Be Prepared for an Emotional Rant

Daughter

Be prepared for an emotional rant-

I had a huge reality check tonight. I was texting with Nevaeh (my oldest daughter) before she went off to bed and this is how we ended our conversation:

Me- GN my love. I love you with all that I am.

Her- GN Mommy. I love you with all that I am and all that I will be one day. I will make you proud I promise.

Instantly took my breath away. How could she be this wise and such a deep soul at the age of 11?

If she could only see herself through my eyes. Then she would see how proud of her I truly am already. She’s such a blessing and I couldn’t ask for a more loving and caring little girl to call my own. I’m far from the perfect Mom I thought I would be and I have always envisioned that every mistake I have ever made was slowly screwing her up. This one little text proved me wrong.

So to all of you Moms that think you are doing it wrong, you’re not!

Just remember, birthday parties don’t have to be a competition, food doesn’t have to be organic and they don’t have to have $200 sneakers for them to know that you love them.

Much of what our kids will remember will have nothing to do with whether their mac ’n’ cheese was served on personalized plates made of glass you blew yourself.

Keep loving them unconditionally and  keep doing your best. Make sure your child’s life is full of meaningful, fun and oh so precious memories that they will never forget. They get it. Probably even more than we do.

Life is Too Short to Worry About…

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Sometimes my life feels like it’s stuck in neutral – like I’m stuck in an endless loop of introduction with no progress. Ugh! It’s during these times in my life that I stop, sit down, close my eyes, and reset my brain for 10 minutes. In doing this, I drop my so-called “problems” from my mind and awaken feeling fresh and energized. Long before I was some new-agey blogger with an agenda, I try to remember the days when my cell phone wasn’t always within reach and I wasn’t always running in circles. Here is a list of “things” and problems I found myself worrying about far too often before I started living for today. Tomorrow may never be here so why spend your precious moments in worry?

Life is too short to worry about…

– Being Perfect

There really is no such thing! You need to accept yourself and love yourself for who you are. If you don’t love something about yourself, change it! But never worry about being perfect. Just learn, grow and continue moving forward.

– What People Think

I used to be someone who was always worried about what other people thought of me. I didn’t want to upset anyone or would always try to blend in. thankfully those days are long gone. Now I feel so free to be myself. Life is too short to worry about other people’s opinions. Live your life for yourself. You only get one chance at it.

– Growing Older

Guilty. As many of you know I will be turning 30 this year and it’s hitting me harder than I expected it to. When you are younger and you think of a higher age it’s always with disgust. Since there really isn’t anything we can do about it, we might as well embrace it to the fullest. With age comes wisdom. Use it!

– The Past

We have all faced obstacles in our past. There’s no need to run from or be ashamed of who you are or where you came from, but don’t let what happened to you distract you from your personal goals. Learn from your hardships, and continue to fight harder. The only way you can continue being effected by something that already happened is if you allow it. Let go and let God!

– A Messy House

I love a clean house just as much as the next person, but I do not freak out about messes. There is a time and a place for everything and when your kids are running around being silly and having fun, that is not the time for stressing out. The broom and mop will be there long after the kids move out, but those silly sounds of laughter and joy won’t be. And yes, I know the difference between dirty and lived in. Life is too short to worry about a messy living room.

– Bills

Taxes and death are far from the only guarantees you will have in life. You’ll repeatedly have your heart broken, you will love deeply, tomorrow will not be the same as today. And you’ll have a hard time in life without paying bills. Whether they are monthly, quarterly, or annually, unfortunately bills are relentless. If you ignore them, they only get bigger, louder, and more destructive. Nobody wants that. The thing is: we all have bills… and letting them run your life isn’t going to improve the quality any time soon. Life is too short to worry about bills.

– Haters

Think about all the celebrities we don’t really care about: Justin Bieber is severely overrated and LeBron James is no Michael Jordan. Regardless of how you may feel about these people, they do have successful careers. They get their share of hate mail, but successful people continue doing what they’re doing so why wouldn’t we? Life is too short to worry about the people trying to bring you down. No matter who you are, you are going to have haters if you are doing it right.

– What Other People Are Doing

If you’re constantly following the example of others, you’ll never get ahead in life. They’re not paying your bills or putting food on your table. Be sure to walk your own path and be an inspiration to others. Life is far too short to worry about what other people are doing. Put that time and energy into a better you.

– The Small Stuff

Little things go wrong every day in life. This morning I woke up late, was a dollar short for a tea, got splashed by a car walking through the parking lot, tripped going up the stairs, and realized my zipper was down for a really important meeting. So what! If you consider that a bad day, you’re archiving your life all the wrong way. Instead of getting frustrated by the little things, focus on all the positives. The sunrise, your children’s laughter, the smell of the fresh air, your favorite food, love of all kinds – there are entirely too many great things happening on a day to day basis to worry about the little annoyances in life. Life is too short to worry about the small stuff.

Life is too short to hold grudges

Life is too short to not be yourself

Life is too short to live with regrets

Life is too short to be scared

Life is too short to lose friendships

Life is too short not to love

Life’s too short to dwell on anything for too long unless it makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Anything else is just a waste of time. Don’t learn the hard way after it’s far too late. Time doesn’t come back.

2015 Chevy Silverado – An American weekend

“We traveled south to the state of Kentucky to celebrate America’s birthday in style. Bbq, fireworks, American V8 muscle, and a cabin deep in the woods were the ingredients for a 4th of July our family will never forget”

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Most of our 4th of July family celebrations have consisted of grilling steaks, burning some sparklers with the kids, followed by bed time. So this time we set out to do something special, something everyone would cherish, but most of all — something with American flair.

Hoping to check a few boxes off our travel and car-nerd bucket lists, we chose to head south on Interstate-65 to Kentucky — home to American landmarks like the Louisville Slugger and Makers Mark Whiskey. Although the only landmark I was interested in, was one much more exciting. The Bowling Green GM Assembly Plant, home to America’s sports car, the poor man’s Ferrari — the Chevy Corvette.

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We had chosen our destination, now it was time to find a place to stay, and because we set out to make this a truly memorable trip we knew a hotel room just wouldn’t cut it. We quickly deployed our Airbnb app and found the perfect place, a barn-apartment (yes, such thing exists) on a 225 acre lot just fifteen miles outside of Bowling Green.

  • Destination – Check
  • Place to stay – Check
  • Attractions – Check
  • Transportation – ???

As the trip started taking shape, transportation was the last piece of the puzzle yet to be figured out, and because of our American theme, my Honda Civic and Missi’s VW Beetle just wouldn’t fit the bill. So…

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Chevrolet came to the rescue and offered us a brand new (2,000 miles old) 2015 Silverado LT Z71 Crew Cab! Sure it would’ve been great to drive a hot Corvette to celebrate America’s birthday, but this was a family trip, and the Silverado set out to play protagonist of our weekend story.

First, let’s travel back in time to establish the the legacy of the American pick up truck. Chevrolet was the first company to roll out a fully factory assembled pick-up truck in 1930, as all trucks were sold as chassis only prior to that, giving patrons a chance to fit their own cargo containers in the rear. By the 1950’s the pick-up truck had become an icon of the American working class, but surprisingly so, the pick-up made its way into the middle class, where owners bought them for their convenience, reliability and overall functionality to haul people and cargo.

Our stay

It was our first time in Kentucky and we didn’t really know what to expect, specially in a city/town like Bowling Green, as we weren’t sure if there was much more to it than the GM plant, but everything turned out perfect.

Our Airbnb host was an extremely nice and caring lady that not only welcomed us with lots of farm fresh goodies, but even took time to show us around the massive property in a golf-cart — which the kids were dying to drive. The barn-apartment was exactly that, a real farm barn with room for animals below, and a country-rustic apartment with a loft, balcony, and even a suspension bridge that shuttled you over a creek and deep into the woods. It was incredible!

After spending almost all of Friday at the grounds, everything looked to be lining up for a sweet weekend. Except for the weather…

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4th of July

Being on Central time but our internal clocks still on Eastern time meant we woke up just a tad ahead of schedule, but we used our time wisely and enjoyed a tasty breakfast in the balcony overlooking the trees and wildlife.

My son Ryan and I left the girls behind as they chose to enjoy the peaceful country, so we could do something a bit more — thrilling.

Travel along I-65 and you’ll see signs to the National Corvette Museum everywhere, but just in case you miss them, follow the caravans of Corvette owners driving their beloved Vette’s. You can’t get lost.

We spent some time taking photos at the General Motors Assembly plant where every single Corvette in the entire world has been built (except for the 1953 first-gen). We had the chance to see some impressive Z06 test cars, and even drive on a Corvette test track, both Ryan and I were like kids in a candy store.

After checking out the assembly plant we drove next door to the National Corvette Museum, checked out the amazing displays, and even had lunch at the Corvette Cafe. And by the way, their grilled cheese sandwich is delicious!

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The Truck

My very first car was a Silverado, a gorgeous dark blue 4WD-Z71 LT extended cab cleverly named — Blue. But things have changed radically for the Silverado since then, it’s now much more refined and grown up, the interior is more sophisticated, the ride is like that of a sedan than a work truck.

Get on the highway and you will quickly realize that you have to watch the speedo, as with its firm suspension and quiet cabin you can quickly crack 90-mph or more. Imagine explaining to the Police that you were speeding because your truck is just too quite and comfortable. LOL

Using the never-ending storms throughout our stay as an excuse, I had the chance to put the Silverado’s off-roading capabilities, which just like my old truck — didn’t disappoint. But this Silverado deploys all-new technology that I’ve never used before. One of those cool new gadgets is Hill Descent Control.

Luckily, I found a big hill to show how it works :)

I was pleased to see features like: storage compartments under the rear bench, which were perfect for throwing the kids’s muddy shoes after the farm, power sliding rear window which kids think is the coolest thing ever, plenty of USB charging plugs, and even a household 120-volt plug. Although collectively our most favorite feature is the 4G LTE Hot-Spot, not only did this allow Missi to knock out a few work things on her laptop, but the kids connected their iPads and enjoyed a few games and movies! (Yes, they live a rough life)

More importantly, the Silverado has become a more convenient and family friendly truck, which succeeds at bridging the gap between work truck and family vehicle.

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Overall, our trip was incredible. We played in our 225-acre playground until exhaustion, we witnessed incredible fireworks atop Cherry Hall at Western Kentucky University, we witnessed grown and baby wild turkeys, and we did all of that on the truck that helped shape modern America. We originally set out to enjoy a cool 4th of July trip, but without realizing it, we did so much more. We grabbed everything that is amazing and cool about America, pieced it together, and made it happen. Mission Accomplished.

2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 4wd LT Crew

Base Price: $26,105 (Base Model 2wd)

Price as tested: $51,805

Click here to check out this awesome Airbnb property.

(Disclosure: We did not receive any discount or hospitality on behalf of the property host or Airbnb)

 

More photos:

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SOUFEEL Bracelet Review & Discount Code

I received the below-mentioned awesome toy for review, but no other compensation was awarded. Any opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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SOUFEEL Bracelet Review & Discount Code

Unlike most women, I am not one that crazy over jewelry. It is very pretty to look at and looks amazing on, I just always seem to “forget about it”. So when I do wear jewelry I try to make sure it has some sort of meaning.

One of my favorite styles of jewelry has always been silver bead bracelets, but I never actually owned one. I wanted a really good one and never could find the exact style I was looking for. That was until I was given the opportunity to check out a company called SOUFEEL and I am so excited to share my experience with all of you!

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I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first that the quality would be good because of their great prices. Much to my surprise the charms and the bracelet exceeded my expectations. I love that Soufeel’s bracelets are 925 sterling silver and I don’t have to worry about it breaking my sensitive skin out or damaging easily.

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I was quite impressed with how nicely my SOUFEEL Bracelet came packaged with a gift box and a gift bag. Then inside the box each bead was individually wrapped in a tiny plastic baggie to keep it protected. That was greatly appreciated. Especially if you wanted to do an order for you and added a few extra charms as a gift for someone else. No need to tear anything apart.

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Each piece feels solid and beautiful to look at. Not cheap at all. All of the beads are 925 sterling silver and can fit Pandora and Chamilia bracelets, but at a much more affordable price.

The selection of beads at SOUFEEL is awesome and they are adding new beads every month. I chose a few different ones that represent who I am as a person. Plus, the clasp is super easy to use. I can actually close it by myself and it feels nice and secure. I’ve gotten it caught on a few things like while doing laundry or picking up my daughter and it has never come undone. Thankfully.. I would be heartbroken.

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SOUFEEL has some great offers, too. When you spend $59, $79 or $99, you will get a pair of free earrings, a free charm and enjoy a free sterling silver bracelet! SCORE!! They offer FREE shipping worldwide with orders over $50 and 365-day return and exchange guarantee! You can’t really beat that

Soufeel While wearing my SOUFEEL Bracelet I have gotten a lot of compliments and people asking where I got it from. Makes me feel good knowing other people would enjoy their items as well. Look how beautiful it is!

SOULFEEL REVIEW

Go take a look for yourself and fall in love. They have launched lots of New Arrivals on website and  new registered customers will get 20 FREE points which means get $2.00 for free!  Use code Missi5off to enjoy 5% off any order!!!

I would love to see which items are your favorite!

Everyday Essential Oil Uses

Have you heard of essential oils yet? Who am I kidding… these oils are all the rage right now! I know you have at least heard of them. And yes, oh yes, I jumped on the bandwagon. I hate to call this a “new phase” because, really, essential oils have been around for an extremely long time.

I’m sure you have seen the posts about how oils have been life changing for people. I was a little skeptical at first because there is always something that people are raving about. I just don’t have the money to jump on board with every new thing, so I typically don’t care or give in. BUT when your kids are in and out of the doctors office week after week you start to become desperate. Reallllly desperate. I was willing to try something else. Anything else, to help my babies stay more healthy.

So I did it. I bought a starter kit. I was determined to give this a good shot and see if it made a difference for my family…. mostly my kids. Now I am not going to lie to you, I still hit up the Motrin and Tylenol bottle. Sometimes I just don’t have time to rub them down with oils and play with a combination, my patience level when they are both sick is about zero.

I am getting better at trying new oily things and doing my research. Don’t think that you have to order your oils and have it all figured out. I am still learning and researching and pinning things like crazy to get a better handle on essential oils. There is a right and wrong way to use them. If you are nervous about using a combination of oils, my rule of thumb is to just diffuse and don’t apply. You really can’t go wrong with diffusing.

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This post isn’t to convince you to buy a starter kit, and you don’t have to jump on board. BUT I am finding more and more uses for Young Living Essential Oils, and I wanted to give an honest review of what is working for me. There are so many benefits from using them, and I love that oils are a natural approach to our physical well being.

How can you incorporate these oils into your everyday life? That’s what I’m here for today. Simple, easy uses for oils that everyone could use. I mean who doesn’t want whiter teeth and a better nights sleep? Yeah, that’s what I thought… read on friends.

You can scour Pinterest for ideas, like I did, but I am going to share some of my favorite everyday easy oil uses. Start small and work your way in to them. Using oils doesn’t mean forgoing modern medicine in my book. You can take baby steps and find ways to use them that work for you.

 

Everyday Oil Use #1

Diffuse Cedarwood and Peace & Calming at Nightcedarwood-peace-and-calming-oil-pinterest-image

Both of these oils promote a relaxing and calming atmosphere when diffused, which has helped my kids sleep more soundly at night. I’m sure you won’t complain that your kids are sleeping too good at night. So it’s worth a shot. The room will smell pretty great, too!

 

 

Everyday Oil Use #2

Whiten Your Teeth with Orange Oil

Aorange-oil-pinterest-imagenother area that no one would say no to – whiter teeth! No one likes coffee or tea stained teeth. Flash that pretty white smile by splashing one drop of Orange oil on your toothpaste and brush away. It tastes delish and whitens. Win-win! {I use this just for me… it just doesn’t seem appropriate for a 1 year old ;)}

 

 

Everyday Oil Use #3

Diffuse Thieves and Lemon to promote healinglemon-thieves-pinterest-image

Do your kids have stuffy noses? Can you sense a sickness headed your way? Did your kids puke all over their cribs like mine did and the room seemed full of bacteria?  Diffuse Thieves and Lemon in the room throughout the day. This may help reduce the bacteria in the air, and lessen the duration of your child’s sickness. You can thank me later for this one.

 

 

Everyday Oil Use #4

Roll Stress Away on the inside of your wrists

stress-away-pinterest-imageAs a mom of two easygoing, perfectly behaved busy toddlers, I have my moments where I think I’m going to lose it. Like scream, kick, yell, hit, all out tantrum {I learned this from my kids}. This motherhood thing isn’t so easy, and sometimes I just need a boost. Wine at 9:00 in the morning just doesn’t seem appropriate most days. I rub Stress Away on my wrists to feel calmer and less frustrated when I’m having a rough morning or afternoon or day. It smells so good and brings me down a few notches. Mommies… this one is a lifesaver :)

 

Everyday Oil Use #5

Panaway for Sore Musclespanaway-pinterest-image

I think at the end of every single day my shoulders are sore. It used to be from nursing I think, but now it’s from carrying around two toddlers throughout the day. And probably from all the other things required of a mommy. Panaway works wonderful on sore muscles. Using any type of carrier oil (about a tablespoon) add two drops of Panaway and rub into sore muscles. Find relief from the beautiful weight of motherhood (or whatever else is heavy on your shoulders).

 

 

An easy list to apply everyday day, am I right?! I’m sure most of you are already working on many of the things I talked about. I’m telling you, these help! Oils have so many benefits, I just scratched the surface with this post. Try them out and see what you think. I’m pretty okay with NOT going to the doctors office every week. But that’s just me. Oh, and many of the oils mentioned above are in the starter kit.

Happy Oiling,

Ali

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Ali is the mommy of two super adorable and busy toddlers. Wife to a pretty incredible husband. She writes about it over at Little Miss Poof. Her talents include, but are not limited to, making rockin’ homemade rice krispie treats, poofing her otherwise flat hair, downing cups of coffee and drinking cheap white wine on occasion.

Lexus RC-F. A Father’s Day Fantasy

Ties, fancy razors, golf balls and power tools. All examples of Father’s Day presents I’m thankful I did not receive this year. Instead, Lexus let me loose with the direct descendant of their LFA supercar — the 2015 Lexus RC-F. Talk about a Father’s Day Fantasy…

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I’ve spent the last few days trying to sum up a 467-horsepower, rear-wheel drive, turn-heads-wherever-it-goes type of car? So, I figured I’d put you in the driver’s seat and bring you along for the ride, that’s why I’ve made sure to load you up with tons of awesome photos, but most importantly, a video that will make you wonder how it is that I do this for a living. After all, it’s Father’s Day weekend and it’s time to have a little fun. Let’s go!

It was the Thursday morning leading up to Father’s Day weekend, but it may as well have been Christmas Morning. I knew what was bound to happen, soon I’d get a phone call from a really nice guy telling me he’s fifteen minutes away from my house. What’s he bringing? A 2015 Ultrasonic Blue Lexus RC-F loaded with all the goodies, and a window sticker of $75,210. The best part? I had it all to myself for a whole week. Score!

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The moment you step into the driver’s seat, you realize you’re sitting in something special, but most of all, that this isn’t your grandpa’s Lexus. Welcome to a whole different type of Lexus, one with hand-crafted sports seats that would make a Lamborghini owner jealous, an exhaust note that makes an Audi S4 sound like tiny Chihuahua, and a ride firmness that would leave long-time Lexus owners in utter shock. But that’s OK. Because Lexus designed the RC-F to satisfy a different clientele, and it took me all of five minutes to realize that, and approve of it.

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So I officially had the keys to an RC-F. I had this beautiful, gorgeous work of engineering with super sticky tires, race-inspired seats, a roaring exhaust that puts tuner cars to shame, sexy curves that make a Victoria’s Secret model jealous. And what exactly did I do with this car? I parked it. Yup, I drove it right into my spot, locked it and went inside. A thunderstorm was approaching, and I didn’t want my first street drive to be spoiled by slick roads, or even worse, a rear end collision courtesy of a crazy driver.

The rain stopped, and a few hours later we drove it to the grocery store. What can I say — I live a dangerous life, and I tell everyone about it.

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Then the RC-F turned me into a Kardashian. I can’t believe I just typed that.

At the grocery store, the movie theater, the gas station, on the highway, and at stop lights. People swinging out their smartphones and snapping photos left and right, that’s when I learned what it feels like to be a Kardashian, or Justin Bieber.(What is wrong with me and these comparisons?)

Even at our local Cars and Coffee gathering, the RC-F sat next to an Audi RS7, and very bright Volcano Orange Aston Martin Vantage. Guess which car dominated social media? The Lexus! Or, to keep with the Kardashian theme, I was driving the Kim, everyone else was the Khloe.

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Then my neighbors envied me.

And maybe even hated me a little for my early morning cold start ups. The throaty exhaust note sounded even more sexy with that initial bark. Then the neighborhood’s avid exercisers stared at it as they jogged by, wondering, what the heck?

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Step on the throttle and hear the naturally aspirated V-8 come to life in an angry and thundering manner, as you feel your body compress against the exquisite seats, and in my case, watch the kids gasp in disbelief. Before you know it, the tachometer needle is banging on 7,000 rpm’s and it’s time to upshift. And, even though shifting up is fun, shifting down delights you with an orchestra of gurgling, popping, and rev blipping sounds — that’s when you realize the RC-F definitely has some LFA in its DNA.

All things that go fast must eventually slow down, and although the RC-F doesn’t sport fancy pants carbon-ceramic brakes, they sure feel like the next best thing. Step on them in a hurry and you’ll be glad you buckled up, otherwise — See ya! (Hopefully you did buckle up).

In all seriousness, the RC-F can’t quite compete against the agility and brutality of some of Germany’s muscle. But you know what? I can live with that, because it actually excels at being a livable car, I could actually drive this everyday — with kids. Turn the dial on ECO mode to tame the beast under the hood and enjoy a subtle, smooth, and luxurious ride during your daily commute. Not to mention I easily fit my daughter’s RECARO car seat in the back, where two sets of ISOFIX latches allow you to choose a left or right mounting position. So I made sure to buckle her on the passenger side, as Missi requires less leg room, and I could still fit my son behind my seat. All of the sudden, the RC-F became our primary family car!

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I hope the photos and video relay how much fun we had with the RC-F, but I also apologize if you wanted to learn more informatio about this car, and I’ve failed to provide you with such. But thankfully you’ll find a million other sites out there with brake rotor diameter specs, 0-60mph times, and fuel capacity figures.

The RC-F isn’t clinical and dry-humored like the Germans, there is actually soul to it, and that’s what I hope I was able to share with you. The looks of it, the feeling of it, the look in mine and my kids’s faces when the car came to life. That’s what makes this car cool, and different from the rest.

2015 Lexus RC-F

Starts at: $62,400

Price as tested: $75,210

Options Breakdown:

  • Torque Vectoring Differential $1,750
  • 19-inch allow wheels $1,500
  • Leather trimmed interior $800
  • Navigation/Mark Levinson package $2,840
  • Special paint $595
  • Premium package $4,400

 

More Photos: (By Jerry Perez and Matthieu Picard)

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All Hail The 2015 Nissan Murano

“I totally love this car, I’d so buy one”, said Missi as she drove the Murano on a Starbucks run. We had just spent twenty of the last twenty-four hours driving from Indianapolis, to San Antonio, Texas. But first, we made a pit-stop in Dallas to pick-up a 2015 Murano Platinum AWD. The rest is, well — read on.

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It was just back in February that we chose the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano as our favorite car of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, a “title” that originated mainly from its striking looks, specs, price, etc. Fast forward four months, and we finally had the chance to put the Murano through a thorough real-world test. In fact, so real, that we threw all of our family in it, packed the trunk to the roof, and drove nearly a thousand miles across traffic infested metropolises, charming small towns, and even some cows. All in scorching heat, typhoon-like storms, and just about anything else Texas could throw at us. (No cows were hurt in the making of this article. Actually, a turtle was rescued)

What is this Murano you speak of?

The Nissan Murano has established a reputation of combining fairly risqué design, along with everyday convenience and reliability since it first came to life in 2002. And the risqué part of the equation couldn’t be more palpable than in this 2015 model, just look at the thing — it’s mean!

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How mean?

A muscular hood, spaceship look alike headlights, rocket-thruster looking taillights, and a “floating” roof design, are all queues that make the Murano stand out from the competition. Now, I get what you are thinking, it sounds crazy, and shouty. Well… Shouty? Maybe, but in a good way. Crazy? No way Jose. Because let’s face it, who wants to drive a boring car? (If you answered Yes, click the X on the corner of your screen)

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What about the interior?

Yes. I can picture an entire team at Nissan working overtime to develop their so called “Social Lounge” interior, which they claim “encourages communication between front and rear occupants”. Uhh… what? I can tell you that at no point did I feel more or less encouraged to communicate with my children, or at least not more than when driving other cars. But what I can tell you, is that they designed a heck of an interior. Comfortable, cooled and heated leather seats pamper the front passengers, while spacious, accommodating, and also heated leather wraps the back seat — a.k.a Kid Kingdom.

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How does it drive?

Despite being just a foot shorter than a Chevy Tahoe (192-in. vs 204-in.), the Murano is extremely nimble and light on it’s feet. Actually, there was this specific moment while driving solo, that I flicked the front end into a right turn and gave it a generous amount of throttle right as I nailed the apex — in the rain. The Murano dove into the turn, kept its composure, and quickly propelled out in go-kart-like fashion. Nissan’s all-wheel drive, vehicle dynamic control, and traction control system, along with it’s fine tuned chassis made the Murano transmit feelings of confidence and capability.

As I mentioned before, we spent some serious time driving the Murano, and overall Missi and I were very pleased with its road composure. Although, I have to admit that I sort of “wanted” to hate the CVT (continuously variable transmission) based on previous experiences, but I was pleasantly surprised with its buttery smooth shifts, and lighting-quick revs. We’ve already established that the kids will be happy in the back seat, but now we know that Mom and Dad will also have a blast behind the wheel.

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Is it safe?

Technology is a beautiful thing, but it’s even more beautiful when it’s used for something like passenger safety. The Murano employs high-tech safety features like Predictive Forward Collision warning, which detects when an object in front of you comes to a sudden stop. If it does, the Murano will warn you with a loud BEEP, and if you fail to react, the Forward Emergency Braking system could even apply the brakes for you if needed. Thankfully — none of those systems were tested by us. But, we did test the Rear Cross Traffic Alert system, which warned us when an object like a car or a bicycle crossed behind us, and of course, my favorite — Intelligent Cruise Control. Just set it, and forget it!

Unfortunately, some events are out of our control, and accidents do happen. Below are the 2015 Nissan Murano IIHS and NHTSA safety ratings.

Murano-IIHS-ratings

Murano-NHTSA-ratings

Overall

In our original Murano article written in February, I raised the question of whether 260-horsepower were enough to properly carry the Murano, and I also wondered why Nissan skipped on features like steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Well, the Murano certainly isn’t short on power, and I can also tell you that not once did I go, HMM… I really wish I had paddle shifters. The Murano is simply a great overall package.

Missi and I get to drive and test a lot of cars, and although we don’t love all of them, we always sit back and try to understand the car and the purpose that it’s meant to fulfill. That being said, we’ve yet to walk away from a car that we’ve loved as much as we do the Murano, as we believe it contains the four basic requirements for a perfect buy — it looks good, it drives good, it’s safe, and it’s affordable. Thanks, Nissan.

The Great:

  • It meets our criteria for the “perfect buy”
  • It drives as spirited as it looks
  • Outstanding safety ratings
  • Great build quality means it’s family-proof

The not so Great:

  • Blind Spot Warning sensors kept glitching and working intermittently. (Not uncommon in pre-production test models like ours, but still something to look at.)
  • Our navigation unit was very, very lost in downtown San Antonio.
  • We wish it had a flip down mirror to check on the kids.

 

2015 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

Starts at: $29,560 (S-FWD)

Price as tested: $43,745

 

More photos:

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Minion Mix Recipe

minion mix recipe

Minion Mix Recipe

Minions have taken over the world! I mean, how can you NOT love them? With their new movie coming out it was only appropriate that we join in on the obsession and make a yummy treat your kids will surly love.  Don’t worry, there’s nothing despicable about this delicious recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags of Muddy Buddies (We used the peanut butter kind and the brownie kind.)
  • 1 cup pretzel sticks
  • M&M’s (Pick out the yellow and blue candies.  If you would like you can buy the candy in single colors to save some time.  You can find the yellow here and the blue here.)
  • 1 container of Wilton Candy Eyes

minion mix ingredients

Instructions:

Mix the Muddy Buddies and pretzel sticks together.

minion in process

Sprinkle with the Wilton Candy Eyes

minion mix in process 2

Add in the M&M’s

minion mix in process 3

 

Serve and enjoy!

minion mix close up

 

Check out these awesome Minion Party Supplies while you are here!

DIY Car Picture Frame

DIY Car Picture Frame

DIY Car Picture Frame

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Wondering what to get the Dad that has everything? How about make him something! Here is a super easy DIY Car Picture Frame any guy is sure to love. The best part is the kids can help you make it. We got everything from the Dollar Store and spent less than $5.00! But Dad doesn’t have to know that.

This is what you will need:

– Picture of your choice
– Frame
– Packages of toy cars
– Glue gun

Supplies

Place the desired picture into the frame.

Frame

Start gluing the pictures around the frame strategically, making a nice even boarder.

car frame

Continue until the entire from is covered.

Frame done

This frame will look super cute hanging in a garage, man cave or sitting on a desk.

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The Power of Makeup! For Those Who Just Don’t Get it….

So I am going to show you something that most people around me have never even seen before. Me without makeup! Gasp! It might not sound like a big deal, but I am “one of those” that never leaves home without it. And it really makes me sad that makeup has such a bad wrap. Makeup is clearly a choice. I don’t wear it to hide or to change who I am. I wear it because of the way it makes me feel. But we will get into that in just a second. So here it is, my #nomakeup, #nofilter, #selfie.

no makeup

Ok, now that THAT is over… Let’s talk about the power of makeup. So many people think that women wear it because they are insecure or they don’t love themselves. I beg to differ. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you the reason why I wear makeup and it’s neither of those.

makeup for those who don't get it

 

I wear makeup because it’s the one and only thing I do for myself and it makes me feel good. I don’t go get manicures or pedicures. I don’t go get weekly massages or have a Bingo night. I wear makeup because I can go in the bathroom and have 10 minutes of just me time. My time to reflect on the day. At some point between rolling out of bed and stepping out the door, we all perform some sort of ritual of grooming. Mine just involves makeup!

makeup

Now don’t get me wrong. I also wear makeup because it makes me feel so much more empowered and confident. As many of you know, I work in the media. I cover a lot of press events and I get to meet a lot of really cool people. Makeup gives me that extra boost of confidence that I wouldn’t have without it. Sounds superficial? Well it’s not! To me it’s more of a mind over matter. People wear certain clothes because they are comfortable or they love the way they look. Makeup is the same for me. I am still the same person.

before and after

Do what makes you feel good. Don’t wear makeup because you feel obligated to do so. Wear makeup because you enjoy it and because of the way it makes you feel. To me, makeup is a form of art and expression. Feel free to express yourself!! There are no rules when using makeup. Try out new techniques and wear it proud.

Needless to say, you are beautiful whether you choose to wear makeup or not. Don’t judge other’s for their choice.

Check out my Prestige Cosmetic Review!