Monday, March 27, 2017

My 12 Favorite Bubby & Bean Snack Recipes



Vegan Cheese Party Tray



Pistachio Coconut Squares
(From my pal Jessica's seriously amazing new plant-based cookbook. Get it here!)

Salsa Verde, Avocado, + Spinach Quesadillas


Vegan, Plant-Based Nachos, 3 Ways

The other night I was lying in bed, feeling hungry after a late night nursing session (Emmett had an ear infection and it suddenly felt like I had newborn again because dude wanted boob incessantly), and instead of just forcing myself to go to sleep, I decided to torture myself by looking through the food post archives here on Bubby and Bean. And what I realized (aside from the fact that looking at photos of food when you're hungry at 3 AM is never a good idea) is that while I'm far from being a chef (or even a decent cook, really), I can whip up a mean snack. So I thought today I'd share a few of my favorite snack recipes from over the years, all here in one tidy post. I continue to make all of these on a regular basis, and aside from being delicious, they're all really quick and easy. (And quick + easy = everything to me right now.)  All of them are vegetarian and/or vegan. And yes, a lot of them are Mexican inspired. Hey man, I know what I like. Just click on any image (or link below) it to access each recipe. If you try any of these, I'd love to hear what you think!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let's Purge! (Spring Sale in the Bubby and Bean Shop)

Hello card
free spirit art

I know, I know, the spring purge thing is so cliche but I'm telling you guys - there is something about this time of year that causes me to feel indescribably smothered by "stuff." I feel like I look around my house and all I can see is pile after horrific pile of things we don't need, just taking up space. I want to, like, rent a giant dumpster that will somehow cause its contents to spontaneously disappear and/or get distributed to those who could actually use them instead of ending up in a landfill and just throw 90% of my belongs in it.

That same feeling, albeit at a much less intense level, comes over me this time of year in terms of my little business side project (the Bubby and Bean Art Shop) too. Suddenly I want to discontinue a bunch of the designs we carry and just simplify. So this year I'm going to do just that - and in the process, give our awesome readers, followers, and customers an amazing deal. Today though Sunday (3/26/17), take 30% off your entire order over in the shop with code WELOVESPRING. You help us decrease inventory, we give you a major discount. In a springtime win-win.

As always, thank you for the support of the art and greeting card line, and the Bubby and Bean brand in general. Not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful for getting to do what I love. (And if you need me, I'll be in my closet feverishly shoving most of its contents into donation bags.)


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

10 Stylish Sunglasses Under $30

10 Stylish Sunglasses Under $30

Is it too early to talk about summer? I realize spring just started this week, but I've got sunshine and sunglasses on the brain. We're headed to Arizona in a couple of weeks and I could use another pair (or two) of sunnies (who couldn't?), so I've been on a hunt. As always, I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I don't want to get a dollar store quality pair that will quickly fall apart. I'm thinking #2 is the winner, but I'm kind of into #5. Maybe I'll get both. (I mean, it's such an important decision for the state of the world and all, to figure out which pair of sunglasses to buy.)

Which pair above is your favorite? Am I the only one already fixated on summer?


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Life Update

I made a promise to check in with just a plain old, uninteresting (to me anyway) "hello" post here once a month in 2017. I know I don't post a lot of personal stuff here, but aside from an amazing part time assistant and some fantastic occasional contributors, it's just me here, unglamorously typing away from my home office (which is currently a corner of my kids' room while we feverishly continue in our search for a larger home), and it's important to me to keep things real and authentic. So hi. Here I am!

This month has been pretty exhausting, because it's smack dab in the middle of Robbie's busiest time of year with the band, and aside from this week, he's been gone constantly except for a quick 48 hour stop in once a week. That means it's just been me here with the kids day and night, trying to meet work deadlines in between Essley's preschool and activities and a raging double ear infection for Emmett, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't really hard. Emmett isn't a good sleeper as it is, and when he's sick he wants to nurse all night. It's just a lot. I could go easily on and on about how sleepy and stressed I am, or how guilty I feel for putting my kids in front of Sesame Street or Moana on repeat while I'm frantically trying to return work emails, but the truth is that even though our situation is unique in terms of our work schedules, this is just part of being a working parent to little kids and it's not going to be this way forever. I love being a mama and I adore my kids, and when I do have five minutes of down time to myself, I appreciate it profoundly. So it's hard not to be grateful, even when I can't keep my eyes open.

Family Play Ideas for Toddlers

Aside from that, things are good. We've still been house hunting, and while that too has been discouraging, we are trying to manifest something awesome appearing very soon. A great lesson I was taught through Emmett's illness and how he has so miraculously come out of it (he is literally running now, saying all kinds of words, and just being a normal - whatever that word really means - 14 month old little boy) is the power of positive thinking. So even when I feel overwhelmed or negative, I make the effort to try to be grateful for what I have and have faith that things will work out.

In a week it will be two months since my stepdad passed away, and we're all just doing out best to remember the things we loved about him and keep his memory alive. My mom is selling their home and moving to the town where we live, and I know it would have made him so happy to know that she'll be so close to the grandkids, whom he adored so greatly. We've also made plans to go on the annual trip huge family he took for decades to Door Country Wisconsin in the summer, and can't wait to celebrate him there.

And speaking of trips, the four of us are headed to Arizona in a couple of weeks for five glorious days in the sunshine. We're all really looking forward to getting away for a few days and spending some time together as a family.

Today is Robbie's birthday, so while I'm taking the time to actually write out a personal, life update style post, I'm also going to give him a little birthday shout out here. Happy Birthday babe! Thank you for being such a hardworking, kind, loving husband and dad. We adore you, dude.

Are you still reading? I can't even think of the last time I've given such a long personal update here, but it felt good. I'm thankful beyond words for the fact that I'm able to come to this space everyday for my job, and to actually earn income for my family by being creative, but sometimes I really miss the old days when blogging was just an informal diary. Maybe we need to start a movement where bloggers and influencers spend one a day a month just checking in, old school style. I'll think about that one and get back to you.

Oh, and the photos scattered throughout this post are just a few random favorites from the last six-ish months, in no particular order. They've made me realize though that we haven't taken any family - or  even partially family - photos in quite a while. I'm going to make sure we get on that on our vacation. Thanks for letting me share, guys!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Floral Springspiration

Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
Spring Floral Inspiration
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You guys! It's the first day of spring! Finally! Aside from winter giving us the middle finger on its way out last week with several inches of snow and freezing temps, it has admittedly been a pretty mild winter in Chicagoland. Nevertheless I've still been counting down the days. I am a summer girl, but I'm finding that spring is slowly catching up as my favorite season. The signs of the earth coming back to life each March/April - especially the arrival of the first flowers - bring me profound happiness. And that sounds incredibly dramatic but I'm telling you, it's the truth. Fellow spring lovers, I hope you appreciate these spring-inspired floral images as much as I do.