Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barefoot stallholders come to the aid of library devastated by fire

On June 24, fire ravaged the Swans Island Library in Swans Island, Maine, leaving not much more than a pile of ashes where the 100-year-old building once stood.
This August, Barefoot Books stallholders will rally to rebuild the library with amazing children’s books.
“When I heard about this fire, it tugged at my heartstrings,” says Kasey Jackson, a Barefoot Books stallholder in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I wanted to do something myself to help—send a few books—something. But I also thought we could do something on a larger scale. That’s when I decided to spread the word to see what we could do.”
Want to help? Here’s how:
If you’re attending the International Stallholder Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
• Bring a book or offer to bring books for other stallholders in your area.
If you’re not attending the Conference, but want to help:
• Send a book to Rock City Books and Coffee 328 Main Street, Suite 102 Rockland, Maine 04841
put a slip of paper in each box that says the book(s) is (are) a donation to the Swans Island Library.
• If your idea of Living Barefoot is sharing beautiful stories and works of art with children, then please consider donating a book today. The children of Swans Island will thank you.

Simple e-mail:
Barefoot Books stallholders are coming together to donate Barefoot titles to the Swans Island Library in Swans Island, Maine, which burned to the ground on June 24 after lightning hit the 100-year-old building.
According to reports about the library rebuilding efforts, children’s books are the most-needed. This affords Barefoot Books a unique opportunity to step up and make a difference to numerous children.
If you want to donate:
Bring your book(s) to the International Stallholder Conference in Cambridge, Mass., or send your book donation to Rock City Books and Coffee 328 Main Street, Suite 102 Rockland, Maine 04841
put a slip of paper in each box that says the book(s) is (are) a donation to the Swans Island Library.
Contacts at the store are KT or Geri, both women.

Here’s their e-mail if anyone has other questions:

Phone number is 207-594-4123
If you would like to add the title(s) you are donating, so that we don’t overlap too too much.
Thank you!!!!

Here are some links to more information;

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little Leap Forward

My son Theo and I decided to spend the afternoon reading Little Leap Forward together.
This was one of the best ideas we have had lately :) Snuggled up together in the backyard we read the first 5 chapters of Little Leap Forward. My son is 7 and my daughter is 3 it can be hard to meet both of their needs at the same time. It worked out beautifully Gabbie (below) played and listened and Theo was able to just snuggle and read with me.
Gabbie although you wouldn't think it was paying close attention to the story.
She would come over to look at the pictures and than run off.
She really liked that the part about the kites, the Chinese characters for kite mean "wind" and "bamboo struggle." Gab thinks wind bamboo struggle is very funny and has been saying it over and over again while explaining that she is speaking Chinese, lol!

Here are Theo's thought so far about Little Leap Forward.
-It is good!
-Little Leap would make a good friend, I would want to play with him.
-His mom seems nice and it is sad that his father died.
-The pictures are great!

For me Little Leap has been a new journey of discovery, I must admit that China and Chinese history is a complete mystery to me. The illusions to communism and the struggle Little Leaps family is having to survive are masterfully written. This is one of those books that everyone should read.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Talk about cool! My son has already lost 10 teeth and more to come...I can't wait to try out this cool companion!!!! Tuthillo is such a great name.
Teeth Come. Teeth Go.™
But how do you pronounce it? Think "tooth pillow" and try this... tooth-uh-low.

Check out all the cool colors!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cool Review By a Barefoot Dad!

The Geekly Reader: The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz (art by Steve Adams)

By Matt Blum EmailJuly 10, 2008 | 11:00:00 AMCategories: Books

Tbwgf Rink Bowagon has an even weirder family than most people. Many of his family members on Lonesome Mountain are shape-shifters, and his uncle trains rattlesnakes. Rink grows flowers, but not in a garden: he grows them all over his body every full moon. He's shy at school because of his differences, and as a result is shunned by his classmates.

Then one day a girl named Angelina Quiz joins his class, and, despite the other students trying to get her attention, she is interested only in Rink. Rink overcomes his shyness to ask her to the school dance, and she reveals to Rink that she can't dance because one of her legs is shorter than the other. Rink shows up at her house with flowers from his own body (for of course the dance is on the night of a full moon) and a solution to her problem, and they not only dance but fall in love.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers is a picture book that treats individuality and quirkiness as things to be embraced, not overcome (the author, Jen Wojtowicz, who is also an artist, was inspired to write the book by her relationship with her brother with autism). The story may sound heavy-handed from my description here, but, judging from my kids' reactions to it it only seems that way to adults--the fantasy on which the story is based prevents, I think, most little kids from realizing the message is there, even while they absorb it. The art, by Steve Adams, is brilliantly done—simple but beautiful, drawing you into the story and never distracting from it. The book is published by Barefoot Books , which is dedicated to combining great art and great stories, and you can definitely see that in this book. (Sample pages can be viewed here and here.)

The Boy Who Grew Flowers is aimed at children ages 4-8, and, with its beautiful art, makes a nice gift.

Full disclosure: My wife is an independent stallholder for Barefoot Books, and her website is linked to above.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Giveaway!

P.S. Winners will be selected by random draw and will be announced next Wednesday, July 23, 2008. Peace out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Leap Forward

WATCH AND LISTEN to Little Leap Forward author Guo Yue share his story of growing up during China's cultural revolution.

My son and I are going to begin reading Little Leap Forward this evening. I will share our experience with you as we read. We just watched the movie about the book and here are the questions my sweet son asked;
"Mom why did they take his mom away?"
"Mom why did they burn all of his moms pictures?"

We might find the answers to his questions as we read, but I really don't think I will ever understand why or how people can be so cruel. Just watching this short little movie brings tears to my eyes. My sweet, sweet son finished the movie reflecting, "that little bird is so beautiful." It reminded me of a book that has become one of our favorites The Big Brown Box by Toni Morrison with Slade Morrison.
"Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue
Live in a big brown box.
It has carpet and curtains and beanbag chairs.
And the door has three big locks.

Oh, it's pretty inside and the windows are wide
With shutters to keep out the day.
They have swings and slides and custom-made beds
An the doors open only one way."

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday: Eco-Libris is one year old!

Happy Birthday Eco-Libris!
Thank you for all your hard work!

Eco-Libris is a fantastic company that gives us the opportunity to balance out our environmental impact of the publishing industry.

How We Do It

You decide how many books you want to balance out with Eco-Libris
About 20 Million trees are cut down annually for virgin paper used for the production of books sold in the U.S. alone. That’s definitely a problem - trees are one of the most valuable natural resources we have. They literally form the foundations of many natural systems and provide us with numerous benefits (carbon dioxide absorption, soil and water conservation, avalanche control, desertification prevention to name a few).

Eco-Libris is providing you now with a simple and affordable way to do something about it. All you have to do is to choose how many books you want to balance out with Eco-Libris, pay for it online, and a tree will be planted for each of these books.

Eco-Libris works with its planting partners to plant your trees in developing countries
Our planting partners are organizations that work in developing countries. Their planting and conservation activities are an integral part of their efforts to help local communities in these countries move towards a sustainable future. We make sure that your trees will be planted where they provide significant value for both the environment and the local communities, who are very much involved and play an important part in the planting projects.

You receive an Eco-Libris sticker for every book you balance out
The Eco-Libris sticker, which is made from recycled paper, is designed for you to put on the cover of the books you balance out, to show your commitment to sustainability and responsible use of natural resources. We hope you show off these books and inspire your family, friends and colleagues to take responsibility for their books as well.

Planting trees is the first step towards sustainable reading. We encourage you to explore a few more.
We would like to see more (and eventually all) books printed in an environmental friendly manner on recycled paper. If virgin paper is being used, then it should only be from certified forests. You can help make this happen by writing publishers and encouraging them to do the right thing. Also, you can help by spreading the word – tell your family and friends about Eco-Libris and about the way books should be produced.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Love the Ergo

Ergo in my opinion is the best baby carrier on the market! My husband and I carried both of our children as infants and we still use our Ergo for our three year old daughter.
Here are just a few reasons we love this carrier;
-it is washable
-completely adjustable and both my husband and I can wear the same one even though we are completely different sizes
-it has a accessories and a pocket so that I can just grab and go with out a purse
-most of all it is comfortable and easy to use
For instructions on how to use the Ergo click below
About the Company
At the 2nd Annual Baby Wearing Conference I had the great pleasure of meeting the owner and designer of Ergo Karin Frost and the US Sales Manager Angela Pennette.

Our mission is to offer parents the most thoughtful, highest quality, and most innovative baby carrier and accessories found on the market. It is our pleasure to be educating parents about baby wearing and related topics to improve the way our next generation of babies are introduced into the world. We are committed to customer service, including immediate order response, and friendly support of product use and understanding. Education and consumer response is our priority.We are marketing worldwide and have created a team that efficiently runs our business; each of us is dedicated to reliability and serving with integrity. We are a family owned and operated company located in Maui, Hawaii where we practice the Aloha Spirit.

The ERGO Baby Carrier was initially developed out of a personal need when Karin Frost, our owner and designer, had her son in 2001 and created a carrier for him. With the help and feedback from other parents the ERGO was born. An immediate market response followed with the ensuing development of it's own market based on consumer support and incredible 'word of mouth'. The market is constantly expanding because its niche, attachment parenting, is in its early phases of growth and recognition.

The ERGO Baby Carrier and accessories is many baby carriers, slings, and strollers consolidated into one product line. It saves the consumer money because they only have to buy one baby carrier for the life of their baby wearing years. It is the most comfortable and physically supportive baby carrier on the market. None of our competitors put the majority of the weight of the baby on the parent's hips which is the most important weight bearing part of the body.

More and more parents want to be physically active and productive during the early stages of their child's growth. Wearing their baby supports this need. Research on baby wearing has also observed great benefits to the child. The ERGO holds the baby safely and closely to the parent's body and provides the parent with the desired mobility. It also builds parent's awareness of their child’s needs.

Karin's focus now is Research and Development and she is constantly extending the product line, updating and creating new packaging and offering seasonal promotions to offer more to the customer. She happily stays in touch with our customers by writing and talking to them. Testimonials about the life changing stories parents have experienced in their lives with the ERGO are received several times a week. We value our customers and respond to every inquiry we receive. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Thank You

As my daughter was melting and hysterical I walked around the lobby of the conference with her on my back (in her Ergo). I found myself over by the Ergo table, the incredible sweet women sitting at the table (I am so sorry that I have forgotten her name) was so kind to me. She made what could have been an extremely stressful situation so much easier for me. I would love to thank her again for her kind words of support.

In the last few years I have hear all kinds of stories about Ergo as a company. Let me just take a second to put my two cents in. I do not know the full details of any of the stories I have heard...things like Ergo pulling a trade account because the distributor was tie dying the carriers, suing companies for copying their design, and so on.....
Here is my take on the whole thing Ergo makes a great product and they are a wonder company.
I would ask before someone posts on a forum or tells stories about the company do a bit of research and see if you have the whole picture. My person experience with Ergo has been wonderful.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


This is such a cool sling, I love the pocket! It has a great key ring that is detachable.
Finally, a super functional sling with simple, classic style. The navy stretch fabric has just enough stretch to keep mom and baby comfortable while maintaining a slim, refined line with no extra bulk. The soft, 100% cotton lining is available in preppy pink, green, or blue stripe. Two pockets, one with a snap and one open, hold mom's wallet or necessities. The stylish (and removable) leather and tortoise accessory ring keeps baby's toy or pacifier in close reach and off the floor.

The Wahloo baby sling is designed to be worn on your left shoulder and "slung" around your right hip. If you are a lefty and/or prefer to wear it around your right shoulder and left hip, that's okay, too. You just might have a harder time reaching the toy ring. Please watch the video .

Before our son could pronounce, "I love you," he said, "wah-loo." I liked the way it sounded, and it reflects one of the most fundamental reasons for using a sling: Love.

When I first wore a pouch-style baby sling, it literally changed my life. My son loved to rest quietly nestled next to my heart, and it freed my hands to allow me to get through my busy day. There was only one problem. While the sling was very functional, it didn't reflect my personal style. I wanted to design a high-quality baby sling that fit my life. With the help of a design team and an internationally recognized manufacturer, Wahloo slings were born. I hope you will enjoy wearing them as much as I do.

Together Be

Here is another great company, Together Be!
They are a super nice family that make a wonderful products!
You can read about them below and their products below.

Peekaru Beginnings

"When our daughter was a baby I carried her everywhere. She was born in May and since we were busy chasing her big brother, staying inside wasn’t an option.

I wrapped her up as well as I could in my carrier, trying to keep her tiny legs and arms from the sun. When fall came the temperatures dropped and I found myself wearing my husband’s coat zipped over both of us. This worked, except the coat’s zipper hit her in the back of her neck, and wind whipped down my exposed neck.

One night I pulled out my sewing machine, something I hadn’t used in years, and made the first Peekaru Original. It worked wonderfully! I could finally wear my daughter UNDER my winter gear. Her body was covered and protected from the wind, and the best thing was, the Peekaru Original worked with all of the carriers I already owned!"

-Melissa Radcliffe, TogetherBe Founder

Company Basic

TogetherBe LLC was founded by Melissa Radcliffe and husband D. Hamilton Radcliffe, inspired by their children.

Peekaru product line is designed to help parents and children stay close all year round. We provide simple, elegant alternatives to shapeless bulky outerwear. We maintain a socially conscious focus by using recycled materials whenever possible and keeping our manufacturing in the USA.


A classic Damask print, white design on black background with black straps. Upscale and elegant.

Baby Wearing Made Warm

The Peekaru Original is a fleece vest that zips over a soft baby carrier to keep you and your child warm. It fits comfortably over all carriers, including Baby Bjorns, Hotslings, Ergos, Mei Tais, and Wraps1.

TogetherBe LLC (, the maker of the Peekaru Original fleece baby carrier cover announced today that all Peekaru Originals will now be made exclusively from 85% recycled Malden Mills fleece.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Baby K'Tan

The Baby K’tan™ Baby Carrier is made entirely of soft, breathable 100% cotton knit fabric that is strong enough to hold a child from birth to 42 lbs. The unique patent pending design consists of two loops of fabric connected with a sliding support band. Parents can stylishly carry their babies in 8 comfortable positions, while freeing up their hands to tend to other tasks or other children. Babies can be snuggled and breastfed in the Cradle and Explore positions. They can also be carried upright, facing in or out, and as they get older, they can be carried on your hip.


  • 8 comfortable positions to conveniently carry babies in style

  • Easy to use and put on; NO WRAPPING (see instructions)

  • No buckles, rings, snaps, clasps, bulky padding, metal or plastic

  • Soft, breathable, machine washable and dryer safe

  • Unique figure 8 design and sliding lumbar band (patent pending) offers greater support for back and shoulders

  • Calms fussy babies – minimizes frustrations
    and maximizes success with your infant

  • Creates an ideal environment for premature babies and babies with special needs. See Medical Endorsements

  • Fosters Kangaroo Care

  • Assists and promotes successful breastfeeding

  • Discreetly nurse your baby while on the go

  • Unmatched double loop design holds baby more securely than traditional slings while distributing weight on both shoulders

  • All contents 100% breathable cotton with cross stretch soft knit fabric

  • Innovative double loop design can hold twins

  • Matching baby hat & sash included

  • Baby carrier can be personalized

  • Durable enough to carry babies and toddlers from preemie to preschool (42 pounds)

  • Chiropractor, physical and occupational therapist recommended

  • Recommended by lactation specialists

  • A percentage of the proceeds from every sale of a Baby K’tan™ Baby Carrier will be allocated to the American Heart Association, and to help fund education, medical research, advocacy programs,
    and promotion of awareness and inclusion for individuals and families living with Down syndrome.

I had the absolute pleasure of Michal Chesal (inventor and co-founder of the Baby K'Tan) company at the 2nd Annual Baby Wearing Conference. Michal and I had met last year at the La Leche League's 50Th Anniversary. Michal had been our neighbor at the Conference and been kind enough to let us stash our extra stock in her hotel room. Thank you Michal!

Baby K’tan, LLC was founded by two couples, the Chesals and Wernicks, who have been close friends for years. Each family was raising a child with special needs, in addition to two other children. With a desire to provide their babies with the sensory nourishment they require for optimal development, while also wanting to carry their babies as much as possible for parent-child bonding, both couples experimented with different baby slings and carriers.

Not finding the ideal carrier on the market, they began creating different designs to satisfy their children’s needs, while combining style, ease of use, and comfort.

Improving and incorporating different aspects from various slings and traditional front carriers that were already on the market, the Wernicks and Chesals created the Baby K’tan™ Baby Carrier!