Friday Funny: Baby’s First Guard Dog

I’m thinking this dog can take all comers! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Classic Kids’ Halloween Costume Ideas

Classic Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids
Family Halloween Costume Ideas

Yes, I know it’s still September, and trust me, unlike the majority of blogger/IG influencers/whatever-the-label-is-this-month, I cling to summer until the bitter end (and beyond). But today is officially the first day of fall, and deciding on Halloween costumes is my favorite part of fall. So here we are.

When it comes to Halloween costumes, I am a sucker for simple, timeless costumes. So much so that I spend way more late nights than I should probably admit browsing online for classic costume ideas. This post may even look a little familiar to you, as I’ve shared a roundup of classic costumes for kids before. (Don’t worry though; this one is new and improved, and actually organized in alphabetical order this time.)

Essley’s first two Halloween costumes were a handmade black cat and a simple bumble bee. Two years ago, when she was old enough to decide for herself, she asked to be a pumpkin (as seen in the photos above). That sweet pumpkin might have been my favorite costume to date. (I bought this one, which we still have. It’s incredibly well made and so cute in person.) That same year, Emmett was a skeleton, via a pair of simple skeleton pajamas (we got these, which are only $ 15) and a black baby beanie. The following year, Essley decided to be a mermaid, which while much fancier than the others, is still a timeless costume. (Here is a similar one.)  Emmett decided to be a dinosaur (similar to this costume) that year, and the costume was minimal and adorable. Last year, Essley chose to be a butterfly and Emmett a shark (this costume, but in grey). Essley got creative with her costume which I absolutely loved. (We bought this set for $ 16 then added face paint and antennae.) And both costumes remained (at least in my eyes) classic. This year, their potential costumes ideas have changed multiples times, and I am well aware that the days of them choosing simple, more traditional costumes may well be over. I am, of course, 100% behind that as well. This is their holiday, and they should enjoy it in their own ways.  (You’ll still find me obsessing over classic costume ideas at 1 AM on most nights in October.)

Classic Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids

Classic Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids

  • Angel
  • Ballerina
  • Bat
  • Bear
  • Black Cat
  • Bumblebee 
  • Butterfly
  • Clown
  • Devil
  • Dinosaur
  • Dog
  • Dracula
  • Dragon
  • Fairy
  • Frankenstein
  • Ghost
  • Ladybug
  • Lion
  • Mermaid
  • Mime
  • Monkey
  • Monster
  • Mouse
  • Mummy
  • Pirate
  • Princess or Prince (handmade rather than character)
  • Pumpkin
  • Shark
  • Scarecrow
  • Skeleton
  • Superhero (handmade rather than character)
  • Vampire 
  • Witch

If you have any other classic costume ideas, please share! Is it too early to wish you a happy Halloween?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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How to Walk Two Dogs at Once

This post includes affiliate links. Walking two dogs at once can be twice the fun…or twice the challenge! When the dogs are large and strong, the task of one person walking two dogs is one that…

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Easy Halloween Pizzas

Easy Halloween Pizzas

I originally shared this recipe last year, but we’ve been making them nonstop around here this month, Halloween is in 3 weeks, so it only seemed right to share again. The original recipe I shared was for all plant-based, vegan products, but we have made them with regular cheese too, and I have updated the recipe to reflect this.

These are so easy to make and so much fun! My kids love them as an after school snack and for lunch on the weekends. They’d be perfect for a Halloween party too. They’re yummy food and a craft in one.

Vegan Mini Pizzas
Vegan Mini Halloween Pizzas

Easy Mini Halloween Pizzas
Makes 6 mini pizzas


6 english muffins*, halved
3 cups shredded cheese or vegan cheese (we usually do a mix of mozzarella and cheddar)
1 cup jarred pizza sauce
black olives
green olives
green pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Placed halved english muffins cut side up on a baking sheet, and top each with pizza sauce until covered, then top with cheese shreds. (If you want to make a mummy pizza, use the cheese shreds to form “bandages”.) Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Then get creative! To make a jack-o-lantern, create a face with black olives and sliced green pepper, and a pumpkin stem from green pepper. To make a spider pizza, top with a vertically halved black olive for the body, a horizontally halved black olive for the head, and sliced black olives for the legs. To make a mummy pizza, use green olives to create eyes. To make a monster/Frankenstein pizza, top with a piece of sliced green pepper and small olive pieces.

Mini Halloween Pizzas
Vegan Halloween Pizzas
Mini Halloween Pizzas

Happy Halloween snacking!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Our Kitchen Remodel Has Begun!

One of many kitchen spaces inspiring me as we remodel. image source

Since buying our house in January of 2018, my husband and I have agreed that the kitchen is our least favorite room in the house. Most of our downstairs is an open floor plan, so it’s impossible to avoid looking at it. We are not fans, and have admittedly complained about it to each other incessantly. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to finally do something about it.

Also, we (sadly) don’t have endless funds to pay for remodeling. So like the laundry room, we decided to do it ourselves. Every last bit of it.

And here, in all its orangey-oak glory, is the before shot. So far, we’ve painted the cabinets white (it was quite the project and I confess my husband did all of it himself; thanks babe!), and painted the walls white. Next up is adding some woodwork to the island and painting it black. We’ll also be tiling the walls, adding hardware to the cabinets, replacing the counters, and eventually, getting new appliances.

The top photo and following photos are some especially beautiful kitchens I’ve saved for inspiration. (Disclaimer: Open shelving looks fantastic but it is not practical for inherently disorganized people with young children. So while you may see a lot of it in these images, it’s not happening in our space.) We are on a very small budget, and we don’t have a lot of free time, but I know in the end we’ll appreciate all of the work we put into it so much. It’s stressful but exciting! I will, of course, show the finished product when it’s done.

Images:  1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6

If you’ve done a DIY kitchen remodel, I would love so much to see some photos, so please share! And stay tuned for more of our redesign journey…


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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8 Maxi Dresses For Fall

8 Maxi Dress For Fall

I’m not sure why, but up until now, I’ve only worn maxi dresses in the summer. From a logical standpoint, wearing a dress with more coverage would make more sense in the cooler months, but there is something about a long, gauzy, floral dress that just screams summer to me. Regardless, I am feeling maxi dresses for autumn, man. And the ones I’m sharing here are my current favorites. I’m especially smitten with #1; I see it paired with some great boot style clogs like these.

If you’re a maxi dress person, do you prefer to wear them in the summer, fall, or both?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Simple Mini Caprese Sandwiches

Mini Caprese Sandwiches

You may have seen me post about this super easy sandwich recipe on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been eating them so often, and everyone in our house loves them so much, that I thought I’d share the “recipe” here too. (I put the word recipe in quotes because it’s so simple that I don’t even think it qualifies as a recipe. It’s more like an idea.)

We grew basil and tomatoes in our container garden this year, and anything the kids help grow that can be made into a meal excites them to no end. In fact, we’ve even been putting these in their school lunches. (Essley admits to taking the basil out before eating, but Emmett likes the whole thing!)

Dinner Roll Caprese Sandwiches

Simple Mini Caprese Sandwiches
Serves 1

1 King’s Hawaiian Original Dinner Roll
1 tomato slice
1 slice fresh mozzarella
2-3 pieces of fresh basil
olive oil

Cut King’s Hawaiian Original Dinner Roll in half. Drizzle top of bottom half with a small amount of olive oil, and add a sprinkle of salt. Layer fresh mozzarella,  tomato, and basil leaves. Done! (Bonus points if you add a fun back-to-school toothpick topper.) ⁣

Mini Caprese Sandwiches

⁣Do you ever make lunch sandwiches with dinner rolls? I’d love to learn other recipes using them!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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The Tragedy of the Dog

Dogs are blessed and cursed by their co-evolution with our species. They are blessed in that their numbers greatly exceed any wild canid species. Many of the ones in much of the developed world receive better access to heath care, good food, and clean water than the poorest people on the planet.

As animals relating to people, dogs go more than half way in trying to communicate with us.  They go even further in how tightly they bond to us.

But this ease of relationship has certain negative consequences. Because dogs are “almost human,” as goes the cliche, we tend to think their entire existence is much like ours.

However, these assumptions are often faulty. We forget that they are still very much carnivorans, very much wolves. Yes, modified by domestication and co-evolution but still they are of that lineage, that natural history. And we cannot deny this simple reality.

We live in world that is increasingly alienated from nature.  The West is heavily urbanized. and fewer and fewer people understand other beings in ecosystems or even in agriculture.

So many people now get dogs without understanding the full context of the animal.  It is the only large carnivoran that most will ever see outside of a zoo, and it will certainly the be the only one that most will ever know on an intimate level.

And herein lies the problem.  The dog’s co-evolution with us gives it special status in our society, but we are largely operating on an understanding that dogs are just like people.

So we have “fur-kids” and “fur-moms” and “fur-dads.”  People are afraid to correct their dogs. They are afraid to train them. They are afraid to cut nails. They are afraid to understand them.

At the same time, the transient nature of modern society has alienated us from each other, and dogs become that ersatz human connection, and this problem compounds with the previous one.

So when I see someone attempting to walk a dog on a harness with a retractable leash, I see two beings in conflict. I see the human, who is seeking to have some sort of communion with the dog, and I see the dog, which has no idea about what is expected in proper society. It is craving essential communication, but this communication it will never receive. If it had received it, it would have learned to walk on the lead attached to its flat collar.

But the retractable leash gives the dog the illusion of freedom, a freedom that it does not seek as much as it would like to know the person on the other end of the line.

The person on the other end, though, either does not know or does not want to know that the dog is not a child. It is no way Homo sapiens.  To confront this reality is too difficult for some, for to admit such a thing is to admit the horrors of modern existence, all alienated from human connection and the natural world from which we sprang.

But there is a profound egocentrism in this convenient anthropomorphism. It is saying that no only does the world revolve around us, even our companion animals must fit our narrow paradigms.

This is the tragedy of the dog in the modern era. It lives better than ever in so many ways, but in so many ways, it is removed from what it is at its core, every bit as much as we are.

Yes, it is weird that I feel a sadness when I see a dog in harness being walked on one of those horrendous leashes, but the sadness I feel is justified.

Because I know dogs for what they are, and I love them for it. I try to give them what their animal side truly needs. The best I can anyway. For I am also short of the Pleistocene hunter-gatherer’s skillset and privilege, but I can try.  Yes, I can try.




Natural History

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Friday Funny: Kool Aid Man

If you’re old like me, this will bring up happy memories of your childhood. Have a great weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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10 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes

V10 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes

I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, but I’m always trying to take things a step further and eat more completely plant-based foods. I also try to share a lot of plant-based recipes here. Today I thought I’d round up some of my favorites into one easy post. Just click on any of the images or links underneath them for the full recipes. Enjoy!

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Plant-Based Lunch-Kabobs, 2 Ways
Tofu Chocolate Pudding
Guacamole and Black Bean Pizza (via Bubby and Bean)
4 Delicious Autumn Soups
Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever
Straberry Papaya Tofu Smoothie


Avocado and Pan Toasted Chickpea Pitas
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Do you have a favorite plant-based recipe?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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