Portland Leather Dakota Medium Crossbody

Check for it here:  Portland Leather Dakota Medium Crossbody

PORTLAND LEATHER GOODS – Dakota Medium Crossbody

This is my first experience with Portland Leather Goods and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed! The thickness of the leather and the quality of the construction are incredible.  I would never guess you could get this quality for this price.  This is the best value I’ve seen in full grain leather.  It’s also very thoughtfully packaged inside and out and, you know, I love me some good packaging.

This bag fulfills a hole in my weekend bag arsenal – – the elusive large small bag. I have plenty of small smalls and even medium smalls, but this is a legit large small that’s distinctly weekend (not professional).  I can’t wait to use it and do the full review.  I’ve already got a handful of 2.0 suggestions.  BTW, if you order this bag and you’re short, ask them to punch some extra holes in the strap.  It’s really long, even though I got the short strap.

Stay tuned for my full review!  I’ll take detailed bag measurements and show you what fits.

RELATED VIDEOS:

  • Beaudin Designs Convertible Backpack Unboxing:  https://goo.gl/Ktsrfu
  • Love 41 Large Duffle:  https://goo.gl/pG5wQa
  • Saddleback Small Tote Review: https://goo.gl/wof77f
  • LocTote Bag Battle:  https://goo.gl/Gi3kS3

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BUY IT HERE:

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  • MY AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/shop/SoniaShepherd
  • MY WEBSITE: http://www.justalittlereview.com
  • MY INSTAGRAM: @justalittlereviewforyou
  • MY CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/c/soniashepherd
  • MY FACEBOOK:  fb.me/justalittlereview

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FTC Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Some links provided above are affiliate links.

 

 

LM Leather Goods – Wentworth Purse Tote, Unboxing

Check for it here:  Wentworth Purse Tote

Wentworth Purse Tote, Unboxing

It’s been nearly a year since I last did a review for LM Leather Goods (Vendue classic clutch, anyone?) and it’s been even longer that I’ve been coveting the Wentworth Purse Tote!  The size and style of this tote just spoke to me.  Most bags that can house my laptop for work are just way too big for me to want to tote around on the weekend so I end up downsizing.  This bag is unique in that it can do double duty – big enough for my laptop, but not so big that I need to switch it out for weekend carry.  Plus, it’s just formal enough for office days, but not so stuffy that I won’t tote it around on weekends.  Anyways, it’s here and it’s gorgeous and this (not so) little beauty was well worth the wait.  I see why it sells out and out and sells out and sells out…

I’ve been a nerd this weekend and periodically cruise around the house with this on…and empty.  Yup, I just like the feel of it.  The leather is soft and it just feels comfortable.  My husband caught me wearing it empty, in the house and looking in the mirror.  Whatever, he doesn’t get it.  Strange to some, totally normal to me.  I mean, hey, if you like it, why not wear it?  It can also go crossbody, not super cross body (remember I’m only 5’2″), but sort of cross body the way I wore the Col Littleton No. 25 Drifter crossbody.  I also put my laptop in there and it works great.  I don’t even need a sleeve when it’s in there.  Ah, the merits of this bag.   Plus, you can feel great about supporting American made – – not just American made today, but three (3) generations deep American made.  That’s commitment.

Stay tuned for my full review!  I’ll take detailed bag measurements and show you what fits.

RELATED VIDEOS:

  • LM Leather Goods Vendue Classic Clutch, Unboxing:  https://goo.gl/cn8ZHb
  • LM Leather Goods Vendue Classic Clutch, Review:  https://goo.gl/LaugG5
  • LM Leather Goods Wentworth Purse Tote, Review: Coming soon!
  • Saddleback Small Tote Review: https://goo.gl/wof77f

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BUY IT HERE:

  • My Amazon Shop:  https://www.amazon.com/shop/SoniaShepherd
  • LM Leather Goods Wentworth Purse Tote:  https://goo.gl/BHaab7
  • LM Leather Goods Vendue Classic Clutch:  https://goo.gl/7NU1Ys
  • Saddleback Small Tote: https://goo.gl/NmsuWb

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  • MY AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/shop/SoniaShepherd
  • MY WEBSITE: http://www.justalittlereview.com
  • MY INSTAGRAM: @justalittlereviewforyou
  • MY CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/c/soniashepherd
  • MY FACEBOOK:  fb.me/justalittlereview

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FTC Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Some links provided above are affiliate links.

 

 

Colonel Littleton – No. 36 Trekker Review Part I

Check for it here (Customizable!):  No. 40A Leather Campaign Bag*

*The No. 36 Trekker is no longer for sale, but the Leather Campaign Bag is the most similarly styled bag.

No. 36 Trekker Review, Part I

The Great American Leather Company

This video is everything I love – leather and coffee and animals plus husband and kiddo.  Remember my first review of the Colonel Littleton Drifter where I made my husband stomp around to get rid of the snakes?  Well, he got me back!  Let me just say that he knew the goats would come after me, but encouraged me to take my coffee out and shake it, knowing they would mistake it for food.

This is such a great weekend bag for medium carry!  I love that the long front flap means it’s perfectly secure, but still easily accessible (especially, since I never snap the strap closed).  Plus, it’s got great organization and is just so comfortable to carry.  I had it on all day – during the coffee roasting, goat mauling and dog mauling and just about forgot that it was on.  The capacity is very surprising! I didn’t get to showcase all the features of this bag (as to be expected when a goat is trying jump on you), so stay tuned for a more serious Part II review of this amazing bag!

So, if you fall in love with this bag, I gotta say – I’m sorry! This bag is no longer available on Colonel Littleton.  Out with the old and in with the new.  The bag that I’ve found that most closely resembles it (including some amazing upgrades – removable pocket, hello?!) is this one.  Hopefully, that’s the next bag in my arsenal because I can use that one for weekday carry also since it will fit my laptop!

 

RELATED VIDEOS:

Col. Littleton No. 25 Drifter

A Day in the Life of Col. Littleton

Colonel Littleton Play List

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BUY IT HERE:

No. 40A Leather Campaign Bag*

*The Trekker is no longer available, but this new bag is very close!  It’s upgraded in size and is the work version of my Trekker as it can house a laptop up to 14”.

No. 25 Drifter

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MY AMAZON SHOP

MY INSTAGRAM: @justalittlereviewforyou

MY CHANNEL

MY FACEBOOK

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FTC Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Some links provided above are affiliate links.

 

 

V6 Ranch – Staying at the Water Tower! (Part 2 of 3)

 

 

V6 RANCH – STAYING AT THE WATER TOWER (Part 2 of 3)

I’ve stayed in some remote places, but nothing as small as Parkfield, either population 17 or 34, depending on what you believe. I chose to stay at the Water Tower. The guy on the phone sweet talked me by saying it was the only place available so it was that or nothing – you sold me!  He did also mention that it had the most luxurious of all the bathrooms.  I will say the bathroom was a pretty generous size and I was very pleasantly surprised at how large it was (two usable stories, one third story that’s still under construction).  It had great outdoor space – very sweet front porch with awesome rocking chairs and a generous sized 2nd floor balcony overlooking the property.

 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  1. There is no living room or common area besides the outdoor spaces mentioned above, but each floor does have its own TV and the upstairs bedroom has its own desk area as well.
  2. There is no bath tub in this unit (many of the other units have a shower over tub combo) so if you need to bathe your little one, this unit might be a challenge.
  3. The bathroom space (both the vanity and the shower, restroom area) are very generously sized.
  4. They have the best liquid soap on the planet! Seriously, I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s made on site and they sell it for $3 for a pretty modest size bottle.  It’s liquid gold. Take your room one home with you.  All natural ingredient and processed locally, what more could you ask for?
  5. This is perfect for a family of 3 or 4 (if the kiddos are small), but anything more than that and it would feel a bit crowded.
  6. If you want an option with a full kitchen, living room and outdoor BBQ, try the converted Post Office next door.  It’s the only other stand alone lodging option besides the Water Tower.  All other units are part of the main lodge which means shared walls and shared porches.  It is a relatively small lodge, however, so even if it’s fully booked, I don’t imagine it would feel too crowded.
  7. Bring some swimsuits and flip flops.  The pool and hot tub are far enough away you’re going to need some shoes.
  8. Don’t forget the s’mores!  They’ve got the sweetest little fire pit, next to the bocce ball court.
  9. Don’t forget the wine!  Hang out in the outdoor gathering space tucked between the Post Office and the Water Tower or just hang out on your over sized porch and watch the country side.
  10. Bring some snacks!  I couldn’t even tell you how far away the nearest store is, but it’s way too far to go out for food and the cafe is not open all the time.

BOOK IT HERE

BUY SOME GRASS FED, FREE RANGE BEEF 

RELATED VIDEOS:
She Travels
V6 Ranch Part 1
Lazy Adventures Ranch

MY WEBSITE: http://www.justalittlereview.com
MY INSTAGRAM: @justalittlereviewforyou
MY CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/c/soniashepherd
MY FACEBOOK:  fb.me/justalittlereview

FTC Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

 

V6 Ranch- Ranch Life (Part 1 of 3)

 

 

V6 RANCH – RANCH LIFE (Part 1 of 3)

What a fun and random place to stay!  This town is about halfway between LA an the SF Bay Area.  Population ranges from either 17 (if you believe the sign on the way into town) to a whopping 34 (if you believe what’s painted on the side of the tank). Either way, this is the definition of small town.  For eating, you’ve got one (1!) option – the V6 Café. Though,  I will say that is some goooood eats.  They’re a working cattle farm so talk about fresh and local.  I even bought some meat with me to cook at home; it’s THAT good.  There’s essentially three (3) lodging options – standalone Water Tower, standalone former Post Office and the rooms attached to the lodge.  We chose the Water Tower and it was a great option for us.  If we went back, I think I’d choose one of the rooms attached to the lodge.  The 2nd floor is more of a mezzanine so your kiddo (esp. if you have a little one) is not so out of sight.  Plus, the lodge is a little closer so you can always go hang out in there (though the lodge is available to everyone, regardless of your lodging choice).

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  1. Absolutely do not arrive when it’s late / dark / café is closed. The entire town will be shut down and even though they knew we were coming, I couldn’t find anyone for about twenty (20) minutes.  There *are* wild boars (hence fences & gates everywhere to keep them out) so wandering in the dark is not recommended.
  2. The café hours, though listed, are APPROXIMATIONS. They definitely weren’t open till 9 PM and they didn’t open at 11:30 AM. Roll with it. It’s part of the charm of small towns!
  3. The road in is a small, windy country road with no lights. You’ll be on this road about ½ an hour.  Plan accordingly.  The town is about halfway between the 101 and the 5.
  4. On the way out, you can drive up the hill about fifteen minutes to see the ridgetop view. If you are driving down south on your way out, this is fifteen minutes in the wrong direction.
  5. Food options are limited. Basically, there’s only the café, though they do sell meat if you wish to grill. The Post Office standalone lodging option has an awesome grill out back. If you are planning on hanging out, bring food with you.  There’s a super charming fire pit with metal work detail depicting a cattle drive (see the stills at the end of my video).  Bring some hot chocolate, and stuff for smores.
  6. There is a large gathering space between the Water Tower and the Post Office – perfect for picnics, cheese and wine or enjoying your BBQ. Pack accordingly.  You will need the plates, utensils, etc.
  7. Even though it’s California, it gets cold in the winter…bring layered clothing so you can walk around the ranch in the early mornings and at sunset.
  8. Bring swimsuits! There is a small hot tub, pool area and ping pong table. The pool is a pretty modest size, perfect for children so you can keep a better eye on them.   It gets pretty cold here in the winter (30s/40s) so although the pool is open, I would think hot tubbing is really the only option.  Bring your bathrobe to make the trek back to your room!
  9. Their big event is the Bluegrass Festival which draws about 2,000 people on Mother’s Day. That’s a TON of people for a town that usually has 30-something people. All the lodging is reserved for the bands so camping is the only option.  We were planning on going to this because they said it’s super family friendly, but something about 2,000 people camping in a relatively small area unnerved me a bit.  I think that’s 2,000 people using the great outdoors as their facilities…hmm.  They have some photos here that show some RVs so if you’re planning on RVing it, this looks like a great getaway. Maybe they bring in port-a-potties for us camping in a tent folks, but still.  Twenty years ago, I would have been all about this, but at this age, it’s another deal.
  10. Their other big event is their Rodeo. I thought this sounded like a fun family event, but in the evening there is a fair amount of drinking and debauchery (in a good way) so maybe not the best event for families.  When we come back, I think I’ll stick to one of the Cattle Drive weekends (long live City Slickers!) or the photography workshops. They seem like more my speed.
  11. We came on the last weekend of winter before they shut down to the public. It was a quiet weekend so apart from eating at the lodge,the kiddo playing in the Tree House or the Pirate Ship, swimming and bocce ball, there’s not much to do.  Long story short, if you come at a time when there’s no formal activities, 1 or 2 nights seems like plenty.

BOOK YOUR STAY HERE

BUY SOME GRASS FED LOCAL BEEF

RELATED VIDEOS:

Lazy Adventures Ranch

She Travels

 

MY INSTAGRAM:  @justalittlereviewforyou
MY CHANNEL:  https://www.youtube.com/c/soniashepherd

FACEBOOK:  fb.me/justalittlereview

Ranchlands – Chico Tote Review

Check for it here (Customizable!):  Chico Tote

Ranchlands Chico Tote, the Full Review!

THE BASICS

I had so much fun carrying this tote! Part of that is it’s just a REALLY well made bag.  The other part of that is it’s part of bigger story about Ranchlands, caretakers of land and animals who make an effort to educate the community and preserve the ecosystems that make up their ranches.  It’s a bag I just feel good about carrying.

The tote itself is one of the heartiest bags I own.   The leather is thick and this bag is gonna be around for a lifetime.  The craftsmanship just shines through – reinforced corners, rounded edges, thick straps, a peek of suede on the exterior pocket.  All finishes that most leather bags don’t bother with.  It’s a good size and can carry all my needs for work or for weekend.  The best part of the bag is even when it’s full, I can see just about everything inside.  It’s got a wide bottom and it’s fairly structured with a wide opening.  This means everything stays exactly where I packed it (vs. everything falling in on itself when the bag is floppy).  With thick leather and a good sized bag packed full, that means some weight.  The weight of the bag is distributed nicely with the wide, thick handles so I don’t notice the weight.  I carried this at length on two (2) separate occasions and no issues!  The handles are also unlined so the handles stay put on your shoulder.

What’s customizable about this bag?  You can add your initials to it!

THE NITTY AND THE GRITTY

Exterior – The exterior is simple and clean.  It’s got one full length pocket that’s fairly snug / tight to the bag.  It’s perfect for something with a slim profile (think your tablet and your phone, both could fit easily). The only hint of branding is their signature diamond imprinted into the bottom right corner of the exterior pocket.

Interior – The best part of this bag is the visibility.  Opening is wide, bag is structured and it really just allows for easy access of your things.  There is a single divided pocket on one side that also runs the full length (but is not full height).  I LOVE that they did not divide this pocket in half; it’s more like 1/3 and 2/3.  The phone is perfect for the 1/3 side and the other side can house a tablet, slim wallet, etc.  There is no key fob in this bag.  This doesn’t bother me at all because I bought a fish hook key chain that perfectly hangs off the interior pocket and takes no room at all.  At first I thought the leather on the pocket was too thick, but it’s not.  You just need to push the leather against the back of the fish hook and then it slides right over.  I actually started keeping my keys like this on other bags, too.  It’s better than the key fob because it doesn’t require any clasping / opening of a dog leash.  Plus, my keys stay within easy reach and I can put them anywhere along the length of the pocket so they aren’t hidden behind something.

The second best part of this bag is the sheer volume of stuff it can hold and still feel very organized because it’s structured.  It’s only 13″ X 13″, but in Alice in Wonderland style, it can (easily) hold my:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop Cord
  • Fat Wallet
  • Skinny Wallet
  • Essential Oils Pouch (I keep lotion, chapstick, etc. in here)
  • Hard Sided Sunglasses Case
  • Hard Sided Glasses Case
  • Band Aid Holder
  • Keys
  • Phone
  • Tablet

VERSION 2.0

This is my favorite go-to tote now!  It just makes me happy to carry it and think about their story.  I have only two (2) small items on my wishlist for the next iteration of this bag:

  1. All three pockets are open.  The two (2) interior pockets are fine because they’re inside the bag so I think that alone provides a decent amount of security. They’re also pretty far down (vs. having the pocket opening close to the top of the bag) so I feel like things in the pocket can’t fall out or sticky fingers can’t get in.  That said, I’d like to have at least one pocket with some security so I’d love to see a magnet (or some other type) closure on the exterior pocket.
  2. The interior divided pocket is a bit shallow for me.   I’d love to see the pockets a little bit deeper so 90% of my phone is covered.  I think it’s fine to have a bit of your phone poking out the top of the pocket as it makes retrieving it easier.  This would also help if you choose to carry your tablet on the interior pocket since those can be pretty tall.

WHAT ELSE?

Ranchlands, please make a purse / handbag with this amazing leather.  I’d love to see one that’s about 8 X 11 with those gorgeous handles so I have something to take with me on nights out when I’m carrying just the essentials.

MEET THE MAKER

TAKE ME ON A WORKING RANCH VACATION

LEARN ABOUT RANCHLANDS STORY

WATCH THE UNBOXING AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS

FTC Disclaimer:  This bag was sent to me for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Moose Leather Adjustable Tote – How’s it Wearing?

Moose Leather Adjustable Tote (Customized) – Get it here!

Happy Saturday, All!  Is anyone else doing the Orangetheory Fitness Hell Week?  If so, “Thigh-Day the 13th” was brutal (kudos to whoever was clever enough to come up with that name!).  Typing is about the only thing I can do because my fingers are the only thing that’s NOT sore.  So, time to get caught up a little.  Somebody asked for more photos of my  Moose Leather (aka The Leather Shop) customized Adjustable Tote.  If you saw my earlier unboxing vid, then you know there was some controversy on the sizing of this bag.  So, on my unboxing post, I took photos with the measuring tape so you could decide for yourself if this is the right size for you.   Long story short, I took a ton of photos.  So, I was tickled that somebody asked for MORE photos….finally, there’s somebody else out there that obsesses (really obsesses) over a bag before they purchase it.  Basically, I’m a purse stalker and I’m glad to know I’m not alone.  So, you know who you are and I applaud your crazy.  If ever you want to see MORE PHOTOS of any of my bags, hit me up and I’m all too happy to oblige.  Welcome to Crazy Town; I’m the Mayor.

HOW’S IT WEARING?

It’s wearing quite well!  I was a little nervous because the info sheet it came with said something to the effect of – Store the handles inside the bag so that it doesn’t scratch the exterior.  That gave me a bit of pause because if the dangling handles might scratch the bag, how badly might it get scratched from my use and abuse.  In general, I don’t baby my bags (though there’s always a few exceptions!) so I was concerned that it would look really beat up. I’ve been carrying this thing Monday through Friday for about three (3) months and on the daily it’s holding:  a laptop, hard sided sun glass case, hard sided glasses case, essential oils pouch, my giant clunky keys, phone, laptop cord, phone cord, and  a lunch purse with my wallet and other non essential essentials.  Did I mention I ask a lot of my work bags?  A few days, I even had some presentation type stuff to do so there was also a bunch of files.  Well, I’m pleased to report this bag came out the other side looking no worse for the wear.  I really can’t see any deep scratches, just a bit of wrinkling here and there.  The bag basically still looks really new.  One thing about this bag – – I never NEVER put it on the floor.  Not to say that it couldn’t handle being placed on the floor, I just don’t like the idea of it. Plus, I didn’t pay up for the “feet” so it would literally be the leather just resting on the floor – no thanks.  So, that step alone probably saves some wear and tear on the bag.  I also only carry it to work so I don’t have it on my person for very long either (vs. my weekend bags, which I might carry for hours at a time).

WORK BAG OR WEEKEND BAG?

Weeeell, a LOT of people say they got this bag and have forsaken all their other bags and this is their weekend and their weekday bag.  It’s a nice bag for sure and it’s got enough interesting features (and colors!) that I can see why you’d carry it on the daily.  For me, however, this is strictly a work bag for a few reasons:

1.   It’s very structured.  I like my weekend bags to have a bit of give to them.  I relax, I mean really relax (like no makeup, sweats / “athleisure”, uncombed hair type relax) on the weekends so for me to carry this bag would be like someone wearing high heels with their cut off shorts.  Again, this is just my personal opinion and if you want to rock this bag seven (7) days a week, more power to you.  I like my bag to match my mood and mentally this bag says work to me so I tend to pick a more slouchy and / or small bag for weekend wear.

REDS, YELLOWS AND BROWNS, OH MY!

You can customize a ton of feature on this bag.  I chose this yellow/ orange / natural for the main body and the brown for the side / bottom and topped it with red handles. I saw that someone else did all black with red handles and I thought it made the bag look very sharp and sophisticated whereas my bag is more whimsical.    All that said, the person requesting the photos wanted to see some shots of the colors of my bag.  That said, all these photos were taken rapid fire on the same day in about seven (7) minutes.  You can see it really depends how the light hits it.

The body of the bag is darker than this photo would lead you to believe, but I still like this photo because you can see all of the good detail on the front.  The front and back exterior panels have no pockets.

The way the main color of the bag is shown in this picture is closest to how it looks in real life.  It’s got an orange undertone that I think will continue to darken.  The brown sides are also pretty true to life in terms of color.  I love that the snap is permanently affixed to the brown panel instead of the orange / main panel. That way, if you have a tall water bottle in there that won’t allow you to snap the pocket shut, the snap doesn’t get in the way at all – smart design!

Ok, the main body is not nearly as dark as this photo, but it’s still a nice shot of the back of the bag. No pockets, just a bit of branding and some rivets and contrasting stitching. Overall, a very clean looking bag for something that has a ton of organization on the inside.

I wanted to show you how bright the interior is. The contrast of the unlined bag with the dark pockets and red trim makes it really easy to find things.  There’s pretty much a pocket for every conceivable need though I wish I had made one side of the bag a laptop sleeve since I don’t need quite so many pockets.

I wanted to show you an aerial shot so you could see all the pockets in their glory.  There’s even pockets on the interior sides of the bag. I have a red tote bag stuffed down in the center just for depth purposes.   The side pockets are designed so they don’t get in the way or take away from the full use of the bottom of the bag…if you didn’t hear me the first twenty (20) times, this bag is really smartly designed!  You can also see the placement of the key fob on the side so your keys dangle out of the way.

A close up shot so you can see how all the stitching is a double row.  I’m not an expert on sewing, but I think it just speaks to how everything on this bag is built to last.  Why sew once when you can sew twice?

Here’s a close up of the key fob.  You can just hang your keys from the D-ring directly or you can use the other end of the dog leash which is an actual key ring and then just unsnap this when you want your keys.  The other side of the bag also has an identical D-ring.  People seem to be obsessed with D-rings these days so I guess the more the better, For me, one is plenty.

Here’s what it looks like if you use only the short straps.  Basically, if you’re using the short straps, the long straps MUST hang on the outside of the bag.  Looks fine to me, though I may have some Version 2.0 suggestions when I finally get around to doing my full video review of this bag.  I’m always a shoulder carry gal, but this bag changed me.  I carry it almost exclusively by the short handles. It feels like a feminine version of a briefcase to me and I love that!  

For what it’s worth, I get compliments on this bag from a wide cross section of the population (hipsters, lawyers, business people, receptionists, etc.).  It’s just a bag that speaks to a lot of people.  Hope this helps you understand this bag a bit more!  Happy shopping!

Ranchlands Chico Tote, an Unboxing

Check for it here (Customizable!):  Chico Tote

Ranchlands Chico Tote, an Unboxing!

 

Hey Guys!

Sorry I’ve been away for  so long…life has been keeping my busy in the best way possible. Work is a challenge, but I’m glad to be a part of a great team.  My kiddo’s getting older (sniff, sniff) and so we’re exploring all sorts of new things together to see what interests her.  As for me, I’ve recently become super excited about NON city stuff. I’ve always had this insanely urban existence – think, it doesn’t even get dark at night because there’s just so many city lights that even night has a permanent soft glow.  For some reason, a few recent trips have really sparked my interest in more rural / country / nature type existences.

Today’s unboxing is an offshoot of my newfound interest in everything NON city.    I think it’s my own personal City Slickers moment (if that dates me, great because I’m loving this age).   Enter….Ranchlands.  They have the most thoughtful website and I’ve literally spent a few hours poring over it and reading about their connections to the land, how they’re caretakers of it and stewards of the animals.  Honestly, I’ve also secretly thought – how can I talk my husband into a working ranch vacation in the country side of Colorado?!  I’ve got to go.  Soon.

So, how do you get from a working ranch to a leather artisan? Aside from the literal access to cows, I thought they had the most thoughtful answer to this question – – they want to bridge the gap between urban settings and their connection to the land.  After my trip to Tennessee and then The Ranch in Laguna Beach, I really just want to spend more time outdoors and experience the land so this is like the mother ship calling me home.    Long story short, they have bridged the gap. In the search for the perfect bag, I’ve inadvertently learned about their ranching, and more importantly, their larger mission for education and conversation.  

I continue to try to be more a conscious consumer by knowing who made my bags and where they were made.  I watched the video on Madi Hester carefully crafting her leather pieces and I was sold on them.   So, here I am unboxing their Chico Tote in two – tone black.  I came home last night and it was waiting for me.  I did the unboxing video the same night and took the bag with me today – – it’s that alluring.  I’ve already gotten a bunch of compliments on it…. it’s just that kind of bag. It’s a thoughtful, unique design with lots of finishing touches that I haven’t come across before.   Can’t wait to do the video with my full review!  Fingers crossed that I’ll find myself in Colorado at Ranchlands starring in my very own City Slickers.  Cheers Ranchlands; thanks for taking care of our land.

MEET THE MAKER

TAKE ME ON A WORKING RANCH VACATION

FTC Disclaimer:  This bag was sent to me for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

The Leather Shop Adjustable Tote

Check for it here (Customizable!):  Adjustable Tote

The Leather Shop Adjustable Tote, an Unboxing!

Ok, fellow leather crazies….it’s been a while since I posted, my apologies!  I have been busy traveling, doing videos (and videos and videos) and keeping busy working out.  Anyways, I’m glad to be back on the website and this leather tote is the perfect excuse to do a little article.   Plus, I got some great questions and comments from my Facebook group and YouTube subscribers that I wanted to address here.

Here’s what I’m loving so far about this adjustable Leather Tote!

1. Very thoughtful design – It’s got two (2) options for carry and the shorter straps fold perfectly into a square shape to lay flat on the interior of the bag, taking up no room.   I did the unboxing video at the end of the long day and, although I had the thought that maybe those suddenly square handles could transform, I didn’t give it a shot.  Luckily, one of my fellow FB group members was kind enough to point this out.  In addition to the clever handles, it’s got pockets on all four (4) sides of the interior of the bag, not to mention the two side pockets on the exterior.  Talk about organized!  I’m running out of excuses on why my bag gets so messy.

2. Customization – You can alter the height, the width, add a cross body carry strap, add feet to the bottom, customize the color (or three!).  There’s not too many leather artisans that give you this kind of leeway. I previously commented that I wasn’t crazy about the idea of a magnet closure and Ken suggested the snap closure instead – great solution!

3.  Uptown – This feels like the uptown version of a lot of my other work bags that are more velvety in nature since the leather is more polished / smooth.  Granted, the colors I chose are whimsical, but I’ve seen it in all black w red straps or very dark tan with black straps and I think any of those color combos would fit right in at even the stuffiest of offices.

Lastly, I had someone ask for measurements and I thought, sure, I can tell you the measurements, but we know the “exact” measurement of a leather bag can be a bit controversial so I thought I’d just show you instead and let you see for yourself.    There’s no exact measurements – are you talking about the interior, the exterior, the bag when it’s empty (or full), etc.  Long story short, I decided to capture pics of the measurements that I would want to know.  Apologies for the crooked tape measure, my arm was getting exhausted holding the bag and tape measure out there.  Fear not, however!  I literally ran out to the mall and bought this silly thing (you’ll see it in the next video!) to help with measurements for when I do the full review so they’ll be more even.  Without further ado – the measurements!

I measured just the front panel length at the top of the bag (12″).  Reason being, to me this is the true length of the bag since the leather on the sides is meant to be for depth, rather than adding to the length.  Although, as you can see, it’s not 100% structured, so you do gain a bit of room because of this….

Hence, why I also chose to measure the full length of the bag, meaning edge to edge, including whatever portions of the side depth are naturally visible from the front.  This measures 16″.   Although it looks like the left corner is not anchored, that’s just an optical illusion.

I wanted to also measure the true length at the bottom of the bag, which is often different from the top in a tote.  Here, the front panel measures 13″, 1″ wider than at the top…just perfect for my laptop!

This measurement is the full length of the bottom of the bag, including whatever portions of the side leather naturally are visible from the front, since it does add to the width.  This measures about 14″.  Keep in mind, the bottom of the bag joins the side of the bag at an angle so the lower you go, the smaller the measurement gets.

This is the “resting width” (totally made that up, but sounds appropriate) of the bag – – meaning, with the bag empty, how wide does it expand when you’re just holding the bag?  That’s about 3″.

I also wanted to measure what I consider to be the full width of the bag, which, to me, is the width of the bottom panel.  That comes in at about 5″.  The bag was “smooshed” (again, another very technical term) for packing purposes so I had to push out the crease with my hand to take this measurement.  My guess is that after some use, this measurement will expand to 6″ once the crease is fully ironed out.

Lastly, the drop length and the height of the bag are bag basics, so not to be forgotten! The drop length is a very comfortable 13″ and the height of the bag (not including the brown part that’s technically the bottom, though visible from the front) is 11.5″.

FTC Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.

Rugged Material Mommie Daughter Combo Unboxing

Check for it here (Lightweight Leather Totes!):  Mommie Daughter Combo

Use this link and get 15% off your first purchase when you spend over $50 – http://prz.io/bmznRrhv

Mommie Daughter Combo Classic Leather Tote, an Unboxing!

I discovered Rugged Material when someone posted a link to their Cord Keeper – get it for free (you pay shipping and handling) if you watch a video about their philosophy.  That video did just the trick!  Rugged Material is the type of company I want to support – American made, hand made and a respect for making things that last, not just last, but they’re guaranteed for life.  Tyler’s story is a good one and I don’t want to attempt to paraphrase, but read it here for yourself…it’s the kind of passion that makes for a good story and a good story makes for a great company.

Here’s what I’m loving so far about this Mommie / Daughter combo:

1. It’s original!  I love that somebody did matching full size and mini bags…hilarious to me that it came from a man’s company (I would’ve thought a woman would have thought of this first), but hey, why not?  I’m not so matchy matchy with my daughter (we’re not wearing the same clothes), but this is a fun and sophisticated way to coordinate with your kiddo!

2. The proportions and specs of the full purse – flawless.  I’m on the petite side (5’2″) and realize that some of my bags just don’t look appropriate on me.  This bag still has the full sizing (i.e., I can fit my laptop, wallet, cords, keys, phone, etc.), but the shorter drop and the clean exterior (no pockets, no cross-body strap, etc.) make it look proportional on me.  Since it’s still a full size purse, I think this would still look great on taller women as well.

3.  The LIGHT weight  – finally! I carry obscene amounts of things in my purses.  Seriously, I am so hard on my bags I’m going to give you a run for your money with that Guaranteed-for-Life thing.  That said, I appreciate that the bag itself isn’t adding to the weight…maybe I need to think about carrying less stuff, but I’ll save that for another day.

4.  The Daughter / Lunch Purse – Okay, there’s a chance I might need to order another one so my kiddo can actually use hers.  I “borrowed” it for our trip to the park today and it was the perfect lightweight carry for my keys, phone and slim wallet.  It’s the smallest tote I’ve ever seen and frankly, it’s adorable!

Use this link and get 15% off your first purchase when you spend over $50 – http://prz.io/bmznRrhv

FTC Disclaimer: Rugged Material sent me these bags for review, but I was not compensated for my opinions. The opinions are my own and I specifically chose these bags to review.