A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • In 10 days Alistair and I fly from Asheville tohellip
  • Stay frosty Huxley but dont grow up too fast okay?hellip
  • Raising the bar This hot chocolate bar from my Ladieshellip
  • Cold as ice Hominy Creek which runs beside our roadhellip
  • The house has been completely imbued with holiday cheer inhellip
  • Suffice to say Alistair dominated my feed in 2017 Seemshellip
  • Hello darkness my old friend The cold comfort of winterhellip
  • Happy birthday to this Brazilian beauty You know those kindhellip
  • I went in for the coconut cake SO! GOOD! andhellip
  • Oh what a long strange trip its been Exactly onehellip
  • When I think about my intentions and resolutions for thehellip
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Twice As Nice

After hitting the local tailgate market today in West Asheville (I was on a pie mission and Pies In Disguise did not disappoint), hubs and I swung by neighboring baby and child store The Littlest Birds. The loot above is what we scored. I’m telling you, kids consignment is where it’s AT! Each garment above was only between $3-4 and in great condition. I sure hope Nugget likes the dark color palette his Papa and I are inclined towards, though…

As part of my mission to raise our child in as ecologically conscionable of a manner as possible, I’ve been drawn more and more to consignment lately (in addition to seeking out clothing made both in a sustainable manner-fair-trade, living-wage, etc.-and using all-natural materials, organics, especially). Asheville, fortunately, has both the above mentioned Littlest Birds, as well as The Children’s Trading Post (two outposts, actually, which I’ve yet to visit). Not only can you find used clothing there, but also gently used equipment (strollers, high chairs, cribs, etc.), cloth diaper covers, books, maternity clothes (I’m totally busting out of my garments these days and my thread-a-hairband-through-the-button-and-enclosure-opening gig isn’t really cutting the mustard anymore) and more. It’s considerably less costly than buying new, which, when you’re changing the little squirmers into new outfits all the time, sounds like an ideal arrangement to me!

Additionally, we’re signed up for a newbie parenting class on July 17th at our favorite downtown eco home outpost, Nest. There we’ll learn about cloth diapering, slings, and more. We’re super excited. As complete novices to this whole parenting song and dance, we need all of the help with the learning curve we can get! We also picked up “Ina May‘s Guide to Childbirth” this past weekend, which I’ve been pouring over. The birth stories have me completely enraptured and are working to assuage any concerns over home birth I might have (although, admittedly, labor is the part that causes me the least bit of anxiety with the whole having-a-baby jam; I just want him, and me, to remain healthy and happy for the duration and beyond-pain I can handle, as evidenced by my recent dental debacle).

Any tidbits and advice you might feel inclined to share are entirely welcome. As of today, I’m at 22 weeks, with 18 to go (due date is November 3d). We’re in the final four months!

16 Responses to Twice As Nice

  • Karen says:

    Ashley, this is so funny. Nicki and I picked up exactly the same alien spaceship onesie at a consignment shop last week for our little boy to be. We've been so excited about consignment. I read Ina Mae's guide until I got overwhelmed. Currently reading Birthing From Within by Pam England and getting ready to interview a doula next week. Yikes!


  • Jenny says:

    Ashley, I'm so excited for you! Consignment is definitely the way to go for baby stuff. Between that and hand-me-downs, we've barely had to buy anything new for Ben in the 3 years he's been around. Except for socks. Can't find socks in consignment apparently. Craigslist is also a goldmine for all your “baby equipment” needs.

    I am so glad you picked up Ina May's book. It affected me so much during my pregnancy and, I think, was a big part of how well my labor and delivery went. I loved the mix of real-life labor stories of all shapes and sizes, followed by really practical yet soothing advice. Awesome book. I'll definitely be reading it again before this second little one arrives.

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Ashley – If you love Smitten Kitchen, you're gonna love “The Kitchenista” offers delicious recipes that are healthy – she's all about getting folks to cook at home again (kinda like you.)

  • Melissa E says:

    Ashley, I read your blog and enjoy your postings. I have no advice for child rearing as I don't have kids….but…I have a good friend who has had three home births and is the best person I know for “natural parenting” advice (cloth diapers, attachment parenting,home births, breast-feeding etc). She is an amazing mom and has 3 beautiful children! Her blog is send her a note and she may be able to give you some advice! Good luck!

  • Daisy Driver says:

    I have enjoyed your accounts and tales of nugget and am so excited for you. I three girls myself and while none of mine were home births all were completely pain medication free there is pain it is manageable and worth every minute. I wouldn't change a thing. In our area we are lucky to have a lot of yard sales as well as consignment. Our youngest is 3 and I have only purchased a few items new for her. Used is the way to go. Good luck!

  • CallieK says:

    Great choices Ashley, including the reading material. I had the pleasure of doing a week long midwifery training class with Ina May a few years ago and she is good people. I'm sure you will have a lovely home birth!

  • Kimberly says:

    So, so exciting! My husband and I just fell in love with Hypnobirthing and it was the perfect fit for my natural labor (labored mostly at home for three days and finally at the birthing home). We did placenta encapsulation (my placenta was dehydrated into capsules and taken orally) and it worked wonders for healing and staving off postpartum depression! Acupuncture and chiropractor sessions helped position my baby for birthing. I love Mothering(.com) magazine! I adored my Bobby pillow (I've heard great reviews about the Breastfriend as well). My husband and I loved the Moby wrap once we got the hang of it (easy after two tries!) and our ten-month baby boy still enjoys going for hikes in the Ergo (see my blog for pics!). Cloth diapering is a snap – we love Charlie's soap for the wash. I enjoyed bi-weekly prenatal massages during the third trimester and loved taking prenatal pilates – really helped me get in tune with my body. I could go on and on! You are already such an amazing mother Ashley! You're going to do great!

  • Darla says:

    Yay! I had a home birth and think the best thing was knowing that I had just about everything ready (birth kit stuff) and keeping myself distracted while in labor…We took a walk, ate a cookie at a local food joint, I got acupuncture, went to get a shower curtain, tarp, and baby potty, and went to watch Project Runway, all while in labor…I was mostly in denial the whole time but all the moving around helped my little peanut get where she needed to be and quick! She got here before the midwife did! But it was totally amazing and when the contractions (rushes! Go Ina Mae!) got intense I just kept either getting in the shower or had my hub squeeze my hips…the squeezing was amazingly effective! And remember, your body was made to do this, and it will! I was trying not to push a baby out and she came whether I was trying or not!

  • Emily says:

    Freecycle and Craigslist were great resources for me and I loved getting stuff free and on the cheap while keeping it out of landfills.

  • jennifer says:

    for some really amazing home birth stories, check out the blog Bring Birth Home. i'm going home birth as well and these stories just solidify my decision even more.

    i'm also going to be checking out hypnobabies (a labor technique) – have heard great things about it and apparently its pretty customizable to each individual mom

    can't wait to hear more about your journey with the nugget!

  • Adrienne says:

    My advice? Don't sweat the minutiae — what music you're going to play, whether you'll be in a warm bath or standing or in full lotus when you give birth, this sort of thing. Trust me, your body is going to go into the exact position it needs to be in. I know I am probably going against the flow, but I'd also suggest not getting so utterly tangled up in the birth. In my experience watching others have babies and having two of my own, the more tied you are to “a plan” the more distressing and hard it gets as your plan falls apart (and it just might). Your baby might just be born in a taxi rushing to the hospital. Relax, go with the flow, do whatever you can to deliver the baby happily into the world. After that, the real work — and the incredible joy — begins.

  • Littlest Birds is great. Do you know about the Ashevillemamas email group? Great source of info, networking (and entertainment, sometimes.

    Nice to meet you at the City Market a couple weeks ago (was with my 3 year old, Charlie).

  • Hi Ashley
    Adrienne pretty much summed up what I was going to write in this comment. My advice (for what its worth!) is try not to read too much – it can get a little overwhelming. I also didn't have any birth plans for the births of my 2 gorgeous girls, just going with the flow worked for me. Well, I tell a little lie – I spent hours making up “mixtapes” to play to relax and inspire me – that plan lasted about 30 seconds……! I was in hospital but was totally drug free and felt in control. I got into the “zone” and almost meditated those babies out of there! Which ever way it goes, your beautiful baby will be the most amazing reward for whatever pain you have to endure for what really is a few short hours…..(well, in hindsight anyway!)
    Take care
    Mel x

  • If you like consignment shopping, try Lulu's in Fletcher. They have adult, juniors, and kids clothes, plus household stuff.
    Don't be lured into buying the new-looking Melissa & Doug stuff though, because it is actually new and priced the same as you can get at Dancing Bear Toys.
    They have socks, too, and shoes. Mostly I like the clothes, but there are also, sometimes, toys and cribs and such.
    They have quick turnover of items and they discount items after they've been there too long.
    Check 'em out. It's not too far from the airport rd Children's Trading Post.

    On the birthing stuff, I agree with the last post: try not to sweat the little things too much. While it's fun to think over details sometimes, it's best not to get too attached.

    Life unfolds in its own beautiful way, as you know from raising chickens and gardens and bees.

    By the way, inspired by you, my friends from Durham are coming next weekend for a canning party–peaches, peach jam, peach-blueberry something…

  • Terri says:

    Good luck with the home birth! During labor, the one thing that helped me a lot with the pain was counter pressure… and the practice sessions helped with the third trimester aches & pains.

    I used a sling with my second child (a ring sling) and it was wonderful! She needed constant holding so it saved both our sanities.

  • lealou says:

    Love this post! I'm attempting to do a lot of the same — do you know how excited I was to find an old wooden (but in AMAZING shape) high chair for $20 at a garage sale near my house! My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I think it's a cute chair 😉 I'll also be going the reusable diapering route. Interesting times for sure!