Tasty Tuesday: Applesauce Bites

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

We saw this post on Mom-dot-com  and were amazed at how clever it was! Trisha simply poured little dots of applesauce onto a wax-paper covered cookie sheet and placed it in the freezer overnight… AND NOW HER TODDLER (who isn’t that great with a spoon) CAN ENJOY APPLESAUCE AS A FINGER FOOD!

Genius, right?

You can do it with yogurt too!

We’d write some more, but now we’re going to see what fruit and yogurt combinations we can throw through the blender and into the freezer for snacking during all-night work sessions.

Make Something Monday: No Sew Beaded Tutu Bedskirt

Monday, March 18th, 2013


We saw this tutorial written by Beth of Free Stylin’ and HAD to share it.  It’s such an easy, cheap way to make your little princess/dancer/mermaid(think blues!)/fairy’s room super cool and special.



What You’ll Need:

  • A ton of tulle fabric
  • A fitted sheet
  • Beads (optional)
  • A hot glue gun OR a needle & thread (to go with optional beads)
  •  A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Scissors

Directions are HERE.

Fun Facts Friday: Golden Gate Bridge

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Today’s Fun Facts are inspired by the Bridge – one of our first designs, and one of our biggest sellers.

  • The bridge is named The Golden Gate because it stretches over the Golden Gate Strait. The strait was named “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named “Chrysoceras” or “Golden Horn”.
  • The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.
  • Knot (pronounced not) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile, approximately 1.151 mph.
  • It took just over four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge. Construction commenced on January 5, 1933 and the Bridge was open to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.
  • There are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is colossal. Its total length is 1.7 miles (8,981 feet), middle span is 4,200 feet and width is 90 feet. It is built at a height (average) of 220 feet above water.
  • The bridge is painted in orange vermillion color, also known as international orange. Irving Morrow, the architect of the bridge, chose the color because it goes well with the bridge’s setting.
  • If you think you’re going nuts now, because you could have sworn the bridge was red, “international orange” is a reddish color. (The Pantone color of the bridge is 180 C)
  • The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge until the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York replaced the title in 1964.
  • The fog around the Golden Gate Bridge is called “advection fog.” Such fog forms when humid air from the Pacific swoops over the chilly California current. The bridge has an influence in directing the fog as it pushes up and pours the fog around the bridge.

You probably recognize Zavery, the son of Amber: creator/owner/everything behind Rockerbyebaby from this Wear It Wednesday post, as well as others (what can we say, he likes us!)

Cool Company: Carrie Bears

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Carrie Bears is not only one of the sweetest companies we’ve ever heard of, but they’re complete masters of upcycling!  Their motto is “It helps to have something to hold on to” and they focus on creating adorable stuffed bears out of a lost loved ones clothing in order to help children (and adults) have something tangible to help them connect with someone they have lost.

“Sometimes, when it’s hard to let go, it helps to have something to hold onto. Carrie Bears comfort those who are grieving by helping them feel close to someone they have lost.

To create your bear, send a favorite shirt, blanket, or article of clothing to Carrie Bears. We will turn it into a soft, huggable 20-inch stuffed bear. It is heartwarming to see what happens when we can actually hold something that connects us to someone we have lost.

Bears can also be made to match a baby nursery or a bedroom set. If a loved one is confined to a hospital bed or has moved far away, a Carrie Bear can make home feel so much closer.”

While their main focus is to help the grieving, they also make bears out of baby blankets, maternity shirts,  and old favorites that have been grown out of – to help preserve good memories.

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!



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.


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!




Rebuild Rockaway!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Our fundraising for Rockaway has begun!



A Message From Jodie

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Kyle is always saying how much all of you love my blog posts – Make Something Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Fun Facts Friday were all my ideas and I have spent so much timing sharing with you all, but never actually sharing much about myself. Well here goes:

I grew up on 74th street in Rockaway Beach, NY. The two bedroom apartment was on the 11th floor and if you looked outside to the right there was the most amazing view of the beach (that was just across the street). To the left was Jamaica Bay, and a great view of the NYC skyline.  I learned to swim in the ocean, to fish and sail on the bay. I walked everywhere, and on days I couldn’t stand cutting through the projects, I would walk out of my way to just walk on the boardwalk. When teenage angst was overwhelming, I would sit on the beach (day or night, even in the snow) and just watch the waves until I was calm.

The media isn’t covering it very much, but Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Rockaway Peninsula. The ocean that Rockaway natives love, are proud of, that made us who were are , has shoved its way all the way across to the bay. The beach that The Ramones sang about has swallowed the city. All that is left of the iconic boardwalk is the supports. Over 100 houses burned down to their flooded basements. Well over 1,000 buildings have been condemned. There’s no public transportation in or out, no gas for those who have their own cars.

My own mother has been without power or running water for 5 days now. She has to walk down those 11 stories in the dark just to get outside. Today she walked all over Rockaway looking for the RedCross and FEMA sites that are rumored to be there, and there’s nothing. NOTHING.

A good majority of residents are either a part of NYPD, FDNY, EMS, or related to someone who is.  Our community has given so much to NYC, by way of these services. We lost over 70 Rockaway residents on 9/11, inlcuding people who worked at WTC and FDNY/EMS personal dispatched. We’ve given so much to NYC, and NYC isn’t responding to this disaster nearly as much/fast as they should. It’s….. horrible.

We at Barley & Birch, in true world-changer fashion, are working on our own fundraiser. Details to come. In the meantime, keep an eye on my twitter posts for more information on what is going on back home, and how to help.






This was my view growing up.
All of that is gone now.