Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts tagged Remi Awtrey
Remi's Raves

It's no secret we love our pup. He's friendly, so soft, has never known someone as a stranger, is the most excited at the dog park but he can make life a little cray sometimes. Thankfully, we've found a few products to keep life (and Remi) clean, organized but still super fun. It wouldn't be fair to keep these as a secret so I'm sharing them with you!



keepin' your canine clean

Let's face it: every dog needs a brush, but not just a normal brush. They need a brush that's gentle, detangles and helps with shedding. Good news, friends - I've found one. This dog brush is soft on their fur but sheds handfuls of hair (so gross to me) but hey! If it's not around the house, I'm a happy mama. We also give him a regular bath with this shampoo duo that helps a lot with shedding but it doesn't do the trick alone. And, if we're honest, the fragrance of the shampoo only lasts a few hours or until their next play date. But, Thomas isn't about to bathe Remi everyday (ain't nobody got time for that). Instead, in between washes, we lather him in this dry shampoo that helps his fur + smell get a little perk mid week which normally holds him over until his next bath. It has a soft smell of coconut and lime, a little tropical smell, that isn't overpowering but you won't get the bad whiff.

Back to the shedding: this pet hair remover wedge is something my mom swears by. It's a wedge that you brush on your furniture, or outfit, and it immediatley removes pet hair. Incase that didn't work, I always resort to the handheld vacuum or the lint roller to get dog hair off (especially in the car).

The fur isn't the only part that reeks sometimes, let's talk about that dog breath. Sheeesh. These fresh breath mints have been a lifesaver. They're exactly what they sound like: a breath mint for dogs. You just feed them to your dog as needed and they leave with a minty fresh smell. Or, you can add this water additive for fresh breath into their water bowl. It only calls for a cap full in each water bowl so it's not too much of a chore (also helps with dental hygiene, not just the smell).



just fur fun

This Chinese takeout toy and pizza toy are two cute toys to have around the house. Both have squeakers so if your dog loves those (and you don't) you might want to skip on this one. However, the kong is my everyday lifesaver. Its a hollow, chewable toy that allows you to stuff treats, peanut butter and other yummy ingredients inside and acts like a puzzle for your pup. I stuff it with peanut butter at night, put it in the freezer and give it to Remi as a morning treat while I'm getting ready. Another toy that makes playtime much easier for me is the chuckit toy. It comes with a tennis ball inside and gives your throw a few more yards; therefore, making your dog run a little longer. It also acts as a "scoop" to pick the ball back up to keep you from bending over so often to pick up the ball again.

The fabric frisbee is another great toy to have outside to keep them entertained. It's another easy throw but it's made of a tough fabric material that makes it hard for them to chew through. If they love to chew sticks, this stick toy is a funny deceiver. Remi loves his stick because it looks just like the sticks he likes outside but he's not bringing in the bark in our home from his treat he loves so much. This tug of war toy keeps them entertained with their favorite friend in the world. Often times, Remi will nudge me with this toy in his mouth, wanting me to play some tug of war with him. This game wares him out which helps me get a few more things finished around the house before Thomas gets home.

the pampered pooch

I found this bed at Bed Bath and Beyond and got to cash in my 20% for being a subscriber and Remi loved it so much. I say "loved" because we're replacing it. Nothing is necessarily wrong with it - we've had it for about a year and it's memory foam but the inside is starting to get "clumpy" if that makes sense and we want Remi to have a fresh bed With that being said, the fact that we're replacing it with the same one says a lot! We do love this bed a whole lot! If I could have any other bed in the world it would be this bed purely based on the way it looks. I'm not sure about the comfort level but I love the simplicity and the houndstooth look. If you don't love the bed idea or you don't want to purchase two beds (one for the bedroom + one for the living space), I'd suggest this cute teepee for a space for them to hangout in the living area.

You know your pup is pampered when they wear clothes. Unfortunately, but maybe fortunately, Thomas won't let me dress up Remi, except for Halloween. Incase your dog does like to dress up, this sweater is the cutest and could be used as an outfit for your guy or gal pup. And of course, if they're pampered, a normal leash just will not do. This ombre leash is a great option for your stylish, furry friend.

I also love pampering Remi and making some dog treats for him instead of buying all of them. They tend to be a little more healthy + they're made with love. This dog treat + ice cube silicone mold is a fun one to make their treats extra special (and obviously indicate "these aren't for humans"). Remi also loves to chomp on ice so these could be fun to make ice cubes in.


pup on the go

Call me crazy but we make Remi wear Rain boots if it's rainy outside. Not so much for the look but the convenience. I love that he can go run and romp around without getting his paws muddy. When it's time to come inside, we just slip them off and rinse them off in the sink. Easy cleanup.  This leash is a fun one for quick walks or car rides where they may ned to stretch their legs and this collar is a great option for dogs that like to move around a lot, swim and run. It's made of "tuf-flex" which is a a synthetic plastic material, similar to rubber, that keeps from rubbing or chaffing your dog's neck. At the same time, it doesn't stay wet; therefore, not leaving a stench. Your dog may get thirsty on their excursions so this pop up bowl is easy to carry around. It can be flattened into a disc but then extended to carry water. Incase that isn't a favorite, this dog water bottle is great, too. Like a normal water bottle, you fill it up but then squeeze it to release some water into the dish that sits on top for your dog to lap up.

Safety is key, especially with car rides. I don't know about your dog but Remi loves them. This dog car seat keeps any dirt or hair off of our seats, which is great, but it also makes his ride a little more comfortable by "hammocking" him. This seat harness adds another layer of safety by buckling into your car seat buckle to keep them in one spot incase you needed to break quickly. 

for the human's home

Us humans can't be forgotten in this whole equation. Just because a dog needs some pampering doesn't mean our house can go to shambles. It's important to keep things clean and organized but with a fun decor flare, too. These dog bowls are a cuter version of the metal ones people tend to use. This treat jar is easily disguised on your countertop which makes treat easily accessible without screaming "I have a pet!"

We keep all of Remi's toys, treats, training equipments, etc. in this utility cart next to his crate. We love it because it keeps things organized and all in one spot but it doesn't take up much room. If your dog likes to access his or her toys easily, you may want to go with this gold wire basket or this wire storage basket for toys.

After Remi goes to sleep, or before we have guests over, I always spritz a little bit of this air freshener around the house and on our furniture to get rid of any unwelcome dog smell. It's a soft scent that isn't strong but will do the job. I often get compliments on my "candle" burning when it's really this air freshener. Good news, it's "clean" and doens't have any chemicals or toxins that may hurt your dog if they go to intensely sniff or lick what you just sprayed down.



These are a few of the things that keep Remi entertained, clean and us sane and organized. No need for owning a pet to mean "chaos!" What are some of your favorites for your furry friend?!

Cozy Christmas Decorating + Some of My Favorites

We went shopping for our Christmas tree, strung the lights and hung the ornaments while watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas tonight. Man, it's my favorite night of the year! More of this to come (stay tuned)! But, in the meantime, I wanted to fill you in on some of my recent favorites that made tonight so much more enjoyable!

1. Madewell's Sherpa Slippers

I wear these anytime I'm in our house because it's mostly hardwood floors and my feet start to hurt. These are comfy and keep me warm (and all the cold natured people said "amen"). It took me forever to find them online because the picture looks a little different online than I thought they did in person. But, I did find them! I just fold them down to make them more "slipper-like". If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw these details in my story the other day.


2. World Market Faux Fur Tree Skirt

Oh goodness. I love World Market. It is absolutely my favorite place to find anything big or small and trinket-y. They have the best Christmas decor of the season so when I saw this tree skirt I had to snag it! This tree skirt is burlap looking but has a little glimmer of stitching to make it shimmery under the tree lights. It's lined with faux fur so it gives a fab finish.

3. Our Favorite Hot Cocoa

Go to the grocery store and grab hot cocoa packets (with the mini marshmallows of course.) Heat up your favorite mug with half water + half milk until warm. Add the cocoa packet. That's how you make good hot cocoa. Add a candy cane to add a peppermint twist if you wanna. That's what we do!

Waco, TX + Magnolia Market

We went to Waco, TX because it was on the way to our destination out West: California. We took little detour off of our route but we were oh so thankful. 

You may have heard about Magnolia Market, the bakery and Silos because of the HGTV show, "Fixer Upper" with Chip and Joanna Gaines but I fan-girl'ed and begged Thomas to take me. He loves me so much so we ended up starting our road trip at the greatest store on the planet, if you ask me.

If you're planning on going, I suggest going in the morning time or heading over on a weekday (we went on a Saturday). Because we got there so early, we were able to find a parallel parking spot right on the side of the road. If you get there later, there are tons of spots in local churches parking lots for $10 a spot. The great part of being there so early is that we were able to get in line for the store and head right on in. Usually, you wait in line for a while until a few people exit and then they let a few people in. I was not about that so we were there at opening. 

The store was much more than I had imagined! There was a section for everything: kitchen, home decor, bedding, candles and scents, greenery, Chip's corner with all the manly stuff, kids decor and then rugs + wall decor. Although there was some kind of organization to it, it was still overwhelming - in a good way. They have fake flowers that look real as every so you can put together a bouquet and take it home to remember your trip forever. The staff is so nice, excellent and polite so you'll never feel un-welcomed. If you're traveling, like us, they have an option to ship your item but we were suggested to try and stuff them in our car (so we did). Otherwise, we would have had to pay a large shipping and boxing fee - at that point you might as well just shop online.

As soon as you check out, there's a turf lawn outside with outdoor games and seating to rest your feet or grab a meal from the food trucks that surround the lawn. Dogs are welcome! Hallelujah because Remi had to stretch his legs just as badly as we did! He loved the smell of the food trucks, especially their kettle corn. There's plenty to chose from, the bakery truck, BBQ truck, hot dog truck, pop corn stand, plenty of local Waco business to propel and support.

There's a greenhouse with a beautiful garden right outside to walk through and you can hit up the "Seed and Supply" right after if you want to stock up on your gardening supplies. Make sure to take a look at the Silos and the bakery. The bakery will also have a long line, so anticipate that but apparently it's worth it. With the timeline we were on for our road trip we didn't have time to stand in the line but we smelt it walking by! They hand out cards with the different cupcakes and cookies they have that day so that you can chose which one you'd like best before you get in the bakery - it makes the line move quickly. You can get your goodies to-go or you can eat it outside in the beautiful patio they set up for customers.

Every detail is excellent and I think that's exactly how Chip and Jo wanted it. We so so enjoyed our trip and think everyone should make an effort to experience the Magnolia Market. Who's down for a road trip?

Road Trip Out West

You may have seen it on Instagram and Facebook but we completed a road trip from Birmingham, Alabama to Etna, California and y'all, it was a blast! I highly recommend taking a few days to travel across the country and see our America - it's remarkable!


Birmingham, AL to Waco, TX

Our drive from Birmingham to Waco included us going through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana to finally Texas. We stayed right outside of Waco that night and got up the next morning to head to Magnolia Market (the famous store of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's "Fixer Upper"). The entire trip we stayed in hotels that we found along our way that were dog friendly because we brought Remi the whole way. 

Remi did well! We saved him a little spot in the back seat with his bed and some of his toys. We stopped for frequent water breaks and he occasionally found his way up to the front seat over the console. There's was lots of snuggling on this trip but I didn't mind :)


Waco, TX to Albuquerque, NM

We got up the next morning and headed over to Magnolia Market and gosh, this was a sight to see! If you're planning on going, I suggest going in the morning time or heading over on a weekday (we went on a Saturday). Because we got there so early, we were able to find a parallel parking spot right on the side of the road. If you get there later in the day, there are tons of spots in local church's parking lots for $10 a spot. The great part of being there so early is that we were able to get in line for the store and head right on in. Usually, you wait in line for a while until a few people exit and then they let a few people in. I was not about that so we were there at opening time!

Read about our Magnolia trip here!

After Magnolia we headed West to Albuquerque, NM where we were met along the way by sweet Texan towns and lonely roads. We loved it though, the windmills, the lack of road signs, the two lane highway and Ranch signs on the left and right. 

We stopped for a Mexican lunch in Hico, TX in a small town that had a market going on as well. We window shopped and went inside a sweet home decor boutique called, "Hill Country Dwelling" where I couldn't walk out without a coffee table book and other fun knick knacks for our new cottage-home in California. 

We got to Albuquerque later than we had expected so we headed to bed to prepare for our long day at the Grand Canyon.


Albuquerque, NM to The Grandy Canyon (AZ)

The drive from Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon was stellar! The difference between the desert view to the mountainous view was incredible. We drove up the windy road to the entrance to the National Park and headed right in. We parked at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where you can find the most spectacular view! There's even a short passage way where you can skip around the fence and see the Grand Canyon from a "less tourist-y" view by standing on a rock that overlooks the Canyon. Dangerous but worth it. After we saw the Grand Canyon and a lot of what it had to offer, we came down the mountain and grabbed a bite to eat at a local pizza shop. After diner we kept driving to Kingman, AZ and spent the night there.


Kingman, AZ to Los Angeles CA

What a drive! It took forever because we didn't exactly account for the LA traffic. Yikes! So we stopped in the famous Coachella Valley, CA for a short pit stop, to pretend like we actually went to "Coachella" and to play fetch with Remi.

Once we finally got into LA, we stopped at the sweetest place for donuts and most of their selection was gluten free/vegan so our tummies thanked us after all the to-go food we had been eating. We walked down the street, a little outside of Beverly Hills, and took Remi into Vanderpump Dogs and got to see their store! They had a great grooming section, retail section and other dog treats available for Remi. We hopped back in the car and drove down Sunset Blvd, onto Rodeo Drive. We got out, walked around, saw all the stores and went back in the car to chase down the Hollywood Sign at sunset.

After seeing everything that we could fit in the few short hours we had in LA, we grabbed sushi at this awesome sushi bar called Blue C Sushi. There was a conveyer belt that went around the entire restaurant that had different types of sushis and appetizers. The plates were labeled with different colors and each colors indicated a price. You'd grab a plate off the belt and share it and then stack your plates. Your bill was based on the colors and amounts of plates on the table after you were finished. It was the perfect, unique LA dinner experience we were aiming for! Must go to Blue C Sushi, right outside of Beverly Hills in Hollywood. 

Day 5

LA to Yosemite to Etna, California

That day we drove to Yosemite National Park which is a sight to see! It's not like the Grand Canyon where you drive up, park and walk up to the view. At Yosemite, there's plenty to see, different views and different things to do besides walk around. We stopped at two different views along our drive through. Our favorite viewing spot in the pictures below was at Tunnel View on the South Entrance of Yosemite. We got out, took a few pictures, climbed some rocks and then headed out of the park to make good timing to JH Ranch.

We stopped and visited a friend in Chico, CA before finding out Remi had eaten a pack of gum and destroyed a water bottle in our car. We called the vet, everything was fine! Praise! But, we hurried to the Ranch and finally were able to lay our head on the pillow in the place we'll call "home" until September. 

Woo, what a whirlwind but I wouldn't trade it for the world. We have the fondest memories from this time together and yes, we still like each other. :)

Christmas Tree Shopping

Oh yeah. We're the "real" Christmas tree people, despite the fact that I'm highly allergic to the environment (specifically trees). It's a tradition that we go with Thomas's family to the Farmers Market in Columbia, South Carolina and pick out the perfect tree. The search is accompanied by frisbee throwing, measuring sticks and negotiating. 

This year, we brought Remi (all wrapped in my shaw with me). Honestly, the tree we left with was the first tree we laid our eyes on. How easy! 

It's all about the fresh smell of pine, the pine needles on the floor, the consistent watering of the tree, the strapping of lights, hanging or ornaments and addition of the ribbon and angel topper. 

We picked out the tree, wrapped it up in netting and threw it on top of our car and headed back up to the Upstate. 


Thankfully, the Awtrey women took me shopping on Black Friday and we found all of our ornaments and ribbon at Michaels for waaay cheap! Can I get a "hallelujah" for that newlywed budget? The best part: Thomas's parents bought our tree for us, so the best gift is the one over the wrapped presents. Super sweet!

The next night, we threw on my mom's Christmas contribution of flannel Christmas pjs, heated up some water in the tea kettle, opened the packets of hot cocoa, unwrapped the candy canes, made a quick trip to Target because (oops) we forgot the lights...

We turned on a Netflix Christmas movie, put Remi to sleep and went to decorating the tree. If you're married and have never shared the pleasure of wrapping a tree in lights and hanging ornaments in the perfect spot, I dare you. 

At the end of the process, we turned off all the lights, finished our hot cocoa and plugged in the strands. Voilà!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.