Friday Funny: Killers At The Door

What a good watch dog! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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First points on Quest

Quest got his first AKC conformation points, and it was a major!

I think he might finish. He’s only 10.5 months old.

quest first points

Congratulations to his breeder, handler, and co-owner Anya Dobratz for that great win! And this major makes his mother an ROM.


Natural History

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5 Ways We Showed Our Teeth Love for Valentine’s Day

This post is sponsored by Crest. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Yes, it’s time for another one of Melissa’s dental themed posts! In an effort to be transparent, I’ll come right out and say that I never envisioned myself doing a series on dental health. But as health and wellness became increasingly important to me over the last year, I learned more and more about how much our teeth and gums are connected to our overall health. And I decided that if I was going to follow through with my goals to share more wellness related content here, I needed to include dental health as well. I’ve actually gotten some really great feedback on these posts, and have enjoyed talking about the things I’ve learned through my research and conversations with my dentist.

Since Valentine’s Day was a couple of weeks ago, and I’m guessing that (like us), you may have some extra sugar lingering around your house, I thought I’d share some of the ways we’ve been showing our teeth and gums extra love for February. You may remember me sharing some tips for keeping teeth healthy around Halloween time, and this builds on that with some specific things that have been especially working for us this month!

1. We’ve focused on non-food gifts.
Instead of handing out sweets to friends for Valentine’s Day, both kids gave out little gifts instead. (My son gave out mini dinosaurs with his Valentines, and my daughter gave out cute heart-patterned pencils with her Valentines.) We thought this was a great way to teach them that the holiday doesn’t need to center so much around sugar. We also focused mainly on non-edible gifts for our kids this year, like heart shaped puzzles and craft projects. And my husband and I gifted each other with cards and flowers rather than candy.

2. We’ve been brushing our teeth right after eating sweets.
Both of our kids have gotten really good about brushing their teeth at least twice a day, but around and after Valentine’s Day when we’re indulging in extra sugar, we’ve all been making the effort to brush more frequently (and immediately after eating sweets when possible). This helps remove bacteria and acids before real damage is done. We even gave each of the kids a toothbrush for Valentine’s Day, which has helped make them even more eager to brush.

3. We’ve encouraged healthier treats.
My son will always reach for strawberries before he’ll eat a gummy bear or candy bar, so he’s a little easier when it comes to pushing better-for-you Valentine’s treats. My daughter, on the other hand, is exactly like her mother and would live off sugar (with some lattes thrown in there for me) if it were an option. So for her (and let’s face it, for myself), we’ve been encouraging fruit and dark chocolate over sticky candies (which tend to adhere to the teeth and are more likely to cause decay).

4. We’ve been drinking (and rinsing with) more water.
When a toothbrush isn’t readily available after eating Valentine’s treats, we’ve been making sure to rinse our mouths with water to help eliminate bacteria sooner. (The kids think it is pretty much the coolest trick ever to swish, gargle, and spit.) We’ve also upped our water drinking game in general, since staying well hydrated helps produce adequate salvia, which assists in washing away food particles and bacteria.

5. We’ve used toothpastes with extra protection.
Crest Pro-Health, Crest Complete, and Crest 3D White are staples in our house year round, but we’ve made sure to visit our local Walmart and stock up on them during the Valentine’s season of sweet treats when we’re really in need of extra protection. Crest Pro-Health is the only toothpaste accepted by the American Dental Association to treat all seven attributes: plaque, gingivitis, cavities, sensitivity, tartar, whitening, and breath freshening. It also strengthens enamel. Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Extra White + Scope Outlast Toothpaste provides a super fresh feeling (that lasts up to 5 times longer than ordinary toothpaste!), contains silica which gently brushes away surface stains for whiter teeth, protects against cavities, and fights tartar. Crest 3D White Radiant Mint Whitening Toothpaste fights cavities and uses an enamel-safe teeth whitening ingredient that removes up to 80% of surface stains. It also protects against future stains. When we’re indulging in extra sweets, it’s nice to know we’re giving our teeth extra protection to stay strong and healthy.

Make sure to check your newspaper from this past Sunday (February 24th) for a special coupon for $ 2 off Crest toothpaste at your local Walmart store, and join us in some post Valentine’s Day extra dental protection!

I hope you all had a happy, loved-filled Valentine’s Day. And always, if you have any additional tips for keeping your teeth and mouth healthy, I’d love to hear them!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

This post is in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. 

You guys have heard me mention many times how important books are in my kids’ lives. From the time I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I started gathering books for her. I also kept most of my childhood books. So between the books I’ve gotten for my little ones, the books they’ve been given by friends and family, and my own childhood books, they have quite the library, and we spend a lot of time reading together. Both my kids also love going to the library for story time, and have books read to them everyday at preschool. I even got to go read a book to my daughter’s preschool class earlier this week in honor of the upcoming 115th birthday of author Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss!), which I absolutely cherished. We love our books!

While it’s common knowledge that books are good for kids’ brains, I had no idea until recently just how beneficial it can be to read to our children, even before they can read themselves. From different studies I’ve come across to discussions with my kids’ teachers, I’ve discovered so much about how reading to little ones helps them learn and grow. I’ve also learned that while electronic books and apps that encourage kids to read independently can be fun, there is no replacement for adults actually reading to children.

With this Saturday (March 2nd) being the birthday of Dr. Seuss, one of my little ones’ and my all time favorite authors, I thought I’d share some of the benefits to reading to our kids, while also sharing some of our most loved Dr. Seuss books.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

1. Reading to young children teaches them about the world around them.
My son started speaking later than my daughter, but when we pulled out books, he would immediately point out objects he recognized from life like cars, balls, airplanes, animals, etc., and attempt to name them. In turn, he would see images in books and then recognize them in the world. There is little better than seeing the overjoyed reactions of a toddler recognizing things in daily life that he or she learned about in a book!

2. Reading to children increases their vocabulary and helps with speech and language.
As I mentioned in #1 above, reading to my son really helped his speech take off. Listening to a book being read helps children not only learn new words, but also learn about sentence structure and other aspects of language. Books like “The Cat In the Hat” and “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss that use rhyming, repetition, and rhythm are especially great for helping to learn phonics and develop language skills.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

3. Reading to children helps develop their imaginations.
You’ll notice that when you read a book, your brain creates images of people, places, events, etc. This same creative imagination exists in a child’s brain when you read to him or her. I notice after I read a book to my daughter, she’ll act out scenes from the book with her toys. It is incredible to watch how she interprets what was read to her. This is another reason I love Dr. Seuss books – the stories are so wonderfully full of fantasy and imagination, which encourages kids to think creatively. “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” is one of our favorites for showing children that their imaginations have endless possibilities.

4. Reading to children teaches them important life lessons.
Young children haven’t had a great deal of life experience, but reading books to them can help them learn about some of life’s greatest lessons. My daughter took a huge interest in the earth and environmentalism after reading Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” “Horton Hears A Who!” has been wonderful for teaching my kids that “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” And “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” is a life-long favorite of mine for talking about the journey of life and the challenges and triumphs that come with it.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

5. Reading to children helps them learn about feelings and develop empathy.
I have noticed firsthand that my kids have learned more about different feelings and understanding the feelings of others from books than anywhere else. When we read to them, we take time to discuss the characters’ feelings as well, which has helped them to understand the importance of empathy and compassion.

6. Reading to children helps motivate them to read independently.
According to Reading Is Fundamental, reading aloud to kids lets parents and teachers be role models for reading, which in turn makes kids want to read too. When a child sees an adult excited about reading, he or she feels excited as well, and thus more motivated to learn to read. My preschool aged daughter is already beginning to read on her own, and has such great enthusiasm as she practices. She says she wants to be able to read books to her little brother and to her friends, just like mommy and daddy read to her.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

I also think it’s important to note that in addition to the developmental benefits children reap as a result of us reading to them, it’s beneficial for us as adults too! Reading to my kids is one of my most beloved bonding experiences. I cherish having that time together where we’re all engaged, and it also brings back fond memories of my own childhood. I can’t wait to snuggle up for Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd and read “The Lorax” and “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” with my babes. The best! There will also be free reading events to commemorate Dr. Seuss’s birthday this Saturday at Target stores throughout the United States. Visit here for more info.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! You may no longer be with us, but I’m so grateful that your legacy lives on through the hundreds of books you wrote.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Nineteen Pups!

From the Facebook page of Kingman Animal Hospital in Arizona: The staff of KAH (11 of us) successfully delivered 19 Great Dane puppies this morning by C Section! All live and healthy! Mom doing great! These puppies do not belong to KAH or any of the staff. Thank you all for the kind words and […] Dog Blog

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From The Dog Lady’s mailbag: The American Kennel Club and EEM will host the first-ever 2019 AKC Agility Premier Cup presented by EEM to be held in conjunction with the Longines Masters of New York. The event will take place on Thursday April 25th from 4 P.M.- 9 P.M. at NYCB Live at the newly […] Dog Blog

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Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from Bubby and Bean!

From all of us here at Bubby and Bean, Happy Love Day!

I know this day isn’t for everyone, and I get that – it’s admittedly very commercial, it often excludes those not in relationships, and love should be celebrated everyday, not just reserved for one day. But I personally am, and always have been, a fan. It’s never been about romance for me. In my mind, the ideals that surround Valentine’s Day – kindness, friendship, compassion, generosity, and good old fashioned love – deserve to be celebrated. I also adore seeing my little ones get so excited to make cards for their friends and family and to learn more about the importance of loving and being loved.

I said this last year too, but it may be even more relevant today: I hope that the love that is shared and felt on this Valentine’s Day spreads abundantly throughout our country and the world, where I think we can all agree, it is very much needed. Happy Love Day, friends. I love all of you!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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5 Benefits of Whitening Teeth with Charcoal

5 Benefits of Whitening Teeth with Charcoal

This post is sponsored by Crest. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Over the final months of 2018, I talked quite a bit here about dental health. Health and wellness in general were sort of a theme for me last year, in my real life and here on the blog, and taking care of my teeth/gums/mouth were a part of that. After talking to my dentist and reading all sorts of studies, I learned just how much dental health is connected to the health of the rest of our bodies, which prompted me to take my teeth and mouth health very seriously.

Admittedly, the holidays were a time of indulgence for me (as they are for many), and I let my healthy eating habits and fitness routine slide in a big way. But it is important to me to continue the healthy journey I was on last year throughout 2019, and I’m starting to get back on track. I just cut out sugar again a couple of weeks ago, and have slowly begun to amp up exercise again as well. And while I’m happy to say that I continued to make mouth health a priority even when I was neglecting the rest, I’ve been looking for even more ways to keep my teeth in the best shape possible, inside and out.

Enter charcoal. You’ve probably heard about activated charcoal for whitening teeth. It’s been pretty trendy recently, and as with anything that’s trendy, I definitely had my doubts. I had to try it though. And I was impressed by how well it worked, but turned off by the mess it left in my sink and in my mouth (and even under my nails). It was suggested that I try Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste instead. I picked some up at Walmart, and you guys, it was a game changer. There was no mess, and I’ve been beyond pleased with the results. I’ll get into that more in a minute, but for now, I wanted to share some of the benefits to whitening your teeth with charcoal, from my own experience and from research I’ve done.

1. Charcoal can whiten surface stains without harsh chemicals.
If you’re looking to whiten your teeth in a more natural way, charcoal is a great alternative to chemical treatments.

2. Charcoal is an affordable way to whiten.
Getting your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office can be seriously pricey. Using a charcoal toothpaste like Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal instead is an affordable way to remove surface stains at home, resulting in whiter teeth that don’t cost a fortune.

3. Charcoal has natural antibacterial properties.
Charcoal can help remove bacteria from your teeth and mouth, resulting in a cleaner feeling and fresher breath. When combined with an invigorating mint flavor like in Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste, my mouth feels the best it ever has.

4. Charcoal toothpaste works quickly.
It took me less than a week brushing with Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste to notice a difference, which is much less time than most other whitening toothpastes I’ve tried.

5. Charcoal can benefit the body beyond the mouth.
Activated charcoal has benefits that go beyond just whitening teeth. It can even help with detoxing your digestive system by absorbing toxins. So cool, right?

All of this said, there are some disadvantages to brushing with pure activated charcoal, like the mess I mentioned earlier, and the fact that it can be too abrasive on enamel when used straight. That’s why I choose (and my dentist recommends using) a toothpaste that contains charcoal instead. I am loving my Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal so much, and can’t wait to continue to see results with time. Just like regular charcoal, it whitens surface stains, but it actual strengthens enamel rather than weakening it, which is a huge bonus. Brushing with it is fun too! The charcoal ingredient creates a sparkly grey striped toothpaste that creates a grey foam that lightens when combined. That means no mess! The minty flavor tastes great and leaves my mouth feeling ultra clean too. I’m smitten.

And while not a charcoal toothpaste, I also feel the need to mention another new toothpaste in Crest’s 3D White line that I have been loving: Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Coconut Oil. I use coconut oil throughout the day everyday, so I was really excited to try this. The vanilla mint flavor is everything, and it also does an incredible job removing surface stains to whiten teeth while strengthening enamel.

These babies are my newest secret weapons in my dental health journey! I highly recommend heading to your local Walmart and picking up one of each. Then let me know what you think.

Have any of you brushed your teeth with charcoal?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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8 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to a Pet Expo

Spring is just around the corner here, and we’ve been looking at pet expos and vendor fairs for booths for our PawZaar gift store. We’ve already signed up for POPCats Austin in May but…

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


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Mashed Potatoes and Other Small Victories

Thank you Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes for sponsoring this post. Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes are real potatoes, real easy, delivering homemade taste on demand.

One of the greatest lessons in parenting I’ve learned over the last five years is that you need to celebrate the small victories, because very little goes as planned. Sometimes a small victory can mean simply getting the kids dressed and out the door in time for school, even if they’re wearing mismatched clothes and have knots in their hair. When my kids go right to sleep with limited fussing or fighting (key word being ‘limited’ rather than ‘no’) that’s a small victory. Sometimes a small victory can mean watching my kids stop in the middle of a major sibling fight and hug each other. Other times it just means getting to go to the bathroom by myself.

When it comes to small victories though, I don’t know if it applies anywhere in my life with little ones quite as much as it does to meals. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was absolutely certain she would only consume the uber health conscious foods I provided her, and that she would eat exactly what we were eating, just in smaller portions. (I was a phenomenal parent before I became one.) Well, that did not work out. Then I had a son who actually loved eating what we did, enjoyed trying new foods, and preferred fruits and vegetables to sweets. Unfortunately, that only lasted until about year two, and then he followed in his sister’s footsteps. Not only do my kids almost always want to eat different foods than we do, they also want to eat different foods than each other. So when we find a food that we all love, it kind of feels like a miracle.

There are only a few foods that every single person in our house loves to eat: black bean tacos, cheese pizza, smoothies, Thai food, apples, and mashed potatoes. For me, mashed potatoes is probably the winner of all of these, because it can be served along so many other dishes and therefore made multiple times per week. There is a slight problem with mashed potatoes though – they take a lot of time to make, and time isn’t something we have before weeknight dinners. This is why I was so stoked to discover Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Idahoan Mashed Potatoes are not just a small victory, they’re a huge one.

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes are made from 100% real Idaho® potatoes, so they have incredible taste and texture. They even earned the title of “America’s Favorite Mashed Potatoes,” which was well deserved if you ask me. But here’s the best part – they are ready in just minutes. I mean like prepared and on the table in less than ten minutes from start to finish. So whether I’m serving a perfectly prepped, elaborate meal (which let’s face it, maybe happens once every other month) or whipping up something simple in just a few minutes, it’s easy to make Idahoan Mashed Potatoes a part of it. Even when my kids complain about the rest of the meal, I know they’ll love and happily eat them. And obviously, my husband and I will too. (I like eating them alone for lunch or a snack too. Mashed potatoes forever!)

Having kids is admittedly much different than I envisioned before I became a parent. It’s awesome and wonderful in ways I could not possibly have imagined, and I am incredibly grateful for every single part of it. It’s also hard. Really hard. It’s exhausting and dirty and sometimes feels a little soul sucking if we’re being honest here. But that is part of what makes it great, because it allows us to so deeply appreciate those small victories. And whether it’s getting a toddler to take liquid medication without barfing, realizing your older child’s barely worn soccer shoes fit your younger kid, or discovering a food that everyone in the family loves that can also be be made quickly and easily, a small victory is reason to celebrate.

If you’re looking for a super convenient way to serve up a small victory in your house via the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever had, go grab yourself a bag of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes. We love the Buttery Golden Selects (so rich and tasty), but they’re also are available in Buttery Homestyle®, Butter and Herb, Bacon & Cheddar Chipotle, Roasted Garlic, and Four Cheese. Yum!

Have you had any small victories in your house lately?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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