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

GUEST BLOGGER: Sara Sophia from tout-est-des-roses

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Sara Sophia
Blog: tout-est-des-roses

High.

Like a kite…perpendicular to the ground looking in the face of the sun.
Babies in my lap and wind in my hair and sitting in the grass watching squirrels leap limb to limb.
Its not warm enough yet to be summer and the song of spring still lingers
as the tea olive air wraps around us.

I love being a Mother.

I adore watching these small faces see the world around them
and learn and grow and appreciate what is life.
Its an honor to protect and nurture something so precious.
An honor to teach them right, as best as I know it. As best as I’m able.

I came outside because my feet were tired and my head sore from an afternoon spent dashing about;
from teaching in front of the chalkboard, and keeping patience in check.
I stayed up to late last night in front of the bright screen–writing words and saying them outloud to myself.
Listening for cadence and rhythm, hoping some sort of heart-point would come across.
In fact—-if we’re being honest and all–I stayed up till morning.

But here I sit. Three boys dashing mad-hatter through the yard, in and out of hedges.
One little girl sits in the circle of my arms and searches for tiny bugs crawling through blades of grass.
Its amazing how one quiet moment in the afternoon can pull such emotion out of a tired soul.
Because I’m thinking, and what I’m thinking is this:
Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.
There is nothing unimportant,
there is no day that can’t change everything in the smallest and biggest of ways.
Whether you are a teacher, a carpenter, a grocery store clerk,
a lawyer, a musician, a fire fighter, a mother, a friend, a student.
You are never just anything.
Take a moment, BREATHE.
See the still small thing in YOU that makes a difference.
Do good, be good, even when no one sees.

You are precious. And what you do is worthwhile.

Guest Blogger: Amanda of AME Atelier

Friday, May 6th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Amanda
Company: AME Atelier
Amazing link: The Mental Sweetness (aka graphic and musical inspiration)

I’ve noticed an extraordinary and curious development in the past year…a funny pattern has developed when Kyle asks me to do something – without thinking twice, I say “yes” to any and every request she sends my way. So when asked if I’d be interested in guest posting I excitedly replied, “of course!” Immediately followed by 15 minutes of banging my head against my desk wondering why I make these commitments I’ll inevitably put off, feel guilty about, then rush to finish moments before deadline.

Yesterday afternoon I was supplied with the answer. As I was pouring through a book for a project, my eyes alit on this sentence:

“Generosity is luck going in the opposite direction, away from you. If you’re generous to someone, if you do something to help him out you are in effect making him lucky. This is important. It’s like inviting yourself into a community of good fortune.”

At the risk of sounding saccharinely optimistic (which, incidentally, I am) – I have to believe that this is one of the purest of truths – it just makes sense that a generous spirit contributes to good luck and good fortune. Take a look around you at the some of the “luckiest” people you know – the ones you envy – the ones who seem to have destiny habitually falling at their feet. Don’t fool yourself – this is NOT dumb luck as begrudging admirers, old idioms, and fortune cookies might have us believe. These “lucky” ones are prepared, they’re always working, they’re alert, they involve their friends, and they tend to make others feel lucky to be around them by giving generously of themselves.

This is how giving gives back – and sometimes, as a small business owner, a parent, a student, even just an individual – it’s good to be reminded of. Amid the rattle and hum of the daily grind, it’s easy for us to become Gollum’s with our free time (“We waaaants it! We neeeeeds it! They stoles it from us! Myyyy prreecciiousss!”) hoarding away every second we might be able to use to sit and catch our breath. But a little generosity is sometimes the breath of fresh air we absolutely need the MOST, and the gift of giving does not have to be weeks of your time (although if you’re offering, I could keep you busy) or a million dollars (again – I can find things to do with that). Sometimes it comes in a form so simple as a sentence…

A friend and I were Skype-ing the other day – we collaborate on a lot of fun projects and, as per our standard, were engaged in the usual business back-and-forth. Deterring a little from our norm, at the end of the conversation he stated in the simplest of terms, “I really appreciate having you in my life.” It was one of the best gifts I’ve been given in along time.

Although he is generous in so many ways each day, on this particular day he was generous with his feelings and I felt needed, necessary, loved…and lucky.

If Kyle ever has to ask why I’ll always be willing to do just about anything she requests of me, I’ll have to answer (half-jokingly) “You’re just one of the lucky ones.” Hopefully, she’ll know what I mean is that she has repeatedly sent me (and countless others) such luck, it’s really all I can do to send it back her way and hope a few of those good deeds ricochet off into the ether, gifting some unsuspecting soul with a little of that extra goodwill.

Give the most you can as often as you can – whether it be a sentence of appreciation, or a lifetime commitment of service (as I shake my head and sigh in the general direction of Kyle – partner-in-crime and lead fairy whisperer). Anything you do will somehow change your life – and mark my words, soon enough, you’ll find yourself among that most elusive, most elite group of “lucky ones,” wondering the whole time how you got there.

——–

If you find yourself suddenly feeling REALLLLLLY motivated, checkout this book: http://www.29giftsbook.com/ and if you’re up for it take the challenge: http://www.29gifts.org/

Show YOUR appreciation for a friend by surprising them and celebrating an old May Day tradition this year: http://www.marthastewart.com/good-things/may-baskets?lnc=981b0fc6922ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=collage_home_decorating-bedrooms_p1

And take a minute to look at barley&birch’s newest project: http://www.thebarleyandbirchfoundation.org/

Guest Blogger: Jen from Jenloveskev

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Jen
Blog: Jenloveskev

Hi Everyone! It’s Jen from Jenloveskev. Today I wanted to share an achievement with you all. I have always loved running but over the last 2 years have started to take it a little more serious. I ran my first marathon in October 2009. I had goals for the next year to run 2 more but shortly after my race I found out I was pregnant. Running a marathon and being pregnant do not really go hand in hand, so I put the goal of running another one the shelf. Well, my beautiful little daughter was born last September and I am proud to say that 8 months after having her I will be running my next marathon.

I am running the Ottawa Marathon on May 29th. I am so excited. It has been a lot of hard work, but I am ready. The reason I am so proud of this is because it is something I can do to raise awareness for something that lays heavy on my heart. Barley and Birch is such a huge example for me to reach out and do more for people. I will be running to raise money for Love146.org, a charity that is out to end child sex slavery and exploitation. They focus their attention on aftercare for rescued children, in prevention and in research. They are such a fabulous organization. It is my honor to go thru my trails in training to help in some small way.

In my daily ups and downs of life it’s nice to know that I can make a small difference in something that is bigger than myself.
“There is a Road we keep running on until we reach our goal but LOVE gives us strength to continue our journey” -Love 146 Survivor

Guest Blogger: Brandi of The Daily Nickel

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Brandi
Blog: The Daily Nickel

Hello again fellow b&b lovers! Its Kyle’s friend Brandi back again for what I am sure will be a thrilling guest blog post ;) This time around Kyle asked us to maybe come up with a craft or something. Well I was stumped because while I am a decent enough baker and could have went on and on about my current love of homemade Lara bars I wanted to be at least slightly more entertaining and have more directions than put the stuff in the food processor and blend together. And plus it takes 2 seconds on Google to find a million easy peasy recipes anyway (I suggest you do it!). So I finally realized I should just go with what I know. Oh don’t worry it’s not the law! I’m not that cruel…

I have been seeing this American Apparel clutch all over the internet. I immediately loved it. And while $50 isn’t that much to pay for a bag, it was way more than I was willing to pay, especially for something I didn’t know how often I would use. So when I came across this tutorial with Kyle’s challenge in the back of my mind I knew I had to give it a go. And from there this entire post was inspired. Kyle speaks often about voting with your dollars, a sentiment I hold dear to my heart. So today I’m here to let you know how you can dress like a million bucks while supporting the Earth/real people and leaving most of your money right in your wallet.


First, DIY! Things will always be the best when you can chose what goes into it and your two hands create it. Prime example is this clutch! I absolutely love it. I mean don’t look too close, it was my first ever sewing adventure, but it really didn’t turn out too bad. And best of all its easy and for people who know what they are doing it would take nearly no time at all. I chose not to use leather because for me personally I try to use animal friendly products. I plan on making more out of vinyl and corduroy and other more sturdy fabrics. I also used a tee that I had recently discovered a tear in as a liner. If you are looking for a fun way to spice up your wardrobe I really recommend giving this a go with a fun colored fabric and/or zipper. It’s cheap and nothing that takes a lot of skill. A good way to change your look without really changing anything. I only have one piece of advice that you might not initially think of. Use a fully separating zipper. The real ugly area on mine is because the zipper had one of those metal stoppers so I couldn’t really maneuver.

Second, think secondhand! I am a shop-a-holic. I use it to mask my emotions, I use it to socialize, and I use it to curb boredom. It can be bad. But I have discovered that it’s really not all that destructive when I go to the thrift store on half off day (almost every store has one!). I can come home with a whole bag of new clothes for the price of lunch. On this outfit the jacket (Ralph Lauren), scarf (authentic Japanese, 100% wool), chain necklace, and skirt (100% wool and I think vintage…it has that typical tight vintage waist) are all thrifted. And together they cost me less than $20. I have a ton of thrifting tips, but I’ll try not to talk your ear off. 1) Never buy a belt or scarf anywhere but at a thrift store. There are tons of them there and they are way more unique than you’ll find anywhere else, not to mention probably 20% of the price. Also, make sure to check out the jewelry section. You can find some good things there. Just make sure to do a quality check. 2) Shop trends first at thrift stores. A lot of trends have been around before. Don’t waste a ton of money on a brand new seasonal product when you can get it for $2 at your local Goodwill. For example, right now maxi skirts and dresses are HUGE. And you know what? Thrift stores are like maxi skirt Mecca. It’s almost like every maxi must make a pilgrimage there. 3) Don’t expect to be in and out in 15 min. Thrifting takes time. You have to feel the fabrics (don’t spend good money on something you could get at Old Navy) and make sure the items you buy are in good condition and look everywhere to find the good stuff. But when you do its awesome. This weekend I found a vintage Burberry skirt and because it was half off day got it for $3. I mean, come on! 4) Look outside your size. Don’t just stick to the size you think you are, because great things can be found a few isles away. The boys section is a great place to find shrunken jackets. Vintage sizes tended to run smaller, so you probably need to look a few sizes up. And sometimes a too big shirt can be the perfect thing. (Think belts and skinny jeans and sky high heels). 5) Make sure you check out Jentine’s blog. She has the best thrift tips….including how to clean anything you pick up so you don’t bring home any visitors!

Third, support real people. Buying handmade items makes a difference. My bracelet, which is really a necklace, was made by women in Uganda who recycle old magazines into beautiful jewelry. By buying this item I am supporting women trying to support their families in an area where that is not always possible. Likewise, the ring was handmade. It was a gift from a very dear friend who got it in Nashville. She decided her money was best spent fostering a local artist. And she knew I would feel the same.

Fourth, sometimes it’s ok to hoard. I mean not like 30 years of newspaper piling up in the living room hoarding, but more like allowing a few key pieces to remain with you even though they aren’t always in the regular line up. For example, my shirt, shoes, and necklace have all been around for at least 7 years. I know that sounds crazy, but think about it. There are a few things to keep around because they are constantly coming into style. And let me preface this by saying you shouldn’t keep things that are poorly made or ill-fitting, this only applies to items of good quality that work for your body. I personally rarely get rid of jackets, jeans, jewelry, or shoes. Jean shapes are always coming and going. And now that wide legs and flare legs are back in style people are scrambling to lay out a ton of cash for new jeans. Not me. I still have mine from a few years ago (take that hubby who says I own too many pairs!). And when military jackets were big in the fall, I had one around that I had bought early on in college. As for shoes, I’m just obsessed and have every style imaginable, but again I’m not on the hunt for espadrilles this season because I kept mine. Plus, a classic style shoe (like my nude sandals) will never go out of style. And my leaf necklace? A gift from my grandmother probably 15 years ago. Being a snotty pre-teen I hated it back then, but turns out the lady has good taste and I wear it all the time now. Plus it’s a piece of nature! This also works for your significant other. Give some of their items a second life. The tee I’m wearing used to be my husbands. Instead of getting rid of it I snagged it. I did the same with a bunch of sweaters he was no longer attached to. For things like that just throw them on high in the dryer and shrink them a bit. And even if they are still big you can rock it. You really are only limited by your creativity!

Lastly, borrow! My sister’s and I are around the same shoe size. My college roommates and I were all around the same clothes size. We all borrowed like mad. I mean it triples the size of your wardrobe. I say swap til you drop! I mean I am a shoe freak. In all earnestness I own well over 60 pairs of shoes (see above). But I don’t necessarily have such a collection of other items. So share among friends. I pass along my shoes (Kyle has actually borrowed some before!) and maybe will borrow a dress from you. Let’s face it, there are some things that we don’t get rid of even though we don’t wear them a lot. Well why not save your friend the hassle of buying something new and loan her what you already have. Honestly, it saves you both.

Phew…..I am sure I have officially worn you out! I know I fell asleep like halfway through writing this novel, so I don’t blame you if you did too. At the very least I hope I helped assure you that you can make your money count without breaking the bank and look your very best while you’re doing it!

And let’s all let out a collective “Good luck Kyle!” while we’re here why don’t we….

Make Something Monday: Colored Rice (Guest Blogger: Emily of DesignHER Momma)

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 9th.)

Guest blogger: Emily
Blog: DesignHER Momma

One of my earlier memories from when I was a kid, was that my preschool class had 2
sensory bins of dried noodles and dried beans that I loved.

There were tools in the bin to gather, scoop and separate. Obviously this cheap and easy
toy made an impression on me, as I’m now an adult and I can still vividly remember how
much I loved playing with them.

This past week, my 3 year old and I got to work on an equally cool project. Instead of
dying eggs for the holiday weekend, we dyed (and dyed) rice! You guys, it was so quick,
so easy, and so very fun.

What you will need:
White rice
Food coloring
Rubbing alcohol
Big metal mixing bowl
Spatula
Flattened brown grocery bags

Coloring the Rice:
Put 3-4 cups of rice in the metal bowl
Add desired amount of food coloring (I probably add too much, because I like it bright,
bright, bright!)
Add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (which helps dry out the rice)
Mix, mix and mix some more with the spatula.
Lay dyed rice out on the brown bags (or paper towel) to dry.

Be super careful, as the dye can obviously stain. Let rice sit out to dry for around an hour,
it should be ready to go after that.

Put all your colored rice in a big plastic container or bin. Add spoons, cups, funnels,
anything you can think of that might be a fun “scoop”.

We’ve deemed color rice an outdoor toy, but I’ll let you decide where to play with it!

Have a blast! We know we have.

Weekend Craft: Terrarium & Sunday tunes! (Guest Blogger: Amanda of AME Atelier)

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Amanda
Company: AME Atelier
Amazing link: The Mental Sweetness (aka graphic and musical inspiration)

Another Earth day has come and gone, but I hate to see a party end…so I decided to do a little Easter green redecorating with some extra jam jars I found “lying around the house” (much to my mother’s dismay).  Here’s a SUPER quick project that’s GREAT to do with kids and takes ONLY the following:

  • A little dirt
  • A few greens from the yard, moss, or seedlings
  • An old jar
  • A handful of rocks, sand, or (in this case) shells

Couldn’t be easier right??? Simply grab a jar, cover the bottom with small rocks, gravel, or sand. Throw some unfertilized soil in (this is best as you don’t really want your plants to grow bigger than the jar!) Dig small holes for the plants you’ve selected (see below for a list of good choices). Water it LIGHTLY before putting on lid (do not mist). The terrarium should retain moisture, so rewatering won’t be necessary, but check the soil periodically to be safe.

Condensation is normal, and should not be wiped off. For further maintenance, ventilate every two weeks or so, airing out the terrarium for a few hours and lightly watering – then place the lid back on and you’re good to go! It’s as simple as that!

Among the plants I found listed for choice terrariums were: African violets, artillery ferns, false aralias, jade plants, miniature peperomias, nerve plants, oxalis, pink polka dot plants, prayer plant, small ferns, small peace lilies, small philodendrons, spider plants,  strawberry begonias, and Swedish ivy. *HOWEVER* since I recognized only about 1 in 6 of these plants and wanted to get this done FAST I used some small herbs, a small succulent, and a couple handfuls of moss from the backyard – so far (famous last words) they are THRIVING.

In my opinion, the best part of barley & birch’s Make Something Monday is the fact that it shares a project you can tweak to your own liking –  for kids this is a tiny world they’ve created and there are SO many ways for them to make it their own.

This particular set was made especially for my room, which I consider to be my beach-y outdoor sanctuary away from the beach…and with a couple TINY changes these terrariums became perfect little spots of green. A spray-painted top and bottom layer of shells made them perfectly suitable for use as bookends, paperweights, or just pretty little desk/windowsill accessories. And as I get ready for a move to New York City, they’re a great reminder of how life can flourish even in the tiniest of confined spaces!

…I HAVE to SAY though -  if I were 6 again….well I’d LOVE to think I would have taped a My Little Pony or Care Bears cloudscape to the back of the jar….thrown a couple action figures in…with some Neverland-ish looking plants…and waited with baited breath for my tiny world to come alive…

Send us pics of the creative terrariums YOU’VE come up with!

And to help shake off the winter dust and get back in the spirit of the great outdoors, here are some tunes to terrarium to…happy planting! (Download the awesome mp3 file of the songs here.)

  • MIGHTY – Lord Huron
  • WILDFLOWERS – Tom Petty
  • GREAT LAKES – Harlan Pepper
  • THISTLED SPRING – Horse Feathers
  • IN THE STREAM – S. Carey
  • RAGGED WOOD – Fleet Foxes
  • SPIRIT VOICES – Paul Simon
  • SWIM UNTIL YOU CAN’T SEE LAND –  The Frightened Rabbits
  • THESE ARE THE DAYS – Van Morrison
  • LA MARIPOSA – The Powder Kegs

Guest Blogger: Leslie from Recycle Your Day

Friday, April 29th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Leslie
Blog: Recycle Your Day

April birthday boys… another year older!

I love Clark’s goofy smile here!

the eco tot’s infamous warrior pose!!

Both of these precious little guys were born on popular days…

Clark is a Fool’s Day, baby and Tristan is an Earth Day, baby…funny, how that happened, right?!?!

Having children is certainly life changing but the fact that they get to sport some fashionably hip planet-saving duds, too… well, that’s just the icing on the cake!!! *wink*

Speaking of of which, I was thinking  about ditching the domesticated apron for his birthday, SO, I can purchase an already made cake or cupcakes. Shh! Don’t tell, anyone! It sounds so wonderful as I sit here and stare out my bay window and look out at the mostly full moon. LOL!

It’s been a doozy of a week, thus far…  the mister has worked day and night & on top of  his wacky schedule we’ve had 3 swarm calls. Yes, that’s right we’ve been out rescuing bees and giving them new homes on our urban homestead property. Since January, we have been involved with our local beekeeper meetings and have established ourselves as members of the group. We’ve always been interested in beekeeping and decided to finally just go for it. We’re really glad we did!

As “newbees”  we  have the opportunity of going out and saving feral honeybee swarms- as long as we’re willing to keep them and provide them with shelter. A swarm capture is one of the most amazing experiences to watch and be part of (pun intended).  Last night and the night before my hubBEE did the swarm captures alone… in other words, it was his first two “bee wrangling’” experiences without the help of the local beekeeper. I’m so proud of him!

At this point, we have a total of 3 hives- all rescued feral bees. Swarm season is in full swing -it’s very possible, we could end up with another swarm or two before it’s all over. Will I be getting suited up to do some “swarm bustin”, you ask??  You bet!!

Right now, I’m taking lots of notes… “welcome to the world of beekeeping”.  : )

Guest Blogger: Drea from Ohdeardrea

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

(We asked some of our friends to cover our blog for a few weeks! We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that we love working with every single day. We will resume regular blogging Monday, May 16th.)

Guest blogger: Drea
Blog: Ohdeardrea

The high and low of my day described by just one photo:

My 6 month old daughter standing. Yes, thats right, my 6 month old: STANDING. (If you want to get more in detail about it… my 6.5 month old… but, whatever.)

I love her. She is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and she is better than any thought I could have ever dreamed. So then why would I consider her strength and bravery to be a low in my day?

Well, for one: It brings me less sleep. Now that she has found her ability to pull herself up: she wakes up constantly to stand. & Instead of the normal *thumb in mouth rolling back over to sleep* she pushes herself up to a sitting position, grabs the bars to her crib, then stands…. and SCREAMS. She finds herself incredibly proud of her new accomplishment, but at the same time, she finds herself in positions where she feels stuck and unable move forward or backwards. As a new mom… (who never *really* wanted to be a mom)…. I understand. I feel a great sense of pride knowing I am a good mother and raising a wonderful baby… but sometimes I want to scream. I want more sleep, I want more time, I want to get further in life, & I want to accomplish more, but I find myself in a position where it seems almost impossible to be able to move forward and grow as quickly as I would like.

Another low (and a high): kids really and truly: grow too fast. You always hear it, but you never realize how real that saying is until you find your baby isn’t a baby anymore… your baby is a child. Cliche as it sounds…. it really does feel like *it was just yesterday* that I gave birth to a tiny 6+ pound baby… and now here we are: toddler bound, child bound, then teen bound. I thought she would be a baby forever… or for at least another 2 years. Is that unreasonable of me? Did I expect too much? She’s not my baby anymore. She’s an attentive, growing, learning, accomplishing, soon-to-be-running child. I’m so proud of her. I am so happy for her. I feel so lucky… but it’s all happening too quickly. I want more for her… I want everything for her… but I would also like the impossible act of moving time and actions backwards to slow down the inevitable.

I guess the real difference between Marlowe & I is that I realize I wont be stuck grabbing onto the rails forever…. one day I will have the ability to climb over and move forward. Unlike her, I now know: screaming won’t move me forward. I’ve just got to take a deep breath and try harder… because moving backwards isn’t an option and one day I’ll be able to take the next step forward and get where I want to be…. it just takes a bit more patience and time. Baby steps.

Guest Blogger: Jen from jenloveskev

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

(**We asked some of our friends to help cover our blog for a few days! We asked each of them to tell us their “high/low”, that is, the highest part of their day or week and the lowest part. We hope you enjoy getting to know people we love for all sorts of reasons.)

Guest blogger: Jen
Blog: jenloveskev

Hi Everyone! It’s Jen from jenloveskev. It’s an honor to be guest posting here on Barley and Birch. I Love Barley and Birch! Kyle asked us to write about the highs and lows from our week, So here it goes…

This was a very special week for Kev, Rowan and I. We were on vacation in Flordia for thanksgiving. It was special because it was full of firsts for Rowan. As a mom I dont think there is a better high than watching your child experience new things. It totally warms my heart.  I love new adventures and seeing new thing, so being able to share that with her is beyond amazing. Rowan took her first airplane ride, her first boat ride, her first trip to the beach and the first time her feet were in the sand and ocean.

My low this week is also tide in with vacation. I was a total stress ball on our trip home. It’s such a funny story I just have to share. I can laugh now that it’s over of course, but in the moment I was holding back tears. We were waiting for our 2nd flight at the Washington Dulles airport. It was of course delayed, but it was ok because Rowan was sleeping in her Moby wrap.  As we were getting closer to our boarding time, I started getting worried because I knew she should start to getting hungry and would need to be changed. We debated back and forth whether we should wake her or not and take care of it before we boarded. We decided not to wake her. Just as they started to call the first class passengers she woke up. We decided that Kev would rush and get her changed as I ran to the bathroom (going to the bathroom with baby in moby, just does not work for me) I had been holding it for like 3 hours. I hadn’t even finished when they were calling our name over the loud speaker. what!?!?! They just started boarding I had thought. I ran back to Kev who was frantically handing over Rowan who didn’t even have her pants pulled up yet. We started grabbing all our stuff and running to gate with Rowan who still had her pants around her ankles. Everyone around us was laughing at us. I could feel my face turning bright red. I pulled her pants off, I figured it was better than around the ankles at this moment. We just made it to the gate in time. We walked down the tunnel and realized we were getting on to a super small plane. The kind with propellers and were you have to go outside on the tarmac to get on. Great! I thought, Rowan has no pants on and we are going outside. I quickly whipped off my sweatshirt and wrapped her in it. We get on the plane and its no wider than my arm width. It’s full of men in business suits. My heart sank. I knew we were in for a long 54 mins to Albany. We sit down and Rowan started to cry because she was hungry. Kev took out her bottle and because of the tight quarters put our backpack up above. I start feeding her thinking the bottle would last thru take off and would help with her ears. We pulled away from the gate, everything was going fine. 10 mins later Rowan was getting closer and closer to finishing the bottle and we haven’t even taken off yet. She finished. We were still not moving. She started hysterically crying. She was still hungry. Our bag was up above and we were about to take off so we couldn’t get out of our seats. I knew she would only get worse with the air pressure in take off if she wasn’t drinking. Frantically, I start undressing in the middle of the place surrounded my business men because I knew it was the only option to quiet this screaming baby. I was fumbling all over the place. I trid to get her latched on. She was screaming so loud that she was having a hard time. My milk let down. Now I was dripping milk all over the place while I was trying to calm her down. She didn’t want to nurse. I put her on my chest and bounced her and talked to her until she finally fall asleep. My boob was still out under the blanket. Rowan slept cuddled on my chest for the next 54 mins. I ask Kev to remind my my shirt was open before I stood up. Finally we were back home safe and sound.

Although my low might have made me question “do I really want to travel with a baby again?” the high from being in FL with Rowan totally out weights the bad. We all have lows during our weeks/days but if when I focus on my highs the lows never seem to bad in hind sight.