Monday, September 29, 2014

NOTICE: Blog Down Tomorrow

Hey everybody! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that you're having a very un-Monday sort of Monday so far. We drove over 7 hours to Kansas City on Saturday morning to surprise Robbie's 98 year old (!!!) grandmother, so that she could meet Essley in person for the first time. It was pretty incredible. And in just a little while, we make the long drive back home. It will end up being a lot of driving (especially with a 9 month old baby) for a very short trip, but it was beyond worth it. This picture pretty much sums it up.

This post is just to let you know that beginning tomorrow morning (September 30th), the blog will be down for approximately 24 hours. I briefly mentioned on Friday that our new website will be launching on October 1st, and tomorrow is the big day for us to transfer over the coding and add the finishing touches. As long as all goes well (fingers crossed), the new Bubby and Bean will be live on Wednesday morning. This is something that I've been planning since the spring (and even longer in my head), and working on for a couple of months now. There will be a new look, easier navigation, new features, and more. I'll be explaining in more detail on launch day, as well as introducing you to our team of contributors/staff. Bubby and Bean has grown immensely this year thanks to our readers, and I'm genuinely thrilled to share the new site with you guys. See you Wednesday morning!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Be a Part of Bubby and Bean (On Our New Website!)

Come Be a Part of Bubby and Bean!

On October 1st, Bubby and Bean will be launching a brand new website. It's been in the works for several months, and I'm so excited to finally reveal the new design and features. One of the improvements will be new larger ad sizes, right in time for the holiday season. October, November, and December are the highest traffic months of the year here on the blog - and therefore for our sponsors as well. If you have a shop, blog, Etsy store, or small business,  I'd love for you to join us on our new site for our busiest season! Advertising with Bubby and Bean is an an affordable, effective way to promote your brand to several thousands of interested people every single day.

Bubby and Bean works with companies big and small through banner advertising, sponsored content, product review, sponsored giveaways, and other means of custom collaboration through this blog and social media integration. For more information on our various advertising packages, current stats, press, and pricing, visit our sponsor page right here to view our new ad sizes and rates. You can also book banner ad spaces there directly in one click.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact me

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DIY Tutorial // Chic Painted Fall Pumpkins

DIY Tutorial: Chic Painted Fall Pumpkins // Bubby and Bean

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year when it comes to decorating. And although it's easy to find an abundance of decorations at just about any store, they tend to be more fun (and/or freaky) than stylish. As my regular readers know, I'm a big fan of white, black, and gold together (see what I mean in this painted bulletin board tutorial and this painted mason jar tutorial), and I started thinking up ways that I could bring this color combination into my Halloween decor. I love the way that white pumpkins look, so I decided to grab some plain old white craft store pumpkins (along with a couple big orange ones) and take them up a notch. I was thrilled with the results! With just a few supplies and less than $50, you can transform boring old foam pumpkins into beautiful pieces of autumn decor that you can use year after year. And as always, if you're not into this particular color combination, you can use any color paints that you like. The same goes for the pattern - you can paint/draw whatever you want. The only rules here are to have fun and let your creativity flow!

Supplies List
  • 6-10 White foam craft store pumpkins
  • 1 or 2 Large orange foam craft store pumpkins (optional)
  • ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Original Multi-Use (2090)
  • Gold metallic spraypaint
  • Black flat spray paint
  • Black acrylic paint and brush or a black paint marker
  • Newspaper
  • Mason jars (to use as holders for painting and drying)
  • Cardboard (to place under pumpkins while painting)

Step 1. Tear off a piece of ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Original Multi-Use (2090) and place horizontally around the circumference of each pumpkin. Place at different heights from pumpkin to pumpkin. (You may also choose to leave a few without tape, to create some solid painted accent pumpkins.)

Step 2. Cover the tops of your pumpkins, from the tape line up, with pieces of newspaper, and use the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape to tape in place.

Step 3. Place your taped pumpkins with the newspaper down onto the tops of open mason jars set up on a large piece of cardboard or pieces of newspaper. This will allow you to paint your pumpkins without touching them, and for them to adequately dry.

Step 4. Spray the majority of your pumpkins with the gold paint, then the rest with the black paint. Allow to dry for several hours. (For any untaped pumpkins that will be painted solid, turn them over after the initial dry time, paint the other sides, then allow to dry for several hours.)

Step 5. Remove the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape and newspaper.

Step 6. On a few of the gold and white pumpkins, use black acrylic paint and a brush (or a black paint marker) to paint a single row of triangles/arrow heads. Allow to dry.

Step 7. You're done! Create a chic Halloween display with your pumpkins. I added a couple of simple black lanterns and let the pumpkins speak for themselves!

Enter the Home of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Contest at October 1, 2014 through November 15, 2014 and you could win $5,000 to put towards a home makeover! The first 500 to submit an eligible entry will receive one (1) roll of the new ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector!

Check out this project as a featured project example in the contest!

Contest open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C. (excluding AZ, MD, NJ, ND, TN and VT), who are 18+ (19+ in AL & NE and 21+ in MS) at the time of entry. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Enter from October 1, 2014 at 12:00:01 a.m. CT through 11:59:59 p.m. CT on November 15, 2014. All contest communications, entry/judging criteria and details subject to the full Official Rules. To enter and for Official Rules, visit Sponsor: 3M Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division, St. Paul, MN.

Project and photography by Melissa Baswell Williams. Assisted by Morgan Rainwater.

I am proud to be a 3M sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me. Visit ScotchBlue™ on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy Mango and Carrot Sauté (That the Entire Family Can Eat!)

By Food + Drink Contributor Sara Little

Easy Mango and Carrot Sauté (+ Baby Food Extra)

This recipe is fast and delicious and can be eaten as a side dish or meal. Best of all, with one additional step, it works as a baby food too!

8 Medium Carrots
Fresh Ginger
2 Ripe Mangoes
1 Bunch of Fresh Mint
2 Small Limes
1 Onion
Olive Oil

Peel and discard the ends of the carrots, then chop into thin discs.
Cut into the fresh ginger and grate it on a microplane to get around 1 t of grated ginger.
Peel the mangoes, take the fruit off the core, and dice finely.
Finely chop the mint.
Finely chop 1/4 of the onion (red or sweet white will work)

Add 2-3 T of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat.
Add onion and let them cook until they just start to soften.
Add carrot and ginger - let them saute for about 15 minutes. If you don't feel like your carrots are getting softer, you can add a little water and cover for 5 minutes or so.
Add mangoes along with the zest and juice of two limes and let saute for another 10 minutes. You really want the mango to soften enough to start releasing it's natural sugars to coat the carrots.

To finish, add the chopped mint right before you pull it off the heat.

If you are feeding a baby as well as adults, simply reserve 1/3 for your little one. You can then serve the remaining as a side dish to pair perfectly with grilled citrus chicken or over a bed of brown rice and quinoa as a main dish for vegetarians. You will want to season the adult portion with a little salt and pepper to taste.

For baby, you can serve as a finger food if they are ready to eat with their hands and if not, throw it into a blender (Vitamix, Ninja, Baby Bullet. etc.) with a tiny bit of water to make a delicious puree. As with any baby food, you will want to introduce these ingredients separately to gauge for food allergies before serving them together.

With this one quick saute, you are able to feed the whole family without the hassle of preparing a different meal for each stage of eaters in the house. Our baby, Piper, has always been an adventurous eater, so I am constantly finding ways to "spice" up her basics to keep her interested. This recipe is happily "Piper approved!"

Stay tuned for more one dish recipes that are fit for all members of the family, even when they have tiny tastes. - Sara
Thank you to Sara for sharing this delicious recipe that so easily works for both adults and babies!  Sara is an event planner and "expert in indulgence" who has lived in the heart of Sonoma County California's wine country for 12 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, 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, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Modern Folk // My Favorite Fall Trend

Bohemian Trend for Fall 2014 // Bubby and Bean
I don't like to define my style by any one category, but it's no secret that I have boho tendencies when it comes to clothes. I've always been a fan of a free-spirited, late 60s/early 70s vibe in fashion. My mom had a very bohemian style, and I emulated it when I was growing up, especially in high school. In college and for several years after, I took it to the extreme (I was labeled as a 'hippie' by everyone who knew me; some of you have even seen 'Throwback Thursday' pictures of me on Instagram with dreadlocked hair, patchwork dresses, and bare feet galore). These days, I have a more toned down, minimalist element of boho in my everyday wardrobe - from flowy dresses and floppy hats (you guys know I love my hats) to kimonos and worn denim and oversized tunics paired with moccasins and boots. So it's really no surprise that I've been loving the modern folk look that's so huge right now. Although it's a natural fit for summertime, it's fun to see it transition into the cooler months via layers, warmer fabrics, and accessories.

In the spirit of autumn's bohemian trend, I teamed up with Kohl's and put together some of my favorite examples of the modern folk look, using items from their fall lines. The looks you see above can all be found on the Kohl's website and/or in their stores. (See details for each look below.) I'd wear any of these outfits in a heartbeat, but if I had to choose one, I think I'd go for #2. The duster cardi and leggings are classic together, and paired with the cropped sweatshirt, peep toe heels, printed scarf and rancher hat, it becomes a fun, carefree look that I think would work all the way into winter.

Are you a fan of the boho trend this season? What's your favorite look from above?

LOOK 1: Mudd® knit wide leg soft pants ($40), daisy fuentes® pleat waist high-low tunic ($44), AB Studio knit cozy cardigan ($40), SONOMA life + style® dallas cross body bag ($40), SONOMA life + style® mixed stud skinny belt ($28), Apt. 9® felt rancher hat ($44)
LOOK 2: AB Studio cozy duster striped cardigan ($54), Apt. 9® cropped sweatshirt ($40), LC Lauren Conrad coated leggings ($32), SONOMA life + style® embossed jean belt ($32), Candie's® coco shoes ($59), Mudd® stretch bracelets set ($16), Croft & Barrow® fall bloom infinity scarf ($28), Apt. 9® felt rancher hat ($44)
LOOK 3: LC Lauren Conrad peter pan collar dress with cutout ($64), LC Lauren Conrad sheer sleeved boxy cardigan ($50), Candie's® boots ($85), Apt. 9® felt rancher hat ($44), Croft & Barrow® striped ruffle boa scarf ($28), Apt. 9® mini maggie cross body bag ($49)
LOOK 4: AB Studio lattice shoulder-detail woven tunic ($44), Mudd® printed ponte pants ($40), Mudd® chico shoes ($55), Apt. 9® mini maggie crossbody bag ($49), Apt. 9® felt rancher ($44), Mudd® soft woven loop scarf ($26)
LOOK 5: SO® printed yoga legging ($26), Apt. 9® cut up abstract wrap ($28), Mudd® multirow bead necklace ($24), Candie's® boots ($99), Candie's® belt ($28)
LOOK 6: LC Lauren Conrad printed 3/4-sleeved sweetheart dress ($68), LC Lauren Conrad sheer-sleeved boxy cardigan ($50), Mudd® plaid and knit loop scarf ($26), SONOMA life + style® melissa booties ($75), Apt. 9® felt rancher hat ($44)

This post is in collaboration with Kohl's.


Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY Tutorial // Personalized Dotted Name Lamp

DIY Personalized Dotted Name Lamp Shade // Bubby and Bean

Almost nine months after our daughter Essley was born, I am finally getting around to finishing up her nursery. I still need to hem the curtains, but other than that, the only final detail missing has been a table lamp. Her room is gray, white, and black with pops of vibrant primary colors, and I wanted something simple that would still be fun without being over-the-top. I already had a dark grey lamp shade, and I thought about decorating it with her name, but I didn't want to use paint or stencils. The other day, while looking through all of the attachments of my Dremel® Micro™ 8050, I came up with the idea to use it to create cut-out style dots to form the letters of her name. I thought it would look so pretty to see the hints of light shining through when her room was dark, and it would be a sweet, subtle way to personalize it just for her. My husband and I worked on this project together, and we loved the way it turned out, so I'm sharing it with you guys. Obviously, this doesn't have to be for a nursery or kid's room either - you could use any name (or any word) you wanted.

  • Dremel® Micro™ 8050
  • Lamp base
  • Lamp shade (cylinder or drum shape)
  • Light bulb
  • A measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • A fine point marker
  • Two copies of your name template (see details below)

1. Begin by creating your name template. To do this, measure around the circumference of your shade with a measuring tape, in order to get an idea of the width that you'll need your name to be. You're going to be "punching out" the name on two sides of your shade, so you'll want the width of the name to measure 4-5 inches inches less than half of the circumference of the shade. Our shade measured 27.5 inches around, and half of that is 13.75 inches, so we made our name template 9 inches wide. Once you know the width you'll need, create the template by choosing a dotted font, then typing out the text in the program of your choice. (I used Photoshop, and the font I used is called National First Font Dotted, which can be downloaded here. Another option is to create dotted text using a handwriting worksheet like this one.) After you've finished creating your template, print two copies and trim them down.

2. Next, attach the templates to the inside of the shade with tape. To do this in a way that is centered properly, start from the seam of your shade, measure a quarter way around in both directions along the bottom, and make a tiny mark on each side (on the inside at the bottom of the shade).  Repeat this along the top. Then measure halfway from the top mark to the bottom mark on each side, and make another small mark on the inside of the shade at the halfway point for each side.  Center your name templates on top of these marks (the middle mark on each side) on the inside of the shade, then attach with masking tape.

3. Use a fine tip marker to mark each dot on the outside of the shade. If you're in a dark room, it may be difficult to see through to the templates, so make sure you're in a well lit space. Although our shade was very dark grey, I did this sitting by a window and was able to see the template dots with no problem.

4. Now comes the fun part. Using your Dremel® Micro™ 8050 and the 105 attachment (carving/engraving), create small holes on each of the dots you drew in step 3. To do this, make sure you choose the highest speed (28), then set the tip on top of each dot to "drill out" your holes. Be gentle and let the tool do the work; the Dremel® Micro™ 8050 is the most powerful and precise cordless rotary tool that Dremel has ever produced, and will create perfect, uniformly sized holes with very little effort. Continue this with each dot until the names on each side are completed.

5. Put your shade on your lamp base, insert your lightbulb, turn on the lamp, and watch your name light up!

This project was a lot of fun, and I absolutely love the finished product. And best of all, it was easy - in large part thanks to the Dremel® Micro™8050. Most piercing tools would have caused the inside of the lamp shade to crack, but the Micro's fluid movements prevented this and allowed for perfectly uniformed holes. This little tool is no joke. It's super lightweight and easy to handle in tight spaces, but it's packed with features that are heaven to a DIYer: a soft grip, LED front-end lighting to illuminate projects, a docking station that continually charges, and an 8V Max Lithium-ion battery. It can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish. It's also fully compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories. We've already made a list of projects we plan to create with it soon. If you are into DIYs like we are, you can purchase a Micro 8050 of your own online at and for $89 USD. For more information on Dremel products, project ideas and problem-solving tips, visit

And here's some great news before I go… Dremel wants to celebrate its fans' brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag #MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit for rules and to learn more.

Have you ever done any craft projects involving lamps or lighting? Do you have any fun DIY projects or ideas involving a Dremel that you can share?

Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Sponsored posts feature only products or services that I genuinely feel would be of interest to my readers. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Let's Talk Eco-Friendly Furniture (+ My Favorite Pieces)

1. Alex Nightstand (handmade from reclaimed demolition hardwoods), Tansu //  2. Zudu Asymmetrical Corner Sofa (made with recycled teak and recycled Sunbrella fabrics), Mamagreen  //  3. Aria 6-Drawer Dresser (handmade from eco-friendly bamboo), Tansu //  4. Great Wall Bookcase (handmade from eco-friendly plantation grown mahogany), Tansu  //  5. Eco-Natura Roma Dining Table (made from CARB compliant and VOC-free materials), Inmod  //  6. Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair (made from VOC-free, recyclable fiberglass), Herman Miller Store //  7. Mid-Century Modern Platform Bed (made from sustainable bamboo), Bambeco  //  8. Lotus Console (made from sustainable bamboo), Tansu //  9. Randy Nightstand (handmade from sustainable bamboo), Tanua  

I know, I know. It's gotten all home-themed post crazy up in here lately. Don't worry, there are plenty more style and food and DIY posts on the calendar too (I'm going a little DIY crazy next week, as a matter of fact). But as I mentioned in a recent post, this time of year just seems to get me in a home improvement sort of mood. As the weather and seasons shift into a period where we're spending more time indoors, all cozied up and stuff, I think it's natural (at least in my mind) to want to focus more on your living space. And lately, my focus has been on furniture that has sustainability in mind.

As many of you know, I designed for an eco-friendly clothing line for 15 years. And although we are (sadly) in the process of closing it down, I've learned so much over the past decade and a half about earth-conscious design, and the different industries in which it can be applied. When it comes to furniture, there is a lot of consider - from whether the materials are sustainable to how well a piece was made and how long it will last to if it was produced locally or via fair trade practices. I'll be the first to admit that I own my fair share of furniture from places (like the blue and yellow palace, ahem) that isn't exactly made to last decades - but if I'm actively looking for a furniture item, I always pay attention to what aspects of a piece may or may not be sustainable.

The pieces you see above as some of my recent favorite eco-friendly furniture finds, along with a brief note next to each link explaining what makes them earth conscious. I've been on the look-out for new nightstands, and I especially love #1 from Tansu. I'm all about the rustic vibe and the fact that it's made from reclaimed woods. So beautiful.

Which is your favorite? Do you consider sustainability when looking for furniture?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Style // Coffee and Kimonos

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

Hey look, an outfit post! You guys may (or may not) have noticed that the ol' 'My Style' posts are few and far between these days. I haven't given up on sharing my personal style in this space by any means, but the truth is, scheduling time for photo shoots of yourself when you have a baby is something I just can't seem to get the hang of, even when my husband or friends are here to help. I always thought that if these posts fell to the wayside after Essley was born, it would be the result of me no longer wearing anything other than tees and leggings, or like, pajamas all day, or something.  But that's not the case at all. I get dressed every single morning, I still love and care about fashion as much as I ever have, and I make a conscious effort not to let the fact that I'm a mother now get in the way of continuing to wear clothes that I love. It's really just a matter of time and logistics. This blog is part of my full-time job, and I have to be practical about scheduling for workdays that include a lot of office work and in house projects. Lugging a camera and lenses and a teething baby to pretty locations (because sorry, the back of a townhouse just doesn't make for a nice background) on days when the weather and lighting happen to agree, then standing in front of a camera trying pose without laughing (either at my own awkwardness or the hilariously loud screeching sounds coming from my child) can be a major ordeal. Add to that sorting through several dozen photos to find a handful where I don't look like a complete fool, then cropping and editing, and, well, it's just a lot of effort to showcase an outfit. I plan to continue to share style posts on occasion, but for the time being, they'll probably only be a monthly thing.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

And now that I've gotten that lengthy explanation out of the way, on to what I wore this day. We'd actually just spent the afternoon at a child's birthday party, and we made an impromptu stop at our favorite forest preserve on the way to our dinner plans. I wasn't planning on doing outfit pictures this day, but we had the camera with us so we decided to snap some shots, mainly because I've been meaning to share this gorgeous jewelry here for weeks now (more on than in a minute). And also, I love this outfit you guys. I'm going to be honest and just admit that I've worn this exact outfit twice a week (or more) for the last couple of months. It has become my go-to summer outfit and I'm already bummed that it's going to be shoved in the back of my closet with the other warm weather duds any day now.

Each piece of this outfit is at the top of my list, if we're breaking things down. Anyone who knows me would vouch for the fact that "I Need Coffee" is pretty much my motto, and I bought this tee (which is now sold out, boooo) straight off the rack without trying it on or even stopping to look at anything else on my way to the register. It's my favorite shirt. I also love this kimono, more than I can put into words really. The current kimono trend is quite possibly the best trend of all time. Anything that combines major comfort, pretty prints, a boho vibe, and an oversized garment that covers all the areas I'd like to be covered these days is an automatic thumbs up in my book. The shorts aren't much to discuss. They're cut-off jeans. They're comfortable. They fit well. The end.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

I've mainly worn this outfit/uniform with moccasins this summer, but over the past week, I've been pulling out the boots. This particular pair of boots is one of my very favorite pairs of shoes in general, and I'm an especially big fan of the way they look paired with shorts. I snagged the hat last summer and have worn it more than all my other hats combined since. But I think my favorite accessory here is the absolutely stunning necklace that the lovely Jade over at Jade Stone Jewelry made for me. The combination of the triangle and quartz is so me and I wear it almost everyday. I also adore the spiral copper rings she made me, and wear them almost daily as well. She is an incredibly talented jewelry maker and also a really wonderful person. I love sporting her stuff.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
Boots: ℅ Minnetonka  //  Kimono: gift from my sister //  Shorts: Target  //  Tee: F21  //  Long Necklace: ℅ Jade Stone Jewelry  //  Essley Necklace:  Best Name Necklace  //  Copper Rings: ℅ Jade Stone Jewelry  //  Turquoise Ring: Picked up in Colorado 10+ years ago  //  Hat: Target  //  Watch: ℅ Watchco  //  Sunglasses: UO  

So that's that. My favorite summer outfit, finally shared with you all, right as we say goodbye to the season. (And a cameo appearance by Essley, who decided at the end that she wanted in on the action.)

If you have any suggestions of places to get heavier weight, more fall/winter-patterned kimonos (particularly ones I can wear with this coffee shirt until it's hanging on me by a thread), please let me know!