|Farmyard Darlings who will take you on a Coop de Jour Tour, build a unique coop, advise on "The Girls" and sell you a ceramic egg holder so you can take your eggs to dinner parties as a hostess gift|
|One of the Darlings' coops|
*The Farmyard Darlings, aka, Carole and Kim, scour the countryside and even the side of the roads for bits and bobs to re-purpose for things like chicken coops, ice-cream stands and candle holders. They were asked by a national design store to make 500 "of anything" but because their pieces are so one-off, they couldn't do it. Their ultimate aim is to have a reality show.
*Star Apple Edible Gardens will plant your edible garden, tend it, harvest it, demonstrate recipes and even leave decorative arrangements on your doorstep. Leslie of Star Apple came over to take a brief look at our backyard. We gaze on my husband's sad tomatoes which he's tied with ...electrical cords from an old TV? His $2,000 tomatoes I call them; he is a big spender at our local nursery. The soil is good, she says kindly, does he ever till it? I'm afraid to ask, I reply.
|Stefani and Leslie of Star Apple Edible Gardens|
|Bounty from one of their gardens|
*“Fashion Therapist” Vanessa Hernandez, 47, draws on her experience as a licensed therapist to help clear your wardrobe of items you'll never wear again.
Our closets reflect our three selves, she says. Your past self; for example, those jeans you fitted into before you had the baby. The present; you're a stay-at-home Mom and need clothes that look good soccer-side, but you hold onto your old work suits. And your future self; glam cocktail dresses for your future club-going selves...except er, you don't go to clubs.
We look into my wardrobe. There is the secondhand woolly sweater a-la The Killing which is too scratchy to wear. Also in the donate pile: three pairs of too-tight jeans which taunt me every day.
|Fashion Therapist Vanessa (pointing) with client Nicole|
|Vanessa looking for a dress to fit the shoe|
So I'm pretty much freelancing full time, mostly for the SF Chronicle. My husband says: "Why do you keep saying 'pretty much' - you're working more than full time." The thing is, it's a bit surreal to be back writing about life and style "trendisms" while sitting at home in UGG boots and drinking builders' tea. My only company being Teddy, the smelliest Maltese in the land.
The biggest revelation writing this article was uncovering the myriad of 20-somethings in San Francisco who are doing start-ups that help you clean your house, store your stuff and provide gourmet meals, all at a click of your phone. One chap had already done five start-ups and he was only 26. All of them were genius including the travel site he was currently working on: "There are three guys on my street working on a similar service" he said "It will be the first past the post."
A world away from me and my smelly dog.
What would you like to outsource in your life?