This is the face of a hero

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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The True Meaning of Life

As you read this post, I will be en route to California for my best friend’s memorial. I talked more about his passing here, and am so grateful for all of the messages you guys sent and for your kind words and good vibes. It’s not about me though – it’s about his wife, parents, and 2 year old daughter Mika who were left behind. I am really looking forward to making the journey and being with them and friends we call family, and celebrating the life and memory of a genuinely incredible person.

I wanted to share something I’ll be reading at his service, because I think it’s an important reminder for all of us. This particular quote struck me for two reasons. The first is that when I was living at a Tibetan Buddhist center in the early 2000s, Goki came to visit me from Colorado, where he was living at the time. The center was owned by the Dalai Lama’s family, and I lived in a house on the grounds. The Dalai Lama’s brother ran the center, but didn’t come out much. Goki happened to be standing in our driveway when he approached Goki. They ended up having a long conversation, and a strong connection was formed that Goki talked about often. The other reason I chose this was because I feel that of anyone I’ve even known, Goki found the true meaning of life, as is described here. He found happiness, and he spread happiness. Always.

We are visitors on this planet.
We are here for ninety
or one hundred years
at the very most.
During that period,
we must try to do
something good,
something useful
with our lives.
If you contribute
to other people’s happiness,
you will find the true goal,
the true meaning of life.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I hope you can take this into your weekend, and focus on feeling happy, and contributing to other people’s happiness. This is what Goki did, and I am inspired to try harder to do the same.

Photo of Goki, his wife Marissa, and his daughter AnaMika by our friend Jami Matlock.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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GIVEAWAY: Win a $150 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing

This final chapter of summertime is such a magical time of year. I really make a conscious attempt to soak up the last of the sunshine and longer days, veggies and herbs and flowers growing in my garden, ice cream dates with my little ones, and the effortless, laid back clothing I enjoy so much this time of year. I’ve mentioned this before, but as summer transitions into fall, I really look for clothing pieces that I can wear now and into the next season (and beyond). And that’s one (of many) reasons I love Gaia Conceptions so much. They offer hundreds of made-to-order styles crafted from eco-friendly fabrics that are made to wear year round. And each piece is made by hand in your size and color choice, right here in the USA.

Gaia has been a partner of Bubby and Bean for many years, and I’ve really gotten to know them and their gorgeous designs. And that is why I’m thrilled to announce that we are teaming up with them once again for a truly incredible giveaway! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader will receive a $ 150 gift card to spend in Gaia’s online shop, on anything your heart desires! Scroll down to enter…

GIVEAWAY: Win a $  150 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing
Use the form below, and/or, because the main methods of entering this giveaway (worth the most points) involve Instagram, you can also enter directly on IG, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through this Monday (August 13, 2018), and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen via and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.
for an email with more information.

Thank you to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another gift card to their incredible shop. Good luck!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Back-To-School Bonding: Shopping for Clothes With My Little One

This post is brought to you by Abercrombie Kids. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Beginning a new year of school is thrilling in so many ways – it feels like an adventure, with new teachers, new friends, and new things to learn. As a kid, I always got excited about pretty much every aspect of a new school year approaching, but the thing I looked forward to most was shopping for back-to-school clothes. My mom recently told me that even when I was in my very first years of school, I was completely smitten with the act of picking out and wearing new clothing at the start of a school year. So when Essley expressed to me recently how excited she was to shop for some new pieces of clothing for school, my heart swelled a little bit. Last week, we sat down at my computer together, and shopped for our first few pieces for her new school year.

We decided to do our shopping at Abercrombie Kids, because to me, jeans are the #1 staple item when it comes to school clothes for little ones, and they genuinely have the best kids’ denim around. They also offer so many different styles for girls – from super skinny ankle jeans with extra-slim fit and a super cute cropped cut to pull-on jean leggings with elastic waists that are super comfy and perfect for throwing on and being active. I also love the boys’ styles – especially the super hip taper jeans and the ultra comfortable sweatpant stretch jeans – and can’t wait until Emmett is old enough to wear them. I also appreciate the wide variety of denim sizes that Abercrombie Kids offers – from 3/4 to 15/16. Essley and I ended up choosing two pairs: the Ripped Pull On Jean Legging in dark wash, and the Ripped Jean Legging in medium wash. Essley was a big fan of the distressed style of these pairs (I was too!), and I liked the concept of them being easy to put on and full of stretch for all of her school day activities.

After we chose some jeans, it was time to pick out tops. There were so many stylish designs to choose from in Abercrombie Kids’ new arrivals section (and as with the jeans, a wide size range from 5/6 to 15/16), and we spent a lot of time together just looking at all of the different options. We also fell in love with the Everybody Collection, their new gender neutral line (and their tag line: “for every kind of kid and every kind of adventure”). I think it’s incredibly important for kids to dress how they want without being labeled as “boy” or “girl,” and this collection offers so many fun styles that are perfect for active kids. I told Essley she could pick out one tee and one slightly dressier top, and after much deliberation, she chose two styles that are so cute I wish were available in my size too: the Off-The-Shoulder Button Front Top in navy dots, and the Easy Floral Tee in black floral.

It was basically Christmas morning when the package arrived a few days later, and Essley wanted to try everything on right away. I was really impressed with the quality and fit, and she declared she was “the comfiest ever,” immediately grabbed some books and her backpack, and announced that she was ready for school. She has, of course, had to “test out” her new back-to-school clothes several times (despite the fact that she still has a few weeks until it officially begins), and I don’t blame her. I remember that same excitement, and feel really grateful that we’ve been able to spend time together shopping for her clothes for the new school year. We even went and visited a local one room schoolhouse (that operated over a hundred years ago), and she insisted on wearing one of her new outfits for the occasion. I can’t wait to see her wear it again for her first day of school.

Anyone else get overly excited for back-to-school shopping with your kids? And who else is an Abercrombie Kids fan? Did you know they’re currently offering 40% off Kids Jeans, Tees, Sweatshirts and more through August 15th? It looks like Essley and I might have to have another back-to-school clothes shopping bonding session with a deal like that…


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Do Dogs Need Meat?

Halo Vegan Dog Food with Manny the Frnechie

Why a vegan diet is a great choice for dogs with ingredient sensitivity

Isn’t it natural for dogs to eat meat?
Between the growing popularity of the vegan lifestyle and concerns about dogs with protein sensitivities, more people have started feeding their dogs a vegan diet. This has surfaced a few questions, including, whether a vegan diet goes against dogs’ nature. Several studies, including some referenced by Linda P. Case in her article, A Taste for Meat?, and by veterinary nutritionist Dr. Cailin R. Heinze in her article, Vegan Dogs—A healthy lifestyle or going against nature? have demonstrated that eating meat is not innate or required.

Is a vegan diet healthy for dogs?
You’ve probably heard that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning there are nutrients cats need (vitamin A, arachidonic acid, and taurine) that they cannot get from a vegetarian diet. Dogs, however, don’t have that same limitation. They can get the nutrients they need from plants, which is great news for dogs who are sensitive to animal proteins. Plus, dogs’ anatomy—from their gastrointestinal tracts to their molars to their slightly longer small intestine—shows us that they are omnivorous, according to Case, in her article, Dogs are Carnivores, Right?

Will my dog get enough protein with vegan dog food?
A complete and balanced vegan dog food can be a very healthy choice for dogs. You don’t need to worry if vegan dog food has enough protein because Halo® Holistic Garden of Vegan® dog food is made with protein-rich, plant-based ingredients, like peas, chickpeas, pearled barley, and oats. It also uses non-GMO vegetables, and no rice or fillers. Plus, it’s a great choice for dogs who are sensitive to animal proteins.

Can a vegan diet help dogs with allergies?
If your dog has skin or coat issues or other signs that he or she could have an allergy, you may want to try eliminating the top four allergens—meat, dairy, corn, or wheat—from his or her diet. Halo® Holistic Garden of Vegan® has no meat, dairy, corn, or wheat in it, so it’s a great alternative for dogs with these ingredient sensitivities.

The many benefits of being an omnivore
Besides the advantage of not containing major allergens, dogs’ omnivorous diet is important for families who follow a vegan lifestyle, or who prefer not to feed dogs meat for ethical or ecological reasons.


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A new kind of police dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Grain Free: Not all it’s cracked up to be

Have you switched to a grain-free dog food, assuming that it must be better for your dog? You might want to think again, as veterinary cardiologists are now studying the link between grain-free foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). According to the Food and Drug Administration: We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known […] Dog Blog

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Beefsicle Frozen Dog Treat Recipe

We first ran this recipe back in 2010…but with today’s temperature topping 108 degrees here, I thought it was time to bring this one out of the vaults! Always a favorite of Irie’s,…

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


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10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

I have been compensated by the JOHNSON’S® Brand for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help male Bubby and Bean possible.

It’s no secret that one of my greatest joys is finding ways to use my little ones’ baby and kid products for other uses. This is especially true when it comes to hacking their JOHNSON’S® Baby products for beauty use. I mean, we already have them on hand, they’re super gentle on skin, and they’re affordable – it’s a no brainer. It’s kind of exciting when you realize how many ways they can be used in place of expensive beauty products. Today I’m sharing with you 10 super cool beauty hacks you can do using JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil, JOHNSON’S Baby HEAD TO TOE™ Cleansing Cloths, and JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder. Woohoo!

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

1. Baby oil for taming split ends. I’m telling you guys, there is no better way to tame the ends of your hair than with a little baby oil. I like JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E. I have naturally frizzy hair, which tends to show up the most in the ends. I just squeeze a couple of drops on my fingers and rub into the ends of dry hair, and they immediately look better.

2. Baby oil for removing eye makeup. My mom always used JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil to remove her eye makeup when I was growing up, and as soon as I started using makeup, it became my go-to as well. It even removes waterproof mascara with the swipe of a cotton ball.

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

3. Baby oil for glowing, shimmery legs. I read somewhere that rubbing baby oil on legs is a trick of celebrities to make them look shiny and glowing for events. And I’m telling you guys, it works! I apply a few drops of JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E as soon as I get out of the shower while my legs are still wet.

4. Baby oil as a body scrub. Mixing JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil with some sugar and a couple of drops of essential oil makes an instant (and super softening) exfoliating body scrub.

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

5. Baby oil as a cuticle moisturizer. My cuticles get dry so easily, but I’ve found that rubbing a couple of drops of JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil into them before bed keeps them soft and under control. It can also be used for touch ups to remove excess nail polish from your skin when doing at home manicures and pedicures.

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

6. Baby cleansing cloths for quick skin clean up. When you have two little kids and spend a lot of time outside chasing after them, you get dirty fast. I carry a container of JOHNSON’S Baby HEAD TO TOE™ Cleansing Cloths in my purse everywhere I go – they’re a life saver for quick skin clean ups. They’re also great for feeling fresh after a flight or long road trip.

7. Baby cleansing clothes to remove hair dye from skin. The older I get, the more often I’m touching up my grey roots at home. (SIGH.) Because I am far from an expert colorist, I always get excess dye on my forehead and cheeks. With a gentle scrub of a JOHNSON’S Baby HEAD TO TOE™ Cleansing Cloth, I’m good to go in seconds.

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

8. Baby cleansing clothes for on-the-go makeup remover. When I’m traveling, I always bring a package of JOHNSON’S Baby HEAD TO TOE™ Cleansing Cloths to use to remove my makeup at night. So much easier than carting around all of my cleansers! (And so handy for quickly removing dirt and food from my kids’ faces too!)

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

9. Baby powder as a dry shampoo. A dear friend taught me this trick when we were at a festival in Yosemite years ago and didn’t have access to a shower every day. JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder (I love the Calming Lavender variety) is made from pure cornstarch (no talc!) and with a few shakes and a brush through, my hair feels clean and is full of volume. One of my all time favorite beauty hacks!

10. Baby powder to keep eye makeup in place. I give my eyelids a quick swipe of a little JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder after applying shadow and liner, and my makeup is set in place all day long.

10 Awesome Beauty Hacks Using Baby Products

If you have any other beauty hacks you love using baby products, please share! And if you’d like to try any of these yourself, head over to your local Walmart (we get ours there, in the baby product aisle inside of the kids’ section) and grab some JOHNSON’S® Baby products of your own!

If someone is reporting an adverse event or a product quality complaint, please tell them to call the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) North America Consumer Care Center at 800-361-8068 during normal business hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. After normal business hours, they can report adverse events or product quality complaints through Contact Us page.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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To the water

ian casting

Bluegill aren’t the prized fish of any big-time angler. They are pretty easy to catch, and in some not particularly pressured bodies of water they will happily nail unbaited hooks.

But they have a special place in my heart. I’m fairly certain that the first fish I ever landed was a bluegill, and if I’m feeling that I can’t catch anything, I’ll always try to for the bluegill. I’ve never gone bluegill fishing and failed to land at least one, and if you’re just looking to cast out and drown some worms, they provide a bit of relaxation and hint of Zen-like meditation.

And they are beautiful fish. The males in spawning color have the most spectacular turquoise marking around the heads and gill-plates. Were they not the banal fish of every little fishing hole, they would probably be prized as a sort of temperate cichlid and cost at least $ 25 a pair.

The current project around the house is setting up a native fish tank. It’s a birthday gift to my partner, and what’s more, my partner’s son is spending a few weeks with us.

And I get to share that childhood joy of landing that first bluegill, which he did this week. I wanted to make sure he got the fundamentals of fishing before we went out “for real,” when we were going out deep in the quest for our new tank specimens.

I taught to cast using a Zebco reel. The Zebco was the reel I first learned to use, and in a about a half hour’s worth of casting practice, he was doing the job well.

So we went to the lake at a little state park not far from here. We threw some night-crawlers and mealworms in the blackness of a summer lake. The bright orange bobbers floated like alien craft on the surface of the water, and every once in a while, the bobbers would tense up and shift, sure sign that a creature was nibbling at our bait. And then the bobber would go below the surface, and I’d say jerk and reel, and we’d miss.

But then we didn’t. The little bluegill fought his hardest against the line being spooled back towards the shore. He was so small that I was certain he’d gotten unhooked, and the boy reeled in his line, expecting to be left with a bare hook. Instead, he pulled in the little blue.

And his eyes beamed with pride at having landed that fish. It was prize every bit as a great as that record-breaking muskie or that giant flat-head reeled on a hot summer night’s fishing foray.

To the water we have gone.  And we have gone in search of beasts. We cast our lines into the murky universe that we can never fully enter. We hope that our baits are good, that our hooks are sharp, that our knots are steady, and that we reel just right.  Our big brains and dexterous thumbs have made us masters of the land, but when it comes to the life aquatic, we are mere amateurs. It matters little if we’re casting into little farm ponds or into the deep swelling sea. The fish have the answers. We can only hope that we ask the right questions and hope that luck swims in our way.

I hope I have passed on some of this mystery to Little Ian. I know that I have given him a chance to have some fun and think about the world that is not ensnared in steel and concrete. To consider the organic world from which we all descend is a gift I wish every child could receive.

So now we’re ready to collect our first specimens. I hope we get some bluegills or, even better, some of their related sunfish kin. These are the beauty fish of North America, but they are so common that we never consider their beauty fully. They are bycatch for bass and crappie anglers or bait for the flat-head hunters.

But they are still marvelous. And yes, they are tasty.

ian catches fish.jpg


Natural History

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