Fun Easter Baskets + Homemade Sweet Easter Snack Mix

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This post is in partnership with Mars Wrigley Confectionery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You guys already know from all the gushing I do that I absolutely love springtime. And one of my favorite parts of springtime is putting together fun Easter baskets for my little ones. This year, I decided that I wanted to make a special snack to put in the baskets and came up with the most delicious recipe for a festive, colorful Easter snack mix made with popcorn and M&M’S® Pastel Milk Chocolate and M&M’S® Pastel Peanut candies. Today I thought I’d share the recipe with you, and also show how I create fun, festive Easter baskets using the snack mix and other goodies.

The first thing I did was head over to Sam’s Club to pick up the most important part of the mix: M&M’S® Pastel Milk Chocolate and M&M’S® Pastel Peanut Sam’s Club pantry jars. These resealable jars are an incredible value and are perfect for all of the decorating and baking I love to do around Easter time. They’re also great for filling my candy dish with fun colored, festive M&M’S® candies for spring. Being able to able to get items in bulk for incredible members-only prices at Sam’s Club is so convenient, especially for recipes like this when I’m planning on making a bunch to hand out to friends as well. Sam’s Club also rocks when I’m in a rush. I can order items online on their app and drive right up for them to bring them out for me. So good!

SWEET EASTER SNACK MIX 
8-10 cups popped popcorn
1-1/2 cups vanilla baking chips
1 cup mini pretzel twists, broken up
1-1/2 to 2 cups M&M’S® Pastel Milk Chocolate and M&M’S® Pastel Peanut candies
Easter-themed sprinkles

In a large bowl, combine the popped popcorn, pretzels, and M&M’S® candies. Melt the vanilla baking chips in the microwave (30 seconds at a time between stirring) or a double broiler until completely melted. Pour the melted vanilla chips over the popcorn mixture while stirring. When well combined, spread the mixture evenly on a wax or parchment paper covered baking sheet, and immediately cover with sprinkles. Gently stir so sprinkles stick to the vanilla coating. Allow to fully cool and break into pieces. Fill party bags with the snack mix for baskets (more on this below) and store the rest in an airtight container.

So easy. So delicious!

And now on to my favorite part, the Easter Baskets! (NOTE: I realize it might be a little silly to word this like a DIY when in truth, you’re just arranging some things in a basket, but for the sake of staying organized, let’s just go with it.)

EASTER BASKETS 
baskets (duh)
filler (either Easter grass, tissue, or pieces of fabric)
cellophane party bags
ribbon
small toys*
small stuffed animals*
Easter eggs (we usually do a mix of real colored eggs and plastic eggs filled with M&M’S® candies)

*Obviously these items can be changed out to best suit the interests of the receiver. My kids are young so we usually go for small toys and stuffies, crayons, bubbles, etc.

If you’re super crafty, you can always make a basket, but I’m more of a “I love to decorate but not from complete scratch” type of person, so I buy them. I have a thing for baskets in general, and when I choose which Easter Baskets to use for the kids each year, I try to pick ones that are well made and pretty, so they can use them beyond just the holiday. For the items to fill the baskets, I usually go for small toys and stuffed animals that I also know will be used and not viewed as disposable. I also go back and forth on Easter grass… When I do use it, I choose the paper kind (much more eco-friendly), but lately, I’ve been trying to avoid it all together and just use tissue paper or pieces of fabric.

Before you put together your baskets, fill clear cellophane party bags 1/2 to 2/3 full with the Sweet Easter Snack Mix. Cut pieces of ribbon and tie bows to close.

Next, place all of the items on a table (or if you’re like me and really like to spread out, the floor) along with the baskets. Start with filler, then add the bag or bags of Sweet Easter Snack mix, followed by the toys and stuffed animals. At this point it’s pretty much subjective in terms of finished appearance, but I recommend displaying the goodies at varying heights, with the smallest items toward the front. There are no rules other than to have fun. And that’s it!

I hope you guys love this yummy Sweet Easter Snack Mix as much as I do! It’s so easy, and something your kids can help make as well. Just head to your local Sam’s Club, grab some M&M’S® Pastel Milk Chocolate and M&M’S® Pastel Peanut pantry jars from their snack area, get a couple baskets and some small toys, and you’re pretty much good to go.

Enjoy, and Happy Easter!

Nutritional Information: Ingredient and nutritional information can be found on packages.

This post has been sponsored by Mars Wrigley Confectionery. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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2chを見て

私は、はっきり言ってインターネットには強くありません。
もちろんパソコンは使えますが、最近はやっているインターネットスラングですとか、SNSですとか、そういったものについてはとても疎いという自覚があります。
そんな私でも知っているのが大型掲示板サイトの2ch。
日本で一番、もしかすると世界で一番規模が大きいかもしれない掲示板サイトです。
2chは多くの人の意見や口コミで成り立っているので、色々な物事に対するありのままのコメントを見ることができます。
2chに書かれているのは個人の意見や口コミですから、すべてを鵜呑みにしてしまうわけにもいきません。
ですが、ある程度リアルな声を聞くことができるので、美容整形のように主観による部分が大きい事柄に関してはむしろ使いやすいのではないかと感じたのです。
そうは言っても、2chを開くとその掲示板の多さにめまいがしそうになりますね。
美容整形に関係する掲示板の数もやはり大変多く、目的の掲示板を探すにも苦労してしまいました。

私が美容整形を考えているのは品川美容外科ですから、ぜひ品川美容外科に関する口コミが読みたかったのです。
おすすめの医師のことなどが書いてある掲示板は参考になるので助かりますね。
いくつかの掲示板を見て、まずはプチ整形でおさまるほうれい線や額などのしわ取りから始めることにしました。
それから品川美容外科に電話をしてカウンセリングの予約を取ったのですが、電話の対応がいいですね。
とても丁寧で、気持ちのいい対応をしていただけました。
電話対応のスタッフさんは話し方がやわらかいのにはっきりと聞き取りやすくて、なんだか安心感のある印象でしたよ。
少なくとも、私の品川美容外科に対する第一印象はとてもよくなりました。
受付の女性にもしっかりと指導が行き届いているということは、それだけ組織全体に余裕があるということ。
そういう組織のほうが全体的なレベルも高い傾向にあると思うので、個人的には信用度が高くなりました。

FunnyDogsVideos.com

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死亡事故への疑問

最近、美容外科での死亡事故のニュースを目にすることが多くなったように感じます。
病院の医療ミスで患者が死亡というニュースは一時期良く耳にしたものですし、心臓や脳などの大切な臓器に直接手術をするのですから、小さなミスが死亡につながるということは納得でき、同時にどこか仕方がないもののように感じていました。
ですが、美容外科では体の奥深くにまでメスを入れるわけでもなし、死亡事故なんて起こるものなのかしら?と不思議だったのです。

私自身、そろそろ顔のたるみやしわが気になってくる年頃です。
具体的な年齢は伏せさせていただきますが、いわゆるアラサーを通り越してアラフォーに至ろうとしている頃とだけ言わせていただきます。
世間的にはまだ若い方とはいえ、それでも年々衰えていくことに変わりはなく、このたびついにプチ整形を決意した次第です。
そこで色々なことを調べていたのですが、こういった悪いうわさが出てくるということはそれだけ美容整形を受けた人が多いということに他なりません。
死亡というあまりいいイメージのない言葉と、「美容整形 よかった」といういい言葉で調べてみたところ、後者の方が検索結果がはるかに多いということもわかりました。
分母が大きければ問題もそれだけ大きくなる、ということのようです。
ならば特に気にすることもないものと判断し、美容整形に踏み切ることにしました。

数ある美容整形外科の中でもどこがいいのか、まったくの初体験である私にはわかりません。
じっくりと検討した結果、術前の説明が丁寧でアフターケアがあり、さらに手術ごとに保証期間のある品川美容外科を選びカウンセリングを予約しました。
私は石橋を叩いて渡る主義ですので、これから受けようとしている美容整形手術について今後も調べられるだけ調べようと思っています。
そして、その結果を私のように美容整形について悩んでいる人と共有することができればと思いこのブログを立ち上げました。
整形のことで悩んでいる人の手助けができれば幸いです。

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Modern North American cougars are part North American cheetah

Miracinonyx

It is now widely accepted through ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis that North America’s Pleistocene “cheetahs” were actually offshoots of the modern cougar lineage and were not directly ancestral to the cheetah of the Old World.

However, these mitochondrial DNA studies did not reveal the full picture.  A full genome sequence was recently mapped from a specimen of Miracinonyx trumani, and this full genome has been compared to similar genomes of North American and South American cougars.

The researchers found something quite amazing.  We thought that the original population of North American cougars went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene as did the two “cheetahs.” About 8,000 years ago, cougars from South America recolonized North America, and these cougars that came into North America are the ancestors of the living cougars on this continent.

And because of the limited genetic diversity of the North American cougar, this 8,000 year point of origin is most likely.

However, what is particularly interesting is that between 8-12 percent of the North American cougar’s genome apparently comes from Miracinonyx trumani.  Estimates of when this introgression happened based upon the molecular clock suggest an entrance into the ancestral North American cougar 7,700-8,100 years ago.

So Miracinonyx trumani apparently lasted a few thousand years after the end of the Pleistocene, and when South American cougars recolonized North America, they mated with the now extinct “cheetah” species. This hybridization could have conferred upon these newly colonizing cougars some important alleles for surviving at temperate latitudes, which tropical cougars may have lacked.

Humans certainly were aware of the existence of the North American “cheetahs,” and if they survived to this late date, stories of their existence could have existed throughout indigenous American cultures.

Perhaps these cats lasted even longer, maybe even giving credence to the legendary Mexican onza.

Natural History

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Get Ready for Spring with #PetParentApproved #PetArmor

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own. Barli’s debut on his shelter’s Facebook page explains to us why today Barli cannot stand to have a single flea on him:…



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6 Beauty Routine Little Wins That Bring Me Joy

6 Beauty Routine Little Wins That Bring Me Joy

This post is in partnership with joy.

The idea of little wins is something I have embraced in a big way in 2019. Last year, I was more focused on big wins, and while they’re great too, I realized at the end of the year how much the pressure ultimately overwhelmed me. So this year I decided I was going to shift toward paying better attention to the small, simple things that made my days easier. And I’ve discovered that it can be pretty freaking powerful to find happiness in those small triumphs.

I talked a little last month about small parenting wins, but today I wanted to share a different type of small victory with you: beauty routine little wins. Now, I know there are some people who love a nice, slow process of getting ready and grooming, and who feel pleasure in taking their time and enjoying it. I am not one of them. It’s not that I don’t enjoy certain aspects of it or the outcome; I’m just not a fan of how long it can take when I have more important things to do. (You know, like running my kids around to school and countless activities, or crushing a 10 hour work day, or DIY remodeling my house, or binge watching Workin’ Moms on Netflix. Stuff like that.)

I have been experimenting with different ways to streamline and/or create hacks for my beauty routine for months now, and I think I’ve sort of mastered the ones that work best for me. If you (1) are searching for ways to simplify your beauty routine and (2) appreciate a good little win, I think you just might find these useful!

1. Paint your nails with a light colored gel nail polish. 
I used to get no chip/gel polish manicures every couple of months at the salon, but they would still start chipping after a couple of weeks and then I’d have to go back to the salon to get the polish removed. It was expensive and a time sucker. A few months ago, I bought a bottle of light pink gel polish and gel top coat at the advice of a friend. Talk about a manicure little win! The polish lasts almost as long as when I used to get my nails done professionally, and the light color hides chips and also goes with everything I wear.

2. Use one moisturizer for all of your skin.
This might cause the hardcore skincare goddesses to gasp, but for quite a while now, I have used only one moisturizer on my face, body, and as an eye cream. It’s a lightweight, non-comedogenic lotion that was recommended by my dermatologist – which is really all you need. When I get out of the shower, I slather it on everything and I’m done in 30 seconds. My skin is (usually) in great shape, and it honestly brings me joy to only have to focus on one product and move on with my day.

3. Shave with joy and glee. (Literally.)
This, my friends, is my favorite beauty routine little win of them all. Before my recent discovery of joy razors, I despised the process of shaving. And while it might sound a little ridiculous to hear me say that a product completely changed my attitude about it, it’s the truth. The joy razor has a refreshingly uncomplicated design that keeps shaving simple, but also has a super effective five blade cartridge that comfortably shaves off every hair it touches in one simple stroke. The non-slip grip handle is a nice bonus too that, if you’re anything like me, equates to a time saver as well because you’re not dropping a wet razor in the shower every 30 seconds. I pair my joy (which is a lovely shade of teal, but comes in pink too) with its best buddy, glee shave gel in deliciously scented cucumber aloe (which also comes in a luxurious summer lily mousse if that’s your thing), and shaving becomes a breeze. A few quick rubs of glee onto the skin, a quick stroke of the joy razor, and in a couple of minutes, I’m good to go. This all adds up to a quick, effortless shaving experience, which allows me to get on to the important stuff. (See my note about binging Netflix above.) These are only available at Walmart so I’m telling you, get over there and pick these babies up today. (Grab a pack of 4 or 8 cartridges too. Having an extra cartridge on hand is always a little win when you run out!) You can thank me later, after you’re done with the simplest, more effective shaving session of your life.

4. Get yourself a great dry shampoo.
I’m guessing most of you use or have used dry shampoo, but if you haven’t, go buy some immediately. My stylist (who I have been seeing for 12 years and genuinely love and trust) recommended washing my hair only twice a week, and guys, that was a game changer for me. Now I just use a dry shampoo to keep it fresh between washings, which basically defines little win when it comes to getting ready each day.

5. Let hair dry for 15 minutes.
When you do wash your hair, let it air dry or wrap it in a hair towel for 15 minutes while you apply your makeup (or whatever else you want to; pretty much anything is better than having to blow dry your hair, in my opinion). I recently learned that it’s the very last part of moisture in your hair that actually sets the style, so you don’t need to blow dry until it’s mostly already dry. Knowing this was definitely a little win for me, because I used to spent a ridiculously excessive amount of time blowdrying hair while it was still soaking wet. (Bonus: I’ve been doing the same for my daughter’s hair and man is there less of a fight over blow drying when we let it mostly air dry first. Double little win!)

6. Declutter your makeup.
Getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy in your closet isn’t the only way to simplify. I took 20 minutes back in January to go through my cosmetics bag and threw away anything I hadn’t used in the last month (aside from a few items I use for special occasions). I then narrowed it down to only a handful of products: foundation, concealer, blush, powder, one eye shadow, one eye liner, one mascara, and two brushes. I shaved minutes off my makeup routine, and it just feels nicer to pull out my cosmetics bag each morning and not have to dig around for the items I actually use. Little win for sure.

I also want to say that while these hacks and little beauty wins are perfect for your busiest days, they’re also great for the days you just lounge around. (Remember, you deserve those days!) I’ll admit that as a working mama to two young kids, lounging days are few and far between… But when they do happen, and I can do something like, say, use my beloved joy razor and glee shave gel or mousse to oh-so-quickly get my legs and pits nice and smooth, I still feel like I won. It’s like joy’s motto: “Every hair you shave off is something you’ve done today.” Now that’s a positive attitude I can really get behind.

Three cheers for beauty routine little wins! I’m discovering new ways to simplify and hack my beauty routine everyday, so stay tuned, as I may just do another one of these posts in the future. What kind of little wins do you most appreciate when it comes to your beauty routine?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Win an Animal Abuse Awareness Lapel Pin!

Cause ribbons help show your support for an important issue–and, to pet lovers, the issue of animal abuse is one that breaks our hearts. From puppy mills to dog fighting, animal cruelty to…



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DogTipper

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Renaming Your New Dog: 2 Easy Tricks!

Should you rename your newly-adopted dog if you don’t like his or her name? Let’s face it: some names just don’t roll off our tongues with ease. Other names bring up unpleasant…



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Which Game of Thrones Name is Most Popular for Dogs?

OK, we can’t resist a good list of pet names–and just received a list from Embrace Pet insurance with some of the top pet names from the beloved HBO series Game of Thrones. Most Popular…



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Taking a Spring Break

Taking a Spring Break

I usually take a week off from the blog during our annual trip to Arizona in April, but since it’s looking like that trip won’t work out this year (for several reasons), I’ve decided to push my blog break up to this and part of next week. It’s the kids’ spring break from preschool and activities, so we surprised them yesterday with a mini trip into the city for museums and an overnight staycation. Robbie has a few days home from the road, and it’s been so long since we’ve been able to just spend time together as a family. I’ll still be posting over on Instagram (especially to my IG Stories!) and Facebook, but I’ll be saving new content for here on the blog until next week.

Speaking of the blog and Instagram, be honest with me – do you guys still read blogs? There has obviously been a pretty massive shift over the past few years from blogs to social media, and these days, the vast majority of audience engagement and traffic happens on our Instagram. We still have steady traffic to the blog, and I actually enjoy writing blog pieces more than anything else, so we’re not going anywhere – but it is always a bit of a struggle, from a business and personal perspective, to determine how to divide up time and content. I admittedly spend more time on Instagram than I do reading blogs, but I do still read them, and really enjoy it. And Instagram can be so challenging, so I am always crossing my fingers there will be a shift back to blogging. I’m interested in hearing your take.

Enjoy the last week of March, and I’ll see you in a week!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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