2019 Honda CRV-EX, AWD Review

Honda CR-V — which should you buy, 2019 or 2020? I would say that most people buy and spend the most during the end/beginning of the year, and it’s no different when it comes to vehicle purchases. Weather and the holidays also plays a part in it, as winter time is when you really need a reliable method of transportation especially for work commuting… and for dealerships, it’s also when they need to make room for the newer models and year.

I finally said goodbye to my trusty Toyota on Veteran’s Day. After having my new ride for 3 weeks now, I’ve driven it enough times (and even on a long holiday travel) to leave a well-informed review.

I had wanted the 2020 Honda CR-V, but unfortunately none of the dealerships had any in their showrooms yet, as Honda had just released it that week (along with its pricing). I went with the 2019 because I needed a new car ASAP, and didn’t have the patience to wait for one to be transported in a few days. I got the 2019 EX, AWD… The biggest changes in 2020 is for the base LX trim; it’s worth getting the next trim up (the EX) if your dealer only has 2019 on hand though… which was my scenario.

Why should you get the 2019 instead of waiting for delivery on the 2020?

Well, besides from not driving off with a car right then and there at the dealership — unless you’re getting the LX, the next trim (the EX) has everything that the 2020 has (but at a few hundred dollars less for 2019).

All 2020 CR-Vs do get new front and rear bumpers though, and revised headlights and tail-lights… if that matters to you. EX and EX-L trims also get a new alloy wheel design and the top Touring trim gets new 19-inch wheels (up from 18). The main change inside is a revised center console that moves a pair of USB ports to the front (but as someone with kids, I like the ports in the back, which is the design in 2019 models).

The 2019 Honda CR-V, EX is a compact SUV (what the industry calls a “crossover”) that can seat up to five adult passengers. It comes standard with a 190-hp, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder CVT (this is the newest kind of transmission that is out in the market, I had no idea what a CVT even was and had to use Google). Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional… I got the AWD.

The midrange EX trim level adds appealing features like remote start, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, a touchscreen multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. Honda Sensing includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control… among other flashy extras.

The Honda CR-V is a roomy compact SUV with great in-cabin storage amenities. The available turbocharged drivetrain feels overburdened though, and the brake-pedal feel is disappointing. Also, as cars are also more technological — you’ll need to spend a full day reading the owner’s manual, watching YouTube videos, and hands-on figuring out how to operate the vehicle. It’s kind of like getting a new phone; back in the days of flip-phones there wasn’t much to figure out, but now there are legit tutorials from the manufacturers on how to operate your latest smartphone… same with cars, Honda even has its own YouTube channel.

Linguine with Shrimp & Clams

Today Walmart had invited me to be one of their product reviewers — I’m so excited for the opportunity because I am a frequent shopper there (and online too). To celebrate my new partnership with them, I decided to cook a “fancy” meal… too bad I made it really early in the afternoon, so unfortunately my hubby didn’t get to enjoy it with us (but the kids and I loved it!).

Pan Seared Salmon Recipe

I love seafood, especially shellfish and salmon… this is a super quick and easy recipe (perfect as a workday dinner for the weekdays when you don’t have time for anything)… I was missing onions and lemons — but the kids still loved it and there was no leftovers for my poor hubby.

Smarkids Toddler Musical Instrument Toy Set [Review]

Smarkids Toddler Musical Instrument Toy Set available on Amazon for about $33 (Amazon Affiliate Program), is an AWESOME musical instrument set! I got it for my little tot.

My daughter is playing the recorder this year, and although the description for this set lists a “flute”, it is actually a recorder (but that’s a common mistake that a lot of people make). So my daughter had a Yamaha recorder, but she lost it — but even the Yamaha one was only like $6. Anyway, when I opened it, I saw there was a recorder in there, so I gave it to my daughter as a replacement for the one she lost.

Even though this is market as a “toy” set, you can legit play all of the instruments if you know how to play music. It’s designed to be fun during learning and playing. This toy set is a real instrument set, include percussion instruments like xylophone, shakers and tambourines.

Not only can they produce rhythms, but they also make wonderful melodies. With suitable size (including a pair of wrist jingles), this instrument set is made for kids of all ages. Rainbow colors, abundant function, excellent playability, it is the best quality in this line; you will not regret purchasing this percussion toy set.

These are professional musical instruments — providing a much more wide variety of articulations. It is very suitable for children who are learning to play music as a beginner. These are real instruments that can help kids develop musical talents.

This set is also very suitable for classroom education, with great diversity; it is also suitable for group members to play and learn together to build teamwork. Musical toy sets not only help children develop their rhythm and musical skills, but also boost their attention levels, memory, motor and creative skills — these are the best early learning toys in the market.

The set comes with: a rainbow xylophone with two mallets, a tambourine, a recorder, 2 cymbals, a metal triangle with striker, 2 wrist bells (for tots, you can put them on their ankles or wrists); 2 rainbow maracas, and 2 yellow egg shakers; and everything fits inside of a colorful, plastic toddler zippered backpack.

My First Food Vlog!

Made my first food vlog today!

Usually when I make this I add clams, mussels, and other seafood to it — it’s really hearty that way. Other Asians like it with beef, or a mixture of meats and seafood (there’s so many varieties).

Unfortunately, I’m really limited when it comes to fresh seafood because I’m in a landlocked area and no where near an ocean. One of the things I miss the most about New York City is the Atlantic Ocean.

48 Artistic Erat Bon Greeting Cards

This assorted pack of 48 Artistic Erat Bon Greeting Cards is great for all of your card needs for various occasions! (Amazon Affiliate Program)

No need to make last minute stops to the store to buy an over-priced birthday card just for one birthday party, or any occasion where you need a greeting card.

The pack includes 48 cards of 6 different styles, 8 cards for each style, with individual envelopes. The cards are blank inside so you can add your own custom messages for professional and personal use. The designs can cater to any events or situations such as birthdays, weddings and showers, congratulations, baby boy, sympathy, etc.

CNSL Wireless Car Charger Mount

CNSL Wireless Car Charger Mount, available on Amazon (Amazon Affiliate Program), has replaced the one that I was originally using. So I needed a phone holder for my car, and my husband had recently gotten one too, and I really liked the one that he got compared to mine, so I got a new one — this one. It’s compatible with my husband’s phone (an iPhone) and mine (a Samsung Galaxy).

CNSL car mount wireless charger is more durable than standard car Qi wireless chargers. Wireless charging comes in handy for me especially because I always end up breaking the charging port on my phone, and as most phones don’t have the removable battery anymore, it’s really the only way to charge your phone if the charging port gets broken. You can use it in the car or at home, it connects via a USB cable that you can plug into an outlet adapter or a car adapter.

It can also auto gripe your phone and charge in seconds when the phone is close to the holder. Similarly, when you reach for the phone, the charger mount automatically senses it and releases the clip for you. Truly hands-free for a safer drive.

However, if you’re like me and just need it for basically holding up your phone in the car while driving, you can also release the phone by pushing on a manual side button. The arms will release your phone automatically. You can also adjust the bottom tray for the height of your phone. Pop up the bottom tray by pressing the bracket release button.

It has 7 levels for your phone’s choice. Adjust different altitudes so that your phone can more accurately match the sensing area of wireless charging. The bottom bracket allows the phone to not fall off easily when the arms open.

Cold Case Complete Series on Roku

O.M.G!!! — the complete series of Cold Case is now available for streaming for FREE on the Roku channel!!!

Fans of the hit CBS show have been unable to view the series (including even doing the dreaded buying seasons of the series) because of music licensing issues, so getting to watch it on syndication was always limited. One of the reasons why the show was such a hit was because the musical scores on each episode was in total sync with the times that the cold case was supposed to have happened in.

Cold Case was an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from the fall of 2003 to the spring of 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department division that specializes in investigating cold cases. The series have a total of seven seasons and 156 episodes.

Due to the use of contemporary music in each episode, none of the seasons are presently available on DVD, again due to music licensing issues. The show was also distinguished by “double casting” in which the characters and witnesses would flash back and forth in the scene representing them as they looked at the time of the crime and in the present day. This was done with different actors as children or much younger selves especially if the year in question was well in the past.

At the end of the episode, when the killer/s were exposed and confronted the confession would be in a flashback scene depicting the murder. The killer and other characters in the story would be seen as flashing back to their younger selves and the present. The spirit of the victim would be seen either by Lilly, one of the other detectives or a loved one of the victim. This would be accompanied by the playing of a song meant to symbolize the period in which the killing took place.

Through the flashbacks, the show examined many issues related to 20th century history, including: racism, homophobia, sexism, abortion, and police brutality. Some of the cases were based on real life events or victims, akin to the “ripped from the headlines” style from shows like the Law & Order universe.

Besides Levine’s original music, each episode makes extensive use of era-appropriate music for flashbacks to the year in question. Danny Pino appeared as Valens in the CSI: NY episode “Cold Reveal”. This episode connected Cold Case to not only CSI: NY, but also to CSI: Miami, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Cyber, and Without a Trace.

I love the Roku channel because they also have The Nanny on there among other shows that I really liked a lot. What I love about this show is all the great songs I forgot about.

[Review] DesertWest Cell Phone Holder

DesertWest Cell Phone Holder, available on Amazon (Amazon Affiliate Program) — currently retails for $20. Got this for my hubby’s car, like it way better than the one I have in my car!

Comes in a great packaging box that is perfect as a gift (kind of reminds me of a watch box, actually). Has a ball-back for a screw-nut to attached either via vent, windshield, or dashboard. Also very sleek design with a small push button on the bottom left that expands the sides of the holder to accommodate a lot of different phone sizes. (This button will also release the phone from its grip, which is definitely very secure in the holder!)

I put my S10+ with a case in it, and it fit perfectly; my husband has an iPhone 8 Plus, with a case and a grip socket on the back of it, and it also holds the phone perfectly and securely. I filmed the review while we were doing a long roadtrip on a highway. We both use Google Maps on our phone (although we both have traditional GPS systems if our phone fails us, Google Maps has up-to-date traffic), which is the main reason we both wanted phone holders for our cars; but during the drive my husband also got calls that made it easier for him to just quickly answer or reject the call via the car’s bluetooth (before he’d still have to fumble in one of the console trays for the phone when it rang, to physically look down quickly to see the number, and then accept/reject the call).

Definitely safer having a phone holder in the car, especially since most people are very dependent on their phones nowadays, even while driving. Also, while he was driving he had to charge the phone, and the holder is designed so that you can have access to the phone’s charging port even while it’s in the slot. The ball-back design on the back makes it easy for swiveling it into different positions too.

This is actually the best phone holder for a car I’ve seen!

[Restaurant Review] Jumbo Crab

Logistically, they are in a great location — right outside of the first gate of Fort Campbell on the TN side; same as how Mikado’s and China Buffet gets a lot of business because they are right outside of the first gate on the KY side. However, their prices and menu are not competitive enough to stay afloat for long, though.

Their lunch menu isn’t really any sort of bargain at all, which is too bad because otherwise they would get a lot of Soldiers during the weekdays. They’ll get customers on post who don’t want to drive all the way to downtown Clarksville for Storming Crab — but there won’t be a lot of those though. The main reason is because people will do the comparison and realize they have better options at Storming Crab (SC), such as: a full bar, a better menu and more selections, the free seafood bread, drink options like bubble tea or juice for kids, substitutions on the combos, and the other little bits of extra. See, SC knows they are in an area with a lot of restaurant competition, so they give little things to attract customers.

As for my own personal experience — it was empty when I went in. No big deal, and not a surprise at all because many sitdown restaurants on the Blvd. are empty during the weekdays. The decor and layout looks exactly like SC, and they even encourage you to write on the walls too. However, the menu do not list the drinks, so I had to ask what kind of sodas they carry (whether it was Coke or Pepsi products); and it doesn’t look like they have a bar either (so I’m not sure there’s any alcohol served). There’s no children menu, which was disappointing, because these kind of restaurants are great for families. There were no complimentary bread or anything, which I immediately compared to SC in my head. None of the tables had any salt or pepper shakers (I looked around at ALL the tables). The combos were limited and no substitutions, so I ordered a make-your-own combo. I was also disappointed to see that NONE of the combos included sausage (which I again immediately made a comparison in my head to SC — because every combo includes corn, potatoes, and sausage at SC); instead it’s an add-on item at Jumbo.

There was also an odd option where you get charged a few dollars more for headless shrimp than shrimp with the head intact… basically being redundant and what customers would see as nickel and dime-ing because a place like this is basically where you go to eat and get your hands dirty with the food by breaking, cracking, sucking, snapping, tugging, etc. — so adding $3 more for shrimp without heads seems like a big restaurant fail.

Our waitress did not give us a seafood cracker for the crabs; my daughter asked her for one, and she thought we were asking for saltine crackers instead of a seafood utensil! Again, I noted that at SC we were giving “crackers” (the utensil) when you order crab or lobster without having to ask.

I got my toddler fries because he usually loves fries from anywhere, but he didn’t eat these. I took a taste and figured out why, there was no salt on it at all. Plain, unsalted fries… and none of the tables have salt or pepper shakers. There was no juice option, so I got lemonade for my tot. Our waitress was very nice.

The owner(s) need to either make the menu/prices more competitive or offer other options — like children’s menu, liquor, military discount, actual lunch menus with bargain prices, etc. If you’re keeping the prices, you need to give a little extra — if you don’t want to give out anything extra, you need to lower the prices. Again, they’ll possibly stay afloat because of location.