peanut butter & banana dog treats

After my dog, Marley’s, last vet visit I was informed that he’s gained about 7 pounds since his adoption a year ago. Poor guy! So the vet put him on a diet and since then my entire household has been put on a more portioned and realistic food lifestyle, including the binge eating cats. Marley is a pit bull beagle mix…I think. He might be a bulldog beagle mix, but I’m not sure and it doesn’t much matter. The fact of the matter is, he’s now 6 years old and needs a little less weight on his bones so that he can get around until he’s 11 or 12!! I like dirty old men, so I need him around for ages.1

With that being said, I searched high and low for some great alternatives for treats for my husky pup (we don’t fat shame in this house!!). I went straight to Pinterest <—click there for my page- and searched for something that would include more healthy fruits and veggies to include in my dude’s diet. I was surprised with some of the complicated recipes I found and then astonished by the really easy ones that seemed too easy to be good, but then again, he eats cat poop, how good do they have to be? I found the most wonderful recipe for peanut butter banana flax seed dog biscuits from Lola The Pitty and Marley is a HUGE fan. I didn’t try them, but I think he might like them better than cat shit!
Look how simple these ingredients are! I was lucky enough to have all of these on hand any way, but really they’re easy peasy. Disregard my awesome photo set up or vinegar, progesterone cream, and butter…life is messy and so am I.

Lola The Pitty used dog bone shaped cookie cutters, but I didn’t have one and these are for his healthy heart so it worked out. How freaking cute are these? I mean, they smell so yummy and Marley LOVES peanut butter. We have so much in common, he and I. PB & love of cuddling is on my long list5.

OKAY, so here we go with the making of these scrumptious dog biscuits.
First off, gather your ingredients. I find this to be important no matter if you’re cooking for a dog or human.
What you’ll need:
Time…again, that pesky time necessity. Super lame, but needed to complete.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 banana, mashed – I might have used a little more than half
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp ground flax seed – I’m a slacker and didn’t grind them
1/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened) <—–because your pup is already the sweetest little sweety on the block

Oh and a rolling pin and cookie cutter of your choice. Originally I was going to pick a star or pumpkin (I have mini cutters for every holiday from pampered chef) and a proper working space. My tiny kitchen is always an ordeal to cook in, but I love it, so whatevs. Don’t forget to see the original recipe at Lola The Pitty, I just can’t give them enough praise.

Onward…
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F3
2. Combine all of your ingredients into a medium or large mixing bowl
3. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together
4. Roll out that goodness on a floured surface for about 1/4 inch of dough. Use your cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. I used every last bit of the dough to make a bunch of biscuits. I got more than Lola’s 24 because my cutter was smaller-okay with me-grumbled over by Marley the starving dog
5. Put your cut out pieces on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. I have an apartment sized oven in my house, so sometimes things don’t take quite as long as the recipe calls for.

Marley’s treats are in a airtight container in the fridge.6 5 2

laundry soap with dr. bronner’s sal suds

WHAT YOU NEED:
Time…we all have a million freaking hours of that, right? Seriously though, it’s minimal time-you’ll spend more finding the products than actually making the soap
1 or 2 strong stirin’ arms!
2A 2 gallon bucket or larger (I used a recycled bucket from work)
Funnel
A measuring cup or two
Liquid Castile soap
Essential oils of your choice
Borax *(you can substitute baking soda for borax)
Super Washing Soda
2 One gallon containers

Time: Less than 10 minutes

Recipe:
3/4 cup  Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap (this time I used Sal Suds-pine- because I wanted a kick ass cleaner, however I’ve used their lavender & tea tree soap and it worked great. I did find myself adding more super washing soda for tougher washes, so I added more for this recipe)
3/4 c super washing soda
30 drops of essential oil
2 gallons of water

How much do you use? 1/3 cup —> that’s it! Don’t forget to stir or shake before using.

LET’S START!
I start by pouring my dry ingredients in my bucket while a little more than half a gallon of water boils on the stove. I found in previous times I made this recipe that I needed to have hot enough water to disolve my dry ingredients, otherwise it became a bicep workout that I didn’t sign up for. If you choose to use an electric mixer you probably wouldn’t need to get your water temperature above room temperature…and also, you’re a cheater. Just kidding-more power to ya! Continuously stir as you add water. Next, add your Castile soap & stir until your mixture isn’t producing suds any more. Dr. Bronner’s isn’t a super sudsy soap, but you want to make sure it’s distributed evening throughout your 2 gallons of water. Lastly, pour into your containers. BOOM!! You have laundry soap, homemade, BY YOU!!!

1 These are your basic ingredients, aside from aqua (water), how freaking easy?!

3

I don’t care how old you are, bubbles are still the neatest, prettiest thing!

7 collage

Look at all the great NATURAL, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly things are that you’ll be washing your clothes in! That gets me excited, in my pants….too much, well get used to it, I like this kind of stuff a lot!

Okay, let’s talk MONEY!!
I bought all my products about 2 years ago, which was my first laundry soap making extravaganza!!  Here’s the approximate break down. Please keep in mind that I’m a single gal making soap for ONE!! I do work at a restaurant, so my clothes can get quite gnarly, especially the bottoms on my pants and BBQ stains on my shirts. I’d like to add that I’ve saved a shit ton of money on laundry soap. I used to use Tide because my skin is sensitive, but I’ll never go back!

Super washing soda $3.29
Borax $7.99 or baking soda $1.49 Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap (32 oz bottle) $16.99-$20
Funnel $1.99 (at dollar store yo!)
2 1 gallon containers $4.99 (the $1 store…again, because they rock)
APPROXIMATE TOTAL: $36.55

I remember spending about $35 on my initial investment, but I’m STILL using products that I bought 2 years ago. I’ve since used the tea tree and lavender soap for my hair, cleaning, dishes, & another batch of laundry soap). So that means up until I purchased Sal Suds -off Amazon- for $11. 92 that in 2 years I’ve spent less than $40 on laundry soap! I’m high fiving the crap out of myself over here and once you start making yours and seeing savings you’ll do a little victory boogie yourself!

Any questions or do you think I left a step out? Comment below or contact me at letsmovetothecountry.iowa@gmail.com

Original recipe credit to My Merry Messy Life <—- click there for the original recipe

rub-a-dub-dub

On this blustery winter day, I decided to do a couple of things to avoid going stir crazy.
1. Go get gas
2. Go to Trader Joe’s
3. Scrub my bathtub

It’s 7° today and I’m not a fan of the agenda for the day, but it’s a day off and those must be used wisely or regret sets in. While getting gas I heard every other person at the pumps express their discontent with the weather as well, but after filling my car for less than $19, I forgot how cold it was until the bitter wind knocked the wind out of me. My trip to the grocery store was fairly simple and I love the staff at Trader Joe’s, which helps a lot. I bought the million dollars in groceries I needed for the 30 day food challenge I’m doing through Arbonne, then came home. The carrying in of the groceries was not horrible and without the brutal wind it was almost tolerable to stand outside and enjoy the beautiful snow-ALMOST!

This brings me to the scrubbing of the bathtub, which has needed done for a couple weeks now. I’m in the process of eliminating all toxic cleaners from my home, so I chose to use a baking soda and vinegar paste to scrub the tile and grout. It’s really astounding how great basic things around your home will clean the most revolting of messes. So I made the paste, it was trial and error, but start with a little vinegar mixed in with the baking soda first and mix. They react to each other, bubbling and looking like it might overflow with cleaning awesomness. Don’t forget to have a scrubber or rough sponge to help you get out the real tough stuff. Don’t forget to rinse well and then enjoy your hard work!

After the tile, I filled the tub with hot water and some borax to get the bathtub clean too. I just let it soak for a couple minutes, scrubbed hard, then drained the tub and rinsed out the remainder of the residue.

HAPPY CLEANING!!

1

let us begin

The day has finally arrived, January 1st, 2015! I’ve spent the first day of the new year thus far as if it were any other day; laundry, errands, pet store, lunch, watching Dr. Phil. I’d like to say that today brought my world new life, but let’s face the facts, I’ve worked 30 plus hours in the past 3 days, have photos to edit, animals to take care of, and a bruised tailbone, so I feel like I treated 2015 by even getting out of bed. With that being said, I have a lot of ambition and ideas for the upcoming year. I know it will be sprinkled with rotten days & beautiful ones, sickness & bouts of energy that cannot be contained, so why wouldn’t the first day of 2015 be semi-bland. I managed to make it to the store to buy products for homemade laundry soap, cleaner, and get the pup a new chew toy and the cats a new litter box. Today is not anything special, but I got out of bed, I accomplished some things, and I let this new year know that things are happening-so it’d better get ready to work!

1