Can You Break In to Take a Dog Out of a Hot Car?

From the Animal Legal Defense Fund: Only 12 states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Vermont, Oregon and Tennessee — allow “good Samaritans” to break a car window to save an animal. Almost all of those states require “good Samaritans” to contact law enforcement before breaking into the car. In 14 […]


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Vegan Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Thank you Super Lucky Elephant for sponsoring this post.

If you have read this blog more than a couple of times or follow me on Instagram, you’re well aware of the fact that while I enjoy cooking to a degree, I am not a fan of time-consuming meals that require a lot of prep. I genuinely don’t have time for them, but even if I did, I find that I lose interest once there’s too much work involved. (Just being honest here, guys.) So I am ever searching for meal ideas that are quick and easy, but also health conscious and really, really yummy. One of my current favorites is a vegan burrito bowl I’ve been making. It’s the perfect week night meal, takes less than ten minutes (!!!) to prepare, and is intensely loved by every member of my family. It’s also not your average veggie burrito bowl, because it contains jasmine rice, which brings a unique flavor to the dish that I simply adore. I know you’ll love it too!

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS
1 package Super Lucky Elephant Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice
1 can
black beans, drained
1 avocado
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
handful baby spinach
lime
green salsa
cilantro (for topping)
hot sauce (optional)
salt to taste

In a small sauce pan, heat black beans until hot. While beans are heating, slice avocado and cherry tomatoes, then heat Super Lucky Elephant Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice in the microwave for 90 seconds. Pour rice into individual bowls, and top with beans, avocado slices, tomato, and baby spinach. Top with a little green salsa and chopped cilantro, and squeeze fresh lime juice onto tops of each bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and add hot sauce if desired. If we have tortillas on hand, we’ll sometimes throw all of these ingredients in them and make regular burritos as well. It’s become a true go-to, on-the-go meal for us. So good!

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Really, this meal couldn’t be easier, but it’s genuinely so delicious. I actually usually add a lot of spices to food, but the lime juice and sprinkle of salt in combination with the flavor of the jasmine rice is enough. And when it comes to jasmine rice, you can’t get better than Super Lucky Elephant. Their Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice is highest quality, authentic, traditional jasmine rice, grown in and sourced straight from Thailand. Its purity and quality are even certified by the Thai government! It’s also non-GMO, gluten free, and tasty enough to eat on its own (my daughter requests it for a snack on the regular). Super Lucky Elephant is a great way to turn ordinary food into a delicious and shareable meal (and experience!), and also perfect for those of us who want to create nutritious dishes that don’t take a lot of time. Their Coconut Jasmine Rice is incredible too. We use it for a lot of traditional Thai meals we prepare. If you haven’t tried Super Lucky Elephant yet, I highly recommend getting some of your own right here!

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls
Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

What’s your go-to one-the-go meal? Have you ever tried jasmine rice in a burrito bowl?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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RSVP for the #PlushPawsPremium Twitter Party!

Plush Paws Products has sponsored this post and the upcoming party, but all opinions are my own. Summer is synonymous with dog travel, whether that means swimming fun at the lake or beach, a dream…



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DogTipper

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National Police Week

National Police Week is May 13th – 19th. Have you hugged a K-9 today? To all police officers, but especially the K-9 handlers: have a safe week! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

Thank you Cameron Hughes for sponsoring this post. Wine and dine your way into summer and raise a toast to everyone’s favorite season!

Like most parents of young children, there is little in life I love more than going out on a date for some quality alone time with my husband. Dates don’t happen often, but when they do, they’re pretty great. Last month Robbie and I had plans to go out for some drinks and food, and when discussing where to go, we realized that since having our daughter four and a half years ago, we had not had a single evening alone in our own house. Not one. We’d gone out to movies and for dinner and to see live music with friends, but we hadn’t enjoyed time at home as just the two of us in close to five years. I mean, I love my kids with all my heart, but that’s a little ridiculous, right? So we decided to try something different. We made a call and rearranged our date night out so that the kids would go to my mom’s for a few hours while we had a nice evening date in. And you guys, it was glorious.

Since then, we had another stay-at-home date, this time in the afternoon to celebrate the fact that warm weather had finally arrived to the Chicagoland area.  It was so nice to just relax (both outside and inside with the windows wide open!) and have a casual evening enjoying our favorite wine and snacks, toasting to the upcoming summer season.

A couple of weeks later I was out with some girlfriends and was telling them what a wonderful time we had, and several of them mentioned to me that they’d started doing more date nights in as well. We ended up sharing our tips and ideas for stay-at-home dates with one another, and there were so many great ideas that I thought I’d share some of them here with you too – specifically summertime-inspired casual date-in ideas, since summer is (woohoo!) right around the corner.

6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In
6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

1. Have a summer movie marathon. One of my friends has an actual movie screen set up in her backyard that her family uses to watch movies in the summer. (I am very jealous.) The first weekend it warmed up this year, she and her husband had a date night at home, snuggling on a blanket in the grass with popcorn and watching movies together. I thought this was a pretty fantastic idea, and although we don’t have a movie screen in our yard, we’ll be recreating it in our living room with our windows open and a marathon of our favorite summertime flicks.

2. Cook (and eat) a summer-inspired meal together. On our first at home date night, we made our favorite summertime pizza (pesto sauce, mozzarella, olives, and fresh tomato) together and enjoyed it together, slowly and blissfully uninterrupted! And it was so refreshing not to have to deal with reservations or noisy restaurants or overpriced bills. We just had a patio put in (you can see some sneak peeks in these photos; full reveal coming soon!), and I can’t wait use our grill and (hopefully!) have several summer date nights in cooking and eating dinner out there.

3. Enjoy a summer concert in the comfort of your own home. Because Robbie works in the music industry and works at well over a hundred concerts each year, when he’s off duty, he much prefers to watch them from home by live streaming. (As someone who has been to many hundreds of concerts and music festivals myself, it’s hard for me to admit this, but these days, so do I.) It might not feel quite the same as actually being at a live show, dancing on the grass under the stars, but I can confidently say that there is something pretty awesome about being able to stretch out on your sofa, cuddled up with your significant other, just the two of you. (And there are no lines for the bathroom!)

6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

4. Take a long romantic walk. I guess this isn’t technically something you do at home, but after our recent afternoon stay-at-home date, Robbie and I took an hour-long walk around our neighborhood as the sun was setting, and it was kind of magical. There isn’t much more romantic than a sunset, and it was perfect for having real conversation away without the temptation of screens, while enjoying all of the things that make spring and summer so wonderful.

5. Have a backyard picnic. We have picnics with the kids all the time, but it’s been years since we’ve had one by ourselves. One of my girlfriends and her partner recently did this and said it was on her favorite date nights ever. They threw a blanket down in their backyard and ate cheese and fresh bread and olives in their bare feet under the stars. I mean, how romantic is that? It’s definitely on my summer to do list.

6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In
6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

6. Open a bottle of your favorite summer wine and just relax. This one is my favorite, and it’s exactly what we did on our most recent stay-at-home date. Robbie and I are both constantly going (I’m sure most of you can relate), and even when he’s home and not on tour, we very rarely have even a few minutes of down time to spend together. When we were trying to decide what to do for our date, we both agreed that a couple of glasses of Cameron Hughes, some super easy summertime snacks, and some time to just hang out outside together sounded absolutely blissful. And it was! For us, there is nothing better than a casual, simple date. And we love Cameron Hughes Wine for the same reason – it’s all about what is in inside the bottle. There’s no fancy label, their website is simple and easy to navigate, and the wine is high quality and delicious but still affordable. And Cameron himself samples thousands of wine samples a year (they say “he tastes the bad stuff so you don’t have to” – love that) and only selects the best wine to bring to his customers. That’s my kind of wine company. And this is my kind of date. (Psst… Use code INEEDWINE18 for free shipping when you purchase 3 bottles of wine at Cameron Hughes!

6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In
6 Ideas For A Summer Date Night In

Have any of you done a date night in recently? If you have any other great ideas for summertime stay-at-home dates, I would love to hear about them. Happy almost summer, friends.

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Woman Adopts Her Childhood Best Friend

Nicole and Chloe

Nicole Renae is married with one child. She and her husband wanted to adopt a dog to make their family complete. Nicole had loved a dog named Chloe when she was a child, but the family had been forced by her father’s job to give Chloe up when she was still young. This time, Nicole was going to keep her adopted dog for good.

Halo loves helping shelter animals find their best chance at a forever home. Through #HaloFeedItForward, and our partnership with Freekibble.com, for every purchase made we donate a bowl of dog food or cat food to shelters to help shelter pets have their best chance at finding forever best friends. For one senior dog, she managed to catch the eye of the woman who had been her best friend when they were merely a puppy and a child.

Nicole meant to adopt a puppy, but a Facebook post showing a senior dog who needed a home changed her plans. The dog was gray and looked like an older version of the Chloe she remembered. What sealed the deal? The dog’s name was already Chloe! Nicole told The Dodo, “I thought that was such a coincidence,” and she decided to adopt the dog and give her a forever home.

When the two met, the coincidences piled up. When Nicole was a child, her Chloe loved to run up to her and lick her face in greeting. The moment that Nicole met this Chloe was magical. “She just ran up to me and started licking my face,” she said. That wasn’t all. “As the day went on, all these characteristics just reminded me of my old dog,” Nicole added. Soon, “I just knew in my heart that it was her,” Nicole told reporters. Even though it seemed impossible, this dog she was adopting as an adult was the childhood dog she had been forced to say goodbye to all those years ago.

At first, Nicole’s family didn’t take her seriously. “My whole family thought I was nuts,” as Nicole bluntly put it. However, it was Nicole’s mom who came up with a way to prove that Chloe was in fact, the original Chloe. Nicole’s childhood dog had been microchipped and their old veterinarian still had the ID number. When Chloe’s microchip was scanned, the numbers were a match. It was the same microchip in the same dog.

“I literally felt like I’d won the lottery. It was just the best feeling,” Nicole said about learning that her adult adoption was actually her childhood dog.

After leaving Nicole’s family eight years ago, Chloe was quickly adopted by an older couple and lived a happy life with them until they passed away. Then she was adopted by another family, but that family had to make the same call as Nicole’s parents and surrender Chloe to a shelter. It turned out to be for the best – otherwise Chloe would never have found her way back to Nicole. “Chloe is happy,” said Nicole. “I think she knows now that she’ll be with me forever.” Now that’s a true best friendship to celebrate!

Halo Pets

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Our Master Closet Before and After

Affordable Master Closet Renovation Ideas

Thank you California Closets for sponsoring this post.

Back in January, when we moved into our new home, I was excited beyond words about the master bedroom closet. It’s not a huge space but any means, and it just came with a simple hanging bar and a shelf above it, but after many years of sharing a tiny closet with my husband, the thought of a walk-in was absolutely thrilling. I had all sorts of big ideas about how I’d organize it, fueled by perfectly styled Pinterest photos. But in reality, once I got everything in it, it was a hot mess. And because it wasn’t organized well and we didn’t really know how to best utilize the space, over time it just got more and more cluttered and less functional. In all honesty, it was starting to bum me out that we had finally had a walk-in closet that looked so terrible and was so difficult to navigate. It was time to get some help.

I decided to reach out to California Closets for advice, and also to learn more about their services for future spaces in our home. I’d heard great things about them, and knew that their professional design consultants collaborate with their clients to create custom designs that not only work with their needs, but also incorporate personal style and budget. My consultant, Jessica, was like my organizational guardian angel. She not only explained to me in detail the different services California Closets offers, she also gave me invaluable tips and suggestions for my own space. Robbie and I ended up  taking a couple of days to use these suggestions to completely redo our closets. And the results were pretty incredible.

But before we get into all of this, feast your eyes on these glorious before photos…

See? It wasn’t a very inviting space. In fact, it genuinely gave me anxiety to walk in there.

I’m going to share the after photos in a minute, but first I want to tell you more about what a typical at home consultation with my California Closets consultant Jessica entails. First is an introductory call or email to confirm time, day, address, and details of the meeting. On consultation day, Jessica shows up with a clip board and begins jotting down notes right away, asks whether the client has worked with California Closets before, and talks a little more about what to expect during the meeting. Then she gets to work checking out the space, taking specific measurements, asking a variety of questions, and trying to determined what is most important to the client. When working on a closet project, she usually measures how much hanging space the client is currently using, and the quantity of things like shoes, hand bags, drawers etc. She then takes a round of before photos for her portfolio. After this, she does a recap and goes over everything with the client – from their specific wants and needs to timing to budget. She then uses her iPad and the California Closets app to share examples of similar spaces they’ve installed, possible accessory and design enhancements, and presents a box of wood samples to see what color scheme the client prefers. She then refers to budget examples in the app, comes up with a preliminary design, and she and the client review it together and make adjustments. Sometimes Jessica also sets up a follow up appointment at the nearest California Closets showroom to present more detailed time and costs. Once designs have been presented and costs have been discussed, she sends the clients the 3D images of their design and asks how they would like to proceed. Pretty cool, right?

As for the specific tips Jessica gave me based on my closet (as seen in two images above), the first thing she suggested was to look into adding more shelving and drawers. We didn’t have a lot hanging from the beginning, so she felt that there was still plenty of space to maximize the closet with double hanging sections, full height shelving units, and deeper drawers along the back wall. She also suggested either hanging all of our clothes along the back wall or at least gathered in the same vicinity, like the back left corner, instead of behind the door swing. (You couldn’t even open the door the whole way because the shelf/clothing bar was behind it!) She also recommended that we get some smaller canvas lined storage bins to store and categorize items, and get rid of the big tubs and boxes to create a cleaner, crisper overall appearance. And finally, Jessica encouraged us to practice The KonMari Method of organization. This entails removing all clothing from your closet, going through each piece, only keeping the pieces that spark joy, and donating the rest. (I love this!) It also entails hanging heavier/longer garments on the left to lighter/shorter garments on the right. She also recommended trying The KonMari folding technique (which is amazing, you guys.)

And now, our completed closet:

Massive difference, right? And it looks even better in person. It has such a clean, airy feel, and we’ve been able to keep it neat because it’s so much easier to locate and grab what we need. If you have a closet or space that needs a makeover, I highly suggesting scheduling your own California Closets consultation. California Closets offers custom organizational solutions in closets like ours, but they also help throughout the home. So even if you have pantry, media center, mudroom, or garages that needs some help, they can work with you to enhance both purpose and storage potential, and make the space look beautiful. And many locations offer seasonal promotions and financing options (contact your local California Closets for details). They’re the best.

Now that our closet has been whipped into shape, I want to reorganize my entire house. I see a California Closets garage consultation in my near future…

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Shelter Dogs Prepare for Royal Wedding by Barking “Here Comes the Bride”

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just around the corner, and romantics and royal watchers of both the two- and four-legged variety are celebrating, including an array of adorable…



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DogTipper

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Loyal to the End

So sweet. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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You stepped up and are doing your best. Com…

You stepped up and are doing your best. Commendable by any measure.
BAD RAP Blog

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