Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day Everyday

Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers and Ranchers.

Our lives depend on the land. 
We care for it so that it may care for us in an abundant and healthy harvest. 
We care for it because, for many, the land has been in the family for generations and to keep it for generations more requires care.

Here are a few recent examples of ways we care:

All four kill deer eggs hatched thanks to a cautionary flag added to the road to keep vehicles from driving over the nest.

This is the second of three owl boxes we have set up to help provide homes for Barn Owls. One box is fully occupied and we hope to have residents in the newest ones soon. 

We work with our farm consultants to utilize crop protection materials in a way that keeps these beneficial lady bugs thriving. 

We add wildflowers for bee and butterfly feed to promote healthy populations in both. 

None of these items is thanks to grant funding. We just strive to take care of our environment every day. The health of the land is vital to the health of our farm and family.

Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Trunk Club Review

It is no secret that I'm a big fan of all things home delivery. If I can try new clothes on without leaving the house, I'm in. I make very few clothing purchases in store these days and why would I do anything but mail order when it keeps getting easier!

I have recently discovered Trunk Club which is a fantastic option now owned by Nordstrom's. They originally started as a clothing company for men but expanded to ladies and then sold. So everything you get from them is also at Nordstrom's. I pretty much never shop at Nordstrom's because 1 - there isn't one for 100 miles and 2 - I think the layout is really confusing. But I am a lover of Nordstrom Rack.

The way this service works is you complete a profile online (similar to the competitors). But it gets very different from there. A person then calls you. Yes, a real human. And she (or maybe he but mine was named Catherine) ask you about what you do and what you typically wear. She even had be go into my closet to talk about what brands I like and the sizing I wear in those brands. We talked for half an hour! In fact I actually gave my credit card info on the phone - it wasn't requested online.

*Note that there is no styling fee and no shipping fee. There is no obligation to buy. But you will want to.

Then she emailed me a link to their app. You will want the app because it makes the feedback and return shipping incredibly easy.

Within a day she had compiled my virtual trunk. I could then go in and see the items and let her know if I wanted anything left out. I decided to trust her judgement and just try everything. The trunk arrived a few days later. When it arrives you have 10 days to decide and ship back what you don't want. 10 days made it so I need not worry about me traveling or hurrying to the post office. I also found myself trying things on more than once.

So... what was in my trunk!

In total they sent me 18 items in one big box. Some tops, dresses, bottoms and two pairs of shoes.

Here are a few that I remembered to get photos of:

This is the dress I kept which perfectly matched my request for a simple jersey dress that I could wear all summer long. I love that it is a tiny bit longer in the back since it will be worn out and about with. 5 year old all summer long. 

This outfit really tempted me. I love the way the shoes look, but they aren't super practical for me and weren't all that comfortable. The dress was the most expensive item in my trunk - $150. But I really love that jean jacket. It turns out my old jean jacket looks pretty darn similar so after much debate, I shipped it back. 

I'm not sure these items were meant to go together (my fault not Catherine's). These linen pants grew on my and were an almost keep. They were very comfy and I actually liked the elastic ankles. But I couldn't kick the thought that there was some frump to them. The black top is a great staple item and was only $28 but I have three in my closet already. And the cardigan thing was really cool but it is already too warm in CA for transition items. 

This is the greatest maxi dress I have ever tried on. You can't see the shoulders well but the grecian style was awesome. And the most amazing thing was a built in slip (sorta thing) that ended mid thigh. Made the shape for my lower half way smoother. It did touch the ground so I'm seeing about getting a petite. $78 for this one.

This is the list of all items and their original price. I appreciated that the prices changed in the app to reflect sales. One item was 60% off by the time it arrived.

When it came time for returns I was really impressed. The box is easily repacked and they include a shipping label and tape. Seriously there were two pre-cut strips of heavy duty tape. Then I noted that in the app and the app gave me several options for home pickup. I'm leaving it on my porch Monday morning. I got this confirmation email back:

I am so impressed with this service! Things fit well and the stylist really listened to my requests. I requested too many items that I already have, so I need to work with her on that in the future.

I've included a link for you to try it that gives me credit if you use it. It doesn't have a coupon code since they don't seem to offer any sign up incentives. Just great clothes!

Let me know what you think and if you have tried it!

Friday, April 15, 2016

ThredUp Review with coupon link

After some good success on the first round using the ThredUp service, I decided to load up another bag to sell.

As a bit of review, ThredUp is an online consignment show where you can buy and sell gently used clothing. I think of it as an upscale online thrift store without the hassle of sorting through a real thrift store. The inventory changes daily which is a pro and a con, in my opinion.

This time in my sale bag I included a few more items and several items that still had tags. The bag was 10 lbs this time! All things that I hadn't ever worn or hadn't worn in a long time. I've been getting more aggressive in clearing out my closet and this has been a big help!

This round I got $18.78 for 8 items. Not enough to go on a shopping spree but better than nothing and for very little effort on my part.

I didn't track what I sent very closely this time but ThredUp gave me these stats on how my bag compared to their average.

I'm very happy with my experience. It is so easy to send a postage paid bag to them and see what happens. The donate any items that they don't buy to charity which helps you feel good about the whole process. My only complaint is that it takes almost 3 weeks for them to sort and value your bag. But considering the items were probably just collecting dust in your closet, not too bad.

I still do donate to my local charity thrift store, but I have shifted what I donate. Name brand items are more likely to go to ThredUp that the local shop.

I've got affiliate links included. It gets you $10 off your purchase and give me $10 off my next. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


I'm very lucky to have a friend who happens to run North America's favorite duck and goose hatchery. Metzer Farms is family owned and operated here in California. They have a huge selection of ducks and geese. I have a tendency to get my wonderful mom live animals for her Mother's day gifts so I decided this year to get her.... GEESE! 

Geese are ordered online - or by texting your friend Marc - and then arrive in the mail the next day thanks to our friends at the US Postal Service. So these little stud muffins arrived on Thursday. 

Hello world!

There were a hit from the moment I opened the box. They are packed with some hay bedding, a gel nutrition thing and a heating pad. They arrived healthy and active. 

My kiddo enjoying one gosling on the grass.

The kiddo found them pretty entertaining right away. The biggest surprise to me has been how incredibly friendly they are. You can set them down and pick them back up - not like most chicks.

Preschoolers enjoying the geese

Since they were healthy and so darn friendly we took them on a field trip to preschool. The kids were, of course, thrilled to see geese. They all got to pet them and many held them. 

Introduction to water and salad greens

These are Sebastopol Geese which will grow up to be pure white and have beautiful curly feathers. I've always wanted one and now I kinda get one, just at my Mom's (the hubs is not a fan of Geese).

On Saturday we decided to let them experience the water. It was a big hit. Note that goslings shouldn't have too much time in the water until they are bigger and the start producing the oil that protects their feathers and keeps them warm (so says the internet anyway).

Swimming geese
So Sunday we got out the kiddie pool and let them do some more swimming. They don't swim for long but sure have a blast doing it. 

Geese are not wildly different than chicks to raise. They eat the same food for the most part but seem to need some added greens. They don't need to be as hot as chicks. But they do need a deeper waterer so that they can get their whole bill in the waterer. And that waterer gets crazy messy. 

Another cool benefit of geese (and ducks) is that (I'm guessing since they don't have to be as warm) you can order them in just pairs and have them shipped. So if you just want a pair of one particular breed, you can order them. 

These beauties will be heading to my Mom's house on Tuesday so we are enjoying a few more days of fun with them. 

So if you are ever in the market for ducks or geese check out Metzer Farms. They have a ton of great videos about raising them too. There may even be some added *cough* health benefits to eating duck eggs. But you have to watch the videos to learn more. :)