Saturday Mornings

"Oh hi, sorry to bother. But now that I see your eyeballs, can we go out now?"


Saturday morning walks with Hoku are my favorite. I love the calm, quiet streets, sunrise through the trees, the cooler temperatures. There's no sense of urgency to rush back to the computer to check emails or get ready for meetings. Instead of NPR, I listen to real music (and detox from news of the current presidential election). We take our time, pick up breakfast and coffee at our favorite bakery, and sometimes explore a new route.

What's on your dog walking playlist? "Nothing But Time" from the documentary Mile Mile & A Half is still one of my favorites. It gives me an extra spring in my step and makes me want to climb a mountain. 


Our newest dog walking essential are these wireless earbuds from Sudio Sweden to keep me from becoming a tangled mess of cord when I need to grab my wallet or poop bags. It makes me happy when good design meets functionality. (And guess what, our readers can use discount code hellohoku to get 15% off!)

We love meandering down to our little neighborhood village center to pick up breakfast. Although I do enjoy the occasional fancy west LA brunch, nothing beats a simple chocolate chip scone and a no frills cup of plain, black coffee to start the day. While we wait, Hoku says hi to a shitzu friend and I eavesdrop on a group of old timers at the next table working on the NYT crossword puzzle together. Love the small town vibe of our neighborhood. 

It's going to be a gloomy, rainy Halloween weekend here, so we're looking forward to a lot of cozy time indoors. Happy Saturday, friends! 


This post was created in collaboration with Sudio Sweden. All opinions and photos are my own.

Sweet Dreams With Casper

It's a pretty exciting day when you open the front door to find a big Casper box sitting at the doorstep. We've been looking forward to it ever since Casper announced the launch of their new dog beds with this hilarious video and then followed that up with this heartwarming video. The feels!! And if that wasn't enough to make us love them, can I also say that their super clean, illustrative branding just makes the designer in me smile?

The dog bed comes with 5 memory foam pieces, a mattress cover, instructions ("The Snoozepaper") and a waffle pillow. It took me literally 3 minutes to put together and 3 seconds for Hoku to make himself right at home on it. 


The bed is firmer than our previous dog beds due to the extra foam support, but still plush and comfy. The quality of materials is obvious and it looks like it will hold its shape well over time. Hoku's bed is a small in gray. It's perfectly snug and shiba-sized. Over the years, we've discovered that Hoku prefers smaller beds with bolsters so when he's not resting his head over the sides, he's curled up into a tight ball and smashing his face against the inside. The bed was also thoughtfully designed for us huminions too, with a removable, machine-washable cover! Hoku loves "burying" extra special treats in his bed so being able to wash the cover is a huge plus. 

If you're in Venice, stop by Casper's cute store on the super hip Abbot Kinney Blvd. Their showroom is like walking through an illustrated home, which makes for a fun experience. And best of all, it's dog friendly with bowls of water and dog biscuits right at the entrance. Bring the pup to give their dog beds a try! And if you're shopping for human mattresses, yep, they have those too.


This post was created in collaboration with Casper. All opinions and photos are my own. Sweet dreams!

Source: casper_dog_bed

A Sunny Weekend in San Diego with Loews

There are some hotels that simply "allows dogs" and then there are hotels that treat them like superstars. Last weekend, we drove down to San Diego for a mini SoCal staycation at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Hoku got to experience the "paw-someness" that is the Loews Loves Pets program. And let me tell you, when Loews says they love pets, they really love pets

After a seamless check in experience, in which Hoku received a bag of doggy swag, we lounged on the breezy Bay Terrace overlooking the water while our room was being prepared. David and I ordered the Orange Ave. Wit by the Coronado Brewing Company (when in Coronado, right?!) and Hoku was offered a bowl of water by our friendly server. We watched little kids run around playing Pokemon Go and smiled at other guests who had also brought their furry friends along on vacation with that quiet, mutual acknowledgment only us folks in the crazy dog people club truly understand.

Our room had an incredible 180 degree view of the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge. It's one of those views that immediately makes you turn off your email notifications and puts you in vacation mode. Hoku wasted no time jumping on the plush king-sized bed (fur kids, they're just like real kids!) and making himself right at home. 

Shortly after we settled in, we heard on a knock on the door and opened it to find a bowl of dog treats and a toy being delivered just for Hoku, along with the sweetest note welcoming us to the hotel! 

In the evening, we drove across the bridge to the Embarcadero and joined some friends for dinner at Carnitas' Snack Shack's newest location before taking a stroll along the waterfront watching an absolutely perfect sunset. 

One sign of an amazing hotel for me is how well I sleep at night and I speak for the three of us when I say we all just sank into the mattress and slept like rocks. Hoku nestled into his usual spot right in between us like he sometimes does at home and didn't budge until the next morning. Even on a busy summer weekend with lots of families and kids around, our room was peaceful and quiet, even with the balcony door open to let the sea breeze in. 

Me: Rise and shine, Hoku!
Hoku: Just five more minutes?

Me: I guess we'll just have to order room service without you...
Hoku: Ok, I'm up!

We've stayed at our fair share of hotels before, but none that had a room service menu for dogs (and cats!) developed in collaboration with a licensed veterinarian. Hoku perused the "Bone" Appetit menu selections and, being a vegetarian pup, decided on the Grrreat Vegetarian Feast, which was developed to be an easily digestible dish to help weary, traveling dogs rehydrate. How thoughtful is that? We didn't have to travel too far luckily, but it was awesome to see a vegetarian option that Hoku could enjoy since he has meat allergies.  

David and I ordered the Eggs Benedict and a Belgian Waffle and shared our side of bananas and strawberries with Hoku after he devoured his very own veggie dish in minutes. It was one of those picture perfect, delicious breakfast in bed moments to remember. And fuel us for the day's adventures ahead! 

After breakfast, we headed down to the marina for some kayaking on the bay. Loews Coronado Bay offers a variety of water activities and rentals, many of which dogs are also allowed to participate in as well, including kayaking, sailing and stand up paddle boarding. It was going to be Hoku's first time on a kayak and we got him his very own yellow Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat, just in case. He got a lot of smiles as we walked him through the hotel lobby!


At the dock, Hoku watched on closely to make sure our tandem kayak was set up properly. To our surprise, he confidently boarded the kayak with us and we paddled into the bay. It was fascinating to see a different perspective of the hotel from the ocean and we could even spot our room. And thankfully, the water was calm and the air was pleasantly cool as we made our way out towards the Coronado Bridge.

Aside from clambering onto my lap when he realized his paws were getting wet at one point, Hoku had a blast on his first kayaking trip. For a dog that doesn't like to be IN water, he sure enjoys being ON it. After accepting that wet paws were an inevitability, he relaxed and spent the rest of the time with two legs up on the bow of the kayak to take in the views. He even helped us spot a turtle sticking its head out of the water! We couldn't have asked for a better way to start the day. 

This is the face of a tired pup that just had an amazing weekend, am I right? Thank you Loews for making our trip to San Diego so spectacular and for going above and beyond to welcome Hoku. We can't wait to come back!

This post was created in collaboration with Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California. All opinions and photos are my own. Thanks for following along on our "Loews Loves Pets" adventure!