More About Dog Names

More details about popular dog names from Rover, the dog walking service. They combed through their database of over one million customers, looking for trends in naming in several different categories, most involving pop culture. Of course, I’m old, so I don’t recognize many of them, but you might. Here are the top names for […] Dog Blog

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2019 Washington Capitals Pet Calendar Helps Dogs in Need

  Not only did the Washington Capitals win the coveted Stanley Cup in 2018, the professional ice hockey team also won the admiration of dog lovers as the players once again championed the cause…

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10 Holiday Traditions My Kids Love

10 Holiday Traditions For Kids

Thank you Amazon for sponsoring this post. Give the gift of reading this holiday season with Prime Book Box!

When I think back to the holidays of my childhood, it is the family traditions that stand out most in my mind. Those activities we did every year felt so magical! And to this day, they remain some of the most special memories of my life. Holidays with kids are so full of wonder and excitement, and I knew from the moment my little ones were born that I wanted to create traditions for them as well. This year feels especially fun, because they are both at ages (almost 5 and almost 3) where they are able to remember holiday activities we did in previous years, and are asking to do them again. We’re truly establishing traditions together, which is wonderful in every way.

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the holiday traditions my kids most love. Some are borrowed from my childhood and some are new. Some are commonplace and some are unique. But each of them is adored by my little ones – and by their mama and daddy too.

1. Doing an advent calendar. There are so many incredible creative ideas for this on Pinterest, but we just buy the old fashioned ones with chocolate inside like my husband and I had as kids, and our children absolutely love them. They are genuinely thrilled to open a new window each day starting on December 1st.

2. Making our own ornaments. If you’re a regular reader, you may have seen the handmade ornaments we created last week. This is the second year in a row we’ve done this, and is something I did with my mom growing up as well. I can’t wait to fill our tree with them over the years.

3. Reading together. This is another favorite tradition carried over from my childhood. Every evening, we turn on the Christmas tree lights, curl up together under a blanket (often with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, or candy canes), and read books as a family. This season we’ve been reading books from our Prime Book Box. (Current favorites are Elmore, Kitten’s First Full Moon, Mother Bruce, and The Friend Ship.) Prime Book Box is a subscription program, exclusively for Prime members, that is perfect for future book lovers, pre-readers, and readers, from age 0 to 12. Each box contains 2 hardcover books or 4 board books that were hand selected by Amazon editors, so kids are ensured to receive books they’ll want to read again and again. We love ours so much! Learn more about the awesomeness that is Prime Book Box right here.

4. Seeing a holiday show. This year we’ve seen two holiday movies as a family (which I think totally counts!), but for us, our main holiday show tradition is the Nutcracker Ballet. My daughter is a dancer and it is her dream to perform in it (she will be old enough to audition next year!). She, my mom, and I go see it every year.

5. Creating a holiday collection. When I was growing up, I collected miniature Santas. Each year, my parents would let me choose a couple of new ones to add. I still have them all (close to 50!), and display them proudly every year. As I mentioned above, my daughter loves dance and the Nutcracker Ballet, so she decided to start collecting nutcrackers this year. It makes my heart swell!

6. Decorating the Christmas tree. Okay, so this isn’t exactly original, but I couldn’t not include it. This year we went and picked out our tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorated it that weekend. I think we’ll do the same from now on. So much fun!

7. Giving a gift that truly keeps on giving. While the choosing of this gift itself is a tradition that is more for my husband and me, the opening of it by the kids on Christmas morning is something really cool that I hope to continue each year as they grow up. So many of the presents my kids receive for the holidays, while appreciated, ended up being quickly forgotten. My husband and I decided that giving them something they can receive throughout the year would be both practical and special. Prime Book Box is a perfect example of this. With Prime Book Box, any Prime member can give the gift of reading for the holidays, and because it is a subscription service (that delivers hand-picked, hardcover children’s books  – the best!), your child can enjoy it throughout the year. And what’s really cool is that you can choose how often you want it to come (every 1, 2, or 3 months), and also have the option to customize the books from a list of curated selections. Each kid also gets to see his or her own name on the box when it’s delivered, which is really fun.

8. Taking holiday light drives. Every year we load up into the car, turn on the holiday music station, get hot chocolate to go, and drive to look at different light displays. My kids think it’s the most magical thing ever.

9. Writing letters to Santa. This was one of my favorite parts of the holidays as a kid! Our park district has a program where you can register for letters from Santa by filling out a form with questions, having your little one write a letter to Santa, and then taking it to a special decorated mailbox at the community center. The letter that comes back is personalized on fun holiday paper.

10. Helping those in need. My daughter is at an age where she is beginning to understand this, and we talk a lot about how kindness and generosity are the things that most embody the spirit of the season. Last year, we had the kids choose toys they no longer played with to donate. This year, my daughter used money from her piggy bank to buy some in addition to this. It’s such a great way to teach children about the importance of giving to those in need because they also see it as a fun tradition. And I’ve found that even really little ones feel good when they give to others!

Thank you for letting me share my children’s favorite holiday traditions with you. I’d love to hear about your family’s traditions as well! And, again, if you’re looking for a unique holiday gift that can be appreciated all year long, I can’t recommend Prime Book Box enough. You can’t get much better than a gift that inspires a love of reading in kids, and the hardcover books contained in each box are just fantastic. It’s priced right too at just $ 19.99 per box. (Prime members can save up to 40% off List Price! That’s pretty great!) Click here to learn more about Prime Book Box, and subscribe today!

Happy holiday traditions, friends!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Secret Agent Man Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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8 Gift Ideas for the Hip Dad

8 Gift Ideas for the Hip Dad

This post is in partnership with Gillette, but all opinions are my own. #gillettepartner

My husband will tell you he’s the farthest thing ever from “hip,” but I disagree. I mean, sure I think it’s cool he works in the music industry, can genuinely fix or make anything after watching a quick YouTube video, runs marathons like they’re a breeze, and has the best collection of black graphic tees in all the land. But the real reason I think he’s hip is that he is an incredibly loving, hands-on parent and participates in pretty much anything and everything the kids are doing -from dressing up in princess costumes to arriving early to dance recitals so he can sit in the front row to cooking them amazing dinners every night he’s home. When it comes to parenting, what’s hipper than that?

Because Robbie is also hip in that he (at least in my eyes!) has great taste, he can be hard to buy for. I have a feeling many of you can relate to the challenge of finding the right gifts for the hip dads in your life as well. That’s why I put together this round up with what I think are some really fun, stylish, and unique gift ideas (several of which I’m getting for my husband). I hope it inspires you in your holiday shopping!

1. Gillette Limited Edition Holiday Gift Packs. I am giving two of these babies to my husband this year, and I’m so excited about it you guys. Robbie doesn’t take a lot of time to pamper himself, but I know how much he enjoys a nice shave. He’s already a huge Gillette fan, and these limited edition holiday gift packs are super sleek (the matte black is everything!), so I know he’s going to be thrilled. The MACH3 Turbo Gift Pack features a premium matte black razor handle (a first of its kind offered by Gillette!), a matte black and chrome razor stand, and three 3-bladed cartridges. The Fusion ProShield Gift Pack also includes the chic matte black razor handle and matte black and chrome razor stand, and comes with one 5-bladed cartridge. Robbie won’t settle for less than Gillette when it comes to razors, so I know he’s going to be stoked with these seriously rad gift packs. And the price is right: they’re each only $ 19.99. You can pick up one (or both!) for the hip dad in your life at your local Walmart or

2. A Cool Coffee Mug. A coffee mug is a classic gift (especially if the hip dad in your life loves his joe like mine does), and there are all sorts of them out there (like this “Rad Dad” mug from Annabel Trends) that will remind him on the daily that he’s not like a regular dad, he’s a cool dad.

3. My Dad Used to Be So Cool Book by Keith Negley. This book is equal parts funny and emotional, with the neatest illustrations. My daughter actually spotted it first and asked if she could give it to my husband this year, which I thought was really quite brilliant. It’s a great way to remind him that he’s still the coolest.

4. Wireless Earbuds. These beauties from Sennheiser are top of the line (and not cheap), but there are lots of more affordable wireless headphones on the market that are also great quality. For my music loving runner husband, wireless headphone kind of nail it.

5. Wool slippers. It’s a classic, practical gift made cool. I love this pair from Giesswein.

6. Sleek Travel Tumbler. My husband is on the road a lot, whether on tour with the band for work or running the kids to school and activities (which, when he’s off, he does a lot more than I do), and he likes to have his coffee and/or water with him. When it comes to travel tumblers, you can’t get much hipper than a matte black version like this one from Kinto.

7. Multi Device Charging Dock. The hip dad we live with has a whole lot of gadgets that need to be charged. A nice looking multi device charging dock like this one from Urban Outfitters would be much appreciated.

8. A Hip Cookbook. If the cool dad in your life enjoys cooking, a unique cookbook might be just what he needs. I’m definitely snagging this Snoop Dogg cookbook for Robbie (and kind of for myself too).

If you have any other fun gift ideas for hip dads, I’d love to hear them in the comments! Happy holiday shopping, friends.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Bathtime Bonding with My Sweetest Big Boy

This post is sponsored by Triple Soap and Triple Wash on behalf of Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

As many of you know, my son 2.5 year old son Emmett’s first year of life was quite different from most babies experience. At 7 months, he was diagnosed with a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy that leaves most little ones with severe cognitive and/or physical issues, delays, and other challenges. We are profoundly grateful for the fact that Emmett was one of the few who was able to beat the disease and come out of it completely on track developmentally. In fact, what he went through, and all we endured as a family, has made every milestone and step toward independence feel like something to celebrate. And his latest desire for independence – in his words, to be a “big boy in the bath” – is no exception.

Bathtime has always been an incredibly bonding experience for me with both my kids. It’s the time of day when I have completely stepped away from work, have put away my phone, have taken a break from whatever house work or bills or life stuff needs attention, and am completely focused on them. When they were babies, there was the soothing, calming experience of gently cleaning them in the warm water. When they grew into young toddlers and were old enough to play, it was all about splashing and bath toys and fun together. And now that Emmett wants to do more in the bathtub all by himself, bathtime bonding has become a special source of pride for me, where I am able to remember all he went through and marvel at his independence, while also being able to take time together to sing songs, laugh, and talk. It’s pretty wonderful.

From the moment he enters the bathroom these days, Emmett wants to do it all. He gets himself undressed (albeit awkwardly), gets himself in the tub, and immediately wants to get himself clean. It’s both hilarious and endearing, and truly a special time for me.

After I get his hair wet, the first thing he grabs is our beloved Triple Wash®, and gets to it washing his hair and body. Triple Wash is a super gentle, mild all-in-one shampoo/body wash that is fragrance free and perfect for Emmett’s normal skin, as well as his sister’s sensitive skin. (It was designed for both!) I love that it’s pH-balanced and works so well at maintaining normal skin barriers, especially now in the wintertime when the air is so dry. He loves to sing the “I can wash my hair” song while he’s washing it, and then we work together to rinse it. And because it’s tear-free, I don’t have to worry about it dripping as he washes his own hair.

Next, he grabs his “teddy bear soap,” aka Triple Soap®, an all-natural, mild, safe soap bar embossed with a teddy bear for easy toddler holding. It is safe and gentle for everyday use on sensitive and normal skin, and can even help sooth eczema (which I have), contact dermatitis, and diaper rash. He washes his body with it while we sing more songs and talk about all his favorite things. He also likes to make the teddy bear on the soap tell me how much he loves me. You can’t get better than that.

During bathtime, as Emmett repeatedly says, “mommy look what I can do,” we both beam. Not so long ago, I was told that he likely wouldn’t even be able to sit up on his own, much less joyously bathe himself. It’s something I will never take for granted. This, combined with the fact that both Emmett and I love using products that I can trust (and easily order on Amazon!) from the Triple Paste family, makes bathtime a wonderful experience for both of us, and create memories that I will always cherish.

Who else finds bathtime one of the most bonding experiences you have with your little ones? Have you tried Triple Soap and Triple Wash, from the family that makes Triple Paste Diaper Rash ointment? If not, I highly recommend them as safe, gentle, soothing products for cleaning your babes. Click here or here for a special Amazon promo code where you can grab some of your own for 50% off!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Sully Goes to the Capitol Dog Blog

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Barli’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs

This post includes affiliate links and sponsored products. If you purchase an item from one of our Amazon links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This year has been a big one…

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Bubby and Bean’s 2018 Holiday Card Collection (+ A Special Discount!)

Bubby and Bean Holiday Cards
Handmade Holiday Cards

Happy almost December! The Bubby and Bean Art Holiday Card Collection is officially available in our shop for the season. This announcement is coming a little late this year, but that’s life during the holidays, amirite?

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember when I started this just-for-fun project back in late 2010 (right around the same time I started this blog) with two simple designs. Since then, it has grown into a legitimate side business that, between retail and wholesale orders, keeps us quite busy each holiday season.  This year, we’ve included many of our best selling designs from previous years, discontinued a few older designs, and added a couple of brand new designs. As always, each of our card designs use eco-friendly cardstocks and envelopes, and are available in sets of 10 and 20 (or in larger increments, if requested). And as always, each card is individually printed, cut, scored, and folded by hand, right here at the Bubby and Bean HQ.

Bubby and Bean Holiday Cards

You can take 20% off your entire order (cards, card sets, art prints; all of it) at Bubby and Bean Art with coupon code CARDS2018 today through Sunday, December 2nd. We will also be closed for orders the week of December 10th while we travel for my husband’s work, so now is the time to get your cards ordered!

As always, thank you for the support of our little art shop (and of our blog too!).


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Please! No Puppies Under the Tree

From the Facebook page of Deborah Robin Kafir. I gotta admit, this made me cry. Batteries not included … It is Christmas day today, And all are full of cheer, But I lay freezing on the step, I always sleep right here. I never get to go inside, And join in all the fun, I’m […] Dog Blog

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