Tuesday Top Ten: Male Dog Names in 2018

The good folks at Rover have put together their annual list of the most popular dog names among their more than one million clients. Here are the boy names, with girl names to follow next Tuesday. 1.Max 2.Charlie 3.Cooper 4.Buddy 5.Jack 6.Rocky 7.Duke 8.Bear 9.Tucker 10.Oliver Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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

DIY Crayon Wax Decorated Holiday Ornaments

How to Make Crayon Wax Decorated Holiday Ornaments with Your Kids

This post is in partnership with Crayola. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

When I was growing up, every holiday season my mom would come up with fun holiday themed crafts for my sister and I to do. It was a tradition in our family – one to which I looked forward for months. We made everything from DIY wrapping paper printed with stamps made from potatoes to homemade gifts for extended family. But my favorite holiday craft was making our own ornaments. Sometimes they were made from construction paper and string. Other times they were more complicated and involved homemade dough, cookie cutters, baking and painting. They never looked very pretty, but they were perfect. Many of them, in fact, hang proudly on our Christmas tree.

Last year, I decided to start an ornament making tradition of our own, and Essley and I made ornaments out of cardboard, paint, and string. She was so filled with joy during every step of the process, and it was one of the first things she asked to do this holiday season. I couldn’t wait either.

I had to run to the grocery store on Black Friday, and while browsing the toy section, saw the coolest new item in the crafts aisle called the Crayola Crayon Melter. Using it, kids (and adults!) can safely melt Crayola crayons and use the liquefied wax to create art on all sorts of surfaces, including canvas, wood, ceramics, and glass. I immediately knew it would be perfect for Essley and I to create some truly unique ornaments together. And I thought I’d share the process with you today, in case you’d like to create some fun crayon wax art holiday ornaments of your own!


The Crayola Crayon Melter 
Crayola Crayons (8 come in the Crayon Melter box, and we had some old ones as well.)
Globe ornaments (Can be any type of blank ornament. We used plastic but are trying wood next!)


1. Plug in the Crayon Melter.
2. Remove paper wrappers from crayons with the wrapper ripper (included in the kit).
3. Break full crayons into 3 pieces.
4. Insert 1 crayon piece into Crayon Melter and wait for the light to turn green.
5. Use the practice sheets from Crayon Melter kit to practice making art.
6. Create! Use the crayon melter to doodle directly onto the ornaments to make fun textured designs.

The great thing about the Crayon Melter is that even though we’ve had so much fun making holiday ornaments with it, it can be used all year round for other craft projects too. And because we (like most houses with young kids) pretty much always have old crayons sitting around (you can use unwrapped Crayola regular, neon, metallic, or washable crayon pieces), it’s something we can do anytime. The fact that it’s an eco-conscious way to reuse old crayons is a major bonus. The compact design is a nice feature too, and it’s safe, with a low-heat tip so your kids can get creative without worry. Oh, and the Crayola Crayon Melter has been named one of the Best Toys of 2018 by Parents magazine, is a winner of both the 2018 National Parenting Product Awards and the 2018 Play that Advances Language Awards. No big deal.

Essley and I had so much fun creating these (even Emmett got in on the action after his nap with some help from mom and dad), and both kids were thrilled to hang them on the tree and wrap some up as gifts for the grandparents. They were also both smitten with the cool textures it created – so different than just painting or drawing. Working on the project together, with holiday music playing in the background and Christmas cookies in the oven, created such a genuine emotional response in me. I kept thinking back to my own childhood and feeling so grateful to have experiences like these with my own little ones. I look forward to continuing to make holiday ornaments together every year.

Anyone else have the Crayola Crayon Melter yet? If not, go get one (they’re just $ 24.99 at Crayola.com and retailers nationwide) and you can thank me later! Then, I challenge you to create some crayon wax decorated holiday ornaments or art of your own. Make sure to share them on social media with the tag #CrayonMelter so I can see them! Happy holidays!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with the Humane Society of the United States and Halo®


Today, November 27th, is #GivingTuesday and your gift to the Animal Rescue Team of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) can go even further. For every $ 1 you give, Halo is donating one bowl of food to a rescued animal courtesy of Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org. Plus, your gift directly supports the work of the Animal Rescue Team. Every dollar raised will help save animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations, natural disasters and other situations where they’re suffering from extreme cruelty and neglect.

Donate to help animals!

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

The Paw

Anka’s paw, extended out over the snow:

Natural History

Posted in Pet Care Articles | Leave a comment

It is very nice information…My dog also suffers fr…

It is very nice information…My dog also suffers from SA and can go through crates (or walls) in about an hour. Finally after coming home to her out but with a collapsed crate hooked into her skin and being dragged around the apartment I gave in and bought this.i’ll wait for your next article.

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

I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful …

I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful to walk on a leash. I have tried almost every type of harness and collar with no luck. I finally tried the prong collar and have had amazing results.

But recently my dog has been able to break the links apart if he sees something he wants. I purchased the largest/strongest prong collar available. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do?

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

Friday Funny: Cross Breeds

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

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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

My Personal List of This Week’s Best Deals and Coupon Codes (6th Annual Edition)

The Best 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends here in the states! Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year. While I try to start each day with gratitude no matter what, I absolutely love the concept of an entire day set aside to specifically celebrate the things for which we are thankful. Through some incredibly difficult times filled with hardship and great losses over the last couple of years, I have genuinely learned not to take anything for granted. And to be healthy this Thanksgiving (I even get to run a 4 mile race tomorrow morning!) and get to spend the afternoon/evening enjoying delicious food with my family is something for which I am profoundly thankful. Whatever your plans, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and weekend full of family, friends, and joy.

And now, it’s time once again for the annual sharing of my personal list of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday deals! In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, when I come across any seriously amazing deals and/or coupon codes, I record them. If any of the agencies I work with give me notice of secret coupon codes, I record those as well. Then I compile a list of favorites.  And for the past six years, I have shared this list with you. The full list – which has over 50 offers – is below.

I’ll start off with a shameless plug for our card and art print shop Bubby and Bean Art. Today though Sunday 11/25, take 20% off your order with code THANKYOU18. This is a perfect time to stock up on your holiday cards (all of which are eco-friendly and individually made by hand). Thank you for your support of our little shop and all small businesses this holiday season!

And speaking of small businesses, although the list below is mainly for larger stores and brands, please check out your favorite independent shops over the next week, and visit Etsy. I know I say this every year, but many small businesses offer substantial discounts this week and weekend, but don’t have the large advertising budgets of bigger companies. Supporting them can collectively make a big difference, and what’s better than giving a quality gift made with love? (You can also check out this post from last year, where we featured 10 kids’ gifts from companies who give back and make positive impacts on the world.)

Now, without further adieu…


  • AMAZON – Special Deals of the Day updated every 5 minutes on Amazon all week. Click here for their Black Friday Deals pageTIP: If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get access to some deals 30 minutes before they’re available to the public.
  • 7 For All Mankind – 40% off sitewide with code BLACK40 at 7 For All Mankind. (11/21-11/24)
  • ANN TAYLOR – 40% off everything and Free shipping with code SHOPEARLY at Ann Taylor (11/21) + other deals added later in the week.
  • ASOS – Check back morning of 11/22 for an amazing deal at ASOS (11/22-11/28).
  • BED, BATH, & BEYOND – 20% off entire purchase + free shipping at Bed, Bath, & Beyond (11/22 only).
  • BERGDORF GOODMAN – Up to 50% off sitewide at Bergdorfs. (11/21-11/26)
  • BLOOMINGDALES – Save 30% on select styles at Bloomingdales (11/20-11/28).
  • CB215% off full price items with code SAVE15 + free shipping on items over $ 29 at CB2 (11/21-11/26).
  • CARTER’S25% off $ 40 or more with code OKBG385 + 50-60% off sitewide at Carter’s (11/21-11/26).
  • COACH50% off bags (11/21-11/22), + 20% off with code BF2018 (11/23) at Coach.
  • CRATE AND BARREL20% off at Crate and Barrel (11/21-11/26).
  • DERMASTORE – Up to 30% off (brand exclusions may apply) with code FRIDAY at Dermstore (11/23 – 11/27).
  • DISNEY STORE – Up to 60% off + free shipping on select orders of $ 75+, + other deals all week at Shop Disney (11/21-11/26).
  • DKNY – 30% off at DKNY with code YESPLEASE (11/21-11/28).
  • E.L.F. Cosmetics – Free shipping + other deals all week at E.L.F. (11/21-11/26).
  • ETSY – Up to 60% off + other amazing deals all week and weekend long from thousands of independent shops on Etsy (11/21-11/26).
  • FREE PEOPLE – Free shipping + other deals all weekend at Free People (11/21-11/26).
  • FOREVER 21 – Up to 80% off sitewide at Forever 21 (11/21-11/27).
  • GAP50% off everything + free shipping with code BLKFRIDAY at The Gap (11/21-11/26).
  • GLASSES.COM – 20% off all items + up to 50% off select items at Glasses.com (11/21-11/22).
  • HANNA ANDERSSON – Free shipping on 100+, 25% off family plaid + other deals throughout week at Hanna Andersson (11/22-11/27).
  • H&M – Extra 25% off with code 3236 (11/21), 30% off for Black Friday (11/23) and Cyber Monday (11/26), + other deals throughout week at H&M.
  • HOME DEPOT – Deals up to 70% off all week at Home Depot (11/20-11/26).
  • IKEA – $ 25 off $ 200 or more with coupon bzkhwP5H at IKEA (11/22-11/26).
  • J.CREW – 40% off with code TOGETHER at J.Crew (11/21-11/22).
  • JCPENNEY – Hundred of deals online at JCPenney (11/21-11/26).
  • JOYBIRD FURNITURE – 30% off everything at Joybird (11/21-11/26).
  • KEDS – 30% off full priced orders; 20% off sale; free gift with purchase at Ked’s (11/21-11/27).
  • KIEHL’S – $ 20 off $ 65+ with code FESTIVE at Kiehl’s (11/21-11/26).
  • KOHL’S – 15% off with code JOY (11/21-11/23), $ 15 Kohl’s Cash for every $ 50 spent, and more deals all week and weekend at Kohl’s (11/21-11/27). 
  • MACY’S – Deals up to 75% off at Macy’s (11/22-11/28).
  • MADEWELL – 25% off your purchase with code DEALWITHIT at Madewell (11/22-11/26).
  • MINNETONKA – Free shipping with code HOLIDAYREADY and + more deals at Minnetonka (11/21-11/25).
  • MINTED15-20% off with code BF2018 at Minted (11/21-11/23).
  • MODCLOTH –  30% off orders of $ 100 or more; 40% off orders of $ 200 or more at Modcloth (11/23-11/25).
  • NASTY GAL60% off sitewide at Nasty Gal (11/21-11/27).
  • NORDSTROM – Up to 60% off sitewide at Nordstrom (11/21-11/26).
  • OLD NAVY – 50% off entire purchase and styles starting at $ 5 at Old Navy (11/21-11/23).
  • PAPER SOURCE – Up to 50% off at Paper Source (11/21-11/26).
  • POTTERY BARN KIDS – 20% off almost everything wide code UNWRAP at Pottery Barn Kids (11/21-11/24).
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE – Up to 60% off designer selections at Saks (11/21-11/23).
  • SEPHORA – Up to 50% + other deals all week and weekend at Sephora (11/21-11/27).
  • SHOPBOP – 15% off orders of $ 200+, 20% off orders of $ 500+, 25% off orders of $ 800+ with code MORE18 at Shopbop (11/21-11/26).
  • SHUTTERFLY – 50% off $ 99+, hardcover photo books and 40% off $ 49+, 30% off under $ 49 with code GREATDEALS (11/21-11/22) + other deals all week at Shutterfly (11/21-11/26).
  • SUR LA TABLE– Save up to 67% off during Thanksgiving Sale + other offers all weekend at SurLaTable.com (11/21-11/26).
  • QVC – Take $ 10 off your first order with code TEN4U at QVC (11/20-12/3).
  • TARGET – Hundreds of deals up to 50% off site wide at Target (11/21-11/27).
  • TJ MAXX – Free shipping + deals all week at TJ Maxx (11/21-11/26).
  • TOPSHOP – Up to 50% off free worldwide shipping at Topshop (11/21-11/26).
  • ULTA – Get $ 3.50 off $ 15 with code 651168 at Ulta (11/20-11/24).
  • URBAN OUTFITTERS – Buy one get one 50% off at Urban Outfitters (11/21-11/23).
  • WALMART – Hundreds of deals all week and weekend at Walmart (11/21-11/26).
  • WEST ELM – Up to 30% off + free shipping with code SAVEMORE at West Elm
  • WORLD MARKET – 40% off + free shipping on $ 200+ with code FURNDEAL at World Market.
  • ZAPPOS– (This one is always my favorite!) In partnership with North Shore Animal League America, Zappos will be sponsoring dog and cat adoptions all Black Friday weekend. Approved adopters can search pre-selected North Shore Animal League America partner shelters across the country to find their new best friend (11/24-11/26).

I’ll be updating this post and adding new deals throughout the week and weekend, so be sure to check back. Again, happy Thanksgiving, and happy shopping!

image source 

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission from your purchases, at no additional expense to you. For more detailed information, please see our full disclosure and privacy policy


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

WHOLE Meat or “Meat Meal” in Pet Food?

Check the Label

As a pet parent, we all want to feed our furry family members with good, wholesome food. That’s easy to do isn’t it? I mean, almost all of the major premium “natural” brands tout meat as their first ingredient. We do. However, if you look closely at these other premium “natural” brands, you’ll notice the second, and many times third, fourth and fifth ingredients are various types of “meat meal,” like “chicken meal,” and “fish meal”. At Halo we use real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and NO “meat meal” of any kind.

Other companies compare dry, rendered “meat meal” to WHOLE meat, arguing that “meat meal” is higher in protein and therefore better. Well, they have one thing right. “Meat meal” is higher in protein. It’s 65% protein and 10% water, while WHOLE meat is 18% protein and 70% water. The problem is, they’re using this fact to tell a false story.

What is “meat meal” in pet food?
We can debunk it by answering one question: What is “meat meal”? Don’t be fooled by notions of hearty stews or tasty trimmings that are gently cooked and dried. “Meat meal” starts as a slurry of parts. It is then rendered, which is a high-heat process that creates product as fast as it can to reduce costs. Then it’s pressed, ground, and again baked to remove excess moisture. In the process, proteins and fats are often damaged, and that affects both digestibility and nutritional value. So, while these companies and their packaging may shout how much protein is in their food, their ingredients quietly tell another story.

With “meat meal,” you get what you pay for
Economics is the whole reason companies use “meat meal”—it’s cheap protein that runs fast through the manufacturing equipment. As the economics of pet food become more and more difficult, the pressure is to get more yield out of less material. More and more bone (and who knows what else) is making its way into “meat meal”. The WHOLE meat Halo uses is sourced from the same food a consumer would purchase, which makes it much more expensive than “meat meal”.

Economics is driving another trend in premium “natural” pet foods. “Chicken by-product meal” is beginning to show up in their ingredients with the statement that it is a source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Another true statement used to mislead pet parents. Yes, “chicken by-product meal” is a source of glucosamine and chondroitin, but that is not why it’s used. It’s an even cheaper form of “meal” that provides protein. While “meat meals” are no replacement for WHOLE meat, “by-product meals” are the bottom of the barrel. “By-product meal” contains heads, entrails, feet and feathers, (there’s a lot of protein in those feathers). It contains glucosamine and chondroitin by accident.

Quality protein, quality process, quality pet food
Kibble made with “meat meals” can be made more quickly than kibble with high percentages of WHOLE meat (because WHOLE meat has more moisture)—another reason companies use “meat meals”. Their equipment can run faster so they have more capacity, which makes it cheaper to manufacture.

At Halo, our kibble manufacture almost never exceeds 210 degrees F. It is not a high-temperature or high-pressure rendering process. Heating kibble too high would cause the starches in it to burn and make it unpalatable. It has to be cooked and dried lower and slower. Like our ingredients, our process at Halo is more expensive, it takes longer, and it’s worth it to have a great-tasting food made with WHOLE meat that is super digestible.

We stand behind the cost of our cat food and dog food because we stand behind the quality of it. Talk to anyone who has switched to Halo and they will tell you about the transformation their pet has gone through, becoming noticeably healthier after the change. That’s why we’re proud to be the Most Loved Natural Pet Food. Pet parents can see the difference.

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

Keep Your Dog In Shape this Winter

While scientific studies show that pets who are even slightly overweight have decreased vitality and are at risk for complications that shorten their lifespans, still 56% of cats and 60% of dogs in the U.S. qualify as overweight or obese.

So while we love to give dogs the food, treats, and even scraps they love, it’s important to make sure we’re helping keep them maintain a weight that lets them live their best lives. With winter approaching, the couch and the comfort food may be calling you both, but it’s important to stay on top of diet and exercise.

  • Daily walks are doubly good. You both burn calories and get to spend quality time together doing something they love. Be sure to have cold-weather gear close at hand—right next to the leash and doggie bags—to make it even easier to get out there and get moving.
  • Make time for play time. Remember how much you loved indoor recess as a kid? Special games and activities got pulled out just to keep us from climbing the walls? Do the same for your dog. Keep a few toys—like a house-friendly ball, treat ball, or tug toy—tucked away for those days when it’s too harsh to brave the elements.
  • Ingredients tell an important story. Read the label of your dog’s food and treats to make sure it’s loaded with real, WHOLE meat, vegetables, and other quality ingredients that you might find in your own kitchen.
  • Measure your love. Check with your vet to make sure you know how many calories your dog should get each day and then measure the exact amount into the bowl.
  • Make treats a treat. Biscuits and cookies are a wonderful way to please your pup, but know that they should be made with healthy ingredients and calculated into your dog’s calorie intake.
  • Filling up without filling out. Diets aren’t fun, but with healthy weight dog food, you can help your dog reduce his or her calorie intake and still feel satisfied.


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