You Can Have Upholstered Chairs and Little Kids, Too

Protect your chairs with SmartSeat

I love the look and feel of upholstered chairs. Unfortunately, when it came time to choose a dining room set for our new place, I had to consider the fact that I had a 3-year-old who I feared would ruin the fabric on my beautiful chairs in no time. My husband and I ultimately decided to upholster just two of our set, at least he and I could enjoy them while our little one would remain on the much easier to wipe wood chairs. If only Becky Rabson had come up with her idea for an elegant protective seat cover sooner. Perhaps it isn’t too late to have the remaining chairs upholstered now that she offers an affordable product to combat the messes my now 5-year-old might make. If you are worried about combining your family’s upholstered chairs with a toddler, this is a product for you.

Becky was a stay-at-home mom grappling with the same issue I had about how to keep fabric chairs neat and attractive with little ones at home. Ugly vinyl just doesn’t cut it. She and her husband decided to combat the problem themselves and founded their company, PB&J Discoveries, along with a family friend. The SmartSeat chair protector they invented is a waterproof, stain resistant, and machine washable cover made from soft-to-the-touch, toxin-free fabric. It adjusts to fit most chairs ranging from 18″ to 25″ wide and comes in three basic colors. She sent me a blue one to try on my chair and I have to say it is pretty inconspicuous. I kept it on my chair over the holidays and no one even asked about it. My child sat in it over a few meals and, sure enough, down came the apple sauce and the milk. It all came right off. I also liked that there was no bulk in the material. It didn’t wrinkle and stayed in place.

Does your mom or other relative have those expensive cloth chairs you worry your child will spill juice all over? Take the seat covers with you when you travel. Find out more about Becky’s seat covers at http://www.smartseatdiningchaircovers.com/.

SmartSeat fits many types of chairs.

Disclosure: The Librarian was given a sample SmartSeat chair protector in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This Mom's Secret Weapon

Every mom has a secret weapon in her arsenal.  Mine?  A cleaning product called Nature’s Miracle.  It’s not something that I have to use very often, thankfully, but when I do, I am so happy to have it in my cupboard.  Nature’s Miracle is a stain and odor remover, and it is marketed to pet owners for removing the smell of pet urine.  I don’t have any pets, but I consider it an essential item in our house.  See, when The Big Cheese was a baby, she vomited all over our microfiber couch.  Water leaves spots on the couch, so I was at a total loss as to how to clean it – and on how to remove the smell.  I spent a lot of time online, reading message boards about how to remove odors, and Nature’s Miracle kept popping up. 

I quickly discovered that it is available at pet stores, so off I went to my local chain pet store.  I balked at the price for a minute (it’s not exactly cheap, but I am!), and then I realized that it was better than having to throw out our couch.  Skeptically, I bought it and brought it home.  And, it worked!  Our couch was odor free!  Finally!

I have had a few more vomit incidents since then, and it has yet to fail me.  It may take multiple applications, but it has always worked.  I’ve used it on our vinyl padded high chair, the mesh Pack n Play, on pillows and carpet, and on the couch, again.  And, I still have half a bottle.

The other really cool thing about this product is that it is safe around children.  The product label says it uses natural enzymes to break down the odor-causing product, and that it doesn’t just mask the odor with perfumes.  The short ingredient list backs up their claims: Water, Nature’s Enzymes, Isopropyl Alcohol, Natural Citrus Scent.  Nothing scary in it! 

My only complaint about Nature’s Miracle is that the manufacturer hasn’t figured out that it should be marketed to moms.   I have no doubt they could sell a ton if it were on the shelves at Babies R Us – and it would save me a special trip to the pet store.

Johns Incredible Pizza Co

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If you haven’t been to John’s Incredible Pizza Company on the lower level in the Buena Park mall… get your family there asap!  I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, I’m definitely NOT a fan of chuck e cheese.  Anything that is remotely similar to Chuck E Cheese my husband and I usually cringe at the thought of spending any lengthy period of time at.  But we decided one evening to give it a try.

The first thing you’ll notice is how large the place is.  Holw cow, its the entire lower floor of the mall!  When you arrive you have to order and go through the queue before getting into the place.  The cost isn’t bad at $8.99 adults, $4.49 Kids 3-6 and $5.99 Kids 7-12.  Children under age 2 eat free.  You can also purchase your Funcard credits at this time, which seemed to be a bit cheaper when you purchase them with the meal, but it might have been a special the night we were there, so don’t quote me on that one!

The Food.
This place actually has really great food!  I had a wonderful salad and a pesto and goat cheese slice of pizza.  I really appreciated the low-fat and fat-free varieties of salad dressings as well.  Here’s a break down of what they offer.

Salad – You can start by making your own salad by choosing from over 40 fresh vegetables, toppings, and dressings. Try our Low-Fat Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing or even build your own Caesar Salad!
Soups – Two different soups every day, including Pasta Fagioli, Beef Stew, Chicken & Dumplings and more.
Pasta – Choose from Regular Marinara, Meat or Alfredo Sauces and specialty pastas such as Italian Casserole and many others.
Pizza – So many to choose from! We’re famous for our Spicy Peanut Butter Pizza and Alfredo Pizza. There’s also Macaroni & Cheese, BBQ Chicken Ranch, Fiesta, Cheeseburger and Garlic Pesto pizzas as well as the traditional combinations like Veggie, Meat Lovers and Hawaiian.
Desserts – Finally, our desserts include freshly made Cookies, Soft-Serve Ice Cream in a Cup or Cone, Apple Crisp and Cinnamon Rolls.

And to top off the dining experience (and make all the screaming kids more tolerable) they have a beer and wine bar.

The Ambiance.
Unlike Chuck E Cheese (sorry for the constant comparisons, but lets face it, isn’t that our only other option these days?) where you are thrown in the center of the arcade with all the screaming brats (oops, did I just say that?) running around you while you’re trying to suck down a beer and eat a piece of cardboard pizza, the dining area is in a totally different area.  There are several “themed” dining rooms.  There’s a sports room, a rustic lodge, cartoon theme and even a nightclub themed room.  Each room has different entertainment on the big screens, the sports room has whatever big game is on, the cartoon room has cartoons on, etc.  Definitely a MUCH better dining experience.

The Fun.
After reading their website, apparently each location is different in what attractions they offer, but each location has an arcade.  The arcade works on a Funcard, not tokens, similar to Dave and Busters.  The kids collect tickets from the arcade games and can cash them in for prizes just like at C.E.C.  One big difference I loved was that after counting all the tickets Big E had earned he wasn’t satisfied with the prizes he could get.  So the attendant zapped his Funcard with the amount of tickets he has.  So the next time we visit, as long as he has his same Funcard, he can just add to that amount and save for something worthwhile.  Genius.  The Buena Park location has a huge arcade, many games suitable for very young children.  They also have a small toddler friendly play area.  As far as attractions go, they have bumper cars and 2 rides in the center area.  There truly is something for everyone, even my husband and I were having a blast!

The bottom line is that this place truly in Incredibly by its names definition.  They finally thought of the parents that are bringing the younger ones as much as they thought of the kids.  And don’t leave the older ones behind because there is just as much to do for teens as there is for the little ones.

So next time your thinking of someplace to go in North OC, make sure Johns Incredible Pizza Co. is at the top of your list!

Cheers!

The Photo Addict