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Now Hiring: New Office Dogs

dweber posted this August 24th, 2015

Must be comfortable with fast paced, dog-eat-dog-treat environment (From left: Lucy, Gromit, Leo and Norman)

Position: Office Dog, or SNIF Representative (Super-Nose Inventory Faction)
Reports To: Norman, First in Command SNIF
Location: Toad&Co Headquarters, Santa Barbara, CA

As a Toad&Co Office Dog and Representative of SNIF, you are responsible for monitoring all activities at Toad HQ and maintaining good office vibes. Office Dogs are the first faces guests see when entering the office, so it is paramount that SNIF Reps look cute and refrain from growling (sniffing encouraged). Reps must understand the technical aspects of the perfect cuddle, maintain professionalism in the presence of snacks and thoroughly enjoy belly scratches. This position works closely with fellow SNIF representatives: Norman (Head of Security), Lucy (Lunch Lady), Leo (In-house Therapist), and Gromit (Grounds Patrol). The right Office Dog is experienced in spotting fallen crumbs and can accurately discern proper bathroom locale. Experience in sitting, shaking, rolling-over and delivering beer is preferred but not necessary.


  • Greet all guests enthusiastically
  • Accompany employees to kitchen
  • Keep office floors clean after meals
  • Accept UPS packages and keep kindly rapport with delivery guys
  • Occasional modeling
  • On-demand cuddles as requested by Toad employees
  • Travel as needed


  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly skilled self-starter
  • Potty trained
  • Proficient in sniffing (PC and Mac)
  • Excellent time management for scheduling naps during prime sunlight hours
  • Handle multiple projects in fast paced lunch environment
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Looks adorable while sleeping


Office life can be ruff… Clockwise from top left: Norman, Gromit, Leo, Lucy

Office life can be ruff… Clockwise from top left: Norman, Gromit, Leo, Lucy

That’s Just Peachy

dweber posted this August 23rd, 2015

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you a special announcement: It’s National Peach Month. Which means that we have just a few days left to give do credence to one of our favorite summer snacks. And what better way than grilling ’em up and slathering with sweet-yet-salty honey ricotta? Yep, we told you it was a special announcement.


Recipes and Photos from Recipe Runner

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Ricotta

4 peaches, halved and the pit removed
3/4 cup ricotta
2 tsp honey (and a bit more for drizzling on top)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (and a dash for sprinkling on top)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl whisk together the ricotta, honey, cinnamon and vanilla until it’s perfectly smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
3. Brush oil or melted butter onto the cut side of the peaches, then place them cut side down onto the grill.
4. Grill peaches for about 3 minutes or until they are warm and have those fun grill marks.
5. Spoon a big dollop of the cinnamon honey ricotta mixture into the peach pit holes, and finish with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bon appetite!

Weekend Plan: Beery Picking

dweber posted this August 17th, 2015


As summer days give way to autumn nights, we’re squeezing in our favorite summer activities before it’s back to work and school. Lucky for us, it’s still berry picking season for the next few months. Blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, huckleberries, thimbleberries… grab a bucket and fill it up with the sweet stuff. A good rule of thumb when picking wild berries is let it be if you don’t recognize the berry type. It’s not too late to plan a quick weekend getaway, so here are our favorite U-pick berry farms around the country:

Mountainview Blueberry Farm – Snohomish, WA
Mountainview lives up to its name: Nestled against a hillside in the Snohomish River Valley, on a clear day you’ll see all the way to Mt. Baker. This picturesque farm dates back to 1940 and grows 20 varietals of blueberries. Pop into the market for some killer preserves and syrups or get recipe ideas for your own sweet concoctions. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 8-5, $2/lb.

Santa Barbara Blueberries – Gaviota, CA
Located in the magnificent rolling hills of Santa Ynez Valley just 35 miles northwest of our hometown, Santa Barbara Blueberries at Restoration Oaks Ranch is just as sweet to look at. Spend a few hours gathering blueberries, raspberries, watermelon and cantaloupe, then toss them into your picnic basket and head to nearby Gaviota Sate Beach for a seaside picnic. Open Monday – Thursday, 10-3; Friday – Sunday, 10-6, prices vary.

Lakeview Orchard – Lanesborough, MA
We’re partial to spectacular views, and Lakeview Orchard does not disappoint. Overlooking Hoosac Lake, good luck focusing on berry picking when you’ve got panoramic views of the surrounding valley and Berkshire Mountains. Cherry season is over, but raspberries, red currants and blackberries are in full swing (and maybe a few apple varietals too). If you’re not a sweet tooth, their homemade pierogi, ravioli and gnocchi are the best kept secret in the area. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9-4, prices vary.

Willow Oaks Berry Farm – Midland, VA
Blueberries, thornless blackberries and raspberries are in abundance at this postcard worthy Southern farm. Pack a lunch for the communal picnic green or stop off to get road trip snacks on your way to DC. Great for kids and dreamy for adults – just don’t forget the mosquito repellent. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 9-5; Sunday, 12-5, prices vary.

Dexter Blueberry Farm – Dexter, MI
The closest thing to picking wild berries, Dexter Blueberry Farms is not for the faint of heart. Keep your eye out for wild rabbits and turkeys while you stroll the blueberry lanes, sifting through wickets for the biggest, fattest, juiciest blueberries. An old-school cash-only enterprise, $2 will get you a bucket and all the blueberries you can harvest – just be prepared to work! Monday – Saturday, 8:30-7:30; Sunday 12-6, $2/lb.

Modern Travel: Ashland, OR

dweber posted this August 3rd, 2015


What’s in a name? When it comes to Ashland, Oregon, a whole bunch of stuff: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, great regional wine, Lithia Park, a lively pub scene, Southern Oregon University and pungent (but stunning) mineral hot springs. Located in the foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain Ranges, late summer is the perfect time to spend a weekend exploring the Rogue Valley and dining al fresco. For the oenophiles, spend your day sipping pinots in Oregon’s latest wine belt (we like Dana Campbell Winery for the great views of Ashland, or 20 minutes up I-5 Dancin Vineyards pairs nicely with homemade wood-fire pizza). If you’re looking for something more active, grab a cup of Joe from Noble Coffee and explore stunning Lithia Park. Designed by the same landscape architect who did Golden Gate Park, Lithia’s spectacular gardens switchback across Ashland Creek through the foothills and connect to plenty of hiking and biking trails. Grab an early dinner at one of Ashland’s local cafes (you really can’t go wrong – most places proudly serve farm-to-table menus), then catch a show at the Shakespeare Festival (February – October). If the Bard isn’t your cup of tea, fret not – the OSF features plenty of modern playwrights and world premiers. After the show, grab a nightcap at one of the many pubs along the creek. With great food, awesome trails and a varied nightlife, Ashland is just the place for a weekend escape to while away the mid-summer nights!

What To Do in Ashland

Grizzly Peak: Oregon is known for environmentally conscious locals, no sales tax, and some of the most stunning and varied landscapes in the US. We count Grizzly Peak among one of the best spots. With awesome panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountain ranges, Grizzly Peak is nothing short of jaw-dropping. And the peak is just the beginning – take the loop trail that winds through the pine forests and you’ll start to see where one forest ends and another begins. Ecology at it’s finest!

Loft Brasserie: Terrace dining isn’t the exception in Ashland, it’s the norm. But Loft Brasserie is exceptional. With a menu that rotates daily, the Loft is French inspired food with a distinctly local twist. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Beef Tar Tar and Dungenese Crab Macaroni Gratin are beyond decadent, though the tried and true French Onion Soup and Lamb Shank are favorites for a reason. Ask your waitress which local wine pairs best or opt for a fresh cocktail (Mint Juleps and terraces mix well) – or have both since you’re on vacation.

OSF Elizabethan Theater: Sit amongst the plebeians or gaze upon the stage with fellow patricians, either way there’s not a bad seat in the house. Modeled after outdoor theaters like the famous Globe in Renaissance London, you can’t help but feel the majesty of live theater when you’re watching a production at the Allen Elizabethan Theater. Under the stars and sans mics or elaborate sets, you’re struck by just how compelling words, some written centuries ago, can still be so relevant. As long as you dress for the weather, you’ll be mesmerized by the reverie and feel much ado about nothing.

Standing Stone Brewing Co: To beer or not to beer? That is not a question – always beer. A great spot to sit on the patio and recap your day, Standing Stone Brewing Co has solidified its reputation as a classic Ashland hangout. The historic 1925 building definitely helps, but good ol’ fashioned on-site brewing and hearty local ingredients (3 cheers for Oregon Hops!) give this micro-brewery old-school street cred. The I ♥ Oregon Ale and Steel-Cut Stout pair nicely with the crisp valley air, and the kitchen is open until midnight in case you didn’t grab dinner before the show. We’ll take a late night pint and give a standing-O to this awesome brewpub.

What To Wear in Ashland

Smooth Crew: Don’t let the calendar fool you, these summer nights can get a wee bit chilly when you’re sandwiched between mountain ranges. The Smooth Crew is the perfect weekender staple. 100% organic cotton Butterknit fabric is unspeakably soft, wicks away moisture and resists wrinkles. Great on it’s own or a nice layer for crisp nights – all’s well that ends well.

Tamaya Tunic: Like a Shakespearean heroine, the Tamaya tunic is a classic beauty. Our eco–friendly Samba fabric charms in any hue and print and travels like a pro – it resists wrinkles, stays super soft and keeps it’s shape all day long. The split–V neckline shows off your come-hither collarbones while the back box pleat makes for an easy, swingy fit that pairs well with leggings or shorts. You’ll look simply divine.

Rosalinda Dress: When it comes to dresses, there’s no such thing as unconditional love. We want great fit, form and function – no caveats. With that in mind, we propose the Rosalinda Dress. She’s got a comfy, complementary shape, a stretchy Samba knit blend (Tencel®, organic cotton and spandex) and coffee–to–cocktails adaptability. We think you two will live happily ever after.

Mojac Overshirt: Devilishly handsome, we orchestrated our Mojac to look like a jacket but feel like a shirt. Richly colored flannel is fully lined with a buttery–shirt knit (both 100% organic cotton) making it perfect accomplice to an outdoor show. Oh, and we added chest pockets, chambray lining and a relaxed, shirttail hem so you’re always the perfect degree of “dressed up”– just as you like it.

Blackberry Jack

dweber posted this July 22nd, 2015

Photo and Recipe from State of Mine Blog

Maybe it’s the booze talking, but we feel pretty lucky to have Nina as a Toad. A master of all things crafty and DIY, Nina’s signature move is to kick off the weekend by turnin’ on the country tunes and whippin’ up tasty cocktails on Friday afternoon. Come 3:30 last week, Nina sauntered from desk to desk offering up her latest concoction – the Blackberry Jack. The results were mighty fine…

Ingredients for 2 cocktails:
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp homemade fruit shrub (direction’s below)
4 oz of Jack Daniels whisky
A splash of soda water
1 lemon peel

To make fruit shrub… 
1. In a pot mix: 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup berries (Nina used seasonal blackberries, but cranberries work well too).
2. Let the pot heat up until the liquid boils.
3. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid is syrupy, about 7-10 min from start to finish.
4. Let cool and store leftovers in the fridge. The shrub should keep for 3-4 weeks so use it to liven up other cocktails, cider or lemonade.

To make Blackberry Jack…
1. In a shaker with ice, mix in lemon juice, shrubs and whiskey.
2. Shake well and pour into a chilled glass over ice.
3. Rub a lemon peel on the rim (Tip: Use a lighter to heat the peel then twist to release flavor)
4. Add a splash of soda water and garnish with a blackberry and lemon peel skewer. Cheers!

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20 Years at Telluride Mountainfilm

dweber posted this July 9th, 2015
Photo: Jennifer Koskinen

Photo: Jennifer Koskinen

Every Memorial Day Weekend we pack a bag that’s ready for anything: sunshine, snow, ice cream socials, happy hours, rock climbing, snowshoeing, early-bird coffee, late-night pizza and films. Lots and lots of films. We’re off to Telluride Mountainfilm Festival for a long weekend of good company, great films, tasty beer and one really sweet gondola.

In 1979 a group of ski-bums-turned-cinephiles gathered to screen their favorite mountaineering docs. But the program quickly evolved to encompass stories about the people who move mountains, not just climb them. Inspired by dogged determination and incendiary storytelling, Mountainfilm is a celebration of the indomitable spirit and the global issues that matter. So don’t let the name fool you, Mountainfilm isn’t really about mountains at all – it’s about people who are working to positively change the world. And that’s what drew us to Mountainfilm 20 years ago. We go outside to be inspired, so we have an interest in keeping the wilderness wild, supporting conservation and encouraging the people who are putting in good work across the globe.

This year marks our 20th year sponsoring Mountainfilm and we think the festival is just getting better with age. In addition to showcasing documentaries and filmmakers from around the world, the four-day festival now includes symposia and panels (this year’s theme was Afghanistan), gallery exhibits of art and photography, book signings, coffee talks, student programs, live music, outdoor programs and street parties. Oh, and a spectacular gondola ride to ferry you between High Camp Theater and town.

With a program like that, Mountainfilm is much more than a film festival – it’s a meeting of the minds. Pioneers from all fields – athletes, environmentalists, scientists, artists – come together to talk global solutions and share a box of popcorn. This year’s special guests included a group of Afghan photographers who risk their lives for the sake of free speech, climbing sensation Tommy Caldwell, cartoon editor of The New Yorker Bob Mankoff, Austrian alpinist Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, big mountain snowboarding star Jeremy Jones and Rwandan genocide victim and activist Frederick Ndabaramiye.

And the buck doesn’t stop there. Mounatinfilm on Tour takes the best of the year’s films on a year-long trip around the world. Partnering with local organizations in over 100 locations, Mountainfilm on Tour reaches nearly 60,000 people every year. That’s 60,000 impressions and 60,000 new adventures worth pursuing. So thanks Mountainfilm, for keeping us informed and inspired. Here’s to the next 20 years!

For information on Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, visit www.mountainfilm.org/festival

For information and tour dates for this year’s Mountainfilm on Tour, visit www.mountainfilm.org/tour

I Am Able

dweber posted this July 8th, 2015


“Why did other people die, and I’m still alive?” Frederick Ndabaramiye asks himself in the short documentary, I Am Able, by Isaac and Jacob Seigel-Boettner (Pedal Born Pictures). Emerging from the depths of the Rwandan genocide, Frederick’s life has become a testament to the human spirit, proving that “disabled” is just a term, not an identity.

In 1994, the Interahamwe militia claimed more than 800,000 Rwandan lives. At 15, Frederick was removed from a bus and told to kill his fellow passengers; when he refused, the Interahamwe cut off his hands. In Rwanda, people with physical and mental disabilities are seen as less useful and treated as second-class citizens. Frederick spent much of his recovery struggling to accept his new reality; sharing his story through painting and teaching helped him cope with the trauma.

In 2005, Frederick co-founded the Ubumwe Community Center to help children and adults with disabilities challenge the idea of what it means to be “able.” The UCC’s mission is to encourage self-worth and independence by providing people with disabilities with life skills and job training. By living by example, the UCC aims to elevate the global attitude toward people with disabilities. And the I Am Able Cycling Team has a special way of peddling that message, so to speak. Headed by Frederick, the I am Able Team is a disabled cycling team that rides through rural villages around the world spreading the message that disability does not mean inability.

The film I Am Able is just another vehicle for Frederick and the UCC to bring awareness to a population that is underestimated in nearly every culture around the world. And that’s a movement Toad&Co can get behind. Since 1997 we’ve partnered with Search, Inc. to positively change the lives of adults with disabilities by providing them with training and work opportunities. With Search, Inc. we co-founded the Planet Access Company, a third party logistics warehouse staffed by adults with disabilities. Every unit of Toad&Co clothing is picked, packed and shipped with unmatched reliability and enthusiasm by the PAC crew. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

For more information on Frederick, the Ubumwe Community Center and the I Am Able cycling campaign, please check out their websites.

I Am Able (2015) – Trailer from Pedal Born Pictures on Vimeo.


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The Diplomat

dweber posted this July 8th, 2015


We’ve always said we keep good company. And our friend David Holbrooke is no exception. Since our early days in Telluride back in the mid 1990s, David has been a long-time friend of Toad and a close partner of ours at Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. A long-time Telluride resident and self-proclaimed adrenaline junky, David’s been rocking his title as Telluride Mountainfilm Festival Director for the past few years, bringing varied and powerful films to Mountainfilm. And when he’s not knee-deep in Mountainfilm, he’s also a darn good filmmaker on the side. This year, David’s latest documentary, The Diplomat, shook up Mountainfilm – and we couldn’t have been prouder.

The Diplomat chronicles the remarkable life of late US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. If the name sounds familiar, it should – Ambassador Holbrooke was David’s father. In this documentary, David investigates his father’s legacy as he gets to know his father “better in death that I did in life.”

One of the most accomplished diplomats of the 20th century, Ambassador Holbrooke spent more than five decades engaged in high-stakes diplomacy at the negotiating table. In an effort to get to know the man behind the peace missions, David delves into his father’s past: From his early days as an intuitive foreign service officer in Vietnam to securing a peace between war-torn Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia and, finally, to his work as U.S. point man for a crumbling Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Diplomat is a frank exploration of family relationships, weighed against ambition, legacy and the force required to affect change in the world. But in both Ambassador Holbrooke’s tireless diplomacy and David Holbrooke’s vulnerable storytelling, it is clear that the indomitable spirit runs deep in both men. Like father, like son.

For more information on The Diplomat and where to see the film, visit http://www.thediplomatfilm.com.

The Diplomat (trailer) from ro*co Films on Vimeo.

Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play

dweber posted this July 8th, 2015


Plaaaayy Baaaaall! We’re rooting for the home team on this one and giving an “Attaboy!” to our resident Toad photographer, David McLain, whose superior cinematography skills are on full display in his latest documentary, Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play. 

From Brazilian favelas to dusty Congolese villages, from Neolithic Scottish isles to modern soccer pitches, Director Jerome Thélia asks anthropologists, psychiatrists, historians, evolutionary biologists, sports commentators and even a juggler “What’s so great about a ball?” Well, it turns out a whole lotta stuff.

Surprisingly scientific and pleasantly philosophical, Bounce explores the little-known origins of our favorite sports and the people (well, specimens) who just can’t get enough of them. From ancient Mayan courts to Youtube clips with 10 million views, the ball has been enthralling players and audiences for thousands of years. It’s firmly staked its claim on our lives and, Spoiler Alert: It’s here to stay.

For more information on Bounce and where to see the film, visit http://www.bouncethemovie.com.






An excerpt on the power of the ball in Orkney Islands, Scotland…

Bounce – The Kirkwall Ba, Orkney Islands, Scotland from Merge on Vimeo.

8 Ways to Use a Pareo

dweber posted this June 29th, 2015


The pareo is the greatest item of clothing you’ve never heard of. Part skirt, part accessory, part cozy blankie, the lightweight and super packable pareo is the Swiss Army Knife of your summer wardrobe. Here’s why we love it:

  • It’s a skirt – It’s long enough to wrap around a few times (40” x 75”)so you don’t have to worry about it being too sheer. Short or long, whatever your preference – you’re the stylist.
  • It’s a sarong – It’s got length so you can wrap it into a halter dress and a hidden pocket is perfect for a credit card or a few pesos. Beach, pool, lake, whoever the summer wind blows you.
  • It’s a scarf – Bunch it up around your neck for warmth on chilly nights.
  • It’s a shawl – Drape it over your shoulders when you need a light layer at the concerts in the park.
  • It’s a headscarf – Protect yourself from the sun or pesky mosquitos, cover up at religious monuments, or use as an eye-mask when you’re camping.
  • It’s a towel – Our pareo is made from handkerchief-light organic cotton, so it feels good and is good for the earth too. Towel off and wring it out – it dries in a jiff. See our model, Eleanor, below.
  • It’s an airplane blanket – Snuggle into it or roll it into a ball for a pillow. Drafty planes and trains will never stand a chance.
  • It’s a tablecloth – Poppy summer colors make for a perfect accessory to any summer festivity. Wine and cheese platter not included.

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