Quarantine has been hard. We can’t go to our typical restaurants, breweries, or events. So you’ve decided you’re going to get out there one of the only ways you can…by braving the wilderness. But are you really ready? Do you know how to fight a bear, hike vertically up a mountainside, or turn a tree into a shelter? No? Okay, so none of those things are actually necessary, because if you’re like me, “camping” means driving your car to a campground, setting up a tent, and driving back into town for a delicious veggie burger. But even in that case, you need to be prepared for your weekend spent amongst the birds (or in Wisconsin’s case, the mosquitos). I’m going to lay out the basic items you’ll need, how to prepare, and how to be comfortable enough while sleeping in the outdoors.Read More »
My grandma passed away this last weekend, and while she didn’t pass away from COVID-19, my family is still dealing with the effects of losing someone during this time. When my grandpa passed away a few years ago, there was a finality in the funeral. It was extremely sad, but made better by being surrounded by family and knowing we were all in this together. We were able to share our favorite stories of him, drink his favorite beer, and drive his favorite car (not in that order!) and it gave all of us a sense of peace. Now, we’re all kind of on our own to deal with this. We can’t have a funeral or full family gathering until much later in the year in the best case scenario. Video calls and texts certainly make it easier to connect, but it’s definitely not the same. And while I don’t have all the answers for grieving in the time of COVID-19, I can share what has helped me, and hopefully help others as well.Read More »
While there are numerous articles about how to set up a work from home station, or how to stay productive during a quarantine, one thing that hasn’t been addressed is how your car is dealing with all of this. And would any of you be surprised that I’m concerned about your cars well-being?! If you’re doing your part to flatten the curve by staying home (and if you’re essential and can’t stay home-thank you!!), there’s a good chance that your car isn’t getting driven nearly as much, or maybe not at all.
And while being a car enthusiast may make me qualified enough to give you car care advice, I’m taking it one step further and giving you advice from an actual, qualified mechanic. My boyfriend, Tony, has been a Volkswagen mechanic for over 10 years, and has seen it all! Here are his tips for making sure your car makes it through the quarantine in the best way possible!
- Wash and wax – Listen, I know even you aren’t showering every day anymore, but you should treat your car to at least one good wash! After it’s been scrubbed clean, put a healthy coat of wax on (and then wax off)! This will help make future dirt, dust, and bird poop less likely to stick and wear down your paint.
- Fully inflate your tires – While your car is sitting for extended periods of time, you want to be sure your tires are fully inflated. If you aren’t sure what PSI your tires should be at, here’s how to find it: Open your driver door. There should be a sticker on the door jamb with amounts for both your front and rear tires (they will likely be 2 different amounts). You can add 5 PSI when storing as well. Note, there are also PSIs on your tire-don’t fill them by this number!
- Treat your car to a tank of the good stuff – Believe me, I know how much cheaper 87 is. But think of it as ice cream for your car…it deserves a nice tank of 91 octane while it’s sitting! Higher octane gas burns cleaner and better, it has been more refined, and contains better additives, all of which make it less likely to go bad while it’s not being driven. (Due to technology in fuel systems and quality of gas, you don’t need fuel stabilizer unless you’re storing your car for over a year.)
- Change your oil – Since you aren’t commuting to and from work each day, you’ll likely need to get oil changes based on time instead of mileage. The majority of modern cars will recommend oil changes every year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you aren’t driving your car very often, it’s best to get an oil change every six months, or before you drive it again (think road trips or even daily commuting).
- Drive! – I know this sounds like a very “Lauren” thing to say, but your car wants to be driven! Even if you don’t need to go anywhere, take your car out for at least 30 minutes every week, and let it get up to operating temperature. One situation that Tony sees very frequently is carbon build up in cars that are only driven around town, with owners that never “give it the beans!” You can avoid this by driving your car on a varied route (through town, on the highway and on back roads). When it’s safe to do so (like on an on-ramp to the highway), put the pedal to the floor! You’ll also want to hit the brakes fairly heavily (please make sure there’s no one behind you first). When your car sits, the brakes can accumulate rust and water, and believe it or not, slamming on your brakes occasionally will help your brake pads live longer.
If you have questions about something we didn’t cover, add a note in the comments or find me on Twitter!
For those who are working from home, it can be a challenge to adapt your apartment/house/van to being your new office space. To help make that transition more comfortable, here are the items I’ve been using on a daily basis while #WFH:Read More »
Since I knew I had to travel to Washington DC for work, I figured I would make the most of it! Tony joined me at the end of my trip so we could explore what we had time for on our short weekend trip! (Cut even shorter by Tony’s flight delay of three hours…thanks American Airlines)
Here are the notable things we ate, drank, and saw while in DC, along with a collection of Ferraris…pictures!Read More »
Right as I was working on a blog about how it’s very shocking I haven’t upgraded from my OG Pixel XL, I got a notification that more leaks had come out about the newest Pixel and it looked…awesome! And so right in time for me to upgrade my phone, here I am, reviewing the Pixel 3a!
TL;DR: For $400, this phone is easy to justify with decent storage and a fantastic camera. Use code B-MSAEVELGQDV3ASO3Q0RFWT8 for $50 off your purchase of a Pixel 3a.Read More »
Short answer: yes!…if you know what you’re looking for. Stick around and I’ll help you figure out what to look for so you get the best possible deal on your next eBay used phone purchase!Read More »