Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Sweet treats are for the pups too! This recipe is coming to you just in time to spoil your pup this Valentine’s Day… or even National Dog Biscuit Day on February 23rd! My fellow dog lover and bestie, D first introduced these treats to us, since she made them for her pup and Moz’s BFF, Maybel. They’re even gluten free and have dog friendly favorite’s like pumpkin and peanut butter!  So since D and Maybel moved to the coast, Moz has been in need for some homemade, yummy treats — and what better time to spoil her than for Valentine’s Day?
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Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
– 3 cups of brown rice flour
15oz can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
– 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs

This recipe is pretty easy, the only thing that will take some time is mixing and then flattening out your dough – I also linked the pure pumpkin and brown rice flour above! It is quite messy to work with, so make sure to have extra brown rice flour on hand and readily available for multiple applications.

Pro-tip: I refrigerated the second half of the batch over night and prepped and cooked the next day and this was a bit easier to work with.
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Step-by-Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your un-greased cookie sheets ready!

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a spoon and then just got my hands in there to mix everything together well. Optional: cover and refrigerate over night, for easier handling

3. After everything is mixed, divide the dough in half. Put brown rice flour down on your counter and heavily over your rolling pin. Then roll out half of the dough so it’s a half-inch thick. Cut with cutout shape of your choice, place an inch apart on cookie sheet.

4. Since this is a harder dough to work with, I did just roll a few balls together and pressed them down on the the sheet, while also making some cute dog bone and heart shaped treats for Moz!

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes was enough for me to see the edges turning a golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for 30-minutes.

6. Refrigerate or freeze baked cookies for longer storage, otherwise store in a room temperature treat jar for up to a week. When serving to your pup, feel free to add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for an extra special treat!
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My cookies didn’t come out looking the prettiest, but they soften a bit over time after they set and cook, Moz is definitely a little cookie obsessed as I was making these!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and is a great one to keep on hand, especially since it’s a five ingredient recipe, and your pup will love them (plus you can even try a bit yourself – they aren’t terrible!). These are definitely Moz approved ✅🐶!

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Latest Obsessions 02.20

It’s Valentine week! And I have been obsessing over all things Valentine’s, can’t you tell?! From home decor, homemade valentines, picking out a meaningful gift and even getting wardrobe ready for the day of hearts — it’s been X’s and O’s, conversation hearts, everything pink and lot’s of love over here at the Bee residence, so let’s get to it!

Festive Valentine Sweaters. I couldn’t resist getting a festive oversized heart sweater for this Valentine’s Day!  I’ve had my eye on this sweater for some time now, but thought I would get it in grey or a lighter pink — but I went for the white with a bright red heart and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately these are selling out quick on Amazon, but I found a few other fun Valentine-heart inspired sweaters that you can still snatch up before the holiday!
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ValentineSweaters
Shop the pieces: Red Heart Sweater from Loft ($59.50), Pink/White Amazon Heart Sweater ($26.99) + Prime Friendly option, Blue Hearts & Stars Sweater from J. Crew ($115), Sweater with Heart Elbows ($22), Dog is My Valentine Tee from Target ($14.99)

DIY Valentine Decor. From my floral letter X’s and O’s door hanger craft to my hand painted table runner, the Valentine crafts have been sweet and festive for a personalized touch around the house! I shared how I made this table runner for under $20! It was so easy, super affordable and makes such a sweet statement across the dining room table. If you want to see the full DIY breakdown, check out my blog post here. If you’re hoping to make some custom, cute and thoughtful Valentine’s — I made these cute wooden love letter’s that are festive and cute and perfect for everyone!
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Shop the pieces: Plain table runner from Amazon, Heart tassel garland from Target 

Galentine’s Brunch. I’m slowly regretting not actually hosting a Galentine’s brunch this year and will definitely have it on my to-do next year! What sounds better than a table of all your favorite girls, delicious brunch and mimosas? Not a whole lot, especially in the middle of February! In case you’re trying to finalize your Galentine brunch deets, check out my Galentine’s Brunch Planning guide, here!

Although I’ve been all about Valentine’s Day, I must admit I haven’t thought as much about a gift for my hubby, B — but the last few years, we’ve taken the less extravagant route and will probably spend our time staying in, cooking a tasty meal, playing some games and exchanging thoughtful notes/cards to each other. If you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, my Valentine Gift guide features five FREE ideas that will still show your Valentine how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Gift Guide: 5 Free Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s Day is a week away! So if you’re scrambling to figure something out — have no fear, bee life is here! Because trust me, it’s easy to forget about getting a Valentine gift, grabbing a card at the last minute and the last bouquet of flowers at the grocery store (p.s. I always love flowers).  In all the Valentine hype, I think we also forget that we don’t have to spend a ton of money to show someone we love them! My Valentine gift guide is not like the others… because these gifts will cost you $0 (or very minimum amount) and will still create a special memory and show your Valentine all the love!
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photo: Michelle M. Loufman Photography

Make a Spotify Playlist. This can be fun for you, while being super special for your boo (bonus: you can update it throughout the year)! I made a playlist for B, called #emnblovetracks (off of all of our hashtags) the playlist is stacked with songs we listened too when we first started dating, songs we love together, and other songs that just make me think of him, it’s the perfect mix to our love story. So once you spend some time creating your playlist, all you have to do is share the link with your mix-tape soul mate and a sweet little note!

Fourteen Days of Memories. It’s easy to just get something to check off the Valentine check list — so why not focus and show love before and beyond the holiday. Pick fourteen days to just share love. Whether it’s a daily text with a memory or compliment, a throwback photo, a handwritten note on a post-it note, or maybe it’s in the form of cooking dinner or an extra long hug.  Two years ago I did 28-straight days of little things for B and it was fun (& hard!) to think of different ways to tell B how much I love him — sometimes they were just lists of memories, things I love about him, or a cute little card that tied back to us.

Volunteer Together. Volunteering is the perfect way to share an experience together while sharing love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Consider donating/sorting books for kids, getting involved at a local animal shelter (we walk dogs at ours!), collecting canned goods or even just going through your clothes or old things and pulling together a bag or two of items to donate! This gives you an opportunity to find a new passion, spend time together and give back.
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Make a Paper Card. Literally just take a piece of printer paper, fold it into fours, grab some markers and doodle it up, with all words, phrases, memories, or hearts and a cute little love sentiment. Inside spill your heart out, tape a picture and share your love to your special person.  The last card I made for B, I wrote in black market writing my favorite things he is to me… “running buddy, the office binge watching, coffee drinker…”

Watch a Classic Movie. One of my favorite romantic comedies is When Harry Met Sally and you can watch it for ‘free’ on Hulu! The music is dreamy, the characters are funny and the story makes your heart ache. BONUS: The Notebook is also available on Netflix *grins* — so grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a movie together.

We should always share and show love to our special people, and it doesn’t need to break the bank or be an extravagant gift every year — sometimes it’s good to just keep it simple and to the point 😍. xoxo

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Galentine’s Brunch Planning Guide

With Galentine’s falling on a weekend, it is the perfect excuse to host a brunch! And for me, there is nothing more that I love than a good brunch — not to mention, I think it’s one of the easier meals to host, while still being able to make an impressive spread that is tasty for everyone. But don’t worry, I have you covered from the menu, recipes, table setting, Valentine’s and decor, too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(2)When it comes to brunch food, there are a ton of great recipes that are overnight prep so all you have to do the morning of, is stick them in the oven and wait for your guests to arrive! Not to mention both casseroles are easy to prep, don’t require a done of ingredients and cover both bases for those friends who are sticking to a diet or maybe love indulging in a little something sweet! The overnight egg casserole is easy to switch out to be meat free if you’re accounting for any dietary needs. Fresh fruit with brunch is always a must, I like to go with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries – something colorful and health conscious to take away some of the guilt!

Galentine’s Brunch Menu:
– Overnight Casseroles: Breakfast Egg Casserole + French Toast Casserole
– Fresh Fruit
– Donut holes or Cinnamon rolls
Bloody Mary Bar
– Mimosas

Lastly the beverages for your Galentine’s Brunch are just as important as the food! Knowing your gal-pals preferences always helps streamline this, so you can have a mix of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas or can stick to one. This post on how to create your own Bloody Mary bar can help you make a fun statement and if you’re planning for mimosas, be sure to grab a few extra juices besides the standard, like cranberry or pineapple plus your fresh fruit can garnish these too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(3)Set the Table & Decor. Since it’s your gal pals, keeping the table setting and decor simple, yet fun and festive is key and will also let you enjoy yourself too! Making your own table runner and place settings can help save some money with taking little time and effort on the crafting side, and still resulting in a big impact. This hand painted X’s and O’s table runner, I shared last week is just too stinkin’ cute and is pretty in pink for Galentine’s Day!

Also, don’t let your gals go home empty handed without a little keepsake; these wooden love letter Valentine’s can be customized with everyone’s names or fun little notes like, “U R CUTE” or “BFF4L” or “Ride or Die.” Adding a little note on the back is another way to send a little extra love their way! These will help finish off your table decor and filling these seats, while also bringing a big smile to your pals faces. And snag the colorful cute heart tassel garland from Target for only $6 to add to your table decor or hang in an entry way! Galentines_beelifeblog(1)Finishing Touches. Getting festive red or pink paper straws can be a fun touch for those Bloody Mary’s or the mimosas. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch if you wanted to switch out your table centerpiece.  Don’t forget to set the mood for your brunch with some music, check out my Heart Ache playlist or my emnblovetracks playlist for a mix of all those feelings of love. Heart Ache has a lot of good throw backs, especially some good ones to sing with your gals.

Happy Galentine Brunching!

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Valentine’s Day – 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

The somewhat controversial, holiday that has been called many things – a Hallmark holiday, only for people who have a sig-o, a day to buy overpriced flowers,  yada yada.  But, I love, love!
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This year I decided to show a little extra love to B each and every day of February instead of just the holiday. It’s been fun planning out each day with a new surprise, I wanted to do it for 28-straight days because it’s far too easy for us all to just focus on spoiling our loved ones on this one, single, day — thinking we are in the clear until the next anniversary or holiday.   Some days have been more extravagant than others, and some are simply a text with a memory or a handwritten love note (my fave!)

So regardless of your feelings on the day, I want to send a little piece of my love and well wishes especially to those reading right now. And I hope that you can share a little bit of extra love today, whether it’s smiling at a stranger, buying someone’s coffee, taking out the trash for your boo, giving a compliment to a coworker or calling someone you haven’t seen in awhile.

Don’t forget to share love, today but most importantly… always.

Photography by: Timothy Logan Photography

DIY – Homemade Valentine’s

It’s February! That mean’s a month all about L-O-V-E! And I have a really affordable DIY to share with you that is easy to make, beautiful, and completely personalized Valentines for all your favorite people.
DIY - Valentines - the bee lifeWhat You’ll Need:
– Craft/Scrapbook paper; think patterns, pinks, reds and hearts!
– Scissors, glue stick, hole-punch
– Markers
– Ribbon
– Stickers; stick to metallics, hearts and letters! (optional)
– Photos (optional)

Step 1: Gather all your goodies to create your Valentine’s; once you’ve got all your goodies and figured out who you want to make a card for – it’s time to start making!

Step 2: Pick out your papers, and determine your shape – obviously a heart is a good go-to, if you’re afraid to freehand the cut find a template online or trace on paper before. You’ll want to cut two of your papers so you can have a front and back – these can be the same or mix and match! It’s OK if it’s not perfect, because it’s handmade!! Once you’ve got your shape cut, glue the front and back together.  An optional add; is to hole punch around the perimeter of the heart and then weave ribbon in and out of the holes.

Step 3: Start to Personalize! Add your pictures; stickers and write a sweet note to your honey or bestie… and wah-la! You’ve got a personal, one of a kind Valentine for that special someone.
DIY - Valentines - the bee life (2)Since I am an avid scrapbooker, I had a lot of these supplies in-house stocked away. But scrapbook paper is usually on sale for 7 for $1; ribbon is around $3.99 a roll, stickers can add up if you buy a bunch; but finding some that can be used as accents won’t break the bank.  Not to mention you can always find a great coupon to help. If you stock up now, you’ll have a mini stockpile ready for next year, woo!

Happy Crafting!

Happy Vday!

valentines-2017-the-bee-lifeI wanted to share some extra love today in honor of Valentine’s Day! I have always had a love/hate with this holiday, it always seemed to vary on if I was hating men that year or was head-over heels with someone. Now, that I’ve had a steady valentine for 6-years, I’ve come to still love it but not feel overly sentimental about it. There are so many other days and ways that I would rather focus and share my love with my forever valentine (in addition to day). Yes, it’s a commercialized holiday, but it’s also a day we don’t need to stress about, what we do need to do is share some extra love to those people around us, strangers too, share it with the people who might need it more than you!  Whether you’re in a relationship, just getting over a rough breakup, or going steady with your forever valentine – there is never too much love to be shared or go around.

XOXO

 

Six Dates.

It’s that time of the year again, and I’m back to share some unique ideas to switch up your normal Valentine’s Day routine – whether your single or dating!
six-dates-valentines-the-bee-lifeOne: Take a cooking class! This seems to be a popular date idea as of late, but having done this it would definitely be a bit more fun with a larger group of friends!  Most places also allow you to BYOW; so be sure to plan ahead and bring something that pairs well with your dinner.  B and I took a sushi making class, which was really great and unique – because it’s something that we probably would’ve never tried on our own!

Two: Paint and sip wine classes are another fun way to relax, be creative and try something new. Plus you can make this a group activity with a bunch of girlfriends or couples. If you don’t want to keep the painting, it could be a great gift for your mom or another friend! It’s a great way to get out and socialize especially with these colder winter days.

Three: Dinner at home with friends, potluck style. Help decide on a menu as a group and then pick a dish to bring. Pair it with some games, good wine/beer and company and you’ve got a fun night that is still different and unique but takes the pressure off of the big day!

Four: Take a fitness class together! Sign-up for a spin class or find a boot camp and start the morning off strong.  This is another way that you can work with a friend/partner to get you motivated to conquer your new year resolutions together.  Not to mention you won’t feel as guilty enjoying chocolate covered strawberries and champagne later in the night!

Five: Volunteering and giving back is the perfect way to share and give love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Some different ideas to look into around your area are; donating/sorting books for children, volunteering at a local animal shelter, collecting can-goods or serving hot meals at a shelter, visiting the sick/elderly, or donating clothes!

Six: Make something! Whether this be big or small, you could make Valentine’s cards for family/friends, paint wooden picture frames for the house or find your latest Pinterest Hack to make! Looking for some ideas? Check out my pinterest board: Bee Creative.

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, it might be harder to some of these specifically on the day, so get a jump start this weekend or the following! And last but not least, don’t forget to give a card to your honey, bestie, parents and friends!

XO

Five Dates

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and although I’m not the biggest fan of this day (even though this will be #5 with B) – I love, love. So in honor of our 5th, here are some cute ways to spice it up, show some more love and rekindle those “just started dating” sparks.

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One.
Write a love letter. Like a really good, spilling your heart out, a page straight from a Nicolas Sparks novel, aching of the soul… down right awesome, love letter. Find inspiring poems or quotes from his/her favorite book and gush a little. A piece of paper and pen is all you need for this one.

Two.
Make Out. Like it’s the first time you did.

Three.
Go for a walk, hand in hand. I know February isn’t always the warmest, unless you’re on the west coast or a southern bell. But bundle up, go to a park, and walk hand in hand, even if it’s for 20-minutes – oh and put those phones away! Just the two of you and Mother Nature.

Four.
Play some games. Keep the electronics off, throw on some tunes and play a board game or two. Scrabble, monopoly, uno, or a little bit of war?! Have a little friendly competition over wine and candlelight.

Five.
Skip dinner. Instead of a big fancy <expensive> dinner, try breakfast or brunch instead! Whether it’s making it at home or heading to your favorite diner, heart shaped pancakes and mimosas? What could be sweeter than that?

What I love about these ideas is they really get down to the core of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about, an extra day in the year, to spend dedicated time with the person we love. XO.