Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Favorite Jeans for Spring


The Best Jeans for Spring 2014 // Bubby and Bean


Want to know a secret?  I haven't worn a pair of jeans since before I got pregnant (which was over a year ago), aside from one pair of maternity jeans that I wore less times than I can count on one hand.  Maybe I'm being a little dramatic in calling it a secret, but really, it's kind of odd that something that was once a wardrobe staple for me has become nonexistent in my closet.  These days you can usually find me in either a dress or an oversized tee and leggings.  (I may have gotten just a little too comfortable in the leggings uniform during the pregnancy, as it's sort of stuck.)  I had a couple of pairs of trusty skinnies that I wore constantly before getting pregnant, but alas, they just don't fit me the same now that I've had a baby.  So jean-less I have become.

Now that spring is here, I'm feeling an urge to get back into a good pair.  I'm envisioning a soft white tee, layered necklaces, loads of rings on my fingers, a brown floppy hat or grey beanie, some simple strappy sandals, and a great pair of denim jeans.  I have it in my head and I'm determined to make it happen. So I've set out on a search for the pair that will become my go-to's.  The styles you see above are my favorite finds so far.  The cuts, fits, washes are different (as are the price points), but they each have the potential to become my new wardrobe staple pair, perfect for springtime.   I'm especially a fan of #1 from True Religion Brand Jeans and #6 from J.Crew.  Both are equal parts casual and chic, and perfect for springtime.

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans for spring (or any time of the year)?  Which of the pairs above do you think I should get? 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did You Win the Fresh Flowers $75 Cash Giveaway?


Did You Win the Fresh Flowers $75 Cash Giveaway?

Thanks to all of you who entered the Fresh Flowers Giveaway for a chance to win $75 cash to spend on your mama for Mother's Day (or on anything you like!).  The winner was chosen via random.org, and that lucky Bubby and Bean reader is...



Congratulations Geraldyne!  Please contact me at bubbyandbean (at) gmail.com with the email address you use for PayPal and we'll get your cash prize right over to you.


Thanks again for Fresh Flowers for offering Bubby and Bean readers such a great prize!  And if you haven't yet, don't forget to enter our current giveaway (tomorrow is the last day!) for a chance to win a Sun Glow Duo skin set from our pals at Skin Authority.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 Great Easter DIY Projects


10 Great Easter DIY Projects
1. Sleepy Bunny Goodie Bags, Probably Actually  //  2. Rustic Bunny Crate, Little Blue Boo //  3. Pantone Dyed Easter Eggs, How About Orange //  4. Stuffed Menswear Bunny, Martha Stewart  //  5. Pineapple Easter Eggs, Studio DIY // 6. Pinata Easter Eggs, A Subtle Revelry //  7. Paint Chip Easter Garland, Modern Parents Messy Kids  //  8. Honeycomb Birds, Oh Happy Day  //  9. Tiny Flower Easter Basket, Paper and Stitch  // 10. Iron-On Bunny Bags, Oh Happy Day


Easter is this Sunday, and although the holiday has never really been a big deal for us, now that we have a little one, I'm suddenly more excited about it than usual.  Essley is still way too young to understand the concept of the Easter bunny or to eat Easter candy or work on Easter crafts, but this hasn't stopped me from getting the supplies to make a basket for her, stocking up on eggs, and searching around for fun Easter DIY crafts to create.  For this edition of 10 Great, I thought I'd share some of my favorite projects I've come across, in case you want to throw something fun together for the weekend.

Have you made anything Easter-related this season?   Any cool Easter-themed crafts that I missed?

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Make Your Own Baby Wipes (+ More Ways to Save on Baby Products and a $50 Meijer Gift Card Giveaway!)


Make Your Own Baby Wipes // Bubby and Bean
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

As my regular readers know, four months ago, I had a baby girl.  Essley has taught me so many incredible, wonderful things in such a short a time, for which I'm endlessly grateful.  And one of the most important of the lessons she's taught me is this: babies aren't cheap.  Those of you who are moms/dads or aunts/uncles or grandparents know exactly what I'm talking about.  All of those little things you need for baby seriously add up. 

Recently, I picked up the April issue of All You magazine at my local Meijer, and felt really inspired by all of the fun DIYs, spring crafts, and money-saving tips.  So I though that, as a new mom, I'd share some of the ways I save money on baby products with you guys, along with my 'recipe' for DIY baby wipes.  These wipes are not only way less expensive than store-bought varieties, they're also better for your baby's bum than the chemical-laden wipes you can buy.

At the bottom of the post, you'll also find a special coupon for All You Magazine and a giveaway for a $50 gift card to Meijer, to buy the ingredients to make your own DIY baby products or for whatever you'd like!



DIY NATURAL BABY WIPES

YOU WILL NEED:
  • A roll of heavy-duty paper towel
  • A container (I re-used a wipe container.  You can also use a food storage container or any small plastic container.)
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of natural castile soap and/or natural baby wash
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water (tip: boil the water first to make the wipes stay good longer)

DIRECTIONS:
Cut the roll of paper towel in half using a sharp knife or saw.  In a large bowl, mix the coconut oil, soap/baby wash, and hot water until coconut oil is completely melted and everything is well combined.  Place one half of the paper towel (set aside the other half for next time) in the bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes or until all liquid is thoroughly absorbed.  Remove the cardboard tube from inside of the paper towels and place the towels in your container.  That's it!  You can also use these for adult wipes, as makeup removers, and even for quick clean-ups.



MORE MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR BABY PRODUCTS
  • CLOTHING: Visit thrift stores and consignment shops for baby clothes.  Most items have only been worn a few times (if that), and you can find really cute outfits for a fraction of the cost of new ones. Also ask friends and family members for hand-me-downs.  Half of Essley's wardrobe consists of hand-me-down items and you'd never know!  Also shop clearance racks at the end of seasons in larger sizes.  I've found some great winter pieces for 75% off (and more) recently in size 12-18 months that she'll be able to wear next winter.
  • DIAPERS: Buy diapers in bulk instead of in small packages (you'll save up to $200 a year), or try cloth diapers (which are also better for the environment).
  • FOOD: Nurse if you can (breast milk is best and it's free!).  If you can't nurse, ask your doctor about coupons and free samples of formula. After 6 months when it's time to start introducing solids, make your own baby food.  It's much cheaper and often more nutritious.
  • TOYS: Make your own toys using household items (my mom cut holes in the top of an oatmeal container and I'd push crumpled paper through the holes; it was my favorite toy!).  Also check out secondhand stores, or set up a toy swap with friends.
  • BATH AND BODY:  Just like the DIY baby wipes I shared, you can make many of your own bath and body, including lotions, baby powders, diaper creams, baby washes and more.  Do a quick search online for recipes.
  • BEDDING: Skip crib bedding sets or bedding extras.  All you need is a crib sheet.  In fact, bumpers and pillows can be dangerous when baby is too young.  
  • BURP CLOTHS:  Buy a 10-pack of plain white cloth diapers.  They work as well as any fancy burp cloth for a fraction of the cost.  You can also cut up receiving blankets and use them as burp clothes.
  • BIBS:  Use toddler sized tshirts instead of buying bibs. Grab a few at a thrift store or yard sale and throw them over your baby's clothing while he or she is eating. They'll be perfect for playtime when baby gets older too. 



For even more money saving tips and fun craft and DIY ideas, head to your local Meijer and grab your copy of All One Magazine.  Here's a special $1 off coupon for the April issue, good while supplies last.


And now, the giveaway!  To enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card to Meijer, just enter your name and email address below.




Do you have any money-saving tips for baby products?  Have you tried making any at home?


Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I genuinely feel would be of interest to my readers.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

GIVEAWAY // Win a Sun Glow Duo Self-Tanning Set from Skin Authority (+ My Personal Review)


GIVEAWAY // Win a Sun Glow Duo Self-Tanning Set from Skin Authority and Bubby & Bean!

Back in the day, I used to slather myself in suntan oil and literally bake in the sun in an effort to get a 'bronze glow' (which, on several occasions, resulted instead in a miserable red burn).  I even visited the the tanning bed from time to time.  Thankfully, I eventually accepted the fact that as much as I loved a tan in the summertime, I was taking the unhealthy route to get there.  Since then, if I'm going to be outside under a hot sun, I've used sunscreen.  And if I want a sun-kissed look, I've opted for self tanner.  Unfortunately though, as we all know, self tanners can be tricky, and more times than not end up leaving you a streaky, orange mess. I've learned that a lot of times, this unwanted effect is caused by a build up of dead skin.  So when the folks over at Skin Authority asked if I wanted to try their new Sun Glow Duo, which includes a special exfoliating cleanser to prevent streakiness (and is vegetarian!), I was all about it.

I'd just been in Arizona so my normally pasty pale skin did have a tiny head start, but my legs needed a boost.  So although I used the Sun Glow Duo on my entire body, I concentrated on my legs.  Over a period of a couple of weeks, I first applied the Exfoliating Cleanser, then the Sunless Tanner.  The Exfoliating Cleanser worked wonders, both on my face and my body, removing dead skin cells with its natural pumice and sugar cane derived exfoliators.  My skin felt all sorts of soft.  The Sunless Tanner went on smoothly, lacked that awful artificial tanning scent (thank goodness), and absorbed quickly.  It also moisturized my skin, and provided help in fighting free radical damage with its Vitamin C and E formula.  And I love that it contains no fragrances, parabens, or harmful dyes.  Within an hour of the first appplication, I started to see a nice tan color.  After using the Duo every few days for two weeks, I had a rich tan that was even and natural looking. I'm looking forward to using it on a regular basis as summertime approaches. (The Sun Glow Duo is available for purchase from April 1 through June 30, 2014.)

Skin Authority Sun Glow Duo

And now for the best part!  Skin Authority is giving one lucky Bubby and Bean reader a Sun Glow Duo of their very own, which includes the Exfoliating Cleanser and the Sunless Tanner, a $78 value!


To enter, just like Skin Authority on Facebook, then leave a comment below stating that you did so.


Once you've completed the mandatory entry above, you can also gain one additional entry for each of the following.  (*Please list each extra entry in a SEPARATE comment in order for it to count).
  • Follow Skin Authority on Twitter
  • Follow Skin Authority on Instagram
  • Follow Skin Authority on Pinterest 
  • Post the top image from this post to Instagram with the following caption: Win this Sun Glo Duo from @skinauthority and @bubbyandbean! Repost for 1 entry. #bubbyandbeangiveaway #giveaway
  • Tweet this: Enter the Bubby & Bean and @skinauthority GIVEAWAY to win a Sun Glow Duo worth $78! via @MotM_EcoFashion  http://bit.ly/1qJ0NQr
  • Pin the top image from this post on Pinterest 
  • Click the Facebook 'Like' button below to like this post on Facebook 

This giveaway will run through April 17th and is open to Bubby and Bean readers with a U.S. shipping address.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced shortly after.  (Important: Please make sure to check back and/or leave a way to contact you in your initial entry.) 

Thanks again to Skin Authority for letting me try their fantastic product, and for giving Bubby and Bean readers the chance to try it out as well!  Good luck!

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