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Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo Review: The Vehicle That Reviews Itself!

Hi everyone! Jason, from Sasaki Time here and I thought I would have some fun with my first vehicle review for 2014! As many of you know I am a huge Disney fan and I thought I would give my vehicle some personality and let the vehicle speak for itself! So, without any further ado, here is Ted, a 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo!

Hi there! My name's Ted and I'm a 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo! I'm here to tell you about myself and show off my really cool features! I know what you're thinking, but yes, I am indeed a real car and who better to tell you what I can do than myself? So, sit back and enjoy my week in Southern California!
My reviewer Jason and I started off the week by taking a look at some of the places that Walt Disney lived and worked in Southern California. We started here at the Stanley Ranch Museum and Historical Village in Garden Grove. This is the home of Walt's first garage studio that was once located in Los Angeles but saved and brought here.
But before we get carried away and show you the rest of Walt Disney's homes and studio locations, let's take a look at me! I think I'm pretty dapper for a car! Check out the Remington Red that I am decked out in! Almost makes me look like that Disney/Pixar racing car Lightning McQueen!
I have all brand new front and back end styling as compared to my older brothers and sisters.
A sharper front end gives me a smaller "grin" than older family members. But I still think I have an award winning smile! Part of that smile comes from the 274 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine! My turbocharged engine makes it feel like a V6! Plus, I get a pretty good 23 mpg in the city/34 mpg on the highway!
Check out my brand new eyes! Brand new LED daytime running lights and fog lights! Super bright and literally throw light across three lanes of traffic!
The Turbo logo on my side is brand new! It feels like a tattoo!
Check out my brand new shoes! These are new 18-inch polished alloy wheels! They allow for great grip on the road and looking stylish all at the same time!
I love my power folding side mirrors! With the proximity key option the mirror unfold as you approach me! It's my way of welcoming you and telling you I am ready to go like the wind!

Also you can get the optional blind spot detection system and I highly recommend it! This first came with the Kia Sorento and happy to see them here. You get a visual indicator as well as a tone that there is a car in your blind spot when you are looking to switch lanes or making turns. It's good to keep me and your family safe!
Check out the huge amount of trunk space to store everything from luggage to the groceries!
Plenty of rear passenger space though taller humans may be uncomfortable due my sleek sloping roofline.
I also have pulldown cup holders and an additional arm rest for the back.
My back seat air vents will keep everyone in the back nice and cool during the warm summer months.
It's easy to get into the drivers seat. So easy in fact that you may never want to leave!
Large and easy to use controls to adjust the drivers seat!
There have been some trim upgrades to the driver's cockpit. Everything is easily within reach!
The touch screen is bigger and easier than ever to use for audio or navigational needs.
The USB and auxiliary inputs are the same as my older family members. This is also a great place to put your key fob if you don't like to have your keys or fob in your pocket while driving.
The controls have a moire streamlined look than my older brothers and sisters versions.
My dash display is bigger than my older family members thus making it even easier to read. The gauges here are super bright to make it easier for you to see even during the daytime.
The shift control has a new design.

Included with every version of the Optima is satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs, bluetooth and a cooled glovebox.

Other amenities that you can include are heated front and rear seats. The front seats can also be air cooled. The steering wheel is also heated which is a nice touch. Power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, HD radio, navigation, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot detection with cross traffic alert, Kia's UVO Entertainment System, push-button start, proximity key, dual-zone climate control with back seat vents and an electronic brake.

Wow, that is a ton of features! You are going to love me! But enough about me! It's time to show off the rest of Walt Disney's homes and studios in Los Angeles! It was like walking or should I saw driving in the man's shoes!
This copy store was once the home to Walt's first studio. This is the Kingwell Studio! It was so cool to take a photo here!
The houses over my shoulder to the left both belonged to Walt and his brother Roy when they moved the Studio to the larger Hyperion Studios.
The house to the right was Walt's home when he moved to what is now The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Driving through history and being able to be in the same places as the man who gave us such great characters as Susie The Little Blue Coupe which in turn inspired the entire Cars franchise! Hopefully we will see more vehicle characters in the future!
Oh and I had to stop to get some Bold Coffee from one of my favorite places, Bruxie! If you are in Southern California you have to stop and get coffee and waffles from here! The Bold Coffee is more than enough fuel for me!
Well, as you can see from my larger neon-like LED taillights, this is the end! Hope you enjoyed the review and now I must be heading off! Take it away Jason!

Thanks Ted! Well, there you have it, a great car review from the car itself. I hope you enjoyed the review! The Kia Optima is one of my favorite vehicles to review as this is now my third time reviewing this model. It is a great family car and gets great gas mileage in a sporty looking ride that looks great sitting in Los Angeles traffic or zipping down Pacific Coast highway on a Friday evening.

The 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo starts at $23,399.00!

Movie Review: The Wind Rises

Outside of The Walt Disney Studios, my other favorite studio is Studio Ghibli led by master animator Hayao Miyazaki. When Miyazaki announced his retirement and that The Wind Rises would be his last film, I had high expectations for his swan song. He not only soars here on his final mark on animation but he exceeded my expectations.
The Wind Rises follows the journey of Jiro Hirokoshi, who has a passion for flying. We see him flying in his dreams with his hero, the Italian airplane designer Caproni. In his dream Jiro watches a plane crash and in real life his dreams of becoming a pilot crash as he doesn't have the proper eyesight to become a pilot. So, with the help of Caproni in his dream, Jiro decides to focus on becoming an airplane builder.
Jiro then dreams of his designs soaring through the skies. His dreams and eventually real life help him solve a design problem. But Jiro lives in the 1930s and Japan is gearing up for war. His design leads to a warplane that causes thousands of deaths. But Jiro isn't concerned about the war, he wants to create the perfect plane. His focus on perfectionism is much like Miyazaki. Miyazaki created a film that doesn't use his typical magical fairies or animals and instead uses people from history with great strengths and flaws. Jiro's relationship with his boss for instance seems very confrontational at first, but when the two finally see eye-to-eye a very unlikely friendship begins that plays out in an unexpected and surprising way.
In the end, I think the relationships are the entire point of the film. That despite the odds that we should strive to do better, to do more. In the event of the massive earthquake sequence where Jiro meets his future wife, we see him acting selflessly trying to save others. Perhaps this is Miyazaki's message, to do our best even in the worst of times. To be able to stand up triumphantly despite the number of times we have fallen.

The Wind Rises in theatres now.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Starbucks Hacks: Cotton Candy Frappucino!

Here is yet another Starbucks hack! Make this tasty Cotton Candy Frappucino!

Recipe:

1. Order a vanilla bean Frappuccino

2. Ask for a pump or two of raspberry syrup

Yes, it really is that easy! Drink and enjoy! If you don't want it to be super sweet then only ask for one pump of raspberry syrup!

Giveaway: Uni Kitty from The LEGO Movie LED Light


Win a Uni Kitty LED Light from The LEGO Movie!
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Dapper Day at The Disneyland Resort! Feb. 23, 2014!

What is Dapper Day? Dapper Day was created to celebrate the tradition of stepping out in style. When people would put on their Sunday best and head outside!

Dapper Day events at Disney Parks started three years ago in 2011. They were inspired by the original concept art for the park from the original Imagineers. But by no means do you have to only wear attire from the 1950s, no the idea is to simply look one's best and enjoy a day in the parks! Such a marvelous idea and I am planning on making this my must go to event each and every year!
So, with my two lovely friends Kristen and Stephanie, who both love to dress up for this kind of thing, we were off to The Disneyland Resort! We decided to head into Disney California Adventure first and take as many fun photos as we could!

I love black and white photos and sepia tone photos to add to the charm of this event! There are a few color photos as well! I hope you do not mind the variation! I thought it would add even more interest to this post!
We then headed off to Cars Land and had to take a photo in front of the amazing Radiator Springs Racers! Black and white just felt right here. The theming is very 1950s though the movie takes places in current times. There is a sense of time standing still and I felt that black and white was the way to step back into the past even if only for a few minutes.
Along the way we had to stop off for some souvenirs!
Then we headed to Paradise Pier! This is one of my favorite photos of the day! Everything here feels timeless and if it weren't for the raised platforms of the World of Color nozzles, it would seem like a day in the 1950s at a classic California beach amusement park.
Here we are being silly! You have to have some fun after all!
Another timeless photo in my opinion. Just enjoying another day at the beach.
Then we were off to Hollywood Land! And we made it inside the abandoned lobby of the once proud Hollywood Tower Hotel. Legend says that on one stormy Halloween night, five people stepped into the elevator and disappeared. The hotel closed and then one day it mysteriously reopened.
I love this backdrop in front of the Hyperion Theatre. As far as I know it is the only place where the sun sets in the East.
Then we made our way for drinks. A little refreshment was long overdue with all of the hard work we were putting in to be the subject of some fantastic photos! By chance we were invited into the exclusive 1901 Lounge for drinks. This Club 33 member only lounge is located in The Carthay Circle Restaurant.
I went with the scotch mist which is known to be Walt Disney's favorite drink.
Kristen had a fabulous pear martini.
And Stephanie went with a classic Pimm's Punch.
At the bar in 1901, they have these chairs with Walt and Lillian's name on them. Even the boss and his wife have special privileges at the club. I had to sit in the boss's seat at least once!
The ladies look classic Hollywood here in Walt and Lillian's seats. The black and white looked classic and felt right. I almost expect Walt to walk up any minute now.
Stephanie and I took a seat to see what it feel like to be part of the Hollywood elite.
One fabulous shot of all three of us in front of the bar in 1901.
We end out day in the gift shop of The Hollywood Tower Hotel in front of this beautiful piece of artwork depicting what the hotel looked like before that fateful Halloween night.

I hope you enjoyed the photos of Dapper Day. In September we will take photos in Disneyland! Unless we find an excuse to take photos in the parks before that!

To learn more about Dapper Day, check out their website at:
http://dapperday.com/
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