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8 Pupsicle Recipes: How to Make a Popsicle for Dogs!

We all remember the childhood joy of cooling down with a Popsicle on a hot summer day. Our dogs also love a frozen dog treat–and it’s super easy to make a popsicle for dogs–just…



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DogTipper

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7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

This post is in partnership with Samsung, but all opinions are my own.

I’m admittedly not a neat or organized person by nature, and I basically abhor housework. You know what I do like though? A nice, clean, pretty house. I might not like the act of making it that way, but I sure do like the finished product. And the first room we remodeled in our home after we bought it was the laundry room, for this very reason. See, I kind of think that a nice, clean, pretty house starts with laundry. Laundry, especially if you have kids, seems to take over the entire house, strewn everywhere from the floor to beds to tables and more. And I knew that in order to keep our house in a state where there was even the possibility of it looking nice, we needed a new washer and dryer that worked really well, and a more functional laundry room. It made a big difference.

Then summertime rolled around, and many of my laundry challenges seemed to return, but in a whole new way. Summer means a lack of structure (kids out of school = mayhem), outdoor activities galore, sticky/dirty/dripping/melted foods, and a whole lot of sweat. Summer is messy. Summer is wet. Summer is dirty. Summer is stinky. Summer is the high season for laundry. But thanks to lots of practice, experimenting, and my beloved Samsung AddWash Front-Load Washer and Samsung 7.5-cu Gas Dryer, I feel like I’ve been able to conquer summertime laundry like a champ this year.  And today, I’m doing to share some of my tips with you!

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

1. Put your summertime laundry in the machine immediately.
After enough wet towels piled up in our car and/or on the laundry room counter after pool days, it was time for a change in our system. We have a rule around here now, and wet swim suits and towels go into the washing machine immediately. There is no hitting the ground. The same holds true for t-shirts dripped with ice cream and grass stained shorts and sandy swim trunks. This tip makes summer laundry so much easy. Trust me on this.

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

2. Steam wash those stains.
Let’s get real here. No one has time for keeping up with pre-treating summer stains. I can’t tell you how many of my daughter’s cute little sundresses have been covered with chocolate ice cream and watermelon drippings, and immediately running to get the laundry soap to pre-treat just isn’t first on my list this time of year. Thankfully, our Samsung AddWash Front-Load Washer uses the power of steam to remove stains, making pre-treatment unnecessary. I also absolutely love how our Samsung washer releases steam from the bottom of the laundry tub (most washers release from the top), because it allows every item in the load to get saturated. The best!

3. Use vinegar to combat mildew smell.
As much as we try to get wet beach towels into the machine and washed right away, there always seems to be a loan towel left outside for days (or more) that inevitably starts to smell like mildew. Yuck. Thankfully, adding a cup or two of vinegar to the washer makes the smell disappear in one cycle.

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry
7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

4. Fold right out of the dryer. 
Building a counter for our washer and dryer, was one of the best design decisions we made, because it makes it so easy to fold immediately. But even if you don’t have a counter, setting up a small table or just folding right on top of your washer and dryer works fine as well. I used to transfer everything to a laundry basket and bring the laundry upstairs to fold on the bed, which meant it actually didn’t get folded for hours (or, if we’re being honest here, days) and ended up a wrinkled mess. Now we fold right after a load is done drying, right there on the counter. This is a game changer, especially for summer beach towels, which end up taking over our laundry this time of year.

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry
7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

5. Let the kids help.
Okay, maybe that should read “make the kids help.” My kids are little and actually like helping with the laundry though, and it’s a great way to (1) add structure to summer days (which my kids need) and (2) get laundry done more quickly.

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

6. Add a touch of summer to your laundry room.
Perhaps this seems a little unnecessary, but to someone like me who just operates better in a space that feels aesthetically pleasing, it makes a difference. I love putting fresh cut flowers from our garden in as many rooms as possible during the summer months, but especially in places like the kitchen and laundry room where the most housework takes place. It’s a simple way to brighten up the space with one of the best parts of the season (flowers!), and makes chores just feel more enjoyable. (Try it and you may just become a believer.)

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

7. Get the right washer and dryer.
This is the most important tip and one I can’t stress enough! When we moved into our home, the washing machine and dryer that came with the house worked okay (or so we thought), but we knew we needed to get machines that were more efficient. We ended up choosing a Samsung AddWash Front-Load Washer and Samsung 7.5-cu Gas Dryer, and I am telling you guys, they are my favorite appliances I’ve ever owned. Truly. It’s been a full year since we got them and they’ve made laundry infinitely easier year-round, but especially in the summertime. I love everything about the washer – from the super speed (we can do a full load in 30 minutes and it comes out just as clean as an hour long cycle) to the AddWash™ door, which allows us to throw in forgotten pieces of laundry during a cycle (which happens constantly in the summer months) instead of having to do a whole additional load. And the dryer’s steam wrinkle away and steam sanitize cycles are true summertime lifesavers. We’re also big fans of the dryer’s vent sensor, which detects duct blockages and reminds us to clean our vent (something we tend to forget in the chaos of summer). I’m so grateful we have both of them!

7 Tips for Conquering Summertime Laundry

There you have it friends: my tips for conquering your summertime laundry! If you have any to add, I’d love to hear them. May the rest of your summer be full of adventures in the sunshine, lazy outdoor evenings, and lots of fresh, clean laundry.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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What is a Starbucks Puppuccino?

Do you love Starbucks? Your dog might, too! A Starbucks Puppuccino (some people mistakenly call it a Puppachino) is an item on the chain’s Secret Menu–and it’s just for dogs. A…



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DogTipper

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Not-So-Basic Basic Refried Bean Tacos

This post is sponsored by General Mills, but all opinions are my own.

Even if you’ve only stopped by here on occasion, you probably know how much I love tacos. Honestly, I’ve always been a little shocked that “taco” wasn’t my first word as a baby. (It was “moon,” but that’s a whole different kind of post. #hippiechild) And I’ve shared a lot of taco recipes here over the years, because, well, I eat a lot of tacos. From sweet potato and yogurt avocado sauce tacos to loaded breakfast tacos spilling over with eggs and potatoes, I’ve pretty much made (or at least eaten) them all. But in this house, there is one taco recipe that is our staple meal, especially in the summertime. It’s the one kind of taco that everyone in the family loves eating, and while it’s not some extravagantly complicated, eccentric recipe, it’s perfect. Some might call them basic, but once you taste them, you know they’re far from it.

Not-So-Basic Basic Refried Bean Tacos
Serves 5-6

1 package Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff Shells (10 Count)
1 can Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans (16 oz)
2 cups soy “beef” crumbles (optional; may substitute ground beef, or exclude it all together)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup large black olives, sliced
shredded romain lettuce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans over low heat. Add spices to beans and stir. (If using soy crumbles, heat in a skillet according to package instructions.) While beans are heating, heat Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff Shells in oven as directed on package, and prep toppings (tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and cheese). Once beans and shells are heated, divide beans (and soy crumbles, if using) evenly between shells, then tops each with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce. We like to serve with homemade guacamole or fresh sliced avocado topped with salt and pepper. So good!

When I was growing up, we made good old fashion refried bean tacos just like this, and it was my favorite meal. It’s been so much fun to recreate them into a family tradition with my kids. There is nothing better than making the tacos together, sitting outside on our patio, and eating them up on a summer night! (My daughter calls taco nights with this yummy recipe our summer fiestas. The best!) The recipe is so quick and easy too. Every time we’re at Walmart, we’re sure to stock up on Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff Shells and Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans so we have plenty on hand for our frequent taco nights. We love Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff shells because of their amazing crunch, the fact that we can fit so much goodness inside of them, and because they stand on their own (with sure does make less mess with these little ones.) And Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans are so full of flavor and add the perfect textured based to our beloved tacos. (We also love Old El Paso Gluten Free Crunchy Shells and Old El Paso Super Stuffer Shells, also both available at Walmart!)

I hope you guys love our not-so-basic basic taco recipe as much as we do!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Sweet Summer Vacation

Sweet Summer Vacation

Before Robbie and I had kids, we traveled pretty consistently, both with his job (most of you already know this, but he’s the stage manager for a band and works on tour half the year) and on our own. And while we still travel quite a bit with the kids (both on road trips several times a year and by plane two or three times a year), it’s much less. Much, much less.

Last winter, we decided we were going to take a vacation this summer, just the four of us, no matter what. It wasn’t going to be visit anyone or for a work campaign for me or to tag along with him to work (which, let’s face it, aren’t vacations for him at all because he is busy the entire time). We’d never taken a real vacation that was just about our little family, and it just felt necessary. Then spring passed, and summer arrived, and there was still nothing in the works. Vacations are expensive, and they take a lot of planning with kids and job schedules and all that, and it seemed like our well meaning plans weren’t realistic.

But then I had an idea. Around 1 AM one night while lying in bed when Robbie was on tour, I remembered how a friend of Robbie’s in the hotel business has been recently transferred to Clearwater Beach, Florida. And despite the fact that July was the only time Robbie would have a week off for a vacation and that it is genuinely the worst time of the year to visit Florida (so, so hot), I started researching Clearwater Beach and was smitten. (I mean, give anyone in this family a nice sandy beach and an ocean and we are beyond happy.) A few phone calls and some airline points later, and our trip was officially planned.

As you read this, we’re already high in the sky on our way there. And for once, I’m actually going to take a real vacation from work too, so there won’t be any posts here, and my Instagram will likely be just a bunch of nonstop Stories (because let’s face it, I’m an oversharer and even a real vacation can’t stop me.)

I’d love to hear about any trips you’ve taken or will be taken this summer. (Aside from a couple of short road trips, this is it for us. Essley starts kindergarten in 3 weeks!) And if you’re curious and want to see some of the travels we’ve taken in the past (like our trip to Mexico in December for Robbie’s work, as seen in the photo in this post), click here.

Happy summer vaca!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Our New Baby

We added this adorable 4-month old Vizsla to our family today. We want to name her something to do with the color red, and have narrowed it down to the choices below. Which is your favorite? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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AKC Meet The Breeds Event January 2020

Have you ever been to a Meet the Breeds event? They’re a lot of fun, and a great opportunity to do your breed research if you’re thinking about bringing a new dog into your household. And, as a bonus, there will be cats, too! Here’s what turned up in my mail bag this morning: In … Continue reading AKC Meet The Breeds Event January 2020


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Win Bio Hemp™+ Bites (2 winners!)

After 14 months of research and development, Animal Nutritional Products (ANP) has introduced Bio Hemp+ Bites™, pet chews developed to support the joints, gastrointestinal, immune and nervous…



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DogTipper

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Peanut Butter Chex Trail Mix

This post is sponsored by General Mills. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

One thing I’ve learned as a parent, especially over the last couple of years as my babes get older and we’re constantly running from one activity to the next, is that having snacks on hand that can be taken on the go are crucial. I mean, crucial. While there are plenty of individually packaged snacks made for that purpose, I’ve found that unique snacks we can make and enjoy together at home tend to be more appreciated (by all of us).

Since I was a child, I have had an profound affinity for Chex Mix. I remember my aunt making it for holiday parties and racing to the food table as soon as I walked through her door to get my fill. My kids, husband, and I also love making our own trail mix. So when I first spotted NEW Peanut Butter Chex at Walmart (did I mention we’re all big peanut butter fans as well?), I knew we had to put together a special trail mix with this as the star of the show. My daughter and I experimented with a few different combinations, and finally came up with one that is so incredibly delicious I just had to share it with you guys.

Peanut Butter Chex Trail Mix

4 cups Peanut Butter Chex cereal
3 cups pretzel twists
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup dry roasted or cocktail peanuts
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup sesame sticks

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, and store in an airtight container. You can’t get easier than that!

The key to this recipe is, of course, the Peanut Butter Chex. The subtle sweetness pairs perfectly with the chocolate chips and raisins, and the rich flavor of the peanut butter (it’s made with real peanut butter, and you can tell) takes the mix to the next level. Combined with pretzels and peanuts, the Peanut Butter Chex provides the perfect crunch. The pepitas and sesame sticks are optional, but I really think they give the mix an added layer of flavor. The combination of ingredients is truly mouth watering! I also really appreciate that Peanut Butter Chex cereal contains no high fructose corn syrup, no colors from artificial sources, no preservatives and no artificial flavors. (It’s gluten free too!)

The kids loves eating this, but they also love that they can make this special trail mix by themselves. It’s so easy and there’s no cooking involved, which is a big bonus. I measure the ingredients for them and they combine them in a big bowl. Then we put the mix in a container and enjoy it for a week, taking it with us everywhere from t-ball games to dance class to picnics at the park. It’s truly the perfect summertime treat!

If you love peanut butter, Chex Mix, trail mix, or just a truly great snack, you’ll also love these recipes: Peanut Butter Chex Party Mix and Double Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies. (We love the Muddy Buddies for dessert!)

Head over to your local Walmart or click here and stock up on some Peanut Butter Chex right now. (It’s pretty great for breakfast too.) And if you make our trail mix recipe or either of the others I recommended, I’d love to hear what you think!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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