New Bugaboo Special Edition Cameleon 3

Feb 2, 2016


Bugaboo has announced a new Cameleon³ Special Edition collection. It is an upgrade to the popular 'Classic' collection and is called Classic+. 

The Special Edition Classic+ will be available in four colors:  Grey Mélange (new), Navy Blue, Dark Khaki and Sand. Grey seems to be a very popular color for luxury strollers this year, and I'm glad to see that Bugaboo added it to their color palette.

The beautiful Classic+ collection was originally inspired by the Bugaboo Frog and features an extendable canopy with a cozy, quilted lining, a carrycot, mattress and apron cover. 

The handlebar and carrycot handle are now covered in leatherette for a more distinct look and feel.

The Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic+ Collection will be available for purchase on March 1st, 2016.

bugaboo cameleon3-classic-gray-melange-bassinet
bugaboo cameleon3-classic-gray-melange-seat



Play Kitchens On Sale

Jan 29, 2016

Woohoo! Zulily is having a SALE today on play kitchens and other pretend-play toys. Prices are discounted by up to 50%! 













In Search Of A Perfect Play Kitchen

Jan 15, 2016


Seeing Ben mixing lego pieces in a bowl with a spoon, it has come to my attention that he and Little Missy would probably really enjoy a play kitchen. I asked Ben if he would like one and his response was, "Yes, and some food because I only have one carrot." 

Obviously I didn't run right out to the store for a play kitchen, since nothing happens that fast in this household. Surprisingly, uncharacteristic to a toddler's usual attention span, the idea of a play kitchen really fell into Ben's head. Since our initial conversation, he reminds me every day that he would like a kitchen to cook for his dolls. (Yes, my son plays with dolls. Get over it. He also plays with cars, trains and legos.)

And so began my search for the perfect play kitchen. I didn't want anything plastic, atrociously colored or too generic. I have a vision of a high quality, wooden kitchen with a retro vibe. Of course in my search for perfection, I came across play-kitchens that were more awesome than anything I ever imagined. These were mostly hand made, one of a kind kitchens, made by extremely handy and creative parents and grandparents.

While I love the idea of a DIY play kitchen, I'm afraid that this project is just beyond my scope of abilities. If you are a super handy person and know exactly what you're doing, a DIY kitchen can be a more economical and unique option. Sadly, in my case, I know attempting to do this myself would end up costing much more than just buying a pre-made kitchen.

I'll have to settle for the next best thing to DIY - a premade kitchen that I can tweak a little and add personal touches to.


My inspirations






http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/27/96/d4/2796d4e965ceb713fba4f754c3c94d00.jpg:


via Pintrest
(This is actually a doll kitchen)


Cute, retro style play kitchens 

Farmhouse Kitchen Collection

Alternate View
 PB Kids Farmhouse Kitchen Collection

Ok, so where does one find a pre-made toy kitchen that looks like it was handmade? Why, at Pottery Barn Kids! This Farmhouse kitchen is so, so gorgeous! It resembles the one-of-a-kind  hand made kitchens and has the vintage feel that I'm craving. Unfortunately it's way out of my budget. Must stop obsessing over stuff I can't afford! Seriously having high standards without funds to match, is a curse. Why should I care so much about what a play kitchen looks like? Because I'm a crazy perfectionist. And no, in case you're wondering, trying to reason with my crazy self did not work. Anyhow, I consoled myself by telling myself that we need an all-in-one kitchen since space is very limited.  


I like the look of this Country Kitchen and it would have been a serious contender, but I can't seem to find it in the US. All links are for European and UK sites. The story of my life.


Cute kitchen and I love the mint color, but I think this one would be better suited for a younger toddler. It might be to small for 3-year old Ben.


Teamson Kids White Playkitchen



Teamson Kids Classic Play Kitchen


Next I turned my attention to some very generic play kitchens that have all the functions my kids would love. I'm considering painting one of these over and changing the handles. Maybe putting in a real mini faucet? 



KidKraft Uptown Natural Kitchen




Plum Peppermint Townhouse 2 in 1 Kitchen & Doll House
This kitchen maximizes on play space. The reverse side features a doll house!



Kidkraft Suite Elite Kitchen


There's always the IKEA DUKTIG kitchen, which has been upsycled and made over by many creative household. I like the clean lines on this one and I suppose I can handle painting it and adding some personal touches. My only problem with this kitchen is that it doesn't have stove knobs. Just adding some decorative knobs is not enough, I think Ben and Little Missy would really enjoy turning them and hearing a clicking noise. Any idea how to accomplish that?




via Babiekins


Via Peachy Parade on Instagram



So what will it be? Dilemmas, dilemmas. If anyone knows of a play kitchen that I might have missed and that fits my criteria, please comment!



GB Qbit Stroller Review

Jan 7, 2016


I'm a huge fan of little strollers. Anything petite, lightweight and easy to fold is always on my radar. When I saw the new GB Qbit stroller, I absolutely had to give it a go!

While GB Child USA is a relatively new brand, the company behind it, Good Baby International, has actually been around for over 25 years, designing and manufacturing strollers for many well known brands such as Cybex.


First Impression


The GB Qbit is a sleek looking, incredibly compact stroller that's great for travel. Weather you need to bring a stroller on public transportation or as a carry-on on board an aircraft, Qbit makes it easy and effortless. When folded, this stroller is the size of a carry-on bag and can be stored in the overhead compartment on a plane. A handy carrying bag is included with this stroller.

Qbit is available in a choice of 5 frame colors: black, raspberry, citrus, white and aqua.


Dimensions & Weight
  • Stroller width - 19.3" 
  • Stroller length - 18" 
  • Handlebar height - 41" 
  • Stroller weight - 14 lb 
  • Seat width - 13" 
  • Seat depth - 11" 
  • Seat back height - 17" (25" to canopy)

Suitable for: birth (with use of car seat) to 50 lbs


Seat Unit


I was surprised to find that for such a tiny stroller, the Qbit has a roomy seat with a weight capacity of up to 50 lbs!

Unfortunately, the maximum weight capacity is rather useless since the seat back is quite short at 17". As you can see in the pictures, 3 year old Ben's head is a few inches above the seat back edge. I imagine most kids would outgrow this stroller height-wise well before reaching the maximum weight limit.

While the seat back is rather short, the seat to canopy measurement is 25" inches.

The seat has a one-hand strap recline, but it only reclines slightly. I don't think the recline is adequate even for a toddler to sleep comfortably. I'm sure an exhausted kid can catch a catnap even in a sitting position, but I don't think it's very comfortable to sleep with your head lolling down.

In the upright position, the seat is still somewhat reclined which infuriated Little Missy. She hates being slumped back in a stroller and kept trying to sit up straight, pulling the back of the seat forward with her.




There is no leg rest or bumper bar on this stroller. Overall, the seat is very basic with no extra comfort features. I suppose that was intentional in order to keep the weight of the stroller to a minimum and the price as affordable as possible. Still, a removable bumper bar would have been nice.

On the plus side, the Qbit can be used as a travel system from birth with included car seat adapters. While officially, the adapters accept GB Asana35, Cybex Aton, and Maxi Cosi Mico car seats, I tried attaching the Nuna Pipa and it fit the adapters as well.

Under the seat, you'll find an integrated travel bag which keeps the stroller clean while traveling. The travel bag has a carrying handle and a shoulder strap.





Textiles

The seat fabric is smooth, but has a cheap feel. Not surprising, considering this stroller retails for only $179.99. We can't have everything for that price. If the fabric is a major concern to you, cover the seat with a cotton seat liner and move on!




Canopy

The 3-panel canopy is a decent size for a tiny stroller. It's not large, but adequate. There is no peek-a-boo window on the canopy, but it's commonly left out on travel strollers. After all, the manufacturers don't want you to get too attached because hey, you need more than one stroller for various walks of life!

The canopy material is very thin, so I'm not sure how much protection it would actually provide in case of rain.

Also, the material that's attached to the back of canopy and the top of seat is not removable and does not have any ventilation opening.




Harness

Qbit has a basic 5-point harness. The harness doesn't have waist straps, and so can't be used as a 3 point harness with older toddlers.

I found the shoulder straps to be somewhat on the short side. The harness may be too tight on a toddler wearing a winter jacket. I do like the harness pads very much though. They are not stiff like on so many other strollers, and are covered is soft, breathable 3D air mesh.

The buckle is a good size, not too huge and not too small. The release button is very easy to press. A very able child may set himself loose.





Wheels/Push/Steering/

Qbit has 5.5" double wheels with rear wheel suspension. The front swivel wheels can be locked if necessary.

The stroller maneuvers well on pavement and can be steered with one hand. Keep in mind that the Qbit is designed for use in the city. While it can handle a bit of grass, it is not really meant for any rough terrain.




Handlebar

The foam-covered handlebar is really basic. It's not adjustable, which is to be expected on a compact, lightweight stroller. The height of the handlebar is 41" from the ground, which most parents should find convenient.

The plastic folding button is located in the center of the handlebar.

Right bellow the handle, on the right side of the stroller there's a parent cup holder.





Under-seat Storage

The basket on the Qbit is surprisingly roomy, given the tiny size of this stroller. Since the seat is located a bit higher up on the stroller,  the basket is easily accessible, both from the front and from the back.  While this is not a basket to go grocery shopping with, it will hold a large diaper bag or a medium shoulder bar + an assortment of small items.



Access from the front of stroller



The Fold


The fold is really Qbits most notable feature because it's just awesome! I wish all strollers were made with such a simple one-hand fold. All you need to do is press the button on the handlebar and the stroller collapses to the size of a carry-on bag. The stroller is self standing when folded.

There's a manual lock, which requires a bit of fumbling. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to have an automatic lock.

A travel bag with a carrying handle and shoulder strap is integrated under the seat. A lot of stroller brands sell a travel bag separately, but with the Qbit it's included!

Please note that different Airlines have varied regulations for carry-on size. If you're looking for a stroller specifically for that purpose, I would recommend checking the exact size limits with your airline before investing in a travel stroller.

For reference, the Qbit's folded dimensions are 19.3x13x21.






The Break

There's a very basic pedal break on each rear wheel. The breaks are not flip-flop friendly (a feature you might actually like to have in a travel stroller) and get in the way if you want to bump the stroller down some steps.




Recap & Ratings

Qbit is a stroller that I have very mixed feelings about. It may be very convenient in some situations due to it's small foot print, car seat compatibility and a one-hand compact fold. However, because the recline is very slight, the seat back is short and there are no comfort features, such as a leg rest or ventilation, this stroller has very limited uses in my opinion.

If you need a stroller specifically for air travel or for use on public transportation, the Qbit is a good and affordable choice. It can also be a stroller to keep in a car trunk 'just in case', or to use for a very quick run to the store.

I don't think this stroller is comfortable enough for a child to spend long periods of time in. So even when using it for travel, if you have long sight-seeing excursions planned, you may want to look into other options.

Pros: 
1. One-hand compact fold
2. Stands when folded
3. Can be used as a travel system with car seat adapters
4. Decent size basket considering stroller size
5. Easy access to basket
6. Decent size canopy
7. Included transport bag with carrying strap
8. Included parent cup holder
9. High weight capacity
10. Sturdy
11. Steers with one hand
12. Affordable


Cons:

1. Short seat back
2. Very shallow recline
3. Manual fold lock
4. No peek-a-boo window on canopy
5. Short harness
6. No waist straps to use as a 3-point harness
7. Break is not flip-flop friendly

I decided to give the GB Qbit 3.5 out of 5 stars rating. This stroller has great potential, but needs to be updated with a deeper recline, taller seat back,  and automatic fold lock, at the very minimum.


I'd like to thank the BABY'S DEN for providing a stroller for this review. No compensation was received, and as always, all opinions are entirely my own.