2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD Turns My Head

Back in 2015, I did a 'Trunk Show' about the 2015 Toyota Highlander and I wasn't too impressed. I didn't do a full review and I found the Highlander sluggish with an interior that didn't inspire and drove more like a minivan. I know that the Highlander is incredibly popular among car buyers and I get why. It drives like a car because it is on that type of platform, it gets excellent gas mileage and is a safe ride.  Does that ring true for the refreshed 2017 Toyota Highlander SE with AWD that I tested out last month?  Let's find out. The light plays tricks on the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE 'Salsa Red' paint. Source: Victoria Mason On the Outside with the Toyota Highlander The 2017 model, a third-generation Highlander,  features a slightly sportier look than the previous model I … [Read more...]

Hello and Goodbye

I don't quite know where to begin guys.  This month is so full of hello and goodbye moments.  My last post was all about packing for my big trip to Alaska and there was so much excitement surrounding that trip.  I was seeing my bestie (since we were 3 years old!) for the first time in three years and heading to one of the only states I have not visited yet.  Only four to go! The trip was ridiculous and I mean that in a totally good way. I fished, guys!   West Glacier Trail. I hiked it and then kept going until I hit that glacier below. Inside an ice cave. Licking a glacier.  I seriously had the best time.  Juneau is a fun little town that offers a lot for such a small location.  Have lunch at 'The Hanger' and watch sea planes and cruise ships come in. Hike numerous trails and … [Read more...]

How to Pack for Alaska

This time next week I will already be back from my whirlwind trip to Alaska.  I'm visiting my oldest and dearest friend, E.  She moved to Alaska a little over a year ago and I just knew I had to visit.  It's been way too long since we've been together and I've been in a ridiculous packing planning frenzy for this trip. I keep asking myself the same question over and over again. How to Pack for Alaska? It is all about the layers.  The weather in June is often rainy and temps can dip into the 50s during the days or reach the low 70s and be sunny.  It varies from day to day. Layers are key to packing and taking in the sights. Also, when I land at what is typically my bedtime I will not just be five hours behind my normal time zone but also it will still be light outside.  The sun will … [Read more...]

Commuter Happiness with the 2017 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Looking for a compact crossover? Find out what the 2017 Toyota RAV4 was like during the week that I drove it around town. Source: Toyota First Impressions on the 2017 Toyota RAV4 I cannot say it was easy going from the Lexus crossover to the Toyota RAV4.  You cannot compare the two vehicles.  However, I kept an open mind the week I drove the RAV4.  The 2017 Toyota RAV4 may not be a head turner but it will serve you well on the road and offers good gas mileage and storage capabilities. What's New New this year to the RAV4 is the Toyota Star Safety System package that now comes standard.  It includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, smart stop technology, and electronic brake force distribution, steering assist, pedestrian … [Read more...]

Summer Fun with Draper James

Memorial Day has come and gone but that only means that summer is just getting started.  For me, that means pool days, lots of beach time and a whole new collection of summer movies and shows to fall in love with for even more summer fun. One of my latest loves for summer fun is with Draper James.  The line created by Reese Witherspoon who can also recommend some serious beach reads as well as fun flicks and shows to soak up this season. Did you know that Draper James is available at Nordstrom now? Yes!!  It might take a bit for it to show up in stores everywhere but you can find it online. My favorite Draper James Picks for Summer Fun But even more important is that we travel often throughout the summer.  For me, that means picking up sweet and thoughtful hostess … [Read more...]

2017 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport

We have had our share of rainy days this May. I'm not going to lie and say it was fine with me. I needed a little inspiration. Something sleek with dynamic styling and a bit of sportiness thrown in to combat the rainy day blues. The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport was just the thing to cure the doldrums of spring. 2017 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport. Source: Victoria Mason Lexus RX 350 F-Sport First Impressions It's rare that I get excited over a crossover SUV.  It is even harder for me to wish the car in review could stay just a little bit longer, but that is exactly how I felt with the Lexus RX 350 F-Sport.  I cannot deny that the 'Atomic Silver' color with red leather interior and bolstered seats didn't sway me.  They totally did each time I climbed into the driver's seat.  For me and my … [Read more...]

The 7 Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight

What if we told you that you could lose weight by eating? That would not make a lot of sense right? Usually, it is our eating that creates a problem with our weight later. But I am not talking about eating whatever you can get your hands on. I am talking about eating seven foods that have been considered to have the ability to help you lose that extra weight and get ready for the beginning of summer.  Remember, I do not offer you any magic tricks, we simply offer you a way to improve your diet and lose some weight by including the following foods in your everyday diet. The 7 foods that will help you lose weight Cruciferous Vegetables – In the group of cruciferous vegetables, you can find cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.  All of them contain a high level of … [Read more...]

A Straw Bag for Summer

There's no denying that the straw bag is BIG when it comes to summer.  Whether you tote it to the beach or find a cute straw clutch; the straw bag is the bag for when summertime hits.  My latest straw bag has a story and one that makes me cherish it all the more. Not my latest straw bag but a cute one all the same. Last month my Mom visited and as she was getting ready to leave she handed me this butterfly straw bag.  I told her how cute I thought it was and she told me how she wanted me to have it.  It was the last birthday present my grandmother, her mother, had given her.  I knew instantly that I would keep it forever and use it with care. For every day I think the butterfly straw bag looks cute with a simple set of shorts and a tank.  Add a delicate pendant with a set of … [Read more...]

How to Style White Pants

The days of waiting until Memorial Day to break out the white pants are O-V-E-R, over. Now we can wear white pants all year round.  That means figuring out more ways on how to style white pants. I bought this super lightweight and snuggly soft gray sleeveless turtleneck last summer and wore it only once.  That made me sad.  I love it, but once June hits in Virginia it is straight up straps and tanks. This year I was determined to break it out early and find new ways to style it.  Enter my new white ankle pants from Old Navy. With white pants, both pieces can shine. It is basic but it works for a variety of occasions depending on what shoes or accessories you pair them with.  I wanted to play down the shoes but add a small amount of color and the necklace I received at Christmas … [Read more...]

City Mouse by Stacey Lender

Summer is almost here.  Are you looking for a new book to devour by the pool, on the beach or by the lake?  No matter what your summer destination is or isn't this year Stacey Lender's debut novel, CITY MOUSE is a guilty pleasure read with depth and heart that is sure to spark conversation and is perfect for summer reading.  Why? City Mouse Offers Vulnerability, Wit & Laughs The hook is all in the question that every one of us has often asked ourselves.  Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence?  This is exactly what happens to the main character, Jessica, as she and her husband and two little kids find themselves getting squeezed out of their NYC space that they are renting.  Unable to find what they want or can afford in the city they realize they might … [Read more...]