Driving Holiday

bay

Driving in the holidays can seem daunting but since we don’t own a private jet or a helicopter we’re kind of used to it. Preparation on my part is pretty easy, pack the bags, arrange for the neighbours to take care of our bins for us and clean the house so we have something pleasant to come home to. As for the car itself I drive it 90% of the time so my job is to keep it clean and filled with fuel, the mechanics of the car and all that other stuff is usually left up to Steve.

tyre fit

This year we got a bit of a helping hand, Goodyear offered us a set of EfficientGrip Tyres so we had them fitted a week or so before we headed out to the point to see my parents for Christmas. I wasn’t really sure what difference they would make to be honest, I’m not a tyre expert and I don’t claim to be… I’m just a Mumma that drives. Apparently these are the quietest tyres for an SUV and there are lots of other fancy specs you can read about on the website but for me it was all about the grip.

fancy tyre

The extra money spent on tyres really does make a difference, who knew?! We were still driving with the tyres that came with the KIA when we bought it but they were due to be replaced. As soon as the lovely team from Beaurepairs North Richmond fitted the tyres, adjusted the wheel alignment and sent me on my way I could instantly feel the difference in traction and control. As for the quietest tyres, I can’t be certain of that as I always have the radio cranked but I can say that Steve and I will be budgeting a little more than we used to, to replace these tyres when the time comes.

carseat

Something totally irreplaceable… Aidan. His safety in the car is really important to us, as with any parent. Before he was born (back in 2009) we invested in a Safe n’ Sound Meridian Convertible Car Seat and it’s since won awards every year. We couldn’t fault it and recommended it to everyone as it suits from birth to 4 years. Steve and I had been looking out for sales on a booster seat as he’s due to upgrade to a bigger size so we were delighted when Britax emailed us. Actually Aidan was the most excited, he picked the colour and asked when it would arrive everyday until it did. He even asked me to take this photo when it arrived… I think I’m rubbing off on him.

carseat box

The Maxi Rider Easy Adjust Booster Seat is pretty great, I love that it will keep him safe up until 8 years of age. Aidan has a lot more room to move and wiggle and his head is a lot better supported. It has two cup holders and it has speakers, you can see Aidan hooking up my old iPhone to it. The head rest is really easy to adjust, you just pull a loop at the top and it’s done, a feature I would have loved on his old seat. The seatbelt is the same as our old Meridian, to tighten you pull the strap by his feet and to release and loosen you press the button. With the new tyres and the fancy seat our ride was feeling totally pimped.

trip

So with the lovely new features, a full tank and a positive attitude we shoved the car full of crap, buckled in the boy and lifted Charlie into the back of the car and we were off. Charlie had never been further than the Vet’s in the car so a 3.5 hour journey each way was going to be an experience but I’m proud to say he did well and was such a good boy. We took a couple of extra stops along to way so he could have a drink and a bit of a run around but for the most part the three of us slept whilst Steve drove. How did Aidan do in his new chair?

Aidan sleep

The proof is in the picture…

Please Note: I received five Efficiency Grip SUV tyres and a Maxi Rider Easy Adjust Car Seat to review and keep and I was free post at my own accord if I deemed them worthy, all opinions are my own. 

Comments

    • 2

      says

      I don’t think my readers are idiots, I’m sorry you felt misguided. I have edited my post to change it’s status to “sponsored” despite not being paid to do so. I try to be as clear as possible and crafted the post to be about a similar relatable topic without too much tech talk but more about my own experiences and opinions.

      • 3

        Amy says

        Dani
        Receiving cash to post an opinion or receiving goods to post an opinion is exactly the same. You are being paid, in goods with a monetary value, for a favourable opinion, they are not gifts by any stretch of the imagination. The companies did not say lets gift someone our products and pick some random from the white pages. They approached a blogger or you approached them, you received services and goods and you blogged about it = payment.
        And of course your opinion is going to be favourable. Call it what it is Dani, don`t pretend it is anything less.
        ‘As soon as the lovely team from Beaurepairs North Richmond fitted the tyres, adjusted the wheel alignment’ Even your fitting and alignment was a freebie?
        Gifts no, payment yes

        • 4

          says

          I paid for my wheel alignment and the team from Nth Richmond were super lovely and I wanted to let my local readers know that they were a pleasure to work with.

          • 5

            Lindsay says

            Sheesh – some people.
            I appreciate how honest you always are with your posts. Obviously we all know exactly how things work, and I trust that if you hated the tires you would have told us so. Keep it up :)

  1. 6

    Rach aka Stinkb0mb says

    Great to hear that everyone enjoyed the car trip – especially Charlie! One thing I made sure to do when we got Ruby mid year was to put her in the car from being a puppy so she got used to being in the car – we do a lot of road tripping and I wanted her to be fine in the car, which I’m happy to report that she is.

    Now, I know you say this isn’t a sponsored post but it sort of is. No you didn’t have to post about it BUT you did and you did get paid in the form of goods. It’s GREAT that you got gifted stuff but if I’d have known that this post was about these two products, I wouldn’t have read it – nothing personal, I’m just OVER reading sponsored/review/gifted posts BUT I didn’t find out til half away through and then confirmed at the end when you mentioned that you’d been gifted the items you wrote about – for me, your disclaimer/please note should have been at the TOP of the post. Again this comment isn’t an attack on you, it’s nothing personal – I’d be writing this comment regardless of who’s blog it was, it’s just a bit of pet peeve that I’m seemingly coming across more and more in blogs lately and I’m not a fan. I respect you and your writing Dani and I know you value your readers opinions and that’s what this is, MY opinion, nothing more, nothing less. I have seen similar rumblings around the blogosphere of late re the definition of “sponsored” and I think it’s a conversation that needs to happen out in the open.

    • 7

      says

      Thats great about Ruby, we were the same when we had Toby as a pup but once we got two big dogs, getting them in the back of the car was just not going to happen. I’m so glad Charlie wasn’t bothered and enjoyed the aircon lol.

      I know you love me (and I you) and I definitely appreciate a balanced opinion. I only label a post as sponsored if I’ve received payment for a post, not product and if I do receive goods I’m clear to explain that they were gifted. Had I bought them myself I still would have blogged about them.

      I’m not out to sham anyone or make them feel cheated out of content. There were conversations on the instagram photos that I took that inspired the post, people asked questions and I thought I’d share the answers. That’s why I blog, to share.

      Suddenly blogging feels a lot harder than it’s meant to be…

      • 8

        Lou says

        “That’s why I blog, to share.”

        You also blog for a living. Ultimately you can set your own standards about transparency, but the comments here have shown that your standards don’t necessarily agree with the expectations of your readers.

        People who are coming in late to this conversation should be aware that the original post had a disclaimer at the bottom which stated, “This is not a sponsored post”.

        • 9

          says

          I don’t blog for a living, I don’t make that much. The money goes toward utilities, education and funding projects. I’ve taken on board what commenters have said and changed the disclaimer to suit the readers. I’ll update my disclosure policy over the holidays as I agree, it needs to be readdressed. Thank you for feeling passionately about this and telling me how you feel, I’m always open to constructive feedback.

          • 10

            Lou says

            Thanks for acknowledging the feedback, Dani.

            I don’t agree with everything you’ve written in your replies today, but I do respect that you’ve taken the time to understand why we’ve spoken up.

            I can’t speak for everyone here, but I’ve personally been feeling hammered over the head with the advertising on Australian blogs lately, yours in particular. When I’m not given the chance to ‘opt out’ of a sponsored post I feel like my trust has been broken.

            I’m sure it’s a lot easier to listen to the people like Kate who say things like, “it’s always nice to hear about the two products”, than people like me. I think she’s being supportive, but I don’t think she’s telling you the truth.

            Anyway, despite what it must look like I’m not out for an argument. I spoke up because I’m passionate, like you said. My point has been made now and it’s your call whether or not to embrace it. Your blog is yours and yours alone, just as my time is mine to spend where I choose.

  2. 15

    Kate W says

    Yes, I’m out too. I read all the way to the bottom of that thinking the whole time that it was reading like an advert and turns out it was. Yuck. I feel totally conned and decieved. So that’s it from me too sorry. Been a long time coming but that’s enough now. See ya Dani :(

    • 16

      says

      Hi Kate W, I’m sorry you felt conned, that wasn’t my intention at all. I’ve now edited the post with a disclaimer at the top (as I usually do with paid posts) as you weren’t the only one to feel this way. All the best x

  3. 17

    Kate says

    Wow i am surprised of the reaction ppl have on this post. Ppl look in to stuff way to much.

    I enjoyed the post regardless, its always nice to hear about the two products.

    Kate

  4. 19

    Amanda oxford says

    Dani,
    I usually never comment this way but I really can’t help myself – I LOVE your blog and will already read it regardless of whether it’s sponsored or not!
    You’ve copped crap over this blog post and it really bothers me that people feel it’s ok to bring others down because at the end of the day- who cares! It’s YOUR blog and please don’t ever stop blogging and please don’t ever change xxxx
    Amanda :-)

    • 20

      says

      It doesn’t matter where the conversation happens: here, instagram, twitter, facebook… I’m always happy to hear from readers. Thanks for the support Amanda x

  5. 21

    Steph says

    Loved that you showed us how your new tyres and car seat went. Might make people check their tyres.
    The distinction between gifted and sponsored is always a fun one to try and navigate. The feedback you get will always help whether negative or positive to help build your blog.
    I will continue to read no matter what you write. xx

  6. 23

    Michelle says

    I think what grinds my gears is that you get shit for free and then just have to write about it! Go get a shitty job like the rest of us and pay for your own stuff!

    • 24

      says

      ROFL Dani I think this^^^ is what the problem is for most of the people who have problems. (Huh?)

      They think stuff like this without having any clue as to what actually goes into writing each and every post and producing the blog as a whole. They’ve no clue as to what you spend on hosting, design, internet access, power, camera equipment, etc. They also have no idea how long and how hard you’ve worked at building your business. The hours that have been put in to marketing and pr in order to attract the attention of readers and advertisers.

      Really though, comments like the above, smack of tall poppy syndrome. One of the only Aussie traits I despise.

      I for one believe you have a great sense of transparency across your blog. I believe it is a international standard to disclose any sponsorship, gifts etc at the end of a post. You seem to follow that pretty consistently. You seem to know how to balance it. You’re blog is great, just as it is; just like you lovely lady :)

      • 25

        Lou says

        Hi Emma,

        I agree with some of the things you said in your comment, but it’s worth pointing out that the original post did not have “This is a sponsored post” at the top. In fact, right at the very bottom it said this:

        “Please Note: This is not a sponsored post, I received five Efficiency Grip SUV tyres and a Maxi Rider Easy Adjust Car Seat to review and keep and I was free post at my own accord if I deemed them worthy, all opinions are my own.”

        I think a few of us jumped in because of that statement.

        I’m a blogger who understands all of the behind-the-scenes mechanics that you describe. It does the topic a disservice to simply assume that the critics don’t know what they’re talking about, or that jealousy has anything to do with it.

        • 26

          Lindsay says

          How can you think saying “I received five Efficiency Grip SUV tyres and a Maxi Rider Easy Adjust Car Seat to review and keep” means anything other than I was given and kept these items? How much more transparent can that get?

      • 27

        Rach aka Stinkb0mb says

        I think your comment loses some traction when you just assume that the commentators who have voiced their thoughts on sponsored posts etc don’t know what they are talking about or know nothing about the blogging caper. I’ve been blogging for five years over various different blogs. Let me assure you, I’m well aware of how much time and effort goes into producing and maintaining a well run blog – which is part of the reason why I’m not actively blogging on a regular basis myself at the moment, I’m not willing to dedicate the time that’s needed to it.

        My comment came out of frustration of blurred lines when it comes to sponsored, review and/or gifted posts on blogs. ALL blogs, not just Dani’s but all blogs that actively participate in any or all three of these types of posts. Unfortunately yes, I chose to leave this comment on Dani’s blog today but I did so, in what I believe to be, a respectful courteous manner – I didn’t write what I wrote to tear down Dani, to berate her or out of jealousy [I have zero desire to ever make money from a blog] – I wrote it because I know Dani is a blogger who welcomes feedback from and welcomes reader participation.

        There was NO tall poppy syndrome behind my words this morning and to be honest I’m rather ticked off that you’ve assumed that. Just because someone, who is a regular reader of a this blog I may add, wants to offer some feedback to the owner of the blog, doesn’t mean it’s done so out of jealousy or with the intent on tearing that blogger down. If I wanted to do that, I would have chosen perhaps stronger, harsher words and done so anonymously but I had and have no problem in putting my internet moniker to my words because I’m not ashamed of what I wrote because none of it was said in a mean way or with nasty tendencies in mind.

        • 28

          says

          Rach, I’m sorry to have not been clear. My comments of people not “getting” the behind the scenes of blogging was about people like Michelle. Though I do wonder why people get such a bee in their bonnet over sponsored posts. What does it matter when the blogger has proven over and over again that her opinions are hers and hers alone. Dani proved this recently with her posts about Target and her criticism of their plus size range.

          Lou & Rach, FTR I think it was pretty clear the the sponsored post line at the top of the post was added after the backlash. Personally I believe the final paragraph disclosing the gifted products was in fact enough of a disclosure. The fact that neither company actually paid for a ‘sponsored post’ as Dani pointed out. They simple sent her items to try in the hope that she would like them enough to blog about them. If you look on the PR Info page, you’ll see the difference between what a sponsored post and a gifted product is and what Dani’s obligations to the company are. I believe Dani is very transparent with her sponsorship/gifts/etc. She seems to operate the same way that most other big time blogs do in that the disclosure comes at the end of the post. I personally this it’s a big kerfuffle over nothing.

          • 29

            Rach aka Stinkb0mb says

            Thank you for clarifying exactly who you were referring to with part of your previous comment :-)

            My issue isn’t whether Dani’s opinion is hers about specific products, be them sent for review or gifted, my issue is that when I clicked this post open from my reader to read, I was under the impression that it was about Dani and her families road trip to start their Christmas break – which is why I wanted to read it. Instead I find halfway through, that in fact it is a post about products that were gifted to her and what she thought of them, something I have ZERO interest in and if the words “this is a sponsored post” or “this post talks about items I have been gifted” had originally been featured at the top of the post, I would never have clicked through and read it – it’s nothing personal, I just choose not to read such posts, they hold no interest for me.

            I have NO problem that said items were gifted to her – what people chose or chose not to write about or feature on THEIR blog is their business BUT I think you need to be upfront about content in a post before a reader engages reading that post. I have no issue with Dani’s disclosure either but it needed to be at the START of the post so that readers were aware that the post they were about to read was about products that had been gifted to the author – which turns the post into an advertisement or sorts, regardless of whether the blog author either intended it to be or even saw it that way themselves.

            And you may see this as a big kerfuffle but the simple fact is, that this issue is raising it’s somewhat, ugly head, all over the blogosphere more & more and the more it’s either ignored, talked about in hushed tones or just passed off as “a big kerfuffle over nothing” the more momentum it’s going to build, the more pissed off readers are going to become if they feel like their either being lied to or treated like idiots by bloggers and then it really will explode and shit will hit the fan and that’s when the snarkiness starts and I for one, am OVER the amount of snark that has been swirling around of late, there is just no need for it.

            Like bloggers decide what gets featured on their blog and choose what they write about, readers have that same discretion regarding what they choose to read and what they choose to click past. However without readers, a blog is unlikely to be successful which is why it’s important that bloggers who are wanting to make something of their blogs, need to be open to hearing from their readers and receiving feedback and I know Dani is. As Steph said above – the feedback you get will always help whether negative or positive to help build your blog.

            And while I agree that Dani is usually very transparent with her sponsorships/gifts/reviews etc and that she operates in the same way that most other big time blogs do – I [and many others] are saying perhaps that needs to change? Maybe things need to be rejigged so that there is NO doubt when a post is sponsored, a review or about items that have been gifted to a blogger because as more and more blogs strive to make something of themselves and attract sponsorship, engage in reviews and are gifted items, there is a greater opportunity for the waters to become murkier rather than clearer.

            Lastly, I’ve been challenged about the original comment I left here [and the follow up one] and told that I shouldn’t have said anything, it was “mean”. I wrote my original comment [and my subsequent one last night] and reread it several times before hitting publish because the last thing I wanted was for it to come across as “mean” or “nasty” or “personal” because it wasn’t and that was *never* my intention and I hope Dani hasn’t taken it that way, I apologise if she has. I won’t apologise however, for turning this “topic” into a conversation, as I’ve said before it needs to be discussed openly and respectfully and I won’t either feel bad or be made to feel bad for doing so.

  7. 31

    charlie says

    anyway….lol
    i love ur posts regardless dani, i used to be annoyed as your friend always seeing you have the best of the best and woe is me i had nothing lol but ive come to realise that you work damn hard for what you do AND as you have clearly stated and from what ive seen you 95% of the time give these “gifts, sponsered items etc” away in competitions at the end of your blogs.
    i think the way blogs have gone lately its just kinda obvious to me now that bloggers talk and write about “stuff” and the only way to know about it is for them to contact you or you contact them and explain what your readers are interested in (hence the recent survey you had asking us what we want to read about…aidan, DIY, free stuff, products etc) and you can then focus in on what we as your audience find important and give us the best feedback in your own opinion

    In regards to the way the goods are transacted to you is really no ones business. blogs are a form of advertising, its a way to reach your friends, family and audience who know you, trust you and look up to you. this is what untimately makes a sale at the shop because so and so told so and so their own opinion which was granted, instead of being giving the hard sell by some sales person.

    at the end of the day you love fashion but your still a mum who goes on holidays that you struggle to save for just like the rest of us, you struggle to find the time to take time off from work or the blog, you struggle to find time to just get away with steve and aidan and you struggle to find time to see family who by the way live halfway across australia. so for those wining about you get free stuff, you have given up alot that we take for granted so we can view your life and all the pretties in it, you have opened up about your life which we think we can read and judge and then go back to our lives without a care in the world about how you feel knowing that your doing all this because you care about the bigger picture.

    so in the end if you get something its certainly NOT FOR NOTHING!!!

    <3

  8. 32

    charlie says

    oh and regarding getting a shitty job, isnt this blog a shitty job when people are nasty to you??

    lol no really you have had some shitty jobs like the rest of us, then you decided to make your own job and make a difference because you saw what was lacking in the plus size stores…..CONFIDENCE!!!

    GOOD ON YOU

  9. 33

    charlie says

    hey dani have you seen the dog harnesses that have the option of the extension clip that goes into seat belts if he sits on the back seat OR it has a clip very similar to the part on the baby seat that clips directly to the car bracket, might be a good investment for charlie boy incase of an accident he wont be choked as its a chest harness and he will only stay where you seat him, i got cindy one from petbarn and the seatbelt part is sold at the reject shop which has a body harness as well but i still use the body harness from petbarn as i prefer it for her.
    thought you might like to know
    xx

  10. 36

    Michelle says

    he he, knew that would get a reaction!

    I really enjoy your blog Dani and think you are a gorgeous girl. I don’t mind sponsored posts, as long as they are labelled.

    I am very interested in the car seat! Thanks for reviewing it!

  11. 38

    says

    A post is only a sponsored post if cash is exchanged, which mirrors the ethics and policies of mainstream media.
    Further, mainstream media rarely declare their gifts to their readers. Bloggers are way better at this.
    Disclosure: yes I am a blogger and yes I run sponsored posts. I will never label a post where I’ve been gifted something as sponsored as it’s not paid advertising – a free lippy or a pair of shoes will not pay the mortgage. I will disclose that at end of each post.
    I will, however, always label it as sponsored – at the top of a post – if it is a commercial and contractural arrangement.

  12. 39

    says

    This isn’t a sponsored post and I don’t think it’s fair to force Dani to label it as such when she did not receive any cash payments for the post. Bloggers should not label a post as sponsored even if the items provided for editorial consideration is worth a lot of money. At the end of the day, the tyres and car seat cannot be used to pay the bills. I’ve checked with my accountant; shampoos and lipsticks are not income :)

  13. 40

    says

    I just read all the comments Dani. I have to say the first time I read this post I skipped over it. Wasnt relevant to me but I went back to it from you end of year summary. Can I just say I admire the fact that you took some criticism and thought about it, took it on board and made a change. In any walk of life the best are not the ones who dont make mistakes but the ones that learn from experience and take on board what is relevant. I know it must have been upsetting at first and in some ways I think some people were harsh but you have processed it and come up with a solution that feels right. I think that is inspiring

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