Saturday, December 17, 2016

Litter Robot Giveaway TODAY!


When Leonard heard we were giving away a Litter-Robot Open Air (you know, the self-cleaning litter box that I literally can't live without) and other great prizes today, he went running to the tree to look! 😂 But, you actually just enter at @thelitterrobot's site here: free.litter-robot.com. (As you know, I only really endorse products I actually like or believe in. And this magic machine lets me be a cat owner and not have to pooper scoop - details here - SO I BELIEVE IN IT.) Enter today, winner announced TOMORROW!!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Currently Pinning...

I've been spending my evenings reading, but not good reading. Just falling down the rabbit hole of news sites and that leads to other news sites and then, I'm just frantically trying to understand what's happening in the world right now so I go to more news sites. It's so important to be informed but I fear I've gotten stuck in that technology loop and there are so many different opinion pieces that well, maybe it's time for a news break. So, I hopped back on the Pinterest train and am trying to get those creative, positive vibes flowing again. Here's what I've been loving lately:


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Obviously, I'm on a bit of a green kick, which is a hoot because of this cringe-worthy tidbit: When I was 22, I BOLDY and LOUDLY exclaimed that I just despised the color green and it made my eyes hurt it was so disgusting and I just wanted nothing to do with it. But, you see, I happened to be sitting in a friend's brand new forest green car. And the problem is (!!!) it was totally unrelated, I was thinking about a green dress that I'd seen earlier in the day and the girl who was wearing it had been sort of rude, and I started thinking about green duvets and green paint and green eyeshadow and maybe I was even green with envy over something that said girl had done. Anyway, the driver of the vehicle was very offended because they assumed I was talking about their brand new, day old, forest green car and I have never seemed to pull my foot out of my mouth since then, like sometimes I think about that moment and I just close my eyes for a second and cringe. And now you all know about it.

But, who knew, I guess I don't actually hate the color green at all.

Oh, follow me on Pinterest if you fancy! More inspiration, less weird stories about being 22.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Little Holiday Kick Off Party

A few weeks ago, I transformed my living room into a (literally) cheesy holiday wonderland for a shoot with Rue Magazine + Shutterfly. We were highlighting some of Shutterfly's custom gift options, like cutting boards and glassware, but I wanted to keep it as close to my real life as possible. So instead of a fake dinner party or something super fancy, I did exactly what I'd do if I was actually having friends over: cheese plates, wine, and garlands instead of flower arrangements. (And then, I actually did have friends over.) Here are a few snaps from the ever-talented Monica Wang:





I have made some pretty measly cheese plates in my day. We're talking like, Ritz and sandwich meats. Not great. With each one I make -- and each pretty one I see online -- I realize a few new tips and tricks:

1. MORE IS MORE. When crafting up a perfect cheese plate (you know, one you can Instagram the heck out of), never forget that more is more. To achieve this look, I cut and crumble the cheeses into smaller, bite-size pieces. Dice cheddar into cubes, break parmesano-reggiano into chunks, and for something like stilton, just slice the ends so there's texture there. (The only exception for me is something quite creamy, or pre-sliced manchego.)  Then fill in the gaps with fruit, nuts, and meat! You want to aim for every inch of the board or plate to be covered. (Unless, of course, there's a cute monogram in the middle.)

2. TASTE THE RAINBOW: To keep it from falling flat, try to add a lot of vibrant colors. Go for dark and inky grapes, bright candied oranges, blueberries, and a few different colors of nuts. Try not to place similarly colored items next to each other.

3. BREAD. ALWAYS BREAD: Though not pictured, we consumed two very large French baguettes with this spread. Some people, like me, insist on having a 1:1 carb to cheese ratio. Never, ever put out a cheese plate without bread. Unless I'm not there, then I guess do what you want.

Also, you may ask yourself why I choose to do garlands instead of traditional flowers. WELL, long story short, because I just think it looks much more fancy than it is. It's actually the opposite of fancy. It's literally just setting the flowers and greenery down on the table and walking away. But I find it to feel really elegant and unique. A garland makes your event makes it feel much more special, whereas a traditional flower arrangement might be mistaken for something you already had in the house.

That's all I've got for you today, but to see more of this event + snag information on where to buy those cute wine totes, head to Rue Daily. And to help my cheese plates become EVEN BETTER next time, leave a comment below with your favorite cheese/presentation suggestion/party idea.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

GIVEAWAY!!

Hey guys! I just wanted to pop in and tell you the MOST exciting news of 2016. I haven't done giveaways in awhile, but I decided to partner with a brand I LOVE for a major (AND I MEAN MAJOR) giveaway.

Okay, no surprise, it's about catsAs I've mentioned before, The Litter-Robot is the only way Tim & I stay sane as cat owners. So, I've partnered with them to GIVE AWAY A LITTER-ROBOT OPEN AIR (!!!) as part of their 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Follow @thelitterrobot or go to free.litter-robot.com for details on how you can win. My giveaway will be later in the month but you can win every day until then. 

GOOOOOD LUCK!
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Seattle's Best: The Palladian Hotel


When my best friend turned 30, I knew I had to do something MAJOR. When we were roommates in Boise, we would always listen to Hall & Oates. No explanation necessary? Anyway, I moved to San Francisco and she moved to Seattle, and it was all very tragic. Until, of course, I saw that Hall & Oates were dusting off those lavender blazers for a tour. I bought two tickets immediately for their show in Seattle, and got to work on my big surprise.

I booked a room at the Palladian -- an uniquely beautiful hotel near Pike Place Market. I recently wrote about it over at Rue, waxing poetic about designer Nicole Hollis and her mission to bring the culture and history of Seattle to the hotel's design. For me, it's a perfect mashup of all things Seattle -- the lumber and seafaring industries, the recent tech boom, the abundance of nature alongside the cosmopolitan skyline. (Is this a love letter to the Emerald State?) You can read more about the exquisite design -- as well as some of the hotel's interesting amenities -- here.




Today, I wanted to spill the details about the big surprise. First, I nearly missed my flight. One TSA mishap could have derailed the entire mission. I was SO new to LA, I didn't realize what a mess LAX was... especially since I'm on the east side! #BurbankForever. But really, can you imagine? Missing a flight, and then having to tell my best friend, "Oh I was coming to visit you today, 2 concert tickets in hand, but I'm still in LA. The next flight is right about the time they'll be singing Maneater." But, the travel gods were on my side and I made it to Seattle. The Palladian's driver -- friendliest guy on earth -- collected me curbside and took me to the hotel. I audibly gasped when I walked in. The hotel felt like a rad Queen Anne apartment, like Ben Gibbard might be snoozing on a sofa nearby.

I checked into my beautiful room, was pleased as punch that our pillow had Richard from Friends on it, and logged about an hour of work. I then sent a text, telling my friend I was freaking out and needed her help. I received a frantic "what's up??" in return, and then told her I was lost and couldn't figure out directions. I sent her my location with a pin drop (thanks, technology!!) and proceeded to nervously giggle alone on my hotel bed, right next to Richard from Friends.

After letting her sort through the confusion, I invited her to happy hour at the Palladian's chic Pennyroyal bar (top picture), and relished in successfully pulling off the surprise of my life. Sure, her husband gets about 75% of the credit: telling her not to make plans that night, ensuring she had an overnight bag packed, and not spilling the beans when she kept saying "where are you taking me?!" (Funniest part? She thought perhaps he was taking her somewhere to hike or on some sort of fitness retreat, so she had a pair of athletic shoes tied to her bag.)

It was all magic. We should all plan surprises for our loved ones more often, because it made me feel like Oprah. Anyways, the hotel is gorgeous. Details below:

Images by Laure Joliet // Interior Design by Nicole Hollis // See more on #RueDaily.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Travel Diaries: Cabo and the BEST TRAVEL TIP You'll Ever Get


For those who don't know, my husband is an artist and works in the animation industry. It's a wonderful but challenging industry -- when a project first begins, he's able to be creative and do tons of artwork at a relaxed pace, but then a year or so passes... and BAM. Crunch time! In June, his schedule was starting to get stressful. He was working long hours and was really exhausted, but sadly... things were only starting to heat up. One of the producers suggested we book a vacation before 1. He moved into the office full-time and 2. His PTO stopped acquiring. "NO PROBLEM," we exclaimed. "We love to vacation!"

Our priorities? We just wanted to sit by a pool for a week, drink in hand, ocean in view. Tulum seemed like the obvious choice given our history, but the weather reports were implying we might fly all that way to sit in a monsoon. So I started researching other locales, and Cabo and Hawaii were neck and neck.

Now, I'm a frugal gal -- which is a blessing and a curse all at once. But I looked at the cost of flights to Hawaii and couldn't believe my little wallet. That + the cost of the resorts? It just had turned into a much more expensive thing than we were trying to do. We wanted to go somewhere nice, but we're saving for a house and $18 drinks are dumb. I found an amazing deal on tickets to Cabo, so I bought them without any clue where we'd be staying. 

A few days later, someone asked us about our upcoming trip. I expressed my frustration with finding a nice place to stay at a reasonable price. "Do you have a Costco membership?" ....You mean to buy toilet paper and Halloween candy in bulk? Yes... His eyes lit up. He proceeded to tell us about the amazing deals he'd scored at costcotravel.com -- explaining that the hotels were always really nice, and Costco even arranged a ride to and from the airport. It sounded too good to be true, but with my little membership card in hand, I went to the site to investigate. 

Well guys, we basically got the trip of a lifetime for like... 1/3 of what I'd been researching. AND I HAD BEEN RESEARCHING INSTEAD OF SLEEPING FOR NIGHTS ON END. That's not an exaggeration on the price. It's the best thing in the world. If you knew about this already, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME SOONER? If you didn't know, then OMG YOU'RE WELCOME. HAPPY TRAVELS.

We ended up staying at the Marquis Los Cabos, a beautiful, all-inclusive resort with tons of space. Every day, we did exactly what we set out to do: lay by the pool, drink in hand, ocean in view. I have to mention, the service at this hotel was wonderful: the staff was really friendly and attentive, they had a great activities program with things like beach volleyball and water aerobics (surprisingly fun), but no one pressured you if you felt like reading quietly. The rooms were comfortable. The food was great. It was the actual best. Oh, and how could I forget... they delivered coffee and pastries to your room every morning via a magical little cubby by your door, so as not to wake you. Hot coffee just magically was there every single morning, the moment I woke up. Again, all of this was for a fraction of the price of the non-inclusive hotels I'd been researching. 

As is typical, I took lots of photos, and then I took nearly 4 months to share them with you:







Oh, and did I mention it was all timed right around our one year wedding anniversary? LE SIGH. To a million more celebrations, some booked through Costco, some not. All my love to the best travel partner around: 


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!


SHOP MY POTTERY BARN PICKS:

Friday, July 1, 2016

What now?


I have to complain a little bit. I am experiencing, in the worst way possible, blogger burnout. Above and beyond, it is the most frustrating feeling in the world.

I experience it with my job from time to time. It can be exhausting writing so many stories and staying on top of social media every day of the week. Like any job, it just happens. But, you take a break, you approach the tasks with a different perspective, and you get back on track. When you're getting paid to do it, it's the only option.

But with this blog, for some reason I'm lacking the ability or drive to get back on track. But, I don't really want to get paid for it. I just want to post and enjoy it again. The fact that I can't get to that level of enjoyment is driving me C R A Z Y. 

So, in the "drafts" section of my blogger account, I have posts just waiting to be completed. My bridal shower (from 14 months ago). Our honeymoon in Spain. Our most recent trip to Cabo. A review on Sunbasket (AKA the best dinner solution ever). My favorite hotel in Seattle. A trip we took to Napa about... 2 years ago. My experience with Tone It Up. My experience with adult acne (annoying). The truth about our San Francisco apartment. Roughly 98 Instagram accounts I think you should be following. Roxanne the Diabetic Cat. The list goes on. For some, I can't bring myself to write down words. For others, it sounds exhausting rounding up the pictures to accompany the post. I know that as soon as I get going again, I'll be excited and working hard to get posts up regularly. But I just can't get over that initial hump. It's a mental roadblock that I just can't squash. It could be that I'm mentally drained from my job, or that I'm putting all of my focus on Instagram. I'm honestly not sure.

I know many of you have blogs of your own and (likely) have experienced this as well. RIGHT??? I guess this is a pretty annoying post. I see the irony in complaining about not being able to blog... on... my blog... BUT I just need some advice. If you've ever dealt with this, what did you do to move forward? How did you get inspired to do the work? I'm just not going to quit this corner of the internet, so I am ready for any and all tips you can send my way.

HALP.

Oh, and have a WONDERFUL holiday weekend!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Round and Round


[Image via Atlantic // Pacific]

I feel like the next big bag trend is circular. Now, you're talking to someone who rarely changes her purse for her outfit. For like months. Maybe I've even carried the same purse for years at a time. (I definitely have!) I'm like that mom who just had the same purse with the same pens and the same box of Altoids and the same checkbook for like literally all of the 90s. (Not my mom. She rotated bags seasonally because she was a teacher and had summers off which meant it was time for a summer purse, but I feel like a very mom thing to do would be to just have the world's oldest purse and carry it until the straps break.)

So anyways, I've been seeing circular bags EVERYWHERE and it's sort of inspiring me to become a person who actually puts thought into her purse. Honestly, if I had the time, I would comb flea markets and thrift shops for vintage options like this. But, since I don't, I've rounded up a few new pieces that I think you'll want to snag before they sell out. Now, we'll all work together to become interested in bag trends and switch our purses based on our outfits right? If you do it, I will. I promise! I personally will be ordering this little pretty by Baggu. Which one is your favorite?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cat Talk: The Litter Robot

I've recently realized that the readers I engage with most are ones who are also pet owners.  And since we don't really cover pets at Rue, but pets are on my mind probably 97% of the time, I've decided to bring in a new installment to the blog that we're calling CAT TALK. (Not joking.) Maybe it will mean cute pet pictures. Maybe it will be information on different pet-focused products. Or perhaps I'll be talking about the fact that Roxanne has diabetes, bless her heart, and gets insulin twice a day. (That third one is not a hypothetical, I'll explain at a later date.) Today, we're chatting about a contraption that literally saved my relationship and, dear friends, it's called THE LITTER ROBOT.

When Tim and I first moved in together, we became a "blended family". He had Leonard, a noisy bengal with loads of personality. And I brought along Roxanne, a plain little lady who is too nice for words. We tucked a litter box into a hidden nook beside our back door, and the battle began. Whose turn was it to scoop? Who was responsible if one of the cats missed? It was easy to blame the other person since there was no telling WHICH cat was the problem, and I'm not kidding, we would get in massive arguments about THE LITTER BOX. 

One day, Tim's colleague mentioned something about the Litter Robot. "I know, it sounds weird," she explained. "But it's totally legit. It's the best thing I've ever owned and I don't have to scoop up dirty litter." No scoop?! We were listening.  

In short, the Litter Robot is an automatic, self-cleaning litter box. This is the least technical description of it: It's a big dome that spins. More technical? It has a patented sifting system that separates waste from clean litter and deposits the waste into a drawer. When the drawer is full, you empty it.

So, we waffled over the price for a few days, agreeing that we would be vigilant and if it didn't work out, we'd return it within the 90 day grace period. 

Needless to say, we NEVER returned it and it HONESTLY is the only thing that ensured Tim and I made it to our wedding day. It made a chore that could have been the end of us into a non-issue. And, any of our fellow cat-people who have seen it in action have immediately gone home and purchased one. It's that magical. (You can watch a video on the original here.) 

However, my sweet girl Roxaroo DOES have diabetes, and with it comes a few health challenges. Namely, she pees more than average and -- for whatever reason -- she isn't the BEST at aiming within the box. I started noticing that she just didn't have quite enough room for her achey joints to get in the Litter Robot and turn around, so her little hiney would hang off of the edge and -- heaven help me -- she'd relieve herself all over the floor. POOR THING. (Me.) 

Additionally, when we moved into our new house in LA, we just didn't have an out-of-sight spot to tuck the Litter Robot away. This house is amazing and I love it, but there is not a nook or cranny to be found. SO, in the most dismal drumroll ever, here's what my office looked like:



What a room! What a disaster! In addition to the old robot sticking out like a sore thumb, AND not having any storage for our vacuum/mops, we had resorted to putting a regular litter box next to it for "accident prone" Roxanne to use. WE WERE BACK TO SCOOPING. 

So then fast forward to around Christmastime. The Litter Robot announced they had a new model coming out: THE LITTER ROBOT III, OPEN AIR. I first noticed how much... nicer... it looked. Sleeker. More modern. Less of an eyesore. But then I read about it, and I realized it was just what my sweet girl needed. I watched this video 300 times, and learned that it has a wider opening and an extra spacious litter chamber. Plus, it has a "full" indicator light. So when the bin is full, a light flashes and you know you need to empty it. No risk of clogs or messes or anything. It's magic. (Is it actual MAGIC though, you guys? It might be.)

We decided it was 100% a necessity, and also decided to invest in a storage solution to make the office function a little better and be less of a humiliation when we have guests over. Now, this space is still a work in progress, so please forgive the subpar photography:




We also bought this storage unit from IKEA. You can see into this room from the kitchen, so we didn't want the sightline to be on clutter or bookshelves or anything like that, just a modern wardrobe. The desk was moved where the shelves were, and the shelves went under the window, and the Litter Robot remained tucked into the least offensive corner in the house. Voila!

And somehow, the Litter Robot Open Air is like, my life right now. It has been SUCH a game changer for us.

I will admit, if we just had one very healthy and somewhat small cat, we would likely be okay with the original Litter Robot. But with multiple cats -- especially one who is getting old and has a few ailments, and one who is large and in charge -- this Open Air version has been a godsend for our household and we no longer have any accidents or "spills". (Gross.)

Some other pros to the new version? It's quieter. Like very, very quiet. It has a nightlight -- when the kitties hop in the box, it lights up for them. Plus, it has a sleep mode -- if you have a studio apartment or live in a small space, there's a setting where it won't cycle for 8 hours. Sweet and silent dreams.

So, yes, I'm passionate about my cat's bathroom solution. But when you have a pet that literally goes to the bathroom literally in your house (both correct uses of the word literally), you need to be on it. I prefer quality design and don't want to compromise the look of my home, so this is the best solution for us. Come over, check it out. Tim and I will have 2 glasses of wine and tell you how great it is FOR HOURS. It would not be the first time.

I'm not much of a video gal, but you can find endless reviews on YouTube here. I've watched most of them.

I suppose I've waxed poetic about this long enough, but please let me know in the comments if there are any other CAT TALK topics you want to know about. Whether it's about how the Robot works OR how we keep our white bedding clean, I'm here to help. I'm not feeding these kittens twice a day for nothing.

UPDATE: Litter Robot is offering my readers $25 off! Click here to redeem. 

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. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Together Show


Last January, Tim and I were asked by our good friend Erik if we'd be guests on his new podcast, the Together Show. I'll admit, we were extremely [EXTREMELY] apprehensive about getting personal on the internet, but truth be told... we were really sold on the idea of the show.

You see, Erik is a former divorce lawyer. Like, the first time I met him, the conversation turned to the importance of thoroughly discussing each and every financial detail of our future before we got married because most people just don't ever bring up money until they're well into their marriage and it's a problem in one way or another, and voila -- divorce. (Yikes!) He also was wearing a suit. Real lawyer-y stuff.

Over time, Erik realized that he was sick of watching relationships fall apart and instead wanted to focus on why people decide to stay together. Anyone in a relationship knows that it's actually work. My belief is that "work" isn't a bad thing at all, even though the word has negative connotations like "Monday morning" and "cubicle". To me, work means commitment. Work IS love.

It was really cool to watch Erik's journey and, like I mentioned, it was seriously scary to agree to such a public-yet-vulnerable interview. (And vulnerability man. It's tough.) But at the end of the day, I'm so grateful to be a part of Together. Sure, it was a little bit intimidating to speak into a microphone about the most important part of my life for a few hours, but I have connected with so many people because of it. When you get a look into other relationships, it can make you feel less alone. You might discover that challenges you and your partner have been facing aren't odd at all, but quite common. (Or, my favorite part of the podcast -- that in an age of social media perfection, you're reminded that we're all human. Perfection is actually just a VSCO filter.)

ANYWAY. If you've ever wanted a very personal look into my life, you can tune in here. (And if you loved it, catch Part 2 here.)

If our podcast sparks any questions at all, leave them in the comments below. I'm an open book and would love to chat!

Also, please SUBSCRIBE to Together and tell everyone you know about it. I really believe in the mission and can't wait to see this passion project grow.