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    2016 Mazda CX-5: Zoom Zooming Through Errands

    Adulthood is one perpetual errand after another. A driver’s license comes with the title of “Chauffeur” and there’s ALWAYS some place that people have to go at a certain time. This gets worse as your family size increases–hubs has to be here, abc there, mini there, and then there’s the things that I need to get done as well. I feel like I’m ALWAYS in a parking lot running to and fro. I had the recent pleasure (and I mean pleasure… like not in just the polite way) of whipping the new 2016 Mazda CX-5 around for a week that naturally was jam-packed with errands. No shade to my love Ruby Dee, but this Mazda (affectionately named Moonbeam) made my life so much easier!!!

     

    Doctor’s Appointments, New Daycare, and Groceries Oh My!

    While I had Moonbeam, we were ripping and running. I was especially busy this week because we had decided to put abc into half-day daycare. After calling around and getting the information that we needed, abc and I were Zoom-Zooming around town to see which daycare met my (our) requirements. Pulling up to each one of the places I felt confident in this beautiful specimen. With the help of Moonbeam, we decided on the perfect daycare for abc before zoom-zooming off to the doctor for her 15 month check up.

    Let’s start with that I can’t even believe that my once itty bitty baby is now a toddling, babbling, giggly wee person. It seemed like it was just yesterday she was born and now she has opinions! Well, she certainly had an opinion about the CX-5 and she approved of it!

    IMG_8537

    little miss abc is all smiles in this sweet ride!

    Naturally, there were more errands to run this week. We stopped off at my favorite place–Trader Joe’s aka TJ’s–for some organic eats. Now, I love TJ’s. What I don’t love is the parking lot of TJ’s. I feel like both people and cars are constantly jumping in back of you as you try to pull out of a parking spot. It’s really ridiculous. Now while I’m normally riding in Ruby Dee I’m having multiple heart attacks as I miss one close call after another. But in Moonbeam? It was easy, breezy courtesy of their Rear Parking Sensors. I knew exactly when someone or something was getting to close to the vehicle before feeling like they were popping out of nowhere.

    2016 Mazda CX-5

    My Favorite Features

    All? I kid but not. I pretty much loved everything about this vehicle but here are my ABSOLUTE favorites:

    • Auto-wipers (yes, this is big for me and I never thought it would be.
    • Seamless integration to my iPhone phonebook via Bluetooth

      I pretty much talk to my mom all day ha!

      I pretty much talk to my mom all day ha! 

    • Built in remote start from your phone
    • Emergency braking assist (This is scary but super helpful. Someone stopped short in front of me and Moonbeam automatically stopped too! I wasn’t ready for how hard it braked but this is a really great feature to have)
    • Moon Roof (It was like a panoramic view! I kept it open pretty much the whole week!)
    • Joystick control for the menu

      2016 Mazda CX-5

      You control everything from this little control area! This is a gamers dream come true ha!

    • High Beam Control (when you make a turn, the headlights shift offering a better view)
    • Push button start
    • Heated seats (nothing like a warm bottom!)
    • MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System‡
    • Extra leg space

    Features That Made Me Go #WompWomp

    This is a short list. Like really short:

    • The sound system was awful. It’s a Bose system so I was expecting great things and I was disappointed.

    I love a cross-over. I feel like they offer perpetual errand runners the best of both worlds–gas mileage of a car with space like an SUV (almost anyways!).

    What kind of car do you drive? Have you ever considered a Mazda?

    **I was given this vehicle for 1 week in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.**

    3 Quick Tips for Baby-Proofing


    Some days it feels like it was just yesterday when abc was born. After the allure of having a baby on me 24 hours/day wore off, I couldn’t wish for her to be more independent and mobile. And now that she is, I have to say that I was soooooo not ready for it!!! Now don’t get me wrong, abc is not a hard baby but in comparison to mini, she is into EVERYTHING and way earlier. At 5 months she started crawling and by 11 months she was toddling all over the place. And now at almost 16 months, she’s a Tasmanian devil tearing everything apart. In all honesty, I don’t mind her getting under the cabinets and playing with the pots and pans. I think it helps in the developing those fine motor skills. But even though we use natural, homemade cleaners, I still don’t want her dumping out liters of cleaner on the floor and happening to guzzle anything so baby-proofing is a natural must.

    Because this hit me by storm, I came up with 3 quick tips to ready your home for a toddling baby:

    Babyproofing

    1.Keep all your harmful chemicals in one (or two) central areas and put a lock on that.

    We have all of our cleaning supplies and things that we don’t want her getting her grubby little hands on underneath the sink in the kitchen and under my husbands sink. Both of those areas have The Baby Lodge Adjustable Multi-Purpose Locks on them. We tried a different brand and abc, aka Baby Hulk, quickly tore that off. The Baby Lodge locks have 3M adhesive on the back so they’re better quality and offer an easy install so we were up and running safely in minutes.

    2.Cover outlets.

    Naturally. Unless you want your baby walking around with hair like Albert Einstein this is something that you have to get on stat. They have the nifty outlet covers or you can just move a piece of furniture in front of them. It’s imperative that those get covered ASAP because electrification can lead to death in babies.

    3.Teach them.

    Yep. Teach them boundaries. Teach them how to do things. Teach them early. I remember when my husband’s niece was itty bitty they had locks and gates on literally everything. She was essentially quarantined to one area. Instead of being taught how to go up and down stairs, they were blocked off. With abc, I opted to teach her how to go up and down the stairs which she’s known how to do longer than she’s been walking! But if you teach them, they will learn and this is incredibly important for both their longer term safety and development.

    When it comes to baby-proofing your home, it can be quite the obstacle course because you want to create an environment that is safe for your little one. I encourage you to create these safe spaces without blocking their development and their natural affinity for exploration.

    How do you baby-proof your home?

    **I received complimentary products in exchange for my review. These thoughts are all my own. This post may contain an affiliate link.**

    3 Sacred Spaces to Restore Balance


    Being a mom, wife, business owner, <insert the rest of the hats that I wear> is hard. There are many days where I go to bed just feeling like a failure because I didn’t complete everything that I’d planned on or the baby was especially ornery or I wasn’t as patient as I would have like to have been with mini. Or maybe I didn’t cook dinner and I went grocery shopping.

    Either way, guilt, frustration, anger sets in and I become more susceptible to the feelings of overwhelming that I hate.

    When these moments come, I know it’s time for me to take a short break from life and head into one of my many sacred spaces where I can re-center myself and refill my proverbial well so that I can be back to the happy and emotionally healthy mommy.

    Journaling

    After a good couple of days of especially ornery conversations with one of my sister-friends and realizing that the overwhelming feelings had caught up to me, she suggested that we start journaling. At first I scoffed at the idea because in my head, blogging is a form of journaling but there’s a lot that I have going on emotionally at times that I’m not just going to dump on the world wide web. I tried just doing a gratitude list (it’s the month of thanks right?) but that didn’t work for me. Not that I don’t believe in focusing on the positive but that never really addresses the negative or the struggles. My first 2 days of journaling I wrote 4 pages each day. That’s a lot of writing. But after writing and then really thinking through my emotions, how I’ve been feeling, and finally identifying the root cause for my feelings, I felt like a weight had been lifted off me. I was back to myself which includes laughing till crying, snorting, and witty one-liners.

    Aaliyah's "4-Page Letter" has nothing on my journaling!

    Aaliyah’s “4-Page Letter” has nothing on my journaling!

    Cleaning My Room

    One of the lessons that we went over in premarital counseling was in keeping your bedroom as a sacred space for you and your spouse. I so agree with this. But with kids, work, and only 24 hours in a day, our room was getting messy and so was the communication between my husband and I. You know how they say “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? Well it’s true. In our case, my husbands happiness is in direct relation to my own. Granted, we did need to straighten up our room, but more importantly was that we had to clear the air between us and get back on our “happily ever after”. We agreed that our sacred space in our room would be our safe ground for any conversation and I love that we’re able to handle whatever stresses are happening in our sacred space. My husband is truly my best friend, partner, and teammate so when we’re on the same page, I know that I can tackle anything and there are no longer the feelings of being overwhelmed.

    Relaxing In Nature

    I love being outside. Growing up, we had a hammock and I would go outside and read or cloud watch or just observe nature. My favorite times were snuggling up with my dad and talking about about whatever as we were suspended in the air comfortably. In every place I’ve moved to, I’ve looked for a hammock that didn’t involve me putting a hole in a tree (because that is so not good for the environment) and have finally found one. Not only was I able to install it really fast, but I was able to relax in it immediately and watch the sunset as I de-stressed for the day. Laying in my hammock takes me back to childhood and the feelings of nostalgia are so comforting. Just like my hammock growing up, this one is a double hammock so the kids and/or hubs can join me (if they’re acting right, ha!).

    Snuggling in a hammock enjoying nature = my everyday wish!

    Snuggling in a hammock enjoying nature = my everyday wish!

    These sacred spaces have kept my sanity in this insane role as mother, wife, Aaronica, business owner, etc. and I’m so grateful to have found them.

    Do you have sacred spaces that you go to re-center and balance yourself? 

    I received a hammock in exchange for a review. These opinions are all my own.

    Mommy Needs A Timeout

    1… 2… 3… 4… 5…

    All parents know this countdown. Your child is acting crazy or doing something absurd. They aren’t listening to you telling them to stop. You’re fed up. The countdown begins. Now if your child is smart, they’ve never reached the 5 and tested you. Because mini is a little on the hard-headed side, when I get to 4 I remind her that testing me is not the thing to do.

    I digress…

    After talking to a couple of my mom friends, I found out that it’s not just me who really uses the countdown for themselves. In an ideal world, all parents/moms would have the patience of Mother (is she a saint yet?) Theresa and we would be able to handle our children with gentle parenting techniques that don’t result in less than favorable outcomes. But in this world that we live in, parents are people too. Because I’m not a man or dad, I can’t speak to what they feel. But as a mom? I’m confident that I need a time out sometimes.

    Mommy Needs A

    Sleep Deprivation

    As a mother of two, I have never been so tired. Like as I’m writing this, I’ve been battling with borderline debilitating sleepiness that not even my much requested IV of coffee could help. Between sleep regression from abc, a budding business, being a wife, mommying mini, trying to better myself, etc., mommy is exhausted. But I know it’s not just me. I’m one of many sleep deprived zombie-moms that are fighting off the natural irritation that comes with wishing to be face down in a pile of clouds instead of dealing with the shenanigans that one the miniature versions of myself are engaging in. If you’re readying your veins for an IV of caffeine, you already need a timeout.

    Too Many Hats, Too Little Time

    Chef. Mom. Wife. Friend. Maid. Lover. Business Owner. Employee. Lover of Life. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. How many times do they say it a day right? My list of things to do starts generating before my brain even wakes up. It’s like, my to do list already wants to get a head start on the things that I WON’T be getting accomplished that day courtesy of the sleep deprivation. Rocking all of these hats within the 24 hours that we’re given makes it so difficult to not rush through the day. When you’re trying to build an empire, raise a toddler, a 5-year-old, make it through your second year of marriage happily while not losing yourself, there’s little to no time for meltdowns, not listening, and boundary testing but naturally that’s all we get. Yeah, mommy needs a bit of a timeout.

    Mommy Needs A Timeout

    Sleep deprivation. Overwhelming life. Children being children. Yes, mommy needs a timeout.

    1…… deep breath in
    2…… I’m in Jamaica breathing in the warms
    3…… Smiles and giggles… My girls…
    4…… Slowly returning to my situation
    5…… I can handle all that I’ve been given

    This is how I take my timeout in the midst of frustration so I don’t end up misplacing my frustrations on my babies who are just being children.

    In the middle of your overwhelming frustrations, how do you take your timeout to get yourself together?

    5 Quick Tips To Increase Your Happy


    Only a select few strive for misery in life while the rest of us are intent on achieving happiness. People think that it’s as easy as making a decision to be happy–but there’s more to happiness then simply deciding. Sometimes we can’t change some of the factors that are contributing to the unhappy but we can control our behaviors.

    5 Quick Tips For Happiness

    Here are 5 quick tips to get happiness on your side:

    1. Get enough sleep: The definition of enough varies from person to person but we all feel better about life when we’re well rested. Go to bed on time and don’t snooze in the morning. Doctors suggest 7 hours of sleep though I’m normally feeling glorious after 6. But sleep–it makes a difference.

    2. Workout: Working out makes you feel better about yourself since you’ve done something to take care of you. It’s recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of activity in per week. My husband can always tell when I haven’t been to the gym–the cranky factor is all over the place.

    3. Say No: And don’t follow it up with anything. So often we have so many commitments that it’s overwhelming. Who can feel happy being overwhelmed? I can’t. It’s stifling. Saying “No” is so freeing.5 Tips to Increasing Your Happy

    4. Smile at yourself: I know, it’s a little weird. But when you pass by a mirror, look at yourself and smile. Appreciate all that is reflected in that mirror and smile big. Smiling releases those good feeling endorphins and tricks your body into thinking you’re happier than you are–resulting in you being that happy!

    5 Tips to Increasing Your Happy

    I’m giving a bottle away for free!!! Get Happy!

    5. Get help: Sometimes we need it. Whether the help is someone taking the kids to give you a break or taking something to help you. Having a 5 year old and 1 year old in the midst of their own phases in life leaves me really cranky. Some days none of the above helps and I hate being in a funk. I started taking Mood Enhancer – Pure 5HTP by ChronosPharma in the evenings before bed. Not only has it helped with more restful sleep, but I’ve been a happier person. If you could use some more help, I’d definitely recommend Pure 5HTP (I even have a coupon for you!! Use code: 7PE64YHX).

    Misery loves company but so does happiness so choose happy!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    What things do you do to make you happy?

    I received compensation for writing this review though all opinions expressed are my own.