Dog or Doll?

It’s pouring with rain in Naples.  This little poodle, wearing his smart raincoat, sleeps in his owner’s arms as they shelter from the rain.

This is one of the photos in my display ‘A Love Letter to Naples’ at PhotoMenton this year – open every day till next Sunday at the Palais de l’Europe, Menton.

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My Little Loves

My Little Loves
My Little Loves
My Little Loves

I’m feeling really sentimental today you guys. So rather than doing one of the usual design/style/food/inspiration posts, I’m just going to gush (don’t worry, I’ll keep it short) about my kids. I know they make an occasional appearance around here (Essley freaking loves to have her picture taken which is simultaneously endearing and terrifying), but aside from the intermittent mention and the posts I’ve done to spread the word about epilepsy and Emmett’s story, I don’t really do posts dedicated to just them. This is partly because as much as I like to keep this space authentic and share bits and pieces of my personal life, I choose to keep the majority of theirs private. But it’s also because I don’t want to bore you guys with the mundane things that they do that I find utterly thrilling and fascinating. But today, I’m going to go ahead and bore you, just for a minute.

Essley is now 3 years old and almost 6 months into her first year of preschool (if you count two days a week for a couple hours as actual preschool). She adores it. In her progress report her teachers said she is good helper, an excellent communicator, and cheerfully participates in all activities. (I’m not sure her at home progress report would be quite so glowing, but I’ll take it.) She absolutely loves ballet and practices her recital routine at home everyday. She is still obsessed with dogs, loves road trips and cooking and playing soccer and watching movies, and wants to “make art” 24/7. Pink and sparkles are her everything (so not like mommy). She is the pickiest eater I’ve ever known and is fiercely independent (but still ends up sleeping in our bed every night) and very feisty and drives me crazy but man do I love her with every ounce of my being. She honestly is my best friend in the whole world.

Emmett is 13 months old and is continuing to defy all odds. He is almost 7 months seizure free and his development is 100% on track. Our little miracle! His story was featured on the front page of the Daily Herald (largest newspaper covering the entire extended Chicago suburban area) and the featured story on their website last week, which was just incredible because it meant millions of people were potentially made aware of Infantile Spasms (which could potentially save lives). He took his first step in January and is now walking everywhere. (There is truly nothing more hilarious than seeing a new walker stumble around. It reminds me of watching friends walk home from the bar at 3 AM in college and it is amazing.) He loves Elmo and Peppa Pig and reading books and playing with his sister and exploring absolutely everything. He is both the happiest and saddest little person I’ve ever known. He laughs so hard it makes me cry and he cries so hard it makes my anxiety level reach new heights. He wants his mommy like all the time man (the world ends for him if he sees me leave the room), but he plays so well with others at such a young age which is truly the most wonderful thing to watch. He is my heart.

That’s about it for now. I mean, I could go on and on but I’ll spare you my blubbering. And hey, you can always follow our adventures on my Instagram if you want more. Thanks for letting me share, friends!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Links I Love, Right Now

Links I Love

I’m going to start this post completely off topic because I just have to say something about the fact that today is, in my opinion, one of the best days of the year. This is because today is the first Friday in March, my friends. It goes without saying that Fridays are just great days. And the minute March begins I start to feel renewed (because I love spring with every ounce of my being). So when you combine the two, I feel like it’s a day destined for greatness.

And now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the links, man! This is actually not the kind of week I normally reserve for the Links I Love series. Robbie has been on the road all week, which means I’ve been on full time kid duty on top of working, which therefore means I’ve had a lot less time than usual for pretty much everything – especially for spending on the internet. That said, despite the fact that I’m so exhausted once the kids are finally asleep that I can barely keep my eyes open, I need a little time to myself to wind down. That time would much better be reserved for reading a book, of course, but instead, I end up online reading news and window shopping and checking out blogs. And when I find cool stuff, I mean I obviously have to share it with all of you. So here goes:

So, um, who else watched the Oscars? Yikes. I loved this NY Times piece titled Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ and What an Epic Oscars Fail Really Says.

Have you guys seen this awesome post on the “X-Plan,” or how to give kids (mainly teens) a way out when in uncomfortable situations where they’re feeling peer pressure? It involves a simple text (one great thing about the fact that today’s generations of teens have cell phones), and it makes a whole lot of sense.

I am officially an auntie to a 10 week old Husky named Laika. (My sister got a puppy!) It’s given me some serious dog fever, I have to say, and got lost in this fun article on 27 things you need if your dog is your best friend. (I miss you forever Bubby dog!)

My friend and fellow mama Terra bravely shared her postpartum depression story on her blog on Tuesday. It’s a raw, beautiful read, and it’s so important. Please read and share.

I need to make myself a sangria tequila snow cone. Immediately.

Someone please design me a house that looks exactly like this.

One of our regular customers over at the Bubby & Bean Art shop named Emily, who is, in her words, a breast cancer thriver, is raising funds for a program called I Em Strong. Through this program she will volunteer with oncology centers, hospitals, and non-profits, create programs specifically geared towards women healing from breast cancer (and treatment), and help empower women through yoga and its philosophies. Please check out her inspiring story and campaign right here.

I was a major clog fan in the ’90s and this seriously beautiful pair of clogs (also seen in top image) might just make me become one again.

I know I mentioned this in my last Links I Love post too, but I have to do it again because it’s just that good. My friend Jessica’s gorgeously photographed, all plant-based (!) cookbook ‘One Part Plant’ is now available to purchase. (I shared one of the recipes and gushed about why I love it in this post, in case you missed it.)

Another ICYMI – I was over on last week talking about how a sugar addict (me!) gave up all forms of sugar for 7 days. Check it out if you want to see what happened.

An architect turned an old cement factory into his home and the interior is AMAZING.

I don’t eat meat, but aside from the beef and stuff, I’m all about these “authentic American taco” recipe ideas. Tacos forever.

This dress is so simple and beautiful, and best of all, looks like it would be really comfortable without being sloppy. I think I’m going to get it. (The $ 29.99 price tag is definitely helping my case.)

Enjoy the first Friday and weekend of the first month of spring. (Hurray!) We’ll be at the park pretending it’s 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. See you Monday!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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VGP test

The VGP is the highest level test for a German versatile hunting dog. This one is focused on a black roan Deutsch-Drahthaar with the unfortunate name of Laika (which is an entirely other kind of hunting dog!)

Yes, these tests are performed in the US and Canada. It is the only way North Americans can maintain German versatile hunting dogs that are fully equivalent to those in Europe.


Natural History

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Depp Hits A Financial Low!

Depp hits a financial low! Johnny Depp reportedly having a tough time as his financial condition is deteriorating and according to resources the actor’s lifestyle is responsible for the loss. He sued his own management company this month, claimed that after firing them, his new company find a huge default in accounts. Depp claimed that […]

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Sunflower Faith

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Easy Walker

Walking the dog with your hands behind your back!

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Bonus Friday Funny: Sister? What Sister?

No, I haven’t seen my sister all day. You can just give her cookies to me. Enjoy your weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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In Bestia

The boys and I are back from a brief jaunt down to Texas to support the Puppy Up walk in the Woodlands and for a short visit with my family.  Quite happy to be back as I have missed my friend.  Crap, I still haven’t named him.  Um let’s go with…
I know some of you are saying, he’s talking about himself again – why does he do that?  And where’s the cancer blog? Like any capable contestant, I’ll take the second part first.  Trying to reduce, distill and refine all that I have learned over a decade of  travels in a few mere blogs is not only dreadfully difficult, it’s daunting, too, and on this I want to get it right.  Or mostly right which is more kin to my nature.  
In the past, there have been blogs I’ve powered through in just a few minutes with a fire and forget mentality.  Others haven taken days and even weeks for a paragraph or less.  And that’s not to mention that for every blog I publish, there are at least ten I don’t.  
But if it’s a sneak peak you want then I’ll give you a little taste of part 1:  Cancer is You.  You are Cancer.  From just the title alone perhaps you can estimate the enormity of the undertaking now.
Next, I used to get irritated by people – and there have been many – who want me to remove myself entirely from this story and stick to topic whatever that means.  Not only is that an odd request since it was me - ex animo - who created all of this – but I rather think I matter.  And I’m far from being done.  But as The Dude would say, that’s, like, only my opinion, man (Heads up for the F Bomb).  
Besides as I hinted at in the previous two blogs, all of these ‘distracting little posts’ about me are going somewhere and I suggest now would be the time to start paying attention if’n you want to begin this stretch of the journey alongside me.    
That’s what I’ll call my friend!  Sounds a little pretentious and overly caricatured, too, but I’ll stick with it. Anyway back to the beginning – it’s good to see him again and we have continued our work together and this is what I wanted to share with you.  It’s important to note that I’m merely a student at this point but it’s pretty powerful stuff.  Especially altered states which I intend on speaking separately about.  
Whilst down at my folks house I came across an old photo album – actually I sought it out.  In part to retrace the tracks of my life and for another reason that will soon become evident.  And in it I discovered the above photo of a half naked me facing a bull cross fence at Big Momma’s house (that’s what we called my 80 lb grandmother cause man could she wield a skillet like a battle axe).  What struck me, other than how large my bollocks must’ve been but also how at peace I seem.  Maybe it was two beasts regarding each other and that’s why I was unafraid and perhaps even comforted by his presence.

I never have taken a liking to the term ‘beast’ or what I sense is its social nuance.  Its implication is negative and connotations derogatory.  To me it means true to ones nature; it is base, fundamental and instinctive.  From my research the etymology of the word remains unclear however, the root of ‘animal’ is Latin meaning breath or spirit. I suppose the distinction between the two words ‘beast’ and ‘animal’ is essence versus being but I’ll leave that one up to the scholarly sorts who have a ton of disposable time.  

To me and for now, they are synonymous.  I am reminded of a story I once read of a boy who, all alone and lost in the woods, becomes a beast to protect himself from the perils of the night and fight his way to safety.  But upon emerging from the forest unscathed the boy learns that he cannot unbecome.

So what’s the point of all of this?  What’s the purpose?  Somewhere along my journey I stopped asking the fundamental questions that preoccupied my youth.  Like tears in rain they became lost in life’s torrent of distractions, inanities and wasteful activities.

Renwick has helped me find who I am again and to truly know it for the first time.  I am a beast of a man.

What’s next – it’s damn time I learn how to train it.


YBD’s Notes:  Interestingly in writing this blog I came across a Latin phrase of unknown origin –  cum vir se bestiam facitrelinquit dolorem humanitatis which means, ‘When a man makes himself a beast, he leaves behind the pain of humanity’.  Perhaps true.  Perhaps humanity is the problem. 

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Cat Convinces Man to Evacuate Ahead of Wildfire

Mark Burger and Tiger the cat from Gatlinburg, TN

Mark Burger knew that there were wildfires somewhat close to his store and home in Gatlinburg, TN on Monday, November 28. However, he wasn’t worried because no evacuation alert had been sent to his mobile phone. Fortunately, Tiger, his Siamese cat knew to be worried – and to alert Mark!

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Tiger had started out life as an abandoned kitten near Cleveland, TN. Mark’s son, Tanner, found the cat and gave him to his dad as a gift. Since then, Mark has loved Tiger and learned to pay attention to him. According to Mark, Tiger suits the stereotype of the curious cat. Mark told the Knoxville News Sentinel that Tiger “really doesn’t care about toys. He never gets bored because he’s so curious about everything around him.” Tiger’s habit of paying attention to everything around him paid off on the night of the wildfires.

That evening, the rescued cat paid back the man who had taken him in. Mark told the Knoxville News Sentinel that “Monday the fire seemed far enough away from downtown and the condos on hillsides nearby that I thought it was likely it would be contained before it threatened the city.”

Read Mark and Tiger’s complete Gatlinburg story.

Halo Pets

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WHOLE Lot of Difference: Ethan Hawke Donates to Second Chance Dog Rescue

Second Chance Dog Rescue is one of San Diego’s largest and most successful non-profit 501c3 organizations dedicated to saving homeless dogs. They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home dogs, primarily from local shelters, as well as dogs surrendered by their owners for various reasons, and dogs from Baja California, Mexico. Once they receive a dog, they provide medical care, including spay and neuter, and any necessary rehabilitation.

As part of the Oscar nomination gift bag, stars in the top five categories were offered to donate 10,000 Halo Pets meals to the shelter of their choice and Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor, Ethan Hawke, selected Second Chance Dog Rescue!

Halo is proud to partner with and to make a WHOLE lot of difference for shelter pets together.

Here’s what Second Chance Dog Rescue had to say about their Halo Pets donation:

“We…believe that feeding the dog (especially a dog that has been at a high kill shelter under huge stress) a proper well balanced diet will set him up for a positive journey.”

“At Second Chance all the dogs that come into our care go directly into foster homes. We want the dog and the foster family to be set up for complete success. We at Second Chance believe that feeding the dog (especially a dog that has been at a high kill shelter under huge stress) a proper well balanced diet will set him up for a positive journey.”

Thank you Ethan Hawke and Second Chance Dog Rescue for making a WHOLE lot difference for pets in your community.

When you choose Halo pet food, made from natural, whole food ingredients, your pet won’t be the only one with a radiant coat, clear eyes and renewed energy. Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. As always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy.

Lilliana from Second Chance Dog Rescue

Halo Pets

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