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From the Sun to Snow with The 2016 Kia Sorento

Posted by on Dec 27, 2015 in Autos, Family, Kia | 0 comments

  The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento is one the best family cars of the year. We recently took the Sorento from the beautiful beach community of Orange County to the snow covered mountains of Yosemite for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had just come back from a couple of days in Mexico building a playground and painting an orphanage, and we had less than 24 hours to pack up the Sorento before making the drive up north to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family. Since we had just gotten notice the evening before that it was snowing in Yosemite, we rushed to dig out our snow clothes and was able to fit all our snow gear in the Sorento with plenty of room to spare for the three kiddos in the back. The easy to use navigation helped to guide...

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Yosemite Lewis Creek Trail to Corlieu Falls

Posted by on Dec 26, 2015 in Kia, Travel, Yosemite | 0 comments

  Yosemite is beautiful beyond measure. The only downside is that it can be challenging to find a “child-friendly” trail that is not crowded, and you need to be able to hike a longer distance to enjoy the beauty of the National Park without the crowds. While we were talking to some locals that were visiting Tenaya Lodge for the holiday tree lighting, they had recommended that we stop at Lewis Creek Trail on our way home to see Corlieu Falls. The trail was at a lower elevation, so we didn’t have to worry about there being too much ice on the trail, and there was plenty of parking at the turn-out. We parked the 2016 Kia Sorento that we drove to Yosemite, and embarked on our favorite hike of our visit to Yosemite National Park. The beginning of...

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Ultimate Family Luxury Minivan: The 2015 Kia Sedona

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Autos, Family, Featured, Kia | 0 comments

 Review vehicle provided I have driven many minivans during my past 13 years of parenthood, and none of them compare to the Kia Sedona that I recently drove for a week. I have heard my good friend, Naz, talk forever about how much she loves her Kia Sedona, and I quickly learned why she loves it so much when I first got behind the wheel. It wasn’t just me that fell in love with the Sedona but also my children. From the dual sunroofs to the lounging captains chairs, the kids were begging me to trade in my full-size SUV so they can cruise around town in a Sedona. Kia is clearly the leader in the industry when it comes to technology, and the Sedona has everything that parents could want out of a minivan. The navigation is simple...

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Fun for the Whole Family at the OC Auto Show

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 in Autos, Events, Family, Featured, Kia | 0 comments

 Sponsored The OC Auto Show is happening at the Anaheim Convention Center all weekend. The Auto Show isn’t just for adults and is the perfect family weekend outing. This year, there are hundreds of cars, a child scavenger hunt, and test drive opportunities. We brought our family to the first day of the Auto Show in search of a new family car. Instead of having to drive our family from dealer lot to dealer lot, we were able to look at every auto manufactures car all in one place, and even test drive a couple of cars that we showed an added interest in possibly purchasing this year. Our kids put the different cars to the test as they jumped into the seats of the cars in search of the most comfortable family vehicle. There was one brand that...

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Comfortable Carpool Sedan: Mazda 6 Grand Touring

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Autos, Family | 1 comment

 Review car provided Does carpooling require a minivan or SUV? As a mom of three kids, I always thought that I needed a full-size SUV to be a part of a carpool. I put the 2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring to the test for one week and found that I could manage to carpool and drive the kids around town with comfort in a mid-size sedan. The first thing that my kids noticed was how smooth the ride was in the Mazda 6 Grand Touring. Our full-size SUV is bulky, and my passengers can often feel almost every little bump on the road, but that was not the case with the Mazda 6. The ride was so smooth that my kids were able to work on their studies while driving the long commute to their school and sporting events....

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The Orange County International Auto Show (Giveaway)

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Autos, Family, Giveaways | 7 comments

  The Orange County International Auto Show features more than 500 new vehicles from 34 manufacturers, 100-plus vehicles to test drive, an Exotic Gallery, concept vehicles, crossovers, sports cars, alternative fuel options and more. The show is owned and presented by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows, LLC. Dates: Thursday, October 15 4pm-10pm Friday, October 16 12pm-10pm Saturday, October 17 9am-10pm Sunday, October 18 9am-7pm Pricing: Adults (13 and older) $12 Senior Citizens (62 and older) $10 Military (with any DOD ID) $10 Children (12 and younger) FREE Location: 800 W. Katella Avenue, in Anaheim. Follow the signs for convention center parking, located on West Street, just south of Katella. Displays & Entertainment: 34 Major Domestic & Import Manufacturers – Featuring more than 500 of the latest 2016-model cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs,...

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Building Stronger Families at KOA Monterey/Santa Cruz

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Autos, Carmel, Family, Featured, Monterey, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of KOA I am not a big camper. We have tried camping multiple times, and while the kids love it, it has never been my favorite way to take a family vacation until now. Our family kicked off the summer with an epic road trip in a Toyota Highlander, and our first stop was at the KOA Monterey/Santa Cruz. We pulled into the campground and were greeted by happy campers and KOA staff members waving a friendly welcome to us. Checking in was simple. We were given a map to our campsite, and we quickly made our way over to set-up for the weekend. When we pulled up to our campsite, I was overwhelmed with delight. We were booked in a beautiful cabin complete with bathroom, bedding, and a mini kitchenette. It was one...

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Tips For Keeping Your Kid Car Tidy (Giveaway)

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Autos, Family, Giveaways, Hot Topics | 4 comments

 Pre-kids my vehicle was, frankly, immaculate. There would be an occasional leftover coffee cup or bottled water in the drink holder, and some dry cleaning hanging in the backseat. But now, I’ve fallen into the abyss that I swore I would never enter: the dirty kid car. The smells emitted from the backseat from my once well-maintained car have been replaced with a mix of sweat, dirt and Cherrios. The ground crumbs and spilled juice box stains have taken a toll on my aging SUV. I decided to do something, or, well, at least call someone to help steer me in the right direction. I called the professionals at the All Hands Car Wash in Aliso Viejo. Manager Ricardo Marquez offered me these helpful tips: Protect. Cover the interior of your vehicle as much as possible. This includes floor...

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Guide to Purchasing Your Teen’s First Car

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Autos, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored I can’t believe that in just three years, I will be purchasing a car for my oldest son. A good friend of mine just went through the process of purchasing her daughters first car, and shared some great advice from her teen car buying experience. Age of Your Children Just because your kids are turning 16, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ready to get behind the wheel of their first car. Access if your child is mature and responsible enough to take the big step of driving back and forth to school, and being on the road with other drivers. My friend allowed her daughter to get her license at the age of 16 but waited a couple of years before purchasing her first car. Shopping Car shopping can be a frustrating part of the process...

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Best Affordable Compact Sedan for Young Families

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Autos, Family, Featured, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 Review vehicle provided Families who are just starting a family, and looking for a compact sedan will discover fuel economy, comfort, and added features with the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited Value Edition. The Elantra value edition has many added features including push-button start, sunroof, 16″ alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, chrome molding and more for just $550 more than an Elantra SE. We put the car to the test with our family of five for a week and found that it accommodates not only small families but also large families. We took the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited Value Edition to the desert, the beach, and to the mountains so we could put the car to the test in all different driving conditions. From the freeway to curvy mountain roads, the Elantra far exceeded my expectations and quickly became my...

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Tips for Eliminating Car Odors

Posted by on Mar 7, 2015 in Autos, Family, Giveaways, Parenting | 21 comments

 Sponsored If you’re anything like me, then you probably spend more of your day in the car vs. your house. That means that a lot of eating and living happens in the suburban that I spend my days in cruising the kid’s around town. What else comes along with it? Messes and odor! I am not just talking about the spoiled milk in the bottle that got tossed under the seat and found weeks later, but when you get a suburban filled with 4-5 teenage boys after basketball practice…let’s just say that odor seems to stick around for a couple of days. How do I keep my car smelling fresh enough that I can breathe while driving my teenager and tween around town? Febreze Vent Car Clips! Before using the product, the only solution would be: (A) Have the...

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Behind-the-Wheel Training with Varsity Driving Academy

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Autos, Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored How time flies…my first-born is 16 now and a junior in high school! Seems just like yesterday when he was first placed in my arms, after the emergency C-section we experienced… Anyway, 16 = DRIVING!!! Another one of those bittersweet (or anxiety-causing) moments of parenthood… He took the online Driver’s Ed course through his school district. It took him about a couple of weeks to finish and pass the test. Couple of months after that, we went to DMV and he passed his written exam, which got him a permit. But before you can actually drive (even with Mom/Dad), you need to complete a 2-hour session of Behind-the-Wheel Training with a licensed instructor. The mandatory 6 hours of Behind-the-Wheel Training is divided into 3 separate dates. We have been very fortunate to take these classes with Varsity Driving...

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Ford Edge Sneak Peek

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 We attended the preview as a guest of Ford Did you know that the Ford Edge is the # 1 seller in mid size utility vehicles? Yes, and we were recently invited to preview the vehicle. Get ready ladies, we just learned 49% of all buyers of the vehicle are women. In addition, the technology and premium attributes are rated highest. Ford is delivering more features and cargo space while maintaining a fair cost structure. You’ll see a new body design, adaptive steering and more engine choices. As a mom, I’d enjoy the adaptive steering feature allowing me to back into a space with the help of the vehicle; talk about perfect parking. You dad’s I’m sure will like the engine choices and the new Sport model! A new technological feature about to launch for Ford is Build &...

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Downsizing from a Full-Size SUV to the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Autos, Family | 0 comments

 Test drive was provided on behalf of Hyundai Every morning while driving to drop the kids off at school, I would see my friend Naz zoom past me in her Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. With her fancy sunglasses on, Naz and her kids would wave to me every morning as I would slug along to the elementary school drop-off line in my large SUV. Curious to see what I was missing out on, I test drove a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for a week. With 22 MPG around town and 27 MPG on the highway, I was already in love. Coming from a large SUV to a mid-size, I was, of course, worried about the size. What I wasn’t expecting was that this car had just as much room for my growing family of five as my large...

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Orange County International Auto Show

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Autos, Events | 0 comments

 All of the hottest 2015 model cars will be cruising into Orange County for the Orange County International Auto Show. The show will feature more than 500 new models, exotics, classic cars and more. The event is not just for car enthusiasts, but for families and foodies too. The event features a wide variety of kid-friendly activities, and tasty food. Children attending the Auto Show can participate in mini electric vehicle test rides, a climbing wall, MIND Research Institute’s interactive math and problem solving games, a scavenger hunt, giveaways and more. Plus, all kids under the age of 12 are complimentary with a paid adult admission. Foodies can eat their way around the Auto Show while dining on cuisine from the most popular food trucks in Orange County. Featured food trucks will include The Tasting Spoon, Barcelona on the...

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Does the 2014 Tesla Model S Make a Good Family Car?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in Autos, Family, Featured | 0 comments

 My husband loves cars, and he quickly gets bored with them, so we normally don’t end up keeping cars for very long. While he has found a recent love with his 2013 Mercedes E-class, it has not lived up to being the best full-size family sedan for our family of five. The GPS is difficult to use, the backseat televisions don’t fit well on the back of the head seats, and the gas mileage – the e-class gets pretty close to the same gas milage as my suburban. With that being said – we have recently been in the market for a new family sedan for my husband (family). Driving two vehicles & paying almost $700 a month in gasoline, our eco-foot print on the environment has been disturbing. Having three young children, we feel that we have a...

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Road Tripping with the 2014 Kia Optima SX LTD

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Autos, Family, Featured, Kia | 0 comments

 Courtesy car provided When planning our pre-summer getaway in Palm Springs, I wanted to travel in comfort, so we hit the road in the 2014 Kia Optima SX LTD. This was the first time that my family of five has traveled in anything smaller than a mid-sized SUV, and the car more than exceeded the needs of our family on a long road trip. In the backseat of the car, I was able to fit a booster seat and two pre-teens comfortably. There was plenty of arm and leg room that kept the kids from quarreling along the way. In fact, I was even able to recline the front passenger seat to take a snooze without impacting the kids in the back! I was not the only passenger in the car who took a snooze while driving to Palm...

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Mid Size SUV with Full Size SUV Amenities

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Autos, Family, Featured, Kia | 0 comments

  After having children, I only wanted the largest car on the road. A car that I felt could handle all the needs of our busy lifestyle, but also be the safest on the road. I’ve been driving my full-size SUV around the hilly Orange County community for the past five years, and being impacted with the huge expense of driving such a large vehicle so frequently. We go through brakes at least every three months, and I can never get out of the gas station for under $130 a fill-up. Did I mention that I fill-up 2-3 times a week? That’s what happens when you are driving three kids all around town to their various activities. With the cost of driving our large size SUV impacting our family budget and the concern about the harm, we are doing...

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Looking Further with Ford CEO Alan Mulally

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Autos | 0 comments

 Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the three- day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own. While at the International Auto Show, last week, we had a unique opportunity to learn more about Ford Motor Company from their CEO, Alan Mulally. Mulally served at Boeing for 37 years on the design team for every Boeing airplane. It was not until he got the compelling phone call from Bill Ford that he made the decision to leave Boeing and come to Ford Motor Company. “Ford had some real issues. The economy was slowing down, and the fuel prices were going up.” said Mulally. “Seven years ago, we started out on a journey and made some really big decisions,” said Mulally. One of...

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Family Friendly Features of the New Ford F-150

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Autos, Featured | 0 comments

 Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the three- day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own. There are many families who need a truck for work, but also for fun on the weekends. When Ford debuted their all-new redesigned F-150 truck at the International Auto Show this week, we were curious to see how this new truck will not only perform as a work truck but also meet the needs of families. This all-new truck is one of the most capable pick-up trucks ever designed that we have found to meet many family needs. The new F-150 has gone through over a million miles of testing, has military-grade aluminum alloy body and is offered with four different powerful and fuel-efficient engine...

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