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Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Spring from OK Tire

Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Spring from OK Tire

After what feels like the longest winter, it’s finally spring! This post is for all the weekend warriors, the road trip people, and anyone ready to roll into the sunset with the wind in their hair. Raise your hand hands! I can’t wait to get back up to the cottage and continue the opening duties.

Over the summer months, we spend a LOT of time back and forth from Muskoka to Toronto. I recently chatted with OK Tire about how to get your car in top shape for spring. Answers have been edited by me but the info is from an expert! Scroll down for a few tips on safety, changing a tire, and link to playlists. ? You will also find photos of me and cars I’ve driven/seen recently!

Q1: How does one prep the car if you’re a ‘weekend warrior’ that takes regular trips out of town?

A: Preventive maintenance is the best way to make sure your car is always ready for your weekend adventures. OK Tire recommends having your car inspected at every tire change and make sure you stick to that vehicle maintenance schedule.

A few things you can check yourself:

  • Tire pressure: Proper tire inflation = higher fuel efficiency
  • Wiper blades: Visibility is key!

Some more tips to get your car ready:

  • Pack a second set of keys
  • Keep an emergency kit filled in the trunk with essentials
  • GPS is key, I love Google Maps/or Maps on iPhone
  • Don’t wait till you’re nearly out of gas to get gas, keep your tank at least 1/4 full!
  • Tunes are essential, have your passenger take care of this if you can (FYI – OK Tire also has Spotify playlists here)
  • Don’t forget snacks and games (for kids!) LIKE, WHO DOESN’T LOVE SNACKS!)

Q2: What’s the difference between winter/summer tires?

A: I know winter tires have more traction but there must be more than that so I investigated. DYK, winter tires are specifically designed to perform on wet, cold, snow-covered and icy surfaces? Winter tires have 2-3 times the number of sipes than your regular all-season tires, that provide hundreds of extra biting edges for better traction. The rubber compounds in winter tires are formulated to operate in colder weather and stay more flexible in temperatures below 7 degrees. This softer compound will wear down rapidly in the warmer months, so best to put those all-season tires back on before you hit the road.

While we’re talking about all-season, there’s a few different kinds to consider:

  1. Low rolling resistance for fuel economy
  2. Reduced siping and grooves for ride comfort and reduced road noise
  3. Long tread life for high mileage use
  4. Run-Flat/extended mobility
  5. Varying degrees of performance

Q3: Long car ride, what do you need to have on hand to be safe?

A: My friend recently got a new car from ICL and we’re thinking of going somewhere long distance in it. But you need to be well prepared! You want to have a few essentials in the car at all times in case (god forbid!) there’s an emergency. Sean keeps a bin in the back of the truck with a bunch of this stuff in it. Things you want to have: phone charger, blanket, matches, candles, some type of non-perishable food, bottled water, first aid kit, jumper cables, gloves, spare tire, duct tape, tire gauge, and of course, a paper road map. Imagine you had no service or phone battery?! You’re gonna need that map! You need to make sure you have the correct car insurance policy too. When it comes to this, you may find that you have a lot of questions, such as is aarp any good? What is third party insurance? or What is the best policy for me? Take your time to do some research, as this is very important. I know someone who owns a Lexus and he got some lexus insurance which was perfect for him. Shop around and find the perfect policy!

Hot Tip: If you’re a passenger on a long car ride, do yourself a favour and order the Trtl pillow so you can sleep in the car. It’s amazing.

Q4: How do you change a tire?

A: Confession, I’ve never had to change a tire myself so i wanted to ask this to get the low down.

Golden rule: FIND A SAFE LOCATION. As soon as you realize you have a flat tire, don’t abruptly brake or try to turn. Slow down and scan around for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot is ideal. Look for level ground to prevent your car from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.

Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Move slowly until you find a safer spot. It sucks to drive on your rim but honestly, it’s better than being hit by a car.

Consult your trusty owner’s manual and review for specific steps on how to change a flat tire for your vehicle.

We can’t prevent flat tires but taking good care of your car improves performance and ensures your tires last as long as possible. Be safe out there!

Q5: If you puncture a tire, do you need to buy a whole new tire?

A: Key thing here, don’t try to repair a punctured tire yourself, it needs a specialist. In some cases, a tire can be fixed. Have a certified technician take a look and follow their recommendation.


When I was growing up my dad had a hot rod shop, ‘Toys For Boys’ and we spent heaps of time around old cars. Love this 1936 Ford 5 window coupe I found on their IG @OKTire.

If you have any questions for me or a tire expert, feel free to comment or send me a tweet.


The day we closed the cottage, November 2018.

Now that Daylight Saving time has kicked in it’s finally starting to feel like spring. I can’t wait to be back up at the lake!

Drive safe!

From the OK Tire Blog:

This post is sponsored by OK Tire and the thoughts and interest is all me. I hope you find it useful!


About OK Tire As the largest independent tire and auto service retailer in Canada, OK Tire experts have the experience and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for your vehicle, no matter what the year, make or model. With over 300 locations coast to coast, OK Tire is 100% Canadian owned and operated. Customers can count on national support and the personal service of a local owner who lives in, shops in, and supports their community. Image result for ok tire

Sharing the Love w/ Ford Canada – Weekend Getaway at JW Muskoka

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. it’s amazing what a weekend away can do for your happiness, health, relationship, and spirit. Over the winter we don’t get away too often so when Ford Canada offered up the new Ford Expedition and hotel stay, I was so down.

2019 Ford Expedition Platinum from Ford Canada

We stayed at the JW Marriott Muskoka, one of Canada’s top 10 luxury resorts as voted by Conde Nast. I’ve wanted to stay here for ages and tweeting back in forth about Muskoka and cottage life for years. The staff were nice, the food was good, it was quiet. We didn’t do much other than eat and sleep but it was just the relaxing 24 hours we needed.

The lobby is quite modern and the whole place has a country house vibe. There was warm apple cider in the lobby, complimentary snowshoeing, snow bikes, and valet.

We were upgraded from a standard room to an apartment style suite which was verrrrrry roomy. A family of 4 could have stayed here no problem. It had a full kitchen, fireplace, two tvs, a private bedroom, washroom with 2 sinks, and a separate toilet/bath/glass shower, so you could use each independently.

I could have honestly stayed there for a week working on the great Americancan novel, or my blog.

Inside the JW Mariott Muskoka

The hallways feel a bit like you’re in a movie. We’re definitely going back in the summer to take in the outdoor spaces and activities.

The weather wasn’t great and neither were the roads. I was happy we were in a vehicle with 4 wheel-drive. The 2019 Ford Expedition Platinum is huge, especially when you are only 5’2 driving an SUV that seats 8! It’s also rollin’ on 22’s so you’re seated above most cars on the road. Great for visibility! The amazing traction control was very useful on icy Muskoka back roads.

“This is a very smart vehicle.”

Sean on the way home through a blizzard

This car definitely got dirty driving through lots of huge of slushy puddles, snowy roads, and a slight blizzard on the way home.

Some of my favourite features of the 2019 Ford Expedition:

  • wireless charging
  • heated steering wheel
  • massage chairs
  • heated/cooling seats
  • Hands-free liftgate (open back door with foot movement!)
  • SYNC3 & Apple Car Play
  • 360 + Backup cameras
  • B&O Soundsystem

There’s also entertainment screens in the back of the front seats but we didn’t use them as it was only us this weekend. Although, earlier in the week Emily absolutely LOVED sitting in the front seats, the middle seats, sleeping in the back seats, and the varying technology in each passenger location.

Another cool feature of this SUV is the Ford Pass App + Wireless Hot Spot, we didn’t use these features but I would 100% if I owned the vehicle.

Thank you Ford Canada for creating this experience. It was so nice. We had so many laughs and came home feeling rested.

If you’re keen to stay at the JW Muskoka, use this link on booking.com to get $40 back on any hotel reservation.

I’m looking forward to being back up in Muskoka in a few weeks to start opening the cottage.

The countdown to spring IS ON!

Ford Canada hooked us up with a car and hotel! Wooo hoo!

5 Great Views in San Francisco

I originally wrote this post for Canadian Geographic after my press trip to SF last spring. Some good stuff in here and places I had no idea about until I went on a great afternoon tiki tour with a local friend. Scroll down for some fun SF moments and check out this post on Canadian Geographic with 5 great things to do in San Francisco.


I love San Francisco. The city is bright with lots of neighbourhoods to explore, each with a distinct look and history. There’s plenty of great spots to take in the city including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, or the Coit Tower. SF is known for frequent fog so all views come with a recommendation for a clear sunny day. ☀️

There was a perfect rainbow when I arrived! View from my balcony at Hilton, Union Square

Here’s a few great views that weren’t in my first SF travel post!


Twin Peaks 

Here you’ll find a great 180 view of San Francisco from the centre of the city at an elevation of 922 ft. The hike takes about 45 minutes but the drive is only 10 min. I love the way the road and city and look from the top of the hill. You’ll notice the Sutro Tower in the middle of the hill (not pictured). I learned that it’s become ironically iconic and was once seen an eyesore but is now kind of, cool? Ha! There’s shirts, souvenirs, and a selection of sellers on Etsy with Sutro Tower merch. It reminds me of something from Aliens or War of the Worlds.

Museum of Ice Cream 

If you can get a ticket, the views here are like something you’d find in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Museum of Ice Cream is located near Union Square inside a former bank. Aside from learning worldly facts about the famous food, you’ll find incredibly cute backdrops for photos. The museum is 100% family friendly and encourages you check in as a kid at the door. They’re closed each Tuesday to re-paint and fix any of the fixtures throughout the interactive exhibit.  Small groups are taken through the museum giving you enought time to take photos and tast the treats. Check out ticket dates and availability here.

Cityscape, Hilton, Union Square

At the very top of the Hilton Union Square, on the 46th floor, you’ll find Cityscape, a 360 view of San Francisco. On a clear day, you can see everything from the bridge to Coit Tower, and across the bay. They offer a selection of SF inspired cocktails and open daily at 4:30. If you’re a guest at the hotel, you can pop in anytime for photos or to use the wifi.

Alamo Square 

You might not recognize the name but trust me, you know the view. Anyone who was a fan of Full House recognizes these houses from the opening credits. It was a childhood dream to visit this park! ‘Postcard Row’ is located at 710 to 720 Steiner Street across from Alamo Square. The best shot is at magic hour just as the sun sets in the west. I could almost heat hear Uncle Joey saying “cut it out!“.

Sutro Baths

This is the best place to see the sunset. The Sutro Baths are located at Lands End and opened to the public as the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment in 1896. The former mayor of SF and wealthy entrepreneur,  Adolf Sutro created the baths which burned down in 1966, amongst years of complications. There’s a path from the Cliff House down to the remaining ruins but you’ll want to check the weather and tides before walking down. It’s really magical here.


As I was updating this post I went through my photos from this trip and I would love to get back to SF. It’s such a beautiful city full of colour, great food, and stuff to do. There is also HEAPS of street art! I’ll get those photos rounded up into a nice gallery and share with some food recos.

Happy Friday!

With love,

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Half of this trip was covered by San Francisco Tourism & Hilton SF, the rest was all me. Would 100% do it all again!