Monday’s Mama is Crunchy AF.

Introducing Rachel Barry from Pretty in Baby Food. You may already know her, as she is an AMAZING resource for all things Natural Parenting on both her own blog, Pretty in Baby Food, and the soon-to-be-released Guidance Guide website. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She is full of knowledge AND often hosts giveaways. She is definitely worth your follow!

Seriously, you guys, if you wonder about anything baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby feeding, traveling with baby, or basically any 2017 mama concerns, Rachel Barry is YOUR GIRL. Don’t let her cute name fool you — Rachel Barry is not actually an anthropomorphic strawberry. Nor is she a character from Glee.


But she probably DOES spontaneously sing throughout her daily life because Rachel is mom to one beautiful and rambunctious toddler (and toddlers love songs). She is also currently pregnant with her second child. Rachel is a natural parenting and cloth diaper advocate. Her hobbies include dreaming of long walks on the beach while drinking her cold coffee during the day, writing while her daughter naps, and cruising. Her dislikes in life are doing the dishes, cleaning, and laundry. (Except diaper laundry. That’s her favorite. 😊)

Rachel answered a few questions for me here and OF COURSE she took the opportunity to school us some more. Thank you, Rachel!


1. What would you do with thirty whole minutes all to yourself IN A ROW every day?

Oh man! This is like the holy grail of alone time. I would probably make myself a cup of coffee, and read or write. (Sometimes I might use it to use the bathroom alone while also reading or writing. Ya know. TO see how my husband feels when he get’s to go to the bathroom. Haha!)

2. I love that you use cloth diapers. Why do YOU cloth diaper and what is your most favorite brand out there? (I know. That is two questions. I cheated.)

Haha! I cloth diaper because it saves my family money. In the first year alone of cloth diapering I have saved my family almost $1,000.00. The second reason I cloth diaper is to reduce trash. I was tired of lugging 4 bags of trash to the curb every trash day. By switching to cloth diapering I have been able to get it down to 2 bags of trash on trash day. Many people don’t know but disposable diapers can take up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill where as a cloth diaper when thrown out can take 6 months to a year depending on what fabric it is made out of.

As for my favorite brand that is a tough question to answer. As a blogger who reviews cloth diapers I have a lot of different brands of cloth diapers in my stash. I have specific cloth diapers for day time, nap time, and night time. I also have specific colors for when my football team plays, and certain holidays. I can say I prefer cloth diapers that are made of natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo. 😉

3. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE? 

I am not quite there yet, but I am more inclined to lean towards NOPE. (This might change depending on how involved my children want me to be.) Right now I would rather just donate money then bake something. With food allergies I would not want to leave anyone out or accidentally make something that someone was allergic too. If they wanted me to sell cloth diapers door to door to help raise money I would probably do that in a heart beat. Hahaha! 


Rachel is super smart and very generous with her knowledge. Pop on over to Pretty in Baby Food and soak up her wisdom.


I am in love, over the moon, OBSESSED with my new baby carrier. Yes, this makes five. Plus the water ring sling. (I gave away the Moby and K’tan.) Shhhh.

This print is EVERYTHING.


Rainbow Freaking Stars, I think it’s called. Or Incandescent Adventure, actually. I bought three of the Smart Bottoms diapers and one wet bag in this print at the Lil’ Tulips booth at MommyCon. Well, actually one of the diapers was Luminescent Adventure and two were Incandescent Adventure but they are basically the same except one is horizontal and one is vertical. Whatever, it’s RAINBOW FREAKING STARS.

(Oh, and I have one of those Incandescent Adventure Smart Bottoms diapers still unwashed and unused with a fun surprise in mind.)

I ordered the Tula and checked out and then remembered that I also wanted the matching Smart Bottoms drool pads. I hate paying shipping so I also added a pretty unicorn wet bag to the order to get to the minimum of $35 necessary for free shipping.

So I now get to wear Babystar in this beautiful Tula with matching drool pads and then keep it in a matching zippered bag. And she could even wear her matching diapers! I am genuinely so excited about this. I know it’s absurd and I don’t even care.

Between the mall and the zoo and regular life, we have already logged over ten hours in this baby and I’ve had it less than a week.



Look how pretty they are all packed up. That new unicorn bag has stars on it too — teeny tiny stars. The Tula Coast Shine lives there now.


I still love my Beco carriers but these Tulas are so soft and comfy, for me and for Babystar. Plus my husband can use them, and he had a hard time with the Beco. He loves wearing Babystar in a Tula, though. Yes, I am trying to justify these carriers to you lovely strangers on the Internet. Is it working?


MommyCon 2016 + GIVEAWAY.

Babystar and I went to MommyCon DC yesterday and had so much fun!

(I was NOT a member of the media team or blog team or whatever it was called and I did purchase my own ticket.)

We actually volunteered Thursday and Friday behind the scenes, and that was also a blast. (Yes, WE. Babystar came along too and even had some playmates her own age.) Everyone involved with Team MommyCon was really nice and great and seemed all about the cause. By the time Saturday actually arrived, I was already exhausted. But luckily very excited, and the excitement trumped the exhaustion.

We arrived early because my son (home from college for the summer) and his girlfriend were working the event. If you attended MommyCon DC and checked your stroller, you met my firstborn. Thanks for being nice to him. (I know you were nice because he told me he was surprised how nice EVERYONE was. I wasn’t surprised but thank you anyway.)


The best thing about having him working there was dropping off Babystar for five minutes at a time so I could PEE ALL BY MYSELF. Stroller check was located conveniently right next to the restrooms.

Babystar helped by stacking things. Also, LOOK AT THAT MOUNTAIN OF GIFT BAGS!


We attended last year and I definitely noticed a lot of improvement. The layout inside the convention center was smarter this year. Last year the vendor space was a bit cramped and the diaper changing area was ridiculously big and far away from the action. That was not the case this year, and the addition of a Quiet Room and Toddler Play Space was great. (Note to the convention center: that door to the Quiet Room needs some WD-40. Whoops.)

The best improvement IMO was the offering of speaker sessions. There were six different sessions happening at any time, which made it difficult to choose where to spend our time. (This is a good problem to have!) I really enjoyed Steps Toward Sustainability with Yvonne BrownDear Baby XO: Why Mom Fails are Good for You with Sarah Showfety, and Ring Slings 101. By far my favorite session was Why Toddlers Fear New Foods with Dawn Winkelman of EZPZ. I have raised two picky eaters already and learned a lot of ways to prevent this pickiness with Babystar, hopefully early enough to prevent any food issues. (I know Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit was great because I attended last year, so I felt ok about skipping it this year EVEN THOUGH I know she gives out cool gifts.) I wanted to attend the Babywearing Yoga and Babies at the Barre sessions, but. But. But I was so so SO tired from working while babywearing the previous two days AND Babystar was conveniently asleep in her carrier during both of those session times. So I shopped instead.

Want to see what I bought?


  • All the Smart Bottoms stars plus the teal Blueberry diaper in the front row from Lil Tulips: $139.31
  • The three striped diapers (SO PRETTY in person!) and the squiggly rainbow diaper from Blueberry Diapers: $96.80
  • Swim diaper from GroVia: $12 (MommyCon special price!)
  • Stuffed ninja that Babystar pointed out and then bit so I had to buy it (smart baby) from Wrap Scrap Creations: $20
  • Two Ubbi Tweat Snack Containers (you can see that one was used for Cheerios right away): $15 (MommyCon special pricing!)
  • Navy blue mesh ring sling from Cute Awakening: $35
  • Ziggy Stardust t-shirt for Babystar from Jammy Jams: $18

Merch total was $336.11 plus $84 for tickets (general admission plus the Feed the Baby VIP session on Friday) so my grand total was $420.11. Which is almost exactly $100 less than last year. I wanted to buy much more but restrained myself. I wanted more more MORE cloth diapers and a Tekhni ‘hip sack’ (which is really just a pretty fanny pack for fancy mamas) and a woven ring sling and and and. You get it.

I chatted with several of the vendors; again, everyone I talked to was so nice. Everyone. Of course they were, right? They are vendors. But everyone was SUPER above and beyond nice, and excited to chat about their products or just about babies or life in general.

Life Tip #1: Get some Oh My Yog! Organic Yogurt from Stonyfield in your life as soon as possible. Stonyfield gave some out during the VIP sessions on Friday and I cannot even tell you how delicious it is. You will thank me. Unless you really hate yogurt. Then you might not like it. But you might — it’s that good.

Life Tip #2: Find out where to buy Brewla ice pops near you and get the coffee flavored one and eat it immediately. They had samples on Saturday and they were SO GOOD. The Strawberry Hibiscus was also delicious. But that coffee flavored one tho.

Life Tip #3: (If you have a baby or a toddler.) Attend a MommyCon near you. I think it is finally worth traveling for, and I wouldn’t have said that last year. Xza and her team have been on a steep learning curve and the entire convention is really really good now.

Everyone always wants to know WHAT IS IN THE SWAG BAG?

Everyone gets a gift bag. And if you attend a VIP session (held the day before), you get another special individualized gift bag. I attended Feed the Baby with Jessica Martin-Weber from The Leaky B@@b and it was great because she is just adorable and funny and great. And all of this was in my VIP gift bag.


You guys, look! There is a coral EZPZ mini mat! Just like the one I gave away last week. And just like the one I already own and reviewed and wondered if it would work better if I never put it in the dishwasher. I’m going to do a blind ‘sticky test’ soon and I’ll let you know how it goes. I will also tell you all about the BiteSizers and Re-Play dishware and GOOtensils once Babystar uses them a bit.

(That can is tuna. I don’t know. Special you-can-eat-it-when-you-are-pregnant tuna but still. What?)

And everyone got a General Admission gift bag with some variation on these goodies.


Well technically, the Kind bar, Babyganics samples on the left, and GoGo applesauce were handed out by vendors in the exhibit hall. The rest was in the swag bag. Highlights included two types of reusable food pouches (Sage Spoonfuls and Little Green Pouch), an adorable doll sized cloth diaper from Nicki’s Diapers, and a Maya & Max by MOBY baby hat. Plus lots of other cool stuff, as you can see. I actually got another bag with a variation of these things at the end as a thank you for volunteering, so I’m going to give THIS one away. I’ll even pay your shipping costs, so US only please and sorry. Immediately after taking the above picture last night, I tied up the bag and set it aside for you.


I’m leaving this giveaway open until the middle of next week, because I will not be able to ship this out until August 5th.


I’m just gifting you my super cool swag bag. 🙂

WE HAVE A WINNER! Gabriela, I just sent you an email. CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you to everyone who entered!!

Enter to win a MommyCon Swag Bag here!



Naive Tula Virgin.

You guys I was so dumb.

I decided that I needed a mesh baby carrier for carrying Babystar this summer. She was all hot and sweaty in her Beco Gemini last summer, and now she is old enough to have opinions.

I did all my research like a good little mama. I tried on the Moby Aria last year at MommyCon and didn’t really love the fit.  I love my Becos but I read the Beco Breeze was just sort of ok. I planned to try one on at MommyCon DC this year but I’m going to NYC to see Arcade Fire instead. (Poor me, right?) And I plan to wear Babystar at Randall’s Island for the show so I definitely needed wanted to get a mesh carrier sooner rather than later. I read that the Tula mesh carriers were the bomb so I decided to get one of those. Then I saw the super cute ‘Shine’ design (with STARS OMG) so I decided to wait until that one was available.

Tuesday, May 31, 5pm EST. Some of you already know this. Ok, I went onto the website a few minutes before 5pm and refreshed the site until the carriers were there, and put one in my cart. I admit I did take my time checking out, but it was still only like 5:06 when I finished typing in my payment information and I got a message that there was an inventory problem with my cart. Womp-womp.

I was devastated. WAY more upset than I should have been about a baby carrier.

I removed it from my cart and went back to the site. The carrier still showed available, so I tried again. The same thing happened. Are you surprised? No one is surprised, right?

About thirty minutes later I went to the Baby Tula Facebook page to see if something was maybe wrong with their website. Because I am an idiot and I was sure there had to be some sort of glitch. Nope. Apparently they sell out that fast. APPARENTLY I was supposed to keep refreshing the cart until it showed up as available and then buy it super quick. I didn’t know the system. Whoops. And by that time, when I went back to the site, the carrier was actually listed as ‘Out of Stock.’ I had missed it.

Ok, no problem. I’ll buy it from trusty Abby’s Lane. It was stocking there a couple of days later. Guess what happened? Yep. Missed it again.

I emailed retailers to ask about stocking times. I joined Tula in the Know, a VERY helpful Facebook page. I joined mailing lists for tiny boutiques all over the country. I kept missing them! Sometimes by literal seconds!

I saw the $149 carriers listed for sale for over $200 on eBay and other resale sites and I was SO MAD.

But then. Bay & Bee, a boutique shop in Jacksonville, Florida, announced on their website that they would have a few Tula Shines for sale on Friday, June 10, in their Jacksonville shop. And some wonderful person posted that information to the Tula in the Know Facebook page. My 19-year-old son was about an hour away from that shop. And. AND. He was conveniently flying to my house for the summer on the night of June 10. And he loves me. So he drove into Jacksonville to be there at 9am when the shop opened and bought one for me. $149 + tax = $159.43.

Wow. WHO FREAKING KNEW it would be so hard?? Everyone, right. Everyone but me knew. Didn’t you?

Also, I love it.



Pimp My Beco.



I have three Beco baby carriers. And only one baby. And only one body, for that matter. I have two Geminis and a Soleil. I’m not even sorry. I like keeping one in the house and one in the car. Though I’m still sort of annoyed that I bought them right before Beco added a sweet pocket to the Geminis. And have you seen the new designs? Oh my god. So cute. And while the lack of a pocket will likely forever vex me, I am no longer sad that I bought a boring black carrier before I knew better.

I took a leap of faith, and a deep breath, and I crossed my fingers and toes, and ordered a custom carrier and strap cover set from a nice lady on etsy. Nancy at MyCottageTime made these beauties for me.



The peacock feather fabric is so pretty! I found the fabric on etsy, too, from MoonaFabrics. Nancy was really easy to work with. I just sent her the link for the fabric that I liked, and she ordered it and adjusted my custom price accordingly. Which meant that I did not get to see the print in person until my package arrived, so I was really blown away by how pretty it is in real life. You could have knocked my over with a feather (carrier cover)! Ugh. Sorry. Irresistible puns are my kryptonite.



The total with custom fabric upcharge and shipping and an extra set of strap covers was $59.45. It was at my doorstep just ten days from purchase, which is great speed considering that Nancy first had to order and receive the special fabric. I love it. I just love it.

Did I mention that I love it?