Hola From Mexico!

Hey friends! After nonstop activity around here the last few weeks, you may have noticed that the blog has been pretty quiet this week. That’s because we’re in Mexico for the week, and guys, it’s glorious. We are here for Robbie’s job (the band he Stage Manages puts on an annual festival; you may remember us going to the Dominican Republic for it in the past), so he is pretty busy. But the kids are having so much fun (thank goodness; Essley got super sick again this year right before we were supposed to leave), the weather is amazing, and we’re with some of our favorite people. And after a few 70+ hour work weeks, I was so ready for a little getaway.

The blog will remain quiet for a few more days, but head over to my Instagram to follow along on our adventures here. See you next week!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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10 Holiday Traditions My Kids Love

10 Holiday Traditions For Kids

Thank you Amazon for sponsoring this post. Give the gift of reading this holiday season with Prime Book Box!

When I think back to the holidays of my childhood, it is the family traditions that stand out most in my mind. Those activities we did every year felt so magical! And to this day, they remain some of the most special memories of my life. Holidays with kids are so full of wonder and excitement, and I knew from the moment my little ones were born that I wanted to create traditions for them as well. This year feels especially fun, because they are both at ages (almost 5 and almost 3) where they are able to remember holiday activities we did in previous years, and are asking to do them again. We’re truly establishing traditions together, which is wonderful in every way.

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the holiday traditions my kids most love. Some are borrowed from my childhood and some are new. Some are commonplace and some are unique. But each of them is adored by my little ones – and by their mama and daddy too.

1. Doing an advent calendar. There are so many incredible creative ideas for this on Pinterest, but we just buy the old fashioned ones with chocolate inside like my husband and I had as kids, and our children absolutely love them. They are genuinely thrilled to open a new window each day starting on December 1st.

2. Making our own ornaments. If you’re a regular reader, you may have seen the handmade ornaments we created last week. This is the second year in a row we’ve done this, and is something I did with my mom growing up as well. I can’t wait to fill our tree with them over the years.

3. Reading together. This is another favorite tradition carried over from my childhood. Every evening, we turn on the Christmas tree lights, curl up together under a blanket (often with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, or candy canes), and read books as a family. This season we’ve been reading books from our Prime Book Box. (Current favorites are Elmore, Kitten’s First Full Moon, Mother Bruce, and The Friend Ship.) Prime Book Box is a subscription program, exclusively for Prime members, that is perfect for future book lovers, pre-readers, and readers, from age 0 to 12. Each box contains 2 hardcover books or 4 board books that were hand selected by Amazon editors, so kids are ensured to receive books they’ll want to read again and again. We love ours so much! Learn more about the awesomeness that is Prime Book Box right here.

4. Seeing a holiday show. This year we’ve seen two holiday movies as a family (which I think totally counts!), but for us, our main holiday show tradition is the Nutcracker Ballet. My daughter is a dancer and it is her dream to perform in it (she will be old enough to audition next year!). She, my mom, and I go see it every year.

5. Creating a holiday collection. When I was growing up, I collected miniature Santas. Each year, my parents would let me choose a couple of new ones to add. I still have them all (close to 50!), and display them proudly every year. As I mentioned above, my daughter loves dance and the Nutcracker Ballet, so she decided to start collecting nutcrackers this year. It makes my heart swell!

6. Decorating the Christmas tree. Okay, so this isn’t exactly original, but I couldn’t not include it. This year we went and picked out our tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorated it that weekend. I think we’ll do the same from now on. So much fun!

7. Giving a gift that truly keeps on giving. While the choosing of this gift itself is a tradition that is more for my husband and me, the opening of it by the kids on Christmas morning is something really cool that I hope to continue each year as they grow up. So many of the presents my kids receive for the holidays, while appreciated, ended up being quickly forgotten. My husband and I decided that giving them something they can receive throughout the year would be both practical and special. Prime Book Box is a perfect example of this. With Prime Book Box, any Prime member can give the gift of reading for the holidays, and because it is a subscription service (that delivers hand-picked, hardcover children’s books  – the best!), your child can enjoy it throughout the year. And what’s really cool is that you can choose how often you want it to come (every 1, 2, or 3 months), and also have the option to customize the books from a list of curated selections. Each kid also gets to see his or her own name on the box when it’s delivered, which is really fun.

8. Taking holiday light drives. Every year we load up into the car, turn on the holiday music station, get hot chocolate to go, and drive to look at different light displays. My kids think it’s the most magical thing ever.

9. Writing letters to Santa. This was one of my favorite parts of the holidays as a kid! Our park district has a program where you can register for letters from Santa by filling out a form with questions, having your little one write a letter to Santa, and then taking it to a special decorated mailbox at the community center. The letter that comes back is personalized on fun holiday paper.

10. Helping those in need. My daughter is at an age where she is beginning to understand this, and we talk a lot about how kindness and generosity are the things that most embody the spirit of the season. Last year, we had the kids choose toys they no longer played with to donate. This year, my daughter used money from her piggy bank to buy some in addition to this. It’s such a great way to teach children about the importance of giving to those in need because they also see it as a fun tradition. And I’ve found that even really little ones feel good when they give to others!

Thank you for letting me share my children’s favorite holiday traditions with you. I’d love to hear about your family’s traditions as well! And, again, if you’re looking for a unique holiday gift that can be appreciated all year long, I can’t recommend Prime Book Box enough. You can’t get much better than a gift that inspires a love of reading in kids, and the hardcover books contained in each box are just fantastic. It’s priced right too at just $ 19.99 per box. (Prime members can save up to 40% off List Price! That’s pretty great!) Click here to learn more about Prime Book Box, and subscribe today!

Happy holiday traditions, friends!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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How to Help Your Dog Feel Comfortable with Holiday Guests

This post is sponsored by CEVA Animal Health, makers of ADAPTIL® for dogs. All statements and opinions are entirely our own. As always, we only share products that we use with our own pets! Let’s be…



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DogTipper

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Thrive Market Partners with HALO SpokesPets to Help Animals in Need

Manny the Frenchie and Thrive Market

Halo Pets & Thrive Market are teaming up this holiday season to help our fellow furry friends in need! With this promotion they are offering first time customers 20% off their order of their favorite Halo Pets products.

In addition to the 20% off you’ll get from Thrive Market when you use Manny the Frenchie or Lil BUB‘s link, for every purchase, they will also donate $ 20 to #HaloFeeditForward initiative. What does this mean? That $ 20 AND 20 bowls of food to animals in need!

When you choose Halo pet food, made from real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and NO “meat meal” of ANY kind, your pet won’t be the only one with a radiant coat, clear eyes and renewed energy. Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward.

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Shaggy

I had an old dog. His name was shaggy.

Long matted hair and tail so waggy

His mom was a collie. His daddy a rambler,

Half Airedale and a half springer spaniel.

He killed the rats and groundhogs

Screwed the bitches and fought the dogs.

He looked so cute and brown and black

But he’d run a deer down if it had a big rack.

He didn’t listen. He didn’t mind.

He was only interested in being his kind.

Shaggy wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t well-heeled.

He just wanted to run all free-wheeled.

A farm dog born of manor and mirth,

His kind once ran hard on the earth.

But just as passed on a winter’s day,

I knew I’d never again have a dog that way.

We now must keep them locked up well

And not let them roam heaven and hell.

But still I miss that wild freeborn wag

That came from old mongrel Shag.

***

Forgive me my doggerel. I composed all this nonsense as I was going to bed one night.

I never had a dog named Shaggy, but I knew many dogs like him.

Natural History

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Need Help Sleeping at Night? Consult Your Dog.

As the temperatures drop, now you’ve got more reasons to make it a 1-, 2-, or 3-dog night. The Journal of the National Society of Anthrozoology just reported that women say their sleep is less disturbed and they have greater feelings of security and comfort when a dog sleeps in their bed.

While 55 percent of the 1,000 women in the study have dogs, 31% share their bed with at least one cat and 57% share it with a human partner. According to the cat moms, cats are just as disruptive to their sleep as human partners.

The dog moms also reported going to bed earlier and waking up earlier than the women who have cats but no dogs.

Not that we needed it, but now that we have even more evidence that dogs give us as much or more as we give them, be sure to feed them with unconditional love.

 

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Barli’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs

This post includes affiliate links and sponsored products. If you purchase an item from one of our Amazon links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This year has been a big one…



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DogTipper

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Friday Funny: Dancing

Happy weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Win a Paw Promise Bracelet Stack of Your Choice!

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like the holidays around here as we decorate and prepare for Barli’s first Christmas. I think we’ll have to forego a Christmas tree because…



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DogTipper

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Celebrate #GivingTuesday with the Humane Society of the United States and Halo®

GivingTuesday

Today, November 27th, is #GivingTuesday and your gift to the Animal Rescue Team of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) can go even further. For every $ 1 you give, Halo is donating one bowl of food to a rescued animal courtesy of Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org. Plus, your gift directly supports the work of the Animal Rescue Team. Every dollar raised will help save animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations, natural disasters and other situations where they’re suffering from extreme cruelty and neglect.

Donate to help animals!

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