Stepping into the 21st century . . .

One day a couple of weeks ago, Kevin came home from work and said, “Well! I found a car for you!”

Let me back up. It has been “All SUV, All the Time” talk over here lately! Every time we go out, Kevin points out all the SUVs we pass, telling me about the features, what he likes and what he doesn’t like. And every time I come home, I find browser windows open to reviews, safety ratings, and links to the models he thinks I’ll like!

“You’ll like this one” he said. Both of our cars were pushing 200,000 miles. Mine is a ’97 and his is a ’96. We both got them in high school. I knew it was only a matter of time. And Kevin had it all planned out. We went and looked. We test drove. He showed me all the features it had. See, my car.. my 12 year old Nissan Altima.. it’s the first and only car I’ve ever had. I liked that car. It was a good car. I didn’t think I needed a new car. But Kevin knows what I like. And wow. I was kinda star-struck by what all this new one could do!

A few days later we traded in the Altima…


…and said hello to the 2007 Toyota 4Runner Limited!


This is the first vehicle we’ve ever purchased together…


But she’s really mine. ;)


It has a rear-view back-up cam- man that thing is handy! Especially pulling into the garage- I can check and make sure I’m in far enough. Oh, and see that 231 under the screen? That’s telling me how many miles I have left on the tank.


GPS Navigation- the other night I was running late and going to a friends house. I had no idea how to get there, but my car did! I punched in the address and it took me right there. Fun!


Now *this* is cool. When I get in the car, it automatically connects with my cell phone via bluetooth. Any calls I get go through the car- the caller ID shows up on the screen and I can answer or ignore the call from the steering wheel (and also adjust the volume). I can talk hands-free and the sound comes out through the radio speakers. Love it!


It has a 4 disc MP3 player…


And finally!! Dual-side air controls!!! Now I can keep my side of the car perfectly pleasant and Kevin can keep his side at his usual -27 degrees. No more freezing my buns off! :D


Speaking of buns… they definitely won’t freeze now with heated seats! These were so nice the other night when I was driving back home in the cold.


The steering wheel… I can answer, hang up, and ignore phone calls, adjust the radio/phone volume, skip tracks on the MP3 player, and even initiate voice command… Like I can say “Go Home” and it’ll set the GPS destination for Home. Or “Call Kevin” and it’ll call Kevin! Neato.


Garage door opener- Kevin programmed the middle button so it would open our garage door at home- I guess we can program the other two for our Lake House and Beach House. ;) Hah. Totally kidding. ;)


Plenty of room for traveling now! And I like how the back window rolls down- Miley and Howie do too! The trunk door doesn’t pop open from the key fob, but it does roll the window down. lol


Hellooo sun roof! And leather seats. :D


The rearview mirror also has a compass. And um, I’m honestly not sure what that power button does. :O This new car has so many buttons it’s like looking at an airplane control panel!


Behind the wheel…


It’s fun to have a car that was actually built in this century! ;)

Thanks so much for looking! :)

P.S. If you’re looking for the winners of the notecard giveaway, they can be found here! :)

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70 Responses
  1. Chris

    I know this post is old but wanted to say … Nice truck ;) .. I have the same one … but mine’s a 2005 model .. other than not having the gps, they are almost identical … the buttons on the mirror .. one controls the compass … the other should be for your autodimming mirror …. i never turn either off though

  2. Sally

    Luv the 4Runner and all it’s gagets. Your photos are so good, would you be willing to tell me what brand of camera you use w/extra lenses. Thank You

  3. Carin

    Do you do photography??? You take great pictures. I think I live somewhat by you now. (Huntsville) I am looking for a photographer for our dreaded christmas cards… Interested or know someone who might be??? :) E-mail me: Thanks!!!

  4. fhen

    this car is so nice and has great technology! congrats for it!
    if i may ask, what camera are you using? :)
    by the way this is the first time i come accross your blog and i love it! i have added yours to my blog list. love love love this blog


  5. beepdave

    Nice Wheels! We are a Toyota family and loved our 4Runner and our Highlander was a great fit once I needed to lift a carseat into it! The GPS is amazing!

    Wanted to share a funny back window story. Went shopping at Target one winter day. I think we were in there for 2+ hours! It started snowing while we were in there and we came back out to a back end full of snow! Ooops! I must have hit the button on the electronic key fob. The window was open and the snow just drifted right in! LOL! Always checked it from that day forward! ;-)

    Have fun! Enjoy your wheels! I also agree with previous posters about not putting your actual address as your “HOME” on the GPS. Safety first!


  6. the inadvertent farmer

    LOL…my hubby has been doing that to me for almost 5 years now! Mine is a 92 with 270K miles. But I say if it still runs I’m keeping it. Besides with 5 kids they would just trash a new car anyway!

    Enjoy, Kim

  7. Monkey's Momma

    Hi Amanda! Nice ride! I have had your blog button on my site for a while, but had never taken the time to download the fonts. Today I am working on a project and was frustrated by my “lack of fonts”. So I mosied over here to see what I could find…..and found the perfect font!

    Thanks so much for offering these. It is very sweet of you to offer them for free when you could charge for them.

  8. kristine

    congrats on your first car! looks great and so are the features! wish i had a back-cam on my car. that’d be helpful when i want to back-park.

  9. Adam and Kim

    I’ve got to know about the lens on the camera more than anything….how are you getting such an awesome aperture blur on something as shallow (depth wise) as the console of the truck??

    We don’t use a Canon – we have a Nikon D90 but we want a lense that will do just what yours is doing…..also…how is the flash so muted but present on the shots of you in the door? Do you have different flash from the camera body? Awesome photography! and a nice ride too.

  10. Coleen

    you look fabulous in your pix; so skinny-minny! and yet you bake and eat all those incredible desserts {{{that peanut butter frosting}}}…. amazing!

  11. Jacque

    Oooh very nice. I love my 4WD as well :) I can’t imagine being in a ‘normal’ car again LOL. Lovin all your posts and lovin all the new fonts. Thanks for sharing with us, you’re a gem :)

  12. Hillary @ The Other Mama

    Found your blog from hanging out with Brooke {Paige and Brooke} this morning and we all need to get together!
    Have to add, I had an Altima for 10 years and those are some darn good cars. But your new car there is FAIN-CEE!!! WOW! So nice! I know you’ll love it!!

  13. Amanda

    That’s awesome! You chose a great vehicle. We’ve been looking at 4 Runners ourselves to replace my getting old and decrepit Pathfinder. We had a Toyota Tacoma before kids and loved it, just couldn’t put a car seat in it.

  14. creole wisdom

    I love, love, love it.

    I grew up in a toyota family. I currently drive a super old toyota camry, but it’s in great shape. I’m hoping to “inherit” the next car in line in my family- an older 4runner than yours.

    Oh I love your new car- especially all the neat perks and such. Lucky lady!

    And you are lookin’ fabulous btw :)

  15. Michele

    Congrats Amanda!!! Love the new car! It totally suits you. :) I love my SUV so much and was dying to have it for nearly 3 years.

  16. Barbara Boyack

    Very, very nice Amanda! Kudos on the new vehicle! Looks like that is something I would like in a year or so! has all the great doo dads you will love! And a very safe suv, too. Our cars are OLD too, a 99 Old Intrigue, purchased new, with 170,000 miles, a 98 Jeep Cherokee 4×4 (well used, I may add) with 135,000 and a Ford F150 1996 with about 100,000 miles. The good thing about these vehicles is they run great, and are paid for. But we are going to sell the truck soon, we don’t need it, and hoping to get something like your Toyota in a year or so..we are ready..Love it girl!

  17. Rae Rae Patterson

    Congrats on your new vehicle! My husband is always telling me, “it is just transportation” or “it’s a machine.” I LOVE SUPER SPOILING LUXURY TRANSPORTATION MACHINES! You and your husband did a great picking it out. Miley and Howie look great! It is great to be spoiled!

  18. Trina

    So cool. I think you’ve sold me on one of those now! It’s nice not having a car payment right now though :)

    PS I wanted to tell you THANKS for offering the fonts here for free. I used a few of them in our Pumpkin Carving 2009 video I put up on my blog today. You can see it here also

    My favorite is Digs My Hart :)

  19. Brittany Coleman

    Congrats! My first real new car was a 4Runner too – I love mine! :) Also wanted to link to my blog to show you the new blog design I made thanks to your fab designs! :)

  20. tchrtiff

    Love your new car! Enjoy all those fun features! My hubby also bought me a car w/all sorts of buttons on it and the one I didn’t think I’d ever use…the seat heaters, but I love love them! Can’t wait to see the photos of all the fun places you take your dogs in your new car.

    I agree w/other poster, don’t enter your home address in GPS. We entered a park near our home instead.

  21. Tara

    In case someone didn’t say it or you haven’t figured it out yet, the power button on your new rear view mirror is for the automatic dimming when you have someone with headlights behind you. Remember how you had to “flip” the button on the old rearview mirrors??? Now your car automatically does it for you!!!! Neato? I love mine. One less thing I have to do in the car!

  22. Suzanne

    You are going to love a Toyota! I have a ’03 Toyota Highlander and I love it. Gets great gas mileage too and I love sitting higher up in traffic. You are good to go for many miles now. Travel safe and enjoy!

  23. Kelly

    I didn’t look closely at the other comments to check if anyone answered the question of the power button on the rear view – it turns the auto-dimming feature on and off for your rear view mirror…

    I love getting new cars!

  24. Lori

    Congratulations on your new purchase! It’s always exciting and fun to get a new car!

    And you look super FAB in those pics! Love the scarf!!

  25. Stefany

    LOVE IT!!!!
    The power button on the mirror is to turn the feature on and off that reduces night time glare. When its night next time and there are cars behind you with their lights on, turn it on and off and you’ll see a difference!

    p.s. LOVE that you used your scarf as your new background on this site, SO cool!

  26. Bernice

    That’s a pretty sweet-looking new car! And I love your fall outfit to go with it (and the nice fall background to boot!). It’s picture-perfect.

  27. Clare Jones

    Love it… I have a sporty little number and it is totally impracticable!..I’m looking around for an SUV, so I’ll keep one of these in mind…it looks perfect and glad to see the dogs love it too…most important!!!

  28. Nicky Hurt

    That’s a great car! I want the navigation system thing in my next car! I have to tell you though, don’t put your actual home address in your GPS. Put something near your home, like a Taco Bell. Because if someone steals your beautiful new car, they can find out where you live quite easily AND they have the garage door opener. They can clean you out and you won’t even know it! I just got that warning in an email a few weeks ago. :) Have fun with your new toy!

  29. Sherry

    Love your new car! Doesn’t it cook dinner for you? ;D

    Mine turned twenty this year but it will have to last until I die.

    Have fun…

  30. Barb

    Congratulations! New cars are so exciting. I love my SUV. The new vehicle fits you to a tee….good for Kevin for doing his homework!! Enjoy!

  31. Diane Davies

    Gorgeous SUV!!! I can see going from a 12 yr old car to this brand spankin new one with all the bells and whistles you’d be star struck. Have fun with the new vehicle. : )

  32. Jennifer Rose

    I really like that car :D and the heated seats are great, loved them in the winter in Alberta. Have a frozen behind without them :p

  33. Danielle

    Jealous! We’ve had our Hotessey (I have renamed the Odessey, my party van because it sounds cooler) for awhile and I thought I was high tech 5 years ago when I had automatic doors and a DVD player. I want a totally cool GPS like that! Congrats!

  34. Angela

    I remember the Altima!!!! Remember we always took your car on breaks at the Onion. It was much better than my ratty old mustang! LOVE the new Toyota! It looks like you!

  35. Heather

    Love the new SUV you got there!! I know it’s fun having a new vehicle. I would say it was about time..LOL! Oh yeah, I see where the latest scrap kit got its inspiration..from your scarf =)

  36. Paige B

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had never had a “new” car either.. When my Husband and I married in May 2007, the time came for a new car.. So I got a 2007 Chevy Equinox… I LOVE MY SUV! It has the height of a big vehicle but drives like a car ( : And I love all the room.. Now that we have a *bun in the oven* we’re gonna need all that room! Plus it has the feature *not sure what it’s called* when you put the equinox in gear, like reverse or drive, it automatically locks the doors! I like that idea for when our little one gets older. I love the color of your 4 Runner- black shows EVERYTHING, but looks sooo pretty when it’s clean (doesn’t happen much!) Hope you like your 4 Runner as much as We love the equinox ( :

  37. Miriam Mason

    Wow, Amanda!
    That car is just gorgeous!
    I wish you many, many happy miles in “it.”
    Does she or he have a name yet?
    I so enjoy your postings, and that you and Kevin and your pups are so generous as to share your life.
    Thank you!


  38. Danielle

    First, *LOVE* your outfit…you look so cute! Second, congrats on the new Toyota. My Mom has one of these, though without all the delish extras, and I hate driving it…the gas mileage sucks! LOL

  39. 1LuvnMama

    congrats on the new SUV! i have a 2002 4runner. don’t have all the fancy gadgets but, i luv, luv, luv my SUV! i know you’ll luv yours . . .

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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