Gifts for the Active Men in Your Life #GiftGuide

If you are anything like us, you want to be active and outside as much as possible. Colder weather complicates things, but not to worry. You can get outdoors and enjoy your vitamin D year round, just bundle up a bit. Check out these functional and eco friendly cool-weather options we are loving right now- they would be perfect for the active men in your life this holiday season.

eco friendly clothing

Stopping off at Trader Joe’s on the way home- active wear that is great as any wear

The perfect slip on shoe for indoors or out, the Original Stegmann is not only comfortable, but also functional. They are great for camping, running errands, and everything in between. They have fantastic arch and toe support, so if you have aching feet, issues like Plantar Fasciitis, or a bad back, these might be worth considering. They have free shipping and exchanges, so nothing to lose. Made with a Tyrolian & Merino wool blend into a single piece, it is then paired with an anatomically contoured cork sole that is balanced for both arch and metatarsal support. These shoes have a gentle slope which helps reduce ankle and back pain as well. These shoes as a whole are designed for comfort, so if that’s your thing- and honestly, whose isn’t- check them out at . Prices vary.

A brand we have really fallen in love with over here is Mountain Khakis. Not only are the products soft and durable, but the environmentally friendly fabrics and practices have completely won us over.  Take for example the Rainmaker Jacket. It’s all sorts of wet-proof (rain, snow, mud, etc), and it’s strechy as well. It’s also warmer then some raincoats, without being swelteringly-sticky-hot like so many can be. A nice medium-to lightweight, and easily layered. It has a removable hood, with welded seams and snap-closed patch pockets.  It has a relaxed fit and hits about the hip area. Best part? The eco-friendliness of this jacket. Polyurethane is a greener alternative to the traditional raincoat’s vinyl. It’s also more durable and is better for the environment in long term care and use. Polyurethane does not require the chemicals used to soften vinyl in the manufacturing process, and is eventually biodegradable, where as PVC (vinyl) never breaks down, and is usually incinerated.  This leaches toxins into landfills and emits carcinogenic dioxin into the air. Any reason to choose PVC over PU? Not in my book. Check out for your jacket, available in several colors, for $139.

Your new go-to sweatshirt will be the Poker Flats Pullover, which is soft and cuddly, perfect for chilly nights.  Named for the inspiring Teton National Park, this namesake sweatshirt is also inspiring. With it’s certified recycled fleece (which is made using sustainable REPREVE® technology) fabric, each garment reuses about 25 plastic bottles in it’s creation. Half zip, relaxed fit  with a high collar that can be folded down, it also has a snap chest pocket and thumb thumb loops. It comes in two shades- one is several shades of blues and greens, the other is a deep red with shades of grey. Get yours at for $85

The Old Faithful Pants are just that. The most comfortable winter all-around pants we’ve found in ages, we find ourselves living in these. As in, I’ve had to peel them off my partner to wash them, he doesn’t want to part with them that long (like when you have to wrestle that dress or much loved t-shirt off your toddler, and you need to promise to put it right into the wash, they can have it right back- promise!) I jest, but not much. Known also as the “campfire pant”, these  pants are made with recycled sweaters. They are both sweatpants and pants, with a drawstring waistband as well as a zippered fly. Yes, multiple pockets. The ribbed waistband and cuffs at the ankles keep the pants where you want them, and comfortably so. (Are you seeing that the themes here are comfort and function? Because seriously so.) Thicker then most sweatpants, but not sweaty-thick- just warm. The legs are slim fit, which surprised and weirded us out for a hot second, but only about one. Got used to them in no time, and they have become, as mentioned, our very favorites. These come in “oatmeal and black”, but seem really more like light grey and dark grey to the novice eye. $90 at

Must Have Toy – Lunar Rover from GeoSmart

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and honest.

My daughters absolutely love hands on playing. They love to build and create things, so I knew that the Lunar Rover from Geosmart would be a great hit for my girls.

Magnetism is a force that pulls or pushes. Youngsters are naturally attracted to magnetic construction sets for the simple pleasure of problem solving. The benefits of this delightful play are unlimited: creative thinking, pattern recognition, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, decision making and even social abilities. Playing with these great blocks uses all the elements of STEM basics – science, technology, engineering and math principles.

About Smart Toys and Games, Inc.

Smart Toys and Games products develop logical thinking and problem solving skills in all ages through fun, challenging play. Each multi-level game from the SmartGames line is designed to move players through carefully sequenced levels of game play. Fun, durable, and compact, SmartGames are perfect for travel. Their construction sets allow children to explore the world of magnetism in a safe and creative way through making strong building structures and vehicles. Check out more about GeoSmart here.

About Lunar Rover:

Explore new horizons with the Lunar Rover. This 30-piece magnetic construction set features 5 different geometric shapes and wheels. Amaze yourself and your friends in building, then watching your roger go! The enclosed wheels bring movement to each construction.

  • 9 squares
  • 1 rectangle
  • 8 triangles
  • 4 diamonds
  • 2 trapezoids
  • 4 wheels
  • 2 wheel boxes

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love this set. My daughters love to build things. My middle child I really think might be a builder one day. I am always amazed by the creations that she comes up with. There are times that her creations are completely symmetrical (she’s only 4), and amaze me. Since we opened the box of the GeoSmart Lunar Rover, not a single day has gone by that my girls have not created something. My middle child even has to take a picture of each of her creations so that she has something to look at and do again if she wants to. The mom and the teacher in me finds it incredibly important for children to use their imaginations. I hate to see all the kids that have so much screen time today. I know that growing up we didn’t have a great deal of screen time—we played with each other and I love having products that help my children continue to work on their imagination. We will definitely be adding to our GeoSmart Collection. (We have other magnetic blocks and these are by far way better than the others that we have tried).


If you are interested in purchasing any of these awesome construction sets, head on over to Amazon and get yours ordered today!


Skylanders Black Friday Deals

black friday

If your children love Skylanders, you are going to want to know about these deals.

Black Friday Deals

  • Starter packs at $39.99 at all major retailers
  • Senseis at $9.99 at all major retailers
  • Portal Owners Pack at $25 at WalMart
    • Owners of Skylanders SuperChargers, Skylanders Trap Team, Skylanders Swap Force or Skylanders Giants do not have to buy the Skylanders Imaginators starter pack and can get the Portal Owners pack instead and use the portal from the other games!
    • Included in the Portal Owners Starter Pack:
      • Skylanders Imaginators Video Game
      • 2 Skylanders Sensei Figures –  Master King Pen and Golden Queen
      • 1 Imaginite Creation Crystal – Fire Creation Crystal
      • 1 Sticker Sheet
      • Collection Poster featuring the complete set of Skylanders Imaginator Figures


Kidz Bop 30 – Great CD for Kids

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own and honest.  Please see “I disclose” for more information.
Kidz bop

As you all know by now if you are repeating readers of the blog, I am a huge fan of Kidz Bop. I have two daughters who are always listening to music and I teach 3rd grade so finding music that kids like is completely important to me. Not only finding music for kids, but also music that is enjoyable for adults to listen to as well.

About Kidz Bop:

Kidz Bop records kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest pop music hits. They release two major numbered albums each year. They also release a themed album in the spring.

Who sings on the Kidz Bop albums?

The Kidz Bop kids sing on the kidz bop albums. For four consecutive years (2010-2013), Billboard magazine has named the Kidz Bop Kids the “#1 Kids Artists” in the U.S. !

Who are the Kidz Bop Kids and how does Kidz Bop cast the group?

Meet the new Kidz Bop kids – Ashlynn, Bredia, Grant, Jayna, and Matt! Kidz Bop recently held a nationwide casting call to find a new group of talented young performers to sing on the Kidz Bop albums, star in TV commercials & music videos and travel North America as part of the Kidz Bop Kids live tour. Thousands of kids across the country try out and only 5 are picked.

The Kidz Bop Kids perform more than 25 live shows each year.

About Kidz Bop 30:

  1. Bad Blood
  2. Hey Mama
  3. Cheerleader
  4. Worth It
  5. Fight Song
  6. Where are U Now
  7. Somebody
  8. Lean On
  9. Uma Thurman
  10. You Know You Like It
  11. Photograph
  12. I Don’t Like It, I Love It
  13. Elastic Heart
  14. Watch Me
  15. Make Some Noise

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love Kidz Bop CD’s. I think that they are a must for parents of kids. My girls love to listen to music and love to sing along with it. I love that the music is great and that they are enjoyable for adults to listen to as well. We take lots of trips in the car and are always jammin to one of our Kidz Bop CDs.

As a teacher, during art, brain breaks, and holiday parties I am always playing the Kidz Bop cds. The students love to listen to popular music that is school and age appropriate.

I will continue to buy these cds for many years, as well as recommend them to everyone I know because I absolutely love them.


If you are interested in purchasing this awesome CD, head on over to their website and get it today.

Tiggly Shapes are Great Educational Toys

Disclosure: The Tiggly Shapes mentioned below were provided for me in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information

My daugthers are at that age where they love to learn new things and explore the world around them. they were huge fans of the Tiggly Counts that we had used before that I was so excited to let them try out the Shapes as well.  

About Tiggly Shapes

These wonderful toys interact with 3 Free iPad apps – to enhance shape recognition and creativity!

Your child can now use the geometric shapes with the apps to help make their imaginations come alive.

These great educational toys help work on Shape Recognition, Creative Development, and Storytelling.

In addition to all of that, they help to Develop fine motor skills, spur creativity, and enhance spatial reasoning.

[Read more…]

Sparkup Reader–Outstanding Toy for Kids

Disclosure: The SparkUp Reader mentioned below were provided for me in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

I absolutely love reading to my children. Occasionally I am gone at bedtime or have to be out of town. I always want to still be able to read with my children as they are going to bed. I know that it isn’t always possible, but it would be great if it was. SparkUp Reader has made it possible to read a variety of books to your child at anytime.

About SparkUp Reader:

Sparkup is a privately-held company based in Israel. It is managed by young parents who understand first-hand the challenges facing children’s reading and playtime experiences in a digital era. The investors and management team are passionate abou enhancing the lives of children and their families.


The SparkUp Magical Book Reader is a revolutionary devices that clips directly on to any picture book and reads it aloud in your voice. You can record the book yourself, in any language, and add your own personal touches, or download professionally recorded stories, complete with sound effects, directly from the Sparkup website. While recording, Sparkup’s tiny camera takes a picture of the book’s front cover and each page. later on, when a child connects Sparkup to the book, Sparkup immediately recognizes its front cover. Sparkup follows the child’s place and reads aloud as he or she turns the pages – even out of order.

[Read more…]

Mystixx Vampire Doll Review

This is Kalani! She is a doll that transforms from a vampire into a school girl just by turning her head! In addition to Kalani, there are also 3 other dolls that you can get: Talin, Silva, or Azra.

All of the dolls have different personalities that focus on characteristics, like confidence, compassion, competiveness, and intelligence. The storyline says that the girls are all from different backgrounds, and they have recently started going to a new school together.

I received Kalani. Although my daughter is a little young for the vampires and such, she thought that it was pretty cool that the [Read more…]

2 Red Hens Toy Nanny Review #GiftGuide

When you have a baby, you know that you always have items that you have to bring along. And, if you’re like me, you also have to bring your own blanket or playmat, so they have something to play on, and aren’t on someone’s ‘dirty’ floor or what not. I was lucky enough to be able to review the Toy Nanny, a bag to carry everything in, as well as the playmat you need for your baby to play on!

About the Toy Nanny:

The most ingenious creation to hit the baby world since disposable diapers! This cozy floor blanket quickly and easily cinches up into a smart toy tote for on-the-go moms. Transporting toys from grandma’s, to play dates, to the back yard has never been easier.


  • 8 mesh pockets
  • Soft, velour interior
  • Water resistant backing
  • Machine Washable
  • Converts into a tote
~It is available in 5 vintage-inspired patterns: Chevron Stripes, Grey Damask, Peacock Mum, Pink Lemonade, and Owl Dots
****The Toy Nanny has been so popular, that it recently was even [Read more…]