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review

Family, GIVEAWAY, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Moms, Live Like a Local, Support Local, Things To Do, Uncategorized

{CLOSED} Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N GiveAway

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DSCF0562We’ve got a Deal Alert!

Family Four Pack

Code to be given at the box office “FAMILY”
Gets 4 entries to Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. for just $75!!!
Offer good through April 30, 2017.

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With Spring Break coming, this would be an Awesome place to take them. You might just get that Coolest Parent Award.

 

 

 

 

Our friends at Avenger Station is letting us give away a Family Four Pack!  

To enter:  

Like The Avenger Station Facebook

Like Las Vegas Moms Blog Facebook

Tell us who your Favorite Marvel Character is and feel free to share a Picture (We love Pictures)

All Entries must be received by April 3rd. Winners will be announced April 6th.  Good Luck!

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Did we mention they have an awesome gift shop…IMG_5618

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is definitely Kid Approved!IMG_5634

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Red Rock Lanes: Summerlin

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Whether it’s Christmas morning, New Years Eve or 2am on a Monday morning you will find Red Rock Lanes open for business. Located in the Red Rock Casino, the bowling alley features 72 bowling lanes, a game center, bar lounge and Pro-shop for the pro-Bowler in your family. Want to make it a date night or night out with the girls? Get down in one of their luxury VIP lanes and suites, complete with bar service and cozy seating arrangements!  Do I hear a “Mom’s Night” anyone?

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As an amateur bowler, myself, I will say that this was one of the most pristine, clean-smelling bowling alley’s I’ve ever been to and the food just happened to be tasty! The bathrooms were not only clean but pleasing to the eye, the full-service bar and lounge was a nice treat for the adults and the chicken nuggets and fries were a huge hit with all my picky eaters. 

 

 

Toddlers with a show size under 11 can wear their own shoes!

Toddlers with a show size under 11 can wear their own shoes!

If you’re not a great bowler, or your children need a little extra help, bumpers and ramps are a great way to keep the ball rollin! However, if you happen to arrive during peak hours, the ramps may be hard to come by. If this is the case, ask your neighbor in the next lane if you can share. Chances are, they are a nice family willing to do so. If not, don’t fret, the bumpers will be enough. My two-year old son pushed his own ball down the lane just fine and my four-year old ended up not wanting to use the ramp at all!

 

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The big screens play all your musical favorites from past to present! Warning! You will break out into dance at least once in front of your children.

My husband and I thought the prices weren’t bad for being the largest and most luxury bowling alley in Las Vegas at nearly $2-$3/ a game plus $4 for bowling shoes. Cosmic Bowling is only $5 a game on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm-2am. The prices for food and drink were what’s to be expected in a Las Vegas Casino, but well worth it as the food was delicious and the cocktails were on point. Have a picky eater? Step out into the Casino and find an array of different food options including fine dining and buffet!

Whether you’re planning a date, birthday party, girls night out, family event or just want to escape the heat, Red Rock Lanes in the Red Rock Casino have what you need to experience the best of what Vegas has to offer! 

 

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*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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A Very Terry Christmas {Show Review} Terry Fator Is Fun For All Ages

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We had an absolute blast attending A Very Terry Christmas at the Terry Fator Theater at Mirage. We received tickets to attend the show so I am able to report back to all of you! Perhaps you caught some of the highlights of our evening on Instagram stories, so now here is the play by play of our evening because you need to check out this limited engagement show and you can bring everyone. You may remember Terry Fator as the America’s Got Talent season 2 champ. The prize was a million dollars and his own show right here in Las Vegas. Who knew ventriloquism would be a hit with today’s audiences?!

I have a neat connection to this man so if you will indulge me for a moment as I harken back…

This is a Christmas show (& God Bless Terry Fator for bringing back the “Christmas” to our Happy Holidays! Ha!) with performances through December 22, 2016. From Monday through Thursday and select Saturdays, you and your family can enjoy 7:30p performances running approximately 90 minutes.

Roasted Bean quickie meal

Roasted Bean quickie meal

I ended up taking my 4 year old son as my plus 1 and he loved it – We both did! We parked in the garage on the 4th floor so we could walk directly across the outdoor bridge. Don’t forget to use your Nevada ID for free Strip parking! Just follow the signs to snake your way through the festively decorated lobby and atrium through some shops to the theater. I am always hesitant to bring children into casinos as I am not a fan of subjecting them to smoke and drunk people, but this was not bad at all! There was actually some conference folks who seemed to be streaming out of a late session so it was particularly G-rated. The box office is located in the hallway before the Terry Fator Theater and we got there around 6p – about an hour before the doors open (7p). This made ticket pick up super easy since there was no line. We had plenty of time to grab a bite at a little café called Roasted Bean just steps from the theater. Pro Tip: Blizz Frozen Yogurt is across the way so you can grab dessert afterwards too!

There are drinks available for purchase in the lobby, so you can fuel up before heading in. You will show your tickets to the ticket scanning staff members who greet you at the bottom of the escalators and then it is up to the theater entrance. It is a grand room and it already felt like we were at a party! There was Christmas music playing right when we arrived and as we made our way down the steps to our assigned seats, Rockin’ Around the

Mirage Hotel Lobby Christmas Trees

Mirage Hotel Lobby Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree was on and JJ immediately squealed which made me then realized it was his favorite song playing (he has been practicing for his Christmas show!) As we reached our row, I was informed that I could ask for a booster seat for my son. He was telling me he was OK, he liked his seat how it was, but when the usher brought us a red velvet covered foam cushion that blended perfectly with the seats, and it gave him a better view, he was super excited and happily complied! The DJ, show opener, Ben Harris was hilarious and kept everyone excited and cheering and clapping. He has an awesome ‘evolution of dance’ number to ramp things up and the crowd got super hyped up just as our headliner host was about to arrive. The couple in front of us seemed to have had their fair share of adult slushies from the lobby and they were extra interactive, which I loved! I actually felt a wave of calm come over me. I always tense up when I take JJ to places we have never been since I cannot predict how he is going to react. He did great and I know it was because of such a relaxed, informal atmosphere.

There was plenty to look at with lots of light changes, upbeat holiday sounds, a comfortable atmosphere as dictated by our gracious host, Terry Fator… His lovely wife of one year is his assistant on stage and the DJ, Ben Harris is a great dancer, comic and helper too. The band really completes the set and despite being in the 6th row, I did not find myself needing ear plugs and not once did my son remark that it was too loud. I honestly felt like we had the best seats because we were close, but not craning our necks and we could see both jumbo monitors if we really wanted an up close feel. The screens across the back of the stage are constantly changing with scenes to compliment what’s going on in the show or to accent songs. A new stocking is hung each time a new guest arrives. 


Now for the main event… Terry Fator is simply the most talented entertainer I have ever seen. He sings, he does spot on, goose-bump activating impressions AND he is a brilliant ventriloquist. There is some adult humor, but he never uses foul language and even his jokes are perfectly framed so as to go right over the heads of unintended audience members. It is absolutely fantastic and I cannot rave enough about his show. Granted, I was a fan before, I have not seen his non-seasonal show yet (because I’m a local and that is what we do!) If you are a fan of holiday music, you must see this show. I am definitely making this a tradition every year from now on, because this was the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit immediately following my favorite holiday eat fest! I love classic Christmas music and just getting to see this incredible talent live is absolutely worth it. Depending on your age and your affinity to Christmas music (ahem, I know for a fact some of you listen BEFORE Halloween!), you will, at the least, recognize 90% of the music. When I say this is a show for all ages, I mean, all ages! Now, I did bring a 4 year old and you know your kids best – 90 minutes is the length of the typical kid movie, but the lights, the music, the puppets will dazzle them. JJ got a little restless towards the end, but he held on! Our favorites are Winston the Turtle and Emma Taylor (because I’ve met her before!), but you will also get to see the world’s greatest Elvis impersonator, the annoying neighbor and a few surprise guests too!

2016-12-01-02-05-03-636Terry is just insanely talented. He can impersonate anyone – Kermit the Frog, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Cher, Louie Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Aaron Neville, Eartha Kitt, Karen Carpenter, Bing Crosby, David Bowie (SWOON!), you name it! His band of characters are so different and his vocal range is every inch of the spectrum – truly awe-inspiring! I found myself singing along with so many songs and I felt like we were hanging out with friends. Such a great night all around. I look forward to taking my parents, other moms and more kids to this show as it will be a hit with anyone, even the Grinch! *wink-wink*

Another very important aspect of his show is that he takes time to acknowledge and thank veterans in the audience as well as first responders and officers. At the close of the show, he explains his passion for supporting military families, giving back to say Thanks:

Terry donates 100% of the profit he receives from sales of his merchandise to military charities.  The primary charities include wonderful organizations such as The Airpower Foundation and Snowball Express. –terryfator.com

Buy tickets to A Very Terry Christmas starting at $60 plus tax and fees and a VIP experience for $150

The VIP experience includes premium seating, an autographed photo, a souvenir program and a complimentary drink. (The slushies actually look gigantic! We’re talking bigger than a pint glass…maybe 24 oz?!)

Again, really no bad seats in the house and this is a must-see show! Please tag us when you attend – we would love to see your pictures! #lvmsentus @vegasmomsblog on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat

Connect with Terry Fator on social media too!

Facebook.com/TerryFator

Twitter @terryfator

Instagram @terryfator

When you do attend his show, I encourage you to please rate your experience on Trip Advisor too! I know I read reviews before I go places – it helps so much!

Merry Christmas! What are your favorite Christmas songs?!

 

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Reviews, Test Drive

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

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Hey mamas and dads, just finished testing out the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT AWD model for the week from DriveShop.  With 4 & 5 star crash ratings & host of other safety features, ours was delivered in Rally Red with a sporty black leather accented interior.  Outfitted with an AWD 2.4 liter Mivec (16 Valve) 4 cylinder and CUT transmission.  This vehicle comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile power train warranty and delivered an observed 22 mpg. average and carries a $27,395 msrp.

The Rally red looked great on this vehicle with its bold looks and aggressive styling.  Automatic & height adjustable HID headlights & automatic rain sensing wipers were a nice feature.  The panoramic roof was neat in the rain and also at night under the stars, and it no bother during the day as you just push a button and its covered up.  The Rockford Fosgate sound system was a really nice feature and delivered great clairty and bass.  Bluetooth was easy to operate & most operations manageable from the steering wheel mounted controls.  It also had Sirius satellite radio, perfect for my little one who loves the kid’s channels.  The paddle shifters were a responsive and also a handy feature on long grades where down shifting is preferred.

I found the power train to be adequate & perform well in traffic & highway operations as well. The Outlander was civilized but nimble and inspires spontaneity with its AWD.  Off road the Outlander seemed right at home.  It was comfortable and would go anywhere I told it too.  AWD is equipped with center locking differential which was handy through some of the steeper grades & loose terrain.

Trunk space was adequate for our family of 5.  With an equipped roof rack, full size spare tire, it was ready to go camping too.  One of my kids is still in a car seat and rear seating room was a bit tight.  The kiddos seemed to like the vehicle but they would have liked rear A/C.  In the Las Vegas summer, good A/C is a must, the Outlander’s A/C was icy cold once it got ahead of the cabin temperature, however 1 fan speed higher would be nice.

 

Overall the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT AWD gets high marks for styling, function, performance, perceived value & features.  It would be better with stronger A/C (more CFM) & without the chrome badges that reside on each front fender.  It looks mean and as long as you understand what you’re driving, it performs well on off road, highway, and city driving respectively.  If you’re in search of bold looks, off road capability, and a lot of useful features at a reasonable price, check out the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT AWD.  

You can check out the Outlander at local Las Vegas dealership:

JIM MARSH MITSUBISHI

SALES(888) 384-7157

8555 WEST CENTENNIAL PARKWAY
LAS VEGAS, NV 89149

http://www.jimmarshmitsubishi.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Hyundai Elantra SE {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

*** I was provided a vehicle to test drive for a week in exchange for my honest evaluation. These opinions are my own.***


So much to love about the Hyundai Elantra! Our family recently had the opportunity to test drive the 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE. We are currently in the market for a new vehicle and this is great car for daily use. This vehicle is not super fancy (as in no sunroof, manual seat adjustments, no heated seats etc.), but it is safe, comfortable and great drive! Our Elantra has cloth seats which sort of made me nervous with a four year old. I feel like leather seats are easier to clean, in the event of a spill, or dirty shoes stepping on them, but luckily, we had no problems with that! I also limited what he was allowed to have in the test drive vehicle as far as food and drinks and put a towel down on the seat where he gets in. His toddler car seat fit in comfortably, installed easily, but adding a second carseat or adding big/tall adults on both sides would be a snug fit back there. Not to say it would be impossible, just not ideal for a longer road trip. Luckily, we live in Las Vegas where everything is about twenty minutes away!

In addition to a ‘normal’ mode for driving, there is a sport option and an eco option. I did not have much opportunity to test out the sport mode since I use this vehicle for commuting to work, which is a thirty mile round trip at the most and run a few errands on some days. Being environmentally conscious, I ended up using the eco setting for most of the week. I wanted to know that the eco mode meant I would not have to sacrifice performance for reducing my carbon footprint. At present, I drive an SUV and I do my best to conserve mileage knowing how much gas I use and how that impacts our environment – it’s rather embarrassing if we are being honest. (This is why I recycle – I have to offset somewhere!) I prefer to allow plenty of time for my arrival, even allowing for additional time in the event that there is traffic or an accident I need to get around since I do not like to be rushed when I am driving. For just normal, day to day driving, the eco setting works perfectly. I feel good knowing that not only am I limiting emissions, but I get more miles per gallon making my wallet happy too! The Hyundai Elantra is better than the average new car with gas mileage with 37 miles per gallon on the freeway and 28 miles per gallon in the city. I had a good mix of both so that combines to an average of 32 miles per gallon. So that means, with a fourteen gallon tank, I can drive to work and back without filling up about fifteen times! Does that make you happy or what?! 

The best part about this vehicle is America’s Best Warranty. You simply cannot beat Hyundai in this aspect. This is such an important feature as a busy mom who does not want to worry for several years about anything breaking to leave me stranded somewhere or figuring out how to pay for a big unexpected, but necessary expense. Their warranty is a standard feature!

  • Five years or 60 thousand miles for the New Vehicle Warranty
  • Ten years or 100 thousand miles for the Powertrain Warranty
  • Seven years (unlimited mileage) Anti-perforation Warranty
  • Five years (unlimited mileage) Roadside Assistance
    ***Limited warranties, see dealer for details***

For safety, the Elantra has ESM (electronic stability control), VSM (vehicle stability management) and ABS (anti-lock braking system) with brake assist. There is even a driver’s side knee airbag and curtain airbags. Just knowing they are there makes me feel secure. The back up camera is one of the best safety features especially in our neighborhood where kids play in the cul-de-sac and backing out of the driveway requires extra slow movement and complete awareness. It is also super helpful when exiting parking spaces in busy parking lots like at school and when shopping – Or if you just want to make sure you are properly centered in your parking space! I love using the Bluetooth feature for hands free calls and for my GPS from my phone also. Pairing with my phone is a breeze.

There is a compartment for my sunglasses for convenience and there are cup holders galore! There are two beside the shifter, two behind the front seat arm rest and one in each of the four doors – No room for thirst in the Elantra! The back seat does not have a dedicated center air vent, but the air flow from the front was plenty for my son. There are power windows, power locks, power side mirror adjustment and an a blind spot mirror inset on the driver’s side. The remote key unlocks all doors, the trunk and has an alarm too. 

There a lot of standard features that made me happy to be in a new car. I love cruise control especially since I drove from St. Rose Parkway to Floyd Lamb Park after driving from Ikea first. One feature I would have liked to have is electronic seat adjustments, but that is a tiny detail (I do not valet that often and do not share driving with anyone right now.) The Elantra is equipped with options to sync Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so I was happy to see my Samsung was welcome! Ha! As you may have read in previous vehicle test drives, I love SiriusXM satellite radio! When I am commuting to work, I giggle so much listening to the comedy stations. Other drivers must think I am nuts seeing me laughing out loud with no one else in the car. Use the in-dash 7 inch touchscreen (which displays the reverse camera) or change stations and adjust the volume right from the steering wheel – super handy! There is a USB plug and an auxiliary port as well as two 12V outlets right in front of the shift controls in a small bay that can hold mints and your garage door opener and can also be closed when you exit the vehicle. 

This model also comes with SHIFTRONIC although it is a 6-speed automatic transmission. SHIFTRONIC allows you to manually upshift and downshift without a clutch. There are even models with paddles on the steering wheel for shifting as well. Pretty cool, but I did not use that option. Mostly because I’m lazy, but I also did not think now would be a good time to try to learn it. I know how to drive a shift stick, but I would be looking for the clutch with this fancy new system and we live a pretty flat city…again, let’s hear it for ease and comfort! That’s right: Automatic! 

The stereo sounds great with speakers everywhere (six of them!) and the center arm rest has deep storage too. You can play CDs or hook up an MP3 player or iPod. Let me tell you, there was not one friend who saw the Elantra that did not tell me they were huge fans! Even guys who are all about cars. I was surprised, I was impressed. It is a really good looking car! For a midsize car, I was expecting to feel really small since I am used to driving a much bigger vehicle, but this was not the case. I had to actually look it up to see what weight class it was to be certain. What a great drive…As you see it here, this model retails for about $19 thousand. I really enjoyed this test drive and I have a feeling when I buy a new car, my list of potentials will include the Hyundai Elantra! That warranty!!! 

Here are our local Southern Nevada Hyundai dealers:

Centennial Hyundai Las Vegas

Henderson Hyundai Superstore

Hyundai of Las Vegas

Please see the Hyundai website will have more information and to build your own Hyundai Elantra SE!!!

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Brunch, Food, Live Like a Local, Moms, New & Hot, Restaurants, Reviews

Bottiglia at Green Valley Ranch

Fitting that Bottiglia ( pronounced boh-TEE-yah) means “bottle” because even if you don’t go for the food you will want to be there for the drinks. Styled as a European yup-scale 1960s farmhouse chic restaurant it’s the perfect blend of retro elegance and modern touches. I could not help but imagine Audrey Hepburn here; Breakfast at Tiffanys? Brunch at Bottiglia! Picture a gastro pub that has been white washed, studded with reclaimed wood furniture, pastel fabrics, geometric chrome accents and sporadic wicker whimsy. They must have designed their drinks according to their decor. YES, I want my bellini to match my plush peach seat and YES, I would love for you to make my white sangria smell like the bouquet on the back of my chair damnit! And YES, I want my Malbec to be inspired by my velvety fig colored booth. Pinks, peaches, plums, gold and robin-egg- blues? I’ll drink all of it please…….Oh and I’ll be waiting for my drinks on the wrap around terrace if you don’t mind, thank you. I know what you are thinking: this sounds all very…… feminine.

Don’t let the décor fool you though the fine dining side of things could impress the likes of Anthony Bourdaine. This IS a fancy Italian restaurant and they’ve got the Lobster Fra’ Diavolo to prove it. I think we can all agree, Italian cuisine is all about love and you can tell where Chef Patrick’s heart is: The sea…. The sea of love….. I want to tell you just how much… I love his Halibut….. Among other things. One word ANTIPASTA. Their mastery of wood-smoked eggplant spread is only surpassed by their straight up ownership of lemon ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms. The tuna carpaccio blushes as deep as the beets in the roasted beet salad. The chopped salad is nothing short of an orgy of tart, tang and sweet kiss of green grapes. The eggplant parmesan? Miniature like a ballerina and just as ‘en pointe’ ( sul punto in Italian) If you want to get some romance get intimate with the appetizers. You’ll go home satisfied.

But let’s get back to that Halibut. You put a piece of fish in front of me and all of a sudden I look like  teenager that just had her first drink. I giggle, I wiggle and smile. Most sushi chefs think I’m flirting with them. Maybe I am and I don’t realize it, but if I am, it’s only because I’m part penguin. For that reason, the Pan Roasted Halibut spoke to me, even though I don’t speak Italian or even understand most Italian, that fish and I understood each other. It knew I would adore it no matter what. But the condiments and garnish excited me more than the fish by itself. The fish was laid on a bed of faro (thick fluffy grain) with a water color green butter sauce, dollops of carrot puree and then the peas (ohlordthepeas!) The peas were short spring inspired love poems, each a pleasurable burst inside my mouth whispering sweet nothings to the fish.

They didn’t have to bring anything else out. But they did and to be completely honest The Shrimp Puttanesca and the Lobster Fra’ Diavolo could have their way with me too. I KNOW I sound like a cheating foodie perv but if I could have a menage`a trois of fish shrimp and lobster in one sitting every time I dine at Bottiglia….. I WOULD. Both the shrimp and the lobster are equally spicy and beautiful. While sexy in name, puttanesca, meaning whore’s pasta, in Italian has become slang for “a bunch of sh*t in the cupboard goes in the pasta”. Classically, you need the capers and olives to kick the ever loving crap out of you in order to make this dish a success, which is what made this my favorite of the pastas, because capers are my life. The creamy pink sauce on the lobster though was seriously indulgent. It was almost like a deconstructed lobster ravioli. But a warning: if you don’t like you food to look at you, request the face to be removed cause you get the entire lobster.

Dish after dish was placed and removed by what seemed like six different super models which made the dinner feel like a seduction. If I can’t be seduced in Italy then I’ll gladly take a little Italian seduction in Henderson. So…. while I’m in the mood, I’ll tease you with some dessert. I’ll give you some hints: one melts in your mouth and the other was filled with fun ….. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination… Bon Apetit!

        

Reserve your table today: Bottiglia at Green Valley Ranch ***BRUNCH SERVICE BEGINS SUNDAY 28 AUG 2016***

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Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
Kia Optima Turbo {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
What I love about the Kia Optima Turbo… Where do I begin?! Let me just start by saying that I would not have thought to test drive a Kia before this opportunity. You can check all the specs of the Kia Optima online, but here we are going to discuss the look and feel of the car as a day to day driver. These are the details you want to know before you buy! There are a number of well-known car makers that will always be at the forefront of any vehicle search. Of course there is criteria to consider (2-door, 4-door…hybrid, SUV, etc.), but my search would always start off with brands I have known my whole life. Believe it or not, Kia was not one of them… Until now… 
I was really surprised and impressed right from the start! The romance began with that amazing new car smell to draw me right in. Who doesn’t love the smell of new leather?! The car I received for the test drive is a gorgeous pearlized white paired perfectly with the sporty, glam look of merlot leather interior. Yes, that is what struck me first! Despite having a car seat strapped in the center of the back seat, I still felt like I was behind the wheel of a sports car. 
The Kia Optima Turbo is quite the looker with its aerodynamic design, red wheels and panoramic sunroof/moonroof. I was especially surprised about its get up and go. Well, being a Turbo edition should have clued me in! I was very happy with the handling as I have noted even nice, high end cars do not always have the turn radius I think they should. I have owned cars with strong engines including a ’71 Mustang, a BMW, a Chrysler 300, and a Porsche Cayenne, so I’m no stranger to cars with power! I love the innovation of automated deceleration as there are some sharp turns in the Valley! I could feel the output drop when I would be taking a turn like a clover leaf freeway ramp. In addition, while in traffic, if someone were to enter my lane too closely ahead of me, there was instant reaction by the vehicle. So cool! I felt super safe at all times. With my son, safety is the absolute top priority.
Speaking of safety, back up sensors are so key – in addition to notification for stationary objects you may bump into, there is also a sensor to alert you if a car is passing behind you, crossing your path as you back up from a parking space, for example. There are back up cameras too, which I love, but having work in the insurance industry in a former life, I still check every corner and move at a snail’s pace in parking lot situations and especially when in reverse. The center dashboard screen for the back up cameras is a must, especially since we have a neighbor kid who wanders out of the house often. I live in a cul-de-sac and so I have that false sense of security that I am only a few doors from the end of the block so no one should be passing behind the car, right?! Wrong! I have looked back to see a little face standing not too far from the end of our driveway. It is truly a frightening sight! I would never want anyone to be hurt and back up cameras are so helpful as an additional precaution, and at night, it is a no brainer…not to mention the help while backing into a space or illuminating your path at night!
More AWESOME PERKS include that gorgeous panoramic sunroof/moon roof. At night, we could see the stars and the moon while daytime meant watching planes traverse our gorgeous blue skies. I normally drive an SUV and switching to a car may feel like I am downsizing. I did not feel that way at all! In fact, feeling cramped is not an issue when you can practically peel open the entire top of the Kia Optima Turbo! You are wired and ready for Sirius XM radio so you will never have a loss for listening options. The Bluetooth for hands-free dialing was extremely easy to set up and the sound quality on both ends of phone calls was stellar. No problems, no delays in sound, it was a breeze. I like that I could use GPS from my phone or use the GPS navigation. I prefer using my phone’s GPS since I have a lot of saved addresses right at my finger tips, but having both options is really nice. Radio and call options are also easily accessible from the steering wheel so distractions are kept to a minimum. It’s a Harman Kardon too – BTW, for the audio nerds reading this! *insert secret handshake here*
There’s a push button start which is beyond brilliant. You don’t have to worry about losing your key either! I always have a latch for my keys. With the keyless entry system, I just latch my keys onto my purse and as soon as I’m near the car door, it unlocks! I never unlatch my keys! It is a small detail, but if (like me!) you are notorious for misplacing keys or locking yourself out of the car (most recently, the wind shut my car door behind me while I placed my purse on my seat to throw a sweater on!), you will appreciate this detail. 
Cup holders for everyone! Not only are there cup holders in the center console, but in every door – Keep hydrated, my friends! I also love that there is a seat warmer/cooler and a way to save the seat settings so when you valet, or if your honey drives, you don’t have to get in and reset everything. There is a USB connection and multiple charging outlets (does anyone still refer to them as cigarette lighters?!) including a couple in the back of the center console/arm rest so your back seat passengers will not have to share or wait their turn. My son loved having his own ‘personal wind’ for dedicated air flow. two separate vents to aim in different directions. There are also shades on the back windows to keep your toddler from having a complete meltdown because the sun is shining on them. Spoiled, much?!
If anyone is looking into a new car, you absolutely have to try the Kia Optima Turbo. They really did blow me away with this test drive. Like I said, you could still feel like you are driving a sports car with plenty of leg room for multiple passengers and car seats! I took a trip to Costco and even took a friend to the airport so you know there is TONS of trunk space too so load up and take a road trip in your new ride…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*~*~* They have ongoing deals right now!!! *~*~*
 
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Food, Kid-Friendly, Live Like a Local, Moms, Restaurants, Reviews, Support Local

Truffles N Bacon Cafe : A Culinary Love Story

Welcome to my first sentence ever to post on a blog! I’m just a guest here. I don’t know how guest blogging works really or how many more of these you’ll see from me but I am so appreciative to Las Vegas Moms Blog for having me here. Blogging is fun. wheeeeeee!

TNB foodiesWhen Cee Cee from LVM asked me to come to a private lunch tasting at Truffles N Bacon AND write about it, I almost flipped. I think I actually squeed.  The name Truffles N Bacon, in my mind, evokes images of smoky fat crisped bacon and indulgently pungent truffle oil, right? Nope! I was totally wrong and super okay with it. Think sweet pork and chocolate with a little bit of South Pacific flair. Truffles N Bacon Cafe namesakes are attributed to their award winning bacon jam and their chocolate truffles. The chocolates are pretty self-explanatory: little rolled balls of chocolate covered in things. Simple and delicious. And then their bacon jam, so complex and versatile, they can (and do) put it in nearly everything. In fact, two of the foods that blew me away were dishes that both boasted the jam.

Our hostess, Magnolia, had prepared us a gorgeous French Countryside High Tea experience (sans tea.) Wild flowers floating in tea cups placed on floral chiffon table cloths next to 6 types of finger foods piled on porcelain hors d’oeuvre tiers.  Each tier of food was labeled. The entrees: The Lucia, Kahlua sliders, Mad Bird and Not Yo Mamma Mac. And the dessert:  Cocoa powder dusted chocolate truffles, coconut covered chocolate truffles and balsamic strawberries.

Kahlua Sliders

Kahlua Sliders

As the Instagram pros got up to start their photo shoot, I started swilling down water to keep from sweating and swearing in public: At that moment I hated myself for not ever taking up photography. I also had not eaten all day in anticipation of this tasting and I was starting to imagine fight scenes between lions and hyenas.  After the sandwiches had been staged or “styled” and were taken away to be snapchatted, periscoped, and instagrammed, the writers felt comfortable enough to loiter around the tables and sneak away with plates of food.

I have a confession to make. Even though I tried and enjoyed all of the foods we tasted, there are two I really want to talk about and it’s because they are, in my opinion, extraordinary. While the Mad Bird (the turkey burger with pepper jack cheese, roasted tomatoes, artichokes and sriracha avocado spread on ciabatta) and the Kahlua Sliders (slow roasted pork shoulder with tropical slaw on Hawaiian sweet roll) were lovely and delicious, I am in awe of Not Yo Momma Mac and I am in love with The Lucia.

Not Yo Momma Mac is THE unicorn of macaroni and cheese. It’s the mythical mysterious mac that has eluded me for years. I knew something like it existed but could never find it….until now. This is nothing short of ambrosia.  As if unadulterated mac and cheese wasn’t good enough, TNB had the audacity to put pieces of brisket, kale and their signature bacon jam in theirs and thank the gods they did. I want to dump truck the entire dish in my mouth and drown in it. This is pure creamy, crispy, spicy, smoky, melty, sweetness. I have found the mac and cheese Valhalla. I can die now.

The Lucia

The Lucia

And yet, as magical as the mac and cheese was nothing compares to the Lucia. This is my love letter to a sandwich… I think about you my beautiful grilled cheese, aka my finger food soul mate, EVERY DAY. Cheddar, bacon jam, tomato compote, chipotle ranch spread an on grilled white toast. The smokiness of the tomatoes in a bath of chipotle and the sweetness of the bacon jam is everything I never knew I wanted. That sandwich did something to me.  I find myself humming the Andrea Bocelli tune “Santa Lucia” throughout the day. I often think about making my own grilled cheese but then… it just wouldn’t be the same. My friends say I am changed. I didn’t realize I was empty until I had this sandwich. If it is possible for Tesla, one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century (and possibly ever) to be in love with a pigeon, then I believe it is possible for a 21st century girl, to be in love with a sandwich (especially in the current dating climate).

The bacon jam dishes should be enough of a reason to visit Truffles N Bacon Cafe, but if food isn’t really your thing, they double as an art gallery and offer high tea service too. You just have to call ahead to schedule it. I plan on doing that soon. (I need to visit my boyfriend Lucia, anyway)

photo credit: 
Erik Kastner and Arianna Domingo of Fifty Fifty Studios
LVM: Cee Cee Bautista
via Instagram: @happytummy_702@ninser_the_foodie, @hei02miyachi

TNB 2    

Truffles N Bacon Cafe
8872 South Eastern Ave, Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
702-503-1102

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GIVEAWAY, Health, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Kids, Moms, Reviews, Sponsored

Litl’ Squirts Are a Big Hit in Our Family!

20150307_135840
We could not be happier when our friends at Litl’ Squirts sent us a box of love in 8 oz bottles. We had the awesome opportunity to taste test this super yummy beverage and let me get right to the point and tell you: It was a total grand slam across the board with three different families – five kids and three moms! This is hands down the best beverage we could have asked for! It is made of natural spring water from Maine blended perfectly with real fruit juices so it is naturally sweetened. So you don’t have to worry about giving your kids a sugary drink. It also has added vitamins too so it’s even better than plain juice!


I know I’m just like all other moms when I say I do my best to make healthy choices for my son, but when it comes to drink options, I was beginning to think that I can’t win every time! Now that I found Litl’ Squirts, I can give my son water that tastes likes juice!!! JJ loves juice, but I don’t want him to have too much unnecessary sugar in his diet, not to mention what it could do to his teeth! My son loved Litl’ Squirt so much, he finished it in one sitting. I shared samples with other LVMB writers: Heather and Janel.

Click here to see the triplets trying Litl’ Squirts for the very first time!

  
I gave Janel samples of Litl’ Squirts for them to try while she was watching my son and her youngest son. After some park time, both boys downed their drinks and shared another bottle. Luckily, Janel had a chance to taste it before surrendering it to them! I tried some myself when I heard what a hit it was with our boys. It actually does taste like juice so I was pleasantly surprised. There are several different flavors: Raspberry Apple, Blueberry Lemonade, Blueberry Apple and Cranberry Orange. The one we tried is blueberry and apple flavored, but the taste is not artificial. I was so thankful since I literally gag anytime I taste fake sugar. My body physically rejects it! I love that Litl’ Squirt is made from natural spring water and that real fruit flavors and colors are used. It is not overly sweet and each serving is only sixty calories so you can keep kids hydrated without high calorie drinks. Spring water is better since there is no added fluoride or chlorine, it is naturally a clean source of water and contains naturally occurring minerals. There are a lot of choices when we feed ourselves and our children and I’m happy to say I am completely sold on Litl’ Squirts. We hope you make them a staple in your fridge too.

Check here for availability near you! 

–OR–

You can BUY ONLINE here also…

Connect with Litl’ Squirts on Facebook too!

Comment below and Las Vegas Moms Blog will let you try them free!

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