A Chevy Full Of Love

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

The past few months have been difficult for me. It started around Thanksgiving when I lost a family member and also developed a severe illness that attacked the tissues of my body causing inflammation and excruciating pain. For weeks it hurt to stand, sit and walk. I struggled with simple tasks like putting on my own socks and getting in and out of bed. It was the most pain I have ever endured but after a month full of numerous doctor appointments, hospital tests and lab work I finally received a diagnosis and was put on medication. Thankfully the medicine has helped and I am feeling better now but it was a rough journey.

Through it all, a huge highlight of the past few months for me has been partnering with Chevy in their #ChevyShopsForGood campaign. One of the only days I got out during the worst weeks of my illness, my family and I headed out in our loaned Chevy to go to the store and shop for gifts to donate. I let the boys decide where we were going to donate gifts to and they chose to donate them to the children’s hospital for the “sick kids”. The boys were excited to fill the cart up with gifts, going down every aisle to make sure they had toys for children of all ages, from infants to tweens, and all interests, from arts to dolls to lego building.

All the gifts we bought for the children at the hospital fit perfectly into the back of our Chevy Trax. There was a lot more space in the back of the SUV than I thought there would be. Something unique about the Chevy Trax is the amount of cargo space it offers for such a small SUV. I was surprised to find that all seats (other than the driver’s seat of course) folded down to offer space for something up to eight feet in length. I don’t know of any other vehicle with a front passenger seat that folds down like the Trax’s does which is great for those times when you need to transport something long, like a dresser you found at a garage sale.

Image courtesy of Chevrolet

The small crossover SUV was fun to drive but, most importantly, offered all wheel drive which made me feel safe as I drove our family to the city in one of the few snowstorms we’ve had this season. The vehicle also has 10 airbags and a steel cage for safety in case of an accident.

The Trax also has tons of great features. Technology-wise it was loaded with everything from wi-fi to Siri Eyes Free to OnStar Remote Link. The vehicle had remote start which is my best friend during the winter months. Chevrolet even has an app for smartphones that lets you lock and unlock the car remotely and map where you left your vehicle when you park it.

I also loved the large color touchscreen in the middle of the console that showed what was behind us when the car was in reverse.

The design of the vehicle was well thought out with an instrument panel on the steering wheel that offered easy access to entertainment and information. The vehicle has a USB charging port in the upper glove compartment box which was great for traveling.

Overall, the Chevy Trax is a nice SUV. Loaded with great tech features and a lot of available cargo space it’s the perfect choice for someone who is single or has a small family. (If you have a larger family check out the Chevy Traverse or the Suburban!)

Thanks to Chevrolet for letting us test drive the Trax and for the fun weekend in the city. Though my family received perks from Chevy, all thoughts about the vehicle are my own.

Dads Love Minivans Too

A big part of becoming a Dad for me was accepting ideas that were not my own to be successful at raising kids and leading a great family. One big rule I always stuck to though was “happy wife, happy life”. A big challenge to that rule came with a decision to buy a minivan. As a guy I felt like minivans were fine vehicles but my car should be macho all the way. I had a collision earlier in the year and at some point I was in need of a new vehicle and I looked at trucks and sport cars, but everything in my heart kept saying happy wife, happy life, so I got a minivan. Alicia’s dream car has been a Chrysler Town and Country ever since she was in junior high school so while she was out of town I set out to get one and surprise her.

Obviously she was thrilled when she came home and the boys were psyched but my opinions on minivans started to change for the better. Soon I was in love with her minivan, but do not tell her that. Driving it home from the lot I noticed the driver sits pretty high up but also it sort of drove like a truck a little bit. I drive an  SUV so I was used to having room but there was extra room between the seats and in the back and there were magical storage spaces under the seats. This just made life easier when shopping and traveling.

My favorite thing about our minivan quickly became the side auto-sliding doors. One day I was leaving Sam’s Club with our youngest child and it started to rain. I carried him, but the real hero of the story were the doors. A simple touch of the button and they were opened and he was inside. The doors make a world of difference when picking up kids from school and dropping them off and at all their other activities.

Sometimes I think the kids love the minivan more than their mom. They have the DVD player and between their seats they have books and car friendly toys. Strangely enough their favorite part is the 3rd row where they can just jump around and pretend they are hiding.

My wife truly loves the car and was happy that was her gift. She was very happy that we had it for our family vacation last April. We drove all the way to Florida from the Midwest. It was a blast for the whole family. The car was comfortable and it completely made every mile wonderful.

It is funny to think a car has such a huge impact on our family but it did wonders to bring us closer together and make life easier for our family. This is one time I am happy I followed the old “Happy Wife, Happy Life” rule and bought her a minivan as a surprise.

Kick Off The Summer With Chevy And A $300 Spa Gift Card Giveaway

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chevrolet but all thoughts are my own.)

Since Junior High, my dream vehicle has been a minivan. I was one of the few teenagers who loved driving my mom’s van and wasn’t embarrassed that I didn’t have a sports car or sedan. I always thought I preferred minivans to SUVs because of all the space minivans had. I guess I didn’t realize that some SUVs are just as roomy as my beloved minivans! I didn’t learn this until a couple weeks ago when a 2015 Chevy Suburban was dropped off at my house and I got to test drive it.

This thing was huge. It seats as many as my van does but there is even MORE space! I’m in love! I worried that seating would mean limited space for suitcases or sports gear but there is a typical cargo area in the back that is roomy enough for everyday things and for road trips.

There are a ton of other great features but some of my favorite include keyless start, assist steps on the outside and a 3rd row seat that power folds flat!

A nice ride in the Chevy, sunroof open, on a sunny day and a Venti Iced drink from Starbucks is how I relax. The wonderful folks at Chevy want to give one mom a relaxing spa day and a revitalizing experience that will put her back in the driver’s seat feeling refreshed and ready for whatever life throws at her next.

Want to win the $300 Spa Finder gift card? There are two ways to enter:

1) You can share a story about your most memorable day being a mom in the comment section below

OR

2) You can share a picture about your most memorable day being a mom on the social network of your choice. A comment below is mandatory though so I can easily choose a winner, just comment “entered on Social Media”. All tweets, Facebook posts or shares on Instagram must include the hashtag #SuburbanMom and you must tag me so I can see your entry. Here are all my social handles:

Twitter: @aliciamarie112

Facebook: Making Time For Mommy

Instagram: aliciamarie112cb

Entries will be collected through June 26, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 21 or older and a US resident to enter. Good luck! :)

The New Kia Soul Commercial {iTunes Giveaway}

(Disclosure: Commercial courtesy of Kia Motors. This is a compensated post.)

The 2014 Kia Soul is coming out later this Fall and Kia announced the redesigned vehicle with a funny commercial featuring  everyone’s favorite hamsters. The hamsters show off their new look to go along with the new sleeker look of the Soul.

Have you seen the new Kia Soul commercial? I saw it the other night and was laughing throughout it. My favorite part was when the one Hamster is getting ready to dive into the pool and is wiggling from side to side.

What part of the commercial is your favorite? ENTER TO WIN a $25 iTunes gift card by watching the Kia Soul commercial above and tweeting your favorite part of the commercial including @Kia and the hashtag #Hamsters. Leave a comment below with your link.

Want to earn an extra entry into the giveaway? Share this post on a social network.

Giveaway ends September 12, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 21 or over and a US resident to enter.

 

2013 Buick Encore Review

(Disclosure: Buick dropped off a vehicle for me to test-drive for a week. All thoughts are my own.)

I had a chance to drive the beauty above last month. Let me tell you, this 2013 Buick Encore is NICE! When our week was over, Sinisa joked that we should try to give them our old SUV and see if they noticed.

The look and feel of the leather is luxurious and normally I wouldn’t like leather seating living here in Chicago but the heated seats come standard. The vehicle also has rain sensing window wipers which I thought was a nice bonus. My favorite features were the front & rear parking assist, the forward collision alert, and the outside mirrors that showed the car’s “blind spot”. All of these, along with the numerous airbags, made me feel safer driving this car than my current vehicle.

The 2013 Buick Encore looks compact on the outside but it’s pretty spacious on the inside. There is plenty of leg room in the back seats. Also, the trunk looks tiny but fits a lot. We packed everything we needed for a day at the beach (including a cooler, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc) in the back with room to spare.

What’s your “must have” feature in a vehicle?