Monday, November 10, 2008

what's for dinner today, baby?

when my son was born 4 years ago there were two organic options, make it yourself and earth's best jar foods. as a mom who had a full time job, the "make it yourself" option was just not an option for me. i mean, really, i could barely get to work with my hair washed on most days.  don't get me wrong, earth's best jar food is great...for jar food. but the problem with jar food is that you have to cook it at such high temperatures that it loses a lot of the flavor of the food and some nutrients too. so i was happy to see that after jasper was born there were some more organic options that didn't include the jar.

the first is local boston based business, little lettice organic baby food. the founder, sara cabotis a mom of 4 who made all of her own baby food.  i am impressed. 4 kids?  homemade baby food?  this woman is like a super hero.  for reals. anyways, little lettice is available at whole foods, south end formaggio kitchen and a few other local stores. it's more expensive than the jar food for sure, but really the taste is amazing.  they have the best apples of all the options i tasted. they also had a bit more texture than their jarred counterparts. which was great for us because little jasper (remember: sensitive sally in all ways) was resistant to texture and it was a great step in the texture pyramid.  thank goodness we had early food intervention for her otherwise i wouldn't have "texture pyramid" in my lexicon.  aren't you guys lucky?

the second one i found and have enjoyed is happy baby food.  this food is delicious and is found also at whole foods in the frozen section.  the portions are small and come in ice cube like trays, so you just pop em out and defrost and serve.  brilliant.  the peas are my favorite for sure.  they have a hint of mint.  yum!  the foods come in 3 different options; purees, smooth + sorta chunky.  

what's great about both options is the flavor.  i really can't say it enough, the flavor of the fresh frozen food vs. the jar food is incredible.  go ahead, i know you are dying to taste your baby's food.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

bio bags

i've recently been told that our kitchen trash system is so confusing that no one is ever quite sure where to put what. i agree, it's hard to know. brown cardboard, not coated cardboard goes in the compost with all food scraps except meat, and cheese and fish and corn cobs and on and on. our whole kitchen system is green and it makes me feel good. except. the tall kitchen garbage bag. that thing from glad is so not going to decompose. ever. so even if i put my groovy g diapers in the trash instead of flushing them, the bag will be on our earth forever. not good.

so i was psyched to find these puppies at my local whole paycheck..err..whole foods. bio bags are 100% bio degradable and are $6.50 for 12 bags. they are made from corn or some crazy thing? read more about them here.

the bags are also available at

and for those of you dog lovers out there, they make a dog waste bag too. so the all natural stuff that comes out of your dog won't be trapped in plastic for 100 years. you betcha that's earth friendly. these come 50 to a box for $6.00, any joe six pack can do that math.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

back to school - part three

my friend alex, who somehow always knows where to find the good stuff, just sent me the 411 on this awesome lunchbox alternative. the company is called laptop lunches and they use an american version of the japanese bento box for transporting lunches to school. the set pictured above is $20.99 and you can get all kinds of accessories for it, like extra containers and an insulated sleeve with a non toxic ice pak. the insulated sleeve looks like the heavy neoprene that doesn't contain lead like the other insulated lunchboxes out there. fantastic...thanks for the tip alex!

Monday, September 22, 2008

back to school - part two

packing school lunches. really, the bane of my existence. the whole packing lunch thing is so fraught with non-green choices, it's hard to know what to do. like, plastic bags for example. i use a million of them. and i try to reuse, but it's not always possible. also, things like apple sauce comes in those handy little plastic cups, good for time saving, yay. bad for the environment, boo. so i am happy to hear that some schools are actually requiring that all school lunches have no packaging that can be thrown away. it's forcing me off my plastic baggie addiction and back on the environmentally friendly train. here are some suggestions on bagging a green lunch:

- skip the individual container choices. these seem like a time saver but they really have way too much packaging. the big box, the wrapper, the individual bags. i use the little plastic cups from glad for fruit and crackers etc. and as an added bonus they don't get smooshed in the bag.

- use a wrap-a-mat for sandwiches. have you seen these? they are like washable envelopes for sandwiches. it's a little like origami, but you'll get the hang of it. they are fantastic and only $6.50. you can also make them yourself, check out this awesome diy site, small objects.

- don't buy the insulated lunch bags. these contain lead and phthalates and really are generally another thing that the kids just don't need. when we were growing up we had a turkey sandwiches that we threw in our lockers at 7 am and ate and 11:35. and it was fine. totally fine. if you really need to have the lunches cold, throw an ice pack in with it. toby + rei sells an awesome robot lunch sack that's made from 100% organically grown cotton.

- remember when you were a kid with your holly hobbie lunchbox and thermos and then your mom would send soup in the thermos? how weird is that to think about now? anyways, thermoses have come a long way baby. i love the foogo insulated straw cups. bpa free and they keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours. $14.99 at

if anyone has any other great green lunch ideas, please feel free to post a comment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

back to school - part one

well, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting a little cooler. that can only mean one thing. back to school. and unless you are between the ages of 6 and 22, you are pretty psyched right about now. bye bye buddies, have fun , we'll miss ya, now get on the bus. but, before you can really relax there are many items you need to buy. kate browning told me she got her list of items to purchase for rei to go back to school and horror of horrors, on the list was...yes, it's true, antibacterial hand gel.

really? really?

i'm sure anyone who has met me for more than 5 minutes has totally heard my anti-anti bacterial hand gel rant. putting the scary super bug argument aside (please don't get me started) these gels have a very high alcohol content and can be extremely harmful if licked or swallowed. there have been several cases of children being whisked to the ER with alcohol poisoning from this stuff. see info here on snopes. purell's hand sanitizer is 62% alcohol. 62%. um, no thank you.

thankfully for those of you who must have your anti bacterial gel (i really am trying hard not to go into my super bug rant....must ... resist...temptation...), cleanwell makes an absolutely alcohol free and chemical free version. i love this brand, they make a triclosan free anti bacterial hand soap as well. and here is a hint, it's way cheaper at target than at whole foods. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008


i found this awesome website, poloppo, through my blog savvy friend dana several months ago and loved it, so i was so excited that they were showing at bubble with us in new york this past weekend.

poloppo is a website that collects kid's artwork from all over the world. they then select pieces of artwork and license them and then incorporate them into the designs of their products. the children receive royalties that goes towards their education and poloppo dontates 5% of their revenue to fund arts programs to underprivileged kids. the picture above was drawn by annabelle age4. it's a spaceship. it's awesome right? if you know any little artistes, have them upload their artwork. you never know, it could get selected and then other cool kids could be wearing their art. what's better than that? click here to shop their online gallery.

Monday, August 4, 2008

bio-degradable diapers, yes way

i know what you're thinking, that i made that up. but, it's like a miracle really. they are diapers. that are biodegradable. yes way. the company is called nature babycare and they are european (of course) and they are here. the diapers are almost 100% bio-degradable, the and tabs and elastic waist + leg bands are won't break down, but everything else will. they also sell 100% compostable wipes.

as far as pricing, does a great job breaking down the per diaper cost (ie. so you don't have to try to do division in your head or remember how to use your cell phone calculator). if you buy a case of the nature babycare diapers, they run you $0.26 per diaper for size 1 to all the way up to $0.51 per diaper for size 5. for comparison sake, pampers are $0.17 for a size 1 to $0.34 for a size 5. g-diapers will run you $0.33 for a size small and $0.41 for size med/large.

here is the 411 from the cooler choices website:
-chlorine-free absorbent materials – does not contribute to dioxin pollution
-100 % compostable/natural back sheet – NO plastic - reduce the greenhouse affect
-100 % compostable/natural distribution layer – NO plastic - reduce the greenhouse affect
-100 % compostable/natural consumer packaging – NO plastic - reduce the greenhouse affect
-No latex, fragrance, or TBT (tributyl tin)

did you hear them? NO plastic. NO WIRE HANGERS!!!! anyways, digressing.

i chased down a dad at my day care who was toting a package of these wonder diapers and asked for a real life opinion. he said he loved them, but they didn't use them for overnight. he was a man of few words. but then again, i'm not sure he loved being grilled at 8am trying to drop his kid off. i think he needed some coffee.

you can buy these fab diapers on or if you buy them on, they will plant one tree for every package of diapers that you purchase. cool. i like trees.

i have to give a big shout out to cristina at green mom finds for pointing this mom in the right direction. she's always got the good scoop. i can't wait to give these a try.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

dude, sweet bike

it seems like lately there have been articles ad nauseum in the boston globe and the new york times about riding your bike as a great way to combat high gas prices. these articles seem to focus on how to do so safely, but i'm here to tell you how to do so in style. ohhhhh yeah.

now you know i love just about anything european. and that's why i loved these bikes...the jolly bikes (pictured above) are imported from holland by 2 local ladies tecla and monet. literally this is the smoothest ride ever. and they come in so many fun colors. they are $700.00, but man, they are the coolest. monet will paint anything you want on the wheel cover. which secretly is a guard so your skirt doesn't get caught in the spokes. oh jolly bike - you had me at 'hallo'.also super spectacular is the electra cruiser. it's a bit more affordable at $300.00+. these really are a sweet ride, very very smooth. i love all the vintage styling like the white wall tires. if i didn't already have a retro schwinn from the '70's i would totally buy one. we did buy toby one of their kid bikes, it's so bad ass with flames. he loves it. check it out...who wouldn't?
the last fun bike option is a fold a bike. have you seen these? they are for the hard core train commuters, but they are totally rad. citizen bike makes a great one for under $300.00. that's like 70 gallons of gas these days. imagine you are so cool that you walk into work with this under your arm and sneer at all the car commuters. i love it.

oh and yeah, don't forget a helmet, use your hand signals and blahbeddy blah blah safety blah.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

under the nile cute-ness

my girl jasper is teething. poor thing. she has been busily chewing her way through her entire box of toys, but thankfully she has really settled on gnawing on this one. we got this bundle of organic chew toy goodness as a hand me down from baby reese. it's 100% organic cotton from egypt from the geniuses at under the nile. they have all kinds of other fruits and vegetables too. kate browning got jasper the banana as well, which is also super cute and easier to hold but for some reason she is really partial to this little guy. i think it's the adorable little face.

the best part is, you can run part of the toy under water (we put the head, hat and leaves of the grapes) and pop him in the freezer and voila! frozen teether that you don't have to wonder if it's covered in lead or if the plastic contains anything icky.

there is even a little crate of 4 vegetables that you can give as a gift. so cute. individual veggies are $6.00 and the crate is $26.00. available at under the nile, or locally at crunchy granola baby in salem.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

sugar spiked formula

i have actually had to sit with this for a week before i felt like i could write this post and not rant like a lunatic. the new york times recently reported that similac's organic formula actually has significantly more sugar in it than all other formulas on the market. wait. what? i don't even let my 3 year old drink juice that isn't watered down. i have been giving jasper this formula since she was 8 weeks old thinking that i was doing the 'right' thing by giving her formula that was created with organic milk. but apparently all i was giving her a sweet tooth and a propensity for obesity. awesome. similac is the only organic formula that uses cane sugar (parent's choice and earths best, two other organic formulas, use organic lactose which is less sweet) but similac maintains that is 'wasn't optimizing for taste'. yeah, whatever.

here is the scariest part of the entire article, which caused me to round up all unopened formula canisters and return them immediately to target:

"The sweeter taste of Similac Organic was observed by a professional sensory-tasting panel, commissioned by The New York Times to do a blind tasting of eight nationally available formulas, soy and dairy, organic and not. Seven of the formulas were as sweet as unsweetened apple juice, said Gail Civille, the director of Sensory Spectrum, which performed the tests. Ms. Civille said Similac Organic was the sweetest, with “the sweetness of grape juice or Country Time lemonade."

COUNTRY TIME LEMONADE? oh no. oh no no no.

you should have seen the poor guy at target when i dumped 4 canisters and 3 liquid containers and he said 'is anything wrong with it?'

aren't you glad you don't work at the target returns counter?

i am happy to report that jasper is loving her new formula.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

modern organic bedding

our kids spend over 50% of their little lives in bed. our favorite retailer and green guru, jennie at crunchy granola baby says 'if you are going to go organic, go with organic cotton in all of their bedding. mattress, mattress pad, sheets; the whole kit and kaboodle'. but, if you are like me and like beautiful modern patterns, you are out of luck right? think again my funny friends. i have found some super cute organic bedding designers and here are 2 of my fav's:

1. pixel organics - these prints are so childlike and fun. the print at the top of the post is called 'lions and tigers and kitties, oh my!' it reminds me somehow of the retro barkcloth fabric, but in a new fun + funky way. i love it with the chartreuse walls. ( i actually just love the word chartreuse and i really don't find that many ways to use it in casual conversation)

2. argington bedding - this modern furniture designer has created a line of organic bedding that is so beautiful. the pattern at above is their butterfly print with complementing pattern in twigs. it's just so girly and pink i can't stand it. they have an adorable dinosaur pattern for those with boys.

both companies boast that their cotton is 100% certified organic and they use low impact dyes and regenerated polyester that doesn't off gas. pixel organics even states that the fill on their comforters may have been your plastic water bottle from last month. as if you still use those. please.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

organic consignment-delightful!

i am totally addicted to ebay and craig's list. i love buying used things for my kids, so eco friendly right? but they just aren't meeting my organic needs right now. so i was super excited when green mom finds (do you not read this blog? it's fantastic) turned me on to this fabulous website called the conscious child. it's an online consignment store for organic and non organic kids clothes. so, if you are like me and buy the organic stuff and then want to recycle it, now you have a place to sell. also, if you are like me and you love the organic stuff but are truly broke even after the federal stimulus check came, this is a great place to buy.

check out these awesome lanacare booties for 9.99. so cute, and cheap, they are normally 20.00!! they also sell some pretty cute new organic stuff, maybe they will carry toby + rei soon. who knows?

Friday, April 25, 2008

it's a blog, blog world

it's always an adventure here at toby + rei but this week we had some really good news and good press! the good news is we were accepted into the bubble kids trade show in nyc in august. we are totally psyched, it's pretty hard to get into and we (i, kate was absolutely sure we would!) were not expecting to go this year, so hooray for us!

we have also gotten some awesome shout outs this week from some of my favorite bloggers. it's always so great to be recognized by these ladies, they are truly some tough customers!

check out the post from Kelcey at mamabirddiaries about great mother's day gifts. kelcey is a new york city mama whose adventures with her 2 kids in nyc are literally laugh out loud funny. i love her, really check out her blog, you will not be sorry. if you are interested in buying a delicious bamboo/organic cotton fleece robe for your mama or want one for yourself they are back in stock finally and available here.

we also had a really nice review written about us at reallynatural. we had to submit items to them and then they check us all out, wash our stuff, see how it holds up and then they post a review.

and perhaps the coolest post for you my reader is the giveaway on designmom today for a toby + rei new baby gift set. it's a blanket, onesie and hat of your choice. just post a comment and be entered to win. if you do not read this amazing blog every day, you must. gabrielle has such incredible taste and always posts about cool stuff you and i just can't find on our own. she also has really cool craft projects to do with your kids that aren't hokey. i like that. i hate hokey.

also look for more giveaways and reviews on eco childs play next week and green mom finds in early may. we are also hopefully going to be part of a boston globe article about local green companies. it will be in the style section, keep your fingers crossed and eyes peeled.

happy spring!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

i covet thee

i know it's wrong to covet, isn't it one of the 7 deadly sins or something? i think brad pitt and morgan freeman were in a movie about it, or was it envy? i guess it's the same thing though really.

anyways, for earth day i had to post about my favorite line of eco friendly clothing for chicks. it's called covet and it's so not hemp people. those who know me know that i am a sucker for anything that is somehow a sweatshirt but doesn't look like a sweatshirt. i mean seriously, how much do i need to own this top? it will be mine....

all of covet's clothing is made from organic cotton or sustainable fabrics like soybean and bamboo. plus they are totally adorable. and not outrageously expensive. hooray! you can buy covet locally at envi on newbury street or online at urban outfitters. happy earth day friends!

Friday, April 18, 2008

it's easy being green

i hear all the time, 'i really want to be more green, but i don't know where to start'. i think it's just that there is so much talk about being green everywhere right now. you can't even open up an elle magazine without reading about green makeup and green fashion. i mean come on people. even i just want to read what color is good for the season and which trashy books are out for summer beach reading without feeling guilty that my jeans were made in some sweatshop. what i'm saying is that even for someone like me who is so far up in it, it's a little overwhelming. this blog is dedicated to making being green easy, so i have listed 10 easy things anyone can do to make a little difference. and who knows, maybe you'll all have some for me too. sharing is nice. plus i've been getting a lot of flak lately about how everything i suggest costs 5 times as much as the thing they were using before, so everything i have listed is either cheap or will save you money.

1. local farmer's markets - i can't say enough great things about buying local and in season. i know everyone hates grocery shopping, but going to a farmers market on like a wednesday night or saturday morning is like heaven. the colors, the flowers, the nice people. sigh. it's all farmers from local farms who want to sell you their tomatoes. and it's somehow CHEAPER than the grocery store. and they are delicious. trust me, you will never buy produce from may to september in a grocery store again. click here for a website that will list all your local farmer's markets (ma only).

2. market bags - these are so fun, they remind me of the rain hat your grandma somehow always carried in her purse that folded into a 2" square. they are lightweight and pretty and you'll never have to get a plastic bag at any store ever again. buy them at greenward, scott says he can't keep them in stock and they are so CHEAP - $7.95! if you can't get to greenward (booo...) click here to buy on line. this site has lots of great reusable bags.

3. unplug/turn off - unplug your appliances and cell phone chargers at night. they do still use energy even when they aren't on. also, turn off your computer and printer at night.

4. eco friendly cleaners - this one has been written up ad nauseum this spring with all the mags and their spring cleaning articles. don't go out and spend a lot of money getting new products. start small. think of the products that leave your house via the drain and start there. all that stuff goes back out into the water supply. so, like dish soap, bath scrubs, laundry detergents etc. method makes lots of eco friendly cleaning products that are don't cost much more than the regular brands and are available at target. and you are always at target right? here are some of my other favorites:
mrs. meyers all purpose scrub - i have the lavender. it's so not comet, available at whole foods.
earth friendly products dishwashing liquid - i like the apricot, available at trader joe's.

5. compact florescent light bulbs - take my earlier rant with a grain of salt, these really are great. they use a ton less energy and they last forever. which saves you money. just keep them out of the kids rooms.

6. reduce recycling - for full explanation on this see earlier post, but really buy less things that are in plastic. less to recycle, less impact on the planet (and less stuff to lug to the curb).

7. reuse your plastic bags - rinse em out and reuse em. how is that for money saving? huh, john fitzpatrick? huh? yeah.

8. check your tires - if every american’s tires were properly inflated we could save around 2 billion gallons of gas each year. also, get the junk out of the trunk, it will help with your fuel economy.

9. just say no to plastic water bottles - get yourself a reusable water bottle, sigg makes really nice cool ones. $20.00 but you'll never have to buy another poland spring bottle of water again at $1.25 a pop.

10. green dimes - their motto is 'stop junk mail, save trees, help the environment'. as kate browning would say, what's better than that? there is a basic package which is free, premium that is 20.00/year etc. really, who needs 4 pottery barn catalogs a month?

i hope this helps all of you who don't know where to start. please comment and post any easy tips you have.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the straight poop part 2

for all of you folks who are thinking of cloth diapers, but then you go on line and they all seem so expensive and what if you pick the wrong one and you end up with 300.00 worth of unusable bamboo/organic cotton diaper outers and inners? and who knows what they feel like because you can't just go to your local babies r us and check them all out. right? so, if you are local i have a great resource for you- diaper lab in somerville.

diaper lab is owned by a woman named salina and her husband ryan. so so so nice. you make an appointment at their somerville home and they have all the lines of cloth diapers you can think of. salina runs you through the options and you choose the right one for you based on your own needs. she even counsels you on how many to buy, so you don't end up up with too many or not enough. hooray for salina and diaper lab! hooray!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

remember outside?

seriously, remember that magical place called 'outside'? where your children can run free and tire themselves out. remember mornings that didn't include wrestling your children into parkas, hats, gloves and boots. they are coming, i promise you. i love the changeover every year, but always seem to forget just how annoying it is to wrestle toby to the ground and slather him with sunscreen. which he hates. but hey, it beats boots any day of the week.

so, in anticipation of this glorious seasonal change, i would normally run to the store to buy sunscreen. but this year, i needed to do a little research for you my reader. hello reader. so i headed right to my favorite new website, skin deep for some help. this fancy website rates every skin care product you have on a scale of 0-10. 0 being not scary at all to 10 being throw it away immediately. really cool. i know you are too tired and don't have time to check all this out, so here is what you want to avoid in your kid's sunscreens (and probably yours too), oxy benzone (linked to cancer), parabens & 1-4 dioxane. the problem with a lot of the sunscreens is, if they don't have the bad stuff listed, they tend to not be as sun resistant. so, here are the two that got good ratings from both skin deep and safe mama and also had high UVA/UVB resistance:

california baby SPF#30
$18.00 for 2.9oz (ouch)
the one complaint i read about on line was that it was very thick. i purchased some and yes, it's thicker than say, coppertone water babies, but it's not like those zinc oxide sticks or whatever. kate has been using this on rei since she was a babe and she loves loves loves it. check out the safe mama and the skin deep review for all the info.

mustela sunblock lotion SPF#50
$14.99 for 1.6oz (ouch, ouch)
as you all know, i am such a sucker for all things french. that being said mustela's baby (or 'enfant' for you fellow francophiles) sunscreen SPF50+ got very high ratings from skin deep. but seriously you must check out their home page. what IS that picture? those french, so weird. check out skin deep for all the rating info.

i was able to find the california baby sunscreen at my local whole paycheck, uh, whole foods. the mustela i think would take more seeking out and that's so not my style. both are available on, but after spending 15 bucks for a tiny tube of sunscreen, who can stomach paying for shipping? enjoy the outside again people.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

CF stands for....

ok, you can guess what i mean by 'CF' once you read of my run in with a compact florescent light bulb tonight. but some background first....several months ago i remember reading on my ideal bite daily email that when a CF bulb breaks it's unbelievably toxic. there were many steps to clean up, yadda yadda and i thought wow. i have GOT to remember all of that. THAT is incredibly useful information. and then, i forgot. i have nowhere to put useful information like that. probably because i had to remember to make toby yet another sandwich he won't eat. or wash my 3 millionth baby bottle.

so back to my run in. right as i'm telling toby 'turn off your light' (ie. all bedtime work is over, commence the dinner/tv watching/blog reading) he pulls too hard, gets tangled in the cord and over goes the lamp and crash goes the CF bulb. bad. really really bad. so i scooped him out, got him out of the room and ran to my computer to find that posting about how to clean up this mess.

here are the steps
-get the kids + pets out of the room asap
-do not let anyone track through the dust/glass (duh, i know, sorry)
-open the windows for at least 15 minutes
-if you have central heating or a/c turn it off
-do NOT use a vacuum or a broom to clean up the glass particles on hard surfaces
-use a piece of cardboard and scoop the big pieces into a glass jar with a lid or a sealable plastic bag
-use duct tape or other sticky tape to clean up the dust on a solid floor
-if you have to use a vacuum on a carpet, immediately after vacuuming, remove the bag from the canister and place in a sealed plastic bag

if you don't trust me or think i'm overreacting, check out the epa site, they have very detailed instructions. unlike mine, i just boiled it down to something you might remember 3 months from now and it's you. and it's bedtime. and LOST is on in 20 minutes and you have a full bottle of organic red wine to drink. priorities people. you should have seen bob with his clean up gear on. it was straight out of E.T.

oh the joys of being eco-friendly, right? replace all your light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs and you can save 10 rain forests a year etc. but when they break it's so toxic you can't VACUUM it up. how is that better? anyways, be smarter than me. make sure the kids rooms have regular old light bulbs. they may not last forever but at least you won't miss LOST cleaning it up.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


as most of you know, kate + i haven't been down on earth for over a year now with this crazy toby + rei business. fortunately we are participating in a green event next weekend called down:2:earth an exploration in sustainable living. so, there is hope for us.

the show is at the hynes convention center downtown, march 29th-30th. show times are: friday night from 5-10pm, saturday from 11-7pm and sunday from 11-5pm.

there will be all kinds of super fun things to do and look at like fashion shows, green building forums, planning eco chic weddings and tons more. there is even a children's story hour hosted by, you guessed it, US! story hour is saturday at 3pm and sunday at 11:30am. i'll be reading some stories with a 'timely environmental message'. and kate will be passing out yummy treats. let's guess who will be more popular.

if you are lookin' for us, we are in booth #625, to the right of the runway. runway? maybe christian will be there. i will have to look fierce for the event. and not eat, and walk for days. and hope that our stuff is not god-awful hideous.

anyways, you can check out the schedule here for friday, saturday + sunday.

tickets are 12.00 for adults and kids under 12 are free. so bring the whole family and check out this cool green event! check the down:2:earth website at for a full list of exhibitors and events/times.

hope to see you all there...hoppy easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

spring has sprung at toby + rei

i know it still feels like winter. what was it today, like 28 degrees? enough i say - enough! spring is coming i can feel it... and maybe, just maybe, i won't have to see my pediatrician for 6 months. sorry dr. jill, i love ya but the co-pays are killing me.

to get us in the mood, let's take a look at all of our pretty new spring items! we have lots of new graphics for our onesies, tees and newly added tank tops. i have to say, i think the shark might be my new favorite..please don't tell the robot.

for all of you mamas out there who asked for 'girly' tees, we made some beautiful modern flower tees just for you! oh, they just make you think of spring don't they?

all onesies have hats to match and we even have a wicked cool new organic cotton lunchbox printed with our super cool robot artwork. check it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sensitive sally

my 4 month old daughter jasper rae is sensitive sally. sensitive stomach, sensitive skin and who knows? probably sensitive feelings as well. ah girls, we are a funny sort aren't we?

anyways, back to sensitive skin, i have tried everything on jaspers face to combat the winter dry skin, red rash yadda yadda and found this delightful skin cream from little twig that seems to make even sensitive sally happy. for now. until she's 13.

i love the bubble bath as well, of course the extra mild unscented for jasper/sally...but they also have lavender + tangerine for those less finicky. check out the scrubby bug mitt too, it looks like the most fun you could buy for $4.50.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

history event!

join toby + rei at a local designers event at History on mass. ave in cambridge. the event is march 16th from 1-4pm. we will be showing with 3 other local designers; j'aime colette, a cambridge duo who make fabulous, beautiful clothes, la ni ha who makes lovely one of a kind handbag and clutches + tanja cesh, a fun + funky jewelry designer who lives in beacon hill. i will also be bringing some whimsical handbags made by local cambridge designer jill bent. head on over on sunday and meet all these cool chicks + check out boutique history. see you there!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

plan toys

oh it's so exciting when you find out that a toy company that you already love is eco-friendly! such is the case with plan toys. here at our house we love the plan city. can't get enough of the road system (which links to the brio train track system-awesome!) and the parking garage. they also have really cool dollhouses too. check out the "chalet" dollhouse at left. it's 150.00 and comes with all the furniture. it's so funky + modern! so how are they 'green' you ask? well, all the wood they use is recycled rubber tree wood from rubber trees that no longer produce latex. before plan toys came along, these trees were cut, burned and tossed. boooooo. then they use a chemical free kiln drying process to stabilize the wood. they only use water based dyed and soy based inks. plan toys only manufactures at their own facilities so they control all aspects of the manufacturing process. i totally sound like toby when he gets all excited about something... "and then...and then".
anyways, after all the china/lead scares lately, it's nice to know that i don't have to worry that our beloved parking garage will be recalled. i can't even TELL you how traumatic it was when we had to send james the train back and wait 8 weeks for a replacement one. seriously, if you are 2 1/2 and love your trains, this is the worst thing ever. potentially worse than lead infested toys. well, maybe not, but it really was a toss up there for a few days.

check out their entire line of toys at your local toy store, stellabella toys in Cambridge has a ton of plan toys or check out my favorite online toy store fat brain toys.

Monday, February 25, 2008

which is greener?

if you aren't familiar with danny seo's blog "daily danny" check it out this week quiz week-which is greener?
he answers questions that we all ask ourselves on a regular basis:
so far:
paper vs. plastic
hand washing vs. dishwasher

you'll be surprised by the answers...

reduce recycling?

i'm not a huge new year's resolution girl. let's face it, i have enough guilt in my life. i don't need to add 'didn't fulfill new year's resolution...again' to my list. but this year we are really trying to stick with this new year's resolution, which is to pick 3 small places to be more green each month. for february one of our focuses (foci? whatever.) was to reduce our recycling. which sounds totally counter-intuitive right? but really that downcycling of the things you recycle takes a ton of energy. why not just buy things with less packaging? we investigated our top 3 offenders after careful recycling review. and they are:

1. plastic milk containers - if you have kids, it's OOC (out of control). we use 2 full gallons of milk per week. that's 2 plastic gallons. it's a lot. plus, even before this household initiative, these irritated me for the sheer fact that you put one of these in your recycling bag and it's almost totally full. annoying. so here are the options to reduce the plastic. and the annoyance.

cartons - bob swears the milk tastes "different" too bad bob. plus, being paper, it blocks the light and keeps the nutrients in. thats good for everyone.

glass bottles - you can get milk delivered. to your house. seriously. in glass milk containers. then when they do the next delivery, they pick up the glass bottles and clean and reuse them. so cool. you can also order lots of other things too, like half and half, butter, etc. crescent ridge dairy also sells at whole foods if you like the idea but don't want to deal with delivery. you pay an extra 1.00 at checkout and you get it back when you return the bottle.

2. plastic juice containers - ditto on these. cartons only.

3. little yogurt cups - toby is on a 95% yogurt diet. this means many many many individual serving cups in our recycling. those had to go. i bought some glad containers and buy the big ole things of yogurt at the store.

another big offender in our house is beer bottles. but i figure those can go out on the curb because there are those less fortunate than i who pick them up in the wee hours with their shopping carts and turn them in for 5 cents. i'm ok with that.

check out the offenders in your house, i bet you can reduce your recycling too. and then you can feel smug. like me. and if you have any thoughts on how to reduce recycling, please post them here!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

local greenie stores

it's so fun driving around new england finding eco-friendly stores, they seem to be just everywhere and they all have their own vibe and all the owners are so different and fantastic. i'm sure you all don't spend your free time checking out these stores so i thought i'd post them here in a condensed list. i am not limiting to stores that carry toby + rei merchandise, that would just be un-american. i am simply listing my massachusetts favorites. i'll do another post that includes the rest of new england soon i promise!

crunchy granola baby - salem ma.
i have so many nice things to say about this store and it's fantastically funny and verbose owner jennie. it's located in witch central, on washington street. this cute little store is jam packed with all things organic. when you walk into the store you feel like you walked right into someones house for coffee and you don't really want to leave. there is a large area in back for toddler art classes and a sitting area for moms to feed their babes. jennie is a big proponent of locally owned businesses, such as toby + rei and buddha belly skincare, but she carries her share of big names too, like under the nile, haba toys, kate quinn organics, bamboosa etc. the store also has lots of super crunchy classes, like natural childbirth classes and make your own cleaning supplies. did i say make your own cleaning supplies? what's crunchier than that? love it. you must go.

hatched - jamaica plain, ma.
this store is so FREAKIN cute! it's literally the size of my bedroom but it is so fun and bright and cheerful. they carry toys, baby clothes galore - including one of my personal fav's nui organics, shoes, eco-friendly diapering options etc. really nice staff and the owner liz is very cool, you would like her and her fantastic store.

greenward- cambridge, ma.
this store is a local media darling. i feel like i can't open a paper lately without seeing some item about greenward. the attention is well deserved. it's located on mass ave near porter square sort of underground (think laverne and shirleys apartment - the apartment before they moved to hollwood). husband and wife scott walker and simone alpen are the owners and they are way cooler than all of us i'm afraid. simone organizes the bizarre bazaar and scott is an urban planner turned retail store operator. they do such a fabulous job buying for this store, they have everything, from eco friendly greeting cards, to jewelry to natural cleaning products. it's everything eco under one very cool roof. check it out, all the local media peeps can't be wrong.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

bisphenol, babies and bottles - oh my!

i know, i know, something ELSE to worry about, bisphenol a. what the heck IS that? i mean, really, am i some chemist? but here's the scoop, it ain't good. and it's in most plastic baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers. the plastic leaches a chemical bisphenol a into the breast milk or formula or if you are britney, the coke in your kid's sippy. so i have done a little research on the alternatives for you, lovely reader, and of course i will start with the cutest option:
green to grow
these are hands down the cutest, and the colors are so pleasing. they aren't cheap my friends, $10.00 a bottle + separate nipples. but look, aren't they sweet? the little purple face? i love it! green to grow is also working on a sippy cup adapter for their bottles, but in the meantime avent makes a BPA free sippy spout that works with their 10oz bottles. so stay tuned.

born free
these are the plastic bisphenol a free versions. they sell in packs, so 8 bottles + 4 nipples + a sippy cup for $80.00. born free also has a glass bottle version. on the whole i felt that these are very functional looking, if you like that sort of thing. (can you tell which ones i purchased? i have such a good poker face)

nurture pure
this company makes glass baby bottles which is a great totally plastic free alternative. if you don't have to worry about daycare rules, clumsy husband etc. etc. on the plus side, it's a much cheaper option than the plastic mentioned above, $3.99 for an 8oz bottle and $3.50 for a 3 pack of silicone nipples. which brings me to my next point, which is:

silicone pacifiers. yes my friends, say goodbye to the wonderful and free pacifier you got at the hospital and run out and get silicone pacifiers. actually, wait...are those ones silicone? anyways...i checked out a mom site, safe mama, who lists all the BPA (get with the lingo would ya?) free pacifiers. thank god for the internet.

anyways here they are:

playtex “binky” (one piece silicone pacifier)
gerber silicone NUKs (all gerber pacifiers are free of polycarbonate plastic)
the first years soothies silicone pacifiers
vice versa binky w/ case
natural rubber natursutten pacifier

i had to include a picture of the vice versa binky because i'm not really sure if i love it or hate it? it looks like one of those candy rings you got when you were little with the candy jewel on it. you know what i'm talking about. don't act like you were some greenie your whole life.

you have to wonder when the rest of the baby bottle/sippy cup makers are going to get on the stick and make their own versions without this icky chemical. i'm 100% positive right now at the avent corporation they are having some sort of summit. i love it when the organic peeps can force a huge corporation to a meeting. there is justice. peace, out.