Do you ever have one of those crappy days which are totally transformed by something small and insignificant happening? You know the stuff I mean – think things like finding a fiver in a coat you’ve not worn in a while, getting the last loaf of bread from the shop or your toddler filling her nappy just as you drop them off at nursery.
In order to recognise these little wins in life, Vauxhall asked us to get involved in their #SmallVictories campaign, which features the Astra and Corsa. The idea behind it being to celebrate all of those little things that happen on a daily basis which help make life that little bit easier.
So, the other week, we were loaned a 2017 Vauxhall Astra SRI and challenged to share some of the small victories we encountered as we went about our daily lives. With the keys to the ever popular family hatchback in my hand, the day began…
#SmallVictories On A Trip To IKEA
As we’re in the early stages of decorating Toddler L’s bedroom, our Saturday morning was earmarked with a trip to IKEA. I’ve become more loving of the place over the years, probably due to seeing it as an alternative toddler day out, but it’s still somewhere I’d prefer to miss – particularly when you know it’ll be busy on a weekend.
My reluctance was quickly pushed aside when I encountered my first small victories. My first task was fitting the car seat, which I easily managed to do thanks to the plastic flaps you open to reveal the ISOFIX connectors. As every parent knows, fitting car seats can be a faff, but I’d done this within 20 seconds.
Next, I had to fold down the other half of the back seat to make way for a large box and some containers that we had to take back. Again, this was a simple process of releasing a catch and folding the seat back on itself. With a pregnant missus’, asking her to lift a heavy box isn’t advisable, so my next quick win came when I summoned the strength of the Hulk to lift the box into the car on my tod.
Having not yet driven the car, I took a few minutes to have a look around when I got in behind the driver’s seat. That’s when I noticed a button I’d not seen on any car I’d driven before – kind of like a steering wheel with some arrows coming off it. Did this really mean what I thought? Did the Astra have a heated steering wheel? I pressed the button with slight trepidation…
Now I’ve heated of heated seats, heated rear windows, heated windscreens and heated wing mirrors, but I didn’t know heated steering wheels were a thing. The warm sensation as I gripped the wheel in front of me suggested that it is. Although it’s early September and not particularly cold, I drove to IKEA with both the heated seat and heated steering wheel on. Why? Because I could. Once we hit winter, I’d put those two things down as a HUGE victory and not just a small one.
On arriving at the shop, I did my usual thing of reluctantly driving to the parent and child spaces in the hope that there’s a free spot. At IKEA, despite the huge car park, they only have a handful of parent and child spaces, so I’ve never managed to get one. However, the stars had aligned today and I managed to nab the last parent and child parking spot, meaning we were not only closer to the entrance, but also had ample room to get Toddler L in and out of the car. A fantastic small victory!
Got the last Parent and Child parking space. How’s that for one of life’s everyday #smallvictories?! We’ve teamed up with @Vauxhall on their latest campaign to try out the Astra SRI for the weekend and share some small victories. As we’re in the process of moving Toddler L from her current room to the bigger room, that means a trip to IKEA was a must. I’m therefore celebrating grabbing the last space and getting a 60p hotdog at the end! Have you had any small victories this weekend? . . . #ad #ukdadbloggers #ukparentbloggers #vauxhall #astra #vauxhallastra #myfamilyadventures #mytinymoments #familydayout #ikeatrip #parentandchild #parentandchildparking #dailyparenting #littlestoriesofmylife #documentyourdays #rememberingthesedays
Our next couple of little victories came as we walked around the shop, namely being able to get everything we wanted and having a potty training toddler who stayed dry and even had a wee in the toilet. Boom! This was celebrated with two 60p hot dogs and a 50p ice-cream – £1.70 to feed a family of three? I call that another little victory.
Back at the car, I once more managed to load the Vauxhall Astra with all of the stuff we’d acquired. I can call doing the same thing as earlier in the day another little victory, right? I didn’t think that the car looked particularly big from the outside, but I was genuinely surprised at how easily everything fitted in. Not only that, but there was plenty of space to fit other things in thanks to a particularly deep boot.
We’d only been in the car a few minutes before it started raining – another little victory. There’s a certain smugness – and evilness – knowing that you’re safely dry inside when other people are getting soaked in the rain. Muwhahahaha. Our timing couldn’t have been any better.
Our last little victory came as a direct result of the car. Toddler L usually drops off to sleep when in her car seat, but with us not being far from home and her proper naptime on the horizon, we wanted her to stay awake. The Vauxhall Astra comes with built-in Wi-Fi (OnStar), so we were able to keep her awake by streaming Peppa Pig for the millionth time. Usually we’d need to plan ahead and download in advance, or use up a load of data streaming – however, with the Wi-Fi, we were just able to connect and play.
Some Final Thoughts On The Vauxhall Astra
We had the 2017 Vauxhall Astra SRI 5-door hatchback with a 1.0L turbo petrol engine and 5-speed manual gearbox. I was more impressed with the Astra than I thought I’d be. Let’s be honest, a reliable, sensible, affordable family hatchback isn’t quite as exciting as the Audi TTS I was loaned last year! Despite that, the more I used the Astra, the more I liked it, and I come away from driving it with a very favourable impression.
From the outside, I felt that the Astra looked nice. With 17″ alloy wheels, some nice detailing and a very bold lava red paint job, I had no issue being seen driving it around. This continued when on the inside, with sports-style front seats, leather-covered steering wheel and a large information / entertainment system.
Driving the car was comfortable. I had plenty of room – as did the toddler and missus – and it felt like it drove well. I was lacking a bit of power though – something which was rectified when I pressed the ‘Sport’ button. It didn’t turn it into a F1 car, but it certainly improved the acceleration, noise and made it a little bit more exciting. In fact, I drove the car in Sports mode most of the time as I preferred it.
Something I was impressed with were the wealth of features on the car. It not only had things I’ve come to expect from a car – cruise control, speed limiter, sat nav, ISOFIX etc – but also things I wouldn’t. This included OnStar (Wi-Fi, crash response etc), heated steering wheel, auto windscreen wipers, automatic lighting, heated seats, front fog lights, LED lights, rear reversing camera emergency breaking, following distance indicator, lane assist and blind spot alert.
So those are some of the #SmallVictories I had on a day trip to IKEA with the Vauxhall Astra. Have you had any small victories recently? Let me know below!
Disclosure: This is a commissioned post in collaboration with Vauxhall.