With spring having officially started, we thought we should share with you some great songs to celebrate with.
1) It’s A Beautiful Day – U2
2) Brighter Than The Sun – Colbie Caillat
3) Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
4) Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
5) Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer
With winter still here, so too is the threat of being stuck in the snow. Here are some of our tips and things to keep on hand.
1) Always carry kitty litter or sand in your car. Ah yes, you’ve likely heard this a thousand times before, but given that, there’s a reason for it. Should you ever get stuck and are in desperate need of traction, throw some down underneath your tires to get the make shift connection you need in order to get our car going.
2) If the snow gets too deep and you need to dig your car out, don’t resort to having to use your hands. Keep a portable shovel in your car. It’ll make your life that much easier.
3) Don’t spin your tires. It can be a scary or freaky situation to realize your car doesn’t want to move when you tell it to, but if you find yourself stuck and unable to get any kind of traction, don’t keep spinning your tires. This can only serve to make your situation worse as you risk digging yourself deeper into the snow, as well as threaten to damage your tires and transmission. If your pushing your engine into high RPMs and too quickly, you can burn out your transmission. Don’t do that. Stay calm and ease off the gas.
4) Put the car into gear, and SLOWLY accelerate. You can’t rush these things if you want to get out. Slowly accelerate, and the moment your drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off the gas. Switch between forward and reverse in an attempt to “rock” the car into position.
5) Dig. If you’re really stuck and none of the above can help you then start digging. Remove the snow and slush that could be prohibiting your vehicle from moving and get ready for the next part.
6) Make shift traction. If you don’t have sand or kitty littler, then you’re going have to use old cardboard, floor mats, or wood pieces (watch for nails or other pointy things) to stick in front of and behind your tires. Slowly inch back and forth until you get your feet back under you, so to speak.
Drive safe and be careful out there!
Whether you’re stuck inside or are the type who enjoys a little bit of outside fun, there are a ton of things you can do during the winter. If you’re struggling to find ideas though, here are some of the things we suggest.
1) Read a good book while being tucked underneath a blanket. There are few things that feel better than being riveted and warm at the same time. Just curl up and enjoy.
2) Movie night. Reading not quite your thing? Then a movie night may be exactly what you’re looking for. Enjoy your favorite movies while munching on your favorite snacks.
3) Bake. When you’re stuck inside or feel like getting a little warmth in your belly, freshly baked cookies, cakes, or any other treat you love is perfect for the occasion.
4) Make a fort. Indulge in a childhood joy and make a fort for you and your children. It’s a lot of fun, and here you can do any number of things like play board games, draw together, or even just chow down on some candy.
5) Go out, enjoy the weather with outdoor games or go to somewhere you’ve never been before. Enjoy the weather while it lasts and experience all the things it has to offer.
Are you a fan of the winter classic? Good because we’ve got some ways to help you bring a little extra flavor to a winter staple. These are just some suggestions, so experiment until you find the flavor you love!
2) A little bit of dark chocolate, orange zest and some extra sugar. Surprisingly delicious if you’re a dark chocolate fan! More specifically: 1 cup milk, 1/2 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of orange zest, and 2 oz of dark chocolate.
3) Give it a little bit of an old world taste with some dark chocolate, cinnamon, and a little, tiny, bit of cayenne: 1 cup milk, 5 oz of dark chocolate, 1/4tsp of cinnamon, and tiny pinch of cayenne.
4) Want a drinkable Reese’s pieces cup? Throw in some peanut butter, and heavy cream and you may be surprised: 1 cup skim, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 4 oz of milk chocolate, and 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter.
5) Like to pumpkin everything? Add some maple syrup, pumpkin spice, and unsweetened dark cocoa together: 1 tsp of maple syrup, 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 cup whole milk, and 1 tsp of unsweetened dark cocoa.
6) Nutella – add some along with cocoa, and a pinch of salt. More specifically: 1 cup of whole milk, 2 tbsp of Nutella, 1 tbsp cocoa, pinch of salt.
7) Give it a caramel kick with some caramel sauce: 1/2 cup of milk, 5 oz milk chocolate, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 3 tbsp of caramel sauce.
Are you looking to get down during the winter season? Here are some of the songs we recommend.
1) “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes
2) “Love Like Winter” – AFI
3) “Let It Go” – Idina Menzel (Of course we just had to go there)
4) “Winterlong” – Niel Young
5) “Early Winter” – Gwen Stefani
1) Avoid stopping at high speeds when you can.
The faster you go, the harder it is to stop. It takes more energy for your brakes to slow you down and the more energy it takes, the more it eats away at your brakes.
It’s a skill that takes some time to master, but knowing when and where to coast instead of immediately slamming your brakes when things start to slow down is key to prolonging their life. For example, when you’re getting onto the off ramp on the freeway, coasting from 70-50 mph makes it vastly easier for your brakes to slow you down.
3) Plan ahead.
This is a two step process that also takes some time to get down. Learning when and where vehicles typically slow down (such as going down hill or on freeway bends that look sharper than it actually is) helps you plan ahead and know when you should start coasting. It’s also a good idea to keep your eyes looking ahead farther than just a car or two in front of you. This way you can see how traffic changes and appropriately respond to those changes. All of this will help you not only master coasting, but also be a little safer too.
4) Don’t brake for the sake of braking.
Just because you see the person in front of you braking, doesn’t mean you have to, too. So many times people hit their brakes simply because they’re distracted rather than because they actually have to slow down, but as always, safety first and use your best judgment.
5) Flush and bleed your brakes.
Your brake system needs fresh fluid from time-to-time to keep the internal components healthy. Do this every few years to keep your system going strong.
6) Check your pads regularly.
Generally, it’s best to do it when you’re getting the tires rotated as they’re easily visible.
As the season changes, so too do the driving conditions and these are some of the things you should be on the look out for as the leaves begin to fall.
1) Watch out for said leaves.
Despite being fairly pretty additions to roadways, leaves are also hazards when wet as they function as a poor man’s snow, causing decreased traction and control.
2) Be prepared for less sun.
We lose about a minute of daylight everyday until we reset the clocks in November, so be prepared for a reduction in visibility during this time of the year.
3) Check your tire pressure.
Temperature changes can cause your tires to expand and contract, resulting in a loss of air pressure. Make sure they’re up to the proper levels, and you have plenty of tread.
4) Plan for wet road conditions.
Increased rain fall comes with autumn, so be ready for that and plan accordingly when it starts to come down. That includes making sure your windshield wipers are in perfect working order.
Want to become a better/safer driver? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top 10 safe driving tips.
1) Don’t drive drunk.
Sounds like a no-brainer right? Yet every year we have accidents caused by drunk drivers (which accounted for over 11,000 deaths in 2008 mind you) and every year someone doesn’t get to go back home. If you decide to drink, be responsible, get a designated driver or call a cab. Don’t be that person.
2) Watch your speed.
Keep your speed within the speed limit and you’ll have improved your chances of surviving an accident significantly. Even speeding ten miles an hour faster increases your chances of being seriously injured in an accident by up to 50 percent.
3) Avoid distractions.
We know it’s tempting to send that one text, even when stopped at a red light, or change that particularly annoying song you don’t even know why you downloaded on your iPod, but don’t. It can wait. The song will end and if it’s an emergency, then chances are someone isn’t going to be texting you about it. Also avoid doing anything else that would take your hands of the steering wheel, like eating, applying make up, or talking to passengers. Stay focused!
By that we mean get plenty of sleep before you drive. Driving drowsy is as bad as driving drunk.
5) Safety first!
Your seat belt does serve a purpose besides being an annoyance. It not only helps your body decelerate slower (so impacts are less..impactful), they most importantly stop you from being ejected from the vehicle or hitting your head on something hard. Like the dash. Buckle up and you’ll never regret it if you ever get into an accident.
6) Drive carefully in bad weather.
Things change dramatically in bad weather. You lose a significant amount of traction on wet or frozen roads, meaning it will take longer for you to brake and as well as seriously reduce your ability to handle the vehicle. Drive slower, pay attention to your surroundings, and give extra space whenever possible. When visibility conditions are really severe, and you have to pull over to the side of the road, turn your lights off. You don’t want someone accidentally hitting you because they thought you were still going down the road.
7) Keep your distance.
Really, keep your distance. Tailgating will never save you significant enough time to be worth it, especially at high speeds. The best rule of thumb, is the 3 second. That’s how much time should be between you and the vehicle in front of you. The best way to gauge that, is by picking a stationary object on the side of the road and once the car in front of you passes that object, count how many seconds it takes you to also pass it. If it’s under 3, give the vehicle a little more space. At night or in mild-to-bad weather, double this.
8) Be prepared.
It’s not just the title to a song from the “Lion King.” Be ready for anything. Swerving cars, tailgaters, and sudden braking. Keep your eyes peeled and follow the golden rule of driving, “Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot.” Don’t expect drivers to be predictable because when it comes to distracted drivers, its usually the furthest thing from the truth.
9) Drive defensively.
This incorporates many of the things we’ve gone over above. Keep a safe distance, stay aware, drive slowly, and stay calm. Letting your frustration getting the better of you during rush hour traffic can lead you to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Like tailgate or drive more aggressive than you actually mean to.
10) Keep your vehicle tuned up.
Make sure everything works properly in your vehicle. Having everything in peak condition can allow you to react to things better. When you have fresh or mostly new tires, your grip and braking distance is improved. New brake pads help you brake more efficiently, and by also ensuring you don’t have an issue like a power steering fluid leak, you will improve your driving experience.
With school starting, or getting ready to start, our morning commutes are getting even more hectic. That calls for a little musical boost in which to relax any frayed nerves, and hopefully bestow some peace upon the family Acura. Here are our top relaxing songs.
1) “Don’t Know Why” – Norah Jones
2) “Strawberry Swing” – Coldplay
3) “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac
4) “Into The Fire” – Thirteen Senses
5) “World On Fire” – Sarah McLachlan
6) “Hands” – Jewel
7) “Peaceful Easy Music” – The Eagles
8) “Let It Be” – The Beatles
It’s a bane for many drivers and passengers alike, ruining family road trips and the overall driving experience. It can feel like a curse, and sometimes it’s so frustrating we just don’t know ho to deal with it. Well, if this is how you feel, then we might have a few tips you might be interested in.
1) Why does it happen?
The first thing we have to do to address car sickness is to understand why it happens. Motion sickness is caused by an inner ear imbalance that results from receiving two different sensory inputs in regards to movement. Usually this discepency is from your eyes seeing the terrain fly by you, which indicates you are moving, and your inner ear feeling as though you’re sitting still. This triggers a reaction in your body that releases a neurotransmitter since it believes there is some hallucinogen afflicting your body. Thus, this results in the common feelings of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and all the other fun stuff that comes with motion sickness. Now, on to how to prevent it.
2) Look at the front window
One of the first things we can do to try to avoid triggering this transmitter release is to stay focused on the front window. Looking out the side windows can confirm to your body that it is moving, and thus the confusion begins. Look at a non-moving object in the distance and keep your eyes there for as long as possible. The easiest thing to focus on is just the horizon. It’s recommended you avoid playing card games, reading, or doing anything that would cause you to look from side to side.
3) Sit in the front
If possible, it can help drive, or just sit in the front seat. This gives you a wide expanse on which to focus on, and there are occasions where the front seat is less bumpy than the rear seats, so this could help prevent the symptoms of nausea.
4) Keep your eyes closed
This shuts off one of the sensors that’s alerting your body of the motion discrepency. Plus, falling asleep can help you power through the symptoms, and the trip too.
5) Pop open a window
Sometimes opening up a window can alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness as fresh air can be soothing to the senses. If it’s not possible to open a window, there is often air leaking into the car near or around the windows so if you can find it, use that to get a little extra air. Also, avoid smells that could make you feel sick such as food, perfumes, car air fresheners, etc. If that’s not possible, then use a lightly scented spray such as lavender or mint to keep things fresh.
6) Take a break
It’s good to get out and stretch your legs on long trips, and it’s also a good time to help recover from the feelings of car sickness. Walk around or sit on a bench, taking deep breaths through your mouth and exhaling through your stomach.
7) Take some things to prevent it.
Here are some ways you can do that.
This can help delay the arrival of nausea symptoms if you start to feel it coming. Just apply gentle pressure on your forearm (between the two tendons) about 3cm (about an inch) or so back from the wrist joint. There are wrist bands which you can buy that can do this for you as well.
9) Over the counter medications
Although they aren’t always effective for alleviating or preventing, car sickness symptoms, some anti-nausea medications can help. Just make sure to pay attention to the side-effects and the ingredients in case you are allergic to one of them.
10) Block out the motion
By either using your hands to cover the sides of your face (thus blocking out your peripheral vision) or by using car sickness eye wear, you can block out seeing the world go by, and thus the feeling of motion. This can allow you to read, play games, or do anything else you’d like to do while on a long trip. Just check to see if it works for you first.