Friday, April 17, 2015

Our Favorite Mad Men Inspired Home Decor

By Home Contributor Paige Ronchetti

Mad Men Inspired Home Decor
rug // clock // sofa // credenza // chair // mirror // table

A show of hands: who else loves Mad Men? And who's sad that we're watching the last few episodes EVER? Me, too. I'm bummed that it will all be over in a few weeks, so to cope with my impeding woe, I thought we could look at some furniture inspired by Don Draper and friends. The show covers the years 1960-1970 (so far! there could always be another leap into the future at the last second) and decorating styles changed a lot in that decade. I won't be able to showcase everything and do it justice, so I'm going to focus on the sweet spot of the mid-60s. It's my personal favorite, plus it's what started the Mad Men-inspired retro trend that's been everywhere the last few years. Mid century modern = BFF.

One thing that's always stood out to me on the show is the smattering of blue couches that pop up throughout the workspaces of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The couch in the waiting area is blue. There's another one outside the conference room. And I think Peggy had one in her office for a while? SO MANY. There are also a lot of red and orange accent chairs to be found, so I obviously had to include one we can buy today. (Look at those pointy arms!) Starburst clocks and mirrors have popped up in several places, and booze-related storage was everywhere. Because everybody drank at work all day, DON. Put it down.

Anyway. Our house already has some mid century sauce on it, but I sure wouldn't complain if we went full Mad Men and lived in something like this:

Mad Men Inspired Home Decor

It would also make a delightful waiting area in my future (imaginary) studio. The one thing I don't always love about the 60s is the color palette, so this is a great blend of retro shapes and calmer neutrals. For me it's a great way to get an older style to work without feeling like you're living in a museum.

Are you into mid century modern? Sad about the end of Mad Men? What's your favorite element of retro style? - Paige

Paige and I have a shared love for both Mad Men (five episodes left = so much crying inside) and mid-century decor, so this roundup is one of my favorites of hers to date. In addition to writing for Bubby and Bean as our Home Contributor, Paige works as an Interior Designer (check out her biz, The Room Kit) and blogs over at Little Nostalgia. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fitness Fashion: My Activewear Wish List

Stylish Activewear (via Bubby and Bean)

As my regular readers know, I've been making a conscious effort to get (and stay) more physically active over the past year. I've been doing yoga for a long time now, and going for long walks (or, if I'm lucky, hiking) a few times a week for a couple of years, but only recently have I made an attempt to actually be consistent when it comes to exercising. I got a fitness band in the fall so that I'd be accountable for my daily steps and activity, I've kept my iPad set to short workout videos I can do on on work breaks, and I've been incorporating different types of physical activity into my daily 'to do' lists. My husband even got me into running last summer (a great example for me to 'never say never'), and I did my first 5K in November. (A 5K, for those who don't know, is a little over 3 miles. To runners, this might as well be a walk around the block. To this non-runner, it felt like kind of a big deal.)

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I'm feeling especially motivated to stay active. And although I keep things pretty basic when it comes to exercise clothes, I do think that it's important to have a few key pieces of activewear and shoes for working out. Not only can the right clothing enhance your fitness experience, it can also, in some cases, prevent injury. It's also no secret, of course, that activewear has made the crossover into everyday fashion. I actually wear a lot of yoga clothes in my day to day life, and I even have several friends who prefer to have mostly activewear in their wardrobes. It's comfortable and practical, and truthfully, even if you're only wearing it for exercise, a lot of it is really cute. I've been on the look out for a couple new pieces of activewear for spring and summer, so I turned to one of my favorites, Eddie Bauer, for inspiration. The pieces you see above are all on my current wish list. I'm especially into the Myriad Jogger Pants (my husband swears by good jogger pants for running), and the Infinity Tank Top, which I think could double as a great everyday tank layered under a plaid flannel or printed kimono.

Are you a fan of activewear for working out (or even in the everyday)? Which pieces above are your favorites?

This post is in partnership with Eddie Bauer.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GIVEAWAY // Win Two Belts of Your Choice from Gells

GIVEAWAY: Win Two Belts from Gells and Bubby & Bean!

Sometimes you come across a company that you immediately like, on the spot. Maybe they make a really great product, or maybe they're doing something genuinely good for the state of the our world. Or maybe, if they're like Gells, they do both.

When fellow mom and entrepreneur Ashley Perkin contacted me about her recently launched apparel company, Gells, I became an instant fan. Pronounced "jellz," their signature product is a classic, colorful belt, intended to "gel your outfit together" while supporting various charities. (How great is that?) Ashley started the company with her husband Richard (between the two of them they have twenty years of business experience ranging from marketing to finance to fashion), as part of a longtime shared dream. With their mutual appreciation for well-made, casual apparel, it only seemed natural to them to start with the accessory - the belt - that brings an outfit together. They also decided to found the company on their belief that you can operate a for-profit business with philanthropy at heart. 5% of the pre-tax purchase price of each belt sold is donated to charity. I also fell in love with their company logo: a rendering of their beloved family pet Can-Can, who lost her battle to canine cancer at a young age. (Canine cancer research is one of the areas to which Gells donates.)

The Gells signature belt is available in six colors and three adult sizes, as well as a kid's size, and each color represents a different charity. Donations from the purchase of a navy belts go to Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, purple goes to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, royal blue goes to the Arthritis National Research Foundation, hunter green goes to Thanks USA, pink goes to the Breast Cancer Alliance, and donations from the purchase of red belts is divided equally among the charities. Pretty cool.

I fully support the Gells mission and love their belts, which is why I'm so excited to announce that they will be giving them away to one of you! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader will win a set of two of their signature belts, in your choice of sizes and colors, worth $64.

To enter, just use the form below.  There are several ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through April 21, 2015 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after. 

Thanks again to Gells for giving our readers the chance to win two of their super stylish belts!  Good luck!


Monday, April 13, 2015

10 Great Hummus Recipes

10 Great Hummus Recipes // Bubby and Bean
1. Black Bean Hummus with Lime and Cumin, Simple Bites  //  2. Pumpkin Hummus, Closet Cooking //  3. Roasted Beet and White Bean Hummus, Martha Stewart  //  4. Easy Garlic Hummus, Ina Garten  //  5. Avocado Hummus, Kiran Tarun  // 6. Everything Bagel Hummus, The Housewife in Training Files  //  7. Edamame Hummus, Skinny Taste  //  8. Roasted Garlic and Kale Hummus, Oh My Veggies  // 9.  Spinach Feta Hummus, Green Valley Kitchen  //  10. Chocolate Hummus, FitSugar  

Hummus has been at the top of my snack list for many, many years. My dad used to make it a lot when we were growing up, it was a staple for me in college, and I've continued to eat it on a regular basis as an adult. You just can't go wrong with chickpeas and tahini (or any beans and tahini, really), and the ingredients you can incorporate to create variety are almost endless. Even my 15 month old kid can't get enough of the stuff.  I've started to utilize it for more than just a dip in recent years, incorporating it into recipes (on sandwiches in place of mayonnaise, as a 'sauce' in health bowls, even as a spread on toast for breakfast). I tend to buy it pre made (Trader Joe's has all sorts of delicious varieties), but I'm thinking it's time to start making it at home. (And with a certain big name brand being recalled recently, I'm even more motivated to make my own.) I've been doing some searching for recipes and decided that for this edition of 10 Great, I'd share some that have made my 'to try' list. Number 1 is so happening this weekend.

Who else loves them some hummus? Have you tried to make it from scratch?


Friday, April 10, 2015

Savory Oatmeal Dinner Bowls

Savory Oatmeal Dinner Health Bowls // Bubby and Bean

Sometime last summer, I became captivated by the health bowl. So you mean I just take whatever healthy ingredients I happen to have in my house and mix them together and it tastes good and is good for me? Sold! Of course, it's slightly more complicated than that - but not much. The key is to layer a whole grain, some protein, a healthy fat, veggies, greens, seeds/nuts, and sauce in a way that the ingredients complement one another. I experimented with changing up the veggies and proteins, and eventually settled on what I found to be my perfect dinner health bowl. Most often consisting of organic brown rice, roasted chickpeas, black beans, scrambled eggs or tofu cooked in coconut oil, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, sometimes almonds, avocado, organic baby greens, and topped with whatever healthy sauce I happen to have on hand, this meal became a twice weekly staple in our house.

Recently I started thinking that it was time to try something different for the grain. I'd tried quinoa (not a grain, but a good substitution for one) and couscous (admittedly not the best choice for a bowl), but almost always went for the brown rice in the end. And it was getting a little tiresome. Rice also takes quite a while to cook, and sometimes I need to just be able to throw dinner together quickly. Ultimately, the grain is sort of the muscle of the bowl, so it had to be something substantial. Then it hit me - why not try oatmeal? Oatmeal isn't traditionally known as a savory ingredient, much less a dinner food, but steel-cut oats are super hearty and full of texture, so why not? I knew that Pacific had just come out with a new ready-to-eat Organic Steel-Cut Oatmeal that just needed to be heated up, so that solved my problem of the meal taking a long time to prepare.

I played around with ingredients, just as I had done last year when my health bowl infatuation began, and came up with what I think is a seriously delicious, filling, super food packed dinner - one that my husband and toddler love as well. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

Prep/Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 1 (can easily make several at once)

1 package Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Steel-Cut Oatmeal  
1/2 cup organic black beans (canned or pre-cooked)
1 T sprouted pumpkin seeds (or regular pumpkin or sunflower seeds)
1 organic egg
coconut oil for frying egg
1/3 of an avocado, sliced
1/2 T chia seeds
handful of organic baby greens (I like a spinach and kale mix)
dollop of Greek yogurt
lime wedge
hot sauce to taste

Heat the oatmeal and black beans (separately) in saucepans over low to medium heat. While they're heating, fry your egg. (To fry egg over easy: Add a small amount of coconut oil to a skillet on medium-high heat, crack egg into bowl, add to pan, reduce heat to low, flip when whites set, and cook until desired doneness.) In a large bowl, layer the oatmeal, then the black beans, followed by the pumpkin seeds, then your egg. Top that with a layer of avocado slices, chia seeds, and the baby greens. Squeeze a little lime over your greens, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, top with hot sauce, more chia seeds, and any other seasonings you desire. You're done!

I like eating the layers separately so each bite is a surprise. My husband prefers to mix his all up. Either way, it's delicious.

You can, of course, eat this as a savory breakfast bowl too, if you're in the mood for something hearty and satisfying to start your day. And if you prefer a vegan bowl, try lightly pan frying some tofu in coconut oil in place of the egg (or just omit the egg all together), and use refrigerated coconut milk solids in place of Greek yogurt.

If you try this, be sure to let me know what you think!

P.S. Pacific Foods is holding a contest right now where everyday, one winner will be selected at random to win a special kit featuring a selection oatmeal and oat non-dairy beverage. At the completion, one grand prize winner will receive a variety case of Pacific’s Steel-Cut Oatmeal and a case of their delicious non-dairy drinks! To enter, just post a photo of a dressed up bowl of oatmeal (any brand) on Twitter or Instagram tagged with @PacificFoods and #OatmealBowl. (I did!)

This post is in collaboration with Pacific Foods.