way of my breathing or baby's movement. On the other hand, I've really struggled finding items that are my style—which I admit is very particular—or don't cost a ton of money.

During my first pregnancy I bought a bunch of basic pregnancy outfits and tried to include some of my non-maternity favorites in the mix. Sometimes it worked, sometimes in the middle of a work day I had to run to the bathroom to unzip my high waisted skirt because it was too much to handle. By the time baby came, I realized I had spent a ton of money on clothing that I barely wore, and passed them on to other pregnant friends (some items still with tags on.)

With my second pregnancy, I decided I needed to be comfortable above all, but also not spend a ton of money on fast pregnancy fashion because these months go super fast and I'm trying to be more environmentally conscious. I had tried clothing subscription services before (hello wedding season!) and loved being able to wear different outfits I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. After doing some research, I found three subscriptions that offer maternity clothes. I tried them out in an attempt to dress better while sporting a huge bump and to save money and keep my closet decluttered. The best part was that if I really loved something, I had the chance to purchase it at a super discounted price.

Here are the three maternity clothing subscription services I tried:

Amoire

Amoire Style

About the service: This is a fairly new service and it's currently priced at $149 a month. Once you sign up, you take a style quiz by picking from a group of eight photos of the looks you like the most. Once you are done defining your style, you give your current sizing and then tell your stylist what you are looking for. You get four pieces at a time that you can wear as many times as you want, then return and get new items to wear.

More to know: Unlike other clothing services, you cannot pick from an endless list of clothes what you'd like to receive in your shipment. Instead, you have to go through a stylist who sends picks for you. To be honest, I found this a little annoying since I kept asking for rompers and pants, but kept getting blouses and dresses in my orders. So it did take some back and forth until my stylist sent me things I actually wanted to wear.

My thoughts: I received a mix of maternity and non-maternity clothes that were all bump friendly. The quality of all of them was great and some came with tags, which meant I was the first one ever wearing that piece of clothing.

$149

NUULY

Nuuly

About the service: This subscription is priced at $88 per month for six pieces at a time. The difference between Nuuly and other services is that you cannot return items to get new ones during the month—you return all of them at the same time and get six new ones the next month. This was a bit of a learning curve for me as I was used to sending back things that didn't fit or I didn't like to maximize my month of rental.

More to know: This service provides clothes from more edgy brands, like Urban Outfitters, Reebok and DL1961, which actually made it my favorite service because it was super aligned with my style. They offer both maternity and non-maternity clothes, so I was able to get super cool dresses (like the one pictured above) in a bigger size than my regular size to wear with my growing bump.

My thoughts: Their maternity catalog is pretty limited, however they have super unique items. One of the pieces I requested was already rented by the time my order was placed and they sent me something totally different to what I wanted. I understand the effort to make sure I was getting the full six items in my order but it was a non-maternity summer dress that didn't work with my bump.

$88

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway

About the service: I went with their Unlimited Plan which is priced at $159 for four pieces at a time (you can exchange over and over again during the month). Their return service is super fast so if you are organized and return pieces you don't love quickly, you can get so many new things to wear in a month.

More to know: They have the biggest catalogue of maternity clothes and brands, including Hatch. Like Nuuly, you get to pick what you want from their options. It can be a little overwhelming since you scroll through pages and pages of really good quality stuff so I recommend going into it with something in mind (do you need jeans or a party dress?).

My thoughts: Because the service is so popular, I got some clothes that were super worn already and even damaged. I returned those immediately and got new items, but you really never know in what condition they are going to be in, despite the service trying to keep super worn clothes out of their rental catalogue.

$159

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When infectious diseases make headlines parents naturally get a little worried, and this week coronavirus is in the news constantly. The coronavirus has infected more than 600 people worldwide, though mostly in China. As of Jan. 23, Chinese authorities have reported 17 deaths from the virus so far. Only two cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and officials are monitoring 63 suspected cases.

Here's what you need to know, mama.

1. Don't panic.

According to the World Health Organization the coronavirus outbreak is not an international public health emergency.

"CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation is evolving rapidly," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call with media on Friday. "We have our best people working on this problem," Messonnier explained, adding that we will likely see more cases in the coming days.

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2. There have been no fatalities in children.

The youngest victim of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus is 36 years old. Most of the fatal cases in China have been in people over 60 and more men than women have been impacted.

3. The family of coronaviruses is a spectrum of severity.

According to the CDC, most people will be infected with a coronavirus at some point in their lives. The common strains of coronavirus cause "moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold" while more severe strains, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrom (MERS) can be fatal.

The strain that is making headlines is a severe and novel coronavirus. It's new and the similarities to influenza make it difficult for experts to distinguish it from all the other respiratory illnesses floating around this time of year.

4. There is a test for it.

When public health officials suspect someone may have coronavirus they can send respiratory and serum samples to the CDC and find out if it's coronavirus or just the flu within about 24 hours.

5. There are steps to take for prevention.

To prevent the spread of the virus the U.S. State Department has issued its most severe travel advisory for the area of China (the province of Hubei, where the city of Wuhan is) most impacted by the coronavirus.

The CDC offers the following tips for protecting your family from the coronavirus (as well as other respiratory illnesses):

  • "Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds."
  • "Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands."
  • "Avoid close contact with people who are sick."
Bottom line: Don't panic, mama. The illness is likely to be in the headlines for months, but that doesn't mean we need to live in fear. We just need to be proactive and keep washing those little hands.
News

Every generation has its parenting trends. “The Greatest Generation" had the idealized “perfect family"—a “picture perfect" two-parent, gender-divided home in the suburbs, that was probably more trope than reality.

The Baby Boomers brought us parent-as-life coach/ friend/chauffeur and manager. At best, it's a nurturing style done out of love and wanting the best for your kids. At worst, it's called “helicopter parenting," the idea that parents try to protect their kids from all harm and difficulty, only to make their kids incapable of caring for themselves.

And our Millennial generation has a “free-range" parenting trend, a backlash against the overly-controlled childhood aimed at teaching kids to rise to life's challenges.

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All of this talk about gender roles, helicopter parenting, grit and independence has me wondering—what kind of parent do I want to be?

Do I want to give my kids a picture-perfect childhood? Do I want to control them and make sure every good thing is done to them and for them? Do I want to set them free to figure it all out on their own? Defining the parent I want to be—and deciding what values drive my day-to-day parenting decisions—can be complicated.

The truth is, “helicoptering" comes easy to me, even when I know it's good for my children to work hard, face obstacles, and experience the pride of genuine achievement.

I don't want to helicopter—but I want to make sure my kids have the best opportunities in life, especially in things that I may have missed out on in my own childhood. (Though I'm sure I'm pushing my own values on them and they will find their own way to rebel....)

I don't want to helicopter—but I want to make sure they always look both ways before they cross the street, have their carseat properly installed, and are aware of dangers in our world. (Though I teach them these things and do my best to keep them in safe situations...)

I don't want to helicopter—but having faith that they'll be safe when they're out of my sight is really hard for me. (Though I say a prayer and trust in the universe...)

I don't want to helicopter—but sometimes doing things for them can be so much easier/ faster/ better than letting them do it for themselves. (Though I try to be patient...)

I don't want to helicopter—but I set up play dates, schedule after-school activities, and encourage them socially so that my children can make new friends. (Though I'm sure they will find true friends in their own time...)

I don't want to helicopter—but watching my little ones struggle can be hard for my mama heart. (So I hope they know I'm doing this because I love them...)

I don't want to helicopter—but protecting my kids comes easy. Giving them space to struggle and grow is essential, but hard, for both of us.

Life
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