5 Tips To Prepare for Patio Season


Patio season is my favorite season! I love the act of cleaning and planting to get ours ready for summertime. Here are five tips for getting your patio prepared. 
1. Deep clean the foundation.
Most patio spaces, ours included, look pretty rough after a long winter. The very first thing I do is sweep as much dirt as possible off of the patio itself then use an eco-friendly multi-purpose cleaner and scrub brush to deep clean.
2. Wash cushions.
We store our patio cushions and pillows in an outdoor storage box, but they’re still pretty dingy when I pull them out in the spring. I remove any covers and wash them in the washing machine, and for the fabrics that can’t be washed, I wipe down with a damp cloth.  
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
3. Plant
This is my favorite part! I love planting flowers, herbs and veggies in planters through the patio. It brings everything to life!  
4. Clean furniture.
First I hose off the patio furniture, then I use a cloth and multi-purpose cleaner to wipe down anything that was missed.
5. Make it cozy.
Once everything is clean, I put down rugs and add accent pillows so it feels like an indoor space, outdoors!

6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
I hope you enjoy your outdoor space this summer as much as I know I will. I would live out there if I could!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Strong Mothers, Strong Daughters

Strong Mothers Strong Daughter shirts
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and in honor of it, I wanted to share these photos along with some thoughts. I recently did a campaign where I was able to choose words to personalize the back of matching jerseys for my daughter and myself. Immediately, I thought of the word “strong.” 
As a parent, I feel that it is my job to empower my kids. And while it is absolutely necessary for me to equally empower both my son and daughter, I do believe it’s necessary for my daughter especially to understand that she, as a girl, is equally as strong as boys. So every single day, I tell her that she is courageous, powerful, kind, smart, and STRONG. And you know what? I tell her that I am all of these things too. That’s because it is up to me to set an example for her and instill a sense of confidence that inspires her to do her best and know that she is powerful and capable. I make more than my fair share of mistakes as a parent, but with Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve been thinking about the fact that I am proud of the fact that I make this a priority.
Strong Mothers, Strong Daughters Shirts
Strong Mothers, Strong Daughters shirts

While we’re on the topic of Mother’s Day, I want to reiterate something I’ve said here and on my social media accounts many times, and that is that motherhood has many definition. “Mother” does not only mean a woman who births or adopts a child. Biological females with children are absolutely moms, but so are those who have stepchildren, pets who are also their kids, babies in spirit, babies to whom they’ve had to say goodbye, friends or other humans they nurture, dads who are also moms, and so many more. The traditional definition of Mother’s Day can cause people to feel excluded, and I always want to make sure that when I bring it up in talking about myself, that those of you reading this feel included too. (And for those of you who have lost your moms or mother figures, I’m holding you in my heart.)
Strong Mothers, Strong Daughters

Here’s to strong mamas (and other nurturers!) and strong daughters. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Burritos

Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Burritos
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed a recent post where I shared my family’s favorite 
“breakfast meal” that they’ll eat any time of day. They affectionally named it the 5B: Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Burritos. Yes, I am a vegetarian, and I share almost exclusively vegetarian recipes, but my husband and kids love their meat, and this is one meat-based meal I enjoy making for them. It’s also very easy to leave out the bacon or substitute plant-based bacon. (Side note: When making this, I usually use Coleman Natural uncured bacon because it’s sourced from family farms that raise their animals humanely without any antibiotics, and contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives.) This is an easy meal to make too (you guys know I don’t do complicated when it comes to the kitchen), and they love it for dinner even more than for breakfast.
Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Burritos
5B Burritos
serves 6
INGREDIENTS
1 12 oz package (we like Coleman Natural Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon)
6 tortillas

6 eggs
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 avocado, cubed
taco seasoning
1/3 cup cojita cheese  
Cook bacon according to package instructions. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl, and scramble in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in black beans and taco seasoning to taste, until beans are warm. Warm a tortilla, and add egg/bean mixture, bacon (add whole or break into smaller pieces), and avocado. Roll into burrito and top with cojita cheese. 
Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Burritos
Does your family have a favorite anytime breakfast meal?
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Pet Theft: How to Keep Your Dog Safe!

We all strive to keep our dogs safe and healthy–and one important part of that safety is preventing pet theft. Dog theft is on the rise and a very real risk, regardless of your dog’s…



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National Newfoundland Dog Day

Standing tall on the American Kennel Club’s list of the world’s biggest dog breeds, the Newfoundland also holds a big spot in the hearts of dog devotees! In fact, the Newfie is so beloved…



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International Samoyed Day: Fun Facts About This Beautiful Dog

A breed with a built-in grin, the smile of the Samoyed dog serves a dual purpose: not only does their upside down frown prevent the dog from drooling (which could be hazardous in sub-freezing…



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5 Tips for “Greening” Your Laundry

7 Tips For Eco-Friendly Laundry

Earth Day is this Friday, and as always this time of year, I’ve been paying extra close attention to ways I can improve my own quest to live as a sustainable lifestyle as possible. One of the ways I notice my family being the most wasteful is in our own home, especially in the laundry room. I’ve shared tips on how to “green” your laundry in the past, but I realized that I personally needed a refresher, and wanted to share with you as well. 
7 Tips For Eco-Friendly Laundry
1. Opt for eco-friendly laundry detergent. 

Laundry detergents tend to contain harsh chemicals like dyes, phosphates, and chlorine, which can irritate skin. These chemicals also can be harmful to the environment. There are many eco-friendly detergents available these days, and they’re not hard to find. Read the labels, and look for unscented detergents without dyes or toxins. There are also laundry strips you can buy that eliminate the waste of plastic bottles.
7 Tips For Eco-Friendly Laundry
2. Invest in an eco-friendly washer and dryer.
We purchased a Samsung eco-friendly washer and dryer set a few years ago, and it’s really made a difference. Look for ENERGY STAR certified washers, which use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than regular washers, and ENERGY STAR certified dryers, which use about 20% less energy than regular dryers. Our washer and dryer also have eco settings, which is a huge bonus.
Dryer Balls

3. Ditch dryer sheets.
Convention dryer sheets are full of harsh chemicals. Try reusable dryer balls instead. If you like a scent, you can add a few drops essential oils to the wool dryer balls. They work really well!
7 Tips For Eco-Friendly Laundry

4. Wash clothes in cold water.
Most of the energy used by washing machines is to heat water, so when you opt for cold, you’re using less. It has also been proven that cold water cleans as well as hot! Bonus: Cold water helps colors stay bold and bright.

7 Tips for Eco-Friendly Laundry

5. Use non-chlorine bleach
Bleach works, but it is not good for the environment. Use non-chlorine bleach instead, or try steaming, vinegar, or lemon juice to remove stains.  
Happy eco-laundering and happy Earth Day!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Sort of Homemade Margherita Pizza

semi-homemade pizza recipe

Yes, the title of this recipe is “sort of homemade” margherita pizza. We actually do make a truly delicious pizza from scratch with a greek yogurt in the dough (trust me, it’s divine), but today we’re going to focus on easy and use a pre-made crust.

Now, some may say (myself included, really) that this isn’t a recipe, because anyone can throw jarred sauce and toppings on a pizza crust. But this particular variety is the result of lots of experimentally with very exact measurements to get what my family thinks is the “best pizza ever.”
Homemade Margherita Pizza

Sort of Homemade Margherita Pizza
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS

pre-made pizza crust
16 oz pizza sauce 
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices tomato
6-8 slices cherry tomato
4-6 basil leaves, cut lengthwise into pieces
Follow recipe on pre-made pizza dough package for how to bake. Once crust is ready, cover with sauce and sprinkle on dried oregano, parsley, and basil. Add a thin layer of cheese, followed by tomato slices. Add the rest of cheese and the basil. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
This is also really good with slices of fresh mozzarella added before baking. Enjoy!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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International Bull Terrier Day

April 1st may be best known as a day for playing practical jokes, but to many dog lovers the date is also a time to celebrate a canine that is practically perfect– the Bull Terrier! …



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National Hug Your Dog Day

As dog lovers we collectively embrace a number of pet holidays and observances that take place in the month of April, ranging from such serious fare as World Stray Animals Day (which occurs every…



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