Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GIVEAWAY // Win a $50 Gift Card to PACT Apparel

GIVEAWAY: Win a $50 Gift Card to PACT Apparel from Bubby & Bean

As you guys know, I'm a big proponent of sustainable clothing. If it's cute in addition to being conscious, I'm usually in. So when I recently came across an apparel company called PACT Apparel, I was an instant fan. PACT creates stylish, super soft organic cotton essentials that are ethically made and go easy on the environment. From underwear to tees and tanks to leggings to baby gear (I just got some of their baby leggings, socks, and a bodysuit for Essley and they are ridiculously adorable), their clothing is designed well and responsibly - from start to finish. And with Valentine's Day coming up, PACT's undies and leggings are the perfect way to "give good." (Seriously though, there isn't much that I find sexier than a pair of soft non-GMO organic cotton undies. Perfect V-Day gift!)

Lucky for us, PACT is offering 15% off everything on their website starting this Sunday (February 1st) through February 28th with code PACTLOVE15. Woot! And here's some more great news: We're teaming up for a special giveaway, and one of you is going to get a $50 gift card to go shopping on their site!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through February 3, 2015 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after. 

Thanks again to our pals over at PACT for giving our readers the chance to win this shopping spree!  Good luck!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Let's Talk Hair: Our Home Hair Care Essentials

By Beauty Contributor Morgan Rainwater

Home Hair Care Essentials

I've talked to you guys in the past (here and here) about my love for painting my nails, and how often I switch out colors and patterns. Well when it comes to having fun with beauty products and changing things up, my hair comes in a close second. I like to change my hair about as often as you should change the oil in your car. I get bored easily, and I have fun expressing myself through different shades, cuts, and styles. I've had a pixie, every form of a bob/lob, bangs, no bangs, and super long hair as well.  I've also rocked every color of the rainbow except for green. Along the way, I've learned a lot about how to keep my hair healthy and looking good at home, as well as which products work and which ones don't. And today I'm going to share some of my current favorites with you. Although I have brightly dyed hair (more on that below), these aren't just for color treated hair. They're awesome products that keep your hair looking soft and healthy, and if you happen to be a color lover like me, they will help keep your color bright.

1. I've recently discovered cleansing conditioner, and it is amazing. Seriously. You might have seen the infomercials for "Wen." Well I did some research and was able to find a less expensive product that you can get at your local drugstore or online called Renpure Cleansing Conditioner. It works in the same way for a fraction of the price. (A bottle costs about ten bucks which may seem on the high end for drugstore conditioner, but when you're cutting out shampoo, it's pretty cheap.)  I'm telling you guys, just follow the directions on the bottle and you'll love the results. Not only does my color stay brighter longer, but I've noticed I've had to cleanse my hair less often. Because you're not stripping your hair with shampoo, your scalp won't over-produce oil. Many other companies are catching on too. I've also seen cleansing conditioners by Herbal Essences and Pantene recently, but I'm sticking with my Renpure. It's gold.

2. Another product I've fallen in love with is called OI Oil by Davines. I get it at my local salon, Tyler Mason, but you can find it at many locations and online right here. Just squirt a few drops into your hand and run through damp hair to leave a super soft and shiny result. It helps color last longer and is great as a heat protectant. Bottles run from $30-$41. A little goes a long way so don't be turned away by the cost. It's worth every penny.

3. I couldn't live without my dry shampoo. Not only does it extend my color because I don't have to cleanse as often, but it also gives my fine hair a little volume boost. Dry shampoo is all the rage right now so there are many different brands available, but I like Batiste.  Their Blush scent is my fave.

4. I like to add a little texture to my hair, and I've found that Redken Rough Paste gives the perfect amount of flexible definition. A lot of hair pastes feel heavy but this one doesn't. (Melissa swears by it too.)

5. When all else is done, I like to give a quick spray of TRESemme Tres Two Spray. It provides great hold without feeling sticky or stiff, it's cheap, and you can find it just about anywhere that carries beauty products.

6. A good brush is just as important as what you actually put in your hair. I don't like spending a lot of money on beauty products, but this is one area where it pays to splurge. I use a barrel brush with natural bristles like this one. It's held up for years and has been more than worth the investment.

I want to mention before I go that although I love DIY beauty (and have almost always done my color myself), sometimes you need to leave things up to the professionals. Despite plenty of research and many past successes, I'll admit I completely turned my hair to mush during one bleaching experiment. Whoops. More recently, I decided to go red (and I mean RED; not copper. R.E.D.), and after failed attempts to achieve it, ended up turning to my awesome stylist and friend, Marliese, to do it right. (I could do a whole post on red hair, by the way. Vibrantly dyed red hair is a serious pain in the ass if you don't want to bleach your hair out first. It fades quickly but then leaves behind a weird shade that won't go away. To say it takes a lot of maintenance is an understatement.)  Thankfully, Marliese worked a miracle, and I left the salon more in love with my hair than ever before. Now I go back every four weeks or so for a touch up, and keep up the vibrancy on my own in between visits with a mix of Manic Panic "Rock and Roll Red" mixed with conditioner. The key with hair is a balance between great home products/home care and help from the professionals.

What are your favorite at home hair products? Anyone else a hair color addict? - Morgan
Morgan is the queen of really rad hair colors, you guys. And despite constant coloring, her hair always looks healthy. Thanks to her for sharing her secrets with the rest of us! In addition to posting about her regular favorites, tips, and tutorials as Bubby & Bean's Beauty Contributor, Morgan is a high school Psychology and Sociology teacher, who, in her free time, can be found gardening, cooking (you can see some of her recipes here), drinking wine, or moonlighting as an amateur makeup artist.  


Friday, January 23, 2015

Lu and Mae's Sea Voyage

Lu and Mae's Sea Voyage // Bubby and Bean

When photographer Chaz Cruz and event designer/stylist Hannah Shih submitted this adorable shoot, I immediately accepted it for publication. From the creativity behind the set design to the bubbles to the sea-like lighting effects of the photographs, everything about it is fun and unique, and I just had to share it with you guys.

Hannah told me a little bit about the project and the inspiration behind it. "Chaz and I wanted to do a different take on family portraits," she said. "Instead of shooting the family in the comfort of their own home or at the park, we wanted to create a setting that was just inspired by the kids themselves." To get a better feel for how to style the shoot, she even met with one of the subjects in advance - a two year old girl named Mae. "She was just a ball of personality. A Brooklyn-born gal who just loved anything and everything ocean and sea creatures. I crafted and built out a set of various vignettes that included fun paper details from a swimming octopus to a fishing boat with surrounding sharks. Lu, Mae's little sister, tagged along for the sea voyage and their expressions were priceless. Mae was absolutely ecstatic and in love with everything, she couldn't stop smiling!"

Hannah said that she and Chaz ended up having a wonderful time with the whole experience. "We had so much fun on set with The Jones," she said. Chaz was really able to capture the kids in their element and we love how Lu and Mae can look back at these photos and be reminded of their interests when they were young. Who knows, Mae might be obsessed with dinosaurs next!

Lu and Mae's mom, Amanda, also explained her feelings about the shoot and the motivation behind doing something different. "Family and child photography has become ubiquitous and, honestly, pretty boring," she said.  "The pictures shared on social media after a family portrait session are typically beautiful and technically perfect, however many times they lack personality. So that’s why we were excited when Hannah and Chaz approached us with a different idea. Mae is obsessed with the ocean and sea creatures, so Hannah came to visit and we talked about what Mae was into, as well as discussed her quirky personality. Mae is sweet, but definitely has a way of getting what she wants and sneakily finds ways to be naughty. She’s a lovable trouble maker and we joke she is the pirate of the family. And my eight-month-old daughter, Lucy? She’s easy. She’s obsessed with everything Mae."

Like Hannah and Chaz, Amanda and her family had a great time too. "The shoot was fantastic. Hannah and Chaz instantly made the girls feel comfortable. The set was so fun that Mae was engaged the whole time. And, even though Lucy was teething and fussy, Hannah and Chaz were able to make her smile. It was a wonderful experience for our family and the pictures turned out amazing!"

Thank you Hannah, Chaz, and the Jones family for sharing your sweet mock sea voyage with us! You guys can find more of Hannah's work on her website as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. You can find Chaz on his website as well as Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Life Lately, In Snapshots // The Mid-Winter Edition

Life Lately, In Snapshots // The Mid-Winter Edition
1. in early december, essley learned to walk. she prefers, however, to dance.  //  2. i found my new favorite coffee shop. //  3. we had friendsgiving with our homies. it was great.  //  4, 5, 6. we went to the dominican republic and had an incredible week in the sun. more details on that can be found here. //  7.  morgan and i ran a 5k. i decided i might sort of like running. maybe.  //  8. essley got her picture taken with santa and didn't cry at all. (that's a lie.)  //  9. her first christmas was my favorite christmas of all time. so much wonder.  //  10. those christmas morning mimosas (milk for essley) got to us. from left to right: robbie's mom, my sister, my mom, essley, and me. down for the count.  // 11. my little baby girl turned one year old on december 28th.  //  12, 13. i flew to atlanta to meet robbie at work and celebrate new year's eve and my birthday. it was my first time leaving essley. i cried at the airport. then i realized mama had a hall pass, and i took full advantage. // 14. 2015 arrived and so did the snow.  //  15. our annual golden globes fondue party is my favorite night in january.  //  16. daddy went on jam cruise for work, so we drove down to indianapolis to visit somebody's favorite person (who happens to be a dog).  

Remember those days, long ago, when I did 'life lately' updates at least every couple of weeks? Now they appear here every couple of months, at the very most. Social media has really changed how people blog, hasn't it? This has never primarily been a personal blog anyway, but any snapshots that I choose to share publicly (especially quickly taken iPhone photos, like these), almost always end up on Instagram rather than the blog these days. Then, without fail, I'll be going through my editorial calendar for the blog and realize that it's been forever since I've done one of these posts - and here we are. My last update was in the fall, and now it's smack dab in the middle of winter, just a little over a week away from February. The images and captions you see above represent a brief glimpse into what has been happening around here between then and now.

I have to say, I really enjoy putting these posts together and taking a quick look back over the previous months. The last few weeks have felt so dragging, and these pictures are a great reminder of the fact that despite how it may feel right now, things haven't been slow at all. I think that January, by comparison, always feels a little mundane, because it's sort of this cold, gray sky induced comedown after the madness of the holiday season (a madness upon which I tend to thrive). By the first of the year I get so used to nonstop events and travel and busy-ness in general that when it all suddenly comes to a halt, I tend to feel like there's been nothing going on. So again, it's nice to look at these photos, which show so clearly show differently. It makes me really grateful for all of the great times that filled these last couple of months. (Now I just need the rest of this winter to go by quickly so the real fun can begin. I'm ready for you, spring and summer.)

Who else feels like this time of year tends to feel sort of boring and empty, even when it's really not? And what about you? What have you been up to these last couple of months?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Trend We Love: Modern Southwestern

By Home Contributor Paige Ronchetti

Modern Southwestern Decor (via Bubby and Bean)

Welp, it's the dead of winter. You want to know what I'm thinking about instead of how cold my toes are?


Specifically, the desert of the American Southwest, where it's warm, and sunny, and cacti pop up from the ground to say hello. (I'm kidding, I know they're not like groundhogs. But wouldn't that be cool?) I've been seeing a lot of Southwestern-inspired design lately so I thought this would be a good time to lean into that trend and enjoy some desert eye candy.

First of all, I love the color palette: earth tones, natural textures, bits of blue--plus I'm seeing some gold and brass sneak their way in (shiny cow skull, anyone?). Those last two might not fall under the umbrella of classic Southwestern style, but metallics are back in a big way right now and I think anybody who has that particular song in their heart should listen to it. A little sparkle never hurt. Aside from the neutral-heavy color palette, there's also an overall connection to nature with this style that's totally appealing. Animals show up all over the place, as do plants. Oh! And speaking of plants, if you're gardening-challenged then little cacti like the one above are literally the best thing you could ever get and I cannot recommend them enough. I've kept one alive for TWO YEARS.

As for working this cool stuff into your house, it's hard to go wrong with a leather chair or a big desert photograph. But if you want something a little bolder, or maybe want to blend Southwest with another style, I like focusing on the patterns:

The furniture and walls are so neutral here that the room really needs the eye-catching rug to feel interesting. The pillows add a lot of texture, too, and I like how they're a shout-out to the black in the rug. Without them there wouldn't be enough contrast, so that was a good call. (Bonus! The coffee table is gold. When can I move in?)

What's your favorite thing about Southwestern style? Who else is kind of feeling the gold cow? Do you have any similar items in your house already? Don't you wish we could all just hang out in the desert until spring?
I love how the southwest trend is still going strong - gaining momentum even. Although it's a pretty specific look, and not for everyone, it's a classic that, when given a modern touch, is one of my all-time favorites. Big thanks to Paige for sharing these gorgeous pieces! Now I'm even more excited for my annual Arizona trip in March. 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