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.