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SecureKid Platinum2

Evenflo SecureKid Review

Evenflo is a long-standing manufacturer of a variety of children’s products.  Among those products is our favorite: car seats!  When Evenflo offered CSFTL the chance to review multiple incarnations of their popular SecureKid combination seat, naturally we said yes! 

Evenflo SecureKid Stats:

sk harnessed 2 Evenflo SecureKid Review

  • Harness weight range: 22-65 lbs
  • Harness height range: up to 50″
  • Top harness position: 18″
  • High back booster weight range: 40-110 lbs
  • High back booster height range: up to 57″
  • Top booster belt guide: 19.5″
  • IIHS Best Bet Booster
  • 8 year Expiration
  • 2 crotch buckle positions
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Can use lower anchors to secure in booster mode
Securekids 1024x797 Evenflo SecureKid Review

Evenflo SecureKid Platinum DLX (left), Evenflo SecureKid Institutional (right)


Evenflo has several versions of the SecureKid: all feature the same weight and height limits, but have varying levels of comfort and ease of use features. This review will cover the institutional model, the SecureKid LX (formerly known as the SecureKid 300), the SecureKid DLX (formerly known as the SecureKid 400) and the SecureKid Platinum DLX. The SecureKid is a forward facing only seat, making it appropriate for kids who have outgrown their rear facing convertible seat and are a minimum of 2 years old. To learn why rear facing is the safest for kids through 3-4 years old, check out Why Rear Facing: the Science Junkie’s Guide.


SecureKid Institutional  168x300 Evenflo SecureKid ReviewThe first we received was a two pack of SecureKids from their institutional line.  Institutional seats are sold at a bulk discount to hospitals, fire departments, police stations, Safe Kids coalitions, etc.  Those organizations then hand the seats over to families in need who may not be able to properly restrain their children without it. 

While typically lacking the premium features retail seats have, the institutional versions are just as safe.  They are very bare bones — lacking premium padding and cup holders and sporting standard clip-style lower anchor connectors, but still have the same height and weight limits as the others. This is a fantastic option for CPSTs to be able to provide families in need with a seat that will harness most kindergartners and last them well into booster age. The Institutional seats we received will be distributed to families through a local CPST.

SecureKid padding 1024x312 Evenflo SecureKid Review

SecureKid Platinum DLX E3 foam and plush padding (left) versus SecureKid Institutional padding and foam (right).


Evenflo Securekid 300 LX 1024x602 Evenflo SecureKid Review

5.5 years old, 43″ and 41 lbs in the Evenflo Securekid 300 / LX

Formerly known as the Securekid 300, the LX model has the QuickConnector lower anchor connectors, dual cup holders, and E3 Side Impact Protection, which means there is energy absorbing foam in the headrest. Sam is 5.5 years old, 43″ and 41 lbs. He is on the second to the top harness position, which means he will easily be able to use this seat for another 1-2 years in harness mode. A great plus, since we know a lot of kids aren’t ready for a booster until past 6 years old.

The width of the harness straps is narrow and Evenflo does not include strap covers with this model, nor can they be added. Sam complained about the straps irritating his neck, which could be a comfort concern for this seat long-term.

The high back booster did an excellent job of positioning the seat belt: placing the shoulder belt even across his torso and lap belt low on his hips and touching his thighs.


Vivi SecureKid 225x300 Evenflo SecureKid Review

4 years old, 40″ & 40 lbs in the Evenflo SecureKid 400 / DLX

The SecureKid DLX (formerly known as the SecureKid 400) has all the features of the SecureKid LX, but adds on the SureLATCH lower anchor connectors. These handy contraptions make a LATCH install a breeze — just click them in, push the Secure Kid back into the car’s seat until it’s tight.  

SureLATCH 300x300 Evenflo SecureKid Review










2 168x300 Evenflo SecureKid ReviewThe SecureKid Platinum DLX is a new, top-of-the-line seat featuring some serious padding that is designed to keep kids comfortable in the most extreme conditions.  It also includes clever little pockets in the cover for the buckles so they don’t heat up when the seat isn’t occupied, as well as SureLATCH and the E3 Side Impact Protection in the head and torso.

platinum specific 300x231 Evenflo SecureKid Review

Check out these platinum features!

I have owned a few different models of Evenflo seats and I have always admired how comfortable they try to make them for children.  This definitely holds true for the Platinum version of the SecureKid.  According to the manufacturer, the fabric “balances your child’s body temperature for a safer, more peaceful ride. OUTLAST® Performance Fabric absorbs hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed.”  For kiddos who struggle to stay cool in the car seat, this material could make car rides a lot easier on the whole family.

SecureKid Platinum 1024x892 Evenflo SecureKid Review

3.75 years old: 40.5″ & 36 lbs, 8 years old: 53″ & 50 lbs

sk harnessed 2 172x300 Evenflo SecureKid ReviewWe used the SecureKid Platinum DLX in harness mode as well as high back booster mode. 3-year-old Rhiannon tested out the harness mode: the seat was easy to install, and she was very fond of the fabric. The main complaint was the same as with the SecureKid LX: the lack of harness strap covers was very irritating to her neck. 

Living in Southern California, both Rhiannon and Brennon appreciated the Outlast fabric helping them stay cool! 

8-year-old Brennon is on the tallest high back booster headrest setting and will outgrow the SecureKid within the next year or so, but he will still need a booster until he is 57″ and 10-12 years old. The SecureKid does not convert to a backless booster, so he will need another seat to get him through the next few years before he fits correctly in a seat belt alone.

SK Platinum Booster 300x258 Evenflo SecureKid ReviewThe seat provided an excellent seat belt fit, however the pointed shoulder belt guide was difficult for him to thread and the shoulder belt frequently became caught in it, making it a challenge for him to buckle himself. 




From the bare bones Institutional model up through the fancy Platinum model: the Evenflo SecureKid is a solid choice for big kids that have outgrown their rear facing convertible seat. With various options and feature levels to fit any price point, the SecureKid might be right for your Little! Evenflo has generously sponsored a giveaway: use the Rafflecopter widget below and one reader will win an Evenflo SecureKid Platinum DLX of their own! US Residents only, ages 18 & up.

Evenflo provided the Institutional and Platinum models used in this review, but we were not otherwise compensated. Opinions, as always, are all our own! 

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Kids Embrace, nbb, backless booster, Batman booster, Batgirl, Superman, Surpergirl, low lap belt, seat belt adjuster

Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

When we heard that Kids Embrace was coming out with a series of superhero-themed backless boosters the CSFTL team was pretty excited!  We’re already fans of the Kids Embrace Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle combination seats, so a backless booster for some of the older kids was a great option.

batbox 300x226 Kids Embrace Superhero BoostersThe four caped crusaders Superman, Supergirl, Batman, and Batgirl are upholding truth, justice, and providing a safe seat belt fit for big kids over 40 lbs and 40″. CSFTL recommends that kids are at least 5 before riding in a belt positioning booster, and the unique fit of this booster makes it best suited for older, bigger kids. More on that in a flash, but first, here’s a refresher on how to gauge if your Junior Crimefighter is ready for a booster seat and if they are ready to move out of their super booster.


 Child Must Meet All These Requirements

  • Weight: 40-100 lbs
  • Height: 40-57″
  • Age: At least four years of age (CSFTL generally recommends 7+ for backless booster use)
  • Tops of the child’s ears below the vehicle head restraint or seat back
  • 6 year expiration

 The seats started arriving and our first thought was oh!  They look so nice!  Who wouldn’t want such a fancy-looking booster in their car?  The cover is quite plush and the bottom is fairly padded.  This is a big thing for some of our crimefighters who are quite picky about comfort when it comes to car seats. 

superman cupholder 300x196 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

This cup holder has super strength!

One thing we noticed right away was the cup holder.  It can be such a small thing, a cup holder, but for many kids, having a place to put their most urgent items is a requirement.  Kids Embrace has made a very solid cup holder — having one on backless boosters is pretty rare. 




cover 300x221 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

  • Ilanabatseat 300x300 Kids Embrace Superhero BoostersSecret Identity: Ilana
  • Age: 7
  • Height: 47″
  • Weight: 65 lbs

Ilana has ridden in several backless boosters and typically does not need a shoulder belt adjuster, but the Batgirl booster put the shoulder belt very close to the edge of her shoulder without it in our minivan (alas, the Batmobile was in the shop!). Finding the shoulder belt adjuster required x-ray vision: it’s hidden in a secret superhero compartment underneath the cover. Once buckled, the short armrests made it difficult for her to tighten the lap belt and she needed some assistance. Overall she liked it, but will be moving back to her high back booster. It was comfortable, fun, and gave her good leg support.

Livbatseat 300x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

  • Secret Identity: Olivia
  • Age: 5
  • Height: 44″
  • Weight: 44 lbs

Olivia is at the lowest age range CSFTL recommends for a booster, but was dying to try it in the driveway. The lap belt was very low on her small frame. She’ll be sticking with her five point harness for a while yet, but she did ask for this seat for her 7th birthday- she’s been trained well! 



Supergirl 300x242 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

supergirl belt fit 232x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters


  • Secret Identity: Valerie
  • Age: 7.5
  • Height: 49″
  • Weight: 49 lbs

Valerie is VERY particular about how padded her booster seats are so we were eager to hear her thoughts on this seat.  

She liked how lightweight it is and was pleased with the padding.  However…



stuck belt 226x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

Unfortunately, she’s really too small to fit properly in this booster.  The shoulder belt hit her in the right place but the lap belt sits very low. A proper seat belt fit places the lap belt low on the hips and should be touching the tops of the thighs. This booster put the lap belt completely on her legs, not at all in contact with her pelvis. 

 Another thing that was a challenge for her was the belt guide.  The short arms make for a short belt guide and she had a hard time getting the belt lined up.


KE booster Declan 200x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

  • Secret Identity: Declan
  • Age: 6.5
  • Height: 48″
  • Weight: 44 lbs

Declan instantly loved this Supergirl booster and wanted to use it. The Supergirl booster provided a good belt fit for him in the second row captain’s chair of our minivan, placing the lap belt on the top of his thighs and the shoulder belt at the right spot on his shoulder.

Ke Declan 2 200x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters


 In the third row of our van, the lap belt fit was still good, but the shoulder belt was a little too far toward the edge of his shoulder. Since the headrest for his seating position is a little off-center, if I had moved the booster toward the side of the vehicle, he wouldn’t have had enough headrest behind his head. If he were a little more broad, it would have been a better fit.



KE Declan 3 199x300 Kids Embrace Superhero BoostersKE Declan 4 300x242 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

In the back seat of our secondary vehicle, a larger sedan, the shoulder belt fit was just fine, but the lap belt was very low on his thighs so I wouldn’t want to use it in this vehicle. 

Like our other caped crusaders, he sometimes found it difficult to buckle himself because of the short armrests. We took a couple of very short trips around Metropolis with the Supergirl booster and he told us that it was very comfortable. He felt there was enough padding and that it felt good to sit on. His younger sisters fell in love, but our little Supergirls aren’t ready for a booster just yet.


Batseat 300x270 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

Na na na na na na… Batseat!

Zeke1 300x250 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

  • Secret Identity: Zeke
  • Age: 6 and a (very important!) half
  • Height: 47″
  • Weight: 46 lbs

Ezekiel absolutely loved the seat.   He was nearly dancing in excitement when I removed it from the box and asked to have it forever as his permanent seat.  Sorry, Batkid, you still have ants in your pants and will remain harnessed a while longer yet.  

He declared the seat extremely comfortable.   The shoulder belt created a very good fit.   As the other Superheroes have noted, the lap belt wasn’t perfect.    It rested well below his hips and the far-forward belt path created quite a gap at the buckle.  I would not be comfortable with this as a restraint for a child of this build and size.  

  • Secret Identity:  Eden
  • Eden 250x300 Kids Embrace Superhero BoostersAge: 8 going on 13
  • Height: 52″
  • Weight: 62 lbs

You can see here a few pounds makes a huge difference in fit.  The lap belt is still not ideal, but the fit is much closer to being a great fit.   She also found the seat comfortable and also had a great shoulder belt fit.  



  • Matthew 225x300 Kids Embrace Superhero BoostersSecret Identity: Matt
  • Age: 9 disguised as the size of a 12-year-old
  • Height: 58″
  • Weight: 77 lbs 

    At 58″, Matthew exceeds the 57″ limit set by Kids’ Embrace for maximum height usage.   I had him model the seat for two reasons.  You can see that his lap belt is quite excellent.  Also,  despite his height, he has great leg support and rested comfortably in the seat.   

    I should also note that every time a kid popped happily into the booster, the cup holder, which can slide onto either side of the seat, popped right off.  I expect this was due to the sculpting of the captain’s chair and would not be an issue on a flatter surface.   The cover is well designed, seems like long-lasting quality and has very, very high kid appeal.  



superbooster3 236x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a… SuperBooster!

Brennon Superman 168x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

  • Secret Identity: Brennon
  • Age: 8
  • Height: 53″
  • Weight: 50 lbs

 The first thing Brennon said when he saw his Super booster was, “Is that mine?  Can I keep it?!” then continued on, raving about the cool colors.  He is convinced the fabric must be just like Superman’s costume and may give him special powers if he sits in it every day.  While I would be a bit concerned if my child suddenly became faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, I did think it seems comfortable and would keep him cool during our Southern California heat waves.

We had the same issues with the cup holder as mentioned above when used in the captain’s chairs in our vehicle so it has been stored for future use.

 The belt fit was excellent for Brennon, lying low on his hips and touching his thighs.  The shoulder belt fit was perfect so the adjuster was not necessary. One problem we had was caused by a combination of the seat belt geometry and the location of the booster’s belt path.  When Brennon tried to tighten the lap belt after buckling, like he has with every other booster, he had to pull the shoulder belt away from him quite far.  Sometimes there was still slack on the opposite side of the buckle that was hung up on the small belt path; I made sure to have him check (then I double-checked) that the slack was taken out before driving off to save the day.



It seems this seat’s Joker or Kryptonite is the low lap belt fit. Here you can see the difference between other booster seats and the superhero booster lap belt fit.

lapbelt 300x172 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters

While you want the lap belt low enough so it’s off the stomach, you don’t want it so low that is doesn’t come in contact with the pelvis. The pelvis is one of the strongest parts of the human body and helpful in protecting the body from crash forces. You can see here how the difference in arm rest design changes the placement of the lap belt.

boosters 300x300 Kids Embrace Superhero Boosters



The super booster has a more shallow arm rest design which brings the lap belt forward, while the other booster allows the lap belt to go back farther towards the pelvis.




While they may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, these boosters are still pretty Super. We love the Superhero theme for appealing to older kids, the plush construction and fabric, and of course, the cup holder. The seat belt fit can be a bit quirky, and we recommend choosing this booster for bigger kids and always checking the belt fit before use. 

Kids Embrace would like to give one of our readers their choice of a superhero booster of their own, you can enter the giveaway below! You can also find the boosters for purchase on their website.

Kids Embrace provided the boosters for this review, but we were not otherwise compensated. Opinions, as always, are all our own! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Music to our ears! An Evenflo Symphony DLX Convertible Car Seat Review

My very first car seat was an Evenflo.  While I have owned many brands over the last 6 years and 3 children, I’ve always had a soft spot for the brand that introduced me to child passenger safety.  The Evenflo Symphony DLX showcases my favorite Evenflo features in one eye pleasing, easy to use child restraint.  From the well padded, soft fabric, to the Infinite Slide harness, and the Sure LATCH connectors, the Evenflo Symphony DLX is well designed, easy to install and easy to use seat that’s been really fun to play with for this review.  

PicMonkey CollageWM 300x111 Music to our ears!  An Evenflo Symphony DLX Convertible Car Seat Review

Rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster mode!

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Wrapeaze, car seat poncho, winter car seat, keeping warm in the car seat

Wrapeaze — Wonderful Winter Wear

Living in Minnesota, I am constantly on the lookout for winter wear options for my children, especially options that are safe for use in their child restraints.  Child restraint manufacturers (and the laws of physics) prohibit the use of bulky clothing items while using a restraint.  Since many popular winter wear items are too thick, interfere with proper harness fit, and create the risk of ejection from the restraint, it can be a challenge to find clothing that keeps your little one warm, without being a hassle or a hazard.    

babeh wrap1 300x288 Wrapeaze    Wonderful Winter Wear

The Wrapeaze keeps even the tiniest kiddos warm and safe

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Complete Air

Safety 1st Complete Air Mini Review

sam RFing CA 286x300 Safety 1st Complete Air Mini Review

The Complete Air rear-faces to 40 lbs and 40″ standing height

The Safety 1st Complete Air is a nicely priced, lightweight convertible seat that fits in some narrow spaces.  It rear-faces to 40 lbs or 40″ standing height and forward faces to 65 lbs.  

When this seat was first released, the seat required a rear-facing angle of 45 degrees.  This made it pretty tricky to install and resulted in the seat taking up a lot of space front-to-back.





rear facing angle 300x199 Safety 1st Complete Air Mini Review

Rear-facing angle on older models of this seat

If the seat was installed at this angle, the passenger in front would have almost no leg room!  Safety 1st has amended the instructions so that a 30-45 degree angle is acceptable for rearfacing.  This change makes the Complete Air a better option than it  was when it was first released.  

However, without any infant padding, and with a 10″ lowest harness slot, this seat wouldn’t work for infants younger than 6 months or so. Height-wise, this seat is outgrown rearfacing when top of the child’s head reaches the top of the adjustable head restraint section.  This seat allows for a fairly extended period of rear-facing.

The Stats:
Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs. (19″-40″)
Forward-facing: 22-50 lbs. (34″-45″)
Depth: 12 inches
Inside width: 12 inches
Seat width: 17 inches
Lowest shoulder slot: 10.5 inches
Highest shoulder slot : 17 inches
Seat back height: 27 inches

The Complete Air features a no-rethread, continuous loop harness.  The no-rethread harness means that you can adjust the height of the harness without uninstalling the seat.  Continuous loop means that the harness is one big loop.  While this can be confusing at first (check out our article about these harnesses), this feature can make it easier to load a kiddo who likes to struggle their way into the car seat so this can be an advantage.

ffing with kid 225x300 Safety 1st Complete Air Mini Review

6 year old model has some room to grow

Forward facing, the Complete Air has 17″ top shoulder slots.  This means that many children would outgrow this seat forward facing around their 6th birthday so that makes it a nice option to get a child to booster age.

At around $150, the price makes this seat an attractive option for older infants through booster-aged children.





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Urbini featured image

Urbini Petal Infant Car Seat Review

In February 2014 a new name in the car seat world took us by surprise.  Meet the newest addition to the Wal-mart car seat lineup, the Urbini Petal Infant Car Seat.

Seat Stats

  • Rear facing only – 4-35 lbs, up to 32″, or 1″ from the top of the head to the top of the shell
  • Lowest harness height 5.5″, Highest harness height 11″, Shell height 19.5″
  • 2 position crotch buckle measuring 4.5″ and 6.5″
  • 2 position hip harness positions
  • 6 year expiration date
  • Handle can be in any locked position while in vehicle
  • Infant insert for infants and Preemie pillow insert for infants under 6 lbs

Car seat features
Urbini Strap positions collage 300x205 Urbini Petal Infant Car Seat Review


This seat is very versatile for different sized infants.  It has 2 adjustable hip positions, 2 crotch buckle positions, and 4 harness positions.   Continue reading

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Kids Embrace Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Car Seat Review

When the rumors started circulating in the car seat world that KidsEmbrace would be adding a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle to their line of character seats, I had an excited four-year old little girl in my house.  Emmaline was already very familiar and thrilled with her Batman car seat, so we couldn’t wait to try it out.

turtle 270x300 Kids Embrace Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Car Seat Review

There’s a turtle in this box!

Our Ninja Turtle car seat arrived quickly from the manufacturer In a very festive box with pictures of the Turtles from the show.  That alone was enough to send my girl into a tizzy, so I unboxed it and followed the instructions for assembly.  That part was super easy, and only requires attaching and locking the head restraint to the body of the seat.  This gave the seat’s new owner time to check it out while I read the instruction manual.



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Installing the Olli with LATCH -- just click it in!

Clek Olli: A Great Option For Big Kids On The Go!

My daughter rode in a harnessed car seat until right around her seventh birthday. Once she’d outgrown all of her harnessed seats by height, the best option for her became a high-backed booster.

val oobr 225x300 Clek Olli: A Great Option For Big Kids On The Go!

Seven year old Val normally rides in a high-backed booster

I researched many, many booster options and the Clek Oobr was a great choice for her. She loves how comfortable it is and we love how the headrest keeps her head (and thus, her seat belt) in the proper location, even when she’s asleep. She learned how to buckle herself in, then sit properly for the entire trip. For everyday use, a high back booster is the right choice for her since it’s got the back and side wings to remind her to stay put. However, at 22 pounds, the Oobr is kind of heavy and not ideal for carpooling. So we needed another option for those unexpected trips with friends or for when we travel.

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Baby Trend Hybrid 3 in 1, 3-in-1, combination seat, harness, booster, hbb, nbb

Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1 Car Seat Review

What five-year old kiddo wouldn’t want want a pink zebra seat? What parent doesn’t want a seat that harnesses to 50 pounds and turns into both a high back and no back booster for under $100? Without further ado, let us introduce you to the Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1 combination seat. Don’t let the 3-in-1 confuse you, this is a forward facing only seat meant for children who are at least two years old, but preferably three or four.

(In case pink zebra isn’t your thing, no worries. There are three other less flashy patterns.)

For Use With the Harness, The Child Must Meet All These Requirements

  • Weight: 22-50 pounds
  • Height: 29-48 inches
  • Age: One year and older (CSFTL recommends a child be rearfacing for at least two years)

For Use With the Back Child Must Meet All These Requirements

  • Weight: 30-110 pounds
  • Height: 43-50 inches
  • Age: At least three years of age (CSFTL generally recommends 5+ for high-backed booster use)
  • Child’s shoulder below the highest belt guide position

For Use Without the Back Child Must Meet All These Requirements

  • Weight: 40-100 pounds
  • Height: 43-57 inches
  • Age: At least four years of age (CSFTL generally recommends 7+ for backless booster use)
  • Tops of the child’s ears below the vehicle head rest or seat back

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Warm Up to the Noggle – A Wintertime Review and Giveaway

noggle5 225x300 Warm Up to the Noggle   A Wintertime Review and Giveaway

A warm kid is a happy kid.

 This summer, I had the opportunity to review The Noggle.  This gadget was a lifesaver over a month long road trip.  It kept everyone in the car nice and cool while we traversed the warm roads and bright sunshine as we travelled through the South.  

Around Christmas time, I took the Noggle out of my car and packed it up to make room for holiday travel.  It wasn’t quite cold enough to need our Noggle, so this seemed like a safe bet.


noggle1 225x300 Warm Up to the Noggle   A Wintertime Review and Giveaway

8 foot Noggle attached to the front vent in a Mazda 5.

And it was,  Until we were hit with the Polar Vortex.  Continue reading

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