Hi! My name is Anna James. I am a business owner, blogger, columnist, and Style Editor for Lauren Conrad. After scoring a coveted internship in LA after college, I left behind my small hometown and moved to the West Coast, where I soon began working as a multi-brand, visual merchandiser for 25 Bloomingdales and Macy’s in Southern California. At 22, I was living my dream. But, like the economy, the bubble burst and the company unexpectedly laid off my entire department just days before Christmas. In 2011, I launched a fashion blog as a means to an end. These days, running my personal blog is more of a nice escape after a day’s work. I wouldn’t have the job or opportunities I’ve been blessed with today if it wasn’t for Fash Boulevard or, more importantly, for losing what I thought was my “dream job”.
In your house, how does the most mundane part of life get done?
(Pick one: laundry! meal planning! etc)
I think my husband and I have a great balance. My mother-in-law is a realtor and before that she cleaned houses and managed a hotel, so she passed down terrific cleaning skills to my husband. I like to think of myself as the surface cleaner (clear clutter, laundry, etc.) and he’s more of the deep cleaner (floors, toilets, etc.). We’ve never set any “you do this and I’ll do that” rules. It’s more of a 50/50 thing. For example: I cook seven days a week. It’s a passion of mine and I enjoy making things from scratch, so the kitchen is usually a disaster zone afterwards. Thankfully, he does the dishes every night. I think marriage is all about balance, constant communication, and keeping things evenly distributed.
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you / your family? And why?
We have two biggies: My husband is a screenwriter and writes through the night, usually until 4 or 5am. Still, no matter how tight of a deadline he has, he always makes sure to be by my side when I fall asleep. There’s few things lonelier than being in a big bed all alone, so every night, once I’m out cold, he goes into his office and writes. I never feel alone or like we’re not on the same schedule, which I’m so thankful for.
The second big one would have to be car rides. We travel a lot and if we can, we always choose driving over flying. With our house divided between the entertainment industry and the fashion industry, there’s never a shortage of distractions. Having the luxury of being together in a space where we can talk and laugh for a few hours every other week is always a good idea. No headphones, or sleeping, or reading – just good ol’ conversation.
Your PICK SIX: What 6 things (products, services, etc) can you absolutely not live without?
1) Amazon Prime: I can’t say enough good things about Amazon Prime. Their free two-day delivery is a total lifesaver. From apparel to business supplies, everything’s delivered to your door in just two days with the simple click of a button. I order work related materials on a daily basis. If they had a VIP program, I’m fairly confident I would be a gold member.
2) Kayaking: The best Christmas gift I’ve ever received from my parents was a set of kayaks for my husband and I. We try to get on the water at least once a week. It’s the ultimate escape.
3) Crystal Light Strawberry Energy Drink Mix: I’m not a big coffee person, which is tough, because I’m definitely not a morning person either. Ever since college, I’ve started my day with this sweet energy boost. The to-go packets are crazy convenient for traveling or running out the door. All you need is a bottle of water and you’re set. My cabinets are always fully stocked.
4) Macbook Pro: I’ve always been a workaholic, so if my computer is within arms reach, you can pretty much guarantee I’m working, which is why I have a strict no laptop in bed rule. In many ways, my computer is my best friend and mortal enemy all in one.
5) Steamer: We received a steamer as a wedding gift a few years ago and it instantly changed our lives. It’s quick, easy, and no trouble to transport. My husband and I use it every single day. I haven’t touched an iron since.
6) My dog: If we’re talking about things I can’t live without, my pup is at the top of the list. My freshman year of college I got my dog, Maddox. Sadly, he has a myriad of health problems, from Cushing’s disease to diabetes, which requires insulin shots twice a day. My husband and I would do anything for him. Imagining a day without our little fighter brings instant tears to my eyes. He is my world.
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