How to Choose a Dog Groomer

When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

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9 Cute (and Durable) Boots for Kids

9 Cute (and Durable) Boots for Kids
1. I-Walk Thunder Toddler Boot in Espresso, Bobux   |   2. Sway Boot in Black, Bobux  |   3. Harwell Boot, UGG   |   4. Zoey Fox Rain Boots, Cat & Jack  |   5. Original Kids’ Contrast Sole Boots, Hunter   |   6. Mike Dragon Feet Rain Boots, Cat & Jack   |   7. Classic II Water Resistant Kids Boot, UGG   |   8. Splash Fringe Boot, Minnetonka   |   9.  Hamden Sneaker Boot, UGG

In the short three and a half years I’ve been a mother, I have learned many things. And one of the biggest lessons has been that your kids are going to do everything possible to destroy their clothing and shoes. I can put Essley in a new dress on day where she has no activities or school, isn’t going to be playing outside or doing anything that could potentially mess up the dress, and it will be spilled on, and possibly even ripped, by the end of the day. Emmett is even worse. So when it comes to shoes – which are worn much more often than clothing items – I really try to focus on quality. I want a shoe that is stylish, but also really durable. With fall here (and winter on is way), I set my sights on getting the kids a few pairs of high quality boots that are also easy on the eyes. The styles you see above were my favorites from my search. So far we have #??? – all of which you can see in action over on my Instagram in some of the photos of the kids.) Also, I wish they made #?? in adult size. So adorable, right?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Balance In Blogging + A Farewell To Summer

How’s that for a confusing post title? It all ties together and will make sense when you’re done reading this. I promise.

Those of you who have been reading (or writing for) blogs for a long time have undoubtedly noticed how much they’ve changed over the years. And while they much more closely resemble online magazines these days than the online journals they once were, I personally most enjoy the ones that remain authentic and balanced. I have a great deal of respect for the many bloggers who now make a livings from their blogs by working with truly great companies to create genuine content.  I personally consider my blog to be my job and rely on it to help support my family – and for me, it has been an incredibly enjoyable outlet for expressing myself creatively while getting to work with brands I love. But I also think it’s important to remember what sets blogs and small lifestyle sites like this one apart from the big online magazines – and that is personality. When I read a blog, I want to get to know the writer, even if it’s just a very small portion of who they are – and that means they need to create a balance in their content that includes at least of little of their real lives. Now, I admittedly only share very small glimpses of my personal life here, especially when it comes to my family. But I never want my readers to come here and feel like they’re reading something robotic or a blatant advertisement. I am a real person with a real life, and it’s important to me to invite you all into it, even if just on a small scale. That said, in between the regular lifestyle and “how to” and recipe and style and parenting content you see here, I will always include occasional posts like the one you’re reading right now, where I share more personal things like favorite photos from a season or pieces of real life or rambling thoughts (again, just like the ones you just read). As in real life, when it comes to the world of bloggers and influencers, I strongly believe that balance is important.

Summertime Family Story Night

So here in this post, my friends, is one of those glimpses into the more personal side of my life, via a few of my favorite memories from this summer with my little family, captured in photographs. The official first day of fall is Friday, and as we transition into a new season, I can’t help but start to feel nostalgic about the one that just passed. Looking through the photos made me want to share them here (even if some of you have already seen them), as my own personal farewell to the season. We had a really incredible summer, and I look forward to creating lots more memories with my family and pals throughout the fall season as well.

As always, thank you for reading these occasional train-of-thought ramble posts, for following along with some of my real life adventures (even the very unadventurous ones), and for also supporting the sponsored content on which I work hard. I’m very grateful for you all, and hope you continue to find this space balanced and enjoyable.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Dressing for My Days With Style and Sustainability

Thank you prAna for sponsoring this post.

It’s interesting how as I’ve gotten older and my life has changed, one thing has, at its core, remained the same – my style. Since high school, I’ve been drawn to casual, minimal designs (usually with hints of boho) that incorporate natural fibers as much as possible. Like most of us, I’ve certainly had my extreme phases where I attempted (and usually failed) to dress outside of my fashion comfort zone, especially in those “I’m finding myself” years. And details of my style have, as with everyone else, evolved with the times. But in the end, that same core style has remained the foundation of my wardrobe.

That said, even while remaining true to my style, there is one thing about getting dressed that has changed since I’ve become a mother and have had to learn how to squeeze an abundance of different types of activities into each day – and that’s how I dress for my days. While I continue to choose apparel that is what I consider to be my style (and what I consider to be stylish!), I am also careful to focus on pieces that will work for whatever my day (or night) may bring. I also attempt to make environmentally and socially conscious choices in terms of what I wear.

As those of you who read here regularly know, my days vary considerably from one to the next. I’m a full time work from home mama to kids who are under four, my husband works on the road for a band and is gone close to half the year, my little ones are involved in school/ballet/soccer/gymnastics,  I have my own activities (from yoga classes to errands to nights out with girlfriends), and we travel often. Each day is different, but always full. And that means I need apparel that can work for all of this (and again, allow me to still feel stylish) without the need for me to put a lot of time or thought into getting dressed.

The outfit I’m wearing in the photos you see is one of my current go-tos and a perfect example of my daily “uniform.” Both the jeans and the sweater are from one of my long-time favorite companies, prAna, and they’re both perfect examples of what I consider to be my ideal way to dress. The Kara Jean is made from an organic stretch blend denim, which means it moves with me, no matter what my body is doing – whether it’s a quick 5 minute yoga stretch session on my deck in between work projects, or pulling a 1.5 year old toddler boy down from high places he shouldn’t be (which happens a lot in this house). They’re incredibly comfortable, but also fit perfectly, are made well, and they’re chic – meaning I can put them on in the morning, get through everything I have going on that day, and then wear them out to meet my friends for a glass of wine. And the same can be said for the Loveland Wrap (also made from organic cotton). I can put it on in the morning over a loose tee as a cozy sweater, wear it comfortably all day, and then pair it with a fitted top and some jewelry for a date night with my husband, or throw it on at the airport before hopping on a plane. An outfit like this is the definition of my perfect personal style – simple, free-spirited, in style without being too trendy (there’s nothing fun – or responsible – about having to get rid of a piece of clothing after one season), well made, versatile, and sustainable.

Speaking of sustainability, there is something else that is becoming increasingly important to me when it comes to dressing for my days – and that’s consciousness in clothing. It’s actually been important to me for a long time, but thinking about my children and seeing the devastating things that are happening to a planet they’re inheriting has reminded me just how significant it is. Not everything in my closet is conscious – but over time, more and more of it is becoming so. Some of you know that I owned and designed for an eco-friendly clothing company for many years. Because of this, I have a great deal of knowledge about the fast fashion industry and how wasteful it can be. I also know how the production of conventional fabrics and materials harms the environment. And I’ve learned how choosing inexpensive, poorly made garments that end up in landfills after a season, rather than high quality clothing pieces that last for years, is not only a bad choice for our wallets over time, it can also be detrimental to the planet and to the workers who often make them in horrific conditions. And this is yet another reason I love prAna. They create beautiful, consciously manufactured clothing designs that are crafted from sustainable fabrics (organic cotton, hemp, and recycled poly) and that are fair trade certified (watch this awesome video to learn more about this) – and they consistently give back through both local communities and international charities. They genuinely give more than they take. And this is a value that I want to be able to include in the everyday parts of my life – like through what I choose to wear each day – so I can be confident that I’m not only being true to myself, but also doing my small part to make a positive difference in the state of the world while setting a good example for my kids.

This is how I dress for my days. (And my nights!) I remain true to my style, I choose clothing that is pretty but practical and versatile for my busy, unpredictable life, and I try to make responsible shopping decisions by choosing pieces that are made in a way that will help – not hurt – the earth and its inhabitants. And if you’re like me and appreciate these qualities when it comes to getting dressed, you’ll love prAna’s line of clothing and accessories. (Pssst… Here’s a special coupon code you can use for 15% off everything on prAna’s website: F17CGMW Woohoo! Coupon code is good today through October 17th. Run!)

What about you guys? How do you dress for the everyday? What’s most important to you when choosing pieces for your closet?

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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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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The Scoop On Grain-Free Dog Food

Dog Eating Food

“Grain-free” is often a distorted concept in pet food, even though some dog owners believe that pet food identified this way is of special value. “Grain-free” pet foods were developed and marketed in response to what people were seeking, perhaps as part of a human dietary trend to avoid carbohydrates, rather than the actual nutritional needs of dogs.

 What Does Grain Free Actually Mean?
In grain-free dog foods, ingredients such as potatoes or rice replace the grains in the food. Often these ingredients have more carbohydrates than the grains used in dog food, or in the case of potatoes have a glycemic index which has its own effects (as any human diabetic will know).

There is also the sim-identification by most people who include corn as a “grain” to be avoided, when corn is not a grain – as anyone on a gluten-free diet can attest. A side note is that corn is actually a really nice food source, whether for people or dogs (not cats, who should be getting barely any carbohydrates from any source!) but that is a story for another day.

Blaming Grains for Medical Problems
I am concerned that pet owners go to “Dr. Google” or chat with friends and come up with their own diagnoses and remedies for their pets’ illnesses.

I received a question from a lady about her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who began having seizures when he was 6 years old. She said that after hours of googling on the internet she found that corn (sic) and wheat were the probable reason, even though she had him on a premium dog food. She switched to a grain-free food and he never had another seizure, for which she credits the removal of grains – clearly without knowing that corn is not even a grain!

In any case, seizures are most likely an inherited genetic trait, or related to a medical condition. There is no logical way to tie seizures to any sort of pet food, nor to attribute the cessation of symptoms in two mere weeks to changing foods.

So is It Good to Feed Grain Free Food?
For me, it’s not really a concern that people are making a choice for “grain-free” without fully understanding what they are getting. They are surely getting nice quality foods that are made without grain – so all to the good. I will say that people have a misconception that they are getting a ‘carb-free” free at the same time, as mentioned above. All dry foods need carbohydrates to be manufactured. While there might not be “grains” like wheat, all kibble, grain-free included, necessarily has “carbs” of various kinds, whether it’s rice, potato, or a similar binder.

If Grain Free Isn’t “The Answer” Then What Is?
We all have a dizzying array of premium and “super premium” (whatever that means, quite honestly?!) foods to choose from. So how do we pick and choose in a way that makes us feel comfortable about the philosophies of the company we are supporting with our purchase, and the thought that goes into what their ingredients are and where they source them.

I guess this explains why I’m so happy about my personal choice of using Halo dry food for my dogs. It has been a wise one from those perspectives, since their commitment to giving back to shelters has been there from the beginning, and using only whole meat and no animal byproducts or rendered meal. They have recently gone one step further to choosing meat that is American-sourced, humanely raised and without growth hormones or antibiotics, along with non-GMO fruits and vegetables. In addition, I feed the canned varieties of Halo Stews made of salmon, lamb and chicken.

My dogs also eat dehydrated foods as part of their daily diet, which also contain whole meat (and also never any meat meals). These foods have also been proven to be more “bioavailable,” with the dog’s body able to absorb more nutrients because they are highly digestible, as is Halo.

I’d recommend that you should find also find companies that make “top shelf” foods and also have a heart and conscience.

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Sep 4, Dog Food Nutrients & Nutritional Needs | Best Dog Food Guide

Learn about dog food nutrients. What are the nutritional needs of your furry companion. Can you and your dog share the same meals?
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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Canadian Dog Finds Missing Cat

Ghost and Cash from Canada

Many people have experienced their dog suddenly stopping on a walk, fascinated by something and unwilling to move. Thankfully when Shelly Colette’s dog did that on a walk this summer, the alert owner paid attention to what had caught her dog’s notice.

According to The Star, Cash is a black border collie who belongs to Shelly Colette in Sackville, New Brunswick. Early this summer, the two were on a walk when Cash suddenly stopped and wouldn’t budge. Shelly saw that Cash was stopped by a manhole in the ground, so she looked down. Shockingly, she saw an orange cat on the other side of the manhole’s grate. According to Shelly, “Cash was very intrigued and refused to leave. He wanted to save this cat.”

A four-year-old orange cat named Ghost had gone missing six weeks earlier. Shelly told reporters, “I had never met Ghost, but I had seen the missing cat signs around town and I thought, ‘That’s Ghost,’” about the cat in the hole. As one pet parent to another, Shelly called Izzy Francolini, Ghost’s owner, to tell her that she had spotted Ghost.

Read the complete story of Ghose and Cash.

Halo Pets

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Update: PetsitUSA Accepts Credit Cards

New and returning members of PetsitUSA can now purchase memberships with credit cards.  In the past, members could only pay with checks or PayPal.  Members will also automatically have their accounts activated.  Our ‘Welcome’ and ‘Thank you’ emails will also be automatically sent.  We hope this makes it easier for members to join and continue to stay with PetsitUSA!


PetsitUSA Blog

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A nice little buck fight

Bucks are starting to spar. Luckily, right in front of the game camera!


Natural History

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Links I Love, Right Now

http://bit.ly/2xK0mRD

It’s the elusive Links I Love post! These posts are few and far between these days, but since I’m no longer nursing Emmett 1746 times during the night, there is a lot less time to mindlessly peruse the internet at 3 AM. (Side note: I am, however, still nursing him. It’s usually just before bed, but yeah. He turns 20 months tomorrow and would probably nurse for, like, 12 more years if I let it go that long. I genuinely love breastfeeding, but part of me is starting to feel slightly more than a little over it. But we’ll save that for another post.) That said, I’ve happened to stumble upon some pretty cool links this week at the random times I have been online, and because I love you guys so much, I’m going to share them. Enjoy.

Have you guys seen the We Carry Kevan project? This (at least partially) restores my faith in humanity. This is true friendship.

This isn’t a link I came across, but it includes 10 important links, and I’m sharing it again in case you missed it here on the blog last week: 10 Ways To Directly Help Those Affected By Harvey.

The embroidered denim jacket you see in the image at the top of this post is majorly on my fall wish list right now.

I love this digital guide to all the September issues of fashion magazines.

Oh man did I need this one this week. 8 ways to respond to toddler tantrums (without time-outs).

This little girls’ dress is so cute (and only $ 12!).

A photographer visited and photographed sites from 1960s postcards, and the difference is intense.

I used to wear a Jawbone fitness band everyday until late last year when I decided it had broken one too many times. I am not a motivated person when it comes to exercise and need to be held accountable, so I broke down and get this Fitbit a couple days ago after spending way too much time looking at different models on line this week. Anyone else have it? Reviews?

So many good sales going on at H&M right now!

These photos of Barack Obama moving Malia into her Harvard dorm just make me love him even more than I already did.

As those of you follow me on Instagram know, I’ve been struggling with eczema on my eyelids and next for over two years. After numerous doctors and specialists couldn’t figure out a solution, I finally had intensive allergy testing done and found out one of the biggest culprits was dust mites. I’m still having issues, but they have improved substantially, and I think part of the reason is this amazing air purifier I picked up. It wasn’t cheap ($ 90), but I considered it a health investment. (And nope, this isn’t a link I came across this week, but I still wanted to share since some of you are on the eczema journey as well!)

These beer-brewing monks are helping an rebuild earthquake-devastated town in Italy. So cool.

A glimmer of hope in the fight against school bullying.

It’s an embroidered wireless speaker! Gimme!

Do you have anything fun planned this weekend? Robbie and I get to have a date night – woohoo! (Wish us luck… Last time we attempted this we had to leave in the middle of a movie because we got a call that Essley was vomiting. Good times.) We also registered Essley for a “tiny tots track meet” tomorrow morning and she is so excited. Robbie is a marathon runner and Essley has been talking about being in a race herself forever, so I think it will be really fun. (I’m sure there will be plenty of live action from it on my IG Stories.) Other than that, I’m hoping for some downtime. This was Essley’s first week back at school, and she starts back at ballet and soccer this week, in addition to gymnastics, so in terms of work and regular life, the season of chaos has begun again. Did I also mention we have less than six weeks to finally find a house to buy and move into it (long story)? It’s just intense in general right now. This is Robbie’s first weekend home in forever, so it will be nice to have some such needed chill family time, even if just for an afternoon. I hope your weekend is everything you’re wishing it will be! See you back here Monday.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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