The Mazda5 Review


I loveeeeeee my job!! Last week I drove one of the coolest Minivans E-V-E-R!! Check out the 2015 Mazda5 Grand Touring. This minivan looks so compact from the outside but open the door and WOW there is so MUCH ROOM!!

Starting with the outside design. This van is sweet!! I love the wave look to the side. SO SLEEK looking!!

With an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway, the Mazda5 gets excellent fuel economy for the class. Personally I got 26 mpg. I drove everywhere; being in Southern California we are talking a LOT of stop and go driving so I was thrilled with the miles per gallon.

The Mazda5 drives like a dream with tight turning radius and so easy to maneuver! This van drives like unlike any minivan I’ve ever driven! This van has the smoothest ride. I’m blown away at how comfortable the ride is. Bumpy roads? NOT in the Mazda5. Seriously smooth and comfortable ride.

The 2015 Mazda5 is a four-cylinder engine, I found it gave me more than enough power, even with a car load of passengers.

The Interior. WOW like I said before; there is a LOT of room. Once you are inside this minivan feels like a full size van.

From the driver seat there are so many great perks. USB port within easy reach from the driver seat. The Grand Touring comes with automatic climate control with pollen filter! Of course my favorite in any car is the heated front seats!  Even the power windows are cool, with a very responsive one touch up and down driver’s side feature.

All of the necessary controls on the steering wheel like answering phone, cruise control and volume controls. The Mazda5 has dual power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, which I think is one of the best safety features on an automobile. I wish my CRV had them.


The Mazda5 is a 6-passenger van with THREE ROWS of seating!! THREE!! And everyone has plenty of room! I took a trip to the San Diego Zoo along with my daughter and 3 grand-kids. All three car-seats installed easily with the seat anchors. But, the really impressive part?? None of the kids were close enough for that ‘he’s touching me’ fight. Everyone had plenty of room!!

The middle row of seating is really cool!!  From the fact that they are sliding captain’s chairs with fold-down arm rests. Pull up the seat in that middle row for some great storage! That’s where the headsets and game controllers are stored. The other seat has a cup holder and tray. Under the tray? More storage!!

The third row of seating has a 50/50 split fold-down seat-back. Both back rows of seating have great visual access to the DVD screen. When you’re traveling with 3 kids that are 6 years old and under; THAT is important!!

I think my favorite feature is the double sliding rear doors. MAN I love that feature!!! It made getting kids out of car-seats so easy!!!

Standard features in the six-seat 2015 Mazda5 include a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary audio input, a USB port and automatic climate control.


Although I love a car with a DVD player; this particular DVD player hangs down so low that it makes using the rear-view mirror very difficult.  Now with that being said this DVD player has MAJOR perks!! From 2 wireless headsets included to a GAME CONTROLLER!! Yes, you read that correctly. You can play video games with this system.

IMG_1000My next whine is the fact this minivan doesn’t have a back-up camera. I am thoroughly spoiled; I haven’t driven a car without a back-up camera in so long it took some getting use too. I know it’s a little thing, but I really missed it.

Since I’m whining; theIMG_1009 gas gauge is in a really odd place. The gas light came on while I was driving because it’s sorta hidden.

The first picture is the view you have when you are driving. If you lean forward and past theIMG_1010 steering wheel you’ll see the gas gauge.







Overall, this was a FUN car to drive! It drives beautifully. The ride is comfortable. The contemporary design of the exterior is very cool! There is plenty of room for storage and people. Plenty of headroom for everyone.


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Disclosure: I have received complimentary/free products for the purpose of this review. The opinions are 100% mine. I have not been influenced in any way. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials In Advertising. Connie Gruning at Peanut Butter And Whine.

Snack And Play Travel Tray Review

Wait till you see this!! The Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Tray is a MUST HAVE for kids in car-seats.  I take that back, for kids PERIOD!! This tray is perfect for trips across town or long car rides. This travel tray is so very, VERY HANDY!!  I know, I know…. tell us how you really feel right?!?!  It just that this is so perfect for kids!

The Snack & Play Travel Tray is made of a soft, durable, 100% Nylon. It includes buckles either around the child or the stroller, has large mesh storage pockets on the side and a 2 inch wall to stop food and toys form falling to the floor.

The tray is soft, no sharp edges, nothing that would harm your child in any way. The lip around the tray isn’t hard, it’s a dense foam that does bend and will completely collapse on impact.  BUT that foam lip is more than sturdy enough to keep crayons from falling on the floor. It keeps french fries on the tray too!

The tray has an extra long strap that goes around the back of the car-seat or booster seat. There are two, yes count ‘em TWO ways to lock it in place. So if you have your car-seat on the right or left side of the car it’s easy to latch it into place!  No having to stretch and reach behind the car-seat to latch it into place.

The tray has netted side pockets for books, toys and a water bottle. I love that the pockets are made of netting because I’m afraid of what would be in the pockets if they weren’t!  5-year-old Eli just realized that the cup holders in the car holds water!! I don’t need more science experiments in my car!!

The tray is sturdy enough for Alice to do her school work, practice her writing and coloring. It holds lunch, toys, crayons and more!! Alice can play dolls, put together puzzles; whatever she wants to do! The tray is a great size too. 15″ by 10″  with the 2″ lip all around.

Alice ALWAYS demands the tray be put on. ALWAYS yes, even just a quick trip down the street she wants her Travel Tray up!

This tray even cleans like a dream. I keep a package of wipes in the car, one wipe and the tray looks as good as new.

This Travel Tray would make an AWESOME gift!!

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I do wish there was a cut out for drinks. That is truly my only whine. This is a MUST have for kids and travel! From cars to airplanes to strollers; this is awesome!!

Disclosure: I have received complimentary/free products for the purpose of this review. The opinions are 100% mine. I have not been influenced in any way. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials In Advertising. Connie Gruning at Peanut Butter And Whine.

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Portable Moving Containers: A Step Closer to Stress Free Moving

I recently accepted a promotion from my employer that would require me to move cross-country. I was given a three-month time period before I’d actually need to relocate, which was great. As excited as I was about the promotion and the move, it slowly began to sink in that I would have to somehow get EVERYTHING out of my current home, loaded onto a moving truck, and unloaded into my new home. When I sat back and thought about the various obstacles I faced in my last move, I couldn’t help but stress over how things would turn out this time. That is, until someone told me about portable moving/storage containers!

So what is a portable moving container? Simply put it is a large metal container (sort of resembles the shipping containers found on the back of a 16 wheeler). Once you find a suitable moving containers company, you simply place an order for the appropriate sized container and have it shipped right to your front door.

Easy to Load

One of the hardest things about moving is loading up the moving truck. Trying to get your belongings onto a moving truck can be quite cumbersome. You have to be able to navigate your belongings up this slanted slope and hope to the heavens that you don’t drop something. However, portable moving containers are placed right on the sidewalk (or driveway). This way you can load your things without having to ascend an incline.

Go at Your Own Pace

There is nothing worse than begin on a tight deadline when you’re trying to move. Trying to get everything you own into the back of the truck in a day’s time can be overwhelming to say the least.  However, if you don’t return the truck on your agreed upon day you’re facing some serious expenses. Portable moving containers
on the other hand allowed me to take my time. I rented the containers about two weeks before I was ready for my big move. As I packed my belongings, I placed
the boxes inside the moving container. This way I didn’t feel rushed to get everything packed and loaded at once.

Delivered Wherever You Need It

After I’d strategically and carefully packed all of my belongings (you know you never realize how much stuff you have until it’s time to pack it all up), I was able to reach out
to the portable storage container company I’d ordered from and have them schedule a date for pick up. They were able to pick the container up without a problem and delivered it to my new home across the country. What I particularly love about the pickup and delivery option is that I don’t have to worry about driving a huge moving truck cross-country in an unfamiliar location, it was all taken care of.

Plenty of Time to Settle In

The other very stressful part of moving is the unpacking. Once you unload your personal belongings from the moving truck, you have all these moving boxes placed all around your house, and trust me when I say it can get confusing. Not to mention I had schedule for professional painters to come out to my home and paint a few rooms so I really didn’t want to put anything in those rooms. That’s another lifesaving aspect of portable storage containers. The container was neatly placed in the driveway of my new home. I was free to unload it as I saw fit. This meant I could wait until my walls dried before moving all my belongings into the house. So I took my time settling in and
unpacking boxes.

While I certainly hope I don’t have to move again anytime soon, I must say that having portable moving containers instead of renting a moving van worked wonders for my long distance move. Loading, transporting, and unloading were easily accomplished. I was able to take my time in planning my move and getting settled in without all the stress.