Rest Easy with Plum Organics® Grow Well® Infant Formula

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

When my first baby was just 2 months old, I had to go to the Emergency Room. I was up all night with horrible pain in my back and side and throwing up. It turned out to be a gallbladder attack :( As my husband was driving me to the hospital, I remember being so worried about my baby girl (Ada) because I was exclusively breast feeding her. We had some formula samples at home, so I knew if I wasn’t home in time to feed her again that Matt could make her a bottle. When the hours passed, Matt texted me that he had tried feeding her some formula and she screamed! I was so heartbroken, feeling helpless and horrible.

That experience taught me to give baby some tastes of formula from a young age. With our next two babies, we have introduced formula to them even though I breast feed them. Just a bottle here and there to get them accustomed to the taste so that I can feel confident if I leave that they can be happy with a bottle of formula. I have left bottles of pumped breast milk thinking, “there’s no way the baby will go through all of that,” to hear from my mom that baby has guzzled them down and she was mixing a bottle of formula for them! Nothing worries a mama heart more than thinking of your baby crying and hungry while you are away!

If my baby isn’t getting my breast milk, I want to know that what they are getting is top notch. Enter Plum Organics® Grow Well® Infant Formula. It’s organic and non-GMO with no corn syrup solids added. Lactose is the most abundant carbohydrate found in breast milk, which is essential for baby’s quickly growing brain. Plum Organics’ carbohydrate source is from cow’s milk lactose only. Their infant formula is primarily cows’ milk, broken down into components and fortified with nutrients found in breast milk. I love being able to rest easy knowing that baby is getting the best product with no harmful ingredients.

Oribel PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center

This post is in partnership with Oribel thanks to The Motherhood. I received product in exchange for this review. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Kara in the Kitchen!

June is going to be 7 months old tomorrow! She is at the age where she is grabbing everything and exploring the world around her. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1I knew I wanted to give her an activity center for Christmas, so when this opportunity came about, I was so excited! Oribel’s PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center is the perfect gift for new or expecting parents. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-3June is in love with all of the different toys to play with on the top. She is using the PortaPlay in the lowest setting. It has a bouncy seat that rotates 360 degrees and legs that are adjustable in height as your child grows. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-4 Once your baby has grown out of the PortaPlay, it transforms into an activity table! I love that this will be a toy we won’t have to pass on once June grows out of it. It will grow with her as a budding artist :) You can purchase a roll of paper and stools for the activity table separately. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-5 I LOVE this aspect of the PortaPlay: the legs fold down for easy storage. Genius! oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-2The PortaPlay is available on Amazon.com here: Oribel PortaPlay Activity Center – Forest Friends

Check out Oribel’s Porta Play video for all of the features:

bObsweep, My New Best Friend

This post is in partnership with bObsweep. I received a super sweet robotic vacuum to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own! 

You guys. I have a new best friend. Sorry, babe! His name is bOb. The bObsweep PetHair Plus, to be exact.bobsweep-karainthekitchen-com-2He lives here, underneath June’s baby swing. When he’s done roaming my house, I push the charge button and he goes back to his dock all by himself. Since we have a dog, we have been loving bOb! For some reason, Maverick’s fur gathers into little dust bunnies and settles in the hall. bObsweep PetHair cruises down the hall and picks them up while I can be doing other things. Feeding the baby, working, cleaning, sleeping, staring at my phone, eating, you get the idea! bobsweep-karainthekitchen-com [Continue Reading…]

Start a Lifetime of Healthy Habits with Nature Made® Vitamins at Target

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.Nature Made - karainthekitchen.comDo any of you remember those giant, orange vitamin C vitamins we had as kids? My mom said that her mom gave them to her, so she gave them to us, and now I give them to my kids! I am so grateful for the healthy habit of taking my vitamins daily thanks to my mom. Every morning before school, we would take a multivitamin and that giant orange vitamin C vitamin.

We have tried different vitamins with our daughters over the years. They are definitely fans of gummy vitamins! Where were those when I was a kid? I’m glad for them now because I was able to take prenatal vitamins in gummy form during my first trimester. There was no way I could stomach the giant horse pills during that queasy time!

We found the Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamins very easily in our Target store. They have a snazzy new red lid (fitting) and were on the top shelf with other vitamins in the KIDS FIRST® line.nature-made-karainthekitchen-com-3Now that the kids are back to school, the germs are back in full force as well. You can see Ada’s blisters on her hands from doing the monkey bars every day at recess! Volunteering in Kindergarten classes shows you really quickly who has been taught to cover their cough at home. No wonder my mom, a Kindergarten teacher, has such a strong immune system ;) I want my girls to be as healthy as possible when they come in contact with those germs, so I make sure they take their multivitamins every day. In the one month that we’ve been back to school, each daughter has caught a bug and gotten over it in record time. I think it’s because they take their vitamins!nature-made-karainthekitchen-com-2I like that with Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamins, each child only has to take one vitamin per day. They are more concentrated so they don’t have to eat two. My girls like the all natural flavors of orange, cherry, and mixed berry. No artificial dyes, either! To get 10% off your Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamins at Target and enter to win a $50 Target gift card, click here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Evenflo Sibby in New York City!

This post was sponsored by Evenflo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Evenflo Sibby Travel System to facilitate my review.

We took the Evenflo Sibby, available at Target, to New York City and it was the perfect stroller for the trip! It is lightweight and has a little Ride-Along board on the back that a second child can ride on. Knowing my Lola, I was so excited to have a place for her to take a break with all of the walking we were going to do in the city.

Here we are trying Shake Shack for the first time outside of the Museum of Natural History! It was so good!! Junie was happy as a clam in the Sibby, even without the carseat part. I did not want to fly with it or deal with it on the subway, so I left it in the car at LAX.Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenI gate checked the stroller, so I took it through security with June in the wrap on me. I was able to close it up with one hand by myself, walk through the metal detector, and then open it up by myself on the other side. On the subway, we tried to take elevators as much as possible (P-U), but there were times where we had to carry it down the stairs. I would carry the bottom rung and my mom would carry the handles. Packed down with my beefy baby, diaper bag, and water bottles, it was quite the work out! I was so grateful for the times that people would offer to carry it up or down the stairs for us. New Yorkers are so friendly!  Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenHere is what the stroller looks like with the car seat inside of it. It clicks in with one click and lifts out easily as well. I like the shape of the carseat handle, it rests easily in the crook of your arm. With this configuration, you have to lay the stroller back a bit more. Junie slept in New York City with it flat quite a bit. There is mesh in the back so I could see her and make sure she was nice and cool! We got so many comments on that little white fan while there!! People kept saying they wished that they could have a little fan of their own :) I bought it here on Amazon (affiliate link).Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenOn top of the Empire State Building with my girls! My mom is taking the picture because she is scared of heights and didn’t go anywhere near the edge :) I had another mom ask me in line what kind of stroller this was, she had two young boys and loved the Ride-Along feature! It was great because the girls would ride it and then hook it back up so I didn’t kick it. The only thing I wish the stroller had is longer or adjustable handles. I am 5’7″ and I felt like I had to hunch over a bit to reach the handles while Lola was on the Ride-Along board. Other than that, we are loving the Sibby! Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the Kitchen

WaterWipes at Babies R Us

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

As a mom of three (!), I am always looking for the best products for my children. Look at my little shopping sidekick! How could you not want to give that face the best? You know of my love for WaterWipes from a previous post, and this is one product that I have continued to use and buy for my family since writing about it the last time. Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-4Ever since having Ada, I have carried baby wipes around with me everywhere I go. Even after Lola was potty trained and before we had a new baby! They are the best to have on hand for messes, sticky hands, and faces. I have also been known to wipe down a table or two while out to eat! My Babies R Us has WaterWipes in the diapering section right at eye level. Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-3On our road trip to Santa Fe? WaterWipes in the car and diaper bag. On our trip to New York City? WaterWipes in the suitcase and diaper bag. Actually, my bag was stopped at airport security after going through the x-ray machine. It turns out that it was the two packages of WaterWipes that looked suspicious! It didn’t get searched on the way home, though. As you know, I love that WaterWipes are just water and fruit extract. While in New York City, June got a little bit of a diaper rash. I think it’s because her skin isn’t used to the heat and humidity. I thought that I would keep an eye on it and if it didn’t go away in a day, I would buy some diaper cream. I used WaterWipes on her when I changed her diaper that whole day and the rash cleared up on its own! I think it’s because there are no added chemicals or scents to the wipes. I have smelled some doozies!! One brand that shall not be named has a bitter smell to them. I really like that WaterWipes don’t have a smell so that you can wipe your face and hands with them and not worry about smelling funny. If you’d like to try WaterWipes out, enter the giveaway below! You could win one of 5 $100 gift cards to Babies R Us! Hurry though, the contest ends on August 18th. Good luck!

Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-2 
WaterWipes Babies”R”Us Giveaway

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners).

WaterWipes in our hotel in NYC! I was temped to wipe down the window with one ;)
Water Wipes NYC - Kara in the KitchenFind out where WaterWipes are sold near you here.

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 - karainthekitchen.com-1Another 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 - karainthekitchen.com-1-4 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 - karainthekitchen.com-1-5Ingenious bottle brush, sterilizing bag, and super thin and absorbent breast pads.Munchkin LATCH - karainthekitchen.com-1-3As 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 - karainthekitchen.com-1Now, 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 - karainthekitchen.com-1-2

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!

Baby’s Journey AT&T Baby Monitor

This post was sponsored by Baby’s Journey as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary merchandise to facilitate my review.AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)

You guys, today marks 20 days until my due date! Baby June will be here before we know it. It has been so interesting to me how things have changed since I had Lola in 2011. Technology and baby items have come a long way! When it comes to baby monitors, we have had numerous ones over the years. We thought ours was so cool because it would be silent and only turn on when our babies made noise – instead of constant static in the background. We had to keep our girls’ noise machine in their room on “rushing water” to keep that monitor from picking it up. Suffice it to say that none of our previous baby monitors have compared to the Baby’s Journey Smart Sync monitor!AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-2The five inch touch screen is crystal clear and the night vision ensures that I can see everything in Junie’s room, even at night. The app is compatible with iPhone & Android phones, so while Matt’s gone he can check in. I love that I can track all of her feedings, diaper changes, and stats on the monitor, too. That way we can have an accurate record of all of her numbers. Matt is big on stats, and in the past has asked me when the baby last ate and how much…I was so tired that I’d just rattle off an estimated time and amount! I knew baby was asleep and happy, so I didn’t pay much mind to tracking feedings. They have been fat, happy babes, so I am hoping that baby sister follows suit :) AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-3The monitor also has wifi (make sure you’re using a secure/encrypted connection…those creeper stories freak me out), and you can buy additional cameras for other areas in your home. You can also share photos straight from the monitor to Facebook or Twitter!AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-4The monitors are now available online and in-store at Babies “R” Us locations. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/ATTSmartSync

I am getting so excited to meet this baby girl and grateful to have Baby’s Journey help along the way to watch her grow. What is your favorite baby monitor?