Driving The 2017 Toyota 86 | The Car That Brings Us Back To The Origin Of The Sports Car

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We live in a world that is always on the move, fast-paced, but yet rarely enjoyed. Whether you love to take a nice long drive on the weekend or enjoy your commute to work, the pleasure of driving is mutual and the Toyota 86 is one of those sports cars that shoes you the meaning of a true sports car and its driving experience.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of driving a 2017 Toyota 86 in the Ablaze color. I was particularly excited about this car because it's the first sports car that has been loaned to me and on top of that, it had a manual transmission! That's how I enjoy driving and I knew I was going to have the best time. I did have the chance to drive another Toyota 86 just 2 weeks prior and you can see that video here



We usually get SUV's like the RAV4 or the Highlander and the first thing we had to figure out was if Mila was going to fit just fine. The car is a 2+2 si that means there are 2 small seats behind the front ones. To our surprise, we managed to fit a car seat back there and Mila. She had to sit behind my wife Ashley though. We do a lot of things together so, unconventionally, we took our first trip down the street for a grocery run. That was fun! It felt nice to drive and manually change gears. The shifts were not smooth however and I'm thinking Toyota did that to add some mechanical feel. 

The 2.0L boxer engine produces 205HP and after experiencing faster and more powerful cars, I honestly believe that this car is not underpowered for what it is. It allows you to push it to its limits, both the cars' and your own. For those that have been around long enough to see the evolution of automotive technology, a pure sports car is not about power but how far you can push the car through turns, on straights, or anywhere else you like to drive. Toyota has promised to make the brand fun to drive again and become more focused on the driving experience. With the new sports car in development and testing, believed to be badged as a Supra, Toyota is surely living up to its promise.




As a dad, it was nice to enjoy some leisure drives around town and just focus on driving and nothing else. After all, this is without a doubt one of the best sports cars under 30k.  I loved running through the gears, the low seating position in the bucket seats, the looks of the car and the history of Toyota sports cars. If you're looking for that car you want to drive on the weekends or on days off without having to spend tens of thousands more, then this is a car you should look at. Keep in mind that the automatic transmission equipped 86 does lose 5 horsepower bringing it down to 200HP. The difference is insignificant, but nonetheless, if you know how to drive a manual transmission car, definitely go with the manual 86. 

The 7" touchscreen display was easy to use and all the controls are in what I believe to be the right places. The dash has both digital and analog displays giving it a more retro look and feel. the front and rear lights are now LED and look great. I invite you to go to a local dealership to test drive one and fuel your own experience. And now you know that you can take small kids in the back seats! 






What is the first car you envision when someone mentions sports car? What is the sportiest car you've driven or been on?


We All Grow Familia With The Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring | #Drivingmatters

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The year 2017 has been awesome to us and we're making the best of it every day! Just a few days ago we were in Los Angeles for #WeAllGrowFAMILIA 2017 and were able to drive around one of my favorite compact SUV's on the market right now, the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring. We had 2 full days to explore what L.A. had to offer and we made it to as many places as we could. Even though traffic was pretty bad, it gave me a chance to take in the nice interior and simply relax. After all, I love driving and it's my stress reliever. Ok, so here is how our trip to L.A. went with the CX-5.

The west coast is still fairly new territory for us and we're excited to explore it more as we continue to travel. L.A. has an appeal to the masses so we had to plan our days accordingly and always mindful of the traffic. As soon as we picked up our shiny new vehicle we headed straight to Santa Monica to walk the pier and just explore new places together, Ashley and I. It was an easy drive from LAX and we just wanted to sit down and relax (we woke up at 3AM). The sound of the waves, the mostly empty pier, and the breeze was a great way to start our day! We took some pictures, sat down to talk, and just took in the sights before heading over to Hollywood Blvd. One of my favorite things about California are the roads and how fun they are to drive on. We drove through some canyon roads on our way to Hollywood and the CX-5 handles great!






If I'm honest with you all, the walk of fame was a bit underwhelming and I was expecting something grand. The sidewalks were packed and dirty, kinda sticky in some places too. Lots of homeless people and the smell of marijuana may put some people off and Ashley and I agree that it's definitely not a kid-friendly place to walk around with kids. It may be best to only drive past the 3 short blocks the walk of fame spans. We were running close to the time of our meeting so we started making way out to Van Nuys. After touring the Munchkin headquarters and catching up with good friends, we head back to our first ever AirBnB! We went back to change clothes, get a jacket since it cools down at nighttime, and head out to meet with our friend Jorge from RealityChangers! He lives in San Diego but knows his way around L.A. First things first, FOOD!! we had to eat and ended up at a random chinese food place. We weren't sure were we wanted to go so we decided to go back to the Walk of Fame and actually walk on it and see the street performers. After hanging out around the Hollywood area we head over to Santa Monica to see what it was like during night time with all the rides of Pacific Park lit up.


After a day of going back and forth, meeting new friends and experiencing places, we called it a night and went back to rest. I was going to speak alongside Jorge at a panel for #WeAllGrowFAMILIA and had to recharge for a day full of awesome discussions and networking. The mornings in L.A. are beautiful and I felt great to be in a place where the parenting community shines. Our panel was one of the last ones and we spoke about building a parenting community and how to build, and maintain an organization. 

After it was all over, Jorge, his wife, Ashley and I went out for dinner and talked about random things and also some ideas and discussion over the state of YouTube and social media. We met just over a year ago but we've become great friends over that time. Dinner soon came to an end and we had to part ways but with some time left, we made it out to LACMA to see the Urban Light art installation and also drice through Korea Town and China Town.




That was the last adventure before we had to rest and be back at LAX at 4 AM. The Mazda CX-5 was fun to drive and I love that Mazda always focuses on the details as well as the driving experience. We're looking forward to going back to L.A. pretty soon!

Check out the vlog from our trip below!!


What are some of your favorite places in L.A. ?!

Justin Furstenfeld Gives Away Car To Family Affected By Hurricane Harvey | Don McGill Toyota Houston

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The City of Houston has come together in a way that showed the rest of the world the great that the city is. You saw communties come together in rebuilding, helping, and you can still see some of the damages caused by record flooding in the area. Now we can celebrate a victory as whole with the Houston Astros winning the world championship! Many claim the devastation after Harvey was one one of the motives that powered the Astros, but there are many other things that have happened that you may have missed, like Justin Furstenfeld from platinum-selling rock band, Blue October, giving away a car to a needed family. Justin's partnership with Don McGill Toyota Houston has allowed him to help those in need, and being a Houston native, he wanted to give back to the community.

On October 23, Rod McClain along with his family and Blue October fans were invited to the Toyota Center where the Rockets would play against the Memphis Grizzlies. After hearing the family's story, having watched in disbelief as everything they owned, along with hope, floated away, Justin and Don McGill Toyota came up with an idea to assist the McClain family.


The McClain Family


The first giveaway Justin and Don McGill Toyota did was back in late August and you can read it here.

During the halftime, the McClain family, who sat courtside with Justin, were presented with a new car to replace the one they lost. The McClain family also had the opportunity to have Justin perform to them in serenade style, a very special performance. This is all part of Justin's idea of giving back after he was helped during some of the darkest moments in his life. This campaign with Don McGill Toyota is called #DrivingHoustonHome ! The city of Houston is a hub for compassion, giving,and celebration so be sure to share the love and all the good stories happening around Houston!


Having an intimate moment and conversation with Justin

Justin Serenades one of the McClain family members


Here's An Easy and Safe Way To Get Rid Of Lice | Licefreee at #WeAllGrowFAMILIA

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This post is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Licefreee and #WeAllGrow Latina network.

Last week I had the opportunity to learn from some truly amazing members of the amazing bloggers from Latino parenting community, and even had the chance to be a panelist on Building Your Parenting Community! A lot of the stories reminded me of times I spent with my parents growing up and reflecting on the good and even embarrassing memories I carry with me from my childhood. One memory I have in particular always sticks out to me especially now as a parent myself, because at the time I thought it was the most embarrassing things ever but every parent goes through it with their kids at one point or another. I partnered up with LiceFreee to bring forward a better solution that not many people don’t know how to go about solving that is safe, non-toxic, homeopathic, and dare I say even smells nice.



One day when I was in 3rd grade I started to feel uncomfortable in class and couldn’t stop scratching my head. I immediately thought I was probably just sweaty or hot but that wasn’t the case. I went on to ignore it for a couple of days until I started to feel like there was something moving on my head. At that time I was young and lice weren't the first thing that came to mind because everyone told me it was just something girls with long hair get. I somehow ended up putting my embarrassment aside and asked my mom to check my head. As I sat there after my mom went to the store to buy some chemicals and comb to go through my hair all I could think about was how could this happen to me. I couldn’t shake the embarrassment. My mom put one of the most awful smelling things in my hair, so strong I remember it burning my eyes! As an adult, I feel like I can safely say that they weren’t chemicals you should b putting on your body, let alone a child’s body. At the time I sat through all of the pain and watched my moms patience run thin as she tried for days and different remedies for the little creepy crawlies currently residing in my head to die.



Then next time I got Lice again when I was 15 years old I dreaded going through the process of the chemicals and the combing so we decided I would just shave all my hair off. Thinking about it now I would never do that to my daughter, shaving her hair off or making her sit through hours with chemicals that burn your eyes. Thankfully as science has progressed we finally have a non -toxic option that kills Lice and is even safe for children 6 months and older. After learning about how LiceFreee works, meeting the brand representatives at #WeAllGrowFAMILIA 2017, and getting my hand on the product and smelling it for myself I was a believer. I feel better prepared to take care of Camila if the situation ever arises, instantly and a harmless manner.


Do you remember when you got lice when you were younger? 

Car Seat Challenge At Don McGill Toyota Houston | Ready For The Holidays

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The holidays are just around the corner, and as we come off the summer into the fall weather, chances are that it's nice enough outside to take a roadtrip. The first one you've taken since summer vacation or ti may be your first time! Trips are highly rewarding in new experiences, family time and exploration. For those of us that are parents and have to, or have in the past, installed a car seat in a car, you know it can be frustrating even when experience has been acquired. We channeled our frustrations and decided to make this into a challenge over at Don McGill Toyota Houston

We picked three cars that were going to be part of this challenge, the 2018 Camry SE, a 2017 Sienna XLE, and a 2018 Highlander Hybrid. I had already driven the new Camry and Highlander before so I thought they would have the advantage and I was looking forward to start this challenge in the center of the Don McGill showroom! Ashley and I set up the cameras with suction mounts, and tripod and started rolling as discreetly as possible as to not interrupt the customers around. That was almost a challenge in itself haha. 


I learned a few things while doing this challenge, and that is that not everything done fast comes out right all the time and I want to take this moment to remind all parents and care givers to install the car seat in properly and safely. I did get some pretty quick times and that is mainly due to two things, the ease of access in these vehicles and my experience as a dad that is always on the go with his daughter. Early on I mentioned that installing a car seat was frustrating and took some time in the beginning, and to be honest, I even got some scratches and hurt myself once when learning haha. 



Getting ready for a trip such as packing for the trip as well as packing the car can be a hassle but as seen in the video below, anyone can easily put car seats inside and drive off to their destinations in comfort and safety. 

Toyota is doing a great job in sticking to their promise of creating a fun and better driving experience, just look at the new 2018 Camry SE and XSE! You can see the one we drove the first time here: 2018 Camry SE


Big thanks to Don McGill Toyota for allowing us to go over and shoot this video!







As a parent, what is the furthest road trip you've done or are willing to drive to??

Vlog | Addicted To Coffee

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It's most peoples' daily pick-me-up. Part of the morning routine and seems like it's a religious item to have in a household. Can;t complain though because now, I'm addicted to coffee.

Just a few weeks ago, drinking coffee was a rarity for me. I would only drink milk and the times I drank coffee in a  year could be counted with one single hand. True story. Little did I know that I would soon need this magical "cup of Joe" in my mornings. My parents wouldn't believe me if I told them but they do laugh a bit every time I do get coffee around them. 

Now it's time to go and look for a nice coffee mug to drink out of and show you all! The reason I stayed away from coffee for so long was the idea that it would deteriorate my bones. not quite sure how true this is since there are many conflicting studies out there. Whatever the case may be now, coffee is here to stay, so let me know what your favorite coffee is down in the comment section below!

Also! There is a cool video coming out soon! We shot a car seat challenge at Don McGill Toyota Houston and the kids were on their best behavior and couldn't have done it without them! Take a look at behind the scenes from the vlog below!




Tell me your favorite coffee down below!! Go!!

Vlog | We Really Like This Car

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Last week was an interesting one. At least one that was interesting compared to the previous weeeks filled with natural disasters around the world. Thankfully we made it past the devastation from Harvey and have been gradually getting back to normal. We drove to San Antonio and back on the same day... twice within a 2 day span. I love driving, but after driving on some somewhat boring roads and lack of scenic sights, you get tired a little faster than say a nice scenic drive.

No complaining though, it's not about that today! We drove the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD and had a great time together. Back in March, in case you missed it, we drove the 2016 Mazda CX-5 in San Diego, and were able to see the changes first hand. This is a really nice small crossover SUV with the ability to deliver a sporty driving experience. For a small SUV there is still a decent amount of cargo space. 31 cu. ft. with the seats up and 60 cu. ft. with the seats folded down in fact. Powering the drive is the same 2.5L SkyActiv engine pushing out 187 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 185 lb. ft. of torque at 4,000 RPM.

There will be a review coming up soon but for now you can see our vlog and adventures below!




Do you enjoy driving? If so, what makes it enjoyable?
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