Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Toyota Auris Hybrid ~ Our #HappyinHybrid Week!




I'll start with a heartfelt Thanks to Toyota for the opportunity to work together to highlight their new Hybrid car this month. As soon as I received the brief, to use #HappyinHybrid, I knew I wanted to use the opportunity for good; to put my own spin on it, so to speak. In keeping with our entire ethos here at CherrySue, I wanted to pay that happiness forward; instead of relishing being happy in hybrid myself (which I absolutely did) I wanted others to feel a little of the happiness that came directly from driving the Auris too.

And so was born the week of #RandomActsofHappy, even though I had to fit my plans around my hybrid life as a working Mama/avid Blogger, this was probably the most rewarding project I've ever undertaken with the blog.


First things first was renewing my licence. I'd allowed it to lapse having handed back the fleet car I drove for my job in Road Safety a couple of years ago when our funding was cut. I'd actually half convinced myself that I didn't love being on the road every day from dawn 'til dusk; that and I'd never been able to justify buying a new car when there's teens, college & copious amounts of makeup to be paid for (it's an illness).

I knew I wanted to relate each of our #RandomActsofHappy back to drivers and the driving experience but also that I wanted to highlight some charities & organisations that are dear to our hearts. All the while, hoping that sharing the hashtag might just inspire others to do the same. It did. More often and in more ways than I could ever have hoped for.

So what did we do? You can take a quick squizz at the full five days through the Hashtag HEREbut our highlights include:


Driving the lesser spotted Gorgebag to college for the first time ever.





Braving Storm Abigail on Thursday night, I picked up my two favourite ladies from Athy as a birthday surprise. I haven't knocked on that door in at least 2 years so SURPRISE was right! We had a mini soiree in the back of the car before heading back up the N7 and arriving in style, safe and sound for the VIP opening night at Ice Skating Dublin in the Blanchardstown Centre. Singing our hearts out in the comfort of the car was probably my favourite part of the lot. Vive la Careoke! 
Being preoccupied with my niblings' surprise birthday bash I gave my tickets to the Absolut Soder event to a good work friend. So a stop at the drive-through before a day of meetings was needed.

That wasn't my only visit to the drive-through that day though. This time 'round, I paid it forward by paying it backward & treated the car behind - see that full Video Tweet HERE:

'Here's hoping it's not a Clown Car!'

Next up was saving my Pops from the tail end of Storm Abigail by doing the Parental prescription run. They may only live 10 minutes from us but it's been quite a while since I've been able to help my parents out like this:
Real medicine & real medicine. Just what the Doctor ordered!


Saturday's idea was to surprise a good friend in a far flung part of the country but when the atrocities happened in Paris on Friday night, I changed my plans. I knew I wanted to help out with people returning to Dublin so offered up free lifts home to anyone that might really need one LINK HERE. When, quite understandably, I didn't have any short notice takers, I came up with the next best thing. I'd take a spin out and leave a warm welcome for one weary passenger on the ticket machine, hoping it would brighten someone's drive home. As fate would have it, these girls found it when they needed it most:



I couldn't quite believe the message from Laura on my Instagram that evening

The reaction to this particular #RandomActsofHappy has been nothing short of phenomenal. Shared thousands of times now and garnering interest on several of the country's largest entertainment websites such as Joe.ie /Her.ie, in print media as I spoke to Abi from The Mirror and on TV as seen above. 

Even now I'm receiving press inquiries about this beautiful little moment of kismet. That and, more importantly, messages from readers & strangers alike to say that it has inspired them to do their own Random Acts of Happy. Now that's an amazing feeling. 


Sunday saw the one and only time it's a good idea to put Diesel in a Hybrid:

Puppy Mani/Pedi Bound with Diesel

Then it was off to give Thanks to some people that have quite literally changed our lives. St. Luke's in Beaumont for the kindness and care they showed my Dad during his illness and Temple St for quite literally saving Adam's life when he was involved in a hit and run accident at just five years old. That was probably the most emotional day of the week to be honest and sincere apologies to those that snapped and tweeted to say I'd made them cry too. That was never the intention. But thank you too.



Heroes for heroes in St. Luke's & Temple Street

I had wanted to offer Patient drops to the Irish Cancer Society for their help during my Dad's radiation treatment but, understandably they need a commitment of time for that. Should you have the time or the resources to do so though, they could always do with some help. Get in touch through Volunteer.ie or Cancer.ie. I've been fundraising for the children's hospital ever since Adam's accident too and if they have helped you and yours, you can get in touch to do the very same at TempleStreet.ie.


On Monday we highlighted one charity that's looking to take your copper collections from you for a very good cause, well for five. Change for Charity support five Irish charities with the shrapnel you have lying in your cars ashtray or down the back of your seats :

Then real life & digital life crossed over once more as I popped across to our venue for our upcoming Fingal Road Safety Roadshow to finalise our numbers:



In fact there was a lot of this hybrid fitting right in to our way of life this week. It being ridiculously economical and good for the environment, which I try to be *ahem*being just two:
I shared my very last installment of RandomActsofHappy on Snapchat yesterday and won't mention it here as I'm unsure as to whether it's been found yet and I'd really like it to be a unexpected surprise for the recipient. 


About the car itself. What made me Happy? 


If you've been following along with our adventures you'll know I shared right the way through my favourite features of the car itself - but what were they for those of you that missed it?

  1. Hybrid Engine - firstly the fact that I got all of the benefits of an electric car, without ever needing to plug it in. For someone that often forgets to plug in her phone, never mind her car this was a BOON. 
  2. The intelligent Hybrid engine decides how best to fuel itself, braking charges the battery, which in turn kicks in when you're braking a lot. So pretty much all the time during city driving. That means silent, economical joy - and more money for lipstick (again,illness). 
  3. Automatic handling - there's no clutch, no catch and in fact the Auris handles very much like the swishest golf cart of your dreams. Given that I've driven every jallopy known to man in my Fingal days (Lisa Dingle in a Hi-Ace has nothing on me) this was a dream to glide through the week in. 
  4. Heated seats. I suffer with sciatica because of slipped discs. Not so this week. One flick of a switch and I was in heaven; sliding out of the car and about my business all week long, much like Mr. Burns bringing Love
  5. Alloy Wheels, OK, yes this is a pretty shallow one but when a fat cat in 3 Series BMW and an eagle eyed driver in an Audi R8 spend their time in traffic gawking at your wheels then that's a little slice of happiness in itself. 

All in all, my week with the Auris and my #RandomActsofHappy was one I won't soon forget. I'm thanking my lucky stars that I renewed my licence in time to take part. I'm thanking every single reader/tweeter/Snapper & RandomActsofHappy participator for their outpouring of joy and encouragement during our five days and I'm thanking Toyota for helping me to fall in love with driving all over again.


Got any questions or comments? 
                               I'd love to hear from you!

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