Thursday, September 3, 2015

GIVEAWAY // Win a 'SICK Bag' Vegan Carry-All (of Your Choice)!

GIVEAWAY: Win a 'SICK Bag' Vegan Carry-All (of Your Choice) from Bubby and Bean!

Every now and then, I'm introduced to a company that instantly leaves an impact on me. Maybe they offer a really unique, simultaneously practical and beautiful product. Or maybe they have a mission or purpose that involves something bigger than profit. Or, if they're anything like SICK Bags, they're both.

Behind this amazing new label is Silvie Altschuler, an award-winning jewelry design and mother of two small children who could not find a diaper bag that looked good and fit her needs. She was also struck by heart wrenching stories from her husband, a pediatrician in an inner city emergency room. So she put her design skills to work to use fashion to educate moms about childhood diseases, and created SICK Bags.

Each bag features a sophisticated carry-all design crafted from vegan leather and manufactured in the Garment District of NYC. The outside of each bag is stylish and chic;  the lining is playful, representing common childhood illnesses in a way that is lighthearted while still taking disease prevention and treatment seriously. For SICK's debut collection, Sylvie tapped illustrator Peter M. Clark to translate the symptoms of Streptoccocus, E. Coli, and Coxsackie into whimsical doodles. The final result is fantastic. I recently became the proud owner of this bag, and couldn't love it more. And the fact that they donate a portion of each sale to leading children's hospitals committed to preventing and finding cures for pediatric ailments only increased the love I feel for my new favorite accessory. (Oh - and because SICK Bags believes that funds should stay local, if a bag is bought in New York, the donation goes to a hospital in New York, etc. Pretty rad, right?)

As a big fan of this amazing little bag line, I'm absolutely thrilled that one of you is going to get to to own a SICK Bag of your very own, in the color and lining of your choice (valued at $165)!

To enter, use the form below. There are several options for entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through September 12, 2015 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. A winner will be randomly chosen shortly after the end of the giveaway and announced here.

Thanks again to Silvie and the kind folks over at SICK Bags for giving our readers the chance to win one of their beautiful, cruelty-free bags-for-a-cause! Good luck!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Heart, My Love, My Essley

It's been about six months since the last post I did about Essley, and while I've made the decision to keep her off of the blog for the most part (which I've explained in detail before, but in short is to protect her from the big ol' internet, which at its worst can range from a straight up mean girl to creepy to even dangerous), it just felt like a good time to pay a quick tribute to my sweet tiny lady again. Now that she has a little brother coming (in just 4 months; yikes!), I feel like what already seemed like an infinitely intense love for her has grown exponentially. I can't really explain it. And perhaps it's irrational, but I worry a little that with a new baby she won't get enough attention anymore, or will feel abandoned, or will develop some deep-seated issue in that little brain of hers that she is no longer loved like she was before. Maybe some of you with more than one child can reassure me that these fears are common and that all will work out well? Or maybe this actually will be the case, and it's just part of growing a family, and we will learn and adjust. Regardless of the outcome, as excited as I am to watch her connect with a sibling and become the wonderful, nurturing big sister that I know she will be, there is an underlying anxiety that causes me to hug her extra tight these days. I may just love even more than I did before, which seems impossible, but feels quite real.

Essley Morgan is an affectionate, happy, curious, dramatic, funny, brave, smart, creative little girl. It's so easy for parents to brag about their kids, I know, and it's natural for us to think our kids are perfect - but man does she amaze me. She loves to dance, draw, read, run, play catch, sing, explore, dress up (anything that could be a potential bracelet is instantly on her arm), and hang out with other kids. She is not shy, although every now and then she'll become nervous around adult strangers, which I think is a good thing. Although she misses a few numbers, for the most part, she can count to 10, which makes her daddy and me swoon. She adores dogs (and all animals), being outside, music of all kinds, ice cream (the kid is her mother's daughter), swimming, airplanes ("a plane! a plane!"), the moon (she begs to go see it every night), flowers, bugs, books, and her beloved Elmo. She is still difficult at night (the kids hates sleep because she doesn't want to miss anything and I have accepted that this is just her personality, much like mine), but she is so easy when it comes to the everyday, as well as adapting to/enjoying new places and things. She teaches me more than any human ever has. I have learned how to re-appreciate the smallest of life's details because of her. She has even accomplished what I was certain was an unattainable feat - she has made me a morning person. It sounds so cheesy but sometimes I can't fall asleep at night because I'm so excited to get to wake up to her smile. It rules. Even the hard parts rule. All of it rules.

The photos above are some of my recent favorite shots of my Essley that I've captured with my phone. Maybe one of these days I'll post a short video so you can see her sparkling eyes and/or killer dance moves in action. In the meantime, thank you for letting me share this piece of my greatest love, even though this sharing is very few and far between. As I've said before, I couldn't possibly love her more.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Coolest Baby Boy Clothes

The Coolest Baby Boy Clothes
1. Infant Boys' Toggle Cardigan, Andy & Evan  //  2. Infant Slimmy French Terry Jeans, 7 For All Mankind  //  3. Little Big Guy Cardigan, Hannah Andersson  //  4. #tbt Bodysuit, Sara Kety  //  5. Moon and Star Sweatshirt, Zara  //  6. Tiger Onesie, Mini Rodini  //  7. Skip Hop Newborn Boys' Pants, Target  //  8. Grey Bowden Tiger All-In-One, Stella McCartney  // 9. Happy Car Jam Top, Polarn O. Pyret  //  10. Sand Organic Baby Suit, Kids Case  //  11. Organic Monster Shorts, The Sprouted Arrow  //  12. Infant Lined Shirt with Hood, H&M

I've done a couple of posts in the past featuring my favorite baby girl clothes and dresses, but now that we have a little boy on the way, I've more recently shifted my focus toward boys' clothes. I will always love shopping for Essley - I like picking out pieces for her even more than I do for myself. I also feel like gender stereotypes are ridiculous and I see no need to get rid of Essley's 'feminine' clothes that are in perfectly great shape to become hand-me-downs for our little man just because they're conventionally designated as clothes for girls. (I mean, how silly and wasteful would it be to discard a perfectly adorable onesie because it's pink?) That said, it's admittedly been really fun to get to look for some new goodies for this baby that would be especially for him, and I'm sharing a few of my favorites in the collage above. Can we just talk about that Stella McCartney Tiger one-piece for a minute? I'm basically dying at the cuteness. I am also completely smitten with the new Skip Hop baby clothing line at Target. Affordable and so fun. Finding cool clothes for baby boys is definitely more challenging than for baby girls, but there is some really hip stuff out there if you look for it. And having to search a little more has allowed me to discover some fantastic new (to me) brands that will work for both the kids.

Where are your favorite places to shop for baby boys? Which pieces above do you like the best?

P.S. This is completely off-topic, but I've gone and done it you guys - I'm on snapchat. I basically have no idea what I'm doing, but it's kind of fun. I love the fact that it's real (no editing, etc.) and it's not a popularity contest. But again, I have no idea what I'm doing. Come watch the disaster unfold under user name bubbyandbean.


Monday, August 31, 2015

10 Great Chili Recipes

10 Great Chili Recipes // Bubby and Bean
1. Spicy Chili Verde with Black Beans, Kitchen Treaty  //  2. Vegetarian Quinoa Chili, Two Peas and Their Pod  //  3. Cowboy Chili, Chef in Training  //  4. White Bean Chicken Chili, She Wears Many Hats  //  5. Buffalo Chicken Chili, Crockpot Gourmet  //  6. Mediterranean Chickpea Chili, Better Homes & Gardens  //  7. Black Bean and Corn Chili with Avocado Salsa, The Endless Meal  //  8. Maui Chili, Prevention RD  //  9. Slow Cooker Turkey Taco Chili, Gimme Some Oven  //  10. Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, Fannetastic Food

I will start this off by saying that while it is the last day of August, in my mind summer does not end for three more weeks, and I will milk this best of all seasons until the very end. On top of this, in our house, we wait until summer is well over and the cool weather has started before we make our first pot of chili. This means that we usually wait until October, which is admittedly still a ways off. But, because I look forward to that first chili making day like it was Christmas, I have already started keeping my eye out for delicious chili recipes to try. So for this edition of 10 Great, I'm sharing some of my favorites so far. Although I'm a vegetarian and we have an old standby version I love that features lots of beans and veggies, I'm always looking for new variations to try, including those that feature meat for my husband to make for himself. I'm including both meatless and meat chills in this roundup for this reason. If you love chili like I do and have favorites of your own, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

My 10 Favorite Videos on Vimeo

I've talked about my undying love for Vimeo here on the blog before, but I've discovered so many amazing videos there lately that it felt like a good time to bring them up again. I've been using Vimeo myself for years to showcase my own videos (like the slideshow video I created earlier this year to showcase Essley's weekly pictures from her first year, and our homemade wedding video back in 2011). And even though my personal video postings are only occasional, I enjoy Vimeo so much that after only a couple months of using it, I upgraded to a Vimeo Plus membership, which allows for some great extras like 5 GB of weekly storage (up to 250 GB a year), priority video conversion, password protection and domain-level privacy, advanced customization and more.

As I've mentioned before, from a design perspective, I absolutely love their clean layout, which allows the videos themselves to be the focus instead of a bunch of clutter or ads. (There is little that I find more frustrating than going to watch a video and being forced to sit through a pre-roll commercial; Vimeo is 100% ad-free.) The aesthetic of the site itself so clearly aligns with the artistry of the videos as well - which vary from those made by professional filmmakers to simple personal videos like those I post. And the Vimeo community is equally as great - it's an engaged group of all sorts and levels of video enthusiasts that form an intimate network. I just love Vimeo you guys. Plain and simple.

I could go on and on, but instead I'll get right to sharing my 10 current favorites with you. Even if you don't watch all of these at once, whenever you have a few minutes here and there, I highly recommend checking these out. Exploring videos on Vimeo is one of my favorite ways to relax, and it's really amazing what I've been able to discover. My video picks feature many different styles and genres, and range from serious to gorgeous to trail blazing to hilarious - but each one is beautiful in its own way.

(Here are the links to the videos above, from the top, in case you'd prefer to watch them directly on Vimeo's site: Offline Dating  //  So You've Grown Attached  //  Green  //  BiPoland  //  Gigi Hadid for W Magazine  //  Subway Love  //  Cottage Sounds  // A Big Backyard  //  Iceland  //  Moving On)

Before I go, I want to mention that the Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO accounts are super affordable (just $59.95 a year/$9.95 a month for the Plus subscription or $199 a year for the PRO). If you're a blogger like I am, a vlogger, a business owner, a filmmaker, or just an enthusiast who enjoys putting together your own personal videos, both of these paid subscription options can be invaluable ways to share and promote your videos. As I mentioned earlier, even though I only post the occasional video, having a Plus subscription over the past few years has been incredibly beneficial for me with the extra storage and customization options. I highly recommend joining Vimeo Plus or Pro. Your videos are worth it!

Do you use Vimeo? (If you have an account, post your URL below so I can check it out!) Which video from above is your favorite?

This post is in collaboration with Vimeo. Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content.