Happy 4th! Happy Weekend! Happy Summer!

Did the excessive use of exclamation points in the subject adequately convey my current level of enthusiasm? If not, here’s one more! I’m just stopping in today to wish all of you here in the states a happy 4th of July weekend (and to our international friends, happy weekend!). This entire weekend is full of plans that include several out of town friends, a Guns N’ Roses concert tonight (yes, Guns N’ Roses; find me on Snapchat under @bubbyandbean because I’ll be sharing the experience in all its glory), multiple parties, and (aside from the show tonight anyway) general G-rated debauchery (I have two young kids after all).

We’ll be taking a blog break Monday to celebrate the day with friends and family, but will be back in action around here on Tuesday. In the meantime, I hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy what I consider to be the weekend of the year that most defines summertime. Woot!

image source


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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A tiny Jack Russell terrier called Biggi!

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Alder cones


Unusual for a deciduous tree, alders reproduce with cones. They also make it very hard to look into a forest, which could be hiding a bear or a moose.




Natural History

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Byers Lake

I went on a nature tour of Byers Lake yesterday.  Salmon spawn there, but the only things abroad, other than people, were a pair of common loons and a pair of trumpeter swans. But they were on the other side of the lake, and I don’t have the telephoto capacity for them.

But man, what a view!







Natural History

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One Basic Household Item You Need if You Have a Pet

I’ve teamed up with Clorox to bring you some pet health and safety tips for the summer. Over this week and the next I’ll be sharing some info on Facebook and Instagram about household germs and infectious disease prevention. Bottom line for me is, keep it simple!

This post is sponsored by Clorox.


“Simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real.” – Henry David Thoreau, 1848

We spend a lot of time in our lives looking for the next biggest thing that’s going to make our lives easier. What’s more efficient? Safer? Better? In doing so, we ironically end up making life ever more cluttered and complicated, piling up more things and creating increasingly complicated rituals that are anything but easy.

I work every day to help make animals healthier, but a big part of doing that means giving people recommendations they’ll actually follow through on because they are easy and effective.

I can give you a textbook on preventing the onset and spread of diseases, but do you really want that? You lead a busy life. It’s hard to follow a 15 page cleaning handbook when you have dogs, kids, and soccer practices to deal with. Let’s simplify things:

  1. Keep your pet safe through routine veterinary care and vaccination.
  2. Keep your environment safe with regular cleaning and disinfecting.

Dogs are messy. They get into messes and spread messes and sometimes that includes bacteria and viruses. Gross. The good news is, you don’t need a closet full of specialized Doggie Cleaning Solutions and Fido Wipes to keep the bugs at bay. All you need is ten minutes of your time and an item you probably already have in your house (just like the one in the photo, which was in my laundry room long before I started this campaign!)

There’s a reason animal shelters and humane societies across the country list bleach as one of their top wishlist items: It works, on everything from nasty bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli to the dreaded viral disease canine parvo. It’s inexpensive. It’s easy:

10 Minutes To a Safer Home

Did you know that a study by NSF International showed pet bowls and  toys were in the top ten most germy items in the house– worse than toilet bowls and cutting boards? If you have pets, you can use Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 at home to sanitize their crates, pet bowls and toys.[1]

  • Disinfect hard non-porous surfaces and accessories with a solution of 1/2 cup product in 1 gallon of water. For pre-wash surfaces, soak or wipe with bleach solution. Allow solution to contact surface for at least 10 minutes. Rinse well and air dry.
  • To sanitize pet food containers, wash bowls with detergent and rinse. Fill bowls with a solution of 2 tsp of Clorox®Regular Bleach1 per gallon of water. Let stand 2 minutes, drain and air dry.

For more pet tips, check out my 5 Steps to Keep Your Furry Family Safe From Germs.

16% (1)



[1] Clorox Master Label

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Thanks for the comment and your ongoing work in Mi…

Thanks for the comment and your ongoing work in Miami, Michael. Helping landlords identify dog owners who are responsible and well versed in proper management would be a huge help to them when they have a pile of applications and no background in dog behavior, etc. I wonder though if basing rental decisions on evaluation results could turn out to be a double edged sword. As I'm sure you'd agree, a dog with behavior issues can be beautifully managed by a committed owner while a rock solid dog can be a jerk if his owner isn't conscientious. Have you thought of ways to circumvent that concern? I appreciate your feedback because I know you're in the thick of it!

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True American Dog

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Give me a ride, Mister …

I think he wants to get on too …

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10 Kitchen Savings Tips

Let me start out this post by saving that I am by no means an expert when it comes to being frugal. While Robbie and I are very careful with money in the big picture and rarely make large purchases for things we don’t need or splurge for top-of-the-line models, we (okay, I) do indulge in non-necessities (like my beloved grande lattes) on a daily basis. In other words, I’m pretty sure that if I was a leader in money-saving skills, buying $ 5 coffee beverages almost everyday wouldn’t be allowed. That said, now that we’ve got two little ones and are in the market to buy a house, we’ve gotten a lot better about noticing where our money is going on the smaller things – and have therefore learned how to save in ways that add up around the house. There is nowhere we’ve seen this prove truer than in the kitchen, and today, I’m going to share some of my top kitchen saving tips with you guys.

1. Opt for high quality trash bags. This is actually a big one. We used to buy low quality trash bags for the kitchen because they were so cheap, and it ultimately backfired because they were constantly ripping (and making really gross messes), which meant we had to waste money buying more and more of them. Now we use Hefty Ultra Strong bags, which are not only outstanding quality, they’re also now available for a new, lower price. I love that they use Arm & Hammer odor neutralizers and new, invigorating scents to help keep odors at bay, but also offer a scent-free option for those who prefer it. And they use active tear resistant technology for better puncture resistance, so we can fit a lot of garbage into them without the fear of constant rips like with our old bags. Go grab some for yourself at Target or Walmart, and then earn $ 1.00 cash back via Ibotta after purchasing a box!

2. Drink water with meals. The cost of juice, soda, etc. adds up (both in terms of money and sugar consumption). We always drink water with meals and throughout the day, and we opt to use reusable water containers over plastic water bottles when taking water with us. (Bonus tip: If it’s better for the environment in terms of eliminating waste, it’s usually better for your wallet too.)

3. Make your own kitchen cleansers. Really all you need to clean your entire kitchen is water, baking soda, vinegar, and citrus fruits. You can combine them in various ways to create a myriad of cleaners for everything from your stove to your sink to your counters to your fridge.

4. Use cloth napkins. Choosing cloth napkins (and dish rags) over disposable paper ones can save you quite a bit of money over time. (And like tip #2, it’s better for the earth as well.)

5. Freeze your fruit. We buy a ton of fruit in this house, and sometimes it starts to go bad before we use it. If I think fruit is getting close to that point, I cut it up, freeze it, and use it in smoothies and smoothie bowls (which I eat for lunch almost everyday).

6. Eat leftovers. Maybe this seems like a given, but it’s something of which I need to be constantly reminded because I’m innately terrible about it. One trick that has helped us to use up extra food is to experiment with different ways to use it in recipes so it doesn’t feel like we’re eating the same thing night after night. Bowls are great for this – you can top brown rice or quinoa with almost anything!

7. Buy in bulk. Most health food stores and many grocery stores have bulk sections where you can buy beans, rice, lentils, nuts, oats, etc. in bulk and use your own containers. Choosing this option over pre-packaged saves a lot of money over time.

8. Try vegetarian. This might sound biased since I don’t personally don’t eat meat, but you can ask my meat loving husband – it’s (usually) a lot less expensive to eat vegetarian. Try replacing just a couple of meals a week with meat-free options and keep track of the extra money you have over a few months.

9. Buy whole produce. It’s so easy to just grab already prepared produce at the grocery store (those pre-cut pineapples and watermelon slices are especially tempting for me, as is pre-made guacamole), but you’re way better off money-wise by just buying the whole produce and preparing it yourself.

10. Use your kitchen. For years (and years, and years) I was the take-out queen. I’ve never been particularly fond of or good at cooking, and let’s face it – when you’re busy, picking up your phone and a take-out menu is incredibly appealing. But by actually using your kitchen and making your own meals, you’re generally eating healthier and you’re absolutely saving money. For the last year or so we have opted to make our own meals over ordering food and eating out except for very rare occasions. It adds up.

I hope these tips prove as useful to you as they have to us. And if you have any kitchen savings tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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GIVEAWAY // Win A $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions!

GIVEAWAY // Win A $  100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby & Bean!

Yesterday was the first official day of summer, and we think that’s reason to celebrate. So we are teaming up with our pals and long time Bubby and Bean sponsors Gaia Conceptions once again for another incredible giveaway! They are giving away $ 100 to spend in their online shop, which (as you probably know by now) features some of the most beautiful eco-friendly clothing around. They have hundreds of styles to choose from, each one of which is custom created to your size, color choice, and fabric selection. Both Essley and I are proud owners of several Gaia pieces. And now one lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going to get a $ 100 gift card to spend on Gaia Conceptions clothing of your very own!

Win a $  100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby and Bean

Use the form below, and/or, because the main methods of entering this giveaway (worth the most points) involve Instagram, you can also enter directly on IG, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through June 29, 2016 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen via Random.org and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Big thanks again to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another gift card to their amazing shop! Good luck!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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