Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Study Proves Women Pay More for Auto Repair — But You Don't Have To! #fairrepair

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post. 

I love driving and my "mom mobile"  unfortunately over the year, I was rear-ended, creamed a deer (to put it mildly) and rear-ended a car that stopped short. I have been in the body shop more then I would prefer.  Luckily I do know things and can handle my own, before involving my husband.  

Women are taken advantage of many times. I have too in the past. Even as much as cleaning a car.  Don't tell me you detailed my car, I expect then my car to look like the day I drove it off the lot, and I get in to have feet prints and crumbs and snot stains from the dogs not he windows.  You cleaned? AND charged me $300 for said cleaning job.  Not happening, money returned.  

 I recently partnered with RepairPal (the auto repair estimator site) to share with you some of the real data behind this very real issue. They released their RepairPal Institute Gender Bias Study, which found that uncertified shops routinely charge women more than men for auto repairs—sometimes by as much as 73%.
>> Nationwide, women are overcharged by an average of 8% compared to men.
>> In big cities like LA, San Francisco and New York, women are overcharged by a whopping average of 66%.
>> In smaller cities, women are overcharged by a lower amount (average of around 3%), but it's still significant.
>> The greater New York area is the worst, with women overcharged by an average of 73%.
The most likely scenario is that shops are taking advantage of what they believe to be a general lack of automotive knowledge amongst women. It's stereotypical and unfair, to say the least.
Luckily, RepairPal has given us some helpful strategies to help women get a fair price and avoid falling into the overpriced trap set by uncertified shops:
A picture is worth 1,000 words, so ask your technicians to show you the problem area on your car or give you before-and-after photos as a great way to educate yourself.
After getting the problem professionally diagnosed, use an online estimator tool like htttp://repairpal.com/estimator to get an accurate idea of what a fair price should be.
Blow the dust off your owner's manual and start to familiarize yourself with it. Understanding what warning lights correspond with what systems puts you at an automatic advantage. (If your battery light is on and the mechanic starts talking about motor oil, you'll know something's fishy.)
For even more tips on how to make sure you're getting a fair price and using a trusted, certified mechanic, please visit http://www.repairpal.com. They have information about why you should choose certified repair shops and where to find one in your area.

- Another tip.  Get second opinions any time there is damage to your car, and also have it appraised again AFTER it is taken apart, hidden damage is usually found. Below, damage increased once everything was removed and more internal damage was seen. You don't want to be stuck again down the road. (no pun intended). 

My car after the deer

My poor Pilot

Have you been taken advantage? Do you go alone or bring your husband/a man?  Comment below!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

F**ck the kids cursed

Laying in bed on a Saturday morning, Tim and I suddenly hear Charlotte scream "Jack you're an asshole!"

Then a loud high pitch squeal from her since he hit her to retaliate.  Charlotte burst through the door- "Jack hit me because I called him an asshole".

Admitting the truth while trying to get her brother in trouble.

Just another Saturday morning and I never found out why 'Jack's an asshole'.

Just another moment when you want to bury your head back under the pillow and go back to sleep but you can't. 

Embrassment when you 4 year old correctly uses the word but it's inappropriate since SHE'S FOUR!! 

Another day of "shit these kids say".

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Letting Go.

As I turned 30 this spring, I made promises to myself that I would reevaluate aspects of my life. See where I put time, energy and where I need to change. Some of the was done for me in the recent months, some I did myself, and my family (of four) has become my number one focus.

I was consistently unhappy with treatment towards me, the lack of respect of me as a mother, and pure defiance from family when it came to my kids. Well its over.  Eventually the thousand little things add up and I was pushed the the edge.  Come to find out that the anxiety I experience is due to these people also.
heart is complete with these three

My important people are Tim, Jack, and Charlotte. My kids may no longer see one set of their grandparents, but our life is more peaceful.  Behaviors and routines are notably different and the stress that came with those interactions for me is over.  We have family that is there for us. Jack and Char live for Grandma and Papa Neil and see them a few times a week.
always on an adventure

As my 30th year is coming to an end in about two months, its been full of change, positive change.  I continue to work on me, I have goals I am working on accomplishing and dreams I am working on to become goals. For those on the ride with me, thanks!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Little Kid Strider Races

So the season is over, but training never ends. We joined in late spring over in Bethel, CT.  Tim had raced there when he was younger.  We originally went to show Jack how fun riding without training wheels was. We had his Strider (balance bike) and he just went for it on the track, the next week we signed up.

Those who know us, we are not a traditional sports family.  I was a runner in high school and Tim played hockey, we also snowboarded. Baseball, soccer and football are not us.  Although Jack does like the Yankees and Giants because Grandpa likes them. I like to describe us as an X-Games type family, well that and hunting. I can only hope one day they may make it, just like parents want them to go to NFL or MLB.

I won't lie, when he started I was excited but swore I wouldn't become one of those "side-line coach" parents.  Well suddenly I too am screaming "feet, feet, move your feet".  Charlotte joined in too, she likes the attention, going at her own speed, and people cheering.  Jack is a bit more competitive, but just wants to ride down the hills fast.  Scoot and glide up and down the bumps. 

In-between the Strider Races, the big kids race.  Jack likes to watch them and we try to point out how much fun actually riding your bike it.  Until August he was still on training wheels, so those races were off limits. Once one of the other five year old boys moved up, Jack spiked an interest in moving up too. Before the 2016 season, we will look and get him a racing bike, Charlotte will continue on striders for another year. As long as the kids are five and younger they can race Strider Bikes

I do believe the balance and racing helped both kids move on training wheels. They both started on the same day and never looked back.   Like most sports there is a huge community.  Although bikers are racing for themselves, times, points, and places. A lot like when I ran versus team sports. 

Want to know more about Strider Races?  Locally in the Hudson Valley there are a few tracks.  You can go on USA BMX website and join the USA BMX, giving you the ability to race  of your region.  We stayed at our one track but would like to try multiple ones this Spring. Strider is great for two years old and up, some of the younger kids race harder and faster then the five year old races.  They are so cute! 

We are excited for this spring to start racing once again.  Hope to see some new faces too. 

Book Review: They Serve Bagels in Heaven Review

They Serve Bagels in HeavenThe love story of Irene and Saul begins not in this lifetime, They Serve Bagels in Heaven is a Memoir written by Irene Weinberg but told by her husband Saul, from Heaven. Their love story begin lifetimes before this and one would hope many more for them.   I received a copy of this book to review from Intro NYC Blogger Network. An autobiography/biography of a couple.  A woman who lost her husband too soon.
Irene lost Saul in a tragic car accident, she writes about her lifetimes with Saul through her voice and his after sessions with mediums and healers. They had over 5 lifetimes together before being Irene and Saul, interesting and spiritual journey for these two soulmates.  The love that radiated off the pages is what all couples should strive for.  I enjoyed learning about ow they were connected in the past, at different stages of their lives and in different relationships.
imageIrene has gone on to share her story both written and publicly.  On October 2nd, 2015 she was at the Apple Moms' Moms Night Out in Westchester to share her story.  Capturing our hearts, she explained how she began her journey, telling her children and how she continues to communicate with Saul and share their story.  She misses him, you know that from the moment she begins speaking, and throughout the story.
If you are local to NYC, she has been hosting Bagel Chats where you can meet and buy her book.  If not, order her love story today.

Follow Irene and her story on:  InstagramFacebookTwitter

Photo Credit: Dani Cavazzi Photography
Originally posted on Apple Moms in the Hudson Valley

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ocean City, Maryland 2015

Family Vacation 2015

Another summer, another annual family vacation with a twist.  For nine years we have always stayed with family, either sharing a condo with others or whole house, this year we broke off finally and booked our own house.  This year I didn't have to worry about others disciplining my kids, my kids getting upset and stepping on toes.  Roam kids roam! We stayed in the same community we usually stay in, but just the four of us together, planning our days.

Chevy lent us an amazing 2015 Tahoe (have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Tahoe lately?). This truck is incredible and makes road trips a breeze with room, features and the kids are happy too! Love the ease of captain seats to also reach the usable third row. This is number one on our list for our next family vehicle.  Weeks worth of luggage, bikes, and bags  fit with plenty of extra room and my family of four (we could have brought the dogs).

Our rental was beautiful and roomy- a three floor, four bedroom, family retreat.  We had breakfast outdoors in the morning, evenings sat out listening to the frogs in the ponds around the community.  Daily bike rides to the pool, around the block, or to Starbucks.  The kids did great and loved the freedom, bike paths and fun.  Can you believe though in the week we stayed there we never went to the beach/ocean?

The kids loved the pools, we visited Assateague Island one day and did swim in the bay there while searching for horses.  Amusement park visits meant riding the rollercoasters over and over. Mini-golf, go-karts and playing games on the boardwalk. Having exclusive family time was wonderful, much needed without daily responsibilities at home.

Next year we are looking into similar places, having the freedom of choices, possibilities are endless.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why I had surgery.

Last Thursday I am had surgery, it started as a gall bladder issue back in the beginning of August. Once finding out I needed surgery to remove it in September, I decided to also have my tubes removed after discussing lots with Tim and myself. Also thinking it through, I have two incredibly beautiful kids, I have "the dream" boy-girl duo, I have two in full time school now.  We have time to travel, things are easy, and life is good. I love my family as is.

Traveling Trio in September while in PA
My decision to have my tubes removed at 30 ended up being an easy one. Back in February at my annual exam, I had discussed with my doctor that at 35 if I hadn't had the urge or another kid by then I would choose to have my tubes removed then.  I figured at 35, the kids would be 10 and 9, I wasn't going to start over then.  On top of the doubt of starting over, I worried about the health of another baby, deformities and health issues.  I had easy recoveries from both c-sections, but the stress of their births and after dealing with immediate doctors, specialists and surgeons, I have feelings of loss and anxiety.

Jack, my first
Starting over for me is not appealing, for the past two summers vacation has been throwing clothes in a suitcase or book bag and going. No bottles, diapers, sleep routines and accessories. After Jack was born with his hand deformity, needed extra tests done on his kidneys and hearing immediately.  Then, we met with specialists within the first 24 hours. A lot to handle as first time parents.

Jack meeting Char, dukes up!
Charlotte was a routine cesarean, everything was picked out and set.  The day after she was born a hurricane hit and outside the hospital shut down, we were find indoors thankfully.  She was born on a Friday, we went home Tuesday and on Wednesday she started vomiting every 3rd bottle up, even drinking less she was taking in while in nursery.  Friday we took her back to hospital and she was readmitted for another 4 days. She has kidney infection, urinary tract infection and renal reflux (urine was pushing back into kidney) and she was just 7 days old.  To have a baby with a third medical/health/issue, I cannot deal with it emotionally or mentally anymore.  My feeling of loss is just have a baby to bring home without anything to deal with immediately.

I feel starting over would also stop Jack and Charlotte from doing things they are currently into and want to continue.  How can I have a baby out at games, running all over in the car, we would have to slow down for sure.  Also the bond Jack and Charlotte have now, is incredible. They are each others best friends, worst enemies and protectors all in one.  Although they mention babies, its a novelty not life, with one 5 years younger, I would feel they need a sibling to have the connection the first two have. Then I would be up to FOUR. NOPE!   With two, I can handle alone, with two we just go, with two they share a room.

My family is officially complete. My Jack and my Charlotte. The loves of my life.