Rainbow Coconut Jelly Bean Coconut Easter Cake Recipe

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When I was growing up my mom made us a special treat each year. It was always one of my favorites. It was her White Chocolate Coconut Jelly Bean Candy Easter Nests. I just love how the white chocolate, coconut and the fruity flavors of the jelly beans mixed so well. With this flavor combination in mind I came up with a new Easter tradition our Easter Cake. As I thought about the flavor of the jelly beans Kool-Aid came to me. Kool-Aid comes in many different shades of bright colors, it has similar flavors and some of our favorite jelly beans so it was the perfect solution to both coloring and flavoring each layer of our Easter Cake.

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Our Easter Cake has a pink strawberry, yellow pineapple, green lemon-lime, and blue mixed berry layers. It is frosted with the most delicious coconut white chocolate buttercream frosting. Combining the coconut and the flavors remind me of a colada drink.

This is a great cheery cake for kids.

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Cake:

  • 2 Box Cake Mixes or 2 batches of White Cake Batter

  • 1 packet of Kool-Aid drink mix powder for each color -4 total (the ones without sugar)

Prepare your favorite box white cake mixes or this great from scratch recipe for White Cake ( two batches.)

Divide the cake batter equally into 4 medium mixing bowls. Slowly add Kool-Aid powder until you reach the desired color and flavor or each color.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Bake each cake color layer in an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan for about 18-20 minutes check after 18 minutes. The cake will bounce back when done when pressed down in the middle with your finger.

Cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and completely cool on cooling rack.

Wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and place in freezer.


White Chocolate Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Note: You will need two batches for this cake

  • 2-pound bag of powdered sugar

  • 1/2 milk

  • 1 cup softened butter

  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

  • 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 cup of melted white baking chocolate

In a stand mixer using the whip attachment whip together melted white chocolate, butter, milk, vanilla and about 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar to incorporate air. This will make your frosting nice and light and fluffy. 

Slowly mix in the remaining powdered sugar then add coconut and whip together. 

This frosting is creamy, delicious and sets up very nicely.

Coconut Nest Topping

  • 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 packet of green lemon-lime Kool-Aid powder mix

  • 1 bag of your favorite jelly beans

  • 1-quart size zip top bag

Add coconut and 1/2 packet of Kool-Aid powder to zip top bag. Mix the coconut and powder together kneading with hands. 

Mound in the center of the top of the cake to form a nest top off with a large handful of jelly beans.


SWEET TIP: To frost the cake and get beautiful layers add your frosting to a quart size zipper top bag. Snip of one corner of the bag about a half inch up.

Starting with the bottom layer squeeze our large dollops of frosting around the cake top. Spread evenly and repeat as you add each layer. Then squeeze out frosting in a zigzag pattern around the side of the cake. Spread over the sides filling in between the zigzag. Don't worry if you zigzag is straight.

The point of this is to get a fairly even amount of frosting around the cake so it is easier to spread and prevent little cake crumbs from mixing into your frosting.

If you have any holes in your frosting just go back and add another dollop of frosting.

This frosting sets up nicely and is very forgiving. Since it is a coconut frosting it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.

The kids are going to LOVE this cake.

 
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Fresh Basil & Jalapeno Omelete Recipe

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Omelettes are a keto diet staple food. They are a perfect food for someone doing the keto diet on a budget. This omelette recipe is so tasty and filling, you are going to love it! It's a great low carb breakfast idea or for any low carb keto diet meal! 

Weekends call for delicious brunches. I have a nice bunch of basil in my garden that needed to be picked and some nice beautiful jalapenos ready to harvest too.  Emmi sent me some of their Cave-Aged Le Gruyére try so I decided to add a bit of this rich nutty flavored cheese that pairs perfectly with the fresh green flavors. Add some garlic and farm fresh eggs to make a delicious breakfast or brunch meal.
An omelet is also a tasty quick dinner too that doesn't taste like a quick dinner.
I like to make one big omelet slice it and serve it on a platter so everyone can choose the size they would like to eat.

Fresh Basil & Jalapeno Omelete Recipe 

Serves 4

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/4 cup cream

  • gruyére cheese

  • 1 clove garlic

  • small bunch of fresh basil

  • 1 fresh jalapeno

  • salt and black pepper to taste

  • tablespoon butter

There are two techniques used in making a creamy perfectly cooked omelette. First is whipping the cream and eggs together. Crush and mice the garlic, chop the jalapeno into small pieces, add salt and pepper to taste and whip into eggs. 

Add butter to a medium size frying pan. Heat on medium heat. Add eggs mixture to pan.

The second technique is to allow the eggs to cook on the bottom they pull the edges into the center with a wooden spoon allowing the uncooked eggs to fill in the sides and cook. Repeat this until all the eggs are almost cooked. At this point add the Gruyére cheese. You can either slice it into thin slices or grate it. Then fold the omelette in half and cook just until the cheese is melted. 

With these two techniques you will end up with a cream delicious center and perfectly cooked eggs that aren't dry. 

Slice and garish with a sprig of fresh basil and slices of fresh jalapeno.  

Enjoy!

DIY Valentine Sewing Card Craft

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DIY SEWING CARD VALENTINE SUPPLY LIST

  • scrapbook, craft or card stock paper

  • ribbon

  • hole punch

  • Valentine candy

  • Valentine note

Fold paper in half and cut out two hearts. Spacing evenly punch holes around the edge of heart about 1/2 apart starting at the tip of your heart. Place both hearts together lining up holes. Starting where you would like to tie your bow, lace or sew ribbon folding the end of the ribbon to make it easier to sew. When you have about 2-3 holes left stuff your Valentine with your friend or loved one's favorite Valentine's candy along with a sweet Valentine note.

 

Tip: To get your holes to line up punch holes in first heart then using a pen mark your second heart using your first heart as a template. We used American Crafts papers and ribbon from the Love collection. 

DIY Christmas Pinecone Garland Decor

This post is sponsored by Command™ brand.

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I love the holidays. Cheery Christmas music, gathering all my favorite decorations to tuck into every nook and cranny of my home and our favorite sweet treats we only eat once a year.

This year we live in a lovely pre-war home with two fireplaces which means I get to decorate two mantels. I'm so excited. I get to create two pretty Christmas vignettes on each one.

I love the fall/Thanksgiving decorations I have on my dining room mantel.  It's made of a beautiful old growth oak wood. To keep the pretty wood intact I am using Command™ Clear Mini Hooks that are easy to apply and easy to remove without hammering holes in the wood for a damage-free holiday.

I wanted to create a lovely transitional garland that I can have up with my Thanksgiving decorations that I can also have up for Christmas.

This simple pinecone garland is a perfect easy DIY Christmas decoration or Thanksgiving decoration anyone who can tie a simple knot and bow can make.

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DIY Christmas Decorations - Pinecone Garland

  • Gather an assortment of pine cones -wash and dry

  • 2-3 yards of ribbon

  • Holiday craft pick 

  • Craft Glue

  • Command™ Clear Mini Hook (to hang)

    Gather and wash your pinecones. Cut a length of 2 1/2 yards of ribbon. If you are feeling sparkly you can add some glitter to each pinecone too by simply brushing some glue on the pinecones and dusting with glitter.

Wrap the ribbon around the bottom of the first pinecone and tie it in a double knot. Repeat spacing the pinecones apart about 5 inches. Tie two bows from the ribbon leaving long tails to top each end pinecone. Glue the bow on the top of the end pinecones.

Using the Command™ Clear Mini Hook add adhesive back as directed. Place the Command™ Clear Mini Hook on the mantle to hang the garland as pictured above (I used the white mini hooks so you can see them better here in the photo.)

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Next, I simply added a Christmas craft pick tucking it into the Command™ Clear Mini Hook to hold it in place. The nice thing about using the Command™Brand Hooks is you can quickly change your decorations if you change your mind without damage.

I'm also hanging my wreaths on my windows using Command™ Brand Hooks. Did you know you can use them on glass? Be sure to clean the glass well before adhering the hooks.

On my enclosed porch I'm hanging these pretty velvet and grapevine wreaths on the windows using the Command™ Medium Designer Hook which can hold up to 3 pounds which is perfect for hanging wreaths.


You can find more ways to use Command™ Brand Hooks for your holiday decorating here at Command™ Brand Holiday.


Happy Holidays!

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Friday Pie Day | Low Carb Keto Pie Recipes

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I LOVE lemon and All Day I Dream About Food’s low carb keto Sour Cream Lemon Pie is amazing!

FRIDAY PIE DAY!

With Thanksgiving Dinner keeping up very full on Thanlsgiving day, I am offically call it- Friday is Pie Day! Have some keto pie for breakfast or host a pie day gathering with friends after you gather up all your Black Friday Deals.


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The Keto Connect couple do their research and their Low Carb KETO Pecan Pie is sure to be a favorite for those of you who need some Pecan Pie for your Friday Pie day.

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How about a Low Carb Keto Chocolate Silk Pie, yum! Ruled Me has a great chocolate keto pie to add to you Friday Pie Day menu. Click here for the recipe.

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Dreaming about your grandmas pie for your Friday Pie Day? You can still have it just tweak it a bit with I Breath I’m Hungry’s Low Carb Keto version of Strawberry Icebox Pie

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Friday Pie Day wouldn’t be complete without a Low Carb Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Enjoy!


FOLLOW MY FRIDAY PIE DAY Pinterest Board for more Low Carb KETO Pie Recipes

Montage Deer Valley Resort With The Family

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The Montage Deer Valley Resort is a place where you can bring the whole family. There is something for everyone to do plus their's skiing too!

It's January and time for a wintery wonderland getaway to a magical place where snow covered tall pines and mountains are your view from your bedroom window. A place where you can ski in and ski out from dinner. A place where all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life melts away and you get to have fun, relax and live life. The kind of life you always imagined. 

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The Montage Deer Valley is that very kind of place. 

The Montage Deer Valley is located right on the fluffy powdered slopes of Deer Valley Utah adjacent to three high-speed chairlifts. Skiers can stay at this 5 star luxury resort or just ski right in for lunch, dinner or drinks.

The architecture and design as well as the art throughout are reminiscent of a lovely mountain lodge. It's cozy comforting and luxurious all at the same time. Original artwork from local rocky mountain artists adorn the resort.

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One of our favorite features of the resort is that Montage Deer Valley is pet-friendly. Your pet is welcome. The resort has two sweet mascots Bernese Mountain Dogs Monty (pictured above) and Jonas who are at the resort to greet you with a well-mannered smile. Isn't Monty a handsome boy!

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If you are more of a stay inside and enjoy the snow from the window view, Daly's Pub is a family friendly place to hang out and have fun. With four regulation bowling lanes the kids will have a great time and so will you! We saw the sweetest older couple spending their anniversary together and having a blast bowling.

You can order dinner right at the lanes with a great variety of classic favorites including hearty delicious cheeseburgers, fries and pizza.

In the mood for some pool or video games? They have that too. Or you can just hang out at the bar and watch the game after a long day of skiing on the mountain.

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The indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs are open year round. One of our very favorite things to do is to sit in the hot tub under the winter snowy night sky as the snow is falling. My family loves it too. It's one of our traditions when we visit a ski resort hotel. It's magical. You have to try it.

My girls loved hanging out at the complimentary gourmet s'mores bar choosing from handmade flavored marshmallow and sitting fireside toasting their tasty treat.

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Our two bedroom three bathroom suite was perfect for our family. We had plenty of room to move around and feel like we are in a nice space rather than a tiny hotel room. The beds are cozy with down pillows and comforters. Each bedroom has a cozy fireplace. We were greeted with fresh cookies and fruit which was a big hit with the kids. The oversized soaking tub is perfect for relaxing the muscles after a day of snow filled activities.

There are so many things to do and see in Park City but The Montage Deer Valley offers a complete resort full of activities and relaxation so you never really have to leave to enjoy a great getaway!

Pickle Juice Pickle Juice Pickle Juice Why is Everyone Drinking it?

Low Carb Keto Friendly Recipe

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Kind of like Beattle Juice only Pickle Juice. If you have done any kind of research into a low carb-keto diet you have probably seen posts about pickles and drinking pickle juice.

The reason everyone is talking about pickles and pickle juice is because it's an excellent way to prevent you from getting headaches, muscle cramps and getting dehydrated when you are on a low carb- keto diet especially when you are first starting out. Even before I started my low carb way of eating a found out that I could stop my migraines in their tracks with some pickle juice. 

WHY PICKLES AND HOW DOES THE PICKLE JUICE WORK?

The pickle juice just happens to be the perfect mix of salt, water, and vinegar which renew the electrolytes in your body. It also helps you stay hydrated too. Did you know that athletes drink pickle juice too? It a much better drink than those awful sticky sugar filled sports drinks.

After draining several bottles of pickles of their juice I decided to make my own pickle juice. I already make pickles, I come from pioneer stock and we pickle everything! Here is our tried and true delicious pickle brine recipe.

PICKLE JUICE (SANS CUCUMBERS)

Wash and dry canning jars.  In a large pot combine water, vinegars, and salt. Bring to a simmer then add garlic cloves, dill, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Pour into quart jars.  

That's it! Peasy Peasy! Store in the fridge. 

print recipe
Pickle Juice
The reason everyone is talking about pickles and pickle juice is because it's an excellent way to prevent you from getting headaches, muscle cramps and getting dehydrated when you are on a low carb- keto diet especially when you are first starting out. Even before I started my low carb way of eating a found out that I could stop my migraines in their tracks with some pickle juice. 
Ingredients
  • 2 quart canning jars
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Himalayan pink salt
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 teaspoons dill
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Instructions
Wash and dry canning jars.  In a large pot combine water, vinegars, and salt. Bring to a simmer then add garlic cloves, dill, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Pour into quart jars.  

Quick Pickled Red Onion Recipes

Pickled Red Onion Recipe

Making red pickled onions are so easy to make and are one of my favorite things to top salads, wraps and a  good charcuterie board.

Pickled onions are popping up topping burgers and salads at all the trendy restaurants. They are something our grandmothers use to make. I don't really know why they ever fell out of popularity in food because they are soo flavory and easy to make.
I loved picking out the pearl pickled onions out of my grandma's mustard pickles. I promise to post the mustard pickle recipe sometime soon because anyone who makes a roast should have some mustard pickles to add as a relish.

pickled onions recipe

You can make pickled onions with an onion really. I'm making a batch with both red onion and yellow onion. 
You will simply need vinegar and onions. That's it! See super easy!
I love using my vintage ball canning jar with the glass lid and clamp on it to make pickled onions.

Peel your onions. Slice your onion into thin slices.  Add to a jar of vinegar. All to pickle in the refrigerator for about 2 days then they will be ready to top your hamburger, salad or add to your charcuterie board.

Enjoy!

A Small Kitchen Herb Garden

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My little herb garden is coming along nicely. It's a first year for most of the herbs and second for a few of them. This is the dill. I am letting it go to seed so I will get more next year. I am growing for home made pickles.

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This young lavender is for drying and tucking away into drawers and closets or possibly a hot bath to relax the muscles.

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I am so happy with the basil. It is the first herb plant I have grow from seed and it's getting bigger than the plants I bought at the farmers market. I even planted it late.

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Thyme has always been one of my favorite herbs to pick and rub in my hands for a fragrant treat. I have two varieties including lemon thyme.



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Spearmint is to dry for winter teas to wake me up in the winter mornings.

I also have sage for Thanksgiving stuffing, oregano to add to a good tomato sauce, peppermint to mix with the spearmint and some chives too.

It has been a joy to be able to walk out the back door and pick some fresh organic herbs while cooking. Next year I want it to be twice or maybe even three times as big with many more herbs added.

Do you have an herb garden?

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Hot Dog Toppings Bar For Dinner or a Party

This post is sponsored by Hebrew National® 

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Are you planning a springtime BBQ celebration get-together? I have the best quick but still delicious and quality grilled dinner idea for you, your friends and your family. It's a Hot Dog Toppings dinner party. It is seriously the easiest to plan and make. It's also a HUGE crowd pleaser. The kids, as well as the adults, will love it.

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I put together a list of premium toppings I thought would cover everyone's tastes to go with Hebrew National® All-Beef Franks. One of the things I love about Hebrew National® All-Beef Franks is that the hot dogs are good premium cuts of 100% kosher beef. Quality is always something I look for when planning dinner.

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For our Hot Dog Bar, I added fresh ingredients. I made sure to chop the pieces smaller than I usually do so they could fit nicely on the bun. I bought freshly made buns from a local bakery and chose some tasty toppings, including onions, avocado, tomato, peppers, sauerkraut, a spicy green sprout mix, a variety of mustards and, of course, some ketchup. You can pretty much add any that you love. Think of your favorite salad-bar toppings if you are looking for some inspiration. With the kids, you can tell them to choose three toppings so they are sure to get some veggies in their meal. My family loves it and it's definitely on our list of things to make when friends come over. Happy spring!

 

More Recipes for Your Hot Dog Bar


Easy * Fresh Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe

LOW CARB KETO FRIENDLY RECIPE

 
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Fresh pico de gallo is one of my favorite kinds of salsa. It made from all fresh ingredients and is another one of those delicious condiment toppings to have on hand. It's great on everything from carne asada to fish!

Did you know that Pico de Gallo only has 5 ingeirents? It's super eay to make. If you want to grow one thing even on a porch garden this summer make it a pico de gallo garden. Tomatoes and jalapenos are some of the easiest garden plants to grow. Add a pot of cilantro and you will be making this delicious recipe all summer!

FRESH PICO DE GALLO SALSA RECIPE

serves 4

  • 3 large tomatoes

  • 1/2 onion

  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno

  • Small bunch of cilantro

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Course Sea Salt 

Simply chop all your vegetables into small pieces. Chop cilantro. Mix together in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from 1 lime over the top. Salt to taste.

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Our Favorite Avocado Guacamole Dip Recipe

LOW CARB KETO FRIENDLY RECIPE

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There is no need to miss out on some good snacks at a party. Just make this quick and easy low carb keto friendly guacamole inspired dip. Perfect for dipping veggies.

Avocados are rich in good fats and essential nutrients. They also happen to be one of my favorite foods. This simple Avocado Party Dip, which is basically another kind of guacamole recipe, will be the rave of our party. It's soooo addicting so be sure to make extra. You might even want to make a batch for yourself.  

More guacaole recipes coming soon... until then enjoy this creamy dip!

  • 2 Large Haas Avocados

  • 1/2 sour cream

  • 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


In a small mixing bowl add all ingredients squeezing in the juice of the lime. Smash together with a fork. Top with a light sprinkling of red pepper for garnish. 

Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or potato chips. Enjoy!

Note: The lime keeps the avocado from turning brown. I left mine out for a good hour to test it and it works quite nicely.


 

MORE RECIPES TO TRY!


 

Easy * Lettuce Wrap Tacos Recipe

LOW CARB KETO FRIENDLY RECIPE

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Taco on a low carb keto diet? You bet! I wouldn't go with out some good Mexican flavory keto tacos in my life.

🎵"If you like Cinco de Mayo, so you  c'n eat tacos all day. If you're not into carbs, and you have half a brain. If you like taking walks at midnight ..." 🎵 I know, in another life I was weird al with food lyrics haha.

There is no way I'm missing Taco Tuesdays just because I'm on a low carb keto diet. I love Mexican foods and flavors. Any taco can easily be converted to a low carb - keto taco by replacing the taco shell with your favorite lettuce. I used romaine hearts but a butter lettuce taco shell would be really good too.

Do you make tacos for Taco Tuesday? These turned out so good. You're going to love them and so will your family.
 

LETTUCE SHELL SOFT TACO RECIPE

serves 4

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • vegetable oil, butter or bacon butter

  • red pepper flakes

  • 1 small onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • head of lettuce

  • Pico de Gallo- recipe here

  • white cheddar cheese - shredded

  • 1 large avocado 

  • sour cream

In a saute pan add bacon butter, ground beef, chopped onions, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and sea salt. On medium heat brown your ground beef until starting to caramelize. Set aside.

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Road Trip with Toyota and Lexus 2015

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Over the river and through the woods we all went on a road trip to Vermont. This past April a few food and travel bloggers gathered in Stowe, Vermont for Camp Gathering- Vermont. Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine, James Anthony of the Phoenician Flea, Brandy of The Nutmeg Nanny, Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen, Sha' Atwater and myself, April Atwater from Sweet & Simple Magazine had the chance to drive some sweet 2015 Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The Toyota and Lexus brands are some of my favorite and these beauties keep up with the quality and luxury we've come to expect.

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Paul and James drove the 2015 Lexus RX 350 up to Stowe, Vermont from Brooklyn, New York 

"James and I were so happy with our Lexus, made the long drive such a pleasure. We actually said it was like driving on butter, it was so smooth"

Paul Lowe

Sweet Paul Magazine

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A few of the luxury extras we love for the road trip includes the beautiful wood detailing interior option.

Little luxuries go a long way on a road trip. In April the weather in New England can go from hot to cold at a moments notice. Having heated and cooled seats on both the driver and passengers side makes it extra comfortable. The remote touch interface even makes listening to your favorite tunes or planning your navigation a luxurious experience.  

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Lots of room for your travel gear in its versatile cargo area. This crossover is the top of the premium brands in our book. As Paul said, "It's like driving on butter!"

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Brandy and Gina drove up to Vermont from Poughkeepsie is the 2015 Toyota Highlander.

"I loved using the Toyota Highlander because it was roomy, had awesome features and was super comfortable for our road trip. I was so sad when I had to give it back because I loved driving it so much. In fact a few weeks later I even made my husband go test drive a Highlander because I'm in the market for a new car!"

Brandy O'Neill

The Nutmeg Nanny

"Loved so many features of the Toyota Highlander, specifically the Bluetooth integration and smart dash display. It drove like a car, not an SUV and made the winding roads of Vermont fun to drive!"

Gina Matsoukas

Running to the Kitchen

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There is sky for miles and a great view of the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont when road tripping in the 2015 Toyota Highlander with a full panoramic sunroof.

With seating for up to 8, quiet interior and rear-seat entertainment system getting friends together for a road trip is fun all around.

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There is sky for miles and a great view of the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont when road tripping in the 2015 Toyota Highlander with a full panoramic sunroof.

With seating for up to 8, quiet interior and rear-seat entertainment system getting friends together for a road trip is fun all around.

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If you are looking for comfort and great has millage the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is for you. Not only does it offer great back seat foot space the seats are comfortable.

The gas mileage is 40/39. You can get some serious road tripping done with this kind of fuel efficiency. We only stopped to get gas once the entire week we drove the Avalon and covered most of Northern Vermont in that week.

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The multi-information display just past the steering wheel in the gauge cluster let us know many miles we had left on our tank of gas, what our average fuel economy was on the trip and if we where in eco or sports mode. This information is important when driving the back roads on Vermont when you don't know when your next gas station will be coming up.

I also like the blue light. It's easy on the eyes when driving at night.

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If you're like me you have at least two drinks with you on the road. I keep an ice water and often a real sugar Dr. Pepper or a coffee on hand. I love the space in the doors for my water bottle and center drink holders for both the driver and passenger.

I always use a center arm rest when driving long distances. It one of the first things I noticed once I start driving. The Avalon has a nicely placed adjustable center arm rest.

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The exterior detailing of smarter aerodynamics of the Avalon is designed for minimum wind noise and a smoother ride. We loved driving the 2015 Toyota Avalon. It's on my list of favorite 2015 vehicles.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

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With it's nice quality interior and above average gas mileage we are liking the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander.

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One of the first things I look at when first getting into a new vehicles is the quality of the materials of the interior. It doesn't matter what the current perception of a brand is, I judge a good portion the quality of the luxury experience by the materials. It's like anything from a good pair of leather shoes to a designer handbag. The name means nothing if the materials are subpar.
 

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Mitsubishi has done a great job with the Outlander's interior. It's comfortable, stylish, and dare I say luxurious. Loving the fold down arm rest drink holder for the back row seats. Luxury bonus, bluetooth and the Fuse voice control is now standard.
 

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Though not the larges of cargo space the fold flat seats make for a great usable space for transporting your snowboards, diy project supplies or load of groceries.

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Loving this little extra bit of storage in the back for first aid kits and car kits, jumper cables or stashing your expensive buys from plain site.
I am very impressed with the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander. Give it a test drive and check out the other online reviews from consumers. I think you might be happily surprised. 

Price:
starting at $19,595
MPG:
25/32

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer * Surprisingly Nice Ride

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I haven't taken a look at a Mitsubishi in a long time. When the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer arrived for a test drive I was pleasantly surprised. It is a roomy, comfortable compact sedan and up to par with it's competitors. Just look at that stylish front grill and those tire rims.
 

The technology in a car is one of the first things I look at for comfort. When buying a new car the tech package matters. Mitsubishi offers a large 7-inch LCD touchscreen with navigation to help you find the way and real time traffic updates to let you know which areas to avoid, in the 2015 Lancer.
I found the traffic updates super helpful since I drive around town a lot during the day dropping off and picking up kids.

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The back seats roomy and comfortable with enough space for my long legged teen boys. Three can easily sit in comfort or fold down the center arm rest too. The nice thing about the back seats is that they also fold down for more truck space. If you have booster seats or car seats there is room for you too.
 

If you're like me you end up at Ikea buying something you didn't plan on and need the extra room of the fold down seats for your find to fit. It's also great when heading up to the ski resort with the snowboards and skis.  It makes the car so much more versatile.
 

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The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer is equipped with a Rockford Fosgate Premium Sounds System. There are 9 speakers in this car for some serious sound. Tech radio features include SiriusXM Radio and HD Radio to use those 9 speakers.

One of my favorite features on new vehicles is the FAST-Key electronic entry and start system. It seriously cuts down on my searching for the car keys panic.

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My two favorite color options on the Lancer are the Apex Silver for a classic look and the Octane Blue for a more sporty look. Which color would you choose?

Top favorite features are the all wheel drive for all weather ease of driving, great cameras for safety and the touring package with the leather seats.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starts at $17,3951
MPG
26/34
Seats 5

2015 Toyota Camry * New Refreshed Design

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There is a reason the Toyota Camry is America's best selling car 12 years in a role. It's comfortable and classy. This year Toyota stepped up the fashion game for a new sexier more sporty version of the Camry. 

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I love the red contrast stitching on this ash black leather interior. Click on the image to see it up close. Added with the new mesh grill, hood lines and the front to back crease line I would say that sexy is happening.

The sporty comes in with the paddle shifters, sunroof and sport styled seats.

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Just because they added the sporty doesn't mean they left out the luxury.  Luxury features include the 8-way power-adjustable heated driver’s seat, JBL GreenEdge audio, wood-grain-style accents,quiet drive, steering wheel-mounted controls and the best thing ever invented- smart key system with push button start.

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Coolest feature on the 2015 Toyota Camry is the wireless charging option. No worrying about a charger cord. The complete convenience of the wireless charging system on the Qi-compatible device and it wirelessly charged. Hooray! 

 Gas mileage comes in at an average of 28 miles to the gallon which is still pretty good for a mid-sized 6 cylinder sedan.

5 Star safety rating with knee airbags. Yes, that's a thing now.

 

2015 Toyota Camry

$22,970 

starting price


2015 Kia Sedona SXL * Unexpected Luxury

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Wow, Kia has stepped up their game. I never really gave Kia much of a look listening to other people and their thoughts Kia read cheap and not as good as Honda or Toyota BUT I was wrong. When I picked up my college age son in the 2015 Kia Sedona SX-L, he said, " what kind of car is this again?" It told him it's a Kia minivan. He was surprised first that it was a minivan and second that it was a Kia. He has been in Lexus, Infiniti and other luxury brand vehicles and he said, "mom this van is as good as the other luxury brands you test drive." There are luxury amenities in every row.

My list of favs that will surprise you are...

2015 Kia Sedona SXL


Dual Sunroofs for a sense of more space and great for drives up the canyon or on a starry night.

2015 Kia Sedona SXL

Tri-zone climate controls that means three rows three climates. In addition the front seats are heated and airconditioned and the second row of seats are heated. Bonus: the steering wheel is heated too!
 

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A brilliant addition to any minivan in the Kia Sedona SX-L are the stain resistant fabric on the seats. The interior cloth repels stains, odors, and static. Spilled your morning coffee? Not problem. Kids get in with mud on them? No problem. Yes, this is a must for any family vehicle.
 

2015 Kia Sedona SXL

Do you see that foot rest in the second row #luxury Such a stylish and roomy interior. There are several seat configuration that change with a touch of a button so no struggling to move the seats around. Minivans have come a long way in the past 10 years.

For safety the Kia Sedona has surround view so you see completely around the van. It also features an active technologies like the Forward Collision Warning System and the Blind-Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. This is so helpful when driving on the freeway and in heavy traffic plus, will calm the nerves of a mom with a teen driver.

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A little creature comfort bonus with the cooler glove compartment #luxury Road trip anyone?

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The 2015 Kia Sedona is road trip ready. An outlet and usb port for charging. It has nice smooth quiet drive it like gliding on butter. The steering handles super smooth as well. The v-6 engine has plenty of power to tow too. I could easily spend hours in this van. Everyone would be comfortable and enjoy the trip.

 

Kia's low priced van offers more luxury that the other leading minivans on the market. It would be my choice of minivan for my family. Go check one out and see for yourself. Tell us what you think.

 

2015 Kia Sedona SX-L
Price $28,300
MPG
18/24

60 months warranty (double its competitors)