Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Alternative: Adopt a Turkey

The Adopt a Turkey Project, which gives people the opportunity to sponsor one of the rescued birds who reside at the group’s shelters in New York and California, has provided care for more than 1,000 rescued turkeys over the last 25 years. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters receive a special adoption certificate complete with color photo and fun details about their new adopted turkey friend.

Turkeys are, in fact, intelligent and social animals, who form lifelong bonds and possess unique abilities to communicate with one another. Just as “Free Birds” brings to life the personalities of each of its animal characters, caretakers at Farm Sanctuary know that real-life turkeys possess distinct personalities and exhibit a joy for life. Among the adoptable turkeys are:
Tulip, who lives at Farm Sanctuary’s New York Shelter; she is sensitive and kind to her flockmates and loves grapes and cranberries, 
Minerva, an attention-loving turkey with a passion for sunflower seeds, who resides at the rescue group’s shelter near Los Angeles, and
Tibbott, an outgoing guy who resides at Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California Shelter; he loves to meet new people and snack on lettuce and grapes.

“After more than 25 years of caring for rescued turkeys through our Adopt a Turkey Project, we’re delighted to team up with Reggie and Jake this Thanksgiving,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur. “We hope their amazing adventure will inspire even more people to adopt a turkey as part of their holiday tradition.”

To learn more about the Adopt a Turkey Project, visit or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.

This is a guest post from Farm Sanctuary which operates three shelters in New York and California that provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals, works to change laws to decrease abuse of farm animals, and promotes compassionate vegan living.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Things to Make Your Holiday Guest Comfortable

Expecting company for the holidays?  If you live in a small space, it can be tricky.  You want to give your guests as much of their own space as possible, and a comfortable bed.   Even if you don't have a dedicated guest room, you can still make visitors feel comfortable and extra special. 

The Serta Raised Air Bed pops up in just a couple of minutes (deflates quickly too), and has a never-flat feature.  The height, at 18 inches, is really nice for guests who might have a harder time getting up and down from a camp pad set up, and it really makes into a bed that resembles a regular twin bed.  When you're done, it packs into a carry bag and goes right in the closet until the next visit. 

An amenities kit like the Hugo Naturals Travel Kit, which uses non-synthetic fragrance and eco friendly plant based ingredients is a great welcome gift.  I love the orange-vanilla, which is comforting and soothing, and something like this might help to keep guests from using their synthetic products.  I personally have a no synthetic fragrance rule and make no bones about it because I get terrible migraines from perfumes.  Essential oils are wonderful though, and I think a little gift like this makes a fun introduction to healthy body products, and a treat for those already on board.

If you want to be really generous (and keep shoes out of the house), some cozy slippers or slipper socks from Acorn would be fantastic.  I love the Chinchilla slides that are my go-to slipper right now.  Your feet feel like heaven in these things; they are extremely luxurious.  If you get them from a place like Zappos, and you order  the wrong size, they can have a new pair to you the next day.  Any slippers would be nice, but I'm partial to these. 

Additionally, I'd be aware of dietary restrictions (are they gluten free?  Vegetarian? Nut allergic?) and have a few things on hand.  Do they like coffee in the morning?  Tea?  If they're sleeping in a bright room, an eye mask would be nice (I like this one), and maybe some ear plugs.  Some nice organic chocolates or cookies on the night stand, a carafe with water, a clutter free space for them to put their stuff and charge electronics are a few thoughtful touches to make someone feel a warm welcome. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

DYSON DC47 Animal Ball Canister Vac

Dyson has a new canister vacuum and it's....well, I have to say this, it's super cute.  It's very compact, so it's kind of like a baby vacuum.  It may be adorable, but it packs a punch and I'm amazed at what a good job this little vacuum did on my floors.

My house is small and open concept, so the shorter cord worked fine for me.  It probably wouldn't make sense for a large home, but an apartment or studio or small place like mine would be ideal.  I have bamboo floors and wool rugs and it glided over all surfaces with ease.  The ball makes it very maneuverable and it's light weight saves your back while vacuuming stairs. 

The good looks set this far apart from other vacuums, it really is nice to look at with a vibrant violet top and charcoal gray body.  I would not recommend this for anything other than small jobs.  Nothing hard core.  This vacuum does not have the suction and power I've known in other Dysons, if you're sucking up things larger than lint, dust bunnies, and dirt, then stuff can get trapped on the way to the canister causing you to stop and empty it out.  So for smaller jobs, yes, but heavy duty--go with a bigger Dyson. 

Get Cozy with Horny Toad Blushfire

Starting to get chilly?  Horny Toad has the most wonderful fleece for cold weather coziness.  Their Blushfire Fleece is so butter soft, furry and plush, it's sure to become a winter favorite.  The Blushfire Pant is comfortable and warm, perfect for hanging out at camp or at home.  The fit is true to size, a tiny bit long on me with a 31" inseam (I'm 5'5), but doable, especially with shoes.  I wear an 8/10 and the medium is a good fit.  There's some give, and a drawstring inside to adjust the waist.  Two pockets on the back add style and make them less sweat-pant looking and more street-wear.

The Blushfire Hoodie is super cuddly, so prepare for people wanting to touch you when you wear it.  The hood comes up in the front to keep your neck warm.  And I do mean Warm.  This thing is toasty, so wear a layer underneath so you can take it off if you get too hot.  I love the Dark Smoke, which is a soothing gray blue slate color, and the softness is just pure heaven.

Both are really nice post-swim.  I swim laps on weekends and when I'm finished, I love slipping into this warm soft fabric before heading out with wet hair.  They are bulky pieces, particularly the hoodie, so I wouldn't recommend them for travel if you are doing carry-on, but for car camping, and winter weather, they are divine.  Horny Toad is an eco-minded company with well made stuff; find Blushfire fleece and more wonderful pieces HERE

Monday, November 4, 2013

Companies that side with Monsanto vs. the Good Guys

You might be surprised to learn who is backing Monsanto in trying to stop the 522 initiative to label GMOs.  A lot of companies supporting Monsanto are no surprise, Pepsi, Coke, Clorox--companies we know have zero interest in our health.  But it's the ones that we thought were looking out for us that are so disappointing.  The ones that sell organic food and promote health.  Companies we trusted.  Shame on them!  No more Lara Bars for us.  No more Alexia (love their organic french fries), no more Burts Bees, Santa Cruz Organic, and Horizon.  Moms buy this stuff for their families thinking they are making healthy choices, and it's a betrayal that these same companies don't even want us to know what's in our food.  Read more HERE and HERE.

On a positive note, look who's supporting 522:  Brad's Raw, Clif, Amy's, Annie's,  Coconut Bliss, Theo, Barleans, Tony's Coffee, Patagonia, and MORE.   This totally strengthens my loyalty to these brands and I'm grateful they're getting behind this.  If you're in Washington, please vote YES on 522.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kid's TEVA Kimtah

My son is rough on his shoes.  Really rough.  He's a boy, and he's active and never stops moving until he konks out at night.  His clothes and shoes take a beating, and they need to be rugged.  Enter TEVA.  We've had great luck with Teva shoes holding up until he grows out of them.  He loves this brand and asks for it by name.  The Kimtahs are tough and they look great.  I love the toggle closure as opposed to laces; they're quick and easy, and I don't have to worry about him tripping over shoe laces that he's in too big a hurry to tie.  The orange loop in the back help with getting them on, and add some nice color contrast, as well as the orange in the toggle lace.

They're waterproof, with a special membrane to seal out water, so they withstand the rain, and my kid can't resist a puddle.  And I don't want him to, puddles are fun!  Wool socks help with that too.  Anyway--the Kimtahs are built for hard core wear and daily life.  Find them HERE.