Gift Guide // Rest + Relaxation

Gift Guide: Relaxation, via Bubby & Bean
1. Relax Dead Sea Bath Salts, Elucx ($ 24)  //  2. Handmade Flaxseed + Lavender Eye Pillow, Gardenmis ($ 20)  //  3. Repose Calming Tea, Rex Organics ($ 8)  //  4. Sundays Mug, Miss Poppy Design Shop ($ 20) //  5. Handcrafted Spa Gift Set, Anemone ($ 30)  //  6. Cloud Slippers, Urban Outfitters ($ 39)  //  7. Chief Joseph Blanket, Pendleton ($ 239)  //  8. Mischief & Merry Truffles, Williams-Sonoma ($ 19.95)  //  9. Tranquility Candle, Neom Luxury Organics ($ 45, UK only)  //  10. Sleep Sound Therapy Machine, Sound Oasis ($ 59.99)  //  11. Sshhh Earplugs, CB2 ($ 12.95)  //  12. 200-Thread Count Painterly Stripe Sheet Set, Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. ($ 119+)

I’ve noticed lately that when people ask me what I want for Christmas, I always respond with something along the lines of “some relaxation, please.” And although I always say it with a laugh, I’ve come to realize that I’m not really joking. This year has been both the best and one of the most exhausting of my life. In my particular case, I have a baby, a full time job, and a husband who is gone half the year – and I don’t feel like I’ve sat down for more than five minutes a day in longer than I can remember. Sound familiar? I’d be willing to bet that every single one of us, regardless of situation, is pretty freaking tired by the end of the year. Maybe it’s your job, or school, or your kids, or just plain old life – but there is likely one or more things in your life that have left you feeling overwhelmed and in need of a break. Am I right? I’m fairly certain that most of our friends and family probably feel the same. And this is the reason for which I decided to put together some items that will help you give the (much needed and guaranteed appreciated) gift of R and R this holiday season.

If you go big when it comes to holiday gifts, you could always opt for a tropical vacation or a spa weekend. But these items are smaller (and for most, more realistic) gift ideas sure to bring comfort and de-stressing to all who receive them. The Spa Gift Set from Anemone, for example, contains a handcrafted Herbal Facial Steam, Cleansing Grains, Cacao Rose Mask, and Chamomile + Almond Butter Cream, sure to make the receiver feel instantly pampered. (I own this set and can attest to this. Also check out their handcrafted Goats Milk & Honey Cream which is another personal favorite. And pssst, use this coupon code for 20% off your purchase of $ 25 of more: BONUS25.) Or how about those super cozy (and super cute) faux shearling Cloud Slippers from UO? I feel like you’d basically melt as soon as you slipped them onto tired, achey feet. Although a bit more of a splurge than the other items, the Pendleton Chief Joseph Blanket is the ultimate relaxation-inducing gift that your recipient will cherish for many years (I’ve had one for 15 years and it’s held up amazingly well). You could even take several of these items and put together a big ol’ Basket of Relaxation for someone really in need of unwinding. I may actually do just that…

What about you? Got any other ideas of great gifts to help loved ones rest and relax?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Dry, Itchy Skin Could Be Due to Food Allergies

Food allergies can be difficult for anyone but especially those suffering from skin conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema. During an interview on NBC C…
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The Long Dark Twee-Time of the Soul

As you probably know, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with the PTA moms. Not moms in general, mind you, just the small subset of Pinterest loving, glue-gun wielding domestic lifestyle experts whose expectations I can never, despite my best efforts, seem to live up to. It doesn’t matter what school we’re at, it happens every time. First it was the art project/pooper scooper incident in kindergarten. Then it was the Have a Very Agro Valentine’s Day episode. And now it’s crudite, crudite that torments the soul.

It started simply enough: an email asking for volunteers to bring in food items for the teachers this conference week. I looked on the sign up sheet and put my name next to crudite: veggies and dip. Easy, I thought, a quick run to the grocery store for some carrot sticks and dip and done.

I forgot where I was.

(Not two weeks ago, I found myself in the midst of a malestrom for the fifth grade Halloween party when all the room moms got together and asked the parents to bring in food. I asked my class parents to bring in pretzels and fruit. The other moms showed up with cookies shaped like rotting fingers with almond nails and jelly blood, and eyeball eggs with veins hand-painted on with food dye. My pretzels were shoved under the table.)

So now, a few minutes after signing up for the veggie tray, I received an email instructing me to be creative!  which is always concerning. To illustrate her point, the organizer included this helpful photo:


As to what our vegetables should aspire to be.

Now at this point a normal person would laugh and say, “OK, lady,” and bring in a tray from Costco, but unfortunately I still have the sin of pride to contend with on a regular basis, so I instead spent the afternoon standing in line at the grocery store watching YouTube videos of Martha Stewart blanching asparagus. Three hours of cursing later, with piles of peeled burnt chestnuts and carrot shavings dripping out of my hair like Jackson Pollock on a bender, I came up with this:


This is the dogged tenacity that makes people like me get through vet school even when all indicators point to the “why?” factor. We can’t explain it. We just have to.

I shared this with my friends, and they all got a good laugh out of how silly it was, and then later in the day my friend in Ohio sent me a link and said, “See? You’re not alone.” It was a photo of some artfully arranged food items a group of mothers had arranged for their teachers.

It was, upon further inspection, a photo from my very school from earlier in the day. It had already made the Pinterest rounds and ended up in Ohio, where my friend saw it and sent it to me as an example of Moms Gone Styled. I scrolled through it, looking for my contribution.

Notably lacking? The crudite. They were apparently so lackluster as to have not even rated a Facebook photo, and when I returned to pick up the dish I found they had been shoved in the corner in order to make way for some gluten free turkey wraps with hand-whisked dressings in, of course, Mason jars.

At this point, even a not quite normal person would just give up, which is theoretically what I should do, but it’s become clear to me I live in a parallel universe where I am destined to almost-quite get it, over and over and over, but not get it entirely. This is why I am a veterinarian, the almost-quites of the medical field.

So you know what? I’m embracing it. This afternoon I decided to go on a Pinterest binge and make a little Pinterest and dog-friendly crudite platter my way. Hope you enjoy it.


A bright autumn day, full of promise and gently whispered secrets amongst best of friends, calls for sustenance.


Lovingly hand-extruded kibble, with ingredients sourced from local artisans in an organic human-grade facility in Portland by men with bushy beards. In a Mason jar.


We end our afternoon in the garden of delights (it’s water friendly succulents! We’re eco friendly here in drought-parched SoCal) with hand-cut carrot bones from the local CSA, mint from the garden, words of wisdom from the dog sketched in canine-friendly peanut butter hand ground at Whole Foods. And of course, no pet garden of delights would be complete without the coup de grace:


nitrate free ham roses.



You saw it first here, folks. I’m waiting on sponsors for a YouTube tutorial but I think a ham bouquet is a lovely thing.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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First Outing for Lola

Dogs are not allowed into the Palace de l’Europe in Menton but much depends on the security guys. On the day this Miniature Pinscher came to visit ‘PhotoMenton’ with her owners, they allowed small dogs in, provided they were carried.  So meet tiny Lola, only 4 months old and on her very first outing. She lives in Menton.

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pitbullbees-lgIn an incredible act of intuition and heroism, a pit bull named Hades dragged an 8-year-old boy to safety from an angry swarm of bees.

According to Fox 12 in Oregon City, Ore., a group of neighborhood kids were playing near a creek when one child stepped into a rotten log. They soon discovered the log contained a bees nest….and the bees weren’t happy to be disturbed.

The bees swarmed around the children, stinging each of them multiple times. All of the kids but one were able to run up the embankment to safety.

Click here to read the complete story.


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Sarcoptic Mange Mite From A Stray Puppy

Microscopic mange mites identified in a skin scraping taken from an itchy pup.

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Hiring Social Media Consultants

If you are interested in a free year of membership to PetsitUSA, then you can become a new social media consultant!  There are varying options on what a pet sitter should contribute.  You could write blog posts about pet sitting or focus on Facebook and Twitter messages.  If you are interested, send an email to!

PetsitUSA Blog

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LA Dog Chews Off Leg to Get Free

The LA Times and KTLA are reporting the story of Rocky, a German Shepherd pup who chewed off one of his feet to escape a chain that was too tight. Coastal German Shepherd Rescue picked him up from a shelter last Monday and took the dog straight to the vet where his hind foot was […] Dog Blog

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Did PETA Abduct and Kill a Virginia Family’s Dog?

It’s no secret that I have no love for PETA. Actually, it’s more like a deeply embedded loathing. PETA’s tactics have included fat-shaming, sexism, racism of various kinds, spreading pseudoscience about autism, and even exploiting the Detroit water crisis.

All of that is bad enough, but a Virginia man now alleges that PETA’s actions include abducting and killing his Chihuahua. Wilbur Cerate came home on a Saturday last month to find that his dog, Maya, was missing. When he checked the security camera he had installed on his front porch, it showed a van with “PETA” on the side pulling up in front of his house. Two women got out, took Maya, and put her in the van.

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Screenshot of the video showing PETA’s van pulling up in front of the house.

From the footage and the reporting by television station WAVY, there is no apparent reason that PETA needed to take Maya. According to the report, it had been authorized to pick up stray dogs in the trailer park where Cerate and his family live, but Maya was no stray. "I was angry," Cerate said. "I understand they pick up my dog, if it was in a tree or another place, but this is in my house."

Three days after Maya disappeared, the situation got worse. The women came back to Cerate's house bearing a fruit basket and bad news: Maya had been euthanized. They didn't explain why or offer confirmation, and PETA's leadership have yet to elaborate.

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Wilbur Cerate.

Euthanizing a dog after only three days may be shocking, but it's not inconsistent with PETA's philosophy. For years, while animal lovers across the country have pushed for more shelters to become "no-kill," PETA has opposed no-kill efforts, claiming that they are actually a form of cruelty. On their website, they claim that no-kill policies have "deadly consequences":

It’s appalling to contemplate, but when shelters give into pressure to go “no-kill” before they have overcome the breeding and selling of animals in their communities and before establishing sufficient spaying and neutering services, the results are often far worse for animals than a peaceful death through euthanasia.

PETA has a history of putting that argument into deadly action. According to figures from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA has killed 87 percent of the animals that have come into its custody since 1998, while adopting out only 9 percent. (Note: is sponsored by a corporate lobbying group, however, the numbers collected by the State of Virginia seem pretty straightforward.)

Even if you agree with their philosophy on no-kill, it doesn't explain why they killed Maya -- if in fact they did -- in less than three days. If there were signs of abuse or illness that made euthanizing the only legitimate option, you would think that it would be straightforward and open about that. Instead, it has been dodging media scrutiny on the matter. Anyone who's watched PETA's activities knows that is something it hardly ever does, even under the most shocking of circumstances.


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