Cat Lady Box: are you awesome enough?

When I say “Cat Lady,” what do you picture?


Or this?


The old tropes die hard. And while those types of cat ladies are still out there, I’m sure, those of you who have been paying attention are probably realizing there is a new breed of cat lady out there. The Kate Benjamins and the Dorian Wagners and the Taylor Swifts, the crazy (and cool) cat ladies of the world.

Though Jackson Galaxy may arguably be the most likely spokesperson for “Cat People Don’t Look Like What You Thought They Looked Like,” the trend of Cat Lady receding from the line of perjorative descriptor has been going on for a while. I have to say, and I mean this with the greatest of love, that we Dog Ladies actually have some catching up to do in this department. Exhibit A:


Straddling the razor’s edge between dog lady and cat lady like I do, I was super excited to see a new subscription box service that actually contained stuff I could use. Cat Lady Box, the brainchild of avowed cat lady and action-figure lookalike Dorian Wagner, is pretty darn awesome. Each month, Dorian hand-picks a bunch of unique, small-quantity produced items for cat ladies. Not for the cats, for the women who love them and also love style.


I was so flattered as a t-shirt wearing standard Dog Lady that I was able to review one that I could barely contain myself. And Brody is so used to packages arriving for him he immediately assumed this was all his.


Sensing something was off, he perched behind me to make sure I wasn’t tricking him and this was in fact a box full of dog toys. It wasn’t. A typical Cat Lady Box can contain various items such as jewelry, clothing, decor, and books.


If you have a cat who is as tenacious as my dog, there is an option with Cat Lady box to also get a few items for your cat included, like treats and toys. It’s called, you guess it, the CRAZY Cat Lady Box (wink wink) and it includes things like this adorable fortune cookie toy.


It was around this time that my review went off the rails. For you see, there is a cat lady in the house. Not me. My daughter. You see, I had been buying her clothing with pictures of puppies on it for years and she was always ambivalent and I couldn’t understand why, until she got older and was able to verbalize: KITTY!


She has a cat lunchbox and a cat messenger bag and dressed up as a cat for Halloween. As soon as she figured out what I was reviewing, she came downstairs from where she had been reading with Penelope and claimed this box for her own. I had no choice but to defer, because really, it’s PERFECT.

And she looks darn adorable in that shirt.

For more on Cat Lady Box and to sign up for your own, pop on over to!


disclaimer: I received a Cat Lady Box for free to review, but every reiteration of its kick-assedness is my own genuine opinion.


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Classes + Activities for the Little Ones

Right now Essley is almost smack dab between a year and a half and two years old. She’s definitely not a baby anymore, but she’s still in the early stages of toddler-dom. She’s not old enough for preschool or, as I’ve come to find out through the age requirements listed on the majority of them, most other classes or formal group activities. Although I don’t feel like it’s necessary to schedule an excessive amount of organized activities or lessons so young, I do think that it’s good for her to have the social experience of a ‘disciplined’ (very, very loose use of that term) group activity with other kids her age.  She took swimming lessons this summer, which was truthfully more of a water play group, and she absolutely loved it. And next month, she starts dance (a ballet-ish parent-involved class called ‘Tip Toes and Me’) that explores creative movement, about which she is already thrilled despite the fact that I don’t really think she understands what it actually means. (Daily conversation is as follows. Adult: “Essley, are you excited about dance class?” Essley: “UH HUH!” followed by 30+ seconds of her killer dance moves.)

I’ve been wondering though if these very sporadic activities are enough. Although toddlers her age are only beginning to play in ways that involve interacting with other little ones (vs. parallel play), I think it’s crucial for them to have regular social activities. We have many friends with young children, but the ones who live close have kids who are older or younger, and those with toddlers her age live in the city (we are in the ‘burbs) and we can usually only organize a play date once a month at best. Even if we could schedule more play dates (which are great on so many levels) however, I genuinely feel that the acts of following instructions and learning cooperation that accompany structured group activities like classes are so important. I just wish there were more group activities available for kids her age. I scoured our park district’s fall catalog (which is massive) and literally the only option for a child her age was the dance class. I know she’ll love the class, and as someone who participated in dance lessons myself from a young age through the college years, I’m excited for it too. But it would be nice to have some other options as well. I saw that our local library has story hours for kids her age, and I think we’ll partake in that. I’d love to sign her up for a group music play type class too, but need to do some more digging. Other than that, I’m left wondering if there are other activities I might just be overlooking and/or that my pregnancy brain is just missing all together.

And that brings me to my question for those of you who are parents. What type of group activities or classes do your toddlers most enjoy (or if you have older kids, that they most enjoyed when they were toddlers)? Do any of you have kids in that in-between baby and toddler age like Essley, and if so, what do you have them signed up for this fall? I’d love to hear any suggestions or ideas you might have in the comments!

Image source: ‘Ballet School for Baby Ballerinas,’ circa 1955.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Our Favorite Nail Polishes, Fall 2015 Edition

1. British Racing Green Nail Lacquer, Butter London  //  2. Leggy Legend Nail Color, Essie  //  3. Chai Tea Latte Nail Polish, Palate Polish  //  4. Rainstorm Nail Polish, Sinful Colors  //  5. Frock N Roll Nail Color, Essie  //  6. Giada Nail Color, Zoya  //  7. It’s a Piazza Cake Nail Lacquer, OPI  //  8. Respect Nail Polish, Deborah Lippmann  //  9. Heirloom Nail Color, Jin Soon  //  10. Fall in Line Nail Color, Essie  //  11. Elephant Matte Nail Polish, Urban Outfitters  //  12. In the Lobby Nail Color, Essie

It’s been quite a while since Morgan, our Beauty Contributor Extraordinare, has written a post over here at Bubby and Bean. She’s a full time high school teacher who is involved in a whole lot of school activities, which makes her one busy lady. She has had so many great ideas to share here, but time has proven to continually slip away. So for today’s post, we found a solution that was actually a lot of fun – we teamed up to write it together. Morgan is a nail guru, so I asked her to give me her top polish recommendations for this fall/winter season, and I combined them with a few of my favorites. The results (and links to each product) can be found above. As you can see, we’re both Essie girls. Morgan also has a love affair with Sinful Colors (and their pricing), while I’m a big fan of eco-friendly brands like Zoya. I tend to gravitate toward more muted colors for the cooler seasons, while Morgan isn’t afraid of funkier shades that aren’t considered to be traditional autumn colors. After putting our heads (and hands; get it? get it?) together, these were the final 12 that made our top polish picks for fall 2015.

What are your favorite nail colors for this fall? Have you tried any of these specific polishes?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith by Charles R. Swindoll (Book Review)

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Sunflower Faith

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judy1-lgFor some British soldiers in WWII, the only reason they survived was due to the bravery and loyalty of a military dog named Judy. In 1945, Judy was awarded the United Kingdom’s Dickin Medal, which honors the wartime service of animals.

According to National Geographic, Judy, a purebred English pointer, began her career as somewhat of a mascot for a group of British soldiers aboard the H.M.S. Grasshopper.

When Japanese planes bombed the ship, the survivors swam to shore. Stranded without food and water, the desperate men were incredulous when Judy sniffed out a freshwater spring under the sand and dug deep to bring the drinkable water up to the surface.

Click here to read the complete.


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Heat Stroke is No Joke!

While a local news station was out at a park reporting on the death of a bulldog from heat stroke the day before, they came across another dog who was very close to heat exhaustion, if not stroke. This is despite the warning signs at the park entrance.

Though you’d think people would get it by now, some people really don’t. To make matters worse, the reporter spent time talking to the ranger about the dog’s condition and showing them pouring water on him while neglecting to mention the number one thing they should have been doing: calling a veterinary ER. Once the clinical signs kick in, they can be very difficult to reverse without aggressive care and time is of the essence.

Once you’ve seen a dog die of heat stroke, you get really agro about this stuff. It’s horrible. You have my permission to lecture strangers if they’re doing something dangerous like walking their pug on a desert trail in 100 degree weather with no water. It happens every day. I hereby appoint you all members of the Heat Stroke Patrol. Feel free to share the infographic as you see fit.


Be safe out there.


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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