Happiest Holidays! (+ Taking A Break)

Happy Holidays from Bubby and Bean!

Happy holidays, friends! The past couple of months have admittedly been a blur, filled with a whole lot of extra work hours, house buying stuff (we close the week after next!), and general holiday craziness. Robbie leaves the day after Christmas for the band’s New Year’s run and I haven’t even started wrapping gifts (or packing our house up), which is so ridiculous it’s comical. This is actually the first time ever that I was finished shopping an entire week before Christmas, but aside from that, I’m a hot holiday mess. We also have Essley’s birthday on the 28th, mine on January 1st, and Emmett’s on January 9th. It’s a very busy time around here (as I’m sure it is for you as well!), but as long as we stay heathy this year (because last year we sure didn’t), I’m fine with that. Busy holiday seasons are the best, honestly.

Essley’s excitement level about Christmas day is off the charts. Emmett doesn’t quite get it yet, but he knows that Santa is coming. I have always loved the holiday season, but having these too has made my affinity increase exponentially. I cannot wait to see their faces when they wake up on the 25th.

I will be taking my annual break from the blog to spend time with my family and catch up on non-work things, starting today. I’ll be stopping in next week for a post, but we won’t officially be back until after the New Year. I’m sure I’ll still be active on Instagram (because I’m sure I’d, like, combust if I wasn’t on social media for an entire, like, 10 days), so in the meantime, you can come hang with me over there.  

However you celebrate (or don’t celebrate!), and whatever your plans may be, I wish you the happiest of holidays!

P.S.  If you are doing any very last minute shopping for your little ones, we got our kids several wonderful items from this roundup of kids’ holiday gifts that make a difference in the world.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Friday Funny: Cold Snap Continues

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day LOL Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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This is a great story! Full of great information. …

This is a great story! Full of great information. My pit bull has always been good with cats. He even snuggles with my parents cats lol. I'm glad your pitty Was able to get used to the cats. I love happy endings! Especially when pit bulls are involved! Keep spreading the good word of pit bulls!

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Festive Winter Guacamole

Festive Winter Guacamole

You guys are well aware by now of my deep, unwavering love for all things avocado. And you’re probably also aware of the fact that when it comes to avocados, guacamole tops my list. I mean, I could consume guacamole in some form for pretty much every meal. But I realized recently that I don’t seem to see it quite as often on menus during the wintertime, and I don’t eat it as much at home this time of year either. And while I get it (the winter months aren’t exactly prime avocado season), I don’t think the goodness of guacamole should be forgotten during the colder months. So I decided to whip together a winter-inspired guacamole that I could start eating on the cold weather regular. It also had to be something I could quickly prepare and serve to my family on Christmas and to friends for the New Year when things are hectic. Oh, and for game day parties too. Basically, I needed a more wintery version of guac to become my go-to for this time of year, and it had to be simple and fast. So I played around with some different wintery food additions, and what I came up with was so delicious that I just had to share.

Festive Winter Guacamole
Festive Winter Guacamole

Serves 4

1 package Wholly Guacamole Classic Dip
1 pear, cut into cubes
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 lime

Peel and cube the pear, and set aside. Remove seeds from the pomegranate, and set aside. (To seed a pomegranate, score the fruit lightly, pull apart into halves, submerge in water, push down edges, and hit back of each half with a spoon, allowing the seeds to fall into the water. It’s actually really easy.) Combine the pear and pomegranate with Wholly Guacamole Classic Dip in a serving bowl. Squeeze half a lime over the top, add a little salt, top with a few pomegranate seeds, and serve! It’s super easy and so yummy.

Festive Winter Guacamole
Festive Winter Guacamole
Festive Winter Guacamole

This guacamole looks really pretty and so festive, but it tastes incredible too. The pear gives it a subtle sweetness and great texture, and the pomegranate seeds give it a wonderful tartness. I like to eat it with tortilla chips, but it’s great with crackers too. And despite the fact that avocados can be slim pickings this time of year, this guac is incredibly fresh tasting – thanks to the Wholly Guacamole. You guys have heard me sing their praises before, when I used their Classic Dip for a summertime watermelon feta guac dip, or when I made a guacamole pizza back in January. Their guacs are super fresh, gluten free, preservative free, and kosher, and are made with hand-scooped Hass Avocados. They are genuinely delicious, and as good as (maybe even better than) homemade. They are our favorite, whether we enjoy them right out of the package or fancy them up in different recipes. The Classic Dip is amazing, as is the Spicy. I’m a big fan.

If you make this winter take on classic guac, let me know what you think!

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


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Crick Coon

crick coon

The stream runs in a soft trickle over the sandstone. It doesn’t babble like any old New England brook. This is an Appalachian creek, best pronounced “crick” for the little crickety sound that it makes as it journeys down the hollow.

The minnows and crayfish dart among the stones. No bass or crappie or walleye or sauger can make its way this far up in the hills. The shallow water is a refuge from the predatory fish, and thus the little fish and “crawlcrabs” are safe from those predatory lips.

But when night falls in the hollow, the shallow water’s security features become a pretty bad liability.

In the veil of darkness, the old boar ‘coon that dens in the old white oak that has grown thick and strong on a little rise on the creek bank is leaves his day rest and saunters down to the water.

He has done this maneuver many times, and he knows which holes hold the most minnows and crayfish.  So he doesn’t go splashing the water like a maniac. He goes deliberately, wetting his feet only when he knows he is likely to put his hand-like paws into the water and catch a little midnight snack.

He finds his first hole and wades into the trickle of water. He reaches his forepaws into the creek, feeling and feeling with his fingers for the quarry.

Five minutes of feeling around and a big crayfish falls into his hands. The raccoon savors his nice little meal and then thrusts his paws back into the water.  He catches a minnow.  He devours it.

The old boar comes to hand fish in the creek every night, except for those days of frigid winter, when the ice clogs up the creek and all wise raccoons stay up in their tree dens.

In late winter, the scent of estrus from the sow raccoons draws him to wander and occasionally wage war on the other boars that come calling, and in the autumn, he mixes up his seafood dinners with a few corn patch raids and sorties through the oak lots for acorns.

And in summer, when the wild raspberries grow black on the thorn bushes, he goes slinking along the berry patches, filling his jaws with a little sweet fruit of the land.

But he is a crick coon by trade. He knows the crayfish and the minnows, and when the rains fill the creek bed and allow the odd sucker or redhorse to come swimming up his way, he tries his hand at catching a few of those, too.

Maybe he’ll get caught raiding a corn patch someday.  Or maybe the baying hounds will tree him. Or maybe an upstart young boar will fill the creek bank with enough upper cuts and growling churrs to topple the old man.

But for now, the old boar will hold his own along the trickling crick.  The snow will fall, and the summer heat will swelter.

But his night will be spent on the quest for minnows and crayfish. His kind is named Procyon, perhaps for the star that shines brightly above him on those clear nights when the barred owl’s calls are clear and piercing and the moon casts silver beams upon the skeleton trees.

He never looks up though.  The stars and their courses mean little to a beast that goes nose down sniffing the creek banks.  Feeling hands and quivering nose are how he makes his way in the world.

And he does it well.





Natural History

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From the AKC Royal Canin National Dog Show in Orlando this weekend: GCH CH Unity’s Maid an Entrance CGC, a Weimaraner known as “Gali” triumphed over more than 1,200 puppies and junior dogs to earn the title of AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Junior of the Year, held today in Orlando, Fla. “Gali,” owned by […]

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Win a YEAR of Pet-Themed Jewelry!

We’re kick off our biggest PawZaar giveaway ever! One lucky community member will win a YEAR of pet jewelry. Every quarter starting in January, the winner will receive three new pieces of…

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


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5 Tips For Staying Connected During Long Distance Holidays

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

Thank you to The UPS Store for sponsoring this post. Make the holiday to-do list a little easier this season with The UPS Store!

I think my favorite Christmas of all time was when Essley was about to turn one (her birthday is three days after Christmas), and Robbie’s parents came here to Chicago from Arizona to celebrate with us. It was the first (and so far, only) time that all of the grandparents were here for the holidays, and we were all together, and everything just felt right. Real life doesn’t always allow for those storybook holidays though, and it’s just not logistically possible to repeat that magical Christmas every year. But that doesn’t stop us from doing everything we can to make it feel like we’re together. Today I thought I’d share some of the ways we stay connected as a family when we can’t be together for Christmas, in hopes it can help those of you in similar situations.

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

1. Phone carol. It sounds cheesy, and maybe it is, but we love it. Elf said it best: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Essley is all about the Christmas carols, and if she can’t be right in front of her grandparents to perform, singing over the phone is the next best option. Sometimes we even all chime in. It makes us feel like we’re together, even if just for a few minutes. We do it often and unapologetically throughout the season.

2. Videophone on Christmas Day. Videophone! It’s the future! (Who else remembers being a kid and dreaming of being able to see people in real time when you called them? It was right up there with flying cars, man.) Seriously though, FaceTime and Skype make being apart infinitely easier all year round, but they really make a difference on holidays. We FaceTime with the grandparents multiple times while unwrapping gifts, eating Christmas breakfast, playing with the gifts, etc. All day. It’s the next best thing to actually being together.

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays
5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

3. Make meaningful, personal gifts to send. Every single year, Essley has sat down and worked for hours on special drawings to give to her grandparents. We never go Pinterest-crazy with these gifts – she likes to do good old fashioned crayon and marker drawings on paper. She puts so much time and energy and love into them. It’s really special, guys. Then we frame them and wrap them up together. It’s so much better than giving them a store bought gift, and truly a way to send a piece of herself when she can’t actually be with them. And this year, Emmett is old enough that he was able to get in on the action too! He loves drawing and coloring more than any other activity (for real), and I can’t wait to hear what Robbie’s parents think about his masterpiece.

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays
5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

4. Make plans to be together in the new year. When we can’t be with the grandparents for Christmas, we always make plans during the holidays for a future visit. This year, Robbie’s mom is coming here to stay with the kids while I meet Robbie in Denver for the band’s New Years shows, and we’re also making plans now to go visit both of his parents in the spring. It’s a great way to get past the sad parts of not being able to be physically together during the holiday season, and to also have something special to look forward to as a family.

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays
5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

5. Send your gifts with expert care. We’ve had our fair share of gifts get damaged in the shipping process, and the disappointment can be pretty intense when in an effort to stay connected with loved ones for the holidays you send something special only to learn it didn’t make it in one piece. Since we frame the kids’ artwork in glass frames, this is especially important. We take our wrapped gifts, head over to The UPS Store, and let the professionals handle the logistics of packing and shipping our holiday gifts to the grandparents. It gives us peace of mind to know The UPS Store backs its services with the Pack & Ship Guarantee – if an item is somehow lost or damaged, The UPS Store reimburses the customer the cost of packaging materials and service, as well as shipping costs. The Guarantee applies to items packed by The UPS Store and shipped via UPS®, DHL® or USPS®. Knowing our gifts will arrive to the grandparents safe and sound is just one more way for us to feel a little closer when we can’t actually be together, and I’m grateful for that. (Bonus: Taking our gifts to The UPS Store to be packed and shipped also saves me time and alleviate stress during an insanely hectic time of year. Just saying.) Oh, and here is one more awesome thing about visiting The UPS Store during the holiday season. Through December 31st, participating The UPS Store locations will support the Toys for Tots Literacy Program with an in-center donation card drive. Every donation helps purchase books for local children in need. Pretty great, right?

And, for the second year in a row, The UPS Store is hosting the 5 Days of Giftmas, an interactive guessing game where customers have a chance to win prizes. There will be one Facebook Live game each day December 11th-15th (so its not too late!) at 2 PM ET. 2) If you follow The UPS Store on Instagram, you’ll notice a similar game where customers can “Guess the Gift” for a chance at a cool prize. The game series started back on December 4th, but is continuing until approximately three weeks after, with a new box every Monday and Wednesday. Woohoo!

5 Ways To Stay Connected During Long Distance Holidays

For those of you who are away from loved ones during the holidays, I’d love to hear ways you stay connected!

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


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Mysterious Hero Saves Two Dogs from Scottish River

Sammy Rescues from Scottish River

We might think that anonymous heroes only exist in movies, but one man in Scotland proved otherwise this fall. Not only did this mystery man go into a fast-moving river to save one dog – he then proceeded to save another dog and her owner!

According to the Daily Record, Nicola McCrory was walking her dog, Stitch, as well as her parents’ dog, Sammy around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, October 2. As the three walked beside the River Clyde near Bothwell Castle, Sammy stumbled and slid down a steep ten-foot drop to land in the river.

Nicola told reporters that she “panicked” but that someone else came to Sammy’s rescue: “the most amazing guy was there to help.” She described how the man used Nicola’s leashes to carefully descend toward the river and fish out Sammy.

Sammy’s fall and rescue gathered attention and a bit of a crowd gathered on the river’s edge. Nicola described what happened next, “as if one rescue wasn’t enough, someone else’s dog fell in and the owner jumped in after their dog!” Any pet lover can understand the instinct that drove that pet owner to dive into the water. Unfortunately, the water was moving fast and the owner wasn’t able to save the dog alone. The mystery man came to the rescue again.

“The same guy… came to the rescue yet again, pulling first the dog then the owner from the water,” according to Nicola. She said that she thanked him profusely, but the man didn’t seem to speak much English and left the area quickly. Nicola hopes to learn his identity though, and has described him as a man, over the age of 50, who walks along the river “doing exercises as he goes.” Nicola told reporters why she wants to discover the man’s identity, saying “I’d love to find out who he is so I could thank him properly.” We bet the satisfaction of knowing he saved that owner and three lives is all the mystery hero needs – although he certainly has our gratitude as well.

Halo Pets

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What is Gobi?

This little dog was discovered in the Gobi desert in China on 155-mile race.

The thinking that this dog is a “chihuahua cross” is a bit wrong, I think. I think she’s something a bit more special than that.

I think she is a landrace East Asian toy dog, the ancestral form that leads to the Pekingese, the original pug, the Japanese chin, and other dogs of this type.

I don’t there are many chihuahuas in the Gobi Desert, and she certainly should have her DNA tested.

Natural History

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