Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Block Island Organics Sunscreen

I was contacted by Block Island Organics about reviewing their products. It was a timely offer, being that it is Summer and we've recently discovered that Spencer has PMLE (Polymorphous light eruption - he's allergic to the sun). I was also moved by the fact that Block Island Organics is a very small company, founded by a brother / sister team.

Be sure to:

Complimentary products were provided for review. This post contains affiliate links that support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

The main item I tried (several times) was the Baby Block SPF30 Sunscreen. It is described as "a zinc only organic, lightweight, non-nano and mineral based sunscreen safe for babies over 6 months and sensitive skin types."

It was important to me that the sunblock is nano particle free, but it is also non-comedogenic, vegan formula, paraben free, and phthalate free! It contains no artificial fragrance at all (I hate perfumes). It is not tested on animals and its made in the USA. Lots of winning reasons to love it... as long as it works!

Our first trial of baby block was on the 4th of July. It seemed a good time to really put the product to the test. I was a little nervous trusting Spencer's PMLE to sunblock instead of just limiting sun exposure, but it was a holiday and we had company coming to hang out in the back yard.

This sunblock absolutely absorbed easily into my son's skin and left barely any oily residue on my hands at all. (Don't you hate that part?!) It didn't stink or pile up on top of our skin.

As you can see (and in case you're new here), Spencer has very fair skin.

I only applied Baby Block one time, before we headed outside. I would say that he spent approximately 3 daylight hours playing outside. He did not burn at all. (Its the burn that later turns into a rash with his PMLE.) I also applied this product to my two-day-old tattoo.

I really slathered it onto my fresh tattoos!

While I did not get a sunburn on my arm at all, I did go against my tattoo shop's specific instructions. I was told to keep tattoo out of the sun until it was healed. When completely healed, sunblock may be used to protect the tattoo in the sun. The zinc made my tattoos cloudy. I do not blame Block Island Organics for this damage in the slightest. The blame falls solely on myself for not following instructions... which I didn't have handy that day. (I will be getting my tattoo fixed up, no worries.)

On another occasion, I tested Baby Block on a zoo trip. We only stayed there for 2-3 hours. Again, no burn!

I absolutely recommend this product to friends and family! I love to support small business and the product performs as promised. Block Island Organics also makes 3 other sunblock products with varying SPF ratings. I will say that calling it "zinc only" seemed misleading, but honestly: using nothing but zinc would not have been the same pleasant experience at all. It has to be in a carrier / cream. I will continue to trust my son's delicate skin to Block Island Organics, as well as my entire family's skin! Just don't use sunblock on fresh tattoos!

You can purchase your own Baby Block through Amazon or directly from Block Island Organics (who offers free shipping on all orders over $50). This product (6 oz) will run you $24.99, regardless of which source you choose. A little really does go a long way, though.

And just for Momma Jorje readers, Block Island Organics is giving a 20% discount on all orders from now through 8/07/2014. Enter code jorje during the ordering process. This code may not be combined with other special offers.

Disclosure: I received a free sample for review purposes.
Links may be affiliate links. Amazon links are affiliate links.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find relevant and useful.
If I don't like a product, I won't recommend it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 30

Day 201 - Sunday - July 20

We took the littles to the zoo (and the playground in it).
Photo is blurry, but still my favorite from the day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Camping Trauma

Welcome to the July 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Vacation

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their family-travel tips, challenges, and delights. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Its been said that being in the woods literally revitalizes us. It is a calming place to be. Elmo and I love to be in the woods. I definitely feel recharged after a camping trip. Such was the case when we went to Spencer Creek (when I was very pregnant... with Spencer).

We decided to take Spencer for his first camping trip last August to celebrate our 4th anniversary. It was going to be a biggie, too! I researched and found an out-of-state State Park with two popular swimming holes nearby. It had no cell phone signal, but also hosted a few geocaches. It sounded perfect!

Our van started acting funny on the way there. I undercooked our dinner and then it started raining so I couldn't really finish it. It rained the first night and our tent leaked. We drove to town in the middle of the night to buy a tarp, which we then fought to put up... in the rain... in the middle of the night. Swimming holes... well there had been a drought so they weren't open for swimming. The second night it rained so bad that it flooded our tent! We did enjoy the meals at the small cafe on-site, but had already spent our food budget on actual groceries. That we couldn't cook due to the rain.

See the water lines on the pole? The water level was waaay down.

We did get to enjoy swimming in the pool at the state park before leaving - a day early. Getting home was a nightmare because of the trouble with the van. It was basically overheating over and over again, despite having water in it. It took us over 6 hours to make a 4 hour drive.

At this point, I am hoping that camping hasn't been ruined for us. It was a horrible experience. Our next camp out will start in our back yard... for practice. and healing.

I think camping will still be our favorite way to get away (its really the most cost efficient, right?), but I have often said that I wished we could get some camping mentors. We don't feel confident in our skills or knowledge of camping and I don't know how you're supposed to learn without someone to teach you.

What is your favorite family getaway?
Do you know how to camp? If so, who taught you?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Favorite Family Vacation Recipe: Staying at Home — The best family vacation Laurie Hollman at Parental Intelligence could ever recommend requires minimal packing, no hotels, unrushed travel, easy meals to everyone’s taste without a bill, no schedules, everyone’s favorite interests, and three generations playing together.
  • Scared of toilets and other travel stories — Tat at Mum in search is an expert at flying with kids. She shares some of her tips and travel stories.
  • Staycation Retreat for Busy MamasLydia's Handmade Life gives Budget-friendly, eco-friendly staycation ideas for busy work-at-home moms.
  • How We Leave It All Behind — At Life Breath Present, they don't take traditional vacations — they go on forest adventures. Here are some tips in planning for an adventure, if you don't just go spontaneously, as they have before. Plus, many pictures of their latest adventure!
  • Traveling while pregnant: When to go & how to manage — Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the pros and cons of traveling during the different trimesters of pregnancy, and how to make it as comfortable as possible.
  • Our Week in Rome: Inspiration and Craft Ideas for Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers — If anyone in your family is interested in learning about Ancient Rome, if you enjoy crafts, of if you're a parent looking for a fun staycation idea, check out Erin Yuki's post for a Roman-themed week of crafts, food, and fun at And Now, for Something Completely Different.
  • The Real Deal: A behind the scenes look at our "Western Adventure" — Often Facebook and blog posts make vacations look "picture perfect" to outsiders. If you only looked at the pictures, Susan's recent family vacation was no exception. In this post at Together Walking, she takes readers "behind the scenes" so they can see the normal challenges they faced and how they managed to enjoy their vacation in spite of them.
  • Welcome to the Beach House! — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is in love with her family's new "beach house"!
  • Road Trip to Niagara Falls — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about her first trip out of the country with just her and the kids.
  • 5 Essential Things to Take on Vacation — Five things Nurtured Mamas should be packing in their suitcase for their next trip.
  • The Many Benefits of Camping with Friends — Do you want to go camping, but the very thought of it seems daunting? Make your life easier - and your kids happier - and go camping with friends! Dionna at Code Name: Mama discusses how much better camping can be when you join forces with others.
  • My Natural First Aid Kit for Camping, Travel, and Everyday Use — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives us an insiders looks at her natural first aid kit for camping, travel, and everyday use. These natural remedies have saved her hide and those of others many times! You might be surprised what made her list of must-haves!
  • Traveling Solo and Outnumbered — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares lessons learned from a recent trip with two toddlers and no co-parent.
  • Compromise and conviction on the road — Jessica of Crunchy-Chewy Mama shares the reality vs. the dream of travel and dishes on the compromises she makes or won't make while traveling.
  • Camping Trauma — Jorje of Momma Jorje offers why she loves camping and why she and her family are a little gun shy about it, too.
  • First in our Books — Writing fresh from her first family vacation, Laura from Pug in the Kitchen has realized that helping pack her parents' station wagon made for a smooth and pleasant trip that was more than she hoped for!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 26

Day 173 - Sunday - June 22

You'd never really guess there are bright red dreadlocks under that towel, huh?

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