Aww! This is too adorable! Amazing post, thank you…

Aww! This is too adorable! Amazing post, thank you for sharing with us! :)

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I’m going fishing again


I caught this bass at a private pond in South Carolina a few weeks ago. It was one of several I caught on a Zebco Omega Spincast.

I am, however, going again for trout this weekend, and I have to say, I’ve caught one of those in ten years.

Every time I ask for advice on trout, I get told to get a spinning reel. I cannot use one of those reels without getting so frustrated with it that break it into many pieces.

I have to use the spincast technology. No discussion.  I am stuck using the reel that gives me the least amount of grief, because I cannot go down to the trout stream and have a wild cussing fit at a tangle every three to five casts. It’s supposed to be relaxing. It’s not supposed to be a war.

The Zebco reel I have comes with red “Cajun” line that is about 10-pound test line. That’s a bit much for trout, so I am thinking of just doing a leader on it. I’m not taking that 10-pound test off, because it’s much easier to get on a bass hole than a trout stream in this part of the world.

The odds of me catching a trout are extremely low.  The only way they could be lower is for me not to go or to throw rocks in the creek before I cast.

So I’m going down to play in the creek and dumb around with a stick and some fake worms that look like giant sperm.

Probably to catch jack again.

I wish this stream had other species in it, because then I could try for a smallmouth or a bluegill when I get bored and frustrated with salmonoids.

I am not much of a waterman or an angler. I’m a ridgerunner, landlubber sort.

So I am off again. Waste some time. Deposit a few yards to the miles of line that I can’t retrieve out of a snag, along with my hooks and sinkers,

And watch people who don’t even know that a rainbow trout is a Pacific salmon or that a brook trout is a char catch over their limit and hide from the game warden.

There is no meritocracy in fishing. It’s not like hunting deer, where you figure it out over the trips you take. I can call a white-tail right up to my feet,  But every time I got to the fish, it’s a different hell. The primitive rayfins with minuscule brains have me outsmarted.

I don’t mind hooked a nasty largemouth bass and hauling in it, but that’s not something I’d want to eat.  They come in all spikes and green rage, like some sort of water monster that you’ve roused from the depths.

The one trout I’ve caught fought beautifully and angelically, like a cherub wheeling in the water before landed it. It was a rainbow, the transplanted Pacific salmon whose ocean going form is called a steelhead. It was a native to this land as people with German last names, pale skin, and blue eyes.

But it was more native than I was, more at home in the water than I ever could be in my terrestrial existence.

So humbled by a damned fish.

Who knew?






Natural History

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10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks I Do Everyday

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10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

I fully believe in the whole “you’re only as young as you feel” way of thinking, and thanks to the fact that I have little kids and a consistently busy schedule and just enjoy staying active, I do, for the most part, feel young. But I’m also aware of the reality that I am quickly approaching middle age, and without putting in a little effort, I just don’t wake up looking like I’m in my 20s (or even 30s) anymore. And yes, I also believe that beauty is something found on the inside, but I’ll tell you what – when I feel beautiful and young on the outside, I feel more beautiful and young on the inside too. Taking care of my body and skin simply makes me feel good. So in an effort to feel good in a way that doesn’t take extra time or money that I don’t have, I have come up with some beauty hacks that (1) simplify the process of keeping my skin and body as youthful as possible and (2) are realistic to a busy working mother. And today, I’m excited to be teaming up with Bioelements and their new Age Activist® Clinical Youth Serum to share these tips and hacks with all of you!

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks
10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

1. I wear sunglasses. My biggest “problem area” in terms of visible aging is around my eyes. I have eczema that mainly affects my eyelids (so basically the worst place possible) and when it flares, my eyes wrinkles age me by a good ten years (for real). I also have naturally dry skin around my eyes which makes fine lines appear even worse. Popping on a pair of sunglasses with UV protection helps block out the sun (one of the biggest causes of wrinkles) and prevent you from squinting (which causes crows feet).

2. I drink a lot of water.  This is one of the easiest ways to help my body and skin feel and look young. I carry a reusable water bottle with me all day and consistently fill it up. Water flushes out toxins and keeps your skin hydrated and healthy.

3. I eat antioxidant rich foods. Food that contain antioxidant compounds help fight against free radical damage, and that helps skin look younger.  I eat smoothie bowls full of antioxidant rich foods every single day for breakfast or lunch, and I carry an apple or some berries with me in my handbag everywhere I go.

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

4. I set up my bedroom for quality sleep. Okay, so I’m not so great at this one, but I do my best. I absolutely do not get enough sleep (young kids + work + husband who works on the road + a late night Netflix addiction = consistent lack of sleep), but I do make the effort to get quality sleep. My bedroom has black out curtains, a sound machine, a comfortable mattress (always worth the splurge) and silk sleep mask for my eyes so I am assured as deep a sleep as possible. Getting quality sleep is one of the best things you can do to stay looking (and feeling) young.

5. I avoid straws. I used to use straws every single day for almost everything I drank, from iced coffee to water to cocktails. Then I learned that the “drinking from straws causes mouth wrinkles” rumor actually had some truth to it. I still use the occasional straw but for the most part, I avoid them.

6. I splash my eyes with cold water every morning. I wake up every single morning with puffy eyes, and man do they make me look old. One of the first things I do every day is splash (very) cold water on each eye for at least thirty seconds. It really helps with depuffing, and helps you wake up too!

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

7. I take omega 3 fatty acid supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to actually slow aging at the cellular level and are great for nourishing skin. I admittedly probably don’t get enough of them in my food, but I do pop a supplement everyday.

8. I use sunscreen. I almost didn’t list this one because I felt it was too obvious, but then, because it’s a good reminder and because I knew it would make me hold myself accountable (because I admittedly forget this one more than I should), I decided to include it. I think it’s pretty self explanatory. The sun causes aging. Sunscreen helps protect from the sun. Enough said.

9. I apply a rosy colored blush. Yep. I read something once that said a rose shade of blush – one that matches the natural color your cheeks appear when flushed – can make you appear younger and healthier. And guess what? It works.

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks
10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

10. I streamline my skin care routine to one powerful product that really works to help with many signs of aging. I used to use several different products on my skin for my multiple concerns (fine lines, enlarged pores, dehydration, and overall dullness). They not only took way too much time, they also likely worked against each other. Then I was introduced to Bioelements Age Activist® Clinical Youth Serum, and it worked so quickly and so well that I got rid of everything else. Age Activist® Clinical Youth Serum is the best, you guys. It brings together clinical-strength retinol, peptides + phyto-tensors, Coenzyme Q10 + vitamin E with fermented pumpkin, watermelon, apple, and lentil to create immediate results that continue to get better and better with time. I told my husband that it’s my “all-in-one miracle cream” – I spend about 10 seconds twice a day putting it on my face and am constantly impressed by the improvements I continue to see in my skin the longer I use it. My skin feels smooth and hydrated and looks brighter and firmer, my pores looks smaller, and my lines and wrinkles have lessened. I also absolutely love how my sensitive skin feels zero irritation from it (thanks to to the ingredients’ micro encapsulation), and that there are no artificial scent or dyes. It is truly my favorite skincare product, and since it’s enabled me to simplify my skincare routine (after washing) down to one product, my #1 beauty/anti-aging hack as well.

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

Do you have any anti-aging hacks or tips you can share with me? Who else is a Bioelements fan?

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bioelements Age Activist® Clinical Youth Serum.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Never Lose Your Pet Thanks to Michelson’s Found Animals Free Microchip Registry

Michelson’s Found Animals.

I received a lot of feedback about my recent blog False Confidence about Microchipping a Pet” which pointed out some of the pitfalls about micro-chipping your dog or cat, not the least of which is that most people haven’t registered that microchip properly. In the process I learned about a free national micro chip registry called Michelson’s Found Animals. This week on DOG TALK (and Kitties, Too!) I interviewed Aimee Gilbreath, the Executive Director of this animal welfare foundation, and I learned the valuable service they were providing to all of our pets. I immediately signed up both Maisie and Wanda – the website makes it super simple. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that if I was so be separated from them (heaven forbid) that a microchip scanner would tell anyone who and where I am to reclaim them.

Think how many cats are lost every year – kitties slip out of their homes, without collars or tags, and are taken in by other people or by a shelter that cannot find the rightful owner because the cat doesn’t have a microchip or it hasn’t been properly registered. Michelson’s Found Animals fills a special niche in rescue because it seeks to remove from shelters those animals whose owners would reclaim them, if only they could be found. Michelson’s Found Animals identified microchipping and registry as an obvious, simple and overlooked aspect of how to reduce pets in shelters: you could reunite those pets with their heart-broken families, if only those pets were micro-chipped and the information was stored in a national database.

Based in Los Angeles, Michelson’s Found Animals was founded by the philanthropist Dr. Gary Michelson (a retired human surgeon whose specialty was spinal surgery, for which he received hundreds of patents) who clearly wanted to make a difference in animal welfare. Beyond providing surrender prevention programs and education, low cost microchips and scanners for shelters, no cost spay and neuter services to low income households and the no-fee microchip registry for everyone, Dr. Michelson thinks way outside the box, as I learned on Wikipedia:

Found Animals provides a kitten foster program which saved more than 1,000 kittens in 2015 and the Saving Pets Challenge which raised $ 1 Million for animal welfare organizations nationwide. In 2008, Michelson’s Found Animals foundation launched the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology[20] an international competition with a 25 million dollar prize that represents a unique experiment in innovation aimed at solving the problem of pet overpopulation. His goal is to encourage researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields to take on the challenge of non-surgical pet sterilization. Recognizing that interested parties may not have access to funds the research and testing would require, also offered is the companion Michelson Grants in Reproductive Biology that will provide up to $ 50 million in funding for promising research. The Michelson Prize seeks to make sterilization accessible and affordable worldwide and aid developing countries where this problem is even greater.”

It is therefore with pleasure and pride that I can say that Michelson’s Found Animals will be the beneficiary of the Pooch Party August 4th at the boutique Only in Beverly Hills, celebrating the 2nd Annual Dog Film Festival’s return to Los Angeles on August 5th.

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Fido + Fluffy’s Freebie Friday Updates a Guidebook

Whew…what a busy week! We have been elbow deep in the revision of our Day Trips from Houston guidebook. Our book revision is due in early June so we’ve been busy, busy this week! As you…

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LA Dog Lovers: Please Share Lucy Pet Foundation’s May Schedule!

Driven by  a mission to curb pet overpopulation, each month the Lucy Pet Foundation’s mobile clinic van helps to steer the public in the right direction by providing free spay/neuter surgeries…

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Win a Professional Photoshoot + Be Featured on Real Simple! #PetPraising

This post is sponsored by Purina. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the #PetPraising Sweepstakes, but DogTipper only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers–and…

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Charlotte Pet Expo, May 6 – 7, 2017 #AmazingPetExpo

  Dogs will rule in The Queen City during the first weekend in May, and so will cats and all of our other friends with fur, fins and feathers at the 8th annual Charlotte Pet Expo! Activities Can…

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I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. …

I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. When signing HUD re-certification papers I had to sign a document stating that I was aware that as a HUD rent subsidy client with a disability I had a right to a service animal with a doctor's note. My landlord did not want any animals in the building. There had never been one before in the 11 years or so of it's existence. I had to get a lawyer but next week I will adopt my dog.

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Maine Coon Alerts Couple to Lethal Levels of Carbon Monoxide

Gracie the cat from Wisconsin“We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie,” says Annette Shanahan about their cat. Annette and her husband owe their lives to their eight-year-old Maine Coon mix and aren’t afraid to admit it.

One night this past February, Annette and her husband, Kevin, were sleeping in their home in Reedsburg, Wisconsin while a silent killer filled their bedroom. According to ABC News, Annette woke up and thought she was having a heart attack. She felt confused and told reporters, “I wasn’t in the presence of mind to even tell my husband.”

Although Annette got out of bed, she unfortunately then fell asleep in a nearby chair. Thankfully, one of their three cats, Grace (or Gracie as they often call her) knew something was wrong. “Gracie started pounding at the door. Pounding loud. She was really pounding. Our house is 120 years old so the door rattles,” shared Annette.

Read more about Gracie the Main Coon mix.

Halo Pets

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