You can’t mention then 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival without mentioning Ford Motor Company. The automaker took over New Orleans throughout the entire ESSENCE Fest weekend!
As the automotive-exclusive sponsor for the sixth-consecutive year, Ford activated on-site at the Earnest N. Memorial Convention Center providing fun giveaways including the chance to win the keys to the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang in addition to continuing its support of breast cancer awareness within the community.
As a premiere sponsor of the weekend, Ford partnered with SiriusXM Satellite radio for a live broadcast with celebrities all weekend long. Ford also took R&B Songstress Sevyn Streeter on a road to ESSENCE Fest journey celebrating her birthday weekend with dinner and a live streamed power-packed performance from the ESSENCE Festival Ford Superlounge.
If that wasn’t enough, Ford’s philanthropic arm was in full swing donating $20,000 to ESSENCE Communications for local community use, a million-dollar donation to the African American Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and a 2015 Ford Mustang giveaway to an ESSENCE Fest attendee.
This past weekend, I got the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2014 Ford Mustang in New Orleans, check out my ride and drive experience below.
Discover more of how Ford celebrates ESSENCE Festival all weekend long below…
photos by Chris Mitchell / CME 3000 / DivasandDorks
A few weeks ago, I received an amazing invitation for an experience of a lifetime compliments of Lincoln Motor Company. Excited for a weekend introduction to the all new Lincoln MKC, I embarked on a cross-country journey to Santa Barbara, California with a very special invited guest… my mother.
Sure I’ve gone on family vacations with my mother, siblings, nieces and nephews – but never have I journeyed on a first-class travel experience like this with my mother before. A luxurious retreat at the Belmond El Encanto, a technologically advanced drive up the coast in the new Lincoln MKC coupled with moments of relaxing and reflecting in lavender fields and more filled our days of bonding and exploring while visiting California together for the first time.
First stop in beautiful Santa Barbara, our first west coast road trip to the beautiful Clairmont Lavender Farm in Los Olivos, CA. During our experience at the Clairmont Lavender Farm, my mom and I walked the fragrant lavender fields, sipped on lavender lemonade and basked in the beauty of the Lincoln MKC with interior designer, Dillon Blanski .
Next stop, a sweet date with mom at Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe in Solvang, CA. Known for a striking resemblance to small towns found in Denmark, this Danish bakery found in the middle of the tourist attraction of Solvang offered mom and I a great afternoon of delicious treats in a unique town that we’ll never forget.
[Must Read: Five Ways To Live Like A Danish Native In Solvang]
Final stop of the Lincoln MKC experience, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, CA. Established in 1911, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the third oldest polo facility in the United States and is world renowned for its four lush polo fields and international outdoor competition.
Want to see more of our mother/daughter Santa Barbara adventure? Discover more from behind the wheel of our unique Lincoln MKC experience on the auto channel, DivasDriveInHeels.com and check out the stories behind our entire travel adventure on DivasOnDestinations.com. Thanks Lincoln Motor Company for a life changing experience that this mother-daughter duo will never forget.
If you’re looking forward to the New York International Auto Show this weekend, you’re like many Tri-State area fans! More than one million car enthusiasts will descend upon the Jacob Javits Center for that moment to touch, feel and snap selfies with the hottest rides imaginable. I’ve walked more than the 950,000 sq. ft. show floor just to find the top 10 selfie worthy rides from the Auto Show. Discover which rides will knock your socks and which rides you can’t leave without snapping a good selfie with below.
3. Toyota FV2
Looking for more concept cars, million dollar cars and more? Find more selfie worthy rides from the New York International Auto Show at DivasDriveInHeels.com.
The show kicks off at Jacob Javits Center from April 18 – 27, 2014 and has some of the hottest cars and trucks ever seen all under one roof. For more information visit autoshowny.com or connect with the auto show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube today.
The good people at Chrysler brought hundreds of automotive journalists and social savvy bloggers into historic Louisville, Kentucky to discover the all new 2015 Chrysler 200. The 2015 Chrysler 200 debuted a beautiful exterior design featuring the new “face” of the Chrysler brand. While the interior offers the Uconnect Access system leveraging advanced embedded cellular technology with the largest, intuitive and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touchscreen in its class.
With their hands on the wheel, Chrysler 200 customers also can use Uconnect Access to tap the power of the cloud. When a compatible (check UconnectPhone.com for device compatibility) Bluetooth mobile phone with the Message Access Profile (MAP) is paired, Uconnect Access will:
• Announce receipt of incoming texts
• Identify the senders
• “Read” the messages aloud
To respond or compose any new text, drivers need to simply dictate a message of 140 characters or less. The Uconnect system will send the message to a “cloud-based voice-recognition server,” that converts spoken words to text and “reads” it back for accuracy before sending verbatim. And it can all be done handsfree, without having to memorize any pre-approved messages. Drivers unsure of their destination and looking for popular locations around them can use their voice to conduct a Yelp search and simply say what they are looking for.
In Louisville, I linked up with Ashley Underdale with Uconnect Marketing to talk about the system and demonstrate how easy Uconnect can pair the power of your smartphone with the Chrysler 200 for the ultimate driving experience. Check out “How To” plug into Uconnect below:
Say hello to good music and great road trips this summer! Chevrolet announced at South by Southwest that it will expand its in-vehicle entertainment offerings by integrating the new Beats Music streaming service into the Chevrolet AppShop, which will be available on select models later this year.
Beats Music, which officially launched earlier this year, provides listeners with a blend of digital innovation and human-created playlists from music experts across all genres for a truly personalized and curated experience. The result is a streaming music service that delivers the right song, at the right time, for every listener.
A seamless data connection for the Chevrolet AppShop will be possible thanks to the availability of high-speed 4G LTE connectivity and data plans through OnStar on most Chevrolet vehicles later this year. Chevrolet expects to offer the broadest deployment of 4G LTE connectivity of any automotive brand.
“Our customers are looking for choice and we’re giving them a great opportunity to customize their music by bringing the Beats Music app into our vehicles,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director. “Beats is a well-established brand, and its music service brings unique capabilities to the table that our customers will really enjoy.”
Chevrolet will incorporate a version of Beats Music tailored for in-vehicle use. This includes such staple features as the Just For You personalized recommendations and the Highlights staff recommendations. Users will also have access to all of the playlists they’ve saved or created through their mobile accounts and can choose from dozens of specially tailored playlists for all drive times – from road trips to traffic jams to Sunday cruising and more. A trial or paid Beats Music account will be required. Features that require a large amount of attention – such as those that use a keyboard – will be unavailable while the vehicle is in motion.
The Chevrolet AppShop will begin to roll out later this year on select 2015 models in the U.S. and Canada with MyLink technology from the Cruze to the Colorado. Check out how easy it is to connect with 4G LTE inside Chevy vehicles with our friend Stefan below.
Starting this summer, Chevrolet will have some of the fastest vehicles on the roads, and that has nothing to do with horsepower. Chevrolet drivers will be enjoying high-speed data – made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle, running on AT&T¹s network, the nation¹s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
Last night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt d will be the first General Motors vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. In the Canadian market, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Chevrolet Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year.
Chevrolet took infotainment personalization to a new level with Chevrolet AppShop. Accessible through an icon displayed on the available MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them. Available apps will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more and should help keep smartphones in pockets.
For live photos from last night’s event and more details, check out DivasDriveInHeels.com – Chevy Adds 4G, AppShop and PDR.
Stay connected with all the CES News by following @OnStar #CES2014 #ConnectedByOnStar
In celebration of the Los Angeles Auto Show, celebrity and automotive style came together as Best Man Holiday actress Nia Long hosts an “Evening of Style” with Lincoln Motor Company.
The event, which took place at Hollywood’s Siren Studios, played host to the celebration of art, design and culture as well as the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility vehicle. The “Evening of Style” was hosted by actress Nia Long and guest attendees including friend Daphne Wayans, Zena Foster, Kel Mitchell, Pooch Hall and many more. Additionally, Lincoln MKC Brand Manager Jeff Reid also held an in depth discussion moderated by Automotive Rhythms president and publisher Kimatni D. Rawlins.
The actress gushed about her love of luxury, from enjoying good chocolates, designer shoes and spa treatments – as well as dished on her upcoming film project “The Single Moms club” celebrating a journey that she’s closely familiar with, being a single mom herself. Nia Long also shared her love of the new Lincoln MKC, noting the unique ambient lighting inside made her last minute makeup touch up “a breeze”. The 2015 Lincoln MKC was originally introduced last week at a private NYC media event (check out the video from DivasDriveInHeels) and has garnered attention as a standout at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Check out more red carpet photos and the behind the scenes video on DivasDriveInHeels.com soon.
Lincoln Uptown Journey Series
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Earlier this week, Lincoln Motor Company and Uptown Magazine took Los Angeles on a journey of self-discovery, acceptance and celebration kicking off the Lincoln Uptown Journey series at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel. Hosted by media personality Bevy Smith, the networking and panel event highlighted the different journeys within the arts of clothier/designer Woody Wilson, TV/Music Powerhouse Carmen Murray and TV/Film producer Mara Brock Akil.
The Lincon Uptown Journey series will make several U.S. stops including Houston, Atlanta and Washington D.C later this year highlighting the journeys of tastemakers and trailblazers that we’ve come to know and love.
The rebranding of the All New Lincoln MKZ served as a constant reminder of what everyone in the room searched for, the rediscovery of their own journey and path towards greatness. To learn more about the event and the Lincoln MKZ visit DivasDriveInHeels.com.
Photos via Lincoln Motor Co.
Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City? No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere. There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer. So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series. Our first adventure, SALSA DANCING!
Check out what happens when we take on salsa lessons at Step Into Salsa NY at Pearl Studios in NYC.
Summer In The City
Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City? No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere. There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer. So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series. We’ve already gone salsa dancing, so our next stop? Indoor rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders.
What is Brooklyn Boulders? Brooklyn Boulders is New York City’s only fully dedicated rock climbing gym and one of the East Coasts’ largest. With 22,000 square feet of climbing surface and a dedicated and skilled setting staff, Brooklyn Boulders offer both a premium training ground for advanced climbers and a variety of climbs for the total beginner. So whether you’re a seasoned 5.13 climber or just found yourself interested in trying something new, come to BKB and find what you’re looking for. (Located at 575 Degraw St. in Brooklyn – visit BrooklynBoulders.com for more info.)
Check out what happens when we take on the rock wall for the first time at Brooklyn Boulders in Brooklyn, NY.
Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City? No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere. There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer. So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series. We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, and learned some salsa moves, so our next stop? Spicing it up in the kitchen at Cook&Go.
What is Cook&Go? Cook&Go Culinary Studio allows participants, who are not professional chefs, to learn culinary skills in a fun, relaxed environment. Original menus test the limits of culinary aesthetics, while at the same time respecting traditions. There is a spirit of fun making dishes that are accessible to all skill levels. You don’t have to be a professional chef, you just need to have a passion for learning, sharing (and eating!). Cook & Go uses high quality, fresh products and a passion for teaching to help you to create healthy, well balanced meals.
I had such an amazing time and each dish we prepared exceeded my expectation of deliciousness! This foodie’s dream came true inside of that kitchen, so much so a food blog could be in the works soon… maybe DivasandForks.com? (HA!)
Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City? No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere. There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer. So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series. We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, learned some salsa moves AND stepped up our game in the kitchen – so our next stop? High flying adventures at Trapeze School New York!
What is Trapeze School New York? Trapeze School New York (TSNY) is dedicated to making flying trapeze available to anyone who seeks inspiration, challenge, fitness or just a couple hours of unique fun. Located atop Pier 40 at Chelsea Piers, TSNY offers flying trapeze classes for all levels (first-timers and beginners welcome) as well as intensive multi-session workshops for more advanced flyers. girlfriend adventures
Remember that Sex And The City Episode? (SATC Season 6 Episode 82 to be exact…) – let’s face it, if you’re a woman and a writer in New York, chances are you’ve experienced at least one Carrie moment in your life… and this was my moment…
For a behind-the-scene look at all the up the wall action, visit our travel channel at DivasOnDestinations.com.
It’s where the opulence of the city meets countryside and where the elite go to relax, it’s the Hamptons and this past weekend, it was the host of 14th Annual Art For Life Gala. Hosted by Russell Simmons’ the 14th Annual Art For Life Gala: “A Field of Dreams” took place at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton with a variety of honored guests and supporters including Star Jones, Melanie Fiona, Anthony Anderson, Angela Simmons, Nicole Murphy, Michael Strahan and more.
Hana Nitsche and Russell Simmons attend the Russell Simmons 14th Annual Art For Life Benefit at Fairview Farms.
Melanie Fiona and Maxwell attend the 14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms.
Nicole Murphy and attend the 14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms.
Rick Ross and Kevin Liles attend the 14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms.
Maxwell performs at the 14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms.
Special honorees included Walter Mosely, Tyler Perry and the evening concluded with special performances by Estelle, Rick Ross and Maxwell. It was undoubtedly a memorable Hamptons weekend that’ll extend the fun well into the summer pending Fall. How? How would you like to spend time with Sarah Jessica Parker, Magic Johnson, Robin Thicke and more? The Art For Life charity auction is extended until August 7th and offers you a chance to bid and win on amazing experiences while benefitingRush Philanthropic Arts Foundation art programs in urban schools.
The opulent evening was powered by the Cadillac ATS – for a look at my entire #HamptonsATS weekend check out DivasDriveInHeels.com.