Young Artists are the Key To Summer Art Festivals

Young Artists are the Key To Summer Art Festivals

ButterflyWe need your help supporting a young artist selling her dynamic photos at at a summer art festival, the Port Clinton Art Festival.   It started as a means to teach Lulu about economics and the difficulty that artists face when trying to sell their work.  But now our little “Kayla Keats Photography” initiative has morphed into so much more.  What started out as taking some pictures at the Chicago Botanic Garden, developing them at Costco and then selling them at the Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park on August 23rd and 24th has become a family affair. Flower2 In May, Adam and Lulu decided that they wanted to spend an afternoon together.  (I was all for some Daddy-Daughter bonding time.) So, they grabbed their cameras and took off.  A few hours later, Lulu shot over 200 photos with her Nikon D70.  It took a few weeks but Lulu edited her remarkable photos and dwindled the collection to 12 AMAZING shots.   She decided that she wanted to sell her photos and, hopefully, make enough money to buy herself a new computer for school.  (She starts 6th grade on Thursday, August 21st – just a few days short of Lulu’s 11th birthday.) So, with our encouragement, our young artist paid the entrance fee and became an official exhibitor at the Port Clinton Art Festival. kayla-portclinton-9 As her biggest supporters (and pseudo-benefactors), Adam and I purchased matting and plastic bags.  We helped her price her work so she could recoup our expenses and still make a profit.  And lastly, Adam created a website where she can sell her photos (in addition to the Port Clinton Art Festival) to friends and family who aren’t able to make the event.  

So, now we are asking for your support and help.  Lulu is so excited to exhibit her work and hopes that her friends and local family will attend the fair and support her.  But she is also at an age where she is skeptical that people will actually purchase her art.  Sure, she figures, her parents and grandparents HAVE TO LIKE her photos—we’re related to her.  But Lulu has confessed to me that she isn’t sure that others will feel as excited by her art.  We disagree and hope that you will too. kayla-portclinton-11 Won’t you please log onto and purchase at least 1 or 2 of her pictures? As an added incentive, we have created a promotion that will take 20% off the total cost of your purchase.   Please use PORTCLINTON14 for a 20% coupon.   Please help us support a young artist and her passion for seeing the world through the lens of her camera.   Adam and I appreciate your help and hope that you love her pictures as much as we do!

2014 KIA Sorento: Kid Tested & Dad Approved

2014 KIA Sorento: Kid Tested & Dad Approved

Hopping into the 2014 KIA Sorento after spending a week driving the KIA Soul was an adventure.  Let’s remember, I truly LOVED driving the KIA Soul and, if it wasn’t for the dog, the kid (and all of her stuff) and the need to cram as much sporting and camping equipment into one car as possible, I would have begged Adam to buy the KIA Soul immediately.  But we do have these things and are more inclined to favor a car that has a lot of space.  And the Kia Sorento has ample space.

Could it be a mini-van trapped in the body of a gorgeous SUV?

My buddies at Drive STI asked for my opinion about a car and I was up for the challenge.  After my first test drive, I reflected that I felt like I was driving a min-van dressed up as an attractive SUV.  It turns out that the 2014 KIA Sorento is a beauty inside and out.  Once again, I was a HUGE fan of the steering wheel warmer.  (Note: We drove this car over Thanksgiving and it is usually pretty cold in Chicago around this time of year.)  The controls were conveniently placed.  I could keep my eyes on the road when I needed to call home or change the radio station in the car.  (Note to self: Do not let Lulu and her friends take control of the Sirius tuner—Howard Stern is not appropriate for 10 year olds.)

We all loved how adaptable the seats were.  Adam could move the driver’s seat so far back that there was no risk of his knees hitting the steering wheel.  And because the 2014 KIA Sorento has so much space, Lulu never complained that the front seats were crushing her legs in the 2nd row.

Drool-Worthy Features

The Kia 2014 Sorento has a lot of other features that actually led to Adam and I arguing about who got to drive the car.  Usually Adam and I do not disagree when it comes to who is going to drive the car: I do most of the “family” driving.  But with features like power passenger seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, rear seat vents, dual heated and ventilated front seats, extendable visors, 115 V power, ECO mode, V6 engine and more, Adam and I started arguing about who got to take control of our new “toy.”  Lulu settled the argument by telling me that I “ALWAYS got to drive and it’s time to give Dad a chance.” No worries, I played with all the gadgets and buttons while he drove the car.

Like its cousin, the Soul, the Sorento handled well.  To be quite honest, although I felt like I was driving a big car like a Suburban or an Escalade, it didn’t feel like I was driving one.  Although, it was as comfortable as traveling in a “luxury” SUV.  I was even more surprised with the Sorento’s turning radius.  Unlike my Hyundai Santa Fé, I was surprised at how well I could execute a U-Turn despite the car’s size.

Let’s say a few words about flat-folding seats.  They are a must.  I didn’t realize what I was missing until we visited our favorite store, Costco, and decided to do some major grocery and holiday shopping.  Let’s just say that we took advantage of all of the room in the car.  If one is going to buy a car with a 3rd row, being able to fold down the seats and make room for extra cargo is a great feature.


I asked that Adam, Lulu and my mother-in-law share their opinions and reflections on their Kia Sorento experience with me.  I wasn’t too surprised by their answers: Adam wouldn’t mind having one, Lulu liked the fact that we could squeeze in four of her friends, the car did “all sorts of cool stuff” and my mother-in-law felt that the car had ample room and was comfortable.  Overall, they enjoyed the added features and loved the panoramic sunroof.

Even though (thank goodness) we never needed the air bags, it was a comfort to know that the front, sides and the second row had them.  We did wonder, however, why the third row did not come with the same level of protection?

We thought that the car was expensive, but justified the price when considering the optional third row seating, a powerful engine option and tons of latest technology. And, while this shouldn’t be any family’s main concern, the Sorento is a great looking automobile.

Bottom line: Adam and Lulu really loved this car!  Lulu was pretty jazzed to show off the car to her friends.  If you’re in the market to buy any new car, it’s important to consider what’s really important (and no, your child’s friends “oohing” and “ahhing” shouldn’t be the impetus to buy one car over another one.)  So, honestly, is having a seven-passenger cross over really necessary for a family of three, a large dog and a Costco shopping habit?  You bet—especially if you swore after having children that you would NEVER buy a mini-van!  On the flip side, it’s not ideal when we’re road tripping into the city and need to find a parking spot on the street. It turns out that we may just be a really crossover kinda family after all.  And if we are, then we will seriously consider the 2014 Kia Sorento.



Could this be the NEW Betsy?


Disclosure: I am not a car person; I don’t review cars for a living.  But I am a mom who is concerned about the safety of her family, is budget conscience and also takes pride in have a cool “mom-mobile. ”  All opinions and views with regard to this car review, the company that loaned it to me or the vehicle manufacturer are entirely mine and were not influenced, edited or even reviewed by the companies prior to posting.