Lake Bound!

Here in the midwest, it’s sort of a thing to spend summer weekends at a lake. Maybe it’s because we’re land-locked (at least in terms of touching an ocean; it’s kind of hard to feel land-locked in Chicagoland when massive Lake Michigan is right here), so lakes provide our only chance for beach hangs. Or maybe it’s because there are just so many freaking lakes here. But when I close my eyes and get all day-dreamy about summertime, one of the first images that pops into my head is hanging out at a lake in my bathing suit, drinking cold beer and lemonade and eating watermelon and doing all of those idealist things that define the season.

This morning, we are lake bound ourselves, for a short family trip that has become an annual event. Before we had kids, Robbie and I used to drive up to this little lake town in Wisconsin and sit on the beach, eat at the local restaurants, shop, and explore as a couple. (We even took our “babymoon” there in the fall when I was pregnant with Essley.) Then we had Essley, and for the past two summers have taken her as well. This year will be the first year we bring Emmett. For all of the collective traveling that we do and have done throughout the world, this little trip is really nothing – but it feels like everything because it is one of those summer traditions you think about all year long. And while it’s supposed to rain, like, the whole time, we’re not going to let it spoil our fun. Warm summer rain is kind of awesome anyway. (I won’t be posting about it because we’re just gonna chill and be present and stuff, man, but I’m sure I won’t be able to stop myself from sharing at least some of it on Instagram and Snapchat; I’m under @bubbyandbean for both.)

Do any of you take lake trips in the summertime? If so, where do you go?

(Image source)


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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It’s a Halo Feeding Frenzy at SPCA of Westchester

SPCA of Westchester - Halo Pets Food Delivery with Pups

Last month, SPCA of Westchester received a Halo Food donation for their homeless pets. Here’s what they had to say:

“It’s a Friday Feeding Frenzy here at the shelter thanks to this amazing delivery donated by Halo PetsFreekibble, and! We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your kindness and generosity toward our furry friends!”

We are happy that animals like Bella (black Chihuahua), Annie and Maggie (shepherd pups) are getting healthy nutritious meals.

SPCA of Westchester - Halo Pets Food Delivery

Read SPCA of Westchester’s original Facebook post.


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The New Doc


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Poodle pleasure

A little old lady poodle, whose only wish in life is to please her owner.

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Does anyone know anything about Pet Playgrounds Fe…

Does anyone know anything about Pet Playgrounds Fence system? I am considering this type.

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Whitley Westie Reviews Halo Liv-a-Littles Natural Dog Treats

Whitley Westie and Finley

Whitley Westie is a 13-year-old westie from Texas. Recently, she and her best friend, Finley, reviewed our Liv-a-Littles 100% Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Dog and Cat Treats thanks to Here’s what Whitley had to say:

“Me and Finley are givin ‘em 8 paws up and 2 waggin’ tails!  And makin sure dat we hide em from da cats!  And as always we wuz impressed by Chewy’s fast shippin – our treats came right away.  Fanks so much Chewy!”

Thank you Whitley and Finely for taste testing our natural pet treats. We hope you continue to enjoy them!

Read Whitley Westie’s complete review on Halo’s Liv-a-Little treats.


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Coco’s Bad Breath: April 20


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Free Dog Key Ring with PawZaar Purse Purchase!

This weekend, we’ve got a fun special to share: with every order from the PawZaar Purse Collection, we’ll include a bonus DOG or CAT key ring, the perfect accessory for your new bag. (Or…

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


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Chasing Butterflies


If you’re ever in need of an escape to reset your head and find a little bit of peace in the chaos that swirls around you, I highly recommend Thailand. I have lots of stories and photos to share about the elephants I met, but today I have a different story to tell.

Although not quite intentional, when I planned this trip I realized I was returning the day before my son’s tenth birthday, which is also the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. To spend the two weeks leading up to it in a dream fugue of green hills and silent Buddhas was a serendipitous gift that I really needed, because otherwise I would be at home, reliving those long painful days.


Partway through the trip, our group left the elephant sanctuary for the day and travelled to a small offshoot, where the park personnel were working with a large group of macaques. These monkeys, over a hundred of them, had been seized from the streets of Bangkok by the Thai government and were set to be sold to a laboratory before the park founder intervened and took them in to the sanctuary with little more than two weeks’ notice.

DSC00586 (1)

It is, to put it mildly, a large undertaking.

When we arrived, a small cadre of volunteers was upgrading the enclosures and getting a handle on one of the first orders of business: neutering the male monkeys. This is necessary for a variety of reasons; behavioral, and the fact that as adorable as all the babies were, they didn’t need to add more to the mix.


But needless to say, the monkeys themselves were not as thrilled with the idea. They are smart. They know what the little blowdarts mean: someone gets sleepy and goes away for a bit; and they were really, really good at evading them.


Two unsuccessful hours in, as we were still watching the goings-on and waiting for someone to neuter, a small motion caught my eye. It was a bright orange butterfly.


Butterflies have long been my mother’s favorite creature; it is impossible for me to see one and not think of her. They are, and always have been, her avatar. And I, who had been studiously avoiding getting into my head on the topic, had no choice but to sit and think about her.

The butterfly eventually flitted on further into the field, slowly and lazily as if to wait for me to get the hint, so I followed.


I vaguely heard people calling after me as I wandered off, but my attention was turned elsewhere: The field this butterfly had led me to was alive.


I had never seen so many different butterflies all in one place; the green ones that looked like leaves caught on the wind; the orange one that flew like scattered flower petals; the small grey ones on the ground that sat like pebbles until, unfurling their wings, they revealed themselves to be blue.


I didn’t even notice the one on the left at first; a camouflaged creature, hiding in plain sight, watching over the three remaining orange butterflies.


When I saw it, so hidden yet just as real as the remaining three, it hit me so suddenly that my breath caught. A whisper on the wind as clear as day: She is here. She is always here, all around you, and your dad, and your sister.

I hadn’t been expecting such an obvious revelation, and certainly not in what appeared to be an empty field, but I seem to require very deliberate signs from the universe in order to pay attention.


Eventually Teri came bushwhacking to scrape me off the riverbank and let me know a monkey was ready for a neuter. I had found a riverbed where the butterflies swirled, and in that silent contemplation, I was able to get up and go back to the insanity of our lives.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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My Hearts

I’m just popping in today to share this picture I snapped of Robbie and Essley baking faux cupcakes in her play kitchen last week. I’ve mentioned several times here that he had to leave for the band’s busiest few months of the year when Emmett was just two weeks old. This was tough on all of us, but as exhausting as the last few months have been for me, and as much as Essley missed her daddy, it was the hardest of all on Robbie. Now that we’re in the midst of a slower couple of months for him work wise (he was home for a couple of weeks last month, and is for about two-thirds of June as well), he has been devoting every moment to quality time with the kids. It’s pretty heart melting to see the bond between them, enough so that I felt motivated to give this shout out today. I love my family guys. So much. They’re my hearts. And that’s pretty much all I have to say today. I’m feeling a little emo, I guess.

There will be no post tomorrow, so I’ll see you Monday. Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. I’ve gotten so many questions about this play kitchen. This is the one we have. She loves it!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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