Shelter Sunday: Chuck / One Hound At A Time / Colorado Springs, CO

Meet Chuck! This handsome fella is house-trained, good with other dogs, and up to date on shots. Here’s what he has to say for himself: Hi! I’m Chuck, a 4-year old male lab or hound or dane mix. I was found on the streets with a horrible fungal infection more commonly found in Shar Pei … Continue reading Shelter Sunday: Chuck / One Hound At A Time / Colorado Springs, CO


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5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals


This post is in partnership with The Honest Company®.


I was raised in a home that was consistently spotless and germ-free. But just like I sadly did not receive my mom’s green thumb (so many dead plants), I did not receive her incredible passion for cleanliness. I’ve never been a complete slob (if you don’t count my twenties, anyway), but I’ve never been a “germophobe” either. 

Welp, like most of us, that changed this year. Now I don’t even leave a room without hand sanitizer, and I basically walk around the house with a bottle of disinfecting spray (Honest Disinfecting Spray from Costco, to be exact; but more on that in a minute) in hand at all times. 

While it is extremely important to me to keep my home disinfected these days, I am, as you guys know, not a fan of harsh chemicals. Just like I do my best to eat and feed my kids organic food, I try to clean my home in ways that don’t require toxic ingredients. If you can relate to the desire to keep a germ-free house without the nasty stuff, I think these tips could be as helpful for you as they have been for me!

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals


1. Wash your hands.

We are told to do this so often it becomes annoying, but let’s face it – it’s one of the most important and effective ways to help stop the spread of germs. And while reminding you to wash your hands isn’t a cleaning tip, I felt compelled to list it because it really is an incredibly easy way to keep germs to a minimum in your home. My kids touch every surface in our house; knowing their hands are clean gives me peace of mind that our home is clean (or cleaner, anyway) as well.

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals
5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals


2. Use Honest Disinfecting Spray to clean, deodorize, and disinfect.
This is my secret weapon, you guys! The Honest Company Disinfecting Spray is a powerful antibacterial spray that kills 99.9% of the germs we all come in contact with every day - without chlorine bleach, harsh abrasives, phosphates, fumes, or harsh chemicals. It also kills cold and flu viruses, which is crucial right now! Its fragrance-free formula cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects in one, and I use it everywhere. From door handles to countertops to toilet surfaces to sinks to my cell phone, a spray or two gives me the peace of mind that the power of hydrogen peroxide is doing its job and keeping things germ-free, without covering the home where my little ones play in unnecessary hazards. If you’re a Costco member like I am, I highly recommend purchasing the Honest Company Disinfecting 3-Pack available in-store or online. You will use it!


5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals

3. Sanitize laundry – without bleach.
I find myself washing bathroom hand towels, throw blankets, pillow covers, curtains, and other types of fabric-based home decor items a lot more often these days. Just like with other surfaces in our home, dirt-free does not equal disinfected, and fabrics that are used daily are full of germs. I don’t like using bleach to sanitize laundry because its such a harsh chemical, so I opt for gentler methods. Our washer and dryer actually have sanitizing settings, which is helpful. But you can also add vinegar or peroxide to the wash cycle to help disinfect. Drying on high for at least 45 minutes also helps to sanitize. 

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals


4. Keep bottles of Honest Disinfecting Spray throughout the house.
This is a tip (keeping cleaners in more than one room) that I learned from my mom growing up, but admittedly didn’t actually utilize until recently. (I used to keep them all under the kitchen sink.) It’s actually quite helpful because while I may be genuinely devoted to keeping my house void of germs these days, I still need reminders to do it. This is why I love the Honest Company’s Disinfecting 3-Pack from Costco. I keep one bottle in the kitchen, one in the downstairs bathroom, and one upstairs for easy access. When I see it, it reminds me to use it. And since we can’t keep surfaces truly germ-free without sanitizing them daily, it’s important to do it consistently (and without harsh chemicals, please!). 

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals

5. Regularly take the trash out (and disinfect the containers!).
It might seem obvious to take the trash and recycling out when they’re full, but we have a habit of pushing in as much as possible until the containers are bursting at the seams. There is something to be said for this, because it’s less wasteful to get as much as possible into one trash bag, but it’s not the most sanitary way to go about things. When garbage and things like used tissues (yuck!) are piled up (and repeatedly touched each time we pushed them down), germs are spread. I take the garbage and recycling outside much more frequently these days, and also clean and disinfect the garbage containers with Honest Disinfecting Spray every time, right before I put in a new trash bag.

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals


I hope these tips prove useful for those of you looking to keep your house as germ-free as possible without having to use hazardous chemicals to make it that way. And if I haven’t hinted about it enough yet, head to your local Costco (or the Costco website) and get yourself the Honest Company’s Disinfecting 3-Pack now! I’m telling you guys, it is a game-changer for not only disinfecting but also cleaning and deodorizing too. (Who doesn’t love a multi-tasking cleaning time saver?) I am also such a big fan of The Honest Company in general and have been since my daughter was born in 2013. Their products are made with love and care, and with safety in mind – from baby, personal care, and beauty items to household products like their Disinfecting spray about which I cannot stop gushing. The Honest Company also partners with organizations like Baby2Baby to help ensure all families have access to basic necessities and health information for safe growth and development, which is pretty wonderful.


Do you have any other tips for keeping your home sanitized without the use of harsh chemicals? I’d love to hear them if so!


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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Friday Funny: Don’t You Sass Me, Azlan!

Happy weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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Thoughts of Dog…Now In Book Form

If you’re not following Thoughts of Dog (@Dog_Feelings) on Twitter, you’ve been missing out. But, just in time for Christmas, you can now buy the book and catch up! Here are a couple of quotes: “i like to leave as much of my hair around the house as possible. it is my confetti. i am … Continue reading Thoughts of Dog…Now In Book Form


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Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole

Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole
This post is in partnership with La Morena.
I have been talking a lot with my kids lately about the fact that even though this holiday season will look different for us (and most people), there are so many ways we can still make it special – for ourselves and for others. One of the ways we can do this is through cooking our favorite foods. The act of spending time together in the kitchen as a family, making delicious, comforting things to eat, has always been a big part of the holidays. Sharing our food has been as well. And while we may not be able to host parties or have big holiday gatherings this year, we can still cook foods and share them with neighbors and community. 
One of our favorite foods to cook and serve (during the holidays and throughout the year) is a vegetarian burrito bowl casserole. Burrito bowls are staples in our house, and creating a casserole from them takes an everyday dish up a notch. My son and I recently had so much fun making a spicy version of this delicious meal and delivering it as a gift to a neighbor. We plan to continue to do this throughout the holiday season, but today we’re choosing you to share the recipe with!
Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole
Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole


Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole

Serves 8-10 
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup La Morena Pickled Jalapeño Peppers (sliced) or Pickled Jalapeño Nacho Slices
1/3 cup La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, sliced
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can corn
1 can refried beans
1 can pinto beans, drained
3 cups cooked brown rice 
2 cups shredded cheese (we like a mix of cheddar and Monterey jack)
2 teaspoons chili powder 
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/3 teaspoon salt
 
Garnishes: 
Scallions, sliced
Tomato, diced 
Avocado, diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat black beans, corn, La Morena Pickled Jalapeños and La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce in a sauce pan with spices until warm. In another pan, heat pinto and refried beans. Spoon pinto and refried bean mixture into a  9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spoon on rice. Layer on the jalapeño/chipotle pepper/black bean/corn mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Cook in oven for 20-25 minutes. Top with garnishes and serve. 

Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole
Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole


The key to the delicious spiciness in this dish is the La Morena Pickled Jalapeños and La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, which add the perfect level of authentic Mexican homestyle flavor and a touch of heat. La Morena peppers are hand selected and prepared, and the highest quality peppers around. (You can find them at Safeway, Shoprite, Stop N Shop, Fiesta, La Michoaćana, Cardenas, Northgate and Vallarta.) And best of all, La Morena is giving away over $ 20,000 worth of cash and prizes in their “We Can!” holiday sweepstakes, which is running through December. (Enter right here!) 


Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole
Spicy Veggie Burrito Bowl Casserole

I hope you enjoy making (and eating!) this yummy recipe as much as we do this holiday season. And I encourage you to pay it forward and make this casserole, or any our your other favorite dishes made with delicious La Morena products, as a meal to give to a neighbor, friend, or family in need. Because even though it’s a different kind of holiday season, we CAN still be kind, generous, and compassionate to others. That is ultimately what the holidays are all about anyway!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Chicken study complicates brain size and domestication assumptions

One of the issues I’m most careful with in looking at domestication literature is claims about brain size reduction. Brain size reduction from wolf to dog is a way more complex topic than some popularizers of science would have you believe.

We should also not assume that smaller brains in domestic animals means that the domestic animal are automatically less intelligent than the wild form. In dogs, there is an argument to be made that domestication has enhanced some parts of their intelligence.  I believe part of this problem comes from the romantic delusions that existed in the early study of animal behavior, some of which were openly fascistic in their understanding of wild versus domestic.

A more nuanced way of looking at domestic animals is that their evolution changes to fit an environment that is fully dominated by human society.  In this world, humans are not a major predator, though humans certain do eat many of the animals.  However, the animals live out their lives with humans as benefactors and protectors, and the evolutionary pressures that work on domestic animals change how their brains operate.

A recent study on red junglefowl found that selection for a lack of fear does change their and brain anatomy. The researchers bred a high fear line and a low fear line of red junglefowl. The low fear line birds had smaller overall brains.  However, they much reduced brainstems and tended to have larger cerebra than the high fear line ones. They had a harder time with remembering fearful situations that the high fear line birds easily remembered, but both strains were of equal ability in terms of general associative learning.

This means that the domestication process does not just dull the intelligence of a species and make its brain smaller. Instead, the process makes it easier for the species to live in concert with our societies.

Our popular understanding is that dog domestication made them significantly less intelligent than wolves, and the best proof we have is the proportionality of brain size, as well as some low n experiments that looked at problem-solving ability between captive wolves and very well-trained domestic dogs.

We need to be very careful about what these studies say, for domestication is a process of evolution as much as anything that goes on in the wild. To live with humans in the way that domestic dogs do, their brains have experienced rather dramatic changes from the wild form, and we must be careful about making simplistic explanations that posit “domesticated” as a synonym for “dumber.”

It’s a much more complex conversation, and this study on red junglefowl clearly demonstrates how difficult the reality of brain changes and domestication clearly is.

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Natural History

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Protected: We now have the first evidence of a 20,000-year-old dogs in Italy: Premium Member Content

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Natural History

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Today’s the Day

Your Vote Counts

I know, I know, we’re all sick of people screaming at us on the internet to vote. It admittedly annoys me too, even though I’m one of the people pushing for it. The thing is, this is probably the most important election of our life times. And I get to have a say. So do you. If you haven’t done it yet, it couldn’t be easier. Put on a mask and go to your local polling place and in a few minutes, you helped make history. 
I don’t have any other blog content scheduled for this week. I just don’t know what to expect, and I’m worried about how people from both “sides” will react. If there is unrest, I would feel like I was being inauthentic posting about, like, what throw blankets to buy for winter. I do have some content scheduled for Instagram and Facebook, but it’s possible those might be put on hold too. 
Honestly guys, I feel like there aren’t enough mindfulness exercises, Xanax, or CBD in the world to calm my anxiety about this election. That’s just me being honest. So much is at stake. Maybe you can just wake me up when it’s over?
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Win a Set of Camo YUCKY PUPPY Poop Bag Carriers!

Yesterday we had a fun, very socially-distanced day at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country. We’re (finally!) enjoying some beautiful fall weather, perfect for hiking and…



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DogTipper

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Just the Good Ol’ Boy

Sagan turned 11 months old on Tuesday. He is just a good boy all around.

He’s turned into fetching fool.  That Herm Sprenger ball gets a lot of use!

Natural History

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