Cool Group: Beagle Freedom Project

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

We recently heard about Beagle Freedom Project and fell in love. They rescue and find homes for Beagles being used in animal experiments.

From their site, “Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed. Research beagles are usually obtained directly from commercial breeders who specifically breed dogs to sell to scientific institutions.”

They really do a great job of advocating while being a resource for the breed. We are huge fans. This post brought us to tears.

Check them out and share away.



We learned something today.

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Today we learned that this guy exists.


He’s an Australian Quokka!

Quokkas are one of the smallest wallaby species in Australia. They have thick, coarse, grey-brown fur; short, rounded fluffy ears, a tail about 10 inches long and shorter hindlegs than other macropod species.

Even though quokkas are considered some of the friendliest, happiest animals on earth, they’re a “vulnerable species”!! (meaning they’re not far away from being  endangered!)


Quokkas are very unusual for a number of reasons. They are able to survive in an environment virtually devoid of freshwater and they can climb trees.

Quokkas have been used in medical research on muscular dystrophy as they suffer from the same disease.

This one is napping and we just want to cuddle him!!

Make Something Monday: Recycled Pool Noodles

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Somehow everybody seems to own at least one foam pool noodle, even if they don’t have a pool, or live near one. They’re cheap, take up room, and usually get thrown out after one or two uses.  Not in our world though, we at b&b love to upcycle whatever we can, so here’s some of our favorite pool noodle upcycles:



Slice one noodle in half and race matchbox cars/marbles!

Chop off about 6″, slice one side, and wrap it around your door. No more slamming doors! (Especially on kid hands!)

Swirl the noodle around itself (secure with a hot glue gun), wrap it in clear plastic and stick it on a bit of pvc pipe and you have a giant lollipop for all sorts of partys and awesomeness.

Turn them into hobby horses! Tutorial is here.

Did we forget about any other ways to upcycle these? Let us know!



Weekend Mix Tape: Vanessa

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Our good friend Vanessa of The Owl Mag took time out of her busy music-review writing schedule to make this weekend mix tape for  you to chill out to. And to write the following note:

“As a kid I loved making mix tapes. There was always a reason for a good one whether it was mood, season, occasion or love interest. When I was older, making my first mix cd practically blew my mind. But regardless of the medium, a good collection of tunes is such a wonderful thing. I experience angry punk moods, electronic dancey moods, earthy folk moods, 80s’ new wave moods and so on. This playlist is compiled of old favorites, along with some new ones. On a bad day, any of these musical gems can pull me up and take me to another place for that moment. It’s a beautiful thing and I hope you enjoy them.”

Check out Vanessa’s mix tape here.

Check out Vanessa at The Owl Mag here.

She’s also kind of obsessed with improv, performing in San Diego with The Hinges and Swim Team. For fun, and because she’s crazy, she drives to UCB: LA to take classes in being better at making things up on the spot.


Fun Facts Friday: Brown Bears

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Photo courtesy of Emily.


You are all probably familiar with our Sushi design. What you probably don’t know is that I have a decal of it on my car. The other day, as I was walking back to my car in a public parking lot, I heard this conversation between a girl around 4 years old and her dad.

Girl: What’s that bear doing?
Dad: Eating something.
Girl: What’s it eating?
Dad: Looks like sushi.
Girl: Why’s a bear eating that?!
Dad: I don’t know.
Girl. Oh.

I love that children are naturally curious. (Possibly because I don’t have to answer 80 million questions a day) I feel bad when I heard stuff like that happen, because, while parents aren’t expected to be experts in everything, I feel like they should use those “I don’t know” moments as an opportunity to look up the answers with their kids. So, in keeping with that spirit, the following list of Brown Bear facts will not only answer that random stranger child’s question, but hopefully the questions of a few more b&b kiddos. 


  • Brown bears are omnivores. Therefore they eat all kinds of food, like grass, fruit, insects, roots, plant bulbs, small animals, and fish.
  • Brown bears that live near the coast eat primarily salmon, though they don’t ALWAYS use chopsticks. These bears grow much larger than others because of their protein rich diet.
  • Brown bears are found in northern North America, Europe, and Asia, in isolated areas that are undeveloped by humans.
  • “Brown bear” doesn’t mean a “bear that happens to be brown” – it’s a whole species! There’s even a bunch of sub species like: Alaskan, Asiatic, European, Grizzly, Himalayan, Kodiak, Hokkaido, Siberian, and Red bears.
  • Brown bears hibernate because there’s less food for them in winter! Bears at the zoo don’t hibernate because the zookeepers make sure they have a ready food supply all year round.
  • During the fall, a brown bear eats practically around the clock, stocking up for the four to seven months of hibernation when it’ll have to live off stored body fat. A bear may chow down on 90 pounds of food each day.
  • Male brown bears average about 700 pounds.
  • Females average about 350 pounds.
  • Standing upright on its hind legs, an average-sized male brown bear may reach seven feet.
  • When a bear stands on its hind legs, it is not doing so as a threat. It’s curious, trying to get a better view of its surroundings.
  • Cubs live with their mothers for up to three years, and then they’re usually ready to face life on their own.
  • Bears have two layers of fur. A short layer of fur keeps the bear warm. And a long layer keeps water away from the skin and short fur.
  • The largest brown bear in the world is the Kodiak, who can weigh up to 1,400 pounds. They’re not even the largest bear in the world! The polar bear is, but they’re not a brown bear, so we’ll get back to the polar bear facts another day.
Here’s hoping someone learned something from this!

Cool Company: Punjammies

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

HANDMADE, ANCIENT INDIA WEARABLE ART: 100% cotton, printed by hand using organic dyes in the ancient Indian kalamkari print process, then hand cut and sewn by women rescued from sex slavery, restored to health and paid a fair wage.


PUNJAMMIES™ are pajama pants (full length and capri), shorts, tees, tanks and sweatshirts that are created in after-care facilities for women who have been rescued, released or escaped from a life of forced prostitution. Their lives have been marked by a message – you are a commodity – to be used for others’ gain.

Whether sold by her own family, trafficked from another country or driven by desperation, she was a slave to this life. Each story is as unique as each woman.

When a woman escapes from this life, she has few options. Beyond their emotional and psychological trauma, women in India who have been forced to work as prostitutes cannot easily enter schools, return to family systems or secure jobs to support themselves. A high-quality after-care center is one of the best options a woman has for rebuilding her life.

Holistic aftercare involves quality medical care, emotional safety, education along with the tools and community to create a new way of living.

PUNJAMMIES™ is the vehicle used to empower each woman.  Instead of the vicious cycle of her former life, the making of PUNJAMMIES starts her on her own virtuous cycle of self-reliance and dignity.  A simple thing like making pajamas is what it takes.  With the brothel behind and opportunity ahead in a new, supportive community, she is gradually restored to health.  When its time, she is trained to sew — and more importantly, to contribute as an integral part of an inter-dependent team.   Here is where she learns that she is valuable, to take pride in her work, and to trust again. To trust again–in herself and in others!  Her past diminishes and her future brightens.  She is becoming the kind of person she was made to be!

When one woman was asked about how her life has changed, she said, “In the brothels, I was alone. But now I have sisters.”

Every pair of PUNJAMMIES™ tells the story of a woman who was, once, voiceless. When you buy her PUNJAMMIES, you are key part of her path, out of modern-day slavery, into a life of hope, dignity and freedom.

Wear PUNJAMMIES™. Wear hope.

(Story from the Punjammies website)

Wear It Wednesday – Saraya the Champion.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013


You’ve met Saraya before when she was rocking her Orca onesie and the sweet leggings her mom, Janene, made her.

When Saraya was soaking  up the SoCal sun in our Feathers tee and adorable straw hat, she had no idea that she would enter and win our first ever Photo Competition. But now that she’s won, she has yet another b&b shirt to add to her collection, she had the honor of being the face of both our Facebook and Twitter for an entire month, AND she’ll be getting a special present at the end of the year.

 – – –

Visit Janene’s blog here .

Check us out on Facebook here to keep up with future photo contests.


Tasty Tuesday: Bert & Ernie Fruit Snacks

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

These fruit snacks our definitely one of the cutest ways to plate fruit that we have ever seen.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 clementine
  • 1 banana
  • raisins
  • 2 mini marshmallows
  • 1 red fruit roll up


The Steps:

  • Head over here for the original post.


Pregnancy Announcement Ideas

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Are you having another baby? Is someone you know? Do you just like looking at cool photos?

We’d like to think you said “yes” to all three questions.

We’ve collected a bunch of awesome Pregnancy Announcement Photos for your viewing pleasure. ENJOY!


Maybe we should make countdown shirts for soon-to-be-Mommies. What do you think?

This one should have one of our onesies! Maybe Loved? Which would you use?

Sunday Tunes: KCRW Presents Local Natives

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Some Sunday tunes for you! We at barley & birch love KCRW and love the Local Natives, so we have been digging working while listening to this live concert! Enjoy!