Actor Jon Bernthal Joins Show Your Soft Side Campaign

He portrayed a zombie slayer in the AMC series The Walking Dead and currently stars as a vigilante battling bad guys in the web series The Punisher. Off-screen, actor Jon Bernthal fights for all…



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Is Your Pet Ready for Halloween?

Manny the Frenchie - Happy HALO-Ween

With more than 31 million people planning to dress their pet in costumes for Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation, it seems that Beggar’s Night is attracting a whole new breed of treat-seekers. It’s a terrific opportunity to bring your pet in on the fun. Here are a few tips to make the night a howling success.

Suit up with care
From bumblebees and hot dogs to witches, pirates, and pumpkins, cute is easy, but make sure your pet is comfortable, too. Check the costume for pieces that could get chewed off or get in the way of normal movement, breathing, vision, and hearing.

Get tricked out with pet treats
All the extra candy and chocolate bars sitting around may send their sniffers into overdrive, so keep sweets safely out of pets’ reach. And be sure to have plenty of pet treats close by—not just for your little beggars, but all the adorable ones who ring your doorbell.

Don’t forget their ID
Before you head out on the town, double-check that your pet has proper ID—like a microchip or a collar and identification tag. Such a busy night may bring lots more leashes than normal, plus all the excitement and children running about could cause confusion or an escape.

Enjoy the holiday together
Between unattended bowls of candy, the novelty of their costume, an increased number of strangers, and lots of fall decor (including jack-o-lanterns that may have lit candles in them), the evening holds a number of fun things that have the potential to stress out or even harm your pet. Stay close and keep your eye—and maybe your reassuring hand—on them all night.

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Barktoberfest in Durham

A few pictures from an old high school friend of mine, Annette Smith, who attended Barktoberfest last weekend at Durham Central Park. The event featured a costume contest, photo booth, canine food drive, an interactive trick dog show presented by Dare Devil Dogs, fun walk, pet market, adoptable animals from local shelters and rescues, and […]


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It’s Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

This post is in partnership with Atlantic Natural Foods. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. 

Every Tuesday, without fail, my almost 5 year old daughter makes sure (multiple times) that we know it’s Taco Tuesday. And every Taco Tuesday, we make and eat tacos together as a family.

The entire process from cooking to eating the tacos is fun for all of us, but there are a couple of “challenges.” One is that we admittedly don’t have a lot of time on Tuesdays after work, school, and activities end. The other is that we have one vegetarian (me), one meat eater (my husband), and two littles ones who, like most young kids, have picky eating habits. That means that in order to make Taco Tuesday a success, we had to come up with tacos we’d all love that also don’t take an excessive amount of time or effort to prepare. Thankfully, after some trial and error, we did just that. And since it is officially Taco Tuesday, it seemed like the perfect time to share our winning recipe with you!

Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

The Best Vegan Tacos Ever
Serves 4

8 corn tortillas
1 package Loma Linda® Taco Filling
1 can black beans, drained
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced
1 can black olives, sliced
1 small can green chilis
lime wedges
cilantro (optional)
hot sauce (optional)

Heat Loma Linda® Taco Filling in the microwave according to directions. (It’s ready in 60 seconds, right from the bag!) Heat black beans in a sauce pan over low heat or in microwave for 2 minutes. Once fillings are heated, heat tortillas either in a hot frying pan for about 30 seconds on each side, or in the microwave for 20 seconds between damp paper towels. Fill tortillas with Loma Linda® Taco Filling and black beans, then top with tomatoes, avocado slices, black olives, green chilis, cilantro, and hot sauce (or any combination of those things), and squeeze a lime over the tip. Less than 10 minutes and you’re done!

These tacos are incredibly delicious, and the different toppings allow for different family members to customize their tacos to their liking. I use all of the ingredients (with very light cilantro), my husband leaves out the tomatoes, my daughter prefers just the Taco Filling, black beans, and avocado, and my son likes the Taco Filling, black beans, avocado, and black olives. We all get exactly what we want. But that best part of these tacos (tied with the easiness and yumminess factors, of course) is that they are completely plant-based. There is no meat, no dairy, and no egg. They’re packed with protein and so much better for you than the average taco.

What makes these tacos so satisfying and delicious, in my opinion, is the Loma Linda® Taco Filling. I was recently introduced to it and instantly fell in love. I’m pretty picky when it comes to meat alternatives, but this stuff is the real deal. The texture and flavor are perfection, the seasoning is just right, and it could not be easier. I mean, you make a tiny tear in the bag, pop it in the microwave, hit 60 seconds, and it’s done. It’s completely shelf stable, so there’s no refrigeration or freezing required. My husband loves his taco meat, and says that Loma Linda Taco Filling is just as tasty, if not better. And it’s vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. 

The Taco Filling is just one of several Loma Linda® Plant-Based Protein Meal Starters, a new line from Atlantic Natural Foods (a leading maker of better-for-you, shelf stable foods). The line features 10 different varieties of shelf-stable, plant-based versions of all the best comfort foods, from sloppy joes to chorizo. The Loma Linda line also offers Plant-Based Protein Meal Solutions – full meals including Spicy Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry, Tikka Masala, Mediterranean Tomato & Olive, Chipotle Bowl, Hearty Stew, and more. They’re all super easy to prepare in just 60 seconds, are packed full of 100% plant-based protein, and are incredibly affordable ($ 2.99 to $ 4.49).  Better for you foods that take almost no time to prepare = my dream come true, guys.

If you try this taco recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Happy Taco Tuesday!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Active Fun for Indoor Cats

Just because your indoor cat doesn’t prowl the neighborhood, chase birds, or get daily walks or trips to the dog park, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a cat potato. It’s easy to create a virtual playground for your cat inside the walls of your home.

  • String theory — Sad that the string came out of your hoodie in the wash, but now you have a perfect cat toy. Or the ribbon off a gift, an old shoe lace. Amazing how swirling in the air or in the ground can send your cat scampering after it.
  • Roly poly — Cats may not be built for games of fetch, but roll a tennis ball or sock ball to them and watch them bat it around, and maybe even chase after it if they knock it across the floor.
  • Free climb — Like toddlers, cat see the world based on how they can climb it. If your home allows, give them safe, sturdy levels to climb freely—like stools, window seats or ledges, or secure shelves—without you worrying about them knocking important things down.
  • Kibble on the move — Cats are natural predators so one way to keep the brain and their body active is finding new spots to put their kibble. Try dividing the food you’d give your cat for one meal into three different bowls and put them in different spots where your cat can hunt them down.

In addition to the physical activity, make sure your cat’s diet matches his or her lifestyle. Indoor cat food is formulated with fewer calories, knowing that indoor cats aren’t quite as active as outdoor, plus it has fatty acids to keep their skin and coat shiny, even for life with an HVAC system that could dry them out. And if you think your cat may already need to lighten up a little, try a nutritious healthy weight cat food that helps them feel full but has fewer calories than regular cat food.

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De-stressing with Dogs

Reggie Campus Corgi

Any dog lover can testify to the restorative powers of petting their pupper. Even the sight of a happy tail, a wiggly butt, or a cocked head can turn a frown upside down. But more than just dog bias, studies show that dogs can reduce our stress—instantly. Petting a dog has been proven to make us relax, mentally and even physically—slowing down our heart rate, decreasing our blood pressure, and making our breathing more regular, with positive effects lasting up to 10 hours.

In the last few decades, with the creation of therapy dog programs, we see dogs doing good for humans in all sorts of stressful environments, like hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, hospices, and disaster recovery areas. Most recently, therapy dogs have been showing up on college campuses across the country.

One of their earliest appearances was in 2010, when “Therapy Flufflies” visited campuses in the University of California system. Today, Reggie the Campus Corgi is a local celebrity on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. While Reggie is actually a service dog who’s trained to help his owner should he have a cardiac problem, the corgi spends lots of time on campus soothing students during the tenseness of midterms or other stressful aspects of college life.

While it’s true that our dogs depend on us for pretty-much everything, we believe that animals help us as much—or sometimes more—than we help them. That belief impacts not just how we feel about them, but how we feed them with unconditional love, using a dog food that pursues a different notion of animal husbandry, one where all animals are respected for the role they play in improving our well-being.

My friends in the Glee club!

A post shared by Reggie Campus Corgi (@reggiecampuscorgi) on

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I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful …

I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful to walk on a leash. I have tried almost every type of harness and collar with no luck. I finally tried the prong collar and have had amazing results.

But recently my dog has been able to break the links apart if he sees something he wants. I purchased the largest/strongest prong collar available. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do?
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Little puppy has big ears

He is gonna be a stallion of a dog.

quest ears up

Natural History

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My Good Dog

I can’t believe I have such a nice dog.

anka posing

The eyes pretty much say it all.

I never thought I’d like a dog of this breed, much less consider one my best canine companion.

I think I’m always going to have at least one Deutscher Schäferhund in my home. They are that much fun to train and play with, and they are so clownish and loyal. Plus, they are great watch dogs that can easily be trained not to bark excessively, and the best ones are not vicious.

She is stable and attuned my mood. She is sensitive and eager and quite brainy.

Which is a good thing, because she is built like a body-builder, with massive muscles in her hind quarters and forelegs.

I would not want a dog like her if it was a crazed lunatic that went around randomly attacking people. She could do a lot of damage, but she’s docile and domesticated.

I have, however, seen that demure clowny coyote suddenly become all business when she thought her job was to be the protector.

Anka is what I like in a dog. I’ve always been looking for that perfect balance of drive, good sense, and intelligence in a dog, but it’s harder and harder to find in golden retrievers. It still exists, but it is something one must seek out with a great deal of rigor.

And even then, you may be turned away.

Working German shepherds are really common, and because people often don’t know what they are getting when they purchase a puppy– “I want one of them straight-backed ones” is a common idea in the public mind– they often are in need of good homes. What most people don’t get is those straighter-backed Rin Tin Tin dogs have far more drive than most people are accustomed to having in a dog, and they would be be better suited to buy an actual show-bred dog.

Living with both forms of this breed has given me a deep appreciation for each type.  I can’t say that I am as fundamentalist against the show dogs as I once was. I had to change my mind, because I was wrong.

And yes, we can have all these debates about functional conformation in this breed. We can post that image that shows the horse with the extreme rear angulation. We can show photos of Hektor Linksrhein/Horand von Grafrath all we want.

But i have changed my mind about what breeds I do like to have. One of these days, I’ll probably up my game with a Malinois or a Dutch shepherd, which are like five or six clicks more driven than a working German shepherd,  but for right now, I enjoy what I do have.

A good dog.

 

 

 

Natural History

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Are You Ready for National Fetch Day? | #MakeFetchHappen #NationalFetchDay

Gretchen Wieners may not have been able to make fetch happen in the classic cult comedy Mean Girls, but just watch as determined dogs from coast to coast turn the phrase into their own pet holiday:…



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