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Cars aren't always serious business-have some fun on the lighter side

There is a lot that can go wrong with cars—all of the moving parts, the electronics, the maintenance required to keep you on the road ... The last thing people want to do is spend money on car repair, even if it is sorely needed.

Did you know that Americans spend $41 billion per year on their pets? That’s more than the GDP of all but 64 countries in the world. We spend more on our pets than we spend on movies, video games, and recorded music combined. And get this—half of all dog owners take their pet into consideration when buying a car!

We all have our own unique reasons for purchasing the cars that we do. I’m sure you all have friends who choose between power, fuel efficiency, status, and functionality. I recently upgraded from a 2003 Saturn Ion that I originally bought only to get me from Point A to Point B and replaced it with my dream car—the Audi A3.

Well, folks, today is my birthday and since I am an adult and still have to work, I thought I would talk about presents, because no matter how old you are, it’s always nice to get presents. There are some great car-related presents out there that will make your special driver very happy. Here are some of my favorites:

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year when we promise ourselves we will cut down on the ice cream and hit the gym, when we promise to decrease the drinking we do and increase the amount of money we save. Sure, many of the resolutions are just a distant memory by the time February rolls around, but surely we possess the willpower to keep some of our promises, right? Some of the easiest resolutions to keep are ones that “add” something to our lives, not take something away (ice cream, I miss you already). So, how about making some resolutions about our cars? They would be way easier to keep than promising to become a Tae Bo master.

I don’t know about you, but to me, buying Christmas presents is no easy task. Whether it’s for your brother or your grandma, it’s hard to know exactly what people will and will not like. Maybe that snowflake sweater would look good on Aunt Irene, but what if she hates it? What if your dad loves chess—are there any chess-related gifts out there?It’s also hard to find gifts for people who already have everything. This is especially true for rich people and old people. Do I really have anything to offer the party host with a 3 million dollar home, a vacation home on the beach, and a seven-figure-income? What could I possibly buy for my ninety-five-year-old grandma who has arthritis, failing eyes, limited mobility, and money in the bank?

Last month, my partner went home to visit her father in Denver. When she came back, she had wonderful photos she had taken of her father’s workshop where he restores classic cars. I just love the photos and thought I would share them with you. Right now, he is working on a 1925 Dodge Touring Car—he just cut the roof off of it. The car shown in most of the photos is a 1939 Dodge Sedan. He was born in 1939, and in addition to the car, he also has 1939 license plates from all fifty states. Enjoy!

Leave it to Oprah … Volkswagen hasn’t even released an official picture of the 2012 Beetle, but already the media giant has given 275 of them away.On November 22, 2010, Oprah, a noted Beetle fan, surprised the members of her studio audience by giving them each a 2012 Beetle. As part of the giveaway, VW is also covering applicable fees and taxes, in part because of a 2004 giveaway when Oprah gave away new Pontiac G6s, with the “winners” having to dole out about $7,000 in taxes.

Though the times they are a changin’, in many ways, this is still very much a man’s world. Trust me, I know. Practically every day, I am the lone woman in traditionally male spaces. I work for a car repair website during the week, and on the weekends, I referee soccer games where you are more likely to find a four leaf clover on a turf field than a female referee. I like these spaces and luckily, most of my experiences in male dominated spaces have been wonderful ones. The thing that bothers me though, is this. When I started to referee girls’ soccer games, they were shocked to see a female referee. Shocked. I don’t think the girls even knew it was possible. I make it a point to referee girls’ games now just so they can see that women can do anything that men can do. I think it’s important for girls to see women in leadership positions and in roles that are traditionally for men. It helps them see that they can do it, too.

Are you a sports car lover? Are you already starting to dream about next year’s vacation? Well, in addition to a beautiful blend of modernity and antiquity, dazzling skyscrapers, and sparkling waters, Abu Dhabi, considered by many to be the richest city in the world, has now opened the doors of an extravagant theme park honoring the Italian carmaker, Ferrari.Ferrari World, located on Yas Island, is now the world’s largest theme park, spanning forty acres. The enclosed area of the park is large enough to fit seven football fields head-to-toe and is covered by an impressive red roof inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body. The roof also features the largest Ferarri logo ever created. The park offers more than twenty rides and attractions, including: