Restoration Hardware Starlit Tree Snow (2′) Review

starlit-tree

Review:

In between the small apartment and the two year old (a climber, and an energetic kid in general), we decided not to have a full size Christmas tree last year, but I didn’t find any small fake trees I liked much in local stores, so when I stumbled across Restoration Hardware’s Lit Trees Collection, I decided to give them a shot as a unique alternative. I bought the 2 foot tall Starlit Tree from the Snow collection and we used it as our Christmas tree.

The tree is made out of sturdy but bendable wire, so you can shape the branches however you want. I was a little disappointed by the tree’s appearance up close. It’s wrapped in white plastic tape that makes it look kind of like a DIY mummy tree or something. However, it looks fine from a distance and the 72 tiny LED lights give off a lovely warm glow. We had fun using it as a table centerpiece for a “candlelight” dinner.  If you had the money and/or inclination, I think a small forest of several different sizes (the trees come in 2′, 3′, 5′, 7′, 9′, and 11′ models) would be lovely.

The tree has both an on/off switch and a timer that you can use to set the lights on for 6 hours, off for 18 hours. We have only used ours indoors, but the company’s website says they can also be used in sheltered outdoor spaces, as long as they’re protected from storms and heavy wind. The tree operates on C batteries, and the lights have a 30,000 hour lifetime, but unfortunately are not replaceable.

Restoration Hardware Lit Trees Collection

My rating: (3.5 / 5)

ERGOBaby Original Carrier Review



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Review:

Without a doubt, one of the best baby products we own. I only wish we’d bought it sooner.

We have an inexpensive Snugli front carrier that we used for both kids when they were young, but as they got heavier, it was absolute murder on the shoulders and back. We also have an expensive Kelty frame carrier we used on camping trips for longer hikes, but although it distributed weight really well, it was large and bulky and therefore impractical for everyday use.

The ERGOBaby is the perfect compromise. The wide waist belt and padded shoulder straps distribute weight well, making the ERGOBaby much more comfortable for extended use than the Snugli. At the same time, the child is carried closer to your body than the Kelty, so it doesn’t affect your natural balance as much and is much more practical in crowds or other tight situations.

Getting it on and off and positioning your baby or toddler without assistance requires some practice, especially in the back, but is totally doable. With two people, the process is simple and easy.

Like other baby carriers, taking a walk in the ERGOBaby is a great way to lull a tired baby to sleep, and the hood helps provide extra head support (and sun protection) for your little one while sleeping. There’s a large zipped pocket that you can use to store keys, phones, wallets, or other necessities while walking.

We bought the ERGOBaby when our son outgrew the Snugli, so we never tried it with a newborn and I’ve heard complaints about the insert used to convert it into a carrier for very young infants. Therefore, I’m a little skeptical of claims that the ERGOBaby is “the only baby carrier you’ll ever need” and recommend getting a cheap Snugli like ours (or a similar one) if you have problems with it when your baby is young, and trying the ERGOBaby again in a few months, probably starting around 12-15 pounds.

We also never tried it with our daughter, despite the fact that we could have until quite recently. (The ERGOBaby carries up to 45 pounds.) However, it still works great with our son, who’s now nearly 2 1/2 and over thirty pounds.

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My rating: (5 / 5)

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