My 3 Cats + Helping Purina Help Cats in Need

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Roxy, age 16

If you’ve been reading Design Crush for any length of time, you probably know that along with having a love for art and design I’m a huge advocate for animals. My five pets are my family and they all have a six week old kitten to thank for it.

At the start of my sophomore year of college I was struggling to find my place and fighting off depression. Attending a school with a huge Greek system that I didn’t want to be part of meant lots of evenings spent in my first apartment with nothing to do besides study or watch TV. (It was just as exciting as it sounds.) About six weeks in my Mom’s neighbors brought two tiny kittens back from their family’s farm in Arkansas, two because one was the runt and they wanted to have a backup plan should the he not make it. He – Ghost – thrived, and they asked my Mom if I might be interested in adopting the other orange and white kitten. I didn’t have pets growing up (aside from fish, a turtle, hermit crabs, and an albino frog) and hadn’t spent much time around cats, but I jumped at the chance to have a companion.

That kitten is about to turn 17 years old next month, and has lived in four different states and countless apartments and houses by my side. Her sass and stereotypical cat-ittude never fail to make me smile and laugh.


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Peanut, age 16

A little over a year later we added a second kitten to our family because I never wanted Roxy to be lonely when I wasn’t home. Peanut came along by way of Roxy’s vet, he’d been abandoned in a parking lot inside a covered litter box that had been taped shut. A few weeks of rehab at the vet’s office later and I brought him home, both of us crying the entire car ride. After a cursory walk around his new house, Peanut jumped into an armchair and promptly fell asleep. We both knew he was home. He’s by far my most mischievous furball as well as the only boy in our clan, but he’s also my teddybear.


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Rainey, age 3

Some people talk about unexpected pregnancies bringing an extra kid into their lives, I got an unexpected cat instead. After the 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma I fostered two litters – eight kittens in all. One litter of five was all but immediately adopted by friends and family, while the other initially tested FIV positive (as is possible from umbilical blood) and were taking longer to find their homes. A few months later they retested negative and the two boys in the group of three went to their forever homes. Rainey was the last (wo)man standing and acted like she’d just won Survivor or The Hunger Games, and in a way she had. I adopted her after making sure she got along well enough with everyone else and am so happy I did. Rainey is easily the most affectionate of my three cats, climbing onto my lap to cuddle every evening like clockwork.


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Because my cats are like family I want to feed them just as well. This year Purina Cat Chow is focused on delivering great nutrition to cats in the care of animal welfare organizations with its Nutrition to Build Better Lives program, ensuring they’re healthy and ready for their forever homes. During the month of July for every bag of Purina Cat Chow you purchase a meal will be donated to a cat in need (up to 5 million meals!) through Rescue Bank. Rescue Bank is a non-profit organization that operates on a national food bank model to collect and distribute high-quality pet food and supplies to pre-qualified animal welfare organizations throughout the U.S. These organizations are then able to use the savings from their food budgets for critical veterinary care to increase the adoption of healthy pets. Please support shelter cats by buying a bag of Purina Cat Chow now through July 31. Roxy, Peanut, Rainey, and I all thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Visit some of my fellow bloggers to see how they appreciate their cats: Someday I’ll LearnSweep TightDream Green DIYHoosier HomemadeBe Brave Keep GoingMelissa DellThrill of the ChasesThe Funny Mom BlogMaking it all WorkMy Crafty LifeAdventures of 8Saavy Saving CoupleHome Making HacksEat Move MakeIdle Hands AwakeShrimp Salad CircusDesign CrushSweet NicksChaotically CreativeSmockity FrocksPolka Dotted Blue Jay and Ellis and Page

This post sponsored by Purina Cat Chow. Since 2013, Purina Cat Chow has supported animal shelters across the country and has donated more than $845,000 in food, supplies, and renovations to advance the rescue, nutrition, and adoption of cats in shelters. While I received compensation, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! 


Krochet Kids intl. + a Giveaway

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I’ve been a big fan of Krochet Kids intl. – both their products and their mission – for some time now, so when they reached out to work together it was a fantastic fit. If you’re not familiar, they’re a non-profit apparel brand empowering women in developing nations to rise above poverty.


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Every one of their products is first designed in California and then created in Uganda or Peru by the women Krochet Kids intl. employ, as well as provide mentorship and education for. Each piece is actually hand-signed by the woman who made it. You can even go further by looking her up on the Krochet Kids intl. site and leaving a message! I love these sorts of details that make it about the person behind the product. It doesn’t hurt that their goods are on trend and perfect for summer either.



Krochet Kids intl. wants to give one of you $150 to put towards some new threads! Enter below and be sure to check out their full line for some incredible pieces that look good and do good, here are a few of my favorites.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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the Agatha // Erin tank // the Serena // Stade baseball tee


Stone & Cloth

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Some girls love purses, I love bags. Especially ones founded on helping others. Matthew Clough came up with the idea for his company, Stone & Cloth, while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. After learning that his porter didn’t make enough money to send his children to school Clough returned home to L.A. and set up a business model for selling great bags and raising funds to help students in Tanzania. What a go getter!


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Future Glory Co.

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When a bag can be your only accessory you know you’ve hit on something extra good. Future Glory Co. is a San Francisco-based shop that designs and handcrafts structural bags and accessories that support social causes. But my favorite aspect is that the leather is a by-product of the food industry, and all remaining scraps are donated to non-profits or schools.


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ESPEROS-1-Design Crush


I’m forever on the lookout for products that are not only well made and look great, but that give something back. ESPEROS does just that. When you purchase one of their amazingly well-designed bags they give 10% to to fund education initiatives – in fact, every single ESPEROS bag sold helps fund one year of education for a child in the developing world.

But they go even further with total transparency concerning their factory and workers in Shenzhen, China, where the bags are manufactured after being designed in Austin, TX. Average age? 33. Average work week? 45 hours. ESPEROS provides these workers with three meals a day as well as free housing and full benefits.

Oh, and the bags are waterproof, stain resistant, machine washable, and made with durable, fine-aging canvas. Now that’s a purchase you can feel solid about making.


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The Stitch

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The Stitch is part of Speak Your Silence, a nonprofit on a mission to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse. Founder Matt Pipkin was abused by a family friend as a kid and is now doing his best to transform lives and protect future generations. The Stitch is a zigzag symbolizing your unique voice frequency. By wearing it, you become a voice that can help move the issue of child sexual abuse from a taboo to a cause people love and support. When you wear it each conversation you spark carries the power to transform the life of someone you love and break the stigma of child sexual abuse. You can purchase a sewing kit to add The Stitch to your clothing or purchase a t-shirt with it already embroidered and support Speak Your Silence‘s mission in the process.


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Boots & Arrow

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There is so much to love about Boots & Arrow, a brand new line of high quality leather accessories for the socially conscious design lover. They hand make dog collars, with more pieces to come, using the leather of reclaimed cowboy boots. Lots of additional design detail has been added to each piece with hardware, laser cutting and etching, branding, painting, and stitching.

Boots & Arrow was started by the ever-talented Kristin Moses. An animal lover at heart, she got the idea to design a line of one-of-a-kind handmade leather goods that help abused animals after adopting a pup who’d had a rough start. Her dog Arrow was severely injured, had a disfigured face, and required a good deal of reconstructive surgery before she rescued her. Five dollars from every collar purchase will go to assist in providing a injured rescue dog in need of a surgery or treatment, Boots & Arrow‘s first partnership is with the Austin, TX rescue Arrow came from.


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Photos by Nick Simonite


Happy Weekend

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This week on Design Crush:
Raw, honest illustrations from the hand of Kero.
Dying (heh) to try out one of these Shabd Magic Jar Dye Kits!
I absolutely love the collage-like paintings of Paul Wackers.
Thinking of stocking up on Leccare Lollipops to hand out this Halloween.
Check out the bold,  unapologetic art of Sara Andreasson.
If you don’t already play the guitar the Sol Guitar Stand will make you want to.
Marco Rea‘s mixed media magazine and spray paint portraits are stunning.
Try out the traditional lassi twelve new ways.
Stoked to share this month’s PGH Maker Profile: TROIKA Skateboards!

Design Crush elsewhere:
It’s the weekend, perfect timing to try these 5 hangover remedies.
Prep your bar for entertaining with these pieces.
Tips and tricks for pulling together a successful dinner party.
I’m on the hunt for the perfect pair of fall boots – here are 20 options.
I’ve been researching stress relief lately, here are my top 5 tips for easing it.


Happy Weekend

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This week on Design Crush:
Check out these ten fresh art prints for your dose of Print Edition: August.
I took a trip to Kennywood for the first time since 1999!
Tessa Horrocks‘ pebble-centric art has me looking for the nearest stream.
Canopy beds done right.
I’m ready for fall, thanks to Lieke van der Vorst.
I’m getting so much use out of my DIY modern shower memo board!
If Drew Tyndell styled up the outside of my home like his art I wouldn’t mind.
These slivered marble hooks are so pretty and handy.
Loving the summery paintings of Seth Smith.


Sybille Paulsen

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Art that gives back is like the pile of cherries on top of one of those ridiculously huge sundaes. The best. Sybille Paulsen‘s Tangible Truths focuses on the thread of change and transformation that runs through our lives, in this case women going through chemotherapy. By creating wearable artifacts from their hair, Sybille marks each transformation by creating something tangible that’s of value. Read about her first piece for Mary Beth, then consider donating to this meaningful project.


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