Dressing Your Truth, Pt. 2: The Search for My Secondary

Uncovering my secondary movement has been another learning process…. a BIG eye-opening experience! Knowing it plays a HUGE part in creating your own personal style with its supporting role to your primary Type. Just because I am Type 1 does not mean that I will feel comfortable or like every single thing that is a Type 1 garment, accessory, or even all T1 haircuts. It doesn’t mean that we all wear the same exact makeup and clothes. We are all unique and DYT does not change or dismiss that!

Since learning how to dress my truth a few months ago, I have been on the hunt to discover my secondary. I didn’t just want to change my wardrobe – I wanted to have a wardrobe that was entirely unique to me!

But, isn’t everyone’s wardrobe unique to them?

I suppose that depends on how you look at it…

For starters, if you’re not already dressing true to your nature, the real truth of how you move through this world, then you could have an entire closet full of clothes that essentially belong to someone who isn’t you! And let’s say you are starting to dress your truth but you haven’t discovered your secondary flair yet, then you’ve added the right colors but maybe not the right tweak to fabrication, design line, texture, or patterns that expresses what is essentially a big part of who you are as an individual.

So for the past few months, I’ve been on a mission to discover that part of myself, and it has been HARD! I’ve always thought that I knew everything about myself, that I’d let go of past hurts and experiences and grew into who I was by surviving the gauntlet of my younger years. But searching for my secondary showed me that I had just buried some things along the way, out of sight-out of mind, and I never really dealt those things.

You see, your past can program you to act a certain way based off a standard set by society, your parents, or by hurts that’s you no longer want to experience. For example, the Marine Corps shaped much of how I react to the world because it trained me to react that way. It suppressed my light, bubbly, random nature because there was no place for it in the harder, sharper world that required structure and unfailing obedience in every facet. Type 1s do not exactly thrive in a military setting because there is a hard drive to get things done, to not take no for an answer, all with zero spontaneity and to do it all within a set of rules and regulations set by people in charge of you. It requires you to be on time for every single thing, and by on time I mean 15 minutes prior to on time. It has expectations for exactly how you should handle yourself in every situation and expects that you reflect only its highest values to the rest of the world. So I learned to follow all of these rules and to become more structured because it was required of me to do so, not necessarily because it came naturally to me.

How does this fit into me finding me Secondary Energy?

Well – am I always on time for things because it is a natural movement for me to do so or because it’s ingrained in me? Do I take charge naturally or because I was trained to be a leader in all things? Do I adjust my teaching style with a class based off detailed observation or by empathetically understanding whether they are still engaged or not? Was it only the Marine Corps that influenced such things or was it growing up with a Type 4/3 mother who was also very punctual, structured, and driven by results? There are so many things to think about and analyze when you are trying to sift through what comes naturally and what your brain has been reprogrammed to do.

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Obsessively intrigued as I was to discover it, I became a Lifestyle Member on the DYT site and have since watched every video, read every article, and have even reread sections in each of the books. Even if the videos were just playing in the background as I worked on other things, I listened and I waited for the epiphany. But said epiphany wasn’t forthcoming as quickly as I would have liked! One challenge of my Type 1 nature is that it’s easy for me to see myself in each Type, as I can easily adapt to situations, environments, and in this case, other energies!

I immediately dismissed having a Type 4 as a secondary. I have both a Type 4 mother and husband, and after observing their inner workings for years, I knew that my movement wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as theirs!

I also dismissed the swift, dynamic movement of a Type 3. While I like to see results and can sometimes be competitive and driven, I’m not driven to get things done; I can easily leave projects, cleaning, (etc) until later and it doesn’t bug me even a little bit. In fact, when we were trying to decide on paint colors for our kitchen, I left 3 different 5×5 color squares on one wall for about 3 months before it drove my Type 4/3 husband to paint it an entirely different color (after communicating, of course! We are a team, after all)! And while I move swiftly, it isn’t really with a punch and when it is, it is with a single result in mind for a specific project.

I also cannot handle the added texture and substance that T3s love in their wardrobe. I prefer smaller pieces of jewelry and lighter, smoother pieces of clothing. I prefer all denim to be on my legs (denim jackets and vests are much more appreciated in the T3 world!) and I never, ever reach for vests, sweaters, or jackets unless I’m snowboarding (enter down/synthetic down vest!) or the jacket/sweater is so light that I can push the sleeves up and it fits so well that I can’t tell that it’s there. Really the only preference that I have towards anything T3 is in haircuts- I prefer my pixie cut to have an edgier, asymmetrical look to it, with lots of shaved edges and varying textured lengths.

So I was left with having a 2 as my secondary movement and I liked the idea! Not too structured. Softer, sweeter, more relaxed and go with the flow. I have always had an emotional attachment to the world and to people so it made sense to me. I can also read for hours at a time without moving, so it made sense that I would need a stiller movement to follow-up my more upbeat primary. I also tend to be the peace keeper (or the smooth-things-over person) in my family, so the ability to see the details and negotiate ‘terms and truces’ was also there.

But as much as I was convinced that T2 was right, I still continued to watch the videos and read the articles, searching for SOMETHING that I couldn’t explain to myself. It was quite frustrating!!! Why was I still trying to double, triple check if I was so convinced that I was right?? Because as I watched the videos, and as I listened to the testimonies, I realized that I don’t have a softer, quieter demeanor that comes with a secondary 2, like I observed with T1/2 Expert Stephanie– I can be LOUD and I am more often than not. I also lack the softer S-curves and blending in my features; I have a lot of straight lines. And in a social situation I observe a group critically and analytically then jump right in! Even if I hold back at first, I never sit by quietly and rarely do I get overwhelmed in a crowded space. So… maybe not a secondary Type 2 after all…

So what did that leave me with? After breaking down exactly why I wasn’t a 3 and discovering the reasons that I also wasn’t a 2, it left me with re-evaluating a secondary Type 4. And I REALLY struggled with the idea that this could be true! I thought of my husband and my mom and kept thinking, “But I’m not as structured as they are! I’m not as still as a 4 is! My counters are constantly cluttered and I can easily go a few days without sweeping the floor!” Surely a secondary 4 would be better with all of those things??

So I re-watched the secondary videos and it was while doing the dishes with one on in the background that the epiphany came!! I was listening to a panel of Type 1s, each with a different secondary, and it was T1/4 Expert Marcy that pointed it all out to me.

Those paint squares that I had left on the kitchen wall? Left because I couldn’t find the perfect color so I continued to consider it until I could.

Though my structure is nothing like that of my husband or mom, I do appreciate little routines. My toddler and I actually do almost the same exact routine upon waking each morning! I also prefer to be early to things, and at the very least right on time. Being late does not sit well with me.

Simpler jewelry and clothes? An aspect of the Four nature. I also prefer clothes with a more tailored fit, or at least one that fits more exactly on my body. Too much flow is too much. Also, I prefer color blocking and less patterns! If I do choose to wear a pattern, it is a top OR a bottom, but not both, and it is simple. While I love seeing loud and fun patterns, I prefer seeing them on other people and not on myself. Now, that’s not to say that all those with a secondary 4 have to color block or wear less patterns (T1/4 Expert Jaleah wears multiple patterns together and pulls it off awesomely!), but it seems more common than with the other Types.

Leadership comes naturally to me, as it can with any Type, but because I see a ‘bigger picture’ in my head, I prefer to be the one to lead others straight from point A to point B to achieve the goal (though with lots of brainstorming and ideas!). In fact, while in college I preferred to be the leader in all group situations because I knew that if I did then it allowed the project to go in the direction that I saw as getting the highest score and by taking the lead I was able to oversee that that goal was met. I was able to perfect the projects and get the grade that I wanted for myself and my group. However, it’s also a reason that I don’t mind working by myself on things- when I do it by myself I know that it’ll get done my way and I can control the overall result. I can also get lost in perfecting that result!

Physical features: I have a little more cut to my cheekbones, which are parallel to my jawline. My upper lip, line of my upper teeth, and eyebrows are straight, parallel lines as well. I also have smaller pores than most of my T1 brethren and have had very little problems in terms of acne or blemishes in my life, other than some freckles that come to light when out in the sun.

There are SO MANY more reasons why being a 1/4 is right, but this is getting quite long so I’ll leave it here. So the one secondary movement that I was so quick to dismiss ended up being the one that was correct the whole time! And looking back logically at my life, it makes sense. I spent most of my military career living in my secondary because it was safest and it was the type that conformed best to what they were looking for. With their high standards and expectations, it naturally came to the forefront and helped me survive in an environment where my primary Type 1 was not welcome.

Knowing my secondary has brought a huge sense of relief and tranquility to my life. It feels right and I no longer feel the need to search for that elusive something. I’m excited to really begin the journey to discovering my own unique style! I’m already diving back through my wardrobe and jewelry (slim pickings after Konmari-ing it multiple times!), getting rid of what doesn’t work, seeing what I can re-purpose, and figuring out how to fill in the blank spots. It’s all or nothing with that 4 helping over my shoulder! 😉

I’m also looking forward to some inner healing that I have only recently discovered that I truly need. Because the journey to finding my secondary movement opened my eyes to things that I’m ready to completely let go of, not just shove under the shoes in the closet to deal with later. And no matter what I find along that path, I will greet it with a smile and a wave!

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I’ve been told on multiple occasions that ‘Snow White’ from Once Upon A Time (Ginnifer Goodwin) is my doppelganger! Quite the compliment! Interesting that my Disney Princess as a Type 1/4 is also Snow White, while the actress herself is a dominant Type 4!

 

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Dressing Your Truth, Part One: Wardrobe Makeover

There are times in our lives that we come across something that makes a profound impact on us. It can be something huge like a change in our eating habits or a way of working out, or it can be something small like a pair of shoes that doesn’t require added insoles. Dressing Your Truth has been one of those BIG things for me. I didn’t know when I first heard about it what exactly it would become for me or how it would impact my everyday life. In fact, when I first heard about it, the name didn’t even stick with me and I had to ask about it again later! Here’s how my wardrobe change happened…

In the fall of 2015 after I first became a co-leader for my local babywearing group, one of my fellow leaders and good friend, Erinn (from Making Little Miracles), was telling me about this course that she had taken a few years prior that allowed her to live and dress in a way that coincided with her natural movement, not her skin tone. Since we were in the midst of discussing launching our businesses in the near future, she suggested that taking it would benefit my wardrobe choices. Being what I considered as ‘non-fashion oriented’ myself, I listened interestedly but was not jumping at the chance to pay for the course or really even learn more about it through the free profiling assessment. I was content with my casual business attire that I had from my days working in the bookstore. However, I continued to observe Erinn over the next year, admiring the way that she appeared so free to be herself, never worrying what others thought about her personal style, and how vibrant she was in her expression and voice.

Instead I spent the next year concentrating on taking the Center for Babywearing Studies foundation course, attending the 2016 International Babywearing Conference (IBC), launching my official consulting business, teaching a workshop at the Empowering Fearless Birth (EFB) Symposium in February 2017, and attending the 2017 WEAR Conference in Chicago. Busy, busy, BUSY!

It actually wasn’t until I attended the EFB Symposium as a first time vendor that I really thought about Erinn’s “dressing system”. When I had walked out of my house early that morning for the event, I left in what I felt was typical business attire- a shin length black skirt, black flats, and a white & navy patterned blouse. My makeup and accessories were kept to a minimum. I wasn’t flashy, gaudy, or overdone. All in all, wearing exactly what is stereotypically expected of someone owning a business. While there, someone took a picture of me standing by my table and upon seeing it I knew immediately that something needed to change; I looked AWFUL!

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This was my life changing photo moment!! Awful, right?!

But upon seeing myself in the photo, I felt like the ‘picture me’ was trying to play dress up in clothes that she had seen on a mannequin that she THOUGHT would look good on her but in the end was completely wrong in every way. Despite my smiling face, I look so tired and worn in the photo. I also felt like I looked like a child trying to play dress up in her mother’s clothes. I couldn’t believe that professional business person standing beside my table was truly me!

It was then that I realized that my friend had been spot on the entire time- my clothing choices were quite literally bringing me down, suppressing my buoyant energy you could say. (Where was the vibrant, chipper woman that I knew??) I did not feel or look like a business owner and wondered if anyone had taken me seriously that day. It was quite a disappointing thought! So I decided that I needed to look into this course that Erinn had told me about. You know, the one from before that I had to ask the name of again!

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I never considered how TIRED my clothes could make me look and FEEL! These were all from the same day with the same makeup, just different tops. The right was after teaching classes in a sold gray shirt all day, and the left was just changing the shirt up afterwards to something lighter and brighter! It made quite a difference in how I FELT!

I spent most of the next two weeks perusing the Dressing Your Truth website, reading the material and watching the videos. I was a dry sponge, eager to become saturated with the information being offered. There were so many aspects to simply dressing that I had never before taken into consideration!

Now, before you assume that I was sucked in by some quick-fix solution, I should mention that after my active time in the military, I have turned into quite a skeptic when it comes to anything being sold; I’ve become highly suspicious of gimmicks and fix-all cures. I don’t believe in overnight weight loss solutions and I completely dismiss anything that assures me that it can solve all my problems, monetarily or otherwise. Interestingly, I wasn’t like this in my pre-military years. Before I was very ‘let’s try everything!’ and ‘benefit of the doubt’. Amazing how some experiences stick with you, isn’t it?

Luckily for me, I was quite intrigued with what I saw- it was unlike any other dressing/colors/skin typing course that I had ever seen; it is a system of dressing based off a person’s energy/movement level. (Sounds crazy when I say it but if you watch the video, it makes more sense when Carol talks about it!) Something that applauded my high energy AND would help me dress to match it?? I was in! As fate would have it, right around this time the course went on sale! I decided to invest in it for my business, thinking that at the very least it would help me to dress smarter and more professionally. I never imagined what it would turn into for me.

After I bought the course I dove in head first, really trying to learn everything that I could about my Type and its dress, to determine how best to progress through the course and my life while embracing that movement fully and wholeheartedly. (For those of you who have watched or do intend to watch the course, you will readily agree that I am a Type 1 energy- buoyant, upbeat, cheerful, happy, and constantly moving forward with pep in my step!) I took this newfound knowledge and flew through my wardrobe, discarding almost everything that was not true to my nature. Thankfully, this wasn’t that challenging as I had previously purged most of my wardrobe with the KonMari Method, first introduced to me by Hedwych (from Wrap You In Love). So it didn’t take long to go through it all. However, it left me with very little to wear- sooooooo much of my wardrobe was black and gray (which I choose not to wear anymore because it is not nearly as bright and fun as I am!)!!!

Now, I will say that I did not readily donate all my non-Type 1 items to the thrift store. Instead I set them aside and took the 30 day Challenge (which is 100% free, by the way), only wearing what was true to my nature. Over time, things that were sentimental went into my ‘quilting box’ (someday I plan to make a t-shirt quilt to fit my bed from all my sentimentals!) and the leftover things that had been out of site for those 4 weeks I did end up chucking into the box to bring joy to someone else’s life because I found that they no longer brought joy to mine (a mind-set that I’ve held onto from KonMari, which Carol also talks about with DYT). A few I have held onto with the intention of repurposing them with dyes, in hopes that I can make them into something I will wear again!

My shoes and jewelry have been harder for me to KonMari in the way of DYT.

For me shoes have always been a functional item. When I took up the tomboy mantle at a young age, I convinced myself that I wasn’t like my sisters and I didn’t care about frivolous things like shoes, hair, and makeup. Today I only have a couple pairs of very plain, practical shoes, such as a pair of black flats that I’ve had for years, barefoot or minimal drop workout shoes that are still in perfectly good and useful condition, and well-loved Sanuks that do not yet have enough holes for me to throw out! They are almost all gray or black and someday when they have worn out their usefulness I will replace them with brighter, more fun Type 1 pieces. Because when you budget, shoes just become one of those things that are too expensive to replace willy nilly (at least for me!).

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Jewelry. Honestly I have never thought much about jewelry as an accessory, nor have I collected costume jewelry to match with my outfits. In fact, I don’t wear much jewelry at all; I only have a few pieces that I wear continuously. These pieces were gifts and are very sentimental to me. The trend for white gold and silver has been all the rage this past decade so naturally these pieces fall into this category, far outside the realm of the bright, shiny gold that we Type 1s love and are naturally drawn to. I have loved yellow gold for my entire life (my grandma has some awesome pieces that she has passed down to me! Squee!), but unfortunately the cost, care, and long haul upkeep of plating or dipping my cherished pieces in yellow gold is just too much to maintain. So instead I am content with being two toned when it comes to wearing both white and yellow gold simultaneously!

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I’m learning that re-building a wardrobe is a slow process. Because when you Dress Your Truth it’s not just about wearing the right colors. There are other important factors that you should consider when building the wardrobe for your Type, such as design line, texture, fabrication, and pattern. Even learning your Secondary Energy has an impact on the overall affect! It takes time and some honest effort to revamp it to compliment your nature. It even takes courage to step out of whatever complacent clothing bubble you were living in before, to allow yourself the freedom to trust in your style sixth sense and live a life of being exactly who you were meant to be and that includes dressing the part. I have been a t-shirt and jeans gal for so long that branching out has been my constant challenge, though babywearing nixed the t-shirts for me in favor of scoop/v-necks! And I will never, ever again walk into a store, even the thrift stores, without my Style Guides! I need all the help that I can get and they fit right in my pocket! 😉 I may not always get it right on the first go, but I’m getting better each time! (For a great “Closet Transformation”, check out Kelly’s story from over at Primally Inspired!)

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Having my Style Guides on hand is less about exact color matching and more about what lies in the realm of possibilities- is It T1? Or is it ready for a new home?

My journey through 2017 has not been an easy one, as it has been littered with tragic circumstances. DYT has been something that I’ve turned to quite often, finding healing and sunshine through ‘happier clothes’ and beyond it. Dressing is just the tip of my DYT iceberg but because this post seems to be getting quite long already, I am going to break the rest of my discoveries into 2 (or 3!) more posts. Stay tuned for the other pieces in my DYT mini-series! And if reading this has made you curious, head on over to the Dressing Your Truth page and check it out for yourself!

Radio Silence & New Things

Hello everyone!

Wow- it’s been radio silence around here again!!

Unfortunately I had some complications with the miscarriage process of Baby #2 and to keep a long story short, it required an emergency D&C surgery in the end and I have only recently been cleared by my doctor to babywear, lift things, and work out again. The emotional healing process for me is still a little of a roller coaster but it is finally starting to see more straightaways than just the pitch and roll.

Because I have been quite limited physically as of late, I’ve decided that I want to try something a little differently and that is that weekly I want to post something that has to do with some lifestyle things and is not babywearing related. This could be a product that I like, a style of something that I love, or some learning program that has really worked for me. So stay tuned for something new and fun every week!

Reviews, Spotlights, and babywearing related things will definitely continue, don’t worry 🙂

 

Honour Handwovens ‘Ever In Your Favor’

Maker: Honour Handwovens

Design: plain weave (woven Jan 2017)

Color: ranging from purple to pink, to cream, with some chocolate brown woven in – cream weft

Fiber: 55 cotton, 23% recycled cotton/eco2cotton, 22% lyocel (tencel)

Size: 5 (4.2m)

 

Pink is not generally a color that I reach for. I’ve always found it… too much for my taste. Hosting “Effie” may have changed that for me. The multiple pinks mixed with the creams and the purples really made me sit up and take notice of just how PRETTY pink is! While the cream softened it, the purples and browns really gave it some pizzaz! Subtle yet vibrant! Soft and strong. All the same qualities that really make up the character herself, don’t you think? Because let’s face it, Effie Trinket surprises everyone in the end!

I found ‘Ever in Your Favor’ to be soft in hand, though with more of a fresh, crisp feel given that I was at the beginning of her journey through the Districts. As the week wore on she really started to break in, and that process was smoother than I’ve seen with many fresh off the loom wraps. She wasn’t butter soft when she left here but she was well on her way and in quite the hurry!

I found the plain weave to have a slightly bumpy feel to it that provided some simple, upraised texture. Surprisingly, it didn’t hinder the glide of fabric on fabric and pulling the passes over themselves for multilayer carries was not impeded by the grain of the fiber at all. There was just enough grip to hold the passes in place but I never found myself fighting with the material. In fact, it was very forgiving with any sloppy wrap job that I did in a hurry. Even if I managed to have a loose rail/edge, it never slipped out of place, under bum, or off my shoulder. And, thankfully, it never felt like Velcro! No matter how I tightened it, it never managed to cut off my breathing or circulation; it was never “too tight” (I have a wiggly toddler so I make sure to tighten well, and I’ve found that tightening chest passes & waist tie-offs can be uncomfortable in certain wraps; some things are more unforgiving than “Effie” was!).

Shoulder feel on both long and short endeavors – this was the question that really had me curious! Would the plain weave be comfortable with the toddler weight during short jaunts to the grocery store as well as on long walks outdoors? The answer was yes to both!! No shoulder digs at all, which I was frankly surprised about since the wrap is thinner than it looks in photos! The approx. 1 inch lateral stretch and the approx. 2-3 inch diagonal stretch provided a nice amount of bounce/recoil, and this really gave it enough cush on the shoulders to keep away the diggy feeling with an almost 30lb toddler! I felt no discomfort while wearing and had no red marks afterwards, which is generally a result of too much pressure on the shoulders, around the neck, and across the upper back when weight is not displaced properly across the overall surface.

While I did my multilayer back carries with Alice, I chose to test out front carries and single layer back carries with Bumi the Weighted Doll. None of the above factors changed for me when I wrapped with a smaller, lighter wrappee; it was still light in hand and had great glide with just enough grip to make it both toddler worthy and newborn easy.  I feel that the thinness of the wrap contributed to it effortlessly pulling into a carry that would fit the smaller size of Bumi without a lot of extra tugging on the fabric to make adjustments. I chose to accomplish some spring cleaning chores/KonMari with Bumi hanging out in a FWCC and in spite of his plastic hands and feet sticking into me at odd angles, ‘Effie’ rocked the chore list! I even played with it in half knots part of the way through to gauge grippiness and never had a problem with slippage (disclaimer: half knots were tested with a weighted doll and not a real child- please always use a doubled knot when wearing your real babies!).

Speaking of knots, this traveler made beautiful knots!! I would place the size solidly within the medium/large column. I was able to pull them quite tight, to see how snuggly they could be pulled when putting a bit of strength behind it but, as previously mentioned, the texture provides enough grip to keep it in place with a simple double knot. Slip knots made a beautiful shoulder brooch that easily stayed put, though a medium knot in the shoulder can be large for those who prefer the ‘less is more’ approach to wearing. Since I prefer the bigger knots, I found them to be quite pretty and chose not to pull overly hard! I believe that Ms. Trinket herself would have been a big fan.

Overall this wrap was a joy to host! I find myself having a new appreciation for simpler weave structures with bigger toddlers, as well as a new appreciation for pink (especially given that Alice cried every single time she had to get down so I wore it often! I think it was definitely toddler approved!). I can see myself volunteering as Tribute often to host anything coming out of the Honour Hideout…

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Getting Back in the Game

Hey everybody!

Sorry that things have been pretty quiet over here these past few months. Quite a lot has happened over here in my personal story and it’s hard to know where to begin.

When our Jack began getting sicker this past fall season, we knew that something was wrong and scheduled a surgery with our veterinarian for a biopsy. When they told us that Jack had cancer, something inside of our world seemed to stop rotating. After being initially given a diagnosis of 3-6 months, we turned our attentions inward to devote as much time as we could to spend with her as a family. However, we were not given nearly as much time as we had first expected.

Jack’s cancer was very aggressive and at 5 weeks, 6 days post-surgery, we lost our beautiful girl, just 18 days shy of her 8th birthday.

I know that many of you will read this and will not understand why her passing has affected us so much. But Jack was never just our pet, our dog. For my husband and I, she was one of our children, albeit a four legged and furry one. She had been with us for most of our marriage, through every move, every major event, every small moment. She was the best friend of a cat, and the beloved pony of a toddler. She was so much more to us than I can ever explain with the English language. And when she passed, part of us went with her. Moving forward in a world where Jack no longer exist has been a daily struggle, one where ever single thing reminds us of her and the pain of losing her happens all over again.

It has been a hard 37 days. Laughing and smiling have not come easily, especially in those first weeks. While each day hurts a little less,  I almost fear the day that I can look at her pictures and not cry. I’m afraid that maybe I will forget her smell, the sound of her roo, the way she would get so excited when she saw a ball or Frisbee. I can’t even take the bed that she loved to lay in out of the living room because I feel like it’s removing her from our minds. It may not seem logical, but grief has no logic.

I attended my first event as a vendor on Jack’s birthday, and cried the hour drive home afterward. Attending the WEAR Conference in Chicago this past weekend was easier- I kept myself so busy in lectures, with networking, and spending time with friends that I was exhausted enough to fall asleep straightaway each night. I’m getting back on the horse, as the saying goes, trying to move my business forward and continuing education within my industry. It won’t all happen at once, and it won’t always be easy, but I’m happy for the change.

So why am I writing about this? Because I’m not ready to talk out loud yet, and this way I’m sharing my absence these past few months in a way that I can write a little, cry a lot, and walk away for a few minutes when I need to. And this way I don’t feel like I’m suffering alone. Loss is universal, however it shows itself in the lives of others, and by supporting each other in these times of need, we lift one another up to a better place. A place where rainbows are and the darkness is held at bay just a little while longer.

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Dr. Seuss Psychology for Consulting

Dr. Seuss once said “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”. It’s supposed to sound wonky and make no logical sense because it’s a Dr. Seuss quote, right? Yet, there is so much wisdom in this statement that it can be easily overlooked. For example- how many of us were asked as children “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Easy answers- a fireman, a teacher, an astronaut. Then as we grew, the question shifted subtly- “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, that one is a bit more complicated, isn’t it. Many middle aged people don’t know who they are, because their job is completely independent of their inner person. That job may reflect something that they enjoy doing or perhaps reflect some inner character because they stick with a job that they do not enjoy to support self/a family. But knowing is entirely independent of being, thus it can be quite easy to gloss over hard questions about knowing who you are with quippy answers about your daily existence. But, I digress.

Where am I going with this, you have probably asked. Patience, I’m getting there! But before I can, you need a very short history of where I started with babywearing and how I ended up here. Don’t worry, its only 10 sentences.

I knew when I was pregnant with my daughter that I wanted to wear her. So we decided to forgo the detachable infant bucket seat all together and put a convertible carseat on our registry- this made the most sense to us for spending the least amount of money. I wore her from the beginning as many people start out doing, with a stretchy wrap then in a SSC. We moved when she was barely 6 months old and a friend recommended that I find a local babywearing group, to help make some new friends and to learn some new things about different carriers than the ones that I was using at the time.

It was amazing, hard, fascinating, frustrating, and beautiful.

I was intrigued. I fell in love with it from every angle of every style of everything. I was hooked and I knew that I wanted to do something with babywearing, knew that I wanted to be as helpful as I was capable of being to other caregivers, and within 5 months of joining our group as a new member I became an admin and co-leader.

Around my second month of co-leading I was introduced to the idea of becoming a consultant and taking babywearing education to a whole new level (thank you, Laura Brown!). So just over 14 months after joining my local group as a new member, I took the Foundations course through the Center for Babywearing Studies with founder Joanna McNeilly and began my career as a professional babywearing educator and consultant.

I came home from my course and my very first International Babywearing Conference full of ideas, excitement, and an irrational sense of optimism. I had a newfound dream of wanting to work with non-traditional families, with families that had special needs, with families who deal with separation and PTSD frequently, with the underprivileged, with teen parents- the list went on! I wanted to reach out to those who could really use my help but who couldn’t really afford to do it one-on-one. I wanted to make a DIFFERENCE in the babywearing world, to BE SOMEBODY important who people would listen to, who had a voice that could help change lives.

So when I returned home, I dove into contacting local agencies like WIC, Planned Parenthood, and Foster Care, groups that I was certain could use my help. I started to reach out and advertise my business on local forums and on local business boards. I started spreading the word about the 2 non-profits that I had become the contact point in my area for. I emailed and called anyone and everyone that I could think of to get the word out there about what I was doing, and then I waited.

And I waited.

And waited…

Finally I began to receive emails back from my inquiries, and with every response that entered my inbox, my excitement began to wane as rejection and discouragement began to take root. Where there had been confidence there were now the stirrings of doubt.

I was thanked for my interest in wanting to help their clients, told that I was a great resource of very useful information that could really benefit caregivers, but sadly the agencies that I had contacted that were state funded organizations could not endorse an outside business nor could they pay me for my work if I should come and teach a class because it was not within the budget. However I was more than welcome to come and teach a free class to the caregivers, with the exception of Foster Care, which is a closed organization and allows no one from outside of its own staff to teach caregivers due to legal and safety issues (understandable, of course).

I struggled with this information for another 2 months. Consultants are supposed to get paid for their work, right? Hadn’t I been told over and over again that once I had a good client base going that I could then start offering free services? How could I offer free classes when I wasn’t even getting paid yet?! Surely people would start lining up once they heard about the great resource that I was offering! And babywearing was such a biologically beneficial and cost effective means to surviving daily parental life, how could people NOT want to do it?!

Yet, I still struggled with the decision that I had made when I had thanked the directors for their time and left my contact info with them as a future reference for clients looking for services like mine. I continued to co-lead my local group during all of this internal struggle, though I had stepped back from one-on-one help outside of meetups, to keep fairness with the ‘hats’ that I wore; I didn’t think it fair to help some for free while in my role as admin but having to charge others as a consultant. And even as I fretted about whether I was making the right decisions, I continued to find refuge in my group of caregivers, pouring into our meetups all the things that I had been taught and watching babywearing thrive for them under my tutelage.

Finally one night as I washed my hair (the shower seems to be where all epiphanies come to me), I realized something- I had so many assumptions about how I had wanted this career of mine to begin and where I had ambitiously envisioned it going but I had blindly bypassed one of the fundamental questions from my training, completely taking for granted that I innately knew the answer. I had grandiose ideas of what my overall goals looked like but what were my EXPECTATIONS OF MYSELF? My REALISTIC expectations of not only where I wanted my business to go but exactly how in the world did I expect to get there and where exactly was ‘THERE’?! Advertising? No, this was more serious than ‘Look what I can do!’ and it needed some real feedback that required blunt honesty and no flippant commentary from my innermost self.

‘What do I want from this? What expectations do I have of myself? What do I like to DO? What do I want to do with what I have, with the SKILLS that I possess?? Who or what am I at the deepest level of myself, something that has always been and while it may have evolved over time, it is in essence an always continuing yet ‘never changing’ part of who I am?’

Hmmmmmmm…. Great questions, great questions. Dr. Seuss had it right when he said the questions were complicated! It honestly took me about 3 more days of showers before the most honest answers settled into place and, as easy as the answers will sound it was surprisingly difficult to drag them from beneath The Pool of Discouragement  (lack of positive motivation can make for interesting internal conversations, but I digress).

So what has never changed about me? I LOVE to learn. I am at my core a perpetual student; I have the soul of an 85 year old college student with 25 degrees in the most random fields known to mankind (with the appetite of a 12 year old boy). So far in my life I have been a US Marine, a florist, a restaurant store manager, went through EMT school, worked in a hospital as a medical records tech, worked retail selling books, worked receiving and overstock, went through college for multiple areas of study and degrees, traveled the world immersing myself in other cultures and their delightful food, and that’s just the short version of the list! I never get tired of learning something new. I soak up information like leaves soak up the sunlight. Which then brought me quickly to the next question- what do I like to do? Well that’s easy: I like to LEARN.

Now what do I want to DO with the skills that I HAVE? What do I like to do with the knowledge that I learn? I like to teach it to others. Isn’t that what I was doing at group meetups and events? Isn’t that what I was trying to do as a consultant? But how can I teach without clients?

Answer: because I was limiting MYSELF.

If I only wanted to teach people who were willing to pay then I could potentially be waiting forever, because no amount of advertising was going to SHOW people what I could DO. Sometimes to get something back, you have to give something first and I realized that the thing that I needed to give was me, my time, and my knowledge.

About this time I received an email about hosting a free class to teen parents in the spring. I accepted.

I emailed WIC back- yes, I’d love to teach your staff about babywearing if it helps them help their clients! Because isn’t that why I became an educator? To HELP caregivers make their lives easier and to help them build that beautiful relationship with their little ones?

Will I make money? Hopefully, maybe, eventually. Perhaps word of my profession will trickle down from my free classes to people who wish to have more one-on-one private consultations. Maybe some company will ask for me to come work with them, to educate retailers & caregivers about their great product (which has actually happened recently!). Maybe I will convince a local college to make babywearing part of their curriculum for their social sciences program, or as an elective for their nursing program or for anthropology, biology, and cultural studies. Maybe I’ll just be a blogger who writes decent articles that caregivers can find useful. Who knows! But no matter what, I want to be HELPFUL and I want to continue to learn and pass along that learned knowledge. People who have such things should share it because what’s the point of knowing something useful but then keeping it to yourself? I may never be famous or even well known, but I can live with that as long as I’m using my knowledge to the best of my abilities to make the world a better place, one caregiver/child combo at a time…

Woven Wings ‘Forel Geo’

Maker: Woven Wings

Design: Forel Geo

Fiber: 65% Egyptian Cotton, 21% Viscose Flax, 7% Ethical Merino

Size: 4.6m (hand measurement of approx. 186in/4.72m so I’d call this wrap a long size 6); width measures at approx. 24in.

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I want to start this review out by stating that I am honored to know some truly lovely people within the babywearing community. When a friend of mine, who I met in person for the first time at the International Babywearing Conference this year, randomly won a unique, 3-of-a-kind wrap while at IBC, she offered to send it traveling my way without hesitation. So when it showed up on my doorstep once I returned home, though I knew that it was coming, I was stunned by my luck and humbled to know such an awesome momma. Only 3 of these wraps exist- one at the Woven Wings HQ, one with my friend, and another that was randomly drawn for at IBC. So to be able to wear and review this one is quite the opportunity!!

When I received this wrap, it had already been washed and prepped, so it wasn’t in loom state but it was far from being broken in. It felt a bit like ‘old parchment’ (I was excited at the prospect of seeing how much I could help to break it in before it went back home!), thin in hand, and very textured. The design is beautiful, delicate, and creates a lot of complexity for this wrap, both through feel and appearance. Looking closely, you see an unbelievably detailed paisley design, weaving in and out of a geometrical patter. The colors are a creamy, soft white and a beautiful, bold wine.

Even though it felt like old parchment in hand, it felt soft and fluffy on the shoulders from our very first up. There was a cush to the fabric that reminded me of a medium thick repreve or high wool/animal fiber blend. After our longest walk in this beauty of almost 4 miles (~85*F weather!), I was impressed by the lack of diggyness or pain in my shoulders, which I had been expecting from an almost-loom-state wrap. It was as if I’d done that very hilly, long, hot walk with a well-broken-in wrap! And doing it with an almost 30lb toddler in tow, none the less!

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As is normal for almost all cotton and cotton blend wraps, this beauty has zero lateral stretch and at max around 2-2 ½ inches of diagonal stretch. This allows for a slight amount of bounce and recoil, and a slightly unforgiving lack-of-give. So once my toddler was up, no amount of squirming or wiggling was going to get her down or loosen her up. She never sagged, which is not always an easy quality to come by in a wrap as your toddler gets bigger and heavier and the blends become more diverse.

Typically when a wrap has grip, it tends to lack sufficient glide; it isn’t common to find a wrap with both good grip and easy glide. I found this wrap to glide well, the sliding passes crossing each other with relative ease, though I did notice a subtle ‘stick’. The design gives quite a bit of texture to this wrap, which in turn allows for quite a bit of grip. My heavy toddler never slipped nor sagged, no matter the length of our adventures in it. All the passes of our multi-layer carries stayed in place after some concentrated tightening. However I did notice that the newness of the fabric and its lack of being broken in required extra attention on the rail tension to keep the wrap from bunching up or creating small pockets. Once in place, we never experienced any need to re-tighten or adjust.

Let’s talk width for a moment. Many wraps measure out at or greater than a 27 inch width but this particular wrap measures out at only 24 inches. A few inches doesn’t sound like it should be a big deal but when your very tall toddler measures at more than 14 inches from bottom of her neck to the curve of her bum, it can be tricky making a solid, deep seat while still making sure that there’s enough wrap to come up to at least the middle of her shoulder blades. Surprisingly though, it wasn’t as tricky as I’d anticipated, especially when I took extra care to pull as much of the wrap downward to create as deep a seat as was possible, more than I probably would with any longer width wrap, and the top rail/edge still never fell below her shoulder blades. I could tell the times that I was wrapping in a hurry because I found her easily popping her barely-there seat. However, anytime that I wore Bumi-the-weighted-doll there was never an issue and more than enough fabric to spare.

View More: http://sarafiajonesphotography.pass.us/valleynursery

Multi-layer carries with wiggleproof passes are my go-to in any wrap with my heavy, 26-ish lb toddler. This keeps her on my back exactly where we start out (read here: no sagging!). I have also found that these carries keep the wrap from digging into my shoulders and putting strain on my upper back and neck. This wrap shines in multilayer carries with its sticky grip, especially in ones that flip passes so that you can show off both sides of the wrap while wearing (read here: pretty factor!). I rarely do single layer carries these days, unless I have a shorty and am looking for a quick up or I specifically do one for testing purposes, for the above mentioned reasons. I did a simple ruck TIF with this lovely gal (for testing purposes) and found it to be surprisingly cushy on my shoulders, even with all the toddler weight bearing down in a single pass. I found it easy to wander this way, though we struggled to keep the seat made in a single layer carry, due to the shorter width; she managed to wiggle enough to slide the seat right out from underneath of her. This really brought to light just how well the fabric sticks to itself and how much of an asset it is with more layers. Bumi-the-weighted-doll never gave me these problems, as he doesn’t tend to wiggle as much as my daughter, so I feel like the wrap would do wonderfully in a single layer carry with smaller babies!

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Knots for this gal are lovely, grippy, and medium in size. Due to the texture, they require attention when tightening. Once tightened, I never found them to slip or be in need of adjusting.

Overall, I found this wrap to be both baby and toddler-worthy, though I think it will do better for tinier babies once fully broken in (my assumption here is that while textured there won’t be the issue of fighting the grip with a wee one; once buttery soft it’ll be a bit more pliable in hand). I have enjoyed my time with this beauty immensely and will truly be sad to see her head home. Until she’s called home, I plan to hoard her and see just how marshmallowy I can send her back! #Goals

View More: http://sarafiajonesphotography.pass.us/valleynursery

Professional photo credit to Sarafia Jones Photography

 

Yaro Slings IBC 2016 Exclusive

Maker: Yaro Slings

Design: IBC Atlanta 2016 Exclusive

Color: Red & White

Fiber: 30% Tencel, 70% Cotton blend

Size: 6

I knew as I was heading to IBC (the International Babywearing Conference) in Atlanta this year that I wanted to come home with something from Yaro! I’ve heard great things about their budget line of wraps and I wanted to add something to my teaching stash. In the hustle & bustle that was the Conference, time got away from me while I worked at a booth and by the time that I made my way to the Yaro booth, they were pretty well sold out of all the merchandise that they had brought with them. But not everything- something red caught my eye and as I looked closer I saw this beautiful red and white IBC Exclusive wrap. Once I saw the peaches babywearing mini peaches, I knew that I wanted one! (What a great design to go into a teaching stash, right?!)

This wrap is barely medium thickness in hand, when feeling it in a single layer, but when bunched up, it is extremely thick! Soft after the first wash, this wrap really fluffs up and can be nice and thick when rolled or folded. Wrinkles iron out with very little effort and it is just as easy to forgo ironing in lieu of hanging it to dry, which leaves it almost completely wrinkle free.

This wrap shines in the sunlight (quite literally!), as is normal of tencel and repreve blends. The shimmer is beautiful! The design of the peaches on this wrap are upraised, adding a bit of texture to it and giving it a nice amount of grip. Passes need to be pulled and held tight to keep it from sticking on itself. Yet even with the grip, it glides nicely over itself.

This gal easily falls into the category of ‘typical tencel blends’. The best way to describe the feel of it on the shoulders is “squishy”. It provides a very nice cush for long walks; I really enjoyed wearing my weighted doll for extended periods of time because it felt as if he were barely there at all! It was just as comfy on the shoulder when I wore my toddler around, with no diggy-ness at all. I tend to prefer thicker wraps like this for that fantastic, marshmallow-y feeling! There is zero lateral stretch and about 3-4 inches of diagonal stretch with this wrap. The diagonal stretch gives great bounce, especially with the smaller kiddos, though you lose a little of the recoil with larger children.

I found that the longer I wore with my toddler, the more the pull on the fabric under her weight made it “sag”, as is pretty standard with the vast majority of tencel blends + toddlers. That’s not saying that it doesn’t work with toddlers; with the proper tightening, use of multi-layer carries, and wearing over shorter blocks of time will work just fine. However, I discovered this wrap to be wonderful for babies and smaller children (as did those of my local babywearing group who have played with it) and would definitely recommend it for them into toddlerhood vs buying it solely for use with a toddler.

Knots on this gal are the biggest that I’ve tied to date! HUGE! Even when pulled as tight as they can pull, they are still large knots. Slip knots need a firm push or pull to move them around, due to the slight texture in the wrap and the sheer size of the knot. The smallest knot that I was able to tie was a flat reef knot, and even that was still a substantial knot! They are, however, very pretty knots.

Overall, I like having this beauty in my educator stash- it’s a wonderful example of the qualities that tencel blends possess!

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Risaroo Wovens ‘The Boy Who Lived’

Maker: Risaroo Wovens

Design: The Boy Who Lived

Color: Ink

Fiber: 45% Tencel Lyocell, 55% Cotton

Size: Size 4

Have I ever mentioned how geeky I am?! When I opened the box for The Boy Who Lived, I might have squealed (am I squealing at all boxes these days?? Hmm… must be getting good fluff mail…). I adore anything Harry Potter and this guy was no exception. I was also excited about receiving a black and white wrap; a neutral set of colors (shades and tints) that would go with any crazy outfit that I could throw together. And the ‘wrong side’? Get outta here! I think that I actually prefer the white background for most occasions; it really makes the black designs pop!

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At a quick glance, TBWL can seem an intimidating pattern. There are multiple aspects to the design, each a significant part of the HP story. The description on the Risaroo Wovens website explains it best:

“This classic color combination is perfect no matter which House you are in! Inspired by one of our favorite characters, The Boy Who Lived was designed to include all of the details that we love about Harry Potter. This design is comprised of four different elements that pay homage to Harry Potter….Gryffindor House, Harry’s love of Quidditch, Harry’s beloved owl Hedwig, and the Deathly Hallows symbol.

Gryffindor is represented by the house crest and Gryffindor scarf. Harry’s iconic glasses and scar surround them. Quidditch played a big part in Harry’s time at Hogwarts, so we had to pay tribute to it in our design with the quintessential Quidditch goals, brooms, flags and Quaffles. The golden snitch is prominently displayed above the Quidditch design, as it is another iconic representation of Harry. Harry’s beloved owl, Hedwig, has a prominent spot in the design as well and is flanked by wands and Owl Post letters from Hogwarts. Last, but certainly not least, is the intricately adorned Deathly Hallows symbol.”

This wrap came to me well broken in, so I cannot make a from-loom-state comparison. What I can attest to is that once broken in it is VERY soft and floppy, like a well-worn blanket. It is thin in hand and folds or rolls tidily into a small space, such as a diaper bag or suitcase.

I was surprised to find after I had worn it a few times that this wrap is not in fact an all-cotton wrap, as I had first suspected (in my excitement, as always, I didn’t bother to look at the specs before I started using it!). Like its cousin Prism Iridis, it is toddler worthy, even in a single layer carry. However, unlike its cousin, the feel of the wrap both in hand and on the body are quite different.

Let’s do a little comparison here…

I find TBWL to have a more textured surface than Prism Iridis. It lacks that smooth, silky feel of its rainbow cousin and I feel that is because the pattern on TBWL is more complex, giving it an entirely different finish. It’s hard to describe the feeling without making it sound negative. Quite the contrary, in fact. It’s simply different, more like comparing the smooth hands of a pianist to the upraised grain/ridges of a board yet to be sanded. It sounds silly comparing such different things yet, I think that also shows just how hard it is to put the comparison into words.

I find that this texture difference make TBWL to have more grip than PI and less glide. I never found that I had a problem with slippage of any kind, nor did I find myself needing to re-tighten the wrap as our wanderings went on. It stuck to itself quite nicely, which meant that when creating a multi-pass carry I had to pull it well to tighten and get out any leftover slack or space that it may have created by grabbing onto itself. I enjoy wraps with grip like this for toddlers and bigger kiddos because a little more pulling and tugging is involved.

Knots for this wrap are a solid medium size and, thanks to the awesome grip, never, EVER go anywhere once tied! I did notice though, while doing a slip knot hip carry, that the combination of the weight of my toddler and gravity made it harder for me to move the knot up and down than I had anticipated and I found myself manhandling it a little. But once in place, it never once slipped on us! Tying a regular knot was just a matter of pulling it tight/pulling the slack past the grip, but I never felt like I was manhandling that into place.

The shoulder feel is very similar to an all-cotton wrap: not super cushy but not uncomfortable either. We have been out and about for a few hours while up in this guy and I never found it to be diggy nor did my shoulders or back hurt. As with its rainbow cousin, it surprisingly lacks the typical spongy feeling of tencel. It has no lateral give and only about an inch & a half diagonal give, so we never had an issue with any sag or ‘gravity taking over’ as the day wore on. Another tencel masquerading as an all-cotton wrap!!  Yet while the ratio of tencel:cotton in this wrap is the exact same as with Iridis, I didn’t find it to have the same bounce/recoil, which surprised me immensely and has become a quality that I rather like in this particular wrap. This effect is quite possibly due to the amount of grip and texture that the wrap possesses (have I been saying grip a lot? Hmm… that must be important…).

I have really enjoyed having this shorty visit with us, as it appeals to both my geeky side and my practical need for something toddler worthy and not just another beautiful wrap. I’d say that this combo was a win!

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Professional photo credits to Sarafia Jones Photography

** Note to the reader: For those who have read the article and looked through the photos, you may have noticed in the professional shots that my toddler looks wonky in them. She’s all hunched down and a little too far down my hip; the top rail is loose and the pass isn’t spread across my back correctly.

Don’t worry, I know.

You see, what you don’t know is that she fell asleep on the way to the shoot, after her normal naptime and before dinner, so she wasn’t super stoked about being woken up.

What you don’t know is that in the bottom picture she is screaming her head off and I am trying desperately to make her laugh.

What you don’t know is that the slip knot hip carry wasn’t intended to be part of the photos but we nursed to help keep the tears at bay.

What you don’t know is that she refused to let me readjust her after she unlatched, that she just wanted me to hold her as is, all tucked up against me.

What you don’t know is that while I know I should have readjusted her, I just enjoyed each moment that I got to hold her snuggled close to me because I know that someday she won’t need those snuggles anymore.

But, being a parent, I know that you understand that…

 

Artipoppe Casanova HouseKeeeper Review

Maker: Artipoppe

Design: Casanova Housekeeper

Fiber: 53% cotton, 47% alpaca

Size: Size 6 (long)

I had the opportunity to have this lovely lady come traveling my way and I enjoyed every minute with her! I had yet to try an Artipoppe so, when I volunteered to host her, I wasn’t going to be picky about the color (I tend not to reach for pink)! But when it arrived at my house, I noticed that the pink was a very soft, subtle color & had quite a bit of lavender/purple influence, so it wasn’t the pink that I had envisioned and I liked it very much once I was able to see its ‘true colors’ in person. The ‘wrong side’ of this wrap is more cream colored than white, and the effect of the color contrast is startling and eye catching.

In hand this wrap is very soft and quite thick. If I had to pick a category, I would solidly place Casanova Housekeeper into the thick category. It has a very slight bristle feel to it from the alpaca (most animal blend wraps that are not superwash tend to have this feel to varying degrees), but not enough to make it uncomfortable; I wore this wrap with a tank top on quite a few occasions to test how it would feel on bare skin, specifically the shoulders where the majority of ‘chaffing’ could occur, should there be any (there was not).

I should note here that I had this wrap from the middle to the end of June and temperatures were over 90*F almost the whole time that we had it! Surprisingly, it wasn’t stuffy or uncomfortable. I think if it were a little thinner that it would have ‘breathed’ better, but I sweated almost as much in this wrap as I did in all cotton wraps that I tested throughout the summer, perhaps slightly more because of its thickness.

Knots! While the knots actually tied easily on Casanova Housekeeper, they were still quite large, even when pulled as tightly as they can go! But I loved how smooth they looked once tightened and they never once slipped or loosened.

As is my way, I took this wrap on long and short walks/hikes, either with non-stop walking or stop-and-go walking, such as to our local Farmer’s Market. This wrap has more cush on the shoulders than any wrap that I have tested/reviewed so far, and I attest that purely to its thickness. If you’ve ever heard someone use the term ‘fluffy marshmallow clouds’ you would understand exactly what they meant when you give this wrap a try! No soreness in the shoulders or back. In fact, most of the time I barely noticed that my 25lb toddler was hanging out back there! There was almost zero lateral give and just a slight amount of diagonal give, which surprised me because usually animal fiber blends have a bit more give for bounce/recoil, but this reminded me more of the lack-of-stretch that you get from an all-cotton, machine woven wrap. There was just enough stretch that I didn’t feel like I was wrapped in duct tape and when we jogged around or jumped (shoulder cush testing!) she moved around enough to be comfortable but not to unseat her or loosen the wrap job.

Texture for this wrap doesn’t come from any ‘pattern’, as is typical when you compare wraps of varying textures for their grip quality. The grip in this wrap comes from the slight scruffy texture of the animal fiber, alpaca in this case. While the material glided easily over itself, I did notice that extra attention needed to be paid when tightening passes, due to the tendency for the wrap to ‘stick on itself’, generally along the bottom half of passes, leaving scrunches or pockets in the middle third of the wrap. By taking a few extra moments tightening in thirds or rail-by-rail, I was able to pull the passes smooth and it settled into place nicely. The wrap held in every situation that I threw at it, including early morning yoga!

Overall, I had a great time getting to play with this wrap! She looks classy but still holds up to wrapping in the parking lot! To me, no matter how much money you want to invest in a wrap/carrier, if it doesn’t hold up to wrapping in the parking lot for every day wearing, then it’s not for me. This lovely lady passed all the tests.

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** Professional photo credits to Sarafia Jones Photography