Schools have been showing the balloon on the hair trick to teach students about static electricity for some time now. My daughter just learned it in her preschool’s science class last year. But why stop with that and how different conductors can work? Why not show our kids how it can be applied in a creative sense to better the world? Keep reading for a few ways to teach your kids about power with the help of electric vehicles. Read more
There’s something calming about the beach — Kiddos play nicely, the sound of the waves sooth and you can kinda just be. There’s definitely a reason I frequent beaches despite not being a great swimmer. I drove about 4-5 hours to Mendicino with my mom and kiddo for a few days away while test driving the Lexus RX 350 and we were all a bit sad for our 3 days, 2 nights to be over. Keep reading for things to do with the family when visiting Mendicino. Read more
Are you a fan of hybrids? I wasn’t sure about them at first — The quiet drive and shape of most models was a bit off-putting — but now I adore them! You get used to not hearing anything when you’re in Drive mode, tend to enjoy the benefits of a gas saving vehicle and there are so many body styles out now. The 2016 Toyota Avalon ($32K) completely surprised me with its luxury sedan look and style, so I’m excited to share this option with you in this month’s Car in Review! I took the Avalon (in a pretty blue Night Pearl color) to Carmel-by-the-sea for a little “Me Time,” and also on trips with my grandma (who just moved out my way) during my week-long test drive. Keep reading for the “Oooh” and “Hmm” from my experience driving the 2016 Avalon. Read more
School breaks are fun for the kids, but often leave parents wondering how to entertain the kids and still get some work done. Since my sitting at the computer searching for a logo update was making the kiddo a bit antsy, I decided to take the 2016 Camry SE (Starting at $23,840) I was reviewing during Christmas out for a little adventure to Coyote Hills Regional Park with my sister to keep our kiddos entertained.Keep reading for a recap of our day and my take on Camry’s safe family “sport” car.
Coyote Hills Regional Park is a part of East Bay Parks in California and offers hiking, biking, naturalist programs, butterfly garden, wildlife refuge, and picnic fun. According to their site, there’s about 979 acres of marshland and rolling grasslands, so we thought this would be a great sort of nature learning experience for the kids, too. When I was a kid I went to Coyote Hills and Don Edwards Bridge for field trips where we would dissect owl pellets. As I got older it was just a pretty place to walk and use as a backdrop for photos I took of families. I forgot about it for a bit and never took S here . . until now. Neither kiddo had ever heard of a marsh before, so they learned something when we went! Read more
After having kids any dream of that cherry red sports car is out the window, right? Well not necessarily! Mazda has managed to marry a 5-passenger sedan with a sports car for a little zoom zoom that gives families a sense of safety and vroom. I took the 2016 Mazda6 (Starting at $22K) up to Truckee for Friendsgiving recently (yes, I’ve been going there a lot lately) to test out how it fares on suburban, rural and freeway roads with a kiddo and some Friendsgiving treats in the car. I was surprised by this car, for sure, and you wouldn’t guess why! Keep reading for my “Ooh!” and “Hmm” family car breakdown on the Mazda6. Read more
Have you been to the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area? It’s so nice. Every time I visit is literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. Traffic isn’t as crazy, there are still a lot but not a ton of people (at least when I go during off-season times), and there’s so much to go do and explore. One of the recent spots I visited with S was Donner Lake. It’s a relaxing spot with something for kids and parents alike, and super easy to get to. I was test driving the gas-efficient 2016 Mazda CX-5 (starting at $22K) during our trip, which made it easier to climb the hills and go on the 3-hour drive to get to the Truckee area for Donner Lake (plus hold all our stuff). Once there, I was really surprised by the lake — There are a few playgrounds right on the beach, several picnic areas with some grills and even benches directly in the sand itself. It’s a peaceful and lovely place to visit. Keep reading for a few tips for your own adventure to the lake! Read more
If compact cars and typical crossover SUVs are a bit too small for your family but you aren’t quite ready for a minivan or massive gas guzzler just yet, you’re going to be enamored with September’s Car in Review! The 2016 Kia Sorento is a crossover SUV with a similar size to other crossover SUVs but the luxury of a full-size SUV and intelligent design unlike any other crossover I’ve seen. So what are “Oooh” and “Hmm” bits about this vehicle? Keep reading for the details, and why I’m sad I had to return it after six days of testing. Read more
This month’s Car in Review is a zippy compact car by Mitsubishi — the 2015 Mirage ES. With a starting price of just $14,295 (with manual transmission, $15,395 for CVT), an Eco mode and some nice little add-ons included, it was a fun ride to test out for a week-long experience with the family. Want to know what it’s really like? Keep reading for my honest opinion about how this car handles, fits a family and who I think would fit it best. Read more
This post is about a month overdue. I tested out the Lexus RX 450h (starting at $48,000) shortly after the ES 300h, and it was fantastic. This is only the second car I’ve test driven for Savvy Every Day, and second Lexus I’ve ever driven, but it definitely had some winning points, as well as some pros and cons in comparison to the ES 300h. If you’re deciding between a sedan or crossover SUV, keep reading. Not looking for a car? Keep reading anyway and scroll through some lovely car shots. Read more
Traveling with kids isn’t easy. Not just because they’re not always super cooperative with your travel plans, but it isn’t always easy lugging around everything that comes with the kiddos. Mom Grainne Kelly was tired of of carrying giant boosters on her travels from one country to the next and came up with the idea of a portable booster seat — BubbleBum ($30)! It’s brilliant and I had to try it. Here are some of the reasons I really like this seat (and how you can win one of your own).
1. Simplified Guest Pick Ups
There are times when my mom or I need to pick my nephew up from school or watch him and I thought this seat would be perfect — I can store it in my car without it taking up a ton of room and inflate it in under 20 seconds when needed! My sister can even roll the seat into it’s carrying pouch and place it in his backpack for whoever picks him up that day to make things easier — no more wondering how we’re going to get a car seat for his pick up (or ending up with a bunch of extra car seats taking up space). One thing I will add (since I’m a bit of a germaphobe) is that it would be great if BubbleBum sold silicone covers to go over the valve so that each person using the car seat could have their own designated (color coded) cover to use and disinfect with ease.
2. Easy to Use
All you need to do is open the booster seat air valve, blow into it until the seat is firm and fully inflated, close the valve, then attach the booster seat to the seat belt of the car. If your child needs you to add the seat belt positioning clip, the seat comes with this to use as well. (It’s important that you clip the seat in for safety, like any car seat). I really like that this booster has that added safety feature, actually — most backless booster seats I see in stores just sit on the seat with the seat belt buckling as normal. The BubbleBum booster seat sits on the car seat and clips into the seat belt before buckling as normal. When you’re done with the seat just deflate it and put it back in the bag (unless you’re going to use it in the same car again).
3. Cute (and Safe) Stand Out Design
The BubbleBum booster is an award-winning seat that meets all safety requirements for seats in the U.S.! I especially love the black and white zig zag print with the pink and highlighter yellow lettering of the BubbleBum seat I picked out (called Neon Pink), it reminds me of the 80s in a super fun way. Both the booster seat and carrying bag have very bright colors, making them easy to find in a messy trunk, an overflowing backpack . . . or in your luggage! The seat is a lot smaller than typical booster seats, making fitting more seats simple, but also may not be best for long car rides if your kiddo needs a fuller seat. It would be fun to have a color your seat option, or label to write your information in case of loss in the future, but these seats are super cute as-is..
My daughter loves the colors and says that the pink really makes it hers. [Though this seat is rated for ages 4-11 and 40-100 pounds (up to 57″), my daughter is still in a rear facing car seat and I don’t plan on using a backless booster for her until she’s much older (which makes it perfect for my 7-year-old nephew), but she knows it’s her future big girl car seat that she’s letting others use for now.]
Forget lugging your car seat across airport terminals, attempting to stack it on your pile of luggage to make it to the airplane or worrying about how baggage check may be treating your car seat behind the scenes — with a BubbleBum it simply fits in your carry on and is ready to use in the rental car or cab in under a minute after you get off the airplane. This booster also simplifies the car seat Tetris some families have to play since it’s so small, making three across a cinch.
Overall, this is a fantastic product that will likely have more new and exciting offerings in the future! Want to try it out for yourself? Enter to win one below!
BubbleBum sent me a Neon Pink booster seat for this review and is providing a seat for the giveaway. All opinions are my own, no other compensation given.