Peanut Butter & Bacon Footballs

In honor of the Super Bowl and Puppy Bowl I made a batch of indulgent peanut butter bacon footballs for Jack and all his fur friends.

Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Teddie Unsalted)
¾ cup water
2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole-wheat and oat flour are great)*
1/3 cup rolled oats
3 strips cooked bacon, chopped into tiny pieces 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
2. In a large bowl, gently mix peanut butter, water and egg together. 
3. Add the flour. 
4. Mix in the oats and chopped bacon.
5. The dough should be thick.
6. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut with a bone shape (or whatever you desire). 
7. Bake 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness and size) or until lightly browned on the bottom.
8. Allow to cool completely before serving.
9. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Or freeze for up to three months.  

*Note: I do not give Jack whole-wheat flour as it gives him awful gas. Instead I use half all-purpose flour and half oat flour (I just pulse oats in a food processor until it becomes flour-like). 

The above recipe is for treats and should not replace your dog’s regular meal plans. Always consult your vet about any new additions to your dogs diet.

Italian Sub Dip

When it comes to tailgating I absolutely love a big Italian submarine sandwich, and took that into consideration when I was testing out recipes for my Super Bowl party this weekend. The Italian sub dip is definitely a party must-have, not to mention it makes a great salad.

Italian Sub (Hoagie) Dip
1 medium red onion
½ cup sliced banana peppers
½ head Iceberg lettuce
1 tomato; diced
¼ pound deli turkey breast
¼ pound deli ham
¼ pound deli salami
¼ pound provolone cheese
several dashes of McCormick Italian Seasoning
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Chop onion, banana peppers, tomato and lettuce into small pieces. Place in bowl and set aside.
2. Chop the deli meats and cheese into small pieces and add to bowl.
3. Sprinkle some of the Italian seasoning onto the ingredients in the bowl.
4. Combine olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour as much as you would like into the bowl.
   (I didn’t even use half this)
5. Serve dip with Triscuits, sliced baguettes or anything you like.

Three Hour Knitted Infinity Scarf

In the winter there are few things better than a new crochet or knitted scarf, and I have the perfect knitted infinity scarf pattern for you. The best part it’ll only take three hours to complete!

 {Keep it loose. You should be able to fit your finger through the loops}

{Length reference: I am 4'11}
You will need:
• Size 19 knitting needles
• 120 yards** of super bulky (6) yarn*
*I used Red Heart Bouquet Chic
**60 yards of super bulky yarn will give you a cowl instead of a infinity scarf

1. Cast on 11 stitches
2. Knit until you have completed both skeins and 12 inches of yarn remains.
3. Sew the two ends together
4. Time to wear!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

DIY: Fringe Dog Toy

You don't have to spend a lot of money on toys to make your dog happy. In fact I discovered that Jack absolutely loves scraps of fabric, and since then my mum and I have been making him tons of different toys. Over the weekend I made him a copycat version of a fringe toy I saw at Petsmart, but for a fraction of the cost. Here's how to make it:
You Will Need:
• 2 different colors of fleece
• Scissors or a Rotary cutter
• Self healing mat (if using rotary cutter)
• Ruler (if using rotary cutter)

Step 1: Cut strips of fleece to your desired size.
I did one inch wide by 20 inches high (for Jack who weighs six pounds)
 Step 2: Stack the strips on top of each other alternating colors.
Step 3: Make a knot in the middle.
 Step 4: Spread out the fringe so it looks like the picture below.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

 French toast is a breakfast classic and I’m making it in a whole new way.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
Cinnamon Raisin Bread 
Splash of milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

1. Place milk, eggs and vanilla in a shallow dish; whisk to blend all ingredients together.
2. Place a pan on the stove and preheat. 
3. Once warm, add butter and let cook until it’s melted.
4. Place 2 slices of bread into milk mixture make sure it’s covered, and immediately flip. 
5. Put the soaked bread into the pan and cook until golden brown, flip and repeat. 
6. Enjoy.

Whipped Coconut Body Créme

Is winter weather wrecking havoc on your skin? You're not alone. Recently, I was at a high-end beauty boutique in search of a lotion that would give my skin the TLC it needed, and found a line of “Whipped Coconut” body crèmes that smelled amazing. They were, however, very expensive ($60+). So when I got home I had a go at making my own, and the result was fabulous. P.S. Carrie Underwood has stated before that she uses coconut oil as lotion.

Whipped Coconut Body Créme
¾ cups coconut oil (raw or unrefined virgin coconut oil)
2 tablespoons shea butter
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
1 teaspoon sweet almond oil (optional)
2 teaspoons fragrance of your choice (I used buttercream cupcake)
Sprinkles (optional)

1. Place all ingredients, except the fragrance and sprinkles in your mixer bowl and blend on high for 3-5 minutes. 
2.  Place the bowl in your fridge for about 1 hour. 
3. Take it out, smash up the hardened oils until they’re tiny pieces. Add in the fragrance and blend again for 4-6 minutes on high.
4. Stop the blender every minute and scrape the sides. 
5. Spoon into your jars and top with sprinkles (optional). 

Notes: If it’s warm out store in the refrigerator or keep in a cool dark place. 

Three Dog Bakery: Puppy Kisses

I never thought I would be the person that would go to the mall the weekend before Christmas and wait in line at Three Dog Bakery to get Jack some Christmas goodies, but I was that person and I wasn’t the only one. Three Dog takes holidays and seasons to the next level with their super cute treats for your furry friend, and Valentine’s Day is no exception, especially with there drool worthy Puppy Kisses To Go.

Puppy Kisses To Go are strawberry and carob flavored tiny soft-baked wafer cookies and Jack is completely addicted.

{Jack practicing patience with his favorite treats}
In 1989, three dogs, two guys and one 59 cent biscuit cutter joined forced to create Three Dog Bakery-the world’s original bakery for dogs, and is now one of the nation’s leading producers of the best all-natural foods and treats for dogs.  

Shop online
or visit your local Three Dog Bakery for other seasonal treats they don’t sell online
(I visit the Three Dog Bakery at Partridge Creek in metro Detroit). 

Apple Honey Drumsticks

Growing up, I only wanted the drumsticks whenever my parents brought fried chicken home. When I went off to college, bags of frozen boneless skinless chicken breast made their way into my freezer. They’re easy and the cooking possibilities are endless. This weekend I was at the grocery store and they had drumsticks on sale and I just couldn’t pass them up. I went with a “grown up” version of my childhood favorite and the results were amazing.

Apple Honey Drumsticks
12 skin-on drumsticks
2 cups apple juice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
zest of 1 lemon
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Put drumsticks on the rack and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, flip and continue baking until golden and crisp (about 30 more minutes).
5. While drumsticks are cooking make the sauce.
6. Over medium-high heat Bring the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon zest, dash of red pepper flakes and a dash of salt to a high simmer in a large skillet.
7.Cook until the sauce becomes syrupy (coats the back of a spoon), about 25 minutes and set aside until chicken is done.
8. When chicken is done transfer to a large bowl.
9. Stir the sesame seeds into the sauce and warm over medium heat, if needed.
10. Add the sauce and butter to the chicken and toss to coat.
11. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with any remaining sauce.

Winter Staples

 {Ombré Accessories}

The Polar Vortex seems to have taken a toll on many of us. I have heard a lot of talk that being warm and fashionable at the same time just isn’t possible, the truth is… it is possible! From classic crochets to UGGs and more, here are a few good staples you need in order to create a fashionable winter look: 
{UGGs paired with CovFurs}
CovFurs one of my favorite winter staples. They come in in a variety of animal faux furs and look fabulous paired with a long puffy coat, leggings, over-sized sweater with tights and more.
 {Headbands and Hats}
Hats are a great way to accessorize an outfit while headbands will keep you looking chic when the snow is coming down. Classics include: slouchy beanies and turban headbands.
Forget the gloves! Mittens give you a chic winter look.

Blue jeans and a plaid blouse are a predictable winter choice, but adding a chunky cowl will put a new spin on a winter classic.  Jocelyn Designs on Etsy offers my favorite chunky cowl pattern 'The Portland'.

 {Boot Cuffs}
Boot cuffs take your outfit to the next level as the add a pop of color, class and more when they pop out over the top of your boots. 
Simple is best sometimes  - a white sweater, crocheted over-sized cowl and a crocheted turban headband offer a chic everyday look.  Get my favorite patterns from Jocelyn Designs on Etsy.

Of course boots are a winter staple that everyone knows about but waterproof ballet flats from OKA-b are my absolute favorite. Pair them with legwarmers and you have the perfect look for a night out.

How to: Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter

With much of the United States experiencing record-setting cold temperatures (we’re dealing with -40 wind chill) I thought I would share some tips for protecting your dog from snow, ice and wind.
1. Buy your dog a jacket. Winter coats are especially important for puppies, small breeds, shorthaired and senior dogs. Look for one with a wide strap that keeps their vulnerable belly warm. Wrap a blanket around larger dogs.
2. Musher’s Secret protects paws. This is a great product for all seasons, but especially winter it stops the build up of snow and ice balls on your dog’s paws. A sled dog musher recommended this to me for Jack and I swear by it.

3. Use a harness and not a collar. Using a secure front-clip harness wil prevent pulling and injuring the dog in the cold.

4. Going outside, put your dog on a leash. If going for a walk use a jogger’s leash, which stays hooked to you if you fall or lose your grip your pet stays safe with you and doesn’t run. The ASPCA warns that dogs’ sense of smell is diminished by snow and ice and says that more dogs are lost in winter than any other season.
5. Wipe your feet. De-icers, salt and sand all contain irritants that can harm dog’s skin or make them ill if they lick it off.
6. Don’t forget to keep warm. Always make sure you dry your dog off and remove any ice ball build up he may have. I have a heating blanket I always wrap Jack in when we come in from outside to instantly warm him up.

7. Anti-Freeze kills: Avoid leaving your dog in a garage and watch for puddles of accumulated anti-freeze. Dogs are attracted to the sweet smell, but it’s highly toxic.

8. Indoor Exercise: agility course, running up and down steps, game of tug, game of fetch or food puzzles are great alternatives to walks outside.

9. Signs your dog is cold. Pulling up feet one at a time while outside is a sign their footpads are freezing.