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Annie

Travel

Road Tripping with the Mazda CX-9

Prior to last month, the only time I’ve been in Los Angeles was for a quick conference, just one hotel shuttle away from John Wayne airport. When we started planning our California vacation, I knew I wanted to check out more than just the airport so flying into LAX and heading out for a mini-road trip was the perfect way to really experience the state (and the traffic it’s so well known for).  

My husband is a huge Mazda fan so when we were given the opportunity to try out the Mazda CX-9 for our road trip we were excited to see what features Mazda would be loading into their top sized SUV. We planned to arrive in LA with a couple of friends and head out on highway towards Palm Springs with a truck full of luggage and two sets of golf clubs. 

In most cars, this much luggage would be a problem, but thanks to the ability to fold the 3rd row down we had no issues loading up all the gear and getting on the road to beat rush hour traffic out of town. 

As we took to the road, the Active Driving Display projected the navigation in a non-obtrusive location onto the windshield. The heads-up display is only visible to the driver and allows you to focus on the road by putting speed and navigation just below your line of sight. I’ve never seen a heads up display before and I was amazed by what a difference it made in my driving experience. There was no need to wonder what the next direction would be, because it was already there right where I could see it. 

Once we arrived in Palm Springs and unloaded the car, I met up with a few more friends who would be joining us for the trip. With the ability to fold the third row seats back up, we could fit all 7 of us in the car, making it perfect for getting out into town for dinner. Even with a full car and tall men, no one was uncomfortable. With Drew over six feet tall, usually leg room is a huge issue, but the spacing between the seats meant that he and the other tall riders were all comfortable no matter who was sitting in front of them.  

Spending a week driving all around town, I fully expected to need to fill up more than once. I was amazed to learn that the all wheel drive model has an averages 23 MPG, making it a very fuel efficient car for it’s size.  

I’m used to driving a mid-sized SUV, so I was afraid that I might feel a bit overwhelmed by the size of the CX-9. Usually big cars are heavy and have large blind spots that make me uncomfortable. The back-up camera made maneuvering in and out of parking spots easy, and the weight of the car was not noticeable at all. 

We even drove up the Palm Springs Tramway canyon and the get up and go on the steep roads was a nice surprise. Heading into the canyon, the road warns drivers that they may need to turn of their AC to get enough power to get up the road – completely a non-issue in CX-9.  The turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine had no issue carving up the canyon road at all – which would be a must-have if I was to drive this car in Colorado. 

Overall, I am very impressed with the performance of the Mazda CX-9 and feel it’s perfect for big groups or large families. With all the bells and whistles, the CX-9 price is way less than I expected, with an MSRP of $45,655 and the entry level version of this vehicle is priced at $31,520. For how luxurious the interior was, I expected the price to be substantially higher and feel that the bang for the buck is unrivaled in this class. 

What type of features do you look for in a good road trip car? Leave a note in the comments!

Disclosure: I received the opportunity to borrow the Mazda CX-9 as a complimentary experience. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. 

I love...

Get ready for Summer with Lularoe Amber Affleck

Note: This post has been sponsored by a LuLaRoe independent consultant. 

About a year ago I was introduced to the world of Lularoe by one of my oldest friends after she became a Lularoe consultant last summer. The clothing is insanely comfortable and I love finding patterns and styles that suit my personality, but won’t be everywhere else. There are a few things that make shopping for Lularoe unique and part of why I love the brand so much. I’ve put together a few of my favorite reasons to wear Lularoe and Amber, my long time bestie and go-to Lula Lady is generously giving one lucky reader a $70 gift certificate to her shop

Lularoe Perfect Tee // LulaRoe Cassie Skirt // Accessories: Kendra Scott Dira Earrings & Bridgete Necklace 

Incredibly Comfortable 

We all have those days where it would be nice to get to wear pajamas to work.  Lularoe’s entire line feels as comfortable as PJs, but makes you look like you got dressed in the morning. With dresses, soft tops and leggings, you can dress up any outfit with accessories for a day at the office, or lounge around the house. The Carly dress is my personal favorite to wear those lazy days because a belt and cute shoes makes it look like you actually wanted to get dressed up before heading out of the house.

Online Shopping Fun 

Shopping online is convenient. You don’t have to go anywhere and like magic everything in your cart arrives at your house in a few days. With Lularoe, online shopping is not only easy, it’s a lot of fun. Each consultant receives a unique selection of patterns, making every item a one-of-a-kind find. The company only produces 2,500 of each pattern and divides those across the sizes available in that style. That means that shopping for Lula is like a treasure hunt. Once you’ve found a pattern you like, that’s your Unicorn! There is nothing more fun than when you get to snag your unicorn and bring it come.  

Amber’s VIP group has a shopping party every Sunday! It’s a great way to relax watching TV while I browse for my next favorite piece of clothing. 

The Leggings, Oh the Leggings

Even if you haven’t heard of Lularoe, chances are you’ve seen the leggings. The fun patterns and colorful styles are perfect for pairing with a tunic top or under your favorite dress. I was an avid proponent of Leggings are not pants until I was introduced to Lula. These leggings are thick enough that they feel like pants, but soft enough that you will never want to take them off. During the warm months, you can even roll them up into capris so you can wear them all summer long. 

These are my favorite reasons to wear Lularoe and I hope you to check out Amber’s shop to learn more about the styles and give it a try for yourself! Before you go, enter the contest below and you might get to take home a $70 LulaCash certificate to use when you shop with Amber! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by a LuLaRoe independent consultant. All opinions are my own. 

Recipes

Sparkling Watermelon Mojito

I went to college in Fort Collins, and one of my favorite places to go for drinks was Ma’s Juice Bar. The bartender [Ma] was hilarious and her mojitos were strong AND delicious. Many a college weekend was started (and sometimes ended) at Ma’s with a spiked fruit smoothy followed by a round of mojitos. 

This recipe reminds me of Ma’s watermelon mojito, with less calories and can be made strong as you’d like. I  love how refreshing this easy sparkling cocktail recipe is! Just puree the fruit together and add your liquid ingredients. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups seedless watermelon pieces
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • 2 cups Sparkling Ice Essence of Lemon Lime

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemon juice. If you’d prefer to not have any fruit chunks, strain before adding to your pitcher. I personally think a bit of watermelon adds to the cocktail, but thats totally up to you.

Add mint, vodka, and Essence of Lemon Lime then stir. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

 
 
 
Arts & Crafts/ Home Decor & Projects

Easy DIY Display Box

Can you believe it’s almost the end of April??? We’re getting down to the last of our spring inspiration and I am so excited to have Natalie from Fern & Maple joining us today to show us a super cute way to display some of the small items you may find around your home. See the full project and don’t forget to enter to win one of the three prizes from our party sponsors! 

Hi Rocky Mountain Bliss Readers! I’m Natalie, I blog over at Fern & Maple, where I share all things party-related as well as DIY projects and seasonal crafts.

I’m so excited to be participating in this Spring Craft Blog Party! Today I’m showing you how I made this super cute, super easy, DIY toy figurine display using an ADORNit shadow box kit.

Around this time of year I start spring cleaning my children’s rooms. Stepping on their toys reaches critical mass post winter hibernation and I like to sort and organize.

Both children have started collecting mini figurines and my daughter has just got into Pokemon, and particularly Pikachu.  As a child I looooooved collecting things so I’m thrilled she does too, but not when her collection is all over her floor, lol!
If you have children who love collecting too, then this DIY display box project is just right for you! Continue Reading…