Travel

2017 Mazda 6

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Here’s another great car addition to my review list. When you have to be on the road for either work or pleasure, I think the 2017 Mazda 6 can provide that. Comfortable seating and roomie interior is key to an enjoyable drive. As a family of 4 we really enjoyed this sedan.
Mazda now offers SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control, to help achieve a smoother, less fatiguing drive. When cornering, on initial turn-in and throughout, the system works seamlessly by adjusting power delivery and shifting vehicle weight.

Its style gives it a sleek appearance and the strong engine gives a sporty feel. The 2017 Mazda 6 is a midsize sedan with seating for five.
Standard features for the Sport trim include: 17-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable front seats with lumbar support for the driver, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a rearview camera, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with voice control, text messaging capabilities, a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker CD player with auxiliary/USB input, HD radio and internet streaming radio.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) for models with the manual transmission. The Mazda 6 has strong safety ratings in all forms. Making it a safe ride for the family.

All in all I give this an 8 out of 10. Visit https://www.mazdausa.com for more details.

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Travel

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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December has been such a busy month from holiday shopping to TV segments and events.  While doing all this running around, I had the opportunity to try out the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.  My opinion on this car before I go into the break down, is it’s a great little inexpensive vehicle with many uses.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a four-cylinder base engine, and a five-speed manual and automatic transmission is standard.  The acceleration on this is not on the strong side, and perhaps that’s my real complaint.  It’s a 24/31 mpg city/highway with the CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The Outlander Sport’s ride is smooth and comfortable.

The cabin design I thought could use some updating, but both rows of seats are supportive and somewhat roomy.   The infotainment system is generally easy to use, although the one I drove did not have navigation which made things a little harder.  The Outlander Sport has good cargo capacity for the class.

 Available features include push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen and voice recognition.
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The 2016 Outlander Sport has 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 49.5 with them folded. The available panoramic sunroof was pretty cool, and one of the biggest ones I have seen; although it does not open. The trunk was perfect for all the shopping or traveling that some of us have to do. 
All in all I give this a 6 out of 10.

Travel

2017 Ford Escape

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I finally had the opportunity to try out the 2017 Ford Escape. This is the first time I was able to try out a ford and I have to say I was quiet pleased. The car has some great features.

The popular small crossover SUV has come a long way from its debut in 2001. It uses the latest update of Ford’s Sync voice-command system. It also gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrated into the infotainment system. Which was a convenient feature. It was like having your iPhone right on the screen.
Ford Escape offers three engines: The 2.5L with independent variable cam design (iVCT). The available 1.5L EcoBoost® iVCT, the most fuel-efficient Escape engine.* And for more punch at the pedal, the available 2.0L EcoBoost with twin-scroll turbocharger. Both EcoBoost engines feature fuel-saving and emissions-conscious Auto Start-Stop Technology.
*EPA-estimated rating of 23 city/30 hwy/26 combined mpg.
2017 Escape is smarter than ever. Available technology can alert you to unintentional lane drift, warn you of a vehicle in your blind spot, auto-maneuver you into (or out of) a tight parking spot, or open the available hands-free, foot-operated liftgate with just a gentle kick under the rear bumper. And the EcoBoost® engines feature Auto Start-Stop Technology to help save fuel when you’re driving in the city.

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Additional technology making its first appearance in an Escape includes adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and brake pre-conditioning; lane-assist alert and active lane aid, which makes steering corrections; and enhanced parking assist (the driver operates the pedals and gearshift, the system controls the steering), which now performs in parallel and perpendicular parking situations.
Returning to the Escape for 2017 are blind-spot monitoring, hill-start assist, automatic high beams, and the vaunted foot-activated tailgate.
Escape Titanium with the most powerful engine, all the tech that matters and upgraded cabin materials and amenities, and the price climbs just above $38,000. That’s fairly pricey for this class, but Ford crams in a lot of features for the money.
A new Sport Appearance package equips the Escape SE or the Escape Titanium with blacked-out exterior trim, blacked-out 19-in. wheels, dark-tinted headlight bezels and taillights, partial-leather seats with a V-shaped pattern, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shiftier.
The 2017 Ford Escape has more padded materials giving a high-quality look. Ford also adjusted the design of the center console, moving the shiftier back to provide easier access to the climate controls and switching to an electronic parking brake to free up more space for storage. Improved sound insulation means the Escape is about as quiet as a luxury vehicle on the highway.
Escape’s front seats are comfortable and wide, though the back seats provide a pretty spacious back seat for the small SUV.The Escape shares a new 6-sided grille with the Edge and Fusion sedan. The bumper has been equipped with a huge center cut-out with two small hollows. Fog lights sit below the headlights.
All in all I give this an 8 out of 10. It’s an outstanding car with great features. Make sure to check out your local ford dealer for a test drive or visit http://www.ford.com/dealerships/locate
Travel

Volvo XC60 T6 AWD

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I have been wanting to try a Volvo out for a while now. I have heard so many amazing things about them being top rated on safety, which to us having 2 littles ones is a must when reviewing cars. The XC60 received a top five-star rating in government crash tests for overall, frontal and side crash protection. It also received the best possible rating of “Good” in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash tests, which is a rare achievement. Finally, the 2016 XC60 received a rating of “Superior” for its frontal crash prevention technology. One of the greatest features as a parent other the safety is the car has built in carseats. It’s so convenient and from what I hear it’s so comfortable. 

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The exterior of the XC60 T6 AWD is a small luxury crossover. It’s has a modern look with some sleek touches. I love the back of the car which offers a stylish look, but I think the front could be amped up a bit in terms of style. 
The interior offers seating for 5 along with the built in car seats.  XC60 cabin is a modern design. Volvo offers comfortable and supportive front seats, and is great for long road trips. The middle console is okay. I think that could be worked on. The screen is very tiny, which makes it hard to navigate at times.  I wasn’t a big fan of the middle console.  I think Volvo could change that up to make it more convenient for the driver and passenger. 
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The drive is easily the highlight of this vehicle. The pick up on the car is amazing and provides you with great acceleration.  It also offers great fuel efficiency, better perhaps than any of the other vehicles I’ve had the pleasure of testing.  I could easily see myself driving one of these every day.
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All in all I give this car an 8.5 out of 10 for me. Volvo has come a long way from its boxy look and is high on the scale of classy vehicles. Visit http://www.volvocars.com/us
Travel

Mitsubishi Outlander

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I had the pleasure of trying out the new 2016 Mitsbushi Outlander a couple of weeks ago.  I have heard on and off reviews on the Outlander so I was excited to check it out.  It had a cute look with nothing too stylish compared to its opponents.  The interior was standard for a crossover.  The 3rd row seating in my opinion isn’t worth having, but it is a convenient option.  It’s super cramped even for my kids who are still little.  I say get rid of the whole 3rd row. The trunk is very small , this is why I think they should just get rid of the 3rd row all together, but the leg room for the passengers in the middle seats and front is wonderful.

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To my surprise the Eco feature on it actually saved us on gas.  I loved that feature.  EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2016 Outlander are average for this class, starting at 27 mpg combined (25 city/31 highway) with the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive and dropping to 26 mpg combined (24/29) with all-wheel drive.  The V6-powered GT returns 23 mpg combined (20/27). 
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Standard safety features on the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, a driver knee airbag, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. 
The dashboard has a sleek, subtle look, and it’s covered with a refined soft-touch material that’s matched by supple trim on the door panels. Infotainment features are class-competitive, highlighted by standard voice controls and a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface that’s standard on all but the base ES trim.
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There is not too much power to the acceleration if you’re in eco mode on the highway.  Driving around town isn’t to bad. 
All in all it’s not bad for the average starting price of 22,995, and of course you can add other features.  I think it’s a great car for people who are just starting a family or for people who have older kids.  Out of a 10 I give it a 7
A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Pressed Juicery Cleanse

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Cleanses are a great way to detox your body, giving you a fresh start.  I try to do 2 cleanses a year, but I only do a 3 day cleanse just to give me that motivation to get back on track with clean eating.  I was excited to be able to review Pressed Juicery.
Their mission at Pressed Juicery is simple: make high nutrition a realistic option for all people. They do this by focusing on what others often forget: Make it taste great. Make it simple. Make it affordable. Make it for everyone. As they expand, food safety is their number one priority. As an industry leader, they have researched the latest technologies available that best keep their products safe without compromising great taste. In a field crowded with opinions and unqualified conjecture, they feel strongly about having actual science to support their decisions.

I love how they have different juice cleanse packages.  Cleanse 2 was what I went with and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. People are always scared to try a cleanse out because they think they will starve. Not true!  If I feel like I need to eat something while I’m on the cleanse I eat almonds or celery maybe even an apple. I have to say the second day of my cleanse I was actually full. I actually had to force myself to drink lol.
The one thing I loved about this cleanse is that it contained  Chlorophyll and Aloe Vera waters to supplement the cleanse each day. Great to aid digestion and raise alkaline levels!
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If you are thinking of trying a cleanse I recommend this cleanse and company. Below you will find all the information on the juices I tried.
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Ingredients

apple, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine, spinach

Description

Leafy greens. Refreshing citrus. A touch of sweet apple. Greens 2 is a staple when you want all the goodness of a greens juice, but are still easing into the pressed juice habit.

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Ingredients: (1 of my favorites)

apple, lemon, mint, pineapple

Description

This enzyme rich juice is filled with phytonutrients and bromelin which helps to reduce inflammation. Drink it before a meal to get digestive juice

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Ingredients

apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine, spinach

Description

Craving some zip in your green juice? Enjoy the kick of ginger in this delicious blend of leafy greens and sweet apple.

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Ingredients

apple, beet, ginger, lemon

Description

Beets help your body to release stomach acid which aids digestion! Drink this juice when you want a snack that’s both pretty and nutritious!

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Ingredients (another delicious combination)

aloe vera, coconut water, cucumber, lemon, pineapple

Description

This juice is ultra hydrating via cucumber and coconut water and contains three of the most powerful natural digestive aids – pineapple, lemon, and aloe vera. A great juice when you want hydration and a digestion boost!

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Ingredients: ( my absolute favorite)

almond, dates, sea salt, vanilla bean

Description

Raw almonds and vanilla provide protein, healthy fats, minerals and B-complex vitamins. Our customers swear that it’s ice cream in a bottle.

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For more information or to purchase a cleanse visit: https://www.pressedjuicery.com/

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of Pressed Juicery. This was not a paid post.

Wine!!

Stellabrate Valentine’s Day with Stella Rosa!

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Love is in the air.  It’s time to choose that perfect wine for a special night. Stella Rosa knows Valentine’s Day.  These wines are ideal for celebrating love, friendship, and good times.

I’m more of a dry wine kinda girl, but these wines definitely kept it refreshing and exciting with a semi sweet taste. 

 Stella Peach is a Moscato-based blend infused with natural white and yellow peach flavors. It’s a semi-sweet and lightly sparkling wine that will leave a delicate flavor on your palate and nose

From the village of Santo Stefano Belbo in Piedmont comes our delicious original Stella Rosso, a refreshing semi-sweet red wine best served chilled and accompanied with fresh fruit and cheese

Moscato D’Asti is a “semi sweet” wine made from the Moscato di Canelli grape from the Piedmont region of Italy. Sweet but not overly sweet with just enough bubbles. Great as an aperitif or with light meals. Refreshing taste with a clean finish.

About Stella Rosa Wines: Award-winning Stella Rosa wines originate from a small town in Northern Italy. Stella Rosa is a selection of wines created and imported by California’s Riboli Family Wine Estates, owned and operated by four generations since its establishment in 1917. For more information, visit www.stellarosawines.com
A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Anolon Advanced Umber Pots and Pans giveaway

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My final giveaway for the holiday season is here.  These pots are perfect for creating all those holiday meals. I love the bronze color of the pots and pans as well. Metal utensil safe Anolon Advanced pots and pans are made of heavy gauge hard anodized aluminum to ensure efficient, even heat distribution for exceptional cooking performance. The revolutionary ergonomic SureGrip– handle, a combination of durable stainless steel and silicone rubber, provides a confident yet soft grip and is oven safe to 400°F. Durable nonstick surfaces inside and out is ideal for both healthy cooking and easy cleanup. Restaurant tested by professional chefs, PFOA-free premium-quality nonstick delivers superior durability that stands up to the rigors of a professional kitchen. The break-resistant, domed-shaped tempered glass lids allow you to monitor food while it cooks, without losing moisture or nutrients. Anolon Advanced cookware offers a sophisticated professional look that will complement every kitchen.

Follow the instructions to enter and good luck. 

All you have to do to enter, is leave a comment at one or more of the following Homemade Delish social pages, or this site.  Good luck everyone.

1. Join Homemade Delish and Anolon on Facebook. Leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.

2. Follow @homemadedelish and @Anolon on Twitter and Instagram @Anolon and @homemadedelish. Leave a separate comment letting us know you are following if you haven’t already.

3. Subscribe to Homemade Delish via email. Leave a separate comment letting us know you subscribe via email. If you haven’t already.

The giveaway is open until Monday, December 21st  at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The giveaway is only open to USA residents. Be sure a valid email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on this post. We will email the winner and if the winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be shipped by Anolon. Good luck!

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Wüsthof Knife set Giveaway

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This review and giveaway is a special one just for all of you foodies. One of my favorite tools to use in the kitchen has to be a good knife and Wusthof is by far my favorite brand. If you enjoy the art of cooking and prepping you will love these knives, they are nice and solid but not to heavy. The knives are extremely sharp, so beware, but they have a great grip.

One of the most trusted names in cutlery, Wüsthof offers the perfect classic knife for every cutting, chopping and slicing job. A strong, long-lasting blade that is precision tapered from bolster to tip will maintain its shape and hold its edge. Wüsthof knives feature high-impact synthetic handles that are comfortable to hold, more durable and sanitary than wood.

I am excited to partner up with Wusthof to bring you this awesome giveaway. Follow the instructions below to enter for your chance at winning, and good luck.

All you have to do to enter, is leave a comment at one or more of the following Homemade Delish social pages, or this site.  Good luck everyone.

1. Join Homemade Delish and Wusthof on Facebook. Leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.

2. Follow @homemadedelish and @Wusthof on Twitter and Instagram @Wusthof and @homemadedelish. Leave a separate comment letting us know you are following if you haven’t already.

3. Subscribe to Homemade Delish via email. Leave a separate comment letting us know you subscribe via email. If you haven’t already.

The giveaway is open until Monday, December 21st  at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The giveaway is only open to USA residents. Be sure a valid email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on this post. We will email the winner and if the winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be shipped by Wusthof. Good luck!

Travel

Crystal Springs Resort Grand Cascades Lodge

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I had the pleasure of taking my family to Crystal Springs resort’s the Grand Cascades lodge. Upon arrival to the resort you traverse a beautiful road up to the top of a mountain, but this is after passing fields of Sunflowers and arriving in the town of Hamburg, New Jersey. This place is huge with views all around that are breath taking. I can only imagine the scenery in the fall with all the beautiful trees around.  Check in was pretty quick.  The bellmen and valet service were super friendly and ready to take your belongings to your room.

We arrived at our 1 bedroom suite. This looked more like an apartment with everything that you need from a full functional kitchen to a washer and dryer all in your room. My favorite part of this room would have to be the tempurpedic mattress. It was like sleeping on clouds. We also had a private balcony with a table and chairs. The bathroom was huge with a jet bath tub and a walk in shower. There were 2 sinks which makes it very convenient; especially while getting ready.

After check in we headed out to explore the beautiful pools: Biosphere Pool Complex With 2 exotic free-form heated pools, spacious hot tub, water slide & sunken tropical aquarium; and the Vortex pool with sauna & heated outdoor pool. After all the fun in the pools we went back to freshen up. We made reservations to dinner at Springs bistro. The hostess greeted us and sat us outside with a beautiful view of ten sunset. Our waitress (Breanne) was super helpful and very attentive. Dinner was absolutely amazing hats off to the chef. Springs bistro has an amazing wine list. Which we found out that grand cascades has a wine cellar and offers tours. Which I can’t wait to come back and tour. After dinner we headed over to do some night putt putt glow in the dark golf. The kids loved it. They also offer s’mores on the patio at night. Then we went for another walk around the resort before retiring for the evening. This place is filled with activities and things to do and see.
The following day we headed over to Crystal Tavern and enjoyed a delicious breakfast including truffle scrambled eggs, fresh squeezed juice and baked eggs with chorizo and avocado. After breakfast we checked out and headed over to our “mountain top experience” package. The shuttle picked us up and took us over to Minerals Resort. Another shuttle arrived and took us up the mountain from there. We arrived at this little paradise on the lake. We did some archery, paddle boat, canoeing, fishing, and just enjoyed the little lake beach area. All and all this was an amazing experience one that I want to return to. There is so much more I want to see and do there. For all the golf players and lovers out there this is the 3rd largest golf resort in the world. This is a must visit with or without kids. A fun family getaway or a romantic experience. For more information visitwww.crystalgolfresort.com

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