Monday, October 31, 2011

Lands' End Fair Isle Button Hat & Gloves Review

Living in Connecticut we can have some pretty cold winters. Brutal even. Just this past weekend we had a HUGE snow storm and it is only October! To keep my family warm I like to buy quality outerwear that will last for multiple seasons. That's why I love Lands End products. I know with Lands' End that what I buy for myself and my husband will last us many many years. And the items I buy for my kids will also last and I'll be able to pass them down to the next child. This winter my toddler is wearing a Lands' End snowsuit that was previously worn by two of his brothers, and it still looks new!

"Lands’ End is committed to quality and designing Outerwear for the entire family that will last season after season. This year, the Lands’ End Outerwear collection features fashionable and functional down vests, coats, jackets and parkas, as well as stylish Luxe Wool coats and our famous Squall Jacket and Parka."

I was sent a set of Fair Isle Button Gloves and Hat from Lands' End. It is so rare that I actually get something for myself so I was excited to add these cute outerwear accessories to my wardrobe. Last week it was chilly enough for me to bundle up and wear these out on my date night to Starbuck's with my sister-in-law.

Modeling my hat and gloves at Starbuck's.
The material is so soft and is made of  a blend of 55% cotton, 25% nylon and 20% wool. When you see the word wool you may immediately think that equals itchy. I normally avoid wool apparel for this reason. However there is no wooly itch with either the hat or gloves. The hat fits nicely and came down over my ears to keep them warm. I didn't have a hood on my coat but you should easily be able to get a hood over this hat. It is not big and bulky at all.

I asked for a size medium in the Fair Isle Button Gloves which was a perfect fit for me. The gloves are extra long and come up past your wrist and onto your forearm. This gives you protection from that gap that often occurs between the sleeve of your coat and the beginning of your gloves. No chilly draft is going to make your wrists cold when you are wearing these gloves.

My favorite feature of both these items is the pattern. All of my coats and parkas are black, which can be a bit bland for the eye. I like the color and design of these because its gives some life to my otherwise boring outerwear attire. The buttons are a really cute touch that give them even more character. I am excited for the Lands' End parka that my mother is getting me fro Christmas to arrive so I can my wear my Fair Isle Button Gloves and Hat with it. And yes, the parka is black.

Fair Isle Button Hat retails for $29.50 and the Fair Isle Button Gloves retails for $39.50. The gloves are currently on sale for $27.65.

Please note that the opinions and views expressed in this review are my own and based on my personal experience with the product and/or company. I received free product to review.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Costumes: Pop Culture Favorites

In honor of Halloween coming up on Monday, I thought it would be fun to share this infographic with you. These are favorite pop culture Halloween costumes over the past five years. Normally our boys all dress up as Star Wars characters but this year we are going with Marvel characters. The little guy will be Spider-Man and the others will be The Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man and Thor!

What are your kids dressing up as for Halloween?



Green Giveaway Friday 10/28

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hoppin! Be sure to include the expiration date. Thanks!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays.

Green Mama's Pad (that's me!)
$20 Whole Foods GC 11/11
2 Tickets LEGO KidsFest 11/14

Being Alison
African Cats Blu-Ray DVD 10/31

Crunchy Beach Mama
Project Iris Clothing ~ Beautiful Shirt of choice 11/1
Farberware EcoFresh Food Storage 20 piece set 11/7
$20 Whole Foods GC 11/9

Family Focus Blog
Anne Marie Organic Skincare 11/1
Eco Dog Bed 11/3
$25 iTunes Gift Card 11/3
Fudge Gift Box 11/4
Handmade Kids Wings 11/7

Eco Chic Placemats 11/8

Just Another New Blog

My Sentiment ExactLee
Cascades Cardboard Furniture 10/29

Mommy Has To Work 
Painted Owl Organic T-Shirt 11/14

Penelope's Oasis
Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet 11/1

Small Steps On Our Journey
Clean + Green Product of Choice! 11/2
GreenSmart Bag 11/10
Seventh Generation Prize Pack 11/16

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Free Shipping at Abe's Market through 10/30

Now through Sunday, October 30, 2011 Abe's Market is offering free shipping on all orders. There is no minimum purchase required and no coupon code is needed. Just head on over to do your shopping and the free shipping will be automatically applied at check out.

395256_250x250 Abe's MarketAbe's Market is a natural marketplace that has everything for all of your natural and eco-friendly needs. No more bouncing around from site to site ordering all of your natural goodies. You can stock up on natural foods for your pantry, natural cleaners or natural goods for your home. This would be the perfect time to browse through their sale section which has a variety of products to choose from at great prices. Maybe start your holiday shopping this weekend and get your eco-friends something special from Abe's Market. You can even shop for your little fur baby.

I personally am in need of some natural hand soap for our bathrooms and with no minimum purchase I am definitely going to browse what they have.

Hurry, you have 3.5 days left to take advantage of this special offer! Happy shopping!

This post contains affiliate links.

Whole Foods Helps You Strengthen Your Immune System #Giveaway

It didn't take long for my children to bring home their first cold from school. And once someone brings a cold into this house, it quickly makes its rounds to all of us. That little cold germ must have felt like he hit the jackpot when he saw my family of 6. We have already gone through one common cold then quickly moved onto croup - which all four boys ended up getting. Then we had maybe a week of nothing and now it sounds like we are back to croup again.

This Fall, Whole Foods Market is helping you get your immune system in gear with there Whole Body Podcasts. This three part podcast series will give you the essentials you need for protecting yourself and your family from the cold and flu this season.

Understanding the Immune System for Winter Wellness
Ever wonder what the immune system is actually made of? Learn how the body responds to foreign invaders and tips for both internally and externally supporting winter wellness in this revealing encore presentation. Nancy Angelini is National Science Educator for Source Naturals and Planetary Herbals, with more than 15 years (and 1500 lectures!) in the natural products industry.

Homeopathy for Cold and Flu Season

Homeopathic remedies have a long history of use worldwide, but can they really help at this time of year? And are they okay to use with immune-supportive formulas? Tune in to this encore interview for the answers and some expert recommendations. Dr. Christophe Merville is the Director of Education and Pharmacy Development for Boiron USA.

Seasonal Wellness Shopping List
It’s the time of year that we need to take extra good care of our bodies and specifically the immune system. Join us in exploring herbs and nutrients available at Whole Foods Market that may offer support. Malia Curran, MS, MPH is a nutrition consultant, speaker, and mom of two young children.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sights at the Farm

We are lucky enough to have a farm right near us, less than a mile. We head there every fall for pumpkin picking, a hayride and to check out the animals.

A very pregnant goat, though it is hard to tell from the picture.

Every farm needs a windmill.

The Connecticut mountainside. Sadly, more and more of the leaves are falling.

Lost in the corn maze. The boys had a blast in here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SignUpGenius: Helping You Create Group Sign Up Lists

If you are a parent of a child that plays sports then you are most likely familiar with snack sign up lists. My boys play soccer in the fall through our town's parks and recreations and snack sign up is my least favorite part. Mainly because people are bringing junk like Cheetos and Capri Sun for kids to eat and drink and I won't let my kids consume such things. (Yes I am evil. Their bodies will thank me for it). But what is also frustrating is getting everyone to sign up for their week to bring snacks and then getting them to actually remember it. Last year my husband volunteered
as the coach which inevitably put me in charge of the list. I did manage to get everyone to sign up, but unfortunately on more than one occasion they either forgot snacks or were a no-show.

Whether you need to organize your team's snack list, put together a pot-luck dinner, maintain a volunteer sign-up sheet or many other types of lists, is the tool to help you get it done. SignUpGenius is a FREE online tool for creating and managing group sign up lists that allows users to customize sign ups to organize people, coordinate events or collect items. No more chasing after people with a pencil and paper begging them to sign up.

Getting started is pretty easy. You will need to create an account, as will anyone who will be adding their name to your list, but that takes just a minute to do. To create your sign up list, you are taken through a wizard where you will enter in all of the details like the name and description, dates and food/items to bring. You will also be able to choose from one of SignUpGenius's many themes to make your final list look pretty.

Soccer snack sign up example. I love that they put the bit about healthy snacks on there. Awesome!
Once you finish and save, you are given a unique link to your sign up that you can then email to invitees or publish on a separate website. The invitees just sign in to SignUpGenius and then indicate what it is they are bringing. One of my favorite features is that it sends automated email reminders in advance of a sign up date to each volunteer. Now you don't have to worry about people forgetting or making 20 phone calls the day before the event.

My husband is also a member of a fraternal organization in town and they often do potluck dinners or need members to volunteer to work an event. The problem that they run into time and time again is lack of organization and not having members sign up for certain tasks. This results in people not bringing enough food to the potlucks and no one helping out at the important events. Since all of the members have e-mail addresses, SignUpGenius could really help them get their events organized and running smoother.

Potluck Dinner sign up I created.
To test it out I created a Potluck Dinner sign up, which took me less than five minutes to put together. I emailed out the link and then signed up to bring a dish myself. Everything about this was simple and easy to use. Whether for your church group, sports team, volunteer organization, etc., SignUpGenius will help you to create fast, paperless sign up lists that everyone can easily use. This almost makes me want to tell  my husband to volunteer to be coach again next year, just so I can use this list to get everyone to participate in bring snacks for the kids. Almost.

Connect with SignUpGenius
Twitter: @SignUpGenius

I received a gift card in exchange for my honest thoughts about The gift card is not dependent on ether a positive or negative review. All views and opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Win 2 Tickets to LEGO KidsFest in Hartford, Connecticut

On December 2 - 4, 2011 LEGO KidsFest will be at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. My husband and I cannot wait for it - we are so excited to surprise our boys with a fun, LEGO filled day! I know you want to go and get in on all the fun, building action too. Just what kind of fun are we talking about? How about a Model Gallery where your favorite Television and movie characters are on display, completely made out of LEGO bricks? Or how about some hands-on, free-build, creative fun at the Construction Zones or Brick Pile? The tots can even have some fun at the DUPLO Area. No matter the age, there is a good time to be had by everyone!

I am so excited to tell you that I am giving away a pair of tickets for you to be a part of this fun, family event!

LEGO KidsFest is Coming to Connecticut!

A few weekends ago my husband and I were watching TV when we saw a commercial for LEGO KidsFest in Hartford, Connecticut. We looked at each other and knew we just had to bring our boys to this. My six year old is obsessed with Star Wars LEGO and the four year old twins are quickly following suit. They keep asking when they will be five so they can have the same kind of LEGOs has their big brother. When I tell you that my boys are going to flip out when we get there, I literally mean  they are going to flip out!

LEGO KidsFest: Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Convention Center
December 2 - 4, 2011

Of course immediately following that commercial I went to the website to see what the LEGO KidsFest is all about and what types of activities they will have going on. I cannot believe some of the cool things my kids will be able to do and get to see at this event.

LEGO Model Gallery

Do you see what I see? Yes, that's C3PO and R2-D2 in the background! The model gallery has plenty of  your favorite Television and movie characters on display. In fact there are 40 life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks. I know my guys will love to see those two droids - which characters would you and your kids love to see?

The DUPLO Build Area for the younger kids.
If you have a little one that  might not be ready for LEGO yet, they can head on over to the DUPLO Build Area for some creative fun! Here the younger kids can get in on the building action. Our little guy will be less then two weeks from turning two when KidsFest rolls around and I can picture him having a blast with the DUPLO blocks. While many times when we go places he has to sit back and watch his older brothers have all the fun. It's nice to see that there is something for all ages at LEGO KidsFest.

Creation Nation
Want to create a LEGO masterpiece that will become part of something special? At the Creation Nation area, visitors can build their own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S. You receive a 5" x 5" base plate to build your creation on and as the weekend progresses, the map gets filled up. Final pictures will be posted on the LEGO KidsFest website.

We have only just scratched the service of all the fun things to do at LEGO KidsFest! In addition to the super cool areas I listed above, you will also find:

• Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
• LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
• Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
• LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
• Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
• Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
• Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets
• LEGO Universe: become a custom LEGO Minifigure in this multiplayer online game
• And much more, covering over 150,000 square feet of space

I'm trying to guess which part our kids are going to liek the most. No question the Model Gallery is going to wow them. I figure we are going to visit every area and then they will probably want to spend a good amount of time at the Contrsuction Zones and Brick Pile. I envision them jumping into it like they do a pile of leaves!

We have not told the boys that we are going to this as we figure it will be a fun, pre-Christmas surprise for them. Of course the 45 minute drive of them all asking "where are we going" over and over again might make me rethink the whole surprise thing. But in the long run it is going to be well worth it.

Tickets & Sessions
LEGO KidsFest is broken into 5 sessions over a 3 day span. Session are as follows:

Friday, Decemeber 2
4 pm - 8:30pm

Saturday, December 3
Session I: 9 am - 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm - 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 4
Session I: 9 am - 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm - 7:30 pm

Tickets may be purchased online. Children under 2 are free. Children ages 3-17 as well as seniors 65+ are $18. All other adults are $20. Or if you are feeling lucky, head on over to my LEGO KidsFest Giveaway and enter for a chance to win two tickets!

Connect with LEGO KidsFest on Facebook:

I received media tickets for LEGO KidsFest. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, October 21, 2011

eBooks: The Greener Choice Infographic

There is some debate over whether or not eReaders and eBooks are more eco-friendly than traditional print books. Critics say that while they cut down on paper consumption, they do create electronic waste plus the environmental impacts of making the eReaders. This infographic shows how eBooks are a greener choice. I myself pre-ordered a Kindle Touch just a few weeks ago, using all of my Amazon gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks, and I am looking forward to reading on it!

What do you think? Are eBooks green?


7 Fun Mother Nature Halloween Costumes

It has been years since I have dressed up for Halloween. The last time I wore a costume was probably before I was married when I dressed as Padme Amidala from Star Wars Episode 2. (Yes, I am a dork). For some reason this morning I got the itch to search for eco themed costume ideas and that is when I started seeing some great Mother Nature costumes. Most of these are handmade and are really quite pretty.

Mother Nature Costume at StarCostumes.comt

Is it weird that I like this dress so much that I actually want to buy it so I can wear it whenever I want?

Handmade with amazing details.

A handmade maternity Mother Nature costume but could be just as pretty for a non-pregnant woman.

I love the Autumn colors and the leaves painted on her skin. Very cool!

Source: via Marianna on Pinterest

Apparently pregnant ladies like to dress as Mother Nature - who knew? I like the simplicity of this one.

Not as intricate as some of the others but it looks easy enough to do for a sewing and craft challenged person like myself. Plus I do like the butterflies.

I love this compilation from It would make for a very sexy Mother Nature!

What have you dressed as for Halloween in the past? Do you have a favorite?

Halloween Costumes at Wholesale Prices 365 Days a Year

Green Giveaway Friday 10/21

We've had a few windy days in a row this week and so many of the beautifully colored leaves have fallen from the trees. I love the colors of Autumn, but once they are gone that means Winter and snow are on the way. I don't like either of those. Are the leaves changing where you live?

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hoppin! Be sure to include the expiration date. Thanks!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays.

Green Mama's Pad (that's me!)
EcoFresh Food Storage 10/21
Fair Trade Gift Bag 10/22

Being Alison
$50 Amazon Gift Card - 10/24
$50 Target Gift Card - 10/25 
$50 Paypal - 10/26
African Cats Blu-Ray DVD 10/31

Crunchy Beach Mama
$20 Goat Milk Stuff  10/24
$25 Lost River Naturals ~ Herbal Organics 10/25
Hugo Naturals ~ Bath Salts & Bath Bomb 10/26
Beauty Without Cruelty ~ Natural Liquid MakeUp & Nail Color 10/27

Family Focus Blog
$50 GC Baby Organics 10/25
Anne Marie Organic Skincare 11/1
Eco Dog Bed 11/3
$25 iTunes Gift Card 11/3
Fudge Gift Box 11/4
Handmade Kids Wings 11/7

Just Another New Blog
Kidfresh Meals 10/24
Simple Green Lemon Scent All-Purpose Cleaner 10/25

My Sentiment ExactLee
Cascades Cardboard Furniture 10/29

Penelope's Oasis
Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet 11/1

Small Steps On Our Journey
Emelmahae Soap Company 10/21
Clean + Green Product of Choice! US 11/2
GreenSmart Bag 11/10

Titus 2 Homemaker
Tropical Traditions 10/27

Thursday, October 20, 2011

About Me Vlog Hop #1

Today I am participating in the About Me Vlog Hop, where bloggers answer three questions about themselves. Thank you Jenny from My Little Me for hosting!

I was so nervous recording my first vlog, but I survived and I think I did OK. If you want to participate all you have to do is record yourself answering the questions, upload it, post it and then link up!

The Questions

1. Show me three things that follow you around all day.

2. Do you have any local annual festivals? If so, describe what it's about and whether you like to visit it each year.

3. Do you have a craft/hobby you enjoy? If so (and you can) show me an example.

Link up your About Me Vlog here!

Captain America Costume Review from

Can you believe that Halloween is less than two weeks away?! With four children to get costumes for every year, well it can be a little scary. There have been plenty of years where my boys have used hand-me-downs either from their older brother or from older cousins. This year, however, we needed three new costumes. Every year we do a theme with our boys. Last year, and pretty much ever year before that, they were all Star Wars characters. This year we decided that since they love Marvel super heroes so much and we already had masks and helmets, that they would each be a Marvel comic book character. My oldest decided to be Captain America, the twins wanted to be Thor and Iron Man and the toddler is going to be Spider-Man (hand-me-down).

WholesaleHalloweenCostumes has a wide selection of costumes for everyone in your family. I was particularly impressed with the various kids costumes they had in stock. We were sent the "Boys Classic Muscle Captain America Movie Costume" to review for my six year old. This was our first time ever using the costumes with muscles so I couldn't wait to see how he cute he looked. While I waited for that to arrive, I headed to buy local party store to look for costumes for the twins. While there I noticed that the prices were about $10 MORE than the prices on Wholesale Halloween Costumes. That is a pretty significant difference, especially when shopping for multiple kids. I grabbed an Iron Man costume but then decided to go back home and order the Thor costume from I placed my order late on a Friday afternoon, October 7, and paid for expedited shipping. Once my order was placed it said the costume would arrive guaranteed on October 11. Their shipping is awesome and fast! I can't tell you how surprised I was when it arrived a day early on October 11 which was also Columbus Day.

The Captain America costume comes with a jumpsuit with muscles in torso and arms, attached boot tops and a character hood. The shield is sold separately but luckily we already had one. My son loves this costume! I ordered him the Medium which fits boys size 7 - 8. I was a little nervous about the sizing as he currently is at a stage where 6 is either too small or just good enough and 7 is too big. So I was worried that this costume was going to be huge on him. Thankfully it fits great. The length of the torso is perfect and the legs are only a little long, which is good because that means he can use it for dress up for a while. I really like the muscles as they are subtle and look so cute. He put this on within minutes of the UPS man dropping it off and he was walking around flexing and telling me to look at his muscles.

Posing in his costume.
He has since asked me to wear this every day when he gets home from school. So once he finishes his homework he puts this on and runs around the house with his brothers. We also dressed the boys up and brought them down to New York Comic Con recently and he had a blast showing himself off. Countless people stopped to take pictures of my little Avengers. You can also see the Thor costume I ordered from in the Comic Con photo (hammer not included).

Avengers Assemble!
I was so very pleased with both my review and shopping experience. The quality of the costumes is wonderful and with the lower prices and reasonable fast shipping, is definitely a site I recommend for your costume shopping.

Please note that the opinions and views expressed in this review are my own and based on my personal experience with the product and/or company. I received free product to review.

Halloween Costumes at Wholesale Prices 365 Days a Year

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: New York Comic Con 2011

On Sunday we headed down to the New York Comic Con for the second year in a row. My niece dressed as Wonder Woman and my boys dressed as some of The Avengers: Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. And of course there is my hubby as Green Lantern. It was a fun day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Abe's Market Covers All Your Natural Shopping Needs

When I have to do some shopping for natural products, I usually end up having to hit multiple online stores. One for personal care and beauty items another for cleaning supplies and so on. It would be awesome and a big time saver if there was a store that covered all of those needs for us eco shoppers. This is where Abe's Market comes to the rescue!

395256_300x250 Abe's Market

Abe’s Market is the online marketplace for great natural products. We connect buyers seeking amazing natural products with the people who make them. There’s no need to prowl the Internet for a broader natural product selection than can be found at your local natural market. At Abe’s Market, you can get all your natural product buying done in one place.

This is what I like to call a "one stop eco shop" because they have such a broad range of natural products ranging from food to toys. What is really nice is that each product description gives you a brief background on the brand/company. You can click through for more information about the company, why making natural products is important to them, any cause they support or are involved in and even a Q & A. There is also a cool social feature of shopping at Abe's Market. You will see there is a share it price on the product page. If you share items via email to three or more people then Abe's Market gives you 10% off your entire order.
Eco-Me Home Box Set - $21.95
(All Purpose Spray, Wood Polish, Scrub Cleanser)

If you often shop for natural, organic or eco-friendly products online then you definitely need to visit Abe's Market and take a look around. You can pick up everything you need in one easy order.

Abe's Market offers free shipping on all orders over $49. All orders under $49 ship at a flat rate of $3.99.  

Connect with Abe's Market

This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

395256_468x60 Abe's Market

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