GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GoodNites* TRU-FIT*. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Have you heard of GoodNites* TRU-FIT* underwear before? If you have a child that is either potty training or has troubles with wetting the bed at night (or both), you need to know about these babies. Sold at Walmart, they look and feel like real underwear! They have a clever little pocket inside that you can place a removable, absorbent, lining inside of.

Check out GoodNites* TRU-FIT* underwear here: bit.ly/18gcVGN

Children should not be embarrassed or scared to participate in activities because of their bedwetting. One out of six children ages 4-12 wets the bed! As a child, my poor husband was petrified of spending the night at his friends’ houses about something he had no control over. Children cannot be trained out of bedwetting. They will eventually grow out of it with time. Having an open discussion about bedwetting with your children is extremely important. They need to know that it’s normal, and not to be ashamed when it does happen! We take our girls to the potty at midnight, before we go to bed, and then we don’t have to worry about doing laundry in the middle of the night :)

I love that GoodNites* TRU-FIT* look like real underwear! They have cute patterns (for girls) that are washable and can be folded right next to their normal daytime undies. This will help children feel confident and not worry about being bullied or made fun of because they are wearing something that looks like a diaper. GoodNites* TRU-FIT* underwear have fully-sealed seams along with six layer advanced absorbent protection to keep your children and their bedding dry all throughout the night!

Family Pictures with LK Photoshoots

We recently had our family pictures taken and I am SO happy with how they turned out! The weather did not want to cooperate, but we ended up some gorgeous shots thanks to LK Photoshoots!

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We were originally going to take these at the beach, but it was pouring rain there! So we tried some other locations and they worked out beautifully.

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I was so impressed with Kirsi’s vision and direction. She would take a handful of shots, then when the rain would start, she’d say, “Okay, let’s go over here!” Then we’d hop in the car and chase the sunshine! She was also a natural with Ada and Lola. They can be stand-offish with people they first meet but they warmed up to Kirsi really quickly!LK Photoshoots - http:/www.lkphotoshoots.com.jpgThese girls adore their Papa!LK Photoshoots - http:/www.lkphotoshoots.com.jpgNonnie and her girls :) LK Photoshoots - http:/www.lkphotoshoots.com.jpgI wanted 3 specific things from this session.

1. A new headshot – check!

2. A cute pic of my mom and the girls – check!

3. A great family photo – check!LK Photoshoots - http:/www.lkphotoshoots.com.jpg

If you need someone to take your family pictures, I highly recommend LK Photoshoots!

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Spring into Carter’s & Coupon

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.

Recently, Ada & Lola have been eating non-stop! Both of them have grown 1 inch this calendar year (already). Today is the first day of Spring, a time of renewal, so we decided to refresh their wardrobes. Ada’s one pair of shorts were getting so tight and too short! Time for some new clothes.

Carter’s has some really cute stuff right now! The girls agree:

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I love watching the two of them shop. Lola is checking the size on that dress :) She was so perplexed that she is 3 years old but wears a 5T.

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I love the bright, happy colors in their newest clothing line. The shirts & shorts (below) are a doorbuster deal at 2 for $6 or one for $8 through March 25th!

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Fashion show in the dressing room! These two are so funny modeling all of their outfits. I have no idea where they got it from ;) I love my mom smiling in the background! And those Bermuda shorts that Ada’s wearing? I want them in my size!!

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When my siblings and I were little, my mom would take us back-to-school shopping down in Oxnard. There was this lady that worked in the dressing rooms and she remembered us every year! We would try on an outfit, then walk out yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!” so that she could come approve or veto the clothes. The lady was always so tickled that we all called our mom Mommy still and say, “Oh I remember you kids! Mommy, Mommy! Come look at us!” :)

Check out these poses! Little models.

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Ada showing us her foot :)

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Silly sisters!

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Here is a coupon for you to use on your trip to Carter’s to refresh your children’s wardrobes: carters_0311_marchblogger_coupon

FROZEN Easter Beach Bucket

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

FROZEN Easter Beach Bucket 1

Since we live in sunny California, I thought this year I would make Easter Beach Buckets for my daughters instead of traditional Easter baskets. I have this incredible memory of a trip that I took to Hawaii when I was about nine years old. It was Spring Break and my dad was based in Honolulu. The whole family flew out to meet him and we stayed for a week-long vacation. Easter was happening while we were there, and as young children I remember my siblings and I were very concerned about the Easter Bunny being able to find us! What if he left our baskets at our house? What if he didn’t know we were here? I remember my parents assuring us that the Easter Bunny would find us. Sure enough, on Easter morning, Mr. Bunny had left three different colored buckets in the living room for my brother, sister, and I. We were ecstatic!

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I wanted to recreate that for my daughters and give them a bucket full of items that they can take to the beach with them! Walmart has everything you need with many different themes:

Walmart Easter Aisle - karainthekitchen.comWe went with FROZEN because we still love it in this house! Have you seen the new short, FROZEN Fever? It plays before the new Cinderella movie in theaters. It’s so cute! Here’s my latest short:

A video posted by Kara Miller (@kara_j_miller) on

For the FROZEN Easter Beach Buckets:

A water bottle to stay hydrated, flip-flops to protect their feet from the hot sand, a fan to keep them cool…

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a giant bubble wand, sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun, panties to put on after they rinse off in the outdoor showers, a jump rope just in case…

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washcloths to brush the sand off their feet before they get in the car, and eggs filled with jelly beans that (hopefully) won’t melt!

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I hope you’re inspired to make your own take on a traditional Easter basket now! Which characters are your children’s favorite?

Trick or Treat Em for Howl-O-Ween?

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

I never thought that I would be the type of person that would buy a dog costume. Then I saw the video of SPIDER DOG! I laughed so hard and thought it would be hilarious to dress Maverick up as a spider. I did find a spider costume (not as awesome as the one in the video), and Mav looks so cute in it! Trick or Treat Em (1 of 6)It’s got light-up eyes, fangs, little legs hanging off the sides, and a fluffy rump…too much! His ears don’t really go through the holes like they’re supposed to, but I think it makes him look so cute. Trick or Treat Em (2 of 6)Look at that concentration. He is being so good waiting for a Milkbone treat. Trick or Treat Em (3 of 6)If you go to TrickorTreatEm.com, you can take a quiz to see your pet’s Halloween personality (Maverick is “Quite The Trickster”), make a custom frame for your pet’s picture, and get a coupon for treats! Trick or Treat Em (4 of 6)Our mailman carries dog treats in his pocket and I think that is so smart! He’s come to our door and commented on how good Maverick is to lay by the screen and not bark. I love the idea of having treats ready for the pups that come Trick-or-Treating with their families. I’m sure the puppy parents would appreciate it too!  Trick or Treat Em (5 of 6)Our local FoodsCo has tons of Big Heart treats to choose from. If you can get around the boxes first ;) IMG_8477Mav loves his treats and will do all of his tricks to get one! 11 months old and he can:

Sit

Stay

Lay down

Roll over

Shake

Speak

Balance on his hind legs (Up)

He’s been working hard on his tricks and will definitely get treats from us this Howl-O-Ween! What about your pets?Trick or Treat Em (6 of 6)

Ada’s First Disneyland Trip

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Matt & I took Ada to Disneyland for the first time! It was 5 days before her 3rd birthday, so she was still free. Yeah! We dropped Lola off with Nonnie in Santa Maria and continued down the road in terrible traffic to Long Beach, where we stayed the night with Matt’s college buddy Steve. He treated us to dinner & his mom runs a regular B&B! She had little water bottles & snacks out for us, then made us crepes for breakfast, and made sure that we had snacks in our bag to get us through our day. Thank you so much Williams! We love you guys!!

So it turns out that their neighborhood is where Ferris Bueller’s house is! I freaked out a little bit and had to have my picture taken in front of it in true geek fashion :)

Ada was so excited! She had played the Disneyland Explorer app on Matt’s iPad so she was excited to see everything in real life! It’s free & fun, great marketing Disney ;)

She thought the tram was a blast…we were joking that we could go home after that!

We brought the stroller for her and told her that was the only way she could go on rides, if she rode there in the stroller. She really wanted to walk but we knew she would get way too tired and might get lost in the crowd. We are so glad we brought it!

I definitely recommend getting there early. We were at the park by 8:30 AM and it wasn’t even crowded. We were able to go to City Hall and tell them it was Ada’s first time. They gave her that cute button and she wore it with pride! Along with the two pins Steve gave her :) She was one accessorized little Cinderella! We saw Chip first and got a picture with him. Ada immediately had to wrap her little arm around him like they were old pals. She says he was very soft :)

Our only plan was to stay calm and relaxed so that we didn’t have an overwhelmed, crying child on our hands. We just walked leisurely around and let Ada decided what looked like fun, instead of pointing at every single thing and trying to get her on every ride.

The first ride we went on were the Astro Orbitors in Tomorrowland! Don’t watch the video if you get motion sickness, I’m talkin’ to you Aunt Lizzie!

Then we made our way over to the Teacups because word is that Fantasyland gets really busy the later it gets. I used the app Mousewait on my phone and it told us which rides had the shortest wait. The only bummer was that it sucked my battery dry.

This picture is right after Matt accidentally bonked Ada in the head with the camera :( She took off running and he reached out to grab her and forgot the heavy camera was around his neck.

She was not happy about it!

Poor girl!

Once we got into a giant purple teacup, she was magically healed!

Then to try and pull out the Sword in the Stone:

She gave it her all!

Look at the tongue action!

She ultimately concluded that she needed Papa’s help and that it was just for big kids to pull out.

Ada’s #1 favorite ride:

It’s A Small World!

Look at the wonder in her eyes!

She was singing along with the Christmas carols and waving to all of the dolls:

I must say that the Christmas version is much more enjoyable than the original. This was the first time I’d ridden it since I was a little girl…I think my parents took us on it once and that was it! While in line we saw Meridia from Brave and Ada got to wave to her. We also passed Cinderella and she waved but Ada was disappointed that she was in such a hurry. We told her Cinderella needed to go potty :)

Enter Frontierland around noon! We laid the stroller flat and put the shade down so that Ada could take a nap if she wanted. She ended up just laying back because Billy Hill & the Hillbillies put on a fun show she couldn’t sleep through! It was perfect for her to decompress and relax as we hung out. Frontierland is incredible at Christmastime. They had a huge area for kids to play reindeer games, make Christmas cards, do crafts, meet Santa & Mrs. Claus, and listen to the show. This is where I found these little nuggets of fried goodness:

MONTE CRISTO BITES! I was so happy. The best Disneyland lunch in bite-size form!

Now over to California Adventure. The only ride I cared about going on was Tower of Terror, my all-time favorite! Ada & I waited for Papa to go on the ride and had a snack. The child swap is incredible. The second Matt got off a ride, I was given a pass and went to the front of the line. Genius!

While we were waiting for Papa to get off the Cars ride…

suddenly a dance party began in the middle of Cars Land, and the cast members were trying to get kids to come out and dance with them. A ton of older children around us said no, and when she got to Ada, she just ran out and danced her little heart out with no hesitation!

So happy (note the glass slippers have been traded out for comfy shoes)!

Then, Lightning McQueen cruised right in front of us! He was talking and thanking everyone for being there. Ada was big on waving to everyone :)

Getting into the evening (notice the little bags under her eyes), we asked Ada if she was still having fun. Her response:

She made friends all over, in every line we waited in. This was for Mater’s Tractor Ride and we all laughed SO hard on it! We were heavy with the 3 of us so it whipped us around really fast! Ada giggled the entire time.

Her second favorite ride was Ariel’s Grotto in CA Adventure. After riding it, she said, “The Sea Witch was SO mad! She was like, grrrrrr!” And made the expression below:

Last ride of the night for Ada girl…King Triton’s Carosel on the Boardwalk.

After all of that, I was ready to head home. Matt insisted that we stay for the World of Color show so we did & it was brilliant! Like the waters of Bellagio in Vegas x 1,000,000.

All day long, I went on any ride that spins with Ada. Matt says he can’t handle them, so I did them all. After World of Color, he says, “Babe! The line is so short for California Screamin’! You have to go on it!” I said no, I was ready to go home, but he talked me into it. I do love that roller coaster…normally. After splitting a churro with Ada and being so tired, I wasn’t really feeling it. But I went against my better judgement. It was awesome until I got off the ride. I said we are going home now! I had the worst headache and decided that I just needed sleep. We get to the car and Ada falls asleep immediately. As we’re pulling out of the parking structure, I tell Matt he has to pull over NOW. He pulls straight into the AMPM and I run inside looking for the bathroom. No bathroom to be found! I ran into a room that turned out to be a closet and threw up on the floor :( I hear a teenage valley girl’s voice behind me say, “Uhhh ma’am, what are you doing?” I turn around, mortified, and say, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t find the bathroom in time…do you have any napkins?” She rolls her eyes at me, no doubt thinking that she’s the one who has to clean it up later! She brought me some towels and I cleaned myself up and RAN to the car. We continued to an Albertson’s where Matt went inside to buy me Saltines and 7UP. I threw up again in the parking lot and a random lady is sitting in her car and asked if I was okay. It was just easier to tell her I was pregnant instead of, “Oh, I just ate a churro and went on a roller coaster and don’t have the stomach I used to since having children.” She was very sympathetic with the pregnancy claim ;)

So: aside from the last events of the day, Disneyland was a raging success! Ada loved everything and still talks about it.

My Packing List for Disneyland:

– baby wipes

– Purell

– change of clothes (she was not about to take her princess dress off, but you never know)

– comfy shoes

– extra panties (she’s been potty trained for a year, but excitement can get the best of any kid)

– sweatshirts/cardigans for everyone

– blanket to hang over stroller during nap time & to keep warm at night

– water bottles

– snacks for waiting in line (clementines, grapes, fruit snacks, crackers, Steve’s cookies!)

– Advil, Excedrin, etc. for mom & dad :)

It was so much fun sharing the magic of Disneyland with my daughter! I can’t wait until Lola is old enough to appreciate it too, I think we’ll go again right before Lola’s 3rd birthday.

Making Education Fun With Disney Junior!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Ready4Preschool #CollectiveBias

http://karainthekitchen.com

Ada is my little late bird. She is a December baby, which means she is turning 5 this year but still has one more year until she can start Kindergarten. So this fall, she will start her first preschool in a classroom setting. She is extremely excited and definitely ready!! We decided to get some school supplies and activities that we could practice with until she starts Preschool, so off to WalMart we went. Our store has a special back-to-school section set up by the garden area. We checked it out and found all of Ada’s favorite Disney Junior characters: Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, and of course Mickey Mouse & the gang from the Clubhouse!

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Ada picked out the Learning Schoolhouse Activity and was so adorable setting it up. We had a little pretend classroom time while Lola took a nap.

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It came with a little pointer finger that, “feels like a marshmallow” according to miss Ada. She pointed at the states while I said the name of the state. I was telling her little anecdotes about each place and was informed that I should just be saying the name of the state, not who lives there or who was born there. Oops! :)

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I was also informed that there was no gum popping allowed in class. Oops again :)

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The Learning Schoolhouse Activity comes with dry erase markers, activity cards (Ada has been loving the letters with arrows to show her which way to write them), magnets, a report card, and other engaging materials.

I love these little hands! I wrote out the problems and she answered them all on her own.

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Sweet girl focused on writing her numbers.

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These Disney Jr. activities are the perfect thing to get your preschool-aged children excited about learning. We have been playing preschool every day since we brought this home!

Nana’s Butter Rolls

I am about to share one of the most beloved recipes in my family with you! These rolls are THE rolls for holiday feasts. They are buttery, light, and melt in your mouth. My Nana made them for as long as I remember from the Better Homes cookbook she received as a gift at her bridal shower 56 years ago! She passed the baton to me a while ago and I have been making them for the past 4 or 5 years. They are a tradition of love.

Nana’s Butter Roll Recipe

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 package active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 egg  

In mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and yeast. Heat milk, sugar, shortening, and salt just until warm (115-120 degrees), stirring constantly until shortening almost melts. 

Add to dry mixture; add egg. Beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make soft dough. Shape into ball. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place until double (1 to 2 hours).

Mary Davis, the Home Ec. teacher at Lakeview Jr. High taught me this trick to speed up rising time. Heat a damp cloth in the microwave until steaming, then place over dough. Let dough rise in the microwave but don’t turn it on. The microwave acts as a little incubator and cuts your rising time in half!

Punch down; turn out on floured surface. Cover, let rest 10 minutes. This is where Nana adapted the recipe and made these rolls incredible. Separate dough into two balls. Roll out into a large circle about 1/4 in. thick, and cut into 16 pizza-like slices.

Take each slice of dough and dip in melted butter. Roll from large end to tip and place in pans. No need to grease them because of the butter :)

Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in size (30-45 minutes).

Bake in greased pans for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 2 to 3 dozen rolls. ENJOY!