A Look Back at 2017 + Thoughts on the Upcoming Year

A Space Themed First Birthday Party (Bubby and Bean)

Happy 2018, friends! Welcome to our very first post of the year.

I’ve admittedly never been big on the whole new year thing. I don’t make resolutions, I’m usually a little sad because January starts Robbie’s busy season for being on the road, and since New Year’s Day is also my birthday, I’m usually a little meh in general – because try as I might to be a super empowered bad ass lady who truly believes age is just a number, I’m also old enough where, ya know, turning a year older just doesn’t feel all that great.

All of that said, something about this new year feels different – like a fresh start. Maybe it’s because we move into our new house – and our first official owned home, ever – tomorrow (!!!). Maybe it’s because this holiday season was my most successful as an entrepreneur in many years, and something inside of me is hopeful that this year is going to continue that way (so real life things like bills won’t feel quite so stressful as in years past). Maybe it’s because both 2016 and 2017 were pretty crappy – for much of the world, it seems. Or maybe I just have a different attitude in general. Whatever the reason, I have a lot of faith in 2018. I really do.

And now onto this post and Bubby and Bean! These annual roundups are some of my favorite posts to put together each year. Taking the time to go back and read through the blog for the entire previous year, then select my favorite posts to share, month by month, is almost therapeutic. Sometimes in the day to day I’m so busy with deadlines and projects, and, as work at home mom trying to squeeze it all in when the kids are napping or at school or asleep, that I forget how much I genuinely love what I do. (Side note: I never know how to answer people who ask me what I do for a living. I always feel weird using the word influencer, but blogger feels dated since so much of what I do goes beyond blogging; so I usually say content creator. And people look at me like, ummm? It’s kind of funny.) Any way, even though the vast majority of this job is emails and forms and contracts and applications and negotiations and bookkeeping and a whole lot of social media work (in other worlds, things that aren’t my forte), being able to be creative on some level everyday through writing and photography and other random creative projects is incredibly fulfilling. Being able to share small pieces of my world, and learning more about others’ worlds while I’m at it, is also pretty cool.

Anyway, here we go!

Starting with the top image: In January, I shared Emmett’s spaced themed first birthday party.

Guacamole and Black Bean Pizza (via Bubby and Bean)

This delicious (and super easy) guacamole and black bean pizza was another popular post last January.

One Week Without Sugar

I gave up sugar for a week in February and wrote a little blurb about it here, with the full piece on Prevention Magazine.

Vegan, Plant-Based Nachos, 3 Ways

I ate a lot of plant based foods in 2017. These vegan nachos, prepared in 3 different ways, were one of my favorite snacks.

Salsa Verde, Avocado, + Spinach Quesadillas

And speaking of Mexican inspired food, I shared these St. Patrick’s Day quesadillas in March, which, while not plant based like the nachos, were also a favorite snack last year.

The 15 BEST Items to Get at Trader Joe's

This post from April, on the 15 items I buy most at Trader Joe’s, was one of the most read and shared of 2017.

My little lady and I unintentionally dressed alike and frolicked in the desert during our trip to Arizona in April.

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

This post on anti-aging hacks I do everyday was also one of our most read posts of the year.

Mango Lemon Prosecco Cocktails with Blueberries

In May, I shared these mango lemon prosecco cocktails (which I drank all summer long),

Our Mama Daughter Bond (+ a $  100 Minnetonka Gift Card Giveaway!)

Also in May, in honor of Mother’s Day, I shared some thoughts on E’s and my mama daughter bond (in our cute matching sandals).

8 Creative Uses for Baby Bubble Bath

I had fun putting together this post on 8 creative uses for bubble bath in June.

DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

We had so much fun putting together these DIY Sofia the First amulet necklaces.

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

In July I shared the recipe for one of my favorite summer meals, jasmine rice, red lentil, and quinoa tacos.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Also in July we shared our tradition of making Mickey Mouse pancakes as a family. So fun.

We spent the day at the zoo in August, and I talked about finding new ways to encourage outdoor play.

How To Put Together A Self Care Package

In September I put together a self care package for my sister (and Essley and I baked some really yummy cookies to put inside).

Also in September, I talked about my attempts at dressing sustainably without sacrificing style.

My Toddler Breast Feeding Journey

I got personal and shared my toddler breastfeeding journey in October.

We had fun decorating our mantel and fireplace area for Halloween.

How To Make You Own Play Dough | Bubby and Bean

We made homemade play dough (and put together our first ever hands only video!).

Family Halloween Costume Ideas

I had to share our unintentionally matching Halloween costumes, of course.

Almond Butter Maple Oatmeal

In November, I made my own nut butter and shared this recipe for almond butter maple oatmeal.

Our Family Dance Parties (& Why Music Is Important To Us)

This post from November on our family dance parties and why music is important to us was our most read of the month.

A Beautiful (and Incredibly Easy) Holiday Snack Spread

In early December, I had way more fun than I probably should have putting together this beautiful but super easy holiday snack spread. (Hey, I love snacks, and if they’re pretty snacks, I’m smitten.)

Being An Older Mom: Stereotypes, Compliments, and Why I Feel Empowered

And finally, this post from December on being an older mom was my favorite post to write in 2017.

This will be my eighth year (!) running Bubby and Bean, and boy has blogging changed a lot (like, a lot) along the way, but I’m at a good place with it. I like where things are now, and even though I worked an insane amount of hours the last couple of months of 2017, it’s nice to feel in a groove. That said, I do think some things will be different around here in the upcoming year. For one, as Essley and Emmett get older, I will likely be sharing less and less of them online. I keep 99% of our lives private already, but that 1% might not be fun for them as they get into grade school and learn to use the internet themselves. And until they can express their own opinions about being a part of the blog and my Instagram, I feel more and more of a pull to be cautious. I may write an entire post devoted to this later this month. Stay tuned. I’d also like to take more social media breaks in general this year. This one is tough because social media is a huge part of my job; but it can also be a soul sucker. I took an unintentional week long break from Instagram due to sick kids and other unforeseen circumstances, and it really forced me to realize how much better I feel when I am living in the present, in reality. Overall, I’m excited to see what 2018 brings for Bubby and Bean! Thank you, as always, for supporting us. You are the best readers in the world.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Under Construction!

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


Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Christmas Gifts from Grandma

Did Grandma give you anything embarrassing this Christmas? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2018 is the Year of the Dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What Should a Dog Eat?

What should a dog eat and how do you know if you’re giving your pet the best diet possible? There are so many different types of diets available for dogs today – dry food, canned food, raw meats, cooked meats, turkey, vegetables, and specialty blends.

The diet that you feed your dog will have an effect on its physical health, …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hello, 2018

Happy 2018

I just had to stop in during this (much appreciated) week off to say happy (almost) New Year! We still have a few days left, I know, but with Essley’s birthday (today!) and me heading out of town to meet Robbie in Denver for the band’s New Year run, I knew if I didn’t sent you guys my New Year’s wishes now, it wouldn’t happen. And it’s important to me to do this every year, because you are the reason Bubby and Bean exists. Truly! We are going on 7 years now (!), and the reason for that is the support of our readers. You guys made 2017 our best year ever, by far.

On a personal level, so many absolutely wonderful things have happened for us this year. Emmett’s Infantile Spasms diagnosis was dropped in April, and he spent the entire year seizure free. If he goes 8 more months without a seizure, his epilepsy diagnosis will be dropped as well. That’s major. He’s doing incredibly well, an learning so much everyday. Essley entered into (and is loving) her second year of preschool, and has been doing great in ballet, tap, gymnastics, and soccer. We traveled to Arizona and California as a family this year, and went on countless road trips through the midwest. And we finally bought our first single family home this month. We’re thrilled to be able to start 2018 in our new home.

This year was also an incredibly difficult one. We lost my stepdad Tom to lung cancer on January 28th. We miss him so much, especially right now during the holidays. It’s not easy. My stepmom was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June, but was (thank you universe!) told she is currently cancer free after many months of chemotherapy and major surgery. And one of my best friends of the last 22 years was diagnosed with ALS in April. I have never talked about that here, but it’s brutal. I love him with all of my heart and feel devastated that I live 2000 miles away and can’t help more. For all of you who have experienced hardships in 2017, I’m sending you love and holding you in my heart.

2016 and 2017 were not my favorite years. But I have faith in 2018. I really do. And even in the darkness, there is so much light. I try to wake up every morning with gratitude for all of the joy I have in my life. My mother in law saw something somewhere about a child who, along with her/his dad, said every morning, “I am happy, alive, and kind.” I think that is pretty much the best mantra ever, and I will be saying it myself everyday in 2018.

Whatever your plans, I hope you enjoy your New Years celebrations! I can’t wait to celebrate with my husband and hundreds of friends in Denver. See you next year, dear friends!

Top image from our holiday card collection, available here


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Year in Review: Fashion World to the Rescue 2017

Before we embark on a new year, let’s take a look back at some of the many supermodels, designers, fashion houses and couture-conscious canines who showed the world in 2017 that compassion is…

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whole Lot of Difference: Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue

Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue Featuring Halo
According to their website, Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue (LCPBR) is a breed specific rescue organization that is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of pitbulls and pit mixes. LCPBR is also an educational based organization. LCPBR educates through breed specific historically correct facts, dog training, specifically bully breed training classes and individual training sessions, and youth based educational material and meetings against dog fighting and animal cruelty.

Jeanie the 3-legged dog with her sister Pippa and Halo pet foodHalo is proud to partner with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org to make a WHOLE lot of difference for shelter pets together.

Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue received the donation thanks to a Halo partnership with Jeanie the 3-Legged Dog, an advocate for the rescue and adoption of pets with special needs and star of the viral video with her sister Pippa.

Renee Smith, President of LCPBR, shared a story of a particular dog named Halo who went from being shot in the head when he was a pup to being a loving LCPBR ambassador:

“Four years ago our rescue received a phone call about a puppy at our local shelter. We were told he was injured and needed our help. We rushed to the shelter to get him and saw that he had severe trauma to his head. Our vet, who is one of the most amazing people I know, said he would stay late to see our puppy. After doing x-rays we found out that he had been shot in the head 3 times with a pellet gun. He also had a broken ocular bone from blunt force trauma and a fractured front elbow all at just 3 months old. We posted him on our Facebook page and within days had a solid lead to who had hurt him. With the help of our local police department, and the DA we were able to find and prosecute who did this to him. It was the biggest case in our area for animal cruelty. Tyler Sanders received 10 years for what he did. 

That is just the beginning of our puppy’s story. The kennel workers at the shelter had named him Halo and we decided we should keep that name. It fit him. 

Halo’s recovery was not an easy one. He was terrified of everything. But, he bonded to my little girl. The first time he moved from the back of his kennel was when she walked up to him and said, “Hey, Handsome.” After that they have been inseparable. 

Halo and phoenix nappingNormally, as a rescue, we would adopt out such a dog but in this case, because of his bond with my little girl, Phoenix, and because he had become such a well known baby in our home town we decided to keep him in the rescue, in my home and now he is an ambassador for us and the “breed.”

Halo has been featured in calendars with the police officers that saved him, he was the first pit bull to visit with an elementary school and teach about animal welfare, and he has been on our local news more than once.

Right now, as I type this, he is sleeping next to Phoenix. This amazing little blue injured baby has managed to change minds in our town and win hearts all over the world. He is, by far, one of the most amazing dog I have ever had the pleasure of rescuing. 

As a rescue, we always strive to provide the best care and food for our dogs. In fact, when we can we feed Halo. 

I would truly love to continue to share Halo’s story and his continued growth and being able to save more like him is what I live for in rescue. He has changed so many lives with his story. And he continually reminds me why I am in rescue. “

Thank you Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue for making a WHOLE lot of difference for pets in your community.

Halo has now added even more WHOLE meat, poultry or fish and use OrigiNative™ (humanely sourced) Proteins, saying “NO” to factory farming, growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. And all our fruits and vegetables are now Non-GMO – sourced from farmland that prohibits the use of Genetically Modified Seeds.

Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. As always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward

Halo Pets

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Removing Ticks From Dogs

Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease.

The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods where ticks have a lot …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It might be a good idea just to go back to bed today

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment