2015 Toyota Rav4 Stylish, Smart and Adventurous #Review

Toyota Rav4 2015 by CarolinaMama©
Our Travel and Review of the 2015 Toyota Rav4 - Stylish, Smart and Adventuresome! 
We agree! The Rav4 handled our adventure, into the mountains, well. 

Estimated Gas Mileage is 24 in town (amazing!) and 31 on the highway (awesome!) Especially for a vehicle with Dynamic Torque-Control AWD. 

The Dynamic Torque-Control AWD on the Rav4 took us right up the mountains to our cabin. It was ideal for this trip. 


We loaded it up one day for a Mountain Drive and Picnic in the mountains. Here the Rav4 is ready to go. Cargo Utility: the Height Adjustable Power LiftGate was fabulous for us.

"No free hands? No problem. RAV4 is available with a power rear liftgate featuring jam protection, plus a handy height-adjustment feature. Simply raise the liftgate to your ideal height, then press and hold the cargo door button for two seconds until a confirmation beep sounds. Now, whether you open the liftgate via release or key fob, it will open to the desired height every time."
Rav4 Toyota by CarolinaMama©

We had plenty of space before taking off for the afternoon with our lunch boxes in hand. This is part of the service by the Asheville Bed & Breakfast and Cabins where we stayed. 

Toyota Rav4 by CarolinaMama©

Here you can see the nice size and handsome look of the Rav4. Beautiful up against the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Toyota Rav4 in Asheville, NC by CarolinaMama©

The Rav4 did great on the back roads.... :)  Had to make sure you were with me. Our son did bring his Traxxas and LOVED running it in the mountains!

It was rugged enough to handle the dirt roads to the cabin. 

2015 Toyota Rav4 by CarolinaMama©

The boys usually read, grab their pillows and take a nap on our road trips. Here we are reading and almost there. We, of course thanks to Starbucks, are wide awake and ready for the drive.

Toyota Rav4 RoadTrips by CarolinaMama©

As you can see, we all had ample space and we were all able to bring our favorite things like pillows!

 The Integrated Backup Camera was a lifesaver. And they are SO accurate now days!

"Stay ahead when you back up. When you shift into Reverse, RAV4’s standard backup camera 27 displays a real-time view of what the camera sees behind you on the 6.1-in. touch-screen display on the dash."

We had never driven a Rav4 prior to this review and we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable, spacious and smoothly it rode. Our tall teen sons had lots of room in the back. 

The crossbars are always good for the backup luggage rack if needed. GPS really worked well. The automatic hatchback door is very nice.

Of course, we love keyless ignition.  That is one of the best recent innovations in automobile technology for quite some time. You can even start it with your remote control, oh how wonderful in the winter time to warm up your car before getting back into it! This feature is convenient. 

The Rav4 has a great sound system that is very versatile on where you can put the music throughout the car. We all like to sing along to KLOVE or our CDs. At other times, we let the teens rock out and we chat a bit up front. This was so helpful and easy to do! 

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: that seems a little small looking at it from the outside.  
However, we were all very pleasantly surprised at how spacious the interior of this crossover SUV really is!  The boys had plenty of leg space, as did mom and dad.  We were able to load up for our weekend in the mountains very easily, even with a little room to spare.  The two color tone interior was a really cool switch from the norm.

We really liked the “Magnetic Gray Metallic” paint that we drove.  The burgundy is a pretty contrast color. It is a really nice shade of gray, and there are some other very nice options for you to choose from.


This vehicle handles smoothly and nicely on the open road. It was ideal for the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville and for in town here. It was so wonderful and did extremely well around town, we enjoyed driving it in the mountains and town equally.  

It was a delight to drive Rav 42015. We got to drive some narrow, winding mountain roads, and it handled superbly on this type of road. 

Check out the spacious and spectacular 2015 Toyota Rav4. You'll be glad you did. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rav 4. All opinions are my own. 

Pumpkin Palooza Party with Mr. Clean #MrClean

Our Pumpkin Palooza Carving Party was spectacular!  SPOOK - tacular! :) We truly had a blast. We got together with two of my girlfriends. We are boy moms. So, we had 7 Boys at this Pumpkin Palooza! It was too fun! 

Pumpkin Palooza Party©

Just remember, every great party starts with great food! We love our Pumpkin Tureens!  I LOVE mine and plan to use it through Thanksgiving. 

Pumpkin Palooza Party with Mr. Clean by CarolinaMama©

We were so excited to collaborate on this Pumpkin Party with Mr. Clean. That way I did not have to worry about getting a little dirty because MrClean Concentrated Cleaner has double the cleaning power to knock out dirt! And to get rid of the grease from the favorite snacks like the Cheese Balls or the Caramel from Caramel Apples. 

My first Ghost Cake! :) This was a huge success! 

Halloween Ghost Cake at Mr. Clean Party by CarolinaMama©

The food was important with seven boys. Three Moms ....

... Five Teens and two Little Boys! :) 

This is just to show seven handsome boys sitting patiently waiting to have a Pumpkin Palooza Party! 

The youngest were ready to party with some great Party Snacks. Are they not the cutest! 

I'll say this is an approval of the Caramel Apples! :) Such a sweetie. 

Here is a idea of the fun. Pumpkin Carving Kit, Pumpkin Painting Kit and snacks galore. 

Not only was I excited the Ghost Cake turned out so well, the kids loved the Caramel Apples! :) I made them old school. The messy way. Thankfully, Mr. Clean was awesome on the clean up! :) 

My friend Janna is responsible for this tasty dessert! The adult version of the caramel apple! 

After a substantial mess was made, we got to put the Mr. Clean to use! It worked wonders on these 'favorite snacks' - the cheese balls. Mr. Clean cut through the grease on the counter. That was a wonderful things. Simple and easy. 

We only needed a few drops for the sponge. So the Mr. Clean Concentrate was great. I loved the smell. It smelled light and fresh. 

 Next, we moved on to the beautiful hard wood floors. The last thing we wanted to do was leave caramel sauce on the floor! :)

See how pretty and shine it is. We LOVE the Mr. Clean Concentrate Cleaner. :) 

Back to the Pumpkins, everyone loved choosing their own Pumpkins from our stash. The pumpkin palooza made for many happy faces.

The pumpkin patch we purchased was even gorgeous. I just love the look of Pumpkins. 

My girlfriend, Janna, our Hostess with the most-est, was quite the Pumpkin carver.  This made her son very happy. :) 

Here we are in all of our Pumpkin Palooza Party glory. We all had so much fun. The boys all loved making their own creations.

We had all of the Pumpkin Palooza Fun! The boys were all hard at work on their Pumpkins. 

We loved the Pumpkins and the Food was still good outside! :) 

We love our Mr. Clean Concentrate. We love it at home, too!  Check out the newest of the Mr. Clean products. Look for Mr. Clean Concentrate and enjoy!

We loved the White Pumpkin Tureen's from Sur La Table and Mr. Clean. Thank you and Happy Halloween everyone! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mr. Clean. We love keeping it clean. All opinions are my own. 

Hanes Fall Fashion for Men, Women and Teens #FallFashion #HanesComfort

Hanes Fall Fashion is casual, handsome and stylish. Here are my guys on our recent trip to Asheville. These are perfect for Fall Fashion. The weather was turning cool in the mountains. The Hanes Men's Sweatshirt Hoodies were wonderful layering pieces.  As it gets cooler, the accompanying sweat pants will go well for casual events. Of course, jeans and Khakis will work well together.

Hanes Fall Family Fashion by CarolinaMama©

Men's Fall Fashion: 
These Men's SweatShirt Hoodies are Purple, Deep Forest and Denim Blue.  Notice the Classic Men's Socks Crew White my husband is wearing. These are great all the time. 

We were all relaxing and enjoying the Hot Air Balloons over the valley in Asheville. So beautiful! 

Classic / Basic Crew Tee Shirts White Men's. Yes, this is not only a Fall Fashion Tip, this is a Women's Secret... I LOVE the Hanes Basic Men's Crew Tee Shirts!  Seriously, they are awesome and feel great. Look, won't you agree, they look terrific, too. I love the men's tee for a longer tee shirt. This is great for layering. I adore the NEW Men's Crew Tee Shirt in Slim Fit© because it is just slim enough to fit better and have the length I need. So, winning! Also, the sleeves are not too short and sticking out. So, the slim fitted tee can be worn by itself and be just as stylish. 

Women's Fall Fashion: My Women's Signature Wrap in Gray is worn over the tee as a perfect long cardigan. I feel so confident and comfortable while being stylish in this Fall item. The cotton is super soft and moves with me. The long sleeves add just enough for the warmish, cool Fall days. I think every woman needs one or three of these.

Hanes Signature Wrap by CarolinaMama©

The Signature Wrap looks so elegant here. It is very feminine and makes the outfit. I love the Signature Wrap! It goes with so much and it is soft and comfortable for Fall. Perfect Fall Fashion! 

Hanes Signature Wrap for Women©

Here I styled it with a dark gray shirt and a fun headband with black leggings and boots. I was ready to go from day to dinner. :)  You can mix up the top and jewelry to make and elegant dinner.
CarolinaMama© and Sons in Hanes for Men and Women©

Teens Fall Fashion for Him:  Another glimpse at this awesome Hanes Hoodie Sweatshirt. These are great for every one. Our boys love the Men's Hoodies - here one of the boys is enjoying the Deep Green at dinner alfresco in Asheville. It was ideal. The deep green looked so handsome on my teenage son during our al fresco dinner! And he was warm enough for the Asheville evening. 

Handsome in his Hanes Deep Green Hoodie Sweatshirt©

My husband and teen sons have a personal favorite and it is .... the Men's Lounge Shorts

Hanes Men's Jersey Lounge Pant ©

and the Men's Pajama lounge.  Hurry and buy when you see them because here they tend to run out quickly. They were all so thrilled to get stocked up on these favorites. 

Hanes Men's Pajama Short© 

A Little Something Extra:

Women's Bandini Convertible - Black/White These are some of the most versatile items Hanes has for women. I love wearing these on my morning walks. Or, layered for the gym. They are easy to wash, dry simply. They keep their shape and form for a LONG time. You can wear are them strapless, one strap, both straps and as a bandeau. This is a super score in women's clothing.

One of my favorite ways to wear the Bandini is as a bandeau OVER my usual undergarment so I do not have to worry about all of the low cut items on the market. This works so well and looks like part of my outfit most of the time. Worry free dressing! :)

Hanes Bandini Convertible in Blak and White©

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hanes. I am a member of the Hanes Comfort Crew.  All opinions are my own. 

Spring House Restaurant of Winston-Salem, North Carolina Business, Casual and Family Dining

Spring House has long been a farm to table restaurant in the heart of lovely and vibrant Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  We were amazed at the unique dishes and flavors served. The atmosphere was splendid.

CarolinaMama and Family at Spring House, Winston-Salem, NC©
This menu looks delicious!  Look they have an amazing Salmon with Spiced Shrimp! 

The Chef's Appetizer included Pimento Cheese so all was right with the world! This mama is happy when her Southern sons eat some great Pimento Cheese! :) 

Spring House, Winston-Salem, NC by CarolinaMama

The atmosphere was wonderful, a combination of business casual yet comfortable.  The ambiance of the Spring House Restaurant is very classy. There were business meetings, couples dating, family dinners like ours. Spring House is for everyone.
Spring House Appetizers by CarolinaMama©

The restaurant was originally a home built in 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  The indoor and outdoor opportunities for memorable events and parties abound. 

The Spring House is truly a unique place to enjoy an incredible meal in a very lovely, well kept historic house.  Try it today, they are open for lunch and for dinner, the food is phenomenal and the experience amazing! We made ourselves at home. Sweet tea and mason jar - we fit right in. 

To begin our incredible dining experience at Spring House, we enjoyed the Shrimp Sweet Corn and Crab Beignets with Red Beet and Horseradish Remoulade.  Tantalizing!  I was all in when I heard Beignets... then Shrimp and Crab. This was a fabulous dish. The Red Beet Horseradish Remoulade was tasty and beautiful! We loved knowing that this was all-natural coloring. My mother would have LOVED this. She gave us some great opportunities to enjoy Beets and this would be a favorite. :)

Shrimp Sweet Corn and Crab Beignets with Red Beet Remoulade
by CarolinaMama©
The homemade Breads, Cheddar Biscuits and Cornbread were a wonderful addition to the Appetizer of Pimento Cheese, Red Peppers, Hummus and Savory Beets.

Homemade Breads at Spring House
by CarolinaMama©

"Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, opened in April 2012, is located in the former Bahnson House, a gracious 1920 former residence in downtown Winston-Salem that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spring House is part of historical “Winston-Salem’s Millionaire’s Row,” which is on downtown’s Fifth Street." 

We LOVE the peaceful property at Spring House. 

The integrity of the Spring House is beautiful and adds to the ambiance. We loved seeing the gardens there. Weather permitting, there is a nice courtyard for outdoor seating. For us, it was a rainy evening so we enjoyed sitting indoors in the sun room with a beautiful view of outdoors.  Here you can see the Herb Garden the Chef 'shops' in to create these amazing meals.  The ingredients will be inspired by the season, fresh from local farms and markets.  

The Caesar Wedge and the Waldorf-Inspired Salad were a great way to prepare for the entrees.  We love a good Caesar Dressing and Blue Cheese Dressing - this one was made fresh from scratch at the Spring House - Daily.

      • Toasted Shards of Corn Bread 

      • PLANK ROASTED MAHI MAHI CafĂ© de Paris Butter and Coarse  Grain Mustard Sauce
  • Chili Salt Spiced Shrimp and Seafood Beignet
    Lemon Peppercorn Remoulade
I ordered the Plank Roasted Mahi Mahi. This was an amazing dish complimented with the Seafood Beignet and Spiced Shrimp. It was a fantastic combination. The Mahi Mahi was very light and flaky. It was a wonderful seafood mix with the yellow rice pilaf.

Plank Roasted Mahi Mahi Chili Salt Spiced Shrimp and Seafood Beignet
by CarolinaMama©

Our boys LOVE Salmon. This one was delectable. They were impressed with the many flavors fused with the Grilled Salmon. It was truly wonderful.  One the boys said that it was "the best salmon ever." 

  • Cumin spiked Frijoles Negro and Yellow Saffron Rice
    Pickled Shrimp Garnish and Sweet Pepper “Confetti”
Spring House Roasted Salmon with  Pickled Shrimp and Sweet Pepper Confetti
by CarolinaMama©

Here we are taking a moment to share the outdoor patio dining for a casual lunch or evening out. 

The property is like a Secret Garden. We love the greenery and placid atmosphere.

Spring House has a beautiful style. We loved the art work and decor throughout. :)

Spring House, Winston-Salem, NC by CarolinaMama©

Here is a look at the Sun Room for Elegant Dining. Being a New Orleans native and loving all things fine dining, I love the white table clothes, ambiance and excellent service at Spring House. 

Back to the fabulous food at Spring House, the Oyster Sliders.  These were tantilizingly good. ! This was such a unique appetizer. Kudos to the Chef Timothy Grandinetti of Spring House. Follow Chef Grandinetti on Twitter for a glance at his creations. 

  • Pepper Jack Bechamel Bacon BBQ Sauce

  • Noodles in Sherry Garlic Ginger Broth
    with Pork Belly, Short Ribs, Shrimp, Greens, Hen’s Egg
    Hoisin Sauce, Purgatory Pepper Elixir and Miso Aioli Drizzle
Southern Hot Pot at Spring House, #VisitWS by CarolinaMama©

The Individual S'mores Dessert served the four of us! We got our Chocolate cravings satisfied, indeed! 

S]mores Chocolate Dessert at Spring House
by CarolinaMama©

The Southern Banana Pudding was a really fun finale to the Dinner. I was so excited the boys wanted this dessert. The mason jar made it actually perfect!

Spring House Banana Pudding

Visit Spring House in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at your earliest convenience. Discover a true treasure in Spring House dining.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Spring House and Visit Winston-Salem, NC.  All opinions are my own.