It’s a Pawty – A Dog’s Birthday Party

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What happens when you love your dogs and you love entertaining?  Chances are, you’ve thought about having a dog birthday party, right?  This year, Emmie turned 2 and now that she has her very own fenced in backyard, a party was a must!  Inspired by Pinterest (the easiest place for inspirations!), Emmie’s “all things dog” theme was created! Since the idea was to keep the dogs outside, the party began at 9AM <— yes, a party starting at 9AM!

Dog-birthday-party-theme-cake-bone-ideasDog Bone Shaped Cake:

Who knew a little geometry would come in handy while baking a cake!!  One of my favorite types of cake (from a box) is funfetti. Hands down. Something about the vanilla cake and sprinkles combo makes a great taste and reminds me of when I was a kid. I didn’t go fancy on this one at all. Simple cake mix and frosting, follow the instructions and bake. Once the 1 rectangular cake pan and the 3 circle cake pans were done, the fun began to create this dog bone shaped cake. You will cut out 1/4 of each of the circles so you can use the 3 1/4 pieces to make the 4th part of the bone. 🙂 A birthday wasn’t complete without us singing, yes singing, to Emmie and then indulging in a cake (and mimosas!).

Dog-birthday-party-mimosas-parfait-themeBest in Show Bubbly:

A make-your-own-mimosas bar. Need I say more?! I usually buy Andre Brut for my mimosa champagne but I recently learned about freixenet – a few dollars more, but so worth it. Maybe not for the masses when you can buy Andre, but definitely a must for a small gathering.

Pupcakes Dog-birthday-party-pupcakes-peanut-butter-apples

These peanut butter apple cupcakes were made specifically with dogs in mind.  They were a huge it hit!  You can find the recipe for pupcakes here.  The frosting is made of  greek yogurt and peanut butter and topped with homemade dog biscuits (recipe). These were a HUGE hit!

Doggie Bag: treats-to-go

Who doesn’t love going to a party and taking something home?  Well when you go to my dog’s party, you will end up taking home a doggie bag of treats for your fur baby! These are the same treats that I topped the pupcakes with and the recipe is here.  Made of oatmeal, carrots, and cheese, these things are healthy and the dogs ate them up!

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Snacks

I made “fetch sticks” out of overnight French toast and strawberries on a kebab stick.  Topped with maple syrup and powdered sugar, these were so yummy.  I made pigs dogs-in-a-blanket from crescent rolls and mini sausage links.  I had extra rolls so I filled these with nutella and they were actually pretty good!  To make the snack spread somewhat healthy, a parfait bar was a must!

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Emmie’s party was such a great success but the afternoon was even better!  As soon as I was done cleaning everything up outside, the thunderstorms came down hard (talk about perfect timing!)!  The dogs slept for hours and I even fit a little nap in the day. 🙂

Happy 2nd birthday, Emmie!

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Homemade Dog Biscuits and Pupcakes for a Paw-ty!

emmie-puppy-dog-birthdayMy sweet rescue pup, Emmie, is turning 2 this week! I adopted her in October 2013 and she is the first ever full-time responsibility I’ve had all of my own. (Well that’s not to say I didn’t have HUGE amounts of help from my dad, friends and doggy daycare.) The past nearly 2 years with Emmie has flown by… Even if those puppy stage nights of going to the bathroom and wanting to play were the longest nights of.my.life. 

In honor of Emmie’s second birthday, I’m throwing her a birthday party with some of her best friends (and mine) next weekend. <— YES, I am that person. 🙂 I’ve gathered up a few great recipes and made homemade dog biscuits and pupcakes for her and her friends. These things store great in the freezer so I made them ahead off time.

These super easy heathy dog biscuits are sure to please the pups. The “thanks for coming” “doggie bags” for Emmie’s friends will be packed with these yummy snacks!

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Easy Dog Treats – Biscuits

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups oats (ground)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded and chopped carrots

Mix everything together and knead until combined. I had to add extra flour to keep this dough doughy but not too sticky and I put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before rolling and cutting. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and use dog bone shaped cookie cutter to make the dog treats. I remember having the hardest time finding dog bone cookie cutters in the size I wanted and ended up finding the perfect set of 3 from a random kitchen store at the Outlet Mall  <– where you can find almost anything and everything random.  Plan ahead and order online!  This is exactly what I bought (not the store but the same product) and it was the perfect variety of sizes for the treats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake 25-30 minutes, flipping half way through

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What’s a party without cake for the humans and pupcakes for the four-legging friends!? Here’s a recipe for peanut butter apple pupcakes that smell so good I wanted to eat them myself!

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Peanut Butter Apple Pupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal (ground)
  • 3 heaping tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Bake 350 degrees for 60 minutes

Makes 18 pupcakes

A dog birthday party isn’t weird right?! Well this girl loves her pup and every year is a blessing and full of fun (and not so fun!) moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything… Even if it was for a few more hours of sleep!
I hope everyone has a blast at the paw-ty! Post party details to follow next week!

Happy early 2nd birthday, Emmie!

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Tengo un perrito nuevo

Oliver-goldendoodle

Tengo un perrito nuevo!!!!  — I got a new puppy!!!

I got a new puppy about 3 weeks ago now… meet Oliver Bear!  Life with two dogs is all sorts of different.  I’ve heard parents say they have kids who are polar opposites; one is super chill the other active as a bee, one shy and the other sociable, one eats everything the other is super picky… well, dogs are the same as kids!!  <— said no.mom.ever.   🙂

But seriously, I thought being a dog-mom for a second time would pan out to be a lot like the first one.  Boy, was I wrong! Whether you can relate to these from a dog owner perspective, or a parent perspective, being a new “mom” is quite an adventure!

1 – Sleepless Nights

When Emmie was a puppy, she would consistently wake up 2, 3 and even 4 times in the middle of the night to go outside.  I felt like I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in 18 months (but I love her, I promise!) so I assumed Oliver would be the same.  Oliver’s first night went like this… I frantically woke up every hour thinking he was whining, peeing or destroying something from inside his crate and Oliver slept sound THE ENTIRE NIGHT.   Second night – I frantically woke up again frequently and what did Oliver do, slept through the whole night.  The next week followed suit and to my complete shock, Oliver and Emmie couldn’t be more different when it comes to nighttime. <– I could not be more excited about this!!

2 – Socialization

Oliver LOVES people.  Strangers, family, other dogs, you name it, Oliver is all about them.  He loves to snuggle (with anyone) and doesn’t care if mom is around.  Emmie on the other hand, is a scaredy-cat when it comes to strangers  everything.  If someone knocks on the door and dares to come in, Emmie will let them know she doesn’t want them there  <— free alarm system! Oliver on the other hand, wags his little tail and pounces over to them to greet them with a few licks and bites.  It’s pretty cute until his puppy teeth hurt!

Goldendoodle-puppy-oliver3 – Boys with be boys

Ok so I felt like I had this dog thing down.  I’ve had Emmie for 18 months and I’ve watch friends dogs many times. When I was a youngster my neighborhood friend and I even started a pet sitting business and we rocked it.  I thought having  another dog would be a piece of cake.  It’s definitely easier the second time around but Oliver is a boy and so much different than my sweet Emmie.  There’s not a flip flop in jumping distance Oliver doesn’t try to get and eat.  He is fearless… he leaps in the air when jumping off the couch (<– yes, we are those people) and skips the 2-3 steps when jumping off the porch for the grass.  He loves, loves towels.  Especially after you fold them and place them nicely on the towel rack.  he doesn’t do much with the towel, just likes to pull it down and drag it anywhere it shouldn’t be.  He likes to bring the towels from his crate out to the living room when we are watching tv.  I’ve learned (the hard way) to put my shower towel over the door instead of on the hook outside the door…

Oliver-goldendoodle4 – The dog trains the dog

This is probably the best thing about have two dogs.  Emmie sits for a treat and what do you know, Oliver sits for a treat.  Emmie rings her bell when she needs to go to the bathroom, Oliver rings the bell I want Oliver to ring the bell.  Emmie takes her prevention medicine, Oliver takes his.  Oliver has also taught Emmie a few things as well.  Emmie has learned to play at a puppy level and be gentle with him.  She tolerates his puppy bites and let’s him pounce on her and lay on her when they are tired.  Once of the coolest things about these two is that Emmie is learning from Oliver to be more friendly and welcoming to new people.  She will still bark and stay away but she warms up much quicker now!

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Oliver and Emmie are the best of buds.  If you are ever considering getting a dog (think rescue!) I hope you will consider getting a second dog at some point.  Dogs need a companion of their kind.  We didn’t realize how important this was until Oliver showed up and they are more happy, tired and independent than we could have ever imagined.  I had taken Emmie to the premier Jacksonville dog park about once a week, but this wasn’t enough. She would go to day camp at Camp Bow Wow every so often, but that wasn’t enough.  She would have sleepovers with her other 4-legged friends, but that wasn’t enough.  I would take her places and talk to her all the time, but that wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t until Oliver came home that that was enough for Emmie.  She (and I!) couldn’t be happier!

Welcome to the family, Oliver!! 

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