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!
Love,
Jodie

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

This is 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!

Don’t Be Bored This Weekend!

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Here’s a list of fun and mostly free things to do with your kids this weekend written especially for you, because we love you.

  • Play tag.
  • Start a book club. (it only takes 2 members!)
  • Adopt a pet rock.
  • Have a staring contest.
  • Make sock puppets. (Use all those ones that lost their mates!)
  • Create a secret handshake for your book club.
  • Go for a hike. (wear your Tracks shirt to help identify animal footprints)
  • Learn to juggle.
  • Have a dance party.
  • Play “I Spy.”
  • Learn the ASL alphabet. 
  • Pick flowers.
  • Have a tea party. (does your boy think that’s too girly? Remind him of how fun the Mad Hatter is!)
  • Build a blanket fort.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Start reading your first book club book.
  • Thumb wrestle.
  • Learn to tie knots.
  • Put on a play with your new sock puppets.
  • Take turns making funny faces. The first to laugh loses!

 

 

 

Back & blogging!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Hey everyone! After a TERRIBLE period of having our website be hacked & down, we are back! To celebrate being back, we have decided to blog every single day for a month! (Maybe even longer?)

We plan to blog about neat ideas we see on the interwebs, rad new bloggers, what we are up to, and more.

Want to join us in our quest to blog every day? We would love to have you!

What do YOU want us to blog about? We love your ideas!

Can’t wait to start chatting with you all again!

Love,
the barley & birch crew

Wear Something Wednesday: GUEST POST! Reconstructed Runway

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Hello b&b family! My name is Kitt and I am an art therapist based in New York.  I work with kids and adults, helping them express themselves through art, when they are struggling to verbalize their feelings.  I’ve been asked by the lovely Jodie to share a project I have been working on for a little less than a year, called Reconstructed Runway.

I am thrilled to be able to talk about Reconstructed Runway, because it is so close to my heart, and I hope that you share my passion for it as well.

This arts based project is looking to empower those individuals who are looking to put the pieces of their lives back together in sobriety, by using art as their main source of expression.  Through fashion and art we at Reconstructed Runway are hoping to use t-shirts as a safe metaphor for the refashioning of their present and their past to create a new, healthy life.

 

 

Funding for this project goes directly towards art supplies, an art space to be used during the projects 6 week timeline, and the final art gala event, which everyone who donates will be invited to!

As an artist and an art therapist, I have always been drawn to how we express ourselves through artistic means, and what those expressions look like, this is a chance to help others who may never have been able to express themselves in healthy ways, do so, and show the world.

Please check out our Fundly donation page at this link:

Reconstructed Runway

Donate if you can, and please pass it on to others!

 

<3,

Kitt