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Motherhood Product Reviews

Car Review: 3 Misconceptions About Minivans & Why the 2016 KIA Sedona Proves You Wrong

kia sedona

I don’t know who was looking forward to Spring Break more, my children or myself!

This Spring Break, my children spent the week with their grandparents in Florida (Tampa area) & my husband and I spent alone time in Miami (business & pleasure).

We’re use to the 7 hour trip to Florida, but what we weren’t use too, was riding in pure style & space. On this trip we were able to review the Kia Sedona 2016 Minivan and I think I want this car now!

What are your misconceptions about minivans?

  • Minivans are only for women
  • Minivans are not safe
  • Prices of minivans are too high

Well, let me say this about your misconceptions . . . you’re wrong!

Minivans are only for women | As a woman & mother, I felt proud to drive my children around in this car. Honestly, so did my husband. He didn’t hesitate to get in the drivers seat and learn all of the features of the Kia Sedona. He drove around with his chest pumped up!

Minivans are not safe | The Sedona earned a top five-star rating for it’s overall crash protection in a government crash test. This amazing vehicle was also awarded the highest rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Safety is a priority on all of our minds as parents, and Kia doesn’t take that concern lightly.

Prices of minivans are too high | What is too high? It’s more about what you can afford and what extras you are willing to pay for. The car we drove over spring break had all of the bells and whistles for my family. My children didn’t want to give the car back, which means these bells and whistles would be worth paying for. The Kia Sedona ranges from $29K – $40K depending on the features.

Kia Sedona

My 5 Favorite Now I Must Have Them in ALL My Car Features:

This minivan has opened my mind to something new & now I feel like I can’t go backwards. Well, I had to when I gave the car back (insert tears).

Reclining Seats | These seats go back, sideways and recline with a footrest. Let me say that again, a footrest. My children made deals with each other about who would sit where, when they saw this feature.

I laughed because on a simple trip to the store, I looked behind me and my daughter was reclining with her headphones on like we were on a 5 hour trip!

Kia Sedona car review

Front Camera | The vehicle has a front camera & a 360 degree camera. The front camera allows you to see where and how you are parked and what is around your car. Amazing technology!

My husband asked me to look out the window to see if he was going to hit a curb, I responded “Please use the camera!!”

Kia Sedona

Kia Sedona

DVD Players, Headphones & Remote | Did Kia know that my children would love this feature? This came in handy on the road to Florida. We were able to play the movies we downloaded on our tablets on the DVD player. For some strange reason, my kids were quiet most of this trip!

Kia Sedona

3rd Row & Deep Space | When you have 3 children that range in ages, they have different needs. With the 3rd row, my children felt some sort of independence about choosing their seats. We felt satisfaction because we had so much extra space in the car and in the back, that we didn’t have to compromise on what the children wanted to bring on this trip.

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Clean Air Filter | How 2016 is this? We were able to review this car in the height of Spring, which means pollen is everywhere. The clean air filter allowed us to drive around and not even notice. It circulated clear air throughout the car and allowed us to breathe easy.

Kia Sedona

Many more features …

Now there are so many more features that you will enjoy and like me, took for granted after you use them a while.

  • Power folding & Heated outside mirrors
  • Dual Power Sunroof
  • Heated & Cooling Seats and Steering Wheel
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • USB/Auxiliary Input Jack
  • Blind-Spot Detection
  • Forward Collision Warning  System
  • Cooling Glove Box

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Our Spring Break was so enjoyable. The children were able to visit their grandparents and swim daily. My husband and I were able to attend a blog conference & walk along south beach! We were grateful that the last thing on our mind was transportation. It was the perfect family travel vehicle.

To test drive and really see all the bells and whistles for yourself, visit your local Kia dealership. You can also visit their website and follow them on social media: @DrivaKia

Product Reviews

2016 Mazda 3 Gives Back in More Ways than One

Madza 3_review

It is always better to give than it is to receive. It’s no better time of year to prove this concept than during the holidays.

While making sure my children, husband & parents would be happy on December 25th, Madza gave me a gift of my own.

I was able to enjoy the 2016 Madza 3 for a little over a week during the Christmas break, which allowed me to get shopping done, in and out traffic quickly, and even spread a little Christmas cheer outside of my family.

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This year, my family partnered with a friend and created the Purses with Purpose Campaign. We raised hundreds to fill 20 brand new bags for women at a local Atlanta Shelter, with all the things a woman really needs (a few wants).

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I was able to deliver these bags on December 26th with my family, while driving the Madza 3. It felt so good to give back.

See our video here:

Mazda Gives Back Too!

In spirit of giving, Mazda has done something that no other car company has (at least with me). They gave me MONEY to donate to my charity of choice. How awesome is that?

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I was given a Mazda Charitable Giving Card with $25 on the card and the authority to donate to and 501(c)3 Non-profit organization of my choice. I haven’t selected the organization yet, but I am leaning towards Girls, Inc., because I have a soft spot for young girls striving to be their best.

My Favorite Feature of the Mazda 3

Ok! Watch this!! When I first saw of this feature, I immediately thought about “Back to the Future!” I’ve never seen something so cool, that I called my husband outside, off the phone and made him sit in the front seat just to see this feature (press play below).

It’s an Active Driving Display, that gives you real-time vehicle speed, turn-by-turn directions and safety alerts are displayed right in your line of sight, so you can keep your eyes on the road.

More great features of the Mazda 3 Include:

  • SKYACTIV® Technology- 
    • SKYACTIV BODY | Lighter for better handling, yet stronger and more stable at high speeds
    • SKYACTIV CHASSIS | Delivers greater stability and agility
    • SKYACTIV| DRIVE AND SKYACTIV®-MTSix-speed automatic or manual transmission for fast, smooth shifting
    • i-ELOOP | Regenerative braking system that recycles energy to improve real-world fuel efficiency
    • SKYACTIV-G ENGINE | Higher compression for more power, more performance and better fuel efficiency
  • 40 HWY + 184 Horsepower | This car glides. You hit the gas and it moves immediately.
  • Advanced Keyless Entry
  • 2105 IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Air conditioning with pollen filter (good southern feature)
  • 5 Passenger seating
  • Rearview Camera
  • Advanced dual front air bags – with crash-zone & passenger weight sensors

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PicMonkey Collage

This car is great for new families, recent college grads who are ready to hit the world with big dreams & moms with style who stay on the go!

This car is too great to sit in a driveway all day, it was made to be on the road. It caters to the driver.

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Although the actual holidays are over, don’t let that end the spirit of giving for you. Be a giver all year long. It can change your life, from the inside out. Try it and see!

If you interested in a Mazda 3, the price ranges from $18,545 – $26,495*

Follow the hashtags #DrivingMatters & #Mazda3 to see what people are saying about this car on social media.

Product Reviews Reviews/Recaps

Why a Guy Yelled at Me in the 2016 Kia Sorento

I was able to experience the 2016 Kia Sorento for a week and share my experience with you. All thoughts are my own.

“Pull over! Pull over real quick!” I hear as I look in my rear view mirror after I drop my children off at the morning car pool.

I wasn’t nervous, because I knew who the guy was – we also go to church together. I just wondered why he wanted to talk to me so early in the morning. I pulled over and he jumped out of the car in excitement. Personally, I looked crazy with a head wrap, t-shirt and sweats – nothing that a person expects to talk to anyone in.

He runs up to the driver side and before I could say, “Excuse my appearance!” He blurts out, “Oh, I didn’t want to talk, I just really wanted to see this car! I am thinking about buying my wife a new car and I would love to see the interior and hear your thoughts!”

Ummmmm speechless. So, it’s not about me. It’s about this 2016 KIA Sorento!

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On the day he stopped me, I was actually giving the car back (insert howling cry), so I have a few great things to say about this Kia Sorento.

School started a few weeks ago and if you’re a parent, you are very aware how your home routine changes big time. In our house, bed time goes back to a normal, tv time is cut in half, and electronic use is limited.

In addition to the other changes, one big change for me as a parent is driving my children to school. My children attend a charter school, which does NOT have a bus system.

Such a bummer!!

So, my husband and I have to take & pick our up children daily, in addition to driving back and forth for all of their fall activities.

The 2016 Kia Sorento, was the perfect family vehicle for my family of 5. It’s a 3rd row, 7 passenger vehicle with a lot of space.

If I had to vote, I would say my children’s favorite feature would be the 3rd row. They love having multiple seating options and extra elbow space. I love that you can fold down the 3rd row for extra trunk space when you need it.

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I couldn’t tell my friend just one favorite feature but started going on and on about why I wish I could keep this car. The first thing is the Eco/Sport system and how using this feature helps you save gas. When you drive the car in ECO and hit the gas, the car reeves up slower allowing you to save gas in the process while keeping your RPMs lower. Using the Sport option is just the opposite. Your get up and go is a lot faster which works, if you are running late or driving on the highway. 

The blind spot detection system is a must have, and the full mirror display that shows all around the car is amazing. Usually you see the front and back while trying to get out of a tight spot, but with these cameras, you see the full view surrounding the car.

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The navigation system is top of the line. I love that you can show gas stations on your route and even display the cost of gas, so you can decided where you want to go! Kia gets 5 stars just for that!

Kia

One of the coolest features I learned about was cruise control. You can program it for 50ft, 100ft, 150ft or 200ft, which means when you are driving and a car in front of you starts to slow down, your car will adjust its speed based on what you programmed. Also, this cruise control system can stop and go at a red/green light. Technology is amazing. 

The inside of the Kia was also beautiful to look at. Our car had cream & black leather interior, with a black leather dashboard. I loved that the sunroof was the length of the car, so everyone inside can view a beautiful skyline while riding.

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This car would be perfect for my family because of the size and special features. Here are some more great things this car comes with:

  • Dual Advanced Air Bags
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Rear Child Safety Door Locks
  • SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio
  • Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Push Button Start with Smart Key
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)

Kia Sorento

The 2016 Kia Sorento ranges from 21k – 41K depending on the features you want. After driving it for a week, I would definitely enjoy this car for my family. It would be perfect for road trips too. With the added benefit of the reclining seats in the back, everyone could ride for long distances and get a good nap in. There are multiple USB charging outlets which goes over well with my children because of their electronics.

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If you’re in the market for a new car, consider the Kia Sorento. I am sure your family will love you for it. You’ll love yourself! If you would like to see other families and their experience in Kia’s, follow the hashtag #DriveKia on Instagram and Twitter.

After our talk, I think I sold the gentleman on the car! He thanked me for stopping so early in the morning and selling telling him about my experience with the 2016 Kia Sorento.

Have you ever experienced a Kia Sorento? What are your favorite features? 

 

Reviews/Recaps

[Video] Toyota Rav4 2015 Review and Road Trips!

Summer is the time for holidays, family reunions and road trips! In the last couple of months we were able to experience all three. Just a couple of weeks ago, we drove down to Florida for my husband’s family reunion.

Here’s a quick 3 minute video about our experience in the Rav4!

It’s a time where we get to see family we don’t see often, see how all the babies have grown and have a great time. My favorite time is dinner, because his family can cook and eat! Everyone crowds around and you have to get in where you fit in!

Rav 1

This year we were lucky enough to enjoy the Toyota Rav4 2015 on this road trip, family reunion and the 4th of July! We spent the reunion at Lake Louisa, which was a camping ground. We stayed in cabins with no tv’s or wifi!

Although on Saturday, I called Sprint to get a hotspot because I had to see POWER! (My new addiction!)

Rav 4

During our road trip, we saved so much money on gas with the 2015 Rav4 and were able to get at least 25 mpg. Once we were in Florida we paid $17 to fill the tank up! Yes, $17!

In Florida, 90 degree weather is almost an every day occurrence, so blasting the air was an automatic feature we had to have. It flowed effortlessly as we hopped in and out of the car running errands.

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When you have peace with your transportation, you can relax and enjoy the real reason we are there; family time! We were able to get up early and fish one morning and my daughter actually snagged an alligator. It was a baby, but still!

Rav 2

Riding in the Rav4 allowed us to take our mind off of the road and enjoy family time. Here are a few features that we enjoyed on our trip:

  • Dual Screen Functions | meaning we had the GPS on, while searching for Sirus XM radio. (3 Months of Satellite provided for new owners too!)
  • Remote-less key entry | we got out of the car so much, and only having to have the keys around me made it easier to start and hit the road.
  • USB Connection | I am so tired of having to look for a charger! Now I just needed my cord and I was good to go!
  • Rear view camera | My husband says I can’t drive without my mirrors, but the camera helps me out too because I like to back in my parking spaces.
  • Eco Drive Option | It allows you to use less gas which means more money in your pocket.
  • Blindside option | The Rav4 displays a light when a car is on your blind spot.

Rav4 review

The Rav4 2015 ranges from $24K – $29K depending on which edition is best for you.

As you can tell, with all these features that we were able to enjoy our road experience and make new memories? Could you see yourself in a Rav4?

 

Product Reviews

Spring Break in a 2015 Lexus 200 NX (Car Review)

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My personal dream car has always been a Lexus. I have loved the style, class, & body styles since they appeared on the scene. So when I was given the opportunity to review a 2015 Lexus 200 NX, it was literally a dream come true, for a week. When it was delivered, the beautiful rich dark red tone and unique body shape had all my neighbors staring and thinking we had a new car!

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This year my family spent Spring Break in Florida visiting relatives, so driving the Five-passenger luxury crossover Lexus NX allowed us to save money & time with all of the three driving options;

  • Eco – allows you to save more gas. Best used for road trips or long distance travel.
  • Normal – this is for everyday driving around.
  • Sport – this gives you that boost of speed that our “youthful self” desires!

Easter

We were able to enjoy Easter this year with my in-laws and our children couldn’t have been happier. We surprised them the next day with a trip to Busch Gardens.

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My favorite features were:

  1. Touchpad – similar to the mouse you use with a computer. You were able to get to all the major features of the vehicle with a slip of your finger.
  2. Touch lights – if you wanted to see something, just tap the lights and it will cut on or dim. No buttons to press.
  3. Speak Features – if you didn’t want to use the mouse, you can hit a button and actually tell the car what you wanted to see or do.
  4. Built in phone charger – Maybe this should be #1. There is a slot that you literally drop your phone in, and it charges it! No cords or outlet needed.
  5. Eco or Sport Option – What do I feel like today? Saving gas or getting there faster than the speed of light (ok, that’s an exaggeration).

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My husband did most of the highway driving. He said he was giving me a break because he thought I was tired. I think the truth was, he was enjoy the way this car handled itself on the road. I asked him what he liked about the vehicle (why are men so simple sometimes):

  1. Good get up and go – I had to remind him a few times to lift his foot!
  2. Nice wheels (only a man would say that)
  3. Dual climate control – we normally fight about that!
  4. Smooth ride – it did seem to just glide. I loved that.

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The Lexus NX 200t Sport starts out at $36,580 and ownership comes with many benefits!

MOTOR TREND, 2014
“Lexus has an upcoming hit on its hands.”

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Many times 1 week is not enough time to really get a good feel for the car and all the amazing features, so I was lucky enough to find a friend that actually owns this car! After getting over feeling a tiny bit jealous that she gets to experience this luxury every day, I asked her to tell me first hand why she loves her car:

Tosha Hudson: 1-2-15 First person in the Northeast to drive off the lot with the Fsport. Lexus of Englewood

Why I love my fSport

  • Rear Camera/Parking Assist – Three colors show you how aligned you are to the curb or parking spot.
  • Park and hold button– great for when stuck in traffic…instead of putting the gear in park.
  • Side View Mirror assistance– At first it was annoying but this has been helpful when driving during dusk hours and often difficult to see cars coming along side of you with no headlights on.
  • Heated Steering Wheel – Great for the cold weather in the Northeast. It only stays of for a few minutes then you must reset.
  • Sirius Radio-Plenty of stations to choose from.
  • Bluetooth– allows you to Sync the car with your ipad and iphone
  • You can still use the navigation while car is in motion-I had a 2006 Lexus IS 250 and this was not a feature during that time.

The fSport allows for additional speed with phenomenal pick up and the use of paddles to change the gears.

I’m single and usually drive alone in my car, so the NX has the ability to cancel the air flow to the rear of the vehicle. Thus, not wasting air being vented to the back.

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After riding around in this Lexus for 7 days, it was hard to give it back. It just made me feel like the cool mom on the block!

 

What feature would you like to have most?

Uncategorized

{Video} Family Review Ford Escape 2014 #HappyCommute

DSCN1961If you have one child or 5 children, the chances are you are ripping and running at some point in the day. I have three that range from 1yrs – 9 yrs and they have their own needs, schedules and appointments. This does not include what “Mommy & Daddy” have to do just to keep the house functioning properly.

Kids don’t care about the “House Stuff”, all they know is “It’s summer time, let’s go swimming!” or “School has started, can you take me to cheerleading practice?” I am so happy that I was able to review the 2014 Ford Escape at a time when the seasons were changing. I mean “The Kid Season”, where we go from Summer to School.

I decided to capture a few moments in the car while my children tell me their favorite feature of the Ford Escape. Towards the end of the video, my daughter flips it and starts to interview me:

My biggest question was, “Can this car handle a Mom on a the go?” Not only did the Ford Escape make my life easier, my children wanted me to sell my own car and keep the Escape. I told my kids, “Ooooh, I wish it were that easy.”

Coolest Family Features:

Keyless Trunk Entry

Enabled by motion technology used in today’s video game systems, a gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob. The same process closes the hatch.

Gas Saver: 

Our Escape was a EcoBoost which means it has a 4 cylinder engine that gets 32 mpg highway. The engine technology allows for better acceleration (that get up and go), passing and merging performance.

Technology:

With SYNC My Ford Touch, everything is centered around the safety of the driver. The touch screen allows you to sync your phone, has a navigation system, controls entertainment and climate controls. When you put the car in reverse, the touch screen turns into a camera to help you see what is behind you. 

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Pursuit to a Happy Commute:

School starts in early August around these parts and my children had just settled in to their after school activites when the Ford Escape arrived. As a family that stays busy, we spend a lot of time in our car which makes our commute time even more important. In a recent national study from Ford shows that the majority of drivers have a less than positive commute, which affects their stress levels, relationships and everyday health.

Ford’s Pursuit of a Happy CommuteFord created some helpful tips inspired by the Ford Escape that can help Moms like me ease in from Summer to School while keeping stress low and family interaction high.

Mommy on the go: Drive time ranks in your top three day-to-day activities. In between practices and carpools, use the Ford Escape’s SYNC voice commands to make calls and organize your day, so when you arrive to pick up the kids you won’t have to worry about your long list of things to do. The do it all mom (or dad!) strikes again!

Kid Time: Don’t let drive time eat into ‘our’ time. Enjoy the time with the kiddos during the ride to and from school by encouraging a “phone free” ride. Use the “Do Not Disturb” feature on MyFord Touch to block incoming calls and enjoy the one-on-ones with the kids!

All Green Lights: One-in-five Americans describe their daily trek as “unpredictable.” To avoid traffic jam headaches and to steer clear of being late for any activity, use Ford SYNC with voice-activated navigation that will provide you with multiple alternative route options to get you to your destination with ease. We do not want you to be blamed for tardiness this semester!

To read about more ways to make your commute a happy one, visit Ford.com 

Have you experienced the Ford Escape 2014? What do you think?