Independent Art Forever + a $500 Giveaway from Minted!

Independent Art Forever + a $  500 Giveaway from Minted and Bubby & Bean!
1. Tapestry 4 by Oh So Suite  //  2. Calculation by Stephanie Nowotarski  //  3. Tangerine by Alexandra Dzh  //  4. Bold Leaves by Kelly Ventura  //  5. Hood River Boards by Shari Margolin  //  6. Minx by Lori Wemple  //  7. Market Theatre by Horizon Photography  //  8. Staredown by Amy Carroll  //  9. Let’s Get Paddles by Suwachi  //  10. Garden Whimsy by Monica Shafer  //  11. Ciao Bella by Kevin Robinson

I am always on the lookout for new art to adorn our walls. We live in a townhouse and don’t have a ton of wall space, but I tend to rearrange my rooms a lot and I love being able to switch out art from time to time. Recently, I decluttered our dining room and ended up with a big bare wall desperately in need of a nice large print, so I decided to get online and hunt down the perfect piece for the space. The prints you see in the collage above, all from Minted - a marketplace for independent artists – represent my final choices. Eventually I settled on #3, Tangerine by Alexandra Dzh. Like much of our home, the dining room is very neutral, and I fell in the love with the pop of orange and the cheerful simplicity of the watercolor citrus fruits.

As my regular readers know, in addition to the blog, I create cards and art prints on the side. I also designed a small clothing line for fifteen years. Because of my own experiences, I have a deep appreciation for independent artists and their work. There is something really special about knowing that a piece of art was imagined and then carefully designed by a real person rather than mass produced by a huge company. There is strong, passionate heart and soul put into independent art. And this is why I am a huge fan of minted. Minted hosts regular competitions to source all their art from their global community of independent artists. The result is hundreds of pieces of gorgeous art from all different genres, designed by artists from all over the world. Each piece is available in several sizes with several frame choices, is affordable, and ships quickly. I’m absolutely thrilled with my print and with the service I received.

And now for the best part! If you’re a fan of independent art like I am, you’ll be stoked to learn that I’m teaming up with Minted today for a pretty incredible giveaway. One lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going to get $ 500 towards Minted art of your very own. You can enter right here. The giveaway will run through May 24th and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Are you an independent art collector? Which piece from above is your favorite?

Thank you Minted for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Minted, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Treats Should You Give Your Dog?

Whether you use them for training purposes, to calm your dog during a stressful time, or just to reward your dogs for being your buddy, treating your dog can strengthen the bond between you and your…

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


Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Update on the Echo Park, Los Angeles dognappers

It seems there is more to this story than first reported. Two women impersonated Los Angeles Police Department Animal Cruelty officers to steal a dog from the owner, Cesar Aguilar, with the threat that they could have him deported. Good news: Aguilar and his little 2-year-old Poodle mix, Fannie, have been reunited. One of the women, Jenny Smiley, 51, was arrested and is out on bail while the other remains at large. Her identity is…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Natured: Coyote, fox or dog? Follow the tracks

Good Natured: Coyote, fox or dog? Follow the tracks
At that time, our other most common canine species, Vulpes vulpes, the red fox, was becoming increasingly rare because of an epidemic of sarcoptic mange, and Canis latrans, the coyote, had yet to explode on the scene. Then, as we moved into the 1980s, …
Read more on Kane County Chronicle

Posted in Pet Care Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NINJA KITTIES! By: Team Goo’s Dillon Piper

Here’s a blog from Lucy Goo Pet Sitting!

Team Goo’s Dillon Piper

Ninja KittyCats are one of the most mysterious house hold pets we have come to know. From their sandpaper tongues, lighting fast speed, incredible flexibility, and intelligent minds, cats prompt a list of questions from many pet owners. Lucy Goo Petsitting is here to help you with some of your questions, and figure out some of the “whys” and “hows” of our feline friends.

Kitty… how do you fall upside down and land on your feet… ALL THE TIME?!?!?!?!?!?

A cat’s lack of a collar bone and a very loose jointed flexible spinal cord are the culprits here. This anatomy allows cats to possess a trait called “Labyrinthine righting reflex” or “righting reflex”. Essentially, righting reflex allows a cat to squirm into a centered, orientated position feet first and upright as close as twelve inches to the ground (sNina Kitty 2econds from landing) so they land on their feet. This reflex starts developing about four weeks after birth and completes development at about nine weeks. This might make you wonder why you may have seen cats fall from rather great heights and still seemingly be okay. This comes down to three things:

  • The density of a cats bone structure
  • Their leg muscles and joints
  • The height at which it fell or jumped

A cats bone structure is very light in weight and its body is covered in soft fur so the velocity a cat obtains as it falls is rather light compared to heavier animals. Interestingly enough, when cats are falling they spread their body out similar to a skydiver and reduce their speed and increase drag. This also helps slow down the velocity at which they fall thus reducing the force of impact. A cats muscular legs also soften their landing quite a bit as well and provide good shock absorption protecting the rest of the body. Cat’s joints can bend sideways to help soften impact with the ground. That said, there is a limit. A cat falling from heights greater than one hundred feet may still land on its feet, but will likely suffer internal damage or broken bones. Take my word for it, please.

Furry Fury!

Now let’s talk about their reflexes in general. Those lighting fast paws or their dead sprints in the blink of an eye. Back to what I mentioned earlier, cats are natural born killers. Cats are the traditional hunters of rodents and insects since their known origin to man. Everything about their anatomy says so and that’s why they are so fast and agile.

  • Their senses and body weight
  • Neurological system

Cats have very acute senses of hearing, smell, and sight. These senses greatly attribute to their reflexes. Since these senses are so heightened cats can anticipate much faster than many animals which naturally causes a faster reaction and thus a faster reflex. A healthy cats light weight anatomy again Ninja Kitty 3attributes to how quickly a cats reflexes are because they are moving much less body weight than other animals. Lastly, a cats reflexes are also so fast because of their neuro system. Almost all living things have a brain and neurological system. Animals have axons which are basically parts of our neuro system that send our muscle reactions to our brains through the nerves throughout our body. How quickly these “messages” are sent is relative to how thick the axon is and how far the message has to travel. Cats have thick axons (thicker than humans) and small bodies which both attribute to their speed and reflexes. All of these things combined make for those cute little ninja cats that we adore so much!


With this extra kitty-cat knowledge, take some time to watch your cat in a new light today…you could probably learn a ninja move or two! ;)

PetsitUSA Blog

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Everything in Nothing

I know I’ve been remiss in posting, and I wish very much I could say it’s because I’ve been so busy creating amazing and exciting book campaigns and creating a plan to hit the NY Times Bestseller List in July. I still want to, don’t get me wrong, and I still plan to at least give it ago. But that’s not why I’ve been quiet.

I guess you could say I’ve been doing nothing. Nothing. Let me explain.

I’ve said to many people when I started working with Paws into Grace two years ago it was like my career and work finally made sense. I liked working in a clinic, I liked the day-to-day stuff, but only two jobs in life ever touched my soul and felt as close as one could come to a calling: writing, and veterinary hospice. Stepping into hospice work was like buying a new pair of leather shoes and finding them already perfectly worn in.

If you recall, I took it a step further when I began speaking on the topic at various Ignite talks, the first one being in January this year at NAVC:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Then later, in San Diego in February:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Putting those two talks together forced me to really dig into why I thought this work was so important- first, I realized, we can do a lot to help people understand the process of grieving a pet.

Then, I realized losing a pet is in itself a really important lesson in how to lose a person, or more importantly, how to help them gracefully experience the end-of-life process. I really, really wanted to share that message.

I remember a lot of things about that night at Ignite San Diego, namely about how I said that all people should hire me so their kids wouldn’t stick them in a nursing home later in life because they were too scared to deal with them. I pointed at my parents and said, “See? Aren’t you glad I made this promise to you guys in front of like, 200 people?” And they laughed, because we knew that was all a long time away.

It all happened very suddenly: the fall, the seizure, the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. One day, my life was filled with the usual concerns, getting annoyed with pseudoscience on the net, figuring out Teacher Appreciation Week. The next day, I forgot everything except this: My mom, still young, beautiful, and full of life, looking at the same diagnosis that made Brittany Maynard a household name last November. It is perhaps one of my worst fears, this particular beast, and now it has invaded someone I love more than words can adequately express. The person who, in other circumstances, would be the one I called for support.

Now she was looking to me, and then it all made sense, this need to understand the importance of hospice and advocacy and learning to let go gracefully. I wasn’t meant to help other people understand the difference between living poorly and dying well. I was doing all of this preparation, whether I knew it or not at the time, for my own mother.

In the space of two weeks, I moved my parents into my house, earned frequent parking points at the hospital, and had to dig deep into everything I ever stood up for and ask myself if I really meant it when I said I thought people should change how they dealt with illness and end of life in their families:

  • Would I help someone honor their own wishes to say no when everyone in an authority position was pushing for treatment? It seems like oftentimes it is easier to do all the treatment than to say no and risk upsetting loved ones who want you to try it.
  • Would I be honest with my children in an age-appropriate way or just kind of try to avoid it for a while? Use the old la-la-la-everything’s-fine approach our family has relied on for generations?
  • Could I bring this whole experience into my house, ask my husband and my children to take on this really intense experience, when it would be a lot easier on them- in the short term at least- to keep my parents at arm’s distance, in their own home, in skilled care?

The two weeks during the diagnosis phase was an unending slog up and down the linoelum floors of the hospital, trudging from one cramped waiting area to another: CT. Neurooncology. Neuroradiology. Neurosurgery. Each appointment took an emotional toll that far compounded the physical one, leaving mom too pooped by the end of the day to do more than go to sleep. Waiting rooms filled with other seriously ill people nervously picking at the fraying vinyl upholstery, doctors too aware of the gravity of the diagnosis to be able to offer a smile.

My mother was so upset at the prospect of poorly effective radiotherapy she didn’t want that she could barely speak after the appointment with the radiologist.  He had recommended six weeks of daily radiation and chemo, tied to those halls and the stale air. Glioblastoma, a poorly researched and dreaded cancer- even in the world of oncology, it’s a bad one- has had few treatment advancements in 25 years. Treatment doesn’t cure the disease, just kind of kicks it down the line a little.

“And if we choose not to do the radiation?” I asked.

“You could do nothing,” he said, “But I don’t recommend it.” No one did, but nonetheless that was exactly what Mom wanted.

So we did it anyway, leaving through the doors of the hospital one last time into the cool evening breeze of the evening marine layer rolling over, before calling in the ‘Nothing’ that is hospice. So far, Nothing has included the following:


  • Watching hot air balloons fly by in their sunset flights
  • Getting through all the Harry Potter movies
  • A comprehensive plan for managing every symptom, every discomfort
  • Greeting the children every morning and tucking them in every night
  • Trying every flavor of macaron at the local French bakery (lemon = best)
  • Getting our nails done
  • Going through old photo albums
  • Driving to the beach

Brody, exhibiting that strange instinct most dogs seem to possess, hasn’t left my parents’ side. He’s been so protective, in fact, that he came barreling out of their room last night to bark at me when I got up at 2 am for some water.


My mother has chosen to die well instead of living poorly. But really, I can’t call what she’s doing right now dying. The walls of the hospital, filled with fear and extended wait times and the ever-looming spectre of illness, feels more about dying. She is living. Each moment, each breath of spring air, each hug, is imbued with a gratitude and a joy it wouldn’t have had in a different situation.


I don’t believe one person’s tragedy is any greater or less than anyone else’s, no story more worthy of being told. But I do hope that in sharing this one I might reach someone who is struggling with a similar situation or just looking to understand why a loved one may have made the same choice.

We’re terrified, but we’re ok. We’re devastated, but happy. I have an incredibly high tolerance for stress right now but Rubio’s running out of pico de gallo leaves me in tears. We are doing what we can and continuing what routines we are able to do. We are together, and that matters most.

We are doing nothing but living, and that is enough. It is, in fact, everything. And this Mother’s Day, we’re having a hell of a celebration.


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rabies vaccination: It's the law

Rabies vaccination: It's the law
During the checkup, the veterinarian will administer a rabies vaccination along with other recommended shots, check for worms, and discuss ongoing flea/tick and heartworm prevention. The vet will give you a proof of rabies vaccination certificate
Read more on Savannah Morning News

Rare plague outbreak in Colorado linked to pit bull, CDC says
Typically, it spreads to humans after they've been bitten by infected fleas or if they've been exposed to bodily fluids that come from infected animals. The report also suggests there are limitations to the automated systems hospitals use to test blood
Read more on Q13 FOX

Will NJ Federal Courts Dismiss Class-Action Complaints At The Motion To
Merial Limited, for example, a case involving putative class claims alleging that plaintiffs' pets were harmed by chemicals in flea and tick prevention products, on defendants' motion to dismiss and strike the class allegations, the court aired its
Read more on Mondaq News Alerts (registration)

Posted in Pet Care Media | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Scared Bichon Frise Rescue And Transformation | Video

The Kris Kelly Foundation got a call from a family in Southgate, who told them that there was a little Bichon Frise roaming the streets of their neighborhood for weeks.

The post Scared Bichon Frise Rescue And Transformation | Video appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Journey Without Tears

I can’t recall
a love without fear

Nor a journey
without tears

So don’t embark
unless you’re clear

On all the costs
across the years

Because love etern
bears a price that burns

A flame forever
astem. astern


Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Who wore it better?

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment