The latest in the Subaru family takes aim at the seven seater market. And for good reason, their last model didn’t do so well.
Subaru is back. And they are playing ball. The brand new Ascent, introduced in 2019, is simple yet big, bold, and fun.
We took a test drive with the Ascent. Here are our thoughts: The pros: 🚗 Lower anchor latches in both the second and third rows. 🚗 third row seats three 🚗 19 cup holders (!) 🚗 USB charging cable in the third row 🚗 Panoramic roof option. 🚗 Tons of safety features
🚗 All wheel drive on all trim levels (actually, all Subaru cars are AWD)
Cons: 🚗 noisy – you can hear a lot of outside noise leaking in 🚗 very hard suspension – the worst thing for potholes and crack roadways. 🚗 Plastic’y feeling to the interior components. Okay, true, Subaru is not a luxury brand, but the parts just felt too low level for the cost. 🚗 Difficult to get into third row because of car seats.
For the 8 seater Subaru, it can fit plenty of car seats: a maximum of 3 car seats requiring front latches and 3 car seats requiring back tethers.
The 2 row seats move easily but they don’t have a great fold radius. There is the possibility you may have to remove one of child car seats in order to fold the seat itself.
Last, it was recommended to us to stick to the captain’s row and opt for the 7 seater. The 8 seater works if you must fit 8 people, but it’s not advised. And the Ascent doesn’t have the option of removing the 8th seat like the Honda Odyssey does.
Preeti’s verdict: not our choice but this is a great family vehicle for 7-8 people. The ride is a bit splotchy and the interior isn’t refined (then again, Subaru doesn’t pretend to be luxury either).
For cars in this price range, $35,000-$55,000, the Subaru Ascent is a must test drive for families.
The Honda Odyssey is THE Golden Standard for the soccer parent (formerly known as the soccer mom car). It’s not just a minivan, it’s the minivan of minivans, winning its own Game of Thrones of the 7 kingdoms of parentdom.
There are of course other minivans out there, most notably the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, and Kia Sedona. At this moment, I haven’t been able to check out one of these cars.
We did not have time test drive it, but, here’s the scoop: The Odyssey is BIG – 203.2 inches long, making it one of the longest 7 seater cars. Longer cars are the true SUV beasts like the Tahoe, Suburban, Explorer. The Odyssey has one of the largest cargo space area of any vehicle: 32.8 ft³. No joke. You can see in one of the photos how the trunk has a drop to allow even more space! The interior is spacious and can accommodate 8 people. The middle chair in the second row can be removed to make it a captain’s row. All 2nd and 3rd row seats have lower anchors #latch for #carseats(unlike the #volkswagon#atlas which lacks 3rd row lower anchors). There are a couple downsides to the Odyssey: AWD is not an option on any trim level. Panoramic roof only comes at the top trim level. And the third row does not have any USB ports. The materials in the car are not luxury but solidly good. Price wise, the Odyssey is between $35-50K + taxes, putting in the same class as the #hondapilot#vwatlas#toyotasienna#fordexplorer#subaruascent .
We saw the Volvo XC90 finally! Here’s what we thought: ✅ comfortable seats ✅ reasonably spacious third row ✅ extra cargo space under lid ✅ 2nd row middle seat child booster seat option ✅ all wheel drive option
❌ NO 3rd row lower anchors ❌ NO 3rd row back seat tethers ❌ Poor 2nd chair folding – you may have to take out a baby car seat to allow third row access ❌ not a car for 3+ children who require standard car seats. ❌ good interior but not truly luxury
be posting a video, but considering this is. Swedish brand with a
history of safety standards and features, it’s shocking that the 3rd row
allows for no car seats. A great car for five people for older
children, but definitely not for kids under 4,
Car seat layout is disappointing at best. The middle seat in the second row has to steal from one of the end seats. Also an issue: to access the third row, the second row end seat must be folded; that means TAKING OUT the car seat.
And what parent has time to remove and reinstall a car seat every time the third row is needed?!
The only perk to the XC 90 is the 2nd row middle seat has an optional installed booster (33 lbs+) for older children.
You are still screwed in the 3rd row where no latches are available.
Great for 2 young children requiring car seats or 3+ older children (boosters).
NOT recommended for families requiring 3 latched car seats.
Here are my thoughts on the Chevrolet Traverse: ✅ surprisingly spacious ✅ 3rd row seats three people ✅ trunk space has extra space under the lid ✅ all wheel drive option ✅ back tether latches on all five rear seats ✅ bench or captain’s chairs for 2nd row ❌ interior not as refined ❌ no panoramic sunroof (comes as double sunroof) ❌ classic 3 year warranty (though it’s the standard for most cars, but just not great) ❌ top trim levels offer all the safety features, while lower levels you have to upgrade. Note: we didn’t get to test drive so I can’t speak to drivability. If I have time (sans children), I’ll do so in the next couple weeks.
What’s more delicious than smelling banana bread wafting through the house?
Nothing, am I right? The smell of fresh baked banana bread is intoxicating and inviting. Everyone knows something delicious is about to pop out of the oven.
I have been working on my banana muffin and banana bread recipe for a while. My muffins are a total hit with the kids because they are yummy, full of good things, and don’t have much sugar.
I wanted to translate that into a delicious that was also low in sugar but full of the good stuff.
There is also some room for modification with the recipe too. You can replace the peanut butter with any other nut butter or sun butter. You could also skip the nut butter entirely (but also eliminate the milk).
Banana bread likes to take time in the oven, at least 45 minutes. Not the best when you have kids who are super excited and have zero patience!
You could convert this to a muffin, but I recommend you head over to my muffin recipe as there are a few changes to make healthy cupcakes.
For the bread:
3 very ripe bananas mashed 2 eggs 1/2 cup room temp butter 1/2 cup milk (may not be needed if fruit/veggie are very moist) 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup instant oats 3 spoons hemp seed powder (optional) 1 tablespoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon ½ cup chopped walnuts optional or 1/2 cup peanut butter
With a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add bananas.
Mix all dry ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients together. If the batter looks doughy or tough, add milk. You can add peanut butter (if you are doing so) at this point.
The batter should be a bit wet like cake batter but not very wet like pancake batter.
Spoon into a loaf pan and bake for 45 min- 1 hour at 325F. Loaf breads take a while. If you don’t have the time, you can put this into a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes (be sure to spray the muffin tin).
It’s that time of the year again. Spring has sprung. The flowers are blooming. Allergy season is killing us already. And moms are wondering, what their families have planned for their Mother’s Day celebration.
Is it brunch with the kids at a restaurant? Oh joy! A meal OUTSIDE, at a RESTAURANT, with SMALL overdressed creatures. Great, I wonder who will be the point person on that one.
Or is it breakfast in bed? Scrambled eggs, hot coffee, donut, bacon. Now, that’s dreamy! But is it? Who’s gonna steal that donut? And who’s gonna spill the coffee on the bed?
And then…what happens the REST OF THE DAY? Why must your family insist that you hang out with them? ALL DAY? Don’t they know you already hang out with everyone enough?
Here’s the deal. We love you to bits. We love our family so so much. But sometimes, we need a pause. A refresher. A chance to enjoy ourselves as people BEFORE we had kids.
Side note if you are wondering why all the fuss over Mother’s Day, it actually has a great history. Until commercialization ruined it (which took a few short years).
It was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a *memorial* to her mother’s 3rd year death anniversary. It exploded into a national phenomenon and was recognized by president Woodrow Wilson in 1914. It was quickly commercialized by the greeting card and candy industries so much that Jarvis tried in her later years to rescind the holiday.
That’s how messed up Mother’s Day is.
Listening to other moms, I put together a list of what we REALLY WANT FOR MOTHER’S DAY. Sure, we like beautiful flowers (read: beautiful) and excellent quality chocolate. But for icing, sprinkles and the cake itself, this is what we want:
A real day off – Partner catches up ALL the dishes and laundry while mom catches up with Game of Thrones.
No brunch outside – If you’re going give mom a meal, make it tasty, something she likes, and requires 0% of her energy to watch kids.
Spa day – Book her and a friend a day to get manicures, pedicures, lunch. You take care of the kids AND the house (no excuses on not doing laundry).
Weekend off – Really love your wife? Give her whole dang 2.5 days off by sending her and a friend off to a mini-vacation. Have the hotel pre-paid. Make a list of to-do’s that she can choose from. If your wife likes things to be in order, you can prearrange for meals to be paid for.
Otherwise you can give her an envelope with cash and let her choose the schedule (don’t be stingy on the money). And DON’T forgot to clean the house, do the dishes, and finish all the laundry before she comes home. There’s nothing more enraging than having the “day off” only to still have to do all the work because people couldn’t adult in the house.
Have the house deep cleaned – You read that right. Do the cleaning. Be an active partner in the relationship and get it done without whining. Did you know that women still do 2 hours 15 minutes per DAY of housework versus men 1 hour 25 minutes? And that daughters do more household work than their brothers? Do you really want your little girl thinking she is supposed to do more house chores because she’s a woman? Didn’t think so.
Sound of silence – Having nobody call your name 100 times only to irritate you or scream about what they want in life. It’s possible to avoid this?
Send your wife away for one night to a fancy hotel and breakfast just so she doesn’t have to hear this. You do.
Week of house care – This is the GOLDEN EGG of gifts you can give. You do all the laundry, all the dishes, all the childcare, and most of the meals (we will forgive you for being a mediocre cook if you wipe down the kitchen). And don’t forget, on Mother’s day itself, mom still gets a day off and you take of the kids and the clothes.
Family events – unless the family event includes mom not going, chances are, her idea of spending a spa day is not with her mother in law. So please don’t plan some complicated affair with extended family.
So in case you are still not sure what moms want, let me repeat:
Sleep, movies alone, complete silence, wine (beverage of choice), food. Alone, sleep.
When I was pregnant four years ago with my firstborn, I always had it in the back of my mind to create an epic photo series with my family.
And by epic I mean, taking the same photos styles every year, at the same venue, with the same photographer, AND the same clothes.
Back then it was a dream and we were floored with the initial reception of an Indian maternity photo shoot. Buzzfeed, Good Morning America, BBC Radio, My Modern Met and many other places honored us by sharing these photos.
Our Indian maternity photos broke the barriers of being pregnant AND Indian. For so many reasons, there weren’t any Indian pregnancy pics to be inspired by when it came time to taking one’s own photos.
And by golly, an Indian pregnant woman with mehendi on her belly was sacrilege for many members of the South Asian community (we received plenty of hate mail). Yet, Darcy Vasudev of Henna Lounge, an Oakland mehendi wedding artist, was up to the task to turning my belly into a work of art. Seriously, she is magic.
Of course after the maternity photos, we knew we would do a first birthday photo shoot. It’s our first little baby turning one!
That meant, another photo shoot! Actually TWO photo shoots. A pregnancy milk bath shoot (<3 Juniper Spring Photography in San Jose) and the third year series.
My photographer extraordinaire Tami Weis of Fancy Fig Photography made extra time to spend the *entire* day with us (with a 2 year old toddler and pregnant woman is super exhausting). Sabreena of Ritual by Design, one of the best henna artists in all of the San Francisco Bay Area did my belly mehendi and hands. Timsi, an Indian bridal MUA, of TM’s Makeup Artisty spent the morning with us because it’s not often moms look uber-glamorous.
Plus don’t forget the balloons. I mean, can you never have enough balloons in life?! Lifted Balloons doesn’t think so and we agree.
Here are a bunch more photos from our four years of Indian maternity and first birthday family shoots at The Lighthouse in Vallejo. It’s a historic house on the water and seriously, you cannot go wrong with hosting a party at this event space.
I’ve written some tips as well on how you can create a family photo series too.
With my two little beans from 2015-2017.
Don’t forget your spouse!
I’ll see you next time when our 5th year is complete! (Cue the shock!)