Crouton Recipe for Dog Treats

Dogs love croutons. Crunchy croutons can be broken into small pieces for training treats or croutons can be prepared with a softer chewy center to use as pill pockets. Croutons are very easy to make…



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DogTipper

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{GIVEAWAY} + KONG® Recipes

Need to get on a conference call or Zoom call? Keep your dog busy with a stuffable dog toy like a KONG, also great for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or boredom.

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Anise Dog Treats – Recipe

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner so I wanted to come up with a canine twist on a traditional Mexican cookie–anise dog treats! Dogs love anise (much like some cats love catnip)….



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DogTipper

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10 Ways to Be Eco-Conscious in Your Own Home

How to Be Eco-Friendly at Home

You guys already know that living an environmentally conscious lifestyle is important to me. I grew up with extremely earth focused parents, I was the president of my high school’s eco club, I interned for a large environmental non-profit throughout college, and then I worked as a designer for an eco-friendly clothing label for 14 years. I’ve always tried to keep the earth in mind with my choices, but since becoming a parent, I’ve paid even more attention to finding ways we can be eco-friendly, especially in our own homes.

With all of us being stuck at home these days, and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this week (April 22nd), I thought I’d share some tips for simple ways to make eco-friendly choices in your home everyday.

1. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
Shutting off the water while brushing your teeth can save as many as 200 gallons of water a month. Imagine how much water would be conserved if everyone did the same! This is a great one to teach your little ones as soon as they as old enough to brush.

2. Reuse paper.
Reusing paper saves time, money, and the earth. The amount of junk mail we receive daily can be overwhelming, but those blank envelopes make great grocery lists, note paper, and scrap paper for the kids to color or practice school work. (Be sure to recycle left over mail, and opt to pay your bills online.)

How To Be More Eco-Friendly at Home

3. Wash clothes in cold water.
I once read somewhere that there is no proof that hot water is superior to cold water in terms of getting clothing clean, and I immediately started washing only in cold. And since 85% of the energy used when a washing machine washes clothing goes to heating the water, it was a no brainer to switch to cold. You can take things a step further by line drying clothing rather than using a dryer.

4. Pay attention to your thermostat.
Lowering the thermostat by a few degrees in winter and raising by a few degrees in summer can make a big difference. You’d be surprised how quickly this adds up in terms of saving energy (and money!).

5. Use reusable water bottles.
Disposable plastic water bottles are absolutely terrible for the planet. Reusable water bottles are 100% the more eco-conscious choice. My kids, husband, and myself keep them with us throughout the day. Everyone stays hydrated, and you’re doing a favor to all those landfills here in the U.S. that currently contain 2 million tons of discarded water bottles. (Ditch those single use plastic straws for reusable straws while you’re at it!)

How To Be More Eco-Friendly at Home

6. Grow your own food.
When you grow your own food (we love our little veggie and herb container garden!), you reduce your carbon footprint, and when you choose to grow organic, you avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It’s also a wonderful way to teach your kids responsibility, and about where food originates.

7. Compost.
I am so excited that our town has just started a composting program! If you’re town doesn’t have one, and you have a garden, your can easily start your own like we have. Composting reduces waste because you’re reusing things that would normally be thrown away, and it helps your plants and gardens grow without the use of toxic fertilizers.

How To Be More Eco-Friendly at Home

8. Turn off your lights.
It takes a lot of energy to power lights, and there isn’t a easier way to be eco-friendly than simply switching off a light when you leave a room.

9. Use eco-friendly light bulbs.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), and Halogen incandescent lightbulbs last 3 to 25 times longer than regular lightbulbs, so they’re money savers and time savers. They also use 25% to 80% less energy than regular incandescent light bulbs, which is better for the environment. No brainer!

How to Be Eco-Friendly at Home

10. Appreciate nature.
Even if you can’t go hiking or explore natural areas right now, you can find ways to appreciate nature in your own back yard, from your balcony, or even just out your window. Making connections with nature everyday right now helps to reduce my anxiety and make me feel more grounded. And in turn, when we appreciate the earth, we tend to be more aware of ways we can make a positive impact on it. This is something that we are making a huge part of my kids’ lives right now, and I can see what a big difference in makes in their moods and desire to learn about the world around them.

Happy Earth Day! How do find ways to be eco-friendly at home?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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How to Make Easy Hot Dog Training Treats for Your Dog

Are you looking for easy, inexpensive training treats you can make for your dog without turning on the oven? We’ve got a super easy recipe to share for hot dog training treats for your…



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Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes

We had big dreams to make our first every trip to Disney World this summer. And while I suppose it’s still possible, I’m definitely not holding my breath. (The fact that it’s currently completely shut down combined with things like, you know, money slowly dwindling down to nothing, make it seem like an unrealistic reality at this point. But we’ll keep dreaming!) Regardless of what ends up happening, we’re doing what we can to bring a little something special into our lives when we’re able during these strange times. And that includes Mickey Mouse themed pancakes for our babes.

Now, we are not above making things from a box in this house. In fact, that is how we make pancakes 99% of the time. But since we have a little extra time these days for food preparation, we’ve been going for the from-scratch route with things we normally wouldn’t. Our kids have also been eating a lot more crap food than normal lately, so it makes me feel a little less parent guilt when breakfast is at least semi-healthy. We’ve been loving these special pancakes, and we hope you will as well!

Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups organic milk (soy and almond milk work too)
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat works best)
Coconut oil or butter
Bananas, sliced
Blueberries
Pure maple syrup or honey

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine milk, vanilla extract, and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients and stir well. Once combined, add the Greek yogurt. Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat and melt enough coconut oil to adequately cover the surface in order to prevent sticking. For each pancake, use either a mixing bowl with a spout, a pitcher, or a ladle to pour batter, first to create the face, then to create two ears that will be attached to the face (at 10 and 2, if you’re looking at the face like a clock). Make sure when you pour the ears that they just barely touch at the edges between the ears and the face to allow room for the pancake to expand. Flip once the underside is golden brown. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your batter, and remove from griddle or pan when each cake is golden on both sides.

Then comes the fun part – decorating. We use blueberries for the eyes and sliced bananas for the nose. Any fruit you have on hand works. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes

If you have any other fun Mickey Mouse pancake recipes, I’d love to see them!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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In the Time of the Plague

plague dog

One of my favorite movies is Jaws. The movie centers around a Northeastern island town that relies heavily upon the tourism industry.  A larger than normal great white shark starts attacking people off its beaches, and the initial response of the mayor and town government is to ignore it or blame the attacks on a boating accident.

Of course, such sharks that become habitual human hunters really don’t exist in nature. Usually the shark that eats someone moves on and may never encounter a person again. They are simply predators making a go of it in a sea in which prey avails itself at irregular intervals.

However, the story of Jaws was cribbed from a Henrik Ibsen play called An Enemy of the People.  That play tells the story of a resort town that relies upon natural mineral spas for its tourism town. A doctor discovers the mineral water is contaminated by bacteria, but the leaders of the town and the local newspaper do all they can to prevent the story from being known. The town does not want this story being known, because it will cost them their tourism industry.

I have thought a lot about leaders who sacrifice people for economics. I’ve seen it with my own eyes as this COVID-19 disaster unfolds in the United States.  You may accuse me of letting my political biases from coming to the fore, and I suppose you are right.

I have tried to avoid political discussions in this era of depressing developments– at least on this space. But this time, I have decided to let some of my reticence slip.

The era in which I have come of age is the age of the precariat. The precariat is that sector of society which does not have much and is always on the edge of potential disaster.

Healthcare prices continue to soar, and suddenly, we are thrown into a situation where a contagious virus spreads through the population and the only way to combat is to force the bulk of the population to stay home.  Staying home means no paychecks and massive layoffs. Health insurance that is tied to employment is lost.

And the virus continues to spread. People die and will continue to die.  We are left precarious. The future is uncertain.

No one has any idea how to fix anything. The ruling ideas of the past 40 years don’t make any sense. Indeed, they have no solution at all.

Americans have this idea of invincibility.  We have insulated ourselves from the greatest risks of our many wars. Only the relatively few combat soldiers know any real risk from battle death or injury.

We have lots of great technology, and we believe that our economy is the best in the world. We think of ourselves as durable against it all.

But we are being felled by a mere micro-organism. It is even more mindless than a shark. It merely replicates within our cells and passes on to the next victim.

All of that advancement, all of that intellect and culture, all laid bare by the most random of things.

Wildlife  always live with the specter of epidemics. Canine distemper will flow through gray fox population. In 2016, canine distemper wreaked havoc among the Yellowstone wolves, and I can remember years when epizootic hemorrhagic disease knocked out the white-tail population.

But humans live with the fiction that we are not part of nature. We have vaccines and antibiotics. We have sanitation.  We don’t suffer the plagues like we used to.

But this time, a plague has come upon us. It should knock us off our pedestal a bit. As much as we like to think that we are not part of nature, sometimes nature comes for us. It comes to us with no malice, no concept of revenge. It comes for us the way that it comes for that adorable gray fox kit when distemper hits it.

Our intellect should call us to question the ruling ideas. Already, that questioning is going on. But that questioning must not just be centered in the concept of how our economic and healthcare systems have left us so exposed.

The truth is we are always exposed.  We are always at risk. We are ultimately mortal. We are not terrestrial gods.

We are the smartest animal. But we are still animals. The processes of nature still come for us. Though we can deflect and insulate against these forces, sometimes, we just can’t stop it.

So it has come. It is the Time of the Plague. And we must think and consider as we fall into such humility.

We should accept this humility for now.  We must reconsider and retool– for that is what the future ultimately holds.

 

 

Natural History

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Meet Checkers!

So look who came to live at my house this weekend! This is Checkers! She belonged to a breeder in West Virginia, but turned out to have demodectic mange, which is hereditary, meaning she couldn’t be shown. The breeder thought she’d have an awful time finding a home for Checkers as “just” a pet, but … Continue reading Meet Checkers!


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IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

It’s no secret I am a massive IKEA fan. I always tell people that even if I was loaded with an endless furniture budget, I’d still shop there. Back in 2016, our old living room was even featured in their Home Tour Series. I’m also huge on sustainability and nature inspired design, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I recently got word that IKEA’s spring catalog, which showcases products that will begin to appear in their stores this month, is all about sustainability, mindfulness, and nature. I am 100000% here for this you guys.

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

I’ve only seen a sneak peak of the catalog, but wanted to share some of my favorite images from it. I can’t wait to see it in person. I also can’t wait to shop these goodies with my little lady, who almost always choses IKEA as her go-to place when we plan mom-daughter dates. (Wonder where she gets it?)

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

Where my IKEA people at? (And nope, this isn’t sponsored. It’s just true love.)

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Meanwhile at the food bank…

No way my dogs would be this patient! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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