Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Win Two Luxurious Pillows ($140 Value!) from eve Sleep

Some of you may remember from a few months ago when I posted about my profound adoration for our new mattress from a company called eve. (If not, you can read it in all its gushing glory right here.) The mattress, which is crafted from an ultra comfortable new generation memory foam, has provided us the best nights of sleep we've ever had (since having kids, anyway), and we've recommended it to countless friends. So when I heard they were launching pillows, I was immediately on it. And I was not disappointed.

Like the mattress, the eve pillow is the perfect balance between soft and firm, with incredible support for my head, neck, and shoulders. I had a memory foam pillow once in the past and I was not a fan - it felt hard and it made my head hot. But the eve pillow has just the right amount of bounce and (again, just like the mattress) is much cooler than traditional memory foam. It genuinely is the perfect pillow you guys. Robbie loves his so much that he wanted to take it with him on the road, but Essley told him he had to leave it for her (and I don't blame her one bit). It's even got the same cheery yellow accents as the mattress, and came in a similarly adorable box. In addition to providing an amazing night's sleep, eve is a design lover's dream.

While I do enjoy occasionally spreading the world about products I really, really love to you all, the main reason I am so excited about this post is that I get to give one lucky Bubby and Bean reader two eve pillows of your very own (valued at $140!). My fingers are crossed for all of you, because these babies are the absolutely best.

To enter, just use the form below. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through October 5, 2016 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. A winner will be randomly chosen via Random.org and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Thank you again to the awesome folks at eve (seriously, they are so fun) for both making an incredible mattress/pillow and for offering Bubby and Bean readers the chance to win their fantastic product. Good luck!

This post is in partnership with eve Sleep. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Farmers Market Arugula, Peaches, and Citrus Vinaigrette

By Food + Drink Contributor Sara Little

Farmers Market Arugula, Peaches, and Citrus Vinaigrette // Bubby and Bean

My daughter Piper and I love heading to the Farmers Market every Saturday and perusing the fresh fruit and veggies. Last week we were instantly drawn to the lines of patrons at our favorite farm stand who were purchasing delicious peaches, white peaches, and nectarines. The white peaches were so sweet and I thought they would make the perfect addition to an early fall salad, so here it is. Enjoy!

I like to make my vinaigrette a day or two in advance so the flavors really have time to marry. I mix everything in a mason jar, toss it in the fridge, and then just shake and pour when I am ready.


4 T avocado oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
juice & zest of 1 lemon
chiffonade 6-8 large basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a jelly jar and put in the refrigerator for storage.


one small bag/bunch of arugula
two small shallots, thinly sliced
3-4 white peaches or nectarines - sliced
chiffonade 4-5 large basil leaves

Mix the arugula with the salad dressing, then layer the fruit & shallots, and sprinkle the basil for garnish.

For a delightful Farmers Market style food and wine pairing, I would suggest serving with a simple citrus marinated roasted chicken or even a nice grilled salmon. You can also just add goat cheese and serve crusty bread on the side for a vegetarian dish that is a little more substantial. I ate my salad on its own for lunch and served it with a delicious local Chenin Blanc by Dane Cellars. It was particularly dry, full of herbal notes, and the perfect pairing with the sweet fruit. I think this salad would actually pair well with a lighter Pinot Noir as well, if you are more of a red wine drinker.

Cheers! - Sara

Sara is an event planner and "expert in indulgence" who has lived in the heart of Sonoma County California's wine country for 13 years.  In addition to sharing her favorite foods and wines, recipes and more as our Food and Drink Contributor, she plans unique, personalized getaways to and events in wine country for her hospitality business, Wine Country Goodness, is the Events Manager at Boon Hotel and Spa, and travels the country in search of the best places to stay, explore, eat, and drink. You can also find Sara on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Using Teas to Soothe and Fuel My Day (+ a Giveaway from Lauku!)

Those of you who read here regularly or follow me on social media know that my family and I have been going through some pretty stressful times recently. And while I am incredibly grateful for the small victories we've seen, the love and positive vibes we've received from others, and the pieces of good news that have come our way thus far, I would be lying if I told you the stress hasn't taken its toll. I've been physically and mentally drained like never before, and my brain has been on overdrive thanks to worry and lack of sleep. As a result, I've had to stop and consciously figure out how to take care of myself along the way, and also to find new ways to enjoy simple moments in my days that I've set aside just for me. One of the biggest (and most effective) ways I've done this is through the act of drinking three very different but equally soothing cups of tea each day, all from a wonderful, inspiring little company called Lauku.

The act of drinking tea as a means of self care is nothing new, of course, and it's something I've personally done for a long time. But it really took finding a conscious tea brand with a "farm-to-cup" philosophy and a talent for creating the perfect teas for different moments of the day for me to genuinely feel completely satisfied by the experience. The flavor is one of the main reasons Lauku Tea is my personal favorite, but there are a lots of other aspects of the company that make me feel good about them being such an integral part of my current daily routine. First, you can't find their teas on grocery store shelves or even in specialty tea houses. This is because the tea travels directly from the Ozolini farm in Lativa to me (or to you!). And on this farm, the Lukina family plants, grows, harvests, picks, dries and hand-packages all the tea themselves. (Did I mention that women rule the farm? I am totally down with that!) I also love that their teas are all natural, certified organic, and 100% sustainably grown - and without a doubt the freshest teas I've ever tasted. I genuinely feel soothed, restored, and fueled for my day with the help of these delicious teas - which has been really important to my headspace and body during a challenging time. Oh, and the teas are absolutely gorgeous to look at too. I feel like I'm pouring dried flowers into my cup every time.

Each morning, I start out with a cup of Brigita's Daylight Blend. The blend of dried apple and meadow clover flowers is sunny and rejuvenating and an overall great way to wake up. Sometimes I add a splash of almond milk and some honey, but I usually just drink it plain. I really like starting my day feeling like I'm doing something to take care of my mental well being, even if just through a cup of organic tea.

In the afternoon, I make myself a cup of Anna's Heritage Blend. Crafted with forest raspberry, wild strawberry, chamomile and mint, it makes for the perfect mid-day break. The chamomile calms my mind and the mint and berries provide a subtly uplifting burst to help me feel motivated to continue with my daily tasks. I always drink this plain.

I end each day with Evita's Twilight Blend, which I'd best describe as serene, soft, and soothing. With meadowsweet, calendula, catnip and lemon balm (also called Melissa and the herb after which my mom named me, by the way), it's the perfect blend for winding down. I usually drink this with a splash of organic milk and some honey. (It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to, this one would likely be my choice).

Reevaluating things and reminding myself of the importance of being intentional with self care - even through something as simple as three cups of tea a day - has been incredibly helpful in getting on a path to feeling more like myself again. Whether you're in the best place you've ever been in your life or you're in some need of some serious self care like I have been, I highly recommend trying out Lauku Tea's delicious, handcrafted blends. I'm hooked, in the best of ways. And I can't wait to give Lauku as holiday gifts in a couple of months.

Speaking of giving, I also get to give the gift of Lauku Tea to one of you! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going to get a beautiful Latvian Sun Sampler package, as well as one 2 ounce package of each of the three blends: Brigita's Daylight Blend, Anna's Heritage Blend, and Evita's Twilight Blend. The value of these goodies is $60, but the pleasure they'll bring you is priceless. Trust me on this.

To enter, just use the form below. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through September 29, 2016 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. A winner will be randomly chosen via Random.org and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Thank you to our friends at Lauku Tea for giving us such a fantastic package to give away, and for making such delicious, consciously crafted teas. I can't wait to hear what you guys think once you try them for yourselves!

This post is in partnership with Lauku Tea. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Baby Emmett Update: Good News + a Scare

It's been a while since my last Emmett update. And while I'm trying to get back into the swing of things blog/work wise (it felt pretty great to get to do a lighthearted What I'm Wearing Now post yesterday), the reality is that Emmett's illness is still the biggest part of our daily life right now - so it would feel a little insincere not to continue to share what's happening with him here now and then. We actually had a pretty substantial scare that required hospitalization last week, but for the most part, he is doing so, so great. I can't put into words how grateful I am for that. 

I'll start with the awesome things that are happening. Emmett is now in the final stages of his 8+ week medication run (6 weeks down, 2.5 to go), and has gone from twice daily injections of .4 ml to every other day injections of .3 ml (which goes down to .2 this week!). So far (fingers crossed so hard!) he has not had any more seizures. We know that there is a 50% chance of them returning after the wean ends, but we are staying positive. He is such a happy baby, and he is continuing to progress developmentally, so for right now, we are remaining cautiously optimistic  The type of epilepsy he has causes developmental delay in the vast majority of cases, but so far, we haven't seen that with him. Early Intervention assessed him and despite lack of any noticeable delay, will continue to come out and work with him once a month. They are so wonderful and Emmett loves his therapist! We did receive some semi-concerning results from some bloodwork that showed a possible Vitamin B12 deficiency or other metabolic issue, so I took 10 days of a high dose of B12, as directed by his neurologist, to transfer to him via breastmilk, and he will be retested next month. But really, he is doing so great you guys. I close my eyes and mentally thank the universe for this multiple times a day.

And now I'll get into the hospitalization and profoundly intense scare we had last week. (I confess that this is mostly copied from an update I did on Facebook, but there's no sense in repeating it with different wording.) I'd noticed a mass on the muscle on his back early in the week. His neurologist examined it last Tuesday and ordered an MRI for Friday morning to look into what was diagnosed as a "mass of the spinal cord." Thursday morning though, I noticed that it had increased in size. I called his neurologist and emailed some pictures. We were advised to go to the ER. Apparently Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, can present itself as a mass in that area along with seizures like Emmett has had - and our neuro had patients in the past where this had occurred. I packed a bag and left Essley, who woke up with a 103 degree fever by the way, with Robbie's mom who happened to be in town, and Emmett and I drove to the hospital.

In the ER, Emmett was given an ultrasound. He was also given a dose of a cancer treating steroid used for Neuroblastoma, which was pretty terrifying. He was then admitted with an MRI scheduled for first thing in the morning. The ultrasound came back normal, which was actually potentially "bad" because it meant that because nothing superficial was found, there was a greater chance for a potential spinal tumor deep underneath. Robbie flew home from the road and met us at the hospital, and we spent the night researching this type of cancer and feeling indescribably stressed.

This morning at 7:30 Emmett was put under general anesthesia and underwent a 2 hour MRI. He was brought back to the room at 9:45 and we spent the day waiting for the results. At 3 PM, the doctor finally came in and told us he did NOT have Neuroblastoma. I stood there shaking and weeping uncontrollably, hugging the nurse so hard I'm surprised she didn't fall over. What they found was basically an asymmetrical muscle, and although we were told that they don't know exactly why, or if it is related to his seizures, or what it means for his future, the main thing was that it isn't cancer. He has a follow up appointment, and we will keep our eye on it in the meantime. We drove home, gave Essley a huge hug, gave Emmett his regular injection of seizure medication, and here we are. Happy and lucky.

The past 6 weeks have been a massive challenge on so many levels, but they have also brought incredible life lessons for which I can't help but be grateful. Every one of us has our own problems, our own challenges, our own struggles. None are any more valid or real than others. But I will say that what we've been going through with Emmett has taught me how to shrug off day to day stresses, to complain less, to feel extreme gratitude for the most mundane everyday moments, and to realize that what I have is more than enough. Go hug your kids or your partner or your parent or your pet, like right now, and think about the small things in your life that make you so, so lucky. Every second of normal in each of our lives is something pretty special that I personally will never again take for granted. And remember that there are no guarantees and anything can change in an instant. Maybe that's cliche and you've heard it before but our family is living it right now and I can tell you that it's true.

If all goes as we hope, the next update I post will be to tell you that Emmett is officially off the seizure medication, doing great, and still seizure free. Any good vibes you want to send his way until then are so greatly appreciated!


Monday, September 19, 2016

What I'm Wearing Now: September

Early Fall Style // Bubby and Bean
1. Plaid Shirt Dress, Target (image above is slightly different; see here for exact dress)  //  2. High-Rise Waist Flare Jeans, Target  //  3. Patterned Off-the-Shoulder Dress, H&M  //  4. Sliced Cuff Bracelet, Flourish Leather  // 5. Beaded Tassel Bracelets, Madewell  // 6. Slate Leggings, J.Crew Factory  // 7. Lily Tote Diaper Bag, Newlie  //  8. Off-Shoulder Peasant Top (mine is old but this one is close to identical)  9. Double Fringe Side Zip Boot, Minnetonka  // 10. Rene Sandal, Trask  

Because of everything going on with my son Emmett and the tornado of anxiety that came along with his diagnosis in August, I didn't do a What I'm Wearing Now post last month. And really, it wouldn't have looked like much, since I spent almost a week in the hospital and the rest of month basically living in pajamas. While things are still far from normal around here, it has been nice to have the motivation to care a little more about what I'm wearing. And even though the blog is still not quite in its usual place in terms of regular posting, it feels good to be working on a post that is part of the usual monthly schedule.

It has still been fairly warm around here this month (something this summer girl appreciates more than I can say) so there has been a lot of carry over from summer time in terms of wardrobe choices, but I've also added a couple of fall pieces to the collection. I've worn this plaid shirt dress (which was a serious bargain at $27.99) more times than I should probably admit. I love it without the waist tie, paired with these sandals and bare legs. I've also been sporting these flared jeans - I never thought I'd be a fan of a high waist again, but I'm pretty smitten. And this dress (which is currently on sale for $12.99!) is one of my top summer pieces that I plan to wear until it's no longer weather appropriate.

October usually brings a pretty substantial drop in temperature in Chicago, so I have a feeling next month's What I'm Wearing Now will look quite different. It is the midwest though, so you never really know what you're going to get.

What have you been wearing this month? Does it feel like summer or fall where you live?