Thank you for joining us, Nikki. What are Weston and Fira usually doing while Mommy works? When did they first come into your life?

I mostly work from home so they’re always sleeping in their beds next to me while I’m working. Sometimes I work on set and I’m lucky that I can usually bring them with me – they are the best set dogs!

I picked up Weston on Thanksgiving Day 2011. Weston and I took a road trip in 2016 to pick up baby Fira from Missouri! I have such great memories from that trip and seeing Weston and Fira meet for the first time was the best day ever.

This summer has been a wild travel season so far. It has been estimated that over 80% of Americans have or will travel throughout this season. You also travel often. What’s some advice for others to reduce travel stress?

Always plan ahead, especially if you’re traveling with your dog. Make sure you get any correct paperwork and you know the best nearby vet(s) wherever you’re traveling. I also look up dog-friendly restaurants and things to do before we go and make a list on my phone or take screenshots.

Sometimes it’s hard to squeeze in everything you want to do during a trip, especially if it’s a shorter trip, but I try to stay mindful not to force myself to do too much. Naps and breaks are important!

What are your favorite places you’ve gone with Weston and Fira?

Definitely Paris. It was a dream walking down the Parisian streets with Weston and Fira and the smell of fresh baguettes wafting in the air!

We also love taking them to Ojai Valley Inn, since it’s just a 1.5 hour trip from LA. The grounds are so heavenly for pups – huge sprawling fields, beautifully manicured and so dog-friendly.

What are some tips on traveling with dogs? How can someone who has never done so be ready? Are there any laws to know when traveling on planes?

Every airline has different rules for pets. Some only allow dogs in a carrier under 20 lbs and some have no weight restrictions. Airlines don’t allow smush-faced dogs, like French bulldogs, in cargo, so we always fly in-cabin with them. Usually there is an in-cabin pet fee and your dog goes in an airline-approved carrier under the seat in front of you. Call the airline and speak to a couple different agents and make sure to double-check or triple-check, because we’ve heard of some agents giving the wrong answer!

Can you share a travel situation that you’ve experienced and have avoided since? Or just from where you gained more knowledge?

Fira got aspiration pneumonia for the first time when we were in London. We think it was from a raw bone hide we purchased there and some of the pieces and/or bacteria somehow got into her lungs. She had to be incubated at a pet hospital for 4 days – it was scary! Since then, we never ever give them anything new while we’re traveling. You just never know. We always bring their own toys from home, along with their own treats and food.

While traveling, skin can get neglected or damaged. How do you care for your skin while on the go? What’s in your bag?

Sheet masks are always nice and super easy to pack. I love undereye patches, especially on the plane and while traveling. They really help wake your eyes up when you’re tired. And of course, drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscreen.

You manage multiple responsibilities. A lot! What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day is so different but I spend the majority of my time working on my blog, keeping track of Saint Rue orders (I fulfill orders from my garage!), researching and watching videos (right now I’m learning more about digital ads), staying on top of my Instagram and going to downtown LA for Saint Rue manufacturing and sourcing.

How do you manage your and your dogs’ health, stress, and relationships? Do you take social media vacations? Yoga? Cuddle breaks?

I like to say “I’m busy” when I’m doing “nothing.” Doing nothing is still something – it’s my time to unwind, recharge and have silence. Weston and Fira are really calm dogs at home, so it’s nice just to sit or lay down with them. The world can be overstimulating so I definitely take mini-breaks where I don’t have to talk or listen to anyone or anything – that’s why animals are so important!

What’s some of the best advice you’ve been given in your life?

Walk slower. I rush through things sometimes – I have to actively remind myself to walk slower and be mindful of each step, which has definitely helped me in other areas of my life and eases my anxiety. Basically: be present. 🙂