Reunited, and it feels so good!

Army Spc Tyler Mosley, of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), reunited with a puppy, Daisy, he cared for during deployment in Syria. Mosley adopted Daisy after reaching out to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCAI) in January, who paved the way for the puppy’s arrival to the Destin-Fort Walton … Continue reading Reunited, and it feels so good!


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Farewell, Sweet Summer

Now let’s be clear – I hang on to summer until the very end. (And I’m talking right up until the real first day of fall, which is still over 6 weeks away.) But tomorrow, my daughter starts Kindergarten, so as a family enjoying the bliss of summer’s freedom, today is the last day. I could write a novel on the bittersweet mixed emotions I’m feeling about her going on to her first full days of school (and/or my feelings on why I think this is too early for kids to start the school year), but instead I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite pictures we snapped this summer as a family.

I also wanted to mention that today, my sweet Emmett is officially 3 year seizure free. For those who don’t know his story, you can read about that right here. We are endlessly grateful for the fact that he beat such a horrific disease, and we will continue to celebrate (and also make ourselves available to other IS parents) for the rest of our lives.

Who else has kids going back to school this week? When do you consider summer to be over?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Dog Bone Sugar Cookies

Dog Bone Sugar Cookies

“Dog” was my daughter’s first word, and everyday since she learned how to talk, she has asked me when we’re getting one. I absolutely love dogs, as those of you who have been reading here for a long time know. (I mean, the “Bubby” and “Bean” behind Bubby and Bean were my dog Leary and my sister’s dog!) And I look forward to getting another rescue in the future. I just need my 3 year old to stop destroying everything that comes into his path so I can find some room in my brain to care for another living creature, and then we’re on it.

In the meantime, we do lots of doggy inspired activities in our house, like playing dog (my son pretends he’s my sister’s Husky Odin and my daughter pretends she’s their other Husky Laika on the daily), doing dog-related crafts, and our favorite, making these dog bone sugar cookies. I actually shared a similar recipe here a few years ago (hence the older photos; look how little my babes were!), but this updated version is our current go to. They’re so much fun to make and decorate together, and they’re ridiculously delicious.

Dog Bone Sugar Cookies

Dog Bone Sugar Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cookie icing pouches (1 chocolate and 1 vanilla)
chocolate sprinkles

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slower add the dry mixture in the bowl with the wet ingredients until well combined. Chill dough mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the surface you’ll be using with flour to prevent sticking, and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a dog bone shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes, and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or when edges just begin to turn golden. Cool completely on a cooling rack, then decorate. We use store-bought pouches of cookie icing/royal icing with chocolate sprinkles, but you can decorate them however you’d like.

Dog Bone Sugar Cookies
Dog Bone Sugar Cookies
Dog Bone Sugar Cookies

Enjoy! And don’t worry… As soon as we finally get another doggy, you all will be the first-ish to know.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Time to Relax

Actual footage of me trying to get into a hammock. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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Friday Funny: Non-Stick Pan

Hoping this put a little smile in your Friday. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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Papers

dare papers

Natural History

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Search and Rescue

It’s all about strategy, folks! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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Friday Funny: Baby Deer For Sale

I hope this brought a smile to your weekend! Happy Friday! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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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…

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


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 AddWashâ„¢ 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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