Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cat Talk: The Litter Robot's STILL THE BEST

You may know (thanks, Instagram) that Tim and I took a RE-LAX-ING vacation to Mexico earlier this summer. It was so needed -- he's been working crazy hours and it was a chance for us to spend some time together before his schedule really got busy.

It was so wonderful to just sit in the sun with a margarita, and do nothing. The best kind of vacation! But, I deal with a pretty irritating travel anxiety. I love to go new places and explore, but I honestly have a really hard time leaving home. I am a little ball of stress from the moment I start packing and it only escalates from there. Usually, once I'm through TSA, things settle down. (Mimosas tend to help.) But, it's not just the travel/logistics part that makes me feel anxious.

Throughout a trip, I find myself worrying a few times a day. Sometimes, it's about the house -- is everything locked and safe? But usually, it's about the cats. THE CATS! I love them so much and I just honestly freak out about their well-being while we're gone.

We found an amazing house-sitter who made us feel really at ease. (It was our first vacation longer than a weekend since moving to LA.) But even with a someone who loves cats and gives them lots of attention and also is getting paid, I still felt guilty asking someone to really take care of them. Feeding is easy: you open the can of food and make sure they have fresh water. But the GUILT that plagues me when asking someone to deal with the litter box? TOUGH. Like, can you please come over, make sure my cats aren't dead, and pick up their poop? And then every time they poop, just, deal with it for me? 

So, remember how I told you all about the Litter Robot? (You can see the post here.) It's so easy to use and it doesn't get messy and the cats can just do their business and it handles the rest. So we showed the sitter how it works and even mentioned the sleep mode in case he was a light sleeper. We told him about the "full light"which indicates when you need to change the bag. It relieved some of the guilt, but... would it work??

WELL, we went on our trip, and we came home, and it was as if we had never. even. left. The cats looked up from their naps and were like, "oh... right, we vaguely remember you?" And the sitter was like "I will literally come take care of them any time at all," because it was such a breeze. And when I questioned the clean up portion, he was baffled I was even concerned. In his words, "I literally just changed the bag one time. It took like a second." 

OH MY GOSH I have cracked the code on my travel anxiety and I may as well plan a 3 week trip to Iceland. This new, sleek, quiet, clog-less Litter Robot is the answer to my prayers... no ifs, ands, or BUTTS about it.

Well, one butt. Technically two. Get it? It's a cat butt. Because this entire post was about a cat bathroom. I think I've still got this blogging thing DOWN. (If you're wondering why it's not a picture of the Robot itself, it's because I felt like it was really violating Leonard and Roxanne's rights by showing them in the loo.)

Anyways, if you have a cat, get the Litter Robot. It will change your life and you'll be free to go to Mexico and drink margaritas. 

DISCLAIMER: Litter Robot provided us with the Litter Robot III Open Air for review. We were previous owners of the Litter Robot and FULL BELIEVERS, so no joke, this post is 100% my beliefs without a hint of exaggeration. This product is the best. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Santa Monica Office by Jeremiah Brent

Earlier this summer, I worked on a really fun story for Rue. Since so much of my creative energy goes in that direction, I thought I would start sharing a little "behind-the-scenes" look at my job -- features I love, fun photo shoots I've produced, stories about industry friends, events I get to attend... the list goes on. There's a lot happening on this little laptop, even if the cobwebs on THIS blog imply otherwise.

Ideally, I'd like to share a Story of the Week each Friday -- you know, one Rue story that I really enjoyed working on that week -- but since I'm still getting back into the swing of things over here, I'm trying to stay noncommittal. No promises I can't keep, ya know?? So until that is up and running, I am pulling from the archives whenever I darn well please.

Today, I'm talking about this gorgeous office by Jeremiah Brent. I first met Jeremiah at a lunch with Target and Nate Berkus. I instantly adored the pair -- they're warm, welcoming, charming, and funny. All the best adjectives! (Trust me. I have met some noteworthy people who are just NONE of the above, God bless 'em. It's a honor to meet people who are innately kind.) I had already been working on this story BEFORE the lunch, so it was a relief to know I'd really enjoy working with Jeremiah.

He had designed an office for his management team, Tandem Entertainment. They wanted a budget-friendly update of their Santa Monica office, so using Nate's collection from Target was a no brainer.

I drove out to Santa Monica -- a rarity as I do my best to 1. Not drive and 2. Never, ever leave the east side. But with a large coffee in hand and a good playlist, I was on the road. I met my good friend, Monica Wang. She is a talented photographer and I just love her TO PIECES. (I want her to take updated headshots for me, but I need to stop eating so much pizza for like, a month.)

The shoot itself took about 2 hours, but that's because Jeremiah had it styled to perfection and we didn't want to miss a single detail. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

You can read more about the story here -- including the fact that this room was basically NOTHING before and Jeremiah made actual magic happen. It inspired me to try a little harder in my own home office. Key word is try.

Here are a few of the pieces you'll see in the office. Many of them are on sale!

I hope you enjoyed this 'behind-the-scenes' situation. Let me know if this is (OR ISN'T) a post you'd like to see in the future. I also am totally open for suggestions for TOTALLLLLLY different topics. Remember, the goal is to get this little blog goin' again. Just doing my darn best.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Shoe Story

The gals at Affinity asked me to share a story about my favorite pair of shoes. Naturally, I chose the Loeffler Randall shoes I wore on my wedding. Head to their blog to read more about why I chose them, the mistake I made, and how they ended up defining an entire chapter of my life.

[Photo by Sara K. Byrne] // [Bracelet is by Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry]

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kitchen Update

First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented/emailed/offered advice on the big burnout. At the end of the day, it just takes committing to what you love and pushing through until the pendulum swings back the other way. Right?? I'm going to start with baby steps and hope that as time goes on, my little heart and/or brain gets back into it. I thought I'd start slow with a little update on our kitchen:

I first added the beautiful Elodie Rug to our home last summer (click here for the pic), and I honestly LOVED IT BEYOND ANY LOVE. I thought it really popped against the dark wood floors and it made the kitchen just feel really luxe and feminine. It wasn't really a problem to keep clean -- we had a few minor spills and one major spill. (It's a kitchen, after all, and sometimes you accidentally drop an entire bowl of raw scrambled eggs on a very pastel rug.) But, we managed to keep it in tip top shape for awhile.

Then, we had a ton of family with us over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there was endless cooking and baking and wine drinking. (The best!) Add a few squashed blackberries, one drippy glass of merlot, and 2 to 3 cat puke incidents (they love to show off for guests), and the rug was just not looking too sharp. A light rug in the kitchen had been totally easy for just 2 people, but when you have a houseful -- and I prefer to have a houseful -- it didn't make total sense. I didn't want to be the person who was changing my decor whether or not we had guests over.

I rolled the little pupper up and stuck it under the bed. I have yet to get it professionally cleaned, because I am a lazy person. But I will definitely soon, as I know it's a piece I'll keep for years. It just has to be in the right place.

SIDE NOTE: This ended up being WAY LONGER THAN INTENDED, but I also think it's important to give a look behind the Instagram. Though I really lighten/wash out my images, my life is messy and that's just how I like it.

I still wanted a rug but my sweet husband said "no light rugs in the kitchen!!" and I listened. I found this beauty on Pottery Barn, and it has the added benefit of being an indoor/outdoor rug. I don't have to worry about spot cleaning or taking it to a cleaner. I will literally take it outside and hose it off a few times a year. Sadly, the blue has sold out, but I'll link to a few of their other indoor/outdoor runners below. They're all on sale!