Over the river and through the woods with the Mitsubishi Outlander GT 3.0 AWC!

This adventure was made possible through a partnership with Mitsubishi, who provided me with a vehicle to test drive in December. You can follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #DriveMitsubishi and #MitsubishiOutlanderGT!

Hello there beautiful!

Meet the gorgeous Mitsubishi Outlander GT 3.0 AWC! 

Last month a group of family and friends rented a cabin in the beautiful town of Blairsville, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains. This trip is a tradition I started with my family almost 15 years ago, and now share with my husband and friends who have also fallen in love with the area. While we were there, we were able to explore the amazing blue ridge mountains with the Outlander! We had SO much fun climbing steep mountain roads, traversing streams, and navigating the winding lower Appalachian roads in this comfy, yet stylish vehicle. 

We picked up the Outlander near Atlanta, then drove the 90 mile drive to Blairsville. We were able to spend that time getting to know the ins and outs of the Outlander, and getting a feel for how it handles on the open highway. What stood out most during our initial drive was the smooth ride and steering. It was dark on that drive up into the mountains, so the crystal clear LED headlamps, and impeccable control of the steering, made me feel safe and secure behind the wheel.

I loved how in control I felt once we got to the mountains. Navigating the twists, turns, and inclines of mountain roads can be a scary thing, especially at night, but the Outlander made for an easy and enjoyable experience. It has the smooth and steady feel of a luxury car, but it’s also rugged enough to take us to locations like the top of the highest peak in Georgia, Brasstown Bald mountain, to watch the sunset and the supermoon rise, and to Helton Creek Falls, a beautiful spot surrounded by roads that often make my stomach turn and my knuckles turn white! 

This crossover vehicle had SO much to offer. It can seat 5 adults comfortably, with an optional fold up 3rd row for additional seating. Although Mitsubishi says that this can seat 7 people on its website, the last row does not provide adequate space for an adult to sit or travel comfortably for long periods of time. Our friend Nayra, who was vacationing with us for the first half of our trip, offered to sit in the back row while on an excursion to Tallulah Gorge, and at around 5′ in height, she did not have enough leg room and needed to sit sideways in order to stay comfortable. The back row would be the perfect spot for bigger children who are no longer in car seats, but it’s probably a good idea to let the adults sit up front. 

The Mitsubishi Outlander GT proved to be the PERFECT road trip car. Comfortable, stylish, smooth, good on gas, lots of cargo space when the 3rd row is folded down, an amazing 710 audio sound system with 9 speakers (for all of those road trip tunes!), Apple and Android car-connect capabilities, overhead backup camera with a crystal clear display, cup holders and chargers galore, a gorgeous sun and moon roof, and bells and whistles that help to make traveling easy peasy. 

But the fun really began halfway through our vacation when this happened…

North Georgia gets about 1-2 snows each year, and typically this area in particular gets a few inches at most. It was cold, yet comfortable when we arrived earlier in the week, and we kept our eyes on the forecast, which included snow towards the end of the week and into the weekend, but we weren’t prepared for just how MUCH snow we would get.

The snow began late Thursday evening, and continued all day Friday and into Saturday. It snowed more than I had ever seen in my life, and I was thrilled! Over those two days Union County measured record amounts of snowfall at a whopping 10 inches! It was such an unexpected treat! 

In all of our snow excitement, we lost sight of what 10inches of snow means for things like power outages and closures. Our friends who we rent the cabin from stayed in contact with us and gave us updates on what their neighbors were experiencing. Although the cabin we rent is quite secluded, there are a few cabins in the surrounding area. We learned that as the day went on, most of those neighbors had already lost power- and since everyone is on a well out there, losing power meant losing water too. 

We had planned to drive out to Helen, GA for dinner and some holiday festivities on Friday, but because of the snow, most roads and places were closed. It would have been way to dangerous too drive to Helen anyway, since the road to get there from Blairsville is an up-and-over high mountain trek. We still had a few things that we could snack on from our grocery trip earlier that week, but we decided that it would be a good idea to make a run to Walmart (who was thankfully still open and running on a generator!) to get some supplies for the night, especially since we had two young children with us. 

This gave us an opportunity to test out the Outlander’s AWC snow settings, which made us feel much more confident about tackling the 20 minute drive into town. I have zero experience with driving in this much snow, and so knowing that there was a setting to help with our inexperience was a big relief. The snow mode can be activated with just a push of a button, and works by sending additional power to the rear wheels sooner when driving in snow than when driving on the road for added traction. We scraped as much snow as we could off of the Outlander, and then headed out! 


We were able to get to the store and back to the cabin safely with supplies to take us through the night (including all of the ingredients to make a nice warm family meal of spaghetti and meatballs!) thanks to the Outlander! 

Luckily, we never lost power or water, and spent our last night in the cabin cozy and warm. The snow continued all through the night and into the morning, but by midday, the snow had stopped, and the sun started to peek out over the mountains, making it safe to venture out again and make our way back home to Tampa. 

All in all it was another amazing and memorable trip in the books! We love Blairsville and we’re already looking forward to 2018’s winter trip!

If you’re in the market for a road trip friendly crossover that is not only a head-turner but functional, comfortable and safe (especially in unexpected weather conditions!), definitely look into test driving the Mitsubishi Outlander GT AWC and see for yourself just how great this vehicle is!

For more details on the entire Mitsubishi fleet, be sure to follow on social media using the links below, and the hashtag #DriveMitsubishi.
Twitter: Mitsubishi USA
Facebook: Mitsubishi USA
Instagram: Mitsubishi USA



My word for 2018

It’s 2018!

My friend Christy, from real life AND her blog, Living Daringly, posted this on social media a few days ago, and it really resonated with me: 

2017 was a wonderful year for me, but other years haven’t been. But what I’ve learned, (and what Christy so beautifully wrote), is that the events of each year (the good, the sad, the beautiful, and the challenging) make you a little more “you”. 

There is no one else in the world that owns YOUR story, and who has lived through the experiences that YOU have. Be proud of those moments, even the hardest ones. Be proud of the person who overcame the challenges, the hurt, and the sadness of the past. Be proud of person that you are today. Be proud of the person you work on becoming in the future. Be proud of YOU.

Speaking of the future…

I love setting resolutions, goals, and dreams to achieve- not just at the start of a new year, but anytime really. Goals make me jump out of bed in the morning. They give me something to look forward to. They teach me how to celebrate successes, AND bounce back from failure. They show me that it’s ok to have a plan b, c, d, and e, and help keep me grounded and motivated. They give me something to talk about, (something to write about!), and opportunities to connect with like-minded people. The make me excited about, well, life!

In the past, I’ve heard a lot of people in my circle talk about setting focus words or phrases to represent the year ahead. I’ve even started to see people ask “What will your word be for 2018?” I can’t really say I’ve ever thought of a word of the year in advanced. I’ve found that by the end of an entire trip around the sun, a word or theme emerges. 

I’m certain that 2017’s word was bliss:


And as I think of ways that 2018 can be just as wonderful, I think of all of the things I’m going to GO for this year: 

Run. With my recent weight loss (41lbs gone since August!), I am feeling stronger, more energized, and lighter on my feet. I’m ready to jump back on the pavement, and have already signed up for a 5k and a 10k! I have my sights set on my 2nd half marathon in the near future, and will possibly put one on the books after seeing how I do with the 10k distance later this winter. It’s been a while since I’ve tackled anything longer than 3.1 miles, but I am ready to get up and GO!

Keto On. I started the clean ketogenic way of eating (low carb, moderate protein, high healthy fats) back in August and have had consistent success! Not only have I said goodbye to 41lbs, but I’ve also had numerous non-scale victories! I’ve gone down from a size 24 jean size to a 20 (and sometimes an 18!), FEEL amazing, have reduced and eliminated knee pain AND the Plantar’s Fasciitis I’ve battled for years, and so much more. I doubted this way of life for 2+ years as I watched good friends have awesome success. Boy am I glad I decided to GO for it! 

Travel. I travel quite a bit for work, however, I’d love to find more opportunities to extend those trips into weekend adventures with my husband, as well as plan some additional excursions with him as our schedule permits. We have a trip planned to NYC coming up, and hope to get summer tour dates for the Dave Matthews Band so that we can plan some destination concerts to GO to!

Strengthen the relationships that matter. It’s crazy to think that Brian and I have been married for 8 months already! We spent almost 6 years building an awesome foundation of friendship and love before we tied the knot, and as newlyweds, we’ve continued to add to and enhance that foundation. I’m excited to see what’s next for us! In addition, my 38th year of life has taught me about the importance of keeping your circle of friends small and mighty. I’ve learned to embrace the fact that people drift apart- and that’s totally ok. Friendships can ebb and flow, and they can also end (even if both parties don’t agree with the decision) because if one person in a friendship isn’t feeling it anymore, then it’s not fair to pretend that there’s something to hold on to. Explain your feelings to that person, hold onto the good memories, release the need to be right, or to have all of the answers, GO forth and move on. Give yourself permission to walk away from someone, without guilt, if you know deep inside that it’s the right thing to do. Not only do you have the right to build your circle of friends in the way YOU want, you also deserve to. 

Write. Write. Write. I have so much to say (and not enough time to say it, it seems!). But in 2018, I want to dedicate more time to writing. Writing here on the blog, writing recipes, writing in the groups I run, writing for work, and continuing to work on my book that I started over the summer. If we are close, you know that I’m a major talker. But those who I’m not as close with will know me as someone who is more of a quiet observer. This is why I love writing here on my blog so much. Writing helps me bring voice to my thoughts that may otherwise go unsaid. Writing helps me to connect with others that I may have never crossed paths with. If I have something important to say, you will most likely see it in writing, rather than talk about it aloud. This year, I am making a promise to myself to spend more time in my journals and my laptop working on writing projects and goals. I’m ready to GO and write the next chapter of it all! 

After I jotted down all of these thoughts down on paper, I realized that a word had already began to emerge: GO. I chuckled to myself when I saw it, because “GO” is something I say to myself often. 

For example: when I’m on a run, and I feel as though I can’t continue any further, I always, always tell myself to “Just go, GO!” over and over again, and it helps every time. 

I tell myself to GO a lot- but never in a negative way, but instead, as in a “Go forth and be awesome”, and a “Let’s see how far you can GO” kind of way. 

Maybe GO is my word for 2018.
I can totally get behind that. 

What will your word for the next 365 days be? 

Wishing you a beautiful, joyous, and fruitful 2018 filled with all of the things you love, and everything you hope to be! Happy New Year!