20 July 2018

Grain Free Dog Treat Recipe With Flax Seeds, Pumpkin

This grain free dog treat recipe has peanut butter, pumpkin, flax seeds, and chia seeds to help your dog's skin and coat.

If you watch my Instagram stories, then you've seen Nacho, my chihuahua.  He's most definitely a momma's boy.   He sits beside me while I write, and I may or may not have bought an extra wide recliner just so the dog has room to sit beside me while I'm working.

Nacho recently went grain free, and it's really helped him.  I bought him some grain free treats, but he didn't like them as much as his old treats.  

He really likes pumpkin, so I wanted to make him some healthy grain free pumpkin treats for a snack.  This recipe is full of ingredients that are good for dogs, like pumpkin, peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, and coconut oil.


My husband brought Nacho home when he was just a puppy.  Someone at his work had one pup left over, so we took him in.  At first, I didn't want a puppy because I had plans to get a girl and name her Sadie and put bows in her hair.

This was a short haired boy.  But I fell in love with him, and he's still here 8 years later.

Nacho had been eating grains in his kibble and treats for the first 5 years of his life.  I don't know what happened, but he starting getting skin issues and allergies.  The poor thing would itch all the time, and he started losing hair.

I took him to the vet, and they gave him an anti-inflammatory that helped while he was on it.  As soon as he went off of it, he started itching again.  Unfortunately, the medicine could only be used short term, so it wasn't a long-term solution.

When I asked if he could be sensitive to grains or gluten, the vet assured me that he wasn't.   I decided to do a grain free trial just in case.  I figured it couldn't hurt him, so we tried it.

Nacho slowly stopped itching and biting his legs.  In about two weeks, we noticed a big difference in that he was regrowing his fur where he had had bald spots.  

Even as a puppy, Nacho didn't play.  He's always been my little old man and will happily cuddle, but he will never chase a ball or try to play with the kids or me.

After he went grain free, his personality and behavior changed.  He would come to me for petting and give me kisses.  He's my happy puppy now.

He likes his daily treat, or good boy snack as they are known in our house, so I decided to make him some.  He absolutely loves pumpkin, so that's what I used.  

I used coconut flour for the flour in this recipe.  It's my choice for non-wheat flours, so I haven't tried any other flours in this recipe.  If your dog isn't gluten-free or grain free, you can use wheat flour in place of the coconut flour.

I used organic pumpkin puree.  Just be sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie because it has extra spices.

I normally use natural peanut butter for this recipe, but I found a crunchy natural peanut butter with flax seeds and whole chia seeds at Aldi.  Both flax and chia seeds are wonderful for your dog's skin and coat, so this is perfect for these grain free dog treats.

Trader Joe also has a natural peanut butter with flax seeds and chia seeds, but it also has sea salt.  It has 10 mg sodium per 2 tablespoons.  Use your best judgement and maybe talk to your vet before using it.  For small dogs, it might have too much salt.  

If you want to use natural peanut butter, you can add a tablespoon each of flax seed or chia seeds.

Flax seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, so they really help improve the skin.  Chia seeds are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, and they are also calming for your skin, full of antioxidants, and naturally anti-inflammatory.

This recipe has a lot of coconut oil in it.  It's a great oil for dogs to ingest if they have skin issues.  The coconut oil is also the reason that you need to put the dough in the fridge.  When it melts due to handling it, the dough doesn't want to hold its shape.  Just pop it in the fridge to harden the coconut oil and continue working.

I added some shredded carrots for more nutrition.  These are optional.  

Eggs are very good for a dog's coat.  I always give Nacho extra eggs when I'm baking.

Nacho loves these grain free dog treats.  The first time he got one, he took it to his bed to eat it.  Then he ran right back for more.  I think he approves!

I used dog bone cookie cutters because they are cute.  You can use any shape, but I just like being traditional here.  I really like this set with different sizes, especially if you're a multi-dog household like we are.  




Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well with a spoon.  I stole used Dakota's hand mixer because it was easier to mix that way.  Place in the fridge to firm up for 15 minutes or longer.


Take out half of the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper.  Roll to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.


Cut out with cute dog bone cookie cutters or any shape.  You can also skip rolling it out and just make small spheres and flatten them.

Combine what's left with the other half of the dough and repeat.  If the dough sticks to the cookie cutters, put it back in the fridge for the coconut oil to firm up again.


Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool completely.  The underside will be golden brown when they are done.

These are a softer snack, and they tend to break easily.  Nacho really doesn't mind a broken treat as long as it makes it into his belly.

This makes two cookie sheets of dog treats if you place them close together.  They don't get bigger when you bake them, so you can have them almost touching on the pan.  

These should last for a few weeks on the counter.  You can also store them in the fridge and just take out a few at a time if your dog doesn't like cold treats.  Nacho doesn't mind cold treats.  Again, as long as they make it to his belly, he's all good.

I hope your pooch loves these as much as Nacho does!

Like this post?  Pin it!

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18 July 2018

How to Take Care of Your Miracos Makeup Brushes

This post is sponsored by Miracos, but all opinions are my own.

Your makeup brushes are tools.  As with any work, the better your tools, the better results you'll get.  That doesn't mean that you have to buy the most expensive tools because they don't always work better than mid-range brushes.  

I recently discovered Miracos Makeup Brushes, specifically the Limited Edition Essential Luxury Brush Kit.  It's affordable, yet it performs like more expensive brushes.  They are absolute proof that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get good results.

Like any tools that you use, the better you take care of them, they better they perform.  They will also last longer, which saves you money in the long run.  

17 July 2018

Finding The Best Car Insurance in Ohio Is Full of Surprises...

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Trying to find the best car insurance can be a trial. We all know the big car insurance brands: State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate — but after browsing those sites, I’m never sure if I’m actually getting the best deals. So this time I used Clearsurance, and what I found totally caught me by surprise. All those household brands we all see advertised so often? They aren’t ranked very highly. Clearsurance, which is a website that collects reviews from people about their insurance company, uses the data it gathers to create unbiased rankings of car insurance companies, both by state and nationally for 2018. The detailed breakdown helps you compare companies and find coverage that’s actually the best deal for your location and driving history.
Once I got over my surprise, I decided to see what companies other consumers ranked as the best car insurance options in Ohio and if my car insurer was rated highly by other consumers. I didn’t even recognize some of the companies that ranked ahead of the giants in car insurance, including my own insurer.
For instance, Amica Mutual, which offers a home ownership discount, was founded in 1907 and ranks as the fourth best company in all of Ohio. Amica Mutual’s 4.46 rating out of 5 on Clearsurance is significantly higher than that of Progressive (4.16) and Allstate (4.1).
Take a look at what companies are ranked as the top 5 car insurers in Ohio on Clearsurance:
  1. USAA — 4.68
These aren’t the names we typically associate with car insurance. So why are these brands so much better than the big companies we all know? Clearsurance has tons of great information to help you navigate your car insurance coverage, and one of the things I discovered is that companies like Geico and Allstate spend billions of dollars a year on advertisements to become the names we think of when it’s time to buy car insurance or consider switching car insurance. But those advertising dollars have come to from somewhere, and it ends up driving up the cost of our insurance premiums.

Why should we be paying more to insure our cars so that our insurer can solicit new business?
For the most part, the companies rated highly in Ohio are lesser known than the big names. But the bottom line is, they’re better. These are the companies that other policyholders have found offer fair prices with good customer service and claims handling.
Still, we’re not all eligible for these top insurers, and we don’t all have the same insurance needs. That’s something else Clearsurance understands and helps you navigate. For example, USAA is the best car insurance company for Ohioans, but it only serves active and former military members and their families, and a company like Erie Insurance Group offers a multi-car discount, but that’s only an incentive if you’re driving multiple vehicles. Plus, not all car insurance companies cover high-risk drivers, so if you have a lot of accidents on your record or a DUI, you may not be able to obtain coverage from one of these companies.
What are the best options for high-risk drivers in Ohio?
I did some digging into the car insurance companies that sell in Ohio and offer policies to high-risk drivers, often referred to as non-standard drivers. Using their ratings on Clearsurance, I found two companies for high-risk drivers:
  1. Safe Auto - With a rating of 3.91, Safe Auto doesn’t compare as well with the highest rated companies in Ohio, but it tops the list among companies that cover high-risk drivers. The reviews talk about Safe Auto being among the cheapest options people could find, and consumers seem to have pretty good overall experience with the company after a claim.
  2. The General - The most well-known among companies on this list, The General has a rating of 3.68. Consumers seem to believe The General offers cheap prices, but the low rates are reflected in the customer service and handling of claims.

Finding the best car insurance for you or your family shouldn’t have to be completely mind-boggling. Once you step outside the buzz of all those big name brands, figuring out which companies actually offer the best customer service at the best price becomes a lot easier, especially if you’ve got Clearsurance on your team.

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16 July 2018

9 Must Have Essential Oil Roller Blends

These are my must have essential oil roller blends; the ones I always have with me.  

If I'm not diffusing my essential oils, then my favorite way to use them is in a roller bottle. Roller bottles make them easy to grab and go and easy to apply.

Making roller bottle blends lets you mix right in the bottle. I can keep my essential oils pure and reduce clutter in my oil storage because I don't have to mix oils in bottles.

Essential oils have to be diluted before you can apply them to your skin  Roller bottles make it easy to dilute them so you don't have to grab a carrier oil or a solid carrier oil stick each time you want to apply oils.

15 July 2018

Amazon Prime Day Deals 2018

Keep watching this post for the best Prime Day 2018 deals!

Don't miss any Amazon Prime Day 2018 deals!  I'll be updating the post all day with deals.

You do need to be a Prime member for the deals, but you can join today and still get these deals!  I've been a Prime member for the free shipping for years.  We also use Amazon Video (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is excellent!) and use Amazon Music (I'm listening to it now!).

See all of the Prime Day Deals here!

The prices shown aren't always the right price.  To see the Prime Day deals, click on the listing  The price is most likely a lot cheaper!




I got a heads up that select Johnson & Johnson products will be 30 percent off for Prime Day.  Check out their landing page for the products.



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