Thursday, January 28, 2016

Celebrating our Game Day Traditions with P&G and Walmart {#GameDayTraditions}

Walmart logo
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Growing up in a non-sports fan household, my first real introduction to cheering on a team probably came in high school when I would go with friends to football games (although I highly doubt that I paid that much attention to the game itself).

In college, however, I began to notice that attending football game after football game actually left me quite a bit interested in the game itself. Whether it was the die hard spirit of the school and the fans or simply that I finally understood many of the rules and complexities, football was suddenly much less foreign and a lot more fun.

Fast forward to today and having married a born and raised Wisconsin boy? Football. Football is life and the Packers are everything (followed closely by our alumni, the University of Wisconsin Badgers). We watch, we cheer, we yell, we travel to see games in person — it's just what we do!

packer fans
The next generation of Packer fans, circa 2011.

So when it comes to getting together with family and friends to spend a day eating, drinking, and cheering on the green and gold, there is no doubt that we have a few traditions.

Wearing full Packer gear? Check.

Craft projects planned for the kids when they get bored? Check (thanks to Grandma).

Bowls of chips and pretzels filled? Stocked up on beverages? Sandwich fixings prepared? Taco dip opened and ready? Check, check, check.

Really, the only negative about getting together to watch football is the cleanup, both before and after. I'm not having people over when our house is a mess and, due to the amount of "enthusiasm" displayed during the game, the aftermath can be a bit tricky as well.

Fortunately, Walmart has the perfect P&G home and personal care products to ensure that everyone can enjoy the Big Game without worry!

P&G products

From cooking to cleaning to spills to stains, I always find myself turning to P&G for the Big Game as well as for every day life. They have a product for everything!

Most recently, I knew we were set for all upcoming football games and beyond thanks to the great selection of P&G items sent over from Walmart.


Along with vacuuming up the cat hairs off of the furniture and ensuring my kids have removed their toys from the middle of the living room, my pre-game cleaning prep is mainly spent in the kitchen and guest bathroom.

Risk having guests go into the restroom and find that the toilet paper roll is empty? No, thank you! Instead the Charmin Ultra Strong Mega Rolls 12-pack provides plenty of extras, while also being clog-safe, septic-safe, and 4X stronger when wet than the leading bargain brand.

Charmin and Febreze

See that Febreze Air Effects Linen & Sky waiting right there as well? No one wants the embarrassment of leaving odors in the bathroom, so keeping that single bottle there provides the satisfaction of knowing that tough odors will be eliminated (rather than covered up) without being overpowering.

With the bathroom cleaned and stocked, that leaves the kitchen and my personal favorite P&G product, Bounty Select-A-Size.

Bounty Select-A-Size

These hardworking paper towels contain their awesome Trap & Lock Technology to quickly absorb messes and the fact that I can grab them in half or full sizes means they are perfect for cleanup in any size. Slushy footprints in the front hall? Milk drips on the floor from a leaky container? BBQ sauce splattered on the table? It's all no match for Bounty Select-A-Size!

Also, not only does Bounty come in handy before and during our Big Game celebrations, but they're a must for my final cleanup afterward. And while I'm wiping the last of the sticky fingerprints off of the chairs, I typically have a load of laundry running at the same time to take care of all of the spills and messes that occurred on our clothing.

I'm not sure how my children (and okay, sometimes me, too) can end up with food all over their outfits, but at least Tide PODS Spring Meadow is there to do the dirty work for me. This 3-in-1 detergent (detergent, stain remover and brightener all in one) dissolves quickly in both hot or cold water and can be used in HE or traditional machines.

Tide Pods

Year after year our #GameDayTraditions stay intact thanks to P&G high quality products that are available at Walmart!

Find out more about these and all of Procter & Gamble's great items by visiting them at and connecting with them on Twitter and Facebook. You can also check out all things Walmart at and on Twitter and Facebook.

What are the game day traditions in your household?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Comfort and Convenience in My New Love: 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD {Review}

Kia logo
While I have always been a firm believer in the saying You never get a second chance to make a first impression, recently I was able to see that that being open-minded is also extremely important.

Case in point: Kia.

I sincerely apologize to you, Kia, as my first impression of your vehicles was nearly 10 years ago when on a group vacation in Hawaii and riding in a rental minivan. I was pregnant with Big Sister E and often found myself squished in one of the back seats as we drove through the twisting, turning roads of Maui... let's just say that when I went back home I associated that Kia minivan with my feelings of discomfort and motion sickness.

And that was it. The brand was tainted in my mind and has been for the last decade.

Thankfully, I recently had the chance to update (and completely change) my views of Kia when I spent a week driving (and falling in love with) the amazing 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD.

2016 Kia Sorento

When making our plans to head out to Californa for a recent family vacation, I knew that having a reliable, versatile crossover utility vehicle would make life easier on so many levels. Plenty of room for the our extended family of six, a push button engine start, a powerful entertainment system, an intuitive navigation system, a rear view camera and much, much more?

Clearly it was time to rethink my past with Kia.

As soon as this gorgeous vehicle rolled up to be mine for a week, I was already wondering why I had taken this long to give them a second chance.

2016 Kia Sorento review

Available in a variety of different colors, seeing the Sorento in this gorgeous Titanium Gray was the perfect combination for the athletic look and flowing lines of this sleek, smooth automobile.

No matter which angle I chose, this crossover was giving off the impression that it was fun to drive and was ready to go anywhere and everywhere that I would choose. From the sound-absorbing glass to the modern, chic moulding to the 19" chrome alloy wheels — this car has it all!

Kia Sorento exterior

And that was only the outside! Once I climbed in and had a view of the interior, I continued to be impressed with all that Kia had included. Right away I liked the sleek and attractive leather seats and the way they contrasted against against the black dash, chrome and trim.

But not only do these seats look good, they are so plush and soft and include features like heating and cooling! There is a lot of cabin space throughout the Sorento, so once you've climbed in and sat back in comfort, no one feels cramped or squished. Plus, these seats can be controlled and adjusted in so many different ways (the driver's seat can be tweaked in 14 different ways!!) so that each passenger can personalize their ride.

At the same time, I adored the way that the driver's seat remembered each of my settings every time I entered the Sorento. Turn the car off, the seat moves back to provide ample room to get out. Get in and turn the car on, and it returns precisely to where I wanted it (up close for my vertically-challenged self). Talk about feeling pampered!

Kia Sorento seats

Plus, Kia not only included just about every convenience possible, but I love that the Sorento has them all within reach.

There are cup holders throughout; the front console/armrest provides plenty of storage; there are power and USB ports handy to charge our tech with ease; a multitude of controls are located right on the (heated!) steering wheel so you never have to reach for them; multiple heating and cooling controls to satisfy everyone; it only takes one touch to open the full panoramic roof; and much more!

Kia Sorento controls

As well as all of the conveniences and comfort for the first and second row of passengers, when you have more than four passengers, the third row in the Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD is surprisingly roomy. I typically find that row to feel more as an afterthought in vehicle design and used only when absolutely necessary, but this crossover provides plenty of space for two adults to fit comfortably!

Or, by simply folding down the second row (all together or a 40/20/40 split) and third row (both together or a 50/50 split), this vehicle provides a huge amount of storage and transport space for just about any cargo you could find!

Kia Sorento third row

Along with all this space, comfort and convenience, Kia didn't skimp on quality, power and safety in the Sorento either. The overall ride is extremely comfortable and the steering is smooth and light. Even the hum of the engine is quiet but still pleasing!

For help getting around, the navigation system gives you turn by turn directions, the Rear-Camera Display aids in backing or parallel parking (there is also a Back-Up Warning System to let you know if you're getting too close), and the Blind Spot Detection System (I adore this feature!) gives you an alert if there is a car hiding on either side when you go to change lanes.

blind spot detection system

Even cooler, the Sorento has power side mirrors that automatically fold in to stay out of harm's way when you turn off and lock your car. No more worrying that someone will knock into one with their shopping cart in a parking lot when they are safely tucked in instead!

folding side mirror

After a week of driving the Kia Sorento around California, I had a difficult time saying goodbye to it — and multiple family members commented on how they would love to own one for themselves.

It was spacious without feeling giant (there wasn't a single complaint about lack of legroom or space); it kept my family very safe with a plethora of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control; and was overall it was a pleasure to drive.

In short, I couldn't have been much happier with the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD and being able to really give it a good test drive has fully changed my opinion of Kia! I would love to own this crossover and be able to drive it every day of the week!

Kia instagram

No matter if you are running errands around town or piling in for an adventure cross-country, the Sorento drives well, looks amazing, and is a great choice for families. The SXL model is at the top of the line (with an MSRP starting at $41,500), but there are seven other models that start at $25,100 to fit a variety of needs and budgets.

You can find out lots more about this incredible vehicle by visiting the Kia website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Other than the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD that I was provided in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about how much I loved driving this incredible vehicle.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Say "Hello" to 2016 with KIDZ BOP 31 {Available Now!}

While there have been many aspects of the new year that my family has been enjoying now that the calendar has turned to 2016, one that all of us were extremely anticipating came from one of our favorite names, KIDZ BOP.

There is just never any doubt that my kids' eyes light up just as much as my husband's and mine when a new CD featuring the latest hits in a family-friendly way is released. And, as expected, exactly that has occurred with the arrival of KIDZ BOP 31!


KIDZ BOP CDs are known for being a compilation of "today's biggest hits sung by kids for kids" and, while they have long been known for delivering safe and entertaining music for kids, 2016 marks a milestone as it has been 15 years since their launch! That's a whole lot of awesome, age-appropriate music for families everywhere!

By taking the popular songs of the year, removing the suggestive lyrics and having them performed by kids (the current members are Ashlynn, Grant, Matt and Bredia), it's no wonder that parents as well as children can appreciate these CDs — which is why millions and millions of them have been sold to date!

With today's January 15th release of the 31st KIDZ BOP album, the group has yet again taken this season's hottest songs and made them kid-friendly and fun. My entire family has been dancing and singing along to these tunes ever since they arrived and, while it would be difficult to select just one favorite, I do think that What Do You Mean?, Downtown, and Hello have probably been getting the most air time around here!
  • What Do You Mean?
  • Stitches
  • Wildest Dreams
  • Drag Me Down
  • Hotline Bling
  • Same Old Love
  • Ex's And Oh's
  • Sorry
  • Confident
  • Like I'm Gonna Lose You
  • Renegades
  • Here
  • On My Mind
  • Downtown
  • Hello

If you haven't yet embraced your inner Belieber, let me warn you that this collection just might be the tipping point! After my kids have played KIDZ BOP 31 on endless loop, I find myself gravitating towards his music more and more, how did that happen?

This CD has been such a fun way to have the whole family singing, dancing and enjoying just how toe-tappingly fun these songs are. Because they are kid-friendly, I don't ever have to worry about any questionable lyrics and instead can just sit back and enjoy the familiar tunes in a suitable way for young listeners. If you don't have KIDZ BOP in your house, you're missing out!

Whether you're having a rockin' party or just want something that the whole family can enjoy in the car, KIDZ BOP 31 and the entire line of KIDZ BOP CDs are sure to be a hit. More details and purchase information can be found in the KIDZ BOP Shop (this CD retails for $13.98) as well as on Amazon (for $11.99).

You can also connect with KIDZ BOP at as well as on Facebook and Twitter so that you don't miss the latest and greatest, new releases, the current tour, upcoming events, and more.

Other than the copy of KIDZ BOP 31 that I received in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


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Thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2016

SeaWorld San Diego: Entertainment, Animals and Fun for the Whole Family!

SeaWorld logo
When planning our holiday vacation out to sunny California, my husband and I knew that we wanted our family to experience more than just the fabulous warmth, beautiful scenery, and glorious beaches that the west coast has to offer (although those were all very much welcomed in comparison to the frozen tundra of the Midwest).

We also wanted to visit one of the most memorable, family-friendly destinations filled with exciting rides, amazing shows, and up-close encounters with the sea's most extraordinary creatures. It was time to head to SeaWorld San Diego, of course!

SeaWorld San Diego

Sitting on almost 200 acres, SeaWorld San Diego has something for everyone, whether you are a thrill seeker or an animal lover or both, while also staying fully committed to rescuing and protecting animals of all kinds. It's just too easy to fall in love with a place that does their part to help our earth's living creatures while also providing fun and entertainment for visitors of all ages!

Truly, there is just no doubt that their rides, shows, exhibits, dining, shopping, playing, and experiences will keep the entire family on their toes from the moment you set foot inside the gates. We couldn't wait to get started!

SeaWorld San Diego vacation

With so many options, the most difficult part of visiting SeaWorld San Diego is choosing where to begin (and then where to go next). As we were interested in catching many of the day's shows, it was easy to take a peek at the park schedule to quickly decide on our plan of attack.

From there, it was time to enjoy so much of what makes SeaWorld so incredible and amazing!

From all of the special holiday touches sprinkled throughout the park that made us smile...

SeaWorld Christmas

To the HUGE Sesame Street themed children's play area that is perfectly designed for ages young and old to run, climb, slide, crawl, bounce, meet & greet, play, and more...

SeaWorld kids play

To the numerous gorgeous, well cared-for animals that were available both to look at as well as to interact with (feed!) and touch...

SeaWorld animals

Clearly, it would have been easy to spend our entire visit at SeaWorld San Diego simply walking around and pointing out all of the animals and sights that caught our eye.

However, that wouldn't have included the fact that there is so much more! There are rides for thrill seekers, those that don't mind getting wet, and those of us that just want to relax...

SeaWorld rides

Not to mention all of the shopping and dining options (note: carry-in food is not allowed). But, as I mentioned, for us it was all about the shows!

We laughed and cheered along with the wide variety of adorable animals that starred in Pets Rule! and showed off their talents (and SeaWorld’s famously humane training techniques)...

SeaWorld Pets Rule show

Before moving on to giggle even more at the antics and television/movie spoofs displayed in Sea Lions LIVE.

The seating for this show fills up quickly, so we arrived early to find seats and, while I had assumed we would then just have to sit and wait for the start time, we were instead entertained by a one-man show filled with hilarity (and songs, dancing, acting, and more). It was the perfect lead-in to seeing the Sea Lions!

SeaWorld Sea Lions Live show

When it comes to incredible animals, however, there was no doubt that we altered between complete amazement and dire hopes of not being fully soaked while watching Dolphin Days and One Ocean. Both theaters have sections labeled "Soak Zone" and, while we took our chances and were fortunate to not get all that wet, there were definitely people who were drenched, particularly at One Ocean. So be warned!

In general though, how these stunning, massive creatures are able to glide so effortlessly through the water and then flip right up out in the air is something that I'll never understand but absolutely loved seeing!

SeaWorld whales dolphins show

When it comes to finding a California vacation destination where the entire family can enjoy the incredible sights and sounds of wondrous animals (while being proud of the park's commitment to them), stay entertained with numerous rides, and head home with experiences and memories that will last a lifetime, SeaWorld San Diego is a perfect choice.

Be sure to visit to see in-depth information on all things and locations SeaWorld and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.

Have you been to SeaWorld?

I was provided complimentary passes for SeaWorld San Diego in order to help facilitate this review, but they in no way affected the amazing time that we had and my honest opinions shared in this post.