Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I'm a day early, I know, but since tomorrow is Saturday and I don't usually post on Saturdays, today is the day. Essley and I are actually in Indianapolis for the weekend, celebrating with my sister, who is sincerely the biggest Halloween fan I have ever met. The girl is obsessed you guys, and goes all out to make sure that everyone surrounding her is having the best holiday ever. I'm talking spectacular indoor and outdoor decorations, intricate pumpkin carving, incredible costumes, Halloween movie marathons, trick-or-treating, and the most delicious sugary treats. We're a little sad that Robbie isn't here with us (he is up in Milwaukee working the band's Halloween run shows), but we're also super stoked for all the festivities here. I'm being pretty lazy as far as costuming goes and wearing the same thing I wore when I was pregnant with Essley - a skeleton tunic with a baby skeleton in the belly. Essley is going to be a little bumble bee, and I know I'm biased and everything, but man is her costume adorable. I'll be sharing our costumes (and probably several other annoying details of the weekend) over on my Instagram and on Snapchat (user name bubbyandbean).

What are your plans for the Halloween weekend? Are you dressing up?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

GIVEAWAY // Win A $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions!

GIVEAWAY // Win A $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby and Bean!

Early in the summer, we partnered with long time Bubby and Bean sponsor Gaia Conceptions for a giveaway to win $100 to spend in their gorgeous online shop, which features some of the most beautiful eco-friendly clothing around. Our regular readers know that we've teamed up several times over the years for giveaways for specific pieces of their clothing, but because these gift card giveaways are the most popular, we decided to do one again to celebrate fall and the soon-to-be start of the holiday season! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going to get a $100 gift card to spend at Gaia Conceptions, where you can choose from hundreds of styles of beautifully handmade, sustainable clothing custom created to your size, color choice, and fabric selection. Woohoo!

Win a $100 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions from Bubby and Bean

Use the form below, and/or, because the main methods of entering this giveaway (worth the most points) involve Instagram, you can also enter directly on IG, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: The randomly chosen winner is Jeannie Suhrheinrich (@gentlejean). Congrats!

This giveaway will run through November 4, 2015 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen via and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Thanks again to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another gift card to their shop!  Good luck!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Bread with Coconut Milk

By Food + Drink Contributor Sara Little

Homemade Pumpkin Bread Made with Coconut Milk (via Bubby and Bean)

As soon as there is an indication of fall being here, I am ready to jump on board with spicy amber candles and any recipe that involves fall harvest fruits and veggies. First up, is pumpkin bread. I like a really gooey, moist pumpkin bread, so I tried using a new ingredient, coconut milk. It seemed like the perfect addition to my standard recipe. It came out beautifully formed, perfectly browned on top, and really yummy!

3.5 c All Purpose Flour
2 c Packed Dark Brown Sugar
2/3 c White Sugar
2 c Pumpkin Puree
1 c Vegetable Oil
2/3 C Coconut Milk
2 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1/2 t Ground Nutmeg
1/2 t Clove
1/2 t Allspice
1.5 t Ground Cinnamon
1 c Chopped Walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, brown sugar, and white sugar and then fold in the pumpkin puree. (I have used both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin puree and honestly can't tell the difference. I happen to despise roasting squash, so I typically go with the canned pumpkin puree, but be sure to get puree, not pumpkin pie filling.)  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. The mix will be very moist and not at all hard to mix.

Butter two bread loaf pans to prepare for the mix. Then divide the mix equally between the two loaf pans. You will want to leave about a half inch of space at the top of the pan for the bread to rise.

Let the bread bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted and pulled out clean. Let cool and pop them out of the pan for serving.

Serve with coffee or some hot cider. Enjoy! - Sara

Pumpkin bread is my favorite of all of the sweet breads (banana, zucchini, etc.) by a mile. And the addition of coconut milk sounds ridiculously good. I can't wait to try it. 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, and Pinterest.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Our Custom 2016 Calendar + a $50 Snapfish GIVEAWAY!

Our Custom 2016 Calendar + a $50 Snapfish GIVEAWAY from Bubby and Bean!

I'm a sucker for good old fashioned wall calendars. Sure, the calendar in my phone is convenient, but there is just something about having a beautiful calendar hanging on my wall that I can look at everyday - especially if it's personal and meaningful in addition to being aesthetically lovely. A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about how cool it would be to create a custom calendar for 2016 that featured our daughter Essley and some of our favorite memories from each month of this past year (and some from 2014 too). With our little boy arriving in early January, knowing how much attention he'll be receiving (as he should!), I felt like paying tribute to our little lady through a special calendar would not only be fun for us, but also for her grandparents as holiday gifts.

A few months ago I'd used Snapfish to create some gorgeous canvas prints from photographs I'd taken on our travels, and I knew that they also offered options for custom calendars as well. I looked into their options and decided on an 8.5 x 11 calendar. And you guys, I seriously had so much fun putting it together. They have a super easy to navigate calendar builder, with all sorts of options to upload pictures (your device, Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr), a huge variety of different photo layouts, pre-designed template and other styles that can be easily edited and switched out to your liking, different background options, hundreds of cute embellishments and themed collections to add, the option to add text captions, and more. You can also start your calendar on any month of the year! One of my favorite features was the option to mark special dates on the monthly grid. I used photos to mark some of our favorite holidays, our daughter's birthday and our son's due date, anniversaries, and more. And although I kept the design fairly consistent, I really enjoyed playing around with different layout and background options.

When then calendars arrived I was ecstatic. The quality is stellar, the photos are vibrant and clear, and our whole family had a great time flipping through it. Even though we still have a couple of months until 2016 begins, I already hung it in our kitchen. And since my calendar is saved in my Snapfish account, I'll be able to order more of them in minutes to give as holiday gifts.  It's going to be so great to be able to see the special pictures that correlate to the different months and seasons throughout the upcoming year.

And now for the best part! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader is going win a $50 gift card to Snapfish to get some custom calendars of your very own, or anything that Snapfish offers! To enter, just use the form below. (For the blog comment option, which is the main way to enter and worth the most points, be sure to visit Snapfish and then leave comment below with what you would get with your gift card if you won.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway runs through November 3rd and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. The winner will be randomly chosen then announced here shortly after. Good luck!

P.S. Be sure to join Snapfish Superfans! You can share content, have special opportunities to win prizes and rewards, and more.

This post was created in partnership with Snapfish. All opinions are my own.


Friday, October 23, 2015

What I'm Wearing Now: October

Fall Maternity Essentials (via Bubby and Bean)
1. Long Knit Cardigan, H&M  //  2. Jersey Tunic Tee, H&M  //  3. Simple Cardi (gift; but this gorgeous cardigan is almost identical)  //  4. Black Ribbed Beanie, F21  //  5. Classic Sheffield Watch, Daniel Wellington //  6. Skinny Maternity Jeans, Oh Baby by Motherhood  // 7. Arrowstack Necklace (gift; love this similar piece from Madewell)  //  8. Cropped Denim Jacket (worn unbuttoned since bump won't allow for closed jackets these days), Mudd  //  9. Black Leggings, Target  // 10. Lolo Tote, Trask  //  11. Hi Top Back Zip Booties in Black, Minnetonka  //  12. Madison Boots, Trask  

I almost forgot to do this post this month you guys. I usually plan the blog's editorial calendar a few weeks in advance, and I was lying in bed the other night and realized that I didn't have a 'What I'm Wearing Now' scheduled for October. And because that's, like, a real problem and everything, I immediately got out of bed and went into my office so I could switch some posts around and pencil it in. At 2 AM. Clearly I have issues.

These posts are actually some of my favorites to do, and I always look forward to them, because it's fun for me to go back and compare what I've been wearing from past months and see how things have evolved (or, in many cases, especially during the second half of my pregnancy, stayed the same). I think that the main reason I forgot about this month is because I've done exactly what I said I would not do again after my last pregnancy, and that is resort to comfort over style to the point that I'm basically wearing some variation of the same tunic/legging/maternity jean combo every single day. And because I have no shame, I'll also tell you that often, I wear the exact same outfit (yes, I mean without washing it) for a good three days in a row.  I'm measuring a little bigger this time around, so although I just entered into my third trimester last week, I'm already to the point where comfort wins. I have admittedly developed what is a very intimate relationship with my grey jersey tunic-style tee and black leggings.

All of this said, I do still (at least to some degree) care about looking somewhat stylish despite the fact that nothing fits properly and I often look like I'm headed to a yoga class even when I'm headed out to a dinner. My solution for this has mainly been to dress up my look with jewelry, accessories, and lip gloss. I also picked up a calf-length printed cardigan/knit kimono last weekend that I absolutely adore and that has become key to dressing up my pregnancy uniform. I also love this one and think I may need to buy it as well, as my current one has already made an appearance more times than any one article of clothing should in one week.

The weather has finally turned cold here, which means that my beloved lightweight summer kimonos have been put away for the winter and replaced with cardigans, and leggings and maternity jeans have taken the place of cut-off denim shorts. Other than that, you may recognize many of the pieces here from the last couple of months as well.

In other news, this is the second week in a row I'm posting on a Friday, which also means two weeks of posts on every single weekday. Craziness, I know. We normally only do four posts a week, but as the holidays approach and busy blog season begins, you'll be seeing five or so posts most weeks from now on. Woot! And speaking of busy weeks coming to an end, I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and weekend! I'm taking the day off today to go to the hospital for a three hour glucose test (a regular pregnancy tradition if you fail the one hour screening, which I passed last time but failed by just a few points this time - major sad face). I almost passed out during the one hour test for which I didn't even have to fast, and this one will be a total of fifteen hours of fasting along with consuming what I hear is an even less tolerable sugar-filled beverage before I can eat, so it should be interesting. After that, because I feel sorry for myself, I'm going to devour a large amount of food, and then we're taking Essley to this seriously amazing play place about a half hour away that is filled with toddler goodness like ball pits and padded blocks and giant sized Legos and big slides. I'm stoked. See you Monday!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

An Alice In Wonderland Themed Photo Shoot

We actually featured an Alice in Wonderland themed shoot once before, but when photographer Jen Montgomery submitted this one, I couldn't refuse. I absolutely love the vibrant colors and lighting contrasts of the images, and the details are really quite incredible. I mean seriously, look at the clothing and the models' hair and makeup. Killer.

I was captivated by the story behind the shoot too, and asked Jen to tell me a little more about what inspired and motivated her. "Ever since childhood, Alice In Wonderland remains one of my favorite fantasy stories," Jen said. "When Kaitlyn McClain of KMK Designs approached me about photographing her lovely Alice In Wonderland themed clothing line, I was thrilled. We both agreed to put in the extra time and effort to make this conceptual series live up to the time-honored tale. Having worked together in the past, I knew I could count on her gorgeous vintage classic designs to blend with my whimsical style."

Jen went on to explain how demanding - and rewarding - the shoot was. "This indeed turned into one of my most intensive and creative editorial shoots to date; between the number of models, outfits and concepts to make the series flow. We knew we needed a large location to allow space for different scenes, so we chose a national park south of St. Paul, Minnesota. The models, designer and I hauled the tea party table, chairs and all of its decorations to a remote location and set up the scenes from there. A huge thanks goes out to everyone involved in this photo shoot, it was truly a team effort!"

I'm so impressed with the immaculate attention to detail, the whimsical staging, and Jen's stellar photography and editing skills. I looked at theses images over and over for a good hour when I first received them. I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I have!

CREDITS: Photography by Jen Montgomery  //  Clothing by KMK Designs  //  Hats by The Blonde Swan  // Makeup by Holly Robin Spilker  // Hair by Rachel Reyna  //  Mushroom Design by JesFink Designs  //  Models: Kayley Johnson, Amanda Hecksel-Read, Crystal Welle, and Lilly Smith

You can find more of Jen's gorgeous work via her website, Facebook, and Instagram.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

12 Adorable Trick Or Treat Bags

I've mentioned in a couple of other Halloween-themed posts here about how this is Essley's first Halloween where she "gets it" and is therefore all sorts of excited. And that, in turn, makes me equally pumped. I'm telling you guys, there is nothing better this time of year than seeing a kid clap and squeal over the sight of a freaking jack o' lantern. It's really, really great.

While we still haven't quite settled on a costume idea (we've got ten days and counting to get on it; yikes), I've paid lots of attention to other details - like getting pumpkins carved, planning a mini Halloween lunch, and getting her trick or treat bag ordered. I discovered so many seriously adorable treat bags at Gifts For You Now that take your average old pillow case bag up a major notch. I mean, look at that skeleton bag (#1), or the skull bucket (#4). Could they possibly be any cuter? The fact that you can get them personalized basically took me over the edge of Halloween giddiness. I'm definitely over the top this year, but I'm cool with that. And I'm pretty sure Essley is too.

If you'll be taking kids out trick or treating for the holiday, will you be using any special treat bags? Which from above is your favorite? (Oh, and since it's almost time to start thinking about Christmas decor and gift ideas, you guys have to check out the personalized holiday goodies they have over at Gifts For You Now too. The ornaments are mugs are so, so cute. Click here to see what I mean.)

This post is in collaboration with Gifts For You Now.