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Red Rock Canyon California State Park

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Autos, California State Parks, Featured, Kia, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia One of my goals this summer is to take my kids to visit as many California State Parks as possible. One of the California State Parks that has been on my bucket list to visit for many years is the Red Rock Canyon California State Park – not to be mistaken with the Red Rock State Park in Nevada. Before packing up the Kia Sorento with everything that we needed for our weekend adventure, I tried to do some research about the park online. I could hardly find any information about it online, so we just jumped into the Sorento, and went exploring. The California State Park is only an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles, making it the perfect day trip. We left early in the morning, and within a couple of...

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Tips for Successful Raised Bed Gardening

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Autos, Gardening, Green Living, Kia | 0 comments

 Sponsored in partnership with Kia When my oldest son developed severe food allergies, I turned to food to help heal his overactive immune system. I found that by feeding him a plant-based diet with all organic produce that his allergies decreased, and he had fewer anaphylaxis reactions to food. The only downside was that feeding a family of five a diet rich with organic food was very costly, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I went to The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano and got information on how to start growing organic produce for my family in our backyard. I had my husband tear out most of our grass in the backyard, build raised beds, and we got started on what we now call “The Barone Farm.” Over the years, I have successfully been able...

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An Auto Manufacturer Deeply Rooted in our Community

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Autos, Family, Giving Back, Kia | 0 comments

 Kia has provided us with a Sorento to drive The reason that I started writing many years ago, was to give back to our community by helping families to learn about fun new ways to create magical memories with their children in Orange County. Along with sharing the best parks, beaches, and dining destinations, it has always been important for me to help support the incredible non-profits in our community that help to make Orange County the best place to live in California. I recently learned that Kia shares the same passion and is deeply rooted in our community by helping to support multiple Orange County non-profits. Kia is a Korean Company, but has their North American headquarters right here in Orange County. They have a beautiful building in Irvine that I’m sure all of you have admired when...

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Why the Buick Encore is Perfect for Every Driver

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Vehicle loan provided Last week, I took the 2017 Buick Encore on an epic mother and daughter road trip from Orange County to Monterey. While on our road trip, we cruised along the freeway in ultimate comfort and created memories that will last a lifetime. I have been driving a GMC Yukon XL for the past nine years, so when I got behind the wheel of the Encore, it felt like I was driving a race car. It had the same power as my Yukon XL, and I felt just as safe as I do in my full-size SUV. I enjoyed the zip and light ride that the Encore made me feel when behind the wheel. Since I have a teenager turning 15 next month, we are in the market for his first car. I thought that driving the...

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Creating Memories Hiking with Your Teens

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Sponsored As my two older children quickly became teenagers, it has been more important than ever for me to spend quality time with each of them. One of my favorite things to do with my teenagers is to take them for hikes along our beautiful Orange County trails. There is something about being close to nature and away from the stresses of daily life that help my teens to open up about the challenges and stresses of being a teenager in the 20th century. Earlier this month, I surprised my teenage daughter with news that we were going for a hike in Laguna Canyon. I packed up our GMC Acadia Denali with water bottles and snacks before getting ready to cruise down to Laguna Canyon. While on our way to the hiking trail, we rolled down the windows and...

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Cruising Down the Coast in a GMC Acadia Denali

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Sponsored When it is a sunny day in Southern California, one of my favorite things to do with my children is to go for a drive down the coast. One morning last week, I surprised my younger son with news that I was going to take him for a drive down the coast to spend the day at Legoland California. Not only were we going to Legoland, but we were also going to attend the debut of the new Lego Star Wars Miniland – he was in pure heaven. I packed a backpack full of snacks for the day, and we got into our beautiful GMC Acadia Denali, opened the sunroof, and got ready to start driving down to Carlsbad. While loading up the car, I realized that I had forgotten to charge my camera battery the night before....

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World Premiere of The Lego Batman Movie

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Autos, Entertainment, Featured, Film | 1 comment

 Sponsored Da na na na na na na BATMAN! The highly anticipated time has come for The Lego Batman movie to debut to the world in theaters on July 10th. My son lives, breathes and dreams about legos. When I told him the news that we were going to Los Angeles for the World Premiere of The Lego Batman Movie as a guest of Chevrolet, he squealed with delight. Did you know that the Batmobile is a Chevrolet? That’s right – it sure is! Since Batman drives a Chevrolet, we couldn’t arrive at the premiere driving any other kind of car. The morning of the premiere, we got into our cool blue Chevrolet Cruz Hatchback and cruised down the freeway to the premiere. I downloaded The Lego Batman soundtrack album to my iPhone, plugged my phone into the Chevrolet...

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Mother-Daughter Road Trip in a Buick Envision

Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in Autos | 0 comments

 Test vehicle provided As my daughter has become a teenager, it has been increasingly important for me to spend quality time with her. It is so easy for a teenage girl to go down the wrong path in life, and having a good role model in her life that she can talk to about the challenges of being a teenager is crucial. Along with having our regular dinner dates and evening walks, I planned a mother-daughter road trip to Yosemite in a beautiful Buick Envision. Since she is going to be driving in just three short years, I thought that a road trip would be a fun way to spend our getaway so that I can talk to her about teen driving behavior. I decided to take her in a Buick Envision so that I could demonstrate with her...

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Mazda3 is Built With a Sports Car in Mind

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Car provided for test drive Looking for a new car that is slick, smooth and hugs the road? Then the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring is the car for you. We recently took the Mazda3 for a weekend getaway to Palm Springs. The car was not only beautiful but also drove like a dream on the desert highway. The moment that our family of five sat inside of the car, we were comfortable and relaxed. Since my younger son suffers from car sickness, my husband had to sit in the backseat of the car with our two teenagers on our way to Palm Springs. He is a very tall man, and I was worried that he wouldn’t be comfortable for the two-hour ride, but he was playing cards with my other two kids comfortably in the back seat the entire...

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Falling in Love with the 2016 Toyota Prius

Posted by on Aug 6, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Test drive vehicle provided After driving the 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid, I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of the all-new redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius. When the car was first delivered to my driveway, I fell in love with its sleek new body style, and the blue crush metallic color. Once I got behind the wheel of the Prius, I felt like I was driving on air. We drove the car for one week on a road trip from Orange County to Carmel. I wanted to see how the car’s mpg would perform, and it far exceeded my expectations. First, Carmel was a lot further of a drive from Orange County than I anticipated and took almost 10 hours to get there with traffic and stops for snacks along the way. I was able to make it all...

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Best Family Hybrid Compact Sport Utility Vehicle

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Test drive vehicle provided Ever since I found out that my son got into Orange County School of the Arts for their Culinary Arts and Hospitality high school program, I couldn’t stop thinking about how high our monthly gas bill will be from driving him over an hour away from home each day. The logical solution is to start thinking about trading in our gas-guzzling full-size SUV for a more economical Hybrid vehicle. The first hybrid that I put to the test was the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Limited, and I fell in love with it within the first hour of driving it. The car has a sleek body style, and it hugs the road when driving it on the freeway. The best part of it was the gas mileage. The car features 34/31 with an estimated 17 mpg. I...

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The Los Angeles Angels Diamond Club Experience

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Autos, Dining, Events, Family, Featured | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Toyota One of our favorite summer family traditions is spending quality time together at an Angel’s game. This year was extra special for our family because we were given the rare opportunity to watch a game at The Los Angeles Angels Diamond Club with Toyota. On the morning of the big game, Toyota delivered a gorgeous Rav4 Hybrid Limited for us to drive in style to the Angel’s game. The car featured a slick body style with plenty of room for my family of five to ride in comfort. The car had virtually no engine noise and kept out most of the street noise so our family could enjoy singing along to our favorite songs while driving on the freeway. When we arrived at the Angel’s game, we parked in the preferred parking...

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Food + Fun at the Kia Social Club

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Autos, Events, Kia | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Kia Earlier this month, I went to Los Angeles for some good food and fun at the Thrillist Kia Social Club. When I arrived, there was a line of people that wrapped around the building, and everyone was talking about the excitement of being invited to the exclusive event. The minute that the doors opened, the sound of music flowed out of the doors. The moment that I stepped foot into the social club, I could feel the strong energy in the room. There were multiple tables where LA’s hottest food spots were serving up samples of their delicious eats and a brand-new Kia Sportage that was the center of the attention. Everyone at the event was taking selfies in front of the brand new Sportage that has lights flashing on the car...

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Rugged Kid-Proof Toyota 4Runner

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Test Vehicle Provided When raising children, a car that is built to withstand bottles flying, kids jumping on the seats and having every button in the car pushed a million times is vital. I recently put the 2016 Toyota 4Runner to the test with my three kids along with my carpool, and the family SUV far exceeded my expectations. We took the car from LA for a LA Lifeguard Safety event to San Diego for a holiday family event, and the car was smooth, quiet and luxurious. Not only did the car drive like a dream, but it also featured a sleek body style. I drove the nautical blue 4Runner with chrome accents and highlights, front fog lights, and rear privacy glass. While driving the car, I was the envy of every mom in the school drop-off line with...

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LA Lifeguard Summer Beach Water Safety Tips

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 in Autos, Family, Featured, Holiday, Hot Topics, Parenting, Summer | 0 comments

 We partnered with Toyota to attend this free community event Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4? Our Southern California Lifeguards are hard at work this summer helping to keep children safe and saving lives. Toyota has partnered with the LA Lifeguards by providing them with essential tools they need to save lives – durable trucks. For the kick-off of summer, Toyota and the LA Lifeguards held a community event at the Manhattan Beach pier where they shared some water safety tips and offered demonstrations for families visiting the area. We put a 2016 Toyota 4Runner to the test and drove it to the event where my children learned a lot from the LA Lifeguards. Along with families visiting the pier, my children got a chance to sit in the...

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Versatile 2016 Hyundai Sonata Eco

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Test vehicle provided Last month, our family put the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Eco to the test by seeing how versatile the popular mid-sedan can be. Our family packed the trunk full of luggage and took it with us camping for a week. Normally, I would never trust taking anything smaller than an SUV or minivan camping, but this car far exceeded my expectations and provided plenty of space for all our camping needs. It is not just the trunk of the Hyundai Sonata Eco that is large but also the interior. As my children are turning into teenagers, they’re needing more and more legroom. The car was able to fit my family of five comfortably during the 4-5 hour road trip to our camping destination. The best part of the Hyundai Sonata Eco is the gas mileage. We took...

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Not Your Traditional Mid-Size Vehicle: The Kia Optima SX Turbo

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Autos, Family, Kia | 0 comments

 Car provided for review Now that my kids are getting older, it doesn’t make as much sense to be driving a full-size SUV around town. I’ve not only been in the market to downsize my vehicle but also trying to find the best car for my teenage son who will be driving in just a few short years. While on my quest to find the perfect family vehicle that is not an SUV, I recently put the 2016 Kia Optima SX Turbo to the test for a week. When the car arrived, I was immediately in love with the smooth, sleek lines of the body of the car. It was a snow white pearl Optima with a red hot leather interior that matched perfectly with my long blonde curly hair. And it just kept getting better from the moment...

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The Richard Petty Driving Experience in Las Vegas

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Autos, Featured, Las Vegas, Travel | 1 comment

  My heart is pounding.  I can barely contain myself.  I am literally inches away from a NASCAR vehicle and a track to drive it on.  My jumpsuit and helmet are making me feel like the real pro, but my inexperience shows as they ask me to jump in the car.  Wait the car has no doors, so how do I get in? Lift left leg first through the opening for the window… oy, I should have stretched. Let me go back a few weeks.  In November we made plans to visit Las Vegas, by now a family tradition of visiting the oasis in the desert.  The intention is to go visit my wife’s cousin and her daughter that live there; but we manage to squeeze in one unique experience each time.  Each experience till now has been meticulously...

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Top Five SUV’s for New Parents

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 When thinking about purchasing a new car for your growing family, an SUV is an excellent car buying decision. With so many different SUV’s currently available on the market, it can be overwhelming for parents to make the best decision on what SUV will best meet your family needs. These are the five top SUV’s available for families. Large Families If you’re a family with more than three children, then a full-size SUV will be the best purchasing decision. Trying to squeeze three car seats in one row of a mid-size SUV can be a challenge, so finding an SUV with a third row will make traveling with your families easier. Our top pick for a full-size SUV is the GMC Yukon XL. The car features plenty of space for your children, and will still leave many families room...

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Behind the Scenes Tour of Ford Field

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Autos, Featured, Michigan, Travel | 0 comments

  We kicked off the International Auto Show in Detroit with a special visit to Ford Field. The evening started with dinner at the stadium before getting a behind the scenes tour of the tunnels, locker room, and the MGM “club” room. Following the tour, we were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk on the same field where the Detroit Lions play football. We got to try and kick a football into the field goal (with an epic fail), take lots of photographs, and look around. We even got to pose for fun pictures to display on the Jumbotron. It was an incredible moment and one that I’ll remember forever. The stadium is home to the Detroit Lions NFL team, has a seating capacity of approximately 65,000, and can be expanded as far as 80,000 seats...

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