our cat adoption stories (and paying it forward)

i’ve teamed up with HP again, this time they asked me to reflect on a moment that has inspired my life, and to give back to my community in return! especially this time of year, it’s so easy to focus on the material, of course, so it feels so good to take a moment to sway and help out in other ways.

when i had the chance to reflect, i immediately thought about operation adopt, where i adopted rocky two years ago. they are such a great organization and you can quickly see how much they truly care about their animals. since moving to the valley two years ago, i definitely feel more of a sense of community than i did in the city — which is a really nice feeling! as in… my dry cleaner knows my name. just thought you should know. it felt extra nice to solidify that feeling of the neighborhood (WHAT IS THIS SENTENCE LOL HELP)

my cats have been so important in my adulthood, because they totally paved the way for me to care for something besides just myself, and they taught me that animals really need our kindness too. giving them a home is probably the kindest thing you could do (for both of you!). you might have already seen on instagram that i posted for world kindness day about them, because they really changed my life!

five years ago, my best friend took in a pregnant stray cat. i assisted in the birth because their mom wasn’t the most maternal, so we had to make sure she’d keep them alive. it was pretty disgusting, but we gently nudged her towards each sack to make sure she’d tend to all of them and get them out. and even though i’d never really liked cats — being there for that moment changed that for life. i think in a way, witnessing and assisting in the birth made me feel kind of maternal, like i had delivered 5 kittens myself lol. i wasn’t planning on taking any of them home, but i would go visit them regularly and i just loved bodhi so much. he was always playing on his back and could not have been cuter — so i decided i needed to adopt him. lucy was kind of the belle of the ball, she was the only girl in the litter, and was so rambunctious and funny and by far the best hunter. gid loved her the most. but more importantly, bodhi and lucy were best friends, so i didn’t want to separate them. and that’s how someone who never even liked cats ended up adopting two at once…  we adopted 2 of the 5, and then found loving homes for the others.

and then two years ago, i was walking by operation adopt with my dad and stepmom and walked in for no reason, and then i saw rocky! her name was dolly at the time and she had really short hair (they’d cut off her long fur to clean her). she had belonged to a hoarder who had 120 cats! they adopted out everyone but kept a couple of cats as evidence for months. three of them made it to operation adopt — three ragdoll girls, one kitten and two adults. they were all sooooo cute in different ways, but “dolly” stood out to me with her feisty personality. i asked to hold her and immediately texted gid a photo saying “can we adopt her?” without hesitation he responded “yes”. he’s pretty chill huh? so i filled out an application right then and there and a few days later she moved in with us!

i wasn’t sure what adopting an adult cat would be like, but it was actually so nice to skip those rough kitten months where they climb and jump on everything. rocky still has the energy of a kitten here and there, but as i said, she really has fulfilled all my elmira dreams. she’s only half rag doll (and half calico, which according to the vet, is the feisty side), but she lets me carry her around like my own little cat doll, and she sleeps next to my head every night, all night!

i was so happy when operation adopt accepted my offer to redesign the posters for each animal up for adoption. i used my HP spectre x360 to design and then i used the inking capabilities to hand draw on it. i think it turned out really cute, simple and clean but definitely a modern update to what they had before.

when i saw laser lemon on their website up for adoption, i knew he had to be my muse, because he looked like a baby bodhi! arlo has really taken a liking to the cats lately, so i thought meeting laser lemon would be so fun — well, turns out kittens are completely terrifying. who knew!?

how cute is laser lemon? someone needs to adopt him right now!

it felt so good to give back, and i hope you also feel inspired to #ReinventGiving this holiday. it doesn’t take much effort or time to help someone in need out, so i hope you’ll consider doing the same. would love to hear if you’re planning to!

this post was in partnership with HP. all opinions are my own.

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our house is so smart now

for real. i am so excited about this post! ever since fixing up the studio, i have always made a point to go out and do as much work as i can — but i’ve always had one major problem. the wifi signal is the worst. like as in, it basically has never worked. it takes forever to even load emails, so you can imagine how that affects my productivity, especially when i’m on the clock with the babysitter here. i talked to my much more tech-savvy brother a zillion times about solutions, but didn’t want to spend a ton of money or time or energy on it so i just gave up on the idea of using the internet out there. the irony is not lost on me that my job is working on the internet.

but all that has changed, because i’m so psyched to partner with samsung today about the samsung connect home. it’s a mesh wi-fi system, which makes such a huge improvement to our signal. we used to get so annoyed when we couldn’t stream movies and we’d call the internet company to complain relentlessly, but not anymore! our signal has been so great, but most importantly — i can totally work in the studio now, no problem. i’ve been sitting out there responding to emails, listening to music, streaming episodes of friends, just going crazy basically. living that good wi-fi life.

it also doubles as a hub for all my smart home devices to the wi-fi network. so i can control my video doorbell now, the smart lightbulbs and our new robot vacuum. i also just know myself and i know how exciting it’ll be to acquire new smart products that are compatible. i’m not a dork at all. and i control everything with the samsung connect app, it is super simple and awesome to now be able to control everything through just one app.

we got a three pack, so we ended up putting one router in the living room, one in the bedroom and the third in the studio. each one has a range of 1500 sq feet which is perfect for my little 1500 sq foot house haha — but good news for people with multiple stories, it’ll work for you too, giving you corner to corner coverage. setup was super easy, we did it during one nap and were good to go before arlo even woke up.

but besides improving our wi-fi forever, i am soooo happy we finally got rid of the ugly black eyesore of a router with huge antennas sticking up in every direction, that gid never let me hide in a cabinet. well now it’s gone and i don’t miss it one bit. the super low profile of the samsung connect home routers is obviously perfect for me, it’s so sleek and small and blends right into our decor. not sure why all media isn’t small and white like this? they should all get the memo that this is way better. our cabinet tops are v happy. and so am i.

this post was in partnership with samsung.
all opinions are 100% my own.

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holiday gift guide : for the homebody

the gift guide for my category of people! here are some cozy gift ideas for cozy times at home for cozy loving people. cozy!

01. most likely fact, all homebodies love incense
02. cats & plants is the coffee table book from heaven
03. a refreshing mist they can use on themselves and their textiles
04. this ceramic mug is so beautiful
05. this little projector is perfect for backyard movie nights
06. you can never have too many sheet masks
07. homebodies love sleep, so sleep masks are always a good idea
08. so are a cute pair of socks
09. love the design of this board game
10. i’ve always wanted a linen bathrobe
11. a tea kettle so pretty they’d always leave it out

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holiday gift guide : for the cook

you thought i was gonna skip gift guides this year, didn’t you?! yeah i did too. but then i decided i could work on them on my phone while i rock arlo, so here we are. 

first up, gifts for the chef in your life! my weakness is definitely kitchen items. i am always on the hunt because for somehow i think having new pretty items makes cooking dinner more fun? is it just me?

01. i love these modern salt and pepper shakers!
02. this vegetable peeler is on my list this year (and was also last year but no one got it for me so it’s back)
03. you know my thoughts on cookbooks. you can never go wrong.
04. we have this flatware set (in gold and in black), it’s inexpensive and so handsome!
05. we also have this non stick pan that i love so much (and get so many compliments on)
06. you can never have too many gorgeous bread boards.
07. nor can you have too many pretty tea towels for hanging on your oven door.
08. even if they have a garlic press, i’m sure they don’t have a gold garlic press.
09. this woven bread basket would also make a cute fruit bowl.
10. we also have this mixing bowl set which is the best set i’ve ever had.
11. this brass trivet looks so much more expensive than it is!

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