Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kaftan Love

1. Melrose Muse Kaftan, Free People  //  2. Sunflower Captivate Kaftan, Jen's Pirate Bootie  //  3. Dream Time Kaftan, Free People  //  4. Le Sirenuse Caftan, J.Crew  //  5. Ojai Caftan, Ace & Jig  //  6. Torrin Caftan, Goddis  //  7. Morocco Maxi Kaftan, Boohoo  //  8. Athena Embellished Kaftan, Free People //  9. Palm Print Kaftan Maxi, Traffic People

You guys already know about my kimono obsession (and I rarely, if ever, use the word "obsession"), but lately I've been all about their sister in style, the kaftan (also spelled caftan; also called a muumuu). It's a trend with which I can really get on board (I mean, hello bohemian marriage of comfort and style), but it also has the ability to very easily border on frumpy if not done right. (I give kudos to Mrs. Roper for for always rocking her  own look, but I don't exactly want to emulate her style. Nor do I wish to look pregnant when I'm not.)  The designs you see above all do a stellar job of being stylish without looking dowdy, which is key. And even if you're not into the thought of wearing one as a dress like I am, the kaftan makes the chicest swimsuit cover around.

Despite my closet full of kimonos (I think I own 9 right now), I don't have a single kaftan. And that needs to change before summer slips away. While I'd love to snatch up #5 above, it's just not in my price range for a casual dress. So I'm thinking #9 may be the winner. I'm a sucker for palm print anyway. Which is your favorite? Would you rock a kaftan as a dress?


Monday, June 27, 2016

10 Great 4th of July Themed Recipes

10 Great 4th of July Themed Recipes // Bubby and Bean
1. 4th of July Rice Krispie Treats, Say Yes  //  2. Berry Tart with Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Custard, Against All Grain  //  3. Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa, Two Peas and Their Pod  // 4. Red, White, and Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles, The View From Great Island  //  5. 4th of July Fruit and Cheese Platter, Say Yes  //  6. Birthday Cake Pie with Chocolate Mousse and Berries, Foodie Crush  //  7. Red, White, and Blue Quinoa Salad, Lemon Tree Dwelling  //  8. 4th of July Treat Cones (more of a DIY than a recipe, but anything involving hidden candy is okay by me), Oh Happy Day // 9. Wave the Flag Cupcakes, Blueberry Council  //  10. Bomb Pop Shots, A Beautiful Mess   

The Fourth of July is one week from today, and I can't wait. It's one of my favorite days of the year. To me, it represents everything I love about summer - celebration, friends, sunshine, fireworks, and food. I'm especially excited this year because Robbie gets to stop home from tour on the fourth, so we'll all be able to celebrate with our friends as a family. And while the plan is to continue to focus on my clean eating routine into July, I will absolutely be taking the fourth off to fully savor as many delicious foods as possible. While searching for some fun food ideas to create and bring to the party we'll be attending (I am a sucker for holiday themed foods), I came across these delightful looking recipes, so I thought I'd share them here for this summertime edition of 10 Great. While all of these are vegetarian, you could easily incorporate meat into the savory dishes. Enjoy!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I'm Wearing Now: June

Summer Style Essentials
1. Patterned Off-the-Shoulder Dress, H&M  //   2. Coco Sunglasses, Free People  //  3. Sliced Cuff Bracelet, Flourish Leather  //  4.Nightway Tassel Earrings, Madewell  //  5. Palm Pattern A-Line Dress, H&M  //  6. Cuffed Boyfriend Maternity Jeans (yes, maternity jeans, because they are insanely comfortable; love this very similar non-maternity version from Rag & Bone which is also on sale!)  // 7. Umphrey's McGee Tank (the band for which my husband works; my all-time favorite piece of their merch!) //  8. High Rise Frayed Shorts, Target  // 9. Off-Shoulder Peasant Top (mine is old but this one is eerily similar, and on sale!)  // 10. Rene Sandal, Trask  //  11. Arizona Birko-Flor Sandal, Birkenstock

And finally, we are in the midst of my favorite time of year for fashion. In the blogging world, I am definitely in the minority when it comes to my affinity for summertime attire. While most bloggers profess their undying love for fall and cool weather layers, I relish in flowing summer dresses, cut-offs, and sandals. Maybe it's my hippie roots, but there is nothing I love more than dressing for sunshine and long days - as is well reflected in this month's edition of What I'm Wearing Now.

This month has been blissfully hot in Chicago, and I've taken full advantage. I've finally been able to pull my beloved lightweight dresses out of the back of my closet, which is basically the equivalent of Christmas morning in my world. I also picked up this dress and this dress - #1 and #5 above - this month. I was pregnant with Emmett last summer, so it's been a while since I've been able to shop for summer dresses (aka my favorite pieces of clothing, always and forever). It felt pretty glorious - especially because they were both as affordable as they were cute.  Aside from that you'll see some repeats from last month - cut off denim shorts, tanks, and kimonos. I guess I know what I like.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming months and being able to continue wearing my summertime wardrobe (for as long as possible, please). Oh, and I'm still in market for a great new pair of sandals. Both of my go-tos, as seen in this post, have been staples for a couple years, but I'm ready for something new. I'd love to hear your suggestions/favorites!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

10 Kitchen Savings Tips

Let me start out this post by saving that I am by no means an expert when it comes to being frugal. While Robbie and I are very careful with money in the big picture and rarely make large purchases for things we don't need or splurge for top-of-the-line models, we (okay, I) do indulge in non-necessities (like my beloved grande lattes) on a daily basis. In other words, I'm pretty sure that if I was a leader in money-saving skills, buying $5 coffee beverages almost everyday wouldn't be allowed. That said, now that we've got two little ones and are in the market to buy a house, we've gotten a lot better about noticing where our money is going on the smaller things - and have therefore learned how to save in ways that add up around the house. There is nowhere we've seen this prove truer than in the kitchen, and today, I'm going to share some of my top kitchen saving tips with you guys.

1. Opt for high quality trash bags. This is actually a big one. We used to buy low quality trash bags for the kitchen because they were so cheap, and it ultimately backfired because they were constantly ripping (and making really gross messes), which meant we had to waste money buying more and more of them. Now we use Hefty Ultra Strong bags, which are not only outstanding quality, they're also now available for a new, lower price. I love that they use Arm & Hammer odor neutralizers and new, invigorating scents to help keep odors at bay, but also offer a scent-free option for those who prefer it. And they use active tear resistant technology for better puncture resistance, so we can fit a lot of garbage into them without the fear of constant rips like with our old bags. Go grab some for yourself at Target or Walmart, and then earn $1.00 cash back via Ibotta after purchasing a box!

2. Drink water with meals. The cost of juice, soda, etc. adds up (both in terms of money and sugar consumption). We always drink water with meals and throughout the day, and we opt to use reusable water containers over plastic water bottles when taking water with us. (Bonus tip: If it's better for the environment in terms of eliminating waste, it's usually better for your wallet too.)

3. Make your own kitchen cleansers. Really all you need to clean your entire kitchen is water, baking soda, vinegar, and citrus fruits. You can combine them in various ways to create a myriad of cleaners for everything from your stove to your sink to your counters to your fridge.

4. Use cloth napkins. Choosing cloth napkins (and dish rags) over disposable paper ones can save you quite a bit of money over time. (And like tip #2, it's better for the earth as well.)

5. Freeze your fruit. We buy a ton of fruit in this house, and sometimes it starts to go bad before we use it. If I think fruit is getting close to that point, I cut it up, freeze it, and use it in smoothies and smoothie bowls (which I eat for lunch almost everyday).

6. Eat leftovers. Maybe this seems like a given, but it's something of which I need to be constantly reminded because I'm innately terrible about it. One trick that has helped us to use up extra food is to experiment with different ways to use it in recipes so it doesn't feel like we're eating the same thing night after night. Bowls are great for this - you can top brown rice or quinoa with almost anything!

7. Buy in bulk. Most health food stores and many grocery stores have bulk sections where you can buy beans, rice, lentils, nuts, oats, etc. in bulk and use your own containers. Choosing this option over pre-packaged saves a lot of money over time.

8. Try vegetarian. This might sound biased since I don't personally don't eat meat, but you can ask my meat loving husband - it's (usually) a lot less expensive to eat vegetarian. Try replacing just a couple of meals a week with meat-free options and keep track of the extra money you have over a few months.

9. Buy whole produce. It's so easy to just grab already prepared produce at the grocery store (those pre-cut pineapples and watermelon slices are especially tempting for me, as is pre-made guacamole), but you're way better off money-wise by just buying the whole produce and preparing it yourself.

10. Use your kitchen. For years (and years, and years) I was the take-out queen. I've never been particularly fond of or good at cooking, and let's face it - when you're busy, picking up your phone and a take-out menu is incredibly appealing. But by actually using your kitchen and making your own meals, you're generally eating healthier and you're absolutely saving money. For the last year or so we have opted to make our own meals over ordering food and eating out except for very rare occasions. It adds up.

I hope these tips prove as useful to you as they have to us. And if you have any kitchen savings tips of your own, I'd love to hear them!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

GIVEAWAY // Win A $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions!

GIVEAWAY // Win A $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby & Bean!

Yesterday was the first official day of summer, and we think that's reason to celebrate. So we are teaming up with our pals and long time Bubby and Bean sponsors Gaia Conceptions once again for another incredible giveaway! They are giving away $100 to spend in their online shop, which (as you probably know by now) features some of the most beautiful eco-friendly clothing around. They have hundreds of styles to choose from, each one of which is custom created to your size, color choice, and fabric selection. Both Essley and I are proud owners of several Gaia pieces. And now one lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going to get a $100 gift card to spend on Gaia Conceptions clothing of your very own!

Win a $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby and Bean

Use the form below, and/or, because the main methods of entering this giveaway (worth the most points) involve Instagram, you can also enter directly on IG, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through June 29, 2016 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen via Random.org and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Big thanks again to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another gift card to their amazing shop! Good luck!