Archives for April 2018

Palihouse Santa Monica

1920s Colonial Revival…

We recently had a little staycation at the Palihouse in Santa Monica (opened in 2013). With 38 rooms and tucked away in a residential area, it’s almost hidden and completely peaceful. When you pull up, a three-story, 1920s Revival building greets you with an enchanting garden with tall greenery, a fountain and even a bocce ball court.

It’s adorable and feels like you’re worlds away.

Check into a high-ceiling lobby filled with antiques, dark leather, woodburning fireplace and a vintage elevator.

The room…

Many of the rooms here are meant for longer stays, so most are fitted with full kitchens, a vanity area and large, airy living rooms. We stayed in the one-bedroom apartment and it was so spacious and comfortable! We opened all the windows and let that beachy breeze in (BTW, the beach is only a five minute walk away).

Things to know…

Because of its residential location, this property is alcohol-free. BUT there are plenty of restaurants + bars within walking distance (we walked to FIG for dinner and Bungalow is also only a 7 minute walk) or you can even bring your own bottle(s) to your room.

There is no fitness center or pool here but the beach is very close. All this adds to the charm of this boutique hotel, making you feel very “at home” and relaxed.

On the weekends, there is a free breakfast spread for guests including coffees, teas, hardboiled eggs, toast + pastries.

Pets stay for $125/stay and the hotel provides comfy dog beds, bowls + homemade treats.


Grain-Free Strawberry Almond Cake Recipe


Guess what?

It’s my birthday today. So, of course the pups get their own dog-friendly cake!

I found this recipe on my fave DIY dog blog Pretty Fluffy — it’s just so photogenic and sounded delicious. It’s even grain-free as it’s made with almond flour and full of clean ingredients like coconut oil, strawberries + honey.

I really like to cook. I have several homemade dog food recipes on here and love cooking but BAKING? I just suck at it. Hate the measuring, hate the exactness of it. When I cook, I like to throw around things with a flourish like #saltbae.

So, this is what the cake is suppose to look like; courtesy of Pretty Fluffy:

Gorgeous, right?

Well, let’s continue…

The ingredients are relatively simple:

1 3/4 cup almond flour
1 – 2 TBS honey (preferably raw)
3 eggs
2-3 TBS melted coconut oil
1 cup chopped organic strawberries + couple of extra for topping

1 cup of organic plain yogurt
2-3 TBS almond butter or organic peanut butter

Preheated the oven to 350 degrees and greased the ramekins like the recipe said to…

Blended up all the ingredients in my handy Nutribullet.

dog cake recipe

Bake for 20 minutes. Ta da! Adorable little strawberry cakes.


This happened (this ALWAYS happens).

They didn’t just slide out of the ramekins. I had to scoop them out with a spoon, crumbling the bottom in the process. The photo actually doesn’t look that bad now that I’m looking at it but they were lumpy and not as pretty as the original photos. I will never be master baker. lol.

Salvaged what I could and of course, the dogs didn’t care. They loved these little gluten free treats and they smelled so good!

Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Curious if your dog has food allergies? Try this at-home test.

Grain Free PB+J Cookie Recipe + Our Fave Dog Treats

make your own dog cookie recipe healthy

Do you remember in elementary + middle school coming home excited about a peanut butter + jelly sandwich? I used to eat four in one sitting and was hungry again an hour later. #thatyoungmetabolism

Well, I thought making a dog-friendly version of a PB+J would be adorable and delicious! These grain-free dog treats are all natural, preservative-free and so yummy. The pups just loooved these.

I found the recipe here but made them into little “drops” — they came out looking like toasted meringue cookies!


  • 2 cups of coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of mashed blueberries
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of warm water

healthy diy dog food recipes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large bowl, combine the coconut flour, peanut butter, crushed blueberries, mashed banana, eggs + water. Mix + add more water if needed.

3. Create bite size drops (using your fingers is best) + arrange on baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes.

dog treat recipes at home grain free

[ Note: these should be refrigerated in an open container. I stored mine in a zip lock bag on the counter and after a few days, the bag was all moist and mold had grown! I had to throw them all away. Next time, I’m thinking of leaving them in the fridge on parchment paper. ]

Printable recipe card to save!

Fave Dog Treats To Buy

Now we don’t always have time to make homemade dog treats so I put together a list of my favorite all-natural dog treats that have the least amount of ingredients possible and tasty.

Sojos treats are natural and comes in yummy flavors like PB+J, Blueberry Cobbler, Chicken Pot Pie + Apple Dumpling.

cheese puffs for dogs

Bark Pops: cheese puffs for dogs! Light, pop-em-in-your-mouth + only 3.3 calories per treat!

Brutus & Barnaby: only one ingredient. Dehydrated sweet potatoes.

Pupford Salmon Training treats are freeze-dried and super light!


Pacific Edge Hotel Laguna Beach

dog friendly hotel laguna beach


Boutique hotel right on the beach…

I haven’t been to Laguna Beach, or Orange County for that matter, in years so when I found the chance to have a nice little beach weekend, I was all for it. Honestly, I forget about good ole Orange County sometimes. But hello, palm trees + clean blue oceans and South Coast Plaza mall (one of the best malls in the country!). I even spotted a Pizzeria Mozza. Impressive.

If you’re looking for a hotel on the beach that’s affordable and dog-friendly, Pacific Edge Hotel fits the bill. It’s very boutique-y and although they have 120+ rooms, they are separated by individually named buildings (we were in the Reef building).

The rooms have a very distinct, mellow, beach vibe with many containing full kitchens. I loved my balcony and waking up to the ocean.

The highlight of this hotel is the location. We never had to take the car once. We walked to some local clothing shops, a nail salon, good restaurants and there was even a dog grooming/store across the street. There’s also a Taco Bell less than 10 feet away that’s open til MIDNIGHT. You’re welcome. The Cliff (Californian cuisine) is in the same block + they allow dogs on their outdoor oceanfront patio.

And of course, the beach…

Head down the outdoor stairs, and you’ll find yourself on the shore. Pups are welcome on the beach and in the hotel, of course. The hotel welcomes two pets per room; $50 per stay.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth At Home

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth At Home

How many of you actually brush your dog’s teeth?

Brushing my own teeth is annoying enough as it is… I’m trying to get in the habit of brushing their teeth more often, especially Weston. He unfortunately had to get 5 teeth pulled two years ago because they were rotting and causing gum disease.

Apparently, it’s common for Bulldogs to have bad teeth because of their overbite and overcrowding of teeth. After the teeth were removed, his breath smelled SO much better.

If you notice your dog has bad breath, red swollen gums, yellow-ish brown tartar along the gum line, or bumps within the mouth, do go see the vet and get it checked out. Your pup could have major infections within the mouth and even loose teeth.

Lately I have been using this new product from Pura Naturals but of course, there are many other brands like Kissable’s combo kit, Sentry’s kit with a 360 degree soft bristle brush head + Vet’s Best Enzymatic kit.

Pura Naturals Pet + RADIUS

Have you guys seen the RADIUS toothbrushes (for humans!)? They are super wide and help with gum disease protection. We found ours at Whole Foods. We actually use these at home along with a few other brushes (yes, we use multiple toothbrushes because we like to change it up — and also because we end up forgetting to pack a toothbrush, thus buying more).

So, a RADIUS toothbrush for dogs? We get to have matching toothbrushes? CUTE.

“We all expect we’re going to feed them and brush them and walk them and give them water, but also part of that should be checking their teeth,” Sommers (Pure Naturals Pet President and Chief Merchandising) said. “And you can certainly get them used to it. Most animals will cooperate, especially if you start them when they’re young.” [ source: PetAge magazine ]

The paste is all organic and made with sweet potatoes + cinnamon! Actually smells really nice.

Let’s get started…

1.) Grab a dog toothbrush with soft bristles or a child’s toothbrush. The best brush is a double headed brush. If this is the first time you’re brushing your pups’ teeth then make it fun for them. Give them exercise first so they are relaxed through this process. Start brushing their teeth as a puppy so they get used to it early on.

2.) Never use human toothpaste; it’s poisonous to dogs! So grab some dog toothpaste and give your pup a sample to introduce them to it. Many people even use coconut oil as a substitute for toothpaste (which btw is amazing for our teeth as well! see: coconut pulling)

3.) Lift the lip to expose the gums and teeth of your dog and gently brush their teeth how you would your own. Use a forty-five degree angle. Talk to your dog through this to assure them that there’s nothing to worry about. Make sure to get the back upper teeth as they usually build up tartar. If your dog is not used to the brushing then start doing only a couple teeth til they are fully comfortable with it.

5.) Give your pup some love by petting them or giving them their favorite toy to make them love getting their teeth brushed. Try getting synthetic bones which are better for your pups teeth and gums. Bones are great for pups so they get strengthen the gums and teeth and even get rid of build up plaque. Even getting pets the right type of toy is one way to help combat dental problems.

toothpaste for dogs

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