Tuesday
Jun102014

Wonka's Birthday Biscuits

We're back from vacation, and our trip was incredible! I definitely promise to give you guys a lovely recap as soon as I get a chance to sort through all my thoughts and photos.

One of my favorite parts of our cruise experience was making wonderful friends from all over the world. A very popular topic of discussion was how much we all missed our puppies back at home. Everyone was obsessed and going insane over their little ones, and we could not get enough of swapping photos, videos, and anecdotes with each other.

Despite all the fun we were having, you can probably imagine how happy I was to get home to Wonka. A very special THANK YOU goes to our friends and family, who teamed up and took such great care of him while we were away! We arrived home just in time for Wonka's 5th birthday, so I decided to bake him some biscuit treats to celebrate!

I've researched many recipes for dog biscuits and have found that many call for ingredients and additives that may not be the healthiest for our pups. Since we keep Wonka on a pretty strict diet, I adapted a few of the healthier formulas and came up with this simple recipe.

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Biscuits

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup smooth reduced salt peanut butter
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 banana, diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, and flaxseed meal.

Next, add in your banana, peanut butter, chicken broth, honey, and brown sugar (feel free to omit the sugar if you'd like, but a tiny amount won't do any harm to your pup).

Stir this mixture together until it is evenly combined, and fold into a ball of dough.

On a lightly floured surface, start kneading out the dough until it is soft, then roll or pat out until the dough is spread 1/3" thick all around. With a floured cutter, cut out your biscuits and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for approximately 10-15 min until golden brown, then let cool to room temp before sharing with your furball. This recipe produces approximately 70 small biscuits. These treats will stay fresh for about a week in an airtight container.



Wonka gobbled his birthday biscuits right up! Honestly, he'd eat anything you give him, but I'd like to think that they were a big hit :)

Wednesday
May282014

Ready for Departure

Chris and I are packing our bags and fleeing town this evening! We will be flying off to Venice and spending two days there prior to setting sail for a week around the Greek Isles. This will be my first time on a cruise, and I am beyond excited! Work and life have been pretty much non-stop crazy lately, and I am so thankful for this chance to get away for a little while and catch my breath. I have a feeling this is going to be a very special trip.

In the midst of planning and packing, I decided to make some holders for our passports! I found a great tutorial on Poppytalk, and took things just a step further by stamping some special words on the front. The covers were really fun and a snap to make, so I thought I'd leave you guys with this simple little project.


This was my first experiment with leatherworking, and I learned quite a lot. I visited a bunch of leather stores around the Fashion District, and they all smelled amazing! It was quite an experience to see and feel the difference between all the various animal skins.


Unlike fabric, which is usually sold by the yard, leather is generally priced by piece. Since my project required very little leather, I chose a lovely gray goatskin that would work well with other future projects. Maybe we can make some boots for Wonka? :)


I printed and cut the pattern for my cover (You can find the template that I used here). After examining and selecting a section that laid nice and flat, I then carefully traced an outline of the pattern onto the skin. A scratch awl would've been ideal for this job, but an embossing needle worked out just fine.


After tracing out the pattern, I went ahead and started puncturing holes along the dotted border of the template. It was important to be as precise as possible because leather is pretty unforgiving - once you poke a hole, it's there to stay. It helps to have a craft cutting board or even a stack of newspapers underneath as you work. This allows you to pierce deeper into the leather without damaging your work surface.


This is the part where I sliced my finger open, bled over all my work, and had to start over. PLEASE be careful as you cut!! Different sections of a pelt can vary in thickness and softness, so cut slowly and keep your hands steady so you don't end up wearing a Mickey Mouse midi ring. A ruler is also helpful for guiding your lines and creating a clean cut.


Time to sew! I used a heavy-duty poly thread that I had laying around, but waxed linen thread would give these stitches a nice, bold look. This template calls for
aproximately 45" of thread for each side of the cover, and 20" for the card divider line.


Saddle stitching is a common technique used in leatherworking, and I picked it up pretty quickly from this very short and straightforward video tutorial. The key to neat saddle stitching is to keep pulling both ends taught, so that the lengths are equal on both sides, in order to set each stich before moving on to the next hole. I used this technique to stitch both sides of the cover, then sewed in the card holder divider.


Now the cover is complete, and it's time to find a new adventure :) See you guys later!

Thursday
Apr242014

High Five

With our five-year wedding anniversary peeking around the corner, I thought it would be fun to take a quick stroll down memory lane today!

Our engagement video (created by my lovely and tremendously talented sister-in-law, Nina) is a gift that I love revisiting time and again. Not only does it capture the joy and hope surrounding the anticipation of our marriage, it is also a testimony of how far we have all come in these past few years.

Chris and I are extremely blessed to have friends and family who constantly encourage us to grow happier, healthier, and closer together than ever before. We are so thankful for you guys, and we are looking forward to sharing many more wonderful memories with you.