Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Best Father's Day Gift Ever (+ $50 Snapfish Gift Cards Giveaway!)

Let me start out by saying that I realize calling something "The Best Father's Day Gift Ever" means it must be pretty freaking amazing. And while the early Dad's Day gift we designed and gave to my husband wasn't, like, a trip around the world or a new luxury car, Robbie told us that it was, indeed, the best Father's Day gift ever. And we believe him.

As my regular readers know, a little over two years ago, Robbie became a dad for the first time, and a few months ago, the second time. He also works full time as the Stage Manager for a band - and is on the road for over half the year. In fact, he had to leave for a several month tour with only weekly quick stops at home when our baby boy was only 2 weeks old. I am very proud of what a hard worker he is and how great he is at his job, and I'm thankful that we're able to be so supportive of each others' unique careers. But it's not always an easy life for the kids and me - or for him. He has to miss a lot of "firsts," a lot of holidays and important events, and the day-to-day family life that most probably take for granted. I have to say though, he more than makes up for any absence or sacrifice by legitimately being the most incredible father to our kids. The love and bond they share simply cannot be taken away by the limited time he has with them. He goes above and beyond - from dress-up tea parties in tiaras with our daughter, to story times that turn into hours, to many all-nighters spent semi-sleeping in a chair rocking a babe during the newborn months, to multiple daily park trips, to an almost infinite number of other wonderful things he does. I feel very lucky that Robbie is the person to help me raise Essley and Emmett. I am so, so grateful.

For this Father's Day, I wanted to come up with an idea for a gift for Robbie that was sentimental, and would show just how much we appreciate him, while still being his style. We tend to get each other practical gifts (aka gift cards) which is all well and good, but I felt like for his first Father's Day as a daddy of two we needed to step it up. The perfect gift would be something personal, inspired by his journey into parenthood over the last few years, from the time I got pregnant with Essley through the present. It was also really important to me for it to be something he could bring with him on the road - something he could look at when he missed us and be instantly reminded of the great times we share when we're together. I thought long and hard about this. And then it hit me. A beautiful, high-quality photo book from Snapfish, with touches that reflected his style aesthetically and told our story as a family - and that he could pack in his bag when it was time to go on tour - would be the ultimate Father's Day Gift.

Making the book was such a fun project (I actually laughed and teared up during the process, multiple times). I decided to go with an 11 x 14 book with the LayFlat Hard Cover, then entered the Snapfish project space. I uploaded my photos (a ton of them) from my computer (you can also upload from Facebook or Instagram), then played around with text/sentiments, embellishments, backgrounds, and designer layouts, etc. to create a one-of-a-kind gift for our one-of-a-kind dad/husband. Robbie's style is simple and he loves dark neutrals, so I used a charcoal color for the cover and half of the inside pages. For the other pages I used the "Family Man" layout's wood grain design. I chose embellishments from "Family Man" as well for some of the book, and the "Create Your Own" option for the rest so I could design some of it from scratch. I went with a simple font for the captions. Essley got in on the action too and helped me choose which photos to use - from the first ultrasound of her through my pregnancy, her birth, my pregnancy with Emmett, his birth, and all our adventures in between, up until now. I focused on including as many pictures as possible with Robbie and kids, being silly and having fun and just loving one another.

We decided to give Robbie the gift early so he could start enjoying it and be able to take it on the road with him right away. And truth be told, I couldn't wait until Father's Day once I saw it in person. It's really gorgeous you guys. The quality is stellar (I am so in love with the lay flat hard cover), the pictures are crisp and vibrant, and it genuinely looks like a professional quality coffee table book you'd pick up at a high end boutique. Essley helped me wrap it up and we gave it to him after dinner the other night. Now my husband is not one of those people who bursts into tears at the sight of something sentimental. But I definitely spotted the glimmer of watery eyes when he unwrapped it and saw the front cover (the first photo taken on the four of us, on the day Emmett was born). We all piled onto the oversized chair in our living room and spent some time looking through it together. It was pretty awesome watching him crack up over funny and ridiculous memories and smile over the sweet ones. And like I said, he officially declared the photo book "the best Father's Day gift ever." So I think we did good.

One thing I've noticed with my own husband and with friends who are fathers is how today's dad seems to be more engaged than ever before with the kids, and is ultimately redefining what it means to be a father. And I think this is a source of pride for them (as it should be!). So really, what better way to show appreciation for that than with a personalized Father's Day gift that showcases their relationships with their children? If you're on the look out for something truly special, checked out Snapfish's options for creating personalized photo gifts for Father's Day this year (or for any occasion where you want to show gratitude). I'm so thrilled with the way ours turned out, and even moreso by how much Robbie loves it.

And now for the giveaway! Snapfish is giving away 35 (!!!) $50 product codes so you can create your own personalized gift (or whatever you'd like!). To enter, just use the entry form below. There are several ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ (only one winner per household, please), and runs through June 10th at 9pm PT. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by Snapfish by June 17th. Good luck! And happy Fathers Day!

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.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What I'm Wearing Now: May

Early Summer Style Essentials
1. Off-Shoulder Peasant Top (mine is old but this one is eerily similar)  //  2. Coco Sunglasses, Free People  //  3. Sliced Cuff Bracelet, Flourish Leather  //  4. Classic Sheffield Watch, Daniel Wellington //  5. Navy Kimono (bought mine in 2014; love this similar one on sale for $13!)  //  6. High Rise Frayed Shorts, Target  // 7. Flared Jeans (thrifted; in love with this similar pair at Madewell, which happens to be on sale!)  // 8. Stripe T-Shirt Dress, Target  //  9. Anthem Tank, Maxwell (on sale!)  // 10. Rene Sandal, Trask  // 11. Geometric Pull-On Shorts, J. Crew Factory  //  12. Double Fringe Side-Zip Boots in Grey, Minnetonka

I recently admitted to myself that I'm no longer doing outfit posts here at Bubby and Bean. They're just not happening anymore. I mean, let's be realistic - I've only done two of them in 2016, and they were both from my Arizona trip where we basically had full time care of the kids any time we wanted to get out, in addition to incredible weather and the most gorgeous natural backdrop you could imagine. I remember thinking it was next to impossible to get out and photograph outfit posts with one kid (hahahahaaahahahaa), but now, with two kids, if I'm putting myself together in a way that looks semi-presentable, it's because I'm probably rushing out the door to do something and there sure isn't going to be time for taking pictures beforehand. Now I'm not saying I'll never do an outfit post again, because I'm sure they'll pop up a few times a year. But in the meantime, I'm glad to be able to share via these monthly 'What I'm Wearing Now' posts, because stereotypical exhausting working mom or otherwise, I still love fashion - even if it's just glorified leggings, a kimono, and a hat.

Summer is so close I can almost taste the lemonade mimosas, and I've been happily pulling out pieces of my summertime wardrobe. Not everything from summers past fits quite yet (I'd like to get back to my pre-pregnancy size by the end of the summer; I have about ten pounds to go and I'm trying to be healthy about it, plus I'm breastfeeding which mean much larger than normal boobs and a body that stores extra fat), but a few of my favorite pieces do, and that makes me happy. I'm also looking forward to a couple of early summer shopping sessions to add a few new pieces. For now, the items you see above are what I've been wearing on a regular basis.

Have you transitioned to a summertime wardrobe yet? Oh, and I'm in the market for a new pair of sandals or just shoes in general. Suggestions? (I feel like all I wear - and have been wearing for the last couple of years - are the sandals you see here and some version of moccasins. Everyday.)


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Favorite Kitchen Tools (That Look Pretty Too)

High Quality Kitchen Tools That Look Pretty Too (via Bubby and Bean

If you look back over the last few years of posts here at Bubby and Bean, you'll see all sorts of mentions of the fact that I didn't cook. Ever. The kitchen, aside from design aspects of it, was probably my least favorite space in the house. Cooking and baking just weren't my thing, man. Then, out of nowhere, very recently, I started to (gasp) enjoy creating things (that were actually edible) in the kitchen. It began when I was pregnant with Emmett, so I just assumed it was part of these weird nesting syndrome that accompanies pregnancy. But now, here I am with a four month old baby, and the motivation to actually use the kitchen remains. My husband is still the master chef in this house, but I am now officially inspired to (at least sometimes) cook meals as well.

All that said, I'd be lying if I told you the design aspects of the kitchen weren't still my favorite part of it. I'm admittedly often more interested in how appliances or cookware or kitchen accessories look than how they perform (which I realize is pretty silly, but oh well). I'm initially more drawn to a pretty colored knife than a plain one, for example. But what I've recently learned in my newfound enjoyment of preparing food is that thankfully, appearance and function don't have to be mutually exclusive when it comes to cooking and baking tools. So today I thought I'd share some of my (and my husband's) favorite aesthetically lovely kitchen accessories that also happen to do their jobs incredibly well, as seen in the collage above.

Each of these goods comes from Kuhn Rikon, a Swiss brand of cookware and cooks' tools with which we have fallen hard in love. Some of them we already own and love (the Colori + Classic Professional Knife Set, Dual Sharpener, Box Mandoline & Grater, Epicurean Garlic Press, Corn Zipper, Non-Stick Turner, and Silicon Baking Sheet), and some are on our wish list. But they are all perfect examples of how visually beautiful kitchen accessories can also work amazing well. We use each of these items on a regular basis (check out Robbie whipping up dinner in these photos with the mandolin, garlic press, and knife set), and they're so pretty that it's almost disappointing when it's time to put them away. Chances are you've heard of Kuhn Rikon, but if you haven't, I can't recommend them highly enough. They're a family owned company that's been around since 1899, with products available in more than 40 countries worldwide, and their products are top notch.

I'll keep you guys posted as to whether or not my desire to cook is a permanent thing, but for now, I'm going with it. And even if it does eventually subside, I'll undoubtedly continue to be a fan of beautifully designed kitchen goods (even if my husband goes back to being the only one who actually uses them).

This post is in partnership with Kuhn Rikon. Thank you for supporting the brands who help make Bubby and Bean possible.


Monday, May 23, 2016

No Bad Days

1. NO BAD DAYS, UO  //  2. WAKE UP, KICK ASS, REPEAT, Earmark Social Goods  //  3. HELL YEAH, Craft Street Design  //  4. TRAIN YOUR MIND, Huff Post  //  4. SHINE ON, Bubby & Bean Art  //  5. DON'T STOP, GET IT GET IT, (anybody know source?)   

Because what better day to start off with some motivational words of wisdom than Monday, right?

P.S. Find more inspiring words for your week right here.


Friday, May 20, 2016


Hey you guys! I'm just checking in to say happy Friday. This is the second (and last) weekend of the month Robbie has been home off the road (and the only two weekends he's been home since he left for the band's winter tour in January!), and just like last weekend, we have a bunch of fun family stuff planned. Tonight the two of us are going on a date (for the second Friday in a row - talk about miraculous), tomorrow we're all headed to a birthday party, and Sunday we're taking the kids to this super random event out at a farm that showcases rare breeds (we take Essley every year - she loves learning about the animals and meeting the people who care for them). Basically, we have the most unexciting plans ever and I can't wait. I'm sure I'll be oversharing the weekend on snapchat (you can find me under user name BubbyandBean).

What are your plans this weekend? Whatever they are, I hope you have a great time. See you Monday!

P.S. Totally unrelated image of tacos above (because duh, tacos) by Love and Lemons, from a ridiculously delicious recipe for portobello tacos with vegan jalapeƱo sauce.