Finding New Roads In the Summer of Adventure

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Disclosure: I was provided with a 2018 Chevy Equinox in order to facilitate this post. A note to the Frog Princess,

As we were talking about the summer plans a few weeks ago, I asked you what we should name this summer. With all the drama you've learned from your mama you proclaimed: the summer of adventure!

And here we were. We kicked it off a little early during National Photography Month thanks to Chevy because adventuring can't wait!

This summer I promise to:

  • Break up my work day so that we are spending quality time (we can get so much accomplished and so many new thoughts and ideas during lunch!).
  • Take you to as many places as we can afford.
  • Keep you safe while enjoying this summer of your 8th year.

Now, let's find new roads this summer, baby girl!

Our summer officially kicked off a the end of May because Florida and heat, folks. Also, because Chevy.

I had the grand pleasure of riding around in a Chevy Equinox that felt like something new and like home all at the same time.

It was roomy, it was comfortable and considering they start at $23,580, I think it's also mighty affordable.

I MUST be radically honest with you right now (because, have you met me?): the majority of the time I had this fantabulous SUV, we were dealing with the Frog Princess being sick with fevers, sore throats and headaches. I had ALL. THE. PLANS. to take this bad boy to all the special places but, life happened. I was sad that I only spent about half the time I was hoping to spend inside this beauty. I will say that baby girl slept comfortably in the back seat and could not get over the new car smell (seriously, at this rate, we're going to end up with a new car by July!).

I called her Ellie while she was here. And for the time we had her, we really enjoyed her.

Now, I can tell you all about: Safety Alert Seat, Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator, Low speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. All new in the 2018 Equinox. But instead, I am going to tell you about the one feature that held my heart, brought tears to my eyes and made me ridiculously grateful all at the same time (didn't think a car could do that, eh?).

REAR SEAT REMINDER. I saw it the first morning I took the Frog Princess to school. I needed a minute. I heard the ding as soon as I took the key out of the ignition and lo and behold, I see this:

Y'ALL. Why has this not been done before?! This was the simplest thing I've seen but the ONE thing I feel can make such a huge difference! I took a short survey amongst my friends and I got a unanimous "wow" from them all. How many lives could this save?

It's the little things, amirite? But also, it's the moments. The small moments that we can capture on film (I had to explain what "film" was to the kid recently. Fun. You should try it some time) and the ones we capture with our hearts.

Things like surprising her with tickets to see Solo at our favorite hangout spot, Disney Springs.

(here she didn't know where we were headed and thus the obligatory smile)

Or running off to the beach during late afternoons, catching the golden hour and collecting seashells and laughter in equal parts.

Life is short. The summer is shorter. Childhood is gone in the blink of an eye. And moms spend an inordinate amount of time in cars. So, what do you say you find yourself a vehicle that will add to your enjoyment of life (and your cool factor).

If you're in the market for a car (Dei, this is for you!), I highly recommend you head on over to a dealership and test drive this bad boy. You won't be disappointed.

Tell them Sili sent you. They won't know who I am but hey, that shouldn't stop you!

Okay but, to recap, here's what I enjoyed best:

  1. the cabin in the Equinox was roomier than I expected from seeing it on the outside.
  2. It handled great and picked up speed quickly (not that I speed or anything).
  3. The Frog Princess had a good amount of leg room in the back.
  4. The sound system allowed me to listen to my 90's & 00's music in loud comfort as I waited in the pick up line.
  5. The safety features on this vehicle blew me away.

Here's wishing you happy roads, happy summers and happy driving! May this summer show you how to #FindNewRoads!

Mamis and Mazdas

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Disclosure: I was loaned this vehicle in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts, opinions and sass are purely my own. It is summer. And I'm planning a girl's trip. This planning process is reminding me of a few weeks back when the BFF and kid were here. We got a chance to get in the car and DRIVE! Oh and what did we drive? This little doohickey right here:

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I never think of cars! But this one had me doing a double take and really enjoying the ride. We drove down to Miami and had a ball.

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It's never been a secret that I'm out of my league around car fanatics. The details and specifics don't always stick to my brain.

Sure, I love that new car smell as much as the next guy and can tell you about my favorite features on the vehicle my family has been using the past few years (currently that favorite feature is that it still rolls down the street) but once the hood is popped I have a hard time. I mean yeah, I know how to replenish the wind shield wiper fluid, throw in some brake fluid and my claim to fame is my awesome tire changing abilities.

But I've begun the slow descent into speaking car and driver. I still can't tell you the inner workings of the engine specifically but I'm steadily learning little bits and pieces as I go.

Generally speaking, if a car gets me from point A. to point B. without breaking down on the side of the road, I'm a happy camper. Add in some power windows, air conditioning and a working radio/CD player and I think I'm in car heaven.

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When it comes to brand new cars though, there's just something amazing about sliding behind the wheel and taking them for a test drive. I have my suspicions that the new car smell is what makes the drive so special but then again, when you have a plethora of new features to choose from and play with, that makes it all the more exciting too!

When I was given the chance to pair the 2016 Mazda6 and my girls, I squealed with joy at the opportunity. Y'all know I'm kinda sorta keeping my eyes out for a car (it'll come after the house). So the more I drive, the better.

Available in 8 different beautiful colors to choose from, the Mazda6 is a gorgeous vehicle for anyone in the market for a mid sized vehicle with superior driving capabilities. It's the cure for the common drive, the vehicle to have if you're looking to impress your family or friends with your new ride. Or maybe if you're running away from the kids. I mean, no judgement.

It was also called the "Highest Ranked Vehicle Appeal among midsized cars, two years in a row" by J.D Power Power and associates. Cuz you might believe them more than me.

As usual, I'm kinda impressed by that Skyactiv Technology. My favorite part of the trip was driving 483 miles on a single tank of gas!

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Here are the deets for those of you that want all the business:

  • Skyactiv Technology. The holistic, from the ground up approach to re-engineering each component for the ultimate in efficiency and lower emissions.
  • 2.5L Skyactive G Gasoline Engine. With up to 40mpg on the highway you'll get more bang for your buck as far as miles per gallon are concerned. (see dancing baby above)
  • Stylish design. With it's gorgeous signature front bumper and grill, you'll be riding in style! I can't be responsible if you wear yoga pants tho so, there's that.
  • Cruise Control with proximity Warning. This feature judges the speed and distance of the car ahead of you, working to maintain a set speed range to help maintain a safe following distance. It makes highway driving less stressful for drivers and passengers alike.
  • Leather interior.
  • Power windows and door locks.
You can't go wrong by choosing the 2016 Mazda6 if you're in the market for a new vehicle this year. 
 
To learn more about Mazda and to keep yourself up to date on all the latest updates you can connect with them on Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest|Instagram|Youtube and more! 

 

Meet the 2016 Kia Sorento

Reposting this from the fall as I begin to seriously search for a car. Yes, I've been reading my own car reviews as I shop. Imagine that!


I'll admit that I don't know much about cars. As long as they take me from point A to point B, I'm generally not very picky. Well, a radio, air conditioning, heat and comfortable seats are all big pluses in my book too but I mean aside from those I'm easy to please vehicle wise.

Well, kinda. I do like a good looking vehicle.

Although I'm not a car girl per say, I do enjoy a good test drive from time to time. So, when I was given the opportunity to take the new 2016 Kia Sorento for a spin, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. With it's stylish body, roomy interior and that new car smell, who could? 

Related Post: The 2015 Kia Sorento & How Two Sisters Fell In Love

The 2016 Kia Sorento has been totally redesigned to fit the needs of consumers. After it's adaptions, it's now stronger and sleeker than ever before. With it's beautiful seats, roomy cabin and wraparound dashboard, you'll feel confident in completing your daily errands or even taking the family on an adventure. With 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg highway miles, you can rest easy doing your daily driving while knowing that you're getting the best mileage for your buck. So, no matter what your plans are for your new Kia Sorento, you'll enjoy the experience wherever your travels take you! 

Key features of the exterior to look for when test driving the Kia Sorento include but aren't limited to: 

  • Smart Welcome System that detects your smart key and unfolds mirrors as well as illuminates the door pocket lights. This is especially convenient when entering your vehicle in the dark. 
  • LED Turn Signal Indicators. 
  • Panoramic Sunroof with Power Sunshade. 
  • Smart Power Liftgate. 
  • Solar Control Glass. 
  • Windshield De-icer. 
  • Heated Rear Glass with Timer. 
  • Roof Rails. 

If the exterior features aren't enough to tempt you then check out the Interior features. They include but aren't limited to: 

  • Fully functional Sirius AM/XM Radio with CD, MP3 audio system. 
  • Infinity Surround Sound Audio. 
  • Rear-Camera Display. 
  • Back-up Warning System. 
  • Surround View Monitor. 
  • Blind Spot Detection System. 
  • Bluetooth Capabilities. 
  • USB 2.1 Connectors. 
  • EcoMinder Fuel-efficiency Indicator. 
  • Power Windows and Power Door Locks. 

The Frog Princess approved of this little bad boy and it's seriously on my top 3 list of next purchases. I even like the color. What do you guys think?

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Disclosure: this vehicle was loaned to me in order to facilitate the review. All thoughts, opinions and drooling are purely my own.

Mami Drives: Mazda CX-5

Disclosure: I was provided with this vehicle in order to review it. However, it didn't leave me enough time to really truly appreciate it. I think I need like a year. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I had the great pleasure of driving the machine of the future. And I was pleasantly surprised to have found a Mazda emblem on it. Mazda snuck up on me before and it has done it once again.

You know the car is amazing when the blogging child proclaims "this is the best car ever!" and "Mami, you're keeping it, righ?". Sadly, Frog Princess, I cannot keep it. At least not yet.

The CX-5 has made it to my short list of next SUV in my life. Why? Where do I begin?

It's roomy: I have a small SUV now and while the CX-5 lined up with it, there seemed to be more room in this one.

SkyActiv Technology: I told you guys about this before but I really dig the lighter engine. I never thought I'd say that but what it boils down to for us? Better mileage. And I don't know about you but, I like the idea of saving money on gas.

Mazda Connect: I felt a little like I was sitting at the helm of the USS Enterprise. This suite of infotainment technologies is displayed through a seven-inch color touchscreen that rocked my world. I liked the commander control knobs because it made me feel like this car was still honoring my old school while providing me with the new school my life is all about.

I loved driving in this thing. And can we mention how pretty it is? I wouldn't be so shallow as to purchase a vehicle just for the way it looked BUT getting all of the awesome that this vehicle provides AND then having it be sexy eye candy on the road?! Yes please!

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2015 Mitsubishi Mirage: Mami Likes!

I walked out to see a red Mirage parked in my driveway. I wasn't too sure about it. It looked small. I drive a sports SUV so I'm used to smaller but, I wasn't convinced. Then I got the tour and I started thinking "okay, I see you!". My mind was completely changed once I dropped 2 car seats in it. The girls (the Frog Princess and her BFF) loved the ride and I forgot about what I thought when I first laid eyes on it.

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There was enough room in the middle for bags and such. I will say that I have some pretty big seats, though. I was pretty impressed at the space in the back.

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And to give you perspective, I got my grocery shopping on and had more than enough room.

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We went on a road trip with friends and had a great time. The girls couldn't stop talking about how "fabulous" the car was and I couldn't get over the mileage and the comfort I found. Yes, I had totally changed my mind by the end of the week and I may or may not have tried to keep the car for longer.

 

I loved that it was a 5-door. And it didn't ride like a small car (though I'm not entirely sure what a small car rides like). I got good pickup, not that I was speeding or anything and if I did, I was testing the car, people! And I generally felt safe and like I was in a really neat car. Which is important. Cool factor when you're a Mami and your kid is in love with the car you're driving.

All in all, I really enjoyed this car. It was comfortable and fun. It starts at $12,995 though I had all the bells and whistles and still came in at $16,295.

 I loved having GPS and I loved the feeling that I was still in a new vehicle without the price tag.

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Of course, now the frog princess keeps asking me when the cool red car is coming back. I wonder the same thing, frog princess.

I was loaned this vehicle in order to facilitate this post. All opinions, shenanigans and good times are purely my own.

The 2015 Kia Sorento & How Two Sisters Fell In Love

This is the story of a double review. I had lots of thoughts of rescheduling my surgery over the summer and the possibility that it wouldn't happen at all and so, there was a car scheduled to enter my life and it happened to have been the same week as my surgery. Which is the ONLY reason titi Q got a chance to drive this beauty. I've struggled with this review. Because driving that Kia Sorento reminded me of all the things I am looking for in a car (and how I currently don't have them). I've secretly hated on this Kia all this time. 

There's nothing about this car that I did not love (except that it wouldn't be staying permanently in my driveway). I've driven other SUV's in this class and I can say that the Kia leaves nothing to the competition. They brought it with this 2015 Sorento

On the technology side, the Sorento features the UVO hands-free eServices infotainment system which I also found in the Soul. I loved that the car could read me my text messages if I was driving and found that the system understood what I was saying (which I've had an issue with in other cars).

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Having had my mirrors assaulted in the past, I took special note of the power fold side mirrors that allows you to protect them from a runaway cart or a careless driver.

The panoramic sunroof always does it to me. Again, something I found in the Soul but with the roomy interior in the Sorento, it felt like I could make this my home office. I think it gave the car the feel of being much larger than it is (don't get me wrong, it's extra roomy for sure).

I loved the 3rd row seating. I got to drive a mid-sized SUV and still got the perks of one of the crazy big ones (are they like full-sized SUV's?).

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Yes please! I will say that if I'm traveling with a full car (seats 7) I won't have loads of room for bags. BUT, I can always throw one of those cargo thingies on top (yay!). Yes, people, I'm planning road trips in this Sorento. What does that tell you?

I had only a couple of days with this beauty but it was enough for my daughter to give me the side eye when we got back into our small SUV and say "Can we get the other car? I don't have any space for my legs." Of course, this meant that while my sister came into town to help nurse me back to health after surgery, she got to enjoy the Sorento as well. This is what she had to say.

Titi Q:

Since moving to DC, I've become so much more aware of my carbon footprint. I choose walking or public transportation over driving and enjoy it. 

...wait...that's not true. It's all a lie. The truth is, I'm deathly afraid of driving in the city because people are maniacs. I dread parallel parking for what seems like an eternity and the great waltz that is the four way stop sign - "You go..I go...You go...I go...crash". So I avoid it all together...it's so much easier this way and I retain more hair on my head by doing so. 

So, it was an absolute shock when I visited my big Sis earlier this year and got a chance to drive a car she let me borrow. This city mouse fell in love...and his name was Sorento

The Sorento was everything I missed about Florida - spacious, stylish, great for a beach day or road trip. Excellent for a rainy day and also a sunny day. It's the car I imagine driving my imaginary 2.5 children in to soccer practice and dance camp. This is the car I could have my cross country misadventures in, to Mount Rushmore, Yellow Stone and the Grand Canyon!  It's the car I can lean back in on a summer night and stare up at the sky to watch the planes fly over 528, while INSIDE the car...air conditioned.

The Pricing:

Yes, I figured you'd want to know this. The LX starts at $24,100 (this is the base model). The EX model starts at $26,600 and includes third row seat (win!). Then we get up to the SX which starts at $36,700 and finally the bombdiggity edition (they call it the SX Limited) starts at $39,900. Some of the price differences are around that 3rd row seat and a slightly bigger engine and of course, the trimmings. I think the Sorento offers a big bang for your buck and yes, I have added a picture of this bad boy on to my vision board for 2015.

Disclosure: I was provided a 2015 Kia Sorento in order to facilitate this review.

Mami Drives: 2014 Kia Soul

I was provided with this vehicle in order to review it cuz, hello? How else would I experience this little bit of awesome? A few weeks back I got a chance to ride this cool whip:

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First of all, can we talk about the color? Yes, it reminds me of my coffee cup. Probably because this is called Latte, people. I have been curious as to what the Kia Soul would be like after seeing one in my neighborhood and seeing the commercials. I mean why are the hamsters so cool and having so much fun? After driving the Soul for a few days, I think I know why.

The car felt new and fun the moment I sat down. It didn't feel cramped (which somehow, I thought it might). I think at first, I thought the gas pedal felt hard to me but it's what you would find in sportier cars (as opposed to what I normally drive). Once I took it for a couple of spins my foot got used to it.

A cool new feature I hadn't seen before? Heated steering wheel. Yes, I know that this is something I will use 3 times a year but it's nice if you're in colder climates. I'm also hopeful that since the car also has heated AND cooling seats, perhaps I will see a cooling steering wheel for those days when I give myself 2nd degree burns in August. What can I say? It's the price I pay for not freezing in the winter.

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I also really fell in love with the panoramic sunroof.

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I felt way happy driving around with this above me. The frog princess is always impressed by panoramic sunroofs and she readily approved of this one. She also liked the fact that she had room in the back for her legs to swing without having to rest them on my arm rest (which is what happens in my current vehicle).

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Testing out the higher end model meant that I got speaker lights among other things. Yes the 8" nav screen was awesome as was the Sirius/XM situation but, the lights! The lights! My only complaint might be that it wasn't in the back seat for the frog princess to be entertained by. The speakers have 2 settings: music and mood. I had them in mood when I caught these:

Pretty cool, eh?

Trunk space was a little limiting. In my usual "how many dead bodies could I fit back here" test, I would say one small female only and she'd have to be in fetal position. I had to go to the airport to be dropped off and could fit my one big luggage along with my backpack. I believe the measurement is 18 cubic feet but I can't picture that so, hope the bag/dead body visualization does the trick because it was like 3 am when I went to the airport and I could barely remember my name let alone to take a pic of the happenings in the back (sorry guys).

I was really pleasantly surprised by this guy. I liked how it handled, I liked how it looked and I loved all the little extras in the higher end model. It's definitely worth going with the plus model. Packed with all of the goodies that I had, the 2014 Kia Soul will run you $24,010.00. Which means it should be a serious consideration if you're looking at a sexy, techy thang to ride around in.