Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FabKids: Chidren's Fashionable Outfits Styled Just For Them! {Review}

fabkids_logo
When it comes to styling my daughters, it seems to have taken me a while to learn a few basic concepts: I should only purchase their clothes in outfits and getting their opinion matters.

Otherwise, it seems that we end up with random (albeit cute) shirts or shorts or skirts that just don't match anything and are therefore never worn. How many times have I pulled the same tunic top out of Little Sister B's closet and kicked myself for not having found a pair of leggings to go with it? And, as much as I thought Big Sister E would look chic in the romper I purchased for her, what good did it do to buy it if it's just going to hang in her closet while she wrinkles her nose at it?

Fortunately, these situations never have to happen again thanks to the site that empowers kids to express their individuality through their own personal fashion sense... while also ensuring that pieces always have a coordinating mix-and-match style to them: FabKids.

FabKids clothing

Started by a team of parents that believe in celebrating every child's unique individuality, FabKids is a children's fashion brand and personalized shopping site that styles and sells monthly outfits and shoes for boys and girls. Whether your child is adventurous, creative, spontaneous, outgoing, shy, independent or more, FabKids functions on the idea of building their confidence and letting it shine!

While other clothing websites display and sell each article separately, FabKids not only puts their pieces into complete outfits, but sells them as such. Even better, they utilize your child's personality to customize and suggest the outfits that they believe will be liked best. It's like having your own personal shopper right there online... and who wouldn't be excited about that?

FabKids outfits

The result is that the whole process of shopping at FabKids is simple as well as fun. Once you have taken the Style Quiz about (or with) your child, FabKids assesses their personality and offers outfit suggestions.

As every outfit they offer is age-appropriate, comfortable and designed to work at home, at school, on the playground and more, all that is left is to pick out your favorites! Pricing for Regular Members starts at $42; however, once you sign up as a VIP Member (which is free and can be canceled at any time), you'll receive outfits for $29.95, with items that start at $14.95 and shoes from $16.95. VIP Members also rack up reward points, earn special savings, and more!

But let's be honest, all of this doesn't matter if the clothing offered isn't stylish and trendy and will be loved and worn by kids, right? With FabKids, there is no worry! Little Sister B was jumping with excitement to see the outfit she had chosen as soon as the fun pink bag arrived in our mailbox!

FabKids shipping

Who wouldn't love to find this much happiness addressed to them?

I managed to get a quick peek at the amazingly colorful Fire Princess Outfit...

FabKids Fire Princess Outfit

...before Little Sister B had to put it on.

FabKids review

Adorable!

It was immediately evident that this outfit was not only true to size, but that all of the small details that FabKids had included really gave both items a finished, quality look.

The Girl On Fire Dress is (obviously) visually appealing, but just gets even better the closer that you look. Each of the front seams and "flame" ruffles are smartly sewn, while the top features a stretchy, shirred backing that ensures that it can stretch and adjust to each girl (as well as extend the amount of time that it will fit).

As an added customization, the shoulder straps button in the back and have three length options, also making it so that this dress can grow right along with the cute wearer!

FabKids Girl On Fire Dress

Combine the Girl On Fire Dress with FabKids' classic Fab Soft Legging (which really are super soft!) and this outfit comes together just right.

As our spring mornings have still been a bit chilly around here, Little Sister B has been able to pull on a cardigan for a little extra warmth in the a.m...

FabKids girls clothing

...but then remove it by the afternoon to show off the bright colors and perfect twirlability of this awesome outfit!

FabKids Girl On Fire Dress review
FabKids clothing review

For kids that love fashion, FabKids is the place to go!

I appreciate the ability to purchase clothing that works together (as well as can be mixed in with other pieces) and my girls end up having expressed their individuality and style tastes in ways that make them happy (and are durable enough to withstand playground fun). It's a win-win and we're looking forward to seeing the diverse range of fashions and trends that are debuted next month!

To find out more about FabKids and the ways that they can effortlessly style the children in your life from head to toe, visit their website at FabKids.com and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Other than the Fire Princess Outfit that we received from FabKids in order to facilitate this review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this site and their products.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Style, Safety and Power: 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Compact Utility Vehicle {Review}

 Mitsubishi logo
Although I have to admit that I've gotten pretty content with driving around in my minivan (just call me a Soccer Mom!), there are times that I do miss having a vehicle that is a bit smaller and not as matronly.

But how could I give up all of the versatility, comfort and storage space and go back to a little car?

Or at least that's what I thought. Then I was introduced to a way to have it all in the form of the Mitsubish Outlander Sport SE 2.0!

2015 Outlander Sport

My first time hearing the term CUV – Compact Utility Vehicle – the Outlander Sport combines the utmost in style (inside and out) as well as sky-high standards of safety and features galore in its 5-passenger compact crossover category.

How could I not be excited to get to hang out with this cutie?

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Available in a variety of different colors and models, the Outlander Sport has everything from technology to safety to affordability that families depend on, whether running errands around town or, like us on our recent Florida vacation, traveling from theme park to theme park.

Upon first laying my eyes on the Octane Blue SE 2.0, it was easy to see that Mitsubishi had covered every inch. From the matching bumpers to the chrome detailing to the alloy wheels, this isn't a generic looking sedan or SUV, this is a vehicle for the family that isn't sacrificing appearance for convenience!

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport exterior

After admiring the outside, I couldn't wait to hop into the Outlander Sport to see just how much it had to offer on the inside as well.

When I did, I continued to be impressed with all that Mitsubishi had included, as the heated front seats were extremely plush and comfortable, the one-touch Start/Stop engine button was perfectly located, multiple aspects of the car could be controlled right from the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and each and every gauge was clearly illuminated and easy to read.

Looking into the back, there was plenty of room for two or three people to fit with ease and my kids quickly discovered (and loved) the fold-down armrest/cup holder!

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport interior

But when it comes to transporting items around, the Outlander Sport is clearly a winner in that department as well. Considering how easily the second row of seats fold down with the press of a button (both together or a 60/40 split), owners would never have to worry about carrying anything from groceries to strollers to even furniture.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport storage

Once I began driving the Outlander Sport around, I quickly found that there wasn't much more that I could have asked for than what was already included.

The really nice 6.1" touchscreen display made it extremely easy to control the audio system, navigation system, see the backup camera (love!), and more; there were roomy storage compartments and cup holders throughout; the center console was super convenient with a USB port and 12V outlet — perfect for our technology-filled lives...

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport convenience

...and, one feature we didn't even initially realize was there, it had a gorgeous panoramic glass roof with LED illumination!

Whether driving day or night, it only took the press of a button to slide the inner roof covering back to see out. Then, with another press, the roof popped open to let in the beautiful weather!

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport sunroof
This photo doesn't at all do justice for this huge and beautiful glass roof!

All in all, after a week of driving the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport around Florida, I was sad to say goodbye to it. It provided decent gas mileage (25 city and 32 highway), kept my family very safe (Active Stability Control, 3-point seatbelts and head restraints, advanced 7 airbag system, Mitsubishi's patented Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution safety cell body construction, and more), and there wasn't a single complaint about lack of legroom or space.

Each day that I got in on our trip I found new features that I hadn't noticed before (The side view mirrors are heated! That would sure come in handy during our Midwest winters or Did you see that? The windshield wipers just went on their own! Rain-sensing wipers! Genius!) and the high quality of the Mitsubishi craftsmanship is evident everywhere you look, inside and out.

Heck, this adorable car even says Hello when you turn it on and See You when you turn it off! Why can't all vehicles be this friendly?

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE

With an MSRP of $22,795, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 2.0 drives well, looks amazing and is a great choice for families who want more space than a typical car but want to drive something smaller than an SUV or minivan. You can find out lots more on this incredible vehicle by visiting the Mitsubishi website and connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Other than the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport that I was provided by Drive STI in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion about the features and quality of this vehicle.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Busch Gardens Tampa: Attractions, Animals, Rides, Shows and More!

Busch Gardens logo
As the second most-visited state in America, Florida is no stranger to knowing how to wow tourists. No matter if you are a resident, a first-time vacationer or a repeat visitor that has explored every nook and cranny, there is something for everyone!

For my family, on our recent trip to the Sunshine State, we knew that it was the perfect time to head to the destination long known for combining a love of animals with a love of thrills, Busch Gardens Tampa!

Busch Gardens Tampa
© Busch Gardens Tampa. All rights reserved.

The ultimate family adventure, Busch Gardens Tampa consists of 297 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. If there is a location elsewhere in the U.S. that features thrilling rides with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, then I don't know of it!

After reading and hearing about how Busch Gardens Tampa provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age, we were excited to head over and see for ourselves!

Busch Gardens Tampa entrance

Unfortunately our first impression wasn't as positive as I would have liked, as we spent quite a bit of time sitting in traffic just to get in the parking lot. Whether that was due to spring break in one or more surrounding counties (according to a friend that we met up with, the entire theme park was much more crowded than usual) or simply the layout of the park, surrounding streets, and parking lot, I'm not sure.

However, once we made it in and took a short tram ride to the front gates, it was time to explore!

Right off the bat we were oohing and ahhing over the impressive, creative horticulture displays that amazed us with their size, details, and colors...

Busch Gardens plants

...but it wasn't long before we had run into Sesame Street Safari of Fun, Busch Gardens' extremely kid-friendly adventure area.

Although Big Sister E and Little Sister B were a little on the old side (ages 8 and 6), they were still thrilled to see so many of their favorite childhood characters incorporated into the rides, shops, dining options, and meet-and-greets!

I had to admit that I was pretty drawn in by all of the attractions as well — there was everything from a three-story canopy climb to a huge splash pad (bring swimsuits!) to a large sandbox area and an even larger inflatable bouncy section. There's enough to keep the younger crowd entertained for days!

Busch Gardens Sesame Street

But let's get real, Sesame Street Safari of Fun is only one corner of Busch Gardens Tampa and there is still so much more for bigger kids, adults and the entire family!

My girls had a blast meeting characters from the Madagascar movies as well as going to see the Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation rock 'n roll live show...

Busch Gardens Madagascar

...and seeing all sorts of beautiful scenery and amazing animals while walking or gliding through the air over the park on the Skyride.

Busch Gardnes animals

Skyride hint: we walked right on the Skyride with no wait at the "exit" in Stanleyville and were shocked to see a huge line waiting at the "entrance" at the Cheetah Hunt station. Skip the massive wait by riding the ride in the other direction!

My family also spent a good deal of time in Busch Gardens Tampa's recently-remodeled and reimagined land, Pantopia. This area includes elaborately jeweled theming, tasty dining options, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and its thrill-ride centerpiece, Falcon's Fury.

If you've ever wanted to take a ride on North America's tallest freestanding drop tower (335 feet!), pivot 90 degrees in the air so that you're facing straight down, and then plunge towards the ground at 60 mph, this is the ride for you!

Busch Gardens Falcon's Fury
I'm going to stick with watching safely from the base of Falcon's Fury while I enjoy my delicious pretzel from Twisted Tails Pretzels. You have fun, though!

Although not nearly as death-defying, we still had fun in Pantopia on the Grand Caravan Carousel, various Kiddie Rides, gawking at the Phoenix, watching the newest live stage show Opening Night Critters in the comfortable (and air-conditioned) Pantopia Theater, and more!


Rides, characters, food, animals, shows, a splash pad, a huge play area... it was no wonder that my kids ended our day at Busch Gardens Tampa with big smiles on their faces.

And who knows? Maybe in the future when they're older and have possibly gained a love of thrill rides, we'll find ourselves back to take a turn on some of the huge roller coasters, water rides, and more!

Busch Gardens rides
"This theme park has the largest and most thrilling collection of roller coasters in Florida." -UltimateRollerCoaster.com

Whether you choose to visit Busch Gardens Tampa while on a fun-filled family vacation, because you have a love of animals, or specifically plan your trip to experience their breath-taking, hair-raising rides, you are sure to find yourself having a great time!

You'll definitely want to visit their website as well as connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to find out much more about all there is to offer, vacation planning tips, Quick Queue information (skip the lines!), their impressive commitment to wildlife and wild places, and more.

If you haven't headed to Busch Gardens Tampa recently, then it's time to start planning for a trip that will result in memories to last a lifetime!

I was provided complimentary tickets from Busch Gardens Tampa in order to help facilitate this review, but they in no way affected the fun time that we had and my completely honest opinions in this post.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Win Big in The Children's Place Super Hero Prize Game!

The Children's Place logo
Fashionable kids, assemble!

What happens when The Children's Place, the leading name for comfortable, durable and stylish kids and baby clothes, teams up with Marvel, producers of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the hottest upcoming movie?

The answer is a contest that's not only super fashionable but features prizes that you won't want to miss: the Super Hero Prize Game!

tcp super hero game

That's right, this spring The Children's Place has teamed up with the planet's coolest heroes for all sorts of great giveaways, including gift cards, prize packs, and more.

Joining in couldn't be much easier! Now through May 4th, entrants (18 years or older) simply visit ChildrensPlace.com/SuperHeroPrizeGame and enter basic info such as their birthdate, name and email address.

Then it only takes another click and you'll be spinning for a chance to win a gift card to The Children's Place — which are given away weekly!

super hero prize game

Did you catch that grand prize description? It includes an Avengers: Age of Ultron prize pack, a private screening of Avengers: Age of Ultron for up to 60 friends and family, and a $1,000 gift card to The Children's Place!

Avengers Age of Ultron

As an added bonus, if you don't happen to instantly win, you'll still receive a special thank you for playing: 20% off your next online or in-store purchase at The Children's Place. Just claim your coupon and start shopping!

But that's not all the super hero fun!

Every customer who purchases a licensed Disney or Marvel product in TCP stores in the U.S. or Canada during the promotion will also receive a FREE set of Fathead Avengers: Age of Ultron decals while supplies last.

Whether your child wants to rock a Captain America hat or an Iron Man tee, they'll be prepared to show off their style at school, on the playground, at the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron (in theaters on May 1st!), and more.

Children's Marvel Clothing

What are you waiting for? Head over to the Super Hero Prize Game right now to enter and then go online or in-store to start shopping the super styles at The Children's Place!

I was provided a gift card from TCP in exchange for sharing this contest information, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own.