Lemon Lime Vodka Spritzers

A few weeks ago, one of my dear friends did a drive-by drop off and left a bottle of Icelandic Vodka on our doorstep, along with a note that said “for you to practice for when you go to Iceland.” (For those who don’t know, we were supposed to go to Iceland for a week on March 18th, but the trip was canceled due to the Covid-19 crisis.) It was such a thoughtful gift, and we, of course, decided to put it to use.

Since then, I’ve whipped up my favorite vodka cocktail a few times, and I decided today to share it with you guys. It’s such a refreshing drink, and makes me think of sunshine and summer and all of happy things I am craving right now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Makes 4 cocktails.

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces vodka (1.5 ounces per glass)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 lemons + 1-2 limes (enough for 1/2 cup of juice)
lemon or lime sparkling water (unsweetened; I usually use lime La Croix)
ice
lemons or limes (for garnish)
course salt for rim (optional)

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and stir until dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, then chill in fridge. While syrup is chilling, juice the lemons and limes. Combine juice with chilled syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka and some ice cubes, and shake. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, just stir it all up and call it good.) Use lemon or lime juice to wet the rims of 4 glasses and dip each rim into the course salt. (You can also use course sugar, but I like the margarita-style bite of the salt.) Add a few ice cubes to each glass, then pour the mixture equally into each glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with lime or lemon slices. 

If you make these, let me know how you like them!

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

In the Time of the Plague

plague dog

One of my favorite movies is Jaws. The movie centers around a Northeastern island town that relies heavily upon the tourism industry.  A larger than normal great white shark starts attacking people off its beaches, and the initial response of the mayor and town government is to ignore it or blame the attacks on a boating accident.

Of course, such sharks that become habitual human hunters really don’t exist in nature. Usually the shark that eats someone moves on and may never encounter a person again. They are simply predators making a go of it in a sea in which prey avails itself at irregular intervals.

However, the story of Jaws was cribbed from a Henrik Ibsen play called An Enemy of the People.  That play tells the story of a resort town that relies upon natural mineral spas for its tourism town. A doctor discovers the mineral water is contaminated by bacteria, but the leaders of the town and the local newspaper do all they can to prevent the story from being known. The town does not want this story being known, because it will cost them their tourism industry.

I have thought a lot about leaders who sacrifice people for economics. I’ve seen it with my own eyes as this COVID-19 disaster unfolds in the United States.  You may accuse me of letting my political biases from coming to the fore, and I suppose you are right.

I have tried to avoid political discussions in this era of depressing developments– at least on this space. But this time, I have decided to let some of my reticence slip.

The era in which I have come of age is the age of the precariat. The precariat is that sector of society which does not have much and is always on the edge of potential disaster.

Healthcare prices continue to soar, and suddenly, we are thrown into a situation where a contagious virus spreads through the population and the only way to combat is to force the bulk of the population to stay home.  Staying home means no paychecks and massive layoffs. Health insurance that is tied to employment is lost.

And the virus continues to spread. People die and will continue to die.  We are left precarious. The future is uncertain.

No one has any idea how to fix anything. The ruling ideas of the past 40 years don’t make any sense. Indeed, they have no solution at all.

Americans have this idea of invincibility.  We have insulated ourselves from the greatest risks of our many wars. Only the relatively few combat soldiers know any real risk from battle death or injury.

We have lots of great technology, and we believe that our economy is the best in the world. We think of ourselves as durable against it all.

But we are being felled by a mere micro-organism. It is even more mindless than a shark. It merely replicates within our cells and passes on to the next victim.

All of that advancement, all of that intellect and culture, all laid bare by the most random of things.

Wildlife  always live with the specter of epidemics. Canine distemper will flow through gray fox population. In 2016, canine distemper wreaked havoc among the Yellowstone wolves, and I can remember years when epizootic hemorrhagic disease knocked out the white-tail population.

But humans live with the fiction that we are not part of nature. We have vaccines and antibiotics. We have sanitation.  We don’t suffer the plagues like we used to.

But this time, a plague has come upon us. It should knock us off our pedestal a bit. As much as we like to think that we are not part of nature, sometimes nature comes for us. It comes to us with no malice, no concept of revenge. It comes for us the way that it comes for that adorable gray fox kit when distemper hits it.

Our intellect should call us to question the ruling ideas. Already, that questioning is going on. But that questioning must not just be centered in the concept of how our economic and healthcare systems have left us so exposed.

The truth is we are always exposed.  We are always at risk. We are ultimately mortal. We are not terrestrial gods.

We are the smartest animal. But we are still animals. The processes of nature still come for us. Though we can deflect and insulate against these forces, sometimes, we just can’t stop it.

So it has come. It is the Time of the Plague. And we must think and consider as we fall into such humility.

We should accept this humility for now.  We must reconsider and retool– for that is what the future ultimately holds.

 

 

Natural History

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

Friday Funny: Working From Home

Show us your work from home doggies. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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

Meanwhile at the food bank…

No way my dogs would be this patient! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

It’s no secret I am a massive IKEA fan. I always tell people that even if I was loaded with an endless furniture budget, I’d still shop there. Back in 2016, our old living room was even featured in their Home Tour Series. I’m also huge on sustainability and nature inspired design, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I recently got word that IKEA’s spring catalog, which showcases products that will begin to appear in their stores this month, is all about sustainability, mindfulness, and nature. I am 100000% here for this you guys.

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

I’ve only seen a sneak peak of the catalog, but wanted to share some of my favorite images from it. I can’t wait to see it in person. I also can’t wait to shop these goodies with my little lady, who almost always choses IKEA as her go-to place when we plan mom-daughter dates. (Wonder where she gets it?)

IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog
IKEA Spring 2020 Catalog

Where my IKEA people at? (And nope, this isn’t sponsored. It’s just true love.)

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

The 16 Best Items at Trader Joe’s (2020 Edition)

The Best Items At Trader's Joes, 2020 Edition

Every spring since 2017, I’ve shared my favorite items from Trader Joe’s with with you guys. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s my favorite grocery store for many reasons (healthier options, affordability, overall good vibe), but I mostly love all of the speciality items they offer under their own branding. After a big TJs shopping trip last week, it felt like a good time to share this year’s favorites. There are, of course, many core staples that have remained year after year, but I’ve also included some newer go-to’s. (And nope, this isn’t sponsored. I just love me some TJs.)

1. Toscano Black Pepper Cheese
Once again keeping this at #1 because it is, my all-time favorite TJs product. It was recommended to us several years ago by a Trader Joe’s employee while we were shopping, and it now a staple in our fridge. You have to try it. Trust me.

2. Green Goddess Dip
This is a new item to TJ’s and I pray to the universe every time I taste it that they never discontinue it. It’s a combo of avocado, sour cream, and garlic, and I eat it on everything from raw carrots to eggs to tacos.

3. Raw Almond Butter
Expensive but worth it. It’s by the best almond better I’d had aside from fresh ground (and even then the texture is no match).

4. Carrot Ginger Miso Salad Dressing 
Current favorite dressing. An explosion of flavors.

5. Handcrafted Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos
I mean, they’re taquitos. Need I say more?

6. Triple Ginger Snaps
By far the best ginger snaps I’ve ever tasted (other than my dad’s homemade variety). The fresh ginger, candied ginger, and ground ginger combine to create true ginger cookie heaven.

7. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
The best price I’ve found and we use it daily. No brainer.

8. Organic Broccoli Slaw 
I discovered this in 2018 and now I can’t live without it. It’s the perfect crunch to add to bowls and tacos, and also delicious steamed with pasta sauce.

9. Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Best seasoning there ever was. I need not say more.

10. Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
This one holds a special place in my heart. The first time I had my now-husband over for dinner (13 years ago!), I made him yellow curry tofu with this sauce. His exact word in response was “smitten.” (I also drank way too much vodka that night and he ended up holding up my hair over the toilet, which was the first of many signs that this one was a keeper.)

11. Thai Vegetable Gyoza
Tibetan Momos are my absolute favorite food, but they’re impossible to find outside of Tibetan restaurants, and my one attempt at making them was disastrous to say the least. These are the closest I’ve found. I eat them with sriracha and soy sauce. So so so good.

12. Paneer Tikka Masala with Spinach Basmati Rice 
This genuinely tastes as good as the Paneer Masala at my favorite Indian restaurant. My only complaint is that for a dinner, the portion is quite small.

13.  These Peanuts Go On a Date Bars.
I’m not a big bar person, but the label intrigued me (great marketing work, TJs) and I loved they only have 4 ingredients. I’m glad I tried them, because now you can always find one in my purse. They’re the perfect sweet, nutty treat.

14. Soy Chorizo
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a teen so I’ve never tried real chorizo, but this soy version was recommended to me and I can’t get enough. So yummy mixed in with eggs and in burrito bowls.

15. Steamed Lentils 
These make the perfect snack, are great on salads, and just make life easier. My kids are fans too. I top them with a little Bragg’s Amino Acids.

16. Speculoos Cookie Butter
You guys don’t need me to tell you about this one, right? I don’t buy it as much as I used to because the calorie count is not kind, but it’s one of my favorite treats.

Did I miss any of your favorites? If so, please let me know! I’m always stoked to try new TJ’s goodies.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

12 Best Dog Grooming Tools

Grooming makes our dogs look good and the simplest home grooming can leave them feeling good, too! Check your pet supplies to see if you have any of our list of the 12 best dog grooming tools–each…



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


DogTipper

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

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Quesadillas

St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas

St. Patrick’s Day is a week away, and whether you’re Irish or not, it’s fun to get into the spirit. (Well, it is for me anyway. But I’m a major sucker for holidays in general, so there’s that.)

I’ve shared this story before, but speaking of being Irish, I always envied my Irish friends growing up in Chicago (there’s a big Irish population here; I mean they dye the Chicago River green to celebrate), because I was one of the few in the area who wasn’t. I felt like an outsider. Then in my late twenties, a discovery was made while going through papers my grandmother had left behind: my grandmother’s grandparents had immigrated from – yes, that’s right – Ireland. It turns out we are Irish.

Whether you’re Irish or not, I think you’ll enjoy these yummy St. Paddy’s Day inspired quesadillas. My kids are obsessed with them. I kind of am too.

St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas
St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas

Serves 1-2

Ingredients
Large spinach (or any green) tortilla
1 cup grated cheese (we like cheddar or a Mexican blend)
Handful of fresh baby spinach
1/2 tablespoon oil (we like coconut) or butter
1/2 cup salsa verde  
1/2 avocado, cubed
Small handful of cilantro
1/2 lime

In a large skillet, melt oil or butter over medium heat. Place the tortilla in the pan and flip to warm both sides. Sprinkle cheese over half of the tortilla, then cover with baby spinach leaves. Fold uncovered side over the top of the covered side to fold in half. Reduce heat and cover the pan for about a minute. Uncover, flip, and cover again for a minute. Repeat this until the cheese is fully melted. Remove from pan and slice into wedges. Top with salsa verde, cubed avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas
St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas
St. Patrick's Day Inspired Quesadillas

I’d love to hear about any other fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes you enjoy this time of year.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST //  BLOGLOVIN’


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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

Baseball Names for Dogs

Are you a sports fans who has just recruited a barking player for your “home team”? If you are thinking about giving your dog a sports-inspired name, then we’re here to…



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


DogTipper

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

My Free Little Grocery

I’m taking a minute of editorial privilege during this extraordinary time to encourage you to help others where you can. Here’s what’s in front of my house right now. I’m not doing it for compliments. I’m doing it because there are people in my community in need, and it makes me feel better to do … Continue reading My Free Little Grocery


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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