From the Twitter feed of the George H.W. Bush Library: On Dec. 6, a bronze, life-size statue of Sully will be on display in the Fidelity corridor as a part of the memorial exhibit. Stop by and see the amazing work of Susan Bahary, provided by America’s VetDogs. @AmericasVetDogs In case you didn’t remember, Sully … Continue reading Sully Statue Premieres December 6th
I share bits and pieces of my family here and on my social accounts, but I usually refrain from getting too personal (especially when it comes to my kids). One exception for me is our family holiday cards. And while sharing family holiday cards might not seem like a deep dive into our personal lives, there is something very intimate about them: they represent a year of our life, they’re shared with our closed friends and family, and they express love and gratitude. It’s a holiday tradition that I find incredibly endearing, and it makes me happy enough that I want to share them with you all too.
After years of only sending cards that I designed for myself for my Bubby and Bean Art shop, I decided after Essley was born it was time for a change. First of all, I wanted to include a photo of her (my precious babe!) on the card. Second, I wanted a place that offered customization and would do the printing for me. Finally, I wanted a place that would, well, do all of the other work too. (Stuffing, sealing, addressing, stamping, and sending holiday cards is an incredibly time consuming task, let’s admit it.) After lots of research, I came across a company that not only had the coolest, most stylish cards around, they also offered everything else I was looking for (and then some). And here I am, five years later and still happily using my holiday card BFF, Postable.
While those first couple of paragraphs alone have probably already convinced you of Postable‘s awesomeness, I’m going to gush just a little more. But first, I want to add that I Postable hasn’t (and has never) paid me to review them. I just think they’re the best. For real. Anyway, Postable rules for many reasons, but their huge selection of truly hip, beautifully designed cards is the first thing that caught my eye way back when. (No cheesy holiday cards here!) I’m also a huge fan of the fact that they care about the environment (climate change is real, the end) and use 100% post-consumer recycled or tree-free 100% cotton in all their cards and envelopes. The quality of their cards is some of the best I’ve ever seen too. And the process itself is so quick and simple it’s like a holiday weight the size of Cousin Eddie’s RV is lifted from my shoulders every year. In ten minutes (maybe more like seven to be honest), I upload my photos, greetings, names, choose my font (so many options, but I found one that matches Robbie’s handwriting almost exactly so I can be sneaky and fool my posse into thinking we hand wrote them), click on the addresses saved in my address book, and hit order. A few days later, my loved ones have received our holiday cards in their mailboxes, and all I did was sit on my butt drinking spiked eggnog and tapping a few things on my computer.
As you can see above, Postable has such an incredible collection that I always end up ordering a bunch of samples because I just can’t freaking decide. This year, I ended up choosing one that embodies the things I think are most important to the season (peace and joy) and that I felt best displayed the photo I took of the kids. I also changed up the back this year to include three additional photos (including the infamous dolphin shot from our summer vacation where Emmett’s facial expression is absolutely meme-worthy) because with Postable, you can customize to your heart’s content). I’m so excited about them.
Thank you Postable for making the holiday season easier for me in so many ways. Did I mentioned that the people who work for the company are genuinely nice humans too? They’re so nice, in fact, that they are giving you 20% off your entire order with code BEAN19. Go use that awesomeness right now and then come back and tell me all about the cute cards you chose. I can’t wait to see them. And thank you for letting me share such a special part of our family holiday traditions with you. Happy holiday card giving!
This post is in collaboration with Postable.
We got our first real snow of the year today. The German shepherds loved it.
Dare does the border collie stalk when playing firt pole.
Fetching her kong wubba in the driving snow.
Tuna is half American/half West German show lines that we have co-own with Quest’s breeder. Pending health testing, she will be bred to Quest, a breeding that could produce puppies that could definitely be shown in the AKC ring.
If you see her posted on here, she might be hard to tell apart from Dare because they are both roughly the same coloration and have similar pedigrees. But dare is significantly larger is built in that way that triggers so many keyboard warriors, while Tuna is much more moderate. The genes that make the type are different in American showlines vs German showlines, so when you cross them, you get pretty moderate puppies. The genes are still there, though, so when you breed them back, you can get the type again.
These dogs really love the snow, more so than the other breeds with which I am familiar. They aren’t even from a particularly cold country in Europe, but they have nice, thick coats that are quite functional for harsh conditions. They aren’t arctic breeds, but they are good cold country dogs.
From the SEAL of Honor Facebook page, captioned, “When America says jump.” I always thought they were strapped to the handler, but this one looks like he’s on his own! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
The countdown is definitely on to the holiday season–and nothing says holidays like holiday treats! We’ve got a new, free cookbook for you including recipes to our goodies ranging from…
[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]
This post is in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill.
About a year after my husband and I started dating, his parents sent us a copy of his family cookbook. It was put together in 1991, and is filled with hundreds of family recipes that span generations. We treasure it, and use recipes from it often, especially during the holidays when we enjoy spending time together cooking and baking. The brownie and mac and cheese recipes are holiday staples in our house, but there is one recipe that we make more than all of the others combined: a delicious coffee cake called “Nana’s Sunday A.M. Favorite” that my husband’s late grandmother often served.
This year, I decided I wanted to play around a little with this adored family recipe to create something special for a Friendsgiving brunch (more on this in a minute). I experimented with introducing pumpkin into the ingredients, and the end results were absolutely mouth watering. Topped with a yummy sweet crumble and crunchy pumpkin seeds, it’s the perfect coffee cake for this time of year. My kids now ask for it daily, so it’s becoming a regular around here on weekend mornings.
I’m very excited to share this recipe with you (below), but first wanted to talk a little about something that is incredibly important to me. While I take great joy in watching my kids happily devour this delicious coffee cake and all of the other meals and snacks they eat each day, it’s impossible for me not to think about that fact that 1 in 7 kids in America today lives with hunger. ONE IN SEVEN you guys. In all, there are more than 11 million children here in the United States who live in “food insecure” households – meaning they don’t have consistent access to the healthy food they need to fuel their growing bodies. It breaks my heart to think about this, but it also motivates me to do something. I recently learned that Bob’s Red Mill (my favorite for baking; many of their ingredients are used in this recipe!) is partnering with the No Kid Hungry® campaign to raise funds to end childhood hunger by giving millions of kids access to nutritious meals. And guess what? We can all get involved and make a difference through our Friendsgiving celebrations this year!
Putting together a Friendsgiving® for No Kid Hungry celebration is a fun, easy way to bring friends together to enjoy delicious food while also making a difference in the lives of kids in need. Just click here and in a few simple steps, you can sign up. They have all sorts of great resources to help you plan your event too!. To learn more about No Kid Hungry and the truly incredible things they do to give children in need access to three healthy meals a day, visit their website right here.
PUMPKIN COFFEE CAKE
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 45-50 min
4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All Purpose Flour
2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Cane Sugar
1 tsp Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Brown Sugar
4 tsp Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All Purpose Flour
3 tsp melted butter
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt (for the coffee cake). In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then mix in pumpkin puree and egg. Gradually add milk. Pour batter into 9 x 13 greased baking pan.
Mix topping ingredients (except for pumpkin seeds) and sprinkle over batter. Evenly top with pumpkin seeds.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and serve.
Tip: You can easily this recipe in half if you’re just making for yourself or your family.
You can also view this recipe, along with some other delicious Friendsgiving recipes put together by Bob’s Red Mill, in a free recipe ebook that is available right here. And don’t forget to sign up to host a Friendsgiving party of your own through No Kid Hungry, and help make a difference in the lives of children in need this holiday season!
Ruminant ungulates are among the most amazing species that evolution has produced. Their multi-chambered stomachs give them an ability to turn what is essentially indigestible into energy. They are specialists in their diet, though most eat multiple species of plant, they are bound to eat plant matter. Their fortunes are dictated by the sun, the soil, and the rain. In abundant lands, all they must do is eat, eat and keep an eye or an ear open for the predators.
Their place in nature is meat on the hoof and pervasive predators of plants. The white-tailed deer predates most of its predators in its ecosystems. The dire wolf, the Armbruster’s wolf, the Edward’s wolf, the coyote, and the gray wolf all were new on the land when the white-tails first blew their warning calls at them. Same with the bobcat and the cougar and the Smilodon and the American lion. In most of their range, a white-tail will never smell the faintest scent of a wolf or cougar. The coyote and the bobcat and the odd predatory black bear take their toll, as does the human nimrod.
Humankind knew this continent only in the very recent past. Paleolithic Siberian hunters were the first to take their toll upon the deer. They were later replaced with Europeans and then the whole Anglo-American civilization came to the fore. It hunted the white-tailed deer nearly to extinction. Hides and meat, all of which could be sold the the highest bidder.
But this civilization, the one that almost did the species in, turned out to be its greatest benefactor. Hunting peoples were cleared off. The age of plastics made leather from hides mostly irrelevant for most household use. Leisure hunters with money began to push for deer conservation and deer reintroduction.
And so the land was turned into this great deer thicket. The oak woods dropped the acorns, and acorns are fine tack for the deer, though their palate evolved in woods dominated with the great American chestnut. It was felled by an invasive blight, so the deer know the acorn from the white and red oak as its primary food to fatten in the autumn and to corn them through the frigid days of winter.
Sportsmen plant food plots for them. They buy food at the feed store to feed them, which comes in many different brands and innovations.
Farms are being abandoned left and right. And the native lands are returning to thickets. These thickets are cut with the highways of deer. Vast herds of bison and elk are not making their cut upon the same land, so the thickets grow in thick and heavy. The tunnel trails through the jungles cannot accommodate a fully-grown human without the overgrowing branches holding back your wanderings.
The white-tailed deer is the enduring one, relishing the ruins of its North American kingdom, which has, for the moment, been perfected for its existence. So they go with ruminant stomachs, turning the sunlight and carbon dioxide into muscle and fat.
They endure. And I suspect they will outlast us when it all comes crashing down as ecology’s laws catch up to us.
This giveaway is sponsored by and fulfilled by GROOM Bathing Tablets. Pet store aisles are littered with hundreds of pet shampoos that make magical claims but often cause adverse reactions because of…
[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]
Happy Halloween from snowy Chicago! The costumes you see in the photo above are from a downtown trunk or treat we did last week. (The below photos are from years past.) We haven’t been able to take photos of our real costumes because we’ve all been sick and it has been freezing cold – think January weather. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to brave the weather to trick or treat tonight, and that my poor little lady, who has been the sickest of all and has missed way too much fun at school this week, is up for it. Essley is dressing up as a fairy, I’m a fairy, Emmett is Cookie Monster, and their dad, who is on tour with the band, got a Cookie Monster t-shirt to match Emmett, even though he’s 1,000 miles away. (Awwww.) I’ll be sharing bits and pieces from our day and evening on my Instagram Stories if you want to follow along with what could either be a hot mess or a fun adventure.
Rain, shine, or freaking snow, we love Halloween! I hope yours is magical and spooky in the best of ways.
I have started e-collar conditioning with Dare this week. This process is not cruel, and it involves no punishment.
What it does involve is her learning that very low static stimulation, which I can barely feel, can be turned off if she comes to my side. This process started on a long lead, and now she is doing it off-leash. Eventually, this low level stimulation will be used to proof other obedience commands.
We are using the Einstein Mini Educator. Her working level, the level where she can feel the stimulation, is at a 6. The stimulation levels go from 1 to 100.
People hate on these collars because they can definitely be used as a harsh aversive, and yes, they can be used to hurt the dog. This way of using lower levels of stimulation to proof obedience, though, really isn’t more aversive than a gentle tug on a leash.
So hate these tools all you want. They are effective and are not abusive if used correctly.