What I’m Wearing Now: October

Fall Wardrobe Staples
1. Loveland Wrap in Cargo Green, prAna  //  2. Tassel Hoop Earrings, Madewell   //  3. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  4.  Classic Date Black Watch, Lord Timepieces (take 10% off with code BEAN)  //  5. Bell Sleeve Shift Dress, Nordstrom  //   6. Skinny Low Jeans in Black, H&M  //  7. Lily Tore Diaper Bag, Newlie  //  8Splash Gabi Sneakers, Minnetonka  //  9. Chuck Taylor All Star Low Tops, Converse  //  10. Beaded Chain Bracelet, Madewell  //  11. Madison Boots, Trask  //  12. Linen V-neck Top, H&M 

Despite a wonderfully warm fall season so far, my summertime wardrobe has officially finally gone into hibernation. And I’m cool with this, because, to be fair, I’ve gotten to wear my beloved summer dresses and cut offs and kimonos far beyond the time I normally do. Besides, even summer girls can appreciate layers for a while. (Give me a month or two though and I’ll be crying my eyes out for a good sundress and some flip flops.)

I’ve been living in black jeans, sweaters, and Converse this month, but I’ve actually ventured outside of my casual boho-WAHM-hybrid comfort zone too. I got this dress (#5 above) from Nordstrom for a wedding but have already worn it three times this month. You’ll won’t believe how inexpensive it was because it looks quite pricey in person. It’s so flattering and actually comfortable too. (The stilettos I paired it with for the wedding, not so much.)

All good things must come to an end, and I’ll put a solid bet on the fact that next month’s post will include a winter coat. Sigh. The sunshine was good while it lasted, Chicago.

(P.S. You can see other my other monthly post from the past couple of years right here.) 


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Life at 3MPH

The fraternity of extreme adventurers is actually and quite understandably small.  I’ve reduced the reason down to one simple equation – the glory versus the grind.  If glory>grind no. If grind>glory maybe.  There’s grit in there but that’s a conversation for another time.  
Most begin with the finish line in mind and forget about the millions of steps it takes to get there and don’t realize they’re doomed from the very start. 
I’ve crossed paths with hundreds of would be adventurers who wanted to conquer the AT or the PCT, the vast majority of whom succumbed to the algebra but one, I’m happy to say, did not.  My good friend, John Stalls.  
What I can say about this lad is, other than that he walked from coast to coast, is that as a strapping 6’5 tall and ruggedly gaunt man, he’s the poster boy for great adventures.  Even though I’ve walked many more miles than him, when and if I ever get a Wikipedia page, I hope they put John’s picture on it because he looks the part. 
And lives it, too.  Since he completed his cross country journey Johnathan Stalls has built an organization committed to promoting wellness through walking.  Mile by mile his walk to connect has inspired many people in Denver CO and now he wants to expand it to other communities.  John is a man I’d put my money behind and I hope you will support him in his campaign to realize his vision for Life at 3MPH.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Share Your Dog’s Rescue Story! #Giveaway

Both Irie and Tiki are from shelters and we couldn’t be more proud of that fact. Irie was first cared for by the Bulverde Humane Society, near San Antonio (where they took this great photo of…

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Brave HSUS Rescuers Risk Lives to Save Stranded Pets

HSUS Rescue Team - Hurricane HarveyOn September 1, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was coordinating with other agencies and animal welfare organizations to rescue as many animals as possible who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey. They received a request to help a Chihuahua and a cat who were stranded in a flooded home. Christopher Schindler and Tara Loller of HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team headed out with Matthew Fortenberry, the director of Beaumont Animal Services.

According to HSUS, the intrepid trio first used a rescue boat to get near the house. Then, once railroad tracks and debris from the flooding blocked the boat’s path, they continued on foot. Once they were able to view the house, it was obvious that the home had been hit hard. The windows were all broken and a fast current of deep water flooded the home.

At that time, a group came by on a narrow boat and helped Tara. As she rode toward the house in that slim boat, Tara later relayed that she was able to hear the “desperate cries” of the dog wanting someone to help. Once in the house, Tara began moving through the waist deep water, searching for the two animals. Chuck later commented on Facebook about Tara’s courage, writing “Tara braved [a] really strong current that was flowing right through the house where we rescued these two!”

Suddenly Tara saw the dog whose cries she had heard from the boat. The white and brown Chihuahua was carefully clinging to the top of a floating sofa. After sniffing Tara, the terrified dog leaped into Tara’s arms. Clinging to Tara’s shoulder it was obvious that the dog “knew she was safe and was not letting go.” During this time, Chris and Matthew had swam through the current and forced the front door open.

After safely placing the dog in a carrier, the trio still needed to find the cat reported to be in the home. They could hear the meows of a cat but couldn’t see where she might be. Eventually they found the kitten hiding in an air pocket in a small area above a closet. Unfortunately, the air pocket that had saved the kitten’s life was too high for Tara and Chris to reach.

The rescuers were undaunted. Tara stood on Chris’s shoulders. Then she stepped onto one of his hands so that he could literally toss her into the small area above the closet. Tara was covered in insects and flat on her belly in the small space. However, uncomfortable as it was, Tara was able to reach the frightened kitten and hand her down to be placed in a carrier! Now that the two pets were in carriers on a boat, it was time to bring them to a safe, dry place where they could rest until their family could be found.

It’s not known how long the animals were hiding in the flooded home, but after their rescue, the small dog and kitten were brought to safety at the Beaumont Animal Shelter, where Tara posed with the two pets she’d saved so dramatically. When that photo was shared on Facebook, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, praised the team, calling Tara and Chris “Life savers,” and noting that he is “so proud of [them] for this extraordinary effort.” Other commenters echoed the praise, referring to the team as “fearless heroes” and thanking them “for caring and saving” the pets.

Hurricane Harvey was horrible and the rescues are still on going. However, it’s because of compassionate animal lovers that pets like that kitten and Chihuahua are able to be saved. We bet that there’s nowhere else Tara and Chris would rather be, and nothing else they’d rather be doing than saving sweet pets and helping families separated by the fast floodwater.

Halo Pets

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My Toddler Breastfeeding Journey (+ An EverlyWell Breast Milk Test Kit GIVEAWAY!)

My Toddler Breast Feeding Journey

I’ve shared my breastfeeding journeys here in the past – first to talk about my first experience with breastfeeding (Essley), and then again to talk about breastfeeding baby number 2 (Emmett). It’s been close to a year and a half since that second breastfeeding post, and I starting thinking it was about time I touched on the subject again – especially because it’s whole different world when you’re still nursing a child who is approaching age 2. Yep. Emmett turned 21 months old on Monday, and we are still breastfeeding. This wasn’t the plan. But it’s happening. And it’s the right thing for us. Maybe some of you are in the same position. Or maybe some of you think it’s strange, or excessive. Regardless, I think it’s an important topic to openly discuss, and I’m excited to share our story with you. (Bonus: there’s a really awesome giveaway from my pals at EverlyWell later in the post!)

My breastfeeding journey with Emmett started off a little differently than with Essley, because while I was more confident having done it before, his latch wasn’t as good as her’s. It turned out he had a mild tongue tie. We visited a specialist and opted to have a very simple procedure done, and had no issues at all after that. (Side note: As I mentioned in a previous breastfeeding post, I know some parents of children with tongue or lip ties choose not to “fix” them and everything turns out just fine – this is a personal decision and while it was the right one for us, that doesn’t mean it is for everyone else.)

I’d nursed Essley for 18 months, and planned (hoped) to nurse Emmett for a full year and then see how things went from there – but then something happened that changed everything. When he was 7 months old, Emmett was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms, the most catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy. He was put on a harsh medication (that we had to inject into his legs at home, twice a day) with severe side effects that included excessive hunger. He began to nurse around the clock, even though he was already on solids by this point. For the first time ever, I had difficulties with my supply not being able to fulfill his demand. I even ended up buying formula to supplement, which I never needed to use because my supply eventually caught up (but would have been happy to had it been necessary; just like breastmilk, formula is a great way to feed babies!). The medication (thank the universe) worked and his seizures stopped, but he had to remain on it for 3 months and it made him miserable. Nursing was his greatest comfort, and even as we approached a year, I knew we wouldn’t be stopping any time soon.

As our breastfeeding journey moved along into Emmett’s second year, I was quickly reminded of the pros and cons of toddler nursing that I’ve experienced with Essley.

Continuing to nurse a toddler is not without its challenges. Here in America, society isn’t always supportive of nursing past infancy – and while I don’t care about this kind of judgment, it can make public breastfeeding more difficult. There is also the fact that kids Emmett’s age are approaching the tantrum phase, and when little man wants the boob and mommy won’t give in, it’s not always pretty. (Right now we are trying to night wean, and let’s just say it doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep.) Also, toddlers like to twist nipples. And pinch. And squeeze. I’ll leave you with that painful visual.

On the other side, there are some truly great things about breastfeeding a toddler. If your little ones get sick, they’re likely going to want to nurse for comfort, which means even when they’re refusing food or liquids, they’re getting proper nutrition and staying hydrated. (This will be the hardest thing for me to give up as it makes illnesses so much easier!) Breastfeeding a toddler also helps provide him or her transition into a more independent period of life by giving them a healthy “safety net” if they need comfort. It’s a wonderful way to bond. And of course, breastmilk continues to provide immunities and vitamins, and protects again allergies and illness. The World Health Organization and UNICEF actually recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years.

Our breastfeeding journey will likely end before or right around Emmett’s second birthday, but for now, it is a part of our lives. And even though he’s a toddler and getting most of his nutrition from food, it’s important to me to make sure he’s also receiving healthy benefits through my breastmilk. This is why I continue to eat healthy foods, take a prenatal vitamin daily, and also why I recently decided to get my breastmilk tested for DHA. DHA is incredibly important to babies’ and children’s brain health and cognitive development. With Emmett’s history with epilepsy, a brain disorder, this is especially important to me.

I ordered my at-home breast milk DHA test from EveryWell (the exclusive provider of this type of test directly to consumers here in the U.S.), and the process could’t have been easier. The package arrived in a few days with clear instructions and everything I needed to take the test. I just dropped a couple of drops of breastmilk on the supplied card, placed in a bag and back in the box, sent it back with their enclosed postage sticker, and in about I week, I got my results emailed to me. It turns out that my DHA levels were in range (optimal is .32+, and I was .44), which was great news! It gave me peace of mind to know that both Emmett and I are getting the proper levels of a fatty acid and nutrient that is so important to brain health, especially in a time when many people have lower levels than they should. And the experience with EverlyWell was so just great that now I want to take a bunch more of their tests!

Nursing my little bean back in the summer of 2016. Awwww.

And now I’m so excited to give one of you the chance to win an EverlyWell At Home Breast Milk DHA Test of your own! If you’re pregnant or nursing, or know someone who is, this is a great opportunity!

Use the form below, and/or enter directly on Instagram, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through October 18, 2017, and is open to Bubby and Bean readers with U.S. shipping addresses. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen via Random.org and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Thank you for reading and following along on our breastfeeding journey. If you’re breastfeeding or toddler (or have in the past), I’d love to hear more about your experience as well!

This post is in partnership with EveryWell. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.



Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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