Thursday, May 30, 2013

Green Giveaway Friday 5/31

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! 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.

Family Focus Blog
Contigo Water Bottle or Travel Mug 6/6
Teres Kids Organic Clothing $75 Gift Card 6/11
Juil Grounding Shoes 6/17

Leslie Loves Veggies
Painted Earth Cosmetics Gift Package 6/10

Oh My Veggies
Natural Vitality $50 Gift Card 5/31

Simpy Stacie
Suzie Sirloin Organic Beef 6/7

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for Crystal Mickey Now Available on Disney DVD

I was sent a review copy of this DVD. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Not many television shows can hold my children's interest for long, but Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is one of them.Since we only have basic cable at our home, being able to watch this show is a treat for them when they visit Grammy's house. I knew my boys would enjoy watching this, but I never anticipated how obsessed my three year old would become with it. We have had it for a couple of weeks now and he literally requests to watch it every. single. day. The little guy is a man of few words, but he sure can say "Crystal Mickey?" loud and clear.

Join Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and all their pals in the newest Clubhouse crusade. When the legendary Crystal Mickey goes missing, Mickey and friends go on an adventure to save the Clubhouse from losing its magic. Grab your hat, buckle your seatbelt, and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure in “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Quest for the Crystal Mickey!”

There’s no time to lose after greedy Plunderin’ Pete snatches the legendary Crystal Mickey statue from the Clubhouse. Without this sparkly statue’s magic, the Clubhouse will disappear forever! Can the world’s most extraordinary hero "Kansas City Mickey," get the magical statue back in time? Only with help from young viewers at home…and the right Mouseketools can Mickey journey across the Sandy Desert, brave the Rushing River and make his way through the Hidden Jungle. But watch out for Pete’s trickiest traps!

The first episode on this DVD is The Quest for Crystal Mickey which is a fun adventure which has an Indiana Jones aspect to it that both the kids and I enjoyed. And it happens to be their favorite one. There are four additional episodes (Donald of the Desert, Donald the Genie, Goofy’s Coconutty Monkey and Goofy’s Giant Adventure) which gives this DVD more than two hours of Mickey Mouse fun! I was thrilled that not only did it hold the attention of my toddler, but the six and eight year old boys as well. If your child enjoys Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, this is definitely a title that you want to add to your Disney DVD library.

For even more fun with Mickey and the Clubhouse gang, click on the image below to download and print out The Quest for Crystal mickey free activity sheets.

Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;

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. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. I received free product to review.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Green Giveaway Friday 5/24

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! 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.

Crunchy Beach Mama
$50 Amazon Giveaway Event 5/27
All Natural ips Snacks 5/28
SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed Snacks 5/29

Family Focus Blog
Contigo Water Bottle or Travel Mug 6/6
Teres Kids Organic Clothing $75 Gift Card 6/11
Juil Grounding Shoes 6/17

Leslie Loves Veggies
Keurig Vue V500 Brewer & Fair Trade Certified Nantucket Blend Iced Vue Pack Coffee 5/30
Painted Earth Cosmetics Gift Package 6/10

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Official Film Poster

There are still six months left until the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in theaters and it feels like that is an eternity away. I absolutely loved these books, which I read on my flights to and from San Fransisco last year. And I really enjoyed the first movie, which my sister in law continues to hold hostage from me. (I need my Blu-ray back girlie!) This past week, the first official film poster for Catching Fire was debuted, which got me even more excited for this movie. The Hunger Games: Catching Fires opens November 22, 2013 and I am already attempting to plan out my trip to a midnight showing. Who else can't wait?

Movie Synopsis
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

Get Creative!
Now fans of The Hunger Games can design and illustrate the first chapter of Catching Fire for the chance to see their work featured on The Hunger Games Facebook page! You can use photos, drawings, GIFS and video to create a great experience inspired by the book. For details visit

Get Social
Official Facebook Page:
Official Twitter Page:
Official Google+ Page:
Official Pinterest Page:
Official Hunger Games Explorer Site:
Capitol Couture Instagram:
The Hunger Games Instagram: 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy 10 Year Anniversary

To us! It is kind of amazing that ten years ago today I was marrying my husband. On one hand it feels like it was just yesterday, while on the other it feels like it was forever ago. I quickly scanned photobucket to see f I had and wedding photos I could share here and luckily I found a few.

It is somewhat depressing looking at my much thinner self before four kids utterly destroyed my body. One of these days I'll get back down to that weight... or at least pretty close.

Our wedding ceremony took place outside, overlooking a lake in Western Connecticut. The day started off with some overcast, but we were lucky it turned into a perfect, sunny day.

Cheers to our first 10 years together and here's to many more yet to come!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Green Giveaway Friday 5/17

Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some giveaway hopping! 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.

Crunchy Beach Mama
$5 to Starbucks ~ 2 Winners! 5/20
All Natural ips Snacks 5/28
SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed Snacks 5/29

Leslie Loves Veggies
Chi Bar Organic Energy Bars 5/19
Keurig Vue V500 Brewer & Fair Trade Certified Nantucket Blend Iced Vue Pack Coffee 5/30
Painted Earth Cosmetics Gift Package 6/10

Whole Foods Market Opens in Danbury On May 17

Back in March 2011, I was thrilled to announce that a Whole Foods Market was coming to Danbury, CT. And for the past two years since then I have anxiously awaited for it to actually happen. Finally, the grand opening is almost here! This Friday, May 17, 2013 the brand new Danbury Whole Foods Market will be opening its doors.

The other day I had the privilege of attending a media preview tour of the store. I was honestly giddy with excitement about being able to get a sneak peak and actually being there I felt like a kid in a candy store. All around me I was surrounded by natural foods that are free of chemicals and artificial ingredients and it was just plain awesome. Since this was my fist time ever stepping foot inside of a Whole Foods, I wanted to share some of the areas that excited me the most.

When you first enter Danbury Whole Foods, you will be face to face with the produce department. Here you will find fruits and vegetables from local Connecticut farms as well as regionally local farms in New York and New Jersey. To the right of the produce is the bulk foods area which I cannot wait to dive into. This section is great if you are trying a new recipe and only need a little bit of an ingredient that you don't normally use. It also has the peanut grinder where you can grind your own peanut butter. I'm not sure what it says about me that something like grinding peanut butter makes me super excited, but I can't wait to give it a go.

Over in the meat and poultry department, I learned about the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating.
"All beef, chicken, pork and turkey in our fresh meat cases must come from producers who have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating."

Alright so I am a mom of four very picky little boys. So yes, when I saw that part of the grand opening sale was 12oz packages of chicken nuggets and tenders for just $3.49, I had to snap a picture. I foresee me dumping a bunch of these in my shopping cart this weekend. And I know other moms out there would be equally excited for this deal. Just don't elbow me for the last box please.

We took a quick peek into the grocery aisles and as you can see they are jam packed with yummy goodness. If you are shopping at Whole Foods Market, you are obviously conscious of what you are putting into your body and probably an avid label reader. Whole Foods is making that a little easier for us by labeling non-GMO products from their private label line.

Yes, another grinder caught my attention. This time it is the coffee grinder. I love the smell of freshly ground coffee... possibly more than I actually like the taste of coffee. I normally go for flavored coffees, and it is impossible to find any without artificial flavoring in conventional grocery stores. So I am anxious to shop Whole Food's selection of coffees and get to grinding.

Now I am not a huge beer drinker, but I thought that these shelves of every type of beer imaginable, many local, was pretty darn cool. And I may have drooled just a little bit. This is only a fraction of what was there, it actually wrapped around the corner. And you will notice that these are individual bottles of beer so that if you want to try something new, you only have to buy one bottle. I do enjoy trying local beers so I definitely see a sampling in my future.

The specialty area and counter was filled with some delicious looking cheeses. My husband is a big cheese and crackers snacker so we'll have to pick up some fresh cheese from here. I also thought it was cool that the wood that you see in the signs and those hooks on the wall behind the counter are all re-purposed. For Whole Foods Market, it is not only important that they provide customers with the best, natural food but they try to make their entire operation as sustainable as possible.

Those of you familiar with the Danbury area will know that this new Whole Foods Market is where the old Marcus Dairy and Dairy Bar Restaurant used to be. In honor of that, they added a "Burgers & Shakes Bar" where you can grab yourself a delicious, fresh burger after a day of shopping. And the prices are very affordable with a grass-fed beef burger or cheeseburger starting at only $4. I am already trying to make plans for when my sister-in-law and I can go their to shop and eat. And just down a little ways from here is the Coffee Bar. Sigh. I am going to have to add some extra time in at the gym for all the calories I am going to be consuming here.

The grand opening of the Whole Foods Market Danbury start at 9:00 AM on Friday, May 17, 2013. 5% of the day’s sales will be donated to the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. The first 350 customers will get one free pound of chicken and one free pound of shrimp. Now I am told that the turn out is expected to be pretty big, with customers lining up outside as early as 8:00 AM. So if you want to get it on these freebies, get there early. I will most likely be waiting till after the initial craze of the weekend so I can shop leisurely and enjoy a juicy burger and milk shake when I'm done.

To stay on top of special one day sales, be sure to follow @WFMDanbury on Twitter and Whole Foods Market Danbury on Facebook. To check out the current sale flyer, visit

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Awesomeness That is Home Automation

When I was at Ford last month, we had some discussions about using mobile devices to monitor your electric car efficiency, battery life and even just turning it on and off. Or using your smartphone to control various aspects of your house. This is why I love technology so much. Yes I kind of have a slight gadget obsession, but it's not just the gadgets that I enjoy. Technology keeps getting better and giving us the ability to do Jetson type of cool stuff like home automation. What is home automation?  Home automation gives you automatic and remote access to devices in your home. Just how cool would it be to dim your lights from your mobile device? Adjust the heating temperature before you get out of bed because there is nothing worse than climbing out from your warm bed into frigid air. No thank you.

Home automation not only provides convenient ways to do and monitor things around your home, it also helps with energy efficiency and home security. Nowadays with home security systems like Vivint, you get security, efficiency and automation all rolled into one package. You get the security items you would expect like window and door sensors and motion detectors but then you also get a smart thermostat, lamp and appliance controls and more. It is so very cool and I want it. But I suspect that I might need a more updated house first. I don't even have central air conditioning, which stinks since as I type this at 11:45 PM the "feels like" temperature in my area of Connecticut is 85 degrees. Although I suppose I might be able to use the appliance control feature to turn on each of the window units throughout the house. That can certainly be a pain. But someday when I do get central a/c, and I promise you I will if it is the last thing I do, I want a smart thermostat with home automation to help me control it and everything else. Mainly for energy saving purposes since we all know how being "green" is important to me. But also because it is just pretty cool.

This post has been brought to you by Vivint.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Shop, Play and Learn at Microsoft Stores - $100 Gift Card #Giveaway #GoMicrosoft

This is a sponsored post by Microsoft and The Motherhood. All thoughts an opinions are my own.

So I happen to be a little bit of a technology / gadget junkie. I love playing with and learning about new tech items and I have a nice little collection which drives my husband crazy. Now while I have heard of the Microsoft Stores opening up, I never had the chance to walk into one until recently. And let me tell you that walking into that store last week was like walking into tech lovers heaven. Phones, tablets, video games... you name it and it was there at your fingertips ready for you to test out.

Microsoft Store at Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Connecticut

I recently had the opportunity to visit my local Microsoft Store in Danbury, Connecticut to get a feel for what the store is about. Right near the front of the store (just out of my camera view) is an Xbox 360 setup where you can play some of the popular video games. Not sure if that game that just came out is for you? Well this is the place where you can go to give it a test run before buying it. An employee is there to greet and assist you when you walk in. They can give you step by step help if you need it or in my case when I said I just wanted to browse and play, they gave me the space I prefer. (I am not a fan of hovering sales people, so that was very ince). And when I did have a question, they were easily accessible to help me out.

The store was bright with lots of room to move around for when it gets crowded. Being that I love mobile technology, I made a beeline for the Windows Phones and the Surface tablets. I had never had a chance to see either yet so I enjoyed being able to use those for a bit. I love that the Surface comes with that soft keyboard - very cool!

After my three year old and I spent some time at the Microsoft Store, we started making our way out to head home. Somehow I did not notice this before we entered the store, but across from the entrance to the store, in the walking area of the mall, is another Xbox 360 area for mall patrons to have a little fun. I thought that was a pretty brilliant idea. The next time I have to drag my husband and kids shopping with me, I am totally sending them here so I can shop in peace!

The Microsoft store is so much more than being able to test out and purchase the latest products from Microsoft. The stores also offer:
  • Answer Desk - Answer Techs provide ]technical support and protection and even performance tune-ups for your Microsoft product.
  • Personal training and workshops - Train with experts either one-on-one or in a group.
  • Community Events - Camps for kids and gaming events. Check local store for schedule.
Oh and the best part about those three items I listed above? They are all FREE! With school getting out in just a little over a month (gah!), I will need to find ways to keep the boys busy while keeping myself sane. I really love the idea of them taking techie classes at the Microsoft Store and I plan on signing them up soon. There are Tech Tots Camp for kids ages 2 to 5 and Youth Spark Summer Camp for kids ages 8 to 13. Find your local Microsoft Store to check out their camp schedule and then stop by to experience the fun of this store for yourself!

Twitter Party!
When: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM EST.
Hashtag: #GoMicrosoft
Prizes: Five winners who answer trivia questions during the party will receive $25 Microsoft retail store gift cards, and one grand prize winner will be chosen for a $500 Microsoft retail store gift card!

Connect with the Microsoft Store
Twitter: @microsoftstore

One (1) person will win a $100 Microsoft Stores gift card. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keurig OfficePRO Single-Cup Commercial Coffee Brewer Review

Coffee. A parent's best friend. When your kids keep you up all night or wake you up at 5:30 in the morning, it may be the only thing to help you keep your eyes open. Or just keep you somewhat sane. My husband and I are both coffee drinkers, but he likes his strong and I like mine flavored and often decaf. So since we both drink coffee completely different, brewing an entire post is just out of the questions. That's why Keurig Single-Cup coffee brewers are the perfect solution for us.

Staples has several commercial grade Keurig brewers including the OfficePRO Brewing System. This single-serve system is the perfect size for a small office, allowing everyone to brew their favorite kind of coffee or tea.

• Brews 3 cup sizes (6 oz., 8 oz. and 10 oz.)
• Removable 48 oz. water reservoir
• Auto-off turns brewer off after 2 hours
• Heavy gauge materials for high volume use
• Travel mug friendly
• Removable Drip tray
• Drainable internal hot water tank

What I love the most about Keurig brewers, besides the fact that I can make one cup of coffee, is that they are so easy to use. Turn on, insert cup, brew. Yes, it is that easy. Since this is a commercial brewer, there are some differences from the personal use brewers. For starters, it is made more durable to withstand the high usage that comes with an office setting. Commercial brewers tend to brew up to 10 times more coffee than a home brewer, so it is important that it can handle it. You also have the ability to drain the internal water tank (not the reservoir) which is nice to be able to do if the office is going to be close for a long holiday weekend. I actually wish the home brewers had that feature too.

The Keurig OfficePRO has a dial that lets you easily choose which size cup of coffee you would like to brew and indicator lights to let you know when you need to add more water or when it is time to descale your brewer. The removable drip tray not only helps you easily keep the brewer clean, but it also allows extra room for you to fit your travel mug.

In addition to Keurig brewing systems, Staples also carries pretty much any K-Cup you can imagine. We have used a variety of K-Cups over the years so this time around I thought I would go with something different. Since we are entering the warmer months, I decided to try out some of the "brew over ice" K-Cup options. I've never used these before so I was curious how they would taste. My favorite I think was the Green Mountain French Vanilla Iced Coffee. I love iced coffee in the summertime so this is going to be a delicious way to start my days. And with 4 kids home from school for 2 months, believe me I will need it. My least favorite however was the Peach Snapple Iced Tea. I love Peach Snapple so I couldn't wait to give this a try. But as soon as I tasted it I knew  something was off for me. A quick glance at the ingredients showed that it contains aspartame, which I find odd since this is not the diet version. So I was disappointed with that particular K-Cup, but very happy with everything else.

Shop for Keurig commercial brewers and K-Cups at

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. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. provided me with these products for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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