LEGOLAND California in the KIA Sedona

As an Official LEGOLAND Blogger, I received free tickets to the park for this trip. I also received a KIA Sedona to drive in partnership with DriveShop. As always, all opinions are 100% mine. 

We were so excited to go to LEGOLAND for the first time! My girls are the perfect age for it. They especially love Heartlake City, which is where the LEGO® Friends live. They had to get a picture with all of the girls:LEGOLAND - karainthekitchen.comWe had a fancy new KIA Sedona to drive down in! This one had the rear DVD entertainment system for the girls. We loved it! Around Santa Barbara, my mom and I were commenting on what a quiet trip it was since the girls had headphones on. Just then, Lola YELLS from the back, not realizing how loud her voice was! It was hilarious :)KIA Sedona - karainthekitchen.comI caught Matt rocking out with it’s sweet sound system to some Boston :)

We were there for the unveiling of the brand new Freedom Tower in Miniland, USA. It’s their version of One World Trade Center in New York City and is the tallest LEGO® tower in the United States! It is made up of over 250,000 LEGOS!LEGOLAND - karainthekitchen.comThey had a brass band playing the national anthem and Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty walking around on stilts. Lola wasn’t too sure about them, see her grabbing onto Ada’s dress in the picture? ;) LEGOLAND - karainthekitchen.comThey loved the live show in Heartlake City and then talking to the LEGO® Friends girls afterward.LEGOLAND - karainthekitchen.comIt really is incredible what they can create with LEGOS!! LEGOLAND - karainthekitchen.comWe had such a blast, even with new little baby June along. She slept and we tried to keep her cool. The water park was excellent and clean. It’s worth it to buy the reusable cup and fill it up at the Coke machines throughout the day :)

FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event 2016


Have you ever wondered about where you came from? Genealogy is fascinating to me! I love learning about the people who came before me and what their lives were like. I have ancestors who crossed the plains in wagons along with ones who crossed the ocean on a boat for weeks from Australia. When you research your roots and connect with your past, it makes your ancestors come to life.

Back in the day, employees from the census bureau would go door-to-door, recording the names and ages of every person in the household. We have those records, and now they need to be digitized. This is where YOU come in! If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can help.


FamilySearch International is hosting a 72 hour Worldwide Indexing Event this weekend. They want to save the records we have by getting them online and making them available to the public. My grandpa has been doing this sort of work since 1990! There have been multiple times that he has called us back to his office to get our opinion on whether or not we think a certain loop is meant to be an E or an L, or what we think a last name is. If my 83-year-old grandpa can index, so can you! It is easy, helps others, and gets kind of addicting.


How can I help?!

Go here:, download the software, and follow the directions. If you scroll down on the page, you can see what documents need indexing. Birth records from Ireland?! Cool! If anyone is having a baby soon, indexing is a great way to get baby name ideas :)

The goal is to get 72,000 people to join in the event this weekend. Join us and then tell your friends to join too!u

LATCH Lets Me…

I can’t believe how much has changed since I had a baby last! When Ada and Lola were babes, the word from my pediatrician about bottle feeding was to be careful because my baby could have nipple confusion. As a new mom, I was so worried about messing up the groove we had going so I exclusively breastfed. I didn’t want them to be confused or have a bad latch while nursing because of the bottle! Now I know that my babies are going to be fine no matter what kind of nipple the milk is coming from. ;)Munchkin LATCH - thing that has changed is that insurance companies now cover breast pumps! Game changer! With Ada & Lola, I had a battery-powered pump that was given to me. It hurt and took forever, so needless to say, I wasn’t wild about pumping. It was easier just to breastfeed the baby. Now, I have a hospital grade pump that is comfortable and gets the job done quickly. On days when June is sleeping and I don’t want to wake her, I will pump and have a nice little stash of milk going in the freezer.Munchkin LATCH - Bottles have gotten better, too! Munchkin LATCH bottles have a flexible nipple that mimics the breast and supports going back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I have loved Munchkin products for years (have you seen their amazing no-spill cups?!) and am always excited by the new designs they are coming out with. Today I saw Hello Kitty products (Lola’s fav) and our Munchkin trash pail has kept our diaper changing area stink-free! Check out my video review showing you the Munchkin LATCH bottle features:

It is so freeing to know that I can go somewhere (hey, taking a shower counts) and Matt can feed June my milk. She has loved the Munchkin LATCH bottles and drank a whole large bottle her first time trying it! I love that Munchkin has the different level of flow nipples so that she can use the bottles now as a newborn and continue to as she grows.Munchkin LATCH - bottle brush, sterilizing bag, and super thin and absorbent breast pads.Munchkin LATCH - a mother, it is hard to enjoy anything if you know your baby isn’t happy. Munchkin LATCH lets me rest easy no matter what I’m doing, knowing that my baby will be happy and fed :)

Get FREE a2 Milk® & Win a Trip to Australia!

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Have you ever had trouble with lactose? It seems the older I get, the more sensitive my tummy is to it. And the more friends I have that have the same problem ;) It turns out that there are different types of protein in cow milk, A1 and A2. The a2 Milk Company™ has found a way to produce milk without the A1 protein that affects sensitive digestive systems. The A1 protein is to blame for post-dairy discomfort and is currently found in every traditional and organic cow milk on the market today. a2 Milk® comes from specially sourced heirloom cows and brings you cow milk without the upset stomach!

The a2 Milk Company™ is working with dairy farmers in upstate New York and the Midwest to grow and expand their herd of a2 cows. The cows, by nature, produce milk without the A1 protein!a2 Milk -, people who are lactose sensitive don’t have to turn to nut or bean based milks. They can still enjoy the nutritional benefits and delicious taste of cow milk! a2 Milk® has:

  • approximately six times the amount of calcium as soy beverages
  • approximately eight times the protein of almond beverages and
  • approximately six times the potassium levels of rice beverages

To get your own free a2 Milk® through a receipt redemption program, head over to Try a2 Milk. While you are there, enter to win a trip to Australia, too! If you win, you have to promise to take me, though. My people are from there! Seriously, Ada is named after my great-great-grandmother Ada from Australia. She even had a pet kangaroo :)

I am so thrilled to continue my ambassadorship with a2 Milk®! I have loved trying this new-to-me product and have found it to be easy on my stomach (read: I can eat more dairy if I drink it). a2 Milk® is carried at our local Lassen’s. I am excited for a2 Milk® to gain traction and popularity and be carried in every store where you buy milk. To find your nearest grocery store that sells a2 Milk®, click here: a2 Milk® Store Locatora2 Milk -

Spring Break with the KIA Sorento

I was given a car to borrow and drive in collaboration with DriveShop. As always, all opinions are 100% my own!

For Spring Break, we were fortunate enough to have the 2016 KIA Sorento to cruise around in! It was so much fun!! It drives like a car but has seating for seven. The girls loved the little back seats, it was like their own little play land!

KIA Spring Break

The Sorento took us to Los Angeles and the trip down and back was quiet and smooth. Some features I love:

  • cruise control that automatically slows you down when approaching traffic (super helpful on LA freeways)
  • lane deviation that tells you when you are drifting out of the lines
  • back up camera, camera in the front, and a bird’s eye camera angle to see if you are in the lines of a parking spot!
  • giant sunroof – literally feels like the entire roof of the car is a window
  • smooth as buttah ride

The KIA Sorento took us to the Los Angeles Temple, IMG_9045 Alameda Park in Santa Barbara, IMG_9196Nordstrom to try on the latest shoe trends,IMG_9223Sephora to try out red lips and rosy cheeks, IMG_9203and lunch at C’est Cheese! IMG_9184We also climbed Mt. Figeroa and went for a hike! It was all abloom with poppies and lupins, just beautiful! IMG_9337Sunset was unbelievable up there.IMG_9331Hiking while hugely pregnant with my little sidekicks!Thank you, DriveShop for the fun wheels to cruise around in for our Spring Break adventures!

Ref.: Junk Cars in Broward.

Living Well with Nature Made Vitamins

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.Nature Made Vitamins-1Every stage of life is different. Our goals change from year to year based on what is going on in our lives. Obviously, my health and wellness goals this year have been different than in past years. At this time last year, I was busy training and getting ready for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon! I know some women continue running throughout their entire pregnancies, but I can’t do it past the middle of the second trimester. I miss it so much! I get jealous when I see people out running or Matt goes for a run. For now, it’s walking, prenatal yoga, swimming, and the elliptical. Unfortunately I had to give up the stationary bike because I was riding it like a kid that had outgrown a tricycle, due to the big baby bump in the way! Hopefully at the time of this year’s half marathon, I will be getting ready to welcome baby girl number three into our family :) Nature Made Vitamins-1-2This year’s wellness goals have been all about staying healthy throughout my pregnancy and growing a strong baby girl. So far, so good! Today begins the 30 day countdown to June’s due date. She will be here next month!! I started out my pregnancy like all of the others, completely nauseous and unable to keep anything down. So I took chewable sour gummy vitamins when I could. Then, once the nausea finally passed, I had to switch to swallowable vitamins because the gummies reminded me of being sick and made me gag. Nature Made Vitamins-1-3Off to Walmart to get some Prenatal Vitamins from Nature Made. I grabbed some Fish Oil for Matt, too, and love that they have a burp-less variety! That’s what has kept me away from Fish Oil in the past, the yucky aftershocks throughout the day. He has been taking them and says they live up to their burp-less promise. The Prenatal Vitamins have been excellent and easy to swallow thanks to the gel coating. I am grateful for a vitamin I can easily take to help keep my baby and I healthy and strong! New moms: even after baby is born, you should continue to take your Prenatal Vitamins. Especially if you’re nursing! Baby will get those good nutrients and you will feel better, too. Nature Made at WalmartTo help you with your health and wellness goals, Nature Made has a microsite here where you can sign up to receive Nature Made Daily Boosts…little things that you can do to help your overall wellness. Enter for a chance to win 1 of 20 $50 Walmart gift cards below!
Nature Made Wellness 5

*I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Here’s to Nature Made helping you achieve your health and wellness goals this year, whichever stage of life you are in!

Coke Play to Win!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GreatTasteTourney #CollectiveBias

How do you prepare for the Madness? Have you filled out brackets with coworkers, friends or family? What kind of snacks do you make to get ready for the Big Tournament? We always stock up on Coke Zero and OREOs, and come up with ways to make them fun while we watch the games.


When you buy Coke Zero and Nabisco products, like OREO, at Albertsons, Safeway and other banners (Tom Thumb, Acme, Shaws, Pavillions, Star Market etc.) you can enter to win tons of cool basketball themed prizes… even a chance to attend some of the final games!

Available Prizes:

64 Cola-Cola ZeroTM Cap & Basketball

32 Over the Door Basketball Hoop

16 Albertsons $50 Gift Card

8 Electronic Basketball Game

4 10 ft Basketball Goal

2 Gift Card for TV/Surround Sound System

1 Trip for 4 to the 2017 NCAA®

Men’s Final Four® in Phoenix


       HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Purchase participating* Coca-Cola or NABISCO products
  2. Upload a photo of your receipt showing your qualifying product purchase
  3. Register and upload receipt photo to:
  4. Receive 1 entry per qualifying purchase for a chance to win prizes!
  • Mondelēz International and Coca-Cola are Corporate Champion and Partners of the NCAA.
  • NCAA and Taste the Madness are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • © Mondelēz International group © Coca-Cola Zero is a registered trademark of the Coca-Cola Company.
  • NABISCO is the Official Cookie & Cracker of the NCAA®
  • Coca-Cola Zero™ is the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA®

a2 Milk® Ambassador Program

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.a2 MilkI am so excited to announce that I have been selected to be an a2 Milk® Ambassador! I LOVE MILK! But what is a2 Milk®, you ask? Well, let me put on my Ambassador hat and tell you all about it :)

Back in the day (picture a milk man delivering milk to your doorstep in glass bottles), all cows milk had the A2 protein in it. Their milk was easy to digest and there were no issues. As dairy farmers started putting more pressure on cows to produce milk, the A1 protein started to manifest itself in the cows’ milk. The A1 protein is digested differently and began causing stomach problems in milk drinkers.

Chances are, you or someone you know suffers from sensitivities to dairy. An independent study found that one in four Americans had stomach discomfort after consuming milk, but only 3-4% of the population has been medically diagnosed as Lactose Intolerant. a2 Milk-5For those who do suffer, their options are usually to turn to a non-dairy milk alternative. Almond, soy, or rice in my friends’ cases. I have tried them and am not a fan. Almond I can bear if it’s mixed up in a smoothie, but I would still prefer the good stuff from a cow. Which is why I love a2 Milk®!a2 Milk-2Ever since I had my gallbladder removed, I have been more sensitive to dairy. I learned this in Paris, unfortunately. Matt and I had a gorgeous cheese platter for dessert at Astier and Matt insisted that I try every single cheese. Not one to back down from a challenge, I did it. And paid for it later at the hotel by throwing it all up! We joke about it because Matt showed true love by taking care of me and cleaning up after me…what a way to spend your anniversary! Luckily I was better the next day and we still had a wonderful trip. I have learned to limit the strong dairy after that experience!

a2 Milk® has returned cows milk to what it used to be! It has all of the benefits of cows milk: vitamins, taste, hormone and antibiotic-free, without the irritating A1 protein.

To find a2 Milk® near you, click here. Local friends: I found it at Lassen’s; Vallarta doesn’t carry it yet like the website says.

Lola’s Disney Side 4th Birthday Party!

Miss Lola Jennie turned FOUR in August! She wanted a Princess Sofia birthday party, and it worked out perfectly with the Disney Side @ Home Party box we were sent. It had crowns, amulets, napkins, plates, placemats, snack bowls, a food stand, a centerpiece, tablecloth, and activities for the kids in it. The favor boxes were Doc McStuffins (another favorite) filled with wands, nail files, stickers, Cinderella buttons, and other goodies. IMG_3808We bought balloons and Maverick was not a fan of the giant floating Princess Sofia! IMG_3809For a game, we had the princesses see how far they could walk with books on their heads. Me demonstrating: IMG_3813They each received a magical amulet after completing the book balancing game.Disney Side @ Home PartyOur big four-year-old! IMG_3815

For food, I made peanut butter and grape (purple for Sofia) jelly sandwiches, had watermelon, grapes, oranges, string cheese, animal cookies, and filled our Mickey Mouse cake pan with carrots, broccoli, and dip. Disney Side @ Home PartyIMG_3842Happy little party-goers!Disney Side @ Home Party

Our DisneySide Party box had an awesome cake mix from Duff of Charm City Cakes in it. It was a colorful rainbow cake that was so fun and easy to make! IMG_3843The kids loved seeing when we cut into it.  IMG_3856 IMG_3857Lola opening her gifts…I love her facial expressions! IMG_3867 IMG_3871 IMG_3873Trying to get her sweet face in the picture with her Lola sticker book from Cap’n Walt :)IMG_3875 IMG_3881Ada & Emma trying out Lola’s new bunk bed set from Nonnie!  IMG_3905IMG_3883Having Lola as a part of our family for the past four (1/2) years has brought us such joy! She has been a light in our world. She’s a mommy’s girl and snugglebug. She loves to make her sister laugh, play with her, pull funny faces, use Maverick as a pillow, sing, go to Primary, color, write, spend time with her Nonnie & Nana, ride her scooter & bike, and would swing all day if I’d let her. Love you Lo!!   

I was sent a Disney Side @ Home party box to help throw a magical party for my Disney-loving girls! As always, all opinions are 100% mine. 

Proactiv 3-Step System Review

This post was sponsored by Proactiv as part of a Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

6 weeks ago, Chewie was not impressed with my skin. I agreed with him, my pores were large and my skin tone wasn’t ideal. I had some rough spots and was prone to oiliness and breakouts. I had stopped using a 3-step program of washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. I was skimping on my skincare routine and it showed! Chewie couldn’t be fooled.Proactiv ChewieEnter Proactiv’s 3-step cleansing system. Here’s what it consists of:

Step 1: Renewing Cleanser – I love how fine the beads are. I wouldn’t even classify them as beads because they are so small! Think of the softest, finest sand you’ve ever felt. That’s what it feels like is mixed into the renewing cleanser. Also oil-free with micro crystal benzoyl peroxide to begin to clear acne.

Step 2: Revitalizing Toner – Have you ever used a toner that burned? Not fun! The revitalizing toner is gentle and alcohol-free. It contains glycolic acid to help balance skin tone and remove dead skin cells. You can see it on the cotton ball after you use it! It leaves behind your radiant skin beneath, helping to balance your skin’s natural acids. It contains witch hazel (a popular toner in and of itself), aloe and chamomile, and allantoin. The toner removes excess oil without drying your skin out.

Step 3: Repairing Treatment – A light, oil-free leave-on lotion. It’s made with exclusive micro crystal benzoyl peroxide that absorbs into the pores to treat acne at its source. It penetrates deep into the pore to help heal blemishes and help prevent future breakouts. It leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized.

After using Proactiv’s 3-step system, here is my after picture (results may vary):ProactivNo filter, no editing, straight off my camera’s phone. Granted, the natural light in my after picture is more flattering than the fluorescent lighting with Chewie :) Otherwise, I see a huge difference! My skin is smoother, my pores are smaller, and my dark spots are lighter. I’m not having breakouts as often and my skin isn’t as oily throughout the day.

I have been using Proactiv for years and definitely have noticed a difference when I stop. I ran out and didn’t reorder it, so was totally slacking and just using regular face wash and lotion. The proof is definitely in the pictures! I wish you could feel my face, too. My skin is so much softer when using Proactiv’s 3-step system.

Are you a fan of Proactiv? What have your results been with it?