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Body Image

*SPONSORED POST*, Body Image, Reviews, Test Drive

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

***Big Thanks to DriveShop for providing this test drive vehicle in exchange for an honest review.***

First of all, I am a sucker for leather. Red leather in particular. I have no idea what this means about me, but I do know, when it comes to vehicles, it is a major plus in my book! The 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is absolutely stunning – The curb appeal is really outstanding! Honestly, I haven’t thought of Mazdas since the RX7 of the 80s. (So now you know how old I really am! And I apologize Mazda – I’ve missed a ton…sad face emoji) The CX-9 is sporty and classy looking all at once. LED taillights, headlights and signature grille, twenty inch alloy wheels, all-season tires, rear roof spoiler, power lift gate and privacy glass. It has the coveted Angel Eyes LED headlights also found on BMWs. My luxury vehicle aficionado friend was really impressed with this vehicle since he can appreciate the luxury selling points even more when they come without the luxury price point. The suggested price for this specific test drive is above $45K. Granted, this is probably more than what I would like to invest in a vehicle right now, but it only motivates me to research how well it ages. I’m not afraid of purchasing a used car and I’m also not above leasing a car either! 

I think the crossover class of vehicles is really best suited for my family. After driving the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD for one week, I now find myself wanting to test drive every crossover vehicle available in the Valley just to convince myself that I don’t want to buy a CX-9 for our family! It really blew my mind – Super impressed, Super surprising. Maybe it’s the third row seating, maybe it’s the heated seats, maybe it’s the leather. If you’ve read any of my reviews, I’m all about the leather: the smell, the look, the ease of cleaning (Yes, I find it easier than cloth! Way easier…) 

I was really surprised to see third row seating because in my mind, only a large minivan or a Suburban could seat seven. Two in the first row, three in the second and two in the way, way back. There is, however, a caveat: I installed my son’s car seat in the second row. The CX-9 is a four door vehicle despite having the additional row of seating so getting passengers out of the third row requires the center row to be moved forward and the seat back to be bent forward. This is virtually impossible when a car seat is installed in the center. Since the seat back is split, I can see how entering and exiting would be easier with the car seat installed in one or the other side as opposed to the center. The back row seats would not be comfortable for passengers taller than maybe 5’4″ since leg room is limited. basically the second and third row seats split leg room. The kids will love it though: My sweet friend and CX-9 owner has a 7 year old and 10 year old twins who fight to sit in the way, way back! You can fold the third row of seats down and just increase the ‘trunk’ space. I do like that you cannot see into the back where groceries and other items would be packed away. The button to automatically shut the lift gate lights up so at night, there’s no fumbling around for your keys or feeling around for the button. If you do use the third row for passengers, there are aluminum roof rails available.

Active Driving Display

I love the moon roof especially because my son has limited views being in a car seat so opening up the roof gives him more to look at too! The interior has Nappa-trimmed leather, both front seats are heated and adjustable with driver seat memory and lumbar adjustment. During the winter, heated seats are so necessary! aluminum and rosewood trim makes for such a luxury experience. There is an eight inch display for the rear camera and navigation system. It looks like a space ship cockpit in here! I love the Active Driving Display that projects my speed onto the interior of the windshield = genius! When I set the navigation, it also shows me the next turn of my directions – right there on the windshield = GENIUS!

My mom friend, Janel and I took our sons (ages 4, 5 = 1 car seat, 1 booster in second row plus snow paraphernalia in the trunk) in the Mazda CX-9 for a road trip up to Mt. Charleston to make snowmen and drink hot chocolate. Usually, I sweat the trip as my truck is not AWD and I have to pack as lightly as possible just so I don’t have to be super embarrassed watching cars go around us as we climb slowly up the mountain. This time, we got to take scenic pictures, hear great music on SiriusXM over the crystal clear BOSE speakers and we even felt badly for a number of drivers we saw getting stuck in the snow (Janel even got out to help push one woman’s car out of an embankment with another passerby!) I am not adventurous enough to have tried this loan vehicle in the snow as I am a firm believer there is a reason why snow tires are a thing! 

More than any other vehicle I’ve test driven thus far, this is the one I can see myself owning and driving every day.

Overall, this has been my favorite test drive so far. It has all the wonderful features you would want in a new car with all the bells and whistles: including third row curtain airbags, rear door window shades, key-less entry, push button start, back up sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, smart brake system, lane assist, hands-free Bluetooth pairing, etc. There is a lot of competition since most vehicles will come equipped this way, but for me, this was the vehicle that most fit for my family. More than any other vehicle I’ve test driven thus far, this is the vehicle I can see myself owning and driving every day. I am a strange one since I have been wanting a minivan since I had my son. Yes, I’m a single mom. Yes, I only have one child. I do have 2 dogs though?! I’m also the type of person to basically packs like I’m leaving town when in reality, I’ll be gone for the day. This could mean: a change of clothes for the gym, play clothes for my son after school, a file box of my son’s latest drawings and school correspondence, after gym clothes, hot tub or pool clothes for the gym, random extra change of clothes for emergencies for my son or me because of something my son gets into. Depending on the season you may see: camping chairs, pool noodles, picnic blankets, a collection of recyclables from take out orders or reusable shopping totes. You could say I like my vehicles spacious! I love it! I want it! Someone gift it to me, please! Happy Driving, everyone!

 

      

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Body Image, Health, Moms

The Smallest Step Counts: Checking in on the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge

Calendar page
Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

It’s roughly halfway into the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge. So… how’s it going?

Did you give up? Hope not.

Are you working on it, but it’s going imperfectly? That’s perfect!

Does it feel weird? That’s OK. I wouldn’t expect anything different.

Whenever you try something new, it feels wonky at first.

Heck, even walking was hard at first, remember? Of course you don’t – you were a baby – but you get the idea. (My son, Liam, looked like a drunken sailor when he first learned to walk. It was mighty entertaining.)

If you’re someone who has a hard time trying new things because you won’t look pretty doing it, here’s my take on it: pretty is overrated.

I admit, there are some things I hesitate trying because I just “know” I will look un-pretty. For those of you who keep inviting me to wine and painting events, please stop. This is the one thing I will probably never try. Although the wine might keep me from caring about my painting… I guess that’s the point. It all goes back to kindergarten, but this is not the time or place to process my childhood art trauma.

I like to try other (non-painting) new things. As an adult, I took a French class. This was only slightly more successful than giving a cat a bath, but I tried.

As part of my training as a therapist, I learned hypnosis. Uncomfortable at first? Absolutely. It just felt right to announce to the other hypnosis students that I was comfortable with the suckishness I would feel until I got more experience.

Embrace your suckishness. Some discomfort with the new is part of the learning curve.

At some point, competence and confidence start to emerge. What felt so hard at first becomes second nature.

Remember learning to drive? When you first started, it took all your concentration to keep from crashing the car into a curb. Now you can probably drive, prepare a grocery list, sing the Dora the Explorer theme song, and hand a wet wipe to your preschooler all at the same time.

So back to the 30-Day Challenge…

Just becoming aware of your language is a beginning, even if different words haven’t come out of your mouth yet. Have you caught yourself (or others) saying negative things about their bodies? Even noticing it is a step in the right direction.Perfect blocks askew

Have you observed positive things about your body? It’s working hard for you. How about being able to hug your babies? That’s a good start.

Just start where you are, with the smallest step. If you haven’t done anything on the challenge yet, begin now. It’s not all-or-nothing. It’s okay if you didn’t join in until now. Perfection is also overrated.

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Body Image, Fitness, Health, Moms

30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge

We’re well into January. Did you make any resolutions? If so, how are they going? (For my take on New Year’s Resolutions, click here.)

I don’t make resolutions per se. However, my email inbox and Facebook feeds have been blowing up lately with 30-day challenges. Most of them are diet and exercise related.

Some examples: Juicing Challenge; Green Smoothie Challenge; Flat Abs Challenge; Beach Body Challenge.

Many of them are accompanied by the obligatory selfie of the challenge organizer wearing a crop top and bike shorts. To be followed (I presume) in 30 days by another, more buff selfie in a crop top and bike shorts.

Or maybe a bikini.

This is not my cup of tea.

Here’s my challenge to you, moms: I propose the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge.

Language is powerful. In fact, language can create your reality.

So…

No whining about your post-baby abdominal slackness.

No complaining about your muffin top.

No grumbling because you used to wear a smaller size.

Promise this, even when you are with your girlfriends and they are complaining about their thighs.

Because friends don’t let friends diss their bodies.

Make sense?

And while I’m on a roll, I’m going to give you a parallel challenge.

Every day, find something positive about your body.

Today, I’m grateful my shoulder has the range of motion to lift things over my head.

It’s small, but significant. Being able to lift something is easily taken for granted. But when I had a shoulder injury, I couldn’t move my arm more than an inch or two in any direction. Not a happy time.

So find the positive.

Your body works hard for you, but focusing on the negative makes that easy to miss.

Your language creates your experience, so be careful with your words.

Your un-flat tummy grew a baby.

Your crow’s feet are well-earned by staying up all night with your children. And by squinting in the sun as you pushed your baby in a stroller.

You’re beautiful. Truly.

This challenge is for your well-being. And for the well-being of your children.

Your kids listen to you, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Do you want them to grow up dissatisfied with their bodies, too?

I didn’t think so.

Let’s do this.

No crop top or bike shorts here.

No crop top or bike shorts here.

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