7 Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe (+ A 3 Camera Security System GIVEAWAY from Blink!)

7 Tips For Keep Your Home Safe

This post is brought to you by Blink Home Video Security. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As a mama to two young kids who travels often (and who has a husband that is gone close to half the year working on the road), home security is important to me. I won’t go into the detailed scenarios that have repetitively played in my head that more or less involve multiple masked burglars in striped shirts attempting to invade my house a la A Christmas Story. Instead I’ll just say that, while I refuse to live a life fueled by fear, I am realistic about the fact that break-ins do happen. Like all of us, I want to do the absolute best I can to keep my family and home safe. I’ve done research into ways to do this, and have come up with a system of things that (knock on wood) has worked for us. And today, I thought I’d share them here, in hopes our personal recommendations might help out those of you looking for ways to best protect your home and family as well.

1. Choose your locks well. Not all locks are created equal, and it’s worth it to invest in well made models that do their jobs. We actually have a smart lock system for our front door with a keypad that’s connected to our phones. On other doors, we’ve made sure to get quality deadbolts with hardened steel bolts. And of course, always change the locks if you move into a new home or apartment.

2. Connect with your neighbors. There is strength in numbers, and it’s a proven fact that when neighbors look out for one another, crime is reduced. We always let our next door neighbors know if we’re going to be out of town so they can keep an eye on our place, and we do the same for them.

3. Avoid “hiding” spare keys outside. It might seem like common sense not to do this, but I actually know a lot of people who keep an extra house key under a doormat or in a flower pot. I used to do this myself, until I read an article that talked about how many break-ins occurred using a house key that was easily discovered in one of these common spots. If you feel better having an extra key available outside your home, leave one with a neighbor that you trust or a local friend or relative.

4. Use timers on your lights. This is an easy way to make it appear you’re home even when you’re not. You can set them on both indoor and outdoor lights.

5. Pay attention to your landscaping. Make sure that trees, bushes, etc. that might conceal entrances to your house are trimmed so they don’t become convenient hiding places and/or ways to enter through windows.

6. Get a Blink Wireless Home Security and Monitoring System for inside your home. This was truly the best move we made in terms of increasing our home security. We have the Two Indoor Camera System, and it is awesome you guys. The completely wireless home security cameras send motion-activated alerts and high quality HD video right to our phones. (Check out my Instagram Stories to see a video from our outdoor camera!) The system is also incredibly affordable (and has no contract or subscription fees), is super easy to set up, and runs on two AA batteries for 2 years. And it’s really cute too! That cameras are small with modern, minimal design that fits in beautifully with our decor. The system gives us peace of mind when we’re traveling and makes me feel safe when it’s just me here with the kids. It’s also a great way to spy on the kids (ha!) when they’re in a different room than I am. True story.

7. Get a Blink XT Outdoor Camera for outside your home. Package theft is a huge problem these days. I can’t tell you how many friends I have (both city and country dwellers) who have had boxes stolen right from their front doors. I receive numerous shipments for work each week that are left on my porch by carriers, and was in need of an effective way to help prevent this by allowing me to easily see when I have packages on my porch (and/or if there seems to be any sort of suspicious activity going on in that area). The Blink XT is the official weatherproof outdoor version of the Blink indoor cameras we love so much, so it was the obvious choice for me. It has all the great features of the indoor camera, and is also weatherproof and has infrared night vision. In addition to the fact that the Blink XT helps my packages stay safe, it provides extra security for our home as well.

GIVEAWAY TIME! We love our Blink wireless home security systems so much that we’re teaming up with Blink to give one lucky Bubby and Bean reader a Two Camera Indoor System AND a Blink XT Outdoor Camera (a total value of almost $ 300!). To enter, just click here and enter your email address. This giveaway runs until November 20, 2017. Woot!

What ways do you keep your home and family safe? I’d love to hear any other tips you might have!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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‘Tis the Season

1. Jungalow  |  2.  Eat in My Kitchen   |   3. Live It Beautiful   |  4. Bubby & Bean   |  5. Weekday Carnival  |  6.  Fraeulein Klein  |  7. Lovely Life  |  8. Pinterest (no original source found) 

I know, I know. Thanksgiving is still almost two weeks away, and here I am sharing a bunch of random Christmas themed images. And honestly, I’m one of those people who waits to put up holiday decor until at least the last month of November (and usually, the beginning of December) and doesn’t start holiday shopping until two weeks before. But my big plans to enjoy the simple pleasures of the season and take the pressure off myself (see yesterday’s post for more on that) include things like late night holiday pinning sessions on Pinterest, where my mind doesn’t have to think about anything more than why, despite the madness that accompanies it, I really do love this time of year.

Whether or not you’re ready to embrace the holidays, I hope these images inspire you (either now or later in the season) like they did me. Enjoy your weekend, friends!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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You stepped up and are doing your best. Com…

You stepped up and are doing your best. Commendable by any measure.

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Nothing to see here…just three gorgeous Giant Schnauzers, brought to you from the Facebook page of Schnauzer Lovers. Happy Sunday! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

November is traditionally a time to give thanks, and we as dog lovers and fans of felines can show how thankful we are for the efforts of those who care for our homeless four-legged friends during…

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


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How to Choose a Dog Groomer

When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

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November Thoughts

I always promise you guys that I’m going to more of the casual “just saying hi” type of posts, and then I tend to get carried away with less personal lifestyle and design and parenting post ideas and/or content with brand partners, and these simple, personal posts tend to slide through the cracks. (I do tend to fill my Instagram feed with these types of posts though, so if you enjoy them, there are plenty over there!)

So anyway, hi! Happy second day of November! I’m usually not a big fan of November (mainly thanks to the end of Daylight Savings time and the fact that it gets dark at 4:30 in Chicago), but this year I’m staying positive. There are lot of things (both exciting and stressful) happening for us this month. We take our annual trip to the the Caribbean (the Dominican again this year) for Robbie’s work (the band puts on a festival there) on the last day of the month, I have my busiest month ever for work projects (grateful to be swamped in that way!), Essley has all kinds of activities and school and play dates, Emmett has his semi-annual assessment to make sure he’s still on track after his initial epilepsy delays (and I have a great feeling about it), we’re knee deep in the hunt for a new house after our original contract fell through, and it’s the holiday season. I’m sure most of you can relate to having full plates this time of year. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.

The photos above are some of my favorites of the kids from the last few weeks off the camera roll of my phone. They’re grainy and spontaneous and real. Like 2016, this year has been bittersweet for our family, with some huge losses and some wonderful gains. I’m looking forward to appreciating the small things as the holidays approach. I hope your November is the best yet.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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I would also suggest getting the services of an an…

I would also suggest getting the services of an animal communicator to help with behavior and issues with trust.

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I am always inspired by your work, and by the inte…

I am always inspired by your work, and by the intelligence and compassion you show for all creatures and species. It is heartbreaking to contemplate the dogs left behind, and sobering to be reminded that we, as a society, share the blame for this type of "cottage industry."

This is such difficult work, and no other group does it half as well as you do. I've made a small donation. I so wish it could it more.

Oxo in Harlem

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Celebrate National Cat Day with Lil BUB and Halo

Lil BUB with Cans of Halo Holistic Cat Food

National Cat Day is this Sunday, October 29th and to celebrate this special day “The Most Amazing Cat on the Planet,” Lil BUB  will give away free cans of Halo® Holistic Cat Food to pet parents who sign up for Halo’s free newsletter. For every can of cat food given away, in partnership with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org, Halo® will match it and donate a can to Cat House on the Kings, one of the world’s largest no-cage, lifetime cat sanctuaries and adoption centers.

In addition, pet parents will automatically be entered to win a 10,000-bowl donation to a shelter of their choice. Consumers need to visit halopets.com/catday to have a coupon sent to them via email where they can print out and redeem at their nearest Halo retailer. The coupon can be used on National Cat Day only, October 29, 2017, and while supplies last. Valid in the US and Canada. Canadian residents can redeem their coupon exclusively at Petsmart Canada. US residents can use our store locator to find a Halo retailer.

Halo Pets

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