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Jun
14
2008

I try to find funny in almost everything. But once in a while, there is nothing to laugh about. Take, for example, a new study by the nonprofit organization, Environmental and Human Health Inc (composed of doctors, public health professionals + policy experts), about the danger of some plastics to children and reproductive health.

Yeah… doesn’t exactly leave you in stitches, does it?

But I’m going to give you the basic facts and some awesome info to help protect your family. And then there will be a hunky reward at the end. Super hunky.

But first, the evil nitty gritty.

This study focused on the health effects from two chemicals found in some plastics – bisphenol A (BPA) and the phthalate DEHP. These chemicals are commonly found in both infant and baby products, as well as many everyday consumer items.

First the way scary part…
We’ve reviewed hundreds of scientific studies on these chemicals and discovered that this is a far more serious problem than most believe. The plastics industry has escaped serious regulatory attention by federal and state authorities, while producing billions of pounds of resins each year used to manufacture thousands of products. Almost none of it is recycled, and most is buried or incinerated, which explains its presence in soils, groundwater and even air,” said John Wargo, professor of Risk Analysis and Environmental Policy at Yale University.

OH MAN, THAT SUCKS. (Kelcey’s commentary. Not part of the actual study.)

The two plastic ingredients (BPA and DEHP) are the subject of this report because of increasing evidence that they disrupt normal growth and development due to their hormonal activity.

WOW. THAT REALLY SUCKS.

And this quote really got to me… “While the final verdict on the risks of BPA may remain uncertain for years, the evidence for harm is already strong enough, as this report makes crystal clear, to immediately start protecting potentially vulnerable people – especially children – from any unnecessary exposures,” said Dr. Mark Cullen, professor of Medicine and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine.

DON’T FREAK OUT. Well, freak out a little. But then take action.

FINDING SAFE BOTTLES, CUPS + TODDLER TABLEWARE
There is an excellent list here on Z Recommends of all the companies that manufacture sippy cups, bottles, feeding products, etc.). You simply click on your favorite brand and find out which items are BPA free and which contain BPA. Pretty helpful and easy, right?

Like I was wondering about those First Year Sesame Street Take & Toss cups. Turns out… BPA free. Let me tell you, Summer is going to be quite relieved because I was about to throw those bad boys in the trash.

FINDING SAFE BATH TOY + TEETHERS
Z recommends comes to the rescue again with a list of safe and not safe bath toys.
And click here for their list of safe teethers.

AVOIDING PHTHALATES (DEHP and others)
This gets a little tricky because phthalates are in all kinds of everyday products like cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, hair gels, hair sprays, body lotions, nail polish, food wrap, shower curtains, automobile interiors, paint, pesticides and hospital supplies. And you often won’t find it on the ingredients’ label. I can’t even get started on that ridiculousness (Hi FDA – you still out there?)

Click on Non-Toxic Kids for some easy ways to avoid phthalates.

Some really big ones…

-Avoid using plastic containers and plastic wraps in microwave.

-Avoid the use of scented candles, air fresheners, dryer sheets, and other heavily scented products, as many contain phthalates.

-And choose products that don’t contain the word “fragrance” on the ingredients list because they will often contain phthalates.

Ok. I’m done with all that. And thank you to you for sticking with me.

So here is a little Sawyer…

Or if you’re more of a Fox fan…

Ok, ok… I now a few dads out there are just sick of all the male eye candy on this site. So here’s a little Lilly for you all out there. Happy Father’s Day.

Ok, I promise, the next post will be a heck of a lot more fun.



Jun
12
2008

I absolutely love the idea of biking. But the biking itself? Yeah, that doesn’t usually work out.

One college summer I had tremendous plans to go on a two week biking tour through the French countryside. But at the last minute, I backed out. I mean, it suddenly sounded like an awful LOT of biking. Instead I could stay home in Connecticut, waiting endlessly for my crush to call, while spending the rest of my time trying to get into bars with my fake ID. Now that’s a summer.

Who needs the French and all that pedaling?

Many years later, my husband, daughter Dylan and I traveled to Tuscany. And that’s when I had an absolutely brilliant idea… What could be more lovely than riding around Tuscany on our bicycles? Oh, it will be just perfect.

In the August heat. On the Tuscan hills. While 5 months pregnant.

Rick mentioned that he thought I was perhaps being a bit too ambitious. But I laughed at that Debbie Downer and told him to bulk up. Man, if that guy wasn’t married to me, he wouldn’t do anything adventurous. He is so damn lucky to have me. This was going to be awesome.

You know what? Despite that joyful smile plastered on my face, not really all that awesome.

Expensive? Well, yes… with the bike rentals, the bike seat, the helmets, the locks, the bike rack, the bike pants….

Tiring? Oh, definitely. I was exhausted after schlepping into Florence just to pick up the bikes.

Hot? I mentioned it was August, right?

But I apparently have no memory retention because I am, once again, obsessed.

I am already lost in visions of scenic, family bike rides along New York City’s waterfront bike paths. When I imagine Rick biking, I sort of envision… Leonardo DiCaprio. You know, all urban and sexy and eco.

And, of course, not to brag but doesn’t that make me his bike-loving-ex-Gisele?

But maybe with a little less thong showing.

As you know from my previous post, this is definitely NOT how I imagine Rick and myself hitting the bike paths…

Although these two don’t look dumb enough to blow off a parent paid trip to France in favor of trolling the Connecticut suburbs.

So this time I’m serious. We’re getting used bikes. We’re getting bike seats. Dylan and Summer are totally on board with the plan. We’re doing this thing.

Rick – don’t say anything. This is going to be awesome.

mama bird notes
Click on drooling over this for the perfect dessert for wine lovers. You will seriously wow your dinner guests.

Don’t forget our TWO awesome giveaways from Lands’ End. I’m giving away a Girl’s Swim Package (bathing suit, short sleeve rash guard shirt + beach towel) and a Boy’s Swim Package (board shorts, short sleeve rash guard shirt and beach towel). Sun sensible with 50 UPF Protection. Winners will get to pick the sizes.

To enter, leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries and let me know if you are interested in the boys giveaway, the girls giveaway or both!


Jun
10
2008

It’s just so darn cheesy when parents force their kids to wear matching outfits. Puh-lease. How about a little creativity? A little individuality? Why must we subject young, innocent children to such hokey torture?

Oh, right… because it’s fun!

Poor Dylan. She already knows her street cred is toast. Holla!

And what better way to show my never ending love for Rick than his and her’s sweat suits? I mean how friggin cute as a button is this couple?

Are they part of some creepy Siamese jogging cult?

Or maybe I should just take it up another notch and go family style.

Listen, I can’t get a single photo of my entire family smiling, so maybe they are on to something. Plaid and v-necks not your thang? Well, let me see if I can dig up a little something for you out there. Floral? You like the floral? Who doesn’t like the floral? Aloha, happy family!

Yup, you can actually wrap up your whole clan, head to toe in hibiscus. People, dreams really do come true. And look at this…. There is actually a company that will help. Matcheez gives you tips for dressing alike and insists, “You can show your family unity to the world by dressing alike.”

I think I’m a long way from showing my unity to the world because every time Rick puts on a shirt that is even remotely similar in color to my top, I make him change. You can never be too careful.

Gotta scram. Just called Julie Andrews. We are off to sew Dylan and Summer matching play clothes from my old blackout shades. Yeah, I don’t really have curtains.

mama bird diaries

Daphne Biener set out to create a laid back, relaxing summer for her girls. Umm… that’s not exactly what happened. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

Click on New York City Moms Blog to read my latest piece, Mother of Two Seeks Adventure.

Finally, this week, we have TWO awesome giveaways from Lands’ End. I’m giving away a Girl’s Swim Package (bathing suit, short sleeve rash guard shirt + beach towel) and a Boy’s Swim Package (board shorts, short sleeve rash guard shirt and beach towel). Sun sensible with 50 UPF Protection. Winners will get to pick the sizes.

To enter, leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries and let me know if you are interested in the boys giveaway, the girls giveaway or both!


Jun
08
2008

Rick, the girls and I headed back to my in-laws’ on the Jersey shore this weekend. You know how it goes. We threw a couple things in an overnight bag.

What? Seriously, what? Like who doesn’t need a few outfit options? At first, everyone is a bit les miserables in the car but then it gets good.

and then it gets awesomely good.

On Saturday night, Rick and I decide, gosh damn it, we are still young and sprightly so we head to “The Pool” bar at Harrah’s casino and resort in Atlantic City. As you can see, the joint has a small, quaint pub like feel….

Rick and I grab drinks and scan the scene of bikini-clad cocktail waitresses and almost 20-somethings. We hang particularly close to a group of gray haired, middle age women in the hopes of looking younger and hipper. I am reasonably confident that it’s working.

Then Rick starts acting ultra, super perky and I realize it’s because these gals are in the house.

In fact, there is a whole posse of guys ogling them and Rick (who always takes the time to help those in need) says to a couple of the guys…

“I’m married. Go for it. Com’on! Go talk to them.”

I’m telling you, that man never thinks of himself.

Then we did a little white man overbite dancing…

But alas, it’s time to dump this taco stand, and hit the casino. Of course, hanging out at the casino is like being on an airplane in 1978. Smoking is only permitted in certain areas but the whole place wreaks.

Still, there is something electrifying about all those slot machines, crap tables and seniors pouring their social security funds into video poker. You can’t help but feel the casino fever.

Rick decides to play a little black jack. I think it’s kind of sexy when a guy gambles. I mean, not when they risk the college tuition savings but like the preschool savings.

Shortly after that picture was taken, it became abundantly clear to me that you are, in fact, most definitely not allowed to take pictures inside the casino. Therefore no snapshots here of those smokin’ hot pit bosses who keep order at the tables, and apparently (although this can not be confirmed) have never actually had sunlight on their faces.

After a few hands, we realized we are kind of tired and maybe-not-so-sprightly after all, so we head home.

Upon leaving, I notice the elevators smell remarkably like a gerbil cage, which I’m sure studies show encourages people to gamble more.

But thanks to my husband’s savvy blackjack skills, we end up $31 dollars richer. That’s right. Get out the passports and ring Chevy Chase because we are now going on a 1st class European vacation.


Jun
05
2008

So I finally saw it. You know that crazy huge movie everyone is talking about. Sex and the City. I won’t spoil it, if you haven’t seen it. Although Samantha hooking up with Mr. Big?! Way unexpected.

Oh, would I ever do that to you? Of course not.

The movie was perfectly perfect. From the clothes to the relationships to the soul of New York. It was all there. And it all left me feeling sort of nostalgic.

l saw the movie with two close girlfriends. Back in my twenties, these women were my “it” girls in New York. My single gal pals. We threw back cocktails, took expensive cab rides and soul searched. We were all looking for love. And we found it. Love. Marriage. Pregnancy. Children.

So what’s with the melancholy look back? Do I miss being single, lonely and endlessly wondering… Is he out there? And if yes, why is he hiding from me? Definitely not. Not for a minute.

But I miss that time in life when your friends are your family. You live with them. You go out with them. You shop with them. You cry with them. You laugh with them. In many ways, they are your everything. Or at least they were to me.

With marriage and children, friendships change. An occasional wine night. A birthday get together. A trip to the movies now and then. But it’s not the same. It can’t be the same. Children need to be nursed. Babysitters need to be hired. Spouses need time and attention.

As we left the theater, I chatted with one of my girlfriends. Normally, we would walk home in the same direction, catching up on each other’s lives. But not tonight. Actually, not anymore. A few days ago, she and her family moved to Brooklyn in search of space, quiet and balance.

My friend says she feels far less pressure in Brooklyn to be fabulous. She can throw on a pair of cargo pants and a t-shirt there and feel good about herself when she walks outside. No pressure from the abundance of fashionistas in Manhattan.

I nodded and laughed as I thought of a mom I had seen earlier that week at the playground…

Kind of definitely made me wish I had spent more than 12 minutes getting ready. Not that the extra time would have turned me into a 5 11′ leggy, supermodel mama.

So after the movie, my friend and I lingered at the corner, both of us reluctant to say goodbye as we talked about our children, our husbands, the summer and my quickly approaching birthday.

Finally, it was getting late. It was time to go. We would chat soon.

She hailed a cab and took off towards Brooklyn.

And I also grabbed a taxi, and headed in the other direction.

mama bird notes

When you met your baby for the very first time, was it love at first sight? Perhaps not. Contributing mama Jordana Bales writes honestly about bonding with her new baby Lila Drew. Click on contributing mamas to read more.



kelcey kintner


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