DIY Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food feature

I never expected to be that dog mom that makes her own dog food for her animal. But we treat our dog exactly like what she is, a member of our family. We love her and, yes, we spoil her. And so does both set of grandparents. But there are two reasons it’s advantageous to give your dog human food: their health and your wallet.

Being an animal activist I research what animal food manufacturers I should buy from and I ensure that I’m not giving harsh ingredients (or support companies that are cruel to animals). So, obviously, we aren’t buying the super cheap food. In fact, I buy Blue Buffalo for all the animals. Then we supplement the dry dog food that we buy with human food. My father-in-law was a dairy and poultry farmer and my mom used to show dogs so they both are very helpful in our animals health, but so is the Internet now a days.


Here’s what I make for Shelby weekly:

  • Rice*
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes

Foods for dogs*white rice is great fiber keeping both humans and animals in great health by clearing out toxins. This also makes her more regular and more predictable for husband and I so we don’t ever worry about what is waiting for us to clean up when we get home if we happen to both be out for 6-8 hours.

I steam the cauliflower in the microwave, boil the sweet potatoes on the stove, and make the rice in the rice cooker. It is so brainless and done in conjunction with our dinner it’s not even funny how little time is involved. For less than $3 a week all that goes a long way (even less if you buy rice and vegetables in bulk and then freeze the vegetables and store the rice). If your dog is a picky eater, you can throw in the chicken and carrots (and other ingredients) in a high quality Juicing Machine and add a nice beef broth – this should make it palatable for the pickiest of dogs.

I will then add in any of the ingredients that I have on hand depending on what we’re cooking for the human dinners:

  • Bacon
  • Leftover meats that have been unseasoned (I’ll purposely unseason or put off to the side meat we’re having for her)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Any other vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. All of these are so great for her.
  • Chicken broth (unsalted, unseasoned)

I can tell a big difference in her health and she has such a great coat of fur after adding these human foods to her diet. I mix it in all in a bowl with some dry food that that’s what I dish her food out of in the morning and the evening.

There are lots of other food that dogs can have, that I rotate in every so often depending on season and what we’re having ourselves but these aren’t as regular for her:

  • spinach
  • squash
  • pumpkin
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • lean meats
  • salmon
  • apples, berries; other fruits dogs can have include oranges, bananas, and watermelon (all seeded, stemless, etc)

Human foods to never give dogs

  • avocado
  • salt, onions and garlic (hence why I make sure everything I give her is unseasoned)
  • grapes and raisins
  • candy and gum
  • chocolate
  • most dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheese seems to be a popular dog treat but articles go back and forth)
  • many fruits like peaches (generally those with pits)
  • bread dough / yeast
  • baked sweets
  • nuts (particularly macadamia; the shells of other nuts like hazelnut, walnuts could be hurtful to their digestive tract lining so be careful with whole nuts)
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

A guest DIY post by The Lolly Project.

Some of my favorite things to create are different pieces of wall art.  After some quick brainstorming and surveying of the craft supplies, I decided to create a super easy wall hanging DIY – no weaving needed!


  1. various colored yarn
  2. scissors
  3. wooden dowel or thin branch
  4. beads


Take your yarn and measure out ten wingspans of each color.  Take one piece of yarn and, starting from the middle, create a loop and place it under the dowel.  Pull the two vertical strands through the loop and secure (images below).  Repeat those same steps until you have your desired size, and cut off any extra yarn at the bottom, creating your desired length.

Creating the loop

Take another length of yarn and attach it to each side of the dowel, enabling you to hang it on the wall!  I added a few beads to the ends, but feel free to customize it!

There you have it!  A super simple wall hanging that takes almost no time and no expertise in crafting!  It compliments any gallery wall and looks great with or without other pieces, like that flag from Flag Fest! Happy crafting!

Updated Tray + Coffee Table Decor

Upgraded tray-1I was growing a little tired of my zebra tray from 2008.  Then after getting inspired from a recent walk-through of Anthropologie and West Elm, I decided to do a little upgrading.

Upgraded tray-2

Upgraded tray-3Upgrading the tray cost less than $5 to buy gift wrap and tape, unless you already have them!  I used tape because you can get tape nice and flat to seal the gift wrap down, whereas a glue would show up as a glue line (unless you used glue sticks, but that won’t work for all tray surfaces).  I also thought that tape would be nice and temporary in case I get bored in another 7 years!

I recommend doing more exact measurements with the gift wrap to make sure everything aligns correctly.  With a newborn, I did the quick eyeball method.  It turned out good enough so I left it.


Upgraded tray-4

For the rest of coffee table decor update, I used the upgraded tray and just added decor on top of it.  I spent less than $20 on the fake succulent and the gold-rimmed faceted terrarium ($29-39 from West Elm) at Hobby Lobby, then I used books that I already owned.

Upgraded tray-5

I’m very happy with how the whole thing turned out.  I matched the gift wrap of the tray with the gold rimmed terrarium/planter on purpose and liked the green succulent as a secondary splash of color with the black and white of the books and the tray.

This isn’t actually the decor for our coffee table, though.  We have an entertainment console that we used to put our television on.  Then, we mounted it and were left with an empty table in front of the wall.  It looked awkward so I’ve been trying to find a low-profile solution to fill the space.  I’m very happy to have found this modern solution!  Enjoy!

Upgraded tray-6


No-Sew St. Patrick’s Day Banner

No-Sew St. Patrick’s Day Banner
A DIY guest article by The Lolly Project.


 I’ve always loved  flag banners. They’re so easy to make, and can add so much personality to any room you decorate. With Valentine’s day checked off the calendar, St. Patrick’s day is the next big holiday to generate excitement within society. So,  wouldn’t the reasonable thing be to combine my love for banners with St. Pat’s day to make a super cute, no-sew, easy-to-make decoration? The answer is yes. So that’s what I did.



  • Canvas Fabric
  • Printed Letters
  • Scissors
  • Sponge Brush
  • Xacto Knife
  • Green Paint
  • Tape
  • Flag  Template
  • A Saying, Word, or Phrase (I chose “Lucky”)


 ​Take your template, which you can print and cut out, and trace with a pencil, the flags for your banner. I decided to use a ratio of one letter to one flag. Cut out the flags once all have been traced. To add the letters/words/phrases onto your flags, take the printed letters and xacto knife and cut out the letters to create an outline.
st pat's type banner-3
st pat's type banner-4
When the letter outlines are created, tape them down, and with the sponge brush, dab the paint on top of the outline onto the banner. (Note: you will want to test your paper to check for bleed resistance.) I also found that an up-and-down blotting motion works best to deliver the paint to the canvas flags.
st pat's type banner-10
st pat's type banner-12
Remove the outline, and let the painted letter dry completely before continuing on to the next steps.
st pat's type banner 2
st pat's type banner 2-4
st pat's type banner 2-6


  • Painted Flags
  • Green String/Ribbon
  • Hot Glue Gun
st pat's type banner 2-7
st pat's type banner 2-8
Take your ribbon, and hot glue the flags on, about one inch apart.
st pat's type banner 2-12
And that’s it! A super easy, cute, and festive St. Patrick’s Day flag banner to hang in any room!
st pat's type banner 2-10
st pat's type banner 2-11

 photo Molly.jpg

Creating a Gallery Wall

Disclosure: This post is financially sponsored by Adorama Pix.  All opinions are my own.Gallery Wall-1

For the longest time, this wall was called our “wedding wall.”  You can actually view our wedding wall here.  I really wanted to get rid of it.  I mean it’s been almost three years and I’m a little sick of looking at the same pictures over and over (I get bored easily).  Mr. Charming was not so ready to get rid of it, though, but I finally was able to convince him when our daughter was born.  I wanted a gallery wall to display our favorite pictures, both of people (our daughter!) and of meaningful places.  I put the above gallery wall together to do just that and I think we love it.

Gallery Wall-4


I wanted a gallery wall where I can interchange some pictures as the months go on.  Some of the pictures of the two of us, the baptism pictures, and one of Miss K’s pictures will be replaced with newer pictures as she ages, we visit somewhere new, and as other life events occur.  But, for now, these are the most important pictures to us so they are what I have started with and will probably be up for a good time.  The canvas, the center image, the acrylics, and Miss K’s first picture will most likely be permanent parts of the display, though.

A. Zimbabwean sunset on acrylic.  Many of you probably don’t know my husband was actually born and raised in Africa.  He immigrated here when he was about 14 and I know they still hold a big place in their heart for Zimbabwe, in fact family still resides there today and they had a family reunion in Zimbabwe last year.  So, when I saw this picture they was taken last year I knew it would be a great way to incorporate where he came from into the wall.  After all, they always talk about the incredible beauty of the African sunsets.

B. Extended family picture.  This was taken at Miss K’s baptism and includes our best of friends as well because they are family, too.

C. Canvas family illustration.  I purchased this last year of the two of us plus our animals.  I wanted to have a little portrait of our family before we had kids, you know the first two and a half years of our marriage.

D. One year anniversary portrait.  I wanted to take annual pictures regardless if we have kids are not just to see how we change through the years.  Our second annual pictures included the baby bump, but for our first annual pictures I kind of did a “cherish the dress” session because I was a little disappointed with how little pictures we got from our wedding day of just us two.  You can see more from that session, taken by Elizabeth Buergler Photography, here.

E. Hanauma Bay in Hawaii panorama on acrylic.  We honeymooned in Hawaii and I don’t have many pictures from our honeymoon hanging in our house.  I took this opportunity to get this panorama on an acrylic to mirror the acrylic sunset.  We snorkeled in this bay and I’ll never forget we found a giant sea turtle and started just swimming behind him/her for several minutes.  Such a glorious little creature.  Ever since then, I’ve kind of had a thing for sea turtles.

F. Miss K at 3 weeks.  I took this picture along with a few others of her in a pink tutu.  This is my husband’s favorite picture from the session and I promised my husband we would include it in the gallery wall.  You can see another picture from the session here.

G. Second annual family picture.  This was taken by Elizabeth Buergler Photography in November, in which we also did a few maternity pictures that you might have seen on Instagram.  I wanted my husband and I to be in the center because, well, I love my marriage to him.

H. Miss K’s first formal picture.  Taken at the hospital by the hospital photographer around 12 hours of age.  I believe this will be a permanent picture in the gallery.

I. Two more pictures from our second annual family portrait session.

J. Family group pictures from Miss K’s baptism.  We did smaller group sessions of our families: my husband’s immediate family, my immediate family, our “second” family, and our closest group of friends.

K. Wedding flowers.  I include a mention of these because the tall pink flowers and the gold candles were on our sweetheart table at our wedding.  I have help them unaltered since then as decoration.  The middle flowers are just there, possibly temporarily until I find a better replacement, to kind of fill in the gap.


The key to the gallery wall, like many gallery walls, is mixing and matching.  I wanted to mix and match frames and media on this wall.  Adorama Pix is so great because they offer so many different size options for paper, acrylic, canvas, and metal prints – this was something I felt was lacking from some competitors.  For my Hanauma Bay panorama, they printed it 8×17.7 inches because that was the size of my panorama!

Gallery Wall-3

Once I found the frames and received all the artwork, I used the Command Picture Strips in size large to put up most of the pictures because they are a little more stable and required a lot less hassle than nails: all I did was rip off the stand on the frames, put the strips on the frames, and then put the frames on the wall.  This requires two people so that one person can stand from afar and make sure it all lines up.

** A side note: some of the heights and widths didn’t match up on purpose because I wanted to mix and match both frames and media, however there is a small discrepancy between this template and my actual wall gallery: where the asterisk (*) is on the template I say 11×14, however I used an 8×10 on my wall because that is the largest size I was able to get for that newborn shot of my daughter so I ran with it anyways using a frame for an 8×10 instead of a frame for an 11×14 which would have matched up in symmetry better.  I do recommend using an 11×14 picture instead of an 8×10, though.