Island Tidings: BBQ Season & A Giveaway

My ladies love Tom’s Strawberry toothpaste so very much and became hysterical as I said we could no longer buy it.  Minutes after I announced that they were looking at our very last tube, Olive broke into the bathroom drawer and began sucking on the sticky tube like a caged guinne pig having her last drink of water.  Each metal tube would crack a quarter of the way through each tube’s use, month after month.  Countertops, fingers and doorknobs would be painted in Silly Strawberry’s familiar gooeyness while the remaining three-quarters would render itself hostage in an unsqueezable tube.
For days, my daughters begged and pleaded for their favorite toothpaste.  Sorry, dudettes, Mama can’t handle the cracked tube.  We’ll find something else you like.  This Mama couldn’t.  I’ve never wasted so much money on toothpaste my girls called everything from spicy to down-right yucky.  There were more tears.  Over toothpaste.  Seriously.
I contacted Tom’s one night long ago at midnight.  Luke told me to wait patiently for my auto-reply email.  I mean, he’s right, right?  They’re a big company.  I can’t think of a store I’ve been in that doesn’t sell Tom’s.  And I’m pretty far from Maine.
Four personal emails, one handwritten letter and one giant package later I’m happy to announce my love of Tom’s of Maine.  They cared three little girls in Washington State were head over flipflops in love with their product.

photo credit:  used with permission from cohn&wolfe/tom’s of maine

The toothpaste tube is redesigned.  I like that it is mess-less.  Lucy is really into bunnies, so she’s pretty happy Tom’s doesn’t test on animals.  Luke follows our country’s labor movement closely, so he’s psyched about their sustainable practices.  He works in the power industry as a lineman, so he’s into the lighter design meaning less energy used in shipping, while manufacturing plastic laminate tubes requires less energy. Betty has such massive food allergies and intolerances, she’s exstatic that her toothpaste doesn’t have any artificial colors, flavors, fragrance or perservatives.  Olive is pretty tiny, and when I think of her as a retired senior citizen and grandmother to dozens of grandchildren, I don’t want her retirement home to be built on a gigantic landfill so I’m excited about Toms’ maximized recycled content and reclability of packaging.  As a family, we donate to causes we take to heart, so we’re happy with how Tom’s donates 10% of profits to environmental and human goodness.

In the 1970s, Tom’s used aluminum for its packaging which allowed customers to recycle it through the aluminum recycling stream.  After listening to customers just like me, Tom’s found that some local facilities were separating and excluding the tubes from recycyling.  68% of all complaints were about the tubes leaking, splitting and cracking early into use.  They listen.
Tom’s of Maine and I both know fluoride is a hot button issue.  People are either into it or not.
It isn’t in our island’s water, so we give our kids supplements and don’t mind when it’s in our toothpaste.  The great thing about this flavor is that it also comes in a Fluoride-Free version, if you’re not into fluoride.

For today’s giveaway, Tom’s of Maine is generously offering the following to one lucky reader:
~ a newly designed tube of Silly Strawberry toothpaste and Simply White Clean Mint toothpaste!
Please leave a comment in this post by June 10, 2011 by 8:00 PM PST.
Winner will be chosen by random generator and announced in this post the very next morning.
Sorry, shipping costs limits this to readers in the US and Canada, only.
And the winner chosen by random generator is
# 11 Ivey Patton.
 Ivey, please email me your contact info.

Island Tidings: pictures and prose about our recent adventures on and off our tiny island
I’m lucky.  Closely connected to three surprise birthday celebrations leaves me proudly humming Happy Birthday when all other lullabies escape mind’s memory.  Sure, one bad ass party was for me, but celebrating these lovely ladies secretly has been great.  Funny, us three, in a car where we’d all had our hands in each other’s surprise bash.
We arrived to find our blindfolded friend at street’s edge, initially under the impression she was dinner dating with her hubby.  He lead her to our car’s backseat and said, Have fun!  She, giggling nervously, Wait?! What?!
We circled the heart of town’s streets until our birthday gal thought we were all the way out to island’s west side.
Carefully, we lead our friend into Back Door Kitchen’s smile-filled bar with mama friends happy for the excuse to well wish, martini sip and coconut cream pie indulge.

PhotobucketLove her hubby for arranging this fabulous excuse to put on heels and a fancy dress.
It’s Monday night BBQ time of year again.  Public park and Facebook invites create the most kid-spectacular evening of the week.   The words gets out and it’s so great to family mingle amid frisbees and potluck dishes.  Love:  PBR dads at the grill, best buddies sliding with chocolate chip cookies in hand and so, so much more.
Love it’s this time of year again.
Freakishly giant, ginormous Campfire Marshmallows have come to the island just in time for backyard fire pits and campsite hoedowns.  I saw a commercial for them on another coast and thought they’d never make it out west.  Sticky goodness.

It’s quite a skill to triple roast:  brown and gently peel off the exterior and repeat three times.  Good times, especially with a good pal.  Betty has a soft spot for this one.
About a year and a half ago Luke and I heard her talking in her sleep, Oooh, I know.  Kai can do a half moon crescent kick.  It’s sooo coool.
I like what she thinks is cool, and I wish I could have peered into her dream, all sorts of Taekwondo terrific.
It’s always such a treat to experience dinner with another family and in some ways it feels like you never really know people until you’ve sat down to dinner with them and spent a bit of time outside.  So, so thankful it’s BBQ season.

We took our first ever dock walk without strapping the kids into lifejackets.
We held hands, walked slow and dreamed up trips for each vessel at rest.
Betty flashed her perfectly toothless smile as we took note in dock’s tiny details.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said, Oh, I would never let my kids walk a dock without lifejackets.
Well, here’s to letting go a bit and trusting.
We went to a birthday party with clowns, bouncy castles and horse rides.  Olive was totally freaked out by the clowns, choosing to meander the outskirts of the party.
Man, she’s a cutie.  Love her hat?
I do, and I Dig This Chick who makes it.  It has fit her since she was about eight months old.
Funny how certain, special things continue to grow with us.
The girls were beyond thrilled to play cowgirl.

Lucy has had a second-hand pair of cow pants at the top of her favorite’s list for half her life.  Now they’re nearing capri-length but my girl looks good, especially on top of a horse.Photobucket
I got Betty’s chaps for five cents in Red Lodge, Montana’s greatest thrift house when she was barely six months old.  Funny how certain, special things wait for us to grow.
Betty, do you like riding this horse?

Well, Mama, I’d really rather be riding an elephant.  


Bloggy Help Wanted!
I’m having Photobucket issues in this post.  I’m working on fixing it.  Anyone ever uploaded photos, edited them there with size and somethin’ else, then once you dump them into your post, they look different and are NOT the same configuration as they are in Photobucket?  Why is this happening?


  • Val Curtis says:

    Yeah you! Congrats on the sponsorship of a super product.

  • we love toms! my kids all love the strawberry toothpaste and i love the wicked mint. it's so nice to be able to support a company with similar beliefs and humane practices.

  • rainblissed says:

    So much fun! Love the birthday celebration :0). And the ant hat and Tom's! What a fun story 🙂 We've never tried it, so would love a trial tube (my guy is super picky about toothpaste – all things, really – so a free trial is the way to go. thanks!

  • ooh good sponsorship! My kids love that toothpast so much and YAY for the new packaging. Upon discovering it we pitched the duct-taped tube in the trash (I know. Unlike me). Anyway.

    Love love seeing your sweet girl in the ant hat.

    I don't do any editing in photobucket…sorry I can't help.


  • I'm a Toms of Maine addict. Sometimes I even sneak into the little ones bathroom and grab a squirt of strawberry paste for my toothbrush. Treat!

  • Crikey you've been busy. Sadly I can't enter your giveaway being down here in Australia. I suppose it would also make it less sustainable if you put it on an aeroplane and sent it down under. I LOVE the photos of the boats on the dock. Looks like there are some lovely classics there?

  • Tracey says:

    This is the only toothpaste the wee one will use! I love Tom's.

  • amy says:

    This is my kids' toothpaste too! and I love their peppermint.

    I love your pictures – especially the party!

    Have a great week!

  • amy says:

    This is my kids' toothpaste too! and I love their peppermint.

    I love your pictures – especially the party!

    Have a great week!

  • Melina says:

    Okay, whatever you did to those photos to make them appear old, I must know!! So awesome!

    I love the little misses retro Patagonia vest. Awesome.

    And! Toms of Maine redesigned the toothpaste tube?? in response to your request? fantastico! And they probably got inundated with people writing in. Their stuff is awesome.


  • AubreyLaine says:

    I'd love to win 🙂
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  • ivey patton says:

    we have never tried the strawberry! but would love to give it a test ride!

  • We LOVE Tom's! Thanks for a great giveaway!

    And these photos….so sweet and colorful!

  • kathleen says:

    Love that there is a new tube! Barrett is a huge fan and I also dislike the old cracky tubes.

  • Ok- I am seeing a lot of things from my area- I'm in Boca Grande- the hubs (currently Tarpon fishing) I've noticed – Cabbage Key (aren't “creepers” just the best?) and I've seen N. Captiva mentioned so far- but then I see other water pics that I know are NOT from here- so, I give up… new follower & possible neighbor (across the pass/harbor)

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