Easy Rise and Shine Smoothies

Tropical Morning Smoothie Recipe

Thank you McCormick for sponsoring this post. Visit your local Wal-Mart to pick up McCormick Good Morning Breakfast for your family!

I know I’ve talked a lot around here about my feelings on the importance of eating healthy breakfasts as the best way to start the day, but I’m going to be honest with you guys and tell you that the past month has been full of processed breakfast foods (so many food pouches) for both the kids and myself. It hurts to type that out, man, but it’s the truth. Between moving into a new house, hosting a big joint birthday party for the kids two days later, adjusting to Essley returning to school and activities after winter break, several sickness sweeping through our house, Robbie going back on the road with the band, and me returning to a normal work schedule after the holidays (phew!), I’ve been on auto pilot since the New Year with zero time or energy to focus on breakfast. However, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed to come up with a solution that would allow me to make delicious, wholesome breakfasts again, without wasting precious time. After playing around, I came up with this super yummy breakfast smoothie that everyone in the house adores, and that Essley affectionately named the “Rise and Shine Smoothie.” I know you and your family will love it too!

Makes 1 serving. Easy to multiply to make for your whole family.

INGREDIENTS
1 packet McCormick® Good Morning Tropical Twist Smoothie Boost
1/2 banana
3-4 strawberries
1/3-1/2 cup almond milk, soy milk, or cows milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for about 60 seconds. (We like ours kind of thick.) Pour into a glass and garnish with strawberries. Enjoy!

These Rise and Shine smoothies are so great because they take less than five minutes, can be taken with us if we’re running late, and can easily be changed up so no one gets bored. We have made them with frozen mangos or a whole frozen banana instead of pineapple, with plain Greek yogurt and water instead of almond milk, and with a handful of frozen blueberries added. The possibilities are endless, but the star of the show and one item we never leave out is the McCormick Good Morning Smoothie Boosts. They’re the best, truly. They contain no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, are gluten free, and our smoothies go from ordinary to extraordinary with a boost of taste and nutrition! Blend into your favorite shake recipes for a drinkable breakfast on-the-go. Blend with juice, milk or fruit for a drinkable meal on-the-go. It’s the exact thing I needed to create wholesale, yummy breakfasts that everyone loves and that doesn’t take a lot of effort or time that we simple don’t have right now.

Mornings are fast, too fast. Between getting ready for your workday and preparing your kids for school, there isn’t much time to create the flavorful, fulfilling breakfast your family deserves. McCormick Good Morning breakfast is a break through line of products to help you do just that. If you’re like I was and feeling overwhelmed at breakfast time, I encourage you to check them out. In addition to the Smoothie Boosts, of which we’re such huge fans, they also make Good Morning Breakfast Seasonings, Good Morning Breakfast Toppers, and Good Morning Slow Cooker Breakfast Seasoning Mixes. Yum!

If you try our Rise and Shine Smoothie, I’d love to hear what you think! What are your favorite ways to create satisfying breakfasts on little time?

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.

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Marmots don’t predict the weather

yellow-bellied marmot

A yellow-bellied marmot can’t predict the weather. Its cousin, the groundhog, can’t either.

I have not written anything about this in a while, but those of you who live outside of North America need to know something:

Every Candlemas, local news stations across the Anglo-American world will be covering a bizarre ritual. At the local zoo or wildlife center, some people with super-thick gloves will be annoying the resident marmot this morning. In my part of the world, it will be French Creek Freddie, a groundhog, who will be roused from his deep hibernation. He will be taken out into the broad daylight.

And somehow, it will be determined if he saw his shadow or not, and if he sees his shadow, then we’re in for six more weeks of winter.

The big ritual happens at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and it is supposedly based upon an German custom of annoying a badger or hedgehog on Candlemas for the same purpose. Neither species is found in Pennsylvania, although wandering American badgers have occasionally turned up in Western New York and even West Virginia.

So they went with the local marmot species as a stand-in. The one in Punxsutawney is called Punxsutawney Phil. There is already a livestream set up for his prediction this morning.

In Montana, a yellow-bellied marmot named Bitterroot Bill. He’s not exactly the ground of Pennsylvania, but if the groundhog of Pennsylvania is a stand-in for a badger or hedgehog, shouldn’t a yellow-bellied marmot do just as well?

At least Van Island Violet, an endangered Vancouver marmot, will be left alone to sleep through her hibernation. Canadians, at least on the West Coast, are nicer to their local marmot than most of us are.

Indeed, this is about the only day that groundhogs get any truck with people in my area. Groundhogs are agricultural pests, and during the hot days of summer, they are frequently used as target practice by those hunters with itchy trigger fingers or those who are starting to doubt their marksmanship skills.

But if you ever see the Candlemas rodents when they are roused from their winter naps, they are quite grouchy. That’s why the handlers have to wear such thick gloves. I’ve never hibernated, but I can imagine that being roused from such a state is pretty traumatic.

I’ve always thought this is a bizarre custom for several reasons:

One is that I can’t imagine the groundhog is looking for its shadow when it’s hauled out into the light. I don’t even know that groundhogs even know what shadows are. The main thing these animals seem to be caring about is why they can’t be put back to bed.

The second is that, um, if an animal sees its shadow, that means the sun is out. If the sun is out, then that will melt the snow, and I would think that the sun shining would be a sign that winter is on its way out.

I suppose I’m thinking this stuff out too much.  It is, after all, just a regional folk custom that went viral long ago.

Most people don’t even know that today is Candlemas, because it’s not an Anglo-Protestant holiday at all.

In North America, it is Marmot Day.

The national news will let us know what ol’ Phil saw. Of course, he won’t be interviewed. There will just a proclamation read, and the news will report on his prediction. The local news affiliates across the country will report on the local marmots, and we will go on our merry way.

And then the real meteorologists will produce their forecasts. People will follow those a lot more closely than the rodent predictions.

And we’ll go back to our lives. The marmots will go back to sleep. When the grounhogs arise in spring, the guns will go off as soon as the find the vegetable patch.

But for one day, they are feted, even if they are too grouchy and dazed to realize it.

Natural History

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Community Rallies Around Heroic Pit Bull

Ossifer the pit bull hero

Photo Credit: The Happy Pet Vet

Gun violence is terrifying and often deadly. Thankfully, one dog in Chiloquin, Oregon saved the day when there was a shooting in late October. Because of his heroic actions, although one man was sent to the hospital, there were no fatalities from the dangerous attack.

According to the Herald and News, around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 27 a suspect aimed a gun at the son of Bridgett Glenn. The shooter hit the man once before Ossifer, Bridgett’s loyal pit bull, lunged at the shooter to prevent him from hurting additional victims. Ossifer protected the people, but received three shots in return – including in his torso. A representative told the paper that “It is extremely rare for a dog to survive that.”

Ossifer the dog who survived three bullet shots

Bridgett described her dog’s actions as “an amazing thing.” Thankfully, Ossifer had an amazing surgeon to help him. Dr. Tawnia Shaw, at The Happy Pet Vet, spent five hours operating on the heroic pup. Although he had to be resuscitated once during the operation after a cardiac and pulmonary arrest, Ossifer miraculously survived. In addition to an incredible medical team, the clinic said that Ossifer’s great health before the shooting was a reason he pulled through. A representative for the clinic told the Herald and News, “That dog was fit,” adding that Ossifer “was in athlete-type condition.” We all know how important exercise and proper nutrition are for helping a pet live their best life – it’s heartwarming to know that it can help heroes survive, too. According to The Happy Pet Vet, Ossifer had to stay at the hospital for two days after his surgery before going home on October 29.

Because of how extensive Ossifer’s injuries were and how much care was required, a local State Farm agent, Chris Watkins, started a fund to help Bridgett and her family cover his care. The community has also joined in and rallied around this canine hero. As of the last update, over $ 3,000 has been collected to help Ossifer. The community has helped in other ways, too. A commenter on Facebook shared that The Chiloquilters made a new, beautiful blue bed for Ossifer so that he has a comfy place to rest while he recovers. According to the veterinarian, Ossifer “is loving it.” There was even a Meet and Greet Silent Auction Fundraiser hosted at a local church where people could greet their local celebrity in person and bid on items donated by local businesses and individuals to help care for the hero. The event’s Facebook page noted that Ossifer wanted to thank his many supporters at the event.

Ossifer the Pit Bull play with his toy

Halo Pets

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Stairs are not mountains

These Bernese Mountain Dogs may be able to climb mountains, but household stairs have them flumoxed! Wishing you a weekend filled with no mountains to climb (unless that’s your thing, than have at it)! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Emmylou Harris Joins Best Friends Campaign

Fans of country music, canines and cats are singing the praises of Emmylou Harris! The entertainment icon, who will be honored with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the…



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DogTipper

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The Universe’s Plans, Valentine Cards, & Other Random Thoughts

Valentine's Day Cards from Bubby and Bean
Valentine's Day Cards from Bubby and Bean
Valentine's Day Cards from Bubby and Bean

How’s that for a post title?

I received an email last week from a long time reader who said she had no idea we had a card/art shop and was so excited to discover it, which I have to admit made me chuckle. I not only started the Bubby and Bean Art Shop before I started the Bubby and Bean blog and social channels, but the blog was supposed to just be a small offshoot of the shop that I’d use to help promote it. And that’s why I had to laugh – because there was a time when the art shop (and my clothing line) were how I paid the bills, and the blog was not much more than a thought in the back of my head. These days, the blog is how I support myself and my family, and the art shop is such a tiny part of my work that in the off season (basically any time outside of the holidays and the period right around Valentine’s Day), I sometimes forget I have it. The universe just as a way of deciding things for us sometimes, even when they’re nothing like we initially planned.

That said, after putting the card and art shop in vacation mode for several weeks after the holiday rush, I just reopened it and added a bunch of Valentine’s Day cards. So if you’d like to give or send your loved ones hip, handcrafted, eco-friendly cards this year, I’d love for you to check them out.  Oh yeah, and you can take 25% of your order today through 1/25/18 with code LOVE2018. Woot!

Happy early love day, and may the universe have all sorts of the best plans for you this year.

ALSO FIND US HERE: BLOGLOVIN’ // INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Animal Welfare Law Rankings by State

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, released the 12th annual year-end report (2017) ranking the animal protection laws of all 50 states. For the 10th year in a row, Illinois is in first place—followed by Oregon (2), California (3), Maine (4), and Rhode Island (5). Kentucky holds firmly […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Football Star Named Pet Parent of the Year

As we get closer to “the Big Game,” football takes center stage…but one special player has gotten a big paws up for his work OFF the field. Petplan pet insurance has named pro…



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DogTipper

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Under Construction!

I am happy to announce that a new chapter is in the works!


LoveMy2Dogs

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Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Thank you Potatoes USA for sponsoring this post. Make a delicious and convenient meal for your family tonight with potatoes!

You guys hear me gush on a regular basis about how tacos are my favorite food, but there is actually another dish that has been at the top of my list since I was a kid: mashed potatoes. I mean, I genuinely start daydreaming about consuming buckets of them on Thanksgiving the minute Halloween ends, and over the years, I have played around with more versions of the standard mashed potato recipe than probably every other food combined. I’m not a mashed potato snob – give me a bowl of whatever kind you’ve whipped up, and I will eat it. But the dish I’m sharing with you guys today is my #1. On top of truly being one of the most delicious side dishes known to human kind, these parmesan mashed potatoes are incredibly easy to make. And there’s a special (very simple) hack that makes them the creamiest of the creamy. Read on for all the details.

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes, Ready Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6-8  |  Author: Bubby and Bean

Parmesan mashed russet potatoes, simmered in milk, are a deliciously unique take on a beloved American side dish. Topped with shredded parmesan and chopped green onions, they’re a flavor-filled favorite that can be paired with almost any entree.

INGREDIENTS
3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups whole milk
4 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel and cut russet potatoes into chunks, place into large pot, and cover with whole milk.
2. Simmer milk over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until tender. (Make sure the milk never comes to a full boil; just keep it at a low simmer.)
3. Add butter, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, and a few dashes of salt and pepper, then hand mash until well combined to desired consistency. (We like ours a little chunky.)
4. Scoop potatoes into a serving bowl and top with remaining parmesan cheese, chopped green onion, and another dash of salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

There are two things that make these mashed potatoes so exquisite. The first is an amazing hack I came across a couple of years ago where rather than boiling the potatoes in water, you simmer them in milk for an incredible level of creaminess. The other is the type of potatoes I use: russets. Russet Potatoes have a light, fluffy texture and delicious flavor that make for the perfect mashed potatoes every time. And while russets are my favorite for mashed, I adore all potatoes. I mean, they’re all sorts of convenient, and an important staple in this house. They’re also a culinary canvas you guys – you can use potatoes in endless types of recipes, from breakfast to side dishes to full on meals. And, who doesn’t love potatoes? There’s never a complaint when they’re part of a meal around here, and there aren’t a lot of foods for which I can say that. (If you’re a potato fan like me, you have to check out the Potato Goodness Facebook page. Endless yumminess, guys.)

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Any other mashed potato fanatics out there? What’s your favorite mashed potato recipe?

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.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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