Westminster 2021: Best in Show Winner

From this line-up: Hound: Whippet, Bourbon (Tomorrow is National Bourbon Day, just saying.) Toy: Pekingese, Wasabi Non-Sporting: French Bulldog, Matthew Herding: Old English Sheepdog, Connor Sporting: German Shorthaired Pointer, Jade Working: Samoyed, Striker Terrier: West Highland White Terrier, Boy Reserve Best in Show (2nd place) is the Whippet, Bourbon And the winner is……… The Pekingese, … Continue reading Westminster 2021: Best in Show Winner


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Refried Bean + Plant-Based ‘Beef’ Tacos

I think I was the only kid I know who ate bean tacos growing up. Our family wasn’t vegetarian (I didn’t become one until I was 15), but we always used refried beans instead of meat. As an adult with kids of my own, we make an embarrassingly massive variety of tacos in our house, but good old fashioned refried bean tacos with good old fashioned crunchy shells are a staple (and my kids’ favorite). We usually add plant-based “beef” crumbles too. Today I thought I’d share how we make ours. 

Refried Bean + Plant-Based ‘Beef’ Tacos
Serves 5-6

10 crunchy taco shells
1 can vegetarian refried beans (16 oz)
2 cups plant-based “beef” crumbles (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup large black olives, sliced
shredded romain lettuce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat refried beans over low heat. Add spices to beans and stir. (If using soy crumbles, heat in a skillet according to package instructions.) While beans are heating, heat taco shells in oven as directed on package, and prep toppings (tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and cheese). Once beans and shells are heated, divide beans (and soy crumbles, if using) evenly between shells, then tops each with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce. We like to serve with homemade guacamole or fresh sliced avocado topped with salt and pepper.  

These are especially delicious with a homemade margarita. Just saying. Enjoy!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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School’s Out For Summer

School's Out for Summer
School's Out For Summer

And just like that, I have a kindergartner and first grader after what was arguably, for all of us, the strangest school year ever. Honestly, my kids did great. They were mostly in person (there was a 6 week stint of e-learning over the winter), with masks, and they flourished. I feel like this year taught them a lot about how to embrace change and make the best out of circumstances beyond their control. There were so many lessons beyond the academic that I think will stay with them throughout their lives.

In honor of summer break beginning, I thought I’d share links to a few favorite past posts about summer and summer break.
If you have little ones, whether school is out now or soon, we hope you have a wonderful summer!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe During Fireworks #infographic

Here in Texas, fireworks are limited to certain holidays, with the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve being the big events. However, just yesterday I was out running errands and saw a fireworks…



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Memorial Day 2021

Remembering and honoring those we’ve lost…


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Shelter Sunday: Bentley / Grey Face Rescue and Retirement / St. Cloud, MN

Meet Bentley. This handsome fella is 9 years old. Here’s what his rescuers say about him: Bentley is by far one of the most loyal and loving companions to have around. Want to have fun, be lazy, be active? Bentley is all of that. This sweet dog will never disappoint, he’s just so full of … Continue reading Shelter Sunday: Bentley / Grey Face Rescue and Retirement / St. Cloud, MN


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International Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Day

All animal lovers know that dogs rule, and for enthusiasts of one particular breed there is not a more regal Rover than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  These cuddly canines are so popular that…



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DogTipper

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Peanut Butter Trail Mix

I grew up with a huge extended family, and we had lots of parties. My favorite thing to eat at these parties (in addition to the plethora of homemade sweets) was my aunt’s Chex Mix. I love a good old fashioned traditional Chex Mix, but I also like to experiment. A couple of summers ago, I combined a trail mix recipe with some Peanut Butter Chex cereal I spotted at the store and you guys – it was heavenly. I sort of forgot about it though, until my daughter wanted some last weekend and I decided to whip up a batch. I was reminded of its deliciousness, and well, here we are. I hope you love it as much as we do. 

Peanut Butter Trail Chex Mix

4 cups Peanut Butter Chex  
3 cups pretzel twists

1 cup dry roasted or cocktail peanuts
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup sesame sticks
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, and store in an airtight container. That’s it!

This makes a great to go summer snack too. It’s full of protein but also has a hint of sweetness. So good!

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6 Tips for Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready

6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
This post has been sponsored by PINALEN. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


You may remember three years ago when I shared our backyard patio before and after. What started off as a single cement stair became our summertime happy place with a brand new stamped concrete patio and a handmade privacy wall. It was the first DIY project we did after buying this house, and it remains one of my favorite spaces.
Every spring, as soon as the weather shows its first hint of warming up, I feel the thrill of getting the patio ready for summer. I am admittedly an impatient person who normally doesn’t relish in the act of getting something ready (because I just want it ready, like yesterday), but the act of preparing the patio for the summer is one of my favorite things to do. And while winter elements can really wreak havoc on outdoor spaces, with a few simple steps, your patio can be clean, comfy, and summertime ready.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
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. Next, I mix ¼ cup PINALEN® multipurpose cleaner with a gallon of water, and use a scrub brush to deep clean the patio. For tougher stains, I use a small amount of undiluted PINALEN. (Note: If you have colored concrete, which we do, be sure to do a small test spot first.)  
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
2. Wash fabrics.
We store our patio cushions and pillows in an outdoor storage box, and while that keeps them mostly protected through the winter, it’s nice to give them a good wash. I remove any covers and wash them in the washing machine. For the sofa cushions that can’t be washed, I give them a good wipe down with a damp cloth. I also love using PINALEN Fresh Pine to help deodorize in the washing machine. 
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
3. Wipe down furniture.
To clean the outdoor furniture itself, I mix ¼ cup PINALEN Floral Delight (smells so fresh!) multipurpose cleaner with a gallon of water, and wipe down surfaces with it using a cloth. The dirt comes right off and leaves them clean and smelling great!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
4. De-grime the grill.
One of my favorite parts of summertime is making food on the grill! I start with a grill brush and remove any food from the grates that I missed at the end of last season. (If your grates are bad, you can soak them in soapy water with baking soda first.) After that, I de-grease and de-grime the exterior of the grill with some help from PINALEN Fresh Pine. I wipe down the grill and allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe again and the yuckiness comes right off. What’s especially awesome is that PINALEN’s degreasing power comes from pine oil!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
5. Make it comfy.
Once the patio floor, furniture, and cushions are clean, I put everything together. I put down a rug, arrange the furniture, and add cushions. I love adding lots of pillows to create a cozy vibe. Pillows are also an easy way to add pops of color if you’re patio is mostly neutral, like ours.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6. Bring to life.
I mean this literally! Adding plants and flowers to a patio makes the space come alive and truly makes it feel like summertime. I usually add a few planters with flowers as well as some small trees in pots.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
7. Light it up.
For the final touch, add some string lights or other fun lighting to create ambience at night. I admittedly tend to forget to take my lights down over the winter. I wipe them down with some PINALEN Fresh Pine and change bulbs and they’re good to go!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
In addition to the fun touches like throw pillows and plants, my partner in crime for getting my patio truly summer-ready is PINALEN cleaners. They produce a powerful clean and have a fresh scent made from real ingredients, which makes all the difference. (I also love that the pine they used is sustainably sourced!) I highly recommend them for getting your patio ready for the season as well! You can learn more at right here, and can find PINALEN products by using their store locator
Happy patio season!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Shelter Sunday: Luna / HANDDS To The Rescue / Traverse City, MI

Meet Luna! This beautiful girl is extra large, spayed, and up-to-date on vaccines. Here’s what her rescuers have to say about her: Luna, a 3 yr old female Mastiff/ Boxer mix, weighs 105 lbs. Luna is housebroken and crate trained, she is closer to Mastiff in size and Boxer in personality. This girl can be … Continue reading Shelter Sunday: Luna / HANDDS To The Rescue / Traverse City, MI


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