Reminder! Today only (5/10), you head over to your local participating Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop to score a FREE Single Scoop Cone! This is valid between the hours of 4PM-8PM! No coupon or purchase is needed.Click here for their store locator.

Mechanics 101

Be sure to  check out my latest article on Mechanics  for your car on

You woke up this morning to a sunny, breezy spring day. It's days like this when you want to simply stay in bed, but you have a strong desire to be able to buy groceries, pay monthly bills, which of course includes your new car payment, so you roll out of bed and head to the bathroom to start your morning, but wondering why life was so unfair and you were not born into a wealthy family!

Today you need to go and get your oil changed and monthly maintenance on your car. This is your first new car so it's important to keep her looking good, plus keeping your car in tip top shape also makes you not dread making the payment each month. Looking out the window, you see your car beaming in the sun and it
makes you feel good to be able to afford to have bought it. Your smiling with pride as you head out the door to work.

Keeping your car in tip top shape doesn't have to be a dreaded chore or expensive upkeep.  Many people I know have the tendency to become "a shade tree mechanic" once your warranty runs out, but they need to remember that cars and trucks are not necessarily built like the older models that our Dad's could maintain at home. Gone are the days when you could slide under your car with a couple of tools and slide back out with a small part that needs replaced in your hand.
Cars today are born with computers, made by robots and the car just doesn't work the same way as it did.

 At one time you could stick a key in it and crank her up and  be ready for a road trip, but today many cars don't have keys, they are simply started with a touch of a button, which of course makes it difficult for the "shade tree mechanic" to be able to remove a part and replace it with a new one and put you back on the road quickly without special tools. We may not be able to work on our cars as we did, but there are few things all new drivers need to know how to do before getting on the road.

Mechanic's 101 is something we all need to know about. When my daughter first started driving there were seven things we wanted to make sure she knew how to
do in case she became stranded on the road.

 #1 Changing a flat tire. Sounds simple, but once you actually do it, you learn quickly its not that easy to do, but in the driveway with no help from Dad who of course was standing by, she learned to change it. Try to picture a female teenager who doesn't  like to get dirty change a tire for the first time. Let's just say that yes she became frustrated and Dad almost stepped in and took over, but after a few broken nails and greasy hands she was all smiles when she did it all by herself!

#2. Be able to change your oil or check on it. We recommended that she go to a shop to have it changed, but she needed to know how to check to see if it was low.

#3. Check and adjust tire pressure. It can be dangerous to drive on tires that are over or under inflated, plus it can affect the gas mileage.

#4. Know how to change the windshield wiper fluid.  You will be able to drive better if you can see out of your windshield.

#5. Replace windshield wiper blades. This can be very important, especially if you live in weather that has a lot of snow and rain. Make sure your blades or not old and are in good working order at all times. You can get the sizes in a book at the auto store and yes sometimes the staff will help you replace them, but not always so know to do it.

6#. Know how to jumpstart or change a battery and always have battery cables in your trunk, you will never know when you will need them.

#7. Know what to do if you do break down. Make sure you always have your roadside assistance card and number handy or your emergency numbers to call. Be sure to have your updated car insurance card and driver license easy to find. Make sure you are on the side of the road and not in the way of traffic.  Make sure your cell phone is charged so you can make the necessary calls to get help. Just remember try to remain calm, help is on the way and this is not the end of the world! Plus stay off your cell phone, you need to makes sure the battery stays charged, so this is not the time to play on facebook while your waiting for help. Stay safe, keep all doors locked until help arrives,

I feel better now knowing she knows how to take care of herself if or when she breaks down, but it also doesn't hurt to have in your car a first aid kit, water, blankets, flashlight and maybe crackers just in case you are stranded for a longer time then expected.

With all this knowledge I feel happy and content to say it's time now to enjoy your new freedom and start making your on road trip memories!

Road Trip Packing

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Do you really have to bring everything we own to pick up the new car? Sometimes we have the tendency to pack too much when we get ready for a trip, but what if you need what you leave behind is always what will stay on my mind the entire road trip, but traveling with kids can be tricky, you just never know what you might need and so you find yourself packing shorts and jackets!
It had been a long time since we have had a new car, especially a new car that had room enough for two adults and three boys under the age of 5. You find yourself looking up to the hubby and shaking your head to his request to pack light. Why would you, this new car is a mini-van with loads of space to stretch out in. Besides we will be cramped for a short period of time now, but we will be riding in style with tons of space in just a few hours. Well little did we know hubby decided to cut back on few coats I had packed for the kids. It was the beach, who needs jackets?
Some new cars are now coming out with built in car seats for kids, but is this worth the extra charge and is it safe?
It seems like a smart move for automakers to offer integrated child-safety seats in cars, but only two manufacturers currently provide integrated booster seats as an option: Volvo and Dodge. Of those manufacturers, only certain models in their lineups have the available integrated booster seat feature.
What is an integrated booster seat? It's a booster that pops up out of the rear seat's bench, raising the child up to create a better fit for the seat belt. When the booster is not in use, it can be stowed into the seat's bench. This feature is great if it fits your child properly, as the integrated safety seat is made specifically for that vehicle. A secondary benefit of the integrated booster is it will not be at risk of becoming a projectile in a collision.
Volvo offers integrated dual-stage boosters on its all-new 2015 V60 wagon as well as the XC60 SUV and XC70 wagon, all for $500. These booster seats can be adjusted to two heights, allowing the booster to adjust as the children grow.
The highest setting on the dual-stage booster seat is for children measuring 37 to 47 inches tall and weighing between 33 and 55 pounds; the lower setting is intended for children between 45 and 55 inches tall and 48 and 80 pounds, according to Volvo. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children remain in booster seats until they're 4 feet 9 inches, or 57 inches, tall.
There are standard integrated boosters in the second row of Volvo's 2014 XC90, but they are not dual-stage boosters.
For 2014, Dodge offers integrated booster seats on the Journey crossover only. On the Journey, the booster seats are a $225 option, but if selected on all trims but the SXT they're tied to a Flexible Seating package that adds another $1,500 to the crossover's price. On the SXT trim, choosing the $225 booster seats adds a choice of two Quick Order packages that each cost $995.
It seems like integrated booster seats are a perfect match for minivans, but they're no longer offered on the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. "While the built-in booster feature had been available in Chrysler Group minivans, they were tied to the captains' chairs that did not stow," said Wendy Orthman, Chrysler PR manager. "More often than not, consumers chose the stowing feature instead. Ultimately, the boosters were eliminated in the vans when the new Super Stow N' Go seats were introduced in our current model Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country."
It was so nice to be in our new car, everyone was looking happy. We all had plenty of room and even hubby commented about how nice all the stuff we packed fit and we still had plenty of leg room.
Once we stopped to fill up the gas tank, I noticed the weather was getting cooler so I went to the back to unpack the boys jackets. Hubby went inside to pay and came out and looked back at the boys wearing jackets and stated I am so glad you brought the jackets, good move Mom! Mom smiled. It occurred to Dad then that it wasn't the boys jackets he left behind it must have been his suitcase!  He looks over at Mom and smiles, you know the suitcase I unpacked from the car? Well apparently it was my own clothes, looks like the first stop will be making is clothing store!


National Fishing & Boating Week

National Fishing and Boating Week is a national celebration, an event that highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing. In 2016, the event will take place June 4-12.


Waffle House is offering a printable coupon good for a FREE order of hashbrowns. Coupon is good while dining in at participating locations through 6/30/16. Click here to find a location near you.


John strapped his receiver tightly on his upper arm. He was ready to finish this game and finally claim victory. The sun had set...