Best and Worst of 2011! My favorite products and the ones that got tossed aside!

Last year I ended the year with an entire list of my “must have” products. This year I thought I would mix it up a little and pick out some of the best and worst products that we’ve reviewed. It’s one thing to own a product for a couple weeks or a month and then report on it but to really put it to the test day in and day out and see who soars and who flops is a whole other thing. What stood the test of time this year and what would I toss aside given the choice? Here it is! The good, the bad and the best 🙂

 We LOVE the Safety 1st Complete Air Car Seats. Both Danika and Aiden use the convertible seats and Carson has the infant seat with the travel system stroller. They work great and are highly rated when it comes to safety. Very user friendly and they’ve stood up to all we’ve put them through!

If Carson (who is 4 mos old) could pick his favorite product right now I’m pretty sure he would pick his Boppy Flying Circus Gym which he spends time playing with every day! It makes floor time easy even with a 2 and 3 year old running around because he is under the gym so they don’t trip over him.

We love our Calphalon XL Digital Deep Fryer. My husband can make his famous wings recipe and fit an entire bag of chicken wings in it! It works great and we’ve gotten so many comments on how big it is! Everyone we know wants one now.

 We use cloth diapers and although I’ve probably tested out a hundred different kinds by now, our favorites are by far Softbums! They are husband approved (they are the only ones my hubby will use) and easy to use. Best of all they are trim fitting and fit NB and up (one size diapers).

aden + anais is my baby brand of choice. I have a bit of an addiction to their cotton muslin material which gets softer and softer every time you wash it. We have a TON of aden + anais products and I’ve never met one I didn’t like!

 The Quicksmart Scramble Bug is a much loved (and fought over) toy around here. I love that despite the fact that it is Winter my kids can still have an indoor ride on toy to play with. It’s awesome and we love it. It even folds flat so you can store it easily!

 I’m loving my artwork from Gallery Direct. After moving to a new house in July with bare walls, it has really made our house a home. We get compliments on it ALL the time! Plus they have amazing sales! hint-sign up for their email list and get some great coupon codes!

And the worst….

 I was really excited to be getting a garage heater for my husband but I have to say that the only thing this one is really going to heat is maybe a one stall garage or shed. It’s tiny! I was expecting so much more. My hubby was disappointed with how little it was. Granted I will say our garage was bigger than the 400 sq foot recommendation. If we flood a skating rink in our yard next year we can put up a little shack and heat it with this 😉

 I had very high hopes for my Oreck Edge and while it works great on the carpet it fails on the hard floors. It spits all the dirt and sand out the back when vacuuming hard floors. I never had an issue with it until we moved in July to our new home which has way more hard flooring than our old house did. Then my hubby was using it to vacuum after I had my c-section and stepped on the head to lower it. Apparently he stepped a little too hard and it totally broke! He was able to repair the motor (thankfully he is handy like that) but it has never run the same since and I can’t even gently push on the head to lower it now. My husband said the design of the motor and placement of it was poor which makes this product not last too long. Sorry Oreck, I really wanted to love this one but for $600 I expect so much more!

 The Keekaroo high chair was something I drooled over for awhile. I really tried to love it but as a high chair it flunks. The wooden tray has no lip on the inside edge so your child ends up wearing everything they are eating. After visiting their website I see they now offer an attachable plastic tray to clip on the wood tray which has an edge all the way around. This would definitely seem to solve the problem but I’ve never tried it so I can’t say from personal experience. As a kids chair (minus the high chair tray) we love it but I was never able to use it as a high chair without my baby ending up needing a new outfit afterwards.

The Literati eReader was hard to use and setup, slow to respond and they have now gone out of business because of it’s myriad of issues. Need I say more?

There it is folks! The good, the bad and the best! Now I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

Did you have a favorite product or one that you hated this year? Share with us!


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  1. First I LOVE Gavin's onBoard Safety 1st car seat and am sad he's outgrowing it. I've reviewed several other brands and that seat ALWAYS went back in.

    I would love to work with Calphalon. Can you believe I've never tried any of their products?!?

    Of course a+a is a favorite too!

    Your pics rock!!!

  2. So bummed to see your disappointment with the Kikkaroo. We've been using it as a highchair for 4 months now and love it. It came to us with the plastic tray cover so that must make a lot of difference. So easy to unclip and wash off… and I love removing the tray altogether and letting her sit up at the table sometimes. Love our Kikkaroo!

  3. Love your list and to hear your thoughts after using products for a while! Thanks so much for doing this.

    I am really wanting to try the Softbums with this new baby!

  4. @Heather-Yes, I think that the plastic tray would have made a huge difference. I'm glad to hear from someone that has one that you love it. My #1 issue with it was that my kids got SO messy after eating in it but this was due to not having a lip on the tray and everything ending up in their lap. Thanks for your opinon on the plastic tray!


  5. The Oreck? Really?

    For that price, I think it's horrible that your experience was anything but great.

    Major bummer, to say the least.

  6. We used to have a deep fryer but it was a circular one and we decided to get rid of it. Yours looks more protective. And I love the look of those diapers. The attatchments look just like disposable!

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