Fire Prevention Month: 10 Ways to Ensure Your Family is Super Prepared

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. October is Fire Prevention Month – practice safety in numbers to ensure your family’s super prepared too!

Last spring, my daughter came home from preschool wearing a fire hat, and excitedly told us how she got to meet real firefighters, see a fire truck up close, and most importantly, learn more about fire safety. We have always been as prepared as possible for a fire or home emergency, but her newfound interest inspired us to really amp things up and make sure our entire family was regularly involved in discussing and learning about ways to make sure we’re not just prepared, but super prepared.

With October being Fire Prevention Month, I thought it was the perfect time to share with you guys the things we do in our own home and as a family to protect ourselves from fire.

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

1. Get the whole family involved. I’m putting this one first because it is so important! Even though our babes are little (2 and 4), we make sure to include them in the different aspects of whole home safety. We try to make them a part of as many of the 10 tips I’m sharing here as possible. There is truly safety in numbers when it comes to whole home safety.

2. Plan escape routes. My husband and I planned escape routes as soon as we moved into our home, but we recently pulled everyone in the family together and went over them again with the little ones present, discussing how and why we chose the escape routes we did. We walked through our house and talked about all of the different possible exits (including both doors and windows) and the best ways to get to the exits. We also drew out “fire escape treasure maps” as our daughter calls them (floor plans).

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

3. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home. This includes the basement if you have one, as well as an alarm both inside and outside of every bedroom (and/or sleeping area). Fires spread fast, and an alarm is one of the best ways to get an early warning. Both of our kids know where the smoke detectors are in our home and what to do if one goes off.

4. Make sure alarms are up to date and working. When we first moved into our home, we noticed that the smoke detectors were over 15 years old, and one of the first things we did was replace them with First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms. It is important to replace alarms every 5 to 10 years, and to either replace the batteries every 6 months or upgrade to First Alert’s 10-year sealed battery alarms. We also regularly test our alarms to ensure they’re working properly.

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

5. Choose a meeting place outside. Our whole family knows that in case of fire or other emergency, once outside we meet at our mail box at the end of our driveway. It is important to decide on a common place outside that is a safe distance from your home where every family member will immediately go.

6. Practice your escape. Every few months, we have pretend fire escape and practice the different escape plans we developed in our home. And when they get a little older (and are less easily frightened), we will have true fire drills, including during the night.

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

7. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to call 911. Our daughter took a safety class over the summer that taught everything from how to deal with strangers to what to do in case of a fire. She also learned how to call 911, but didn’t understand how to do it from a locked cell phone. We made sure to teach her how to do this, while also making certain she understood that you never call 911 unless it’s a true emergency. As soon as we feel that our 2 year old can comprehend it, we will teach him as well.

8. Have working fire extinguishers. We (obviously) keep these out of reach of our kids, but they know where they are an how they work. We live in a 2 story home and have 3 (one on each level including the basement).

10 Family Fire Safety Tips

9. Protect again carbon monoxide too.  I mentioned in #3 above that it’s important to have fire and carbon monoxide alarms on every level, but 40% of homes do not have a single CO alarm. In the United States, carbon monoxide is actually the #1 cause of accidental deaths, and it cannot be seen, heard, or smelled. That’s pretty scary. We have First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms installed throughout our home so we’re protected against both fire and CO.

 10. Talk about it. No matter how hectic things are or how busy our days are, we always have dinner at the table as a family, and we take that time to talk about things that involve us a family. We make sure to discuss fire and overall home safety a couple of times a month at dinner, so our little ones remain aware of its importance. As I said in my first tip, there is safety in numbers when it come to being super prepared in the case of fire. It is a truly a family affair!

10 Family Fire Safety Tips
10 Family Fire Safety Tips

For Fire Prevention Month (and all year long!), First Alert and its Super Prepared Family want to make sure your family is super prepared when it comes to whole home safety. You can learn more in the video below and at this link.

If there are other ways you and your family prepare yourselves in case of fire or other home emergency, please share in the comments!

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.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Lucky, Indeed

These are not my dogs, but I think seeing them at the end of a business trip or even after a busy day would make everything worth it! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Hava Heart Loves Halo WHOLE Ingredient Supplements for Dogs

Have Heart with Senior Dog Supplement

Thank you Hava Heart for helping to get the word about Halo supplements for dogs. We’re happy to see this pack of Havanese rescues announce its love of our 100% WHOLE ingredient supplements to its Instagram fans.

“We have seen so much more energy and playfulness out of Henley since starting him on @halopets Senior Dog Defense! #halopets #halo”

“We’ve been soooo impressed by @halopets new line of supplements, that we decided we’d try two more! Julian is king of sensitive stomachs, and we could all use an immune boost, especially when we have foster dogs! #halopets #halo”

Thank you, Hava Heart!

Learn more about Halo supplements and see which one is best for your dog. Our supplements are also available in PetSmart.


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Punky is back

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Puppy Shopping

Now I’ve been guilty (more than once) of buying everything in the store EXCEPT for the one thing I came for (I call it the $ 200 gallon of milk), but I’ve never picked up puppies! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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6 Ways To Better Care For Your Teeth Enamel and Gums

6 Ways To Better Care For Your Teeth's Enamel and Gums
This blog post is sponsored by Crest. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Health and wellness in general has been a theme for me in 2018, both here on the blog and in real life. I don’t think there is any one specific reason for this, but at the end of last year, after feeling overwhelmed with stress, constant sickness in our house, and some really intense life experiences with loved ones being ill, something clicked and I realized that I no longer had a choice – I needed to be consistent about focusing on keeping my body/mind/spirit (and, of course, those of my little ones too) at the best they could be.

Included in this overall wellness, of course, is dental health. You guys may have noticed that I’ve been posting about taking care of teeth/gums/mouth quite a bit here and on my social accounts this year. And that’s because I keep learning more and more, both from my dentist and from studies I’ve read, about how much dental health is connected to the health of the rest of our bodies. I’ve really committed to focusing on taking the absolute best care possible of my teeth and my family’s teeth for this reason. And today and over the next few months, I plan to share with you some of my tips and other things I’ve learned and discovered about keeping our teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Today in our dental health journey (I feel like the beginning of one of those old school 1980s educational film strips saying that; anyone else remember those or am I just old?), I’m going to share some things I’ve learned and that we’ve been implementing about ways to protect and repair the enamel on our teeth, while caring for our gums as well.

1. Drink water throughout the day. Our dentist suggested this for my husband, who is an everyday runner. She told us that runners tend to have drier mouths, and that dry mouths (no matter what the cause) can weaken enamel. Staying hydrated helps produce adequate salvia, which in turn helps prevent tooth decay and enamel corrosion by washing away food particles and bacteria. Drinking water is great for your body in general too, so it’s a win-win. (Bonus: If you can’t brush right after you eat, rinsing with water helps flush away left over food, bacteria, and acids.)

2. Use a soft toothbrush. It can be tempting to want to use a hard bristled brush and go to town scrubbing your teeth, but my dentist told me that it’s always best for both your enamel and gums to use a soft toothbrush and to brush gently.

3. Chew gum after meals. If you can’t brush or rinse right after a meal, my dentist suggests chewing a piece of sugar free gum. Chewing gum help stimulate saliva production, which as I mentioned above helps wash away bacteria and leftover food.

4. Use new Crest Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste. My regular readers and followers already know we’re big fans of Crest’s gum health-focused toothpaste, but Crest Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste is our favorite one yet. It was designed to specifically focus on helping to repair enamel by penetrating the tooth surface, to remineralize and strengthen areas of weakened enamel, while also targeting the gum lines to neutralize hidden plaque bacteria and provide further bacterial protection. And its Enhanced Protection Technology creates a shield of protection that slows cavity-causing attacks and erosion. So basically, it does a whole lot of great things to protect tooth enamel and gums, as well as to reverse gingivitis and the effects of it. Pretty great, right? And it’s available in two varieties: Intensive Clean and and Advanced Whitening. You can pick up a tube of Crest Gum & Enamel Repair of your very own at Walmart stores nationwide.(Pssst… See the bottom of this post for how you can save $ 3.00 on Crest Gum & Enamel Repair along with some of your other favorite Crest toothpastes!)

5. Avoid sweets. This is admittedly my least favorite way to care for my teeth, because I love sweets. I mean, I love them. Unfortunately, bacteria love sugar as much as I do. When you’re eating lots of sweets, bacteria thrives in your mouth and produces acids that break down the enamel. Cutting down on sweets, as brutal as it may be, is one of the main ways I’ve been taking care of my mouth and overall health this year.

6. Avoid acidic food and drinks. Coffee and all things lemon are at the very top of my favorite things list, so this ones almost as tough for me as the sweets. But acidic food and drinks can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. My compromise is to make sure I brush or rinse with water immediately after consuming food or drinks with high acid levels.

So there you have it friends – my tips (and my dentist’s!) for ways to better care for your teeth’s enamels and gums. If you have any tips I may have missed, I’d love to hear them!

Oh, and as I mentioned above, today, September 28th, through October 1st, you can save $ 3.00 on Crest Gum & Enamel Repair along with Crest Gum Detoxify, Crest 3D Whitening Therapy, and 3D White Brilliance at your local Walmart. Woohoo! Just check your Sunday (September 30th) newspaper for a $ 1.00 brandsaver coupon to use for one Crest Toothpaste (3oz. or more) OR one Crest Kid’s Toothpaste (3oz. or more), and click here for a $ 2.00 Ibotta Rebate that is good until November 15th.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Are Grackles Dangerous to Your Dog?

Today we have a guest post from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences about a topic that’s familiar to just about everyone who’s ever parked in a…

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We’re Launching a New Blog! #Giveaway

The last few weeks, we’ve been hard at work preparing a new blog that we’re launching today: get ready for DogTipper’s DOGGONE TEXAS! Our new blog is created in the same style as…

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Friday Funny: Deployed Again

The Facebook caption for this read: “Fifth deployment and they still haven’t realized I’m a dog” Sending hugs to all those deployed. Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Practicing Daily Gratitude With Your Kids

Last week, I posted the top photo above on my Instagram, with the following caption: “Every morning when Essley wakes up, I ask her to tell me one thing for which she’s grateful. She’s like her mama (we don’t enjoy mornings), and I’ve found that starting my day with gratitude (even if I have to force it) genuinely helps me feel less anxious and more happy through out my day – and it seems to help her as well. This morning, her response was ‘my family’ (gold star answer, kid) and ’763 pieces of chocolate’ (clearly my child). Have a grateful day, friends.”

I received over 30 messages after posting that, from both parents and non-parents, thanking me for the idea and stating that they were going to do the same with both their kids and themselves. My response to every message was that while I certainly didn’t come up with the idea of practicing morning gratitude, I was thrilled to see that our silly little morning ritual could possibly help others who have anxiety (like me) or who just wanted to start their days in a positive way. And it got me thinking about other ways my kids and I could practice gratitude together. So Essley and I sat down and came up with a “gratitude to do list”, which I am sharing below.

1. Every morning upon waking, say out loud at least one thing in your life for which you feel thankful.

2. Keep a special journal or sketchbook, and throughout your day, write down or draw pictures of things that you appreciate.

3. Give every family member a hug and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.

4. Make a thank you card for a friend and tell them you appreciate their friendship.

5. Say thank you out loud every time you eat a meal.

6. Smile a LOT. (Essley says this one is the most important of all.)

7. Take videos of your little ones telling friends and relatives why they are thankful for them, and then email or text them the videos.

8. Make a giving list. For holidays or birthdays, make lists of the items or experiences you want to give others. (Sort of a reverse wish list.)

9. Everyday, tell each person in your family one thing about them you love and appreciate. (This can be anything from something profound to Essley’s favorite, “I like your outfit mommy!”)

10. Before bed, say out loud one great thing that happened that day for which your are thankful.

Consciously feeling grateful for things in your life is such a simple concept, but it’s been life changing for me in many ways. (Sounds super cheesy I know, but it’s the truth.)  And it makes sense – research shows that practicing gratitude causes us to enjoy our lives more and feel happier in general. Even the act of putting this list together made me feel thankful and happy, and I know it did the same for Essley. If you have little ones, try some of these and let me know what you think. And if you have ways you practice daily gratitude with your children (or yourself!) I’d love to hear!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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