Squarespace Blog / "Barley and Birch"

Wordless Wednesday - Barley & Birch

Guess what! This week Zavery is in the spotlight for the Barley & Birch Wear It Wednesday! Stop by her post and leave it some lovin!

Read more →

Pouty Pants Rants...

So - this is a blog... and with ALLL of the giveaway crazyness almost coming to a close, i think its time a start really blogging again... lots of stuff all built up in the old noggin just begging to be vented... So here we go... I think bullet points will do nicely...
  • Sometimes my husband makes me street rat crazy... our views on parenting are so different 80% of the time that it makes us argue... and were both stubborn... maybe someday we will swallow our pride and start learning from each other.
  • I love him more than anything and couldn't imagine being a parent with anyone else... he's an AMAZING daddy... and an even more amazing husband. "Let settle this once and for all... your my one and only, you finish my story... crowned king & kind of this broken world... your kingdom is mine...."
  • I love blogging to the world...
  • I hate being judged because of it...
  • I have an obsession with Hard Apple Cider (beer) i wish it came in a n/a version so i could drink it all day long, lol
  • I find much more fulfillment in buying things for other people than buying for myself... 
  • I love doing things to make people smile. Be it a plane ticket to visit... A couple nighties in the mail... or freebies in a package... its all good stuff.
  • Some days, the store makes me so insane that I think I would sell it for a bottle of wine and a good book...
  • I would be lost without my store... Who needs time to read anyways?
  • Social Networking has shown me that "real friends" doesn't mean "in real life"... You all know who you are, and i love you all dearly :)
  • Some of my best customers have turned into my best friends... i feel silly when you buy stuff... but I appreciate it more than you know...
  • Some times... my kids make me so crazy, i consider shipping them Priority Mail to Brooke... 
  • Other days, (like today) they are such perfect little adorable angels that I wonder how the hell it is I got so lucky...
  • On Friday, I started to have a miscarriage. I was devastated...
  • On Saturday, Hubby came home from work early to "take care of me" I took a nap for the first time in probably 3 years... See bullet #2.
  • Today I got a negative pregnancy test... its official... i miscarried... I felt selfish for being so upset... there are so many people out there that can't get pregnant and I have two beautiful boys that love me. 
  • Today I took the day off work to show the boys how much I love them too. 
  • I am 1 year away from a degree in Psychology w/ a minor in Sociology... 
  • Ill probably never finish.
  • I LOVE love LOVE to shop.... 
  • I hate not having money, lol
  • The other day i took over 90 photos of Zaq trying to get Zavery to go potty... it was worth every it to get this ONE perfect shot... *shrug*

  • I miss my grandpa.... every... single... day... and I want to get a tattoo of his senior portrait so i can see him... every... single... day.......
  • I have over 50 glittersniffer eyeshadows... half of them i dont even use... i need more. ;)
  • I envy the fact that Kyle from Barley & Birch has employees...
  • I feel bad that Kyle has employees... Im totally obsessive and crazy like she is... and she would probably be less stressed if she did it all on her own... lol
  • I feel the need to help everyone I come across... sometimes this puts me in a bad position... and usually, i don't care...
  • I hate that I have been gone from MPLS for so long... that by the time I see Aymee again she will have gone from not pregnant, to pregnant, to holding a baby girl. This is way too long... and i have a heavy heart for the fact i want get to feel Maddie kick from inside her big 'ol pregnant belly... I love you Mimi...
  • I am secretly in love with the Hannah Montana movie, and get excited when the kids want to watch it... shhhhh PLEASE dont tell. It will ruin my reputation forever.
  • I dont tell my mom that I love her enough... mom, i love you.
  • I would do pretty much anything to have my old jeep Cherokee back... that "pretty much anything" does not include waiting to have another baby... so I guess I will wait on the jeep.
  • Sometimes I wonder why it is my husband still loves me... i'm damaged goods... but still, he loves me anyways. 
  • Before I married zaq, we had two kids together. People judged me in the store for my tattoos, piercings, hot pink mohawk, being very young and no ring assuming I was a piece of crap trashy mother... what they didn't know is my "boyfriend" made great money, I was a SAHM/WAHM with a beautiful 4 bedroom house in the suburbs. Don't judge a book by its cover.
  • This blog has gone on way too long...
  • I could go on for forever... 
So there we have it... my pouty pants rants for the day... its been a crazy and emotionally draining 5 days... yet somehow, my hubby & kids and given me plenty of reasons and ways to smile... thanks for that.... "I can't be me without you," baby... and to all of you who have sent you "sticky baby dust" and your "healing dust" I appreciate it... Lets hope this next round goes better... and that 10 months from now I will be holding a beautiful, healthy baby girl... *cough* or boy of course... ;)
Read more →

Wordless Wednesday - Me wordless? Not so much...

So, I know today is supposed to be "Wordless Wednesday" But there is WAY to much to shout about... For starters.. Mommy The Kids have a play date at Chuck E Cheese today.... Thats pretty much awesomeness... Gotta love social time!

I went to the Gym today... feeling pretty good... trying to get my fat ass back in shape,  regain my girlish figure.... "tighten up"a bit...

BEst news of all? I just snagged two @BarleyandBirch t-shirts for only $10 each!!!!! You MUST go to this site... Its pretty much the awesomest ever and i MUST figure out how to be apart of this... but for now, im there to shop!! Its called The Mini Social... go set up an account, and then you have access to all of these insane 3 day sales... Barley & Birch shirts are usually around $27 each and right now they are just $10. Limited time & limited selection... so hurry hurry hurry!

I snagged up these to in a 6t to stash away for their next size... seeing as by the time this last order shows up i will have....... 8 4t shirts i believe? Yeah... its an obsession... can't go wrong with organic, eco friendly goodness with adorableness screened on the front. Win-Win. So yeah! HURRY! They will go fast!! Remember, just click here and set up an account at The Mini Social... and then click barley and birch... you can shop from all the other sales too with one shopping cart... oh and Pili you should totally snag some for R cuz they ship overseas!
Read more →


HAPPY EARTH DAY!! 10% of all sales that come in from NOW until SUNDAY go to GREENGRANTS.... (Shop at the etsy store OR the website, either one qualifies :)"In a way, we are in the business of hope. Global Greengrants Fund is one of only a few sources of support to grassroots groups around the world. Less than 2 percent of U.S. giving goes to international causes and only a fraction of that goes to support grassroots environmental groups." THanks Kyle (Barley & Birch) For pointing me to this amazing organization. If anyone wants to help about their 10% of a purchase, please donate at the link below. Every little bit helps :)http://www.greengrants.org/about.giving.html  

Read more →

Swinger Sunday - Sometimes being GREEN sucks!

I was so excited to be asked to guest blog for Amber! Well, until I had to think about what to write, that is. RockerByeBaby is all cool and edgy and Amber has cool and edgy friends that do cool things.
I’m just a treehugging law school geek! I have no kids and nothing fun to write about!
But then I just asked myself “What is something you wanted to blog about but can’t on your blog?” And then it hit me: I wanted to write about why being ethical and green really sucks sometimes. So, what follows is the bitter rantings of a pretty square business owner. (: Sort of punky and rockery right?
So--- sometimes being ethical and green all the time sucks!
I own a business that really hangs its hat on being the greenest brand out there. We source organic US-grown cotton to make garments made in the US that are then dyed naturally and printed with waterbased inks. I, personally, have collaborated on some technology that makes our garments easily the most eco-friendly out there. We have our garments sewn by co-ops owned by refugees that are supporting their large families on their work with us. We never cut a single corner on greenness or social responsibility.
Yes, this all sounds great and I sleep easier at night and I love looking people in the eye when I truthfully tell them our supply chain and all that.
BUT what these standards do to my stress levels SUCKS. And sometimes I just want to VENT about it
Jodie, our designer, is a genius. She makes cool stuff. And so she sends me a design I love and I am like “YES!” and then send it to our printer and we can’t get the colors right because of the ec-friendly inks we use. So that is scrapped. Or Jodie and I will want to create a certain product but the co-op that does our work doesn’t have the machinery to handle it. So its scrapped, too. And we want to dye shirts but crunched up bugs and plants can only dye so many colors. So lots of color ideas are scrapped.
Our costs are super high because we are 100% USA made. We donate way over 30% of our profits. We basically donate whatever we have in our bank account. I do this because I feel obligated. I have a business that has a bank account, so I should be helping these people. We grow so so slowly because our margin is small and that margin goes to other people. I’ve never taken a cent from the business personally.
So we go to trade shows and these brands that put the “Organic” sticker on their booth have one garment made from like “organic bamboo” (which is very rare and therefore likely isn’t even organic and bamboo is like... as ecofriendly and polyester, oh, but I digress) and they are dyed in a shade of blue I know uses heavy metals and they are printed with white (which ALWAYS is done using plastic or a toxic wax) and they are acting like they are saving the planet. And I ask where they are made and they smile and say “China  and India of course!” THEN because they have the organic stockers and are super cute and have low prices buyers flock to them. And THEN most buyers look at our pieces, that due to legitimate eco- and socio-constraints are more plain and expensive and the buyers think “Pfft.... no way.”
That SUCKS, right?
So on the weekends, as I chat with friends that are also in the kids industry, I realize how different our lifestyles are. They make blankets and clothing abroad for about $4 each, and wholesale for $40 and retail for $80. They are making draws from their business of over 100k a year and are very well dressed and groomed. They spend their day chatting and designing and paying a large staff and getting massages and going to expensive lunches. I spend my day in dirty jeans with a 8 year old t-shirt getting calls from our sewers that all their kids have the flu and they won’t be in all week and our stuff will be a few weeks late. And then calling retailers to explain. And dealing with sales smaller than similar brands due to our high pricepoint. And dealing with our school in Haiti that has barebones structural support and cash reserves to continue due to the additional people being fed by the rice and beans it stocks. And stressing about the slow progress of our new website because we have no money in our bank account (see previous sentence.) And stressing about how we will pay for our Fall catolog to be printed if I need to send our school in El Salvador a check. And figuring out how to pay Jodie her weight in gold (her worth, basically.) And digging out cans and bottles from public garbage cans to take home and recycle because, well, why did someone throw them in there in the first place?
Being green and ethical SUCKS! It makes me work my ass off all day long just to keep the business moving and grooving and for what? So some kids in Haiti can go to school? So some kids in Texas won’t have to drink water with pesticides? Oh. Uh. Actually, YES.  So I calm down and buckle down and keep doing it.
But sometimes I just need to VENT! So thank you for listening.

Hi guys - its me... i know I mention pretty much, well, all the time... how much i love Kyle... she always amazes me... and this right here... this post is exactly why i wanted to start the Swinger Sunday... a chance for people to vent... spill it all here... get it all off their chest... Kyle asked me if this was too "bitchy" haha... I read it, and said nope, not bitchy at all... thats Kyle. Always working her ass off... Never getting a break... and I now see... not even taking any profits for her hard work. Giving SO much more than she gets... This girl deserves a medal. She is easily the most self-less person i know... every time I think im having a bad day, kyle and I rant on gmail... we usually have a 10 minute "bitch" fest where we freak out about what ridicules thing is going on in the stores... take a deep breath, and move on... But every time, i leave feeling better having had talked to her. Kyle, your amazing. I love you girlie!
Read more →